2:00PM Water Cooler 3/13/2024

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Generous readers, we are now at 307 231 204 177 donors, or 76% 57%51%44% of our goal of 400 donors (25 more than last year). You have moved the needle out of the “Catastrophically Bad” zone into the “Let’s Make This a Success!” zone [lambert sighs in relief], for which I thank you all. If you enjoy the •-points at Water Cooler — or even enjoy waiting for “orts and scraps” to appear — please support Water Cooler (or donate to provide the support that the unlucky cannot). I hope you enjoy reading Water Cooler as much as I enjoy writing it! –lambert

Generous and patient readers, what with Fani Willis and TikTok and Boeing all breaking at once, I’m a little scattered. More soon, on all three of these topics (like the actual decision on Willis, which I found and couldn’t get to), as well as other stuff –lambert P.S. Oh, and the antidote immediately.

Bird Song of the Day

Kashmir Nuthatch, Yousmarg Forest Area, Budgam, Jammu and Kashmir, India.

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In Case You Might Miss…

(1) The ongoing Boeing debacle, including the strange fate of John Barnett.

(2) Eames museum, with chairs.

Look for the Helpers

“Birdie Tells You When It’s Time to Crack Open a Window for Fresh Air” [Design Milk (DD)]. ” Birdie is an adorably conceived wall-mounted CO2 monitoring device equipped to help determine whether it’s time to crack open a window or turn on an air purifier.”

I’m not sure whether this is a category error here or not. But the designers certainly had help on their minds, not just for the requirements, but for the simplicity (and the humor). UPDATE On reflection, I think this is a category error. Good design is not really “economic activity” in the sense the Graeber describes it below. This would have been better placed under either Covid, for the CO2 aspect, or Zeitgeist Watch. Still learning!

Lambert here: I hope readers will send in more examples like this (“brighten the corner where you are“). The helper(s) don’t need to be heroic, let alone dramatic, or ego-driven, and certainly not institutional. To cite, of all people, the American Enterprise Institute, writing on Occupy, and citing to David Graeber:

In addition to trucking, bartering, and knocking each other over the head, Graeber argues that human beings also engage in a wholly different kind of economic activity: We often share things we have with others. When Graeber says that we are already communists, he is referring to those quite familiar situations in which we really do operate by the maxim “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.”

People of all cultures, including our own, invariably practice the communism of everyday life when dealing with their family and close friends. A mother does not expect her child to pay her for her baby-sitting services. A brother does not rent out his baseball glove to his brother on an hourly basis. If a friend is sick and needs something from the store, we pick it up for her and would never think of asking for gas money in return.

As Graeber points out, this kind of behavior comes out most conspicuously during a crisis, such as a natural disaster. At such times, people will voluntarily, even cheerfully, extend a helping hand to those who are most in need of one. Less dramatically, the same principle is at work whenever we are at a store that has a box on the counter that says “Leave a penny, take a penny,” intended to help out those who don’t have the exact change. In all these cases we are witnessing the spontaneous application of the communist maxim, “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.”

In our increasingly desperate and fragile neoliberal society, everyday normal incidents and stories of “the communism of everyday life” are what I am looking for (and not, say, the Red Cross in Hawaii, or even the UNWRA in Gaza). My email address is down by the plant; please send examples of “Helpers” there.


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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

Biden Administration

“US House passes bill to force ByteDance to divest TikTok or face ban” [Reuters]. “The vote comes just over a week since the bill was proposed following one public hearing with little debate, and after action in Congress had stalled for more than a year.” • Odd! I guess this is why–

“W.H. works with Hill to ban TikTok” [Punchbowl News]. “The bill is set for a markup Thursday in the House Energy and Commerce Committee following a classified hearing with officials from the FBI, Justice Department and Office of the Director of National Intelligence.” • Blob Vibes…

“House passes bill that could lead to a TikTok ban; fight shifts to the Senate” [CNBC]. “The legislation, dubbed the Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act, was introduced March 5 by Reps. Mike Gallagher, R-Wis., and Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Ill., of the House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party. Two days later, House members on the Energy and Commerce Committee voted unanimously to approve the bill, which refers to TikTok as a threat to national security because it is controlled by a foreign adversary.” • I think this “adversary” category is bizarre. For one thing, states exist in a condition of anarchy. Every state is potentially an adversary of every other state. More pointedly, we used to be at war with other states, or not (Article I, Section 8, Clause 11). So now we have a whole separate category of state “adversaries,” determined by Blob Vibes, which will soon — maybe it has already — grow all over everything like kudzu, and help the Censorship Industrial Complex metastatize. Anyhow, our spooks are supposed to be technical. Don’t we have a backdoor into TikTok? More on “adversary”:

I guess it’s OK for Axel Springer to own Politico because Germany is a vassal state? Could it be that the Blob Vibes are bad for any platform that’s not controlled by the Censorship Industrial Complex? (WordPress, fortunately, is owned by an American company. So I guess they’ll have to find some other reason….(

“IRS has launched its free tax filing service, Direct File, in 12 states” [Ars Technica]. “The Internal Revenue Service’s free tax filing service, Direct File, is now available in 12 states for taxpayers with simple tax returns. The service, available in English and Spanish, underwent ‘weeks of successful testing’ [weeks?] before the launch, the US Treasury Department said today. ‘Direct File provides a free, secure option for taxpayers with simple tax situations in 12 states to file their taxes directly with the IRS,’ the Treasury Department said. ‘Direct File is easy to use, with no hidden junk fees, and works as well on a smartphone as it does on a laptop, tablet, or desktop computer. Direct File shows taxpayers the math so they can be sure that their return is accurate, and they are getting the refund they are entitled to.’… You can check whether you qualify to use the system at directfile.irs.gov. Based on the eligibility restrictions in the IRS program, the Treasury Department said it ‘estimates that one-third of all federal income tax returns filed could be prepared using Direct File.'” • “Junk fees” is Biden campaign language, but it still sounds like a good idea.


Less than a year to go!

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Trump (R): “Judge tosses some Trump Georgia charges in election interference case” [The Hill]. “Judge Scott McAfee tossed six charges total contained in the indictment, including three counts against Trump. The charges dropped against Trump notably involve his pressure campaign on Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R), including the infamous call in which Trump asked Raffensperger to ‘find’ enough votes — exactly 11,779 — to overturn Joe Biden’s victory in the state. The charges dropped all relate to alleged efforts to solicit Georgia officials to violate their oaths of office. Some of the counts that were dropped also implicated Trump’s co-defendants, including former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and White House chief of staff Mark Meadows. The judge’s ruling does not impact the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act charge that each defendant faces and serves as the foundation of the historic prosecution. That charge wraps in all of the alleged conduct in the case, meaning prosecutors are still able to tie in the Trump-Raffensperger call despite the dropped counts. McAfee’s ruling is also not linked to the judge’s examination of Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’s (D) relationship with a special prosecutor on the case, which he is also expected to rule on this week.”

Trump (R): “Judge DISMISSES three charges against Trump in Georgia election interference case as pressure grows on Fani Willis” [Daily Mail]. “Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee wrote Wednesday in an order that six of the charges in the indictment must be quashed, including three against Trump. But the order leaves intact many other charges in the indictment and the judge wrote that prosecutors could seek a new indictment on the charges he dismissed.”

Trump (R): “Judge tosses six charges in Trump Georgia indictment” [Politico]. “However, McAfee found that as written, the allegations that Donald Trump and several allies solicited Georgia officials to violate their oaths of office — in part by sending false electors to Congress — were too generic. ‘The lack of detail concerning an essential legal element is … fatal,’ McAfee wrote.” • Well, maybe Willis was busy with other things. Here is the opinion–

“State Of Georgia v. Donald John Trump, Rudolph William Louis Giuliani, John Charles Eastman, Mark Randall Meadows, Ray Stallings Smith III, and Robert David Cheeley” (PDF) [Fulton County Superior Court]. Here is the “generic” part:

And here is the footnote where McAfee explains to Willis what to do to save her case:

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Biden (D): “Biden’s speech was not the win the political class thought it was” [Washington Examiner]. Delaware County, PA: “In sitting with several voters whose presidential choices have been all over the place for the past 20 years, with some of them jumping from George W. Bush to Obama to Trump to Biden, the president’s comportment did not come off as strength. Instead, many of them felt they were being yelled at. Intellectually, they all understood why Biden needed to project vigor. They also all agreed that vigor and yelling are not the same thing. These suburban Philadelphia voters say former President Donald Trump’s comportment is a bridge too far for them, but they also don’t care much for Biden either. Where their votes go, they have no idea, but if you are a Democratic strategist sitting at home and thought Biden’s performance shored up this voting bloc, you might want to go back to the drawing board.” Hmm. “The day after the big speech, Biden came here as his first follow-up. The day began with a visit to Rose Valley, a wealthy majority-white suburb here in Delaware County where the medium income is $118,637 and the poverty level hovered at 1%, to first visit the private home of cafe owner Jack Cunicelli. The Biden campaign promoted the visit as a ‘kitchen table conversation’ with the Cunicelli family, who own 320 Market Cafe in Swarthmore. Perhaps next time, a visit with a family to have a ‘kitchen table conversation’ might be best done with a family struggling to make ends meet. Biden later told reporters the oldest Cunicelli brother attended school with his son Hunter Biden in Delaware. A HarrisX/Forbes overnight poll released Tuesday, five days after the address, showed that the speech did indeed land flat with voters with a whopping 61% of them saying his performance was inadequate. Fifty-nine percent said it served to divide the country further.” • It’s West Wing Brain. In Sorkin’s long-running West Wing series, which so many Obots watched in their youth, the solution to every problem was always to have President Jed Clampett make a speech.

Biden (D): “Robert Hur’s report exaggerated Biden’s memory issues” [Vox]. “Hur’s claim that Biden had demonstrated some sort of general “poor memory” hangs almost entirely on mix-ups by Biden about in what specific year several years-old events occurred. The transcript makes clear Biden remembers all those events. But it seems Biden just doesn’t pay a lot of attention to which specific year stuff happened in.” Or supposedly hazy recollections of sequence can actually be quite useful when being questioned under oath (which would be, in fact, a proof of cognitive ability, not the reverse (!!)). More: “Hur’s treatment of Biden’s memory conflates several things that are not necessarily the same phenomenon: First is the legalistic “I don’t recall.” This is a standard answer deployed in response to adversarial prosecutorial questioning. It can be the truth. It can also be a dodge from someone with something to hide, since it theoretically helps prevent prosecutors from catching you in a lie — how can they prove if you simply forgot something? Second is understandable, normal forgetfulness about the details of past events — since virtually no one has perfect recall of everything that happened years ago. Third is a genuinely unusual memory failure suggestive of cognitive decline.” And: “It is admittedly odd for a lifelong politician to get mixed up on which year is a presidential election year. But again, there’s no actual forgetfulness being demonstrated about what events happened, just imprecision about exactly when they happened.” • I’m not sure I’d want to have a beer with a candidate who’s “admittedly odd,” but it’s been a strange year….

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Kennedy (1) on TikTok:

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“Trump and Biden Should Both Be Terrified of the Third-Party Vote” [Slate]. “The combination of historic unpopularity for the major-party nominees, the presence of Robert F. Kennedy Jr. polling well enough to get into the televised debates, and an unusually large slate of other third-party candidates could make this the wildest, most unpredictable presidential election in living memory. In the 19 presidential elections held since the end of the Second World War, only two independent or third-party candidates have cracked double digits in the national popular vote: Texas businessman Ross Perot in 1992 and segregationist George Wallace in 1968. The folksy Perot actually led his three-way 1992 race against incumbent Republican George H.W. Bush and Democrat Bill Clinton for a period of time before dropping out abruptly in July 1992. Perot campaign manager Edward Rollins told the Washington Post at the time that the press scrutiny, policy complexity, and campaign demands were too much for the mercurial Perot and that it ‘was just no fun.’ Haunted by the possibility that he had betrayed his volunteers, Perot jumped back into the fray in September, but by then it was too late. Perot took just under 19 percent of the vote, won zero states, and is widely believed to have cost Bush reelection. Political scientists, however, have never bought that story, and indeed, election modeling and mapping site Split Ticket dove deep into the data last year and concluded that without Perot, Clinton would have won an even more decisive victory over Bush, based on exit polls about voters’ second preferences. The Perot lesson, then, is that strong third-party finishes on major-party performance cannot be assumed before Election Day based on whom they seem like they would draw votes from. Other than Perot, it has been at least a century since a third-party candidate had a realistic chance at becoming president, and that won’t change this year. But Kennedy’s outsider campaign has to worry the Biden camp.” And: “The Kennedy campaign has completed its petition work in Utah, Hawaii, New Hampshire, and Nevada, and American Values recently announced that it had gathered the requisite number of signatures in Arizona and Georgia. By the standards of third-party vanity runs, this looks like a fairly serious operation, backed by a sufficient number of rich people to keep itself afloat for months, and it wouldn’t be surprising if Kennedy’s team got themselves on the ballot in all 50 states plus D.C.” • Volatility!

“The 10 Senate Seats Most Likely To Flip” [RealClearPolitics]. “The 2024 presidential election has grabbed most of the headlines recently, but the Senate races are taking shape under the radar. Here is a preview of the 10 most likely to flip.” West Virginia (D; open, Manchin retired), Montana (D; Tester vulnerable), Ohio (D; Sherrod Brown vulnerable); Michigan (D; open; Palestine); Texas (R; Cruz; America’s most punchable face); Arizona (D; open; Kari Lake has issues); Nevada (D; Rosen not weak, but Trump coat-tails?); Wisconsin (D; Baldwin, same; not weak, but Trump coat-tails?); Pennsylvania (D; Casey dynasty, but Trump coat-tails?); Maryland (D; open. Hogan (R) strong, but Maryland very blue). • One could argue that gutting the RNC isn’t the best way to pick up those open seats. On the other hand, maybe it is the best way.

“Flight 93 Redux” [The American Conservative]. The deck: “Unlike in 2016, in 2024 there’s no obvious happy ending.” A cri de couer of reactionary aghastitude, which includes this nugget: “Throughout the country, Black Lives Matter and Antifa led rioters looted stores and burned down police stations, with large scale mainstream media support. Trump seemed to do little but send off angry tweets. Had it not been for the savvy hand of Attorney General William Barr, who mobilized federal law enforcement officials from all over the country, Washington, D.C. might have experienced a color revolution in early June, with Trump’s presidency ending in the White House basement where he was seeking shelter from the mobs.” • I’ve certainly never encountered that theory before, and I do try to keep track. Readers, I didn’t come up as a conservative. Can anyone tell me whether anybody serious actually believes this, among our “conservative friends,” as the saying goes?

Republican Funhouse

“Buck to retire next week, narrowing House GOP majority” [The Hill]. He couldn’t wait to get out?! “Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.) will retire from Congress next week, he said Tuesday, a stunning announcement that will narrow the House GOP’s razor-thin majority even further…. Buck’s statement sent shock waves throughout the Capitol, including for Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.), who said he was “surprised” by the news and hadn’t been informed prior to the announcement. A Buck spokesperson, however, said the congressman left the Speaker a voicemail 30 minutes before his announcement went public.” Ha ha! More: “Upon his exit from Congress, Buck said he will shift his attention to the 2024 presidential election, which is on its way to being a rematch between President Biden and former President Trump. ‘Everybody I’ve talked to is complaining about the choices they have for president. And it is time that we start talking about how we elect presidents and how we elect senators and congressmen and local leaders,’ Buck told reporters Tuesday. ‘And I feel very strongly about that. I don’t have an organization to join, I just know in my heart I want to get involved in this election cycle and work on that issue.’ The comments sparked speculation that Buck himself may be eyeing a bid for the White House, a notion he quickly shot down.” • Hmm.

Democrats en Déshabillé

“Pressure on Boeing grows as Buttigieg says the company needs to cooperate with investigations” [ABC]. Boeing’s problems have been building for some time, as this brutal FAA report shows. So where was Petey all this time? Hiding under his desk? Any minor leaguer who thought Buttigieg was their ticket to The Show is probably reconsidering their career choices at this point, if they haven’t already. And vicious-tempered not-a-nice-guy Joe Biden is not going to be happy if (when) the Boeing debacle ends up on his desk in an election year. And if a human sacrifice is required, it won’t be him.

“Democrats’ big vulnerability: Why they’re losing Black, Hispanic voters” [Axios]. “New data shows that Democrats’ longtime advantage with Black, Latino and Asian American voters has shrunk to its lowest point in more than 60 years — creating a massive vulnerability for President Biden and congressional Democrats.” • Handy chart

At the same time, look at those Republicans go with the Whites. Democrats are losing across the board.


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“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!

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“Living with Covid”:

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TABLE 1: Daily Covid Charts

National[1] Biobot March 12: Regional[2] Biobot March 12:

Variants[3] CDC March 2 Emergency Room Visits[4] CDC March 9
New York[5] New York State, data March 12: National [6] CDC February 24:
National[7] Walgreens March 11: Ohio[8] Cleveland Clinic March 2:
Travelers Data
Positivity[9] CDC February 19: Variants[10] CDC February 19:
Weekly deaths New York Times March 2: Percent of deaths due to Covid-19 New York Times March 2:


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] (Biobot) A bit “modified rapture” (“could be worse”) but we our falling curve has now reached the level of previous Trump peaks. Not a great victory. Note also the area “under the curve,” besides looking at peaks. That area is larger under Biden than under Trump, and it seems to be rising steadily if unevenly.

[2] (Biobot) Regional separation re-emerges.

[3] (CDC Variants) 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] (ER) “Charts and data provided by CDC, updates Wednesday by 8am. For the past year, using a rolling 52-week period.”

[5] (Hospitalization: NY) Not flattening. (Date for data corrected; it was a glitch.)

[6] (Hospitalization: CDC) Still down. “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] (Walgreens) Leveling out.

[8] (Cleveland) Flattening.

[9] (Travelers: Posivitity) Now up, albeit in the rear view mirror.

[10] (Travelers: Variants) Backward revisions remove NV.1 data. JN.1 dominates utterly.

Stats Watch

Generous readers, I have had to sacrifice some detail in the business section to cover a pandemic and a Presidential election (I loved to write about shipping). However, I hope I can sometimes rise to the occasion, and if you appreciate what I can still do, however minimally — as with Boeing — I hope you will donate to keep Water Cooler going.

There are no official statistic of interest today.

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Manufacturing: “Cops claim Boeing whistleblower, John Barnett’s, death was ‘self-inflicted but his lawyer cries foul” [Hindustan Times]. “Investigating Officers at Charleston Police Department, probing his death, claim Boeing’s ex-quality manager died from a ‘self-inflicted’ wound. He reportedly extended his stay at Holiday Inn two days prior to his suspected suicide. John was expected to check out the day before his friend contacted the hotel and raised an alarm. Employees knocked on his hotel room, with no response and later found him dead inside his Dodge Ram in the parking lot. He had a ‘silver handgun’ in his right hand…. The report further states, John had his ‘right pointer finger remaining on the trigger’, and suffered a ‘gunshot wound near his right temple. Next him was a white paper, however, its contents have not been revealed yet.” • Well, of course there was a note (and how come I have to go to the [family blogging] HindustanTimes to get this information). However, this is interesting:

Another account agrees:

Can readers confirm?

Manufacturing: “Who was Boeing whistleblower John Barnett, the man found dead outside a Charleston hotel?” [Post and Courier]. Here’s are the final few paragraphs: “Terry Barnett-Lewis, a cousin, told The Post and Courier his death was a ‘shock.’ ‘They’re good people,’ Barnett-Lewis said of the Barnett brothers, with whom she doesn’t keep in close touch. Barnett leaves behind three brothers, eight nieces and nephews, 11 great-nieces and nephews, and his mother, Vicky Melder Stokes. ‘Those boys meant everything to her,’ Barnett-Lewis said.” • The Post and Courier has won a lot of awards. It won’t be winning one for coverage like this. “Boeing draws a lot of water in this town.

Manufacturing: “FAA audit of Boeing’s 737 production found mechanics using hotel card and dish soap as makeshift tools: report” [New York Post]. “The Federal Aviation Administration found dozens of issues throughout Boeing’s 737 MAX jet production process, including mechanics at one of its key suppliers using a hotel key card and dish soap as makeshift tools to test compliance, according to a report… Boeing failed 33 out of 89 product audits — a review of specific aspects in the production line — with a total of 97 counts of alleged noncompliance, the auditors found, according to the [New York Times].” • Wowsers. Not a good look. Not sure I’d want to be a Boeing salesman at this point; the jokes write themselves.

“Boeing promises changes after getting poor grades in a government audit of manufacturing quality” [Associated Press]. “Responding to a U.S. government audit, Boeing said Tuesday that it would work with employees found to have violated company manufacturing procedures to make sure they understand instructions for their jobs.” They understand their jobs just fine; procedural violations are a result of the incentive structures Boeing management set up, as Boeing admitted when they changed them to incentivize quality. Meanwhile: “Separately on Tuesday, Boeing reported that it received orders for 15 jetliners in February and delivered 27 planes, including two Max jets each to Southwest Airlines and United Airlines. TD Cowen analyst Cai von Rumohr called the deliveries ‘anemic’ but not surprising because of increased FAA scrutiny of the company.” • I suppose if Boeing’s management has been slowly liquidating the company, as Yves urges here and here, none of this copage matters. And since there really ought to be less air travel, to make sure the next airborne pandemic spreads more slowly, if for no other reason, perhaps Boeing’s demise is no bad thing. But seeing such a grotesque act of sabotage and civic vandalism is hard to bear, besides the betrayal of tens of thousands who took pride in their work.

Manufacturing: “‘If something requires us to cease production, we will do that:’ FAA” [Leeham News & Analysis]. “The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is considering whether to suspend the Production Certificate of Boeing Commercial Airplanes (BCA) if it’s not satisfied changes to its safety culture are sufficient, LNA has learned. It’s the “nuclear option” LNA has written about on previous occasions following the Jan. 5 in-flight accident/explosive decompression of a Boeing 737-9 MAX operated by Alaska Airlines. Already under heightened scrutiny by the FAA, Boeing took yet another in a series of safety blows when a special panel of experts appointed by the FAA to independently review Boeing’s safety culture issued a scathing report on Feb. 26.” See Water Cooler here; document is now readable. More: “The FAA levied fines—and suspended some of them—for previous safety violations 36 times, according to a tracking website. And despite pledges and actions taken to improve safety following the 2018-2019 MAX crisis, Boeing still has fallen short.” FAA’s leverage: “So, what’s the ultimate hammer the FAA has? It’s suspending the PC 700 certificate, and this is under consideration, LNA is told…. Boeing holds what’s known as a Production Certificate, named PC 700. This allows Boeing Commercial Airplanes to produce commercial airlines and military aircraft that are based on airliners…. If the FAA imposed a full suspension of PC 700, all 7-Series airliners would be affected. So would the commercially-based P-8 and KC-46A. Deliveries of the inventoried aircraft likely would be suspended. The FAA could choose to segregate the PC 700 more narrowly.” And: “It’s an election year. There is bipartisan Congressional criticism of Boeing, including from Congressional members from Washington State where the 737, 767, KC-46A, P-8A, and 777 are built. Despite the bipartisan nature, if the FAA suspended the PC 700 authority, the damage to Boeing and the affected supply chains would undoubtedly be subject to criticisms of President Joe Biden by Republicans.” • Watch this space.

* * *

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 69 Greed (previous close: 69 Greed) [CNN]. One week ago: 73 (Greed). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Mar 13 at 12:27:34 PM ET.

News of the Wired

“The Eames Institute of Infinite Curiosity Is Now Open to the Public” [Hypebeast]. “Nestled about an hour northeast of San Francisco in the town of Richmond, The Eames Institute of Infinite Curiosity houses over 40,000 artifacts from [Charles and Ray Eames’] esteemed collection, and for the first time, it will be open for public viewing. From Molded Plywood Chairs (LCW) and supple leather Lounge Chairs to multi-color Storage Units, the space is a treasure trove for design fans who want to learn about the Eames’ full breadth of work in one location.” • Some Eames chairs:

I can’t recall ever having sat in one. Are they comfortable?

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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 CF:

CF writes: “These month old (ish) tomatillos came from a supermarket fruit. Internet instructions said to crush the pulp out into a jar of water, let it sit for a week or two, then dry the seeds out on a paper plate.” A little depth of field problem, there, but while I encourage technical excellence, I don’t necessarily require it, especially when a reader project is involved (which may encourage other readers to take up projects). For several years, I grew all my vegetables from seed, using plastic water jugs. Much as I loved the Farmer’s Market, I only got bugs when I bought flats there; and once the bugs arrived, they never did leave.

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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. antidlc

    From Hoerger:

    3.5 cumulative infections per person on average in the U.S. so far

    In publications on reinfections, serious long-term outcomes often start to escalate around the 3rd infection.

    Yeah, this will end well.

    Note to Lambert: Thanks for all the coverage. I donated today.

    1. Brian Beijer

      When I saw the chart, my first thought was Yve’s comment a couple of weeks ago that each Covid infection reduces a person’s IQ by 3 points on average. So, by March 2028, your boss, coworkers, family and friends will be 21 points less intelligent. Imagine that.
      On the bright side, so will all of us, so we probably won’t notice the difference.

    1. Buff

      You’re either a conspiracy theorist or a coincidence theorist.
      What wa he supposed to do the next day?

    2. IM Doc

      I hearken back to my medical school classes……Sessions on forensic pathology. In that day, it was far more likely that any physician especially in rural communities would be called upon for coroner duties. This is really no longer the case in our world today.

      I remembered something – and I went back to my notes today just now and I quote from the lecture notes from the pathology/coroner professor –

      “If the suicidal deceased is gripping or holding the gun, one must always look for other signs of foul play. Suicide victims are simply unlikely to be gripping a firearm in any way, shape or form. Every suicide by gun I have ever seen causes the firearm to be inches or feet from the body.”

      From the 1980s and my distant past and certainly not expert opinion – but still probably very germane.

      1. Michael King

        Double wow! This is all very unsettling and dark. Surely, the time is short before another Boeing crashes.

        1. t

          I’d like to see pictures. (Gun, hand) He looks quite puffy in the photo. I can imagine that a small “silver” handgun in an older man’s gnarled hands might not go.

          Some older guys I know have “collectors items” that seem a bit small for their paws.

          OTOH, firing range meatheads are always tearing up their fingers with recoil which makes me terrified they can barely hold onto their toys.

          1. clarky90

            Passenger on Boeing flight that suddenly dropped says pilot told him he lost control after instrument failure


            This happened a few days ago on NZ…..

            “The pilot of a terrifying flight from Australia to New Zealand told those on board he temporarily lost control of his Boeing 787 after one of its instruments failed, a passenger said Monday, as authorities investigate what caused a sudden drop that threw travellers around the cabin, injuring dozens.

            The incident aboard LATAM Airlines flight 800 from Sydney to Auckland is the latest…..

      2. ChrisPacific

        I was curious so I looked this up (distressing Google a bit, which offered me crisis support options). I found a 1999 paper on just this topic, which found that it remained in the victim’s hand about one time out of four.

        You can probably find it yourself fairly easily, if you don’t mind Google trying to have a heart to heart talk with you.

    3. David in Friday Harbor

      I was a prosecutor for 32 years. The coroners who I worked with were quite clear that “always” isn’t a word in their vocabulary. Our Chief Coroner was a medical doctor and pathologist who loved telling the story of the suicide victim who was shot twice in the head. He did rule that death a suicide.

      You see, guns only kill cleanly on television. A gunman once killed five FBI agents after being shot 7 times, including twice through the heart. Even with a head-shot death can be a long time coming. The rest of the brain and organs keep working, especially if the spinal cord hasn’t been severed. It can take quite some time for blood loss to cause death. Plenty of time to keep gripping a gun that we don’t know the caliber of (and thus the recoil “kick”).

      The McDonnell-Douglas culture that has poisoned the once-great enterprise of Boeing is pretty comprehensively evil, but let’s not jump to conclusions based on this “evidence.”

      1. Eclair

        Excellent point, David in FH. But if I am a Boeing employee (only married to one) who is considering whistle-blowing, I’m probably gonna go with the more exotic explanation. And keep my mouth shut.

  2. Acacia

    Thanks much, Lambert. I dropped a coin in the PayP slot.

    Dr. Hoerger’s Pandemic Mitigation Collaborative (PMC) dashboard is pretty good. (Tho why do I feel triggered by the abbreviation? Something about cause and effect… hmmm.).

    And the assassination suicide of the Boeing whistleblower reminds me of an early and excellent hit man film, Irving Lerner’s Murder by Contract (1958), which Martin Scorsese described as “the film that has influenced me most”.

      1. pjay

        I just happened to watch the Netflix series on Danny Casolaro the night before this happened. If none of the *obvious* questions are answered, or even asked, then I’ll take that as a broad hint.

      1. The Rev Kev

        At one stage the heroine is actually hunted on the factory floor at night if I remember but manages to get away. In that novel it was made clear that an aircraft manufacturer that gave away the wing was giving away everything – which Boeing is doing.

      2. Jason Boxman

        China Syndrome was also quite predictive of poor quality control, corporate mismanagement, and Chernobyl and Three Mile Island.

        So many things are both predictable, and predicted!

  3. TBT

    Signing the TikTok bill would be more proof that Biden cares more about protecting Israel from bad press than losing the election. I don’t see anyway for him to make up the lost support from younger voters.

    Unless ByteDance submits and divests, I don’t see why they would.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      The thought occurs that the (moral panic- and spook-driven) rapidity of the bill’s passage was a way of muscling Biden, which succeeded. “Six ways from Sunday.” They probably framed it as “election interference” (unlike, say, suppressing the news of Hunter Biden’s laptop, which was totally not that, but something else).

    2. JustTheFacts

      People on Twitter seem to think there are two things this ban is supposed to accomplish:

      1/ Banning any discussion of the genocide in Gaza, discussion which is not sufficiently supportive of Israel, and therefore “antisemitic” according to the ADL. There’s a clear dividing line: people under 30 don’t agree with Israel’s current behavior. Suggested supporting evidence is Elon Musk’s odd Auschwitz trip with Ben Shapiro to be reeducated as to how terrible the holocaust was since he was apparently allowing too much “antisemitic” content on Twitter.

      2/ Controlling Twitter and Rumble to only provide narrative consistent information. Other “democratic” countries are already ahead on this: France, for instance, has banned Rumble for allowing RT’s videos to be shown.

      Of course the talking heads on TV would be delighted to have a competitor removed, so one shouldn’t expect anything other than agreement from them. I don’t see much concern among the proles about “election interference”.

      I also wonder whether this bill could not also be used to ban tass.com and other foreign news outlets which do not support the current narratives that Ukraine is winning, or that inflation is falling. Friends tell me that in France the radio is constantly telling older people that they might have dementia, so that no one believes them, when they remember that the chocolate ration was 30g/week, even though the radio announces breaking news that the ration has been raised from 20g to 25g (the chocolate ration is a reference to the novel 1984).

      It is worrying, since it suggests a transition to a war footing might be coming, where not listening to and repeating your government’s propaganda is seditious.

      1. t

        FOX News has been reporting that it was banned, despite petitions from millions threatening to un-life themselves if it is banned.

      2. clarky90

        Using the Atomic Bomb

        watch from 4:30 minutes …

        The Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of blessed memory, is the seventh leader in the Chabad-Lubavitch dynasty


        ” even a small child……. with the press of a button, they can make a revolution that upends the World for the better…..”

        Bibi Netanyahu Meets the Rebbe | 1990

        The Rebbe tells Bibi Netanyahu….”Since we last met, many things have progressed. What hasn’t changed, however, is that Moshiach (messiah) hasn’t come. There are still a few hours left in the day, so try to bring him today!….”

    3. The Rev Kev

      Wouldn’t it be funny if ByteDance did have to sell TikTok but sold it to Elon Musk who let it continue on its merry way. I’m sure that somebody like Palintar would like to get their grubby mitts on it.

    4. Mikel

      And the US officials are only paying lip service the anti-socialness of the USA social media companies.

      So this “protecting the kiddies” line is a bunch of hypocritical horse shit.
      I’ve thought they hated the economic protests especially that find their place on Tik Tok. A narrative they can’t control is ALL they are worried about.

    5. rowlf

      Lead sponsor of the TikTok bill, Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI) admits the real reason they’re rushing to ban TikTok — because it’s “becoming the dominant news platform for Americans under 30” and the US government doesn’t control it like other platforms

      Confirmed with 21 year old Number 2 Son that TikTok was his and his friends news source since they can’t stomach Western corporate media. They also do not support Israel or US support of Israel. They will be hard to convince that the democracy fairy exists.

  4. Henry Moon Pie

    I’m excited about Aaron Rogers as RFKJ’s VP. We could call it the Ayahuasca Party, clearly exactly what the country needs at this point. It would be the closest we’ve come to enlightenment in the West Wing since Grace Slick and Abbie Hoffman tried to drop acid in the punch bowl at Tricia’s Finch College reunion party.

    1. griffen

      It is such an appropriate headline for the insanity beginning, usually March Madness is only applied to the annual college basketball tournaments…

      Aaron vs Kamala…those would be precious exchanges on a hypothetical debate stage. I’ll raise you on the word-salad on display, Madame Vice President!

    2. Val

      Since the non-hallucinatory presidentin’ ballot is certified zionist-only, rfk and Ayahuasca it shall be. Head towards the darkest grove. Avoid candyland. New horizons in human brutality await. Or not. We’ll have to see what the plantidote says…

      Frozen tundra!

    3. Bugs

      Such, such very good zeitgeist grist. And Aaron Rodgers is actually an intelligent guy on today’s terms, with a decent college degree. Let’s see what this dream team can do. As a Packers fan (though I’m fully behind Jordan Love now), I’m a life long Rodgers supporter and all in. Let’s win this game!

      Don’t know if I’m even being ironic anymore?

      1. Wukchumni

        I know where you’re coming from, if Roman Gabriel were a possibility as Veep, I’d be on board as he had such a cool name.

  5. hamstak

    Regarding John Barnett’s “suicide”, here are some other questions I would be asking:

    1) Where was the bullet discovered? If he was sitting in the driver’s seat presumably the bullet would have exited through his left temple and then shattered the driver’s side window (depending on the angle of the gun of course).

    2) Was the note handwritten or typed/printed? If handwritten, does the handwriting match samples of his own? If typed/printed, what devices were used in producing it?

    3) Why would a presumably intelligent guy aim at his temple rather than use the more reliable (to my understanding) method of placing the barrel in his mouth and aiming towards the palate?

    4) Was the gun registered to him? When/where did he purchase it or how did he otherwise obtain it?

    5) Sorry to be gruesome, but was the distribution of matter in the vehicle consistent with the alleged means and location of the event?

    Awfully suspicious.

    1. Feral Finster

      Epstein didn’t kill himself, either, but anyone who doubts the patently absurd official version of events is a conspiracist loon.

      Pretend that Barnett were a Russian whistleblower. Every MSM and State Department jackhole from Tokyo to DC would not hesitate to proclaim his death a murder personally ordered by Putin, no evidence needed.

    2. steppenwolf fetchit

      The circumstances are so suspicious as to make it fairly obvious that this was an assassination not even trying to credibly pretend to be a suicide. The message being sent by whoever hired the expert assassin is that ” we can kill anyone we feel we need to at any time and the MSM will disattribute it to suicide for us.”
      We’ll see what other upholders of the Establishment and its Law and Order push the suicide diversion.

      One hopes his surviving heirs, lawyer, etc. can somehow keep the lawsuit going.

      One hopes that relevant authorities can be prevented from dis-ruling this as a “suicide”.

    3. scott s.

      In South Carolina firearms are not “registered to” anyone. With a serial number (required if a firearm is produced by a licensed manufacturer) BATFE can conduct a trace to the point where the firearm was transferred to an unlicensed entity. The licensee’s “bound book” will show who the transferree was, which can then be crossed against the 4473 form. SC is a “NICS” state so the result of NICS inquiry will be in the records. As of March 7, SC is a “constitutional carry” state.

    4. Wukchumni

      It’s a 14 point swing for Boeing, in that not only will the recently departed never testify, but also taints him with the stigma of suicide.

      I’m continuing my hangar march against heavier than air travel, with just 4 domestic flights since 9/11.

  6. FreeMarketApologist

    Re: Direct File: Availability in 12 states is better than 0 states, and as former IT person, the idea of a phased rollout is a good idea, but the restrictions (few states, no gig-worker income (1099-NEC), pension income (1099-R), income maximums, health insurance sources, etc.) is going to cut out a lot of people who otherwise would significantly benefit from it (i.e., they won’t need to pay a preparer).

    Re: Eames Chairs: They’re pretty comfortable, but firm, and some models are rather low to the ground, so the less flexible/strong may struggle a bit on entry and exit.

    1. Angie Neer

      I intensely dislike the Eames Chairs. The seats are tilted backward and slippery, so they almost force one into a fixed position against the back of the chair. I often prefer to sit on the front edge. But I’m a bit fidgety so any attempt to keep me in some designer’s idea of “the optimum position” is the opposite of comfort.

      1. clarky90

        Chairs are designed by architects and “artistes”, not by engineers. A chair is meant to hold a human being….. Not be a “statement” sculpture in the lounge.

        I recommend sitting on a Swiss Ball ! Or a saddle stool.

        In a pinch, I tilt a sturdy chair onto it’s front two legs and balance/rock on them. Stuff I got yelled at as a kid. (You’ll break the chair!) I have never broken or bent a chair leg. Now that I’m old, no one says a word.

    2. scott s.

      For direct file, the returns eligible are so simple (like the old 1040-EZ) it’s criminal if someone can’t just do it with pencil.

  7. converger

    House members on the Energy and Commerce Committee voted unanimously to approve the bill, which refers to TikTok as a threat to national security because it is controlled by a foreign adversary.

    Thank God that we will finally be protected from pervasive surveillance by the Chinese government. I feel so much safer, secure in the knowledge that the exact same information is routinely collected to support pervasive surveillance by our own government.

    1. John

      I heard the major words “National Secutiry” and fell to my knees blessing the entire House for being on guard against the malign, nay evil, influence of (shudder) Chinese ownership. The cynic in me wonders who would control Tic Tok were ownership transferred to some safe and “well-connected” Amuricans. Since Congress is well-known to be a “wholly owned subsidiary” who might the principal be in this case?

      1. pjay

        That there is a “House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party” brought me to my knees in thankfulness as well.

        1. John

          Once again I must paraphrase the immortal Bugs Bunny: What a bunch of “maroons.”

          Why does the one-time House Committe on Un-American Activities come to mind? I have it! The members of HUAC were all (almost all?) on a mission to do something even if they were not sure what it was.

  8. Screwball

    “Biden’s speech was not the win the political class thought it was”

    Just a small data point. I talked to a non PMC person the other day who asked me if I watched it (I did). I asked if he did. He said yes, but when he started out by talking more money for more war I was done and turned it off.

    I’m guessing he isn’t the only one. Many I talk to say “all they care about is money for Ukraine, what about money for all we need here.” Or similar.

    What a sorry state of affairs. Also, if all these pukes are for the Tic Tok ban, then that tells me it’s not a good thing for us. Even queen Nancy was running her gums. That’s enough for me.

    1. ChrisFromGA

      I would say that if there is one thing that our beautiful leaders are tone-deaf to, it’s how blatantly unpatriotic and foreign-influenced they come across. It’s not just Biden leading off the SOTU with a pitch for more money for war. Johnson supposedly met with two Polish pols who bragged that they would be able to “influence” him to unblock the $61B in leech money for Zelensky.

      Why is any speaker of the House meeting with non-Americans? He ought to just reject any meetings with foreign influence peddlers as a conflict of interest. Are there not enough problems in this country that he should be solving?

      We need a bill to make any meetings by Congress with foreign influencers open to the public, and the complete meeting minutes available to all news organizations on demand.

      1. Mike

        I have long been in favor of tracking bracelets for any elected official, especially ones who have a history of wheeling ‘n’ dealing on the side. Camera their houses and GPS-track their movements. ANY suspicious meeting or contact with “influencers” requires immediate suspension until proven not guilty. Of course, this only when an honest government was in charge of such tracking (snark), or the media was totally independent and able to access such records.

        Yes, I know, the presumption of innocence… but, these are our servants, and we should have public record of all they do. The presumption of privacy and innocence should be jettisoned for those entering the servant class by their oath of office. Fascist, you may say, but effective.

  9. John

    Boeing is having all these pesky quality issues, but are the executives and the shareholders continuing to enjoy hefty bonuses and ample dividends. Isn’t that what is really important?
    Wasn’t that why the headquarters was moved to Chicago? To get away from those tedious engineers who mistook quality for efficiency.

    1. jsn

      All the “zero tolerance policy” BS conservatives like to apply to the desperate poor would work like a charm on corporate malefactors.

      Perp walk, divestiture, confiscation, prison time.

      All would benefit if Capital crimes were subject to blue collar justice.

    2. griffen

      They’ve moved again, relocating to Arlington Virginia. Near the seat and levers of power a mere coincidence.

      These headlines remind me of GE just prior to Immelt ( I believe it was him ) getting the boot and requisite golden parachute for a comfy landing. They / Boeing have all manner of leadership problems. Sears, Citigroup, Lehman, GE, good grief these corporate titans are so mighty yet their fall can be swift.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > They / Boeing have all manner of leadership problems.

        Looks to me like the entire corporation needs to be purged, down to the shop floor, but certainly starting with the board, all of whom should resign — lucky for them they don’t live in Japan — and moving down through the executive levels. Also, sell the Chicago HQ, move corporate into Renton, and let the union into Charleston. For starters.

    3. t

      Being subjected to a Lotta FOX lately. The problem is Boeing suppliers, with a dose of no one wants to work anymore. These Boeing suppliers are in no way shape or form connected to or part of Boeing.

  10. lyman alpha blob

    RE: Biden’s speech was not the win the political class thought it was

    Good to know that at least some people don’t recognize vigor and yelling as the same thing. Those would be the ones without the TDS. Friend of mine with a very bad case of it told me that maybe Biden seemed angry, but he was doing it on purpose because many people wanted to see him angry at Trump, and in no way was it just an angry old man yelling at clouds.

    You really can’t break through to people once the TDS has set in.

    1. hk

      The same mindset that imagines that, if they just say the magic word, anti-Trump voters will materialize out of thin air.

      Polls have been, let’s say, pretty weird: given all the negatives (direction of the country, Biden approval etc), the polls should not be more or less dead even the way they are (with neither candidate getting past 45%, depending on how much the polling person was required to push the respondent), although we have not had an incumbent with baggage running another another incumbent with baggage since Grover Cleveland squared off against Benjamin Harrison…..

      OTOH, I’ve had many PMC friends channeling Krugman–maybe if people can be convinced that they are just imagining that the grocery is horridly expensive, they’ll see the light. I do wonder if they have something right, though: a lot people don’t like Trump either, even among the swing voters. I wonder how turnout will look in November.

      1. Wukchumni

        As of last week, still no Trump signs on Hwy 99 in both directions from Visalia to Bakersfield, not a one!

        This in Cali’s red state bastion~

      2. Pat

        Only my impression, but this is a rerun of Trump vs. Clinton. Last time Biden had the advantage of both nostalgia for Obama, and that the majority of Americans didn’t really know how much of a slimy nasty git he was. Now we are back to a choice between two of the most hated candidates in history.
        I do think this is going to be won by the person who manages to get the majority of their former supporters to the polls and checking their name. There will be some switching from one to the other but gaining votes is going to be minimal. This is about losing, and where Trump or Biden will lose is the people who stay home, leave it blank or vote third party this time around instead of for them. The swing states were too close, hundreds choosing not to vote either Republican or Democrat for President from each demographic group changes the electoral college winner in most of them.
        And imo the Dems have blown it. They thought returning to the status quo and continuing to attack Trump was all they had to do. They were wrong. The lawfare has turned a lot of people off and for many Trump voters helped keep them supporting him when they might have been willing to drop him. Then there is the traditional test of are you in as good of shape or better than at the last election., nope that one is a loser. And then there is screwing certain groups, people with student loans, Muslims, Hispanics, and yes certain unions, I would add in areas with large emergencies. Every single one of those groups have some to a majority who will have a hard to impossible time voting for Biden. Trump’s missteps are minuscule in comparison.

        I don’t really want a President Kennedy, especially since I don’t believe that the political parties would embrace the changes that should happen to clean up their policies and systems after such a debacle. But it is rapidly looking he is making third party votes even more of a factor.

    2. Camelotkidd

      The TDS is strong in the PMC and it’s nigh impossible to have any sort of conversation with them about it
      Then, thanks to Russia-gate, there’s an equal element of PDS (Putin Derangement Syndrome) amongst them. Most of them are so obsessed with how evil Putin is that they support any and all of the neocon plans for regime-change in Russia. Which makes sense since the neocons are also liberal-interventionists or vice versa.

  11. Amfortas the Hippie

    for saving tomato and tomatillo(and cuke, and etc) seeds, i scrape the jelly that contains the seeds out…eat the rest of the tomato(or whatever)…and put that jelly in a 3-4 layer stack of cheap coffee filters….spread it out as best you can, and put in a dry place with airflow(i have screens in the ceilings of the bar, the bar porch and over the clawfoot in the little greenhouse).
    you can sharpie what it is on the dry edge of the filter.
    once dry…like, real dry…scrape the seeds into a clean dry jar(i have thousands that i obsessively save(and use)), mark it, and store it in the dark until next year.
    if the seeds dont want to scrape off, i just put the whole filter in the jar…and tear off a suitable seed encrusted part when i plant it.
    a caveat…i am in a place with normally really dry late summer and early fall.
    if yer in louisiana of something, might get a fan or something(and i save those toxic to dogs silicon packages that come with pills and vitamins for when i’m doing all that ^^^ when its damp)

    1. Martin Oline

      Thanks, I wish that I could garden more often. Planted some old fennel seeds this morning.

  12. LawnDart

    Can readers confirm?

    Manufacturing: “FAA audit of Boeing’s 737 production found mechanics using hotel card and dish soap as makeshift tools…”

    That really doesn’t say anything as the statement totally leaves out the context on how these were employed.

    I kept a small can of shaving-cream in my toolbag for troubleshooting hydraulics systems in order to check for damaged seals or vacuum-leaks that could cause aeration– a major killer of hydraulic pumps (especially vane pumps). Aeration is similar to cavitation, and the damage that these cause is nearly identical; both will cause pump-failure (not good for critical components, like flight-controls), although you often have audible warning of these conditions as the pump may sound like it’s trying to chew through marbles.

    Anyhow, you take a dab of the shaving-cream, smooth a layer out over the joint or area of suspected leakage, run the pump, and then look for dimples in the shaving-cream that’ll show you where your problem is.

    Now, if anyone can offer a better way or method if checking for vacuum-leaks on seals, I’d love to hear about it so that I can add it to my bag of tricks. I suspect that the Boeing mechanics may have employed dish-soap (very useful in the detection of pressurized-leaks (apply and look for bubbles)) and the key-card for similar reasons.

    In the trades, sometimes you have to make your own tools or otherwise improvise.

    1. hk

      I’ve found that a key card is very useful for working with electronic parts–to pry open laptop cases and such. No doubt there are similar needs in airplanes, too.

    2. Amfortas the Hippie

      yeah…improvised tools and methods dont scare me that much…without context.
      i use dish soap and water on every propane fitting around here.
      i suspise that the almost hyperventilation is because these are not “approved(tm)” tools and methods…never mind their efficacy.
      local propane outfit got a hold of a high tech sniffer a while back(remember, they put sulfur/rotten egg smell in that stuff at the refinery…so we all have a low tech sniffer already,lol.)…
      the propane guys used it for a while, and then went right back to soapy water.
      sniffer couldnt really pinpoint whatever leak they were hunting.

      i only read a bit of that(i’m bored with boeing stories..just collapse and die, already)…but it was enough…pmc types who’ve never held a hammer and freak out about things they think they grok, but dont…especially when its non-pmc types actually doing the work.

      has your sledge hammer been rct’d?
      what about that crow bar?

      boeing has much bigger problems than this…and they extend way further up the food chain than grunts on the factory floor(what are the hr requirements for these jobs?…have they been walmartified?, etc etc)

      1. LawnDart

        pmc types who’ve never held a hammer and freak out about things they think they grok, but dont…

        I was also thinking that this is another effort to find fall-guys or to pin the blame on nobodies, to shift focus from C-suite and it’s eye-watering stench. QC totally begins with management, and they’re the bastards who should hang.

      2. Lee

        On the job improvisation is common among the hands-on trades. One of my faves was my son solving the problem of sliding a new bathtub into its tight fitting nook without damaging the tile floor was to “float” it on a bed of ice cubes.

      3. Tom B.

        A few months back, I got a letter from the city saying that there was a minor leak near the outside gas meter connection and that I should call a licensed gas fitter to check it.

        He arrived, took a look and said the inspectors were supposed to mark the location, but no mark was visible. He then checked every joint on the connection by spraying a soapy solution labeled as made for this job and finally found the leak, which was quite visibly bubbling. Naturally there was a very faint orange smudge near the leak, hard to find without knowing where to look.

        After tightening the connection and retesting, he checked the indoor furnace with a high tech sniffer. Apparently the gas concentration indoors in still air is high enough for the sniffer to work, but outdoor minor leaks dissipate too fast and require the soapy solution.

        1. Amfortas the Hippie

          but mere dish detergent and water will do the same….no need for a branded product(which, really, we already have in the dish soap)
          goes to my overall point…that pmc/mba/etc complexify things just to complicate…wetting of beaks seems rather an afterthought, by now.
          (jethro gibbs hold up a pencil when the high tech gadgets fail)

          but what happens when yer a de facto, if not de jur, citizen of microsoft?
          and are confronted with an apple?
          extrapolate freely.(moldbug should have been a warning to us all)

    3. scott s.

      OK but where safety of flight is involved, improvised normally won’t cut it. If there is a procedure and it isn’t followed it’s a “departure from spec” needs a QA sign-off, or you “gun-deck” / “pencil-whip” the paperwork. IMO that’s where “whistleblower” comes in. I can see first level management, under budget/schedule pressure, tempted to do this especially in a union environment where work rules can wreck havoc.

      1. Amfortas the Hippie

        its the other way around in my experience…higher ups dictate…lower downs say “now howthehellarewegondothat.’ given what we are provided in tools, processii and materials?
        but being(ideally…which is prolly a less and less quality) intimate with the production, they find a workaround.
        i do this pretty much every day.
        on the farm…and i dont make airplanes…so i understand the point, but there’s prolly stuff you dont know about people who make things.
        always a good idea to examine one’s assumptions.

    4. rowlf

      What kind of hydraulic systems were you working on? On airliners the reservoirs have head pressure to ensure positive feed to the pumps, and the electric pumps will sound like a blender full of marbles if the system is run with no head pressure. Large airplane pumps are cylinders and pistons on a wobble plate.

      When I read about the hotel card it wasn’t clear what it was being used for. A failure if used as a feeler gauge but useful to get a door seal into a channel without damaging the seal.

      1. LawnDart

        I was the “operator/user” of engine-driven and electric pumps on cargo aircraft (I could be mistaken, but I believe that the engine-driven and APU-powered pumps were gear-type and the electric were fixed-displacement piston)– my use for these was to operate doors, ramps, and a cargo winch (a long, long time ago).

        More recently, I am sometimes called upon to troubleshoot industrial hydraulics– a far cry from mobile hydraulics let alone aircraft systems, so there’s a lot more “flexibility” and improvisation allowed. But my point stands: we don’t know what the mechanics were using these items for or how they were using them.

      2. Late Introvert

        NC has the best comments. And it sounding like “a blender full of marbles” is sublime.

      3. Martin Oline

        “sound like a blender full of marbles” = cavitation? When I made plastic injection molds we sometimes used silly putty to check the fit between parts. It will go where hot plastic under pressure will not. My egg of putty did not have an ISO 9000 number so it would have been forbidden today. I also blocked all water (cooling) lines and used a pressure gauge to check for leaks. Soapy water would be used to find the location of any leak.

    5. Glen

      I’m not disagreeing with any of this other than to point out that large commercial aviation is very tightly regulated which means the procedure to do leak detection needs to be documented somewhere, and called out when appropriate. And all the items used need to be called out on a Qualified Product List (QPL). I’ve always seen Snoop used for leak detection:

      Snoop® Liquid Leak Detector https://products.swagelok.com/en/c/snoop-liquid-leak-detector/p/MS-SNOOP-8OZ

      And yeah, it’s pretty much just soapy water, but it’s been tested and approved by engineering as pretty much chemically compatible with all the systems it will be used on. I’ve seen incompatible fluids do some bad things, the systems O-rings destroyed by using the wrong fluid in one case, and some rather expensive air data simulation equipment all f’ed up when it sucked up too much Snoop some other times.

      And shims of any sort used for checking gaps could be considered measuring devices and so need to be checked by the Tool Room or maybe even checked by Metrology (calibrated) periodically. If things are being done right, there will be traceability all the way back to the NIST for measuring devices.

      But now there’s real talk about pulling the Production Certificate? Sounds like it might be getting serious.

      I remember coming out of the USN, and going into aviation, and being told that the FAA was doing audits, and it was serious. I asked, “Would the FAA shut down the factory if they found five major safety violations? Send everybody home with no pay? Because I’ve been through that with Ordnance Audits in the Navy.” The response was, “Oh they would never dare do that!” To which I replied, “Well then they ain’t very [family blogging] serious.”

      1. Amfortas the Hippie

        your points are entirely valid.
        we’re talking about aluminum tubes that fly thru the air.
        with people in them.
        thats a lot different than me hacking some jig into a thing out here to make it work.
        also a lot different than doing the same with a blender, or car…than with an airplane.
        im not questioning the essentiality of standards and oversight…merely who is doing the standards and oversight.
        “held a wrench” should be a job requirement all the way to the top.
        otherwise, yer not a company thats all about producing things…but rather, a company that is about rent seeking…which is definitely the meat of the nut that all and sundry so studiously ignore, in this case.

        1. Glen

          I’m actually pretty sure you’d be a cracker jack mechanic on any factory floor since you got common sense, mechanical aptitude, great critical thinking, and the intestinal fortitude to do what’s right. Just be warned that you might end up right next to managers that should never be allowed near a wrench, are totally motivated by money to the exclusion of all else, and somehow end up with a six figure bonus that you earn for them.

          It’s pretty damn irritating.

  13. Andrew F

    Any tips for growing tomatillos? I’ve been doing tomatoes and peppers for years but tomatillos are so difficult for me. They get extremely leggy and take forever for the true set of leaves to emerge. I grow them under the same lights as tomatoes and my tomatoes are always fine. Any help is greatly appreciated!

  14. lyman alpha blob

    RE: Tik Tok ban

    Is it just me that finds it slightly hilarious that nobody is mentioning that this was originally Trump’s idea? Almost equally hilarious is the fact that Trump has changed his mind on it now.

    Truly teh stupidest timeline.

    1. Glen

      Apparently it just passed the House, and I think it’s a shoe-in to pass the Senate.

      And like you, ironic that it was a Trump idea too, although he’s just come out against it. But I don’t find this very shocking since the uniparty is “large and in charge”. If Trump was President, he would still be supporting it, and the Democrats would be against it.

      Biden’s said he will sign this into law (not realizing that if this actually kills TikTok, he’s just pissed on the youth vote in about the worst way possible).

      Whatever, I appreciate Kabuki theater, but not when it’s how the elites are governing the country. I’m sure Meta and Alphabet’s will now be able to charge China more for American citizen’s data, and whoever buys TikTok will get a stock bump.

      1. Amfortas the Hippie

        a note…it just takes Masse or Rand to stick it into limbo.

        and as far as the rest…yeah…lol.
        “our democracy”.
        i told my cousin that i’d “buy” it for a dollar…take a few grand a month for myself to sturdy up my autarky…and pay a franchise fee of whatever billion dollars.
        i mean…its a free market(holy), and all, no?
        i am encouraged by the rise of…a yet inchoate…dissent in my country.
        all the polls have been trending this way…even Pew, whom i generally respect.
        crises(1<) of legitimacy abound for our betters.
        we'll end up at the old late soviet phase of "we pretend…"

    2. steppenwolf fetchit

      Trump is very shrewd sometimes. Right now he is pretending to be against it with a quote to that effect on the record. That way, when Biden earns the undying hatred of the TikTok Base, Trump will hope that they remember his most recent quote about “not banning TikTok” and decide they hate Trump less than they hate Biden. Maybe not enough less to actually vote for Trump, but still enough less to not fear the effect of not voting for Biden out of hatred for the TikTok ban.

      But then Trump had to go and talk about cutting Social Security, which may well earn the undying hatred of those will need to go onto Social Security between one and ten years from now.

      So this will be a purely hate-based election.

  15. ambrit

    To the “West Wing Brain” category….
    ” In Sorkin’s long-running West Wing series,…. the solution to every problem was always to have President Jed Clampett make a speech.”
    Nice snark, though, since the fictional president in the program was named “Jed” Bartlet, it would be better if a handy compendium of pithy quotes from ‘President Bartlet’, (a sovereign cure for all ailments of the body politic) were to be disseminated amongst Right-thinkers and Thought-leaders under the title “Bartlet’s Quotations,” popularly to be known as “Jed’s Little Blue Book.” With the unimpeachable wisdom of our Fearless Leader to guide us, nothing is impossible!

        1. ambrit

          Perfectly all right LawnDart.
          I lived in New Orleans for years and my wife, (sorry about the I2 category transgression,) is from there.
          That headline sounds like classic N’Awleenz to us. Plus, it really does have a ‘meta’ connection to the “West Wing Brain” phenomenon. I never watched the show, but someone I knew who did mentioned that he never managed to notice any denizens of that place with “Smokerz Redeye Sindrome.” (Every City Hall you’ll encounter will have a few dedicated potheads tucked away in corners and crannies. For those elites, “wacky tobaccy” is perfectly all right ‘for the right sort of people.’ The Deplorables, meaning non-members of the PMC or ruling classes, are held to a different, more stringent standard.)
          The inner cynic in both of us thinks that this “explanation” is an attempt at distracting the public from the very real re-merchandising of ‘evidence’ from out of the evidence room back onto the streets of our formerly fair city. (A very legalistic definition of “second hand smoke” to be sure.)
          Stay safe!

    1. Amfortas the Hippie

      actually,lol….we might be better off if those people began paying more attention to the high mindedness that the bartlett brought…and less to the homework and inter-office intrigue of the rest of them.
      when i watched it…both times…i waited patiently from all the breathless bullshit for jed to come down from the mountain.
      especially the latin speech, yelling at god in fine jewish mettle(wrestling with g-d(hb:”isra el”,,thats my favorite part of jewish culture.)

      1. Wukchumni

        Locally in Godzone, we had Buck Owens and his Buckaroos, part of the Bakersfield sound, there being no Fresno sound aside from stray gunshots that occasionally leave their mark on an unfortunate human in the way.

        1. Lena

          My family got robbed at a motel in Fresno when I was a kid. Stole our luggage when we were getting out of the station wagon. Since we had nothing of value in it, they must have been real disappointed. We thought they might leave the luggage scattered open somewhere along the road but no such luck. Good times in Fresno. Rearview mirror. Don’t look back.

  16. Lee

    ““The Eames Institute of Infinite Curiosity Is Now Open to the Public” [Hypebeast]. Nestled about an hour northeast of San Francisco in the town of Richmond…”

    LOL. Richmond is just 17 miles from SF. The reason it takes an hour or more to get there is because of the perpetual traffic jams on our local freeways between the two cities.

    1. steppenwolf fetchit

      Instead of building the White Elephant High Speed Railway from Ess Eff to Ell Ayy ( or wherever it is being built to and from), California could spend all that money building up user-friendly rider-inviting mass transit between places like Richmond and SF. California could do that all over the state of California, in every relevant traffic-jammed area.

      But that is not High Prestige enough. So it won’t be done.

      1. Wukchumni

        …and to deprive those from Pixley their chance of finally fleeing?

        The maddening part in regards to High Speed Rail in the Central Valley, is I’m sure there is work being done on it somewhere, but there isn’t much evident that i’ve seen.

        This neck of the woods isn’t appropriate for a bunch of new houses anyhow, as the aquifer has been steadily drained for Ag in a race to the bottom so the water isn’t there.

        Why bother building a choo-choo to Chowchilla that goes real fast if the proposed HSR is only in the Central Valley?

  17. Wukchumni

    Waymo to launch robotaxi service in Los Angeles, but no freeway driving — for now (LA Times)

    Can hardly wait for my first Waymo freeway chase in LA, the passenger in the rear seat drinking a beverage as law enforcement is in hot pursuit.

    1. Mikel

      Oh, hell. Put them on the freeway parking lot.
      Now they’re going to mess up all my short cuts.

      RIP bikers and pedestrians.

  18. steppenwolf fetchit

    I may have commented before that when Biden signs the bill to ban TikTok, he will have earned the undying hatred of millions ( or maybe several tens of millions) of young and youngish people who use TikTok. Perhaps the Dems are counting on these young and youngish people to hate Trump even more. When it comes to banning TikTok, the Dems may be wrong about that.

    Meanwhile, Beau of the Fifth Column has made a video about how Team Trump had been very wise to say nothing about Social Security until a day or so ago . . . and then spoiled it all by talking about Social Security.
    Beau considers it very possible that millions ( or maybe several tens of millions) of old and oldish people may reject Trump over the newly raised fears of newly raised threats to Social Security. Here is the link.

    Its only a 3 minute 32 second video, so even for the video haters, it can’t be all that terribly painful to watch.

    I think this is going to be a totally fear, loathing, and hate-based election. Of the Big Two candidates, the one who is more feared and loathed and hated by more people than the other one is the one who will get fewer votes than the other one.

    For those who still “keep hope alive” in the deathless words of Jesse Jackson . . . . even after Obama did his best to burn down and destroy all hope of hope . . . . there will be various Third, Fourth, Fifth parties to vote for. The cumulative total of all the votes cast for actuall candidates other than the Big Two will be the ” keep hope alive” vote. We will see how big or small it ends up being.

    1. Feral Finster

      More to the point, who needs that pesky First Amendment, anyway? And who thinks that this is a one-off that will stop with TikTok?

    2. Belle

      I have never voted major party for a presidential ticket in a general election. First it was opposing Gore’s corruption and Bush’s lies. Then it was Iraq- all the way until 2016. Then it was corruption. In 2020 it was corruption, sexual assault and millions of needless deaths. 2024 will be the same. At least here in SC, I have a choice between Cornel West and Jill Stein.

  19. steppenwolf fetchit

    . . . ” And since there really ought to be less air travel, to make sure the next airborne pandemic spreads more slowly, if for no other reason, perhaps Boeing’s demise is no bad thing.”. . . ( in the very widest long-range scope I assume).

    The problem with trying to find this silver lining in the ongoing fast-forward liquidation of Boeing is that the vacuum left will be filled with AirBus, other plane-makers, and that new rising plane-maker in China. There won’t be any less air travel, just fewer plane-making jobs in America. ( Unless we can somehow force Europe and China to build transplant plane factories here the way Japan built transplant car factories here, so that only the profits are shipped to Europe and China and not all the jobs as well).

  20. DavidZ

    Eames chairs are very comfortable.

    One of my friend’s – who is an interior designers had a few at his place and he also recommended them to some of his clients.

    After sitting in them, I’d highly recommend them.

    1. Ejf

      I had to repair several of them once plus make (copy) a couple of them. They were comfortable. Good design.

  21. Dr. John Carpenter

    Now that you mention it, where has Mayo Pete been during all this? Seems there’s been a lot of transportation related stuff going on recently. Is he still on maternity leave?

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      That’s really awesome. We should do a haiku book beside the song book.

      Here’s the final 5-syllable line with a seasonal reference;

      election season

      But I can’t do the 5 + 7…

      Dogs? Ice cream? Air Force One?

      1. Martin Oline

        Double Haiku

        Woman in hot tub
        with a goiter on her neck
        soaking up the heat.
        A little girl asks
        “Lady, do you mind, can I
        please pet your puppy?”

  22. Lambert Strether Post author

    About the Tiktok rush:

    It would be really funny if Mossad passed “evidence” on to our intelligence community on election interference from China… Not that I have anything more than speculation on offer, but this is the stupidest timeline, and that’s pretty stupid.

    1. Pat

      It is highly ironic that after being threatened for years Israel being genocidal *sshats gets to be 9/11 for banning TikTok aka passing the Patriot Act. That both are so much more unconstitutional than even the description is just icing on the cake.

    2. ChrisPacific

      Re: backdoors and spooks and TikTok

      For backdoors to exist, someone has to put them there. The easiest way to do this, if you’re a government, is to have a law allowing you to require tech platforms to put one in for your use, and then forbid them from telling anybody about it. The US already has this in the form of the Patriot Act.

      Compromising a system like TikTok, which operates outside US jurisdiction, is more problematic. There are a range of possible attack vectors (traditional hack looking to exploit existing vulnerabilities, target open source or industry standard libraries or tools that the system might rely on, plant someone on the inside…) but none are easy, and high end software companies have correspondingly high end security teams who know how to spot and prevent them. And there’s always the risk that the company’s own government (the CCP in this case) is in there already, and has more privileged access than you do.

    3. The Rev Kev

      Funny how Congress just does not know what to do about Gaza with all that, you know, genocide and stuff but are ready to push all that aside to come together into lockstep over vital issues – like TikTok.

      1. rowlf

        An interesting news article would be how much humanitarian aid the US is supplying Gaza versus munitions to Israel. Pieces, pounds, whatever to compare.

          1. The Rev Kev

            There actually is an image of US food pallets floating down into Gaza while in the background there are exploding US bombs dropped by the IDF.

  23. t

    I suppose one could make a huge leap, and align themselves with fundie thinking, by considering all the women’s reproductive rights taken away as being in the name of the national security of blastocysts.

    1. flora

      adding, these 3 para’s from the longer article:

      Solanas would surely have considered me a louse, but there’s also a non-zero chance she’d have puked in Chu’s face if the New York writer tried to chat her up about the “burning bra she calls her heart.” I feel offended on behalf of women — even violent, murderous women — reading this bullshit. However, the live-and-let-live liberalism that apparently makes me a TARL persuaded me to keep my mouth shut previously, which I now realize was a mistake.

      One of the reasons absurd hypotheses end up taken seriously is because of all the tiptoeing and frightened reverence that goes on around people who’ve completed procedures they themselves chose and say makes them feel whole. Why this inspires fear of offense, I have no idea, but it does. You couldn’t sell most Manhattan editors on the story of a black ex-con father’s journey to find a job with benefits, but New York sure sold “My Penis: A Love Story” as if they had an exclusive of Shackleton’s voyage.

      Enough with the whispering! If someone wants to chop his dick off and graze in the pastures of allyship, we should take their word that’s a happy choice and treat that person like any other writer capable of publishing something that sucks. And this article really sucks. ….

  24. The Rev Kev

    And in today’s clown world story-

    Two years ago singer Neil Young demanded that Joe Rogan be taken off Spotify because he was ‘spreading false information about vaccines.’ He said at the time ‘They can have Rogan or Young. Not both.’ When that did not happen, he left Spotify himself. Well Neil Young has returned to Spotify and said that Apple and Amazon are also having the same sort of disinformation being spread so he is making his home on Spotify again-


    1. griffen

      Sweet home Alabama, ” I hope Neil Young will remember a southern man don’t need him around anyhow…”

      Great talent as an artist I will suppose but a bit high in himself.

  25. MicaT

    I have a question. How does the US government go about banning it?

    I don’t know enough about the web to understand how this is possible?


    1. Jason Boxman

      You can make it illegal to offer it in an app store, such as Apple’s store and Google’s. At least for iPhone users, that’s game over. For Android phones, you can still “side-load” apps by downloading to your PC and the getting them onto your Android with a USB cable. But Google could find ways to detect and stop you from loading the TikTok app anyway.

  26. The Rev Kev

    They will force TikTok to be sold to an American corporation which means that all that surveillance info will stay in America to be exploited there like with Facebook, Instagram, Google, etc.

    1. JustTheFacts

      Well… it’s supposedly already kind of American.


      TikTok’s parent company ByteDance was founded by Chinese entrepreneurs. ByteDance is a privately-held global company, with roughly 60 percent owned by global institutional investors (such as Blackrock, General Atlantic, and Susquehanna International Group), 20 percent owned by the company’s founders, and 20 percent owned by its employees—including over 7,000 Americans. It is not owned or controlled by any government or state entity.

      Wikipedia says US based Susquehanna alone owns 15% https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Susquehanna_International_Group

    2. JustTheFacts

      Also the CEO of Tiktok shared a video in which he says TikTok will be banned, unless US users stand up for their constitutional rights. Doesn’t sound like they’re going to sell… even if they could.

  27. Pat

    Business Insider lists the 65 people who voted against the TikTok bill and some of the reasons. Interesting mix.

    My current rep, who already swore allegiance to Israel voted for it (Goldman). My former rep now with a new district voted no. But then Nadler already survived AIPAC’s revenge when he supported the Iran treaty, so I guess he felt no need to kowtow on this.

  28. antidlc


    Whistleblower Accuses Aledade, Largest US Independent Primary Care Network, of Medicare Fraud

    A Maryland firm that oversees the nation’s largest independent network of primary care medical practices is facing a whistleblower lawsuit alleging it cheated Medicare out of millions of dollars using billing software “rigged” to make patients appear sicker than they were.

    The civil suit alleges that Aledade Inc.’s billing apps and other software and guidance provided to doctors improperly boosted revenues by adding overstated medical diagnoses to patients’ electronic medical records.

    Aledade was co-founded in 2014 by Farzad Mostashari, a former health information technology chief in the Obama administration, and has welcomed other ex-government health figures into its ranks. In June 2023, President Joe Biden appointed Mandy Cohen, then executive vice president at Aledade, to head the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.

    But it looks like the whistleblower was fired in 2021 and maskless Mandy didn’t arrive until March, 2022.


    Aledade, the leading primary care enablement company, today announced that Dr. Mandy Cohen, former Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, will serve as the Chief Executive Officer of Aledade Care Solutions (ACS), the company’s new health services unit. She will also serve as Aledade’s Executive Vice President. Dr. Cohen will assume her new roles in March 2022.

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