2:00PM Water Cooler 3/15/2024

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Generous readers, thank you once again for making the 2024 Water Cooler fundraiser such a complete success. Now I can relax [ha ha]. –lambert

Bird Song of the Day

Blue Nuthatch, Fraser’s Hill, Pahang, Malaysia. “Foraging or eating.” Sensible birds!

* * *

In Case You Might Miss…

(1) Boeing horror continues

(2) Bogus paper assaults Long Covid.

(3) Berlin Techno


* * *

“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

“The White House knew Schumer’s Israel speech was coming. Israel will notice that” [Semafor]. “The White House reviewed, but didn’t block, Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer’s sharp attack on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Thursday. While the administration has not embraced his explosive call for new elections, the lack of apparent pushback signaled a growing split between the two countries’ leaderships….. Both Netanyahu’s political allies and opponents pushed back hard against the comments coming out of Washington, charging they were designed to tip the political scales in Israel. ‘Regardless of our political opinion, we strongly oppose external political intervention in Israel’s internal affairs,’ former Prime Minister Naftali Bennett wrote on X. “We are an independent nation, not a banana republic.'” • Lol, “external political intervention.” What we really ought to do is set up an IAPAC (Israeli America Public Affairs Committee) in Israel, and lavishly pump campaign contributions to Israeli politicians through it, including especially the real estate speculators goat sacrificers. Cheaper than sending in a wet team, and far less dangerous.

“Schumer stabs Israel in the back with disgraceful remarks” [Norm Coleman, The Hill]. • Ah, the dolchstosslegende takes on new life…


Less than a year to go!

Here are Fridays’ RealClearPolitics polling numbers. I have highlighted the two aspects I think are most important:

(1) Five-way polling. The Trump-Biden binary is not informative, given Kennedy’s strength (and, who knows, West and Stein). Unfortunately, most of the maps and charts reflect that binary. (2) Swing (“battleground”) states numbers, since those drive the electoral college, not the popular vote (which, again, most of the maps and charts reflect).

* * *

Trump (R): “Fulton County judge says district attorney Fani Willis can continue to prosecute the 2020 election interference case” [CNN]. “Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis can stay on and prosecute the Georgia 2020 election interference racketeering case against former President Donald Trump and 14 of his co-defendants, Judge Scott McAfee ruled Friday, but only if she removes the special prosecutor with whom she engaged in a romantic relationship.” • I would imagine this will create calendar issues, as a new prosecutor must be selected and brought up to speed (although of course Willis and her BFF could run away together).

Trump (R): “READ: Georgia judge slams prosecutors in Trump case for ‘odor of mendacity'” [Axios]. “McAfee, in his highly anticipated decision, did not shy away from writing with flair. Neither side provided sufficient evidence for the judge to determine when exactly the relationship started, he said. ‘However, an odor of mendacity remains,’ he wrote.” • I guess Willis won’t be going to work for Neera Tanden anytime soon?

Trump (R): “Fani Willis Survives, But Donald Trump Will Be Celebrating” [Newsweek]. “Willis has already said that the trial may continue past presidential inauguration day in January 2025. If the case was transferred to another prosecutor, it would almost certainly delay the case past inauguration…. Stephen Gillers, a law professor at New York University, told Newsweek that Trump’s ultimate goal is to delay the case until after the election. ‘It does appear that, inch by inch, the criminal justice system is making any 2024 trial less and less likely,’ he said. ‘Trump’s lawyers just have to get to Labor Day and then nothing will happen until 2025, if then.” • So much for all that earned media! But I’m sure Trump can come up with an equally lucrative and effective strategy than the one Democrats handed to him.

Trump (R): “State Of Georgia V. Donald John Trump, Rudolph William Louis Giuliani, Mark Randall Meadows, Jeffrey Bossert Clark, Robert David Cheeley, Michael A. Roman, David James Shafer, Harrison William Prescott Floyd, and Cathleen Alston Latham” (PDF) [Fulton County Superior Court]. Here is the remedy:

I have outlined in red the portion that, in my reading, indicates that Judge McAfee doesn’t think much of Trump’s legal team (and there are other examples).

Trump (R): “‘Unusual Provision’ in Chubb’s Donald Trump Bond Draws Scrutiny” [Newsweek (Furzy Mouse)]. “”There is an unusual provision in the bond that would give Chubb 60 days from the date final judgment is entered in Carroll’s favor (if she wins on appeal) to make payment to her,” [former U.S. Attorney and long-time Trump critic Joyce] Vance wrote. If Trump loses his appeal and doesn’t pay the money, ‘Chubb must tender the full amount. They can collect from Trump in turn, but doing that would be their problem,’ Vance wrote. ‘This is good news for E. Jean Carroll because the bond guarantees that the judgment will be paid if she prevails on appeal.’ Vance also noted that the judge gave Carroll’s lawyers until Monday morning to file objections to the bond. He’ll hold a hearing at 3 p.m. that same day if they do.” • I wonder if the New York State legislators who passed what amounted to a bill of attainder that allowed Carroll to sue will get a cut as, in all fairness, they should.

* * *

Biden (D): “Hunter Biden, partners aided Chinese bid to corner nuclear energy market with U.S. tech, memos show” [Just the News]. “While his father was still vice president, Hunter Biden and his business partners tried unsuccessfully to help a Chinese energy firm acquire one of the United States’ premier nuclear technology companies in a secret attempt to ‘control’ the global market, according to new evidence turned over to Congress in President Joe Biden’s impeachment inquiry. The evidence, which includes a detailed strategy memo , shows Hunter Biden was directly involved in emails and correspondence on the project in 2016 and that the goal was to exploit the future first son’s access to power and his family reputation to make Washington and Beijing comfortable with a potentially controversial deal and then to shield the acquisition of Westinghouse by China CEFC Energy behind intermediaries…. Hunter Biden ‘had an interesting last name that would probably get people in the door,’ [One of Hunter Biden’s former business partners, Rob Walker] explained to lawmakers.” • Speculating more than a little here, but we simple Americans tend to think of corruption as “cash in a brown paper bag” (as indeed did once happen with CalPERS) and a quid pro quo. I don’t think that’s how it works in China. Here is a small story from Naomi Wu (who as NuKit reallly is doing great work manufacturing Covid testing and prevention equipment). She starts off talking about tech bros from the West, so for context:

And so Wu accomodates Sheet Metal Lady Boss (love it!). But now add one ingredient: Suppose, while Wu and SMBL were having dimsum, a high official in the local party apparatus just happened to stop by to greet SMBL. Would that swing the deal SMBL’s way? I think it would. You can look at all this as friendship, of course. But you could also look at it as corruption. Now, that’s exactly what happens when Hunter — dear Hunter! — is making a deal with Ukrainians or Chinese or whoever and The Big Guy just happens to drop by, grinning and slapping shoulders, as one does. I think the Republicans really need to avoid getting lost in the weeds here, and trying to do kneejerkitude and aghastology on ZOMG China!! ZOMG nukes!!!! Keep it simple. Focus on the relationships (“brand building”) and construct timelines that show show cash flows into the various tributaries of the mighty money river of the Biden clan.

Biden (D): “Hunter Biden witness may be self-serving but his China cover-up info is accurate” [New York Post]. “Fugitive Gal Luft, the ‘missing witness’ from the Biden corruption investigation, has made fresh allegations about the president’s family’s China connections in an exclusive 50-page expose obtained by The Post. The former Israel Defense Force lieutenant colonel, who worked with the same Chinese energy company, CEFC, that paid Hunter and Jim Biden more than $8 million, skipped bail in Cyprus last year after being charged with attempted gun-running, acting as a foreign agent for China and lying to the FBI.” Busy guy! More: “While his attacks on federal prosecutors clearly are self-serving, his disclosures so far have proven accurate, and his ongoing conversations with former employees of CEFC while on the run have produced new information about how influential Americans on both sides of the aisle in Washington were recruited to serve China’s imperialist Belt and Road Initiative…. Hunter Biden, ‘the true sheikh of Washington,’ as one of his partners dubbed him, wasn’t the only VIP cultivated by CEFC’s enigmatic billionaire chairman Ye Jianming, who sprinkled expensive diamonds around Washington like candy. An energy expert with deep intelligence ties in Washington and Beijing, Luft claims, ‘three former national security advisors, a former CIA Director, a former NSA Director, a former Chairman of the Fed, former cabinet secretaries, former senators, retired generals, CEOs [acted as] CEFC’s enablers in Washington [and] were willing to go to great lengths to enrich themselves by parking under Ye’s gown.’ Chairman Ye, Hunter’s most lucrative Chinese business partner, has not been seen since he was arrested for ‘economic crimes’ in China in early 2018, on the direct orders of President Xi Jinping, according to Chinese news agency Caixin.” • Well well!

* * *

Biden (D): “Trump vs. Biden Polls: No State of the Union Bounce for Joe” [Ed Kilgore, New York Magazine]. “It is hard to exaggerate the psychological boost Democrats derived from Joe Biden’s 2024 State of the Union Address…. But while the State of the Union did wonders for Democratic optimism, there’s simply not much evidence that it changed many minds about Joe Biden’s job performance or flipped many votes from Republican to Democrat…. Even if Biden didn’t lift assessments of his job performance in this one speech, did he at least damage perceptions of Trump? There’s not much publicly available evidence of that either. Yes, a post–State of the Union poll from ABC/Ipsos gave Trump a terrible 29 percent to 59 percent favorable/unfavorable ratio, but it also gave Biden a nearly-as-terrible 33 percent to 54 percent ratio…. The State of the Union address, despite Biden’s combo platter of self-promotion and attacks on “my predecessor,” also had no palpable impact on general-election polling. In head-to-head matchups with Trump, the RCP averages showed Trump leading Biden by 1.8 percent on March 7 and by 2.4 percent today.” • Kilgore’s view is bipartisan–

Biden (D): “Biden’s State of the Union speech answered one big question” [FOX]. “n Thursday night’s State of the Union address, President Joe Biden spoke principally to Democrats and answered one question and one question only: is he, at this point, able to be a candidate for reelection? His answer, as evidenced by his fiery, combative, and extremely partisan speech, is yes, he is, but only for those Democratic and Democratic-leaning independents who are inclined to vote for the incumbent president. …. For Democrats, let’s not underestimate how important this speech was. According to recent polling, 36% of Democrats think their party should nominate someone other than Joe Biden. And for that group, this address provided at least some reassurance that he can deliver a fire and brimstone speech.” • Hence the resounding echos in the Democrat echo chamber (and nothing outside it).

* * *

Biden (D): Alert reader SG has this to say on Bidenonmics:

“The unemployed got $300 in enhanced weekly benefits.”

Gee, I didn’t. In fact, I didn’t get anything at all because my erstwhile employer lied and said that I quit when they laid me off. I couldn’t file an appeal using the website (because it didn’t work) and I couldn’t do it in person because the unemployment office was closed due to COVID. Feature, not bug, I guess.

Caltrops wherever you look.

* * *

“Independent candidates spoil the odds in narrow rematch of Trump, Biden” [Washington Times]. “Independent candidates Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Cornel West are poised to upend a historic repeat faceoff between President Biden and former President Donald Trump…. Mr. Kennedy, 70, has collected enough signatures to appear on the ballot in New Hampshire, Hawaii, Utah and Nevada, a key swing state Mr. Biden won narrowly in 2020. An aligned super PAC, American Values 2024, said it has the requisite signatures to put Mr. Kennedy on the ballots in the battleground states of Georgia, Arizona, Michigan and South Carolina…. Mr. West is on the ballot in Oregon, Utah and South Carolina, according to his campaign, and is working on ballot access in additional swing states, including Michigan, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Arizona. Political analysts and pollsters say the independent candidates’ impact on the election is hard to measure but could decide the outcome if the race is as close as the one in 2020.”

* * *


* * *

“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!

* * *


Let’s start here:

“Time to stop using term ‘long Covid’ as symptoms are no worse than those after flu, study finds” [Guardian]. Just in time for Long Covid Awareness Day! “Long Covid may be no different from other post-viral syndromes such as those experienced after flu, according to new research from Queensland Health. The lead author of the study, the state’s chief health officer Dr John Gerrard, said it was ‘time to stop using terms like ‘long Covid” because they imply there is something unique about the longer-term symptoms associated with the virus, and in some cases create hypervigilance.'” And: “Gerrard will present [the study] next month at the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases in Barcelona.” • This observational study seems, at this point, not to exist online. I can’t find a preprint. Could people possible be quoting from the Conference brochure? So, after a single news cycle, we get this–

“On Long COVID Awareness Day, remember this: Long COVID is fake!” [Editorial Board, New York Post]. “The study shows the disease is an utter phantasm, part of the endless litany of socially chic ailments beloved by the anxious and affluent. Think of all the self-diagnosed mental illness and neuro disorders on TikTok.” • And we get this–

“Queensland’s Chief Health Officer Dr John Gerrard says it’s time to stop using the term ‘long Covid’ – here’s why” [Daily Mail]. “‘Long Covid’ is a ‘sinister’ term that causes ‘unnecessary fear’ and should be abolished, according to Queensland’s Chief Health Officer [Dr John Gerrard].” • Can’t we leave public relations to professionals?

How it’s done:

Seems like Queensland is a lot like Alberta, where John Conleys still roam the earth. Here is a debunking thread:

Gerrard’s methodology:

“Why it might be too early to stop saying long-COVID” [ABC Australia]. “According to a press release about the conference and research, the research from Queensland Health discussed above is ‘being prepared for submission to a medical journal [which?] ahead of the conference in April 2024.'” • So we don’t really have a paper at all. We only have quotes about a paper. What a good faith effort, to be sure!

* * *

TABLE 1: Daily Covid Charts

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

Variants[3] CDC March 16 Emergency Room Visits[4] CDC March 9
New York[5] New York State, data March 13: National [6] CDC February 24:
National[7] Walgreens March 11: Ohio[8] Cleveland Clinic March 9:
Travelers Data
Positivity[9] CDC February 19: Variants[10] CDC February 19:
Weekly deaths New York Times March 9: Percent of deaths due to Covid-19 New York Times March 9:


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

Manufacturing: “United States Industrial Production” [Trading Economics]. “Industrial production in the US increased by 0.1% from the previous month in February 2024, following a downwardly revised 0.5% fall in January. It compared with market expectations of no growth and marked a rebound from two consecutive months of decline.”

Manufacturing: “United States NY Empire State Manufacturing Index” [Trading Economics]. “The NY Empire State Manufacturing Index sank to -20.9 in March 2024 from -2.4 in February and much worse than forecasts of -7. The reading showed manufacturing activity continued to decline in the New York State, with demand softening as new orders declined significantly.”

* * *

(1) Manufacturing: “‘If anything happens, it’s not suicide’: Boeing whistleblower’s prediction to family before death” (video) [WCIV, YouTube].

That’s from a TV station. How come there’s no reporting from Charleston’s Post and Courier on this?

Manufacturing: “Boeing whistleblower John Barnett ‘made powerful enemies’ before his death, as workers ‘skeptical’ he killed himself” [New York Post]. “Boeing workers warn that whistleblower John Barnett ‘made powerful enemies’ before his alleged suicide… ‘I don’t know what to believe. We don’t really talk about it on the (assembly) line. We’re on camera from the minute we get on the property. They can hear us. So no one wants to talk about it at work. A lot of people are skeptical, because he made some pretty powerful enemies,” [said one Boeing worker]…. Steve Chancellor, who has written two books on staged crime scenes and runs Second Look Training and Forensic Consulting, said that when someone dies by suicide, the gun only remains in the person’s hand 25% of the time. The mere fact that the gun was in the hand, I would pay attention to that,” he told The Post.” • I still want to know what happened to Barnett’s computer. Presumably, it was in his hotel room? Where did it go after that? (The 25% figure is supported by this study in The American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology, from alert reader ChrisPacific.) Meanwhile, This account claims Barnett’s truck was dusted for fingerprints, but there’s no sourcing and no parallel cite I can find.

Manufacturing: “A friend of John Barnett said he predicted he might wind up dead” [Hacker News]. • Skimming, I find little on Barnett, but plenty on eBay executives acting as if they were villains in Michael Clayton

Tech: “Vision Pro is an over-engineered “devkit” // Hardware bleeds genius & audacity but software story is disheartening // What we got wrong at Oculus that Apple got right // Why Meta could finally have its Android moment” [Hugo’s Blog]. “One of the findings in these experiments was that too much realism and fidelity could be one of the things that crosses a line. In other words, hyperrealism could quickly drag people into the uncanny valley, one of two places we always want to avoid in VR (the other place is motion sickness)…. Luckily for Apple, there is one category where hyperrealism is much less likely to be an issue especially for hardcore fans — Live Sports. Live sports will be Apple’s secret weapon to sell a huge number of Vision Pro headsets to hardcore fans — but it’s going to be a long & expensive journey.” • Interesting. So don’t short Apple, I suppose.

* * *

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 68 Greed (previous close: 72 Greed) [CNN]. One week ago: 66 (Greed). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Mar 15 at 12:39:09 PM ET.

The Gallery

“A $300 Watercolor Turns Out to Be a JMW Turner That Could Be Worth $38,000” [ArtNet]. • Painted when Turner was 20:

Amazing, when you think about it, what the eye, hand, brain, and brush can do.

The Conservatory

“Germany adds Berlin’s techno scene to Unesco cultural heritage list” [Guardian]. “Intangible cultural heritage status is more commonly granted to more traditional cultural activities, such as Malawian Mwinoghe dancing or Slovakian bagpipe culture. The recent recognition on Unesco’s list of intangible cultural heritage of Jamaican reggae and India’s huge Kumbh Mela festival, however, prompted techno community leaders in Berlin to campaign for their scene to be included in Germany’s register, which is separate to the Unesco list.” • I’m wondering what American cultural activities should be granted “intangible heritage” status (and I’m not being entirely ironic. I was thinking Big Truck Days, but there are too many of them).

News of the Wired

“Experiments in Printmaking, Part 1” [Engineers Need Art]. “The effect I am going for with the Cherry Mash piece is a pop-art (Warhol-esque) print of the candy, reduced (posterized) to just three colors (red, yellow and black) and with obvious half-toning. The result is above, and I am more or less happy with the result. Printed roughly LP album sized (13″ × 13″) on my Epson inkjet, it looks pretty cool. I decided to try a few experiments with regard to capturing the image and separating the colors and I ended up printing the image in an unorthodox manner. Some things worked well, other things not so much. I’ll describe the process here.” • Missing the aesthetics part, but perhaps that’s Warhol?

“Oregon Outback is now the largest Dark Sky Sanctuary in the world” [Here is Oregon]. “The region, which on Monday was officially named the Oregon Outback International Dark Sky Sanctuary, comprises the southeastern half of Lake County, including Hart Mountain, Lake Abert and Summer Lake. Future plans include expanding the sanctuary to 11.4 million acres across Harney and Malheur counties. The designation was given by DarkSky International, an organization dedicated to protecting the nighttime environment and preserving dark skies through environmentally responsible outdoor lighting. The project is the work of the Oregon Dark Sky Network, an ad-hoc group of state, local and federal officials, private individuals, business owners and tourism agencies.” • Good. Let’s keep it that way!

* * *

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 DGL:

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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. Wukchumni

    “Schumer stabs Israel in the back with disgraceful remarks” [Norm Coleman, The Hill]. • Ah, the dolchstosslegende takes on new life…

    I’ll never forget Norm Coleman being schooled by George Galloway about 20 years ago, it was quite something!

    1. Terry Flynn

      Do you have a link?

      Galloway has undoubtedly and publicly made missteps. However, when he’s on form he is Gold. He calls out Biden, Trump, Sunak & Starmer (and whoever is PM of Australia this year) look like the total… Well whatever adjective is appropriate

        1. Terry Flynn

          Wow. All people who believe in democracy should see that.

          Let me re-iterate – Galloway is not “totally on form” these days. But to quote the (as of 11am GMT 16th March 2024) top comment “Washington thought they invited a sheep to be slaughtered, but instead a lion showed up for lunch”

  2. Jason Boxman

    My drive by comment for today: Did Emily Oster’s clothing line have a name? If not, I suggest: useful tool as the wardrobe name.

  3. Feral Finster

    The White House knew Schumer’s Israel speech was coming. Israel will notice that” [Semafor].

    TL:DR Netanyahu has become a P.R. liability. Replacing him with a more soft-soap type doesn’t require changing any policies.

    1. ChrisFromGA

      A kinder, gentler, war criminal, and mass murderer.

      Just what the DC stooges would order up, on demand.

      You know, if Pol Pot had just brushed up on his etiquette and smiled more, maybe he would have not been so misunderstood … /s

    2. Daryl

      Reads like the latest entry in the “boy golly Biden is really, REALLY cross with Netanyahu” genre.

  4. Randall Flagg

    > I’m wondering what American cultural activities should be granted “intangible heritage” status (and I’m not being entirely ironic. I was thinking Big Truck Days, but there are too many of them).
    Well then I’ll vote for the WWE. I mean c’mon, who doesn’t love that wrestling spectacle on the TV? It’s real right?
    Sarc off

    1. Michael Fioirillo

      It’s been reported that RFK, Jr might ask Jesse Ventura to be his running mate. If it happened, we’d have two WWF/WWE Hall of Famers – Trump is also in wrestling Hall of Fame – running angainst each other.

      Talk about Kayfabe!

      1. albrt

        I regret to inform you that under UNESCO standards, “[t]o be deemed of Outstanding Universal Value, a property must also meet the conditions of integrity and/or authenticity and must have an adequate protection and management system to ensure its safeguarding.” U.S. elections would not appear to qualify.

  5. antidlc

    ‘Alarming’ rise in Americans with long Covid symptoms

    CDC data shows nearly 18m people could be living with long Covid even as health agency relaxes isolation recommendations

    Some 6.8% of American adults are currently experiencing long Covid symptoms, according to a new survey from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), revealing an “alarming” increase in recent months even as the health agency relaxes Covid isolation recommendations, experts say.

    Didn’t Jha claim long covid cases were declining?

    18 hours ago:
    Time to stop using term ‘long Covid’ as symptoms are no worse than those after flu, study finds

    Researchers compared the symptoms and impairment of Covid and influenza patients a year after they tested positive

    1. Lee

      More on long covid. Good stuff.

      What We Know After 4 Years Of COVID-19 (17 min. audio plus transcript) Science Friday

      Ira analyzes this era of the pandemic with Hannah Davis, co-founder of the Patient-Led Research Collaborative in New York City, and Dr. Akiko Iwasaki, immunobiologist at Yale Medical School in New Haven, Connecticut.

    2. Lambert Strether

      > Time to stop using term ‘long Covid’ as symptoms

      I put a brief media critique of this Guardian piece and its source together slightly after 2:00pm; these guys look like their angling for jobs with the Brown Nose Institute

      1. Terry Flynn

        Many thanks. I co-authored the definitive textbook in my field (published by CUP) which has several chapters on health stuff. I knew (with 99% accuracy) the pre-existing medical issues of my 2 co-authors.

        One died in year one of the pandemic, the other in year 2: nothing I’m aware of should have made them “covid vulnerable”. Lambert, you daily put a statement to the effect that “I won’t equivocate”. Well I will not either.

  6. Feral Finster

    Re: the communism of every day life: Start liking it, as the West in general and the United States in particular become more and more third world, we will only be seeing more of this.

    However, there’s a downside. If you’ve ever spent much living la vida third world, you will know that there is much less “I gotta be me!” and much more “tribal solidarity”, tribal norms and mores that you dare not cross.

    This makes sense. In a world where all institutions are at best for sale and at worst, predatory, your tribe, your family, your people, these are the only ones that you can trust to have your back in a crisis, at least without a bribe. However, that goes both ways. It means that you may be called on to aid your tribe and its members, even if you don’t want to, even if you think that they are wrong. It also means that you cannot violate tribal norms, because your violation may be writing proverbial checks that their @ss has to cash or lose face in not cashing.

    I figured this out when explaining to an American human why gender roles are the way they are in a tribe in Kenya. “Well, I don’t want to do that!” It doesn’t matter what you or I want. For the locals, the tribe is their only real protection – without it, any one of them is fair game for anyone who wants to harm them. Violating those roles makes you unpredictable, a loose cannon, and could give rise to a confrontation that otherwise could be avoided.

    1. VietnamVet

      Tribalism is on the rise again since migration, conversion to hedge-fund rentals, and debt are destabilizing America’s suburbia which was created to promote individualism, consumerism, plus sell lot of single family houses, gasoline, tires, and autos but instead actually created isolation. Identity politics is how the Uni-party divided up the US electorate to allow the occupation of America by corporate “donor” oligarchs. The return of walkable cities thanks to resource depletion is also the return to tribalism or much worse unless constitutional, secular and equal government is restored to serve, protect, and keep the peace.

      The closure of the Port-au-Prince Airport and resignation of Haiti Prime Minister are what happens when gangs (cartels) rule and when the people cannot even afford to be members of a tribe to protect their own block.

    2. Daniil Adamov

      It’s a difference in degree from the “nation-state” system. After all, that one also requires you to contribute to your state in various ways (e.g. taxation, conscription), even if you think it’s wrong. It’s just that those relationships are necessarily much looser, harder to enforce and easier to dodge.

      You’re right, though. If by any chance you know Russian, this may be of interest: https://wyradhe.livejournal.com/239877.html In brief, one of the heroes of a Yukaghir tribal epic was specifically said to have decided to live in the forest as a hermit with his two wives because if he lived among the people, he knew he would be forced to kill someone for them eventually – or else to betray them.

  7. Wukchumni

    ” What we really ought to do is set up an IAPAC (Israeli America Public Affairs Committee) in Israel, and lavishly pump campaign contributions to Israeli politicians through it, including especially the real estate speculators goat sacrificers. Cheaper than sending in a wet team, and far less dangerous.

    Schumer looked to have been plied with Ipecac, loosely related to IAPAC.

    1. The Rev Kev

      You don’t get a person more loyal to Israel that old Chuck. America? Not so much. So who is he talking to? Perhaps the Israeli deep state?

    1. flora

      From the article:

      As written, any “website, desktop application, mobile application, or augmented or immersive technology application” that is “determined by the President to present a significant threat to the National Security of the United States” is covered.

      1. ChrisPacific

        And the next president will more than likely be Trump, on current trajectory. They just gave him a kill switch on any app or site he doesn’t like (he will have to credibly represent that he ‘believes it is a threat to national security’, but nobody is better than Trump at summoning up belief when it’s convenient for him).

        1. Em

          Stoller does point out that it’s limited to “adversaries” defined as China, Russia, DPRK, and Iran.

          So what it means in practice is trying to divide the world into the West and the Rest.

          But I really want the Houthis to run all of our social media platforms!

    2. Mark Gisleson

      Halfway through an oddly squirrelly feed my computer crashed. I did get to watch the whole episode but only after putting up some more tinfoil up. #shiny

  8. Pat

    Naftali Bennet’s response tells me the entire Israeli political class is more afraid of their right wing zealots than they are of repercussions from the United States. IOW they know exactly which of these two countries are under the influence of which. It was a particularly forceful expression of outrage for a speech that would have little or no effect on Israeli voters. Especially when the only thing keeping UN troops from their borders is the US and its vetoes.

    1. Tom B.

      Parents of small children will regard Legos(TM) randomly scattered on floors as similarly painful obstacles.

  9. aleph_0

    “Caltrops wherever you look.”

    Great turn of phrase. I think there’s something in calling them bureaucratic caltrops or digital ones? Not sure, but it’s as evocative as whoever described Graeber’s dismissal from Yale as the bureaucratic equivalent of being beaten with a rubber hose so it doesn’t leave marks.

    As for the Berlin techno, good on ’em. Fantastic music and vibe. Too bad about the Detroit scene, huh

  10. Terry Hoboken

    Biden claims “inflation is going down”. Bullshit!
    $500 an hour plumbers next?

    Went out to buy some hardware today. Prices are creeping up-up-up. What’s next, surge pricing for the last few items left in the bin?
    Services are all shooting through the roof. It’s the cost of materials, they expect you to pay for their gasoline, their commute time and more. This is getting ridiculous.
    Going further out to small towns doesn’t help either.
    Everyone should go on a buyer’s strike to force prices down.
    Tip:Tire stores usually have used ones they will sell you for the cost of installation if you go in when there’s little business as the employees are on the clock.

  11. mrsyk

    “Independent candidates spoil the odds in narrow rematch of Trump, Biden” Warming up the blame cannons, I see.

  12. hemeantwell

    I’m wondering what American cultural activities should be granted “intangible heritage” status

    Mosh pits and sub-injurious drunken slam dancing to loud 3 chord jangly guitar tunes.
    There, I’m on record.

    1. Bugs

      A friend got his arm broke in the slam at a Dead Kennedys show, back in the day. Upstairs at Eileen J’s. Sub injurious it was not, but he’s a legend. Bill Sore, where are you.

    2. griffen

      Basketball, which yes it was invented by a Canadian but is a distinctly American product with ties to college campuses all across the country. James Naismith* was a genius. Nail a peach basket to a 10 foot wooden pole and magic can happen. Any film buffs for Hoosiers, anyone? Jimmy Chitwood and the picket fence.

      *Naismith instructed “Phog” Allen who coached a long time at Kansas. Wilt Chamberlain may be the most famous of all the Kansas basketball alumni, however famous coaches like Rupp and Smith earned playing time under Allen as well. Dean Smith was a remarkable person.

    3. Lee


      Early Days: The first blog is believed to be Links.net, which was created by a Swarthmore College student Justin Hall in 1994. Since the term “blog” was not yet used, he simply called it his personal homepage. Then, in 1997, the term “weblog” was created by Jorn Barger, who created the blog Robot Wisdom. In 1998, the first blog was posted on a traditional new site by Johnathan Dube. Then, in 1999, the term “weblog” was changed to simply “blog” by programmer Peter Merholz. The most popular blogging platforms in these early stages were LiveJournal and what is now known as Blogger. Digital Limelight Media

  13. Bugs

    I’m a VR hater but I’d shell out the cash today for the Apple headset if I could watch any and all sports events with it from all seats in the house as well as above. That would be the killer app. Concerts might be equally interesting…

    Saying this, I know that they’ll never be able to line their ducks in a row to make it happen like it could, if all the shills weren’t lined up to collect their share.

  14. notabanker

    Imagine one of Trump’s kids having been “alleged” to have brokered a deal to sell nuclear technology to the Chinese and covering it up.

    They both, kids and the Donald, would be in Gitmo right now as enemies of the State likely never to see the light of day again. NYT would have a field day trying to figure out which leaks to publish in what order. Cable news would have record revenues.

    Biden? Nothing to see here, move along. The rot in the US is beyond redemption.

  15. upstater

    From 2022, still germain:

    How Bitcoin mining devastated this New York town

    Between rising electricity rates and soaring climate costs, cryptomining is taking its toll on communities.

    Cryptocurrency notoriously devours electricity; each Bitcoin transaction consumes 1,173 kilowatt-hours—more than the average American uses in a month. In 2020, the world’s crypto mining required more energy than the whole of Switzerland.

    From 2016 to 2018, crypto mining in upstate New York increased annual electric bills by about $165 million for small businesses and $79 million for individuals

    China banned crypto mining in 2021 to achieve its carbon reduction goals

    Massena Town Board sets cryptocurrency public hearing Watertown Daily Times, N.Y.Thu, March 14, 2024

    “Miners” have located in municipalities that have access to New York Power Authority hydro and draw HUGE amounts of power. Massena is fighting off a take over allotments previously going to an Alcoa aluminum refiner and smelter and a GM plant that made aluminum engine blocks. Think about how much energy that was used to make tangible goods that could go to bitcoin.

    This encapsulates a sick commentary on NYS and US energy policy. Performative greenwashing while business as usual.

  16. Stephanie

    Taking the ‘intangible cultural heritage’ question seriously, the first few things that leapt to my mind were second line parades and pow wow dances, high-school football half-time shows and gospel choirs, cheerleading, basketball, and water-skiing.

  17. rowlf

    Yesterday I posted a rant that a friend posted in a motorcycle forum to confuse Tea Party supporters there and it seemed well received. I thought I would share another. I think these were written around 2008. Later, the writer had a column at Daily Kos for about three entries before Kos booted him for being a leftist or being mean to pet politicians.

    Cui Bono? The $32 million question

    So who benefits?

    Who benefits from Senator Mitch McConnell having a net worth of @ $32,000,000 (Est)???

    And why am I asking? Well, not to pick on Mitch, but he has one hell of a record as a blind supporter of everything plutocratic. Oh, and he has never had a real job. Spent his entire life in politics.

    So how does a Government Paycheck equal 32 and 6 zeros? Especially when he seems to have rather spectacular returns in a period where returns are not that good?

    Well, he does have a rich wife. He is married to Elaine Chao. You remember Elaine, the most anti-labor Labor Secretary in history under George W?

    Except, well, she is not exactly a titan of Wall Street either. That’s right…another one whose almost entire career (certainly the last 27 years of it) has been spent feeding on the Government Teat or as a plutocrat show-pony at the Heritage Foundation

    1983: White House Fellow, Office of Policy Development, the White House

    1986: Deputy Administrator, Maritime Administration, US Department of Transportation

    1988–89: Chairwoman, Federal Maritime Commission

    1989: Deputy Secretary of Transportation

    1991–92: Director, Peace Corps

    1992–96: President and Chief Executive Officer, United Way of America

    1996-2001: Distinguished Fellow, Heritage Foundation

    2001–09: U.S. Secretary of Labor

    2009–Present: Distinguished Fellow, Heritage Foundation

    So unless that Federal Maritime Commission gig pays one eff of a lot better than I have been led to believe…she ain’t the source of all those zeros either

    Now, far be it for me to cast aspersions on Mr & Mrs McConnell’s great good fortune. There is a perfectly logical explanation: Elaine Chao’s father, the well respected Dr. James S.C. Chao.

    Mr Chao does have money, bags of it. And good for him. He is evidently a very hardworking man who built his successful company from scratch through hard work, brains, and a few fortuitous acquaintances (He was a college classmate and friend of Jiang Zemin, who of course later became the head of the Chinese government). So when China opened up, and particularly when Hong Kong reverted back to mainland jurisdiction, the smart, hard working, and fortuitously connected Mr Chao made an absolute killing. And fair play to him for doing so.

    Doing what? Well, that would be importing Chinese goods into the United States.

    So we have Mitch McConnell, Senator, whose financial fortune rests on the beneficence of a man who got rich importing Chinese goods into the United States.

    And we have a (so called) Labor Secretary under George Bush, whose financial jackpot, and any chance at a pleasant Thanksgiving meal, is also directly tied to how favorably her Father’s business is looked upon by his Chinese Government friends.

    And we have the Chinese Government, who have a great friend and business partner in Jimmy Chao, and know that all of his success will be shared (because he is a generous and good father) with the Leading Republican in the Senate, and his daughter the Senator’s wife who until 2008 was the United States Labor Secretary responsible for the well being of American workers, and since then as an employee of the Heritage Foundation, where she is able to continue her heroic and principled fight defending the virtues of Free Trade with China (and explaining that American workers are generally fat, lazy, and worth considerably less than $15/hour) and all of them can harmoniously work together for the benefit of…well…all of them.

    So the Chinese get the World’s Fastest Growing Economy at the expense of the wholesale destruction of millions of American Manufacturing Jobs

    Jimmy Chao gets happily rich helping them accomplish both

    Elaine Chao trumpets free trade and provides eff-all in support for American Manufacturing Workers for eight years, and happily shares in her father’s millions.

    And Senator McConnell, who never saw a pro-business/anti-labor position he didn’t like, well, he also happily shares in his wife’s father’s Chinese millions.

    And nobody has to be so vulgar as to say…out loud…that if Mitch or Elaine actually favor American Workers over Chinese Business Interests that the Chinese Government might be inclined to show their disfavor at the senior Mr Chao’s expense, and that would directly take millions out of John and Elaine’s pockets…but then, these are all smart people. And smart people can figure out by themselves which side of the bread has the butter on it without being told out loud.

    And so everybody got rich, even the ones that just take home a Government Paycheck, and there were probably no laws broken.

    And the plutocrats are laughing so hard at the rest of us they are pissing themselves

    PS – This is not to pick on Mr & Mrs Mitch particularly, they are just such a damn fine example of How the System Works. We can look at some others, including Democrats, in the upcoming weeks. Because I am amazed at just how effing rewarding Public Service appears to be. I wonder if the Maritime Commission is hiring?

    1. rowlf

      Crap. This was prescient for 2011:

      Do the Republicans really want to fk around with the 14th Amendment?

      Are the Republicans really going to fk around with the 14th Amendment?

      Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

      Section 2. Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed. But when the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the Executive and Judicial officers of a State, or the members of the Legislature thereof, is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such State, being twenty-one years of age, and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such State.

      Section 3. No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may, by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.

      Section 4. The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.

      Section 5. The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

      OK, they will claim all they want to fk around with is Section 1*, but not only does Section 1 contain the bit about “Anchor Babies” that is pissing them off…it also happens to inconveniently include the bits about Equal Protection and Due Process under the law as applying to the States. It is also the foundation of most of the Bill of Rights being incorporated and applicable at the State level.

      It is, Constitutionally speaking, one big fking deal of a section

      And here is the kicker: That bit about the Bill of Rights being incorporated at the State level specifically includes the Second Amendment. Fk up the 14th, and Kyle & McConnell are just the idiots to do it…and the Second Amendment is only applicable at the Federal Level. Any State that wanted to ban firearms could.

      Now, any modification to the US Constitution should always be approached with extreme caution and jurisprudence..so who the hell wants to let Kyle, McConnell, and Boehner loose under the hood with a 12-pack of tallboys and a crescent wrench?

      I would not put those three clowns in charge of making water flow downhill. I positively shudder at the notion that they could, in any way, alter the US Constitution via Amendment.

      Does anyone really think that “Vote GOP and we will get rid of all that pesky liberal crap in the 14th Amendment” is a winning strategy at the polls? Will they actually hop down this bunny trail of really bad ideas…or will calmer voices on the Right steer them well clear of this idiocy?

      *though I would not put it past this lot to get rid of that annoying bit about having “engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof” that has been keeping honest Confederate Veterans from holding elective National Office all these years

  18. nippersdad

    Apologies if this Escobar article has already been posted, but I thought it was an interesting new chapter in the German Taurus affair:

    “A key point is that during the plotting, these two mention that plans were already discussed “four months ago” with “Schneider”, the successor of “Wilsbach”.

    Well, these are German names, of course. Thus it did not dawn on anyone that (Kevin) Schneider and (Kenneth) Wilsbach could instead be… Americans .”

    Nuland just has a talent for gifts that keep on giving. I wonder how much damage she will do on the Columbia campus.


  19. The Rev Kev

    “Queensland’s Chief Health Officer Dr John Gerrard says it’s time to stop using the term ‘long Covid’ – here’s why’

    Does not surprise me this. During the first year of the pandemic our Chief Health Officer of Queensland was Dr. Jeannette Young who was short, had thick-lensed glasses and who always took the right decision-

    ‘She gained prominence during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, holding multiple press briefings regarding the disease. Her recommendation to the Palaszczuk Government to close the state’s borders, which was implemented, proved controversial as she received numerous death threats and was placed under police protection in September 2020.’

    But then when Oz opened up and the plan was to learn to live with the virus, she was promoted out of her job to Governor of Queensland and was replaced with that John Gerrard who was more amendable to these new policies. Abolish the term ‘Long Covid’? Yeah mate, it’s just the flu. Now get back to work.


    1. skippy

      Its all about the Olympics now Kev, not to mention the endless logistical/distribution construction undertaken over the last few years.

      Be of great joy mate … Brisbane is now on par with Hellborne’ for median RE price at 800K. Lets see how the Greens go here today … converting the intercity race course for HD silos should fix the supply dramas chortle …

      Whispers …. I am in their ears right now about the illusion that it is a *supply issue* and not more about credit cycles. Supposed to have a met up post election.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Speaking of the Olympics. I wait with bated breath for the Paris Olympics to start this July 26th as all the national teams march into the arena at the opening ceremony – and then in comes the Israeli team.

        But in 2032 will we be watching the Brisbane Olympic Games or the Meanjin Olympic games? Asking for a friend.

          1. The Rev Kev

            The way that Israel is going, most of those Palestinian team members will only be fit for the Paralympic Games.

            1. skippy

              Open air reproduction of the *Hunger Games* you say …. where everyone is part of the play ….

          2. ambrit

            Oh boy. The Palestinian team should do well in the 100 metre dash, the Shot Put, definitely the Javelin Toss, and, of course, the Winter Games “Ski and Shoot” competition. (The latter team can practice on the sand dunes, as a close approximation of snow.)
            Be safe, on and off the pitch.

            1. The Rev Kev

              Only problem is that the Palestinian athletes will have to watch for snipers from the Israeli Olympic Shooting Team.

                  1. skippy

                    Should not be hard after all the other teams “get the memo” and and give them wide berth …

            2. caucus99percenter

              I’m looking forward to the Israel-Palestine soccer match. Basically, what the players do won’t matter; all the refs but one will be ridiculously biased in favor of the Israelis.

              The lone impartial referee’s signals calling out the White-and-Blues for brutal, egregious fouls will simply be ignored, while legitimate actions or even no action at all by Palestinian players will, without rhyme or reason, get them sent off or result in penalty kicks being awarded to the Israeli side.

              So-called “anti-Semitism” fouls are also called at the slightest sound or symbolic gesture of support from the Palestinian fan section, which consists of bare concrete (all seats having been removed before the match) and where amenities of any kind including food and drink are forbidden.

              The exact final score will never be known, as the scoreboard software has a known bug causing it to crash after the 32,768th Israeli goal.

  20. Mikel

    “Live sports will be Apple’s secret weapon to sell a huge number of Vision Pro headsets to hardcore fans — but it’s going to be a long & expensive journey.” • Interesting. So don’t short Apple, I suppose.

    Live sports and concerts. Now that would be interesting. Can people rent a Vision Pro? Some don’t want it in their house, but may use it for occasion.
    And then think Nascar. Exciting sure. But if you thought the drivers were wearing alot of ads….

    1. caucus99percenter

      The personalized fitting process seems to be very important to the quality of the user experience, so a rental business model would be more complicated and expensive than it is for other things. It would be like “renting” prescription glasses.

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