2:00PM Water Cooler 3/19/2024

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Readers, I am traveling today. This Water Cooler is a bit light, because I am posting it in a window of connectivity. –lambert

Bird Song of the Day

Sadly, Cornell Ornithology Lab is having a planned outage. No bird song today. –lambert

“Birding for Long-Haulers” [Ed Yong, The Ed’s Up]. My favorite birding moments often involve stillness. I stand in front of a single tree, watching a conveyor belt of warblers passing by. I sit at a shoreline, scanning through large groups of foraging shorebirds. I lean against my car at night, listening for owls in the darkness. At those times, with my body rooted and my senses fully engaged, I feel a peculiar blend of serenity and adrenaline, of presentism and disconnection. And during one such moment, I thought: This would be perfect for people with long COVID… I started wondering if I could share the hobby that has become so restorative to me with the community that has become so important to me. Birding could expand the world that long COVID has contracted. It could offer long-haulers the therapeutic benefits of being outdoors and immersing in nature. It could salve some of the solitude that chronic illness brings, offering social time in an outdoor setting with low risk of respiratory infection. It can be done with relatively low physical or cognitive demands, minimizing the chances of triggering a PEM crash.” • A very hopeful post!

In Case You Might Miss…

(1) Boeing story isn’t exactly advancing….

(2) Global elites form brain genius club.

(3) The science and art of chicken sexing.


“So many of the social reactions that strike us as psychological are in fact a rational management of symbolic capital.” –Pierre Bourdieu, Classification Struggles

* * *

Capitol Seizure

“Newly obtained video shows movement of group suspected of constructing Jan. 6 gallows hours before Capitol siege” [CBS]. “Newly obtained [how and from whom?] video shows movement of group suspected of constructing Jan. 6 gallows hours before Capitol siege. The people who erected the infamous gallows and noose on the west front of the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, began their work in the predawn hours that day, according to newly released videos obtained [how and from whom?] by CBS News… Surveillance footage shared [by whom?] with CBS News shows the brazenness of the work behind the gallows and noose.” • Whoever “shared” the videos to CBS was a little slow moving, yes?


Less than a year to go!

* * *

Trump (R): “‘Arbitrary Enforcement’ of Federal Law Roils Classified Documents Case” [Julie Kelly]. Jack Smith’s Florida case. “[Judge Aileen] Cannon repeatedly asked both sides for examples of criminal prosecution for ‘other officials who did the same.’ She questioned the ‘arbitrary enforcement’ of the espionage statute, forcing the government to admit that no other former president or vice president has faced criminal prosecution for keeping similar documents and failing to return them. ‘This speaks to the arbitrary enforcement…featuring in this case,’ Cannon told Bratt. Cannon also pushed back on claims Trump should have expected to face prosecution for storing classified files. Once again noting no former president or vice president—Mike Pence also discovered classified records after Trump was indicted in 2023—has been charged, Cannon suggested it was fair for Trump to expect the same treatment since ‘no historical precedent’ is on the books. ‘Given that landscape,’ Cannon continued, Trump could argue he has been unfairly targeted. Which his team already has. In a motion emailed to the court and the government last month, Trump’s attorneys asked to dismiss the case based on ‘selective and vindictive prosecution.‘ Although the motion is not public, Jack Smith quickly responded to defend the Department of Justice’s choice to pursue Trump and not Biden. ‘Trump, unlike Biden, is alleged to have engaged in extensive and repeated efforts to obstruct justice and thwart the return of documents bearing classification markings, which provides particularly strong evidence of willfulness and is a paradigmatic aggravating factor that prosecutors routinely rely on when making charging decisions,’ Smith wrote in a March 7 response. ‘Second, the evidence concerning the two men’s intent—whether they knowingly possessed and willfully retained such documents—is starkly different.’ In an almost comical passage, Smith admits Biden unlawfully retained classified records—just not as many as Trump. ‘Biden possessed 88 documents bearing classification markings, including 18 marked Top Secret. By contrast, Trump possessed 337 documents bearing classification markings, including 64 marked Top Secret. Ah ok. So Biden was just a little bit pregnant…” • I’m not sure that “selective and vindictive prosecution” flies as a matter of law. As a matter of politics? I think so.

* * *

Biden (D): “Biden seeks to reinvigorate diverse coalition in critical 2024 campaign swing out West” [CNN]. “Arizona and Nevada could see abortion rights provisions on ‘Nevadans and Arizonans are gathering signatures for ballot initiative to give voters the opportunity to protect abortion access in their states’ constitution in 2024. Nevada is one of the most pro-choice states in the nation. And the vast majority of Arizonans support abortion access, as well,’ Dan Kanninen, the Biden campaign’s battleground states director, said.” • Does anybody believe that if the Democrats won the Presidency and both houses of Congess, that they’d codify Roe?

Biden (D): “Democrats urge campaign to ‘let Biden be Biden’ as polling pressure mounts” [Washington Examiner]. “The Biden campaign defended the president’s smaller events last week in Michigan and Wisconsin, even though a lack of planning [ha ha] meant reporters traveling with him could not hear him during his Saginaw, Michigan, stop. A campaign aide described the events as opportunities for Biden to speak and connect with supporters and voters in “a very personal” capacity, one that can be amplified on social media afterward. ‘The crowds in Milwaukee and Saginaw were thrilled to see the president,’ the aide said. ‘They were fired up, and the president was, in turn, thrilled to see them, and he was fired up. I think everyone got a handshake. Everyone got a picture with the boss.” • Oh. So that’s how they think of us.

* * *

Kennedy (I):

I can’t for the “ballot access windows,” but a national movement to get a candidate on the ballot would be interesiting.

* * *

“The most important Senate primary of the year is just one of today’s elections” [Politico]. “Ohio Senate candidate Bernie Moreno … has spent the final days of the closely contested GOP primary trying to move quickly past an Associated Press story about an account on an adult website that he says was created by an intern in 2008…. Moreno is locked in a competitive, three-way race for the nomination to face Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown in what could be the decisive contest for control of the Senate. There’s little in the way of reliable, independent polling, though most observers see Moreno and self-funding state Sen. Matt Dolan — who is running in a more moderate lane — as the top contenders, with Secretary of State Frank LaRose a tier below. Trump is putting his political capital behind Moreno, trekking to Ohio for a weekend rally just 48 hours after the AP story was published. He reportedly scheduled the trip the week before the primary after polling showed Moreno had not locked down the nomination despite Trump’s long-standing endorsement.” 2024 – 2008 = 16 years ago? That’s some well-funded oppo — which I don’t picture AP as taking the lead in, usually. Can any Ohio readers comment?

The Wizard of Kalorama™

“Mystery as Barack Obama spotted outside No10 Downing Street for unannounced visit” [The MIrror]. “Mr Obama smiled and waved at photographers before he entered No 10 shortly after 3pm. Downing Street later said Mr Obama – who has not visited No10 since leaving office – was making an ‘informal courtesy drop-in’ while in the UK capital. The ex-President, who served in the White House from 2009 to 2017, was seen leaving around an hour later with US ambassador Jane Hartley. He held a meeting with Rishi Sunak, who is currently having a difficult time at the helm.. The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: ‘He was making an informal courtesy drop-in as part of his trip to London, where he is conducting work of the Obama Foundation..” • Oh, totally. Maybe Obama knows where Kate is?

Democrats en Déshabillé

“The Democratic Party Owes Us Some Candor” [Brian Beutler, Off Message]. From February. ” Recent reporting suggests even old colleagues from the Obama-Biden years can’t get straight dope from the people running the Biden re-elect. They want everyone else to think that everything’s going according to plan. But it’s obviously not… This is why I’d still like the Biden campaign to be candid with the party rank-and-file about how we got to this point. Presumably being down two points in mid-March was never part of their plan. Why do they think it happened?Did Democrats make a mistake by treating Trump as though he’d entered exile, giving him wide berth to rehabilitate himself and smear Biden without pushback? And if that was a mistake, how do they plan to fix damage done over three years in the next few weeks or months?” • “Without pushback” except for a multipronged lawfare assault, including an effort to remove Trump from the ballot altogether under Secion Three of the Fourteenth Amendment. “Without pushback.” Really?

“How Actually Existing Democrats Run for Office” [Harold Meyerson, The American Prospect]. “Last week, the Center for Working-Class Politics, in conjunction with Jacobin and Arizona State University’s Center for Work and Democracy, released a remarkable survey that went about answering this question in a way I hadn’t seen before. They looked at all the 966 Democratic candidates for federal office (the House and the Senate) who ran in the 2022 midterm elections (primaries as well as the November generals), reading all their websites and records of their talks to see the themes, the platforms, and the words themselves that the candidates used.” More: “[O]n page 13. the authors present the data on just how many of these nearly 1,000 candidates, spanning all types of districts and ideologies, invoked the themes and language of the cultural left. To no one’s surprise, a hefty majority of Democratic candidates devoted their attention to the issue of abortion and the right to choose. About one-quarter of them raised issues relating to gays and lesbians, and a little more than 10 percent those relating to undocumented immigrants. But on the other 40 topics that to many Americans define today’s Democratic Party—ranging from reparations and defunding the police to open borders and gender identity—the share of Democratic candidates who had so much as a word to say averaged under 5 percent, and for a number of these issues, was a flat zero. Which raises a rather important question: How has the Democratic Party come to be defined by issues and concerns that its candidates and officeholders don’t even talk about? How have the Democrats become identified with positions they don’t hold?” • Mayerson’s answer is Republican propaganda, amplified by a complaint press. But there could be other factors….

Realignment and Legitimacy

“How Revolution Happens—and How to Stop It” [Tucker Carlson, Mordern Age]. “It happened because only one side of the revolution recognized that it was a revolution. The other side had no idea. One side saw these changes for what they were: Let’s completely change American society, from the bottom to the top. Let’s eliminate any sense of shared culture or history. Let’s atomize the country to the point where there’s no viable opposition to what we’re doing. And once we’ve done that, let’s addle everyone with prescription drugs. Let’s encourage them to be unhealthy, unmarried, and childless, and then we can do whatever we want. And no one’s aware on the other side—which is not just the right, but the vast bulk of everyone else, which would include a lot of Democrats and just normal people who aren’t at all interested in the revolution. They had no idea what was happening. It’s important to understand the moment that you’re in. It cuts against the very core of human nature to understand that, because denial is the most powerful of all human instincts.” • Hmm. I wouid have said that all the revolutionary energy is on the right. Revolutions can be reactionary, surely?


* * *

“I am in earnest — I will not equivocate — I will not excuse — I will not retreat a single inch — AND I WILL BE HEARD.” –William Lloyd Garrison

Resources, United States (National): Transmission (CDC); Wastewater (CDC, Biobot; includes many counties; Wastewater Scan, includes drilldown by zip); Variants (CDC; Walgreens); “Iowa COVID-19 Tracker” (in IA, but national data). “Infection Control, Emergency Management, Safety, and General Thoughts” (especially on hospitalization by city).

Lambert here: Readers, thanks for the collective effort. To update any entry, do feel free to contact me at the address given with the plants. Please put “COVID” in the subject line. Thank you!

Resources, United States (Local): AK (dashboard); AL (dashboard); AR (dashboard); AZ (dashboard); CA (dashboard; Marin, dashboard; Stanford, wastewater; Oakland, wastewater); CO (dashboard; wastewater); CT (dashboard); DE (dashboard); FL (wastewater); GA (wastewater); HI (dashboard); IA (wastewater reports); ID (dashboard, Boise; dashboard, wastewater, Central Idaho; wastewater, Coeur d’Alene; dashboard, Spokane County); IL (wastewater); IN (dashboard); KS (dashboard; wastewater, Lawrence); KY (dashboard, Louisville); LA (dashboard); MA (wastewater); MD (dashboard); ME (dashboard); MI (wastewater; wastewater); MN (dashboard); MO (wastewater); MS (dashboard); MT (dashboard); NC (dashboard); ND (dashboard; wastewater); NE (dashboard); NH (wastewater); NJ (dashboard); NM (dashboard); NV (dashboard; wastewater, Southern NV); NY (dashboard); OH (dashboard); OK (dashboard); OR (dashboard); PA (dashboard); RI (dashboard); SC (dashboard); SD (dashboard); TN (dashboard); TX (dashboard); UT (wastewater); VA (dashboard); VT (dashboard); WA (dashboard; dashboard); WI (wastewater); WV (wastewater); WY (wastewater).

Resources, Canada (National): Wastewater (Government of Canada).

Resources, Canada (Provincial): ON (wastewater); QC (les eaux usées); BC (wastewater); BC, Vancouver (wastewater).

Hat tips to helpful readers: Alexis, anon (2), Art_DogCT, B24S, CanCyn, ChiGal, Chuck L, Festoonic, FM, FreeMarketApologist (4), Gumbo, hop2it, JB, JEHR, JF, JL Joe, John, JM (10), JustAnotherVolunteer, JW, KatieBird, LL, Michael King, KF, LaRuse, mrsyk, MT, MT_Wild, otisyves, Petal (6), RK (2), RL, RM, Rod, square coats (11), tennesseewaltzer, Tom B., Utah, Bob White (3).

Stay safe out there!

* * *

Covid is Airborne

Droplet dogma took us backwards?


More conversational tips:


Death Panel podcast goes after that horrid NPR story:

Elite Maleficence

Readers, thank you so much for your help with getting a copy of “The politics of ‘letting it rip.'” Since I’m traveling, today is not the day to return your kindness, but soon. –lambert

* * *

TABLE 1: Daily Covid Charts

National[1] Biobot March 18: Regional[2] Biobot March 18:
Variants[3] CDC March 16 Emergency Room Visits[4] CDC March 9
New York[5] New York State, data March 18: National [6] CDC March 9:
National[7] Walgreens March 18: Ohio[8] Cleveland Clinic March 16:

Travelers Data
Positivity[9] CDC February 16: Variants[10] CDC February 16:
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) Our curve has now flattened out at 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) Midwest ticks up.

[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) Still down.

[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) JN.1 dominates utterly.

Stats Watch

Housing: “United States Housing Starts” [Trading Economics]. “Housing starts in the US soared 10.7% month-over-month to an annualized rate of 1.521 million in February 2024, after falling by 12.3% in January, and beating forecasts of 1.425 million, amid a persistent shortage of previously owned houses. ”

* * *

Manufacturing: “Boeing Faces Tricky Balance Between Safety and Financial Performance” [New York TImes]. The lead: “Less than four weeks after a hole blew open on a Boeing 737 Max 9 jet during a flight, company executives face a thorny question: Should they emphasize safety or financial performance?” • I know! I know! Commentary:

Meanwhile, the silence on Barnett’s death from in Charleston Post and Courier’s “nice, quiet, little beach community” becomes ever more deafening, as six days pass without a followup story.

* * *

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 69 Greed (previous close: 71 Greed) [CNN]. One week ago: 69 (Greed). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Mar 19 at 11:58:19 AM ET.

Class Warfare

Daily Beast]. “With just 1,500 members, World.Minds is a concentrated collective of wealth and power with a roster that includes former Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and retired Gen. David Petraeus, philosophers Peter Singer and Daniel Dennett, and billionaires Bill Ackman, Henry Kravis, and Alex Karp. Under its charter, at least 51 percent of the community must work in the sciences to ensure that it doesn’t ‘devolve into a business club.’ World.Minds does not accept membership applications, its website coldly states: ‘Unless you are an international scholar, do not contact us. We will contact you.’ Never mind that there is no email address or phone number listed.” • Well. with Geithner and Petraes on board, I don’t know what more we need to know!

“Ultra-Wealthy Are Souring on Chicago’s Most Elite Neighborhood” [Bloomberg]. “The historic Gold Coast, featuring 100-year-old mansions, opulent condos and designer boutiques, has lost some of its most illustrious residents and appeal in recent years as the city’s high taxes and crime encouraged the wealthy to relocate. Those staying in Chicago are opting for more modern homes in trendier areas, leaving Gold Coast properties sitting on the market for months.” And; “Homes in the Gold Coast were already struggling due to the upkeep costs of the older ornate properties, and the growth of other neighborhoods. Jennifer Ames, a real estate agent with Engel & Volkers Chicago who has a listing in the area, said part of the challenge is that while the homes are beautiful, they require buyers to have a ‘curator mindset.’ ‘Think about like Downton Abbey, right? It’s super cool, really fun to watch, but nobody lives like that anymore,’ she said.” • Can’t find good help?

News of the Wired

“The US government seems serious about developing a lunar economy” [Ars Technica]. ” Last year, the defense agency announced it was initiating a study, LunA-10, to understand how best to facilitate a thriving lunar economy by 2035. In December, DARPA announced that it was working with 14 different companies under LunA-10, including major space players such as Northrop Grumman and SpaceX, as well as non-space firms such as Nokia. These companies are assessing how services such as power and communications could be established on the Moon, and they’re due to provide a final report by June. Things are moving faster than that, however. The DARPA program manager overseeing these activities, Major Michael “Orbit” Nayak, published a paper earlier this month based on learnings from these studies that only began a few months ago. ‘Based on technical work and development conducted under the LunA-10 study, I have identified six hypotheses where, if revolutionary improvements in technology can be made, I assess that a direct acceleration to the fielding of a lunar economy is likely to occur,’ Nayak said in the paper.” • Since when did the horrid “learnings” replace “lessons”? Who did it? And who’s responsible for the nimbus of authority surrounding “assess”? The spooks?

Medium]. “Without getting into the intricacies, turns out, even for the most well-trained folks, ascertaining the sex of a day-old chick was hard. The chick’s rear end had a constellation of folds, marks, spots, and bumps that revealed the sex of a chick. But, these were extremely hard to read. By some estimates, there are as many as a thousand different vent configurations that a sexer has to learn to become competent at their job. And given that they have to make these decisions in seconds, it became even harder to understand how they do what they do.” And: “Turns out, even the most professional sexers were unable to explain how they did their job. It was just… an inexplicable art 😮. Within 3 seconds, they just ‘know’ the sex of a chick. They saw things that a common person simply does not see. Turns out, tt’s a unique art, as much as skill.” Enter (of course) AI: “In the context of the death knell that’s AI, there’s a lesson to learn from Chicken sexers. A marketer’s job is enunciating differentiation. If AI is a learning model trained on what exists, it’s at best the top 10% of what’s out there. That is the arbitrage for a marketer. If you want to foolproof your job, you have to beat the top 10% of an AI model. Good odds, if you ask me 😜”

* * *

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 TH:

TH writes: “I’m guessing not all of these are real. Hopefully, some are. It’s this cheery collection of flowers more than the food that attracts me to “Yellow Vase Bakery, Café, Flowers”. This one is in Malaga Cove (Palos Verdes Estates, CA).” Nature morte … But not entirely!

* * *

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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. Bugs

    “Does anybody believe that if the Democrats won the Presidency and both houses of Congess, that they’d codify Roe?”

    No – but the Republicans might. At least partly. Wouldn’t that be something.

    1. ambrit

      Also, this is pretty much a boilerplate Democrat talking point when dealing with those “on the outs,” “Learn how to codify.”

    2. marym

      Do you have some links to Republicans making any such policy proposals, other than some Republicans stepping back from overtly supporting a national ban during an election year?

        1. marym

          I think “codifying Roe” and criticizing Democrats for using it as a campaign issue, but not doing anything about it in Congress, is usually a reference to passing a federal abortion rights law. By that definition “blue” states where abortion is legal haven’t codified Roe, and Youngkin’s proposal wouldn’t to that either.

  2. Mikel

    “If AI is a learning model trained on what exists, it’s at best the top 10% of what’s out there. That is the arbitrage for a marketer. If you want to foolproof your job, you have to beat the top 10% of an AI model. Good odds, if you ask me…”

    All depends on who does the rankings in the first place, which ranking methods are preferred and why, and then which of those rankings are selected and why.

  3. Feral Finster

    “The Democratic Party Owes Us Some Candor” [Brian Beutler, Off Message]. From February. ” Recent reporting suggests even old colleagues from the Obama-Biden years can’t get straight dope from the people running the Biden re-elect. They want everyone else to think that everything’s going according to plan. But it’s obviously not… ”

    Everything is going fine. If you read the fine print of the TikTok Ban, Congress gave Biden the censorship power for the time being, at least.

    Oddsmakers now lay even odds on a Biden victory.

  4. ChrisFromGA

    Freedom Caucus Girls

    While East coast girls are hip, Mike really don’t dig the angst they create
    And the Southern girls with the way they talk, they’ll file a motion to vacate
    The Midwest Freedom Caucusers really know just how to fight
    And the Northern gals, with the way they heckle, they’ll put Joe’s stooges all affright

    I wish they all could be Freedom Caucus girls!
    (I wish they all could be Freedom Caucus)
    I wish they all could be Freedom Caucus girls!

    The West coast has the sunshine laws, those girls all stay on-brand
    I dig a French-kissing Lauren in a public place with a vape pipe in her hand!
    I been all ’round this great big world and I’ve seen some MAGA girls
    Yeah, but I could not resist the sight of Marjorie Greene in her red hat and her curls!

    I wish they all could be Freedom Caucus girls! 3x

    I wish they all could be Freedom Caucus girls!

    Melody from “California Girls” by the Beach Boys.


    Disclaimer: References to American classic songs are under the doctrine of fair-use; any criticism of public officials or implied crushes is protected under the First Amendment; apologies to anyone offended.

    Any use of artificial intelligence to generate this parody is expressly denied.

    1. griffen

      Well done but you didn’t cite to the David Lee Roth cover instead? For shame and tsk tsk. Oh wait I see that below.

      Now run a parody to the tune of Yankee Rose, I dare ya.

    2. Wukchumni

      Very well done~

      I was looking for a Beach Boys song this very morning to tweak around, as luck would have it.

  5. Samuel Conner

    > Mystery as Barack Obama spotted outside No10 Downing Street

    Perhaps he was there to help PM Sunak craft an explanation to the UK public about why it is necessary to make cuts to the NHS, the UK government being out of money. Sort of a parallel track to the economist testimony to the Lords.

    1. Bugs

      Here comes Rishicare. Only £12k a month and you can visit A&E any time you like. Harley Street doctor approved.

    2. ambrit

      Perhaps Obama wants help from the former colonial masters of Kenya in finding and suppressing his birth certificate. Or, and follow me here, Kalorama is an old and distinguished Rotten Borough. You’ve seen it, that glistering City in a Swamp.

      1. Samuel Conner

        Dunny-on-the-Wold on the Potomac.

        I like it.

        Blackadder was a rather incompetent grifter, but at least he was fun to listen to.

    3. The Rev Kev

      Nothing good can come of this and you wonder why he is there. Something to do with the NHS? The Ukraine? China? Whatever it is, there will be a cut in it for Barry. he doesn’t do stuff for free.

  6. 4paul

    Chicken sexing


    This article is cute, as are most discussions of chicken sexing … but the implications, my opinion, chicken sexing, and all that follows after, is one of the more … evil … things we humans do.

    ‘I’m not a vegan, but” … everything that happens to industrially farmed chickens …. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chick_culling

    Note “it’s all about the money”, of course.

    Temple Grandin revolutionized cow slaughter by making it more humane. Gotta be a better way.

    1. John

      Chickens were sexed as day old chicks so that farmers who were raising hens to produce eggs for sale or to produce fertilized eggs for hatching would side step the expense of raising theone of every two which was not going to lay an egg. For every one hundred sexed chicks purchased, and the four extras that were included to make up for mortality in few hours that live shipping involved, there were usually three or four cockerels. Roughly four percent, sexing was an art not a science. The farmer who was raising hens to produce fertilized had about 40 roosters per thousand essentially gratis. He would then buy one or two hundred cockerel chicks and from them select the breeding roosters. The ratio was about one rooster for ten to twelve hens. Those not selected were sold often as broilers which cut down the length of time you fed them to, if I recall correctly, six to eight weeks.

      I grew up on such a farm long years ago. It was not industrial agriculture as you appear imagine it. It was a business. It was also a way of life. By the way, if you like veal cutlet, that comes from all the bull calves that are unwanted in both milking and beef herds. The process of sexing them is different … much easier … but the result is the same.

      1. JBird4049

        There are some good reasons why this carnivore and veal lover does not eat veal. If we must eat meat, would it be good not to have drugged and abused animals, being processed into “food” to poison (often poor) Americans?

    2. Turtle

      Thank you. I was going to mention something similar. Not to get all vegany – I don’t usually bring this stuff up, but since it was mentioned – they sex the chicks so they can kill the males immediately. The sooner the better. In industrial farms, they’re thrown into grinders en masse. Probably a better fate than what awaits the females.

    3. Objective Ace

      Ehh.. of all the things to be upset about with our food system this isnt very high up there IMO. Killing an animal for food is killing an animal. It doesnt matter if its a day or a year old. As long as the animal isnt being tortured throughout its existence (granted – a big if) I’ve made peace with the necessaryness of it

      Ironically, the males here are probably the lucky ones in most cases. What’s the point of living a tortured existence stuck in a cage all of your life?

      1. Brian Beijer

        “What’s the point of living a tortured existence stuck in a cage all of your life?”

        -This is why I’m still angry with my mother for bringing me into this world. I suspect that the reason why more people aren’t angry with their parents is that they don’t recognize the cage bars for what they are.
        We’re all chickens.

  7. Feral Finster

    The vape reference has me triggered. If there is one thing a human female can do to chase me away for good, it’s anything resembling smoking or use of tobacco or nicotine in any form.

    Just thinking about it makes me want to hurl.

    1. ChrisFromGA

      My goal is to trigger as many as possible, so I will take that as a compliment.

      I realize that referring to a song about admiring women for their bodies during National Women’s History month is triggering, in and of itself. At least I didn’t link to the David Lee Roth video of his cover of it.

            1. JBird4049

              Remembering just how many people smoked fifty or sixty years ago, it would have been difficult to have a social life although not impossible. Smoke, ashtrays, and ashes everywhere. And seeing individual members of the family and friends having their nicotine withdrawals as a child made me swear never, ever to start.

        1. ambrit

          I guess we’ll just have to peer behind the Vail to see if it is a slippery slope we … oops!

  8. Mikel

    “The US government seems serious about developing a lunar economy” [Ars Technica].

    Would a lunar calendar go along with that?

    1. ChrisPacific

      I think a workable lunar economy is a nice idea, but DARPA is the last agency I’d want doing it. I’m relieved to see from the article that NASA is at least running the show, but DARPA must have some reason for getting involved, and it can’t be anything good.

  9. DJG, Reality Czar

    Here is a working link to the Daily Beast article on WorldMinds. A chance to meet Bill Ackman, Generalissimo Petraeus, and Foamy Runway Geithner.


    The salient paragraph of the article: ‘One scientist who has attended World.Minds events lauded that mission and described Dobelli as “very enthusiastic about knowledge.” But he said the group’s obsession with credentials can lead to a “circle jerk” atmosphere, and he found the scientific discussions frustratingly superficial.’

    [I, for one, have no plans to join an organization that would give masturbation a bad name.]

    Here is the web site of World Minds, with many, many people who find themselves ultra-fascinating:


    Peter Singer, moral philosopher (as opposed to immoral philosophers like Diogenes and Albert Camus). And I am the czar of all the Russias.

  10. ilpalazzo

    I think Lambert may want to see this. The guy in the video is one of the most popular (western) PC gaming hardware enthusiast youtubers (4M subscribers). He just made a video explaining his health troubles. I don’t watch this community often as my enthusiast days are long gone but I noticed a couple months ago that he was looking pretty bad. I’ve had some of the same issues late last year, also my mother suffered similarly a few months before. The C word is implied obviously.


  11. lyman alpha blob

    Just checked the Druid for the first time in a while. He has a good one out on overpopulation, why it won’t happen (carrying capacity) and what’s coming instead – An Unfamiliar World

    For anyone interested in the topic, the book he notes, Overshoot, is a good one and highly recommended.

    1. notabanker

      Thanks for that. Very , very interesting read.

      What is kind of assumed and unspoken is that birthrates change in some way that is just the natural order of things as species adjust to their environments. That makes for some really interesting insight into the both the human psyche and base animal instincts, unless I am reading this wrong.

      1. fjallstrom

        That seems to be his unstated assumption, that birth rates are adopting to carrying capacity.

        I would say he is wrong, though. The parts of Europe that first expanded has had low birth rates for a century or more. Those birth rates didn’t come down because a lack of resources when Europe ruled the world and pulled resources to it from every far flung corner of the world.

        The concept of Demographic transition explains it better: decreasing mortality (in particular child mortality) gives increasing population, but then lower child mortality leads to people feeling safe in having fewer children. And once that ball gets rolling, women gets more time not spent pregnant or with small children, leading to more time and energy for demands for more education, jobs and control of reproduction, which in turns leads to fewer children. Eventually you get a stable or decreasing population.

        You can through policy keep up birth rates to replacement level, and north west Europe has lots of experience and data in this area. All it needs is economic stability for young adults (easy to get through full employment policies), generous paid parental leave, subsidised child care, and so on. So in going for the animal similarities he misses the policy trap the current establisment is stuck in. A shrinking population undermines the current economic order, but the tried and tested economic policies to keep up the population undermines it even more. So shrinking population it is.

  12. Carla

    Good for Matt Stoller for suggesting “foul play by Boeing” in the highly suspicious death of a dedicated whistleblower. About damned time somebody performed that public service. Thank you, Matt!!!

    1. griffen

      Since LS and others like “going there” with the whistleblower who was “somehow ixnayed” from this life. Any reason to highlight this excellent movie, Michael Clayton, which seems to work as a possible allegorical depiction. I put nothing past any of our corporate overlords.

      “Michael, you lead an interesting life…but the last place you want to see me is in a court of law…”


  13. JBird4049

    >>>Hmm. I wouid have said that all the revolutionary energy is on the right. Revolutions can be reactionary, surely?

    I do not see a problem here. Revolutions are often reactionary. Neither party with the exception of a few members do any work for regular Americans. The Democratic Party is conservative and the Republicans are crazy with both sides working with, for, and under the deep state especially security, big business especially big Finance, and billionaires.

    The reactionaries have been pushing back the New Deal since its start and all of the reforms of the 50s-70s with neoliberalism, using the growing corruption and incompetence of the government both used to discredit the idea and goal of good government and to steal money from both government and people.

  14. Turtle

    Lambert, there were a couple of massive breaches of adult dating sites like that back then. Adult Friend Finder was one, and I think Mandy (IIRC specifically marketed for cheating) was another. A lot of members’ information was leaked, enough to positively identify someone. This was news at the time, at least in the tech news sites I was reading around then (most likely Slashdot).

    I remember thinking years ago that this would eventually be used against people running for office. Lo and behold, I now have confirmation.

    From what I recall someone took that data and turned into a searchable website. I don’t know if it or others like it are still around, but it would not surprise me if it weren’t a simple search on some particular websites to turn up names. Who knows, maybe it’s a standard part of oppo research nowadays. I don’t think this will be the last time we see this happen.

    1. The Rev Kev

      No pun intended but there was also a security breech for Grinder which had a lot of officials concerned.

  15. upstater

    COVID-19 Onondaga County Jail edition…

    An acquaintance works at the “justice center” and has COVID for the third time. Two positive quick tests at home, but management wanted a THIRD test at Walgreens. The guy is pretty sick. No doubt, the county is following CDC “guidelines” to return to work after normal temperature, regardless of test. Let ‘er rip! Eugenics for those incarcerated undesirables.

    1. JBird4049

      It is more like biological warfare against all of Onondaga. Any decent sized jail and/or courthouse is going to be well connected to the community. Maybe even more than a hospital because at least the hospital has some thought in disease control. When the guards, police, staff, judges, lawyers, sheriffs deputies, medics, even firefighters who all work together (and their families as well) all become sick with the latest variant of Covid, then what? And released prisoners will get what is left. I hope that they don’t have any fires or other major disasters in the next few months.

      I still am fricking amazed that the “elites” running things do not care about anything besides reproduction with the only more or less sure preventative being masking, quarantines, and ventilation along with some helpful medications.

  16. The Rev Kev

    “Newly obtained video shows movement of group suspected of constructing Jan. 6 gallows hours before Capitol siege”

    The obvious conclusion to draw is that the entry of people into the Capital Building was just not something that happened out of the blues but was pre-planned and this gallows was a small part of the plan to set the narrative as it was built at the very start of the day. Same with that so-called pipe bomb that was detected. Seriously, you can build a gallows in a important park in Washington DC and the authorities just don’t happen to notice?

    1. flora

      Right. Sort of like police failing to notice a (fake) pipe bomb right outside Dem headquarters in DC on the morning of J6. / ;)

    2. Screwball

      Yet people still use that as fact that they were going to string up someone, despite all the evidence that says otherwise.

      But that is not a surprise. I listened to people today who think Trump’s money for his law suit will be paid by Putin/Russia as soon as they can find a way to launder it.

      We are so screwed.

    1. Jeff V

      I find the Daily Mail to be very reliable when it comes to reporting the results of sporting events.

      For everything else, proceed with caution.

  17. Vicky Cookies

    I have some insight into democrat party thinking, having recently run a campaign against them, and also having participated in a candidate and staffer training run by them. They are idiots, full stop. Talks they give are full of mentions of “change” and “progress” without ever expounding on what that would entail. They have no policy platform, no vision for the future at all.

    Fun story: one of our ‘progressive’ assemblyman was scheduled to host the aforementioned training; he did not show the first day because he and his children were sick, probably with covid. He came the second day, sans mask and with children in tow, and, during his speech said, and I made sure to write it down “the pandemic is over”. This, by the way, is a man who I have personally seen cross two picket lines this year. Utter shithead, if you’ll excuse the expression.

    They see themselves as ‘left wing ‘, for some reason; they are nowhere close. Most of their days, it appears, are spent cashing checks from landlords. They are astonishingly ignorant people. Total philistines without any hint of principle.

    1. The Rev Kev

      They sound like these people-

      ‘People with advantages are loathe to believe that they just happen to be people with advantages. They come readily to define themselves as inherently worthy of what they possess; they come to believe themselves ‘naturally’ elite; and, in fact, to imagine their possessions and their privileges as natural extensions of their own elite selves.’

      C. Wright Mills, “The Power Elite”

      1. steppenwolf fetchit

        Or maybe they are just ” those peoples’ ” eager little footstools.

        We have an “art fair” in my town every summer. I spend a little time at the political booths. Ever since Clinton, I have found the Democrats to be irritating and boring Clintobots. Whereas the Republicans have been non-boring and interesting as people.

        Not convincing, but at least interesting to talk to.

  18. none

    How did a portable CO2 meter even work in 1888? What concentration was allowed? In coal mines they famously used canaries.

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