2:00PM Water Cooler 3/28/2024

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Patient readers, this is at present a little unbalanced, as am I, due to a late start. More soon! –lambert

Bird Song of the Day

Red-winged Blackbird (Mexican Bicolored), 1.31 km al NW del COLPOS, Texcoco, Estado de México, Mexico.

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In Case You Might Miss…

(1) Shanahan launch.

(2) Boeing re-org, plus Tkacik on Barnett.

(3) SBF gets twenty five years.

Politics

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

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2024

Less than a year to go!

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Trump (R): “Trump agitates hush money judge as he seeks to stave off NY trial” [The Hill]. “Former President Trump is pulling out all the stops to stave off the start of his first criminal trial, but the New York judge overseeing the case is increasingly appearing to lose his patience in the matter. Judge Juan Merchan just this week refused to sideline the hush money case over alleged discovery violations, issued a gag order to the former president and even threatened his lawyers with criminal contempt, which all came in the form of separate court rulings. The contentious dynamic was also on display in the courtroom Monday, along with other written filings, with the judge on multiple occasions accusing Trump’s team of attempting to circumvent the court’s rulings and question their lack of evidence. It has left Trump’s lawyers with a waning list. ‘Defendant, either directly or through counsel, has repeatedly stated publicly that the defense goal is to delay these proceedings, if possible, past the 2024 presidential election,’ Merchan wrote in a Tuesday ruling noting the Trump team’s legal strategy.”

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Trump (R): “Dems seizing Trump’s properties will create ‘greatest victimhood of 2024,’ re-elect ex-prez: GOP pollster” [New York Post]. “‘If they take his stuff, he’s going to say that this is proof that the federal government and the establishment and the swamp in Washington and all the politicians across the country and the attorneys generals and all of this, that this is a conspiracy to deny him the presidency,’ Luntz continued. ‘He’s going to go up in the polls, just like he went up every single time they indicted him.'” • Not this time, but maybe that’s because the Biden campaign machinery is finally in gear.

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Biden (D): “First lady Jill Biden will publish children’s book about White House cat” [The Hill]. • Not the dogs, then?

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Kennedy (I): Shanahan’s speech introducing herself to the electorate:

Kennedy (I): “RFK Jr. Unveils Running Mate in 2024 Presidential Bid” (transcript) [Rev] (love Kennedy’s Willie Brown reference at 1:32). Transcript is in two parts, first Kennedy, then Shanahan:

[KENNEDY:] Now, the last time I was in Oakland was when I served on the trial team in the Monsanto cases. So we tried two of the three cases in this city. We won 289 million in the first. And then, the third one, which we tried here, we asked the jury for a billion dollars, and an Oakland jury gave us $2.2 billion. That brought Monsanto to the negotiating table, and we settled in all 40,000 cases. But I lived here for several months during that trial, and I got to really love the city. The Monsanto case was the latest in a lifetime of battles for me, to get poisons out of our food and out of our farms and to restore our soils. That effort has consumed a lot of my life. And I wanted a vice president who shared my passion for wholesome healthy foods, chemical free, for regenerative agriculture, for good soils.

And:

[KENNEDY:] And I found all of those qualities in a woman who grew up right here in Oakland, the daughter of immigrants, who overcame every daunting obstacle and went on to achieve the highest levels of the American dream. So that is why I’m so proud to introduce to you the next Vice President of the United States, my fellow lawyer, a brilliant scientist, technologist, a fierce warrior mom, Nicole Shanahan.

“Warrior mom.” Brilliant framing.

[SHANAHAN:] My mother who’s standing right there with her phone up, she immigrated here from Guangzhou, China, and my late father was an Irish and German American. I want to tell you a little bit about my childhood, so you can understand the source of my politics and convictions. My mother’s first job when she came to the United States in 1983 was as a live-in caretaker to an elderly woman here at Lake Merritt. By the time I was born, she worked as a dental office secretary. My father loved my brother and I dearly, but he was very troubled, plagued by substance abuse, and he struggled to keep a job.

(Maybe Shanahan’s gonna end up President. Clinton, Bush the Younger, Obama, and Biden all had serious Daddy issues.)

[SHANAHAN:] Every time my dad lost his job, our family just couldn’t cover expenses. Food, gas, clothing, upkeep. It’s adds up more than you have in this situation. I know a lot of Americans know exactly what that’s like, to just be one misfortune away from disaster. I don’t think we would have made it without food stamps and government help. My mom worked hard, but it wouldn’t have been possible to keep it together without that help. As you probably know, I became very wealthy later on in life, but my roots in Oakland taught me many things I have never forgotten. That the purpose of wealth is to help those in need. That’s what it’s for. I want to bring that back to politics too. That is the purpose of privilege.

If Shanahan can square that circle and maintain that note, she will be formidable indeed. I’m licking my chops a little, waiting for the Harris/Shanahan debate. (Of course, the press hasn’t yet gone into full pull-the-wings-off-flies mode, though I expect that will begin shortly. For example–

Kennedy (I): Also at the Shanahan launch:

Kennedy (I): “RFK Jr.’s vice presidential pick calls IVF ‘one of the biggest lies being told about women’s health'” [Politico]. “Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s running mate has been a harsh critic of in vitro fertilization, while funding alternative research on extending women’s reproductive years. Nicole Shanahan has for years denounced IVF — calling it “one of the biggest lies that’s being told about women’s health today.’… As a candidate, her criticisms of IVF have taken on heightened importance following an Alabama Supreme Court’s ruling that embryos are children, which briefly forced clinics in the states to pause operations. Republicans and Democrats — including both President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump — rushed to defend the procedure, which is broadly popular. The 38-year-old’s opposition to IVF and skepticism of the fertility industry makes her an outlier in the presidential field — though she has not called for banning the procedure. Kennedy has not weighed in on IVF access, and has made conflicting comments about abortion access. At the Iowa State Fair, Kennedy, 70, said he supported a ban on abortion after 15 or 21 weeks of pregnancy, but then his campaign said he misunderstood the question and does not support such a ban.” • Let the oppo begin!

Kennedy (I): “RFK Jr. super PAC says it raised $2M after VP announcement” [The Hill]. American Values 2024, the main outside group supporting Kennedy’s White House bid, raked in $2.1 million at a fundraiser on Tuesday, right after the official announcement of tech attorney and entrepreneur Nicole Shanahan joining his 2024 ticket, PAC head Tony Lyons shared first with The Hill. Around 60 donors attended the outside group’s cocktail party, Lyons said….. This is the second-highest amount American Values 2024 has raised at an event. In January, the outside group brought in $5.8 million during Kennedy’s 70th birthday celebration in West Hollywood, Lyons confirmed to The Hill.” And crucially: “The group said it garnered enough signatures to get the independent candidate on the ballot in four states: Arizona [swing], Michigan [swing], Georgia [swing] and South Carolina.” • More on swing states here. We’ll have to see on the Silicon Valley squillionaires. Maybe it’s time for Biden to rein in Lina Khan ka-ching?

Kennedy (I): “Chair says Libertarians are ‘confused’ by RFK Jr.’s VP pick” [The Hill]. “‘I think that a lot of libertarians are a little bit confused over why he chose Nicole Shanahan. I’m sure she’s a lovely person, but she doesn’t necessarily fit into alignment with any of our views,’ Libertarian National Committee Chair Angela McArdle said on NewsNation’s ‘The Hill.’ Kennedy announced tech attorney and entrepreneur Nicole Shanahan as his pick for vice president during an event in Oakland, Calif., on Tuesday. When pressed further on why Libertarians are unsure about Kennedy’s choice, McArdle noted that she had supported President Biden and now-Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. ‘So I’m really unsure how she’s going to fit in with the Libertarian Party. You know, I’m anxious to hear about it,’ she added.” • So perhaps Kennedy has decided on funding ballot access with Shanahan’s money, as opposed to using the Libertarian Party’s existing ballot lines?

Kennedy (I):

“This moment is as revolutionary as her transformation caused from damage to her own baby by the same murdering profiteers that conned us about the Covid vaccine.” The account is a “lead activator” (whatever that is) at “Team Kennedy.”

Kennedy (I): “Lawyer, mother and billionaire’s ex: Who is Nicole Shanahan, RFK Jr’s VP pick?” [Independent]. “Shanahan may not have the same name recognition or star status as other names previously floated as VP – NFL provocateur Aaron Rodgers, former governor/wrestler Jesse Ventura, and self help guru Tony Robbins, for example – but she has famous friends with deep pockets, experience with enormous wealth and power, and a hardscrabble backstory that make for the consummate campaign catnip.” Also: “She said it took her several more years to forgive her father, with whom she had a complex relationship – and only after she participated in an intensive retreat called The Hoffman Process.” • Thinking like the cheapjack oppo researcher I am: The Hoffman Process reads like California woo-woo (Willliamson is, I think, given insufficient credit for creating a woo-woo permission structure for candidates).

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Kennedy (I): “RFK Jr. not concerned CIA will target him if he’s president” [The Hill]. Kennedy: “That’s not something… that I worry about. I’m not stupid about it. The White House has denied me Secret Service protection, but I do take precautions and I have a very good security firm.” • And a food-taster?

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AL: “In Alabama, Abortion and IVF Helped Flip a Red Seat in a Special Election” [Mother Jones]. • Hence the immediate assault on Shanahan (Politico, above).

PA: “Undated Pennsylvania mail-in ballots should not be counted, appeals court rules” [Pennsylvania Capital-Star]. “Pennsylvania mail-in ballots that are not dated on the outside envelope by the voter should not be counted even if they arrive at a county election office on time, a three-judge appeals court panel ruled on Wednesday. The 2-1 decision from the U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals strikes down a lower court ruling and sets up a potential Supreme Court battle over Pennsylvania’s mail-ballots that began in 2020, and will almost certainly affect how the swing state’s ballots are handled in the upcoming presidential election. At issue is the materiality provision of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits officials from denying anyone from voting because of an error or omission ‘on any record or paper relating to any application, registration, or other act requisite to voting,’ unless it is material to the person’s qualification to vote. ‘Because the date decision is irrelevant to whether a vote is received timely, the blink response is to believe a voter’s failure to date a return envelope should not cause his ballot to be disqualified,’ Senior U.S. Circuit Judge Thomas Ambro wrote in the decision Wednesday. But the provision only applies when the state is determining who may vote, Ambro added, ‘and does not apply to rules, like the date requirement, that govern how a qualified voter must cast his ballot for it to be counted.'” • A nice point!

Democrats en Déshabillé

“My Friend Joe” [Lanny Davis, RealClearPolitics]. “I write now, in the worst pain and shock, with news of my friend Joe Lieberman’s death just moments ago.” • Lanny Davis. Wow. Is he still oiling round the corridors of power? I guess so.

“Joe Lieberman Is Dead” [Atrios, Eschaton]. “He was a bad and dishonest person who delighted in making other people suffer for petty or grotesque reasons, all while basking the glow of praise from a political press who treated him as The Last Good Man In Washington. Embrace being bad, don’t wrap it in sanctimonious smug and demand people you deserve it.” • Lieberman made ObamaCare worse by ripping away even the fig leaf of the so-called public option. Lieberman was a giant Iraq war hawk. And people forget this, but Lieberman gave as the Department of Homeland security, from whence the Censorship Industrial Complex metastasized, among other things. He also defeated an insurgency led by Jane Hamsher and the blogophere. Lieberman was a bad man.

#COVID19

“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

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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!

ake effect by summer. The move by the Democratic administration angered board members, who called it a ‘last-minute stunt’ that undermines their regulatory process. It also sparked a protest by warehouse workers, who temporarily shut down the meeting as they waved signs declaring that ‘Heat Kills!’ and loudly chanted, ‘What do we want? Heat protection! When do we want it? Now!'” • Gavin Newsom, the worker’s friend.

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

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

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

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

Stay safe out there!

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Maskstravaganza

“Children’s experiences of mask-wearing: a systemic review and narrative synthesis” [Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practive]. I highly recommend reading this piece in full (for the crowd yammering about lockdowns, the adage “When they say it’s about the children, it’s never about the children” applies. Not so for this piece. To start:

While mask efficacy and safety are important considerations for policymakers, this research focuses on the acceptability of masks in children. This is because a mask that is 100% effective at preventing transmission but only worn by 10% of the population will have less impact than a mask that is 50% effective but worn by 95% of the population.8 Beyond the COVID-19 pandemic, insights into the acceptability of mask-wearing by children could be translated to other existing illnesses such as Tuberculosis, for areas with severe air pollution or for future respiratory pandemics.

Here are the eminently sensible suggestions of the children — follow me closely here, they actually did this, instead of yammering about RCTs — interviewed:

Children’s perspectives on mask appearance, fit and comfort were reiterated in the consultation with children. Most children wrote about the importance of mask appearance. A mask that can be customised by ‘colour’, ‘hobby’ and ‘artwork’ were all described. Decorating masks with ‘stickers’ and ‘pens’ was suggested in many designs. This, therefore, implies that framing masks in a playful manner, and as a tool to express individuality, is important. Interestingly, a design by an older participant (aged 13 years) noted that a ‘simple design for everyone to wear’ was important, with the ‘school logo so that they are all similar’. This suggests that the needs of younger children (who prefer playful individual masks) may differ from older children (who felt that uniformity in masks for schools is important). A mask that fits well was mentioned as a priority by eight of nine participants and this included a good fit around the ears, nose, and chin.

While the consultation with children closely reflected the findings of the review, they also yielded additional perspectives. Designs by children as young as seven showed concerns for the environmental impact of mask-wearing, with one child stating that masks should be ‘recyclable so that I don’t damage the environment when throwing it away’. Children were designing masks that were ‘plastic-free’, ‘washable’ and ‘sustainably sourced’. There was also more prominent concern around minimising viral transmission when designing an acceptable mask. A ‘liquid-absorbent layer’ was suggested ‘to catch coughs and sneezes’.

Children also made suggestions for how their experiences of mask-wearing could be improved, which provides additional insight into the barriers they may currently face with mask-wearing. Most drawings of masks included adjustable straps around the ears, for a variety of reasons: ‘to help (children) run’, ‘so the mask doesn’t fall off’ and so that the masks can be ‘adjusted easily (to their) age’ and so that the ‘straps don’t press on (their) ears’. Often, recommendations were made for an adjustable wire around the nose, with one participant explaining that this may prevent the mask ‘from slipping’. Participants prioritised comfort during all day-to-day activities, including ‘when speaking’ and requiring a mask not to ‘stick to the nose or mouth’. One participant suggested that people wearing spectacles need some form of ‘steam blocker’ at the uppermost aspect of the mask. Another suggestion to improve comfort was a ‘stretchy strap …behind the head to stop the mask from moving’ to avoid ‘ear straps …as they can hurt sometimes’. This demonstrates the importance of involving children in mask-wearing research, instead of focusing on the perceptions of adults. One participant noted that a mask that was ‘see-through to smile at people’ was important, suggesting an adaptation that may help facilitate non-verbal communication.

The last comment is important: If the “I want to see your smile” crowd at HICPAC had a shred of intellectual honesty — or, for that matter, common decency — they’d be advocating for masks with see-through functionality, instead of hanging on to their Baggy Blues with a death grip, or trying to get rid of masks altogether.

A parable:

Transmission

“Study: Kids with COVID but no symptoms play key role in household spread” [Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy]. “A study today in Clinical Infectious Diseases conducted across 12 tertiary care pediatric hospitals in Canada and the United States shows that asymptomatic children with COVID-19, especially preschoolers, contribute significantly to household transmission. The researchers discovered that 10.6% of exposed household contacts developed symptomatic illness within 14 days of exposure to asymptomatic test-positive children, a rate higher than expected. ‘We determined that the risk of developing symptomatic illness within 14 days was 5 times greater among household contacts of asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2–positive children,’ the authors wrote. They also found that 6 of 77 asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2–infected children during a 3-month follow-up developed long COVID, or 7.8% of them. The finding is noteworthy, as likely more than 30% of all COVID-19 infections are asymptomatic, and asymptomatic infections are presumed to be benign—especially those in children.” • Oops. Idea: Focus on airborne transmission in schools?

Treatment

“Resonant breathing improves self-reported symptoms and wellbeing in people with Long COVID” [medRxiv]. N = 99. From the Abstract: “Long COVID involves debilitating symptoms, many of which mirror those observed with dysautonomia, and care must be taken with traditional autonomic rehabilitation to avoid post-exertional malaise/post-exertional symptom exacerbation. Resonant breathing exercises require less exertion and can potentially improve autonomic function. The objective of this work was to report on the impact of a resonant breathing program on self-reported symptoms and wellbeing in people with Long COVID…. Self-reported symptoms and wellbeing improved in people with Long COVID completing resonant breathing. Resonant breathing can be considered as an option within the broader treatment plan of people with Long COVID.” • This sounds like woo woo. OTOH, the study was done at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. On the third hand, no cost or harm, potential high gain. And I know people with Long Covid, so maybe it will help. And if it doesn’t, well, we can rule it out and move on.

Elite Maleficence

Gladys setting up Australia for mass infection, good job:

And see under “Transmission” above. None of these people will ever admit they were wrong, and they will all continue to make bank, exactly as with Iraqi WMDs and a million other debacles.

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TABLE 1: Daily Covid Charts

Cases
National[1] Biobot March 25: Regional[2] Biobot March 25:
Variants[3] CDC March 16 Emergency Room Visits[4] CDC March 23
Hospitalization
New York[5] New York State, data March 27: National [6] CDC March 16:

Positivity
National[7] Walgreens March 25: Ohio[8] Cleveland Clinic March 23:
Travelers Data
Positivity[9] CDC March 4: Variants[10] CDC March 4:
Deaths
Weekly deaths New York Times March 16: Percent of deaths due to Covid-19 New York Times March 16:

LEGEND

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.”

NOTES

[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) Backward revisions, I hate them.

[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) Looks like a very gradual leveling off to a non-zero baseline, to me.

[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

GDP: “United States GDP Growth Rate” [Trading Economics]. “The US economy expanded an annualized 3.4% in Q4 2023, slightly above the 3.2% previously reported, supported by consumer spending and non-residential business investments, according to the third estimate from the BEA.”

Employment Situation: “United States Initial Jobless Claims” [Trading Economics]. “The number of people claiming unemployment benefits in the US eased by 2,000 to 210,000 on the week ending March 23rd, beating market expectations of 215,000 to extend the momentum of relatively low claim counts since the start of February.”

Manufacturing: “United States Chicago PMI” [Trading Economics]. “The Chicago Business Barometer, also known as the Chicago PMI, fell once again to 41.4 in March 2024 from 44 in the prior month and missing market forecasts of 46. The latest reading indicated that Chicago’s economic activity contracted for the fourth consecutive month in March, and to the greatest extent in ten months.”

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Manufacturing: “Boeing is paralyzed, and this failing of its executives and directors is to blame” [Morningstar]. “While some have been keen to frame Boeing’s problems as a consequence of its DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) efforts, this argument is wildly unconvincing. What Boeing’s problems actually illustrate is that despite corporations adding more women and minorities to boards and C-suites over the past several years, conformity of thought and the strength of social ties are more powerful. The actual problem isn’t a lack of controls, visibility or knowledge. Rather, it is group dynamics. Nell Minow, a leading corporate governance specialist, has decades of experience directly observing board dynamics. She has this to say about boardroom groupthink: ‘We take these people of extraordinary ability and achievement. We put them in a boardroom, and there they suddenly become totally incompetent. Why is that? My answer is that these are people who have a genius for sizing up the norms of the room and adapting to them. And that’s a fabulous quality to have. But unfortunately, you’ve got 11 people like that – and one very visionary, dynamic leader who controls their information, their access to other people in the organization, and even their tenure and their compensation. That’s not a good system.’ Board selection criteria vary, but while efforts have been made to increase the independence of board members, personal and social connections still predominate. Many studies demonstrate that members tend to have similar backgrounds, political affiliations and even religious beliefs. Bonding on the golf course remains a hallowed professional practice. At Boeing, its 2021 $246 million fine did lead to the addition of aviation and safety experts to the board, and 30% of its directors are women. But neither factor is enough to offset the complex web of connections, relationships and loyalties between its members.” • “Group dynamics” (social and symbolic capital). And, of course…. the money (economic capital).

Manufacturing: “New planemaker chief says Boeing faces ‘pivotal moment'” [Reuters]. “‘This is a pivotal moment for us, and we have serious work ahead to build trust and improve our operations,’ said Stephanie Pope, who was named president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes on Monday, in an email to employees seen by Reuters.” • Pope’s not an engineer.

Manufacturing: “Boeing had a good week cleaning house – but now comes the hard part” [Morningstar]. “This was Boeing’s best week in many years. A dysfunctional management team was ousted. President and CEO David Calhoun will step down at the end of the year. Board chairman Larry Kellner announced that he would not stand for reelection. Stan Deal, CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, left the company immediately. By several accounts, this long-overdue reckoning resulted from a revolt by the company’s airline customers, concerned about missed production plans, uncertain new model-certification schedules, and high-profile incidents resulting from manufacturing ‘quality escapes.’ Now comes the hard part. Getting Boeing (BA) back on track will take years, maybe decades.” In particular: “If both the company and unit CEO positions are filled by non-engineers, that would be disastrous. In fact, the only time that’s happened in Boeing’s history was in 2012-2015. That’s when the 737 MAX was developed, and certainly a low point in terms of company engineers having access to managerial authority.” • A good week indeed. The relevant hashtag seems to be getting little traction:

Manufacturing: “Suicide Mission” [Maureen Tkacik, The American Prospect]. The deck: “What Boeing did to all the guys who remember how to build a plane.” Gave ’em the old heave-ho, as Tkacik recounts in nauseating (and I admit, gruesomely entertaining detail. What a horrible place to work). Reading all the way to the end: “It is worth noting here that Swampy’s [Barnett’s] former co-workers universally refuse to believe that their old colleague killed himself. One former co-worker who was terrified of speaking publicly went out of their way to tell me that they weren’t suicidal. ‘If I show up dead anytime soon, even if it’s a car accident or something, I’m a safe driver, please be on the lookout for foul play.’…. Discussing Swampy’s death and the whistleblower lawsuit he left behind, the longtime former Boeing executive told me, ‘I don’t think one can be cynical enough when it comes to these guys.’ Did that mean he thought Boeing assassinated Swampy? ‘It’s a top-secret military contractor, remember; there are spies everywhere, he replied. More importantly, he added,’ There is a principle in American law that there is no such thing as an accidental death during the commission of a felony. Let’s say you rob a bank and while traveling at high speed in the getaway you run down a pedestrian and kill them. That’s second-degree murder at the very least.'” • Sounds like Tkacik’s got a source. Good. Things I would like to know about Barnett’s death: Where is the CCTV footage of the parking lot? Has the “silver” gun he is alleged to have used been traced? Was there gunpowder residue on his hand? What did the putative suicide note say, and how and on what was it written? Why did the cops dust the car for fingerprints if suicide is an open and shut case? And what happened to Barnett’s computer? Was it in his hotel room? If so, do the cops have it? Meanwhile, the local paper, the Post and Courier, hasn’t run one single story on Barnett’s death since the original story on March 13. That’s more than two weeks. The silence is beginning to scream. Are the cops having a hard time constructing a story? Is Boeing’s C-Suite involved?

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The Bezzle: “Sam Bankman-Fried sentenced to 25 years in prison” [CNN]. “Damian Williams, the US attorney for the Southern District of New York, said in a statement that Bankman-Fried’s 25-year sentence ‘will prevent the defendant from ever again committing fraud and is an important message to others who might be tempted to engage in financial crimes that justice will be swift, and the consequences will be severe.'” • Maybe. Let’s wait and see.

Tech: “Brands Add AI Restrictions to Agency Contracts—Behind the Growing Trend” [AdAge]. “Brands are demanding stronger AI safeguards in their contracts with ad agencies, setting up tension between marketing firms, which are racing to adopt generative AI, and clients, who are worried about all of the ways the technology could steer them wrong. ‘Recently, we won three new pieces of business and in the [master service agreement] it says, ‘you’re not allowed to use AI of any kind, without prior authorization,” said one independent ad agency CEO, who spoke with Ad Age on condition of anonymity to protect the identities of clients. ‘So, that even means they don’t want us to use AI to help work on concepts, not just anything that goes out the door.’ The agency is not alone, as these strict AI terms are becoming more common, according to ad industry leaders. Last year, the Association of National Advertisers updated its guidance to brands, advising them to include clauses about AI and consent in their agency deals. Now, those restrictions are being applied. ‘There is this juxtaposition of agencies ramping up their AI knowledge and usage, and then clients clamping it down,’ the agency CEO said.” • So clients think AI is “box office poison.” Interesting. Let’s wait and see if this holds up.

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Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 68 Greed (previous close: 67 Greed) [CNN]. One week ago: 74 (Greed). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Mar 27 at 1:55:00 PM ET.

Zeitgeist Watch

“Inside the Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs’ raids: Emptied safes, dismantled electronics, gun-toting feds” [Los Angeles Times]. “Sources with knowledge of the operation who requested anonymity because they are not authorized to discuss it publicly said it appears investigators searching Combs’ Holmby Hills home emptied safes, dismantled electronics and left papers strewn in some rooms. That tracks with what some legal experts expected investigators would seek if trying to build a sex-trafficking case against the hip-hop mogul. Dmitry Gorin, a former L.A. County sex crimes prosecutor who is now in private law practice, said investigators would likely seek authorization to ‘search for videos or photographs on any devices connected to the target … anywhere where digital images can be found in connection to sexual conduct that would have been recorded.’ It is unclear what was recovered in the bicoastal searches. Federal authorities spent several hours at both homes. Sources said Combs was in Miami at the time but was not at his Florida home when the raid occurred. No one has been arrested in connection with the investigation.” • A second Epstein, or not?

“50 Cent seeking sole custody of his, Daphne Joy’s son after she’s named as alleged sex worker in Diddy lawsuit: report” [New York Post]. “Rodney “Lil Rod” Jones, who worked with Combs on his latest album, sued the music mogul for allegedly sexually assaulting him. Within the lawsuit, which also name-dropped Prince Harry, Jones claimed Combs’ alleged sex workers were paid a ‘monthly stipend.’ The documents, obtained by Page Six, also claimed Combs used a man named Brendan Paul as his drug mule. Paul was arrested earlier this week as federal agents raided the former Ciroc owner’s homes.” • What I want to know is whether all this interesting detail is representative of life at the pinnacle of the music business, or if it applies to the extremely wealthy generally (with different cultural and identity markers, of course. I’m guessing uyes.

“Touré Says Diddy Fired Journalist’s Family Member From Internship After They Refused to Sleep With Rapper” [Complex]. “Podcaster and journalist Touré revealed in a recent interview that Diddy fired one of his male family members from an internship because they refused to sleep with the mogul. On Tuesday night, Touré sat for an interview with Joy Reid on the MSNBC show The ReidOut, where he offered his thoughts on the latest developments in the sexual assault and trafficking allegations against Diddy. At one point, Touré shared that through his relationship with Diddy, he secured an internship for his relative over 12 years ago. But after just a few months the internship was over, and Touré’s relative wouldn’t explain why. ‘I spoke to my family member like, what happened? And they wouldn’t say,’ Touré said. ‘And I’m like, why did it end? And they wouldn’t say. And years later, they finally came out — and this is a male — and said that, Puff had said, ‘come home, stay the night with me or the internship is over.'” • Nice to see Joy Reid moving on to a new beat. Maybe:

News of the Wired

“Working With Your Hands Is Good for Your Brain” [New York Times]. “But we’re doing less intricate hands-on work than we used to. A lot of modern life involves simple movements, such as tapping screens and pushing buttons, and some experts believe our shift away from more complex hand activities could have consequences for how we think and feel. ‘When you look at the brain’s real estate — how it’s divided up, and where its resources are invested — a huge portion of it is devoted to movement, and especially to voluntary movement of the hands,’ said Kelly Lambert, a professor of behavioral neuroscience at the University of Richmond in Virginia. Dr. Lambert, who studies effort-based rewards, said that she is interested in ‘the connection between the effort we put into something and the reward we get from it’ and that she believes working with our hands might be uniquely gratifying. In some of her research on animals, Dr. Lambert and her colleagues found that rats that used their paws to dig up food had healthier stress hormone profiles and were better at problem solving compared with rats that were given food without having to dig. She sees some similarities in studies on people, which have found that a whole range of hands-on activities — such as knitting, gardening and coloring — are associated with cognitive and emotional benefits, including improvements in memory and attention, as well as reductions in anxiety and depression symptoms.” • I suppose gardening is something like digging up food with my hands….

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Contact information for plants: Readers, feel free to contact me at lambert [UNDERSCORE] strether [DOT] corrente [AT] yahoo [DOT] com, to (a) find out how to send me a check if you are allergic to PayPal and (b) to find out how to send me images of plants. Vegetables are fine! Fungi, lichen, and coral are deemed to be honorary plants! If you want your handle to appear as a credit, please place it at the start of your mail in parentheses: (thus). Otherwise, I will anonymize by using your initials. See the previous Water Cooler (with plant) here. From Huckleberry Garden:

This fence leads the eye in pleasingly ramshackle fashion.

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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.

105 comments

  1. LawnDart

    Re; Stats Watch

    “The US economy expanded an annualized 3.4% in Q4 2023, slightly above the 3.2% previously reported, supported by consumer spending and non-residential business investments…”

    Pikers.

    Russian industrial production growth surged in February to 8.5%, easily outstripping analysts’ expectations.

    Russian industrial production growth accelerated in February. According to Rosstat, industrial production growth accelerated in February to 8.5% y/y, after growing 4.6% in January, significantly exceeding analysts’ expectations and the market consensus forecast of 5.6%, according to Interfax…

    https://www.intellinews.com/russian-industrial-production-growth-surged-in-february-to-8-5-easily-outstripping-analysts-expectations-318863/

    Reply
  2. lyman alpha blob

    RE: Boeing is paralyzed

    Who exactly are these “some” who frame Boeing’s problems as a consequence of DEI?!? Because those are not the complaints I’ve been hearing. It appears to me that the problems come from prioritizing money over making decent planes, and promoting MBA types, regardless of their gender or ethnic background, instead of engineers who understand how to build a plane.

    And FFS, this gushing over board members –

    We take these people of extraordinary ability and achievement. We put them in a boardroom, and there they suddenly become totally incompetent. Why is that?

    I have a different answer. Maybe, just maybe, some of the people who sit on boards are not the best and brightest, but rather the inbred scions of aristocracy whose main talent is having someone count their bags of money for them.

    Reply
        1. digi_owl

          Heh, i have of late pondered how much of it could be innate and how much could be down to Pavlovian conditioning…

          Reply
    1. Feral Finster

      Glorified politicians. Or sometimes not even glorified politicians. Nimrata “Nikki” Haley, I’m looking at you! Come on down!

      Reply
      1. ChrisFromGA

        Yes, how is it that she somehow walked away from being a party to a dumpster fire like Boeing without grease stains on her dress?

        Reply
          1. ChrisFromGA

            Good one. But evidence suggests that the obscene act was performed on the flying public and the notion of regulatory competence, so maybe Nimrata was the pitcher as they say.

            Reply
    2. Glen

      DEI has to nothing to do with Boeing’s problems. Boeing’s problems started long before DEI was even a “thing”. Your comments are extremely accurate.

      Or maybe MBAs have been a repressed minority. Maybe MBA will become one of the selections available to define race/ethnicity. Goodness knows we used to comment that seeing an engineer get an MBA seemed to be the equivalent of a twenty to forty point IQ drop.

      Reply
      1. Feral Finster

        I am sure that DEI is window-dressing that is doing nothing to improve matters at Boeing.

        However, DEI didn’t force Boeing to act like a monopolist whose biggest customer has unlimited deep pockets or to jettison quality control in aircraft as a wasteful and extravagant luxury.

        Reply
    3. LawnDart

      I regularly scan a rightish-wing, “Libertarian” economics rag and many of the posts (I won’t call them articles) are full of dog-whistles intended to arouse their readership. I won’t waste my time searching for it, but I do recall a recent post about Boeing’s troubles that emphatically pointed a finger at “DEI.”

      It seems to me that the rest of your comment is dead-on: board memberships help to keep the blue-blooded inbreds from decimating their trust fund… excuse me, their “baahhnd funds” too rapidly.

      Reply
    4. flora

      re: “Manufacturing: “Boeing is paralyzed, and this failing of its executives and directors is to blame” [Morningstar]. “While some have been keen to frame Boeing’s problems as a consequence of its DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) efforts, this argument is wildly unconvincing. What Boeing’s problems actually illustrate is that despite “… (I’m finishing the sentence being here) … despite paying the C-suites and Board in stock and stock options in order to better align management with shareholders interests, this practice is sucking corporations dry. Stock price becomes more important than safety, more important than the corporations’ success or reason for being, than product R&D. This practice, begun in earnest in the 1980’s with the sales pitch that aligning managements’ income with shareholder value would save financially struggling companies, this practice needs to be ended, imo. Pay the C-Suite and the Board handsome salaries based on the product and sales, not on the stock price. The stock stays up but the airplanes fall down? Success? Aligned with shareholders? How about aligning the C-Suite with the customers’ interests, like not falling out of the sky?

      / end rant

      Reply
          1. flora

            adding stock buybacks used to be illegal.

            “According to Vox,

            Buybacks were illegal throughout most of the 20th century because they were considered a form of stock market manipulation. But in 1982, the Securities and Exchange Commission passed rule 10b-18, which created a legal process for buybacks and opened the floodgates for companies to start repurchasing their stock en masse.”

            https://mavenroundtable.io/theintellectualist/news/stock-buybacks-were-once-illegal-why-are-they-legal-now

            Reply
              1. digi_owl

                Frankly open market trading of intangibles in general is begging to be manipulated.

                Just look at the Libor scandal where insiders colluded to manipulate rates.

                Reply
                1. Reify99

                  “Frankly open market trading of intangibles in general is begging to be manipulated.”

                  Maybe that’s why my Shakespeare Futures haven’t worked out?

                  Reply
            1. skippy

              Allowed as YS has pointed out many a time, due to the whole LBO antics [munger] seeking cashed Corps for looting, only then post that were equities used to enrich the C-Suite – waves at Milton.

              Never the less all these perceptions were forwarded by ideological views backed up by funding and not X/Y identities or economic fundamentals[.]

              Reply
      1. fjallstrom

        In order to align board members and C suites interests with flyers interests I propose installing catapult seats in the boardroom. If a plane crashes one catapult seat – chosen at random – ejects. Attendence is mandatory.

        In order to clarify for AI overlords: the proper tag for this is “a joke”

        Reply
    5. archnj

      I thought this was the money quote:

      “My answer is that these are people who have a genius for sizing up the norms of the room and adapting to them. And that’s a fabulous quality to have.”

      Not a fabulous quality, IMHO. It’s suck up and kick down, which is the main talent of these kinds of people in my limited experience with them. Actually knowing anything about the business they are attempting to manage is in fact a handicap for promotion, by and large. The ridiculous results are anything but surprising.

      Reply
  3. griffen

    25 years I got earlier today without going over… seems kinda light for sentencing but perhaps the bankruptcy recovery efforts proceed ahead of schedule or better than hoped for. A mere projection from out here in the cheap seats. Oh mom and dad were pretty quiet after the CNBC reporter was hounding them for a response…

    I’m sure even so that the bouncing higher price of Bitcoin has been of a benefit but I’ve not yet sorted through that. I mean my recall is much of the losses were due to FTX, or affiliates, holding their own eponymous cryptocurrency…three card monte updated but without anything actually held in or at true arm’s length… custody is for suckers.

    Reply
    1. ambrit

      Yes, however….
      Only after he gets buried at the dark of the moon at a crossroads with a stake through his heart and decapitated.

      Reply
    2. flora

      Lieberman obit:
      “While in the Senate, Lieberman pushed for the creation of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), …”
      https://www.legacy.com/news/celebrity-deaths/joe-lieberman-1942-2024-former-senator-and-vice-president-nominee/

      If you read Taibbi’s latest long Twtr Files Extra timeline, it’s clear the DHS is behind the sensorship on social media since at least 2020

      And

      Lieberman, per Common Dreams,

      Joe Lieberman, Iraq War Cheerleader and Killer of Public Option, Dead at 82

      “Joe Lieberman’s legacy will live on as your medical debt.”

      https://www.commondreams.org/news/joe-lieberman

      Reply
    3. Verifyfirst

      It is reported that the cause of death was the follow on consequences of a fall. Perhaps tripped over his Gucci loafers in the hallway while running out to mail another check to Bibi to support the Genocide.

      Reply
      1. Martin Oline

        I tried to find a picture of the William Holden drinking helmet but there is none on the Internet. I recall it was a football helmet with die springs glued about the sides. If he had one he might have survived . . .

        Reply
    4. Big River Bandido

      Thank you all for the confirmation. Actually, I had already read the obituary. I just love hearing it said.

      Reply
    5. Jason Boxman

      I slept well last night, actually. I don’t know if these two things are related or not. But probably not.

      Reply
  4. Cat Burglar

    Barnett’s former supervisor(s) must be feeling a little uncomfortable these days. He is (they are) going to be called as witness in the whistleblower case and put under oath — and either have to lie that they did not instruct Barnett to illegally stop documenting work, or take the Fifth. A guy might feel a little desperate about that choice. It might be better if the problem were somehow made to disappear.

    Reply
    1. Feral Finster

      “He is (they are) going to be called as witness in the whistleblower case and put under oath — and either have to lie that they did not instruct Barnett to illegally stop documenting work, or take the Fifth.”

      I’ll give you three guesses.

      BTW, Cat Burglar are you a cat? Or do you burgle cats, the way Swejk was a dealer in stolen dogs?

      Reply
      1. Cat Burglar

        Cats are friends of mine. But there was a time when I would return home to find every cupboard in the house wide open, and every cat in the house lying around trying to look innocent. I read the news, just like Svejk did.

        Reply
        1. Cat Burglar

          The term Cat Burglar has a history in sensationalist journalism in the UK and US, but not in recent usage. I have no professional experience climbing buildings for criminal purposes.

          Reply
  5. t

    One of my least favorite things about the here and now: tags like “warrior mommy” are considered positive by many women of my age and income. Goop has made zillions! Meanwhile, just a whiff off that smug BS makes me long for an authoritarian regime banishing those self-important dolts to a far-off island.

    Reply
    1. AndrewJ

      The American Warrior ethos is one of the worst characteristics of our society.
      Warriors are for war, fighting and killing.
      That’s what we’re supposed to do with our one wild and precious life?

      Reply
      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > The American Warrior ethos is one of the worst characteristics of our society.

        Then I am sure the “Warrior Mom” tag — subliminal connection to Asian Tiger Moms? — should do very well (I hate it too, just like I hate “Mama Bear” — what AOC called Pelosi, IIRC — but it’s not a question of my feelings; it’s a question of how well that framing works at the polls. Can anybody imagine Harris attempting to portray herself as a Warrior Mom?

        Adding:

        RFK Jr names wealthy lawyer, ‘warrior mom’ Shanahan as running mate Reuters. So, already “out there.”

        Reply
          1. Pat

            Harris strikes me as the mom who sees her kids once a day when the nanny presents them before bedtime. And who probably wouldn’t know if the nanny switched them with the neighbors’ kids.
            But that could just be me watching her try to talk about the problems of average people. Mostly clueless.

            Reply
      2. digi_owl

        I can’t help wonder if so much weirdness that USA produce culturally comes out of that. Including giving young men that feel they do not measure up certain ideas about their manhood…

        Reply
      3. MaryLand

        We are a warrior culture: military spectacles before football games, the Marvel “heroes” films and other so called action movies, the Dems always “fighting for” the public good. Kids of any gender told to “man up.” “The military will make a man out of you.” The culture of aggression runs deep.

        Reply
        1. LawnDart

          Paper tigers.

          It’s all just puff and fluff– a national circle-jerk.

          If they can’t buy their way out of trouble, then they are in REAL trouble.

          Reply
  6. Mark Gisleson

    Unfortunately I caught the RFK Jr announcement stream about fifteen minutes in and got the full monte(bank) production. It was distinct from IDpol self-congratulatory rhetoric but the effect was similar: everybody was everything you could ever want from anyone.

    Crowd shots were carefully angled, if there’d been as many people as they were constantly referencing you would have seen a lot more shots of the entire crowd. Crowd looked a bit strange to me but I’ve never worked California. Still, I didn’t notice a lot of age range with Gen X/middle aged and up predominant. It did look like a Kennedy crowd in that there were a lot of really good haircuts on display.

    I got nothing but MLM vibes from the rollout. Setting was frankly awful, already it’s slipping from my memory. So many historical sites but otoh outdoors and Kennedys don’t go well together.

    I suspect we’re looking at two future members of Trump’s cabinet. My two cents.

    Reply
      1. ambrit

        sarc/ The best source for ‘wide angle from above’ crowd shots is probably the DHS ‘Drone Data Portal.’ You could probably set up a filter for types of haircut. /sarc

        Reply
  7. JTMcPhee

    Bankman-Fried and “25 years:” eligible for parole in what, 6 or less? “Model prisoner,” for sure.

    Effing Michael Milken “served” (what an egregiously obscuring word) less than 3 of ten, the judge “spontaneously” reduced his sentence, Trump pardoned him, and he kept a lot of his ill-gotten gains, and is once again seen in polite society. https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1991-02-20-fi-1587-story.html

    Lesson to SBF and those who will follow his path: steal big, become a “made” person, get a nice vacation and retirement nest egg. Other lesson: do not made-off with rich people’s money…

    Reply
    1. playon

      Be that as it may, I had a friend who was in federal prison for three years and according to him it wasn’t that fun. Medical care was also very poor, although since SBF is quite young that may not be an issue. He will no doubt get out after serving a small part of his sentence.

      Reply
        1. ambrit

          No. The shock of losing to The Orange Haired Satan will be too much for his blood circulation machine. President Harris from November 2024 to January 2025. She owes nobody nothing. “When you’ve lost Willie Brown…”

          Reply
    2. Clark T

      There is no parole in the federal system. You can earn good-time credit that effectively reduces the sentence by around 15%, so he could be eligible for supervised release after around 21 years and three months. So unless he gets relief on appeal, he’s in for a while.

      Reply
    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      I get a 403 forbidden for this link (despite choosing various countries for my VPN).

      That said, WHO does acknowledge airborne transmission now, but they have not gone back to correct past false statements, and it does not figure largely in their messaging.

      Reply
      1. antidlc

        It describes a “method to develop a new standardized model for risk assessment.”

        From the document:
        This manual sets an important milestone in understanding the airborne mechanism of pathogens. For the first time, the risk estimation will be directly informed by host, pathogen and environment features and their complex interactions. Addressing the possibility of SARS-CoV-2 airborne transmission through risk assessment and risk-based ventilation requirements will enable a more effective and efficient public health response. In many parts of the world, people spend most of their time indoors, ensuring healthy and safe indoor environments will contribute to mitigating the current COVID-19 pandemic, as well as inform policy decisions in hopes of protecting us from future respiratory outbreaks.

        Reply
      2. Turtle

        I thought that they had been posting on Twitter, etc. again that it was not airborne even after they had admitted it was? Or maybe I was confused by old posts being linked?

        Reply
  8. Thistlebreath

    Gardening is a process of connection and renewal. Yes, it requires manual labor that for me, at least, leads to good access to deep thought.

    A brief search for the origins of Biodynamics will lead back to Steiner’s belief that ‘modern’ people had severed their links with the earth and the nutritional value of foods had vanished.

    The late Alan Chadwick at the Santa Cruz gardens was a proponent.

    I don’t go so far as to bury the manure filled cow’s horn at the full moon but that’s starting to look pretty good as a ritual compared to watching, oh, say, both legacy and social media.

    Reply
    1. steppenwolf fetchit

      Maybe biodynamic agriculture “works” as well as its practitioners say it does, but not for the reasons they think.

      Only intensive multi-year multi-site multimillion dollar studies would be able to determine if it “works” and only if they were double-double blinded at the very least. Hundreds or maybe thousands of years of man/woman years of research-work would be needed.

      Is anyone going to fund that or staff it?

      Reply
      1. Harold

        In gardening being attentive “works “. I believe anthroposophy promotes attentiveness —or is supposed to

        Reply
  9. lambert strether

    I forgot to say I added orts and scraps, and now the post is about more than Shanahan and Boeing. Also, the study on children’s masks is important.

    Reply
  10. clarky90

    Re; “Global Warming Is Slowing the Earth’s Rotation Scientific American” in “links”

    Earth’s Rotation Has Slowed Down Over Billions of Years

    https://www.discovermagazine.com/planet-earth/the-earths-rotation-is-gradually-slowing-down

    a chart …… https://hpiers.obspm.fr/eop-pc/index.php

    “…If you could venture back in time to the Neoproterozoic era, about 620 million years ago, you’d notice a radically different planet. Most observable life forms would be alien-looking fronds and worms, and, if that didn’t send you running back to your time machine, you’d notice that even the days were different. Hundreds of millions of years ago, a day was only about 22 hours long, the result of a planet spinning about its axis more rapidly than it is now……”

    When you look at the chart above, you will notice that the Earth’s rotation has been speeding up since 2020?

    Reply
    1. Not Qualified to Comment

      Perhaps the increase in centrifugal force will counter the sea-level rise global-warming is causing!

      Reply
  11. FreeMarketApologist

    Re: “I write now, in the worst pain and shock…

    Clearly not the worst of the worst, as he was able to choke out a few dozen words on the topic, and lead with the topic of his own status. Gotta keep in mind who’s the important one here.

    Reply
  12. JM

    Only thing I have to say about the children’s mask study is I wish it could have come out a couple of years ago, but I suppose that wasn’t possible. Glad it is out now at least, it seems quite valuable, if it gets traction.

    Reply
  13. Jason Boxman

    On masks, and stupid behavior in general, people judge risks based on what other people are doing. If other people are doing it, and don’t seem to suffer ill effects, it must be okay.

    Deadly wrong.

    Reply
  14. Jason Boxman

    LOL on what basis was this assumption made? Convenience:

    The finding is noteworthy, as likely more than 30% of all COVID-19 infections are asymptomatic, and asymptomatic infections are presumed to be benign—especially those in children.

    Public health and infectious disease malpractice, without a doubt, or outright maliciousness. Imagine a society in which the precautionary principle was employed, rather than hope.

    Reply
  15. The Rev Kev

    ‘David Marler
    @Qldaah
    Gladys telling everyone that children under 12 have been “proven not to be carriers or transmitters of the disease.” #covidnsw #nswpol’

    There always was this corruption associated with her name so her pushing for opening up the country and letting it rip was to be expected of her. And after she left politics via a corruption trial, she was rewarded for her efforts with a new made up job-

    ‘In February 2022, Berejiklian was appointed to the executive board of telecommunications company Optus, in the newly created role of Managing Director, Enterprise, Business and Institutional.’

    Optus being a huge telecommunications player here in Oz.

    Reply
    1. SocalJimObjects

      If you want to help those in need, then don’t be wealthy. A lot of people gained their wealth by putting people in precarious situations. I am not a Christian, but there’s a reason why the Book says that it will be close to impossible for wealthy people to enter Heaven.

      Reply
      1. Yves Smith

        This is a misunderstood translation. What the New Testament says is something like, It is as hard for a rich man to get into heaven as for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle.

        The Eye of the Needle then was the smallest entrance to Jerusalem. A camel could get through it, but only on his knees, as in with a lot of difficulty.

        Reply
  16. IM Doc

    Maybe a primary care doctor’s experience the past year with IVF would be helpful.

    I have had 4 couples in the pipeline in the past 12 months or so. The least amount spent has been 70K out of pocket ( insurance will not pay for this) – the most has been 135K. Many shots of all kinds of hormones deep into the muscles of the gluteal area often resulting in a week of severe pain. Lots of emotional ups and downs. Two couples got nothing out of it. One couple had one pregnancy that miscarried at 8 weeks. The other had a miscarriage right at 3 months. None of the 4 can continue because of financial issues. The emotions are often life long scars and it is heartbreaking to watch. All 4 are in severe debt with no results.

    This is not that unusual a track record. I can think of only 4 successes in my entire career.

    So we have 4 couples, 300K in debt and payments between them with no results.

    How is this not a boondoggle? I hate to admit the VP candidate is bringing up an important issue.

    Reply
    1. Pat

      My first impression of Ms. Shanahan was not great. But this isn’t something that rang alarms for me. Not my area but I ran across some statistics awhile back that led me to have some very real doubts about the process. A clear and honest discussion of the costs, side effects and effectiveness of the process is called for.

      Reply
    2. ashley

      ive been wondering what the hoopla was about IVF lately… this makes a lot more sense than the ‘personhood’ BS of the anti-abortion crowd.

      Reply
    3. Henry Moon Pie

      There’s no doubt, it’s a grueling process, but our daughter was lucky to have no serious complications other than a positive Covid test as she was about to give birth at the height o Omicron. And our healthy granddaughter has been a wonderful gift to the whole family.

      Reply
    4. Lambert Strether Post author

      > How is this not a boondoggle? I hate to admit the VP candidate is bringing up an important issue.

      Thank you, but the reality matters less than what suburban women voters of a certain class and age think reality is. Democrats think IVF is a winning issue for them, but that does not mean all women agree.

      Reply
  17. ashley

    “This moment is as revolutionary as her transformation caused from damage to her own baby by the same murdering profiteers that conned us about the Covid vaccine.”

    oh great, an autism mom. yikes.

    Reply
  18. LawnDart

    China’s CAAC (their FAA) has called for a press conference at 3pm Beijing-time: watch for it. It is expected to have major economic implications.

    Reply
    1. Acacia

      Maybe they’ll finally take a position on the crash of MU 5735…?

      https://www.flightglobal.com/safety/two-years-on-caac-fails-to-state-cause-of-china-eastern-737-crash/157481.article

      15:00 Beijing time will be after NYSE close. I wonder how many will short BA? *

      As a trading buddy phrased it: “No markets tomorrow, it’ll be Monday to digest for the bagholders.”

      If so… a long weekend for the news to circulate… well played, CAAC, well played.

      * Note: this is not trading advice.

      Reply
  19. PlutoniumKun

    Interesting – the consensus seemed to be that it was a pilot suicide, but it will be interesting to see if the investigation dug up something new.

    Reply
  20. JBird4049

    >>>The last comment is important: If the “I want to see your smile” crowd at HICPAC had a shred of intellectual honesty — or, for that matter, common decency — they’d be advocating for masks with see-through functionality, instead of hanging on to their Baggy Blues with a death grip, or trying to get rid of masks altogether.

    As someone who often lip reads, it would be nice to be able to do so as masks tends to muffle the words. I already have a problem with distinguishing the differences between words such as “million” and “billion.” There are tens of millions of Americans who have hearing issues.

    Reply

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