2:00PM Water Cooler 5/1/2024

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

* * *

Bird Song of the Day

American Robin, Big 4 Trail–Thorntown Trailhead, Boone, Indiana, United States.

* * *

In Case You Might Miss…

(1) Trump’s plans (interview).

(2) Bad polling news for Biden.

(3) Jobs numbers.

(4) Marijuana to Schedule III, proposes DEA.

* * *


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

* * *


Less than a year to go!

RCP Poll Averages, April 26:

National results are still moving Biden’s way. But all the Swing States (more here) are moving Trump’s way, although in tiny increments. It’s hard to attribute this consistency to mere chance. “All” with one exception: Pennsylvania. If Susie Wiles is such a brain genius, why isn’t she fixing this?

* * *

Trump (R): “Donald Trump vows to beat ‘communists, fascists and lunatics’ at his New York trial” [Cindy Adams, New York Post]. “Donald to me: ‘I’m on trial with a totally rigged and conflicted judge, submitted by a DA who is corrupt, incompetent and allowing violent crime all over the city. New York is going to hell — but they go after Trump.’ A few personal words, then: ‘My only thought is to beat the communists, fascists and lunatics that we are all having to put up with, hopefully for only a little longer.'” • So Trump is positioning himself as a centrist?

Trump (R): “How Far Trump Would Go” (interview) [Time]. “What emerged in two interviews with Trump, and conversations with more than a dozen of his closest advisers and confidants, were the outlines of an imperial presidency that would reshape America and its role in the world. To carry out a deportation operation designed to remove more than 11 million people from the country, Trump told me, he would be willing to build migrant detention camps and deploy the U.S. military, both at the border and inland. He would let red states monitor women’s pregnancies and prosecute those who violate abortion bans. He would, at his personal discretion, withhold funds appropriated by Congress, according to top advisers. He would be willing to fire a U.S. Attorney who doesn’t carry out his order to prosecute someone, breaking with a tradition of independent law enforcement that dates from America’s founding. He is weighing pardons for every one of his supporters accused of attacking the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, more than 800 of whom have pleaded guilty or been convicted by a jury. He might not come to the aid of an attacked ally in Europe or Asia if he felt that country wasn’t paying enough for its own defense. He would gut the U.S. civil service, deploy the National Guard to American cities as he sees fit, close the White House pandemic-preparedness office, and staff his Administration with acolytes who back his false assertion that the 2020 election was stolen. Trump remains the same guy, with the same goals and grievances. But in person, if anything, he appears more assertive and confident. ‘When I first got to Washington, I knew very few people,’ he says. ‘I had to rely on people.’ Now he is in charge.” And: “In a second term, Trump’s influence on American democracy would extend far beyond pardoning powers. Allies are laying the groundwork to restructure the presidency in line with a doctrine called the unitary executive theory, which holds that many of the constraints imposed on the White House by legislators and the courts should be swept away in favor of a more powerful Commander in Chief.” • The theory of the unitary executive, invented by Dick Cheney under Bush in one of his more crazypants moments, and widely ridiculed. And here it is again. The entire article is worth reading in full. (It’s not that Biden’s pandemic response doesn’t suck; it does, clearly. But I would like the White House pandemic preparedness office to function, not be abolished. Unfortunately, we don’t have a candidate who’s asking for my vote on those grounds.

Trump (R): “How to watch the Trump veepstakes” [Semafor]. “When it comes down to it, the “veepstakes” is really something else entirely: A map to the competing factions of the former president’s orbit. Trump himself is allergic to process, confident in his own mind, and if he’s made it up, he hasn’t told anyone. And so different anonymous Trump whisperers offer different lists, in ranked order…. Most also add an obvious caveat: That the vice presidential pick comes down to who Trump wants, and that they have no real confidence in their own guesses. ‘99% of the people claiming they know who’s up or who’s down are either full of it or have their own agenda,’ another person in Trump’s orbit texted Semafor. ‘The reality is the only thing Trump is truly focused on right now is his own trial.’ There is, in parallel, an actual process moving toward Trump’s vice presidential selection, at or before the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee in mid-July. The former president’s top aides have already begun narrowing down a list of serious options and vetting them. But who Trump himself actually wants is a mystery, and people close to him note that he has a habit of floating different names to different people.”

* * *

Biden (D): “The ‘Biden bump’ that didn’t last long” [Washington Examiner]. “‘The election is clearly changing now, moving towards Biden,’ the influential Democratic strategist Simon Rosenberg declared on March 26. ‘The Biden bump is real.’ For Republicans, Rosenberg is someone worth listening to. He was right about the nonexistent ‘red wave’ that many in the GOP expected back in 2022. When he said the election was moving, it was worth noting… On Sunday came a poll from CNN that was simply devastating for the president’s reelection hopes. Remember, a poll is just a freeze frame of the race at this moment. It doesn’t mean things won’t change in the future. But it gives us an idea of where things stand right now. And the CNN poll showed Biden’s standing deteriorating before our eyes. The headline was that the poll showed Trump with a 6-point lead over Biden, 49% to 43%, in a head-to-head national matchup. And, as of now at least, many voters say they have made up their minds. When the pollsters asked respondents who did not support Biden whether there is any chance they might eventually vote for Biden, 52% said there is ‘no chance whatsoever’ they would vote to reelect the president. When pollsters asked people who did not support Trump whether there is any chance they might eventually vote for Trump, 47% said there is ‘no chance whatsoever’ they will vote for Trump. That suggests a lot of people have very strong feelings that they do not expect to change. Another problem for Biden was that the poll was taken from April 18 to 23, when Trump’s trial in Manhattan was underway and the subject of wall-to-wall news reports. So voters knew about it — they couldn’t avoid it — and more of them still preferred Trump to Biden. Even more damaging for Biden was that when asked to assess both the Trump and Biden presidencies, 55% of those surveyed called Trump’s presidency a success, while 61% called Biden’s presidency a failure.” • Whoops.

Biden (D): “Biden is aiming increasingly personal and sarcastic jabs at Trump” [WaPo]. “Biden seems far more willing this time to fire personal insults at Trump, apparently aimed at getting into his rival’s head and under his skin and possibly drawing him into a tit-for-tat. The tactic thrusts Biden, who has built a career as a congenial politician who is above name-calling and denigration, into a more personally combative form of politics…. ‘The 2024 election is in full swing. And, yes, age is an issue,’ Biden said during the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner last weekend. ‘I’m a grown man running against a 6-year-old.'” I actually laughed at that, so kudos to Biden’s writers. More: “Aides to the Biden campaign said a clip of the comment got more engagement than almost any of its other social media posts in the past month. It’s a significant change. Early in his presidency, Biden avoided even saying Trump’s name… Biden has built an image as a politician who cares about civility and wants to unify a divided country. He talks regularly about not being brought up to make fun of others…. Biden’s current strategy of taunting his rival, in a sense embracing Trump’s own tactics, risks undermining a carefully wrought image. Trump campaign spokesman Steven Cheung suggested that Biden will lose a battle of dueling attacks. ‘Crooked Joe and his floundering campaign have no idea what’s about to come their way,’ Cheung said.” That’s interesting. It sounds like a threat. More: “‘Aside from trying to explain away losing his memory, shuffling his feet like a short-circuited Roomba and falling on his a– over and over again, they’ll have to take responsibility for their out-of-control border, runaway inflation and surging crime rates that have decimated every American.'” • I don’t see the change in tone as strategic at all; I just think Biden’s pandering to his base, who love that snarky, late-night-comedian stuff.

* * *

Kennedy (I): “The growing RFK Jr coalition” [Unherd]. “To carve out a path to power RFK must gather a vast number of signatures to enter the ballot in each state; in New York, which has the most stringent ballot laws in the country, he has to obtain 45,000 signatures in 45 days. But that’s what he’s hoping to do in Long Island. ‘No other presidential candidate in history has got this many signatures in such a short space of time,’ he says. ‘We must vote out of hope — not fear.’…. While RFK’s views on Covid are well-documented, ranging from the credible to the crankish, it would be misleading to characterise all his supporters as militant anti-vaxxers. Many would rather emphasise the importance of medical freedom in general. ‘I was vaccinated but I was against the shutdowns and mandates,’ John Myers tells me. ‘But this isn’t just a Covid thing — it’s about the right to choose what’s best for you and not have the government tell me what to do.’ This libertarian streak runs through all Kennedy’s supporters. They clutch signs reading ‘restore the constitution’, ‘farms not pharma’ and ‘LIBERTY!’. And they believe in him. His heterodox worldview means that he can appear to be all things to all people: to progressives, Kennedy is the great environmentalist who took on Monsanto and cleaned up the Hudson river; to conservatives, he is a God-fearing Christian who believes in the constitution (including the second amendment), small government and individual liberty. And as a result, he attracts people from both sides of the political aisle…. He is the avatar of a newly emerging political and cultural climate, a mood even, that is distrusting of those in power. Burned by the 2008 recession, dismayed by the Great Awokening, and radicalised by Covid, many in the country are seeking something different…. For now, Kennedy has made the ballot in nine states, and this week, he is expected to announce a further three. Given the tepid levels of enthusiasm for both of the main candidates — and a desire for something new — there might just be a tiny window for an insurgent candidate to exploit.”

* * *

Republican Funhouse

“How a Few Secret Donors Are Fueling the New Right-Wing Infrastructure” [Mother Jones]. “Created in 2012, the Bradley Impact Fund is a donor-advised fund (DAF) “aligned” with the Milwaukee-based Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, which has a long history of conservative influence and, of late, has become a source of money for organizations pushing Republicans to change election laws. Donor-advised funds, such as the Bradley Impact Fund, collect donations from various contributors and then make often untraceable gifts to other organizations. An increasingly popular charity tool—receiving a quarter of all individual giving in the United States—DAFs offer donors ‘multiple layers of anonymity,’ explains Brendan Fischer, deputy executive director of the investigative watchdog Documented. DAFs operate like private foundations but are classified as public charities. This allows the funds to give money without the same transparency requirements. And the donors, who can recommend where their contributions should go, are still awarded the publicly subsidized tax breaks associated with charitable giving.” • So, money laundering. Nice!

Realignment and Legitimacy


The NYPD has an office in Israel. Makes you think.



Columbia: “Behind the Barricades at Columbia’s Hamilton Hall Takeover” [New York Magazine]. “When they started pulling the furniture down, they encountered two facilities workers who were still on site. The students were telling the facilities workers that they needed to leave. The employee in the Yankees hat said they were not going to tell him what to do and that he was doing his job. They were trying to calm him down and convince him to leave and I think they tried to touch him to calm him down, and he responded by pushing. The students were trying to level with them practically. They were saying ‘this is happening,’ and that it’s better for them if they go. ‘You don’t get paid enough to deal with this‘ — I think I remember one student saying something to that effect.” • Really clicking with the working class, there.

Columbia: “Columbia University protesters taken into custody after police enter campus. Here’s what we know” [CBS]. “Columbia University President Minouche Shafik wrote a letter to NYPD Deputy Commissioner Michael Gerber on Tuesday evening requesting the department’s assistance to clear protesters from Hamilton Hall and the encampments…. Shafik also requested that the NYPD maintain a presence on campus through May 17 ‘to maintain order and ensure encampments are not reestablished.'” And: “A university spokesman released the following statement at 9:26 p.m.: ‘We believe that the group that broke into and occupied the building is led by individuals who are not affiliated with the University.'” • Ah, outside agitators. Aren’t they always?

UCLA encampment:


“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

* * *

Covid 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!

* * *

Transmission: Flu

“Spikes of flu virus in wastewater raise questions about spread of bird flu” [CNN]. “Spikes of influenza A virus seen in wastewater samples from 59 sewer systems across 18 different states this spring may point to the spread of the H5N1 avian influenza virus that is currently infecting dairy cattle, a new study suggests. So far, the US Department of Agriculture has reported more than 30 herds of dairy cows infected with H5N1 influenza across nine states. But there are questions about how large the outbreak might be and whether the US can adequately track it. In a news conference last week, USDA officials admitted that it’s been difficult to get milk producers to let them test for the infection.” Yay, “freedom!” More: “Last week, in a multi-agency news conference on the government’s response to the spreading virus, Dr. Nirav Shah, principal deputy director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said the agency was looking at whether it might be feasible to use wastewater to pinpoint areas where the virus is spreading. First, he said, scientists would need to develop a test that could distinguish H5 influenza from the larger soup of circulating A-strain flu viruses. Now scientists at Emory, Stanford and Verily Life Sciences, a research organization affiliated with the WastewaterSCAN network that monitors a large network of wastewater treatment plants across the US, say they have done just that.” This is the Verily study I ran here. Interestingly: “The study authors stress that no H5N1 outbreaks in cows have been reported in any of the sewersheds they tested. Instead, they think that the permitted dumping of milk likely caused the big spikes in H5 virus they saw in early March.” • Hmm. I wonder why they were dumping all that millk back in March, then? I recall reading some pretty vivid descriptions of milk that came from cattle infected with H5N1; “pus” was, I think, the word.

“The potential of house flies to act as a vector of avian influenza subtype H5N1 under experimental conditions” [Medical and Veterinary Entomology]. From 2011, still germane. From the Abtract: “The objective of the present study was to determine the potential for house flies (Musca domestica L.) (Diptera: Muscidae) to harbour the avian influenza (AI) H5N1 virus…. The present study shows that the flies may harbour the AI virus and could act as a mechanical vector of the AI virus.” • Oh, good.

Testing and Tracking: H5N1

“CDC flags issue with avian flu test, but says no public health impact” [Politico]. “The CDC told public health labs Friday that they need to change how people are tested for avian flu. A manufacturing issue with the test discovered earlier this week has no practical impact on the ability to screen people for H5N1 bird flu, according to the CDC.” • Oh hell no. Why am I getting this horrible sense of deja vu? I know, I know, my priors….

“U.S. Needs to Better Track Bird Flu Spread in Farm Animals, Farm Workers, Epidemiologist Says” [Scientific American]. “We don’t have a good sense of the spread because testing is voluntary and certainly not being done in a systematic way. We’re pretty much flying blind with the testing aspect…. A huge new puzzle is that there is also transmission from cows to poultry. That is concerning; it gives this virus even more opportunity to adapt because it keeps jumping from species to species, and we don’t know how. Is it through humans? Is it through rats? Is it through feed? We don’t know. Trying to get a really good understanding of epidemiology here has been challenging just because the data are limited, and the communication is suboptimal.” • Yep.


“Scientists tried to give people COVID — and failed” [Nature]. “The first participants got the same tiny dose of the ‘ancestral’ SARS-CoV-2 strain as did those in the first trial. When nobody developed a sustained infection, the researchers increased the dose by more and more in subsequent groups of participants, until they reached a level 10,000 times the initial dose. A few volunteers developed short-lived infections, but these quickly vanished…. ‘We were quite surprised,’ says Susan Jackson, a study clinician at Oxford and co-author of the latest study. ‘Moving forward, if you want a COVID challenge study, you’re going to have to find a dose that infects people.’ Despite their immunity to the ancestral strains, nearly 40% of the participants experienced an Omicron infection after being released from quarantine by December 2022, and one even got it twice. An ongoing COVID-19 challenge trial at Imperial College London, in which participants have been exposed to the Delta SARS-CoV-2 variant, has also encountered problems with infecting participants reliably, says Christopher Chiu, an immunologist and infectious-disease physician at Imperial who is leading that trial and was involved in the other challenge trials. Some participants have experienced infections, but probably not enough for a study testing whether a vaccine works, adds Chiu. ‘We need a challenge strain that’s more representative of what’s circulating in the community,’ says Anna Durbin, a vaccine scientist at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland, who was a member of the board that oversaw the safety of the latest ‘reinfection’ trial. Viral strains used in challenge trials are produced under stringent conditions, a process that can take six months or longer, say scientists, making it impossible to match circulating variants perfectly. McShane and Chiu are readying a challenge trial using the BA.5 Omicron subvariant that emerged in 2022.” • Hmm.


“WHN Response to Four CDC Questions on Preventing Transmission in Healthcare Settings” [World Health Network]. WHN doing the Lord’s work, here; this is really excellent:

The risk of asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic transmission; the mechanism of aerosol spread; the prevalence of severe acute and long-term impacts—symptomatic Long COVID and organ damage, as described in the recent Senate HELP committee hearing—for patients, staff, and visitors [4,5,6,7]; that COVID-19 is still prevalent and the end of its pandemic impact is uncertain; and the probability of future airborne-driven pandemics all warrant the expansion of the traditional paradigm of airborne infection control and prevention. Genetic sequencing and statistical studies show hospital acquired infections account for 40-70% of infected healthcare workers and 10-40% of infected hospitalized patients, infection rates are dramatically reduced by testing on entry, and estimates of infections increase dramatically when shorter incubation periods of recent variants are properly accounted for [8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16]. The mortality rate of hospital-acquired COVID-19 can be over 10% [17,18,19], much higher than that of non-hospitalized individuals—manifesting the vulnerability of individuals in healthcare—and this does not include the long term impacts, including disability and deaths from long COVID. It is essential that estimates of harm should include long COVID effects and the long-term increases in health risks after each additional infection. Furthermore, vaccinations only partially reduce the risks of infection and do not reliably prevent infections [20,21,22] or Long Covid [23,24,25]. Immunity wanes [26,27,28] over time and provides decreasing protection from new variants [29,30]. Considering the CDC’s important role in society, the WHN encourages an authoritative, scientifically, and clinically assertive stance in its recommendations and use of straightforward, up-to-date language of airborne aerosol transmission in setting forth its guidance.

* * *

TABLE 1: Daily Covid Charts

National[1] Biobot April 29: Regional[2] Biobot April 29:

Variants[3] CDC April 27 Emergency Room Visits[4] CDC March 23
New York[5] New York State, data April 30: National [6] CDC April 20:
National[7] Walgreens April 22: Ohio[8] Cleveland Clinic April 20:

Travelers Data
Positivity[9] CDC April 8: Variants[10] CDC April 8:
Weekly deaths New York Times March 16: Percent of deaths due to Covid-19 New York Times March 16:


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 a level far above valleys under Trump. 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) No backward revisons….

[3] (CDC Variants) KP.2 has entered the chat, at least in the model. 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) CDC seems to have killed this off, since the link is broken, I think in favor of this thing. I will try to confirm. UPDATE Yes, leave it to CDC to kill a page, and then announce it was archived a day later. And heaven forfend CDC should explain where to go to get equivalent data, if any. I liked the ER data, because it seemed really hard to game.

[5] (Hospitalization: NY) Flattening out to a non-zero baseline. I suppose to a tame epidemiologist it looks like “endemicity,” but to me it looks like another tranche of lethality.

[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) Slight uptrend.

[9] (Travelers: Posivitity) Uptick.

[10] (Travelers: Variants) JN.1 dominates utterly. And no mention of KP.2

[11] Looks like the Times isn’t reporting death data any more? Maybe I need to go back to The Economist….

Stats Watch

Employment Situation: “United States ADP Employment Change” [Trading Economics]. “Private businesses in the United States added 192,000 workers to their payrolls in April 2024, exceeding market expectations of a 175,000 increase and following a previous gain of 208,000.”

Employment Situation: “United States Job Openings” [Trading Economics]. “The number of job openings declined by 325,000 from the previous month to 8.488 million in March 2024, reaching the lowest level since February 2021 and missing the market consensus of 8.690 million.”

Manufacturing: “The number of job openings declined by 325,000 from the previous month to 8.488 million in March 2024, reaching the lowest level since February 2021 and missing the market consensus of 8.690 million” [Trading Economics]. “The ISM Manufacturing PMI in the United States fell to 49.2 in April of 2024 from 50.3 in the earlier month, firmly below market expectations of a stall. The data reflected a contraction in the US manufacturing sector, failing to maintain earlier traction as the prior month pointed to the first expansion in 16 months.”

* * *

Tech: “Google surges after buying back billions of dollars of its own stock” [CNN]. “Alphabet, the parent company of Google, bounced back from an absolutely dreadful day for tech shares, as its stock surged Thursday after the closing bell. All it had to do was to hand out billions of dollars to investors.” • I guess the job is done on that AI thing?

Tech: “Google Fires Python Team Ahead Of Its Big Developer Conference: Report” [NDTV]. “Google has reportedly fired the entire Python team, marking the latest job cuts in the tech giant ahead of its annual developer conference in May. Python is a major code [sic] used in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. The tech giant has not eliminated its Python team but has replaced the existing team with another group based in Munich.” • If I understand this, the 10-person Python team managed Google’s tooling, which is done in Python; the Munich operation is apparently cheaper. Reminds me of Boeing setting up the 787 line in Charleston, and not Everett…..

Manufacturing: “Embraer Might Launch a Boeing-Sized Jet. It’ll Be an Extremely Difficult Task” [Barron’s]. “Embraer might be developing a jet to compete with the Boeing 737, according to a media report. Investors appeared nervous about the idea at first—for good reason…. Embraer has a market capitalization of about $5 billion and the company is projected to have $1.3 billion in cumulative free cash flow between 2024 and 2027, according to FactSet. The risk of a $25 billion project for a company that size can’t be understated.

The Journal mentions Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund is one of a few potential investment partners for Embraer. The country’s government certainly has the money but such an investor doesn’t guarantee that existing investors will benefit…. While the odds of an Embraer 737-size jet are slim, the Journal report highlights something else for investors. Boeing hasn’t decided to design an all-new single-aisle aircraft in years, opting instead to update its existing 737 platform again and again. The lack of a brand new jet by one of the market leaders has left regional jet makers thinking it could be possible to go up in class.” • And COMAC, of course.

Manufacturing: “Let’s Look Back at Boeing’s 10-Year Struggle to Launch Humans on Starliner” [Gizmodo]. “After more than a decade of delays and failures, Boeing is finally ready to launch its first crew of NASA astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS). Liftoff of the Starliner CST-100 spacecraft is scheduled for May 6—and it’s going to be a true nail-biter…. It’s been quite a journey to get to this point, and there’s a lot riding on the success of the upcoming test flight. Boeing has yet to meet the end of its $4.3 billion Commercial Crew Program contract with NASA. The company has fallen behind schedule and its last two test flights were marred by glitches. For its upcoming flight, Starliner will carry a crew for the first time after having recently resolved two major safety hazards discovered on the spacecraft. In brief, it’s a hot mess. Let’s take a look back at how this inaugural crewed test flight came to be.” A ton of manufacturing issues, unsurprisingly. This is my favorite: “The second concern involved hundreds of feet of protective tape used to cover the wiring harnesses inside the Starliner vehicle, which was discovered to be flammable. Engineers had to literally pull a mile of this flammable tape from the vehicle.” • So we’ll see how it goes.

* * *

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 41 Fear (previous close: 40 Fear) [CNN]. One week ago: 39 (Fear). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated May 1 at 1:44:52 PM ET.

The 420

“US poised to ease restrictions on marijuana in historic shift, but it’ll remain controlled substance” [Associated Press]. “‘Today, the Attorney General circulated a proposal to reclassify marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule III,’ Justice Department director of public affairs Xochitl Hinojosa said in a statement. The DEA is a component of the Department of Justice. ‘Once published by the Federal Register, it will initiate a formal rulemaking process as prescribed by Congress in the Controlled Substances Act.’ Attorney General Merrick Garland’s signature throws the full weight of the Justice Department behind the move and appears to signal its importance to the Biden administration. It comes after President Joe Biden called for a review of federal marijuana law in October 2022 and moved to pardon thousands of Americans convicted federally of simple possession of the drug. He has also called on governors and local leaders to take similar steps to erase marijuana convictions.” • Commentary:

I’m not sure this gives me confidence, and I’m no prude on this topic.

Class Warfare

“1 in 4 Americans fear losing their job this year — what’s causing it?” [Study Finds]. “The new survey of 2,000 employed adults examined how workers see themselves in their current roles, finding that many believe they’ll receive a pink slip sooner rather than later. Their concerns stem from distress about the job market (25%) and knowing that they work in an unstable business or industry (22%).” • Best economy ever!

News of the Wired

“Lab mice are getting their own back by deliberately messing up experiments” [Metro UK]. “The researchers tracked mouse choice, response speed and accuracy, and noticed that over time the mice got better at the task, but at points, the mice would stop following the rules, and do things like spin the wheel in one direction, no matter what sound they heard. The researchers then stopped rewarding the mice for their correct answers, and soon the rodents began responding to the sounds more accurately. The researchers believed the mice knew what they were doing the whole time, and were purposefully giving up the reward to explore their environment by doing experiments of their own.” • Now do cats!

* * *

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 GS:

GS writes: “Tassle Ferns, the oldest living examples of vascular plants (collected in northern Queensland). Flecker Gardens, Cairns QLD Australia.”

* * *

Readers: Water Cooler is a standalone entity not covered by the annual NC fundraiser. So if you see a link you especially like, or an item you wouldn’t see anywhere else, please do not hesitate to express your appreciation in tangible form. Remember, a tip jar is for tipping! Regular positive feedback both makes me feel good and lets me know I’m on the right track with coverage. When I get no donations for three or four days I get worried. More tangibly, a constant trickle of donations helps me with expenses, and I factor in that trickle when setting fundraising goals:

Here is the screen that will appear, which I have helpfully annotated:

If you hate PayPal, you can email me at lambert [UNDERSCORE] strether [DOT] corrente [AT] yahoo [DOT] com, and I will give you directions on how to send a check. Thank you!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
This entry was posted in Water Cooler on by .

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. t

    RFKs colleagues from his days as an environmental lawyer figurehead using his name for fundraising efforts have made statements and even taken out ads against him. Not getting the press or traction I’d expect.

    Certainly seeing constant references to River Keepers without the caveat that those folks more than think he’s outlived his usefulness.

    1. Chris Cosmos

      “Those folks” are political realists and deeply allied with the Democratic Party and are looking to rewarded–no way any of them are going to support anyone who is a loser–there is no advantage to favoring RFK. Again, politics is all about power not “ideals” or competing sermons. If you are an environmentalist your only ticked is the DP.

    2. Benny Profane

      From what I remember, he essentially did a hostile takeover of that organization, in his immediate rehab years. And he also rode the wave of America’s, and especially upstate New York’s, deindustrialization, which cleaned up toxic dumping much better than any law firm could, but took credit for it. If he was really serious about saving the Earth, he should travel to China and tell them to clean up what we sent them.

  2. JM

    Lambert asked about the Framework laptop yesterday, and might be interested to see Louis Rossmann’s take after two years of owning one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Sw06swtgY0

    I don’t have a laptop as of now, but they’re essentially the only one I’m looking at getting at the moment. Especially after finally adding AMD variants.

    1. Terry Flynn

      I follow him but somehow missed that video so thanks. I am very much into “Vimes’s theory of boots” mode…..I’ll pay out more for something I know I can rely on or repair for longer. Framework has definitely been on my radar.

      I’ve already (on my 3rd attempt) managed to migrate to Linux (except for the voice recognition software which requires a W11 partition to run smoothly) and have made hardware replacements so maybe I’m capable of using a Framework laptop.

      1. JM

        Nice! From what you say I’m sure you’d be fine with one of their laptops. I’ve built a handful of tower PCs, and the basics are all the same once you’ve done it. Laptops seem more finicky due to the space constraints, but what I’ve seen from Framework seems reasonable for an inclined user to do.

        I agree that a premium that doesn’t actually seem much more than their competitors to get something that can actually be serviced seems like a no brainer to me.

      2. hunkerdown

        Say what you will about OpenAI, and there’s plenty to say from both sides of the AI question, but Whisper is surprisingly good for an open, offline speech-to-text model, once all the sometimes fiddly GPU bits are wired up. A knowledge of Python does make the installation process less awkward. Here is a simple voice typing script which might be of interest.

  3. petal

    Provost just sent out an email to everyone reminding them of the freedom of expression policies, and the use of the green-like no structures, camping, etc. Stay tuned.

  4. lyman alpha blob

    If Biden really is a “congenial politician who is above name-calling and denigration” (and I have a memory of more than just the last five minutes and don’t believe he is that), then maybe he should stick to what got him there.

    I predict his tenure as an insult comic will be extremely short-lived.

    1. The Rev Kev

      I’ve see videos of Biden being anything but. ‘Biden has built an image as a politician who cares about civility and wants to unify a divided country?’ That WaPo statement is in direct contradiction with everything that we have seen of him the past three ears. Who are they trying to kid? The country is demonstratively worse than how Trump left it.

  5. Benny Profane

    From that WAPO article:

    “Biden has built an image as a politician who cares about civility and wants to unify a divided country.”

    Good Lord. Buddies with Strom Thurmond. Slanderer of Anita Hill. Great cheerleader and founder of our massive incarceration industry, some for profit. Never found a war we launched he didn’t like. Sadistic warlord of the credit industry. And now, of course, Genocide Joe. Genocide! That’s f-ing civil?? And has anybody turned on the TV today? Chicago will be like that on steroids.

    1. Neutrino

      If only there could be some theme music like that provided by Chicago Transit Authority back in the day.

  6. Feral Finster

    Re: Emma Mateo: it bears repeating that if the Establishment treats the offspring of the rich and connected this roughly, imagine how the establishment would treat poor kids if they were to step out of line.

  7. ChrisFromGA

    M T G

    Oy! Oy! Oy! Oy!

    See me ride out to the House steps in my custom MAGA cap
    Out to put America first – better cut the crap!
    Weasels to the left of me, sellouts to the right
    Ain’t got no gun, ain’t got no knife, don’t you start no fight

    Cause I’m M T-G
    (I’m Dyn-a-mite)
    M T-G
    (And I’ll win the fight!)
    M T-G
    (I’m a power load)
    M T-G
    Watch heads explode!

    Mike’s dirty, unclean, and wed to Hakeem
    AIPACs’ gotten man
    Public enemy number 1

    So lock up the caucus, shake up the right,
    Lock up your backdoor, and run for your life

    Margie is back in town, don’t you mess around

    M T-G
    (Oy! Oy! Oy!)
    M T-G
    Oy! Oy! Oy!

    M T-G

    She dynamite
    And she’ll win the fight
    She’s a power load
    Watch heads explode!


  8. Wukchumni

    As of late i’ve been seeing electric signs on the freeways in Cali that proclaim:

    ‘Drive High-Get a DUI’

    And what do I know, but i’d guess a lot more people drive high than drunk, the penalty being the same

    1. Amfortas the Hippie

      many moons ago, during my wild years….i drove high…or drunk…or blazing on an hallucinogen.
      drunk is definitely the worst.
      high on pot…well, theres even a saying:
      how does one tell the drunk on the freeway?
      – swerving all over, goin too fast, aggressive, etc
      how does one tell the stoner on the freeway?
      – right lane, 10 and 2, checking the mirrors, if anything going too frelling slow.

      of course, the caveat is that this was before the superweed that started hitting the market(holy) even here in texas, from places like cali, when they state-legalised it.
      and altho i do not recommend such behaviour, driving endless dirt roads…10mph/3rd gear, slow…on a sunny day while mildly tripping on shrooms used to be one of my favorite things.

      1. Brian Beijer

        When I was a teenager, my friend and I smoked a bowl after seeing The Lost Boys and then started to drive home. We were typical dumba** teenagers. My friend had both hands on the steering wheel with his head almost pressed against the windshield. I remember I had a death grip on the door handle, yelling for him to slow down. My friend checked the speedometer, and we were only going 20 miles an hour. We both busted out laughing.

    2. David in Friday Harbor

      I was a prosecutor in California for 32 years.

      Because it would be a federal offense to do scientific impairment studies on the effects of different blood concentrations of THC on driving, it is virtually impossible to successfully prosecute a DUI involving marijuana unless there has already been at least a near-accident, if not a horrendous crash.

      You might get arrested but you’re unlikely to be convicted. So the “penalty” isn’t the same. Weed and all psychoactives need to come off of Schedule I.

  9. JM

    A little comment about the job market. I’m looking at what would fairly be called a PMC role, remote if at all possible, and over half of the listings have 100+ applicants in under 4 hours on the main job boards. I’ve also seen a number of anecdotes from recruiters on LinkedIn about how tough the market is, and the need to network (ugh) more than ever.

    So it makes me wonder where these supposedly great employment numbers are coming from? I’m assuming it’s mostly churn at minimum-wage and adjacent positions. Or are people that desperate for remote that every position gets hundreds of apps?

    I can’t help but feel that the job market is an equivalent to inflation and reality is very different from the articles / numbers being released.

    1. JBird4049

      >>>I can’t help but feel that the job market is an equivalent to inflation and reality is very different from the articles / numbers being released.

      I agree, it’s as with the saying that there lies, damn lies, and statistics, and add that it is my belief that it is the crummy jobs that are growing in numbers, but not the decent ones that pay well and have benefits. Since President Biden’s successful reelection depends on good economic numbers, his elite supporters are telling people that they need to believe them and not their own lying eyes.

      It would be great if the people running our society would stop acting as if consequence is truly dependent on perception instead of reality, but only people who want to solve problems instead of flimflamming the desperate want to do that.

      1. Amfortas the Hippie

        speaking of “flimflamming the desperate”.
        my tiny pension check from Tam’s career as a teacher…didnt come in the mail, today.
        this has happened a few times in the last year(texas too busy persecuting pregnat persons,students, immigrants and porn users)…and it always makes me angry.
        first time it happened, it was 3 days late…thats 3 days that i must drive the 11 miles to town and back to check the po box.
        often when i am on fumes(i keep a gas can with at least a couple of gallons for this very reason)
        and out of cigs.
        theres no good reason for this, that i can see…TRS is a state agency, after all.
        except to punish, further, retired teachers and their survivors.
        and yet im supposed to vote for…and vocally support…any of these dern people?
        texas cant even get that right…and some clod will appear, if theres ever an uproar, and suggest some market-based solution, i’m sure….

        1. JBird4049

          Are you thinking that they are deliberately slow walking the check, perhaps to keep making interest on the funds?

        2. Cassandra

          The US Postal Service has been systematically dismantled for some years now, with malice aforethought. It began almost twenty years ago with the requirement that retirement benefits be prefunded for seventy five years. The current postmaster general has brought a venture capitalist’s zeal for efficiency to the task, starting under the previous Republican administration and continuing through the present. His work is almost done.

          Amfortas, they don’t want you to be able to reliably send or receive funds through the mail. They don’t want you to send goods affordably through a public nonprofit service. And so you can’t.

          Edit to add: there is also so much profit to be made from selling off prime real estate! Also, deals to be made delivering Amazon’s packages!

        3. LifelongLib

          FWIW I use direct deposit for the pension and SS. That said, I live in Hawaii and pay a few bills by check to places in the continental U.S., and occasionally they are credited “late” even though I generally mail them the day after I receive them. I do believe that companies want everyone to pay online. Not sure if they’re slow walking or have hugely reduced their billing departments, which maybe in combination with slow mail accounts for the issue.

          1. Carla

            “I do believe that companies want everyone to pay online.” Actually, what they really want is for you to give them your bank and checking account numbers along with permission for them to just draw the money directly out of your account. (!) I have learned that many, maybe even most, elderly people dispose of what becomes an arduous task this way, and it sure is “easier” for everyone. It’s also easier for the elderly bill-ower to be robbed blind.

            1. JBird4049

              I live close enough to the edge financially that I can’t give anyone open access to my accounts as most businesses don’t seem to try hard to be accurate. They are quick to take and very slow to fix their mistakes.

              1. The Rev Kev

                Set up a separate account and only transfer enough into it from your main account for each bill as they come in plus about $20 leeway. They can’t grab what isn’t there.

                1. anahuna

                  Another option is to pay all bills through your bank’s website. That means that you control the amount paid out each time, and companies can’t reach in and take more.

    2. aj

      JM, I’m curious about what role and industry you are looking at. I have what I would consider a PMC-type job (I even have a dreaded MBA). I current work for a mid-sized construction company and we have lot so jobs that pay well, that we have trouble finding qualified candidates for (Project Managers, Financial Controllers, etc.) Our recent round of hiring all went to older folks (I think all of them were 50+) as all the younger generation seems to want to work for only Tech, Consulting, or some other “sexy” industry. My peers and I frequently get unsolicited calls from recruiters. In my field, people struggled mightily in the years after 2008, but recently I see a lot of mobility and good people don’t go without jobs for long. My guess is he headline numbers are mostly correct (although inflated by low-end jobs) and your particular industry/position is over-saturated.

      1. JM

        I’m looking at Project Management more generally. I’m not strictly looking at high-tech but I would say that it seems to over-represent in what I’m seeing listed. I see some construction listings, but I it seems they’re not on LinkedIn or other places that show roughly how many apps have gone out.

    3. pck

      I’m also on the job market (also squarely PMC) – I’m not sure how much trust to put into the linkedin numbers. I suspect there might be some people who apply to literally everything that shows up on linkedin (out of desperation maybe?), so it’s not a meaningful number since many of them are never actual candidates for the job.

      1. JM

        Absolutely agree that odds are a lot of the applications aren’t actually very relevant to the role, but are just people shotgunning things out there. The only thing that makes me wonder is that roles that aren’t using one of the 1-click application processes still track the overall trend of super high numbers.

    4. griffen

      Jobs are available, it seems possible fully remote is beginning to fade somewhat as execs or senior management want to send a message. I check the job boards locally in South Carolina often every few weeks, albeit I am currently employed in a fully remote role.

      Working through a recruiter or hiring firm might provide a clearer view; financial services roles are available but I believe that can be largely attributed to churn instead of real corporate growth or expansion. Added, since the PMC / managers weren’t wowed or floored by my exploits since circa 2012 I’ve never gotten my foot in the door again to either a senior or manager position. It was 2008/2009 when I could actually be grouped in that category. Alas it’s water under the bridge.

  10. John

    The tools of the US internationally are threats, sanctions, and force. Some university presidents, purported ‘educators’, have read the playbook: they deploy threats, sanctions, and force against students who disagree, who are angered and disgusted, with their government and their university’s support for genocide.

    Have you noticed that officials of a foreign government are admonishing the US to bring these “unruly elements” under control. Who is in charge here and what are their goals?

  11. Jason Boxman

    It always takes a Democrat to normalize conservative, and capitalist, policy preferences; We see this here with H5N1, where, as if by magic, by not testing, it has gone away. That was Trump’s desired approach, adopted by Biden in lockstep with GBD crowd, during his failing presidency, and so it surprises little that this is the immediate approach taken, through malice or incompetence, in regards to H5N1. We’ll know it is fit for person to person transmission when hospitals begin to get overwhelmed with some mysterious respiratory illness in areas with plenty of factory cow farming, and probably not before. Of course at that point, it will be too late, endemic, and so we’ll have to learn to live with it. If we see a double digit death rate, all bets are off though.

  12. Another Scott

    Today in Trump is asking for my vote. The former president is fighting with the Presidential Debate Commission over the dates of the presidential debates because one of them wants to have the debates before people vote. I don’t think debates really matter and think Trump would (and did) refuse to participate when they don’t suit him, but I find it disturbing that the commission and the media seems to think that it’s ok for people to vote without knowing what was said at the debates. I guess it’s more of an indictment of early voting than the debates.


  13. Wukchumni

    Hail, Columbia, unhappy land,
    Hail, ye heroes, Gen Z born band,
    Who got arrested for Freedom’s cause,
    Who got arrested for Freedom’s cause,
    And when the storm of NYPD was gone,
    Enjoy’d the statement your valor won.
    Let independence be your boast,
    Ever mindful what it cost,
    Ever grateful for the prize,
    Let its student body reach the skies.

    Firm, united let us be,
    Rallying round your liberty,
    As a band of brothers join’d
    Peace and safety we shall not find.

    Sound, sound the trump of fame,
    Let the protesters great fame
    Ring through the world with loud applause,
    Ring through the world with loud applause,
    Let ev’ry clime to freedom dear,
    Listen with a joyful ear,
    With equal skill, with God-like pow’r
    They stand up in the fearful hour
    Of horrid genocidal war, or guides with ease
    The happier time of honest peace.

  14. Wukchumni

    That NYPD MRAP vehicle in the Columbia video was perhaps the vestige of a lost war in Iraq, brought home to quell the infidels stateside. What’s with that goofy ladder on it?

    1. JBird4049

      It looks kinda like medieval or classical siege machinery with the armored soldiers police going over the walls. The fact that they actually have that thing is disturbing.

      1. Sub-Boreal


        Alas, the students didn’t provide the most appropriate response. (I realize that this could be a generational thing.)

  15. Mikel

    Re: Lab mice
    “Now do cats.”

    If lab experiments on cats were exposed, half of NC would have a conniption.

    1. digi_owl

      I can’t help wonder if we are reading too much into the result.

      That is food is abundant, there may be an innate reflex to “experiment”. If the food access then drops, go back to the older behavior that kept it fed. But if it improves the food supply, keep going with the new pattern.

      Seriously, we see a similar thing with ourselves. By far most of us are loss averse. We will take a sure thing over a possible thing even if the odds are very favorable.

    1. bassmule

      Harder to play than you might think. I struggled with the bass line, after having played it wrong for 40 years…gotta just sorta flip from the F# to the G#…
      Peter Gunn

  16. Roger Blakely

    RE: KP.2, surprise

    I am so sensitive to SARS-CoV-2 that I feel every transition from one dominant subvariant to the next dominant subvariant.

    I go whacked two weeks ago in an Asian food market. My theory is that I was exposed to a group of people different from the group of people that I see daily. The other people’s version of SARS-CoV-2 is probably slightly different. I got whacked again last week, which left me at home in bed for the second weekend in a row.

    The arrival of KP.2 giving me a good whack makes sense to me. It did not make sense to me that the transition from JN1 to JN1.13.1 would have such a dramatic effect.

    Last year the transition from BA.5 to XBB.1.5 was dramatic. XBB.1.5 really knocked me down.

    1. David in Friday Harbor

      I know long-time LATimes reporter Teresa Watanabe, who shot the video of the attack on the pro-Palestine encampment at UCLA. She’s a straight-shooter. Her video objectively depicts fascist behavior by the attackers. I’ll leave deciphering their foreign-sounding accents to others, but I have my ideas.

      It’s time for all decent people to start acknowledging that Mussolini-sycophant Ze’ev Jabotinsky’s Revisionist Zionist movement was (and is as Likud) explicitly fascist — and that the Irgun/Stern Gang thugs Menachem Begin and Yitzhak Shamir and Jabotinsky’s secretary’s son Bibi and their followers are the source of 80 years of violence in Palestine.

  17. digi_owl

    Regarding Embraer and 737, do not forget that they already have their E-Jet series.

  18. sleeplessintokyo

    Seems to me Columbia is a trial run for what is to come for ALL of US

  19. The Rev Kev

    “Scientists tried to give people COVID — and failed”

    ‘Despite their immunity to the ancestral strains, nearly 40% of the participants experienced an Omicron infection after being released from quarantine by December 2022, and one even got it twice.’

    I got the feeling with that statement that something important was missed. Something about how that attempted infection had some sort of effect on those participant nonetheless. Maybe weakened their immune system or left fragments of the virus in the body that Omicron could hook into. But they missed it because they are concentrated on getting the right sort of virus for their challenge trials.

  20. Screwball

    Off topic but I must ask. I know there are a bunch of cat lovers here. I’m looking for some advice.

    I have a large 12 year old kitty who has had a bout with arthritis in the past. I think it has returned. I’ve done some research and it seems there’s not much I can do other than drugs.

    I don’t trust what I read, and I’m not real thrilled with my Vet. All they seem to care about is money – imagine that – sound familiar?

    Thanks in advance.

    1. Milton

      My 16.5 yr old terrier is on librela. He’s had pretty good results but nothing miraculous as was told to us by our vet. The medication is also available for cats with about the same effectiveness.

    2. kareninca

      We had good luck with our arthritic elderly dog with hybrid THC; we got tablet form, being careful to avoid dog-toxic fillers. It is also what is helping my 99 year old father in law with his compression fractures (in addition to the safe maximum about of acetaminophen)(opioids were totally useless). I have no idea if this is an option for cats. I know that as of several years ago vets in CA were legally forbidden to discuss the topic with clients (maybe because there is no pharma money to be made that way?), so you may not be able to get information in the usual manner.

  21. flora

    Columbia University’s commencement date is May 15th this year per their website, so 2 weeks from now, so of course they need NYPD forces on site, on campus, until then because of whatever because of course they do. Sheesh. Living in flyover land has never looked so good in terms of general Constitutional rights in my now long life until now. / ;)

  22. The Rev Kev

    “Let’s Look Back at Boeing’s 10-Year Struggle to Launch Humans on Starliner”

    I’ve got a bad feeling about this. They have made too many mistakes even though they have been in the space business for decades now. That business of the flammable tape would be a howler if it was not happening in real life as was the rusty valve caused by Florida’s climate which they should have know about. have they lost al institutional memory from their early days?

  23. flora

    When the Red Red Robin comes bob bobbing along, recorded in 1926 by Paul Whiteman and his orchestra. Also recorded later by Al Jolson and even later by Arthur Godfrey in the 1950’s, back in the day. / cheers


    When the red red robin comes bob bobbin’ along, there’ll be no more stoppin’ his own sweet song….

    1. flora

      “Wake up wake up you sleepy head get up get up get out of bed
      Cheer up cheer up the sun is red live love laugh and be happy”

    1. flora

      Congress alone, only one part of the three part branches of the US govt, does not have the final and absolute say. / ;) We will see.

      1. JBird4049

        Dead from a sudden illness at age 45. How convenient for Boeing and Spirit. People honestly do die from sudden illness all the time, much as people commit suicide. However, after John Barnett’s “suicide,” I am thinking Jeffrey Epstein’s “suicide”, and while Occam’s Razor does not quite fit, neither does mere chance.

  24. JohnnySacks

    “The problem for the protesters is they chose the one issue that could provoke police force of this kind”

    Seems the perfect kind of issue if that’s the case. Otherwise what other low hanging fruit would the media vultures have to feed on?

    I heard all I ever want to hear in the first 10 minutes: “outside agitators”, “anarchists”, 2024 versions of 60’s “Dirty Hippies”, “Commies”, “Pinkos” spoon fed to Mr. and Mrs. Jones in their comfy living rooms by Huntley-Brinkley.

Comments are closed.