2:00PM Water Cooler 5/13/2024

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Patient readers, this is an abbreviated Water Cooler because I need to finish up a post on Apple’s “Crush” Ad and finance capitalism. –lambert P.S. A reader corrected a Covid Resources entry in a comment, and for the life of me I can’t find it. May I ask this reader to comment once more? Thank you!

Bird Song of the Day

Ventriloquial Oriole, Deramakot Forest Reserve, Sabah, Malaysia.

* * *

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

* * *

2024

Less than a half a year to go!

RCP Poll Averages, May 10:

National results now moving Trump’s way. All of the Swing States (more here) are now in Trump’s column, including Michigan and Wisconsin. Pennsylvania leans more Trump this week than last. Of course, it goes without saying that these are all state polls, therefore bad, and most of the results are within the margin of error. Now, if either candidate starts breaking away in points, instead of tenths of a point…. NOTE I changed the notation: Up and down arrows for increases or decreases over last week, circles for no change. Red = Trump. Blue would be Biden if he were leading anywhere, but he isn’t.

* * *

Trump (R) (Bragg/Merchan): “Trump hush money trial: A timeline of key events in the case” [Associated Press]. First key event: “January 2005: Trump marries his current wife, Melania.” • Hmm. Useful, though!

Trump (R) (Bragg/Merchan): “Michael Cohen: A challenging star witness in Donald Trump’s hush money trial” [Associated Press]. “In criminal trials, many witnesses come to the stand with their own criminal records, relationships with defendants, prior contradictory statements or something else that could affect their credibility. Cohen has a particular set of baggage. In testimony, he will need to explain his prior disavowals of key aspects of the hush money arrangements and to convince jurors that this time he is telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.”

Trump (R) (Bragg/Merchan): “Stormy Daniels Takes the Stand” [Lawfare]. From their live blog, the defense, questioning Jeff McConney, Trump Organization controller: “Bove, however, does not get sidetracked. Payments to lawyers are for legal expenses, right? Yes. And you booked those expenses as legal expenses, right? Yes. You rarely had conversations with President Trump, right? Very rarely. And you never gave him a tour of the accounting system, did you? Right. Did [Trump Organization CFO Alan] Weisselberg ever suggest that Trump told him to do these things? No, McConney says. He never told him that.” • Hate the source, but it’s a good live blog. Worth a read.

Trump (R) (Bragg/Merchan): “Stormy Daniels Steps Down” [Lawfare]. • Many inconsistences in Daniels story, but substantive?

* * *

Biden (D): “Remarks by President Biden at a Campaign Reception | Seattle, WA” (transcript) [White House]. ” But we’re never going to forget.We’ll never forget the fact — him lying about the pandemic. He knew how dangerous it was, but he didn’t want to — he wouldn’t say it to anybody. He said, ‘Just go inject a little bleach in your arm.’ (Laughter.) Too bad he didn’t. (Laughter and applause.) Look — all kidding aside, it was bizarre. We lost a million people. And all the data shows those million, every one of them had eight people that were significant to them — brothers, sisters, uncle, aunts, mothers, fathers, wives, children.” • Open, shameless lying (no doubt to a cheering “Vote Blue No Matter Who” crowd). On bleach: I don’t have time to dig out the link, but the day this story broke, I checked the transcript, because you always have to check the transcript with Trump. Trump didn’t say that. “Bleach” was Pelosi’s addition, and the press dogpiled with it. More seriously, on the million deaths, most of them happened on Biden’s watch. See the handy chart at right:

* * *

“Trump Leads in 5 Key States, as Young and Nonwhite Voters Express Discontent With Biden” [New York Times]. “Donald J. Trump leads President Biden in five crucial battleground states, a new set of polls shows, as a yearning for change and discontent over the economy and the war in Gaza among young, Black and Hispanic voters threaten to unravel the president’s Democratic coalition. The surveys by The New York Times, Siena College and The Philadelphia Inquirer found that Mr. Trump was ahead among registered voters in a head-to-head matchup against Mr. Biden in five of six key states: Michigan, Arizona, Nevada, Georgia and Pennsylvania. Mr. Biden led among registered voters in only one battleground state, Wisconsin.”

“Democrats Hold Leads in 4 Crucial Races That Could Decide Senate Control” [New York Times]. “Democratic candidates for the Senate in Arizona, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin lead their Republican rivals and are running well ahead of President Biden in key states where he continues to struggle, according to polls by The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer and Siena College.”

Pandemics

“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!

* * *

Airborne Transmission

“Reducing Transmission of Airborne Respiratory Pathogens: A New Beginning as the COVID-19 Emergency Ends” [Linsey C. Marr and Jonathan M. Samet, Environmental Health Perspectives]. Important. Concluding: “In the authors’ opinion, it is clear that the largest hurdle to reducing the risk of airborne transmission of diseases is not the lack of scientific knowledge but rather barriers to implementation of interventions. These barriers include funding to support changes to infrastructure and operations, education of facility managers and decision-makers about technical solutions, and raising public awareness about the importance of indoor air quality for health. Timely and evidence-driven standards for indoor air quality and ventilation are needed, along with effective air-cleaning technologies to effect change and promote equity in protection against airborne pathogens. In the opinion of the authors, we must bridge the gap between science and implementation to realize the potential of improved indoor air management more fully.

Perhaps the greatest barrier is that no single entity is responsible for designing, implementing, and evaluating initiatives to reduce transmission of respiratory pathogens in indoor environments. A strategic research agenda is needed that addresses key uncertainties and supports development and implementation of evidence-based strategies to reduce infection risk in indoor environments. There are parallel gaps around respiratory protection.97 No single entity is charged with addressing critical evidence gaps, and research funding in this area was limited prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. We are concerned that progress will stall with developing evidence-based interventions to reduce airborne infection with the end of the COVID-19 emergency. This lull is the time to prepare for the inevitable next pandemic caused by a respiratory pathogen.”

Testing and Tracking

“CDC launching wastewater dashboard to track bird flu virus spread” [STAT]. “Reluctance among dairy farmers to report H5N1 bird flu outbreaks within their herds or allow testing of their workers has made it difficult to keep up with the virus’s rapid spread, prompting federal public health officials to look to wastewater to help fill in the gaps. On Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expected to unveil a public dashboard tracking influenza A viruses in sewage that the agency has been collecting from 600 wastewater treatment sites around the country since last fall. The testing is not H5N1-specific; H5N1 belongs to the large influenza A family of viruses, as do two of the viruses that regularly sicken people during flu season. But flu viruses that cause human disease circulate at very low levels during the summer months. So the presence of high levels of influenza A in wastewater from now through the end of the summer could be a reliable indicator that something unusual is going on in a particular area. Wastewater monitoring, at least at this stage, cannot discern the sources — be they from dairy cattle, run-off from dairy processors, or human infections — of any viral genetic fragments found in sewage, although the agency is working on having more capability to do so in the future.” • Why on earth this extreme deference toward dairy farmers with a pandemic at stake?

Transmission: H5N1

“Despite H5N1 bird flu outbreaks in dairy cattle, raw milk enthusiasts are uncowed” [Los Angeles Times]. • Go long Darwin Awards.

Elite Maleficence

The UN cleaned its air by 2021. They know:

They just don’t want you to know.

* * *

Lambert here: Patient readers, I’m going to have to rethink this beautifully formatted table. Looks like Biobot data still functions, CDC variant data functions, ER visits are dead, New York hospitalization seems to be dead since 5/1 [No, it’s alive!], when CDC stopped mandatory hospital data collection, Walgreens functions, Cleveland Clinic functions, CDC traveler’s data functions, New York Times death data has stopped. (Note that the two metrics the hospital-centric CDC cared about, hospitalization and deaths, have both gone down). Ideally I would replace hospitalization and death data, but I’m not sure how. I might also expand the wastewater section to include (yech) Verily data, H5N1 if I can get it. Suggestions and sources welcome.

TABLE 1: Daily Covid Charts

Cases
National[1] Biobot May 6: Regional[2] Biobot May 6:
Variants[3] CDC April 27 Emergency Room Visits[4] CDC March 23
Hospitalization
New York[5] New York State, data May 9: National [6] CDC April 27:
Positivity
National[7] Walgreens May 13: Ohio[8] Cleveland Clinic May 4:
Travelers Data
Positivity[9] CDC May 11: Variants[10] CDC April 15:
Deaths[11]
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 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) FWIW, given that the model completely missed KP.2.

[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) The data is now updating again. 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) Slight uptick.

[8] (Cleveland) Leveling out.

[9] (Travelers: Posivitity) Flattens.

[10] (Travelers: Variants) JN.1 dominates utterly. Still 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

There are no statistics of interest today.

* * *

Real Estate: “The hot business of cold storage” [Sherwood News]. “If you had to identify a specific type of real estate that has seen its value increase because of changing consumer eating habits, global demographic shifts, worldwide pandemic preparedness, and US export policy — while its importance to reducing global carbon emissions and adapting to climate change rise in tandem — refrigerated warehouses may not be your first pick. But there’s a strong case to be made that the expansion and evolution of the cold-storage industry — often called the “cold chain” — will play a significant role in energy, environmental, and economic news in the 21st century. Cold storage facilities aren’t fun places to visit; some are kept so frigid, at minus 50 degrees Fahrenheit, that the workers who toil in these windowless spaces rotate in 15-minute shifts, despite their heavy protective gear. But refrigerated warehouses are great to build and own. Investors and developers expect 8 to 10% annual growth in this specialized real estate, according to Adam Thocher, SVP of Global Programs and Insights at the Global Cold Chain Alliance (GCCA). That’s made it a profitable real-estate niche. ‘When I think of our business at its most germane, it’s food infrastructure,’ said Jonathan Epstein, managing partner of BGO (formerly BentallGreenOak), a global real-estate investment firm that develops and operates these spaces. ‘And because of the nature of changing supply chains, there’s not enough of it, especially in the developing world, and what’s there is old.'”

Antitrust:

I should probably have filed this under Guillotine Watch….

* * *

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 50 Neutral (previous close: 47 Neutral) [CNN]. One week ago: 47 (Neutral). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated May 13 at 12:21:57 PM ET.

Rapture Index: Closes up one on Earthquakes. “The strongest quake in 25 years hit Taiwan” [Rapture Ready]. Record High, October 10, 2016: 189. Current: 188. (Remember that bringing on the Rapture is good.) • Bird flu not a concern, apparently. And I hate even to go here, but the “Tribulation Temple” category is a mere 3. If Tribulation Temple = Third Temple = whatever temple it is that the Red Heifer loons want to build, then the Rapture Index made the right call, amazingly enough. It said: “Don’t worry about the Red Heifers.”

News of the Wired

“The rage epidemic: is our modern world fuelling aggression?” [Guardian]. “According to the Gallup Global Emotions Report, anger around the world has been rising since 2016, with 23% of respondents now feeling angry on any given day – figures are understandably much higher in war zones. In the UK in recent years shop workers and service staff have reported sharp rises in customer abuse in recent years, and one study showed criminal violence in GP surgeries had doubled in five years (this was back when it was possible to get an appointment in a GP surgery). Reported road-rage incidents also increased by 40 per cent from 2021 to 2022 (although lockdowns would have played a part).” • Lockdowns Not a pandemic virus shown to have decreased executive function. Lockdowns [lambert bangs head on desk].

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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.

35 comments

  1. Dr. John Carpenter

    Biden is trying to make us forget that he promised $2000 checks, but we’ll never forget.

    (Repeat as needed for kids in cages, student loan forgiveness, roe vs wade, etc.)

    Reply
    1. griffen

      Phrases from say 2021 – 2023 that did not age well for $200? Here’s a starting list..

      “America is Back.”
      “Adults are Back in the Room”
      “Putin has already lost”
      “COVID-19 Pandemic is Over”

      Reply
      1. Lena

        A Dem liberal friend told me this weekend that “Biden has healed our broken nation!” She also said her favorite Democrat is Mayo Pete. She’s had Covid at least six times. The last time was in April.

        I need new friends.

        Reply
        1. Pat

          Someone I know was scared Trump was going to win. I didn’t help them when I said unless something miraculous happens, probably. And then I corrected them on who was threatening the American way of life, listing the assaults on our civil rights in the last three years.

          But they are used to me.

          Reply
    2. chris

      To be fair, Biden himself has likely forgotten. I doubt he knows what he had for lunch today!

      The ultimate question here is will Trump hate and abortion rights carry the rotting corpse of the Democrats across the finish line? Or is the general awfulness of everything enough to make voters stay home and let Trump come in and promise to upset everything while largely being a standard Republican agent? I think Biden has the best odds going forward because this time it’s not just some of the press and some of the intelligence community aligned with the democrats. It is all of the intelligence community, all of the military brass, all of the press, 30% of voting Republicans, and all the Democrats.

      Reply
        1. chris

          Cheers petal. At the end of all things, all we have is each other.

          But who knows what may come next? Maybe if we stick together we can help guide the next situation to being a better place.

          Reply
  2. Elizabeth Burton

    So, we’re pretending it’s still just the dementia patient and the raving narcissist megalomaniac and ignore the independent third option who just submitted a quarter-million signatures for ballot access in Texas?

    As for COVID, that anyone with any sense is obsessed with counting hospitalizations and alleged CV-19 deaths instead of the emerging proof the “pandemic” was essentially an iatrogenic debacle is amazing proof of how thoroughly people have been conditioned by the paid-for terrorism campaign.

    Reply
    1. Val

      Ask your doctor if a criminal supranational authoritarian rent-seeking iatrogenic debacle is right for you.

      Reply
    2. Emma

      How about the anti-genocide third party candidate who is likely to qualify for ballots in all 50 states?

      Reply
  3. Henry Moon Pie

    ” Lockdowns Not a pandemic virus shown to have decreased executive function.”

    I wouldn’t deny that decreased executive function is a factor in what we’ve all experienced as an explosion of angry, even unhinged behavior, but lockdowns may have had a significant impact as well. How many people lead lives of quiet desperation, hating their jobs, feeling as if their lives are far beyond their control, experiencing being pushed around by governments and corporations? Our Madmen have inculcated in us the idea that it all can be endured if we can just enjoy the Friday special on baby back ribs at Applebee’s or a concert featuring our favorite band or a shopping trip at the mall. When that was taken away, even temporarily and halfheartedly, the rage began to build.

    Dylan had it pegged a long time ago in one of my favorite Dylan songs:

    For them that must obey authority
    That they do not respect in any degree,
    Who despise their jobs, their destiny,
    Speak jealously of them that are free,
    Do what they do just to be
    Nothing more than something they invest in.

    “It’s Alright, Ma

    Reply
    1. LifelongLib

      There are probably some types of work that are so dangerous or unpleasant that nobody really wants to do them. Those are the ones we should be trying to automate. But a lot of people don’t mind doing even hard physical work if the pay and other conditions are decent. Back when I was a computer guy I didn’t meet anybody who envied me for sitting at a desk all day. When I explained to contractors and delivery people what I did the usual response was “Oh, I couldn’t stand that, I like being on my feet, using my hands”.

      Reply
  4. JTMcPhee

    “ extreme deference toward dairy farmers” — money lobby intersection of “fork you mopes — just buy until you die.” Not so hard to understand. How many “legislators” and “executive branch functionaries” are enough to defeat disorganized and fragmented mope with no voice” when it comes to wealth accretion at the expense of the commons? Not very many, in the imperial conferees of corruption.

    Reply
  5. lyman alpha blob

    RE: Biden’s claims about Trump’s “lying” about the pandemic.

    Thanks to CoronaJoe being honest to a fault himself, we now know that the rona can be 100% cured by provoking Russia to invade Ukraine, and nothing need be said about the pandemic ever again. Think I saw that on the WHO website, so you know it must be true.

    Reply
  6. DJG, Reality Czar

    Lambert Strether asks, Now why the extreme deference toward dairy farmers? With a mere pandemic at stake?

    Because the capitalist model of dairy farms is a scandal. The U S of A is on the verge of a scandal like the tainted-milk scandals that led to the passage of the act establishing the Food and Drug Administration.

    CDC waterwater surveillance dashboard article from STAT: The quotes from the lead researcher Ann Kirby, who is being rather kind, or coy, or industry-adjacent about what she is finding:

    “What I will say is we have learned that animal operations and livestock, particularly dairy, is far more mobile than we anticipated. So, cows moving around from farm to farm, but also milk moving around,” she said. “So just because the dairy processing facility is in a community, doesn’t mean that it’s getting milk from farms nearby.”

    [Translation: As in the case of the mobile beehives, it’s animal abuse. And like so many other areas of U.S. life, the “producers” cannot guarantee what is in their product. Why not viruses? Why not cottonseed oil? Why not dyes deemed safe for human consumption?]

    And:
    “We did not expect this presentation in dairy cattle where you would have high concentrations of virus in milk. And what we’re working on now and learning very quickly about is all the ways that milk and milk products and milk byproducts and waste can get into wastewater systems,” Kirby said.

    Oh. What we are talking about is levels of mismanagement and filth on a par with abused-broiler chicken farms and giant stench-laden hog operations.

    For a long time, dairy farmers got a pass. We all thought about Elsie the Contented Cow, giving pasteurized butter during leisurely days munching on flowering clover in the pasture outside Oshkosh.

    Anecdotally, some friends of mine have a small farm south of Madison, Wisconsin. Their neighbor is a big dairy operation. Every once in while, someone would accidentally discover that the farm had dumped cow carcasses in a creek or culvert. These kinds of messes are what Kirby is alluding to, delicately.

    And the shame of it is that we all know that there are other ways of raising animals. Wendell Berry has only been writing about these problems for how many years?

    Reply
    1. lyman alpha blob

      That quote you pulled where she says the processing facility being in a community doesn’t mean the milk comes from nearby is very odd.

      My family [before congressional policies designed to benefit big ag and screw the small farmer forced them to sell their herd (but I’m not bitter!)], produced their milk in one small town in VT for the Cabot/Agri-Mark co-op [yet despite being a co-op my family had no say in setting prices and wasn’t always paid more than the milk cost to produce (but I’m really not bitter!)]. A refrigerated truck came by every day to pick up their milk and that of other farms along the route and deliver it to the closest processing plant. According to their website, there are four of them around the NE US: https://agrimark.coop/our_plants/

      Once the milk is picked up, the storage tank and milking equipment at the farm is thoroughly washed, so the equipment is clean for the next day, with the wastewater going down the drain. If the farm is on a public water system (and not all of them are), that’s how the milk products get in the wastewater system.

      This has happened for many, many decades and yet somehow the person you quoted seems surprised to discover this. How could they not know this already?!!!?? Sounds like they hired an MBA for this job rather than someone who knows how many teats a cow has.

      Reply
      1. ambrit

        It’s even stranger when we consider that said MBAs and associated PMCs are adept at milking the Public Treasury, and thus, must be very, even intimately aware of teats and the milking of.
        That would make a good political cartoon. The Government as a big red, white, and blue cow with dozens of teats being ‘massaged’ by lobbyists and ‘donors.’ Make it a real dense crowd of “milkers,” and highlight some of the jockeying for position going on at the outskirts of that crowd.
        Finally, a representation of our favourite influence peddling nation proudly standing just behind poor Bessie, with a very surprised and outraged look on Mz. Moos face.
        There will be Safe For Work and Not Safe For Work versions, naturally.
        Stay safe Consumer/Citizen.

        Reply
  7. LawnDart

    China?

    Opinion: Enlightening Lessons From the Rise of China’s NEVs

    China’s automotive industry has reached a landmark moment. In the first half of April, both the wholesale and retail penetration rates of new-energy passenger vehicles exceeded 50% for the first time, according to data from the China Passenger Car Association. This milestone follows last year’s achievements where Chinese car exports exceeded those of Japan — taking the lead.

    https://www.caixinglobal.com/2024-05-13/opinion-enlightening-lessons-from-the-rise-of-chinas-nevs-102195772.html

    Yeah– protectionism, tariffs, telling the US consumer that they have to pay double the price than for less-advanced, lower-quality products is surely a means towards manufacturing success… America’s ever-so becoming more and more the backwards-arsed, isolated, decrepit shithole.

    Reply
  8. Matthew G. Saroff

    I think that raw milk drinkers are reckless, but best evidence is that pasteurization temperatures do not inactivate flu viruses.

    Reply
  9. Samuel Conner

    > Why on earth this extreme deference toward dairy farmers with a pandemic at stake?

    It’s a cunning R plot, setting JRB up to get hammered by DJT. I can hear it now: “Sleepy Joe snoozed away our chance to get ahead of the moo ‘flu before it became a pandemic.”

    /s

    Reply
  10. Wukchumni

    Moo river, wider than a mile
    H5N1 crossing you in style some day
    Oh, avian flu maker, you heart breaker
    Wherever you’re goin’, I’m goin’ your way

    Dread heifers, off to infect the world
    There’s such a lot of world to seize
    We’re after the same rainbow’s end
    Waitin’ ’round the bend
    My H5N1 friend
    Moo river and me

    Moon River, performed by the 3 Tenors

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ygUsFBQamlo

    Reply
  11. Pat

    Joe Biden has spent his lifetime lying. His campaigns are a feast of lies and slander. I have to laugh when people go on about Trump lying. Oh, he does, but I know of half a dozen times Trump said honest to god truthful things out loud and in public, which is half a dozen more times than I can say that about Joe. Well wait there was his description of Giuliani’s campaign style that was true. (Noun verb 9/11).

    Reply
    1. LawnDart

      Joe Biden has spent his lifetime lying…

      That’s the world of our ruling-class: by mid-childhood they’ve figured-out who their servants are, who their lessers are, who it’s ok to shit upon and who must be treated with deference– true Hobbesian existence of material values and ingrained acquisitivness totally bereft of morality or virtue.

      It’s either us or them, without compromise.

      Reply
  12. McWatt

    Chicago local flu anecdotal: Two close friends came down with “flu” last week. One tested negative at the beginning, never tested again. One will not test now or ever again after having Covid once says “whatever it is I’ll get sick but I will get better.” Both lost a week of work and feel weak this week.

    Wait…what? Flu in May?

    Reply
    1. Big River Bandido

      No, he’s just responding to pressure from Republican Senators who are out ahead of him on this issue.

      Reply
  13. truly

    Having grown up on a dairy farm I wanted to share a few thoughts. Primarily around the BENEFIT of corporate farming practices as they pertain to the welfare of the dairy cows. I am sure that there are lots of ways that corporate dairy operates that we should be worried about. But comparing family farms to corporate farms, the corp farms treat cattle much more humanely.
    The key to top milk production is happy calm cattle eating a perfect diet. And for keeping vet bills down and life expectancy up there can be no sharp edges, nothing to get caught on, no mud to stand in, and no slippery spots that could lead to a life ending fall. Yes, like elderly humans in which a broken hip can be a death sentence, a slip and fall for a 1500 pound animal can be a death sentence. Corporate number crunchers understand that investing in perfect conditions leads to better productivity. Family farms may take short cuts and cost savings measures that are counter productive. I have witnessed, on family farms, cows getting beaten with canes, boards, straps, etc, and being shocked to get them behaving properly. As Temple Grandin has taught us, if animals don’t want to move down the line, alley, or chute, there is a design flaw in that walkway. A corporate set up would figure out the solution. A family farmer might just beat his cattle to get them moving. I also know of family farmers who will dock cow tails (in quite an inhumane way) so the cow wont swish their dirty tail at farmer. Most all corporate dairies milk in parlors where the cow is up in the air and the tail cant hit the worker anyhow.
    And then lets talk about dehorning. Surely the corporate dairies are systematically removing horns at a very young age. The younger you do it the less pain, trauma and also more cost effective. If you have ever had to spend the day removing horns with a hack saw, horns that should have been removed months earlier… Oh. The Trauma. For them.
    Anyhow, not dismissing a bunch of true and accurate concerns about the impact of corporate farming in so many other ways, it should be known that they usually treat their cattle much better. Yes, you will find the occasional family farm that treats cattle well, but based on my years on the farm, that will be the exception.

    Reply
  14. The Rev Kev

    ‘wsbgnl
    @wsbgnl
    Trump is trying to make the country forget how a million people died of covid while he was president, but we’ll never forget’

    Yeah, it was pretty bad. One time he upped and announced that the Pandemic was over, even though it was still roaring along. Started to disassemble all the machinery and support that had been built up as well and left people to fend off this virus all on their own. Oh wait, that was all old Joe.

    Reply
  15. Irrational

    The Covid Resource Entry comment you were looking for?

    Ghost in the Machine
    May 10, 2024 at 2:17 pm

    The link to the Utah wastewater site in the Covid section is no longer active. It has been switched to this new site:

    https://avrpublic.dhhs.utah.gov/uwss/

    Thanks for all you do to spread information about this disease.

    Reply

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