By Lambert Strether of Corrente.
Patient readers, I got a late start today due to household issues. More soon; for whatever reason, there was a boatload of Covid news. Thanks for your patience! –lambert
Bird Song of the Day
Beautiful Nuthatch, Mishmi Hills–65 (65 km), Lower Dibang Valley, Arunachal Pradesh, India.
“So many of the social reactions that strike us as psychological are in fact a rational management of symbolic capital.” –Pierre Bourdieu, Classification Struggles
Time for the Countdown Clock!
* * *
“The Memo: Worried Democrats fret Trump is more electable than believed” [The Hill]. “[I]t’s notable that on three of the most controversial issues facing the nation — abortion, immigration and the war in Ukraine — Trump is either trimming his sails into an electable shape, or public opinion is shifting in his direction….One Democratic strategist who asked for anonymity to speak candidly said that anyone who doesn’t think Trump can win in 2024 is ‘an absolute fool.’ The strategist cited inflation, concern about Biden’s age and immigration, emphasizing ‘the crisis that you are seeing playing out in multiple states because of the number of people coming across the border.’ The war in Ukraine is unlikely to be quite so pivotal in the 2024 election, given that foreign policy rarely dominates elections unless American forces themselves are in harm’s way. Nonetheless, Trump’s skepticism about open-ended support for Ukraine is finding a wider audience than it did at the outset of the war.”
“‘I like him even better now’: Trump’s true believers keep the faith” [Guardian]. “What is striking about the traveling circus is not what has changed over that time but what has stayed the same. Hawkers still move up and down the line selling Trump calendars, keychains and other regalia with captions such as ‘Gun rights matter’, ‘Fight for Trump’, ‘Jesus is my savior, Trump is my president’, ‘No more bullshit’, ‘Trumpinator: I’ll be back’ and ‘Fuck Biden and fuck you for voting for him’. . Twentieth-century music from Abba, Celine Dion, Elvis Presley and Whitney Houston booms from loudspeakers. Video clips of allies such as the broadcaster Tucker Carlson and Hungarian autocrat Viktor Orbán receive cheers and those of foes such as Biden and the Florida governor, Ron DeSantis, elicit boos and jeers. The former reality TV star still enters to thunderous cheers and chants of ‘USA! USA!’ People wave signs bearing his name and snap photos on their phones; one stood on a chair wearing an ‘I love Trump’ T-shirt. Trump still plays the parts of demagogue, divider and standup comic, serving red meat to supporters who revel in shared grievance and the thrill of transgression. The slogan then is the slogan now: ‘Make America great again’ (Maga), emblazoned on a blue backdrop to the stage where Trump spoke for 80 minutes. But for his supporters that phrase has taken on added meaning: Maga is now imbued with nostalgia for the Trump presidency when, as they perceive it, borders were strong and .”
Repurposing the Censorship Industrial Complex? Why not?
He did a fascism pic.twitter.com/JP7TfrT7Br
— Jennifer Mercieca (@jenmercieca) September 25, 2023
When you’ve lost Matt Drudge?
Kind of wild that Drudge report is more accurately conveying the gravity of Trump’s threat to USA democracy than the mainstream media. https://t.co/evx1eFSTdl
— Jeet Heer (@HeerJeet) September 25, 2023
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“DeSantis under pressure to get off the ropes in second Republican debate” [Washington Examiner]. “University of Michigan debate director Aaron Kall predicts DeSantis will be ‘a bigger punching bag’ during Wednesday’s debate at the Reagan Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum in Simi Valley, California. ‘This will probably be the first time that we get to see how he responds to being attacked or counterpunched,” the co-author of Debating The Donald told the Washington Examiner. ‘It will be a smaller stage this time, six instead of eight, and so a lot more time for all the candidates and nowhere for any of them to hide or kind of stay above the fray like he was able to successfully do [during the first debate last month] in Milwaukee.’”
“Nikki Haley already beats Biden in polls. Now she needs to win the next Republican debate” [USA Today]. “While Haley has only seen a modest bump in the national primary polls following the debate, she is rising more quickly in early primary states like Iowa and New Hampshire. That’s because, unlike Trump, she’s putting in the time and going to the fairs and events that are integral to the process. The more people get to know her, the more they like her.”
* * *
“Questionable Stock Trade Patterns in Ramaswamy’s Wall Street Past” [Newsweek]. “But one crucial part of his past has so far been overlooked: his short but extremely lucrative stint on Wall Street as a hedge fund investor. Our team carefully mined the Securities and Exchange Commission’s filings archives and Ramaswamy’s own prior statements to recreate and analyze some of his investment history on Wall Street. What we found was shocking. While he was at Yale Law School, Ramaswamy also worked for a hedge fund, QVT Financial. In the span of one year, Ramaswamy and his company invested in three companies—Pharmasset, Inhibitex, and Anadys, all firms in the highly esoteric field of hepatitis C treatments within biotech. And they were all acquired in major takeovers, with Ramaswamy fortuitously buying in or dramatically upping QVT’s stake right around the time secret acquisition talks began in every case…. Was it dumb luck? We don’t have evidence of insider trading. But certainly, Ramaswamy’s timing could not have been better in each of these cases.”… Ramaswamy’s success ‘looks less like lucky investing and more like a known playbook he was reading from,’ noted biotech investor and former Theranos whistleblower Tyler Shultz told us. ‘It certainly raises eyebrows given the repeated pattern.’ Bill George, the former CEO of Medtronic, agreed, telling us these findings showed Ramaswamy to be ‘ who has not achieved on his own.” • Ouch!
“The Iceman Runneth” [Business Insider]. “Behind closed doors, some of these former employees said he can be a neurotic, mercurial, and paranoid leader. He takes pains on the campaign trail to come across as salt of the earth. But a person who worked closely with Ramaswamy said, ‘He thinks people are put on this earth to serve him.’ Ramaswamy has cast himself as the child of penniless immigrants who worked hard and scrapped harder to make it in business. But while his parents may have come from humble beginnings, Ramaswamy was raised in affluence. His father worked as an engineer and patent attorney at General Electric, and his mother worked as a psychiatrist in private practice. Ramaswamy was the valedictorian of his prestigious private boys’ school. In 2011, he received a fellowship from a foundation started by George Soros’ brother to attend Yale Law School, a move he later defended in the conservative media because he ‘didn’t have the money.’ But he was also working at a hedge fund at the same time, earning nearly $500,000 the year he applied for the fellowship and $2.2 million the next year, his tax returns show. Some aspects of his management style are quirky: he’d order Taco Bell for the office on his birthday, according to former employees. But he’s also been known to demand white-glove service from staffers, these people said, insisting that they follow an often bizarre laundry-list of rules and procedures to suit his every need. Chief among them: A relentless fixation on temperature. Not only can Ramaswamy not stand the heat, these people said — he dictated that the office thermostats at Roivant and Strive had to be set to 64 degrees or below. The workspaces were so frigid, former employees told Insider, that coworkers resorted to using space heaters at their desks and wearing their Roivant-branded Patagonia fleeces to ward off the chill.” • “Taco Bell for the office”? “On his birthday”? Sounds like a real sweetheart….
* * *
“Scoop: Biden team’s don’t-let-him-trip mission” [Axios]. • I tripped a lot in my younger days, and no, I wouldn’t advise it for Biden. At all.
“Carville on 75% Not Wanting Biden To Run Again: “That’s A Big F*cking Number” [RealClearPolitics]. “CARVILLE: If we had somebody under 60 and ran against Trump, we would get 55%. I don’t like when people take one poll and you extrapolate too much of it. I’ve seen the last 8 polls and they’re all the same. 73-77% of the country does not want Biden to run again — I’m just going to round that to 75%. Okay. That’s a big fucking number, man.” • It is.’
“The Issue That’s a Bigger Problem for Biden Than His Age” [Ed Kilgore, New York Magazine]. “The drag on Joe Biden’s reelection prospects may have as much to do with persistently dark perceptions of the economy as with concerns about a president who would turn 86 before a second term ended. The latest ABC/Washington Post survey of the presidential contest probably affected a lot of fearful Democratic political junkies like an electric cattle prod plunged into their Sunday morning bathwater. The topline numbers showing Trump leading Biden by 52 percent to 42 percent among registered voters represented a hair-raising departure from the very close general election contest most polls have recently documented; indeed, the Post described its own poll as a probable outlier (the last ABC/WaPo survey in May gave Trump a six-point lead, which also raised eyebrows). But arguably some of the poll’s internal findings should worry Team Biden as much as the horse-race numbers, suggesting that voters are not at all internalizing expert analysis of a steadily improving economy, as ABC’s pollster Gary Langer explains: ‘Forty-four percent of Americans in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll say they’ve gotten worse off financially under Biden’s presidency, the most for any president in ABC/Post polls since 1986….. The poll finds widespread unhappiness with the economy, even on metrics that objectively would tend to indicate recent improvement. Only 35 percent of voters consider the current unemployment rate ‘excellent’ or ‘good;’ 57 percent rated it ‘not so good’ or ‘poor.’ But it’s prices that are really causing Biden problems, Langer notes: ‘The poll probed for details on that sentiment, finding two major irritants: food prices, rated negatively (as not so good or poor) by 91%; and gas and energy prices, rated negatively by 87%.” • And that’s before we get to insurance, as discussed in yesterday’s Water Cooler.
“Biden grapples with concerns over young Black voter support” [The Hill]. “Earlier this month, a poll by The Highland Project found that 69 percent of millennial and Gen Z Black women are dissatisfied with the direction the country is going. Another poll by AEI’s Survey Center on American Life found that only 21 percent of Black voters between 18 and 49 years old want Biden to be the Democratic nominee. Now, in a sign the Biden campaign recognizes this worrying trend, Vice President Harris is spending the month touring historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) as part of a nationwide ‘Fight For Our Freedoms College Tour.’ ‘This generation is critical to the urgent issues that are at stake right now for our future,’ Harris said in a statement earlier this month. ‘It is young leaders throughout America who know what the solutions look like and are organizing in their communities to make them a reality. My message to students is clear: We are counting on you, we need you, you are everything.’” • Great. Where’s my six hundred bucks?
“‘Missing witness’ in Biden corruption probe offers dirt on Hunter FBI ‘mole’ who tipped him off” [New York Post]. “Gal Luft, the fugitive ‘missing witness’ of the Biden corruption investigation, has offered new evidence to the House impeachment inquiry about an FBI mole who tipped off Hunter Biden that his Chinese partners had been named in four sealed indictments in 2017 by Manhattan federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York. The Israeli professor and former Israel Defense Forces officer has been on the run for six months after skipping bail in Cyprus, where he was awaiting extradition to the United States on gun-running and foreign lobbying charges, also brought by the SDNY.” A colorful character! More: “In an open letter to Reps James Comer (R-Ky.), Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and Jason Smith (R-Mo.), the three House committee chairmen running the impeachment inquiry, Luft claims that the tipoff to Chinese executives of CEFC came on the same day that the first son wrote a WhatsApp message shaking down another CEFC employee for millions of dollars over a “highly confidential and time sensitive” matter while claiming his father was in the room with him. ‘I am sitting here with my father, and we would like to understand why the commitment made has not been fulfilled,’ Hunter wrote to CEFC employee Raymond Zhao on July 30, 2017, in a WhatsApp message that was presented to Congress in June during testimony by IRS whistleblower Gary Shapley.” • Hmm.
* * *
“Will Rigging the Primaries Backfire on the DNC?” [The Kennedy Beacon]. “Further exacerbating an already problematic historical moment, the DNC has now issued new rules, stating that any candidates who appear on the ballot in New Hampshire’s “unsanctioned” primary can be punished by receiving zero delegates. For many, it is increasingly difficult to see the DNC’s move against New Hampshire as arbitrary, considering Kennedy has recently polled at around 30% in the state after months of efforts and grassroots organizing there. The DNC has also now issued directives to Iowa demanding it postpone its caucuses to a later date than the first-in-the-nation status (with New Hampshire) that they have held for 50 years. In 2020, Biden placed a dismal fourth in the Iowa caucuses and an even more embarrassing fifth, with zero delegates, in New Hampshire. Naturally, reducing the influence of these votes seems advantageous to him. Meanwhile, the DNC’s decision to give so much weight to South Carolina is bizarre when one considers that the state has voted for the Republican candidate in every general election since 1976, while New Hampshire and Iowa are both competitive swing states that have shifted support between both parties in recent elections. It only makes sense when one considers that South Carolina’s primary single-handedly revived Biden’s moribund candidacy in 2020. The DNC’s tainted primary calendar is also creating significant uncertainty and confusion for many states.”
* * *
“Anti-vaxxers are now a modern political force” [Politico]. “A longtime anti-vaccine group Children’s Health Defense, the nonprofit launched in 2011 under the name World Mercury Project, also saw its revenue balloon. The group, which is led by longshot Democratic presidential candidate Kennedy, saw its revenue go from just over $1 million in 2018 to more than $15 million in 2021, according to the nonprofit’s federal tax filings….. As the nonprofit’s revenue increased, so did Kennedy’s compensation. Children’s Health Defense paid him roughly $500,000 each year in 2022 and 2021, according to his personal financial disclosure and the group’s tax filings, up from $345,000 in 2020 and $131,000 in 2017. The nonprofit salary was still a small share of Kennedy’s overall income; his personal financial disclosure filed as part of his presidential run reported $7.8 million in earnings in 2022, with the bulk of that coming from his work for his environmental law firm.”
“Republicans Lead Race for Private Equity’s 2024 Dollars” [Wall Street Journal]. “The Republican Party is leading the Democratic Party in campaign contributions from employees of private-equity firms for the first time since the 2016 elections, according to data from nonpartisan OpenSecrets, a nonprofit group in Washington that tracks political spending. Republican candidates and committees have received about 56% of the more than $14 million that people who work in the private-equity industry have spent on next year’s elections through the end of June, according to the group’s data.”
Democrats en Déshabillé
Patient readers, it seems that people are actually reading the back-dated post! But I have not updated it, and there are many updates. So I will have to do that. –lambert
I have moved my standing remarks on the Democrat Party (“the Democrat Party is a rotting corpse that can’t bury itself”) to a separate, back-dated post, to which I will periodically add material, summarizing the addition here in a “live” Water Cooler. (Hopefully, some Bourdieu.) It turns out that defining the Democrat Party is, in fact, a hard problem. I do think the paragraph that follows is on point all the way back to 2016, if not before:
The Democrat Party is the political expression of the class power of PMC, their base (lucidly explained by Thomas Frank in Listen, Liberal!). ; if the Democrat Party did not exist, the PMC would have to invent it. . (“PMC” modulo “class expatriates,” of course.) Second, all the working parts of the Party reinforce each other. Leave aside characterizing the relationships between elements of the Party (ka-ching, but not entirely) those elements comprise a network — a Flex Net? An iron octagon? — of funders, vendors, apparatchiks, electeds, NGOs, and miscellaneous mercenaries, with assets in the press and the intelligence community.
Note, of course, that the class power of the PMC both expresses and is limited by other classes; oligarchs and American gentry (see ‘industrial model’ of Ferguson, Jorgensen, and Jie) and the working class spring to mind. Suck up, kick down.
* * *
* * *
Subject Line: “We have an incomplete in your file!” How Orwellian.
I have no idea what the “DGA” is, and the mail doesn’t say. “D” for Democrat, I suppose; yes, “Democratic Governors Association.” Anyhow, I’ve marked up some the more egregious hard selling:
I sure hope this doesn’t go on my permanent record! Didn’t Michelle Goldberg tell the Democrats to stop doing this stuff? Looks like they’ve doubled down. An autoplay video, ffs!
Unity. Pass it on. pic.twitter.com/NjY0Bg4Z8S
— Matt Stoller (@matthewstoller) September 25, 2023
“The Washington Gerontocracy” [David Remnick, The New Yorker]. “The real menace isn’t posed by an elderly pol intent on protecting and renewing a democratic republic; it’s posed by a chaos agent who fomented insurrection and promises to return America to a state of misery.”
“I am in earnest — I will not equivocate — I will not excuse — I will not retreat a single inch — AND I WILL BE HEARD.” –William Lloyd Garrison
Resources, United States (National): Transmission (CDC); Wastewater (CDC, Biobot; includes many counties; Wastewater Scan, includes drilldown by zip); Variants (CDC; Walgreens); “Iowa COVID-19 Tracker” (in IA, but national data). “Infection Control, Emergency Management, Safety, and General Thoughts” (especially on hospitalization by city).
Lambert here: Readers, thanks for the collective effort. To update any entry, do feel free to contact me at the address given with the plants. Please put “COVID” in the subject line. Thank you!
Resources, United States (Local): AK (dashboard); AL (dashboard); AR (dashboard); AZ (dashboard); CA (dashboard; Marin, dashboard; Stanford, wastewater; Oakland, wastewater); CO (dashboard; wastewater); CT (dashboard); DE (dashboard); FL (wastewater); GA (wastewater); HI (dashboard); IA (wastewater reports); ID (dashboard, Boise; dashboard, wastewater, Central Idaho; wastewater, Coeur d’Alene; dashboard, Spokane County); IL (wastewater); IN (dashboard); KS (dashboard; wastewater, Lawrence); KY (dashboard, Louisville); LA (dashboard); MA (wastewater); MD (dashboard); ME (dashboard); MI (wastewater; wastewater); MN (dashboard); MO (wastewater); MS (dashboard);
MT (dashboard); NC (dashboard); ND (dashboard; wastewater); NE (dashboard); NH (wastewater); NJ (dashboard); NM (dashboard); NV (dashboard; wastewater, Southern NV); NY (dashboard); OH (dashboard); OK (dashboard); OR (dashboard); PA (dashboard); RI (dashboard); SC (dashboard); SD (dashboard); TN (dashboard); TX (dashboard); UT (wastewater); VA (dashboard); VT (dashboard); WA (dashboard; dashboard); WI (wastewater); WV ( wastewater); WY ( wastewater).
Resources, Canada (National): Wastewater (Government of Canada).
Hat tips to helpful readers: 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, Utah, Bob White (3).
Stay safe out there!
Covid is Airborne
“Coronavirus: How infected air can flow from one apartment to another” [El Pais]. • From 2021, but handy diagrams and animations.
A natural experiment on deaths from Covid proper and deaths from vax:
It is even more dramatic in the 20-49 yo age demo
2020 saw a jump of 69.7/56.5 = 24% in deaths at home of those 20-49 years of age
COVID vaccines cannot be blamed given no vaccines in 2020
So if it wasn’t COVID & it it wasn’t vaccines then what caused 2020 jump?
It was COVID pic.twitter.com/aKdjL9EYNA
— Gregory Travis. Make schools #DavosSafe (@greg_travis) September 9, 2023
“Unexpected vaginal bleeding and COVID-19 vaccination in nonmenstruating women” [Science]. From the Abstract: “. Among 7725 postmenopausal women, 7148 perimenopausal women, and 7052 premenopausal women, 3.3, 14.1, and 13.1% experienced unexpected vaginal bleeding during a period of 8 to 9 months, respectively. In postmenopausal women, the risk of unexpected vaginal bleeding (i.e., postmenopausal bleeding) in the 4 weeks after COVID-19 vaccination was increased two- to threefold, compared to a prevaccination period. The corresponding risk of unexpected vaginal bleeding after vaccination was increased three- to fivefold in both nonmenstruating peri- and premenopausal women.” Yikes. And confirming many anecdotes, too. The first two sentences of the Introduction:
After the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination rollout in December 2020, spontaneous reporting systems received reports of menstrual disturbances at frequencies not seen in previous vaccination campaigns. Such events were not addressed in the preceding clinical vaccine trials.
“Not addressed” is delicately put. Why the [family blog] not?
Censorship and Propaganda
On the “immunity debt” brainworm:
So just suppose for a moment that immunity debt were not some absolutely ridiculous bullshit concept.
Why the holy fricking bongles does it only apply to pathogenic respiratory viruses and not waterborne or bloodborne or fomite viruses?
— tern (@1goodtern) September 26, 2023
I’m happy with “holy fricking bongles,” too.
“Distinguishing features of Long COVID identified through immune profiling” (accepted manuscript) [Nature]. “Here, 273 individuals with or without [‘Long COVID; (LC)] were enrolled in a cross-sectional study that included multi-dimensional immune phenotyping and unbiased machine learning methods to identify biological features associated with LC. Marked differences were noted in circulating myeloid and lymphocyte populations relative to matched controls, as well as evidence of exaggerated humoral responses directed against SARS-CoV-2 among participants with LC. Further, higher antibody responses directed against non-SARS-CoV-2 viral pathogens were observed among individuals with LC, particularly Epstein-Barr virus. Levels of soluble immune mediators and hormones varied among groups, with cortisol levels being lower among participants with LC. Integration of immune phenotyping data into unbiased machine learning models identified key features most strongly associated with LC status. Collectively, these findings may help guide future studies into the pathobiology of LC and .” • NIH blew through a billion bucks developing the prolegomena to a survey, and no biological markers at all. Why the [family blog] not?
“Baggy Blues” from the ghouls at WHO:
— Maria Van Kerkhove (@mvankerkhove) September 24, 2023
Honestly, did the word go out to all the stock photo suppliers and art directors never to model N95s?
You just can’t get good help these days, especially if its skilled:
2… generally related to supply-chain issues / logistics. Third, this is sickness due to acute Covid-19. Ask yourself this: how confident are you in ATC if some controllers are suffering from brain fog? /end
— Conor Browne (@brownecfm) September 25, 2023
From BioBot wastewater data, September 25:
Lambert here: “Data last updated September 18, 2023 from samples collected during the week of September 11, 2023. This Thursday’s update is delayed. Visualizations are next expected to be updated on September 25, 2023. Most recent data are subject to change.” So even wastewater data is turning to garbage? (I checked CDC data, and it was updated on September 18, too? Funding issues? Everybody using the same lab behind the scenes, and there was a debacle of some kind?)=
Lambert here: Dropping everywhere but the Northeast.
Interestingly, the upswing begins before July 4, which neither accelerates nor retards it.
NOT UPDATED From CDC, September 16:
Lambert here: Top of the leaderboard: EG.5 (“Eris“). Still BA.2.86 here, not even in the note, but see below at Positivity.
From CDC, September 2:
Lambert here: Not sure what to make of this. I’m used to seeing a new variant take down the previously dominant variant. Here it looks like we have a “tag team,” all working together to cut XBB.1.5 down to size. I sure hope the volunteers doing Pangolin, on which this chart depends, don’t all move on the green fields and pastures new (or have their access to facilities cut by administrators of ill intent).
CDC: “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.
Covid Emergency Room Visits
NOT UPDATED From CDC NCIRD Surveillance, September 16:
Drop coinciding with wastewater drop.
NOTE “Charts and data provided by CDC, updates Wednesday by 8am. For the past year, using a rolling 52-week period.” So not the entire pandemic, FFS (the implicit message here being that Covid is “just like the flu,” which is why the seasonal “rolling 52-week period” is appropriate for bothMR SUBLIMINAL I hate these people so much. Notice also that this chart shows, at least for its time period, that Covid is not seasonal, even though CDC is trying to get us to believe that it is, presumably so they can piggyback on the existing institutional apparatus for injections.
Bellwether New York City, data as of September 26:
Flattened peak continues. I hate this metric because the lag makes it deceptive.
NOT UPDATED Here’s a different CDC visualization on hospitalization, nationwide, not by state, but with a date, at least. September 16:
Lambert here: At least we can see that positivity and hospitalization correlate.
Lambert here: “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†”. So where the heck is the update, CDC?
From Walgreens, September 25:
-4.7%. Another big drop. (It would be interesting to survey this population generally; these are people who, despite a tsunami of official propaganda and enormous peer pressure, went and got tested anyhow.)
From Cleveland Clinic, September 23:
Lambert here: I know this is just Ohio, but the Cleveland Clinic is good*, and we’re starved for data, so…. NOTE * Even if hospital infection control is trying to kill patients by eliminating universal masking with N95s.
NOT UPDATED From CDC, traveler’s data, September 4:
Back up again And here are the variants:
No BA.2.86 for three of the long-delayed collection weeks. We know BA.2.86 is in the country, so apparently it escaped CDC’s net.
NOT UPDATED Iowa COVID-19 Tracker, September 20:
Lambert here: The WHO data is worthless, so I replaced it with the Iowa Covid Data Tracker. Their method: “These data have been sourced, via the API from the CDC: https://data.cdc.gov/NCHS/Conditions-Contributing-to-COVID-19-Deaths-by-Stat/hk9y-quqm. This visualization updates on Wednesday evenings. Data are provisional and are adjusted weekly by the CDC.” I can’t seem to get a pop-up that shows a total of the three causes (top right). Readers?
Total: 1,176,159 –
1,175,562 = 597 (597 * 365 = 217,905 deaths per year, today’s YouGenicist™ number for “living with” Covid (quite a bit higher than the minimizers would like, though they can talk themselves into anything. If the YouGenicist™ metric keeps chugging along like this, I may just have to decide this is what the powers-that-be consider “mission accomplished” for this particular tranche of death and disease).
Lambert here: Weekend and Monday accumulation, however.
The Economist, September 24:
Lambert here: This is now being updated daily again. Odd. Based on a machine-learning model.
Manufacturing: “United States Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index” [Trading Economics]. “The Manufacturing Activity Index in the Richmond area rose to 5 in September 2023 from -7 in August, beating market expectations of -6. It was the first positive reading of the index since the spring of 2022, as each of its three component indexes increased.”
Lots of agency action, here, making this post — Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo: A Conservative Assault on the Administrative State — all the more timely.
Sealed testimony in the Google case:
monetary terms and financial results of the agreement.”
Apple’s filing detailed some of the back-and-forth it had engaged in with DOJ to resolve these issues, and attached an email chain between lawyers for Apple, Google, and DOJ.
One interesting detail: according to Apple,
— Big Tech on Trial (@BigTechOnTrial) September 26, 2023
I looked at Apple’s filing:
DOJ’s insistence on questioning Mr. Cue about this information in open court represents ….
Boo-[family-blogging]-hoo. The public interest in disclosure over-rides Apple’s stock price. More:
….pertaining to Apple, not a party to DOJ’s suit, and affecting Apple’s ongoing business relations and contract negotiations. It is in contravention of prior agreements between the parties and is unsupported by the legal standard for public disclosure of confidential information.
Everything is like CalPERS. Apple is gonna slap a confidentiality label on anything remotely contrary to its corporate interests, exactly as CalPERS’ bent counsel did with lawyer-client privilege.
Google and Apple, BFFs:
Last year, Google’s payment was roughly 60% more than Microsoft’s total ad revenue
— Matthew Ball (@ballmatthew) September 22, 2023
Rather a lot of money!
“FTC files a massive antitrust lawsuit against Amazon” [The Verge]. “‘Our complaint lays out how Amazon has used a set of punitive and coercive tactics to unlawfully maintain its monopolies,’ FTC Chair Lina Khan said in a statement Tuesday. ‘The complaint sets forth detailed allegations noting how Amazon is now exploiting its monopoly power to enrich itself while raising prices and degrading service for the tens of millions of American families who shop on its platform and the hundreds of thousands of businesses that rely on Amazon to reach them.’… The suit targets the parts of Amazon’s business that service consumers and sellers, according to an FTC press release. Specifically, the agency is accusing Amazon of punishing sellers who offer lower-priced products on different platforms and restricting which sellers are eligible for Prime shipping benefits. The agency is also targeting Amazon’s ability to bias its search results in favor of the company’s own products.”
“US FCC chair to seek reinstating net neutrality rules rescinded under Trump” [Reuters]. “U.S. Federal Communications Commission chair Jessica Rosenworcel plans to begin an effort to reinstate landmark net neutrality rules rescinded under then-President Donald Trump, sources briefed on the matter said Monday. The move comes after Democrats took majority control of the five-member FCC on Monday for the first time since President Joe Biden took office in January 2021 when new FCC Commissioner Anna Gomez was sworn in. The FCC is set to take an initial vote on the net neutrality proposal in October, the sources added.”
Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 28 Fear (previous close: 38 Fear) [CNN]. One week ago: 47 (Neutral). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Sep 26 at 1:47:27 PM ET. Big swing toward fear!
Rapture Index: Closes unchanged [Rapture Ready]. Record High, October 10, 2016: 189. Current: 187. (Remember that bringing on the Rapture is good.) NOTE on #42 Plagues: “The coronavirus pandemic has maxed out this category.” More honest than most!
“ACLU Fired Staffer for Speaking Up About Working Conditions, Labor Board Claims” [Bloomberg]. “The discharged employee had been ‘concertedly complaining’ about wages, hours, and working conditions ‘throughout 2020, 2021, and until about May 2022,’ according to the filing, which was issued in March by an NLRB regional director on behalf of the labor board’s general counsel, and obtained by Bloomberg News through a Freedom of Information Act request…. Many of the ACLU’s own employees have unionized in recent years, amid a broader wave of organizing by nonprofit and political advocacy staff. The fired staffer was represented by the union ACLU Staff United, which the ACLU agreed to voluntarily recognize and negotiate with in 2021 after employees signed up with the group.”
News of the Wired
“Astronomer Johannes Kepler solved life’s hardest problem: marriage” [Big Think]. “Kepler also used his mathematical prowess to solve a very different terrestrial problem that many of us still face in our lives here on Earth: when is the optimal time to marry someone, assuming you want to maximize the happiness in your life? The answer, perhaps surprisingly, is to follow what’s known as the 37% rule: reject the first 37% of all possible choices, and then pick the very next one to come along whose potential exceeds the best of the 37% who came before. Although some will wind up passing over their optimal choice and others will choose a partner before ever meeting their best possible match, the 37% rule is the mathematically superlative strategy. Here’s the science behind why.” • But… What is a “possible choice”? Also, Kepler followed his own rule. But was he happy in his choice?
“The Casino in Your Pocket” [Matt’s Dumb Musings]. For Wordscapes players, an included mini-game, “Mt. Fortune”. Conclusion: “I’m sure this doesn’t come as much of a surprise to anybody that the game is rigged in the house’s favor. The choice presented to the player is entirely an illusion, masked as a game of chance. In a casino, any rational adult expects this. For games which allow real-money purchases in the hands of players of any age? Well, we can discuss the morality of that another day. In the meantime, I’ll be killing my time with mindless word puzzles.”
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 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 DG:
DG writes: “But, this afternoon, I just thought this Tiger Swallowtail was a fine poser. So, if you can use it, here is a Tiger Swallowtail pic taken around 1:00 or so in our yard in Blacksburg, VA.” Indeed, and in a garden full of zinnias!
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