2:00PM Water Cooler 9/23/2022 | bare capitalism



By Lambert Strether of Corrente

Affected person readers, this will probably be a bit gentle. As you already know, I’m a giant LeCarré fan, ndd I found the BBC’s “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” (the tv collection, in six elements) was on YouTube, legitimately. So I binge-watched it, as an alternative of gathering Water Cooler materials. Fifty lashes with a moist noodle for me. –Lambert. P.S. Alec Guinness, though not podgy sufficient, is great as Smiley. The whole forged is an excellent ensemble…

Chicken Track of the Day

Northern Grey-headed Sparrow, Tarengire Nationwide Park, Tanzania. “In campground, 2 seen in a tree over the tent. Daybreak tune.”

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“However what’s authorities itself, however the best of all reflections on human nature?” –James Madison, Federalist 51

“Right here’s meals for thought, had Ahab time to suppose; however Ahab by no means thinks; he solely feels, feels, feels” –Herman Melville, Moby Dick

“You’ll be able to’t actually mud for vomit.” Nigel Tufnel, That is Spinal Faucet

Biden Administration

“Assist from ladies boosts Biden to a different year-high approval score: ballot” [The Hill]. • It’s wonderful to see the Demcorats make hay out of not delivering on Roe.


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“Trump to unleash tens of millions within the midterms in doable prelude to 2024” [Politico]. “Donald Trump’s prime lieutenants are launching a brand new tremendous PAC that’s anticipated to spend closely to bolster his endorsed candidates within the midterm election — and, some folks near the previous president say, might turn into a marketing campaign equipment if he runs in 2024. Sanctioned by the previous president, the brand new group, dubbed MAGA, Inc., will turn into the first automobile for Trump’s operation to interact in political exercise in 2022. The outfit is designed to funnel massive sums into key races and will conceivably be used to spice up Trump within the occasion he seeks the White Home once more.” • My first thought: A bit late. My second: On the margin, it’d make a distinction in tight races if Trump makes good picks. We’ll see.

Democrats en Déshabillé

I’ve moved my standing remarks on the Democrat Social gathering (“the Democrat Social gathering is a rotting corpse that may’t bury itself”) to a separate, back-dated put up, to which I’ll periodically add materials, summarizing the addition right here in a “dwell” Water Cooler. (Hopefully, some Bourdieu.) It seems that defining the Democrat Social gathering is, in reality, a tough drawback. I do suppose the paragraph that follows is on level all the best way again to 2016, if not earlier than:

The Democrat Social gathering is the political expression of the category energy of PMC, their base (lucidly defined by Thomas Frank in Pay attention, Liberal!). ; if the Democrat Social gathering didn’t exist, the PMC must invent it. . (“PMC” modulo “class expatriates,” after all.) Second, all of the working elements of the Social gathering reinforce one another. Go away apart characterizing the relationships between components of the Social gathering (ka-ching, however not fully) these components comprise a community — a Flex Internet? An iron octagon? — of funders, distributors, apparatchiks, electeds, NGOs, and miscellaneous mercenaries, with belongings within the press and the intelligence neighborhood.

Observe, after all, that the category energy of the PMC each expresses and is restricted by different lessons; oligarchs and American gentry (see ‘industrial mannequin’ of Ferguson, Jorgensen, and Jie) and the working class spring to thoughts. Suck up, kick down.

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“U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz unlikely to face costs in sex-trafficking probe, report says” [Orlando Sentinel]. “Citing considerations in regards to the credibility of key witnesses in opposition to him — together with Seminole County’s former tax collector, Joel Greenberg — profession Justice Division prosecutors have beneficial in opposition to charging U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz with intercourse trafficking, in line with a report.” • Ah, these “profession prosecutors.”

Republican Funhouse

Realignment and Legitimacy


After Yves uncovered Andrew Bowden for comparable habits, the SEC heaved him over the facet. I suppose it’s completely different if you happen to’re a congress critter.

“FBI misled choose who signed warrant for Beverly Hills seizure of $86 million in money” [Los Angeles Times]. • The FBI? Absolutely not.


“Italian examine reveals air flow can lower college COVID circumstances by 82%” [Reuters]. “An experiment overseen by the Hume basis think-tank in contrast coronavirus contagion in 10,441 school rooms in Italy’s central Marche area. COVID infections have been steeply decrease within the 316 school rooms that had mechanical air flow techniques, with the discount in circumstances extra marked in line with the energy of the techniques. With purposes guaranteeing an entire alternative of the air in a classroom 2.4 instances in an hour, infections have been lowered by 40%. They have been lowered by 66.8% with 4 air replacements per hour and by 82.5% with six air replacements, the examine confirmed.” • We ran this story when it appeared, again in March. Latest commentary:

For sure, the USA is unlikely to copy the Italian examine. For those who suppose that fixing airborne tranmission is an engineering drawback, that’s not a problem. For those who suppose that air flow requires an RCT, it’s.

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A thread on the historical past of pandemic planning. Some factoids:

The Middle for Illness has been damaged for a very long time.

“The Subsequent Pandemic Might Be Worse than Covid. We’re Unprepared” [Politico]. “As with each “Public Well being Emergency of Worldwide Concern” to date apart from the Zika virus, the worldwide Covid response has centered round our greatest protection: vaccines.” • Finest and solely, apparently.

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• Maskstravaganaza: “Stanford researchers discover wildfire smoke is unraveling many years of air high quality good points, exposing tens of millions of People to excessive air pollution ranges” (press launch) [Stanford University]. “Utilizing statistical modeling and synthetic intelligence methods, the researchers estimated concentrations of PM2.5 particularly from wildfire smoke in sharp sufficient element to disclose variations inside particular person counties and particular person smoke occasions from coast to coast from 2006 to 2020. ‘We discovered that persons are being uncovered to extra days with wildfire smoke and extra excessive days with excessive ranges of wonderful particulate matter from smoke,” stated lead examine writer Marissa Childs.” • Your N95 or higher ought to shield you in opposition to PM2.5. That’s why compliance in some elements of Asia was so good, as a result of folks have been already accustomed to sporting them. In fact, on this nation, presumably it’s not OK to put on a masks when your motivation is Covid, nevertheless it is OK to put on a masks when your motivation is wildfires. Or is it? It’s so complicated!

Case Depend

Case rely for the USA:

Instances are undercounted, one supply saying by an element of six, Gottlieb pondering we solely choose up one in seven or eight.) Therefore, I take the nominal case rely and multiply it by six to approximate the actual degree of circumstances, and draw the DNC-blue “Biden Line” at that time. The earlier rely was ~59,200. At the moment, it’s ~52,800 and 52,800 * 6 = a Biden line at 316,800. (Bear in mind these knowledge factors are weekly averages, so day by day fluctuations are smoothed out.) The black “Fauci Line” is a counter to triumphalism, because it compares present ranges to previous crises. For those who take a look at the Fauci line, you will notice that regardless of the bleating and yammering about Covid being “over,” we have now solely only recently reached the (nominal) case degree of August, 2021, and we’re very removed from that of March, 2021. And the actual degree is far worse.

Lambert right here: The autumn in case rely seems spectacular sufficient. What the Fauci Line reveals, nevertheless, is that we have now finally achieved the extent of the preliminary peak, when New York was storing the our bodies in fridge vans. So the endzone celebrations are, to my thoughts, untimely. Not that anybody will throw a flag. In fact, the actual story is within the charts for California and the South. See under.

Regional case rely for 4 weeks:

The South:

The South (minus Texas and Florida):

The West:

California on a excessive plateau all of its personal, with one more backward revision.


Wastewater knowledge (CDC), September 19:

Lambert right here: I added all of the dots again in. The variety of gray dots actually considerations me. How can all of the websites for worldwide air journey middle New York be gray (“no current knowledge”). And California’s fairly gappy, too.

For grins, September 18:

NOTE To get the CDC knowledge pages to load, I’ve to show off my VPN. Thanks for the safety breach, CDC.


From the Walgreen’s check positivity tracker, September 21:

-2.1%. Excellent news!


NOTE: I shall most definitely not be utilizing the CDC’s new “Neighborhood Degree” metric. As a result of CDC has mixed a number one indicator (circumstances) with a lagging one (hospitalization) their new metric is a poor warning signal of a surge, and a poor solution to assess private danger. As well as, Covid is a illness you don’t need to get. Even in case you are not hospitalized, you’ll be able to endure from Lengthy Covid, vascular points, and neurological points. For these causes, case counts — identified to be underestimated, on account of residence check kits — deserve to face alone as a quantity to be tracked, irrespective of how a lot the political operatives in CDC management wish to obfuscate it. That the “inexperienced map” (which Topol calls a “capitulation” and a “deception”) continues to be up and being taken significantly verges on the felony. Use the neighborhood transmission instantly under.

Right here is CDC’s interactive map by county set to neighborhood transmission. (That is the map CDC needs solely hospitals to take a look at, not you.)

Fast Riser knowledge, by county (CDC), September 23:

I suppose that if case counts are certainly degree, it’s probably there could be few fast risers. These two pink areas in Northern Maine and upstate New York are each on the best way to Quebec, Canada.

Earlier Fast Riser knowledge:

Hospitalization knowledge, by state (CDC), September 23:

Not a sea of inexperienced.

NOTE: Fast Riser and Hospitalization knowledge are up to date Wednesdays and Fridays.


Lambert right here: It’s past irritating how sluggish the variant knowledge is. I regarded for extra charts: California doesn’t to a BA.4/BA.5 breakdown. New York does nevertheless it, too, is on a molasses-like two-week cycle. Does no person within the public well being institution get a promotion for monitoring variants? Are there no grants? Is there a single lab that does this work, and everyone will get the outcomes from them? Extra sources from readers welcome [grinds teeth, bangs head on desk].

NOT UPDATED Variant knowledge, nationwide (Walgreens), September 10:

Nonetheless no signal of BA.2.75 at Walgreens, regardless of its look in CDC knowledge under.

Variant knowledge, nationwide (CDC), September 10 (Nowcast off):

Two highlights: BA.4.6 has assumed a barely better proportion (extra within the NowCast mannequin, which I refuse to make use of). What about BA.2.75?

The above chart reveals variants nationally. I’ve gone by the CDC areas and made a desk. As you’ll be able to see, BA.2.75 is outstanding in Area 2 (New York and New Jersey), adopted by Area 5 (Midwest), and Area 1 (Northeast). Hmm.

Desk 1: CDC Regional BA.2.75 Knowledge, Sorted by % Complete (September 23)

CDC Area % Complete States in Area
Area 2: 1.3% (0.8%) New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands
Area 8: 1.3% (0.0%) Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming
Area 9: 1.2% (0.0%) Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, American Samoa, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands….
Area 6: 0.6% (0.0%) Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas
Area 3: 0.5% (0.4%) Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia
Area 4: 0.4% (0.4%) Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee
Area 5: 0.4% (0.7%) Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin
Area 7: 0.3% (0.3%) lowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska
Area 10: 0.3% (0.0%) Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington
Area 1: 0.1% (0.7%) Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont

LEGEND: Earlier CDC variant launch proven in parentheses, (thus).

Not encouraging. In fact, absolutely the numbers are small, however we’ve seen that film earlier than. I particularly don’t just like the soar in Area 2, as a result of the New York space is “spready,” primarily based on previous historical past. Area 1, then again, dropped.


Dying price (Our World in Knowledge):

Lambert right here: Undecided why World in Knowledge modified the colour to pink.

Complete: 1,080,836 – 1,080,356 = 480 (480 * 365 = 175,200, which is at present’s LivingWith™* quantity (fairly a bit larger than the minimizers would love, although they’ll speak themselves into something. Fluctuates fairly a bit, however even the low numbers are dangerous). I’ve added an anti-triumphalist black Fauci Line.

It’s good that for deaths I’ve a easy, day by day chart that simply retains chugging alongside, in contrast to every thing else CDC and the White Home are screwing up or letting go darkish, good job.

Stats Watch

There aren’t official statistics of curiosity at present.

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Finance: Huh?

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At the moment’s Worry & Greed Index: 21 Excessive Worry (earlier shut: 26 Worry) [CNN]. One week in the past: 35 (Worry). (0 is Excessive Worry; 100 is Excessive Greed). Final up to date Sep 23 at 1:42 PM EDT.

Our Famously Free Press

“Democratic companies prevail in go well with in opposition to Mission Veritas” [Politico]. “A federal courtroom jury on Thursday awarded $120,000 in damages to Democratic consulting companies focused by Mission Veritas, a conservative group specializing in hidden-camera video stings, in reference to recordings made in 2016 by an operative who obtained an internship utilizing a false identify and story. The jury of 4 males and 5 ladies concluded that the actions of the previous operative, Allison Maass, breached a fiduciary responsibility to the consulting companies and amounted to fraudulent misrepresentation, in line with the decision type. Recordings made by Maass and different operatives depicting what the group stated have been efforts to incite violence at rallies for then-President Donald Trump drew vital media consideration within the closing weeks of the 2016 marketing campaign. A key determine behind the Democratic consultancies, Robert Creamer, stated the companies misplaced organizing contracts after the discharge of the movies. He adamantly denied encouraging violence throughout so-called bracketing efforts round Trump occasions. Mission Veritas’ founder, James O’Keefe, refers to Maass and others who conduct the stings as journalists. Vowing an enchantment, he stated the jury verdict endangered hidden-camera work by a variety of journalists.” •

The Gallery

Like listening to YouTubes on Ukraine at present?

Groves of Academe

A college administrator truly accepted these abominations:

Class Warfare

We nonetheless haven’t seen a contract for the railroad staff, so now it’s not there’s no deal, it’s that there’s actually no deal. Right here is on snippet that one way or the other escaped:

The timeline is wanting fairly sketchy, too:

Disgruntled people? Maybe. The plain reply could be for the union management to come back clear with a full copy of the TA, and with precise contract language ASAP.

“U.S.-China Tensions Gasoline Outflow of Chinese language Scientists From U.S. Universities” [Wall Street Journal]. An growing variety of scientists and engineers of Chinese language descent are giving up tenured positions at top-tier American universities to go away for China or elsewhere, in an indication of the U.S.’s fading enchantment for a bunch that has been a driver of innovation. The pattern, pushed partially by what most of the students describe as an more and more hostile political and racial setting, has induced the Biden administration to work with students of Chinese language descent to deal with considerations. Greater than 1,400 U.S.-trained Chinese language scientists dropped their U.S. tutorial or company affiliation for a Chinese language one in 2021, a 22% soar from the earlier 12 months, in line with knowledge gathered by researchers from Princeton College, Harvard College and the Massachuseolo discovered that China-born scientists account for practically 30% of artificial-intelligence researchers working for U.S. establishments.” Oh? And: “Chinese language and different foreign-born scientists have been a supply of nationwide energy, Eric Schmidt, former government chairman of Google mother or father firm Alphabet Inc. and chairman of the U.S. authorities’s Nationwide Safety Fee on AI, stated in an interview. ‘We should always by no means intention to chop ourselves off from a rustic that’s residence to 1.4 billion, with immense expertise.’” • Particularly as folks of Schmidt’s class are nuking the college system right here. However why construct when you should buy?tts Institute of Expertise.” And: “A 2020 evaluation by Chicago-based suppose tank MacroP

Information of the Wired

“Be essential or be corrupted” [CJ Cenizal]. On The Wire: “What started because the murder division’s preliminary response to an issue turns into a series response. Extra metrics blossom and breed dangerous habits. The division measures crime by way of felonies, in order that they present a discount in crime by reclassifying felonies as misdemeanors, thus letting violent criminals off the hook. In the meantime they use their arrest price to measure effectiveness, in order that they show an efficient police power by arresting folks for minor infractions like loitering. The metrics incentivize counterproductive habits and, over time, develop right into a self-perpetuating tradition. That is corruption…. What can we do about this entropic tendency of organizations in direction of corruption? We will fastidiously design our metrics and suppose critically in regards to the behaviors we anticipate them to incentivize. This one’s apparent…. We will prolong self-awareness and significant pondering to all selections made inside a company. We simply have to think about each determination’s second-order results.” • Hmm.

The Streisand Impact?

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Contact data for vegetation: Readers, be happy to contact me at lambert [UNDERSCORE] strether [DOT] corrente [AT] yahoo [DOT] com, to (a) learn how to ship me a verify in case you are allergic to PayPal and (b) to learn how to ship me photos of vegetation. Greens are wonderful! Fungi and coral are deemed to be honorary vegetation! If you would like your deal with to seem as a credit score, please place it initially of your mail in parentheses: (thus). In any other case, I’ll anonymize by utilizing your initials. See the earlier Water Cooler (with plant) right here. From AB:

AB writes: My sunflowers made the native information: “Towering Sunflowers In Alameda: Photograph Of The Day.” Congratulations!

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