Home Economics 2:00PM Water Cooler 1/31/2024 | bare capitalism

2:00PM Water Cooler 1/31/2024 | bare capitalism

2:00PM Water Cooler 1/31/2024 | bare capitalism


By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Chook Music of the Day

Northern Shrike, Chemin Bradley, St-Armand, Brome-Missisquoi, Quebec, Canada.

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“So most of the social reactions that strike us as psychological are actually a rational administration of symbolic capital.” –Pierre Bourdieu, Classification Struggles

The Constitutional Order (Invasion)

“Election Countdown, 282 Days to Go: The “States’ Rights” Period Returns.” [James Fallows, Breaking the News]. “This previous Monday, the US Supreme Courtroom dominated that the US federal authorities had jurisdiction over US nationwide borders. And particularly that if Texas Nationwide Guard and different Texas forces saved putting in razor wire alongside the Rio Grande, on orders from Governor Greg Abbott, they may not forestall US Border Patrol officers from eradicating it. The Supreme Courtroom ruling got here with no rationalization and was solely by a 5-4 margin. It’s an indication of our instances that this was even an in depth name, given longstanding Courtroom rulings that the nationwide authorities controls nationwide borders. Individuals maintain passports from america, not from Iowa or California. When a world flight lands at Newark airport, inbound passengers cope with federal brokers, not New Jersey state police…. The politics of immigration and ‘the mess on the border’ are long-brewing and more and more nasty. However the Texas response is important. The Supreme Courtroom stated: Here’s what you’ll do. Texas stated: We gained’t. That’s oversimplified however not by a lot. Much more essential is what occurred subsequent. Aside from Greg Abbott in Texas, there are 26 different Republican governors. All however certainly one of them signed a letter three days in the past, supporting the Texas assertion of ‘Constitutional Proper to Self-Protection.’” • To be honest, gun-humping does scale. Have a look at Biden’s overseas coverage! Helpful map:

Good assume these nukes in North Dakota are out of date….

“Republican Governors Band Collectively, Concern Joint Assertion Supporting Texas’ Constitutional Proper to Self-Protection” [Republican Governors Association]. “The authors of the U.S. Structure made clear that in instances like this, states have a proper of self-defense, below Article 4, Part 4 and Article 1, Part 10, Clause 3 of the U.S. Structure. As a result of the Biden Administration has abdicated its constitutional compact duties to the states, Texas has each authorized justification to guard the sovereignty of our states and our nation.” • Compact principle. Hat tip, Greg Abbott (far simpler and harmful than that quick fella from Florida).

Biden Administration

“Our Open Border Coverage Is Not an Accident” [Michael Lind, The Tablet]. “Over the previous three years, the Biden administration has successfully rewritten U.S. immigration legislation, creating a completely new stream of quasi-legal immigration below the rubric of “parole.” The discretion of the federal authorities to grant parole or authorized residence and work permits to a small variety of refugees and different overseas nationals has been utilized by the Biden administration to tear a gap in America’s southern border with the intention to invite hundreds of thousands of overseas nationals, most of them from Latin America and Central America and the Caribbean, to journey to the U.S. border, from which they’re dispersed throughout the nation and supported mainly by state and native governments and government-funded NGOs. As of September 2023, an estimated 3.8 million immigrants entered the U.S. below the Biden administration. Of those, 2.3 million have been given Notices to Seem (NTAs) earlier than an immigration courtroom—which may permit them to remain within the U.S. in a ‘twilight standing’ for years earlier than a courtroom date. Of the remaining, an estimated 1.5 million are unlawful immigrants who sneaked throughout the border or overstayed their visas and stay, with the federal government having no thought of their whereabouts, and with Democrat-dominated ‘sanctuary cities’ actively thwarting the flexibility of federal immigration officers to establish and deport them.” And: “America’s financial elite agrees that immigrant-driven wage suppression, thanks partly to Biden’s insurance policies, has ameliorated inflation. Federal Reserve Chairman Powell in 2022 attributed inflation partly to decrease numbers of immigrants. The chief political economist of Goldman Sachs, Alec Phillips, just lately declared that ‘the labor market has began to loosen up,’ decreasing the flexibility of staff to bid up wages: ‘And there’s clearly been a disproportionate contribution from immigrants.’ Though immigrants are solely 18% of the workforce, three-quarters of the rise within the labor provide over the past two years [i.e., since the pandemic] has consisted of immigrant staff.” • Making up the million misplaced to Covid, I might think about, who had been disproportionately working class.


Lower than a 12 months to go!

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Trump (R): “Trump Will Win” [The American Conservative]. “Trump’s voters search for America and fear they see a future Brazil. Their detractors blame the Electoral School, or discuss radio, or ignorance, or Putin. So are Trump’s win in 2016 and sure win in 2024 inexplicable? Attempt once more.” • Onerous to excerpt…

Trump (R): “This Isn’t Solely a Trump Election” [Peggy Noonan]. “[Haley] may ruminate on the Trump tragedy. He was a breakthrough determine, he did defeat a weak and indifferent institution. However he can’t be president once more as a result of there’s one thing incorrect with him. We [who?] all know this, all of us use totally different phrases to explain the ‘one thing,’ however we all know what it produces: impeachments, embarrassments, scandal, 1/6.” All of which seem by spontaneous technology, apparently. Extra: “In the meantime three issues trigger distinctive disquiet among the many non-Trump-supporting majority in America, particularly after Iowa. One is that in 2016 Trump supporters didn’t know exactly what they had been getting. Now they do. Eight years in the past it was a really American factor to do, giving the outsider an opportunity. You by no means know in life, individuals develop in workplace, the presidency softens tough edges. That didn’t occur. They know what they’re electing now. Second, when Mr. Trump first got here in, in 2017, he didn’t know a president’s true and legit powers, he wasn’t interested by historical past, wasn’t up nights studying Robert Caro. He received rolled by a Republican Congress, was too incompetent to get a wall, was surrounded by political aides who had been inexperienced and unaccomplished—the well-known “island of damaged toys.” This time he’ll go in with expertise and will be extra successfully unhealthy. How lengthy will it take earlier than he begins saying the Structure mandates a restrict of two presidential phrases, however his second time period was stolen so meaning he will get one other time period after this one? Third, Mr. Trump shouldn’t be president, and neither ought to Joe Biden, as a result of they aren’t what we want for the longer term. What do we want? Somebody who feels in her or his intestine the wound of the open border and can cease unlawful immigration; somebody who can minimize by means of the knot of ‘globalism’ vs. ‘isolationism,’ a severe argument that’s turning into a cartoon one (internationalists don’t actually need to begin wars throughout; isolationists know we’re a part of the world and may’t simply pull up the bridge). If we are able to minimize by means of all that we’ll go a ways to forging a real nationwide stance towards the world, and solely then can we reply the right technique towards China, the accountability of America in Asia and the Mideast. Somebody who can tackle identification politics, who is aware of all of us should stand equal. Somebody who can reiterate the concept we do have nationwide values. These few (however enormous) issues, if a pacesetter received them proper, would mark a nationwide comeback, and never an additional sinking into the mire of the dramas of the previous decade.” • Hey, how about not whacking just a few hundred thousand individuals after declaring the Covid pandemic is over?

Trump (R): “Trump Is Not the Explanation for the Chaos” [RealClearPolitics]. “Trump’s chief major opponent, Nikki Haley, says that “chaos” accompanies him. Wall Road Journal columnist Peggy Noonan argues that ‘impeachments, embarrassments, scandal, [and] 1/6’ observe in his wake. Democrats and their stenographers at once-great information organizations say Trump’s description of his enemies as ‘vermin’ upon whom he’ll search “retribution” is proof that he plans to rule as a murderous dictator. Of their telling, all of this has come out of skinny air – the uncaused trigger and inevitable results of Trump’s motion throughout the panorama. Just like the winds and thunderclaps of yore, he unleashes himself upon an harmless individuals. The tumult is solely a mirrored image of his evil nature. That is superficial to the purpose of being laughable, nevertheless it’s the story they’re telling. Trump isn’t the reason for this uproar. The conduct they deem past the pale and disqualifying is basically the impact of the vicious and dishonest assaults they’ve leveled towards him since he introduced his candidacy in 2015. Donald Trump is the best sufferer not felled by an murderer within the historical past of the presidency. Nobody has extra of a proper to specific grievance than this man whose enemies have sought retribution towards him for the sin of successful an election. He’s not a cosmic drive decided to impose his will, however a person below siege who largely lashes out in self-defense.”

Trump (R): “To beat Trump, we have to know why Individuals preserve voting for him. Psychologists could have the reply: [George Monbiot]. “Trump is king of the extrinsics. Some psychologists imagine our values are likely to cluster round sure poles, described as “intrinsic” and “extrinsic”. Folks with a robust set of intrinsic values are inclined in the direction of empathy, intimacy and self-acceptance. They are typically open to problem and alter, interested by common rights and equality, and protecting of different individuals and the residing world. Folks on the extrinsic finish of the spectrum are extra interested in status, standing, picture, fame, energy and wealth. They’re strongly motivated by the prospect of particular person reward and reward. They’re extra prone to objectify and exploit different individuals, to behave rudely and aggressively and to dismiss social and environmental impacts. They’ve little curiosity in cooperation or group. Folks with a robust set of extrinsic values usually tend to endure from frustration, dissatisfaction, stress, nervousness, anger and compulsive behaviour. Trump exemplifies extrinsic values.” • Wowsers. DId I grumble just lately about binary pondering? Or projection? Or cope?

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Trump (R): “The Beltway Choose Listening to Trump Circumstances and Her Anti-Trump, Anti-Kavanaugh Husband” [Julie Kelly, RealClearInvestigations]. “For months progressives have been insisting that Supreme Courtroom Justice Clarence Thomas ought to recuse himself from any case that includes Trump due to his spouse Ginni Thomas’ political involvement and participation within the occasions of Jan. 6. Those self same pursuits have but to specific related worries about [Judge Florence Y. Pan’s] objectivity, regardless of her husband’s longtime political activism and present opposition to a different Trump presidency… Energy {couples} are the lifeblood of Washington so it’s commonplace for political activists, judges, and White Home bigwigs to rub elbows at fancy soirees just like the October gala on the Kennedy Heart. However Max Stier’s longtime ties to the Democratic Celebration, his entry to key Biden administration officers, and his suggestion that Trump represents a risk to democracy on the identical time his spouse is dealing with delicate issues associated to the Division of Justice’s prosecution of the previous president ought to elevate questions on her impartiality.”

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Biden (D): “Why Is Biden Operating?” [Holman W. Jenkins, Jr., Wall Street Journal]. Jenkins is a member of the Journal’s editorial board. “If Mr. Biden heeded the needs of apparently 70% of voters, not solely would he be freer now to take some steps vis-à-vis Iran and others that is perhaps good for the nation. Dominating the political information wouldn’t be Mr. Trump’s rout of a weakly contested GOP major. It might be the thrilling battle of for the privilege of taking over the scandalized Mr. Trump and, in all chance, turning into the following president.” And: “If Mr. Trump is such a hazard to America, democracy and apple pie, shouldn’t Mr. Biden be heeding voters, stepping apart and opening the door to —albeit not represented by Adam Schiff, after all—with some class and decency, who can put up a greater present towards Mr. Trump?” • Appropriate. All people is aware of what a robust bench the Democrats have!

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D: “Black Pastors Strain Biden to Name for a Stop-Fireplace in Gaza” [New York Times]. “Because the Israel-Hamas struggle enters its fourth month, a coalition of Black religion leaders is pressuring the Biden administration to push for a cease-fire — a marketing campaign spurred partly by their parishioners, who’re more and more distressed by the struggling of Palestinians and demanding of the president’s response to it. Greater than 1,000 Black pastors representing lots of of 1000’s of congregants nationwide have issued the demand. In sit-down conferences with White Home officers, and thru open letters and commercials, ministers have made an ethical case for President Biden and his administration to press Israel to cease its offensive operations in Gaza, which have killed 1000’s of civilians. They’re additionally calling for the discharge of hostages held by Hamas and an finish to Israel’s occupation of the West Financial institution. The trouble at persuasion additionally carries a political warning, detailed in interviews with a dozen Black religion leaders and their allies. A lot of their parishioners, these pastors stated, are so dismayed by the president’s posture towards the struggle that their assist for his re-election bid could possibly be imperiled.” • Fascinating, however I search in useless for a point out of South Carolina.

D: Some state Democrats breaking with the nationwide celebration on Gaza:

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“Pandemic classes for the 2024 US presidential election” [BMJ]. “In the course of the devastating world covid-19 pandemic, one nation stood out: america noticed “eye wateringly excessive” demise charges in contrast with its peer nations. The 1.16 million Individuals killed by covid-19 symbolize 16% of worldwide deaths in a nation with 4% of the world’s inhabitants. One in three Individuals is aware of somebody who died from covid-19, about 300 000 kids are estimated to have misplaced one or each mother and father, and there’s a substantial burden of lengthy covid.” On the intense facet, we are able to eat once more at Appleby’s with no masks! A brand new collection at BMJ. See below Class Warfare.

Republican Funhouse

“Proper-wing media figures goal Taylor Swift with absurd conspiracy principle forward of the Tremendous Bowl” [CNN]. Not a fan of Swift’s, given her tour of superspreading occasions. “Proper-wing media is burning purple at Taylor Swift. With the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs headed to Tremendous Bowl LVIII, influential MAGA Media personalities have began circulating conspiracy theories concerning the pop famous person, selling the deranged notion that she is a part of a sprawling psychological operations plot staged by the NFL and Democratic Celebration to ship the 2024 presidential election to President Joe Biden. The assaults on Swift have been steadily constructing for weeks (see Fox Information host Jesse Watters asking on his prime time program earlier this month if Swift is a ‘Pentagon asset,’ for instance), nevertheless it reached a fever pitch on Monday. The unhealthy blood is expounded to Swift’s 2020 endorsement of President Joe Biden and the truth that Travis Kelce, the Chiefs tight finish whom she is relationship, participated in an promoting marketing campaign for the pharmaceutical big Pfizer. A Monday story printed by The New York Instances, which famous Biden would really like Swift’s endorsement once more this 12 months, added gas to the hearth.” • “I have to be on the best facet of historical past”:

Democrats en Déshabillé

“Democrats rashly ignore political issues amongst their very own typical voters” [Washington Examiner]. Nicely-meant recommendation from Republicans to Democrats, a style unto itself. Nonetheless: “Biden’s issues embrace inflation, the border disaster, the Center East, and his superior age. The one most unconsidered, although, is the sin Clinton dedicated and Biden is continuous: the utter dismissal of the lives, their pursuits, and the contributions to this nation of the individuals who stay in locations like right here in Boone County or in Cambria County, Pennsylvania, or Mahoning County, Ohio, or Kenosha County, Wisconsin or Macomb County, Michigan.” • Or East Palestine, OH.

Realignment and Legitimacy

“Individuals Dropping Belief in Almost All Professions” [America’s New Majority Project]. “An initiative led by Gingrich 360,” so cum grano salis. Nonetheless:

Gallup’s 2023 Honesty and Ethics ballot requested 800 respondents from Dec. 1 to Dec. 20 to charge the honesty and moral requirements of 23 listed professions. Almost all answered negatively in comparison with earlier years, following a downward development in scores since 2019:

  • 56% charge medical doctors extremely, down from 65% in 2019. 
  • 45% charge cops extremely, down from 54% in 2019. 
  • 42% charge faculty lecturers extremely, down from 49% in 2019. 
  • 32% charge clergy extremely, down from 40% in 2019. 
  • 19% charge journalists extremely, down from 28% in 2019. 
  • 12% charge enterprise leaders extremely, down from 20% in 2019.

“Mapping the Lobbying Footprint of Dangerous Industries: 23 Years of Knowledge From OpenSecrets” [The Milbank Quarterly]. “We discovered that the ultraprocessed meals business spent probably the most on lobbying ($1.15 billion), adopted by playing ($817 million), tobacco ($755 million), and alcohol ($541 million). General, corporations had been extra lively than commerce associations, with associations being least lively within the tobacco business. Spending was typically extremely concentrated, with two organizations accounting for nearly 60% of tobacco spending and 4 organizations accounting for greater than half of alcohol spending. Lobbyists that had previously labored in authorities had been primarily employed by third-party foyer companies.” And the lead: “The definition of (CDoHs) set out in The Lancet 2023 collection acknowledges that business actors are various and have totally different impacts on well being. But too typically, public well being advocates fail to make these distinctions, referring to ‘the business’ or ‘firms’ as a proxy for dangerous business actors. This lack of nuance stymies efforts to develop a science of economic determinants.”


“I’m in earnest — I can’t equivocate — I can’t excuse — I can’t retreat a single inch — AND I WILL BE HEARD.” –William Lloyd Garrison

Sources, United States (Nationwide): Transmission (CDC); Wastewater (CDC, Biobot; contains many counties; Wastewater Scan, contains drilldown by zip); Variants (CDC; Walgreens); “Iowa COVID-19 Tracker” (in IA, however nationwide knowledge). “An infection Management, Emergency Administration, Security, and Normal Ideas” (particularly on hospitalization by metropolis).

Lambert right here: Readers, thanks for the collective effort. To replace any entry, do be at liberty to contact me on the tackle given with the crops. Please put “COVID” within the topic line. Thanks!

Sources, United States (Native): 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 studies); 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).

Sources, Canada (Nationwide): Wastewater (Authorities of Canada).

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

Hat tricks to useful 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, sq. coats (11), tennesseewaltzer, Tom B., Utah, Bob White (3).

Keep protected on the market!

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Testing and Monitoring

“Continued choice on cryptic SARS-CoV-2 noticed in Missouri wastewater” [PLOS Pathogens]. From the Summary: “Deep sequencing of wastewater to detect SARS-CoV-2 has been used in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic to watch viral variants as they seem and flow into in communities. SARS-CoV-2 lineages of an unknown supply that haven’t been detected in scientific samples, known as cryptic lineages, are typically repeatedly detected from particular places. We’ve continued to detect one such lineage beforehand seen in a Missouri web site. This cryptic lineage has continued to evolve, indicating continued selective strain just like that noticed in Omicron lineages.” And: “The convergence of the cryptic lineage and Omicron variants recommend related choice pressures. The origin of Omicron and the origin of the MO45 cryptic lineage are unknown. At the least in some instances, cryptic lineages look like derived from people with persistent SARS-CoV-2 infections. Nevertheless, because the MO45 cryptic lineage hasn’t been traced, a non-human supply can’t be dominated out. Because the cryptic lineage in some instances acquired adjustments previous to Omicron, continued monitoring of waste water for such cryptic lineages could present foreknowledge of adjustments, or a minimum of the place of adjustments, prone to be chosen for within the circulating Omicron variants.”


“Can the federal government ask social media websites to take down Covid misinformation? SCOTUS will weigh in” [STAT]. ” The Supreme Courtroom will this March hear arguments centered on the federal government’s function in speaking — and typically censoring — pertinent public well being data within the midst of a pandemic. On the core of the lawsuit is whether or not the federal authorities’s requests for social media and search giants like Google, Fb, Twitter, and YouTube to reasonable Covid-19 misinformation violated customers’ First Modification rights. Whereas the go well with was initially filed by then-Missouri Lawyer Normal Eric Schmitt — and generally known as Missouri v. Biden — a spread of plaintiffs arguing that the Biden administration suppressed their Covid-19 content material later joined. These embrace Jay Bhattacharya and Martin Kulldorff, who co-authored a paper, the Nice Barrington Declaration, advancing the idea that individuals may obtain herd immunity with out vaccines.” Jay, Martin, good job. Extra: “The case is now known as Murthy v. Missouri. The fifth Circuit Courtroom of Appeals — the identical courtroom that heard the mifepristone case that may head to the Supreme Courtroom later in March — dominated {that a} vary of presidency companies, together with the Well being and Human Companies Division, the State Division, and cybersecurity officers, had been prohibited from influencing social media corporations’ content-moderation insurance policies.” • On the Nice Barrington Declaration:

An open letter that made headlines calling for a herd immunity method to Covid-19 lists a variety of apparently pretend names amongst its knowledgeable signatories, together with “Dr Johnny Bananas” and “Professor Cominic Dummings”.

The Nice Barrington declaration, which was stated to have been signed by greater than 15,000 scientists and medical practitioners world wide, was discovered by Sky Information to comprise quite a few false names, in addition to these of a number of homeopaths.

Others listed embrace a resident on the “college of your mum” and one other supposed specialist whose identify was the primary verse of the Macarena.

Sky Information found 18 self-declared homeopaths within the checklist of knowledgeable names and greater than 100 therapists whose experience included therapeutic massage, hypnotherapy and Mongolian khoomii singing.

Sky Information but! One can solely surprise why GBD received the traction that it did.

An infection

“Omicron Spike confers enhanced infectivity and interferon resistance to SARS-CoV-2 in human nasal tissue” [Nature]. From the Abtract: “Omicron emerged following COVID-19 vaccination campaigns, displaced earlier SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern worldwide, and gave rise to lineages that proceed to unfold. Right here, we present that Omicron displays elevated infectivity in major grownup higher airway tissue relative to Delta. Utilizing recombinant types of SARS-CoV-2 and nasal epithelial cells cultured on the liquid-air interface, . Not like earlier variants of SARS-CoV-2, our findings recommend that Omicron enters nasal cells independently of serine transmembrane proteases and as a substitute depends upon metalloproteinases to catalyze membrane fusion. Moreover, we display that this entry pathway unlocked by Omicron Spike allows evasion from constitutive and interferon-induced antiviral components that prohibit SARS-CoV-2 entry following attachment. Subsequently, .” • Good factor these nasal vaccines are continuing at an Operation Warp Velocity tempo! Oh, wait…


“Lung perform trajectories in delicate COVID-19 with two-year follow-up” (accepted manuscript) [Journal of Infectious Diseases]. N = 52. From the Summary: “Goal To characterize lung perform dynamics in people with delicate COVID-19 from pre-infection to 2 years post-infection…. Conclusion Our outcomes point out that delicate COVID-19 an infection impacts lung perform at time of an infection with restricted restoration two years after an infection.”

Elite Maleficence

The sheer historic ignorance of “vax and chill out”:

We appear to instinctively — or not, maybe, instinctively — reject multilayered options. This goes for “The Swiss Cheese Mannequin” as properly.

NOTE That is an try to enhance the legibility of Twitter display dumps. Is it working?

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TABLE 1: Every day Covid Charts


1) for charts new right now; all others are usually not up to date.

2) For a full-size/full-resolution picture, Command-click (MacOS) or right-click (Home windows) on the chart thumbnail and “open picture in new tab.”


[1] Even after a decline, we’re nonetheless larger than any of the surges below Trump.

[2] Slight improve in MWRA wastewater knowledge, as of January 25, i.e. the incubation interval from the coed’s return:

[3] “As of Might 11, genomic surveillance knowledge can be reported biweekly, primarily based on the supply of optimistic check specimens.” “Biweeekly: 1. occurring each two weeks. 2. occurring twice every week; semiweekly.” Appears like CDC has chosen sense #1. In essence, they’re telling us variants are nothing to fret about. Time will inform.

[4] “Charts and knowledge supplied by CDC, updates Wednesday by 8am. For the previous 12 months, utilizing a rolling 52-week interval.” So not the whole pandemic, FFS (the implicit message right here being that Covid is “identical to the flu,” which is why the seasonal “rolling 52-week interval” is suitable for eachMR SUBLIMINAL I hate these individuals a lot. Discover additionally that this chart exhibits, a minimum of for its time interval, that Covid is not seasonal, although CDC is attempting to get us to imagine that it’s, presumably to allow them to piggyback on the prevailing institutional equipment for injections. And naturally, we’re not even entering into the standard of the wastewater websites that we’ve got as a proxy for Covid an infection general.

[5] Lower for town aligns with wastewater knowledge.

[6] “Maps, charts, and knowledge supplied by CDC, updates weekly for the earlier MMWR week (Sunday-Saturday) on Thursdays (Deaths, Emergency Division Visits, Check Positivity) and weekly the next Mondays (Hospitalizations) by 8 pm ET†”.

[7] -0.7%. (It might be fascinating to survey this inhabitants typically; these are individuals who, regardless of a tsunami of official propaganda and massive peer strain, went and received examined anyhow.)

[8] Lambert right here: Share and absolute numbers down.

[9] Up, albeit within the rear view mirror.

Stats Watch

Employment State of affairs: “United States ADP Employment Change” [Trading Economics]. “Non-public companies within the US employed 107K staff in January 2024, beneath a downwardly revised 158K in December and forecasts of 145K. Companies-providing corporations had been chargeable for 77K jobs, whereas items producers added 30K.”

Manufacturing: “United States Chicago PMI” [Trading Economics]. “Chicago PMI in america decreased to 46 factors in January from 47.20 factors in December of 2023.”

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Manufacturing: “Intel’s Humbling” [Stratechery]. “At Intel, manufacturing has at all times known as the photographs. The design facet of the corporate needed to accommodate the fabs, whether or not that be utilizing their archaic design software program, working round manufacturing challenges, or determining the best way to make a quicker chip on recycled gear. This made sense for a very long time, however there was a value: Intel designs stopped being revolutionary and have become depending on Intel’s manufacturing for efficiency; when Intel’s manufacturing prowess hit a wall Intel’s designs had been uncovered…. Intel did none of this stuff, and had a mentality and tradition that ran within the actual other way: in a foundry, manufacturing isn’t king however a servant; buyer gross sales isn’t about “take-it-or-leave-it” however “allow us to assist you clear up your downside.” I used to be — and admittedly, stay — doubtful about Intel’s potential to create that type of tradition internally….” • Onerous to excerpt for me, since I’m neither a chip nor a Silicon Valley maven. It does appear, nevertheless, that Intel is doing higher than Boeing. That’s a mercy!

The Financial system: “U.S. successful world financial struggle” [Axios]. “Robust development within the U.S. labor drive was one issue — each as a result of extra Individuals selecting to enter the workforce and a surge in immigration. • Hmm. Immigration?

* * *

As we speak’s Worry & Greed Index: 69 Greed (earlier shut: 74 Greed) [CNN]. One week in the past: 72 (Greed). (0 is Excessive Worry; 100 is Excessive Greed). Final up to date Jan 31 at 1:47:04 PM ET.

Zeitgeist Watch

“Elmo’s wellness test uncovers existential dread and despair on social media” [NBC]. Right here’s the Tweet:

Extra: “All Elmo did was ask a easy query, however the responses had been so overwhelming that ‘Sesame Road’s’ official X account shared a hyperlink to psychological well being sources.”

Class Warfare

“American Oligarchy” [Mother Jones]. Right here’s the lead: “The Russian invasion of Ukraine triggered an unprecedented crackdown by america and different Western nations on the mansions, megayachts, and financial institution accounts of Russia’s ultrawealthy tycoons. But concentrating on Russia’s oligarchs surfaced some uncomfortable questions on our personal political and monetary techniques and the individuals who form them. So we thought it was time for an excellent, lengthy look within the mirror. For our January + February 2024 difficulty, Mom Jones explores the rise and energy of the rising class of billionaires—fueled by the monopolistic development of Huge Tech—who’re remaking America in their very own decadent and extractive picture. Their bored whims and futuristic fantasies form how and the place you reside and work, at the same time as their very own worlds are more and more siloed off from the remainder of us. Welcome to the American Oligarchy.” • I don’t know what’s gotten into Mom Jones. Anyhow, right here’s the TOC. David Corn makes an look, and there’s nothing from Stoller, so I dunno….

“US staff in the course of the covid-19 pandemic: uneven dangers, insufficient protections, and predictable penalties” [BMJ]. Key Messages:

  • Covid-19 disproportionately affected staff who needed to depart dwelling and go to work to maintain society functioning

  • Low wage Black and Hispanic staff had been disproportionately represented amongst staff who couldn’t make money working from home, and disproportionately affected

  • Actions by US occupational and public well being companies fell far wanting what was wanted to make workplaces protected in the course of the pandemic

  • Defending employee well being within the subsequent pandemic requires motion now for paid household and medical depart, higher social helps, and higher office safety insurance policies

Musical interlude.

“Extra Folks Are Being Labeled as Gig Staff. That’s Unhealthy for Everybody” [New York Times]. “What involves thoughts whenever you consider a mom-and-pop small enterprise: A ironmongery store? A diner? A family-run clothes retailer or small-scale grocery store? Right here’s one which’s most likely by no means crossed your thoughts: a dishwashing enterprise. By that, I imply a enterprise of a single individual — unincorporated, no enterprise tackle or capital behind him, only one man — working as a dishwasher for a restaurant, utilizing the restaurant’s equipment to scrub the restaurant’s dishes on the restaurant’s premises. Two explosive enforcement actions disclosed by the Metropolis and County of Denver this month expose the lengths to which some firms will go in attempting to use the ‘gig’ enterprise mannequin. At difficulty is whether or not dishwashers and others like them, positioned of their jobs by on-line non permanent staffing companies, are staff of the companies or impartial contractors working their very own companies.”

The peasants did moderately properly after the Black Demise. For awhile, anyhow:

Information of the Wired

“I Spent My Childhood as a Guinea Pig for Science. It Was … Nice?” [Slate]. “In my earliest recollection from the story of my life as a human lab rat, I’m 7 or 8 years outdated. I’m sitting in an experiment room in Tolman Corridor, a Brutalist constructing on the north facet of the College of California, Berkeley, campus. Within the room, there are two individuals: a person and me. For the previous hour or so, he has been asking me questions on myself, my relationships with my members of the family, and who I think about I’d develop as much as be…. Right here, I’m seen. On this sparsely embellished small room, I really feel particular. In Tolman Corridor, to which I’m periodically introduced for causes that haven’t been revealed to me but, I’m the focus. Once I converse, these adults pay attention attentively, nod encouragingly, and take notes. It appears like love.”

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

TH writes: “This agave in our entrance yard grew this stalk upon which appeared many flowers, now it has many infants. We’re unsure the best way to accumulate and plant them efficiently, or whether or not we even have area for all of them.”

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Readers: Water Cooler is a standalone entity not lined by the annual NC fundraiser. So in the event you see a hyperlink you particularly like, or an merchandise you wouldn’t see anyplace else, please don’t hesitate to specific your appreciation in tangible kind. Keep in mind, a tip jar is for tipping! Common optimistic suggestions each makes me really feel good and lets me know I’m heading in the right direction with protection. Once I get no donations for 5 or ten days I get anxious. Extra tangibly, a continuing trickle of donations helps me with bills, and I think about that trickle when setting fundraising objectives:

Right here is the display that may seem, which I’ve helpfully annotated:

Should you hate PayPal, you possibly can electronic mail me at lambert [UNDERSCORE] strether [DOT] corrente [AT] yahoo [DOT] com, and I gives you instructions on the best way to ship a test. Thanks!

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