2:00PM Water Cooler 11/23/2022 | bare capitalism

Date:


By Lambert Strether of Corrente

Chook Music of the Day

Frequent Nightingale, Taliouline, Morocco. 28 minutes!

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Politics

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

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

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

Affected person readers, I apologize for the Politics part being so mild; it appears that evidently your complete political class is having a cigarette after the midterms. –lambert

Biden Administration

“The IRS Will Want These 4 Issues to Succeed After the Midterms” [Government Executive]. “For my part, the personnel flexibilities described above are important to IRS’s success. However to acquire them, together with the funding that can gas them, IRS might additionally use unequivocal prime cowl from the Biden administration, maybe through a presidential memorandum that tells OPM, the Workplace of Administration and Finances, and the Basic Companies Administration to push the sting of the authorized envelope with regards to granting IRS the flexibilities many people have outlined. And by shifting the burden of that push to the White Home, such a memorandum might additionally alleviate any risk-aversion [Office of Personnel Management] and its peer-agencies might have.”

2022

MN: “Keith Ellison’s Slender Victory” [Dissent]. “Keith Ellison’s slim reelection as Minnesota’s Legal professional Basic holds vital classes for Democrats as they search to articulate positions on prison justice. Elected in 2018 on a pledge to be the ‘Individuals’s Lawyer,’ Ellison entered this years’ race with a robust document of defending employee and client rights and main the profitable prosecution of the law enforcement officials accused of killing George Floyd and Daunte Wright in 2020. That he gained by simply 20,000 votes (a fraction of his 100,000 vote margin of victory in 2018) revealed how efficiently Republicans narrowed debates over police reform and crime into simplistic narratives about ‘regulation and order.’ But it surely additionally demonstrated that Democrats can win on platforms that ship racial and financial justice in addition to public security. Requested why he traded a protected seat and a management position in Congress for what many seen as a step all the way down to state workplace in 2018, Ellison defined that with Republicans accountable for the White Home and Senate, state attorneys basic had key roles to play in countering assaults on civil liberties, client and environmental protections, and different “issues the administration is doing to weaken rights, each social and financial, of People. It’s on the native stage that combat is being waged.” • Ellison misplaced his management position in Congress as a result of he was a Sanders supporter, no different cause. After all, that was awhile again, and he can’t say it anyhow.

2024

“Biden’s era is ceding the stage as he plots his subsequent act” [Politico]. “‘He was not my first or second alternative for president, however I’m a convert,’ Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash), advised POLITICO not too long ago. ‘I by no means thought I’d say this, however I imagine he ought to run for an additional time period and end this agenda we laid out.’” • I by no means thought you’d say that both. How fallacious I used to be.

Democrats en Déshabillé

Affected person readers, it appears that evidently persons are really studying the back-dated submit! However I’ve not up to date it, and there are various updates. So I should try this. –lambert

I’ve moved my standing remarks on the Democrat Occasion (“the Democrat Occasion is a rotting corpse that may’t bury itself”) to a separate, back-dated submit, 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 Occasion is, the truth is, a tough downside. I do assume the paragraph that follows is on level all the way in which again to 2016, if not earlier than:

The Democrat Occasion is the political expression of the category energy of PMC, their base (lucidly defined by Thomas Frank in Hear, Liberal!). ; if the Democrat Occasion didn’t exist, the PMC must invent it. . (“PMC” modulo “class expatriates,” in fact.) Second, all of the working components of the Occasion reinforce one another. Go away apart characterizing the relationships between parts of the Occasion (ka-ching, however not completely) these parts 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 group.

Observe, in fact, that the category energy of the PMC each expresses and is proscribed by different courses; 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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Ro Khanna on FTX:

Republican Funhouse

“Why impeaching DHS’ Mayorkas is again on the desk for the GOP” [MSNBC]. “‘If Secretary Mayorkas doesn’t resign,’ McCarthy advised reporters, ‘Home Republicans will examine each order, each motion, and each failure [and] will decide whether or not we will start impeachment inquiry.’” • Hmm.

Realignment and Legitimacy

“Ep 51 | Counting & Auditing the Election” (video) [YouTube].

#COVID19

Lambert right here: I can’t name a winter surge, although we’ll actually have to attend for Thanksgiving journey. Nevertheless, excessive transmission (CDC), the elevation and continued improve in positivity (Walgreens), and the regular takeover of BQ.1* (CDC; Walgreens) are all a bit of unsettling (as is the obvious proliferation of variants). Keep protected on the market! (So far as Thanksgiving journey goes, missing CDC’s “Fast Riser” counties characteristic, one of the best we will do, I feel, is comply with the information and take a look at wastewater. I’d order wastewater danger from highest to lowest at JFK/LGA (New York), LAX (Los Angeles), ATL (Atlanta), and ORD (Chicago). Since New York — as of this writing, and naturally all the info is delayed, making private danger evaluation an effort in delusion, however I digress — is a BQ.1* hotbed, I’d attempt to use EWR (Newark) not JFK/LGA. My $0.02!

“A 12 months After the Omicron Surge, Officers See a Decreased Covid Risk This Winter” [New York Times]. “Now, Dr. Ashish Ok. Jha, the White Home’s Covid-19 response coordinator, stated he was assured concerning the vacation season so long as People continued to get vaccinated and boosted. ‘Nothing I’ve seen within the subvariants makes me imagine that we will’t handle our means by it successfully, particularly if individuals step up and get their vaccine,’ he stated at a White Home briefing. That may very well be a major caveat. Weary of two years of repeated vaccination campaigns, People have been reluctant to embrace the up to date booster pictures that the administration rolled out in September. Up to now, solely 35 million individuals have acquired one of many revised pictures from Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech. The administration purchased sufficient doses for practically 5 occasions as many individuals…. And the place the coronavirus is headed stays a thriller. Federal officers have been watching a brand new subvariant of Omicron known as XBB with some trepidation. The brand new subvariant accounts for under a tiny proportion of instances in the US thus far, however it’s exhibiting up in testing of vacationers on the nation’s main worldwide airports and has taken maintain in India and Singapore.” • I don’t wish to be cranky about this, however “decreased Covid risk” is in no way the identical as “the pandemic is over.” I suppose I’ve to observe XBB now, although I don’t know why. BQ.1* far outperforms XBB on the Walgreen’s variant chart (see beneath), and doesn’t seem in any respect on the CDC “Nowcast 0ff” variant chart. Nor does it seem on CDC’s “Nowcast On” chart, or on the “Area 2” model of “Nowcast On,” which incorporates the New York. So I don’t know the place the reporter is getting this info.

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“‘Immunity debt’ is a misguided and harmful idea” [Financial Times]. “[T]right here is not any proof that a person is worse off for having prevented earlier an infection. “Immunity debt as a person idea isn’t recognised in immunology,” Dunn-Walters says. “The immune system isn’t seen as a muscle that must be used on a regular basis to be saved in form and, if something, the other is the case.” The fixed onslaught of widespread pathogens resembling cytomegalovirus, she provides, means the immune system begins to malfunction and slacken with age. She rejects the concept that an infection is someway good for well being, saying vaccination is a far safer means of constructing inhabitants immunity…. The immunity debt idea holds broad attraction as a result of it may be employed in so some ways. It appears to intuitively clarify the present wave of respiratory sickness. It’s enticing to those that would downplay illness in kids, and people who advocate for an infection over vaccination. It offers a post-hoc justification for opposing measures resembling masking, despite the fact that proof means that such measures curbed Covid and just about banished flu. Immunity debt additionally performs to the concept that the ebb and stream of childhood sicknesses are greatest left to nature — till one remembers that your complete childhood vaccination schedule is about protecting the worst of nature at bay.” • In the future, nothing on “immunity debt” wherever. The subsequent day, opinion-havers sagely nodding their heads at it. I want I understood that course of, as a result of it appears to be occurring so much.

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“What Covid taught scientists and the general public concerning the flu” [NBC]. “‘It was surprising how flu went to zero [in 2020],’ stated Linsey Marr, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Virginia Tech. ‘We’ve discovered that it’s attainable to cease the flu. Researchers, to some extent, disagree on the precise cause for the unprecedented drop within the flu that season. Pandemic-related mitigation measures — together with using masks, avoiding journey and indoor gatherings, and extra frequent hand-washing — seemingly performed a task. Others credit score the truth that Covid was the dominant virus that winter. ‘If you get uncovered to a respiratory virus like flu or Covid, it induces an preliminary immune response that’s nonspecific,’ defined Dr. Matthew Memoli, director of the Laboratory of Infectious Ailments’ medical research unit on the Nationwide Institute of Allergy and Infectious Ailments…. Whether or not it was Covid’s dominance or behavioral modifications that contributed most to the nonexistent 2020-2021 flu season — and lots of credit score each — the newfound data that flu transmission can the truth is, be stopped, is right here to remain.” • Might be each?

* * *

Transmission

Right here is CDC’s interactive map by county set to group transmission (the “purple map”). (That is the map CDC needs solely hospitals to have a look at, not you.)

Positivity

From the Walgreen’s take a look at positivity tracker, printed November 23:

1.5%. Up.

• “What was your COVID-19 residence take a look at outcome?” [Make My Test Count]. From the FAQ:

What’s the purpose of MakeMyTestCount?

At-home COVID-19 checks permit us to rapidly and simply discover out whether or not we’re contaminated with the virus. But when we don’t share our take a look at outcomes, the individuals who work to maintain us protected from this illness gained’t understand how quick the virus is spreading, or the place surges are occurring. With out that info, they’ll’t do the work they should do to maintain us and our communities protected.

The info from MakeMyTestCount can assist public well being groups try this work – whereas protecting your private take a look at outcomes non-public and nameless.

Sharing your at-home take a look at outcome makes your take a look at rely. If you share your outcome, you assist preserve your self and your group protected from COVID-19 – each now and sooner or later.

Good concept, though one would possibly ask why we aren’t doing this already. Extra importantly, why is NIH doing this, and never CDC?

Wastewater

Wastewater information (CDC), November 19:

• Queens County (JFK/LGA) is elevated (purple orange), simply in time for vacation journey:

Apparently, that is the primary curve I’ve seen for awhile that appears like doubling habits. Let’s wait and see. Cook dinner County (ORD) stays elevated. LAX and SFO will not be.

November 16:

• “Wastewater Surveillance Knowledge within the U.S.” [COVID-19 Data Dispatch]. • A really helpful and usable checklist (sadly gappy, however that’s the US). Particularly, it’s received “State and native COVID-19 wastewater dashboards.” Right here is the New York Map, with “Jamaica Wastewater Therapy” (JFK, Queens) highlighted:

Seeing lots of purple in NYC and New York State. Observe that from this map, Queens County has two wastewater remedy crops: Seems to be like “Jamaica” is nearer JFK, and “Bowery Bay” (lined by the Queens popup) close to LGA (additionally purple, substantial to excessive). I now want to know how CDC aggregates all of the wastewater remedy crops in Queens county into one dot. That is vital, as a result of JFK is a world airport, which deserves its personal monitoring [bangs head on desk].

Variants

Lambert right here: It’s past irritating how sluggish the variant information is. Does no one 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 all people will get the outcomes from them? [grinds teeth, bangs head on desk]. UPDATE Sure. See NC right here on Pango. Each Friday, a stately, educational tempo completely incompatible with defending your self towards a variant exhibiting doubling habits.

NOT UPDATED Variant information, nationwide (Walgreens), November 6:

Lambert right here: BQ.1* transferring alongside fairly briskly, although decrease than CDC. XBB current right here, not in CDC.

NOT UPDATED Variant information, nationwide (CDC), October 29 (Nowcast off):

BQ.1* transferring alongside fairly briskly. New York/New Jersey (Area 2) numbers are greater:

• As a examine, since New York is a BQ.1* hotbed, New York hospitalization, up to date November 19:

Lambert right here: Rising, after leveling out.

Deaths

Loss of life price (Our World in Knowledge):

Whole: 1,103,355 – 1,102,915 = 440 (440 * 365 = 160,600 deaths per 12 months, immediately’s YouGenicist™ quantity for “residing with” Covid (fairly a bit greater than the minimizers would really like, although they’ll speak themselves into something. If the YouGenicist™ metric retains chugging alongside like this, I may must determine that is what the powers-that-be contemplate “mission achieved” for this specific tranche of loss of life and illness).

It’s good that for deaths I’ve a easy, day by day chart that simply retains chugging alongside, not like every thing else CDC and the White Home are screwing up or letting go darkish, good job.

Stats Watch

Employment State of affairs: “United States Preliminary Jobless Claims: [Trading Economics]. “The variety of American submitting new claims for unemployment advantages rose by 17,000 to 240,000 on the week ending November nineteenth, essentially the most since August and properly above expectations of 225,000 seemingly boosted by the wave of layoffs in expertise corporations. Additionally, final week’s rise could also be technical because the mannequin utilized by the federal government to regulate the info for seasonal fluctuations usually anticipates an increase in filings due to short-term firm closures associated to the vacations.”

Manufacturing: ‘United States Sturdy Items Orders” [Trading Economics]. “Sturdy items orders within the US which measure the price of orders acquired by producers for items that meant to final not less than three years, jumped 1% month-over-month in October of 2022, following a downwardly revised 0.3% improve in September and beating market forecasts of a 0.4% rise. It’s the largest rise in 4 months, led by transportation tools (2.1%) and navy plane (21.7%). The info aren’t adjusted for inflation.” •

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Retail: “Morgan Stanley says jaw-dropping stock ranges a ‘key danger’ to retailers” [Freight Waves]. “In keeping with the Morgan Stanley Shipper Survey, by which some 100 firms frequently share their transportation wants and macro expectations, web ordering ranges have reached the bottom level within the survey’s 12-year historical past. Ordering ranges are down 40% 12 months over 12 months. Internet stock ranges are additionally unusually excessive. ‘Virtually half of respondents say that their stock is greater and ordering is decrease going ahead — which firmly indicated an over-inventoried/de-stocking situation,’ wrote Ravi Shanker, who’s Morgan Stanley’s lead transportation fairness analyst.”

Tech: “Meta Employees Hijacked Person Accounts and Charged Bribes, Report Says” [Wall Street Journal]. “Meta disciplined or fired greater than two dozen staff that it discovered allegedly misused an inner system to hijack customers’ accounts. In some instances, Meta says the employees charged customers bribes to regain entry to their profiles, in response to individuals aware of the matter and inner paperwork.” • Solely a podcast thus far.

Tech: “Leaving Twitter’s Walled Backyard” [Electronic Frontier Foundation]. “Federation is a broad time period which means a bunch that has smaller teams inside it that retain some measure of autonomy inside that complete. In web phrases, essentially the most well-known federated system is our outdated buddy, e-mail. Regardless of how a lot you like or hate e-mail itself, it’s a working federated system that’s been round for over a half-century. It doesn’t matter what e-mail server you utilize, what e-mail shopper you utilize, all of us use e-mail and the expertise is kind of the identical for us all, and that’s a great factor. The Net can be federated – any site can hyperlink to, embed, check with stuff on another web site and basically, it doesn’t matter what browser you utilize. The web began out federated, and even continues to be…. On this means, Mastodon is similar to companies you already know and doubtless use on daily basis. In truth, it’s very very similar to Twitter itself, which is why individuals sad with Twitter are contemplating Mastodon instead and why we’re penning this essay…. That stated, there are causes to choose one server over one other. The most important one is moderation. Fediverse companies are good at giving people the flexibility to dam different accounts and even total servers that they don’t wish to see of their timeline. They’re additionally good at letting servers block accounts or total different servers that don’t meet with their very own moderation selections. One might, for instance, make an occasion that solely permits incoming posts that comprise the phrase ‘cat’ and completely blocks anybody who makes use of the phrase ‘canine.’ Thus, discovering a server the place you agree with the moderation insurance policies could also be a good suggestion.” • (Twitter can already to the “cat” or “canine” factor. Twitter, in consquence of being the one platform on which you’ll Tweet, is a common deal with house in a means that Mastodon isn’t. I’m a bit torn on this, as a result of I’ve advocated federated techniques for a few years (for issues like taxonomies). However now, confronted with the fact, I’m altering my views. Twitter appears to me like a busy road in an enormous metropolis the place you may run into something at any time. Thrilling! Mastodon feels much more like a community of gated communities. Constricting.

* * *

In the present day’s Worry & Greed Index: 66 Greed (earlier shut: 62 Greed) [CNN]. One week in the past: 63 (Greed). (0 is Excessive Worry; 100 is Excessive Greed). Final up to date Nov 23 at 1:35 PM EST. In all my years doing this chart, I’ve by no means seen it replace. In the present day, the pointer moved from 65 to 66 whereas I used to be watching it!

Humanity’s Greatest Buddy

Please, canine individuals, don’t say I by no means did something for you:

Thanksgiving Pre-Recreation Festivities

“Meet the Underground Community of Butter Cut price Hunters” [Wall Street Journal]. “The approaching holidays and close to document excessive butter costs have churned up an underground butter brigade. Individuals who like to bake are scouting nationwide, regional and native shops throughout the nation and sharing butter offers with fellow spritz and snickerdoodle makers on social media. They submit pictures of retailer cabinets with costs listed and kitchen counters piled with their newest hauls. One made a butter Jenga…. Dee Stroup, who gained a Pittsburgh Nut Roll Competitors in 2019, wants 20 kilos of butter to get by Thanksgiving and Christmas and can solely bake with Land O’ Lakes.” • Holy moley!

“The Treatment: Grandma Lacey’s Cornbread” (recipe) [Scalawag]. “1 ½ sticks of butter, melted.” • OK!

“How To Inform Your Mother You’re Not Coming Dwelling For The Holidays” [The Onion]. “Isn’t this why you had two youngsters?”

“Chelsea Manning accused of leaking grandma’s secret Thanksgiving recipes” [Duffel Blog]. “This marks the primary time Manning has leaked secret paperwork to the general public in over a decade.”

Zeitgeist Watch

“Contentious George Washington mural at San Francisco faculty can keep, decide decides” [Los Angeles Times]. • Right here is the mural:

Precisely just like the Kentucky mural mentioned yesterday (hat tip 430MLK), this mural traditionally correct; we now have famous land speculator George Washington on the left, and on the suitable armed frontiersmen marching off to overcome that land, stepping on the physique of a useless Native American as they go. Apparently, each murals had been commissioned by the Public Works of Artwork Challenge of FDR’s WPA, and as makes an attempt to right the historic document at the moment, look to be striving for racial justice, by correcting the document. To straw particular person only a bit: Anyone who throws these murals in the identical bucket as Accomplice monuments is a idiot. Neither of them glorify white supremacy. Fairly the reverse.

Our Famously Free Press

“Related Press reporter fired over misguided story on Russian assault” [WaPo]. • In regards to the rapidly debunked story of Russian missiles falling on Poland. The lead is buried:

LaPorta shared the U.S. official’s [who] tip in an piece of email round 1:30 p.m. Jap time. An editor instantly requested if AP ought to situation an alert on his tip, “or would we’d like affirmation from one other supply and/or Poland?”

After additional dialogue, a second editor stated she “would vote” for publishing an alert, including, “.”

You don’t want a spook on the censor’s desk if one lives proper in your head. Extra:

However an individual on the Related Press aware of the bigger conversations surrounding the story that day stated LaPorta additionally advised his editors {that a} senior supervisor had already vetted the supply of LaPorta’s tip — leaving the impression that the story’s sourcing had been permitted. Whereas that editor had signed off on earlier tales utilizing LaPorta’s supply, that editor had not weighed in on the missile story. [AP spokesperson Lauren Easton} said .

But the editors ought to be disciplined, at least according to AP:

Here is the entire Slack conversation, including the “can’t imagine” quote:

So, in my mind, this is a labor issue as well; the bosses have conned worker into believing they must be available at all times, and so here we have an exchange that could have set off World War II with the reporter at a dentist’s appointment (doubtless in “fear and trembling,” if LaPorta’s experience with Amrican dentisty is anything like mine). Note this is exactly the same issue the railroad workers may strike over: paid time off for medical reasons. So the feckless, unaccountable editors also bear responsibility for not covering LaPorta’s slot.

Class Warfare

“United Furniture abruptly shuts down Triad operations. Hundreds of workers affected.” [Winston-Salem Journal (Polar Donkey)]. “nited Furnishings Industries Inc. has stopped manufacturing abruptly at its 5 Triad services — the place it was reported to have had between 530 and 600 staff — as a part of what seems to be an total shutdown of the enterprise. A number of media experiences say staff in Winston-Salem, Verona, Miss., and Victorville, Calif., in addition to supply drivers, acquired emails from United’s board of administrators late Monday and early Tuesday…. The primary e-mail learn ‘we ask that each one staff not report back to their work areas tomorrow November 22, 2022.’ The second e-mail knowledgeable staff that ‘your layoff from the corporate is anticipated to be everlasting and all advantages can be terminated instantly with out provision of COBRA.’ The corporate ended the memo citing the ‘troublesome and surprising scenario’ that business analysts stated seemingly contains inflation, excessive gasoline costs and the conflict in Ukraine as key components.” • The entire story is price a learn I doubt very a lot the “troublesome and surprising scenario” was Ukraine.

Not a great look:

If Starbucks needs these cheerful and hardworking baristas wanting and appearing like wage slaves, they need to proceed precisely as they’re continuing. The baristas are the general public face of the corporate, not Laxman Narasimhan, whoever the hell he’s (or Howard Schultz).

Hmm:

Hmm. Which facet is successful?

Information of the Wired

“Dimming the Solar to Cool the Planet Is a Determined Concept, But We’re Inching Towards It” [The New Yorker]. • Wheee!

* * *

Contact info 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 examine if you’re allergic to PayPal and (b) to learn how to ship me photos of crops. Greens are tremendous! Fungi and coral are deemed to be honorary crops! If you need your deal with to seem as a credit score, please place it at first 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 AM:

AM writes: “Unidentified giant yucca-like plant in Vandeleur Walled Backyard simply outdoors Kilrush, County Clare, Eire on September 13, 2022. Previously an property, the backyard now commemorates the evictions of the tenants through the potato famine through the 1840’s.”

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

For those who hate PayPal, you may e-mail me at lambert [UNDERSCORE] strether [DOT] corrente [AT] yahoo [DOT] com, and I offers you instructions on how one can ship a examine. Thanks!

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