2:00PM Water Cooler 11/29/2022 | bare capitalism


By Lambert Strether of Corrente

Chook Track of the Day

Good-looking Flycatcher, Megantoni Camp 3, Tinkanari, Cuzco, Peru. At this time, the flycatcher is good-looking. Yesterday, the flycatcher was ornate!

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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

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

Biden Administration

“Proud pro-labor President”

“However on this case – the place the financial affect of a shutdown would damage hundreds of thousands – I imagine Congress should use its powers to undertake this deal give the employees 4 sick days.” Fastened it for ya.

“Assertion from President Joe Biden on Averting a Rail Shutdown” [WhiteHouse.gov]. “I share employees’ concern concerning the incapacity to take go away to get better from sickness or take care of a sick member of the family. Nobody ought to have to decide on between their job and their well being – or the well being of their kids. I’ve pressed laws and proposals to advance the reason for paid go away in my two years in workplace, and can proceed to take action. Each different developed nation on the planet has such protections for its employees. However at this vital second for our economic system, within the vacation season, we can’t let our strongly held conviction for higher outcomes for employees deny employees the advantages of the discount they reached, and hurl this nation right into a devastating rail freight shutdown.” • So, when the employees haven’t any leverage, we don’t give them what they demand. And when the employees have leverage, we don’t give them what they demand.

A simple layup even for Marco Rubio:

Now can be an excellent time for the Progressive Caucus to roll on its again, expose its stomach, and widdle just like the little pet it’s. Nothing on this on AOC or Jayapal’s Twitter feeds….

“Biden requires Congress to behave to cease rail strike” [Roll Call]. “The union membership that has rejected the tentative settlement has cited ongoing considerations a couple of lack of paid sick days. However Biden, within the assertion concerning the want for Congress to behave shortly, rejected the concept of lawmakers reopening the phrases of the settlement. ‘Some in Congress need to modify the deal to both enhance it for labor or for administration. Nonetheless well-intentioned, any adjustments would threat delay and a debilitating shutdown. The settlement was reached in good religion by either side,’ Biden mentioned.” • Translation of “either side”: Union administration doesn’t characterize the employees, the vast majority of whom rejected the deal. Stunning, I do know.


NY: “GOP voter turnout at presidential ranges, outpaces Democrats in N.Y. governor’s race” [Times-Union]. “Republican turnout was considerably increased than for Democrats, 63 to 47 %, in response to an evaluation of unofficial election outcomes obtained by the Occasions Union from the state Board of Elections.” • Hmm. The New York Democrats actually are in disarray.

TX: “Right here’s why we nonetheless don’t know what went incorrect in Harris County on Election Day” [Texas Tribune]. “Even now, election staffers are persevering with to name every of the greater than 700 election judges who labored the polling websites to search out out precisely what number of places opened late, what number of ran out of paper and what number of had points with voting machines. An investigation by the county’s district legal professional launched earlier this week alleges a minimum of 23 polling places had paper poll shortages. Harris is uncommon amongst giant Texas counties in not having an efficient system for logging its polling place issues. Others have a neater, quicker solution to collect that information that doesn’t require calling lots of of individuals individually and taking down notes. As a substitute, election software program troubleshooting instruments, used today by many election administrators throughout the nation, may help monitor and maintain monitor of each challenge reported at polling websites. These instruments have options that alert officers of a problem intimately and supply standing updates of the decision in actual time.”


“Biden Helped Democrats Avert a ’22 Catastrophe. What About ’24?” [New York Times]. “Now, as Mr. Biden mulls a call over whether or not to hunt a second time period, interviews with greater than two dozen Democratic elected officers and strategists recommend that, no matter misgivings some Democrats could harbor about one other Biden candidacy, his get together is extra inclined for now to defer to him than to attempt to pressure a frontal conflict with a sitting president. In latest days, officers starting from Consultant Henry Cuellar, one of the conservative Home Democrats, to Consultant Pramila Jayapal, the chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, have mentioned they might assist one other Biden bid. In non-public conversations, youthful Democratic operatives have shifted from discussing potential job alternatives in a aggressive presidential major to gaming out what a Biden re-election marketing campaign may appear like.” • Fascinating to see “operative” utilized in a impartial, non-judgemental manner (one thing I have a tendency to not do).

“Turning Level for Garland as Justice Dept. Grapples With Trump Inquiries” [New York Times]. “However the appointment of a particular counsel, Jack Smith, on Nov. 18, and a painstakingly deliberate rollout of the announcement, signaled a major, if delicate, shift in that strategy. Garland has proven a rising willingness to function exterior his consolation zone — inside the confines of the rule ebook — in response to the extraordinary circumstance he now finds himself in: investigating Trump, a prime contender for the 2024 nomination of a celebration that’s more and more rallying across the cost that Garland has weaponized the Justice Division towards Republicans.” • Look. Aren’t these partitions taking somewhat a very long time to shut in?

Republican Funhouse

“The postliberal crackup: The GOP’s post-midterm civil battle begins with the New Proper” [Salon]. • You’ll like this, if it’s the kind of factor you want. However I can’t imagine these concepts are being taken severely (which is an enormous weak point of mine; typically silly concepts are very highly effective).

Democrats en Déshabillé

Affected person readers, plainly individuals are truly studying the back-dated submit! However I’ve not up to date it, and there are a lot of updates. So I must do this. –lambert

I’ve moved my standing remarks on the Democrat Get together (“the Democrat Get together 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 Get together is, the truth is, a tough drawback. I do suppose the paragraph that follows is on level all the way in which again to 2016, if not earlier than:

The Democrat Get together is the political expression of the category energy of PMC, their base (lucidly defined by Thomas Frank in Hear, Liberal!). ; if the Democrat Get together didn’t exist, the PMC must invent it. . (“PMC” modulo “class expatriates,” in fact.) Second, all of the working components of the Get together reinforce one another. Depart apart characterizing the relationships between parts of the Get together (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 neighborhood.

Word, in fact, that the category energy of the PMC each expresses and is proscribed 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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Realignment and Legitimacy

“Republicans in Arizona, Pennsylvania counties decline to certify midterm election outcomes” [ABC]. “Republicans on the election boards of Cochise County in Arizona and Luzerne County in Pennsylvania voted towards motions to certify the election outcomes there.” Ann English, [Cochise County’s] board chair and a Democrat: “[O]ur machine rely and hand rely matched 100%.” So what do we want the machines for? Extra: “In Luzerne County, two Republican members of the elections board voted towards certifying the midterm outcomes, two Democrats voted to certify and one Democratic member abstained. Luzerne County confronted a paper poll scarcity on Election Day, however voting hours had been prolonged to make sure that all ballots could possibly be solid.” • It’s true, as a paper poll advocate, I haven’t addressed provide chain points….


Lambert right here: I can’t name a winter surge, however I’m not uncalling it both. Excessive transmission (CDC), the elevation and continued improve in positivity (Walgreens), and the regular takeover of BQ.1* (CDC; Walgreens) are all greater than just a little unsettling (as is the obvious proliferation of variants). Keep protected on the market! (As one may anticipate firstly of a vacation surge, wastewater in Queens County, NY (JFK/LGA), Cook dinner County, IL (ORD), and Los Angeles County (LAX) are all elevated, with JFK/LGA and LAX being extra elevated than final week, and ORD the identical. Hospitalization in BQ.1*-dominated New York continued to extend earlier than Thanksgiving, so let’s see what occurs after.

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• “There is no such thing as a such factor as ‘herd immunity.’ Why the continuing risks of COVID-19 are actual” [USA Today]. “All of us want to acknowledge the hazards of COVID-19 and the dangers it imposes to our long-term well being and our nation’s workforce. Lengthy COVID happens in roughly 30% to 35% of instances. It generally happens with even gentle illness and with reinfections. The severity is additive with every publicity and the signs can typically persist for over a 12 months (the longest sufferers have been adopted). There is no such thing as a such factor as ‘herd immunity’ and I encourage to vary with the CDC relating to “immune debt” inflicting the rise in respiratory infections, and there assertion relating to Respiratory Syncytial Virus infections: ‘And so these kids, if you’ll, must turn out to be contaminated [with RSV] to maneuver ahead as a result of it’s a illness quite common in kids.’ ‘Immune debt’ is simply one other push for ‘herd immunity’ and to make use of this to clarify the rise in RSV infections is thoughts boggling, since we had a major variety of infections final 12 months. On the finish of Nov. 2022, Pediatric hospitals had been full of RSV, however at the moment there have been corresponding extra RSV infections within the earlier 12 months. We’re on monitor to have an excellent bigger RSV season, however ‘immune debt’ is an unlikely etiology. One other clarification for rising RSV hospitalizations is ‘immune theft’ on account of COVID-19 which as of final March had contaminated over 75% of youngsters. Mounting analysis has proven that COVID-19 is related to immune dysfunction which might persist for a minimum of 8 months (the longest time studied).” • The individual at CDC with whom the writer “begs to vary” is, in fact, America’s favourite eugenicist, Rochelle Walensky.

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• Maskstravaganza: “However everybody could make their very own private threat evaluation”:

“I felt small.”

• Maskstravaganza: One tiny anecdote, maybe an outlier:

My very own anecdote: I look ahead to “Let me see your smile!” tales, as a result of they tick me off a lot. Only a few of them currently. I did discover one

• Maskstravaganza: UC = College of Calgary:

I pity the “Girl.” She’s trusting, and two years into the pandemic, believes that plexiglass screens work. Horrible, horrible communications from the Canadian public well being institution….

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• “New Covid outbreak on a cruise ship headed for Melbourne after ‘barely elevated’ instances triggered it to skip a cease at one other main Australian port” [Daily Mail]. Subsequent to final paragraph: “In the meantime a limousine driver advised Mr Mitchell his firm had 13 folks booked for assortment when the [S.S. Petri Dish The Grand Princess] arrives in Melbourne however mentioned he received’t be gathering them as he ‘can’t threat’ his drivers and their households.” • The phrase you’re in search of is “plague ship.”

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• “SARS-CoV-2 and the Eyes: A Assessment of the Literature on Transmission, Detection, and Ocular Manifestations” [Medical Science Monitor]. A evaluate of the literature. From the Summary: “In the course of the coronavirus illness 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, quite a few stories of ocular anomalies occurring in sufferers contaminated with extreme acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) have emerged. Probably the most continuously reported pathology is conjunctivitis, which would be the first or solely medical manifestation of the illness. Involvement of SARS-CoV-2 in growth of alterations in different ocular buildings was steered, together with the cornea, the retina, and blood vessels. Doable mechanisms embody direct exercise of the viral agent, in addition to systemic inflammatory response with accompanying thromboembolic issues. Genetic materials of SARS-CoV-2 was detected in ocular secretions of contaminated people, together with asymptomatic sufferers. Furthermore, angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), a receptor protein utilized by the virus to enter the cell, has been discovered on the floor of varied buildings of the attention, which signifies a threat of transmission by ocular tissues. Subsequently, it’s essential to make use of eye safety by medical professionals having contact with doubtlessly contaminated sufferers.” • For me, an epidemiological research is the [sic] “gold customary.” I haven’t seen one for transmission by the eyes.

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“COVID-19 instances to leap 80% by Dec. 7, Mayo forecasts” [Beckers Hospital Review]. I’m utilizing the Wayback Machine for this, since (spookily?) the unique URL throws an Error 500. Seems to be like Becker, who is sweet, took this down, rightly as far as I can inform. I can’t discover the 80% forecast on the Mayo web page, which Mayo says is being taken down anyhow.

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


From the Walgreen’s take a look at positivity tracker, revealed November 28:

3.2%. Yesterday was 3.0%. These charges aren’t smoothed, so we actually can’t ensure if there’s a practice rolling or not. Nonetheless, we now haven’t solely a rise, however a rise within the charge of improve. Let’s wait and see.


Wastewater information (CDC), November 22:

November 21:


Lambert right here: It’s past irritating how gradual the variant information is. 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? [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 conduct.

Variant information, nationwide (Walgreens), November 13:

Lambert right here: BQ.1* shifting alongside fairly briskly, although decrease than CDC. XBB arising on the charts.

Variant information, nationwide (CDC), November 5 (Nowcast off):

BQ.1* shifting alongside fairly briskly. Word the looks of XBB, and see the highlighted be aware: Like BQ.1*, XBB seems immediately when CDC decides to disaggregate the information. Precisely as with CDC’s notorious “inexperienced map,” a lag is launched, this time by CDC’s decision-making course of; Walgreens had XBB final week, however CDC has it solely this week. I don’t see what function the aggregation serves. If the problem is a jillion low-circulation variants would make the desk impossibly lengthy and complicated for customers, that’s a UI/UX challenge; deal with it with software program. Have a slider/filter that aggregates variants beneath 1%, say. Permit scrolling the outcomes. No matter. However cease concealing information!

New York/New Jersey (Area 2) numbers are increased:

• Right here is Queens County, NY (JFK/LGA), now flashing pink for the vacations:

• As a test, since New York is a BQ.1* hotbed, New York hospitalization, up to date November 29:

Lambert right here: As with positivity, these charges aren’t smoothed, so we actually can’t ensure if there’s a practice rolling or not. Nonetheless, we now haven’t solely a rise, however a rise within the charge of improve.


Dying charge (Our World in Knowledge):

Complete: 1,104,879 – 1,104,755 = 124 (124 * 365 = 45,260 deaths per 12 months, at the moment’s YouGenicist™ quantity for “dwelling with” Covid (fairly a bit increased than the minimizers would really like, although they will discuss themselves into something. If the YouGenicist™ metric retains chugging alongside like this, I may need to determine that is what the powers-that-be take into account “mission completed” for this specific tranche of loss of life and illness).

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

Stats Watch

There aren’t any official statistics of curiosity at the moment.

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The Bezzle:

Right here’s the transcript of an interview with Anthropic’s founders. It’s… exceptional.

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At this time’s Concern & Greed Index: 60 Greed (earlier shut: 59 Greed) [CNN]. One week in the past: 63 (Greed). (0 is Excessive Concern; 100 is Excessive Greed). Final up to date Nov 29 at 1:34 PM EST.

The Screening Room

Heaps and plenty of element on Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon: The NASA lens, the grain of the movie….

By “doesn’t really feel actual” have to be meant “doesn’t really feel like an oil portray.”

Civil Battle Research

Holy moley, Radical Republican Thaddeus Stevens:

“Talking earlier than his folks at residence in his impassioned plea for this scheme of break to Southern wealth-holders….” And be aware the chapter title: “Confiscation.” Makes you surprise what the Andrew Johnson impeachment and acquittal had been actually about.

Zeitgeist Watch

Look on my works ye mighty:

China can’t appear to improve its HVAC methods both.

Black Injustice Tipping Level

“The Black Traders Who Have been Burned by Bitcoin” [The Atlantic]. “[T]housands of Black traders… have seen the worth of their crypto investments plummet. The prototypical face of crypto is younger, white, techy, and male, however maybe no different demographic group has been more durable hit by the crypto bust than Black People, who’re half as prone to personal shares as their white counterparts however considerably extra prone to personal cryptocurrencies. As a result of Black traders piled into the crypto market at or close to its most up-to-date prime, a lot of these traders at the moment are within the pink. That’s particularly worrisome as a result of Black traders had so little to lose to start with: Younger Black males are one of many poorest segments of American society. Additionally it is worrisome as a result of many Black traders poured cash into bitcoin as a result of they discovered it so arduous to construct generational wealth within the first place. Discriminated towards by banks, neglected by funding managers, redlined and saddled with academic debt, many turned to extra esoteric alternatives.” • Precisely as a technology of Black wealth was destroyed by the Nice Monetary Crash and Obama’s subsequent housing insurance policies.

Class Warfare

“Inequality in Society Drives Inventory-Market Efficiency” [Wall Street Journal]. “[S]tocks and different monetary belongings are simply tokens whose worth is set by provide and demand. More often than not it’s demand that issues most, with giant quantities of provide—IPOs and secondary points—normally a symptom of excessively excessive costs. It seems that one of many largest drivers of that demand in the long term is how unequal society is. The argument is fairly easy, as laid out by Jacques Cesar, a former managing accomplice at Oliver Wyman now main a analysis challenge for the administration consultancy: The wealthy save extra and are extra keen to take the additional threat of placing their financial savings into shares. Mr. Cesar calculates that one family incomes $1 million a 12 months would put about 20 instances as a lot into shares as the whole invested by 20 households every with an earnings of $50,000, primarily based on averages for his or her earnings teams, regardless that their total earnings is similar. Elevate inequality and demand for shares goes up, and so do costs. This doesn’t imply conventional monetary metrics are irrelevant. However it helps clarify why there was an upward development in valuations over the previous 40 years, as U.S. inequality has soared. Extra millionaires and billionaires are shopping for shares as a result of there are extra millionaires and billionaires. On the similar time, there are extra millionaires and billionaires as a result of revenue margins are excessive—for a lot of causes, together with elevated monopoly energy—and corporations select to pay their prime folks way more than prior to now. ‘There’s a duality,’ Mr. Cesar says. ‘Finally they’re two faces of the identical coin. [Company] earnings are each trigger and consequence of excessive earnings inequality.’” • A duality. Or a contradiction.

“Railroading employees” [Popular Information]. “The dispute boils down to at least one challenge: paid sick go away. … Railroad firms have adamantly refused to incorporate any short-term paid go away. Which means rail employees should report back to work, even when they’re sick, or forfeit their pay. “It’s an insane and merciless system, and these guys are fed up with it,” Peter Kennedy, chief negotiator for the upkeep employees union, which rejected the deal, mentioned. Rail employees say that some colleagues come to work with COVID as a result of they will’t afford to take break day. The upkeep employees are looking for a take care of a minimum of 4 paid sick days. The railroad firms, in response to the union, are unwilling to barter.” • 4. Sick. Days.

“Stories from Putting College of California Philosophy Graduate College students” [Daily Nous]. “Throughout my time in San Diego I’ve all the time spent greater than 50% of my earnings on hire. My landlord just lately raised my hire so I’m now paying about 75% of my earnings on hire. I merely can’t afford that. I’m looking for a spot to maneuver, nevertheless it’s almost not possible to discover a place. Not only a place that’s protected or moderately near campus. It’s almost not possible simply to discover a place, anyplace, that I can afford with my stipend. I work full-time over the summer time and attempt to discover methods to make more money through the educational 12 months, all simply to have the ability to pay my payments. It’s plain that I’d be a greater thinker and higher trainer if I had been capable of spend these numerous hours doing what I got here to UCSD to do as an alternative of spending that point attempting to outlive. It harms grad college students, our departments, the scholars we train, our universities, and the self-discipline of philosophy as a complete when grad college students are pressured to spend inordinate quantities of time making more money as an alternative of specializing in our work. That’s why we want extra money. ~ UCSD Philosophy Graduate Pupil.”

“The Tradition Employees Go On Strike” [The New Republic]. “This season tradition employees are organizing towards their very own exploitation. Professors of artwork, employees at museums, and assistants at a publishing home have all gone on strike or staged public protests throughout contract negotiations. Name this a black-turtleneck-worker rebellion somewhat than a white-collar one. ‘Wages are stagnant and we earn far decrease salaries than our friends elsewhere,’ the union representing staff on the Brooklyn Museum just lately tweeted. They’ve been busy protesting exterior their work web site. Throughout one motion, employees held up indicators decrying the vacuity of the VIP opening for the museum’s high fashion vogue exhibit: One learn, ‘You possibly can’t eat status.’ (The union is calling for a 7 % wage improve this 12 months and raises of 4 % per 12 months for every of the 2 years following.) Unions are at present on strike on the writer HarperCollins and at the College of California system, the place 48,000 educational employees are sitting out their underpaid educating gigs.”

Information of the Wired

I stay, at the moment, unwired.

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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 the way to ship me a test if you’re allergic to PayPal and (b) to learn the way to ship me photographs of crops. Greens are advantageous! Fungi and coral are deemed to be honorary crops! If you would like your deal with to look as a credit score, please place it firstly 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 Timotheus:

Timotheus writes: “Stands out amidst the inexperienced, Isham Park, higher Manhattan.”

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