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


By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Chook Tune of the Day

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

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Politics

“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 might not stop US Border Patrol officers from eradicating it. The Supreme Courtroom ruling got here with no clarification and was solely by a 5-4 margin. It’s an indication of our occasions 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 critical. The Supreme Courtroom mentioned: Here’s what you’ll do. Texas mentioned: We gained’t. That’s oversimplified however not by a lot. Much more necessary 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Good suppose these nukes in North Dakota are out of date….

“Republican Governors Band Collectively, Challenge Joint Assertion Supporting Texas’ Constitutional Proper to Self-Protection” [Republican Governors Association]. “The authors of the U.S. Structure made clear that in occasions like this, states have a proper of self-defense, underneath 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 concept. 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 regulation, creating a completely new stream of quasi-legal immigration underneath 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 to be able 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. underneath the Biden administration. Of those, 2.3 million have been given Notices to Seem (NTAs) earlier than an immigration courtroom—which might 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 power of federal immigration officers to determine and deport them.” And: “America’s financial elite agrees that immigrant-driven wage suppression, thanks partially to Biden’s insurance policies, has ameliorated inflation. Federal Reserve Chairman Powell in 2022 attributed inflation partially 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,’ lowering the power 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 during the last 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.

2024

Lower than a yr 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 speak radio, or ignorance, or Putin. So are Trump’s win in 2016 and certain win in 2024 inexplicable? Attempt once more.” • Laborious to excerpt…

Trump (R): “This Isn’t Solely a Trump Election” [Peggy Noonan]. “[Haley] might 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 fallacious 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 era, 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 all for historical past, wasn’t up nights studying Robert Caro. He obtained 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 might 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’d like for the longer term. What do we’d like? Somebody who feels in her or his intestine the wound of the open border and can cease unlawful immigration; somebody who can reduce by means of the knot of ‘globalism’ vs. ‘isolationism,’ a critical argument that’s turning into a cartoon one (internationalists don’t actually wish to begin wars throughout; isolationists know we’re a part of the world and may’t simply pull up the bridge). If we will reduce by means of all that we’ll go far to forging a real nationwide stance towards the world, and solely then can we reply the correct technique towards China, the accountability of America in Asia and the Mideast. Somebody who can tackle id 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 big) issues, if a frontrunner obtained them proper, would mark a nationwide comeback, and never an extra sinking into the mire of the dramas of the previous decade.” • Hey, how about not whacking a couple of 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 will not be the reason for this uproar. The habits they deem past the pale and disqualifying is basically the impact of the vicious and dishonest assaults they’ve leveled in opposition to 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 precise grievance than this man whose enemies have sought retribution in opposition to him for the sin of profitable an election. He isn’t a cosmic drive decided to impose his will, however a person underneath siege who largely lashes out in self-defense.”

Trump (R): “To beat Trump, we have to know why Individuals maintain voting for him. Psychologists might have the reply: [George Monbiot]. “Trump is king of the extrinsics. Some psychologists consider our values are likely to cluster round sure poles, described as “intrinsic” and “extrinsic”. Folks with a powerful set of intrinsic values are inclined in direction of empathy, intimacy and self-acceptance. They are usually open to problem and alter, all for common rights and equality, and protecting of different individuals and the dwelling 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 more likely 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 powerful set of extrinsic values usually tend to endure from frustration, dissatisfaction, stress, anxiousness, 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 Decide 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 entails Trump due to his spouse Ginni Thomas’ political involvement and participation within the occasions of Jan. 6. Those self same pursuits have but to precise 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 common for political activists, judges, and White Home bigwigs to rub elbows at fancy soirees just like the October gala on the Kennedy Middle. However Max Stier’s longtime ties to the Democratic Occasion, 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 increase questions on her impartiality.”

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Biden (D): “Why Is Biden Working?” [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 may be 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 probability, turning into the subsequent 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, in fact—with some class and decency, who can put up a greater present in opposition to Mr. Trump?” • Appropriate. All people is aware of what a powerful bench the Democrats have!

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D: “Black Pastors Strain Biden to Name for a Stop-Hearth in Gaza” [New York Times]. “Because the Israel-Hamas conflict 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 partially by their parishioners, who’re more and more distressed by the struggling of Palestinians and significant of the president’s response to it. Greater than 1,000 Black pastors representing a whole lot of hundreds of congregants nationwide have issued the demand. In sit-down conferences with White Home officers, and thru open letters and ads, 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 hundreds 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 hassle at persuasion additionally carries a political warning, detailed in interviews with a dozen Black religion leaders and their allies. Lots of their parishioners, these pastors mentioned, are so dismayed by the president’s posture towards the conflict 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]. “Throughout the devastating international covid-19 pandemic, one nation stood out: america noticed “eye wateringly excessive” loss of life charges in contrast with its peer nations. The 1.16 million Individuals killed by covid-19 signify 16% of world 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 brilliant aspect, we will eat once more at Appleby’s with no masks! A brand new collection at BMJ. See underneath Class Warfare.

Republican Funhouse

“Proper-wing media figures goal Taylor Swift with absurd conspiracy concept forward of the Tremendous Bowl” [CNN]. Not a fan of Swift’s, given her tour of superspreading occasions. “Proper-wing media is burning pink at Taylor Swift. With the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs headed to Tremendous Bowl LVIII, influential MAGA Media personalities have began circulating conspiracy theories in regards to 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 Occasion 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 said 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 large Pfizer. A Monday story printed by The New York Occasions, which famous Biden would really like Swift’s endorsement once more this yr, added gasoline to the hearth.” • “I have to be on the suitable aspect of historical past”:

Democrats en Déshabillé

“Democrats rashly ignore political issues amongst their very own normal voters” [Washington Examiner]. Nicely-meant recommendation from Republicans to Democrats, a style unto itself. However: “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 Shedding Belief in Almost All Professions” [America’s New Majority Project]. “An initiative led by Gingrich 360,” so cum grano salis. However:

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 pattern in scores since 2019:

  • 56% charge docs extremely, down from 65% in 2019. 
  • 45% charge cops extremely, down from 54% in 2019. 
  • 42% charge faculty academics 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 Information 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). Total, corporations had been extra lively than commerce associations, with associations being least lively within the tobacco business. Spending was usually 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 industrial actors are numerous and have totally different impacts on well being. But too usually, public well being advocates fail to make these distinctions, referring to ‘the business’ or ‘firms’ as a proxy for dangerous industrial actors. This lack of nuance stymies efforts to develop a science of business determinants.”

#COVID19

“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 happy to contact me on the handle given with the vegetation. 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 secure 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 generally 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 much 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. No less than in some circumstances, 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 circumstances acquired adjustments previous to Omicron, continued monitoring of waste water for such cryptic lineages might present foreknowledge of adjustments, or no less than the place of adjustments, more likely to be chosen for within the circulating Omicron variants.”

Media

“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 generally 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 average Covid-19 misinformation violated customers’ First Modification rights. Whereas the swimsuit was initially filed by then-Missouri Lawyer Normal Eric Schmitt — and often called 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 might 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 can head to the Supreme Courtroom later in March — dominated {that a} vary of presidency businesses, together with the Well being and Human Providers 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 faux names amongst its skilled signatories, together with “Dr Johnny Bananas” and “Professor Cominic Dummings”.

The Nice Barrington declaration, which was mentioned to have been signed by greater than 15,000 scientists and medical practitioners all over the world, 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 title was the primary verse of the Macarena.

Sky Information found 18 self-declared homeopaths within the listing of skilled 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 obtained 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 exhibit that this entry pathway unlocked by Omicron Spike allows evasion from constitutive and interferon-induced antiviral components that limit SARS-CoV-2 entry following attachment. Subsequently, .” • Good factor these nasal vaccines are continuing at an Operation Warp Pace tempo! Oh, wait…

Sequelae

“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: Day by day Covid Charts

LEGEND

1) for charts new immediately; all others should 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.”

NOTES

[1] Even after a decline, we’re nonetheless greater than any of the surges underneath 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 will probably be reported biweekly, based mostly on the provision of constructive check specimens.” “Biweeekly: 1. occurring each two weeks. 2. occurring twice every week; semiweekly.” Appears to be like 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 yr, utilizing a rolling 52-week interval.” So not your complete 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 acceptable for eachMR SUBLIMINAL I hate these individuals a lot. Discover additionally that this chart exhibits, no less than for its time interval, that Covid is not seasonal, despite the fact that CDC is making an attempt to get us to consider that it’s, presumably to allow them to piggyback on the prevailing institutional equipment for injections. And naturally, we’re not even moving into the standard of the wastewater websites that we’ve got as a proxy for Covid an infection general.

[5] Lower for the 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 large peer strain, went and obtained 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]. “Personal companies within the US employed 107K staff in January 2024, beneath a downwardly revised 158K in December and forecasts of 145K. Providers-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.”

* * *

Manufacturing: “Intel’s Humbling” [Stratechery]. “At Intel, manufacturing has at all times known as the pictures. The design aspect 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 right way to make a sooner chip on recycled tools. This made sense for a very long time, however there was a price: Intel designs stopped being progressive 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 these items, and had a mentality and tradition that ran within the actual other way: in a foundry, manufacturing will not be king however a servant; buyer gross sales will not be about “take-it-or-leave-it” however “allow us to aid you clear up your drawback.” I used to be — and albeit, stay — doubtful about Intel’s potential to create that form of tradition internally….” • Laborious 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 Economic system: “U.S. profitable world financial conflict” [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?

* * *

Right this moment’s Concern & Greed Index: 69 Greed (earlier shut: 74 Greed) [CNN]. One week in the past: 72 (Greed). (0 is Excessive Concern; 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 focusing 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 a great, lengthy look within the mirror. For our January + February 2024 challenge, Mom Jones explores the rise and energy of the rising class of billionaires—fueled by the monopolistic development of Large 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 go away house and go to work to maintain society functioning

  • Low wage Black and Hispanic staff had been disproportionately represented amongst staff who couldn’t earn a living from home, and disproportionately affected

  • Actions by US occupational and public well being businesses fell far in need of what was wanted to make workplaces secure in the course of the pandemic

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

Musical interlude.

“Extra Folks Are Being Categorised as Gig Employees. That’s Dangerous for Everybody” [New York Times]. “What involves thoughts if you consider a mom-and-pop small enterprise: A ironmongery shop? A diner? A family-run clothes retailer or small-scale grocery store? Right here’s one which’s in all probability by no means crossed your thoughts: a dishwashing enterprise. By that, I imply a enterprise of a single individual — unincorporated, no enterprise handle 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 making an attempt to use the ‘gig’ enterprise mannequin. At challenge is whether or not dishwashers and others like them, positioned of their jobs by on-line momentary staffing businesses, are staff of the businesses or unbiased contractors operating 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 aspect 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 would 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 communicate, these adults hear attentively, nod encouragingly, and take notes. It appears like love.”

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Contact data for vegetation: Readers, be happy to contact me at lambert [UNDERSCORE] strether [DOT] corrente [AT] yahoo [DOT] com, to (a) learn the way to ship me a test in case you are allergic to PayPal and (b) to learn the way to ship me photos of vegetation. Greens are nice! Fungi, lichen, and coral are deemed to be honorary vegetation! If you need 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 by utilizing 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 right way to gather and plant them efficiently, or whether or not we even have house for all of them.”

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Readers: Water Cooler is a standalone entity not lined by the annual NC fundraiser. So should you see a hyperlink you particularly like, or an merchandise you wouldn’t see wherever else, please don’t hesitate to precise your appreciation in tangible type. Keep in mind, a tip jar is for tipping! Common constructive 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 relentless trickle of donations helps me with bills, and I think about that trickle when setting fundraising targets:

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

In case 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 right way to ship a test. Thanks!

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