By Lambert Strether of Corrente
Chicken Music of the Day
“However what’s authorities itself, however the biggest of all reflections on human nature?” –James Madison, Federalist 51
“They’d realized nothing, and forgotten nothing.” –Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord
“When the going will get bizarre, the bizarre flip professional.” –Hunter Thompson
At the least the Trump administration by no means claimed to be the adults within the room:
Keep in mind when the CDC modified the isolation steering to 5 days with a view to, as Fauci mentioned, “keep the construction of society.” After which they mass contaminated the labor drive, overwhelmed the hospitals, 100,000 are useless and now they’re bragging about January retail gross sales https://t.co/XonscdYPto
— wsbgnl (@wsbgnl) February 19, 2022
Mass hysteria? *** crickets *** However the voiceover is nice! Completely Fifties, the video must appear to be a black-and-white newsreel:
A former US official recorded a sound outdoors his residence in Havana, Cuba. Injured officers 60 Minutes spoke with mentioned the sound or a sense of stress got here from one course.
NOTE: Listening to a recording of the sound won’t injure, it’s a byproduct https://t.co/7KvSMPKtWT pic.twitter.com/nW9CsaBJxZ
— 60 Minutes (@60Minutes) February 21, 2022
I don’t discover the idea that our nationwide safety class has fully misplaced its thoughts reassuring within the least. (Although, to be honest, there could also be cash concerned.)
Democrats en Déshabillé
I’ve moved my standing remarks on the Democrat Celebration (“the Democrat Celebration is a rotting corpse that may’t bury itself”) to a separate, back-dated publish, to which I’ll periodically add materials, summarizing the addition right here in a “reside” Water Cooler. (Hopefully, some Bourdieu.) It seems that defining the Democrat Celebration is, actually, 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 Celebration is the political expression of the category energy of PMC, their base (lucidly defined by Thomas Frank in Hear, Liberal!). ; if the Democrat Celebration didn’t exist, the PMC must invent it. . (“PMC” modulo “class expatriates,” after all.) Second, all of the working components of the Celebration reinforce one another. Depart apart characterizing the relationships between components of the Celebration (ka-ching, however not totally) these components comprise a community — a Flex Internet? An iron octagon? — of funders, distributors, apparatchiks, electeds, NGOs, and miscellaneous mercenaries, with property within the press and the intelligence neighborhood.
Notice, after all, 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.
* * *
Spectacular celebration self-discipline from Democrats:
Has a single Democrat in Congress, the White Home, or the DNC spoken out about this? If Cassie was fired for talking out on behalf of some conservative trigger, she’d be talking at CPAC, Fox Information’s high story, and getting nonstop help from GOP politicians. https://t.co/Jx09FM2Y5x
— Jordan Zakarin (@jordanzakarin) February 21, 2022
Zakarin is sort of proper. For extra on CPAC, see beneath.
However she’s a vet!
Rep. Elaine Luria acknowledged that she believes congressional inventory buying and selling ban is “bullshit.”
“Why would you assume that members of Congress are going to be inherently dangerous or corrupt?”
In fact, she purchased thousands and thousands in $BABA and $UBER.https://t.co/lodTLftEbF pic.twitter.com/KT4bUlG07t
— unusual_whales (@unusual_whales) February 21, 2022
* * *
“The Soiled Secret of Inflation: Companies Are Jacking Up Costs and Earnings” [John Nichols, The Nation]. “Historical past makes it clear that midterm elections are robust for the celebration that controls the White Home and Congress. Voters take out their frustrations on those that are in positions of energy. And that’s doubly true in moments of financial turbulence, as Jimmy Carter and the Democrats realized in 1978, as Ronald Reagan and the Republicans realized in 1986, as Barack Obama and the Democrats realized in 2010. There have been just a few cases of a president’s seeing his celebration’s place in Congress enhance in a midterm election. But, remarkably, one such second did happen through the Nice Melancholy. Within the midterm election yr of 1934, President Franklin Roosevelt put the blame for arduous instances on self-serving speculators, grasping bankers, and profiteering CEOs. Stated FDR, “The fault lies with Wall Road.” As a substitute of letting company spin type the narrative of the Nice Melancholy and the New Deal response to it, Roosevelt used his 1934 State of the Union deal with to talk “of these people who’ve evaded the spirit and goal of our tax legal guidelines, of these excessive officers of banks or firms who’ve grown wealthy on the expense of their stockholders or the general public, of these reckless speculators with their very own or different folks’s cash whose operations have injured the values of the farmers’ crops and the financial savings of the poor.” All through 1934, FDR by no means let up when it got here to calling out speculators, monopolists, and worth gougers. He promised that New Deal Democrats with elevated congressional majorities would maintain the dangerous actors to account. Voters accredited. In November, they gave Democrats 9 extra seats within the Home and 9 extra within the Senate, the place the celebration achieved a uncommon supermajority.
“Trump’s Dangerous 2022 Endorsement Technique” [New York Magazine]. “Trump’s heavy involvement in 2022 races may dilute the expectation that the midterms shall be a referendum on the more and more unpopular Joe Biden, who regardless of his troubles is extra well-liked than his predecessor was at this stage of his presidency…. Earlier than the present cycle, Trump endorsed 43 candidates in aggressive primaries along with his most well-liked pols profitable 37 races and dropping six.” Not dangerous. Extra: “All in all, Trump is engaged in a dangerous 2022 endorsement technique that may backfire or would possibly verify his mastery of the GOP. He can’t appear to assist himself; it’s in his nature to intervene in each course, so he’ll.” • Properly, 37 / 43 = 86%. If Trump had been enjoying the ponies, he’d be doing fairly nicely.
CONFIRMED: @TulsiGabbard pic.twitter.com/HxRCII5Pxu
— CPAC 2022 (@CPAC) February 21, 2022
“Trump Followers Are Making DWAC the Finest-Performing SPAC of Its Sort” [Bloomberg]. “In a cooling marketplace for SPACs, the shell firm tied to Donald Trump’s new tech and media enterprise has recorded outsized inventory features. Supporters reminiscent of Rafael Morales assist present why. ‘It is a larger calling — that is my man Trump about to roll out an organization,’ Morales, a 40-year-old navy veteran from New York Metropolis, remembers considering when he first heard about Digital World Acquisition Corp. He purchased nearly $100,000 value at about $109 a share on Oct. 22, two days after the corporate introduced a deal to merge with Trump Media & Know-how Group. The inventory dropped to $82 on the finish of final week — however it was nonetheless up greater than 700% for the reason that deal announcement. Despite the fact that he’s nicely within the pink, Morales is optimistic. ‘I imagine in Trump. I imagine in him.’” • Morales purchased on the peak?
Realignment and Legitimacy
“Why Progressives Can’t Give up Their Masks” [National Review]. “Whereas there was a quietly energetic marketing campaign to memory-hole the very fact, a few of you’ll do not forget that, within the run-up to the 2020 presidential marketing campaign, vaccine skepticism was a Democratic factor, not a Republican factor. Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Andrew Cuomo, and each third progressive nitwit on Twitter solid doubt on the security and the efficacy of the Covid-19 vaccines that had been being developed below Operation Warp Pace, the Trump administration’s program to expedite a vaccine. It was childishly predictable: With Election Day looming, something that may redound to the credit score of the Trump administration needed to be solid into doubt or held up for scorn. We’re ruled by individuals who have by no means mentally or morally progressed past the politics of the junior-high lunchroom.” True dat. Extra: “I feel that if I may be taught two issues about an individual — the conditions during which he’ll put on a masks even when it isn’t strictly required and the conditions during which he’ll refuse to adjust to a masks requirement — I may in all probability inform you for whom he voted in 2020…. And that’s what is making unmasking — and a extra normal return to regular — so troublesome for thus lots of our progressive associates: It has change into a cultural and social problem, and a quasi-religious one at that. For a sure sort of progressive, giving up masking appears like giving in. It doesn’t really feel to them just like the epidemic has been crushed — it feels to them like they’ve been crushed, and their cultural enemies (Joe Rogan, and that estranged uncle who’s indignant on Fb) have received.” • Flawed on the science (masking works; one among many research), and unsuitable on the politics. “Progressives,” particularly those that dominate the press, are working arduous to border masking as a purely particular person accountability. And the Biden Adminsitration has persistently framed masking as a punishment to be lifted as quickly as attainable (moderately than a civic responsbility). Additional, at the least in line with polling, a majority of the general public will proceed to masks. I hope this displays a “plague on each your homes” mentality, and intensifies. And right here’s a brand new research on masking:
New research: Counties with masks mandates had considerably LOWER #covid19 circumstances (beginning a couple of weeks after the mandate was applied, in line with #covid19 transmission dynamics).
Takeaway: as soon as once more, throughout surges, masks matter.https://t.co/bQWb4vUD1j pic.twitter.com/rTTdEZfoFc
— Megan Ranney MD MPH 🗽 (@meganranney) February 21, 2022
“The Fall Of The Meritocracy” [The American Conservative]. “How did the West’s meritocratic elites, with all their scientific-technological prowess, find yourself driving their societies right into a ditch of mistrust, rancor, and division? What led the meritocracy to badly overplay its hand on lockdowns, masking, social distancing and, above all, vaccine mandates, triggering explosive well-liked uprisings just like the one in Canada? It received’t do for the meritocracy’s apologists in charge the unenlightened and irrational mass of people that refuse to adjust to what’s good for them, which might quantity to round reasoning: The entire promise of meritocratic governance is that the ruling class’s sheer intelligence and talent can overcome the messy antagonisms of “bizarre” politics—but that, evidently, has not be the case. Why?” And: “We’d do nicely to show to Michael Younger, the British sociologist, Labour celebration peer, and writer who coined the phrase “meritocracy” in a dystopian novel first printed in 1958. The novel, The Rise of the Meritocracy, proved enormously influential on our aspect of the pond, particularly amongst such heterodox thinkers as Christopher Lasch and Michael Lind. And deservedly so, for Younger masterfully grasped tendencies underway in his time and projected them into the longer term.” • One other rattling guide to learn. I like the half concerning the guide’s final footnote.
“Taking the Skinheads Bowling” [John Ganz, Unpopular Front]. “The outdated story of fascism and the origin of totalitarianism on the whole was that they the implications of atomization: they preyed on the fragmentation and decay of social bonds and the transformation of society from an organized physique of pursuits represented in golf equipment, voluntary associations, and political events right into a rootless mass of frightened, lonely, and confused people…. However this image has been questioned lately and researchers are actually countenancing what’s been referred to as the ‘darkish aspect of social capital.’ (In spite of everything, isn’t the Ku Klux Klan a type of civic affiliation, too?)…. This instantly delivered to thoughts Gabriel Winant’s n+1 essay ‘We Reside in A Society,’ the place he argued…. that robust associational bonds nonetheless exist within the U.S. within the type of householders’ associations and the like and these typically have an essential racial part—what the authors of the above paper would possibly name ‘the ‘forces of custom’’ that work to ‘limit social change.’” • Church buildings, too; GiveSendGo is a means of remodeling social capital, largely of Christian congregations, into money (and sometimes for functions I’d name good, like funding folks’s well being care payments).
“COVID-19 Isn’t Going Wherever — And Individuals Know It” [FiveThirtyEight]. I like the hardly hid observe of triumph within the headline. Extra: “What Individuals need relating to COVID-19 is in all places. And there’s solely a lot the polls can inform you. As an illustration, they will’t listing each public well being response to COVID-19, a lot much less each mixture of responses. However polls present that help is shifting extra towards particular person precautions than towards COVID-19 protections mandated for society at massive.” Propaganda works. Extra: “And Individuals appear to be OK with being extra cautious of their private choices. That’s, they’re extra keen to bear measures like mask-wearing or vaccinations for themselves, although they could not need to institute it as a requirement.” • We’re two years into this factor, and people psychos at CDC nonetheless don’t state their idea of transmission (needs to be aerosols) nor does the White Home. So how within the title of all that’s holy do they count on folks to evaluate danger? As in the doggerel I quoted yesterday: “Why look earlier than we leap? Let’s merely shut our eyes and leap! And revel in a glass of water from the Broad Road Pump!”
Eisenhower was far too type:
I’ve seen a number of references to this Susan Eisenhower quote (e.g. https://t.co/jhyvP08IQi), and Eisenhower was on Maher on July 25, 2009 (https://t.co/QTvqbr7S6n) however I’ve not seen the precise video. pic.twitter.com/LVL6D5eI09
— Rudy Havenstein, Kleptocracy Ombudsman. (@RudyHavenstein) December 23, 2020
“The Authority Blob” [Tablet] From 2021, nonetheless germane. A roundtable dialogue: “Though George Washington promoted the thought of a single federal college that might create a nonsectional, nationwide American elite and even bequeathed cash to endow it, from the American Battle of Independence till the late twentieth century america had a number of regional Anglo-American Protestant elites, not a single nationwide elite. Solely up to now half century has a very nationwide, post-Protestant, multiracial secular elite emerged from the assimilation of outdated regional elites and upwardly cellular Individuals. The company of assimilation and upward mobility has been the culturally leftist and technocratic college, which has changed the mainline Protestant church because the supply of each elite values and elite credentialing. The brand new nationwide overclass is multiracial however monocultural: a gaggle of extremely educated folks, largely from prosperous households, who look completely different however suppose the identical. They even sound the identical: The nationalized overclass accent is a model of the placeless TV broadcaster variant of American English, during which the arduous ‘Rs’ and flat stresses of the Midwest are sometimes combined with the question-like, sentence-ending ‘uptalk’ of the California Valley Woman dialect.” • I solely learn transcripts. Is that this true? Do the members of The Blob actually sound like Valley Women? Readers? (I’d welcome video proof; it’s a hilarious and deflating true reality — if true — and it might be a enjoyable publish to write down. However I don’t know the place to start.)
I’ve mentioned for a while that CDC numbers are good for narrative functions: Are issues higher, or worse? Is there a wave, or not? Is there a peak, or not? Now we now have a significantly better thought of what CDC’s internals are actually like, and the way sketchy and partial the releases are . (Readers will observe that I dropped the vaccination counts way back.) What’s exceptional is how dangerous the scenario seems, even thought-about as a story. Commentary:
The mendacity is the very worst factor concerning the pandemic, as a result of it disrespects everybody, invalidates all lived expertise, undermines all the pieces worthwhile. It’s a poison, a canker consuming away the face of society, seemingly unstoppable now, engulfing us all. https://t.co/2RzN91f2sd
— Dr David Berger, aBsuRdiSTe cROnickLeR (@YouAreLobbyLud) February 20, 2022
Case rely by United States areas:
I’ve once more added a “Fauci Line” to congratulate Biden and his workforce — Klain, Zeints, Fauci, Walensky — for lastly falling beneath their very own second-highest peak, though nonetheless comfortably above the primary peak achieved by the previous man. (Rise like a rocket, and fall like a stick; the slope of the downward curve is kind of the identical because the upward curve. Earlier peaks — how small the early ones look now — have been roughly symmetrical on both aspect. However the scale of this peak, and the penetration into the inhabitants, is unprecedented.) I ponder if there shall be plateau when BA.2 takes maintain. Because the Northeast has type, that’s in all probability the area to look at for this habits first.
The official narrative was “Covid is behind us,” and that the pandemic shall be “over by January” (Gottlieb), and “I do know some folks appear to not need to surrender on the great pandemic, however you understand what? It’s over” (Invoice Maher) was fully exploded. What a shock! This time, it might be completely different. However who is aware of?
MWRA (Boston-area) wastewater detection:
Continues encouraging (and unbiased from the CDC). No leap from the return of the scholars but, which is much more encouraging, particularly when you’re in “Ready for BA.2” mode.
The Massachusetts Water Assets Authority (MWRA) service space contains 43 municipalities in and round Boston, together with not solely a number of college methods however a number of massive universities. Since Boston is so very education-heavy, then, I feel it may very well be a superb main indicator for Covid unfold in colleges usually.
From CDC Neighborhood Profile Studies (PDFs), “Fast Riser” counties:
Wanting good, although what’s that little cluster round DC doing? Maine is an information drawback. (Do not forget that these are speedy riser counties. A county that strikes from pink to inexperienced shouldn’t be covid-free; the case rely simply isnt, nicely, rising quickly.)
The earlier launch:
Right here is CDC’s interactive map by county set to neighborhood transmission:
A number of extra speckles of enchancment within the stable pink.
Hospitalization (CDC Neighborhood Profile):
Sea of inexperienced as soon as extra. From the perspective of our hospital-centric well being care system, inexperienced in every single place means the emergency is over (and to be honest, that is bolstered by case rely and wastewater). Nonetheless, neighborhood transmission continues to be pervasive, which signifies that lengthy Covid, plus persevering with vascular harm, are not over. (Notice development, whether or not up or down, is marked by the arrow, at high. Admissions are offered within the graph, on the backside. So it’s attainable to have an upward development, however from a really low baseline.)
Demise price (Our World in Knowledge):
959,412. A continous drop within the demise date, which is nice information. Sadly,1000000 – 960,157 = 39,843, and 39,843 / 6 days till Biden’s State of the Union Speech is 6,640.5, so I suppose we received’t break 1,000,000 in time. I hoped for a ribbon slicing ceremony of some type. Possibly the West Wing workers may have staged a photograph op with humorous hats and noisemakers. Walensky’s workers may have joined in by Zoom. Ah nicely, however. I’ve drawn a Fauci Line to congratulate the Biden Administration for having fallen beneath the height achieved by the previous man.
Covid circumstances in high us journey locations (Statista):
What’s up with Germany and France?
Manufacturing: “United States Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index” [Trading Economics]. “The Manufacturing Exercise Index within the US fifth district decreased to a 5-month low of 1 in February of 2022 from 8 within the earlier month, on account of declines within the indexes for shipments (-11 vs 14 in January) and new orders (-3 vs 6). Nonetheless, the third part within the composite index, employment, elevated to twenty from 4 in January. Companies reported decreases so as backlogs, because the index turned unfavorable for the primary time since June 2020. Vendor lead instances elevated for a lot of companies as that index remained at near-historic highs. Companies’ perceptions about modifications in native enterprise situations remained barely unfavorable; nonetheless, companies remained optimistic about future situations. Companies continued to report rising wages whereas additionally citing challenges discovering staff with the required abilities.”
Housing: “United States Case Shiller Dwelling Value Index YoY” [Trading Economics]. “In 2021, each the 20-Metropolis Composite index (18.6%) and the Nationwide index (18.8%) elevated at file charges, pushed partly by a change in locational preferences as households reacted to the COVID pandemic, low stock, quick turnaround, and excessive prices for uncooked supplies. In December alone the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller 20-city residence worth index went up 18.6% year-on-year, accelerating for the primary time in 5 months and above market forecasts of 18%. Phoenix (32.5%), Tampa (29.4%), and Miami (27.3%) reported the best annual features among the many 20 cities.” • So, huge bets on air-con and the failure of the ocean to rise?
The Bezzle: “Virgin Hyperloop axes half its workers to deal with freight” [Financial Times]. “Authorities-owned DP World, which has a 76 per cent stake in Virgin Hyperloop, is engaged on a hyperloop-enabled cargo system to ship freight at ‘the velocity of flight and nearer to the price of trucking’ by connecting with current highway, rail and air transport. However since its inception, critics have cited the excessive prices of bringing the system to market even when it wins regulatory approval…. ‘It’s abundantly clear that potential clients are focused on cargo, whereas passenger is considerably farther away,” DP World mentioned. “Specializing in pallets is less complicated to do — there may be much less danger for passengers and fewer of a regulatory course of.’”
Seems to be like Twitter is rolling out a down voting choice… https://t.co/bqx1gbZeyt
— Fezzi Fezzino (@FezziFezzino) February 22, 2022
Anyone who thinks Twitter is a cesspit already ought to strive the Each day Kos feedback part….
Immediately’s Worry & Greed Index: 31 Worry (earlier shut: 39 Worry) [CNN]. One week in the past: 39 (Worry). (0 is Excessive Worry; 100 is Excessive Greed). Final up to date Feb 22 at 1:53pm. Ukraine hasn’t made Mr. Market very fearful.
““Euphoria” Followers Have Made Over 600,000 Playlists Since Season 2 Started” [Teen Vogue]. “It’s a well known incontrovertible fact that Euphoria has a maintain on up to date popular culture, one which hasn’t let up since its sequence premiere again in 2019. We are able to simply see why, because the wildly profitable — and ever-chaotic — HBO teen drama has one thing for everybody. Viewers flock to the display screen every week to devour the present’s gripping performances, trendsetting make-up, vogue, and naturally, music. And one factor about Euphoria? It’s at all times going to spark an thrilling wave of creativity amongst its followers. Because the present’s season two premiere on January 9 — which broke data as probably the most watched episode of an HBO sequence ever — there’s been a significant improve in streams and creation of Euphoria-related playlists.” • Playlists are inventive works? Alrighty then. Nonetheless, I can now publish this viral clip:
toilet euphoria scenes are like my avengers endgame pic.twitter.com/sgvrfAM5Br
— feminine batman (@ivyfiIms) January 24, 2022
A well-liked cultural wave has to interrupt fairly far up the seashore to succeed in me…. However I’m informed the cinematography on this scene is great.
Working class, eh? Assuming WaPo didn’t jigger the info:
The richer a neighborhood was the extra doubtless folks had been to donate to the truckers becuase GiveSendGo had horrible safety practices reminiscent of leaving their knowledge open the place everybody may see ithttps://t.co/cBu9ARgjrF
— Pink Progressive (@PunishedPT) February 19, 2022
The press made the identical mistake, if mistake it was, with Trump voters, who had been offered as working class, the place the Trump citizens as a complete was wealthier than common. (That’s to not deny that the Trump citizens had a working class part. Synecddche — half (tendentiously) chosen to signify a complete — is a horrible prbolem in The Discourse right this moment.)
Information of the Wired
Two of my favourite podcasts:
“10.87- Anarchy in Ukraine” [Mike Duncan, Revolutions]. “Nestor Makhno thy time has come.” • Ukraine within the information of late. Extra on Makkno, actually preferable to no matter forebears the Azov Battalion seems to.
“#378- BATTLE OF GETTYSBURG (Half the Sixty-fourth)” [Mike and Tracy Youngdahl, The Civil War]. “Through which we have a look at the aftermath of Pickett’s Cost, and get the Confederates began off on their retreat from Gettysburg.” • Through which Bobby Lee will get his slave-owning ass deservedly whipped, whereas proving that charging fortified positions is problematic (World Battle I chateau generals take observe), particularly when uphill. Ditto (World Battle I chateau generals take observe) “softening up” the enemy’s fortified positions with huge artillery bombardments. Certainly, you may have a look at Lee’s inflated sense of the Military of Northern Virginia’s capabilities after Chancellorsville as equal to the French pre-World Battle I notion of elan, the place it turned out that ethical virtues weren’t…. sufficient.
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