2:00PM Water Cooler 11/16/2022 | naked capitalism
By Lambert Strether of Corrente
Bird Song of the Day
Russet Nightingale-Thrush, Bosque de Santa Ana Tlacotenco, Milpa Alta, Ciudad de México, Mexico.
“But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature?” –James Madison, Federalist 51
“Here’s food for thought, had Ahab time to think; but Ahab never thinks; he only feels, feels, feels” –Herman Melville, Moby Dick
“So many of the social reactions that strike us as psychological are in fact a rational management of symbolic capital.” –Pierre Bourdieu, Classification Struggles
“Biden would veto proposed U.S. Senate resolution to end COVID national emergency -White House” [Reuters]. • Good.
Good one, Ron:
Over my years in the public and private sectors, I’ve had people tell me: If only the government could work like business.
Well, the team at @USEdgov and @USDS built a Student Loan Forgiveness portal that processed 8 MILLION applications in the first 30 hours without a crash. https://t.co/VaaoTMVycg
— Ronald Klain (@WHCOS) November 15, 2022
Now maybe rip out whatever CDC is doing with its data and give it to USDS, too?
* * *
“An unexpected winner in the midterms: public health” [Michelle A. Williams, The Hill]. Williams is dean of the faculty of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. “Public health was on the ballot last week — and it won. I’m not talking about specific candidates, as important as those races are. I’m talking about the ethos of public health — the principle that health is a fundamental human right and the understanding that we must look out for one another, to think not just about our own well-being, but about the public good…. The most high-profile examples of public health wins are the abortion referendums…. In another major victory for public health, South Dakota voters decisively chose to expand eligibility for Medicaid, using a ballot measure to extend access to health care to the working poor when their legislators refused to do so…. In Oregon, meanwhile, voters approved a ballot measure that makes the state the first in the U.S. to guarantee residents access to “cost-effective, clinically appropriate and affordable” health care. This measure effectively establishes health care as a human right…. Arizona voters overwhelmingly supported a ballot measure to restructure collection and limit interest rates on medical debt, which has become an enormous burden for far too many families. Alabama, Oregon, Tennessee and Vermont outlawed forced labor for prison inmates, restoring some measure of their dignity and autonomy. And in California, voters overwhelmingly endorsed a ban on all flavored tobacco products in the state — a move designed to protect young people, who gravitate toward flavored vape products…. The outcomes of these ballot measures suggest that a majority of voters, in both red states and blue, believe the government has an obligation to protect the health and well-being of the most vulnerable among us. That is the essence of public health. It also happens to be the only way to build a resilient economy and a successful civil society.” • Oddly, Williams doesn’t mention that the Oregon ballot measure is part of a years-long push for single payer health care. I dunno. I don’t wish to seem churlish, but a grab bag of social justice measures doth not a public health movement make. This is, basically, small ball.
* * *
Los Angeles, CA: “Los Angeles Mayor Election Results 2022” [NBC].
71% seems slow. VSAP not up to scratch?
GA: “Walker’s campaign tells Republicans to stop ‘deceptive fundraising’ in Georgia runoff” [NBC]. “Republican politicians and associated committees are sending out desperate fundraising emails begging the GOP faithful to help save America by getting behind Herschel Walker in his Dec. 6 runoff against Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock in Georgia. But what’s not immediately clear to recipients is how little of that money is going to Walker’s campaign: just a dime for every dollar given by small donors. Walker’s campaign, which has trailed Warnock’s in fundraising throughout the election, is asking fellow Republicans to stop their fundraising practices — or at least to start sharing more with the candidate. ‘We need everyone focused on winning the Georgia Senate race, and deceptive fundraising tactics by teams that just won their races are siphoning money away from Georgia,’ Walker campaign manager Scott Paradise said Monday.” • Goodness. That’s the sort of thing a Democrat would do!
NY: “The Inside Story of Sean Patrick Maloney’s Face Plant in New York” [Slate]. “Maloney is also the first DCCC chair to lose reelection in 40 years. ” Juicy details: “In the weeks before Election Day, Maloney set off on a Europe trip, where he hung out on a balcony overlooking the Seine, and turned up in London, Paris, and Geneva, often alongside congressman Adam Schiff, for gatherings billed as DCCC fundraising events. (The DCCC said in a statement that its total efforts in Europe, of which Maloney’s trip was part, raised $1 million.)…. Across the major Democratic outside spending committees, Maloney sopped up more than $4 million in support, all of it coming at a time when the DCCC he chairs—as well as Pelosi’s House Majority PAC—was crying poor and cutting funding in extremely winnable races. He had pledged in August not to spend party resources on his own race. Just a few months later, he was siphoning critical dollars that could have gone to other contests, including Oregon’s 5th, where the DCCC and House Majority PAC both cut bait on Jamie McLeod-Skinner, a Democrat who, on Sunday, narrowly lost to her Republican opponent.” And: “In a phone call, Bill O’Reilly, the communication director of New York 17th’s incoming Republican House member, Lawler, reflected on the win. ‘I feel bad saying it because he’s been so gracious,’ he said, of Maloney. ‘But it really was just an ‘outworked’ situation. He wasn’t around, and we just outworked him.’”
* * *
On Pelosi (from 2007):
The example that always comes to mind to me is one that Tom Perriello, a Democrat who served one term in the House from a very red district in Virginia from 2009 to 2011 (and is now running for governor) told Ezra Klein back in December 2010. Perriello was weighing whether to vote for the DREAM Act, which would legalize the status of undocumented immigrants who arrived as children. “There was the whole question of whether the Senate would support it,” he told Klein. “And I didn’t want to do this if it was just going to die in the Senate.”
Then the lobbying started. “I got a call from [Education Secretary] Arne Duncan, and he began telling me about the individual anecdotes of guys that he worked with in Chicago who needed this legislation,” Perriello recalled. “There were strong Latino organizing networks that began moving, and someone I went to second grade with called and was like, ‘Tom, you might not vote for the DREAM Act? I know we haven’t talked in 32 years, but…’ A few of my friends from college started to call. Several people contacted colleagues I’d had in past jobs, so now they’re writing me. ‘Dude, I haven’t been following this, but I’ve heard from six people today that I have to call you about the DREAM Act. …’”
This is how Pelosi whipped votes. She got the administration involved, she got outside groups involved, she got random figures from Congress members’ pasts involved. She was really, really good at it. And it all happened quietly, without anyone watching or applauding.
If only she had used her superpowers for good!
As pretty as… well, AOC:
Nancy Pelosi with JFK. pic.twitter.com/OnV8CvZTet
— Dana 🌊 (@DanaSan68018976) November 14, 2022
I include this tweet because although Daily Progress is real, the tweet is not organic:
In 2006, Democrats embraced Nancy Pelosi as the first female House speaker in history, and more events that happened on this day in history. https://t.co/IIPjgRgPEV
— The Daily Progress (@DailyProgress) November 16, 2022
I searched the Twitter on “Pelosi speaker” and got a ton of tweets identical to this one, all from different accounts. Looks like somebody made a buy, but why?
One alternative to Pelosi:
We live a political dystopia where the guy who brags about leading the campaign to install Sam Alito on the Supreme Court is considered a credible political voice telling Democrats to make a Cheney speaker of the House 👇 https://t.co/B7nE6W2Wz0
— David Sirota (@davidsirota) November 15, 2022
“Trump announces 2024 run for president” [The Hill]. “Even in announcing his latest campaign on Tuesday, Trump suggested that China may have played “a very active role in the 2020 election.” He also insisted that only paper ballots should be used in elections.” • Well, he’s right (and a bitter irony that Trump’s endorsement will poison paper ballots in the minds of liberal Democrats for decades. Not that they actually ever wanted them; paper ballots are too simple, too rugged, don’t require homework, and make it hard to steal elections (as in Iowa 2020)). Ah well. Commentary:
NY Post: Florida Man Makes Announcement —> story deep inside on page 26. pic.twitter.com/rccr3OcD1P
— Christine Romans (@ChristineRomans) November 16, 2022
“With midterm losses, Trump’s climb to the nomination could be steeper than he’d like” [NPR]. “Donald Trump, who tried to overthrow the results of the 2020 presidential election and inspired a deadly riot at the Capitol in a desperate attempt to keep himself in power, announced he is running again for president in 2024.” • When you use the word “desperate” in the lead, you’re not doing reporting. Or journalism, for that matter. Commentary:
Four Trump supporters pack the street outside of Mar-a-Lago for Trump’s big announcement. This is the riff-raff. Trump hates these people. They would never actually be allowed in Mar-a-Lago. pic.twitter.com/abwtYkP1Qq
— Mike Sington (@MikeSington) November 16, 2022
Unmentioned by “Hollywood’s Ultimate Insider’ is that he hates the riff-raff.
“Trump, who as president fomented an insurrection, says he is running again” [WaPo]. “A defeated former president running for election again while facing potential criminal indictment is unprecedented in U.S. history.” • The walls are closing in!
“Don’t Blame Trump” [J.D. Vance, The American Conservative]. “Something odd happened on Election Day. In the morning, we were confident of my victory in Ohio and cautiously optimistic about the rest of the country. By the time the polls closed, that optimism had turned to jubilance—and lobbying. Every consultant and personality I encountered during my campaign claimed credit for their own faction. The victory was a testament to Mitch McConnell’s Senate Leadership Fund (SLF), one person told me. Another argued instead that SLF had actually bungled the race, and the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC)—chaired by Rick Scott—deserved the credit. (Full disclosure: both the NRSC and SLF helped my race in Ohio, for which I’m grateful.) But then the results rolled in, and it was clear the outcome was far more disappointing than hoped. And every person claiming victory on Tuesday morning knew exactly who to blame on Tuesday night: Donald J. Trump.” • Deploy the Blame Cannons!
Democrats en Déshabillé
Patient readers, it seems that people are actually reading the back-dated post! But I have not updated it, and there are many updates. So I will have to do that. –lambert
I have moved my standing remarks on the Democrat Party (“the Democrat Party is a rotting corpse that can’t bury itself”) to a separate, back-dated post, to which I will periodically add material, summarizing the addition here in a “live” Water Cooler. (Hopefully, some Bourdieu.) It turns out that defining the Democrat Party is, in fact, a hard problem. I do think the paragraph that follows is on point all the way back to 2016, if not before:
The Democrat Party is the political expression of the class power of PMC, their base (lucidly explained by Thomas Frank in Listen, Liberal!). ; if the Democrat Party did not exist, the PMC would have to invent it. . (“PMC” modulo “class expatriates,” of course.) Second, all the working parts of the Party reinforce each other. Leave aside characterizing the relationships between elements of the Party (ka-ching, but not entirely) those elements comprise a network — a Flex Net? An iron octagon? — of funders, vendors, apparatchiks, electeds, NGOs, and miscellaneous mercenaries, with assets in the press and the intelligence community.
Note, of course, that the class power of the PMC both expresses and is limited by other classes; oligarchs and American gentry (see ‘industrial model’ of Ferguson, Jorgensen, and Jie) and the working class spring to mind. Suck up, kick down.
* * *
“Column: And you thought the movie ‘L.A. Confidential’ was fiction” [Los Angeles Times]. “How is it possible, in 21st century Los Angeles, that a high-ranking police officer swore allegiance to a major Hollywood figure accused of sexual assault, then vowed to use his law enforcement position to keep the alleged victim quiet? What is this, 1950? And yet that’s exactly what the New York attorney general says a now-retired LAPD commander did after Phyllis Golden-Gottlieb, a retired TV show development executive inspired by the burgeoning #MeToo movement, walked into the Hollywood police station in 2017 and filed a confidential complaint that Moonves had sexually assaulted her in 1986 when he was an executive at Lorimar Productions. The LAPD identified the commander as Cory Palka, a now-retired former captain of the Hollywood station, after the report was released…. ‘Les -I’m deeply sorry that this has happened,’ Palka wrote to Moonves. “I will always stand with, by and pledge my allegiance to you. You have embodied leadership, class and the highest of character through all of this. With upmost [sic] respect …’” • But… But… Los Angeles is a Democratic town. Yes, and anybody who’s surprised by the feudal level of fealty expressed in Palka’s “pledge my allegiance to you” hasn’t been following Democrat party politics closely.
Realignment and Legitimacy
“Seven politicians are returning FTX’s tainted money — others are keeping quiet” [Popular Information]. “Bankman-Fried spent about $41 million in the 2022 midterm elections, mostly benefiting Democrats. Bankman-Fried donated to 47 individual Democratic candidates, 8 Republican candidates, 16 Democratic PACs, 4 Republican PACs, and 2 non-partisan PACs. Bankman-Fried also spent millions on independent expenditures through his Super PAC, Protect Our Future. Bankman-Fried donations appear to have given him an unusual amount of sway with Democratic party leaders. In April, Bankman-Fried donated $6 million to the House Majority PAC, the Super PAC affiliated with Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). Shortly thereafter, the House Majority PAC took the unusual step of supporting political newcomer Carrick Flynn, who was competing in a Democratic Congressional primary in Oregon. Bankman-Fried spent more than $11 million on Flynn’s unsuccessful campaign, citing Flynn’s commitment to ‘pandemic preparedness.’…. Popular Information contacted 98 individual campaigns and 24 PACs that received money from Bankman-Fried or Salame. Seven members of Congress — four Democrats and three Republicans — indicated that they are donating the cash from FTX to charity or back to FTX’s customers.” John Hoeven (R-ND), Kevin Hern (R-OK), Chuy Garcia (D-IL), Salud Carbajal (D-CA), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), and David Schweikert (R-AZ). More: “Most candidates and PACs that received funds from Bankman-Fried and Salame did not return requests for comment. This includes the top Republican recipients of funds, the Senate Leadership Fund (Mitch McConnell’s Super PAC), which received $2.5 million from Salame, and the top Democratic recipient of funds, the Democratic National Committee, which received $865,000 from Bankman-Fried. Other major recipients of funds from FTX executives that didn’t respond to requests for comment include the NRCC ($184,800), the DCCC ($156,400), the DSCC ($66,500), Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) ($20,600), Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) ($20,600), Congressman Alex Mooney (R-WV) ($11,600), and Congressman Ronny Jackson (R-TX) ($10,000).” • It is gone where the woodbine twineth.
“Elizabeth Warren wants to pass a major crypto bill. Sherrod Brown says not so fast.” [Politico]. “Two key questions lawmakers have yet to sort out are the extent to which agencies have sufficient existing authorities to police the market and, if not, which agency should be empowered to oversee it. Leaders of the SEC and CFTC are vying for pieces of the crypto market, and the split is reflected in legislation that’s started to emerge from Capitol Hill. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) said Tuesday that a digital currency bill must be ‘comprehensive,’ covering consumer protections, anti-money laundering rules and climate safeguards for crypto mining. When asked if the SEC had sufficient powers at the moment, she said the agency ‘could do more with the current authorities but in order to regulate this entire space we need additional legislation from Congress.’ Warren said it was an ‘open question’ whether the SEC should be the primary regulator. ‘The SEC has certainly shown in the past that it has a strong bent toward consumer protection but it also needs more resources in order to carry out its current jobs,’ Warren told reporters. The leaders of the Senate Agriculture Committee are backing a bill that would give the CFTC a bigger role in overseeing crypto trading. The CFTC today primarily focuses on financial derivatives such as futures contracts.”
Lambert here: I can’t call a winter surge, though we’ll really have to wait for Thanksgiving travel. However, high transmission (CDC), the elevation and continued increase in positivity (Walgreens), and the steady takeover of BQ.1* (CDC; Walgreens) are all a little unsettling (as is the apparent proliferation of variants). Stay safe out there! (As far as Thanksgiving travel goes, lacking CDC’s “Rapid Riser” counties feature, the best we can do, I think, is follow the news and look at wastewater. I would order risk from highest to lowest at JFK/LGA (New York), LAX (Los Angeles), ATL, Atlanta, and ORD (Chicago). Since New York — as of this writing, and of course all the data is delayed, making personal risk assessment an effort in delusion, but I digress — is a BQ.1* hotbed, I’d try to use EWR (Newark) not JFK/LGA. My $0.02!
“The scientist behind Pfizer’s Covid vaccine says a flu pandemic is only a matter of time” [STAT]. Last sentence: “As this pandemic becomes more manageable, however, the flu, in turn, may become more like Covid.” • Happy thought!
• One more for the Walensky dossier at the Hague:
Friend’s dad needs emergency root canal tmrw.
Endodontist refusing to wear N95, stating, “We follow @CDCgov @CDCDirector guidance & they don’t require it.”
Friend: But you won’t wear one in light of the fact that my dad is high risk?
Endo: No. @CDCgov doesn’t make us. 🖕🏼
— Dana Parish (@danaparish) November 16, 2022
• Jack’s new rule on parody accounts already bringing results:
COVID IS AIRBORNE! You inhale the virus through your nose and mouth. It is NOT a cold, the pandemic is NOT over. The BEST way to defend yourself is a (K)N95 mask, plus filtration and ventilation. Clean the air you breathe! Get vaccinated as your body’s last line of defense.
— CDC Director PARODY (@WalenskyPARODY) November 16, 2022
• Yet another for the Walensky dossier. From 2020:
Spot on! Combating COVID19 requires a comprehensive multi-pronged approach: masks, tests, treatments, vaccine. Those holding out for the vaccine alone are going to be sorely disappointed; time to beef up the dimensions we have on hand already! @CarlosdelRio7 @gregggonsalves https://t.co/YT5gAKiYwF
— Rochelle Walensky, MD, MPH (@RWalensky) August 18, 2020
“Diagnostic accuracy of SARS-CoV-2 rapid antigen self-tests in asymptomatic individuals in the Omicron period: cross sectional studies” [Clinical Microbiology and Infection]. n = 3,600. ” Participants were sampled for RT-PCR (reference test) and received one self-test (either Acon Flowflex (Flowflex), MP Biomedicals (MPBio), or Siemens-Healthineers Clinitest (Clinitest)) to perform unsupervised at home. Diagnostic accuracies of each self-test were calculated…. The sensitivities of three commonly used SARS-CoV-2 Ag-RDTs when used as self-tests in asymptomatic individuals in the Omicron period were very low. Ag-RDT self-testing in asymptomatic individuals may only detect the minority of infections at that point in time. Repeated self-testing in case of a negative self-test is advocated to improve the diagnostic yield, and individuals should be advised to re-test when symptoms develop.” • Hmm.
8/ Keep masking, keep ignoring the siren song of ‘returning to normality’, for, as you know, what that phrase really means is, ‘get sick and make others sick to enter a simulacrum of the past’.
— Conor Browne (@brownecfm) November 10, 2022
Here is CDC’s interactive map by county set to community transmission. (This is the map CDC wants only hospitals to look at, not you.)
From the Walgreen’s test positivity tracker, published November 14:
Wastewater data (CDC), November 12:
Lambert here: An enormous number of counties have gone dark (grey dot, no data) in West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, Missouri, Colorado, and Oregon. I don’t know whether that’s because they’ve dropped out of the program. or CDC butchered the data, or CDC’s contractor, Biobot, had problems. (Biobot’s data page includes the following disclaimers: “Not all locations may have submitted recent samples,” and “Biobot’s scheduled variant data update is delayed.” Maybe so.) I poked around to see if there was a reporter somewhere who had CDC as their beat. Apparently not.
We found elevated levels (orange dot) in JFK/LGA’s county, Queens. We looked at ORD’s county, Cook (one of two counties, actually), which was not elevated (blue dot). On November 12, CDC’s map said LAX’s county was not elevated (blue dot) but we can see a slight rise in its chart.
Heck, here’s ATL (Cobb):
Lambert here: It’s beyond frustrating how slow the variant data is. Does nobody in the public health establishment get a promotion for tracking variants? Are there no grants? Is there a single lab that does this work, and everybody gets the results from them? [grinds teeth, bangs head on desk]. UPDATE Yes. See NC here on Pango. Every Friday, a stately, academic pace utterly incompatible with protecting yourself against a variant exhibiting doubling behavior.
NOT UPDATED Variant data, national (Walgreens), October 25:
Lambert here: BQ.1* moving along quite briskly.
NOT UPDATED Variant data, national (CDC), October 22 (Nowcast off):
BQ.1* moving along quite briskly. New York/New Jersey (Region 2) numbers are higher:
As a check, since New York is a BQ.1* hotbed, New York hospitalization, updated November 15:
Lambert here: An almost imperceptible increase. Let’s wait and see.
Death rate (Our World in Data):
Total: 1,100,631 –
1,100,296 = 335 (335 * 365 = 122,275, which is today’s YouGenicist™ number for “living with” Covid (quite a bit higher than the minimizers would like, though they can talk themselves into anything. If the YouGenicist™ metric keeps chugging along like this, I may just have to decide this is what the powers-that-be consider “mission accomplished” for this particular tranche of death and disease).
It’s nice that for deaths I have a simple, daily chart that just keeps chugging along, unlike everything else CDC and the White House are screwing up or letting go dark, good job.
Industrial Production: “United States Industrial Production” [Trading Economics]. “Industrial production in the US decreased by 0.1% mom in October of 2022, after a 0.1% increase in September and missing market expectations of a 0.2% gain as higher interest rates and prices weighed on demand. Manufacturing output went up 0.1%, below expectations for a 0.2% increase mostly supported by durable goods (0.5%).”
Manufacturing Production: “United States Manufacturing Production” [Trading Economics]. “Manufacturing production in the United States edged up 0.1% from a month earlier in October of 2022, after a 0.2% increase in September and below market expectations of a 0.2% gain. Manufacturing output went up 0.1%, below expectations for a 0.2% increase mostly supported by durable goods (0.5%). Within durables, increases of at least 1.5% were recorded by electrical equipment, appliances, and components; aerospace and miscellaneous transportation equipment; and motor vehicles and parts.”
Capacity: “United States Capacity Utilization” [Trading Economics]. “Capacity Utilization in the United States decreased to 79.9 percent in October from 80.1 percent in September of 2022. It is the lowest reading since June and below forecasts of 80.4 percent. Capacity utilization for manufacturing was unchanged at 79.5 percent. The operating rate for mining fell 0.5 percentage point to 88.4 percent, while the operating rate for utilities declined 1.2 percentage points to 72.1 percent.”
Retail: “U.S. Retail Sales” [Trading Economics]. “Retail sales in the US surged 1.3% month-over-month in October of 2022, the strongest increase in eight months, after a flat reading in September and beating market forecasts of a 1% gain. Sales at motor vehicle dealers were up 1.3% as supply chain constraints have been easing while rising gasoline costs pushed sales at gasoline stations 4.1% higher. Excluding gasoline and autos, retail sales were up 0.9%.”
Retail: “United States Retail Inventories Ex Autos” [Trading Economics]. “Retail trade inventories in the United States, excluding automobiles and parts, fell by 0.1 percent from the previous month in September of 2022, matching the advance estimate and following an upwardly revised 0.7 percent rise in the previous month. It was the first decrease in retail inventories excluding automobiles and parts since June of 2020.”
The Bezzle: “Vast Majority of People Who Invest in Bitcoin Inevitably Lose Money, Study Shows” [Gizmodo]. “Around three quarters of newfound bitcoin investors have lost money when putting their funds into the great crypto game, according to new research from one of the world’s leading central bank institutions. A working paper from the Bank of International Settlements released Monday looked at the crypto world from 2015 to 2022 and found evidence to state what we were all already thinking, that most people, from 73 to 81% of new crypto investors, inevitably lost money on their initial investment. Most people who were buying into crypto came from Turkey, Singapore, the UK, and the U.S. during that time.” • From what I recall of crypto culture — we ran a long and brutal YouTube on this which now I cannot find — the basic idea was that everyone would be a winner. Ah well, nevertheless.
The Bezzle: “Frustrations Grow Over Company’s Response to Breathing Device Recalls” [New York Times]. “By 2015, Philips Respironics knew its breathing devices had a problem: Foam inside the CPAP machines, which help people with sleep apnea breathe at night, was breaking off into black flecks and blowing into the mouths and noses of users. The company did nothing at the time. Years went by as complaints mounted, and the company made cursory efforts to examine the problem, according to an investigation conducted later by the Food and Drug Administration. But it was not until April of last year, the company has claimed, that it realized the flaking foam contained potentially cancer-causing particles, setting off the largest and most disruptive medical device recall in more than a decade…. The U.S. Justice Department is now negotiating the terms of a consent decree with Philips, underscoring the deep concern about what the company knew — or should have known — before millions of people received devices that many believe caused devastating illnesses. .” • Wowsers, that’s some decree.
Tech: “Silicon Valley’s All Twttr” [On my Om]. From 2006: “Twttr has married Short Code Messaging, SMS with a way to create social groups. By sending a text message to a short code (for TWTTR) you can send your location information, your mood information or whatever and share it with people who are on your social-mob! Best part – no installation necessary!… Glass, says that it started off as a conversation between him and Jack Dorsey, “in a car parked on Valencia and 14 in san francisco” after a night of Vodka drinking!”
Mr. Market: Biden’s chip announcement enables a natural experiment on the efficient markets hypothesis:
It does seem very much like information about the chips escalation took 3-4 weeks to get impounded into asset prices (if the process is complete). Why the lag?
— Policy Tensor (@policytensor) November 16, 2022
But not to first order, leaving plenty of room for informed traders to make money at the expense of the less informed. More interestingly, markets are more efficient and respond immediately to certain kinds of news but not others.
— Policy Tensor (@policytensor) November 16, 2022
Readers, any of you play the ponies? What do you think?
Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 66 Greed (previous close: 67 Greed) [CNN]. One week ago: 52 (Neutral). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Nov 15 at 1:02 PM EST. Falling back to mere greed….
“Medical marijuana now partially legal in Kentucky” [The Hill]. Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear (D) signed an executive order on Tuesday allowing some state residents to possess and use medical marijuana. In the executive order, Beshear said Kentuckians with qualifying illnesses such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease and post-traumatic stress disorder could use medical cannabis purchased from other states as long as they provide written proof from a Kentucky physician diagnosing them with the illness. ‘Allowing Kentuckians diagnosed with certain medical conditions and receiving palliative care to purchase, possess and/or use medical cannabis would improve the quality of their lives,’ Beshear said in the order. Per the order, Kentucky residents cannot purchase more than eight ounces at a time. Kentuckians also must keep proof of purchase that displays the date and store after buying medical marijuana outside of the state. ‘It may help reduce abuse of other more dangerous and addictive medications, such as opiates.’ Kentucky is one of the dozen states that has yet to legalize medical or recreational marijuana. As of February 2020, medical marijuana is legal in Washington D.C., Puerto Rico and 37 states, including most of those sharing a border with Kentucky.”
“A bluffer’s guide to Proust 100 years after his death” [ENCA]. “His neurologist father urged his sickly son to get out in the fresh air and play sport, noting that asthma was not contagious. But Proust’s mother was prone to mollycoddling, and from 1906 he followed her counsel, staying cloistered inside like a hermit, with a steady supply of caffeine and aspirin. His respiratory problems would finally get the better of him. He died after pneumonia that turned into bronchitis and then an abscess on the lungs.”
I never had the benefit of art history courses, so this is interesting to me, especially on the differences between the Northern Renaissance (Germany, the Netherlands, Flanders) and the Southern (Italy):
This may seem like an ordinary portrait, but look closer.
That grey mark at the bottom is actually a skull when viewed from the right angle.
It’s The Ambassadors, painted by Hans Holbein the Younger nearly 500 years ago, and one of art’s greatest mysteries… pic.twitter.com/i5vIihyXRR
— The Cultural Tutor (@culturaltutor) November 15, 2022
I still don’t think the skull is explained, though. For example, why that angle?
Our Famously Free Press
UK State News is the world’s biggest online site and there are grown people, all around the globe, who think it provides public service news. Another big problem for humanity to address.https://t.co/lqjmIeezay pic.twitter.com/YzUYg0cevE
— Mark Curtis (@markcurtis30) November 16, 2022
The account is quite right on the Beeb. It’s an interesting list; I was surprised by scrappy Yahoo. And the New York Times has done very well for itself in the midterms, hasn’t it? Totabags galore.
“New Measure of Climate’s Toll: Disasters Are Now Common Across U.S.” [New York Times]. • We have the tools! Start with your personal risk assessment. Oddly, a New York paper makes no mention of the highly successful Occupy Sandy.
More aghastitude about The Twitter:
I followed the new Twitter owner & CEO today, as I did @jack @ev @dickc & @paraga.@Twitter suggested follows, showing a “set of accounts that work well with @ElonMusk.”
Algorithmic suggestions can be insightful about ideological alignment then public statements. pic.twitter.com/g4P2eXTQmd
— Alex Howard | @email@example.com (@digiphile) November 16, 2022
What the Musk dogpilers in the PMC cannot seem to get their heads around is the idea that Musk might not be the only billionaire with bad politics. No, no, it’s all about Musk [loud snicker]. It’s the same with Twitter programmers who got the axe. Musk dogpilers really take their troubles to heart in a totally non-performance fashion [weeping sounds]. But bosses lay off workers all the time. Where’s the pearl-clutching then?
News of the Wired
The Turbo Encabulator 2.0 with quantic IoT:
Contact information for plants: Readers, feel free to contact me at lambert [UNDERSCORE] strether [DOT] corrente [AT] yahoo [DOT] com, to (a) find out how to send me a check if you are allergic to PayPal and (b) to find out how to send me images of plants. Vegetables are fine! Fungi and coral are deemed to be honorary plants! If you want your handle to appear as a credit, please place it at the start of your mail in parentheses: (thus). Otherwise, I will anonymize by using your initials. See the previous Water Cooler (with plant) here. From CM:
CM writes: “Taken in Grey Country, Ontario. Thank you for your work” [lambert blushes modestly]. A lovely pond in autumn. (See NC on ponds here.)
Readers: Water Cooler is a standalone entity not covered by the annual NC fundraiser. So if you see a link you especially like, or an item you wouldn’t see anywhere else, please do not hesitate to express your appreciation in tangible form. Remember, a tip jar is for tipping! Regular positive feedback both makes me feel good and lets me know I’m on the right track with coverage. When I get no donations for five or ten days I get worried. More tangibly, a constant trickle of donations helps me with expenses, and I factor in that trickle when setting fundraising goals:
Here is the screen that will appear, which I have helpfully annotated:
If you hate PayPal, you can email me at lambert [UNDERSCORE] strether [DOT] corrente [AT] yahoo [DOT] com, and I will give you directions on how to send a check. Thank you!