2:00PM Water Cooler 6/21/2024 | naked capitalism

By Lambert Strether of Corrente

Bird Song of the Day

Mountain Wren-Babbler, Mount Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia. “Singing individual was once fed by another individual, receiving a caterpillar while it continued singing. It started singing after human imitation of a few song notes it made before the recording.”

“Birds Star in Spectacular Scenes for This Year’s Audubon Photography Awards” [Colossal]. Here’s one:

* * *

In Case You Might Miss…

(1) Allan McDonald and the Challenger debacle.

(2) Trump erases Biden money advantage after Bragg verdict.

(3) Unexpected Bourdieu stan.

* * *

Look for the Helpers

“Remembering Allan McDonald: He Refused To Approve Challenger Launch, Exposed Cover-Up” [NPR]. “McDonald persistently cited three reasons for a delay: freezing overnight temperatures that could compromise the booster rocket joints; ice forming on the launchpad and spacecraft that could damage the orbiter heat tiles at launch; and a forecast of rough seas at the booster rocket recovery site. He also told NASA officials, ‘If anything happens to this launch, I wouldn’t want to be the person that has to stand in front of a board of inquiry to explain why we launched.’ … ‘There are two ways in which [McDonald’s] actions were heroic,’ recalls Mark Maier, who directs a leadership program at Chapman University and produced a documentary about the Challenger launch decision. ‘One was on the night before the launch, refusing to sign off on the launch authorization and continuing to argue against it,’ Maier says. ‘And then afterwards in the aftermath, exposing the cover-up that NASA was engaged in.” This part is amazing: “Twelve days after Challenger exploded, McDonald stood up in a closed hearing of a presidential commission investigating the tragedy. He was ‘in the cheap seats in the back’ when he raised his hand and spoke. He had just heard a NASA official completely gloss over a fundamental fact…. Former Secretary of State William Rogers chaired the commission and stared into the auditorium, squinting in the direction of the voice. ‘I’ll never forget Chairman Rogers said, ‘Would you please come down here on the floor and repeat what I think I heard?” McDonald said.” • Wouldn’t happen today….

* * *

My email address is down by the plant; please send examples of there (“Helpers” in the subject line). In our increasingly desperate and fragile neoliberal society, everyday normal incidents and stories of “the communism of everyday life” are what I am looking for (and not, say, the Red Cross in Hawaii, or even the UNWRA in Gaza).


“So many of the social reactions that strike us as psychological are in fact a rational management of symbolic capital.” –Pierre Bourdieu, Classification Struggles

* * *


Less than a half a year to go!

Friday’s RCP Poll Averages:

At this point, we should entertain the hypothesis that the Bragg verdict is a damp squib, unless Biden can somehow leverage it in the debate. Swing States (more here) still Brownian-motioning around. Of course, it goes without saying that these are all state polls, therefore bad, and most of the results are within the margin of error. If will be interesting to see whether the verdict in Judge Merchan’s court affects the polling, and if so, how. NOTE Sorry for the excess red dots; I can’t seem to make them go away!

* * *

Trump (R): “Donald Trump Hit by Devastating Poll From Fox News” [Newsweek]. “onald Trump trailed President Joe Biden in a Fox News 2024 presidential poll for the first time since late last year. A survey of 1,095 registered voters from the conservative news network showed that Biden is leading his presumptive Republican rival by two points (50 percent to 48 percent)…. he June Fox News poll is the first one the network has conducted since Trump became the first U.S. president in history to be convicted of a crime. …. Other factors Fox News suggests have contributed to Biden’s improvement in the polls are more voters considering the U.S. economy to be in “excellent or good” shape, and the president recently announcing tougher immigration policies.”

Trump (R): “Trump vs. Biden Polls: A Close Race Gets Even Closer” [Ed Kilgore, New York Magazine]. “All in all, it’s hard to claim evidence for a significant change in the race now that the 45th president is a convicted criminal. Though perhaps the small signs of erosion in his support will quell some of the ever-present panic among Democrats who don’t understand why Biden isn’t rolling toward an easy victory. Trump does, however, maintain a much broader path to 270 electoral votes given his sizable leads in Sun Belt battleground states (Arizona, Nevada, and particularly Georgia and North Carolina). At this point, Biden still needs to sweep the Rust Belt states of Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin and avoid upsets elsewhere. Many Trump backers appear to believe that the former president’s overall national lead in most polls guarantees victory given his Electoral College advantage in both 2016 (when he won) and 2020 (when he narrowly lost). But there’s a lot of evidence that changes in both candidates’ bases of support since 2020 could shrink or even reverse Trump’s ability to outperform his popular vote in the Electoral College.” And: “The residual effect of Trump’s criminal conviction may not be fully known until he’s sentenced on July 11. And another criminal trial before November (still possible in the federal case involving the January 6 insurrection) could affect perceptions of the scofflaw former president as well.” • Doubling down on ponies never helps.

* * *

Trump (D): “Trump’s felony conviction fuels a donation surge that narrows Biden’s advantage” [WaPo]. • So how’s that lawfare thing workin’ out for ya?

Trump (R): “Trump raised so much last month he erased Biden’s cash advantage” [Politico]. “Former President Donald Trump’s huge May fundraising haul erased President Joe Biden’s longstanding cash advantage as the two gear up for a rematch. Trump’s campaign had $116.6 million in the bank at the end of May, compared to $91.6 million for Biden. But the former president’s campaign filing Thursday showed a significant surge in the final two days of the month — the day the jury handed down a guilty verdict and the day after. Just looking at large-dollar donations, the campaign reported receiving at least six times as many daily donations those two days compared to a typical day. And the fundraising spike was likely even greater, considering that doesn’t include unitemized donations of less than $200 or any donations that the joint fundraising contributions hadn’t yet transferred. In total, Trump’s campaign and the RNC reported just over $170 million cash on hand combined at the end of May, overtaking Biden and the Democratic National Committee, which reported just shy of $157 million.” And: “The latest campaign finance filings with the Federal Election Commission also revealed how Biden has continued to build out his campaign apparatus, while Trump has largely held onto cash.” • Yep. Hitherto, no air war from Trump at all, constant bombardment from Biden. Just like Clinton in 2016, the Biden campaign need to constantly pump air into the balloon to keep it aloft. But now–

Trump (R): “Timothy Mellon, Secretive Donor, Gives $50 Million to Pro-Trump Group” [New York Times]. The deck: “The cash from Mr. Mellon, a reclusive billionaire who has also been a major donor to a super PAC supporting Robert F. Kennedy Jr., is among the largest single disclosed gifts ever.” Whoopsie, sorry Bobby. More: “Timothy Mellon, a reclusive heir to a Gilded Age fortune, donated $50 million to a super PAC supporting Donald J. Trump the day after the former president was convicted of 34 felonies, according to new federal filings, an enormous gift that is among the largest single disclosed contributions ever. The donation’s impact on the 2024 race is expected to be felt almost immediately. Within days of the contribution, the pro-Trump super PAC, Make America Great Again Inc., said in a memo that it would begin reserving $100 million in advertising through Labor Day.” • Let the air war begin (though I bet they backload the advertising and hang onto some cash).

Trump (R): “Trump’s postconviction fundraising surge wipes out cash deficit” [The Hill]. • You’d think a party as spook-adjacent as the Democrats would understand the concept of blowback.

* * *

Biden (D): “Biden’s First Re-Election Test” [Seymour Hersh]. “First of all, there is a serious concern among the Democratic Party leadership and the major Democratic fundraisers, primarily the big donors in New York City, about Biden’s ability to defeat Trump in November. This is, of course, not to be spoken of in public. A major touchstone for many will be Biden’s performance in the debate. The president is going to need to match the intensity he demonstrated at his State of the Union address in March next week to keep his contributors happy. A shaky performance, I have been told by two longtime politicos who have direct knowledge, will increase pressure on Democratic Party to do something drastic, and unprecedented, before the November election.” • When things get so bad that owners feel it’s time for them to step in and run the company themselves, things generally go from bad to worse.

Biden (D): “1 big thing: Dems fear Biden loss” [Axios]. Many senior Democrats — including some of President Biden’s aides — doubt his theory for victory, which relies on voter fears about Jan. 6, political violence, democracy and Donald Trump’s character…. A Democratic strategist in touch with the campaign tells Axios: ‘It is unclear to many of us watching from the outside whether the president and his core team realize how dire the situation is right now, and whether they even have a plan to fix it. That is scary.’ People close to Biden tell Axios they worry about raising concerns in meetings, because his longtime loyalists can exile dissenters. Biden’s inner circle has full faith in the strategy developed by the president and his longtime aide, Mike Donilon. That puts them on an island. Polls show Biden tied or behind, even after a slight bump after Trump’s criminal conviction. Biden’s former chief of staff Ron Klain, who has known Donilon for decades, told Axios the inner circle’s view boils down to: ‘In Mike I trust.’” • “People close to Biden” think Biden might bite them, like his dogs. That’s a problem. Presumably, they’ve talked to “Doctor” Jill, who I assume rations his meds, because who else, and gotten nowhere, possibly for the same reason.

* * *

Biden (D): “Do Liberals Have It All Wrong About How to Beat Trump?” [New York Magazine]. The deck: “Backed by Reid Hoffman, a centrist polling picks a big fight in the Democratic Party.” More: “”There is a lot of polling out there, but what we felt was missing from all of it was polling that is just victory-minded,” says Evan Roth Smith, Blueprint’s lead pollster, and the founding partner of the political-consulting firm Slingshot Strategies. “The Democratic Party needs polling that just says, ‘We have to win this election, and so here is where the electorate is, here is what the Democratic Party has done and can credibly run on.; Let’s see what works and just tell everybody what we find….. The EV tax credit and college-debt relief are both losers, according to Blueprint’s data, because they are both coded as preoccupations of the elite; instead, what Biden should be focusing on is his efforts to bring down the cost of pharmaceuticals, take on big corporations, tax the rich, and lower prices in the face of rising inflation. Roth Smith believes Democrats talk too much about Trump’s odious character, his legal liabilities, and the threat he poses to democracy instead of his economic record that includes a massive tax cut for the rich, which Blueprint found to be staggeringly unpopular. These unorthodox findings have helped make Blueprint the buzzy polling outfit of 2024, its findings pinging around the internet and making their way into articles where reporters and pundits try to make sense of an election cycle that so far has avoided familiar narratives.” • So Trump better not waste any more time on EVs? As his Vegas speech showed he did (the candidate’s time being a campaign’s most valuable resource).

Biden (D): All true:

However, (1) Biden isn’t running on any of this (though it will be interesting to see if he pivots in the debate (and now, dicking around with “fees” won’t be enough)), and (2) all these examples, every single one, are Democrats “fighting for.” Who’s so say that the DOJ in a second Biden Administration won’t step in and extort settle from these malefactors, exactly like DOJ’s unconconscionable “deferred prosecution agreement” with Boeing?

* * *

“DNC’s Zoom nomination plans forge ahead amid talk of ditching Biden” [Washington Times]. “Early this month, the DNC advanced a plan to approve the nomination of the Biden-Harris ticket virtually ahead of the convention. Party leaders initiated the move when it appeared that Ohio wouldn’t change its Aug. 7 filing deadline for presidential candidates to appear on the ballot, which would have made the nomination at the Chicago convention too late for Mr. Biden. Ohio has since moved the filing deadline to Sept. 1 [missed this, sorry –lambert], but Democrats say they don’t trust the Republican-led state legislature and governor and are pushing forward with a virtual nomination. The DNC has not disclosed a date for the virtual roll call. Josh Putnam, party rules expert and founder of FHQ Strategies LLC, a nonpartisan political consulting venture, said a virtual vote would have to wait until after July 13, when Indiana Democrats select convention delegates. Mr. Putnam said the virtual vote may be more of a contingency plan at this point. ‘The party was simultaneously creating some insurance but also buying themselves some time to figure out the particulars of any would-be virtual vote, including the timing,’ Mr. Putnam said. A virtual vote would lock in the Biden-Harris ticket and thwart a convention floor fight over increasing concerns about the incumbents’ chances of winning reelection.” • Maybe the DNC can hire the same firm that wrote the app for the Iowa 2020 caucus….

* * *

The Debate: “Trump gets the final word at CNN debate after coin flip” [CNN]. “Former President Donald Trump will get the final word when he debates President Joe Biden on CNN next week, after a coin flip to determine podium placement and the order of closing statements. The coin landed on the Biden campaign’s pick — tails — which meant his campaign got to choose whether it wanted to select the president’s podium position or the order of closing statements. Biden’s campaign chose to select the right podium position, which means the Democratic president will be on the right side of television viewers’ screens and his Republican rival will be on viewers’ left. Trump’s campaign then chose for the former president to deliver the last closing statement, which means Biden will go first at the conclusion of the debate.” • Any debater knows that speaking last is an enormous advantage. I think the Biden campaign really stumbled, here. The closing statement is only two minutes, so Trump can’t ramble, but it’s possible to do a lot of damage in two minutes, and presumbly Trump’s team will prep well for what could be the climax of his political career (if he takes Biden down).

The Debate: “Trump primes response in case of strong Biden debate showing” [The Hill]. “Trump and other conservatives have in recent days floated the baseless claim that if Biden does well at next week’s debate in Atlanta, it will be because he’s using some kind of performance enhancer. ‘Republicans would be wise to play down expectations,” one Republican strategist said. “Make the point that Biden is a good debater.’ Trump has so far declined to make that case. Instead, he’s fluctuated between claims that Biden is feeble and incompetent, and preemptively trying to create a narrative that if Biden does well, it’s because he had the help of some unnamed, mysterious substance. ‘He’s gonna be so pumped up. He’s gonna be pumped up,’ Trump told supporters at a Wisconsin rally Tuesday…. Trump and other conservatives have in recent days floated the baseless claim that if Biden does well at next week’s debate in Atlanta, it will be because he’s using some kind of performance enhancer.” • Biden’s performance fluctuates greatly, as we’ve seen since at least Iowa 2020. A stimulant of some kind is a perfectly reasonable explanation (“juiced up”). Hopefully Trump doesn’t over-egg the pudding on this in the debate.

The Debate: “Is the Debate To Be Biden’s Last Stand?” [Steve Huntley, John Kass News]. “So why an early debate? Influential Democrats might see it as the last chance to save the party in November. These movers and shakers might figure that if Biden has a crippling debate performance of disconnected ramblings, meaningless utterances, angry outbursts and undeniable mental decline, there’s still time to persuade him to drop out and for the national convention in late July to produce a replacement.” And here’s some lateral thinking: “Harris is the focus of yet another option getting a little media talk in Washington. This idea would be, keep Biden on the ticket but have Harris drop out, opening the way for a replacement vice presidential nominee better viewed by the voters as a legitimate potential president.” • Hmm. Just not Hillary, mkay?

* * *

Biden (D): “DOJ concealing info on probe into whether Hunter Biden violated ‘debauchery’ law, watchdog says” [FOX]. “A government watchdog group filed suit in Delaware federal court this week, seeking to compel the Justice Department to produce records that may determine whether Hunter Biden should be further investigated under a 1910 law relating to ‘prostitution or debauchery.’ The Heritage Foundation’s Oversight Project petitioned theing from a time when prostitution was more prevalent in urban areas, states it is a felony to ‘knowingly transport… in interstate or foreign commerce… any woman or girl for the purpose of prostituti same Wilmington bench where Biden was found guilty on gun charges this month, contending that there is a significant amount of evidence the first son was being probed on Mann Act grounds. The law, stemmon or debauchery.’” • Presumably the Supreme Court would rule, and quite sensibly, in favor of debauchery, but were there business records violations?

* * *

Republican Funhouse

“Republican arrested after ‘chasing an adult dancer on a road while waving a gun at 2:45am’… and his campaign releases bizarre statement” [Daily Mail]. “Neil Friske, 62, has a record as a hardline conservative and has put faith and family at the heart of his campaign to be reelected to the state House of Representatives. He was arrested after chasing an adult dancer following a disagreement, according to the Michigan Information and Research Service, which covers the state capitol.” • Classic.


“I am in earnest — I will not equivocate — I will not excuse — I will not retreat a single inch — AND I WILL BE HEARD.” –William Lloyd Garrison

* * *

Covid Resources, United States (National): Transmission (CDC); Wastewater (CDC, Biobot; includes many counties; Wastewater Scan, includes drilldown by zip); Variants (CDC; Walgreens); “Iowa COVID-19 Tracker” (in IA, but national data). “Infection Control, Emergency Management, Safety, and General Thoughts” (especially on hospitalization by city).

Lambert here: Readers, thanks for the collective effort. To update any entry, do feel free to contact me at the address given with the plants. Please put “COVID” in the subject line. Thank you!

Resources, United States (Local): 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 reports); 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).

Resources, Canada (National): Wastewater (Government of Canada).

Resources, Canada (Provincial): ON (wastewater); QC (les eaux usées); BC (wastewater); BC, Vancouver (wastewater).

Hat tips to helpful 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, square coats (11), tennesseewaltzer, Tom B., Utah, Bob White (3).

Stay safe out there!

* * *

Airborne Transmission

“Ventilation matters – why clean air is vital to health” [National Engineering Policy Centre]. UK. “Effective ventilation is essential to protecting public health – buildings need to be able to “breathe” and get a supply of fresh air. Preventing the spread of infections in the first place is better than trying to manage illness, and people should be able to have confidence that the air in the buildings they use is safe to breathe. ” • This is swipe-friendly and uses non-technical language, so at first seems light-weight, but it covers a lot, with may good resources (especially for building managers). Meanwhile, don’t be like this:

Transmission: H5N1

CDC: “We don’t know anything”:

Science: “Yes you do”:


“Association of institutional masking policies with healthcare-associated SARS-CoV-2 infections in Swiss acute care hospitals during the BA.4/5 wave (CH-SUR study): a retrospective observational study” [Antimicrobial Resistance and Infection Control]. From the Abstract: “We included 2’980 SARS-CoV-2 infections from 13 institutions, 444 (15%) were classified as healthcare-associated. Between June 20 and June 30, 2022, six (46%) institutions switched to a more stringent mask policy. The percentage of healthcare-associated infections subsequently declined in institutions with policy switch but not in the others. In particular, the switch from situative masking (standard precautions) to general masking of HCW in contact with patients was followed by a strong reduction of healthcare-associated infections (rate ratio 0.39, 95% CI 0.30–0.49).” • So one-way masking, where the HCW masks up only when you ask them to, doesn’t work (or, more precisely, works to sicken and kill people). News you can use!

“Effect of wearing N95 facemasks on the mode of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in the indoor environment of a hospital” [Aerosol Science and Technology]. “In this study, three distinct interior hospital environments were selected for surface and airborne viral sampling to ascertain the impact of wearing an N95 facemask on the spread of the virus. SARS-CoV-2 RNA was detectable in the air of an emergency intensive care unit corridor, where over 30% of mobile personnel did not wear N95 facemasks strictly. By contrast, SARS-CoV-2 RNA was not detectable in the air of a geriatric respiratory diseases ward or in that of an emergency laboratory, where N95 facemasks were mandatory for both mobile staff and patients. Additionally, SARS-CoV-2 RNA was detected in all object surface samples collected in this study (p < 0.05). These results indicate that surface contact transmission should be further investigated as a possible mode of SARS-CoV-2 transmission and that the strictness of N95 facemask usage may influence indoor transmission of aerosol-dominated types of SARS-CoV-2. The present findings could contribute to reducing the spread of both SARS-CoV-2 and other respiratory diseases and could advance the understanding of how SARS-CoV-2 spreads.” • Idea: Get SARS-CoV-2 out of the air and it won’t land on the surfaces….
“Study Confirms One Type of COVID Mask Is ‘Significantly Better’ Than Others” [ScienceAlert]. “A team led by researchers at the University of Maryland in the US asked 44 volunteers with COVID-19 to breathe into a bespoke device called the Gesundheit II Machine, which can measure the number of virus particles in exhaled breath. Four different mask types were tested this way, and the participants were told to vary their vocalizations while wearing the masks – one of the tests involved singing “Happy Birthday”, for example. Each volunteer completed a 30-minute breathing session with a mask on, and another 30-minute session with no mask as a control. Of the four types of masks tested, the duckbill N95 mask came out on top: it blocked 99 percent of large particles and 98 percent of small particles from getting out into the air. Overall, 98 percent of the viral load was blocked by the N95. ‘The research shows that any mask is much better than no mask, and an N95 is significantly better than the other options,’ says Donald Milton, an environmental health scientist and clinician at the University of Maryland.”

Censorship and Propaganda

This high-level, two-phase analysis of “social norming” is as good as any I’ve seen:

Do the two phases match up with your memories, readers? (Sorry for the smallish type, but I needed to quote the entire thread.)

Elite Maleficence

Why can’t all hospitals be like the VA?

* * *

Bad data:

* * *

TABLE 1: Daily Covid Charts


1) for charts new today; all others are not updated.

2) For a full-size/full-resolution image, Command-click (MacOS) or right-click (Windows) on the chart thumbnail and “open image in new tab.”


[1] (CDC) This week’s wastewater map, with hot spots annotated. The numbers in the right hand column are identical. The dots on the map are not.

[2] (CDC) Last week’s wastewater map.

[3] (CDC Variants) KP.3 dominating.

[4] (ER) This is the best I can do for now. At least data for the entire pandemic is presented.

[5] (Hospitalization: NY) A slight decrease followed by a return to a slight, steady increase. (The New York city area has form; in 2020, as the home of two international airports (JFK and EWR) it was an important entry point for the virus into the country (and from thence up the Hudson River valley, as the rich sought to escape, and then around the country through air travel.)

[6] (Hospitalization: CDC). This is the best I can do for now. Note the assumption that Covid is seasonal is built into the presentation. At least data for the entire pandemic is presented.

[7] (Walgreens) 4.3%; big jump. (Because there is data in “current view” tab, I think white states here have experienced “no change,” as opposed to have no data.)

[8] (Cleveland) Still going up!

[9] (Travelers: Positivity) Up. Those sh*theads at CDC have changed the chart so that it doesn’t even run back to 1/21/23, as it used to, but now starts 1/1/24. There’s also no way to adjust the time rasnge. CDC really doesn’t want you to be able to take a historical view of the pandemic, or compare one surge to another. In an any case, that’s why the shape of the curve has changed.

[10] (Travelers: Variants) Same deal. Those sh*theads. I’m leaving this here for another week because I loathe them so much:

[11] Deaths low, but positivity up.

[12] Deaths low, ED up.

Stats Watch

There are no official statistics of interest today.

* * *

Finance: “Why PayPal’s Comeback Plan Could Take Years, If It Works At All” [Forbes]. “Nearly a decade after its spin-off from eBay (which acquired the payments startup in 2002), PayPal still has a profitable franchise, with over $4 billion in net income in 2023. Its digital financial network of 220 million monthly active customers is one of the world’s largest, standing behind juggernauts like Apple Pay and China’s Alipay. While PayPal has done dozens of acquisitions and entered nearly as many new business lines, more than 60% of its $14 billion in gross profits still comes from the PayPal button, according to Autonomous Research. That’s the icon people click to pay for anything from tchotchkes on eBay or Etsy to diapers from Target. Many users still see it as a safer way to transact instead of trusting an unfamiliar website or person. But transaction growth for PayPal’s branded button is slowing–last year, it grew just 7% in dollar terms, compared with about 9% for ecommerce overall.” • Wall Street wants “innovation.” Please, no.

Manufacturing: “Boeing Is Expected to Evade Criminal Charges for Violating Settlement” [New York Times]. “The Justice Department is expected to allow Boeing to escape criminal prosecution for violating the terms of a 2021 settlement related to problems with the company’s 737 Max 8 model that led to two deadly plane crashes in 2018 and 2019, according to people familiar with the discussions.

Instead, the Justice Department plans to offer Boeing what is known as a deferred prosecution agreement, which is often used to impose monitoring and compliance obligations on businesses accused of financial crimes or corruption, as opposed to trying to convict the company. The agreement will stipulate that Boeing install a federal monitor to oversee safety improvements, according to the people familiar with the situation. Federal prosecutors said in May that Boeing had violated a previous deferred prosecution agreement by failing to set up and maintain a program to detect and prevent violations of U.S. anti-fraud laws.” • Oh.

* * *

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 41 Fear (previous close: 40 Fear) [CNN]. One week ago: 38 (Fear). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Jun 21 at 1:40:17 PM ET.

Public Health

“The NIH Intramural ME Study: “Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics” (Part 1)” [Thoughts about M.E.]. M.E. = Myalgic Encephalomyelitis. I know nothing about M.E. at all; but after watching NIH blow $1 billion (now $1.6 billion) on Long Covid with nothing to show for it, I can well believe the post title. Perhaps this four-part series will be useful to any M.E. advocates in the readership who aren’t already familiar with it.


This men’s clothing account is one of my hidden vices; it really explains both manufacturing and aesthetics:

Plus he stans for Bourdieu, the only account I know on the Twitter that does.

The Screening Room

“Smiles of a Summer Night (video, full length) [Ingmar Bergman, YouTube (Furzy Mouse)]. • For the summer solstice.

The Gallery

This time not wallpaper, but an actual wall:

Class Warfare

“Nearly half of Dell’s full-time workforce in the U.S. has rejected returning to the office. They’d rather work from home than get promoted” [Fortune]. “Remote workers were willing to defy company policy because the perks of staying at home simply outweighed what they believed working in person had to offer. ‘The more time I have to spend in the office, the less time, money, and personal space I have for all of that,’ an employee told Insider. ‘I can do my job just as well from home and have all of those personal benefits as well.’ Other employees found that returning to in-person work simply wasn’t practical given the nature of their job. ‘My team is spread out around the world. Almost 90% of the team did the same, as in our case there was no real advantage going to the office,’ another employee said. Multiple Dell employees told Insider they work with team members in different time zones and held meetings requiring them to be on the clock at times when being on-site wouldn’t be appropriate. Others said they lived too far away from a company location or that a Dell office near them had recently been shut down. Dell did not immediately respond to Fortune’s request for comment, but told Insider it believes “in-person connections paired with a flexible approach are critical to drive innovation and value differentiation.’” • “Drive” is one of those words. “Drive innovation” is one of those pjhrase. In any case, Dell just optimized for office politicians. I’m sure that will go well.

How the interview went:

News of the Wired


* * *

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, lichen, 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 MR:

MR writes: “Azalea with swarming bees, NC. This was not a good location for a hive, so the “bee man” was summoned. At dusk he encouraged them into a new hive box, with an audience of neighborhood children and adults and some education of both. He has relocated the hive a few miles away.” Fantastic! And how nice that MR’s locality has a bee man!

* * *

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 three or four 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!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Source link

Related Articles

Back to top button