2:00PM Water Cooler 8/17/2022 | naked capitalism
By Lambert Strether of Corrente
Bird Song of the Day
Eastern Chat-Tanager, Barahona, Dominican Republic. A busy jungle at night, I think.
“But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature?” –James Madison, Federalist 51
“They had learned nothing, and forgotten nothing.” –Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord
“Here’s food for thought, had Ahab time to think; but Ahab never thinks; he only feels, feels, feels” –Herman Melville, Moby Dick
“Biden signs sweeping climate and health care bill into law” [Politico]. “The House cleared the massive bill on a party-line vote on Friday. The package passed the Senate less than a week earlier, with only Democratic support and Vice President Kamala Harris casting the vote that broke the 50-50 tie…. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), whose surprise announcement of support in late July clinched the bill’s passage, attended the signing, at one point receiving a standing ovation. ‘Joe, I never had a doubt,’ Biden said, later giving him the pen he used to sign the package.” Perhaps it really was all kayfabe. More: “The turnabout over the last month has revitalized Democrats who say they now have a robust track record to run on as the party tries to build on its Senate majority and stave off widely expected losses in the House…. And while Biden stayed out of the negotiations that led up to the bill’s passage, the president is expected to play a central role in trying to sell its benefits to voters across the country. Top White House officials earlier this week outlined plans for a ‘Building a Better America Tour’ that will dispatch Biden, Harris and Cabinet secretaries to tout Democratic accomplishments based around the core message that the party ‘beat the special interests’ en route to fulfilling an ambitious agenda. ‘We’ve not wavered, we’ve not flinched and we’ve not given in,’ Biden said. ‘Instead, we’re delivering results for the American people.’” •
* * *
“Summer Breeze” [Amy Walter, Cook Political Report]. “To me, the most fascinating disconnect right now is among independent voters who give President Biden low marks, but are open to supporting Democratic candidates for Congress. Democratic hopes of keeping the Senate and keeping down their losses in the House depend on running ahead of Biden among this critical demographic. Since 2010, the sitting president entered the fall of the midterm election year with a job approval rating among independents anywhere between 38 and 45 percent. In all three of those midterm elections, the party in the White House lost independent voters by double-digits. And, of course, the party of the president lost control of the House, the Senate or both. In October of 2018, for example, President Trump’s job approval rating among independent voters was 38 percent approve to 52 percent disapprove (-14). Exit polling showed Democrats winning independent voters by 12 points (54 percent to 42 percent). In other words, independent voters’ low opinion of Trump translated almost identically to the vote share they gave GOP congressional candidates. At this point, Biden’s job approval rating among independents sits even lower than his predecessors. The most recent Gallup polling put his job approval ratings among independent voters at just 31 percent, and other polls have him even lower. However, polling taken this month and last by Monmouth found a ‘generic Democrat’ running anywhere from 11 to 14 points better among independent voters than Biden’s job approval ratings with these same voters.” • And it’s not even Labor Day yet!
“Here’s where Trump’s endorsement record stands in Republican primaries” [New York Times]. “As the midterm primary season enters the homestretch, candidates endorsed by former President Donald J. Trump continue to rack up primary wins. That is partly by design: Of the more than 200 Republicans Mr. Trump has endorsed this year, many ran unopposed or faced little-known, poorly funded opponents. He has also waited to make some endorsements until a front-runner emerges, strategically picking the candidates most likely to win — as with his last-minute endorsement of Tudor Dixon in Michigan’s primary for governor. Several of his endorsed candidates were defeated in early primaries, including in Georgia and North Carolina. But for candidates like J.D. Vance in Ohio and Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania, Mr. Trump’s support was crucial to securing victory. His choices have also won in large numbers in the most recent races, including in two swing states, Arizona and Michigan. Here is a look at Mr. Trump’s endorsement record.” • Here’s a list:
FINAL: The 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump
Gonzalez — RETIRING
Katko — RETIRING
Kinzinger — RETIRING
Upton — RETIRING
Cheney — LOST PRIMARY
Herrera Beutler — LOST PRIMARY
Meijer — LOST PRIMARY
Rice — LOST PRIMARY
Newhouse — WON PRIMARY
Valadao — WON PRIMARY
— Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) August 17, 2022
* * *
PA: “Wegners? Dr. Oz confuses Wegmans, Redner’s in odd video on shopping for crudités” [Rochester Democrat and Chronicle]. “Dr. Mehmet Oz has been accused of carpetbagging in his Senate run. He’s also trying to figure out where he’s bagging his groceries. ‘I’m at Wegners,’ Oz said in a perplexing social media video he posted from a supermarket. The political world is divisive. But everyone can agree Oz wasn’t at Wegners. There is no Wegners. It was an apparent portmanteau of Wegmans and Redner’s, two large supermarket chains in the Northeast. Like some politicians, Wegmans and Redner’s are privately owned. Wegmans has a passionate fan base and legendary produce section.” • Hence, another entertaining dogpile on the Twitter:
The replies, my god. Also found this there, as apparently Wegner’s isn’t even a real grocery store, and Dr. Oz has just made one of the easiest blunders since John Kerry’s infamous “Manny Ortez” moment. pic.twitter.com/1vQ73A4Evn
— Paul Swydan (@Swydan) August 16, 2022
(Kerry on “Manny Ortez.”)
PA: “Oz Crudite Video Backfires And Raises $500,000 For John Fetterman” [Politics USA]. • Chalk one up for the social media team! Again, I’m uncertain whether Tweets move votes. I do confess, however, that a really fun dogpile can lead to a sort of exhiliration, similar to what takes over a city when its baseball team is doing really well. Good vibes! For example:
Omg Dr. Oz sent me a birthday gift! 💝 pic.twitter.com/D016eS0VAk
— John Fetterman (@JohnFetterman) August 15, 2022
It’s good to see a master troll in the ranks of the Democrat Party. I don’t know if there has been one.
“Inside the frantic, final days of record-keeping that landed Trump in hot water” [Politico]. “Standing amid half-packed boxes in early 2021, staffers in the West Wing grabbed packages of presidential M&M’s and tried to obtain giant photos of the president and the first couple that adorned the walls, eager for a memento from their White House service. Trump-themed accessories and memorabilia were snagged. Aides stood in empty offices and tried to find a moment to secure presidential greetings for a loved one’s upcoming birthday or anniversary. It was part free-for-all, part fire sale. Souvenirs were kept, records were indiscriminately thrown away. The Oval Office and its adjacent private dining room were only packed up the weekend before former President Donald Trump moved out, former aides said. So-called ‘burn bags’ were widely present, according to two former Trump White House officials, with red stripes marking ones that held sensitive classified material meant to be destroyed. Such bags, according to Mark Zaid, an attorney well-steeped in national security law, are common. But one former official said that staff would put seemingly non-classified items in there too, such as handwritten letters and notes passed to principals. Zaid said it wasn’t necessarily improper to dispose of non-classified information this way, provided it was done under the confines of the law. But those who observed the process later conceded that it was not entirely clear if documents should have been headed to the National Archives instead of the incinerator…. ‘Compared to previous administrations of both parties,’ conceded a person familiar with the process, ‘there was less of a willingness to adhere to the Presidential Records Act.’”
“The Case for Going After Trump”” [John Ganz, Unpopular Front]. “It’s time to stop fucking around. All of the savvy political wisdom of the preceding years got us here: with a half-lunatic trying to shake down the country to call off his followers. Trump doesn’t care about precedents: as soon as he’s able, he will use whatever tool he’s able to use against his opponents. This is why his supporters like him. They openly say so. The first time around, he didn’t really know how to wield the power of the state or the most violent core of his supporters, but most likely he will will learn. The Federal oath of office begins, “I do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” If that means anybody in the history of the country, that must mean Trump. He cannot be allowed to hide behind his supporters or try to use them to manipulate the U.S. government. Is it possible that this will lead to bad outcomes? Sure, anything is possible. But treating Trump like he’s got special powers has lead us here…. A political class that can’t defend the constitutional order and the rule of law is worse than useless: it’s actually conspiring with its enemies. Trump attacked the very heart of our system of government. If the system can’t respond to that forcefully it doesn’t deserve to exist anymore. Let’s stop pretending Trump is anything but a mobster and a would-be tyrant. In this case, prudence demands action.”
* * *
“After landslide primary defeat, Liz Cheney announces new anti-Trump group, says she’s ‘thinking about’ WH bid” [FOX]. “Immediately following her loss to Harriet Hageman in Wyoming’s Republican primary, Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., unveiled her next move, launching a new organization with the primary goal of keeping former President Donald Trump from regaining the presidency. The group, called The Great Task, gets its name from a phrase in the Gettysburg Address, and Cheney invoked President Abraham Lincoln in calling for the Republican Party to go back to its roots. ‘We’ve to get this party back to the principles and values on which it was founded,’ Cheney said in an interview with NBC’s ‘Today Show’ on Wednesday morning, claiming that it has lost its way in focusing too much on Trump and his ‘cult of personality.’ Cheney noted that in the past, she had garnered more than 70% of the votes in her district’s primary, and that ‘the path to that same victory would have been very easy,’ but she felt it was more important to focus on her opposition to Trump. Those efforts, which include her work on the Democrat-led House Jan. 6 Committee, led to Trump backing Hageman in the primary race. With 99% of votes counted early Wednesday morning, Hageman led Cheney by more than 37 points.” • Hmm. Cheney/Gabbard? (Most of the other headlines play down, or don’t even mention, the scale of Cheney’s defeat. A 37-point lead isn’t a defeat. It’s a stomping. Of course, the Wyoming Republican base is hardly representative of, say, suburban women. Commentary:
Liz Cheney, chewing straw, reins in her hands, leading a train of 300,000 covered wagons out of Brooklyn, settlers off to seek their fortunes, and ours, out in the vast, untamed West https://t.co/0l0POFphWd
— Osita Nwanevu (@OsitaNwanevu) August 17, 2022
Democrats en Déshabillé
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.
“The Trailer: In New York, a top House Democrat relishes a chance to beat his party’s left wing” [WaPo]. “Four years after Biaggi helped Democrats take back the state Senate, one year after ex-Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo resigned in disgrace, the race in New York’s 17th Congressional District has seen Maloney scoop up endorsements, as he relishes a chance to beat his party’s left wing. ‘There’s been a huge, huge change in the mood of Democrats,; Maloney, 56, said in an interview after a house party on the other side of the suburban district. ‘It really undercuts the rationale of my challenger, who’s arguing that the problem is the Democrats. My argument is that we need to come together as Democrats and get things done and keep dangerous Republicans from taking back the House.’” • Always good to see party unity in action.
“Cuomo Can Keep $5.1 Million in Covid Book Money, Judge Says” [New York Times]. “The now-defunct Joint Commission on Public Ethics, known as JCOPE, had initially approved Mr. Cuomo’s book deal in 2020, but revoked it a few months after he left office, saying he had obtained the green light under false pretenses, improperly using state resources in writing the memoir, ‘American Crisis: Leadership Lessons From the Covid-19 Pandemic.’…. What might happen next was not immediately clear. The oft-maligned JCOPE, seen as a toothless agency that did the bidding of the politicians who appointed its board, no longer exists. It was replaced this summer by a new Commission on Ethics and Lobbying in Government. The judge left the door open for the new ethics commission to again take up action against Mr. Cuomo over the book deal.” • $5.1 million / 15,360 nursing home deaths = $332.03 per corpse. That’s not very much.
2020 Post Mortem
“How Warren, and the Professional Class Left Undermined Sanders 2020” [Collide]. “Warren drew Sanders away from his 2016 labor populist planks, bringing back manufacturing jobs, end free-market trade deals, and towards a diffuse set of progressive plans to rival Warren. Bernie himself harped on his core planks, while Sanders staff and surrogates pushed all possible progressive plans in all possible intersectional avenues. Bernie 2020 focused on everything at once, which is the same as nothing at all. To those not guzzling the mass media at the pump, 2020 looked like Warren had the plans and Bernie had the… more expensive plans. The distinct left populist positions of 2016 Bernie was shunted aside to make way for plans that catered to activists, NGOs, and nonprofits, not an expanded electorate. Meanwhile, Biden’s campaign never strayed from his monomaniacal mission to bring the country together and restore the soul of the nation. That’s what he said when he launched his campaign, and he stuck with it until he clinched the nomination. The Warren candidacy and series of plans were almost tailor-made to poach chunks of Bernie’s most enthusiastic supporters, young professionals. Instead of honing his messaging to reach out to more numerous demographics, including disaffected rural, older, or non-college-educated voters, Bernie spent most of 2019 winning back his 2016 coalition. The progressive plan war proved successful for Warren, who poached a third to half of Bernie’s 2016 coalition in Iowa and New Hampshire.” • What a snake.
Realignment and Legitimacy
“How should Nevada hand count ballots? Nye County, state election officials disagree” [Nevada Independent (SlayTheSmaugs)]. “As Nye County’s top new election official prepares to hand count tens of thousands of paper ballots cast in this year’s general election, the secretary of state’s office is seeking to standardize and regulate that process. But the two sides are at odds. Last week, the secretary of state’s office hosted a workshop to solicit feedback on a proposed temporary regulation for hand counting that would require local election officials to follow certain procedures for tallying votes, submit plans for meeting numerous election deadlines and ensure hand-counting teams are not all of the same political party. ‘We strongly urge the secretary of state to not adopt these regulations,’ Mark Kampf, who started as Nye County’s interim clerk earlier this month, said during the workshop. Kampf, who is running for a full four-year term as clerk, expressed concerns over several portions of the regulation, including calling for tally forms to be prescribed by the secretary of state rather than the county official, as well as another that would require clerks to report the use of any outside vendors hired to assist with the hand count. Instead, he touted his own plan — a “parallel tabulation” process that would involve running ballots through the typical mechanical tabulators at the same time as hand counting all ballots.” • Holy moley, offloading the counting to vendors [bangs head on desk]. “Our democracy” is in a bad way.
“The Pandemic’s Soft Closing” [The Atlantic]. “Right now, the country has been walking down of coronavirus cases and deaths—the latter stubbornly hovering just under 500, a number that the country has, by virtue of its behaviors or lack thereof, implicitly decided is just fine. ‘It’s much lower than we’ve been, but it’s not a trivial number,’ [Jason Salemi, an epidemiologist at the University of South Florida] told me. Held at this rate, the U.S.’s annual COVID death toll could be about 150,000—three times the mortality burden of the worst influenza season of the past decade. And the country has little guarantee that the current mortality average will even hold. Immunity provides a buffer against severe disease. But that protection may be impermanent, especially as the virus continues to shapeshift, abetted by unchecked international spread. Should the autumn bring with it yet another spike in cases, long COVID, hospitalizations, and deaths, the country will need to be flexible and responsive enough to pivot back to more strictness, which the administration is setting Americans up poorly to do. Acceptance of the present might presage acceptance of a future that’s worse—not just with SARS-CoV-2 but with any other public-health threat. Months on end of weakening guidelines have entrenched ‘this idea that mitigation can only be dialed in one direction, which is down,’ [Joshua Salomon, a health-policy researcher at Stanford] told me. If and when conditions worsen, the rules may not tighten to accommodate, because the public has not been inured to the idea that they should. ‘If it’s going to be 600 deaths a day soon,” or perhaps far more, Ganapathi told me, “I won’t be surprised if we find a way to rationalize that too.’”
“CDC promises to end disruption; its new guidance won’t do it” [The Hill]. “Policies framed only to limit strains on health systems [for example, CDC’s so-called “community levels”] are inadequate to live with a virus that continues to drive dysfunction and add to a growing toll of disability. A broader set of policy goals are needed to guide our response and investments. First, guidance crafted only to keep hospital beds empty will not keep schools and workplaces full or planes in the sky…. Second, policy decisions on the investment and deployment of next generation tools, including better vaccines, should not only aim to reduce the risk of severe acute illness, but also better prevent disability from Long COVID and disruptions caused by people getting sick from periodic reinfections…. Finally, while efforts are still needed to increase access to individual-level tools, more systemic and sustainable solutions are needed to remove the burden on individuals to navigate the pandemic on their own. Investments in ventilation and filtration to clean the air in all indoor spaces and policies to enable sick leave must become a priority and are critical to living with COVID — as well as future threats that may yield similar impacts…. COVID-19 will continue to manage our schools, workplaces, and essential services until our policy goals expand to managing COVID and its impacts on these other areas of life. It’s time to set policy goals for the virus living with us, and not the one we wish was in our midst.”
“China’s Covid Zero Could Last for Years Because It Works for Xi” [Bloomberg]. “As omicron sub-variants become ever-more infectious, .” • Sometimes they just come right and say it, don’t they? Rule #2.
Lambert here: The decision on how to handle the Coronavirus pandemic has turned out to be that advocated by the Great Barrington Declaration crowd of democidal loons: Let ‘er rip. It seems reasonably clear that this collective decision on behalf of society wasn’t made at any level of “our democracy,” but…. higher up, by an elite that hates masking, thinks pills and injections can give them invulnerability, and loves to socialize at conferences and other such superspreading events. The “let me see your smile” attitude comes from the top.
Maskstravaganza: Plus a Corsi-Rosenthal box spotted in the wild:
My son tested + on vacation. We sheltered in a nearby relatives empty house, grabbed supplies from Home Depot and made 3 boxes. We avoided family transfer! I was very grateful for these. pic.twitter.com/qm4ZSl2Izz
— wildflours (@SeaFlourChild) August 15, 2022
My kids have KF-94 respirators from Korea. One set with cats, the other with Hello Kitty. My son loves his, my daughter, however, keeps taking it off due to peer pressure in class. She gets excluded if she wears a mask
— sortius (@sortius) August 15, 2022
“Inside America’s monkeypox crisis — and the mistakes that made it worse” [WaPo]. “For two months, the Biden administration has been chased by headlines about its failure to order enough vaccines, speed treatments and make tests available to head off an outbreak that has grown from one case in Massachusetts on May 17 to more than 12,600 this week, overwhelmingly among gay and bisexual men. And 100 days after the outbreak was first detected in Europe, no country has more cases than the United States — with public health experts warning the virus is on the verge of becoming permanently entrenched here. ‘I think there’s a potential to get this back in the box, but it’s going to be very difficult at this point,’ Scott Gottlieb, who led the Food and Drug Administration under Donald Trump and has advised the Biden administration on its response to public health outbreaks, said on CBS’s ‘Face the Nation’ last week…. Interviews with more than 40 officials working on the monkeypox response, outside advisers, public health experts and patients show that despite efforts to learn from the nation’s coronavirus failures, officials struggled to meet growing demand for testing, vaccines and treatments. Early mistakes, including the failure to recognize the virus was spreading differently and far more aggressively than it had previously, and a plodding bureaucracy left hundreds of thousands of gay men facing the threat of an agonizing illness that has not led to U.S. fatalities but can cause painful lesions some have likened to being pierced by shards of glass while going to the bathroom. And experts fear broader circulation of a virus that can infect anyone by close contact.” • What’s the issue with being “entrenched”? People can just make their own “personal risk assessments.”
If you missed it, here’s a post on my queasiness with CDC numbers, especially case count, which I (still) consider most important, despite what Walensky’s psychos at CDC who invented “community levels” think. But these are the numbers we have.
Case count for the United States:
Big story, again, is California.
Cases are undercounted, one source saying by a factor of six, Gottlieb thinking we only pick up one in seven or eight.) Hence, I take the case count and multiply it by six to approximate the real level of cases, and draw the DNC-blue “Biden Line” at that point. The previous count was ~ 106,500. Today, it’s ~ 109,200 and 109,200 * 6 = a Biden line at 655,200 per day. That’s rather a lot of cases, when you think about it. (Remember these data points are weekly averages, so daily fluctuations are smoothed out.) The black “Fauci Line” is a counter to triumphalism, since it compares current levels to past crises.)
Regional case count for four weeks:
The South (minus Texas and Florida):
Encouraging on Georgia and North Carolina. Big jump in Tennessee. Data?
From the Walgreen’s test positivity tracker, August 15:
NOTE: I shall most certainly not be using the CDC’s new “Community Level” metric. Because CDC has combined a leading indicator (cases) with a lagging one (hospitalization) their new metric is a poor warning sign of a surge, and a poor way to assess personal risk. In addition, Covid is a disease you don’t want to get. Even if you are not hospitalized, you can suffer from Long Covid, vascular issues, and neurological issues. For these reasons, case counts — known to be underestimated, due to home test kits — deserve to stand alone as a number to be tracked, no matter how much the political operatives in CDC leadership would like to obfuscate it. That the “green map” (which Topol calls a “capitulation” and a “deception”) is still up and being taken seriously verges on the criminal. Use the community transmission immediately below.
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.)
Rapid Riser data, by county (CDC), August 17:
I suppose that if case counts are indeed level, it’s likely there would be few rapid risers.
Previous Rapid Riser data:
Hospitalization data, by state (CDC), August a7:
Pretty calm on the hospital front. If you’re CDC, and that’s all that matters to you — because Long Covid isn’t a thing, and everybody who is really sick can get to a hospital — you’re probably feeling good right now.
Lambert here: It’s beyond frustrating how slow the variant data is. I looked for more charts: California doesn’t to a BA.4/BA.5 breakdown. New York does but it, too, is on a molasses-like two-week cycle. 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? Additional sources from readers welcome [grinds teeth, bangs head on desk].
Variant data, national (Walgreens), August 8:
Complete takeover by BA.5/BA.4. I wonder what’s coming next?
NOT UPDATED Variant data, national (CDC), July 23 (Nowcast off):
BA.5 moving along nicely. (Same data, but a layout I like better, and I wish CDC would stop changing the layout randomly.)
Wastewater data (CDC), August 13:
For grins, August 10:
Looks unchanged. What I’m really worried about is an increase in grey dots, because that would mean the system is being shut down..
Lambert here: I added grey to orange and red. Grey, not on the legend at bottom right, is “No recent data.” How is there no recent data for New York City, a major international hub and already the epicenter of at least one surge? How is there none for upstate New York, which only recently was full of rapid-riser counties? The same with West Virginia, Michigan, and Oregon. If I were the paranoid sort, I’d theorize that CDC moved in on the only accurate data source we’ve got, in order to corrupt and destroy it.
As a check here’s Milwaukee wastewater mapped to case data (and will the reader who sent this please take a bow):
Death rate (Our World in Data):
Lambert here: If in fact the drop in cases is real, as CDC seems to believe, we should start seeing deaths, which lag, drop around September 1.
Total: 1,063,087 –
1,062,770 = 1424 (365 * 317 = 115,705; today’s LivingWith™ number. Fluctuates quite a bit, but even the low numbers are bad). I have added an anti-triumphalist black Fauci Line. 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.
Retail: “United States Retail Sales YoY” [Trading Economics]. “Retail Sales in the United States increased 10.3 percent in July of 2022 over the same month in the previous year. It follows an upwardly revised 8.5 percent rise in June.”
Inventories: “United States Business Inventories” [Trading Economics]. “Manufacturers’ and trade inventories in the US rose 1.4 percent from a month earlier in June of 2022, following an upwardly revised 1.6 percent gain in the prior month and matching market forecasts. Stocks increased the most for retailers (2 percent vs 1.6 percent in May) and merchant wholesalers (1.8 percent vs 1.9 percent), but slowed significantly for manufacturers (0.4 percent vs 1.3 percent). Year-on-year, business inventories jumped by 18.5 percent in June.”
Inventories: “United States Retail Inventories Ex Autos” [Trading Economics]. “Retail Inventories Excluding Autos in the United States increased by 1.5% from a month earlier in June of 2022, compared with an earlier estimate of a 1.6% rise and following a 1.4% gain in May.”
The Bezzle: “A Tale of Three Acquisitions” [The Rational Walk]. “Without a certain level of trust, our modern civilization would soon disintegrate into total chaos. Like oxygen, many of us tend to take trust for granted until it is in short supply. Trust is particularly important in business. You might be given the benefit of the doubt initially, but abuse of that trust is likely to ruin your reputation and severely curtail future opportunities…. A deal with Warren Buffett is a deal you can take to the bank…. Elon Musk might have many positive attributes but without trust, he will face many more hurdles accomplishing his future aspirations. Traveling to Mars and colonizing the planet is going to be impossible without the cooperation of numerous private and public entities and it will all require a great deal of trust to accomplish.”
Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 56 Greed (previous close: 56 Greed) [CNN]. One week ago: 51 (Neutral). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Aug 17 at 1:34 PM EDT.
It’s like punk paste-up is done by a cubist whose lost their perspective:
— AIC: Modern Art (Bot) (@aic_modernart) August 12, 2022
If you like model trains:
Zombie Apocalypse Thomas The Tank Engine sculpture pic.twitter.com/n1bhm6WuSg
— Engineering (@ENGlNEERlNG_) August 16, 2022
News of the Wired
I seem not to be wired today.
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