/2:00PM Water Cooler 8/11/2020

2:00PM Water Cooler 8/11/2020

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Extremely patient readers, I set the alarm wrong and woke up too late. More as shortly as may be, since I must also do a laundry if I am not to be whiffy later in the day. Grr! –lambert


At reader request, I’ve added this daily chart from 91-DIVOC. The data is the Johns Hopkins CSSE data. Here is the site. Here are the bottom five of the top ten problem states: Tennessee, North Carolina, Alabama, Louisiana, and Illinois, with Georgia for comparison:


“But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature?” –James Madison, Federalist 51

“They had one weapon left and both knew it: treachery.” –Frank Herbert, Dune

“They had learned nothing, and forgotten nothing.” –Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord

The electoral map. July 17: Georgia, Ohio, ME-2 move from Leans Republican to Toss-up. Continued yikes. On July 7, the tossup were 86. Only July 17, they were 56. Now they are 91. This puts Biden at 278, i.e. over 270. August 10: Still no changes.

So, taking the consensus as a given, 270 (total) – 204 (Trump’s) = 66. Trump must win 66 from the states in play: AZ (11), FL (29), MI (16), NC (15), PA (20), and WI (10) plus 1 to win not tie = 102. 102 – 66 = 36. So if Trump wins FL, MI, NC, and PA (29 + 16 + 15 + 20 = 80), he wins. That’s a heavy lift. I think I’ve got the math right this time!


Trump (R)(1): “Trump’s path to winning Pa. runs through small Rust Belt towns — like one near Biden’s hometown” [Philadelphia Inquirer]. “While Trump has collapsed in the polls in Pennsylvania and nationally following his mishandling of the coronavirus pandemic, the race is likely to tighten in its final weeks. In a pivotal state Trump won by less than 1% of the vote in 2016 — partly because of voters in Lackawanna County and bordering Luzerne County — even small shifts in his favor in places like Carbondale could have outsized importance. And interviews with 20 residents and political operatives in the northeast suggest that places like Carbondale are trending even more pro-Trump than four years ago.” • Worth reading in full. Deindustrialization has political consequences.

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Here is the Democrat National Convention speaker line-up:

There’s a lot of ways this tells Sanders people where they stand, but I think the best is putting Sanders on Day One, “We The People,” and then making Closing Night, with Biden, “America’s Promise.” As if, to the liberal Democrat mind, “the people” and “America’s promise” are quite distinct. As indeed Thomas Frank, in The People, No! explains they are!

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Sunrise Movement heaves Morse over the side:

So, climate isn’t the most important thing? (See the Bauman affair.)

Mass Nurses do not:

Krystal Ball on Morse:

A long thread on “the left.” If this is “the left,” the left needs a new name:

Interesting, as we say, that the accusation against Morse comes from College Democrats. To me, a thinly evidenced accusation about personal behavior immediately before an important election is something Massachusetts Democrats just do ***cough *** Liz Warren ***cough***. It’s the same play. Kudos to College Democrats for protecting Neal and making the Sunrise Movement look like fools. It’s a two-fer!

Stats Watch

At reader request, I added some business stats back in. Please give Econintersect click-throughs; they’re a good, old-school blog that covers more than stats. If anybody knows of other aggregators, please contact me at the email address below.

Debt: “May 2020 Loan Performance: First Annual Increase In More Than 9 Years” [Econintersect]. “Loan Performance Insights Report for May 2020 shows on a national level, 7.3% of mortgages were in some stage of delinquency (30 days or more past due, including those in foreclosure). This represents a 3.7-percentage point increase in the overall delinquency rate compared to 3.6% in May 2019.”

Inflation: “July 2020 Producer Price Final Demand Year-over-Year Growth Remains In Contraction” [Econintersect]. “Year-over-year inflation pressures remain soft as this index remains in contraction. This may be the beginning of a deflationary cycle – we will know only in hindsight.”

Small business optimism: “July 2020 Small Business Optimism Declines” [Econintersect]. “The Small Business Optimism Index fell 1.8 points to 98.8 in July, near the survey’s historical average. Overall, 4 of the 10 Index components improved, 5 declined, and 1 was unchanged. The NFIB Uncertainty Index increased 7 points to 88. Reports of expected better business conditions in the next six months declined 14 points to a net 25%. Owners continue to temper their expectations of future economic conditions as the COVID-19 public health crisis is expected to continue.”

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Readers, earlier today I got the dreaded “This Message has no content” for 30 mails, which iOS refused to send and dumped in my outbox, with nothing in the message body. Here’s why:

There are a lot of third-party email applications on the App Store, but Apple’s own app, Mail, works perfectly fine for most people. Unfortunately, there are times where the Mail app acts up and doesn’t work correctly and shows either not subject or “this message has no content.”… The problem is that there’s no certain or clear-cut workaround, but there are a few different options to try out.

Tim Cook is a billionaire. His company can’t write an email application that works reliably. (30 mails for me is thirty gathered links, so that’s about an hour of work lost, plus the value I hoped readers would get.) Note also that the iPad is supposed to replace the Mac as a professional tool (perhaps on Earth 2). In order to do that, it’s going to need email that works.

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Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 74 Greed (previous close: 74 Greed) [CNN]. One week ago: 67 (Greed). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Aug 11 at 1:17pm. Falling back to mere Greed from Extreme Greed.

The Biosphere

Helping Mauritius:

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News of the Wired

Sid! Sid! Sid!

Further down in the thread, there’s an image of the polyp the vet removed from Sid’s throat, in a jar; it’s the size of a quarter.

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Readers, feel free to contact me at lambert [UNDERSCORE] strether [DOT] corrente [AT] yahoo [DOT] com, with (a) links, and even better (b) sources I should curate regularly, (c) how to send me a check if you are allergic to PayPal, and (d) 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. Today’s plant (RM):

RM writes: “I thought I’d send you this photo of the grasshopper damage to my sunflowers just for fun. Hungry little rascals.” Striking the optimsistic note! Next, frogs. After, boils…

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