By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Bird Song of the Day

Red-winged Blackbird (California Bicolored) Moonglow Dairy (Fri-Sun only; closed Mon-Thur), Monterey, California, United States. “Chorus from some of a group of at least 20 birds in a small hedgerow adjacent to a feedlot.” Love the “Moonglow Dairy” (with hours). Have any readers visited?

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

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Less than a year to go!

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Trump (R) “Billionaires sought to help fund Trump bond in civil fraud case, sources say” [Reuters]. “Billionaire hedge fund founder John Paulson was involved in the behind-the-scenes effort by donors concerned about Trump’s legal woes and looking to help provide money toward the bond, two of the sources told Reuters. Oil and gas magnate Harold Hamm was also involved, one of those sources said… A fourth source, a Trump ally, said he had direct knowledge of one donor who offered more than $10 million toward the bond over the weekend, before being told it was not necessary. After Monday’s court decision allowing a smaller bond, Trump said he would now be able to pay…. Surety companies would have likely required Trump to post about $558 million in collateral for the original bond, or 120% of the judgment, according to Trump’s lawyers. Full details of the billionaires’ efforts to raise funds, such as how much each donor had potentially pledged, were not immediately available. . It was not clear whether the mega-donors would offer to help fund the new bond.” • Musical interlude.

Trump (R): “Trump’s New York hush money case is set for trial April 15” [Associated Press]. “Judge Juan M. Merchan scoffed at the defense’s calls to delay the case longer or throw it out entirely because of a last-minute document dump that had bumped the first-ever trial of a former president from its scheduled Monday start. Trump vowed to appeal the ruling. Barring another delay, the presumptive Republican nominee will be on trial as a criminal defendant in just three weeks — an inauspicious homecoming in the city where he grew up, built a real estate empire and gained wealth and celebrity that propelled him to the White House. The trial, involving allegations related to hush money paid during Trump’s 2016 campaign to cover up marital infidelity claims, had been in limbo after his lawyers complained about a recent deluge of nearly 200,000 pages of evidence from a previous federal investigation into the matter.” 200,000 pages seems like rather a lot. But: “Assistant District Attorney Matthew Colangelo said the number of relevant, usable, new documents in the recently provided evidence ‘is quite small’ — around 300 records or fewer. Trump’s lawyers contend thousands of pages are potentially important and require painstaking review. They argued the delayed disclosures warranted dismissing the case or at least pushing it off three months. ‘We are not doing our jobs if we don’t independently look at the new material,’ Blanche told the judge. ‘Every document is important.’ The DA’s office denied wrongdoing and blamed Trump’s lawyers for bringing the time crunch upon themselves by waiting until Jan. 18 to subpoena the records from the U.S. attorney’s office — a mere nine weeks before the trial was originally supposed to start.”

Trump (R): “Trump’s media company valued at almost $8 bln in strong Wall St debut” [Reuters]. “Shares of Donald Trump’s Trump Media & Technology Group surged as much as 59% on Tuesday in their Nasdaq debut, lifted by the former U.S. president’s supporters and providing him a potential windfall as he grapples with the costs of several legal cases.” • Handy chart:

Hard to see how that holds up.

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Trump (R): “Forensic psychiatrist on physical signs of Trump’s mental decline: “Changes in movement and gait” [Salon]. “Dr. John Gartner, a prominent psychologist and contributor to the bestselling book ‘The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 27 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President,’ has repeatedly warned in a series of conversations about Trump’s apparent challenges in cognition and communication that something seems to be very wrong with the ex-president… Dr. Gartner’s attempts to sound the alarm about Trump’s behavior have been joined by the hundreds of medical professionals who have signed his petition, ‘We diagnose Trump with probable dementia: A petition for licensed professionals only.’ To deny the obvious about Donald Trump’s evidently diseased mind is to deny reality and to ignore the real possibility that a man who is already morally and ethically corrupt and now appears to be experiencing problems with his thinking could be back in the White House with the awesome responsibility and power of the presidency – including the sole authority to order the use of America’s nuclear weapons. Trump’s mind and overall behavior and character are not just a national emergency but a global crisis as well. Because of a commitment to horserace journalism, fake objectivity and balance, self-interest and fear, the mainstream American news media – especially the elite agenda-setting news media – has largely ignored Donald Trump’s obvious struggles with communication and cognition.” • Two can play the armchair diagnosis game. I’m only surprised that the Democrats havnen’t done it for Kennedy already. This guy’s really churning it out–

Trump (R): “‘Hastening his deterioration’: Dr. John Gartner on impact of court trials on ‘Trump’s fragile brain’” [Salon]. • Note that if this is an explicit rationale for lawfare, it’s even more cynical than I would have imagined, and I do try.

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Biden (D): “Fighting for”:

I can’t be the only person who sees how dumb that trope is. But I guess it’s focus-grouped, so, oh well. (Meanwhile, why on earth isn’t Medicaid estate recovery on that list?)

Biden (D): “The Biden Campaign Is Quietly Preparing a Trump Ambush” [The Daily Beast] “‘It’s aggressive,’ a source within the Biden campaign said, requesting anonymity to speak candidly of the mood inside the re-election team. ‘There’s a lot of travel, there’s a lot of work. It’s all exciting. We’re heading into this final fundraiser of the month with the former presidents [Obama and Clinton], but it’s aggressive.’ Taking advantage of a substantial fundraising lead, the Biden campaign is focusing on two key areas: travel and organizing. Since his State of the Union, Biden has visited every major battleground state… Trump, on the other hand, has only done a rally in Ohio and another in the battleground state of Georgia since Super Tuesday… Second, the Biden campaign is going full steam ahead on hiring in the battleground states, approaching 100 field offices with more than 130 staffers spread across eight major battleground states: Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Georgia, Arizona, and Nevada, as well as North Carolina and New Hampshire… Chris LaCivita—a top Trump campaign adviser who is also the chief operating officer of the Republican National Committee—rejected the idea that the former president’s team should disclose its organizing plans. ‘By combining forces and operations, The Trump campaign and RNC are deploying operations that are fueled by passionate volunteers who care about saving America and firing Joe Biden. We do not feel obligated however to discuss the specifics of our strategy, timing and tactics with members of the News Media,’ LaCivita told The Daily Beast.” • LaCivita’s onto something there….

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Kennedy (I):

She certainly looks confident at the podium (I always look at people’s feet; she has a strong stance). And compare her to the competition. Harris? Shanahan looks pretty good. Whoever Trump’s considering these days, like Rubio? I must admit I was hoping for a real populist… But who’s on that short list?. We’ll have to see how she does on the trail. Quite the career change for a former patent attorney.

Kennedy (I): “Biden and Trump know Kennedy’s VP choice is a game changer” [The Hill]. “The 38-year-old Shanahan has a remarkable life story. She grew up on welfare, is Asian-American, a lawyer, the California-based founder and president of Bia-Echo Foundation — a nonprofit that issues grants for issues including reproductive rights, equality, criminal justice reform and the environment — is a single mother to a daughter with autism and is the former wife of Google cofounder Sergey Brin. Aside from her entrepreneurial background, high energy and intelligence, Shanahan immediately amplifies or outright fills multiple needs of the Kennedy campaign. She can speak directly to female voters, the high-tech community, young voters, minority voters, the working poor, the disenfranchised — and dissatisfied Democrats. Shanahan also immediately checks another critical box for Kennedy: Multiple states require an announced vice-presidential running mate to get on the ballot. With Shanahan now on the ticket, it will create both media attention and increased momentum within those states.”

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I’m here for it:

Finally, somebody asks for my vote (hat tip Martin Oline). Suggestions for Vice President? “Meteor Strike”?

Spook Country

The organs of state security speak:

Said every voyeur, hidden camera AirBnB host, and upskirt photographer ever. And every spook, of course.

Realignment and Legitimacy

Republican realignment:

Interesting. Readers, thoughts?

A tragedy:

And I don’t mean “tragedy” ironically or lightly. “There remains, then, the character between these two extremes— that of a man who is not eminently good and just, yet whose misfortune is brought about not by vice or depravity, but by some error or frailty. He must be one who is highly renowned and prosperous—a personage like Oedipus, Thyestes, or other illustrious men of such families.”


“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

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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!

ake effect by summer. The move by the Democratic administration angered board members, who called it a ‘last-minute stunt’ that undermines their regulatory process. It also sparked a protest by warehouse workers, who temporarily shut down the meeting as they waved signs declaring that ‘Heat Kills!’ and loudly chanted, ‘What do we want? Heat protection! When do we want it? Now!’” • Gavin Newsom, the worker’s friend.

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!

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“Is It Dangerous to Keep Getting COVID-19?” [Time]. From January 2024: “Dr. Ziyad Al-Aly, clinical epidemiologist at Washington University in St. Louis, studies Long COVID: a condition marked by health effects that linger after infection. ‘Reinfection remains consequential,’ he says. In a paper published in Nature Medicine in 2022, he found that people who had gotten COVID-19 at least twice experienced higher rates of short- and long-term health effects, including heart, lung, and brain issues, compared to those who were only infected once.” • Al-Aly was also prominent at the recent Senate Long Covid hearings. I am made somewhat more optimistic than readers might expect by seeing the press diverge from the conventional wisdom of denial and minimization so encouraged by the public health establishment. Note also the link to the complete, free article in Nature; the much maligned medical publishing industry deserves a lot of credit for open-sourcing so much of their Covid material; and here is Al-Aly’s article, doing the good work is was intended to do.


“BioTRUST Nutrition launches Eternal Mind for cognitive support” [Nutraceutical Business Review]. “The novel product features PLT’s Nutricog Cognitive Performance Complex, an ingredient that has been clinically demonstrated to provide significant improvements across multiple cognitive domains, including learning, memory, attention, focus and executive function.” • I am not endorsing this product [shudder]. I am wondering whether there is an upsurge in products like this, since it seems that would be a good proxy for people’s self-perceived loss of cognitive function, due to Covid infection. Can readers suggest a research strategy here?

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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] (Biobot) Our curve has now flattened out at the level of previous Trump peaks. Not a great victory. Note also the area “under the curve,” besides looking at peaks. That area is larger under Biden than under Trump, and it seems to be rising steadily if unevenly.

[2] (Biobot) Backward revisions, I hate them.

[3] (CDC Variants) As of May 11, genomic surveillance data will be reported biweekly, based on the availability of positive test specimens.” “Biweeekly: 1. occurring every two weeks. 2. occurring twice a week; semiweekly.” Looks like CDC has chosen sense #1. In essence, they’re telling us variants are nothing to worry about. Time will tell.

[4] (ER) “Charts and data provided by CDC, updates Wednesday by 8am. For the past year, using a rolling 52-week period.”

[5] (Hospitalization: NY) Looks like a very gradual leveling off to a non-zero baseline, to me.

[6] (Hospitalization: CDC) Still down. “Maps, charts, and data provided by CDC, updates weekly for the previous MMWR week (Sunday-Saturday) on Thursdays (Deaths, Emergency Department Visits, Test Positivity) and weekly the following Mondays (Hospitalizations) by 8 pm ET†”.

[7] (Walgreens) Leveling out.

[8] (Cleveland) Flattening.

[9] (Travelers: Posivitity) Now up, albeit in the rear view mirror.

[10] (Travelers: Variants) JN.1 dominates utterly.

Stats Watch

There are no official statistics of interest today.

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Manufacturing: “Next Boeing CEO needs to be ‘1,000%’ on top of safety and culture: Buttigieg” [Washington Examiner]. “White House officials stated on March 15 that the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board were ‘taking the action’ to ensure that Boeing airplanes are safe to fly on in the future. However, they did not clarify if President Joe Biden believes that Boeing planes are safe for consumers right now.” • Oh. Nice to see Petey taking point on the issue, though.

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Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 68 Greed (previous close: 67 Greed) [CNN]. One week ago: 74 (Greed). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Mar 27 at 1:55:00 PM ET.

News of the Wired

“Two nights of broken sleep can make people feel years older, finds study” [Guardian]. “The researchers ran two studies. In the first, 429 people aged 18 to 70 answered questions about how old they felt and on how many nights, if any, they had slept badly in the past month. Their sleepiness was also rated according to a standard scale used in psychology research. For each day of poor sleep the volunteers felt on average three months older, the scientists found, while those who reported no bad nights in the preceding month felt on average nearly six years younger than their true age. It was unclear, however, whether bad sleep made people feel older or vice versa. In the second study, the researchers quizzed 186 volunteers aged 18 to 46 on how old they felt after two nights of plentiful sleep, in which they stayed in bed for nine hours each night, and two nights when they slept for only four hours a night. After two nights of restricted sleep, the participants felt on average 4.44 years older than when they had ample sleep. Feeling older was linked, unsurprisingly, to feeling sleepier. ‘If you want to feel young, the most important thing is to protect your sleep,’ Balter said. Writing in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, the psychologists describe differences in people’s responses to sleep loss depending on whether they were a morning person, who woke and went to bed early, or an evening person who rose late and retired late. Evening types typically felt older than their true age even after plenty of sleep, but morning types were hit harder in how old they felt when their sleep was disrupted.” • Totally evening person here. And it is true that when I worked the night shift (“the lobster shift,” why?) it was a lot tougher. I’d walk home from the mill, stop for breakfast, and then go to sleep. It wasn’t easy.

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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 lcm:

lcm writes: “Seed heads of goldenrod.”

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