By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Generous readers, we are now at 231 204 177 donors, or 57%51%44% of our goal of 400 donors (25 more than last year). You have moved the needle out of the “Catastrophically Bad” zone into the “Let’s Make This a Success!” zone [lambert sighs in relief], for which I thank you all. If you enjoy the •-points at Water Cooler — or even enjoy waiting for “orts and scraps” to appear — please support Water Cooler (or donate to provide the support that the unlucky cannot). I hope you enjoy reading Water Cooler as much as I enjoy writing it! –lambert

Generous and patient readers, what with Fani Willis and TikTok and Boeing all breaking at once, I’m a little scattered. More soon, on all three of these topics (like the actual decision on Willis, which I found and couldn’t get to), as well as other stuff –lambert P.S. Oh, and the antidote immediately.

Bird Song of the Day

Kashmir Nuthatch, Yousmarg Forest Area, Budgam, Jammu and Kashmir, India.

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In Case You Might Miss…

(1) The ongoing Boeing debacle, including the strange fate of John Barnett.

(2) Eames museum, with chairs.

Look for the Helpers

“Birdie Tells You When It’s Time to Crack Open a Window for Fresh Air” [Design Milk (DD)]. ” Birdie is an adorably conceived wall-mounted CO2 monitoring device equipped to help determine whether it’s time to crack open a window or turn on an air purifier.”

I’m not sure whether this is a category error here or not. But the designers certainly had help on their minds, not just for the requirements, but for the simplicity (and the humor). UPDATE On reflection, I think this is a category error. Good design is not really “economic activity” in the sense the Graeber describes it below. This would have been better placed under either Covid, for the CO2 aspect, or Zeitgeist Watch. Still learning!

Lambert here: I hope readers will send in more examples like this (“brighten the corner where you are“). The helper(s) don’t need to be heroic, let alone dramatic, or ego-driven, and certainly not institutional. To cite, of all people, the American Enterprise Institute, writing on Occupy, and citing to David Graeber:

In addition to trucking, bartering, and knocking each other over the head, Graeber argues that human beings also engage in a wholly different kind of economic activity: We often share things we have with others. When Graeber says that we are already communists, he is referring to those quite familiar situations in which we really do operate by the maxim “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.”

People of all cultures, including our own, invariably practice the communism of everyday life when dealing with their family and close friends. A mother does not expect her child to pay her for her baby-sitting services. A brother does not rent out his baseball glove to his brother on an hourly basis. If a friend is sick and needs something from the store, we pick it up for her and would never think of asking for gas money in return.

As Graeber points out, this kind of behavior comes out most conspicuously during a crisis, such as a natural disaster. At such times, people will voluntarily, even cheerfully, extend a helping hand to those who are most in need of one. Less dramatically, the same principle is at work whenever we are at a store that has a box on the counter that says “Leave a penny, take a penny,” intended to help out those who don’t have the exact change. In all these cases we are witnessing the spontaneous application of the communist maxim, “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.”

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). My email address is down by the plant; please send examples of “Helpers” there.


* * *

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

Biden Administration

“US House passes bill to force ByteDance to divest TikTok or face ban” [Reuters]. “The vote comes just over a week since the bill was proposed following one public hearing with little debate, and after action in Congress had stalled for more than a year.” • Odd! I guess this is why–

“W.H. works with Hill to ban TikTok” [Punchbowl News]. “The bill is set for a markup Thursday in the House Energy and Commerce Committee following a classified hearing with officials from the FBI, Justice Department and Office of the Director of National Intelligence.” • Blob Vibes…

“House passes bill that could lead to a TikTok ban; fight shifts to the Senate” [CNBC]. “The legislation, dubbed the Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act, was introduced March 5 by Reps. Mike Gallagher, R-Wis., and Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Ill., of the House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party. Two days later, House members on the Energy and Commerce Committee voted unanimously to approve the bill, which refers to TikTok as a threat to national security because it is controlled by a foreign adversary.” • I think this “adversary” category is bizarre. For one thing, states exist in a condition of anarchy. Every state is potentially an adversary of every other state. More pointedly, we used to be at war with other states, or not (Article I, Section 8, Clause 11). So now we have a whole separate category of state “adversaries,” determined by Blob Vibes, which will soon — maybe it has already — grow all over everything like kudzu, and help the Censorship Industrial Complex metastatize. Anyhow, our spooks are supposed to be technical. Don’t we have a backdoor into TikTok? More on “adversary”:

I guess it’s OK for Axel Springer to own Politico because Germany is a vassal state? Could it be that the Blob Vibes are bad for any platform that’s not controlled by the Censorship Industrial Complex? (WordPress, fortunately, is owned by an American company. So I guess they’ll have to find some other reason….(

“IRS has launched its free tax filing service, Direct File, in 12 states” [Ars Technica]. “The Internal Revenue Service’s free tax filing service, Direct File, is now available in 12 states for taxpayers with simple tax returns. The service, available in English and Spanish, underwent ‘weeks of successful testing’ [weeks?] before the launch, the US Treasury Department said today. ‘Direct File provides a free, secure option for taxpayers with simple tax situations in 12 states to file their taxes directly with the IRS,’ the Treasury Department said. ‘Direct File is easy to use, with no hidden , and works as well on a smartphone as it does on a laptop, tablet, or desktop computer. Direct File shows taxpayers the math so they can be sure that their return is accurate, and they are getting the refund they are entitled to.’… You can check whether you qualify to use the system at Based on the eligibility restrictions in the IRS program, the Treasury Department said it ‘estimates that one-third of all federal income tax returns filed could be prepared using Direct File.’” • “Junk fees” is Biden campaign language, but it still sounds like a good idea.


Less than a year to go!

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Trump (R): “Judge tosses some Trump Georgia charges in election interference case” [The Hill]. “Judge Scott McAfee tossed six charges total contained in the indictment, including three counts against Trump. The charges dropped against Trump notably involve his pressure campaign on Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R), including the infamous call in which Trump asked Raffensperger to ‘find’ enough votes — exactly 11,779 — to overturn Joe Biden’s victory in the state. The charges dropped all relate to alleged efforts to solicit Georgia officials to violate their oaths of office. Some of the counts that were dropped also implicated Trump’s co-defendants, including former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and White House chief of staff Mark Meadows. The judge’s ruling does not impact the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act charge that each defendant faces and serves as the foundation of the historic prosecution. That charge wraps in all of the alleged conduct in the case, meaning prosecutors are still able to tie in the Trump-Raffensperger call despite the dropped counts. McAfee’s ruling is also not linked to the judge’s examination of Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’s (D) relationship with a special prosecutor on the case, which he is also expected to rule on this week.”

Trump (R): “Judge DISMISSES three charges against Trump in Georgia election interference case as pressure grows on Fani Willis” [Daily Mail]. “Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee wrote Wednesday in an order that six of the charges in the indictment must be quashed, including three against Trump. But the order leaves intact many other charges in the indictment and the judge wrote that prosecutors could seek a new indictment on the charges he dismissed.”

Trump (R): “Judge tosses six charges in Trump Georgia indictment” [Politico]. “However, McAfee found that as written, the allegations that Donald Trump and several allies solicited Georgia officials to violate their oaths of office — in part by sending false electors to Congress — were too generic. ‘The lack of detail concerning an essential legal element is … fatal,’ McAfee wrote.” • Well, maybe Willis was busy with other things. Here is the opinion–

“State Of Georgia v. Donald John Trump, Rudolph William Louis Giuliani, John Charles Eastman, Mark Randall Meadows, Ray Stallings Smith III, and Robert David Cheeley” (PDF) [Fulton County Superior Court]. Here is the “generic” part:

And here is the footnote where McAfee explains to Willis what to do to save her case:

* * *

Biden (D): “Biden’s speech was not the win the political class thought it was” [Washington Examiner]. Delaware County, PA: “In sitting with several voters whose presidential choices have been all over the place for the past 20 years, with some of them jumping from George W. Bush to Obama to Trump to Biden, the president’s comportment did not come off as strength. Instead, many of them felt they were being yelled at. Intellectually, they all understood why Biden needed to project vigor. They also all agreed that vigor and yelling are not the same thing. These suburban Philadelphia voters say former President Donald Trump’s comportment is a bridge too far for them, but they also don’t care much for Biden either. Where their votes go, they have no idea, but if you are a Democratic strategist sitting at home and thought Biden’s performance shored up this voting bloc, you might want to go back to the drawing board.” Hmm. “The day after the big speech, Biden came here as his first follow-up. The day began with a visit to Rose Valley, a wealthy majority-white suburb here in Delaware County where the medium income is $118,637 and the poverty level hovered at 1%, to first visit the private home of cafe owner Jack Cunicelli. The Biden campaign promoted the visit as a ‘kitchen table conversation’ with the Cunicelli family, who own 320 Market Cafe in Swarthmore. Perhaps next time, a visit with a family to have a ‘kitchen table conversation’ might be best done with a family struggling to make ends meet. Biden later told reporters the oldest Cunicelli brother attended school with his son Hunter Biden in Delaware. A HarrisX/Forbes overnight poll released Tuesday, five days after the address, showed that the speech did indeed land flat with voters with a whopping 61% of them saying his performance was inadequate. Fifty-nine percent said it served to divide the country further.” • It’s West Wing Brain. In Sorkin’s long-running West Wing series, which so many Obots watched in their youth, the solution to every problem was always to have President Jed Clampett make a speech.

Biden (D): “Robert Hur’s report exaggerated Biden’s memory issues” [Vox]. “Hur’s claim that Biden had demonstrated some sort of general “poor memory” hangs almost entirely on mix-ups by Biden about in what specific year several years-old events occurred. The transcript makes clear Biden remembers all those events. But it seems Biden just doesn’t pay a lot of attention to which specific year stuff happened in.” Or supposedly hazy recollections of sequence can actually be quite useful when being questioned under oath (which would be, in fact, a proof of cognitive ability, not the reverse (!!)). More: “Hur’s treatment of Biden’s memory conflates several things that are not necessarily the same phenomenon: First is the legalistic “I don’t recall.” This is a standard answer deployed in response to adversarial prosecutorial questioning. It can be the truth. It can also be a dodge from someone with something to hide, since it theoretically helps prevent prosecutors from catching you in a lie — how can they prove if you simply forgot something? Second is understandable, normal forgetfulness about the details of past events — since virtually no one has perfect recall of everything that happened years ago. Third is a genuinely unusual memory failure suggestive of cognitive decline.” And: “It is admittedly odd for a lifelong politician to get mixed up on which year is a presidential election year. But again, there’s no actual forgetfulness being demonstrated about what events happened, just imprecision about exactly when they happened.” • I’m not sure I’d want to have a beer with a candidate who’s “admittedly odd,” but it’s been a strange year….

* * *

Kennedy (1) on TikTok:

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“Trump and Biden Should Both Be Terrified of the Third-Party Vote” [Slate]. “The combination of historic unpopularity for the major-party nominees, the presence of Robert F. Kennedy Jr. polling well enough to get into the televised debates, and an unusually large slate of other third-party candidates could make this the wildest, most unpredictable presidential election in living memory. In the 19 presidential elections held since the end of the Second World War, only two independent or third-party candidates have cracked double digits in the national popular vote: Texas businessman Ross Perot in 1992 and segregationist George Wallace in 1968. The folksy Perot actually led his three-way 1992 race against incumbent Republican George H.W. Bush and Democrat Bill Clinton for a period of time before dropping out abruptly in July 1992. Perot campaign manager Edward Rollins told the Washington Post at the time that the press scrutiny, policy complexity, and campaign demands were too much for the mercurial Perot and that it ‘was just no fun.’ Haunted by the possibility that he had betrayed his volunteers, Perot jumped back into the fray in September, but by then it was too late. Perot took just under 19 percent of the vote, won zero states, and is widely believed to have cost Bush reelection. Political scientists, however, have never bought that story, and indeed, election modeling and mapping site Split Ticket dove deep into the data last year and concluded that without Perot, Clinton would have won an even more decisive victory over Bush, based on exit polls about voters’ second preferences. The Perot lesson, then, is that strong third-party finishes on major-party performance cannot be assumed before Election Day based on whom they seem like they would draw votes from. Other than Perot, it has been at least a century since a third-party candidate had a realistic chance at becoming president, and that won’t change this year. But Kennedy’s outsider campaign has to worry the Biden camp.” And: “The Kennedy campaign has completed its petition work in Utah, Hawaii, New Hampshire, and Nevada, and American Values recently announced that it had gathered the requisite number of signatures in Arizona and Georgia. By the standards of third-party vanity runs, this looks like a fairly serious operation, backed by a sufficient number of rich people to keep itself afloat for months, and it wouldn’t be surprising if Kennedy’s team got themselves on the ballot in all 50 states plus D.C.” • Volatility!

“The 10 Senate Seats Most Likely To Flip” [RealClearPolitics]. “The 2024 presidential election has grabbed most of the headlines recently, but the Senate races are taking shape under the radar. Here is a preview of the 10 most likely to flip.” West Virginia (D; , Manchin retired), Montana (D; Tester vulnerable), Ohio (D; Sherrod Brown vulnerable); Michigan (D; ; Palestine); Texas (R; Cruz; America’s most punchable face); Arizona (D; ; Kari Lake has issues); Nevada (D; Rosen not weak, but Trump coat-tails?); Wisconsin (D; Baldwin, same; not weak, but Trump coat-tails?); Pennsylvania (D; Casey dynasty, but Trump coat-tails?); Maryland (D; . Hogan (R) strong, but Maryland very blue). • One could argue that gutting the RNC isn’t the best way to pick up those open seats. On the other hand, maybe it is the best way.

“Flight 93 Redux” [The American Conservative]. The deck: “Unlike in 2016, in 2024 there’s no obvious happy ending.” A cri de couer of reactionary aghastitude, which includes this nugget: “Throughout the country, Black Lives Matter and Antifa led rioters looted stores and burned down police stations, with large scale mainstream media support. Trump seemed to do little but send off angry tweets. Had it not been for the savvy hand of Attorney General William Barr, who mobilized federal law enforcement officials from all over the country, , with Trump’s presidency ending in the White House basement where he was seeking shelter from the mobs.” • I’ve certainly never encountered that theory before, and I do try to keep track. Readers, I didn’t come up as a conservative. Can anyone tell me whether anybody serious actually believes this, among our “conservative friends,” as the saying goes?

Republican Funhouse

“Buck to retire next week, narrowing House GOP majority” [The Hill]. He couldn’t wait to get out?! “Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.) will retire from Congress next week, he said Tuesday, a stunning announcement that will narrow the House GOP’s razor-thin majority even further…. Buck’s statement sent shock waves throughout the Capitol, including for Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.), who said he was “surprised” by the news and hadn’t been informed prior to the announcement. A Buck spokesperson, however, said the congressman left the Speaker a voicemail 30 minutes before his announcement went public.” Ha ha! More: “Upon his exit from Congress, Buck said he will shift his attention to the 2024 presidential election, which is on its way to being a rematch between President Biden and former President Trump. ‘Everybody I’ve talked to is complaining about the choices they have for president. And it is time that we start talking about how we elect presidents and how we elect senators and congressmen and local leaders,’ Buck told reporters Tuesday. ‘And I feel very strongly about that. I don’t have an organization to join, I just know in my heart I want to get involved in this election cycle and work on that issue.’ The comments sparked speculation that Buck himself may be eyeing a bid for the White House, a notion he quickly shot down.” • Hmm.

Democrats en Déshabillé

“Pressure on Boeing grows as Buttigieg says the company needs to cooperate with investigations” [ABC]. Boeing’s problems have been building for some time, as this brutal FAA report shows. So where was Petey all this time? Hiding under his desk? Any minor leaguer who thought Buttigieg was their ticket to The Show is probably reconsidering their career choices at this point, if they haven’t already. And vicious-tempered not-a-nice-guy Joe Biden is not going to be happy if (when) the Boeing debacle ends up on his desk in an election year. And if a human sacrifice is required, it won’t be him.

“Democrats’ big vulnerability: Why they’re losing Black, Hispanic voters” [Axios]. “New data shows that Democrats’ longtime advantage with Black, Latino and Asian American voters has shrunk to its lowest point in more than 60 years — creating a massive vulnerability for President Biden and congressional Democrats.” • Handy chart

At the same time, look at those Republicans go with the Whites. Democrats are losing across the board.


* * *

“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

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!

* * *


“Living with Covid”:

* * *

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) A bit “modified rapture” (“could be worse”) but we our falling curve has now reached 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) Regional separation re-emerges.

[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) Not flattening. (Date for data corrected; it was a glitch.)

[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) Backward revisions remove NV.1 data. JN.1 dominates utterly.

Stats Watch

Generous readers, I have had to sacrifice some detail in the business section to cover a pandemic and a Presidential election (I loved to write about shipping). However, I hope I can sometimes rise to the occasion, and if you appreciate what I can still do, however minimally — as with Boeing — I hope you will donate to keep Water Cooler going.

There are no official statistic of interest today.

* * *

Manufacturing: “Cops claim Boeing whistleblower, John Barnett’s, death was ‘self-inflicted but his lawyer cries foul” [Hindustan Times]. “Investigating Officers at Charleston Police Department, probing his death, claim Boeing’s ex-quality manager died from a ‘self-inflicted’ wound. He reportedly extended his stay at Holiday Inn two days prior to his suspected suicide. John was expected to check out the day before his friend contacted the hotel and raised an alarm. Employees knocked on his hotel room, with no response and later found him dead inside his Dodge Ram in the parking lot. He had a ‘silver handgun’ in his right hand…. The report further states, John had his ‘right pointer finger remaining on the trigger’, and suffered a ‘gunshot wound near his right temple. Next him was a white paper, however, its contents have not been revealed yet.” • Well, of course there was a note (and how come I have to go to the [family blogging] HindustanTimes to get this information). However, this is interesting:

Another account agrees:

Can readers confirm?

Manufacturing: “Who was Boeing whistleblower John Barnett, the man found dead outside a Charleston hotel?” [Post and Courier]. Here’s are the final few paragraphs: “Terry Barnett-Lewis, a cousin, told The Post and Courier his death was a ‘shock.’ ‘They’re good people,’ Barnett-Lewis said of the Barnett brothers, . Barnett leaves behind three brothers, eight nieces and nephews, 11 great-nieces and nephews, and his mother, Vicky Melder Stokes. ‘Those boys meant everything to her,’ Barnett-Lewis said.” • The Post and Courier has won a lot of awards. It won’t be winning one for coverage like this. “Boeing draws a lot of water in this town.

Manufacturing: “FAA audit of Boeing’s 737 production found mechanics using hotel card and dish soap as makeshift tools: report” [New York Post]. “The Federal Aviation Administration found dozens of issues throughout Boeing’s 737 MAX jet production process, including mechanics at one of its key suppliers using a hotel key card and dish soap as makeshift tools to test compliance, according to a report… Boeing failed 33 out of 89 product audits — a review of specific aspects in the production line — with a total of 97 counts of alleged noncompliance, the auditors found, according to the [New York Times].” • Wowsers. Not a good look. Not sure I’d want to be a Boeing salesman at this point; the jokes write themselves.

“Boeing promises changes after getting poor grades in a government audit of manufacturing quality” [Associated Press]. “Responding to a U.S. government audit, Boeing said Tuesday that it would work with employees found to have violated company manufacturing procedures to make sure they understand instructions for their jobs.” They understand their jobs just fine; procedural violations are a result of the incentive structures Boeing management set up, as Boeing admitted when they changed them to incentivize quality. Meanwhile: “Separately on Tuesday, Boeing reported that it received orders for 15 jetliners in February and delivered 27 planes, including two Max jets each to Southwest Airlines and United Airlines. TD Cowen analyst Cai von Rumohr called the deliveries ‘anemic’ but not surprising because of increased FAA scrutiny of the company.” • I suppose if Boeing’s management has been slowly liquidating the company, as Yves urges here and here, none of this copage matters. And since there really ought to be less air travel, to make sure the next airborne pandemic spreads more slowly, if for no other reason, perhaps Boeing’s demise is no bad thing. But seeing such a grotesque act of sabotage and civic vandalism is hard to bear, besides the betrayal of tens of thousands who took pride in their work.

Manufacturing: “‘If something requires us to cease production, we will do that:’ FAA” [Leeham News & Analysis]. “The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is considering whether to suspend the Production Certificate of Boeing Commercial Airplanes (BCA) if it’s not satisfied changes to its safety culture are sufficient, LNA has learned. It’s the “nuclear option” LNA has written about on previous occasions following the Jan. 5 in-flight accident/explosive decompression of a Boeing 737-9 MAX operated by Alaska Airlines. Already under heightened scrutiny by the FAA, Boeing took yet another in a series of safety blows when a special panel of experts appointed by the FAA to independently review Boeing’s safety culture issued a scathing report on Feb. 26.” See Water Cooler here; document is now readable. More: “The FAA levied fines—and suspended some of them—for previous safety violations 36 times, according to a tracking website. And despite pledges and actions taken to improve safety following the 2018-2019 MAX crisis, Boeing still has fallen short.” FAA’s leverage: “So, what’s the ultimate hammer the FAA has? It’s suspending the PC 700 certificate, and this is under consideration, LNA is told…. Boeing holds what’s known as a Production Certificate, named PC 700. This allows Boeing Commercial Airplanes to produce commercial airlines and military aircraft that are based on airliners…. If the FAA imposed a full suspension of PC 700, all 7-Series airliners would be affected. So would the commercially-based P-8 and KC-46A. Deliveries of the inventoried aircraft likely would be suspended. The FAA could choose to segregate the PC 700 more narrowly.” And: “It’s an election year. There is bipartisan Congressional criticism of Boeing, including from Congressional members from Washington State where the 737, 767, KC-46A, P-8A, and 777 are built. Despite the bipartisan nature, if the FAA suspended the PC 700 authority, the damage to Boeing and the affected supply chains would undoubtedly be subject to criticisms of President Joe Biden by Republicans.” • Watch this space.

* * *

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 69 Greed (previous close: 69 Greed) [CNN]. One week ago: 73 (Greed). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Mar 13 at 12:27:34 PM ET.

News of the Wired

“The Eames Institute of Infinite Curiosity Is Now Open to the Public” [Hypebeast]. “Nestled about an hour northeast of San Francisco in the town of Richmond, The Eames Institute of Infinite Curiosity houses over 40,000 artifacts from [Charles and Ray Eames’] esteemed collection, and for the first time, it will be open for public viewing. From Molded Plywood Chairs (LCW) and supple leather Lounge Chairs to multi-color Storage Units, the space is a treasure trove for design fans who want to learn about the Eames’ full breadth of work in one location.” • Some Eames chairs:

I can’t recall ever having sat in one. Are they comfortable?

* * *

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 CF:

CF writes: “These month old (ish) tomatillos came from a supermarket fruit. Internet instructions said to crush the pulp out into a jar of water, let it sit for a week or two, then dry the seeds out on a paper plate.” A little depth of field problem, there, but while I encourage technical excellence, I don’t necessarily require it, especially when a reader project is involved (which may encourage other readers to take up projects). For several years, I grew all my vegetables from seed, using plastic water jugs. Much as I loved the Farmer’s Market, I only got bugs when I bought flats there; and once the bugs arrived, they never did leave.

* * *

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