Links 10/19/2021

The Absolute Simplest Explanation for America’s Supply Chain Woes Slate

Markets Start to Bow to the Inflation Reality John Authers, Bloomberg. Uh oh, better forget about that Reconciliation bill!

Inflation in the economy today is different. Here are four charts that can explain why. WaPo

We Need to Think Harder About Inflation Stephanie Kelton, The Lens

Mint After Reading: Philip Diehl Talks with Rohan Grey (transcript) MR Online. Diehl: “[T]here is no language in that provision of law that authorizes the platinum coin that says anything about pricing.”


More Than One-Third of Chicago Police Department Hasn’t Reported Vaccination Status, City Says NBC Chicago. See below on “First Responders.”

Live blog: Workers face termination as vaccine deadline lands (live blog) KUOW (pq).

* * *

Anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgA Identifies Asymptomatic Infection in First Responders (accepted manuscript) (PDF) Journal of Infectious Diseases. n = 1007. From the Abstract: “Longitudinal serosurvey of first responders (police, emergency medical service providers, fire fighters, and other staff) employing three serologic tests: anti-spike IgA, anti-spike IgG, and antinucleocapsid IgG correlated with surveys assessing occupational and non-occupational risk, exposure to COVID-19 and illnesses consistent with COVID-19…. Twelve percent of first responders in Colorado at baseline and 22% at follow-up were assessed as having SARS-CoV-2 infection. Five percent at baseline and 6% at follow-up were seropositive only for IgA. Among those IgA positive only at baseline, the majority 69% had a positive antibody at follow-up. 45% of those infected at baseline and 33% at follow-up were asymptomatic. At all time points, the estimated cumulative incidence in our study was higher than that in the general population…. First responders are at high risk of infection with SARS-CoV-2.” So, speaking of the police…

Analysis of SARS-CoV-2 replication in explant cultures of the human upper respiratory tract reveals broad tissue tropism of wild-type and B.1.1.7 variant viruses (accepted manuscript) (PDF) Journal of Infectious Diseases. From the Discussion: “Widespread replication competence of SARS-CoV-2 in various [Upper Respiratory Tract* (URT)] and salivary gland tissues, as shown in this study, very likely contributes to high viral titers and efficient transmission of SARS-CoV-2 between people. High viral loads in URT further allow seeding of virus to the lower respiratory tract as seen in the pulmonary phase of COVID-19.” This would seem to reinforce the utility of nasal spray (and throat) prophylactics. And a nasal spray vaccine — which would invoke a whole separate, “mucosal”” immune system (!), can’t come soon enough for me. I don’t want to say that “jabs in arms” is equivalent to “let ‘er rip,” but it’s certainly misconceived as a forward defense. NOTE * The nose and nasal cavity, the pharynx, and the larynx.

New Delta descendant may be more infectious than its ancestor FT. “This AY.4.2 subvariant has only recently been recognised by virologists who follow the genetic evolution of Delta but it already accounts for almost 10 per cent of UK cases.” AY.4.2 is not yet a “Variant under Investigation,” at which point it gets its Greek letter.


Will China’s Sputtering GDP Crush Luxury Brand Hopes? Jing Daily

The Impact of Sino-American Rivalry on Russia’s Relations With China Carnegie Moscow Center

China did not test hypersonic nuclear missile, foreign ministry says South China Morning Post

Power batteries meet the challenge of carbon reduction when going abroad, battery recycling becomes a “compulsory course” under the “carbon trade barrier” What China Reads


Myanmar junta chief says committed to restoring peace, democracy Reuters. Meanwhile:

This is very bad. If we get involved, we’ll [family blog] it up. We have form.

Myanmar Military Struggles to Adapt to New Kind of Conflict The Irrawaddy. A review of the bidding, well worth a read. Big if true (note the source):

Note the terrain; I’d say Varus could lose a few legions on those long, narrow, upland roads.

Myanmar Seeking Return of Foreign Tourists by Early 2022 Bloomberg. Making resorts a target…

Facebook Fights Release of Records in Myanmar Genocide Case Bloomberg

Thailand to cease Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine use when stocks end this month Channel News Asia


Report: As Power Crisis Worsens, India Presses Qatar for Delayed LNG Cargoes MarineLink. India too?

The nightmare of India’s tallest rubbish mountain BBC (Re Silc).


Global Population Control Boris Johnson (see also The Telegraph). From 2007, still germane. Johnson: “How the hell can we witter on about tackling global warming, and reducing consumption, when we are continuing to add so relentlessly to the number of consumers? … This is a straightforward question of population, and the eventual size of the human race.”

Welsh independence to be considered by commission BBC

Top English private schools put Chinese communists on boards The Times

Brussels vows to punish Poland for challenging supremacy of EU law FT

New Cold War

‘Open door to NATO’ for Georgia, Ukraine as Pentagon chief Austin visits eastern Europe Washington Times

Red line: Ukraine joining NATO would be ‘worst-case scenario’ for Moscow, response would involve ‘active measures,’ says Kremlin RT

Ecuadorean indigenous communities sue to halt oil development Reuters

The Caribbean

‘CITGO 6’ oil execs held in Venezuela were picked up by country’s forces hours after Alex Saab’s extradition to US CNN

Iranian supertanker departing from Venezuela to transport heavy oil Reuters

Haitian prime minister forced to flee official ceremony after armed gangs appear Guardian

Biden Administration

Democrats to scale back Treasury’s IRS bank reporting plan amid GOP uproar WaPo. “[T]he new proposal will instead require the provision of additional information for accounts with more than $10,000 in annual deposits or withdrawals.” They’ve still got the decimal point in the wrong place. Shorter: Democrats, looking the midterms squarely in the eyes, pass new bank reporting requirements that will hit lower-income voters (because if you think this will be applied to anyone else, I have a bridge I want to sell you). Good job!

New rule to require IRS tax on cash app business transactions NBC San Antonio. This $600 is a Treasury rule, separate from the $600 reporting requirement pending in Congress. Ditto.

Fed Chair Powell sold millions in stocks days before October 2020 tank NY Post. Congress can play the ponies. Why not the Fed?

Breaking Biden’s diplomatic logjam Axios


Stephen Colbert Tells Rep. Adam Schiff What Russian Oligarch Revealed About Trump ‘Pee Tape’ HuffPo. I can’t believe they’ve exhumed Christopher Steele. Or Colbert.

Capitol Seizure

New Capitol Surveillance Footage Shows A Breach By Jan. 6 Rioters From Start To Finish Buzzfeed

We Built DC Into an Urban Fortress After 9/11. And January 6 Proved It Was Penetrable. The Washingtonian. From September, still germane.

Our Famously Free Press

The Chicago Tribune is being murdered before our eyes Cory Doctorow, Pluralistic. The perp: Alden Capital.

Colin Powell

Powell death leads to bipartisan outpouring of grief The Hill. Yet Henry Kissinger still lives.

Creator Of World’s Most Effective Anti-War Meme Dead At 84 Caitlin Johnstone

Imperial Collapse Watch

Float, Move, and Fight Foreign Policy. The deck: “How the U.S. Navy lost the shipbuilding race.”

Guillotine Watch

Microsoft Executives Told Bill Gates to Stop Emailing a Female Staffer Years Ago WSJ

Class Warfare

Kellogg’s strike:

A Very Big Little Country AFAR

Lament For The Pickup Truck The American Conservative

Antidote du Jour (via):

See yesterday’s Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. JohnA

    Re Global Population Control Boris Johnson

    Is this the same Johnson whose 3rd wife is now pregnant with their second child? Who had 6 children with his second wife, and who refuses to disclose the number of children he has sired with countless mistresses?

      1. Dftbs

        More people, less golf courses!

        Despite Western Malthusian nightmares, there is plenty of productive capacity to ensure a better material existence for the majority of humanity. Americans, of course, will have to adjust our consumption patterns.

        To be fair, not being able to consume on the levels we currently do may appear to be an existential crisis. A delusion large enough to foster feelings of “too many of them.”

        1. ArvidMartensen

          A plague is a plague is a plague. Whether it is mice, horses, snakes, rats or homo sapiens.
          Jay Forrester started his work 50 years ago on system dynamics computer simulations – population explosions, resource depletions, extinctions.

          The predictions of the model are tracking well.
          A free homo sapiens extinction coming soon to a mall near you. Factories all around the world working day and night to deliver, and no shortage of supply on all pre-purchased extinction services.

    1. Henry Moon Pie

      The problem with that “solution” is that the population growth is taking place in the poorest countries, and the babies born in such places have carbon footprints as tiny as their cute little feet.

      As a first place to check the impact, go to the EN-ROADS simulator and note the baseline, Business As Usual temperature rise of 3.6 degrees C by 2100. Then note the “Population” and “Growth” sliders located in the bottom center. First, slide the “Population” slider all the way to the left and note the change in temperature rise. Now return the “Population” slider back to its baseline position and slide the “Growth” slider all the way to the left. Note the larger temperature decrease. This is because the world’s wealthiest 10% are responsible for 50% of all carbon emissions while the poorest half of humanity accounts for only 10%.

      This is not to say that population growth doesn’t contribute. Both…and is the best approach. But when a Tory like BoJo is selling population control, he’s talking about shoving the pain of what’s required on poor, brown people. And that’s not just unjust, it’s not a real solution.

      1. Jessica

        True, but this creates a situation in which any solution to global warming requires keeping the increasing populations of poor countries poor.
        If we want to stop global warming and end poverty, then those increasing populations are a huge obstacle.

      2. Fritzi

        Boris Johnson’s kids certainly will use up more resources than veritable armies of poor, brown people and THEIR children.

    2. jr

      The thought of BoJo making whoopee was almost too much for my stomach to handle. Who the hell would have sex with that thatch-haired imbecile besides his right hand? Weinstein and Gates with all their wealth and power have to threaten and cajole women to climb aboard but BoJo is a playa? I’m moving to London and becoming a gigolo. Can any British readers provide insight? A couch upon which to ply my trade?

      1. Wukchumni

        There has to be enough women attracted to disheveled would be Disraelis, no?

        ‘e’s not picky

      2. JTMcPhee

        Henry Kissinger had starlets all over him. “Power is the ultimate aphrodisiac.” Seemed to work for Big Di** Clinton, too, bonking his way through many age sets. (I wonder if Clinton’s urinary tract infection was maybe some new or recurring social disease? No investigative reporting on that issue that I can find.)

        1. Jerri-Lynn Scofield

          The same thoughts popped into my head – re both Henry the K and re BC’s recent illness.

          1. Elizabeth

            I thought I was being too cynical about Clinton’s hospitalization. My first thought was that it was an untreated STD. I think some are antibiotic resistant – glad I’m not alone in my cynicism.

      3. Maritimer

        Good riff! Posted this a while back but still has Shelf Life:

        For those who love All Things Boorish Johnson. (Johnson is, appropriately, slang for an important part of the male anatomy.)

        The Fallen Idol movie (1948) was adapted from a story by Graham Greene starring Ralph Richardson, Jack Hawkins and one of the best British tweed overcoats I have ever seen on the screen. Director Carol Reed (The Third Man) and Bobby Henrey as Phillippe (Boorish).

        This movie has a young 6-7 year old (Phillipe) who is the spitting image of Boorish Johnson! Not only physically but in all his prattiness, annoyingness, whininess, fabrications, deceptions, etc. And Short Pants to boot! As an added bonus, young Boorish just cannot stop yapping. Alas there is no Pretty Polly for Boorish to dally with and entice. Labour should see about buying the rights to this, then tarting it up with even more obnoxious young Boorish behaviour and reissuing it. Then again there might be Zipline Effect and it might pop BJ’s numbers.

        You can read about it here but I would watch the movie first.

        1. Carolinian

          Great movie from the great Carol Reed. I’m not sure I see the BoJo connection but then around here we don’t get a lot of BoJo.

    3. Anon

      I’m at a loss, frankly.

      He says: “look at the population… is’ too big innit?”

      He goes on to imbue we should perform some sort of (social?) sterilization on, and/or cull brown people the world over… before we even think about tightening our belts.

      This represents a change in character, though not substance. Perhaps he seeks to catalyze the reaction. More bubbles to obscure it, and a higher yield to boot.

    4. Lambert Strether Post author

      BoJo’s personal peccadilloes are not the point (and diversionary aghastitude at human hypocrisy is probably the cheapest form of aghastitude there is).

      I should have thought the question to ask was clear: Given Johnson’s views on the “eventual size of the human race,” did he put those views into practice when he achieved political power as Prime Minister?

      1. Anon

        It’s like a cartoon, where the bad guy pauses to explain the scheme… lots of that going around. Here I was, thinking everything was going according to profit.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          > where the bad guy pauses to explain the scheme

          Right out in the open! And nobody believes him!

          As I have said before, “genocidal elites” is a parsimonious explanation for Covid policy in the West; certainly in the US and the UK. And here we have it.

      2. ArvidMartensen

        Maybe he is. Look at the UK Covid numbers. And the tin foil hat brigade think Covid is a planned population control measure.
        But really, the strength of those who control the people who control governments is that they know how to use a good crisis to further their own ends ie fewer people of the wrong sort, old chap, will cut down on those awfully expensive and wasteful social services expenditures.

      3. Susan the other

        But Boris is wily enough to be going straight for some diversionary aghastitude – a shiny thing to distract everyone from the fact that the ECJ is not going to back down on Northern Ireland. And Brexit is making it necessary to raise the limits on immigration (he mentions this slyly, no?). The actual facts are that global populations are already coming down. China is freaking out and asking everyone to have more babies – and nobody is very interested in doing so. Why else would Boris open up such a unspoken subject? The very unspokenness is one of the successes of population control. Don’t stir the shit, just give everyone the pill.

    5. drumlin woodchuckles

      Which re-raises the other half of the problem: consumption per human. For example, each of those little Borislings probably consumes as much stuff and energy as 30 Indians, or 80 Mauretanians, or . . . you get the picture.

  2. zagonostra

    “Five times as many police officers have died from COVID as from guns since pandemic began”

    I was critical of this headline posted by a commentator yesterday because it came from CNN. The commentator was kind enough to respond with a link to the source of CNN’s report, below. I’m wondering if anyone sees a problem with the source/method upon which the CNN story is based.

    1. Yves Smith

      One issue is with the lockdowns, fewer people were out and about. That may have reduced gun deaths.

      A quick Google search suggests that police officers are more subject to diabetes and other health problems due to high stress levels. So they may be more likely to have bad outcomes from contracting Covid than the population as a whole.

      1. Ian Perkins

        fewer people were out and about. That may have reduced gun deaths.

        I thought shootings went up in the US.

        1. lordkoos

          I have read that the murder rate is up, and I’m guessing a lot of them are the result of gunshots but I don’t know the stats.

        2. Objective Ace

          Private shootings where the victim knows the perpetrator are unlikely to involve an officer getting shot vs drunk and disoredly conducts from being “out and about”

      2. zagonostra

        I would liked to have seen a baseline, pre-cv19 deaths. But they only include 2020 and 2021. I would have also liked to have seen if the ~250 deaths had co-morbidities. I would think that some of those deaths, not all, would have happened anyway.

        When you click on the deaths it takes you to a page that actually list pictures of them. I would have thought that most of them would have been vaccinated, especially the ones who seemed a bit overweight.

        It’s pretty clear to me at this stage that most people with underlying health issues or older people should be prudent and get vaccinated. As for the very young, I’m worried, especially in light of what Newsom has been mandating in CA which runs counter to what some European countries and even Canada are doing, at least with respect to Moderna and young men.

        1. QuicksilverMessenger

          I was able to go pretty far back by year at that website. I stopped at 1970. It’s interesting- recently (but pre-covid), police officers killed by gunfire per year is about half to even a third of what is was between 1970 and 1980.
          Fyi, 1974 had total deaths at 285. 2010 to 2018 it was about 180 on average per year. 2020 there were 374 and already 369 in 2021. Big increase because of covid

          1. JTMcPhee

            Modern cops seem to shoot first and ask questions later. And empty the magazine full of bullets into the “perp.” That is a very “military” kind of “serve and protect.” Reduces the numbers of cops killed by “bad guys?” A lot of cops “eat their guns,” so where are the suicides accounted for in all this? And more than a few, even around here in quiet west-coastal Florida, die in traffic collisions and single-vehicle crashes.

      3. neo-realist

        A quick Google search suggests that police officers are more subject to diabetes and other health problems due to high stress levels. So they may be more likely to have bad outcomes from contracting Covid than the population as a whole.

        Just like Black Americans, with the high stress levels caused in some cases by abusive and sometimes deadly confrontations with said police officers.

        Cops like donuts too, so the added sugar levels probably contribute to type 2 diabetes.

    2. diptherio

      That’s an interesting link. Looking at their statistics, a couple of things stand out. 1) they report 50 deaths due to “gunfire” so far in 2021, and 2) they don’t have a category for suicide. The Blue H.E.L.P. page reports 69 officer suicides by firearm this year alone! It was 118 last year. So how many of the “gunfire” deaths in the ODMP numbers are self-inflicted? And why isn’t suicide it’s own category in their report, as it would be the second biggest cause of death if they did? Oh…maybe that’s why.

      1. Willie Willow

        >The Blue H.E.L.P. page reports 69 officer suicides by firearm this year alone! It was 118 last year.

        Hopefully we’ll get lucky and there’ll be a Christmas spike that puts us over last year.

    3. JTMcPhee

      As to police as a class of special merit, there’s this discussion of policing with emphasis on the relative degree of danger cops face: “You don’t have to be a cop — that’s a choice.” And no doubt some choose “the job” for socially beneficial reasons, but the reality seems to be “other than that,” in so many cases:

  3. ambrit

    Oh, and about the Ukraine joining NATO; I seem to remember a former American Administration promising the Russians that NATO would not expand up to their borders. The Russians are justified in their fears concerning so called Western objectives vis-a-vis their country. So far, the West has generally lied to Russia and obstructed Russian ‘interests.’ The Russians do not need to perform any outright actions against the Ukraine. All they need do is to fully ‘assist’ the ethnic Russian population in the Ukraine in an attempt at a partition of the Ukraine. I’ll bet that there is a large supply of “surplus” American weapons in Afghanistan that the Russians could trade with the Taliban for, and then turn around and send on to the Donbass and Luhansk. There is probably a decent sized cache of American “surplus” weapons in the hands of the Syrians to be bid on as well.
    Backing “Freedom Fighters” is an old and honoured tradition on the world political stage. Anyone can play.

    1. JohnA

      former American Administration promising the Russians that NATO would not expand up to their borders.

      Bush Snr actually promised Gorbachev that NATO would not expand one single INCH eastwards. (Gorbachev also wanted a united Germany to be neutral.)
      The Americans now rationalise this promise as not binding because it was purely verbal. Another example of that country not being agreement capable.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        I suspect that Bush meant it when he promised it. It was Clinton who dirty-doublecross-betrayed that promise, along with so many other things.

        So ” NATO for Ukrainistan” is a carry-forward of Clintonite foreign policy.

        And people did not vote for Clinton to vote for all these betrayals. ( Actually, the people who voted for Perot would have voted for Bush had Perot not been running. But for Perot, Bush would have won again).

    2. Susan the other

      This looks like we are helping the EU have a thriving military of its own. And a stimulus to their retarded economy because nothing says elite prosperity like an MIC. Ukraine is already useful as a huge money launderer, if not then making Ukraine part of NATO is a joke. Or regardless. And Georgia looks to be part of an ongoing international oil relations play – because it makes even less sense than Ukraine – unless Georgia is a pawn against Iran messing around and in-our-face in Venezuela. Who knows? It just makes no sense for us to up-and-out of Afghanistan and turn right around and set up in the Black Sea. I mean, Romania – wtf? But it could certainly give a big boost to France’s economy.

  4. zagonostra

    >The Revolving Door: All 3 FDA-authorized COVID Shot Companies Now Employ Former FDA Commissioners

    When I get hammered by friends and relatives because of my “vaccine hesitancy” (I was infected, recovered, have natural immunity and am not anti-vax, just mandates) and they tell me they are FDA has approved, I am going to send them below. It visually drives home the point home of “regulatory capture” – a term the apolitical sometimes haven’t even head of, let alone internalized.

  5. flora

    re: Democrats to scale back Treasury’s IRS bank reporting plan amid GOP uproar WaPo.

    Scrap the whole plan. $10k ? (That still opens almost everyone’s account to review. Pay rent, mortgage, car payments, etc.) A $10k start limit when the proposed IRS bank account snooping is not supposed to apply (wink wink) to anyone making less than $400k ? sure… right… wanna buy a bridge? Scrap the whole plan. It’s a terrible idea. / let’s go, brandon

    1. flora

      adding: IRS business $600 cash app new rule is just as bad. (Imo, the central banks want to get rid of cash entirely. See what Mastercard is field testing in West Africa.)

      1. Dale

        The iYokel peons can’t figure out they’re forgoing a cash discount, and therefore are paying more for “convenience?”

        Cash traditionally gets at minimum, a ten percent discount, and more often a 20-25% discount in jobs with expensive labor and few or no materials purchased.

        What’s next from Biden? Charging interest free loans among friends and family members as income to the borrowers on the interest avoided?

        The complete capture of the economy by the banksters is at hand.

        1. Michaelmas

          Dale: The complete capture of the economy by the banksters is at hand.

          What planet have you just arrived from?

          Because here in the real world there was a coup in 2008 where the US government:

          [A] funneled upward of $28 trillion to the financial class around the world, and;
          [B] actively abetted the forgery of millions of mortgage title notes so the American members of that financial class could fraudulently foreclose on that many homes, even as;
          [C] the US TBTF banks were allowed trillions of global drug cartel money to launder so as to repair their balance sheets. (Why were we in Afghanistan? That was one big reason.)

          Arguably, the rulers of the US have always had the mentality of a colonial kleptocracy. But it all became quite overt in 2008.

    2. Yves Smith

      This is explicitly fuck the poors. The poverty line is what, $20K? So a poor person who manages to get a bank account will be subject to this? The end result will be more unbanked because the extra costs to banks will lead them to ditch more low end customers. BTW that could include Social Security recipients….who are required to get only direct deposits.

      1. flora

        Now the 1% has more wealth than the entire middle class. The 1% is the donor class. Biden aiming the tax cannon at the poor and middle class shouldn’t be a surprise, given Biden’s track record. The bald-faced insult of this plan, however, is shocking. /…Brandon!

        ” “Middle class” is defined here as households earning $27,000 to $141,000 annually, while the income threshold for membership in the 1% is $500,000 per year. According to the Fed data, 1.3 million U.S. households now have more wealth than the 77.8 million families in the middle 60%.”

      2. ProNewerDeal

        Can & should myself & fellow 99%ers avoid this by planning in 2022 to have multiple rewards or at least free checking accounts each at a distinct credit union or small bank, & monitor each that it does not exceed $9K (for a safety buffer) in deposits & withdrawals during 2022?

        If one account exceeds $10K, are the other sub-$10K accounts at say different credit unions still not reported to the IRS?

        Is it safe to assume that this new $10K rule will NOT apply this year in 2021?

        Will brokerage accounts be subject to this rule?

        Is there a how-to process for workers who receive a signifcant percentage in cash to be able to deposit said cash in a Rewards Checking or taxable (eg non-401K/Roth IRA/etc) brokerage account without triggering signifcant audit risk? And will this risk differ by the amount one annual deposits per account, & combined in all accounts?

        Thanks JoeBiden for adding another stress, a pick-your-poison tax on either money or time, with this $10K proposal. Reminds me of the ACA which absurdly requires 1 to Nastradamus-guess their personal income 1 yr in advance – absurd enough in 2019 but triply absurd during this COVID era where it is hard to forecast even 1 month ahead with possible lockdown risk.

        There is already is enough stress, time & money demands just to exist in Murica as it is.

    3. chris

      Part of me thinks the limit should be set at the yearly salary for a member of congress…and part of me thinks this is going to be a tremendous headache.

      An aspect of this that I’m not sure if people have mentioned yet is if you pay estimated taxes, you are responsible for determining how the “quarterly” payments were arranged. The IRS doesn’t currently know when you get paid, so they can’t say you paid them incorrectlyduring any given quarter. But with this new information, I imagine they’ll know exactly when I receive funds and be able to compare that to any estimated tax payments. If those don’t line up, that will probably be an audit flag too. And that’s just one simple thing that will be changed for people working within this new system if the rule is adopted.

      If the Biden administration’s goal was to get people to hate government even more than they currently do – they’re on target. I can see the GOP ads right now…”Joe Biden said you couldn’t open your business during the pandemic. Joe Biden said you had to be vaccinated. And now Joe Biden says he needs to know everything you do with your money. Isn’t it time We The People take back government from those who hate the honest, hard working, citizens of this country? Haven’t we suffered enough under this never ending pandemic of too much government intrusion in our daily lives? Vote for Jim Rockjaw(TM) so America can get back to living as free and as brave as we want to live. (This message brought to you be disingenuous people who hate most US citizens and the committee to elect Anyone Other Than You…)

      1. flora

        If I’m the lamb negotiating with the wolf about what to have for supper, I’m not going to agree that eating only one of my legs instead of 2 of my legs (or any part of me) is a good deal. / ;)

        Scrap the whole thing. It’s monstrous.

        1. Even keel

          What is the point of the proposal? It is just an off-the-shelf pay-for, right? To allow the size of the bill to increase? And they set the threshold low so that the CBO (or whoever’s) numbers on additional revenue would be high. You get way more revenue by taxing 1,000 people $10 than by taxing 10 people $100.

          It’s dumb it shows how little the technocrats in charge think of freedom. They just threw it in there, probably thinking nothing of it, except its value as a pay-for.

          So, another way to think about it, I guess, is that the American public’s extreme allergy to “tax hikes” is what caused this provision to be proposed. And who is responsible for that allergy? Grover norquist. Thanks Grover!

          1. flora

            re: “You get way more revenue by taxing 1,000 people $10 than by taxing 10 people $100. ”

            So… Dems are allergic to taxing the 10 rich people at $100 but comfortably confident at taxing the 1000 poor people at $10. ok. got it.

            This is a Dem bill. (Modern Dems being the ersatz party of the little guy, the so-called party of the working class.)

            1. Even keel

              I just mean that that’s why the threshold is low. It’s not a policy decision to “tax” lower income people. It’s just that in the hocus pocus accounting of the “pay for” budgeting scheme, the Democrat authors of the bill get more money to spend by having a very low threshold.

              Their economists probably have them a variety of scenarios: pick a $600 threshold, and you get (say) $100M to spend. At $10,000 you get only $30M. There wouldn’t really be any point to this provision if the level was, say $500k, because the “revenue” projections from CBO would be insignificant from a spending standpoint,

              If Democrats really wanted to “pay” for the spending in the bill, they should just raise taxes. That is the least distortive way to raise funds. At least, we generally understand how that works. Instead, because norquist et al have made it so politically fraught to do something called a “tax,” the Democrats have to do these back door revenue raisers. Which have a knock on policy effects (here, privacy infringement and paperwork hassles) that frankly I expect the bills authors barely even thought about. They were just interested in how much money they could add to their spending package by including the original provision.

              Totally a democrat bill. And they totally have to own it.

              Anyway, that’s what I was thinking about it.

    4. Irrational

      Any insights into how this will work for non-US accounts of US citizens living abroad? I see hubby’s bank deciding no (family blog) way we are doing this and closing his account in a heartbeat.
      Am I paranoid?

    1. John

      My 2006 Subaru Forrester is great for hauling wood…and occasionally manure for the garden.
      The new pickup trucks are absurd. Sorts like males wearing codpieces in the 16th Century.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        My dad keeps a ’94 Taurus station wagon. It carries everything. And anything my parents, my younger sister and I need that can’t go in the station wagon amounts to a once a year delivery fee at most.

        The old Top Gear guys rated every car not just the ones on the show, and their favorite cars were almost always hatchbacks. A huge selling point was hatchbacks solved virtually every potential delivery problem. Anything that couldnt go into a hatchback crossed into “just pay for delivery” territory especially since the delivery guys will probably move whatever it is when it gets to the destination too.

        1. Charger01

          Station wagons are fantastic. I have a soft spot for mid 90s Honda Accord wagons. The ultimate sleeper street car.

      2. lordkoos

        People around here love their big pickup trucks. We’re still hanging on to my dad’s old 1996 Subaru wagon as it has loads of room to haul stuff and has low miles for its age. It’s not much of a cruiser but we have another (old) car for more comfortable long trips.

      1. ambrit

        That is a seriously fun film. What the boys do to the car with their Sharps rifle is awesome.
        And of course, Burt Lancaster in “Valdez is Coming.”

  6. Henry Moon Pie

    Thanks to Judith for the link to a pre-publication review of David Graeber’s posthumously published new book in yesterday’s Water Cooler. The modest little title, The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity. seems based on a question we can all understand in these times:

    “How did we get stuck?” the authors ask—stuck, that is, in a world of “war, greed, exploitation [and] systematic indifference to others’ suffering”? It’s a pretty good question. “If something did go terribly wrong in human history,” they write, “then perhaps it began to go wrong precisely when people started losing that freedom to imagine and enact other forms of social existence.” It isn’t clear to me how many possibilities are left us now, in a world of polities whose populations number in the tens or hundreds of millions. But stuck we certainly are.

    When your culture finds itself pushing headlong down a path that’s leading to a cliff, it may be time to retrace our steps and find where we took a wrong turn, and few have ever been more qualified than David Graeber, whose tragic loss provoked a reaction in me of “But now is when we need him most.”

    Graeber’s motivation to undertake this effort also brought to mind the Spinoza article that appeared in NC Links Sunday. That author recounted Spinoza’s critique of Christianity, and by inference, the other two Abrahamic, monotheistic religions with their transcendent, anthropomorphic god:

    He loathed groupthink and thought most organised religion, not least of the Judeo-Christian kind, fuelled delusion and sectarianism. At the heart of his critique was his view that the religious authorities had radically misconceived what God actually is, distorting truth and corrupting the minds of their followers. They had fallen for the illusion of an anthropocentric God: an external being acting on the world of human affairs, intervening according to His whims. God’s role resembled that of a king, Spinoza lamented, dispensing rewards for devotion and punishments for transgression. Thinkers as different as the stern John Calvin and the doubting René Descartes both used the metaphor of God as sovereign in their descriptions of the supreme being.

    What the author doesn’t discuss is how these monotheistic religions came into being. In the case of the Hebrew bible, many scholars agree with Jewish tradition that the Torah and the histories (Joshua through II Kings) came into their current form in the Ezra School, an inferred collection of scribes and scholars under the leadership of the (possibly) historical figure of Ezra, an exile who returned to the destroyed city of Jerusalem in the 5th century BCE after the Cyrus decree. We can imagine these folks, sitting amidst the rubble of the old temple, with Jewish identity all but obliterated after decades in exile for the governmental and priestly elites, wondering how they could possibly rebuild, bring the exiles and never-exiled “people of the land” together and reforge a Jewish identity. They believed the answer was to re-establish the worship of YHWH, and the beginning of their tale was really centered in the second Genesis story of chapter 3, i.e. Adam, Eve, the serpent and the Fall, a story that seeks to answer how did things get so screwed up. What followed was a recitation in the histories of Israel’s repeated betrayals of YHWH by one king after another. The idea was to blame the condition of Jerusalem on the people while restoring the credibility of YHWH with the hope that this “new” religion would unite the community and serve as a foundation for Jewish identity even as they lived under Persian rule.

    Graeber, along with people like Fritjof Capra and Thomas Berry, is contributing to an effort at creating a “new story” about how humans have brought themselves to the brink of destruction with the goal of helping us see a way out of our dilemma. I can hardly wait to read it.

    1. vidimi

      graeber’s sudden passing shook me like no other death of anyone i was unrelated to. i miss him dearly and can’t wait to get my hands on this book. i just don’t want to preorder on amazon.

      1. Lee

        I’ve not read but one book by Dave Eggers, but I’m impressed that he is banning Amazon from selling his most recent book.

        Except at this site, I don’t believe that I’ve read any of Graeber, a deficiency I feel I must now begin to address. Suggestions welcome as best where to start.

        As for where we went wrong, I fear those roads taken and not taken go far back into prehistory and even unto deep evolutionary time. Not that we now lack the latitude for a course correction. Ever the optimist, me.

        1. Henry Moon Pie

          For something online, here’s Graeber on bullshit jobs.

          Debt: the First 5,000 Years is an epic, tracking debt and money from the Sumerians forward. I’d note that Stephanie Kelton relies on it to substantiate her view that the old “humans used to barter a lot until they invented money to make it more convenient” myth is wrong. (see footnote 10 of The Deficit Myth in the first chapter)

            1. lordkoos

              Another great independent book seller is Powell’s Books in Portland OR, and you can buy online from them.

        2. vidimi

          i still think it’s the domestication of the horse. when the tribes on the pontic or ukrainian steppes first figured out that it was easier to get on one and pillage their neighbours than to farm their own food, it changed history forever. it is today part of eurasian man’s DNA and the cornerstone of western society.

          1. Lee

            I assume you are referring to the Yamnaya expansion, wherein proto-Indo-European speaking pastoralists with benefit of horses and wheeled carts migrated across Europe genetically replacing the males among early European farmers. This has happened elsewhere, such as the Bantu expansion in Africa, and among New World tribes as well.

            I like Sartre’s nifty little formulation describing human conflict over resources and reproductive opportunities: human groupings encounter one another in fields of scarcity.

            The sheer size and vast capacities of contemporary human groupings makes for some rather terrifying possibilities. Some good ones too, I sometimes think on good days.

          2. Polar Socialist

            The advent of agriculture was what created surplus stored in fixed dwellings ripe for looting. Easy enough to pillage by foot.

        3. tiebie66

          I have read Graeber’s Debt: The first 5000 years. It was one of the worst books I have ever read. Astounding that it was a best seller. I am not inclined to try another book of his. My general impression of the work was that it was a showcase full of trinkets to impress and beguile the visitors – an overabundance of anecdotes about this, that, or the other cute custom displaying the author’s vast knowledge. Much of it I thought unnecessary. Besides this superfluity, the material appeared in places contradictory, questionable, or casuistic to align with the general gist of the work.

          There are two more serious issues raised with this work. First, there is the debunking of barter – whenever barter was encountered, it was not noticed, it was de-emphasized, or worse – ignored (Chapter 2). Barter was excised from consideration and then found to be a “myth”. It would be hard to claim that long-distance trade and trade with strangers are not important, and thus that barter is of little importance in the conduction of economic life in “real communities and marketplaces”.

          Second, it is no surprise that our earliest records are of debt. Barter is unlikely to have generated this need as the process is completed at the moment of exchange. This is my major criticism: the chosen timeline seems to support his thesis, but the existence of barter prior to the emergence of writing cannot be ruled out. Indeed, Graeber states that “The origins of interest will forever remain obscure, since they preceded the invention of writing.” (p. 215) but has failed to consider that this might also be true for barter. One can prove virtually any economic theory with a judicious selection of a time sequence; upon changing the period of analysis, the theory might well prove to be untenable. Here I have the same concern.

          Again, this is my personal opinion of this work. I have never read a book with so much hand waving. Having said that, I do not want to discourage anyone from reading this book (or another of his), neither do I want to pretend that my assessment of the book is canonical. You might well be enthralled by the little vignettes of Tiv women traipsing with a few debt-redeeming potatoes to the far side of the village, or by another humorous riposte from Nasruddin. But, if by reading the work you discover something of real importance, I have missed it – and I would like to know what it is.

          1. Rodeo Clownfish

            I had a quite different experience with the book. Not to invite a debate, but since you asked, I will share something of value that I think you might have missed. Graeber shows how debt began as a way of binding people (and, thus, communities) together through ties of mutual obligation. Exchanged services, food, and other favors. This form of debt then transformed into human bondage (an exaggerated form of obligation). Chattel slavery provided a currency that in some places predated coinage or any other form of currency. As societies were introduced to coinage and other currencies, debt moved into those forms of exchange. Modern debt is now of virtual money between strangers, at the farthest end of the spectrum of interpersonal interactions from the traded favors of friends and neighbors.

    2. begob

      The essence of Spinoza seems to be a pragmatic hope based in the revelation of God in everything, affirmed through an ever-renewed covenant. While Judaism has a problem with the kind of orthodoxy that caused him to be excommunicated, it’s really Christian dogmatism that threatens everyone, with its urge to discipline and punish, and all wrapped up in a time’s-a-wastin’ end game.

      The best thing religion can recommend to us is that notion of hope, rather than faith.

      1. JTMcPhee

        Bearing in mind that “hope,” to the Greeks, was the last plague on humanity released when Pandora peeked in that casque she was entrusted with. “Blame it on the woman,” eh? When pretty obviously all of us, whatever our preferred pronouns, are as the lawyers say, “strictly, jointly and severally liable”?

  7. cnchal

    > The Absolute Simplest Explanation for America’s Supply Chain Woes Slate

    This unprecedented tsunami of stuff has swamped America’s ability to unload, warehouse, and transport it all. There are only so many berths where cargo ships can dock, and only so many cranes to unload them. There are only so many trucks that can enter and exit the port at a time, and only so many warehouses where goods can be stored. And there are also only so many trained dock workers or truck drivers available to actually do these jobs. . .

    What the article does not say is that due to these factors it now takes three times longer to unload a particular ship than during “normal” times when it finally gets to the berth for unloading. To rub salt in the wounds, the ships are showing up with lots of unused capacity as they depart China on schedule whether a particular container got loaded or not and the containers themselves are on average only 70% full.

    Typically, one of these ships contain enough crapola to fill three shopping malls. With sixty plus ships waiting for berths and another couple of dozen on a slow crawl from China heading to California ports, this represents about 250 shopping malls worth of missing stuff. When one considers there are 100,000 malls in America, that 250 is a rounding error, but the MSM, never one to refrain from scaring the shit out of people, keeps digging with stories of scarcity and panic buying, inducing panic buying in an innumerate public, and creating a self fulfilling prophecy.

    At no time have I ever heard the MSM say that one can have a perfectly fine holiday season without the crapola on those ships, and in March of next year the crapola will be on sale.

    1. FriarTuck

      Damn those Americans and their propensity to spend cash and buy stuff. It’s not like we built a whole society that relies on people doing just that, and we’ve inundated them with propaganda to the point that it was feasible for a political party to embrace an ideology of “There is No Alternative”.

      It’s their fault as individuals. Not our fault.

    2. Questa Nota

      AB5, the California legislation that was supposed to protect workers in the gig economy, had a disastrous impact on trucking. That made independent-operator trucking far more costly. The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach reportedly handle about 40% of US container imports and relied heavily on those truckers. The ports, truckers and everyone downstream consuming those imports suffer during the adjustment period.

      Add on the regulation eliminating trucks older than 2010, for some very good reasons like air quality, and you have a supply constriction. Some of those constrictions don’t work themselves out very fast, without consequences or negative impacts.

      The Slate article doesn’t address those underlying issues. What could’ve been a more constructive approach to dealing with air quality, congestion and employment status instead was a cluster f*** of bad policy that ignored real world constraints. Don’t slam on the brakes and expect to avoid a pile-up next time.

    3. Henry Moon Pie

      This article is helpful as far as it goes. There has been a big bump in demand, and the snake that swallowed an elephant is a decent metaphor.

      There’s another aspect that points to different trouble up ahead. This bump has set off a systems problem unpoetically called “Balancing Loops with Delays.” We begin with a surge in demand, but it takes time for businesses to respond by increasing capacity. This is true all the way up and down the supply chain. Shortages develop as businesses scramble to catch up, and consumers begin to panic and hoard. That worsens the bump and gets businesses even more committed to expansion.

      What happens when businesses finally bring on all that new capacity? Overproduction. It takes a while for companies to recognize this, but when they do, they cut capacity.

      When you graph production over time in this situation, you get something that looks like a sine curve.

      1. JTMcPhee

        Enshrined in B School and supply chain management course work curricula is “the beer game,” where groups of students try to balance supply and demand for beer. Greed and the frictions and failures of communication ALWAYS result in a failed effort, no matter how “smart” the players are and even though they know, going in, that their efforts to manage the supply chain will ALWAYS result in failure.

      2. Grebo

        It is well known that factory production rate often fluctuates more widely than does the actual consumer purchase rate. It has often been observed that a distribution system of cascaded inventories and ordering procedures seems to amplify small disturbances that occur at the retail level. . . How does the system create amplification of small retail sales changes? . . . [W]e shall see that typical manufacturing and distribution practices can generate the types of business disturbances which are often blamed on conditions outside the company.
        -Jay W. Forrester (Industrial Dynamics, p. 22)

        That was written in the 1960s. Trucking regs and shipping problems may well contribute but a simple fluctuation in demand is sufficient on its own to cause what we are seeing. It’s surprising we don’t see it more often.

      3. Procopius

        There’s a good explanation of how distribution of goods gets fouled up at The Beer Game. It happens even when the participants are able to coordinate with each other. The link is the beginning of a series of posts that discusses some of the reasons medical care is so costly.

  8. Otis B Driftwood

    What better memorial to the legacy of Colin Powell and the establishment’s refusal to admit blame for the disaster in Iraq and so many other places than a pathetic attempt to rehabilitate the credibility of Christopher Steele?

    1. Ian Perkins

      Don’t miss the bit at the end:

      Christopher Steele isn’t the first British spy to uncover international urination. We didn’t forget these thrillers. #LSSC
      — The Late Show (@colbertlateshow) October 19, 2021

      1. griffen

        How does Colbert still have credibility? I never watch or stay up late enough to watch.

        I suppose continuing to drink / absorb the blue kool aid helps in maintaining a professional entertainer career. Journalism, meh.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          I figure he’s on CBS as Tina Fey once quipped on 30 Rock (paraphrasing now ) it’s the channel for seniors who lost their remotes.

        2. Questa Nota

          Colbert should holster his pee shooter and dribble away. Maybe Jon Stewart can take him aside and let him know that it is past time for him to go.

        3. Art

          Zero credibility. I was a Colbert fan back in the day. He is talented and funny. Strangers with Candy was a good show and is worth a look, though fairly unPC by today’s metrics, so maybe don’t watch it in the office. The Daily Show and the Colbert Report were impressive during the Bush years because there was so little Bush dissent on American tv back then (I’m an anti-war weirdo, btw) But both shows flipped with the coming of Obama. Colbert went from being a guy who could speak truth to power (remember that Bush-era press club address he gave? At the time, it was bold and refreshing) to being a big Obama cheerleader and apologist to being a Deep State schil under Trump. He is no longer welcome on my television.

          1. jr

            There was that soft-core porn worthy interview during Trump’s reign in which Colbert asks Obama to pause so he can “just look at him” for a moment. It was just gross.

  9. Wukchumni

    Took the wagon into town for sundries the day after Sunday and signaled my intentions to enter the WinCo supermarket grounds when I spotted the oversized old glory flown on the periphery of the parking lot @ half mast, the stripes I daresay nearly touching the pavement.

    My first thought was, I wonder who died?

    And then it dawned on me that it was Colin Powell, ye gads.

    I went about my way and did some shopping inside and then loaded up the bed of the wagon, hitched the 195 horses worth of power, turned the key and yelled Giddyup! all in one motion.

    1. Carolinian

      The half mast thing is really overdone. Perhaps they think customers will be mad if they leave anybody out. In truth those giant flags are a somewhat offensive form of business promotion.

      And not sure it it’s been mentioned here but Colin Powell was fully vaccinated.

      1. Tvc15

        “Colin Powell was fully vaccinated”

        CNN is attempting to get out in front of this inconvenient fact by running propaganda pieces like, “Why vaccinated people dying from Covid-19 doesn’t mean the vaccines are ineffective.”

        1. marym

          Yesterday blue-leaning “vaccines work” twitter was a-aflutter because media was reporting without explaining why vaccines are ineffective in people who have immune-compromising conditions. It’s propaganda all the way down.

    1. The Rev Kev

      The establishment may be ready to give Colin Powell the ‘For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow’ treatment like they did for John McCain, but a lot of people have not forgotten what he was all about-

      Twenty years ago when he did his song and dance routine at the UN, I assumed that he let his character be compromised. My mistake – his UN performance in fact revealed it.

          1. Questa Nota

            He was being groomed for one of the top slots in the corporation, like Col. Kurtz in Apocalypse Now. That type of grooming necessitates media treatment.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          I don’t think I knew much about Powell other than the Gulf War stuff and Powell being a Republican, so you know hes bad, then.

          1. Wukchumni

            Mint the Colin Coin!

            I’d imagining the TDC design to have the image of a loyal lap dog on the obverse-say a black lab, with a splayed out chicken-hawk on the reverse.

          2. Ian Perkins

            “We burned down the thatched huts, starting the blaze with Ronson and Zippo lighters,” Powell recalled in his memoir, My American Journey. “Why were we torching houses and destroying crops? Ho Chi Minh had said the people were like the sea in which his guerrillas swam. … We tried to solve the problem by making the whole sea uninhabitable. In the hard logic of war, what difference did it make if you shot your enemy or starved him to death?”

        2. Tom Stone

          Criticism of Powell has not been acceptable, because he’s the RIGHT KIND of American Black.
          West Point, and then Vietnam and the chance to show he was a team player when My Lai 4 came to light.
          Because he was so obviously and Officer and a Gentleman and he wasn’t too dark skinned he was “just right” for the press corps.
          And he made his way up the greasy pole with the skill of a born Politician, which is how I will remember him.
          An utterly corrupt human being.
          May he spend eternity with his days spent listening to Bush read “My pet Goat” and nights in a threesome with HRC and Henry the K.

          1. vegasmike

            Actually, Colin Powell graduated from NYC City College. City College had for decades a policy of no tuition. Julius Rosenberg was also a graduate of City College. City College for decades was probably the most left wing college in America. Jonas Salk as well as several Nobel Prize winners were also graduates.

      1. Ian Perkins

        The establishment may be ready to give Colin Powell the ‘For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow’ treatment like they did for John McCain, but a lot of people have not forgotten what he was all about

        I expect it’s two sides of the same coin. We see him turning a blind eye to war crimes in Vietnam, lying about Iraqi WMD, and so on. They see him as putting his duty to his country above such petty moral niceties.

      2. Nikkikat

        At least they aren’t parading his casket through the capital with photo ops for Pelosi and Schumer and then televising his three separate funerals for an entire week. Like we had to endure for McCain and old George HW Bush.
        Saw the National news last night clarifying that it wasn’t covid that killed him but the cancer! Oh, My!

    2. VietnamVet

      If Colin Powell had done the right thing before the Iraq Invasion and resigned, his death may have been noted in the Metro section by Jeff Bezos for being the first black Joint Chief and Desert Storm. His coverup of the My-Lai massacre by the Americal Division is never mentioned. He was connected.

  10. The Rev Kev

    “Stephen Colbert Tells Rep. Adam Schiff What Russian Oligarch Revealed About Trump ‘Pee Tape’ ”

    Not for the first time, Stephen Colbert reminds me of another character. That of Caesar Flickerman, the malignant host from the Hunger games series who was always ready to push the establishment’s view and follow their narrative, just like Colbert is doing here. And wouldn’t you know it?

    1. zagonostra

      Colbert’s “Vaccine Dance” will go down in history. It was a defining moment when popular culture and the “State” became one to an extent that only a Baudrillardian analysis could do justice to.

      1. chris

        I remember listening to David Plotz opine on the Slate Political Gabfest back in 2012 that it would all be OK if Democrats and Liberals held the high ground in popular culture and kept the presidency too. That we could keep making things work. I guess this was explicitly stating the same thing. That as long as all news and media was aligned with Liberal ideology nothing would change despite the Dems shedding thousands of seats under Obama. I guess he was right?

    2. Carolinian

      Of course the great irony is that when Bush was president Colbert stood up in front of the Correspondents’ Dinner and called them stenographers. Now that disgraced CBS head Les Moonves has picked him to be comedy aristocracy he’s learned to take shorthand.

    3. pjay

      A picture of Colbert as the Flickerman character is a perfect meme for the functionary he has become. Add it to Powell’s UN vial-raising image (thanks Caitlin) and “Let’s Go Brandon”. Keep those anti-“truthiness” memes coming everyone.

  11. nv

    One Video:

    Jeff MacKie-Mason: Brave New Heights: Libraries After the Pandemic: ‘How a global health crisis inspired libraries to reimagine what they do and what the future of libraries will look like…

    Lifted from Brad de Long’s Briefly Noted.

  12. zagonostra

    It’s gonna be real hard to paint these “anti-vaxers” as ignorant and uncouth Trump supporters living in the rural boonies for coming out against mandates.

    A legal challenge backed by dozens of scientists and other employees at Los Alamos National Laboratory to block a vaccine mandate was denied by a New Mexico judge Friday, putting the workers at risk of termination if they don’t adhere to the vaccination deadline by the afternoon deadline.

    More than 100 scientists, nuclear engineers, research technicians, designers, project managers and other employees joined the attempt to block the mandate. Several of the employees are specialists with high security clearance, performing functions from national defense to infrastructure improvements and research on COVID-19.

  13. rjs

    ‘Let’s go Brandon!’

    i’d been seeing ‘Let’s go Brandon!’ posted around the web, with no context and seemingly completely out of place…so i finally decided to google it, figuring i was missing something…

    turns out there’s a new rap song by that title…but the phrase originated at a NASCAR race…

    Let’s Go Brandon!’ goes from social media meme to the top of the iTunes charts | Fox News  The song was inspired by the “Let’s go Brandon!” trend that has been sweeping the country since NBC sports reporter Kelli Stavast interviewed NASCAR driver Brandon Brown following his victory at Alabama’s Talladega Superspeedway earlier this month. During the interview, the crowd could be heard chanting “F— Joe Biden” in the background, which Stavast seemingly misheard as “Let’s go Brandon!”  “Brandon, as you can hear the chants from the crowd, ‘Let’s go, Brandon’ —

    The interview quickly went viral on social media, with some users speculating that the reporter intentionally attempted to misrepresent what the crowd was chanting. From there the phrase became somewhat of a calling card for opponents of the president, finding its way onto merchandise while others began chanting it at sporting events.

    so now you all know the inside joke behind it too…

    1. griffen

      I’ve had first hand reporting, that the “action verb” & Joe Biden chant happens at college football games. Not surprising to learn of this during an ACC game at VA Tech…and that isn’t a knock against Blacksburg.

      I think the chant for Brandon has legs. As it were. Get your gear online!

        1. begob

          I wonder if her brain did the equivalent of that optical illusion video, where you place your finger on a static line but your brain still insists the line is moving. A TV interviewer probably has a dozen different concerns going through her head to get the job done right in under a minute, and converting the lemons of an aggressive input from off stage into the lemonade of mindless enthusiasm may be pure survival mode.

    2. Randall Flagg

      Good Lord, Helen Keller could have understood what that crowd was chanting.
      As far as what that reporter claimed they were chanting, I don’t know what she was thinking or trying to salvage out of that situation. Kudos to Brandon Brown for keeping a straight face and being professional about it

      1. jr

        The poor lady was simply doing her job and maintaining the Narrative no matter how ridiculous the circumstances.

      2. griffen

        Maybe the production team was in her ear. Whatever you do, don’t pull a Ron Burgundy! Infamously in the movie, Will Ferrell’s character reads exactly the words on his teleprompter.

        Stay classy.

    1. Ian Perkins

      Cue – or Q? – revived tales of blood-drinking adrenochrome-addicted Demoncrat paedophile rings …

      1. Carolinian

        I don’t think the NY Post is really in that category. After all it gets linked here from time to time. But then as a Carolinian I don’t read it very much.

    2. Tom Stone

      He’s doing it for Epstein’s heir?
      Secret flights because the “Lolita Express” was too well known?

  14. Carolinian

    Re Doctorow–perhaps this is the essential paragraph

    After all, the Tribune’s board of directors voluntarily sold the chain to Alden, despite the fact that it was profitable, knowing that Alden would raid and destroy it. They did that because they valued a one-time payment more than the Trib’s ability to serve its community.

    Here in the boonies we still have a newspaper but only just barely. I’m not sure you can put the newspaper decline all on vulture funds, terrible though they are.

    1. Michaelmas

      I’m not sure you can put the newspaper decline all on vulture funds, terrible though they are.

      You can’t. Local newspapers relied primarily on the revenues from ads and when those revenues got scooped up by Google and Facebook, the question became.

      Do Americans want to read and pay for local newspapers enough to keep them in business?

      And the answer is: Americans don’t want to read and pay local newspapers in sufficient numbers to keep them in business.

      It’s that simple. The rest is just bs.

      1. Carolinian

        And it’s not just the internet even if it did take much of their ad revenue from sources such as classifieds. Local TV news offers the same coverage of sports and crime.

  15. The Rev Kev

    “Red line: Ukraine joining NATO would be ‘worst-case scenario’ for Moscow, response would involve ‘active measures,’ says Kremlin”

    It’s getting better and better. Russia has just shut down their delegation to NATO and have taken away the credentials of NATO officers in Moscow as they say that NATO is not serious about negotiating. The Russians have told the NATO countries that if they want to contact them, to use the Russian Embassy in Brussels which sounds like a subtle insult.

    But if NATO ever accepted the Ukraine into that pact, then the very next thing to happen would be the two Donbass Republics – the Lugansk and Donetsk People’s republics – declaring independence. Yes, the NATO charter says that a new member cannot be accepted if it is in the middle of a civil war or there are major territorial dispute with a neighbour, but we all know that they would be given a waiver on this. In any case, I am sure that the Russian Federal government would give those two Donbass Republics a security guarantee like they did for Abkhazia and South Ossetia in Georgia.

  16. The Rev Kev

    “The Impact of Sino-American Rivalry on Russia’s Relations With China”

    Russia and China do not have to go into a formal pact if they work hand in glove with each other. The smart thing to do would be to back off Russia to make it more neutral to China but instead it is one provocation after another. Just a few days ago a US warship nearly sailed into Russian waters near Japan until chased away by a Russian warship. But where this think tank says ‘Russia has no territorial claims in the Pacific’, that is not true. They have successfully staked claim to the Sea of Okhotsk with all its resources. And the ‘long-standing Japanese claims to the South Kuril Islands’ are not being handled diplomatically. Japan is demanding those islands back again, even though they signed a treaty accepting territorial loses from WW2. And the Russians will never hand them over as the next thing to happen would be the US to build naval bases on them to bottle up Russian submarines exiting the Sea of Okhotsk.

    1. Dftbs

      I don’t think there are any “smart things” to do with respect to separating Sino-Russian strategic interests. The ideological wedge exploited by Kissinger to pry apart the already fractured Sino-Soviet entente was a one-time trick. One curious thing about both states, particularly China which is run by a communist party, is that they appear to be post-ideological or “Supra-ideological”.

      The “smart thing” would be to withdraw. Despite our imperial delusions, Generals Atlantic and Pacific have always been the greatest American military heroes. Greater than any Patton, MacArthur or Eisenhower. We should realize that our national interest and welfare of our people is best served by spending what treasure we have left at home; rather than building half-manned nuke subs for Australia. I don’t think it would matter much if we left; they would still speak English in Sydney and Japanese in Tokyo even without the presence of the American suck-machine.

      We puzzle at the lack of a formal Sino-Russian alliance because we are trapped in an epistemological box in which “things” only have certain “forms”. NATO is an alliance and so all alliances must look like NATO. As opposed to Hungary, Spain, Turkey and the US (and many more of course); the Russians and Chinese have something more solid than disparate promises and platitudes, they have common interests. Particularly those which we’ve highlighted through our petulance for the better part of half-a-century.

  17. fresno dan

    October 19, 2021 at 7:41 am

    One point I was trying to make with that data and tying it to seat belt usage, is that people forget how much antipathy there was to wearing seatbelts, and how near universal seatbelt usage has been attained with the imposition of seatbelt laws. I think restricting smoking is another example of mandates being necessary to actually put a dent in smoking.
    As it is apocryphally said, facts are stubborn things. At some point, police as well as everyone will come to realize that Covid is truly dangerous, especially when the number of shooting deaths is compared to Covid deaths. At some point, the stance that danger to police dying because they are shot by a criminal is a tragedy and an important issue, while the much larger number of deaths due to Covid can be ignored will be an absurd position to defend. And just to gild the lilly, one would expect most of the police covid deaths to be of a younger cohort (so much for Covid just kills the old and unhealthy).
    Some background on Gunshot deaths according to the site:
    2019 total 151 gunshot 49
    2018 total 187 gunshot 52
    2017 total 186 gunshot 45
    2016 total 181 gunshot 64
    2015 total 167 gunshot 41
    2014 total 163 gunshot 49

    1. zagonostra

      Thanks Fresno. I’m not sure the analogies work, but I appreciate the civil discourse.

      I just read some comments in the Salt Lake Tribute blaming me (unvaxed but w/natural immunity) for Colin Powell’s death. Some of the comments were down right frightening. I left reading the comments disturbed. Some of the commentators wanted to round up unvaccinated and kill them because they were killing others by not being vaxed. I had no idea it has reached this level of enmity toward me and other anti-mandate advocates.

      I know CV is real because I had it and wouldn’t wish on anyone. I just see broad mandates by gov’t and enforcement by corporations as a move toward totalitarianism The threat is not communism, but fascism and we are dangerously close to losing our civil liberties.

      1. fresno dan

        October 19, 2021 at 2:06 pm
        I agree with the point of blaming people because they fail to follow “proper” health and safety standards leads to an abyss – once you start down the road of blaming people for indirectly causing misfortune to others, its a slippery slope to completely arbitrary and capricious laws. I think about how much in the way of medical and hospital resources I have used recently as well as the fact that I am nearing my actuarial lifespan – should I have been denied treatment because of a lifetime of excess hamburger, mayonaise, fudge brownie, and porn consumption?

        One point about “mandatory” seatbelt and smoking laws. I think laws FOLLOW popular consensus. We have gay marriage because a significant majority thought there was no good reason to deny marriage to gays. The majority came first, than the law.
        At some point, police for themselves will see that masks, vaccines, or some other method will be necessary for their own protection. But it has to be their own reasoning that leads them to such a conclusion.
        I wish you good health, and all the best.

      2. Late Introvert


        I’ve had the J&J but some reports are that I’ll be down to 5% over the next months so they’ll need to round me up as well because I don’t plan to get on the booster train. My nephew, like you, is unvaxed but w/natural immunity. His dad, my brother, is dying of mesothelioma and they live together. My mom, a retired nurse, is raging that all the unvaccinated “need to be fired”, including nurses.

        I think there is a poem about these types of situations. I think it even has a reference to flooding or something….

        1. Yves Smith

          I am tempted to ban all discussion of “natural immunity” because it is right wing propaganda and I am appalled to see you peddling it here. Immunity from Covid is not lasting. Period.

          1. Late Introvert

            I left out a qualifier:

            My nephew, like you, is unvaxed but w/natural immunity”, which is waning and ineffective in the long run.”

            I should add said nephew is a Trumpist and is endangering his dad, my brother. My terse writing style leaves room for misinterpretation.

            Sorry, not peddling. Trying to describe a family at war with itself and fighting over facts.

          2. Late Introvert

            Yves: I am tempted to ban all discussion of “natural immunity” because it is right wing propaganda and I am appalled to see you peddling it here. Immunity from Covid is not lasting. Period.

            Lambert: Speculating freely: There is the possibility that natural immunity is much, much greater than we have thought, although because this is America, our data is so bad we don’t know.

            1. skippy

              As IM Doc pointed out in Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett s Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases, first two chapters, that there is no such thing as immunity with viruses. Inoculation is insurance for the immunized in reducing symptoms and the term of them e.g. you are just as susceptible to getting covid as the un-vaccinated[.]

              Hence the criticism about public information perceptions leading to some vaccinated frolicking around as if they are immune, thus helping spread covid to both un and vaccinated people and the consequences of that in the near and far term for society at large and at the individual level.

              The actual drama is centered around giving the virus the – opportunity – to run through its evolutionary play book in a short time line, we’re always behind the curve and things can get out of hand quickly. The allegory would be why fruit flies are used for genetic studies, because their life span allows generational expediency in observing changes but the observer went on holidays. All made more difficult due to the ability for the virus to chance upon the same mutation individually in different locations in or about the same time.

              Then on top of all that you have decades of ideological economics/politics/social organization and geopolitical antics setting the stage for whom blinks first or grins during a game of smilie poker for first mover advantage or preserves capital until the storm passes thingy …

              This is on top of all the things that lead up to the GFC and Post trying to sort itself out and bang right between the eyes … just make sure you have a towel with you at all time

          3. Ian Perkins

            Were you to ban all discussion of NI, you’d make it rather hard to comment on articles NC links to which do discuss this topic. For example, today’s ‘Politics is derailing a crucial debate over the immunity you get from recovering from Covid-19’ (“the concept of [NI] has a rational basis and data to support it”) and ‘Prior Covid Infection Is As Effective At Preventing The Virus As Vaccination, U.K. Study Suggests’ (“a study published Monday which adds to a growing and sometimes contradictory body of research on [NI]”).

          4. Raymond Sim

            I am tempted to ban all discussion of “natural immunity” …

            If I could wave a magic wand and make Americans forget the whole concept of ‘immunity’ I might just do it.

  18. Dale

    CITGO 6’ oil execs held in Venezuela..Alex Saab’s extradition to US,
    “Maduro Narcoterrorism”

    Maduro ≠ Sacklers

  19. enoughisenough

    Great read about the demise of pickup trucks and posers driving hopped up toy trucks.

    Brings to mind (as does so much these days) Marie Antoinette and her ilk’s trend for dressing up like shepherds and shepherdesses and cultivating vanity flocks of sheep in their fake farmhouses.

  20. petal

    Zillow says it can not buy any more homes to flip this year blaming ‘labor and supply’ constraints as it has 3,142 unsold homes on the books worth $1.17 billion
    “Zillow Group has said that it can not buy any more homes to flip this year, blaming ‘labor and supply’ constraints in an announcement on Monday.

    The company had 3,142 unsold homes worth a total of $1.17 billion in the second quarter of this year, according to earning reports seen by the Wall Street Journal.

    Zillow – a firm founded in 2006 by ex-Microsoft executives which buys and sells homes via an online marketplace – said on Monday that it would not contract to buy any more houses in 2021, and instead will work through the backlog of homes it already owns.

    Analysts, however, said Zillow’s move might open the door to rivals such as Opendoor Technologies Inc to grab market share.

    Opendoor can gain a significant share if it just generally operates more efficiently, Wedbush analyst Ygal Arounian said in a note.

    The company, which went public through a merger with a blank-check firm led by venture investor Chamath Palihapitiya last year, bought 8,494 homes in the second quarter.”

    More at the link.

  21. Jason Boxman

    Some rare good news. Today the Times is running a guest essay and a news story about aerosol transmission:

    What We Know About Covid, the Flu and the Air We Breathe (Dr. Marr is an engineering professor at Virginia Tech, where she studies the airborne transmission of viruses.) [Certainly not someone from public health, CDC, WHO, though…)

    Tuberculosis, Like Covid, Spreads Mostly in Aerosols, Scientists Report (The finding upends conventional wisdom regarding coughing, long thought to be the main route of transmission.)

    I think any promotion of this in Establishment media is an important development.

    1. Maxwell Johnston

      Thanks for posting this; you beat me to it. The whole article is splendidly unhinged, the best part being at the end (presumably written not by Erik P but by AT’s editors): “Erik Prince is an American entrepreneur and security expert. He is a philanthropist and the founder of the Frontier Group of companies.” Such philanthropy will be the end of all of us, methinks.

      1. jo6pac

        Yes on the unhinged and eric p. has written other articles at this site. I loved when they still had comments;-)

    2. JTMcPhee

      Can I make another pitch for the wisdom of Sun Tzu? Before all that stuff about how to defeat your opponent, is a long set of thoughts on why it is mostly stupid and inadvisable to commit the polity to war, for a whole lot of very good reasons that our rulers blow off from the git-go:

    3. jrkrideau

      I believe Niccolo Machiavelli advised against mercenaries and he was living in an age of mercenaries in Italy.

  22. Wukchumni

    Mint After Reading: Philip Diehl Talks with Rohan Grey (transcript)
    Germany issued a Trillion Mark coin about a century ago, so there is precedence!

    The 1-billion-mark notgeld coin issued by the Landesbank of Germany’s Province of Westphalia has fascinated collectors since it first appeared in the spring of 1924. Measuring 70 millimeters in diameter and bearing the date 1923, this massive coin presents a distinctive bust of Prussia’s Napoleonic era statesman Karl Freiherr vom und zum Stein (born 1757, died 1831), designed by Professor Rudolf Bosselt of Braunschweig (Brunswick).

    Many American collectors are awed sufficiently by the figure billion and fail to realize that in the German language, “billion” is actually the American “trillion.” The German equivalent of our billion is “milliard.” A small difference there!

  23. Sagittarius

    “The Absolute Simplest Explanation for America’s Supply Chain Woes”.

    I have an even simpler explanation. Companies can fire all of a factories workers and idle these plants around the globe in a matter of days if a pandemic like COVID arises. But restarting them a year later, which requires rebuilding trust with all the workers they abandoned, will take much much longer than that.

  24. Pat

    I guess going:
    Erik Prince is a mercenary who has been very successful selling military services. His business model would only be enhanced by the further privatization of war. Peace would bankrupt him no matter how good it might be for everyone else.
    would make people question why he had been given a forum to begin with.

  25. John

    Open door to NATO for Ukraine and Georgia? Are they all delusional or is poking the Bear seen as a game without consequence? Idiots.

    Meanwhile, how about a “Cold” war with China?

    One big wrong idea.

  26. The Rev Kev

    The wolf in the Antidote du Jour. Is that part fox or something? That reddish colour does not seem right for it.

  27. sbarrkum

    Myanmar Seeking Return of Foreign Tourists by Early 2022 Bloomberg. Making resorts a target

    During the almost 30 year civil war in Sri Lanka, no resorts or churches were ever targeted. Why, because the LTTE (separatist terrorist) wanted to be on the good side of the West. Plus there was a large Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora in the West, UK, Canada, US etc that was sending funds to the LTTE terrorists.

    In contrast the Islamic Terrorists in Easter 2019 bombing specifically targeted 5 star hotels and churches.

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