Yves here. For those of you with strong constitutions, the State of the Union is at 9:00 PM EST. Lambert will be opening up a live blog (more of an open thread) at 8:30 PM. Hope to see you there!
Sorry that Ukraine ate links.
Determined Tabby Cat Does Crunches at the Gym Laughing Squid (David L)
Puppies Destroy Giant Bean Bag And Innocently Nap In The Ruins Animal Rescue (David L)
Four Years On, New Experiment Sees No Sign of ‘Cosmic Dawn’ Quanta (David L)
Europe’s Mars rover ‘very unlikely’ to launch in 2022 BBC. Kevin W: “Related article ‘Putin stripped of honorary taekwondo black belt’: https://www.rt.com/sport/550885-putin-black-belt-taekwondo/.”
Landmark trial compares LSD and psilocybin trips, finds few differences New Atlas (David L)
Possible case of deer-to human Covid infection identified in Canada Guardian. From scientist GM:
The mutations in question are also the ones found in mink. And they made it less fit in humans
So not much to worry about here for the near-term future.
Effectiveness of the BNT162b2 vaccine among children 5-11 and 12-17 years in New York after the Emergence of the Omicron Variant MedRxIv. Reuters version: Pfizer/BioNTech COVID vaccine less effective in ages 5-11 -New York study
John Mayer’s reinfection wouldn’t even be counted with a 90 day rule
And variants are emerging within 90 day periods
This means waves of infection would be hidden https://t.co/OpAUcCXhZ9
— Anthony J Leonardi, PhD, MS (@fitterhappierAJ) February 27, 2022
Covid: virus found replicating in testes nearly a month after infection—testes found to be ‘viral reservoir for SARS-CoV-2 replication’ New Study: pic.twitter.com/WmRO3OAp5h
— Chris Turnbull (@EnemyInAState) February 28, 2022
China reports 249 new Covid cases, including dozens from Hong Kong RTE (guurst). By contrast, 7 day average for Alabama, with fewer than 5 million people, is 869. And with more home testing, that’s sure to be an undercount.
Hong Kong residents empty store shelves as lockdown looms Financial Times
How the CDC Abandoned Science Tablet (Li)
Moderna faces new lawsuit over lucrative coronavirus vaccine Washington Post
The UN’s climate report highlights the dangers of natural solutions MIT Technology Review (David L)
People’s Republic of Florida? How Republicans’ rhetoric echoes that of Russia and China South China Morning Post
New Not So Cold War
Missile hits center of Ukraine’s second-biggest city BBC. Big admin building. Also has some shots of the residential building, see below.
Russian Rocket Barrage Kills Civilians as First Talks Show No Progress New York Times. All we have are narratives around data points…
As Lambert warned, who knows what the situation on the ground is. But one take:
DEMILITARIZING GALICIA EAST. FIELDS OF INTERDICTION FIRE — ARTILLERY, DRONES, ROCKETS, BOMBS, MINES — CUTTING ALL EAST-MOVING TRAFFIC. pic.twitter.com/5RYiNdxPRI
— Dances_with_Bears (@bears_with) March 1, 2022
The Consequences of Humiliating Russia Michael Brenner Consortium News. Important.
Greater Russia is now a full-spectrum commodity superpower, less vulnerable to sanctions than Europe itself Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph. Important. Not paywalled. Very good detail. Note our post yesterday on the partial cutoff from SWIFT. The TL;DR version is they were so leaky that they weren’t even remotely the hammer blow that Western analysts thought they were (although in typical Keynesian beauty contest manner, the belief they’d be crippling did a number on the rouble and the Russian stock market). This piece gives a more fundamental take on why Russia is in a very defensible position:
So while there is brave and condign talk of crippling sanctions against Russia, it is the West’s pain threshold that is about to be tested. My presumption is that Fortress Russia will endure this contest of self-reliance more stoically than Europe’s skittish elites….
So one watches the western pantomime over sanctions with a jaundiced eye, knowing that almost everything being discussed is largely beside the point, and that only military strength matters when push comes to a 200,000-man military shove.
Having said that, AEP is a hard core Tory and believes that Putin wants to hold Ukraine, as opposed to get a set of arrangements that will make it a buffer zone.
Putin Faces Existential Crisis As Ruble, Economy Collapse Overnight Heisenberg Report (resilc). Did someone not get the memo that Russians have no problem buying and selling to each other in roubles (oh, save maybe having to no longer use ApplePay to do that)? That Russia’s trade sector is only about 5% of GDP? That Russia has enough food and fuel? That where it will have trouble is autos and airplanes but with Russian commercial flights now largely domestic, it can get by just fine with its current fleet? Oh, and with designated commodities trades being outside the freeze, along with some banks, this blockage is looking sieve-like?
How the Crisis in Ukraine May End Atlantic (David L). FWIW, I find these scenarios to be weird. Most fail the McKinsey MECE standard, “Mutually exclusive, collectively exhaustive.” But this sort of prognostication, particularly in an overly dynamic situation, resembles making market predictions. There the cardinal rule is, “If you must forecast, forecast often.”
Putin the Apostate Matt Taibbi. A very detailed history but then not well supported speculation re now, such as the claim that Putin would pulverize Ukraine.
Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine in Perspective Energy Intelligence Group (guurst)
What Russia Wants From Its Invasion of Ukraine—and Why Zelensky Is Evil Gonzalo Lira, YouTube (bwilli123). Similar to Gilbert Doctorow except for the “Zelensky is evil” bit.
Zelensky’s Saakashvili Moment Ron Paul Institute. Ouch.
Ukraine makes strange bedfellows India Punchline. More ouch.
Essential thread. Watch at 1:40 https://t.co/MdAuWcxycg
— a_lutacontinua// (@a_lutacontinua) February 28, 2022
Russian invasion could change the world order Responsible Statecraft (resilc). Um, our David pointed that out the morning of the invasion. Key sentence: “Indeed, Russiagate’s central storyline was about Ukraine.”
Pelosi says Congress will provide any economic help Ukraine needs The Hill. Resilc: “But not here in USA USA.”
Putin’s Nuclear Threat Scott Ritter, Consortium News (furzy). Important. Scott Ritter explains that Putin was responding to a NATO threat.
Desperate Afghans sell kidneys amid poverty, starvation . ma: “Hope Joe doesn’t forget to highlight this in his SOTU.”
Big Brother is Watching You Watch
Satellite outage knocks out thousands of Enercon’s wind turbines MarketsScreener. Kevin W: “IOT ouroboros. ‘There was no risk to the turbines as they continued to operate on “auto mode,” the company said.'”
Imperial Collapse Watch
Failing US Navy Warship Still Can’t Perform Mission Bloomberg (guurst)
Everything old is new again: When accountants bail out loudly Francine McKenna
Biden’s State of the Union speech needs to show the US a clear map out of economic trouble even as he deals with Ukraine, Democratic strategists say Business Insider. Good luck with that. You heard it here first: if the West keeps trying to hurt Russia with sanctions and Russia is successful in diverting key commodities to Asia, it’s entirely possible we’ll see the YoY inflation rate 3% higher by fall. And what will that do to Dem fortunes?
Our Famously Free Press
Antidote du jour (bob):
And a bonus (guurst):
? A defensive owl. Holy fuck. ? pic.twitter.com/XWXdnFZbYt
— Nature Is Metal (@NatureIs_Metal) February 22, 2022
See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here