2:00PM Water Cooler 5/11/2022

By Lambert Strether of Corrente

Bird Song of the Day

This is Hermit Thrush Week at Naked Capitalism (hat tip Noone from Nowheresville). From New York, the Adirondacks. Fifteen minutes (!). I’n not sure this thrush repeats the same riff twice.

* * *

Politics

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

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

“When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.” –Hunter Thompson

Biden Adminstration

“Alito’s draft opinion overturning Roe is still the only one circulated inside Supreme Court” [Politico]. “Justice Samuel Alito’s sweeping and blunt draft majority opinion from February overturning Roe remains the court’s only circulated draft in the pending Mississippi abortion case, POLITICO has learned, and none of the conservative justices who initially sided with Alito have to date switched their votes. No dissenting draft opinions have circulated from any justice, including the three liberals. That could explain why no second draft of Alito’s majority opinion has been distributed, as typically the two sides react to one another’s written arguments and recast their own. As the nine justices prepare for their scheduled, private, closed-door conference this week, they face one of the greatest crises in modern Supreme Court history, with an internal leak investigation under way, an agitated nation focused on whether the constitutional right to abortion is about to be overturned, and some justices facing angry protests at their homes.”

“The Memo: Biden plays a weak hand on inflation” [The Hill]. “Biden extoled some of the actions he has taken in a White House speech Tuesday. But the key lever to bring the inflation rate down — the power to increase interest rates — is held by the Federal Reserve. This leaves Biden trying to put a dramatic gloss on some moves that are likely to have only a modest impact. The president outlined how his administration is releasing millions of barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, broadening the availability of an ethanol-blend gasoline and attempting to ease supply-chain constraints. Biden also sought to empathize with the problems Americans are facing as prices spiral upwards. ‘Families all across America are hurting,’ he acknowledged, asserting that ‘all of my plan is focused on lowering costs for the average family in America.’ But Biden’s limited leverage over inflation will be cast into stark relief again Wednesday morning when the Department of Labor releases new figures for April.”• Which weren’t as bad for Biden as they might have been.

I think the Order of Saint Olga went to Pelosi’s head:

2022

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“4 polling takeaways ahead of the 2022 midterm election” [Matthew Dowd, MSNBC]. Hilariously, the chief strategist for the Bush–Cheney 2004 presidential campaign, but Bush gave Michelle candy, so here we are. “[I]n the latest Yahoo News/YouGov poll, Biden has a net minus-12-point approval rating, while Democrats have a 5-point lead on the generic ballot…. A small segment of voters is likely to be key players in the battle for control of Congress and statehouses: voters who dislike both Trump and Biden. Today, that group represents a not insignificant number of all likely voters and a huge opportunity for the party that can capture it…. Among the group of voters who dislike both Trump and Biden heading into the 2022 midterms, each party has advantages on distinct issues. The GOP has a significant advantage on inflation and the economy, with only a small lead on dealing with immigration and the border. Democrats have a large advantage on voting rights, abortion rights, education and protecting the rights of citizens based on sex or race…. Tied to the above dynamic, the GOP is spending way too much time delving into cultural issues that Democrats lead on. Meanwhile, Democrats are spending too much time worrying and talking about inflation and the economy and not enough time raising the stakes of this election and making a broader argument based on fundamental rights and American democracy…. Everyone covering the midterm elections must be careful not to buy into old patterns that may not apply this year (such as that the GOP is automatically going to win because of Biden’s poor approval ratings, as in previous midterm results). And of course, polling numbers change — they are not always determinative on Election Day, nor do they always perfectly reflect voters’ gut-level motivations. For example, when I was chief strategist for George W. Bush in 2004, the No. 1 issue in the polls was the economy, but our campaign proceeded to make the argument that the election was about national security. (And it worked.)”

PA:

No, they won’t. First, they’ll get the lightning back in the bottle. Then, they’ll stash the bottle in the vaults where the dry powder is stored (linking to this classic post in case some newer readers haven’t seen it).

PA: “GOP staffers fired after possible ‘ballot harvesting’ operation found in Pa.” [Patriot-News]. “The fallout from the discovery of a potential GOP “ballot harvesting” operation in South Philadelphia continued Tuesday, as two state party staffers lost their jobs, the matter became fodder for attacks in the Republican primary for governor, and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle jockeyed to define just what the situation said — or didn’t — about the security of voting by mail…. The [Philadelphia Inquirer] found that dozens of Republican mail ballots for the May 17 primary were being diverted to a P.O. Box registered to the Republican Registration Coalition. The committee’s chairman — Billy Lanzilotti, a onetime Republican ward leader in Philadelphia and former campaign staffer for U.S. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, R., Bucks — said he’d helped the voters fill out their ballot applications, inserting his P.O. box on the form where voters would typically write their home addresses. Though Lanzilotti maintained he was doing this as a ‘service to the voters’ and intended to hand deliver the ballots once they arrived, many of the affected voters said they did not remember applying to vote by mail and had no idea why their ballots were going to Lanzilotti instead of directly to them. One said Lanzilotti had delivered his ballot back to the city once it had been filled out — which would violate state law. Of the top 10 mailing addresses for Philadelphia ballots, Lanzilotti’s P.O. box was the only one that was not an elections office or a nursing home.”

TX: “Democrats Are Still Boosting Antiabortion Congressman Henry Cuellar” [Jacobin]. Because of course they are. “A new super PAC led by consultants for Joe Biden, Barack Obama, and Bernie Sanders’s presidential campaigns is diving into a Texas primary to support a conservative Democrat who opposes abortion…. With the runoff only weeks away, Cuellar, the last remaining antiabortion Democrat in the House, has seen little outside support from Democratic groups — until now. On April 29, America United, a super PAC formed recently to back Latino House candidates, placed $241,000 worth of independent expenditures backing Cuellar, despite the fact his challenger is also Latina.” • Cuellar is a Latina? No wonder he’s doing well.

2024

“Gavin Newsom 🖤 Oligarch Valley” [Yasha Levine]. “‘Philanthropists’ is an interesting way for the Governor of California to describe one of the most powerful forces in farming in the state — a billionaire family that owns something like 300 square miles of Oligarch Valley land, has its own toxic corporate farm worker town, and, from their ridiculous mansion in Beverly Hills, has been on a destructive quest to eviscerate the state’s river system and plunder its aquifers, helping fuel a mass extinction in the San Francisco Bay Delta…all so they can grow and export pistachios, a fringe snack food that people around here barely eat. But then calling these rapacious oligarchs “philanthropists” is exactly the point. Governor Gavin was going out to Pasadena to do some public relations work: to lend his name and image and the respectably of his public office to Stewart and Lynda Resnick’s ongoing effort to rebrand themselves as do-gooders and environmentalists, rather than the industrial-scale destroyers of the environment that they are. Their latest ploy is this $750 million ‘Resnick Sustainability Center’ that they’re building at Caltech — a joke considering that the Resnick’s entire business model is based on unsustainably terraforming the land and plundering resources to the maximum. But then it’s not so funny what you realize that what the Resnicks probably have in mind with all this ‘sustainability’ talk is making sure their own industrial plunder will be sustained as long as possible without any serious political challenges. It looks like that’s what their Caltech investment is about….. Speaking of supply chains. Gavin’s not just doing this for kicks. This is about duty and honor. The Resnicks have long been backers of his political career, going back to when he was mayor of San Francisco. Most recently, they threw $250,000 into his anti-recall campaign. And the governor himself’s no stranger to California’s tight-knit oligarchic politics. He’s essentially part of the extended Getty clan…and that family, as well as a few others, provided crucial backing to get his political career off the ground.” • From CalMatters, a handy diagram of the California oligarchy:

Democrats en Déshabillé

I have moved my standing remarks on the Democrat Party (“the Democrat Party is a rotting corpse that can’t bury itself”) to a separate, back-dated post, to which I will periodically add material, summarizing the addition here in a “live” Water Cooler. (Hopefully, some Bourdieu.) It turns out that defining the Democrat Party is, in fact, a hard problem. I do think the paragraph that follows is on point all the way back to 2016, if not before:

The Democrat Party is the political expression of the class power of PMC, their base (lucidly explained by Thomas Frank in Listen, Liberal!). It follows that the Democrat Party is as “unreformable” as the PMC is unreformable; if the Democrat Party did not exist, the PMC would have to invent it. If the Democrat Party fails to govern, that’s because the PMC lacks the capability to govern. (“PMC” modulo “class expatriates,” of course.) Second, all the working parts of the Party reinforce each other. Leave aside characterizing the relationships between elements of the Party (ka-ching, but not entirely) those elements comprise a network — a Flex Net? An iron octagon? — of funders, vendors, apparatchiks, electeds, NGOs, and miscellaneous mercenaries, with assets in the press and the intelligence community.

Note, of course, that the class power of the PMC both expresses and is limited by other classes; oligarchs and American gentry (see ‘industrial model’ of Ferguson, Jorgensen, and Jie) and the working class spring to mind. Suck up, kick down.

* * *

Republican Funhouse

Good to see The Squad and left elected generally speaking out on our proxy war against Russia in Ukraine. Oh, wait….

The Republicans are gonna make me vote for them, aren’t they:

#COVID19

Maskstravaganza:

Mask manufacturers are one of the more harmless forms of industry, but the Biden administration’s assault on non-pharamaceutical interventions has caused them problems:

NOTE These manufacturers are the domestic manufacturers we sorely needed when Covid first hit. Ah well, nevertheless.

Anti-masker bullying:

It’s a mystery (1):

It’s a mystery (2):

Too bad there was nothing like that at the White House Correspondents Association superspreader event. You had to bring your own sensor as part of your personal risk assessment:

Only 8:40PM and already in the Red Zone.

Here is a handy chart on one-way masking, so you can calculate how anti-maskers affect your personal risk assessment:

* * *

A chart to show how one-way masking affects your personal risk assessment:

If I had a child in the Atlanta school system, I’d be upset with the administrators for messing up the personal risk assessment I made for my child:

* * *

Lambert here: I am but a humble tape-watcher, but if some trusting, non-realist soul tells you that “Covid is over,” you can tell them that cases are up, transmission is up, test positivity is up, hospitalization is up, rapid riser counties are up, and wastewater is up, too. And this is all from data designed to support the narrative that “Covid is over,” and gamed within an inch of its life. So, if signals like that are flashing red, consider what the real signal must be like. (Note also this is all with BA.2 only, and with what the establishment considers an “immune wall” made from vaccination and prior infection. Since semper aliquid novi Africam adferre, and we’ve let ‘er rip at the airports…. Well, I just hope we get lucky with BA.4 and BA.5. “God has a special providence for fools, drunkards, and the United States of America.” –Otto von Bismarck.

* * *

If you missed it, here’s a post on my queasiness with CDC numbers, especially case count, which I (still) consider most important, despite what Walensky’s psychos at CDC who invented “community levels” think. But these are the numbers we have.

* * *

Case count by United States regions:

Looks like the train is rolling, now. Remember these data points are weekly averages, so daily fluctuations are smoothed out. Also remember, it’s 100% certain the cases numbers are significantly understated. They’ve always been gamed, but it’s worse than before. One source said they though cases might be undercounted by a factor of six. Gottlieb thinks we only pick up one in seven or eight. The black “Fauci Line” is a counter to triumphalism, since it compares current levels to past crises. The blue “Biden Line” shows what the case count would be if it were 79,000 * 6 = 474,000, i.e. not gamed. (I changed the Biden Line from dotted to solid because the dotted line was too hard to draw properly in my crude tool.)

I have helpfully periodized the peaks, #1 – #6. Worth noting from the “Fauci Line”: Trump’s peaks (#1, #2, and #3) aren’t so high as Biden’s (#4 and #5). Also worth noting: Biden’s #6 is already higher than Biden’s peaks #1 and #2, although of course we don’t know how high #6 will go. And if we accept the case count from the Biden Line, Biden’s peaks #5 and #6 are the 🏆 Top Two 🏆. Thank God the adults are in charge.

Here are cases for the last four weeks:

Worth noting that cases have doubled in four weeks.

NOTE I shall most certainly not be using the CDC’s new “Community Level” metric. Because CDC has combined a leading indicator (cases) with a lagging one (hospitalization) their new metric is a poor warning sign of a surge, and a poor way to assess personal risk. In addition, Covid is a disease you don’t want to get. Even if you are not hospitalized, you can suffer from Long Covid, vascular issues, and neurological issues. For these reasons, case counts — known to be underestimated, due to home test kits — deserve to stand alone as a number to be tracked, no matter how much the political operatives in CDC leadership would like to obfuscate it.

However, and astonishingly, it looks like CDC is gaming “the green map” is well. Thread:

Do we have any SQL mavens in the house who would like to replicate this work? Or dig in further?

From the Walgreen’s test positivity tracker:

I’m leaving the corporate logo on as a slap to the goons at CDC.

MWRA wastewater data:

The Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA) service area includes 43 municipalities in and around Boston, including not only multiple school systems but several large universities. Since Boston is so very education-heavy, then, I think it could be a good leading indicator for Covid spread in schools generally.

From Biobot Analytics:

Northeast unflattened, and — hat tip to readers for pointing to this — it looks like past aggregation was adjusted up. But that drop in the West looks like an adjustment, too. Do we have any readers who track non-biobot wastewater in the West?

Cases lag wastewater data.

From CDC Community Profile Reports (PDFs), “Rapid Riser” counties:

Both East and West coasts slightly worse. (Remember that these are rapid riser counties. A county that moves from red to green is not covid-free; the case count just isnt, well, rising rapidly.) It would be nice if the falling wastewater measures in California presaged a drop in cases. (OTOH, the Biobot data is only as good as the non-representative sample it uses, so…).

The previous release:

Here is CDC’s interactive map by county set to community transmission. This is the map CDC wants only hospitals to look at, not you:

The Northeast remains stubbornly and solidly red. Now California is red as well. The Upper Midwest is moving that way, too. (The Unorganized Territories in Maine are back to red, good job.)

Hospitalization (CDC Community Profile):

This map is very dynamic! Now the orangization back to the Northeast. (Note trend, whether up or down, is marked by the arrow, at top. Admissions are presented in the graph, at the bottom. So it’s possible to have an upward trend, but from a very low baseline.)

Death rate (Our World in Data):

Total: 1,025,104 1,024,752. The death rate dipped, a piece of good news. I have added an anti-triumphalist Fauci Line.

Covid cases in top us travel destinations (Statista):

Broadly down. (Note the quality of these numbers varies wildly. For example, the UK is cutting back on testing data.

Stats Watch

“United States Inflation Rate” [Trading Economics]. “Annual inflation rate in the US slowed to 8.3% in April from a 41-year high of 8.5% in March, but less than market forecasts of 8.1%. Energy prices increased 30.3%, below 32% in March namely gasoline (43.6% vs 48%) while fuel oil increased more (80.5% vs 70.1%). On the other hand, food prices jumped 9.4%, the most since April 1981 and prices also rose faster for shelter (5.1% vs 5%) and new vehicles (13.2% vs 12.5%). On a monthly basis, consumer prices were up 0.3%, slightly more than expectations of 0.2% but below a 16-year high of 1.2% in March. ”

* * *

The Bezzle: “Bolt Built $11 Billion Payment Business on Inflated Metrics and Eager Investors” [New York Times]. “In a rush to show growth, Bolt often overstated its technological capability and misrepresented the number of merchants using its service, some of the people said. In presentations to investors, it included the names of customers before verifying whether those merchants were able to use its technology. For a time, a fraud detection product it was pitching to merchants was more dependent on manual review than Mr. Breslow implied, according to a former employee.” • Another entrepreneur selling empty boxes out of the back of his Tesla in Silicon Valley. And speaking of empty boxes–

Mr. Bitcoin is having a sad:

The Bezzle: “Why has the Terra stablecoin broken its US dollar peg and should you care?” [MoneyWeek]. “The Terra stablecoin is supposed to match the value of the US dollar – but its value has crashed…. TerraUSD’s algorithm is supposed to keep it pegged to the US dollar by adjusting supply via a sister token, luna.” • Oh-k-a-a-a-y…..

The Bezzle:

Stoller is right.

The Bezzle: But who is the Soros of the Terra short? A thread:

Readers, this one is beyond me. Can somebody explain?

The Bezzle: “All my apes are gone:!

That’s a damn shame.

The Bezzle:

The Bezzle: The Internet of Things:

Sounds to me like some bot is running a phishing operation and somehow got into Alexandria’s traffic control system. Anyhow, when you hear the phrase “smart contracts,” think of this.

The Bezzle: The Internet of Things:

When you hear the phrase “smart contracts,” think of this too.

* * *

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 21 Extreme Fear (previous close: 22 Extreme Fear) [CNN]. One week ago: 38 (Fear). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated May 11 at 1:16 PM EDT.

Sports Desk

“Why Kentucky Derby winner Rich Strike bit another horse after the race” [The Sporting News]. • Feisty!

The Gallery

Tweeted by John Constable, not painted by him:

This one had me going!

Police State Watch

“A Grandmother Needed Paperwork For a Glucose Monitor. The NYPD Broke Her Arm.” [Hell Gate]. ““We’re asking you to leave, you’re not leaving, and you’re not allowed to record,” an officer says in the video. “Turn around.” With that, half a dozen cops close in around Rodney, and in short order, she is on the ground, screaming, as officers twist her arms. ‘It felt like they were breaking my arm,’ Rodney said. ‘And yes, it turns out they did.’ A medical report confirms that Rodney suffered a fractured elbow. ‘I’m not playing with you!’ the officer bellows as he works to get Rodney into handcuffs and leg shackles. ‘I’m a diabetic,’ Rodney sobs. ‘I just need a piece of paper.’ ‘Now you’re going to jail,’ the officer replies. As Rodney is brought to her feet and frog-marched out of the vestibule and into the precinct house, the officer, who, like other police surrounding Rodney, is not wearing a mask himself, grabs her mask from her mouth and pulls it up over her eyes so she can’t see. ‘Put your mask up,’ he says. ‘All you had to do was cooperate. You did this to yourself.'” • If this were a scene in a dystopian novel, I might wonder if it were a little over the top.

Class Warfare

“Target Workers Are Joining the Union Wave” [The New Republic (marym)]. Awesome news. “Many of these campaigns have important things in common. These are the kind of low-wage, service-sector workers who seemed so impossible to unionize for so long. Amazon and Starbucks workers aren’t bringing in organizers from big, established unions, but instead workers are leading the way themselves. And they’re going store by store, location by location. It was long thought that such a campaign couldn’t work. ‘What people didn’t recognize is the contagion factor.’ said Kate Bronfenbrenner, director of labor education research at Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations. Target Workers Unite is hoping to instigate exactly that kind of national spread…. They’re working with the Industrial Workers of the World and plan to make Target Workers Unite a subsidiary of IWW, which they hope will allow them to issue union cards at any store that wants to hold an election…. As with their counterparts at Amazon and Starbucks, the Target workers are clear that they’re using a different model than that of big industrial unions like the AFL-CIO, Teamsters, or SEIU. The Amazon Labor Union is completely independent, and while Starbucks workers are mostly organizing with Workers United, an affiliate of SEIU, the union is letting workers themselves do the organizing, acting instead as a resource. ‘They build a workforce overwhelmingly around contingent, precarious, transient workers.’ [Adam Ryan, one of the lead organizers at Target Workers Unite] tells his co-workers that IWW won’t send people in from headquarters who tell them what to do.”• The whole article is worth reading, and as at Amazon, was sparked by management decisions during the pandemic.

News of the Wired

“The man who married a hologram in Japan can no longer communicate with his virtual wife” [Entrepreneur]. “Fictosexuality is the term used to describe those people who are sexually attracted to fictional characters and in Japan little by little it becomes a trend, to the extent that there are companies that develop technology to offer users holographic couples. Akihiko Kondo took his love for a fictional character one step further by holding a “getting married” ceremony with Hatsune Miku , a virtual singer who has starred in several video games and has even accompanied Lady Gaga on her world tours. The ceremony took place in 2019, after the man was able to communicate with the hologram via Gatebox , a company that develops devices to holographically show characters that do not exist.” Gibson’s Idoru, which has fictosexuality as a theme, was published in 1996 so, good call. More: “[T]he support for the Gatebox software that allowed the interaction of the man with his virtual wife, is no longer available and for the same reason, can no longer communicate with her.” • If your emotional well-being depends on a platform, you don’t have emotional well-being.

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Contact information for plants: Readers, feel free to contact me at lambert [UNDERSCORE] strether [DOT] corrente [AT] yahoo [DOT] com, to (a) find out how to send me a check if you are allergic to PayPal and (b) to find out how to send me images of plants. Vegetables are fine! Fungi 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 JK:

JK writes: “Plant or Animal, take ya’lls pick. As the filename suggests, the first zinnia of 2022! I’m uncertain what the insect is but they really love the okra flowers once those get going. This zinnia took quite a beating in the storm last week as it was opening up as one can see. The center of the petals is more purple than red which give the flower a somewhat psychedelic feeling, but it’s hard to see in this picture. As of this morning it is still the only open zinnia in the garden, but there’s a number of buds ready to go next. I started this plant indoors in January and put it outside the 2nd week of March. It was started from a seed that was labeled “Green Zinnia.” Green a considered rare in my garden, last year of was the first time I’d see one, and I was excited to see more of them. To my surprise a seed taken straight from a green flower from last year came up as a psych red/purple which isn’t very rare, but IMHO perhaps more beautiful than the green ones. Please don’t tell the greens ones I said that.”

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NOTE ON PAYPAL: As some readers may know, PayPal whacked Consortium News’s account, for no justification that I can see. It’s to be hoped that Consortium News has its account completely restored, and that NC doesn’t come under the same ban hammer. In the meantime, until I/we can come up with an alternative, I must continue to rely on PayPal (and rely I do). I will be cleaning out the account daily, and PayPal does give a heads-up, so your risk is minimal. Please carry on as before, or, if you feel you must, write me and I will send you directions for sending a check. Please put “PayPal” in the subject line. Thank you for your support! It is much appreciated, and helps me with responsibilities. –lambert

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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.

96 comments

  1. lyman alpha blob

    RE: the Greg Price tweet on Pelosi

    She’s really going to quote the New Testament on this?!? Funny, I sat in church for way too many years in my youth and I really don’t remember the Prince of Peace thanking his good and faithful servants for providing Javelin missiles and killer drones in his time of need. Maybe I’m just getting old and forgetful though…

    Reply
      1. herman_sampson

        i keep remembering, the economy was made for man, not man for the economy; or was it the Sabbath?

        Reply
      2. Stephen V.

        In view of the infinitude of our Defense “budget”– Loaves and Fishes would be more like it. What a tool.

        Reply
    1. anon y'mouse

      she was shamed during the pandemic for some statement about “feeding the children” right around the same time she was showing off her designer ice cream stash and people were being thrown out of regular employment and school meals, so i started ranting loudly in livestreams on youtube that Nancy could “feed the children” anytime by just making SNAP automatic for all underage (and ideally, all senior) citizens. right after that, they added on that special tax rebate thingy that gave people with children money which took the child poverty rate down 25% or so. granted, that has expired now. who knows how connected all of this is, but it seems that the political mavens are aware and know how to capitalize on this issue.

      i think the idea that she was doing something around feeding children is part of her brand, now. she had to work that slogan in somehow, dagnabbit!

      Reply
    2. nippersdad

      I saw a funny comment made on Rising earlier today in which it was pointed out that (paraphrased) “When you can only see one set of footprints in the sand, it was where the arms manufacturers were carrying you.”

      Seems about right.

      Reply
      1. nippersdad

        The boxes for which were, no doubt, gratefully accepted by the SF homeless.

        Her care for the poor knows no bounds.

        Reply
    3. Pelham

      When I was hungry, you fed someone else $40 billion worth of arms that mostly ended up on the black market.

      Reply
    4. Pelham

      The real problem with this is that Pelosi’s Christian impulse re Ukraine doesn’t come at her expense but rather someone else’s. That someone else is, I suppose, the broader public who will be told the cupboard is bare when it comes to any proposals for actually beneficial spending, such as Covid relief. Much the same principle applies to many supposedly benign federal undertakings, such as affirmative action or open-borders immigration: the cost of the enlightened elites’ charity is borne by others. It’s as if Jesus refrained from personal contact with lepers but ordered his disciples to mingle with them instead.

      In reality, though, this isn’t how the Ukraine spending will work from an MMT perspective. That $40 billion isn’t really paid for by taxpayers but is conjured up to produce whatever it produces with probably minimal inflationary effect locally. OTOH, if that $40 billion were distributed in a humane way domestically, it probably would nudge up inflation, maybe as desperate young mothers bid up the price of scarce supplies of baby formula.

      Reply
      1. anon y'mouse

        or perhaps, walk with me a bit, we could spend the $40 billion on things that would end the bottlenecks in the economy driving an inflation spiral, and shoring up food security by increasing domestic supply.

        nahhh, that would never work.

        Reply
      2. hunkerdown

        I prefer Matt 6:6. [glares unamusedly at Duchess Nancy of Wells Fargo]

        David Graeber’s “Value as the Importance of Actions” sees in some social fields a “battle over access to the right to behave altruistically,” which among other things strikes me as a conscious project of the Democrat PMC (Puritans never saw a reformation of manners they didn’t like). He positions value theory as what motivates the social capital games Bourdieu describes. It’s a must-read.

        The muggles don’t know about MMT, so they see their own internal aid being displaced into a long-term proxy war of no purpose apparently relevant to the 90%. But “crowding out” is actually a true narrative with labor. What labor was going toward the reproduction of humans (formula) has been redirected toward social reproduction (weapons, information control, etc.). The health of the state:

        Brad @SharkAttackMtn · 10h
        Time to grow up and start eating like an adult, Doritos and Mountain Dew.

        Reply
  2. hamstak

    When I was hungry, you fed me $40 billion worth of Javelin anti-tank weapons. They ruined my teeth.

    Reply
      1. anon y'mouse

        abstinence-only will be presented as the cure to the end of Roe.

        then we poors will go back to being denigrated for having poor self control and thus unwanted (to whom?) births.

        Reply
      2. Pat

        My first thought was the millions of Americans that are food insecure might wish she and everyone else in Congress who voted to p*ss away 40 billion dollars in Ukraine would take that gospel to heart and provide food to them.

        But then I realized that Pelosi and most of her cohorts had as much religion as Marjoe Gortner did when he was an evangelist preacher/conman. The only difference is that Gortner has turned out to have more ethics and a greater conscience than most of them.

        Reply
  3. jo6pac

    Yep, 40 billion for ukraine voted in over night. Then 24/7 security the supremes voted in over night. Then BBA, child tax credit, extend rent payments, and other nice things for us on Main Street are not even brought up by media and congress. Oh how that Post Office thing going? Then the pent-a-gone budget goes up and even more when Amerika needs to replace all the junk sent ukraine.

    Everything is on schedule. please move along;-)

    Reply
    1. Milton

      Every single Democrat voted aye and the 57 Repubs that voted against cited the reason that it didn’t pass muster with PayGo. The Squad are a useless bunch, of course I can’t complain since I haven’t actually voted since 2008. Obama convinced me of the futility in such civic matters.

      Reply
      1. lyman alpha blob

        You can definitely complain. It’s not your fault these clowns are in office now, is it?

        Reply
        1. John

          I do not know who those clowns represent, but it certainly is not their constituents in particular and th nation in general. … but wait their constituents are their donors. I guess that makes it okay.

          Reply
  4. katiebird

    Bad COVID week in my family. My aunt who has been in hospice for about 6 months was diagnosed on the 4th and died early Sunday. Later that day my sister’s S.O. Was diagnosed and my sister herself was diagnosed yesterday. Her boyfriend is feeling much better already but she’s feeling bad enough that she got a prescription to antiviral medication.

    My aunt got it from her caregiver. But my sister was masked at a superspreader event. A Paul McCartney concert where I imagine everyone was singing along…..

    Anyway, I’m still sticking to grocery shopping as my outside entertainment.

    Reply
    1. ChrisRUEcon

      Condolences, kb … keep masking and doing the maximum to keep you and yours safe. All is not lost.

      Reply
    2. Verifyfirst

      Forget grocery shopping….for $3 or $5 most stores will have their employees shop your online order and bring it right to your car. Target will do it for free. Of course, their online inventory is probably tilted to their highest margin products…..

      Or you can use Shipt or such and they will bring it to your house (I feel obliged to tip heavily in that case….when you figure their time, gas and other overhead, they are really making nothing, probably losing actual assets while generating a bit of cash flow. So 30% tips).

      Reply
      1. katiebird

        I’ve thought about that and our son & his wife did do that until recently. But we just shop every 3 weeks or so and we’re pretty specific about what we get. Also, we shop at Aldi and they’ve announced that they are stopping that service.

        About the masking definitely, probably forever.

        Reply
    1. griffen

      Former hack on FOX no less, but that’s not against any law. Her wiki page says she was a lawyer, formerly an assistant DA in SF. She keeps good company, would you believe!!

      Exit left, Gavin. Enter right, Donald Jr.

      Reply
  5. nippersdad

    For anyone who might enjoy a few moments of watching Hillary go down in a flaming ball of red faced, spittle flecked projection, this is the vid to watch:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kPnDhxSyrIA

    The walls must be closing in. Check out the 1:30 mark where Russia has determined that the leadership of the Democratic party is implicated in the Ukrainian bio-labs scandal. Now we can name the for-profit Mengele’s in our Nazi collaborator cohort.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ClocWTBIEp8

    Reply
    1. Safety First

      The irony is that Hillary in that clip hits on at least two separate acorns, by complete accident I am sure.

      First, one of the consistent critiques of the Putin regime by Russian leftists is that his government has spent the past twenty years or so transitioning to a so-called “semi-periferal resource-based” economy. That is – export lower-end goods, such as natural resources and low-processed materials, and import higher-end products. [E.g. export raw material for fertilizer, import finished fertilizer.] Then take the euro and dollar surplus thus received, and instead of investing it internally (as would have been done in the Soviet era) export it back to the West both as oligarchic wealth and as central bank deposits abroad, thus also creating a shortage of euros and dollars internally and artificially depressing the exchange rate (further inflating private fortunes – in rubles). Komolov has done multiple presentations and papers on this, and other left-wing or left-leaning economists have as well.

      So in a sense, yes, the Putin regime, instead of building up the internal economy and industry, either dismantled it or let it go fallow so as to pour everything into this semi-peripheral scheme. But that was not a “failure” of policy – it was the policy, designed to benefit specific groups. Putin, thus, from the standpoint of the socio-economic elites that back him, has been an incredibly successful president. One might even call him the Russian Obama or some such, if framed in those terms. This, incidentally, is exactly how a bourgeois republic of any kind is supposed to work, after adjusting for local nuances.

      Secondly, she notes that “Putin now wants to take what Ukraine has”. Well, to be sure, when the war is finally over, or at least when the situation is stabilised, then yes, one would fully expect the oligarchs close to the government to engage in vigorous redistribution of formerly Ukrainian assets (land, port facilities, mines, whatever), not to mention in competing for fat reconstruction contracts. This was not the primary reason for going to war, of course, just like boosting defence contractor revenues was not the primary reason for the US invasion of Iraq in 2003. But it is a nice bonus, and again, exactly the way imperialism (as in, highest form of capitalism) is supposed to function. Incidentally, she also very quickly elides when it comes to listing what is it exactly that Ukraine “has” that Putin “wants – because Ukraine, too, had downshifted into a peripheral-type resource-export economy over the past three decades, so essentially Russia is not getting any new industry or technology or whatnot; Russia is getting more of the same resources, plus an infusion of cheap labour, plus, of course, some security enhancements offset by countervailing nonsense happening elsewhere such as Finland wishing to join NATO. [For fun, look up the length of the Finnish-Russian land border and then consider that this is the stretch that NATO will now have to “defend” against “Russian aggression”…]

      Reply
      1. nippersdad

        I am insufficiently informed as to how the Russian internal economy works at this point to fully parse your assertions, but even without that information it is possible to infer some things.

        Resource economies are not unusual among developing nations, and Russia has had less than thirty years to date in order to redevelop and modernize its’ infrastructure. Why would anyone expect a fully industrialized economy without the financial basis upon which to build one? Perhaps those leftist economists have expected too much in the face of the kinds of sanctions regimes leveled upon them to prevent just such an economy as they are claiming he is unwilling to create? In light of the present situation, they may now be more forgiving of having invested in guns rather than butter. It is they, after all, who are possessed of hypersonic weapons that we have no defense from.

        Investments of any sort are subject to a cost benefit analysis; industrialization costs money, and one might forgive them for declining what the IMF has to offer in view of what has been required of those who take them up on their loans in the past. That may have rendered full integration into the Western economy on their terms unwise in the face of the kinds of hostility that have faced them since the fall of the Soviet Union. Slower growth appears to have benefited them, and Putin appears to have tamed his oligarch problem in the process.

        The Russian economy that evolved under Putin from the basket case that US shock therapy left is now sufficiently diversified to handle all of the shocks that the west has leveled upon it. That would imply that it is not being handled in such a way as to sow chaos and mine it for the benefit of oligarchs, as it was initially designed to do by Larry Summers’ Harvard boys. Present day Ukraine would be a perfect example of how that paradigm works out; Kolomoisky is clearly not a Putin, and it was not Russia that Bidens’, Kerrys’, Pelosi’s, Clinton’s and Romney’s kids were invested in.

        It sounded like Clinton was trying to make that case, but it has been her own cadre of political wrecking balls that have left the kinds of devastation which would normally result from such actions. If there is a “mean neighbor” out there trying to strip Ukraine of its’ assets, one might first look at the efforts made on behalf of Shell and Monsanto to do precisely that in 2014 rather than the Gazprom that has done yeoman’s work in stabilizing Russia’s foreign exchange.

        “…just like boosting defence contractor revenues was not the primary reason for the US invasion of Iraq in 2003.” It was a nice bonus, but Iraq, Libya, Iran and Venezuela were never in a position to eliminate the petro-dollar/reserve currency as handily as Russia presently is. Nevertheless, there appear to be a lot of bankers who have found other nations gold and foreign reserves to be irresistable. The proposed playbook WRT Russia appears to be identical. Russia has not featured the cast of characters that we routinely find pirating them away while they are common as dirt here in our own failing Monopoly board paradigm. There is a pattern here and Clinton, despite her efforts, only served to point that out in her interview.

        Reply
  6. t

    The 2-parter on the masks is looking exclusively at studies of people wearing masks? Did I miss something?

    Reply
  7. truly

    Can someone recommend a good source to better understand lend-lease as it applies to foreign policy and arms deals? I read the Wiki page but want to understand the issue better. Maybe it has been written about here at NC?

    Reply
      1. truly

        It seems that we have signed a new lend lease with Ukraine? The Alex’s at Duran make note of it from time to time. It seems like one of those issues, maybe like TPP, that one would understand better if it were explained by someone with a strong bias, either for or against, than explained by someone trying to appear neutral or unbiased.
        Seems like maybe it is a loaded issue? A gift with string attached? A ticking time bomb?
        Just trying to understand things better.

        Reply
    1. The Rev Kev

      I can explain how Lend Lease worked both in in WW2 and now. Back during WW2, President Roosevelt armed the Russians so that they could go fight the Nazis. And right now, President Biden is arming the Nazis to fight the Russians.

      Reply
      1. Michael Fiorillo

        “… President Biden is arming the Nazis to fight the Russians.”

        Which of course relates to the Ds concocting Russiagate, since Trump is a Nazi, dontcha know?

        Reply
      2. jsn

        And, of course, will be relying on China to do all the heavy manufacturing, oh wait, there won’t be any.

        Just artisanal arms optimized for price, produced in the boutique batches that suit their price.

        Another 50 State MIC stimulus, what isn’t hit at the Ukraine border will end up on the black market till well after the sell by date.

        Reply
  8. poopinator

    Regarding the talking crosswalk, I can imagine a day when the AI starts directing pedestrians into oncoming traffic when the city is late on their cloud subscription.

    Reply
    1. Karma Fubar

      circa 2022

      “I knew it was time to get out of the market when the crosswalk AI started giving me stock tips”

      Reply
    2. wilroncanada

      I remember an old cartoon: A person at the crosswalk says, “The cops are sure tough in this town.” The crosswalk signal says “CRAWL.”

      Reply
    1. Jason Boxman

      Coinbase shares fell 15.6% in after-hours trading after the exchange released its earnings, dragging the crypto exchange’s stock price down to 80% below its Nasdaq debut in April 2021. Besides reporting a declining user base and lower than expected revenue, trading volume on the Coinbase exchange declined from $547 billion to $309 billion in the first quarter, over the same period last year. Coinbase warned that trading volume was likely to decline further in the current quarter.

      That would suck, to have waited a year after the IPO to book a LTG when you sell only to see you’ve lost 80% of your IPO wealth. Oops.

      Reply
    2. Sardonia

      In the event of bankruptcy, maybe they’ll give users NFT’s of their account statements as settlement.

      Reply
    3. griffen

      This ongoing market sell off is finally making the big reveal of how many late stage companies who recently went public through an IPO ( and are not a SPAC related offering ) have such a shaky outlook and lack the levers to immediately make big change.

      Rivian is another recent company, and they have managed to fall precipitously since their IPO launched. And that’s an EV manufacturer with big corporate dollars as backers!

      Reply
  9. North Star

    The comments yesterday on the F104s in Norway just caught my eye today, and I wanted to share an interesting story. Before his death, my father in law told me about his time in the RCAF in the early/mid 60s. He was stationed in Germany and flew 104s (replaced the F86 which he loved), mostly for recon work.

    His mission if war started with the Soviets was to drop a ‘small nuke’ bomb on an airfield in Poland. They were to fly on the deck to avoid radar detection, drop the single bomb load from an altitude of 75 yards, and return to base to re-arm. During training, with a balloon marking the release height so the pilots could be graded, they found the bombs would ‘stick’ with the plane and when the pilots rolled away too quickly after releasing it, they would tend to hit the bomb with a wing tip, causing a crash. After losing several planes and pilots this way, the procedure was modified to first enter into a short, steep climb before rolling away.

    Although they all knew the chances of surviving the mission would be very low, they also knew their airbase would be gone before they returned, together with their wives and kids. So the plan for some was to try and hightail it for north Africa with a limited fuel supply and take stock from there. He said that he and his fellow pilots often laughed about this over many drinks in the mess, wondering what they would do if they had to retreat into the jungles of central Africa. But he also said it was a crazy screwed up time.

    Reply
    1. Safety First

      Fascinating story. I am guessing we are talking about a 1kT bomb dropping on a parachute, and a groundburst type of explosion, and the aircraft is coming in at a pretty high speed. Per the F-104’s flying characteristics in the Wiki, it can do stable low-level flight at 600 knots, which is roughly 300 metres per second – ergo you need 5-7 seconds to fully clear the calculated blast radius of a 1kT weapon, especially if you are also climbing and rolling away…

      …and that does not even cover the potential effect of the EMP on the aircraft’s instruments. But hey, it’s the 1960s, and everything is analogue. My point is that it sounds like the mission parametres were written to leave very little margin for error, and obviously no-one had ever tried it in practice to see if the calculated times and blast forces and whatever else matched reality, which has actually been a big bugbear for nuclear weapons development since nearly the start. I suppose this makes at least one positive for the development of medium range missiles – same hot, radioactive death, but at least now you don’t have to have human beings hand-deliver it door to door…

      Reply
    2. Acacia

      The Hiroshima bomb was dropped from 31,000 feet. Is it at all possible to drop a nuke from 75 yards and return to base? No wonder Africa was the preferred destination.

      Reply
  10. Carolinian

    F-104 aka “the flying coffin”?–those tiny little wings. Didn’t it land so fast it had to use a drogue chute?

    Reply
    1. The Rev Kev

      If it wasn’t for the Cold War, it would probably never have been adopted in spite of all the bribes that Lockheed paid to get air forces to buy this hunk of junk-

      ‘The Starfighter eventually flew with fifteen air forces, but its poor safety record, especially in Luftwaffe service, brought it substantial criticism. The Germans lost 292 of 916 aircraft and 116 pilots from 1961 to 1989, its high accident rate earning it the nickname “the Widowmaker” from the German public.’

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lockheed_F-104_Starfighter#Early_problems

      Reply
  11. Carolinian

    Re HEPA–I just put a new one in my car. Does that count?

    It was easy to change.

    And yes still wearing a mask in the grocery store (and feeling increasingly conspicuous). It must be my lack of vanity. Mask wearing is easy too–at least for us customers.

    Reply
    1. Lunker Walleye

      Went for physical therapy today. No staff, not even therapist wearing masks. About 10% patients wearing them.

      Reply
      1. wilroncanada

        was at the lab for blood tests and an ECG yesterday. Masks mandatory. While I was waiting two middle-age native women entered, not wearing masks. Neither had a mask to put on and had to take a free one from the counter. Tribes on Vancouver Island were the hardest hit (most serious illness and death) by the pandemic, more seriously affected than even seniors in care. They were among the first vaccinated. Many reserves voluntarily quarantined their own members for several weeks. And yet….

        Reply
  12. Wukchumni

    The Bad Coin

    Things had started out innocently enough, a small buy useful purchase in the mid one figures on Bitcoin, oh to be a player with the big boys, was the initial attraction.

    Our relationship soured when Bitcoin wanted to go out to bars @ night, sometimes paying for endless rounds for all the patrons, trying to prove that it wasn’t a johnny come lately fluke. It rarely got up before noon and that was to only check the latest quote repeatedly before going to a Starbucks to try and sweet talk the 20 & 30 somethings into a relationship, the nerve of my 2-timing invisible friend I thought to myself!

    Reply
  13. Ranger Rick

    What are the odds people are going to see 8% cost of living raises this year to match this inflation? Zero? We’re not heading into a recession, we’re careening headlong off a cliff.

    Reply
      1. WobblyTelomeres

        I thought the “lemmings racing off a cliff” notion was shown to be an invention of the movie maker who was throwing the little critters off a cliff while filming. A bit more on point, i think, than “we’re careening” as if “we” have much choice.

        Bah. Just a bit angry today. My oldest told me that another young man in his old unit died of an overdose. Four young marines. And that doesn’t include the ranger who grew up playing playstation in my den, honor guard at Arlington, left two small kids. I suspect there are quite a few young men with very special skill sets who aren’t terribly fond of Sacklers.

        Reply
  14. JAC

    “A Grandmother Needed Paperwork For a Glucose Monitor. The NYPD Broke Her Arm.”

    Cops: ‘All you had to do was cooperate. You did this to yourself.’

    So the cops are resorting to the famous childhood meme; “Stop hitting yourself!” now?

    Reply
    1. ambrit

      The sort of cops who like beating people up always have done so.
      In general, today’s Security ethos selects for sadists and madmen, (with a few mad women thrown in for good measure.) Like any other Terran human endeavour, Gresham’s Law applies. The bad cops drive out the good cops. No fell plot needed.
      As Dad used to say; “Give them a badge and a gun and they think they are G–.”

      Reply
      1. JBird4049

        Honestly, at first I was angry, then just as I was starting into sad, I realized just how stupid the cops looked. It was like they were mentally ill actually. Are they? Many of the reports and stories I read make some of the police seem like they really do have mental health issues.

        412 people killed so far this year or about an average of three per day and doesn’t count the many more people injured or crippled for life. The numbers so far looks the same as 2021. Only, now there is no quarantine. It’s going to be an interesting summer.

        Reply
    2. Yves Smith

      The only good news is she is pretty much assured of getting at least $100K if she sues the city. Remember the couple that was arrested merely for dancing on a UWS subway platform? And they were not young, so I doubt anything super energetic, and not for money. They got $75K.

      Reply
  15. FreeMarketApologist

    Re: “Gavin Newsom 🖤 Oligarch Valley”

    I would highly recommend Curtis White’s essay Philanthrophy in the End Times as a good overview of the log rolling that goes on between industry and the charitable institutions that, in theory, oppose their actions. Politicians have taken a page from their playbook (or vice versa), to “…see that their work doesn’t threaten the source of their wealth.” The Resnicks have certain thrown cash at Newsom, he clearly thinks it’s time to pay some dividends on their investment.

    Reply
  16. jax

    Regarding Japan monitoring its movie theaters – is the reason they can maintain such low C02 readings because they are moving the inside air to the outside in more rapid cycles?

    Reply
  17. The Rev Kev

    ‘Marjorie Taylor Greene said last night: “$40 billion for Ukraine, but there’s no baby formula for American mothers and babies… Stop funding regime change and money laundering scams.” Here’s how Jamie Raskin responded on behalf of House Democrats, now a 100% war-crazed party’

    https://twitter.com/mtracey/status/1524374540620644352

    The Democrats are toast.

    Reply
    1. Objective Ace

      Jeeze–what exactly is he implying is disinformation?.. That mothers and babies in the US are having a hard time getting ahold of baby formula.

      Reply
  18. Basil Pesto

    re: one way masking

    it’s true this is sub-optimal, but generally I am wary of people doing DIY epidemiology (even though that’s all we’ve got without contact tracing).

    For example, she states that the rest of her trip to Chicago she was isolated. No doubt. But was she staying in air-gapped accommodation (in Chicago) or in a hotel with rooms off a shared corridor? Recall the many instances of hotel quarantine leakage across rooms with shared hallways – and most of these occurred in far off places like Australia and NZ and east asia so she may not have been sharply aware of it.

    I think we’re really flying blind to a large extent.

    Reply
    1. Objective Ace

      Agreed, and looking at the table provided: no masks is hardly an improvement over cloth masks which is what most of the individuals on a plane were wearing (when they werent eating, drinking, or pretending to) even before the mandates were lifted. 2.5 vs. 3.3 hours of protection–that 0.8 hour difference isnt that many flights

      Reply
  19. ChrisRUEcon

    #CoinCrash

    > Readers, this one is beyond me. Can somebody explain?

    I’ll take a stab, even though I am barely aware of all the intermediary players and the nature of their relationships. I think you can ferret out the cause and effects if you understand two things:
    • What shorting is
    • What defending a peg entails

    #TheShortingPart
    Via The Economic Times of India (English Edition)

    What is ‘Shorting’
    Definition: In capital markets, the act of selling a security at a given price without possessing it and purchasing it later at a lower price is known as shorting. This is also termed as short selling.

    This part is described in the 4th and 5th tweets in the thread. “Someone borrowed” 100K BTC and sold it. They then took about ¼ of the proceeds ($1B) and bought $UST. This was a set up of sorts, because by adding this amount of dollar liquidity into the system, it looks like this “pool” model set up among various “coin platforms” precipitated taking some of that liquidity back out of the system in short shrift – the pyramid scheme: as soon as fresh money comes in, it’s gone. But here is where the peg comes in …

    #ThePeggingPart
    Now, crypto tokens are not currencies, they are commodities – see tulips – so the concept of pegging as a whole is really improperly applied here. But basically, if you want to maintain 1 UST = 1 USD, it would mean – if you were to treat a crypto exchange like a Central Bank – that you have enough FX reserves (in this case USD) to cover all needs to convert local reserves (in this case you crypto) on demand at the 1:1 peg. The thing is, in this pooled model where the exchange is holding a diverse set of crypto tokens where some float and one is pegged means that in order to defend the peg, the exchange has to sell the floating ones (driving down the price in the process) to get cash to keep the pegged one up. This is what led to the crash. The attacker started offloading a billion worth of UST which forced the selling of BTC in a vain attempt to defend the UST peg. The attacker lost some money there, but the bigger jackpot was the BTC short, where they would have been able to buy back the BTC they borrowed at 75% of what they sold it for, netting ~$800M in the process.

    It’s absolutely ridiculous that this amount of money is swimming around in this squalid excuse for a “market”.

    Reply
      1. ChrisRUEcon

        LOL

        “The Big Short Part II – Mr. Crypto Comes To Town”

        One thing I forgot to add was how “animal spirits” played into this. Whoever pulled this off was fairly confident that herd mentality would take over as crypto holders got spooked – or alternatively, might have been aware of how various “algo’s” would get triggered as prices fell.

        Perhaps not purely an “inside job”, but the architects of the gambit knew exactly what they were doing.

        Reply
  20. howseth

    I’ve had fever now for 15 days. Sometimes reaching above 101 F. I tested Covid positive (rapid antigen test) on April 27. I tested negative on Tuesday May 3.

    So, I search the internet with the question – “If one becomes Covid negative, after a positive test, What does negative mean when one still has the same symptoms – or even worse?

    I’ll be damned if I got a direct answer.

    Anyone here have a clue?

    Reply
    1. Grebo

      It could be you have long covid. Or you could still be positive but got a false negative. A friend of mine had positive-negative-positive results a week apart. Possibly a reinfection? His whole family had it at the same time. They all recovered, fortunately.

      Reply
  21. digi_owl

    Sorry i have to rant somewhere.

    So right now Finland’s prime minister and president released a joint statement in favor of Finland joining NATO. As in they favor it, but there is still no final statement from Finish parliament or anything like that.

    Yet i see news outlet after outlet, and all over social media, with headlines claiming the application have already been submitted.

    What The Flying Fuck Is Going On?!

    It is as if the whole of western leadership has gotten collective dementia, and is hell bent on going down in glorious nuclear conflagration fighting those evil commie hordes like it is the 60s all over again.

    Reply
    1. Polar Socialist

      I was under the impression that one is invited to NATO, by an unanimous agreement of the members. One does not apply for membership.

      On the other hand, we still live in a “rules based order”, so rules may not apply.

      Reply
  22. LawnDart

    Covid Cash-Cow(?):

    Probe to check Covid deaths of vaccinated

    [Blah, blah, blah… we know, but here’s the interesting part:]

    Commenting on the supply of antiviral Favipiravir pills, the minister said the Government Pharmaceutical Organization (GPO) can produce its own pills.

    The cost is 13 baht [$.38 USD] per pill or 600 baht [$17.34] per course, much lower than the imported Favipiravir pills at 8,000 baht [$231.22] per course.

    The imported price of Remdesivir, a broad-spectrum antiviral drug, is also reduced from 1,200 baht [$34.68] to 200 baht [$5.78] per shot.

    https://www.bangkokpost.com/thailand/general/2308478/probe-to-check-covid-deaths-of-vaccinated

    Reply
  23. antidlc

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/newsletters/2022-05-13/people-are-getting-repeat-covid-infections-more-often
    People Are Getting Repeat Covid Infections More Often

    After the omicron surge this winter, there was hope that all those infections would at least mean that Covid would lay low for a while and give us all a bit of a break.

    It’s starting to seem like that might not be the case.

    Once again, infections are steadily rising in the US. Some people are catching Covid for a second, third or even a fourth time. Having recently gotten ill seems to no longer be a guarantee you’re protected against Covid for any length of time. Early studies have suggested that the newer omicron sublineages can actually evade not just the antibodies of previous variants like delta, but even the antibodies of previous versions of omicron.

    Hey, Bloomberg! How about reporting on what these repeated infections are actually doing to your body?

    Reply

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