Links 6/30/2022

Lambert and I, and many readers, agree that Ukraine has prompted the worst informational environment ever. We hope readers will collaborate in mitigating the fog of war — both real fog and stage fog — in comments. None of us need more cheerleading and link-free repetition of memes; there are platforms for that. Low-value, link-free pom pom-wavers will be summarily whacked.

And for those who are new here, this is not a mere polite request. We have written site Policies and those who comment have accepted those terms. To prevent having to resort to the nuclear option of shutting comments down entirely until more sanity prevails, as we did during the 2015 Greek bailout negotiations and shortly after the 2020 election, we are going to be ruthless about moderating and blacklisting offenders.


P.S. Also, before further stressing our already stressed moderators, read our site policies:

Please do not write us to ask why a comment has not appeared. We do not have the bandwidth to investigate and reply. Using the comments section to complain about moderation decisions/tripwires earns that commenter troll points. Please don’t do it. Those comments will also be removed if we encounter them.

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NASA scientists say images from the Webb telescope nearly brought them to tears Ars Technica (Furzy Mouse).

Donkeys are livestock guardians in up north battle with gray wolves MLive Michigan

Markets Are Signaling a Pyrrhic Inflation Victory John Authers, Bloomberg. What.

Revisiting Peak Inflation The Big Picture

Too Clever By Half Epsilon Theory


Deaths, Costs of Climate-Linked Disasters May Be Grossly Undercounted Bloomberg

World’s Biggest Ever Issue of Carbon Credits Planned in Gabon Bloomberg

Surveying the corporate-controlled EPR landscape in 2022 Waste Dive. EPR = Extended Producer Responsibility.


BioNTech, Pfizer to start testing universal vaccine for coronaviruses Reuters

How better pandemic and epidemic intelligence will prepare the world for future threats Nature. “Working together to build a stronger global trust architecture is critical: promoting transparency and sharing is more important than ever in a global context with growing challenges to data openness, reliability and trustworthiness.” I dunno. Sounds like something Davos Man would be all gung-ho for. Readers?

How Japan Achieved One of The World’s Lowest Covid Death Rates Bloomberg. “If the US had Japan’s death rate, only 82,000 people would have died. Not 1 million+.”

China v. US on Covid risk analysis:

Covid. One Big Sigh Roden


Monkeypox: What We Do and Don’t Know About Recent Outbreaks American Society for Microbiology

We learn nothing:

Overly restrictive testing criteria, as with Covid, means all our numbers are bad:


China to press on with ‘zero Covid’, despite economic risks, Xi Jinping says South China Morning Post

China’s Xi Declares Hong Kong Is ‘Reborn’ After Overcoming Risks Bloomberg

Hong Kong resistance will live on SupChina

Chas Freeman, former US Assistant Secretary of Defense:


The machine that went rogue Himal Magazine

This is an extremely bad idea:

First, the situation on the ground, militarily and politically, has advanced in a direction Aung San Suu Kyi is not equipped to handle. Second, returning A.S.K. to power is a slap in the face to the Rohingya — hence to Federalism — since their slaughter took place on her watch. All that A.S.K. has going for her is name-recognition in the West, and the trust of the NGOs. Come to think of it, that’s my third point.


Why Does Israel Keep Assassinating Iranian Officials? Because It Works. Foreign Policy

US President Biden backs African Development Bank’s plan to feed Africa Maravi Post


UK extends steel tariffs, breaching WTO obligations Agence France Presse

Union Boss Becomes U.K.’s Surprise Media Star WSJ

Poll: Just 5 percent of Northern Ireland voters trust UK to manage trade dispute Politico

Scottish independence: Majority of Scots against Nicola Sturgeon’s October 2023 referendum date The Scotsman

New Not-So-Cold War

Ukraine drives Russian forces from Snake Island, a setback for Moscow. NYT. Of course, I’ll want confirmation and interpretation from a reliable source.

* * *

Syria to recognize Ukraine’s Luhansk and Donetsk regions AP

Biden Administration Throws Support Behind F-16 Sale To Turkey (Re Silc).

Ships going dark: Russia’s grain smuggling in the Black Sea FT

* * *

This entire thread (starts here) is a must-read. A few salient points:



“It may be dangerous to be America’s enemy, but to be America’s friend is fatal.” –Henry Kissinger

Ukraine Is The Latest Neocon Disaster Jeffrey Sachs, Tikkun. Good summary.

Delusion Nicolo Soldo, Fisted by Foucault. The deck: “The US Government’s Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) holds a briefing on the “moral and strategic” necessity of partitioning Russia.” Handy map:

Handing the Eastern bits to China on a platter, good job.

Military briefing: Nato brings back cold war doctrine to counter Russian threat FT

Colombia’s Historic Pact The Baffler

Biden Administration

Biden unlikely to meet bold Democrat demands after abortion ruling, sources say Reuters. “Biden and officials are concerned that more radical moves would be politically polarizing ahead of November’s midterm elections, undermine public trust in institutions like the Supreme Court or lack strong legal footing, sources inside and outside the White House say.”


Overturning Roe could change how digital advertisers use location data. Can they regulate themselves? Protocol

Americans United for Life Is Offering States Model Bills to Restrict Abortion Teen Vogue


Major Aluminum Manufacturer Shuts Down Manufacturing Business Technology

Russian Gas Cuts Threaten World’s Largest Chemicals Hub WSJ

Medical contrast dye shortage forces delays in diagnostic and surgical procedures WSWS

Infant formula plant remains closed for flood cleanup; no word on how long it will take Food Safety News

Geographies in Transition Phenomenal World

Supply Chain

Rice Is Saving Asia as Ukraine War Drives Up Food Prices WSJ

Traders shift to China-Europe freight trains as European port congestion intensifies Hellenic Shipping News

Black Injustice Tipping Point

1955 warrant in Emmett Till case found; family seeks arrest Politico

Guillotine Watch

Climate damage caused by growing space tourism needs urgent mitigation (press release) University College London (dk). Original.

Samaritan’s Purse Amasses Over a Billion Dollars in Assets, Raising Red Flags The Roys Report

Class Warfare

Policy Strategies for Addressing Current Threats to the U.S. Nursing Workforce NEJM. “We contend that there isn’t a shortage of nurses, but a shortage of hospitals that provide nurses with safe work environments and adequate pay and benefits. ”

BREAKING: Pfizer has hired an army of union-busters Labor Lab

Controversy Continues Over Whether Hot Water Freezes Faster Than Cold Quanta. Fascinating!

Antidote du jour (via):

Bonus antidote:

See yesterday’s Links and 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. The Rev Kev

    Working link for “Syria to recognize Ukraine’s Luhansk and Donetsk regions” article at-

    When Zelensky heard about this, he hit the roof and cut off all ties with Syria. Apparently Syria does not know that they are supposed to bow down before him like all the other countries-

    1. Milton

      Doesn’t Syria know that Bono and Stiller are best buds with elensky? Talk about unwoke.

  2. smashsc

    Re: Revisiting Peak Inflation (Ritholz)

    I think it’s great that he listed areas that are moderating, but I’m not convinced that I’ll see much as an individual.

    Wages – saying that layoffs may reduce wage gains certainly isn’t a benefit for the worker.
    Food – not. mentioned. at. all.
    Energy – “even Energy is off its highs”. So it has paused a bit – does that really mean it will go down? I’ve not seen any confidence in the media except for using “demand destruction”.

    Those are items that are *my* primary inputs and outputs.

    1. juno mas

      Yes, Ritholz is likely looking at inflation from an “investment” perspective. While housing prices may moderate at the high end, the CPI-U is based on the cost of rental housing. With the housing shortage NOT easing, rents are likely to climb. Not good for the working class.

      As for food, inflation is not going to abate soon. Energy to ship to, and operate grocery stores will continue to rise. The port congestion increases the cost of labor (ignoring port gouging) and that, too, will keep prices up.

      And since most people drive to work/school, gas prices (not included directly in the CPI) will continue to take a good chunk of disposable income. That reduction in income is the effect of inflation.

  3. Samuel Conner

    Adjacent to “extended producer responsibility,” I’m gazing on a pile of empty 1, 2 and 4# rice and bean poly bags left after I moved the haul from a recent grocery-shopping outing into sealed jars.

    Are there good ideas for useful things one can do with these in the spirit of “reuse/repurpose”? They aren’t recyclable at present. I’ve been tossing them in the trash for decades without much thought about it but, pre-pandemic, it was generally a few at a time; under “minimize social contacts” precautions (the Le Carre term, from the Smiley series, “Moscow Rules” comes to mind), I’m purchasing infrequently but in quantity and it’s an admirable pile of plastic.

    Ideas would be welcome.

      1. Samuel Conner

        This could be really helpful; thanks! I have some small tree volunteers that I’d like to remove but save for someone who wants small trees, and I don’t have pots that are tall enough for the roots. The 4# bean bags might work well for this.

    1. c_heale

      You can plait plastic bags to make a kind of rope. My brother made a waste bin out of plastic bags for an art project at school once. But I’m not sure how big your bags are (don’t live in the US)…

      1. Samuel Conner

        These are too small for that, but I could unfold them, cut them into strips and use them as tie-backs for veggies supported by stakes and cages. At some point, they’re likely to degrade and contribute to my local microplastics problem (I find bits of plastic in the soil when I dig) but perhaps they will hold up well enough for one season’s use, after which they would go into the waste stream; I should look into how this material degrades on exposure to sun and weather. Same outcome, but delayed, and perhaps the substitution for other forms of tie-back would be a small net gain.

        1. Brian (another one they call)

          You may get microplastic entropy and PFAS contamination, please be aware of using plastic made for other purposes around your foods.

      2. .human

        I use them to package servings from bulk purchases that will be used that week alleviating the need to be continually opening the bulk storage. Also for wet garbage that does not go into the compost, eg meat trimmings and cooked scraps. Not to mention a myriad of other uses. I’ve tried to live without plastics. It is impossible. Just look around you!

    2. Laura in So Cal

      I re-use all small plastic bags for the daily litterbox scooping. They could also be used for doggie clean up.

      1. Anthony G Stegman

        All those plastic poop bags are a pollution problem deserving of its own category. Dog poop should be collected and composted, not put in plastic bags and taken to a landfill.

        1. timbers

          Agree. I see people picking up dog poo with bags far far away from trash containers. I advise them to just move it into dense brush and spare the plastic.

  4. JohnA

    Re Snake Island
    The Russian version is that they have withdrawn their troops as a goodwill gesture to remove a further obstacle to Ukraine claiming it cannot ship its grain out of Odessa. The idea of Ukraine beign able to drive the Russians out seems yet another far fetched lie by Zelensky.
    If Ukraine abuses this, I expect the Russians to blitz the island, rather than getting Ukr personnel on the island to peacefully surrender again.

    1. Lex

      To be fair, Russian sources are also saying that defending the island currently, with long range artillery and rockets on the Odessa coast opposite, requires a particularly high cost in men and material. The goodwill gesture is also a bit of face saving.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Saving their own men’s lives as well as saving on the missiles needed to intercept Ukrainian missiles? Sounds like a good judgement call to me. I read once that in warfare, you should find what your enemy wants – and then deny it to them. The Russians did this with Snake Island and over the past several weeks the Ukrainians have lost elite commando formations, helicopters, several jet-fighters, scarce missiles and I don’t know what else. I would call that a pretty good operation that and when the Russians finally swing through the south, grabbing Odessa along the way, Snake Island will automatically fall to them once again.

        1. schmoe

          My first reaction when I heard this is that this is a strong indication that Russia intends to take Odessa, but I also agree that holding this is not worth the effort and if Ukraine puts Harpoon missiles there Russia can deal with that via airstrikes.

        2. Lex

          Oh I agree. The cost of holding the island is higher than the benefit of holding it. There have been some stories about how difficult it was to get some the AD systems onto the island during hostilities. Long term , Russia needs the island. Short term, it can just keeping wiping it clean with missile attacks as needed.

      2. Yves Smith

        I think Ukraine lost quite a few men on one of its attempts to retake the island.

        And honestly, that island is so small all it would take is a couple of the heavier-duty long range missiles to clear it if/when Russia wants it back.

        1. Polar Socialist

          I’m pretty sure the Russian Bastion-P batteries in Crimea are ready to deny access to any Ukrainian vessel even attempting to approach the island.

          After all, Russia did not hand the island back to Ukraine, they just withdrew the garrison to (prevent useless losses) show goodwill and pressure Ukraine to demine the approaches to Odessa “because of hunger”. The island, of course, should remain unoccupied.

          1. ambrit

            As far as “unoccupied” is concerned; could the Russian boffins be running an experiment on automated defense systems there? They “tested to destruction” proposed military tactical doctrines in Syria. Why not here too?
            What I’m worried about is the Ukies trying to attack Sevastopol directly with the “new” Harpoon batteries. That could get ugly.

          2. PlutoniumKun

            Snake Island is simply too small too defend when within rocket or missile range. One hail of thermobaric weapons will kill everyone who isn’t in a deep air-sealed bunker. And those missiles are cheaper than any ground based interceptor missile. And deep air sealed bunkers are probably no use against a large ballistic missile with a ground penetrating warhead unless they are truly massive.

            This is, and always will be the problem with small islands as strategic assets. If you compare them to an aircraft carrier or missile cruiser, they may be unsinkable*, but they are also unable to maneuver to make targeting difficult.

            So unless an island has a good supply of running water, a good natural harbour, and is big enough to hide your main hardware assets, its strategic use will always be very limited. This is something the US worked out during the Pacific War, but Japan learned too late.

            *in the case of China’s ‘new’ island chain, they are discovering that islands can, in fact, sink due to subsidence.

          1. Yves Smith

            I haven’t seen it yet, but I am told Alexander Mercouris is upset (not that he has a vote) because he thinks this feeds the narrative that Russia was blocking Ukraine grain shipments. IMHO no one in the US or Global South buys this “Russia is making food prices high” story while the EU and UK are so deeply invested in it that they are not amenable to counter information.

            1. The Rev Kev

              Alex Christoforou, perhaps influenced by Alexander Mercouris, was saying the same in his latest video-

     (about the 14:55 mark)

              However, M. K. Bhadrakumar was saying in a recent article that through this ploy, it now puts the Ukrainians on the spot to clear those mines out from Odessa.

              They had better do something soon. That wheat was from the last harvest and pretty soon the wheat from this harvest will be coming in soon-


    2. Vandemonian

      FWIW this is a quote from the Intel Slava Z Telegram channel:

      It is “too early” for Kiev to create an outpost on Zmeiny Island, said Natalya Gumenyuk, head of the press center of the security and defense forces of the operational command “South” of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine.

      “We have to monitor their behavior (Russian Armed Forces – ed.) in terms of grouping ships and using other forces. It’s too early for us to form an outpost on Zmeiny Island,” Gumenyuk said in an interview with CNN. “Our forces have not yet landed on the island,” she said.

  5. Polar Socialist

    Russia indeed announced withdrawal from Snake (Serpent) Island today.

    The Russian media (MK as an example) speculates that the reasons are mostly political: they assume Ukraine has promised – guaranteed by Turkey – not to target the oil rigs in Black Sea, and Russia can show to UN that it’s not Russia preventing the Ukrainian grain from reaching the hungry nations – it’s the Ukrainian mines.

    There’s also the military perspective that after Donbass the next operational area would be Kharkov and Dniepro, so there’s no need to control the approaches to Odessa – for now. On the other hand Kharkov is not as important, according to the commentators, as Odessa is. So it’s quite possible that while mopping up the Donbass, the Russians will be making a lot of moves to prepare an advance towards Kharkov and then the hammer falls on Nikolaev opening road to Odessa when nobody is expecting.

    We’ll know by the end of the summer, I guess. Unless Ukraine is allowed to negotiate for peace.

    1. Lex

      IMO, Odessa is going to be the primary goal of Phase III because if Russia doesn’t control it at the end of hostilities the US/UK will finish the naval base there and that will effectively close Sevastopol. Close enough for missile attacks on the Russian port and the ability to blockade the Black Sea with relatively small forces. I also assume that if/when Odessa falls the US/UK will abandon Ukraine. What they want is a strategic position on the Black Sea. If that’s not possible Ukraine does them no real good that can’t be achieved in Poland instead.

      1. Yves Smith

        If I were in charge, I’d prioritize Odessa too, but I think that depends on if the Ukraine military collapses after Russia takes Lysychansk and then Sloviansk-Kramatorsk. If the UAF has pretty much fallen apart, the psychological damage to the forces remaining in western Ukraine (and the West) will be much greater if Russia takes Odessa than Kharkiv. And moving a lot of forces across Ukraine will be less hard too.

        1. KD

          Why not roll up the rest of Zaphorzhia alongside Donetsk Oblast first and then push West until they reach Maldova? Kharkiv sounds like a mess, its x3 population of Mariupol, and that means a long siege and a lot of civilian casualties, and what strategic value does it provide in return?.

          1. Yves Smith

            IMHO Odessa has more strategic and psychological value. Taking the entire Black Sea coast is very valuable economically and it gives them much more leverage over Ukraine than taking Zaphorzhia. It’s a big deal to Russia historically and because the Maidan coupsters killed all those people at the Trade Union house.

            Russia also likes using rail to support its logistics when possible. There’s a nice rail line along the coast, see:

            But as indicated, I think what they do next depends on how weak the UAF looks when they finish with their pressing targets.

            1. Tom Stone

              Russia’s SMO has been very impressive so far, I would expect them to continue performing competently and intelligently.
              I would bet that they have planned for a variety of contingencies and will take advantage of any UAF/NATO mistakes or failures promptly because they are competent.
              Although Russia undoubtedly has their share of corruption in their Military and especially in their procurement process ( All militaries do) they manage to deliver systems that work and that are appropriate for their task.
              The USA can no longer do this due to pervasive corruption.
              F35, Ford class carrier’s, Little crappy ships and the new super duper military cartridge which is a totally unnecessary tech fix for a problem with training and doctrine.
              It also offends EVERY other NATO Nation because they will all have to follow the big Dog.
              And the underlying problem of training and doctrine will remain…

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      I’m skeptical of “denazify” as a tangible goal, but the other goals are being completed. The Republics are being liberated. The Ukraine can’t be a platform, and the Euro governments are destroying their economies.

      The Odessa theatre massacre is another matter, but the Russians might know the perpetrators and might offer a cease fire in exchange. I’m not sure the Russians will do more than hit concentrations of men and materials going forth if they can control or prevent Ukrainian raiders, hence the withdrawal from Snake Island. The separatist forces have been at this a long time and are on the verge of liberation. I doubt they can be counted on.

    3. PlutoniumKun

      Something worth bearing in mind is it could be argued that the real long term prize for Russia along that coast is Nikolaev. I’ve no idea their current state, but its two shipyards were the most important military shipyards for the Soviet Union. Existing Russian shipyards are all in extreme cold weather ports, which I understand is a major constraint on operations. Going back many years, Putin has been complaining about the poor state of Russia shipyards – this is the primary reason they attempted to buy a French Mistral Class amphibious assault vessel before the 2014 sanctions.

      I wonder too if Russia thinks it can get Odessa without fighting. The mayor there is apparently corrupt even by Ukrainian standards. Russia had a lot of success in Syria in mixing threats and bribes to ‘turn’ many local leaders back to Assad. If the Ukie army collapses west of the Dneiper, I’m pretty sure a few local leaders may decide to switch allegiances. A few large canvas sacks full of dollars, or indeed, some Cayman accounts may prove a cost effective way to quickly take some cities.

      1. The Rev Kev

        ‘I wonder too if Russia thinks it can get Odessa without fighting.’

        I have wondered about that too. So my own guess, for what it is worth, is this – Russian and allied forces will zoom past Odessa and link up with Transnistria, thus sealing off Odessa from any reinforcements or resupply. But by then, the Odessa garrison will have mostly fled north so as not to end up in a Russian cauldron. By then Ukrainian moral would have either collapsed or be close too. And having practiced on cities like Mariupol and Severodonetsk, the Russian will have the drill down pat on how to take that city. The way that the Russians have been advancing has been like a giant Cookie Monster (nom, nom, nom) but by then there will be more rapid advances as resistence collapses. Just my take.

        1. LawnDart

          Russian and allied forces will zoom past Odessa and link up with Transnistria, thus sealing off Odessa from any reinforcements or resupply.

          Russian public opinion seems to demand the taking of Odessa, andTransnistria cannot be left as an open question. So I’d agree with your assessment.

      2. Alecto M Tisiphone

        Resistance in the city of Mykolaiv preempted Putin’s offensive toward Odesa along the Southern axis. In response, Putin sent his Southern batallions elsewhere. This indicates Putin understands how poorly trained his infantry are and how archaic his doctrine is when facing motivated non-contiguous urban guerilla formations operating autonomously. When not addressed by certain novel tactics, urban terrain will force conventional forces into linear formations at predetermined choke points.

        Here is a 20th century army tasked with 19th century objectives relying on a vague shared imperial consciousness and daily risible cover stories. Should a negotiated ceasefire take hold, Putin has left little doubt that Russia will re-invade after re-arming for five years. Brute force can not erase 21st century Ukraine from existence, especially when force is not accurately applied with the right instruments. Kremenchuk was the result of two expensive misses without any follow through: the Kredmash plant stands unscathed.

        1. hk

          More indication that the more people are watching this war, the less in common that they see.

        2. The Rev Kev

          You do know that the Russians have taken over a quarter of the Ukraine in the face of a proxy NATO army, don’t you? And in spite of the full backing of the west with money and weaponry? If the Ukraine had gone for a neutral status like Austria, they could have had it all. Instead they were fool enough to listen to western promises of glory and may end up now as a rump state. And if the Ukraine complains about this to the west, the west will say something along the lines of ‘Well you were stupid enough to listen to us, weren’t you.’ Ask Afghanistan how western backing ended up for them.

    4. Darius

      The last sentence of the NYT story said it was unclear whether Ukraine will garrison the island because of its vulnerability to attack. Looks like the Russians decided to stop devoting resources to an asset of little strategic value.

    5. John k

      Imo the 9 oblasts, centered in the Donbas and including Odessa and Kharkov, that voted for the Russian leaning guy in 2014 (who won) constitute what the russians will liberate. Followed by referendums.
      Imo if Ukraine sues for peace Russia will fuss over the shape of the table until that has been accomplished on the ground.
      I’ve read that z is pulling defenders out of Odessa/Kharkov to reinforce the east quagmire… and that for some time they’ve been throwing untrained troops at it… so maybe Donbas is delayed a bit but the cities will be easier.
      I thought our best and brightest want a long war… and that they’re (nuland?) running the Ukraine op… who they gonna use for the guerrilla war? All the men will be gone.
      I’ve been fascinated by this war because it seems the world is going thru a metamorphosis… if we survive we get a multi polar world with the us unable to afford 800 foreign bases. I’ve read there’s a rep isolationist faction in the senate… trump might be sympathetic? Doesn’t seem likely we’d get change from the dem/cia/msm wing.

  6. The Rev Kev

    ‘Every time someone says “in the US ‘Monkeypox’ (MPXV) is only happening in gay men,” I need you to remember that the current testing criteria disqualifies basically anyone else from accessing a test.’

    That tweet should come with a warning message. After I read it, I had a flashback to the 80s when it was claimed that AIDS was only a gay men’s disease so nothing for most people to worry about.

    1. Samuel Conner

      One wonders if Dr. Fauci has any opinions to share on therapies that might be useful in treatment of this disease.

    2. Milton

      There were also reports that AIDS could be spread through casual contact and no less than St Fauci himself would not rule out (at least in public) this vector during his early press briefings. So a kind of contradictory messaging there.

      1. Tom Stone

        I learned to despise Fauci during the early years of the AIDS epidemic and had no idea he had burrowed himself into the bureaucracy like a giant diseased tick until Covid arrived.
        Finding out he was still around was like accidentally stepping on a full colostomy bag.

    3. Mikel

      I was wondering why the CDC and other psychos kept harping on monkeypox in “men who have sex with men” when that is NOT the only way the disease spreads and is only a sign of a variant/mutation.

      It’s the way psychos can pretend nothing is wrong because they won’t be testing more people.

      That’s what all of these wackos in their death cult economy have learned: ways to avoid admitting there is a serious problem – EVER.

      It’s up there with the Fed in a sandbox playing with interest rates to try to solve problems (esp. regarding employment especially) that have to do with major societal issues such as: a BS healthcare system that has no capacity to deal with sustained emergencies, opioid and other addictions, daily multiple shootings, etc.

      I’ve built up a fire in me to reject everything they call normal and the alleged normal idiots think they are returning to.

    1. RockHard

      The last 2 weeks of SC decisions I think are worthy of a top-level article, rather than taking them on piecemeal. Off the top of my head, here’s some recent ones:
      Supreme Court limits EPA in curbing power plant emissions
      Supreme Court limits ability to enforce Miranda rights
      Supreme Court expands gun rights, striking New York limits

      That’s just what I’ve personally noted, I’m sure I’m missing a great deal more. RBG was the stunner but 2 years later, 50 years of patient work is paying massive dividends for the right.

      Text conversation with a friend this morning, her response was “Impeach”. I responded that the Dems need to have a hard look at themselves and their leadership, but she wasn’t having any of it. She’s a very dedicated Dem (donates lots of money, volunteers for things like licking stamps and making phone calls), she’s stuck on hating the Right. Another friend on FB ranted about the dem voters who voted Trump or Stein in 2016 or didn’t vote at all, again, he’s a very dedicated ground-level dem.

      The Democratic party is a corpse, but the people at the ground level are still negotiating through the stages of grief.

      1. orlbucfan

        The so-called “humans” described in the Powell Memo are not right wing nor conservative. They’re hard right, and a lot of them are religious freaks. We’re in a Dark Ages, folks. Glad I’m getting old and have no kids to answer to. Really enjoyed reading the update and comments on the James Webb ST: a ray of sunshine in a dark world.

        1. Mildred Montana

          >”We’re in a Dark Ages, folks.”

          To turn Reagan’s well-known phrase on its head, it’s evening in America.

          If Trump is elected in 2024, it will be night.

      2. marym

        Lined up for next term:

        “The Supreme Court takes up a case about the independent state legislature doctrine for next term, which could give state legislatures far greater power over all manner of election laws.”

        “…conservative scholars have devised a theory known as the “independent state legislature doctrine” that would give legislatures complete control over elections, including voting rules and redistricting. Under this theory, state constitutional provisions governing elections would be null and void, and state courts would have no power to intervene in election disputes. The legislature alone would set the rules—and, in extreme versions of the theory, even dictate the outcome of an election.”

        1. flora

          Thanks. I’m waiting for them to take a case that will let them “decide” the US Congress can’t override SC decisions by making new laws.

          1. the last D

            Waiting to learn what greenwald’s thinking. Something very deep, yet obvious on reflection, I’m sure.

    2. Glen

      Interesting. I’m still re-reading this to better understand.

      Here’s a local newspaper take on one of the other recent cases:

      The myth at the heart of the praying Bremerton coach case

      As I seem to recall, the prayer events at the games started small, but became the event even more than the game. I was surprised that it ended up getting the attention that it did as fast as it did.

  7. Lex

    Re: temperature screening,
    The US believes in silver bullet solutions (see, vaccination campaign). Temperature screening, rapid testing, ventilation, masking and physical distancing all work together. The last three hit the approachable portion of the hierarchy of controls: engineering controls, PPE and administrative controls.

    Good Covid policy is a game of playing the statistical odds, where you do everything you can to improve the odds of individuals and localized groups. Bad Covid policies amount to “never tell me the odds” and heading i by on the theater for opening night of the summer blockbuster where nobody’s masked or screened while your droid attempts to explain the odds of navigating an asteroid field.

    1. hk

      In those sci Fi films, the droids are almost always wrong and the heroes always escape by jumping into the asteroid fields. Another way pop entertainment is trying to kill us.

    2. Janie

      Temp sensors can’t be too expensive; they were at hotel and shop entrances all over Thailand almost 20 years ago in the aftermath of that SARS epidemic.

  8. The Rev Kev

    “Major Aluminum Manufacturer Shuts Down”

    ‘According to the company, the plant is its largest U.S. smelter and the largest producer of high-purity aluminum in North America. The aluminum is used extensively in the defense industry as well as in aerospace applications. For example, it’s used in F16s, naval war vessels, Boeing 747s and even the International Space Station….Still, the company gave no assurance that the plant will re-open after the shutdown.’

    I have an idea. If the place is so vital to America’s national interest, then nationalize that plant. No, seriously. Make those workers federal employees at a good wage and thus remove the problem that the US will be dependent on aluminium from foreign sources. Minor note – I wrote aluminium rather than aluminum. I believe that the later is used only in the US and Canada but pretty much every other country uses aluminium as it is less of a tongue-twister.

      1. ambrit

        Oh stop it with the lightweight aspersions.
        “Alcoa. We’re what’s at the top of the pyrimid!”

    1. Eclair

      Gosh, Rev, closing the plant might be the first step in a bid to get Government subsidies. Does make one wonder why the management had not locked in electricity costs with long term contracts. (Or, maybe just bad timing and they were up for renewal.) Nationalization makes sense, given that the aluminum production of the US is of the boutique variety; we can’t compete with China, India, Russia …. or even Canada! Guess I’ll hang on to those old 1960’s aluminum lawn chairs!

      1. Wukchumni

        I heard the new F-Keystone Light fighter jet will be rolled out as soon as enough empties are available…

      2. Brian (another one they call)

        At the same time could we nationalize the oil and gas industry? If we don’t, they will sell it all to the lowest bidder and we too will freeze to death in the dark like Europe will. Could we nationalize our government too? They need supervision from adults you know.

    2. IntoTheAbyss

      Guess I waited too long to replace my 50 year old pool enclosure. Now 6 to 12 month backlog and the prices are climbing astronomical.

    3. MaryLand

      It was aluminum in the US until ALCOA ordered stationery with an “i” mistakenly left out. Rather than pay for a new printing they just stayed with the incorrect spelling. Since they were the top producer in the US the new spelling was accepted in the US.

    4. Mildred Montana

      >”aluminium” vs. “aluminum”

      The writer Bill Bryson believed that “aluminium” was preferred by some countries (and scientists) because its “ium” ending fit better with its neighbors on the periodic table, sodium and magnesium.

    5. Glen

      I was able to find this report which is current to March of last year:

      U.S. Aluminum Manufacturing: National Security and Tariffs

      It looks like Century Aluminum benefited from the China trade tariffs under Trump, but is citing energy prices that have tripled operating costs (see the full WARN letter in the article below):

      Century Aluminum will layoff 628, curtail operations up to a year

      America really has no industrial policy much less a defense industrial policy, and the last dedicated Federal agency for performing that specific function for defense was gone back in the late 50’s, but it looks like it made it’s mark before disappearing:

      Office of Defense Mobilization

      I don’t know what agency in the DoD performs that type of function today. I would almost be more tempted to say that whereas Wall St and the Fed exist to create trillions of dollars, the DoD seems to exist to make those trillions disappear (among other functions – but this one might be the most important):

      Pentagon Racks Up $35 Trillion in Accounting Changes in One Year

  9. Jack

    Re “nursing workforce” suggestions from NEJM. I notice the NEJM doesn’t mention asking DoJ to enforce the FSLA more actively, or staff the NLRB better, or investigate and enforce federal law against monopoly and monopsony power, or hospital rollups, or hospital collusions and the like. NEJM doesn’t suggest that mandatory overtime should be forbidden by statute. There’s a lot that could be done, but the hospital corporations would fight it all, and win.

    1. jsn

      Under the Roberts Court, because corruption no longer exists, anything that may look like a problem to you or me but actually makes a profit for someone somewhere in an exec suite cannot be changed unless someone can out bid those execs.

      It’s pay to play and right now the only people playing are the super rich.

  10. The Rev Kev

    “Biden Administration Throws Support Behind F-16 Sale To Turkey”

    There has to be more to it than that. Some other secret agreements. Recently the Turks were complaining bitterly how the US was using the Greeks to militarize islands near the Turkish homeland in spite of some treaty where they were not allowed to do that. The US wanted them to be used to cover any Russian ship exiting the Black Sea. So maybe there was an agreement to back off here. I guess that we will have to wait and see.

    Meanwhile, Turkey has drawn up a list if 33 people that they want arrested and extradited from Sweden and Finland. Let’s see which wins out first – Turkish demands or “western values.” I can hardly wait.

  11. Wukchumni

    Goooooooood Moooooorning Fiatnam!

    Operation Rolling Blunder was what some of the grunts called the Jay Powell Doctrine-which states that a list of questions all have to be answered affirmatively before monetary action is taken by the United States: Are vital interest rates threatened? Do we have a clear attainable objective? Have the risks and costs been fully and frankly analyzed?

    Yes, no & no were the answers to the query, and in response the Fed renamed inflation as ‘winflation’ to soften the blow and win hearts & minds in assorted hamlets from coast to coast, aside from the Hamptons.

  12. GramSci

    re African Development Bank

    “The Bank Group’s $1.5 billion African Emergency Food Production Facility, approved by its Board of Directors in May, will provide 20 million smallholder farmers with climate-smart, certified wheat, maize, soy and other staple crop seeds, as well as more affordable fertilizer and extension services. This will allow Africa to rapidly produce over the next four farming seasons an additional 38 million tons of food worth $12 billion.”

    I presume that $12B valuation is for *export* crops grown from patented US seeds? I dont know anything about the AfDB except that, per the following, it appears to be just another IMF cutout…

  13. The Rev Kev

    “Military briefing: Nato brings back cold war doctrine to counter Russian threat”

    I have my own briefing for those NATO people and it goes like this-

    Can the Ukraine beat Russia?

    Who will win that war?

    Can all of NATO stop this happening?

    Will weapons shipments make any difference?

    Can NATO train enough Ukrainians to replace their losses?
    Not even close.

    What if NATO went into the Ukraine to help them.
    They will be destroyed.

    What if the west keeps this war going. What will happen.
    Russia still wins but at the cost of tens of thousands of Ukrainian deaths.

    Will Russia give up all that territory that they fought for and go back to Russia?

    What can be done?
    Negotiate while you still have something to negotiate about.

    1. GramSci

      Verboten. It wont be pretty, but the Dems need to keep this war going at least through the midterms.

      1. Polar Socialist

        Because, as Mr. Kissinger said in 2014, “Demonizing Vladimir Putin is not politics; it is an alibi for not having politics.”

        Quoted recently by renowned Mr. Baud in an interview. Adding

        This “management by Twitter” that has the upper hand in the entire Western world at the moment is absolutely inappropriate. It leads to this situation where you react before you know exactly what has happened.

        Obviously, things don’t get better as a result. We close the doors. We do not communicate anymore. Diplomacy has stalled. In reality, it is not about solving the problem of “war,” but about eliminating the problem of “Putin.

        1. Pat

          It feels like the time I agreed with something Rush Limbaugh said, like the world was off it Axis. He is right about both things.

          1. Ignacio

            Part of the world is on an Axis of Weasel. Starts with N And Ties in O.
            Forgive me, for the stupid comment. It has to do with something I read here a couple of days ago that kept me laughing for too long.

      2. digi_owl

        I have for ages disliked how USA keep using the world as chess pieces for their blasted election rounds.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          But the “OMG Russia” crowd can’t handle a loss. The Mother devotees would go ballistic, and Biden is still polling well with the 60+ crowd.

          1. Geo

            Exactly. And it’s not like the Dems haven’t continued believing outdated ideas (like war presidents are popular) despite all evidence showing times have changed.

            Feel like that Portlandia song could be modified to sing, “The dream of the 90’s is alive in dem consultants.”

      3. Pat

        If they take a look at the numbers they will instead bomb the hell out of President Manchin and legislate a couple of rounds of inflation relief checks similar to the Covid checks. They will send one to every American over the age of 18 who makes less than $150,000 a year single and $300,000 married every two months. Call it gas, food and housing relief. The second one would go out in October. Say $1500 a shot. It helps incumbents so Mitch and Kevin might agree, but any incumbent in a tight race would probably agree.

        And brook no refusal from any Democrat, punishment being everything and anything that causes great pain, from losing prized committee slots to extensive investigations and fines of businesses to arrests of relatives who would normally skate. Have the list ready for them at the meeting and make it clear it all can and will go into effect immediately upon anything but full court acceptance.

        Take any unspent monies from Ukraine, which you back track on as soon as this is signed.

        But instead they are pushing the two subjects Americans place way down the list of their concerns.

  14. Wukchumni

    More than 18,000 Fresno concealed weapons permit holders impacted by data breach

    Driver’s licenses, addresses and criminal reports are included in the data breach. (Fresno Bee)
    Wow, had no idea there were that many concealed carry permits in Fresno, and now 18,000 who hid their manhood will have everything exposed.

    1. The Rev Kev

      I suppose that if you were in Fresno, you could ask the question ‘Is that a concealed weapon that you have in your pocket or are you just pleased to see me?’

        1. ambrit

          The Swingers amongst us would ask: “You got to ask yourself one question. Do I feel lucky? Well, do you punk?””

    2. Questa Nota

      I knew someone with a permit to carry a concealed carry weapon. He had a very good reason as he had received credible death threats, knew the people and wanted to stay alive for himself and his family.

      1. LifelongLib

        You can justify carrying a gun if you’re under a personal threat, or (maybe) if you’re in a really bad neighborhood. But I think that for most people in most places, carrying just increases the chances that you or somebody else will be injured/killed by accident, from a foolish argument, or even something self-inflicted. Where I live (Hawaii) carrying was almost entirely banned and that was for the best. Not looking forward to what may be coming.

  15. Tom

    Hey Democrats!! Why don’t you TRY to pass bills protecting abortion rights, same sex marriage and birth control? (This is in reference to the Clarence Thomas concurring opinion.) Just run them out there. Hold a vote. Shame the Republicans who vote against the legislation. It all seems so obvious.

    Also, I understand — but do not agree with — the arguments against student loan relief. How about medical debt relief then? Something like 41% of Americans have medical debt. ( Why not TRY to pass some legislation to help these people? Fund it to the tune of $40 billion, for starters. (IF we can give that amount to Ukarine…) And yes, I realize the Dems would most likely means test the shit out of it and make it overly complicated and probably useless and it would end up being a giveaway to to all the wrong people, but what if they actually passed legislation that helped people??? People might actually vote for them!!!

    1. super extra

      Have you ever wondered why abortion became the topic that people were willing to kill over, and not Medicare for All? There were brutal ActUp!-style protests for medicare 4 all or a public option or literally any help at all – protests that required the police at congress to physically bounce disabled people in front of the congresspeople, media and god – yet nobody but Steve Scalise got shot. And he survived and most people don’t think that was politically motivated in any way.

      The reason the Democrats won’t (and have not) pass anything to help people is because abortion is a manufactured split that is driven by oligarch money to fund vast networks of lawyers and NGO-type organizations to do the ground work of converting public opinion by force or by legal changes at the church, state and federal level. In order to ‘do something’ the Democrats would have to change their actual operating processes, like spending 4 hours a day on ‘donor service’. The donors must be satisfied otherwise the deeply entrenched Dem party leaders might lose their seats, which would directly impact their own income. If they lost their side income from stock front-running/inside information or direct gifts via political contribution, they might have to get a real job.

      You might want to resist my view here, but watch: they will do nothing, and continue to whine and #resist with one side of their mouth while voting with the other in the name of ‘not agitating religious crazies’. This is how something with majority support is turned into a whip used to terrorize people into ‘not being as bad as the real bad guys’. Note also this is the same tactic used to turn people against anti-police protests and the Jan 6 rioters.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      What if they win the vote? They don’t want to hold the vote. Susan Collins called the police over sidewalk chalk. It wouldn’t take much. Then what else can they win on? This is what guys like Coons and Warner don’t want. Probably half the caucus in both chambers. They are Republicans who don’t like country pop or Christian music.

      The Democrats know this sounds what they should do. They don’t do it because they don’t agree with those policies.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Before anyone explains the filibuster, the power of the Senate flows from the US Constitution. Past Senates, the Senate of a second ago is a past Senate, can’t restrict the power of the Senate. Any time they say they can’t because of a reason not in the Constitution, the are simply lying.

        1. hk

          And filibuster is fake, and they always knew it (there was a memo from back in the days when Nixon was a jr senator, if I remember correctly). It wouldn’t stand rules change by a bare majority of the senators if they try to push through it. What filibuster does is to give senators a cover if they don’t want to touch something.

    3. Kylie

      Tom, the giveway to Ukraine is $55,000,000,000, not 40 Billion.

      Add in the $38,000,000,000 to Israel

      Solving the issues around homelessness in America could be resolved four times over for that money blown on foreigners.

      Mention that whenever homeless activists start decrying lack of funding and low income housing.

  16. digi_owl

    Them wolves, so blissfully unaware of what the crazy apes next door is doing to the planet…

    1. The Rev Kev

      Agreed. I can just see those wolf cubs frolicking like puppies. In the animal world, wolves are great parents and other wolves will keep an eye on cubs as well.

      1. digi_owl

        Ages ago i read about how crows would have a certain percentage of the local group that would simply lounge about most days. But if the main caretakers of the young would fall ill for some reason, them layabouts would step in to fill the gap.

        And even among us humans it is not uncommon in smaller communities for everyone to watch out for the kids, or at least know who the parents and grandparents were so if something were to happen they knew who to send for.

        It is modern suburbia that has done a number on us.

    1. in brief

      Assuming you speak of the viper den behind the barricades. Todays EPA decision doesn’t surprise, but crushes regardless.

    2. IM Doc

      About the foreign trip.

      I had the Biden remarks to NATO on TV this AM – and it was all about NATO and Russia.

      And then something happened that just rocked me. As in I will never trust Biden again – nor basically his party until the clean sweep is done. During the NATO Russia speech in front of the leaders of the free world, Biden took a fairly deep swipe at the US Supreme Court and them being against human rights and specifically mentioned Roe v Wade.

      What the hell does Roe v Wade have to do with NATO or Russia? Does anyone else seem to see the supreme irony in comments like that spoken to the European nations – who almost to the one have MORE RESTRICTIVE abortion laws than many of our US States.

      Call me old-fashioned. But I do remember a time when it was absolutely looked down upon for any American politician to go onto foreign soil and talk down to the world any other politician or any other political instituion. And yet – he goes onto foreign soil and makes this kind of comment about the US Supreme Court, and equal branch of government – at least the last time I checked.

      Totally classless and totally disrespectful of centuries of precedent.

      I, an officially former Dem, am rapidly becoming a member of the “I will crawl over hot coals” to vote these people out. They are not worthy of the position. Furthermore, my wife especially, has begun to make donations to the other side – she is so horrified. It is also official – after more than 5 decades between us being Dems, we are no longer. Our official party registration was changed on the first day it was able to be done in our county today. And my God, the place was packed with people doing the same thing.

      I am so very disappointed with my party. I cannot believe what they have become.

      1. Jason Boxman

        Although to be fair, I think it was always “their” party anyway. At least, it was never mine, me not being of the donor class. No longer are their interests even remotely overlapping with any of mine or most Americans anymore.

      2. hk

        This is why so many self-claimed human rights/democracy activists are in fact loathed in their home countries–they are too obviously doing things, often at the expense of their own countrymen, to gain favor with foreigners that they are viewed as traitors by even those who hate their governments. What’s different, of course, is that these people tend to be marginal characters with no standing worth mentioning in their own countries (which, in turn, is why they tend to be so desperate for foreign attention), not the alleged president thereof.

      3. Mark Sanders

        Sorry, but I will never vote for Republican garbage even though the Democrats have become worthless. If I don’t like the Democrat I always vote 3rd party.

      4. the last D

        I can understand not voting for democrats, but I cannot understand voting for republicans. Why would anyone willingly leap from the frying pan into the fire. Perhaps, we shouldn’t put our trust in either of the two capitalist parties. I propose this humble suggestion: help to organize a local group that is willing to demonstrate, or agitate, for peace, and to put an end to the colossal waste that the neoliberal economic model imposes on all of us. An adjacent proposal is to publicly plead for a serious, sustained campaign to overcome that economic system that is now slowly, now quickly, destroying the only home we all know.

        I am quite serious. I grew up in Aliquippa, Pa., once the site of one of the worlds most immense steel plants. It began to hit its stride at about the time of the first world war. Twenty thousand people worked there. As late as 1980, when reagan was elected, nearly ten thousand workers were still employed at the mill; the mill was seven miles end to end, along the banks of the Ohio River, and now there’s nothing, absolutely nothing left of the plant. The Aliquippa works of J&L steel was the scene of many strikes in the 1930’s, repeated throughout the surrounding region. The mill owners, the capitalists, sued in federal court that the legislation permitting collective bargaining was unconstitutional, and refused to bargain with the unions. Ultimately, that federal legislation, the Wagner Act, was ruled constitutional by the supreme court and brought measures of prosperity, and stability, to the country. If you think that voting republican is a panacea for the county’s problems, I humbly submit that you are mistaken. I wouldn’t be the least surprised if this republican supreme court wouldn’t try to overturn the Wagner Act; a nationwide union organizing movement continues to spread, and the court’s republican members will certainly know which way the wind is blowing: the money that put them there will scarcely need be fanned to catch their attention.

        Become a truly independent person, and confound the wisdom of the wise. The political parties onlyinterpret history in a certain way. The point is to change it.

  17. The Rev Kev

    “Why Israel Keeps Assassinating Iranian Officials? Because It Works.”

    No it doesn’t. Murdering scientists and engineers may make them feel good about themselves but you have to pull your head out occasionally to see if it is working or not. The Iranians still have their nuclear program, their intelligence networks are still improving, they have leveraged their own limited resources so their proxies in Lebanon, Gaza and Syria are a direct threat to Israel that cannot be eliminated, their defenses are something that Israel cannot just bypass and if the Israelis try to go to war against Iran, I am sure that there would be all sorts of unpleasant surprises for them with the gloves off. So when Foreign Policy uses the word ‘works’, this must be a new iteration of this word which I have not come across previously.

    1. Geo

      I’m a bit torn on this. Don’t think it works any better/worse than other acts of war. And, obviously the morality of it is abhorrent. But so is anything war-related. With assassination it’s at least the elites targeting themselves and not the usual act of sending the poor to kill other poor people. Maybe it will dissuade scientists from using their talents for war and focus them on health and prosperity instead?

      Again, the act is abhorrent, as all acts of war are. But, I’d rather it be the leadership and elites living in fear of being targeted than the citizenry or troops. If all the world’s defense spending was focused on eliminating generals, politicians, oligarchs, and those making weapons of war, would that be better than them focusing on how to kill masses of troops and leveling cities? There’s no good answer – other than the old Kucinich “Dept of Peace” approach – so my reasoning is not to promote it but just to compare it to the alternative.

      Personally, I would prefer if our acts of war were limited to the nations leaders and military generals being locked in a cage and made to fight each other bare-fisted since they are apparently too mentally impoverished to sort things out diplomatically, but since that won’t happen, them targeting each other seems better than more wars. Of course, as history shows, wars do often stem from assassinations. So, I don’t know… no good answers. Just hypothesizing.

    2. praxis

      The blob measures its success against a hypothetical what if benchmark. Ie. What if we hadn’t killed all those Iranians? They would have advanced even more.

    3. hunkerdown

      The challenge, then, is to consider just what a rag like FP would consider “working”. From the perspectives of “interests” institutionalism bids us to assume, what serves the institutional goal “works”; what disserves that goal “fails.” To a first approximation, high statist rags speak as if their historical situation were to maintain the neoliberal world order, at least as a live possibility that could be won. In the specific case of Israel, “works” could easily read as another day looting Palestinian resources with the “world’s” blessing. Never look where they want you to look…

    1. Geo

      Good question. One of the few states I’ve never been to and know less about it than many foreign nations. Pretty much all I know about West Virginia is coal, clogging, and Joe Manchin. I need to fix this knowledge deficit of mine!

      1. Screwball

        My mom grew up in WV, but long ago. She moved to Ohio in the 50s but we visited WV many times to see granny (who was very much like granny in the Beverly Hillbillies).

        It is a beautiful state with the mountains and trees, especially in the fall. Grandma lived in a small town in the middle of nowhere (except for the moonshiners), and lived off her income from selling trees off her 400 acre farm that was willed to the local churches once she passed.

        I took the locals as nice people who wanted and liked the simple life, and most of all, liked to be left alone. Many lived off the land the best they could. My great uncle had a huge garden beside granny’s house, even though he had a nice pension since he worked for the electric company.

        I don’t know what it’s like now but I suspect not much has changed. Many would probably considered poor, but I’m not sure they care. I considered moving there when I retired if I could find a remote spot on a mountain to get away from the crazy world we live in (and I’m in a small town and not a big city).

        I think they have it figured out to be honest. The simple life and leave me the hell alone isn’t a bad plan IMO. Of course people like Bette Midler have other thoughts, which is a shame. I always loved Bette, but she changed that with her “poor, illiterate and strung out’ comments about the people of the state. Which seem to be common, and I get that too.

        But, not to my surprise, the gov of the state got the last laugh, and a good one at that IMO. Thank you Sir!

        West Virginia governor tells Bette Midler to kiss dog’s ‘heinie’ — and shows it

        1. Geo

          Thanks for this!

          “I think they have it figured out to be honest.”

          Had a similar experience in Nicaragua with a fisherman. He told me, “We don’t have much but we have everything we need.” His, and his family’s contentment and kindness was more comforting and admirable than the lives of all the strivers and accumulators I’ve known in NY and Cali.

    2. Henry Moon Pie


      For my last semester in law school, we lived in an old shack with no running water (but lights!) in a place you might know about: Dyke. The sojourn gave birth to a number of stories, including the habit of some of my neighbors of banging on our door around midnight wanting me to take them to the moonshiner since they didn’t have transportation of their own.

    3. hunkerdown

      We could take our boycotts a bit further downstream. How about any media outlet that gives Pres. Manchin air time?

    1. John k

      The west decided that’s no longer true when they liberated Kosovo from Serbia.
      And, as I understand it, the un, too, says that when part of a country secedes it’s ok to help. Since Russia thinks the law is on their side they don’t call it ‘war’, but just a SMO. You will have noticed the us does not declare war with our invasions, so SMO has replaced war in most instances.
      Anyway, Russia is busily helping, but sometimes one overshoots a bit, which is why Russia likes referendums for confirmation. Maybe they can get the world’s biggest democracy to help run them.

  18. Pat

    Lambert, it is long and not really directly about Democrats, but a quote you might want to put in your files is this from “God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater” by Vonnegut:

    “Thus did a handful of rapacious citizens come to control all that was worth controlling in America. Thus was the savage and stupid and entirely inappropriate and unnecessary and humorless American class system created. Honest, industrious, peaceful citizens were classed as bloodsuckers, if they asked to be paid a living wage. And they saw that praise was reserved henceforth for those who devised means of getting paid enormously for committing crimes against which no laws had been passed. Thus the American dream turned belly up, turned green, bobbed to the scummy surface of cupidity unlimited, filled with gas, went bang in the noonday sun.”

    Not as pithy as Carlin, but pretty darn accurate. (Especially if you consider the book is pretty hopeful despite Vonnegut’s recognition of the state of America.)

    1. Pstuartb

      And he published that almost 60 years ago, during the Johnson administration, shortly after the fall of Camelot.

      Nothing new under the sun.

  19. Solarjay

    I don’t agree with the concept of carbon credits or trading. Especially for a natural forest.
    Think about it. $150 million for about 1.6 million acres. The US just threw away $55 billion to Ukraine.

    If you want to be able to use carbon credits, then IMHO you have to create the carbon sink. New forests, or rehabilitation of something, etc. and the credits you are allowed to use are based on the actual carbon, not some expected amount.

    And on that note the SC just basically destroyed the EPA, specifically that they cannot regulate carbon.

    And so the Dems planed for these events by having numerous bills to address this and other things all already to go for a vote right? Ha ha ha ha.

    But they do have fundraising emails ready to go.

    1. Henry Moon Pie

      “And on that note the SC just basically destroyed the EPA”

      So if you go back a little more than a century, mainline Protestantism was post-Millennialist, the mille being the 1,000-year reign of Christ discussed in Revelation. The idea was that Christians were assigned the task of bringing about the coming of Christ by making things “worthy” of him by converting everyone to Christianity and ushering in peace and freedom for all. In this conception, there was no trial or tribulation.

      Post-Millennialism was an innovation on the the amillennialism that had dominated the western church since Augustine interpreted the 1,000 years allegorically.

      Pre-Millennialism, or Darbyism, is a 19th century innovation of the Englishman, Roger Darby. That’s the eschatological doctrine that contains the Rapture, the 7-year tribulation period featured in the Left Behind series, and the Antichrist. These folks have been busily predicting the end of the world going back to Hal Lindsey’s books in the 70s.

      Perhaps our SCOTUS justices, most of whom are Roman Catholic amillennialists by public ID, are really Darbyites seeking to bring Jesus more quickly by destroying the Earth.

  20. Susan the other

    Too Clever by Half. Enjoyed the little talk and I now have a new phrase: Coyote Math. Amusing. But I don’t agree that raccoons are too dumb to be innovators. Raccoons just need more study to be fully appreciated. From personal experience I can attest to their ability to open doors of all kinds, including cupboard doors. They can open packages, like bagel chips packages, pretzels, etc. They can open both oven doors and, yes, refrigerator doors. It really wouldn’t surprise me to learn that they can pop tops. I’d bet that if we studied raccoons we’d learn that they are adept tool users, probably as adept as monkeys and crows. And for the claim that they lack a bigger picture, I’d just say we all do.

  21. Jason Boxman

    Supreme Court Limits E.P.A.’s Ability to Restrict Power Plant Emissions

    WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Thursday limited the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to regulate carbon emissions from power plants, dealing a blow to the Biden administration’s efforts to address climate change.

    The vote was 6 to 3, with the court’s three liberal justices in dissent, saying that the majority had stripped the E.P.A. of “the power to respond to the most pressing environmental challenge of our time.”

    And yet another pillar of what liberal Democrats claim to believe in has fallen. It’s almost as if a liberal Democrat believing in something is code to donors that nothing fundamental will change.

    In a country not in terminal decline, a legislature would merely pass a law stating that the EPA can do this. The court is the weakest branch of government, after all. It cannot enforce its own decisions.

    Maybe the solution here is to vote harder.

    1. Old Sovietologist

      The BBC reporting the withdrawal as a major defeat for Putin’s ambitions.

      Of course the Russian’s are showing the world, outside of the West that they will not be responsible for the food crisis that is just around the corner. Now the pressure is firmly on Ukraine to clear the Black Sea coast near its shores, including the port waters of mines.

  22. Mildred Montana

    >Biden unlikely to meet bold Democrat demands after abortion ruling, sources say Reuters. “Biden and officials are concerned that more radical moves would be politically polarizing ahead of November’s midterm elections, undermine public trust in institutions like the Supreme Court or lack strong legal footing, sources inside and outside the White House say.”

    Memo to President Biden:

    Mr. President, with all due deference, the polity is 𝘢𝘭𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘥𝘺 polarized. Public trust in institutions is 𝘢𝘭𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘥𝘺 undermined, including, I must say, Congress itself. I would humbly recommend that you read the latest approval ratings for said institutions.

    Respectfully, Mr. President, hasn’t the time come to try something different?

    1. flora

      From the article:

      In the election disputes leading up to the 2020 presidential election, Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel A. Alito Jr., Neil M. Gorsuch and Brett M. Kavanaugh expressed support for the view that state courts could not usurp the role of the legislature in prescribing rules for federal elections.

      And a reminder of how we got here.

      see also this about Opus Dei, a very effective, controversial, right-wing political group working behind the scenes.

          1. flora

            adding wrt ‘dominionism’ : that seems like the disguise of the ultra right-wing religious that really believes in corporatism and corporate dominance. On the P. side of the aisle you have the Evangelical subset or group know as The Fellowship or The Family. (I’d guess most Evangelicals and most P’s have never heard of that group.)

            From Source Watch about that outfit, referencing Sharlet’s book “The Family”:

            Sharlet is present when a leader tells a dozen men living there, “You guys are here to learn how to rule the world.” As it turns out, the Family was established in 1935 to oppose FDR’s New Deal and the spread of trade unions; since then, it has organized well-attended weekly prayer meetings for members of Congress and annual National Prayer Breakfasts attended by every president since Eisenhower. Further, the Family’s international reach (“almost impossible to overstate”) has “forged relationships between the U.S. government and some of the most oppressive regimes in the world.”[2]


  23. Anthony G Stegman

    How many Democrats in the Senate voted to confirm Justices Thomas, Alito, Kavanaugh, Gorsuch, and Coney Barrett? I’m sure Manchin wasn’t alone. All this wailing by Democrats like Schumer and Pelosi sickens me. They are so despicable.

  24. RobertC

    New Not-So-Cold War

    Shortly before the NATO Summit an official said US/NATO was about staying above the Tropic of Cancer with no restrictions on expanding eastwards.

    Earlier today I cited a Caspian Five agreement that would stifle this eastward expansion.

    There are other agreements having similar effect where US/NATO would be unwelcome:

    Collective Security Treaty Organization: Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan; [Observer] Serbia

    Commonwealth of Independent States: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan; [Observer] Afghanistan, Mongolia

    Shanghai Cooperation Organisation: China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, India, Pakistan; [Observer] Afghanistan, Belarus, Mongolia, Iran; [Dialogue] Sri Lanka, Turkey, Cambodia, Azerbaijan, Nepal, Armenia; [Guest] ASEAN, CIS, Turkmenistan, UN

    Eurasian Economic Union: Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia; [Observer] Cuba, Moldova, Uzbekistan; [Prospective] Mongolia, Syria, Tajikistan; [FTZ Agreement] Vietnam, Iran, China, Serbia, Singapore; [FTZ Negotiation] Argentina, Cambodia, Chile, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Israel, Thailand, Tunisia, Uzbekistan

    And of course the Belt-and-Road Initiative infrastructure networks are tying everyone together “… to enhance regional connectivity and embrace a brighter future.”

    Last year the US made some progress into Central Asia by removing Pakistan PM Imran Khan from office but with China’s CPEC and recent $2.3B bailout [recommended reading] it’s likely further progress will be difficult, especially with India telling the Quad it’s the economy stupid.

    Russia ain’t the threat for these folks. Restive populations in the face of rapid climate change are. US/NATO isn’t a solution.

    1. RobertC

      Thanks for this plan.

      Having worked on the government side for a half-century, I can state it is a moderately competent work of misdirection and deflected responsibility.

      The treachery of the government is demonstrated by:

      1. The refusal to allow DOH representation in the JTF Red Hill organization.

      2. The refusal to allow DOH onsite observation of any defueling activities including unpacking, critical infrastructure repairs, the supplemental safety review, and fuel movement to the COCO site.

      3. The refusal to allow DOH remote technical monitoring of emissions, leakages, spillages and other intrusions into the air, soil and water of Hawaii.

      4. The transfer of performance responsibility to SGH and Risktec whose activities will be shielded from FOIA requests.

      5. The repeated citation of “best industry practices” which in actuality result in whatever SGH and Risktec say is “best.”

      The citizens of Hawaii are getting the “Camp Lejune” treatment. The government of Hawaii needs to hold JTF Red Hill hostage by withholding lease renewals of training, etc properties used by the military until the items I identified above are addressed.

    2. RobertC

      Continuing this story of failed stewardship and criminal leadership Navy finds Hawaii fuel leak made worse by leadership failures

      …“As members of this community, we have a solemn obligation to be good stewards of the environment and good neighbors to one another,” Paparo said. “The contamination of the Navy water systems severely disrupted their lives, their livelihood and their well-being and the well-being of our workforce, our families and our communities.”

      …The investigation does not make any recommendations on disciplinary or administrative actions for individuals involved, though Paparo noted that a “number of people” are “no longer in their assigned duties.”

      He added that any such decisions will come from a separate process led by U.S. Fleet Forces head Adm. Daryl Caudle.

      Do we see a common link here?

      ++ Fat Leonard — PacFlt
      ++ four collisions and groundings — PacFlt
      ++ Red Hill fuel leak — PacFlt

      Tell me again why the Chinese aren’t shying away from telling PacFlt to leave the first-island chain.

  25. LawnDart

    Exclusive: Europe ready for Baltics emergency switch-off from Russian grid

    VILNIUS/WARSAW, June 30 (Reuters) – European grid operators are ready to implement immediately a long-term plan to bring the Baltic states, which rely on the Russian grid, into the European Union system in the event Moscow cuts them off, three sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

    1. Polar Socialist

      Long-term, as in started 4 years ago with 2 years (or so) to go. Progressed at the pace European Commission has been willing to fund it, for the neoliberal creed prevents the Baltic states themselves from investing in their own infrastructure, and presumably it’s really hard to get business to invest 1.6 billion euros to switch from cheap (Russian generated) electricity to expensive (EU generated from Russian gas) electricity.

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