Links 7/22/2022

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.

* * *

Greatest Migration on Earth Happens under Darkness Every Day Scientific American

Was Tricia the elephant happy? Experts on the ethics of keeping such big, roaming creatures in captivity The Conversation

An Economy of Overfed Middlemen Matt Stoller, BIG

Amazon to Buy One Medical Network of Health Clinics in Healthcare Expansion WSJ

Don’t let the airlines fool you. Regulate their cancellations and high fares. USA Today


The search for the source of plastic pollution Grist

What’s behind Europe’s spate of deadly wildfiress? AP. Commentary (MarkT):

Planting trees is not a panacea — we need to save existing forests FT. See NC here.


Operation Nasal Vaccine—Lightning speed to counter COVID-19 Eric Topol, Science. “The likelihood that at least one of these nasal vaccine programs will be successful is high, but the lack of an OWS-like push means there will be substantial delays in manufacturing at scale, regulatory approval, and distribution.”

Long COVID and symptom trajectory in a representative sample of Americans in the first year of the pandemic Nature. From the Abstract: “We use a sample representing the U.S. community population from the Understanding America Study COVID-19 Survey, which surveyed around 8000 respondents bi-weekly from March 2020 to March 2021. Our final sample includes 308 infected individuals who were interviewed one month before, around the time of, and 12 weeks after infection. About 23% of the sample experienced new-onset symptoms during infection which lasted for more than 12 weeks, and thus can be considered as having long COVID.”

Why the U.S. failed to control COVID-19: incompetence, class violence, deception, and lies MR Online

Alberta government memos on school masking ‘damning,’ union leader says CBC. The deck: “Documents show schools without mandates 3 times more likely to have outbreaks.”


Monkeypox Virus Infection in Humans across 16 Countries — April–June 2022 NEJM

Clinical features and management of human monkeypox: a retrospective observational study in the UK The Lancet. n = 7. From the Interpretation: “Prolonged upper respiratory tract viral DNA shedding after skin lesion resolution challenged current infection prevention and control guidance.” Nothing cultured, sadly.

Monkeypox virus could become entrenched as new STD in the US AP

House Oversight chair calls on HHS to address ‘barriers’ to monkeypox treatments The Hill


China’s Strategy Needs Study, Not Assumptions Foreign Policy

China pulls the plug on $50 bln video-game party Reuters


Myanmar leader shops for support, weapons in Moscow Al Jazeera. Meanwhile:

Australian embassy spends $750,000 at luxury hotel linked to Myanmar’s military junta ABC Austrailia

Sri Lanka: Forces raid anti-government protest camp BBC

Japan’s daily COVID cases top 150,000, new record high Kyodo News. July 16: 107,000.

How Japan Achieved One of The World’s Lowest Covid Death Rates Bloomberg



11 times the UK Tory leadership race went completely nuts Politico. Not just the Tories:

How big a deal is the hole in the Bank of England’s balance sheet? Financial Times

Your Man in Saughton Jail Part 2 Craig Murray

Lagarde’s ‘Whatever It Takes’ Sequel Isn’t a Hit Yet Bloomberg

New Not-So-Cold War

Why Nord Stream II Must Be Opened Immediately Moon of Alabama

EU solidarity frays as some member states question plan to slash gas use FT

U.S. hopes for global price cap on Russian oil by December Hellenic Shipping News. December?

* * *

What If the War in Ukraine Spins Out of Control? Foreign Affairs

Ukraine war must end to prevent nuclear ‘abyss’, Lukashenko tells AFP Agence France Presse

* * *

Russia ‘about to run out of steam’, head of UK intelligence says – as it happened Guardian. As what happened?

Captured nuclear plant doubles as launch pad for relentless Russian rocket attacks FT

* * *

Corruption concerns involving Ukraine are revived as the war with Russia drags on NPR

Republicans wince as their Ukrainian-born colleague thrashes Zelenskyy Politico

Colombia’s New President and the Challenges to the Bilateral Relationship War on the Rocks

Biden Administration

Biden’s Plan for a Digital Dollar is a Massive Threat to Freedom Newsweek (Furzy Mouse). Yikes.

Capitol Seizure

Live Blog: January 6th Hearings, Thursday, July 21 Matt Taibbi, TK News. So we don’t have to….


As health care faces nursing shortages, burned-out nurses are flocking to remote jobs STAT

Pharma Companies Sue for the Right to Buy Blood From Mexicans Along Border ProPublica

Class Warfare

Crap Economics The American Conservative

Amazon Workers in North Carolina Are Building a Union Jacobin

Walmart employees describe chaotic, overcrowded back rooms and outdoor storage units stuffed with unsold goods — and say automatic re-orders are jamming even more excess inventory to stores Business Insider

The Bizarre Bird That’s Breaking the Tree of Life The New Yorker

The Other Side of the Canvas John Ganz. Fascist art in Italy.

The Plague of Resilience Meanjin

Antidote du jour (via):

Bonus antidote (DCBlogger):

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. Sardonia

    So, Mr. Biden gets the Bug. Thoughts and prayers, with apologies to Tennessee Ernie Ford:

    16 JABS

    Some people say a man is made out of mud
    This Scranton man’s filled with Covid blood
    Covid blood that’s as thin as gruel
    If ya take me Lord it’s gonna end my rule.

    I took 16 jabs, what did I get?
    A virus that’s makin’ me cough and sweat
    Saint Peter don’t you call me cuz I can’t go
    And leave this job to that Kamala ho.

    I was born one morning when the sun didn’t shine
    I elbowed my way to the front of the line
    I passed 16 bills, that was my donors’ goal
    And the banksters said, “Well a-bless my soul.”

    I took 16 jabs, what did I get?
    A virus that’s makin’ me cough and sweat
    Saint Peter don’t you call me cuz I can’t go
    And leave this job to that Kamala ho.

    I woke this morning, it was drizzlin’ rain
    I told myself, “You ain’t goin’ insane”
    We all lose a step after too many years
    My mind’s still workin’ but it’s slippin’ gears

    I took 16 jabs, what did I get?
    A virus that’s makin’ me cough and sweat
    Saint Peter don’t you call me cuz I can’t go
    And leave this job to that Kamala ho.\

    Lord, please don’t send me to the ICU
    Got so many things I was elected to do
    Start World War Three and end that Putin regime
    Don’t let me end up as an Internet meme

    I took 16 jabs, what did I get?
    A virus that’s makin’ me cough and sweat
    Saint Peter don’t you call me cuz I can’t go
    And leave this job to that Kamala ho.

    1. christofay

      Yet another burden fore Biden goes, he has to keep his only son from being the acceptable sacrifice

      1. JTMcPhee

        He could always give the lad a presidential pardon for all crimes past, present and future…

    2. Pelham

      Thanks much! You’ve got the knack. Too bad “That Was the Week That Was” is off the air.

    3. Lambert Strether Post author

      > Thoughts and prayers

      Ouch. Impossible for me to believe people said this without irony, but apparently they did. (Seems not to be as prevalent as it was, showing that, on some level, ridicule works).

      1. Dermotmoconnor

        There’s a great scene in “the boys” where the. Psychotic superhero homelander says thoughts and prayers after a disaster, clearly not giving a hoot. It’s openly parodied now.

        1. Terry Flynn

          Haha yes. On a slight tangent, though I love The Boys, I have been rewatching a vaguely similar show here in UK from 2009 called Misfits. I think the original “The Boys” comicbook predates this so our traditional moan of “us Brits did it first and better” is invalid but Misfits is quality TV in parodying society’s hackneyed statements and views about those on edge of society.

          Anyone across the pond who likes the “more extreme”, extremely politically incorrect and downright shocking aspects of British Channel 4 humour should seek it out. It really is the epitome of what UK network TV can get away with and why C4 should absolutely not be privatised.

  2. Alice X

    The via for today’s antidote links to yesterday’s antidote.

    Just listening to the Chris Cook/Yves Smith interview. Much appreciated!

  3. timbers

    New Not-So-Cold War

    It appears Russia knows how to neutralize the Himars. Per MS yesterday, Russia re-deployed it’s S-300 to Kherson which proceeded to intercept all 12 of 12 Himar missiles targeting a strategic bridge in the region. Apparently Russia moved it’s S-300 out of Kherson, which Ukraine noticed or more likely was told by NATO, so she took advantage of this and deployed Himars there. I expect Russia will be using more S-300 and maybe S-400 systems in Ukraine. Which of course brings more and more Russian advanced military towards NATO belligerents.

    1. Louis Fyne

      —Russia ‘about to run out of steam’, head of UK intelligence says – as it happened—

      Andrei Martyanov said in his blog that Russia has fired more than 2500 missiles now in Ukraine, more than the US has fired since 1990 combined.

      Wish someone would double check his work/someone would show their work as it is interesting trivia—assuming someone is using the daily Russian press briefings to get the numbers.

      1. Polar Socialist

        I don’t think the Russian daily briefings make distinction between missiles, rockets, guided or unguided bombs, they just laconically state the number of targets hit by artillery and rocket forces and also by army aviation (helicopters) and airspace forces (fighter-bombers and bombers) as a total.

        I believe Zelensky claimed a few days ago that Russia has launched over 3000 cruise missiles against Ukraine.

        The article he links to interestingly claims that Russia has ramped up her missile production so that daily production now exceeds the number used in Ukraine, so the stocks are accumulating. One wonders what chips they are using…

        1. Lex

          They make them. My understanding is that not only are the very small, very fast chips unnecessary for military applications but their tradeoff is ruggedness. Russia has plenty of chip building capacity, just not chips for iPhones.

      2. Samuel Conner

        In Martyanov’s recent “Mobilization” video, he stated that latest-model US submarines will cost about $8billion per each, with corresponding RF vessels about 1/8th that, which, if this ratio is similar across other high-tech weapons systems, puts the ratio of US/RF annual military budget into perspective.

        It would be interesting to know the comparative breakdown of US and RF military expenditure by “durables” (vehicles, vessels, launchers) and “consumables” (missiles and artillery rounds). One gets the impression from the recent news flow that RF durables cost less in money terms (presumably they require similar amounts of real resources, though perhaps there are comparative efficiencies here, too) and they stockpile a lot more consumables.

        They seem to be better prepared for long wars. It is a bit unnerving to notice that in the last great European-wide war, the nation that started the conflict, and that was destroyed in its course, was not prepared to wage a long “industrial” war, and maintained the upper hand only as long as it was able to knock over its opponents in quick, sharp campaigns, sort of a then version of “shock and awe.”

        1. PlutoniumKun

          To a certain extent, countries always hope for the war they’ve prepared for, its the opponents job to force them into a war they haven’t geared up for. Russia is set up for grinding opponents into the dust, Nato has set up for rapid victories. In a way, its the exact opposite to WWII, where Germany and Japan gambled on quick victories and equipped their militaries accordingly.

          Comparing the cost of weapons is always fraught, especially when they are built domestically. As you allude to, the real cost is the loss of resources that could be devoted to something else, not the dollar value. In any event, the fly/drive/float-away cost of any weapon can be dwarfed by the running costs. I’d be a bit dubious about arguing that the latest Russian subs are super cheap – while their subs are very good (much better than their surface vessels), they are not sold on the open market all that much cheaper than the main European competitors (mind you, up to recently only non-nuclear subs were sold openly).

          A lot of US ammo is actually quite cheap by international standards. The French pay a lot more for their domestic weapons, largely because they lack the economies of scale so they can’t compete with the US in things like smart bombs. Likewise, the Japanese and Koreans are finding that a domestic arms industry is likely to result in very expensive weapons, especially if they find they can’t export them to any significant degree. It really comes down to whether its worth it to have an independent industry.

          That said, the sheer number of missiles the Russians have been able to expend certainly indicates that when they mass produce something, like their anti-aircraft missiles, they are very good at making them very cheaply. They seem to have had no hesitation whatever in using many of their best missiles on fairly low value Ukie targets. But then again, they were noticeably reluctant to invest in smart bombs for their air force, which indicates some constraints.

          One factor, I think that hasn’t been examined too much is the impact of constant warfare in Iraq and Afghanistan has had on US stocks. In Vietnam, the US was using a vast stockpile built up in the decade or so of relative peace before the war (even then, they were often using WWII stockpiles). But whether by chance or design, they seem to be very low on key ammo types right now. Its not just a case of using up all the weapons, its a situation whereby resources were thrown into materials needed in those wars, and so stockpiling for a future war got forgotten.

          1. JTMcPhee

            Can’t find the link, but I saw a trade pub article, I believe, on why the Russians don’t do “smart bombs.” It seems the avionics aboard the Russian aircraft delivering the dumb bombs are precise enough to figure all the complex trigonometry of relation between target, aircraft position and dynamics to the point that dumb bombs can be delivered at least as accurately as smart ordnance. The US smart weapons don’t seem to be all that accurate, and often depend on having some grunt on the ground pointing a laser target designator at the intended strike point. And being thus exposed to getting shot by whoever the bad guy is today. And the GPS-guided munitions are vulnerable to EW jamming and that old debbil Murphy’s Law, where some GI inputs a wrong number. I recall being amused by a video of some special ops team under fire while assaulting one of those Afghani “compounds” which had a building used as a prison/torture center by some warlord. In the heat of battle, the GIs called in a couple of 1,000-lb “smart bombs” but the operator dialed in their own location as the target instead of “don’t drop them here” coordinates.

            Al wars are stupid, some wars are stupider than others… but as we are told from so many authoritative voices, war is what humans have always been organized to do, since Cain slew Abel… that, and the steady financialization of everything, and being ruled by ever smaller sets of psychopathic narcissists.

            1. Skip Intro

              This is simply a poor business model on the part of the Russian arms suppliers. The more expensive ‘smart’ stuff you can blow up with every bomb, the more money you make. Are those poor backwards barbarians unfamiliar with modern cost-plus contracts?

            2. PlutoniumKun

              I think the Russian use of complex targeting systems is more a pragmatic decision than a belief that they are the equal or superior to smart bombs. There are basic laws of physics that you can’t get around and no amount of smart calculations can overcome the randomness affecting a dumb bomb being released from a high speed aircraft. The system seemed to work very well in Syria, but in Syria the Russians had full control of the air and had a lot of ground resources for ensuring constant data on temperature, wind, turbulence etc. Plus they could get in very close to the target. They don’t have the same advantages in Ukraine, not least because Ukraine still has some intact air defense systems.

              I think its pretty clear that the Russian Air Force was something of the handmaiden for the ground army for the past couple of decades – they had to make cost cutting decisions on a wide number of areas, and I think this was one of them. Its not crucial for their war effort, but I don’t think there can be much doubt that the air force could be contributing far more to the overall effort, and the lack of smart weaponry and associated sighting is a key reason.

              1. Lex

                There are some indications that Russia’s takeaway from Iraq 2003 was that the only way to defeat the US was to neutralize its air advantage. I believe you’re correct on budget constraints, especially in regards to Russia never being able to catch up with the US in winged air power. Instead, it invested heavily in air defenses (to make sure the US application of air power against Russia would incur significant cost) and rocket/missile tech which meshes well with Russia’s highly developed rocket industry and does not require so many pilots with thousands of flight hours to be truly effective. IIRC, air defense and missiles are under the Russian air force.

                1. Michaelmas

                  Lex: “the only way to defeat the US was to neutralize its c̶a̶v̶a̶l̶r̶y̶ air advantage … (with) Russia never being able to catch up with the US in c̶a̶v̶a̶l̶r̶y̶ winged air power

                  It’s the 21st century.

                  What possible ‘US air advantage’ exists and what conceivable need ‘to catch up with the US in winged air power’ can there be when with any of a large range of non-ICBM missile types that travel at speeds of up to 25 Mach and that may have ranges of 1,700 miles the Russians can target immensely-expensive manned planes whose pilots will black out if 4-6g speeds are maintained for more than a few seconds?

                  The fastest manned plane is still probably the old X-15, with a top speeds Mach 6.72 or 4,520 mph. It would still be just a big, lumbering target for a Russian missile.

                  Manned fighters, like aircraft carriers and even tanks on the battlefield, were 20th century weapons platforms that in the 21st century mostly just constitute massive, slow-moving targets.

              2. Polar Socialist

                I don’t think they even claim it’s equal or superior to smart munition as far as accuracy go. But it’s good enough. Dumb bombs have CEP of 94 meters, Paveway 2 has CEP of 1.1 meters and VPK-24 Gefest has CEP of 8-10 meters, so it makes dumb bombs hit within kill radius.

                Where it actually is better is in low visibility conditions, or when the target can’t be painted or otherwise make the munition to ‘lock’ into it for whatever reason.

                Other than that, I’ve seen mentioned that the Russian laser guided Krasnopol 152 mm artillery munition has been a true tank killer in Ukraine. So they do have the tech.

                Anyhow, last I saw any figures, the Russians do around 80-100 fighter-bomber sorties per day. It’s not that much, but we don’t really know how many aircraft they have committed to the operation. Nor do we know if there are any established communications between the Russian allies and Russian air force, so we may well see more activity if and when the Russian ground forces come more active.

                1. Louis Fyne

                  yes, guided artillery is the unsung star of the war, especially when it comes to $ of weapon versus $ of destroyed target.

                  first month of WW3 will bankrupt NATO merely from the cost of replacing all the destroyed equipment, let alone human costs.

        2. Tom Stone

          Some of the biggest advantages of Russian weapons systems are a shorter logistic trail and ruggedness.
          Look at the number of highly trained man hours of maintenance per hour of operation for the high end Airforce and Rocket systems between Russia and the USA.
          There’s certainly some graft in Russian Military procurement ( True of every military procurement system) however they seldom adopt systems that don’t work.

      3. ddt

        That Russia is running out of steam, troops, ammunition, or what have you has been a constant from UK “experts” since March. Who are they trying to convince?

      4. Skip Intro

        But UK ‘intelligence’ doesn’t realize that Russia no longer relies on steam power. I blame Tory budget cuts.

      5. HotFlash

        Hmmm. “Russia has fired more than 2500 missiles” and Zelensky has fired more than how many aides and govt appointees? Difficult to know what is happening, but we should keep an eye on developments.

    2. Sibiryak

      New Not-So-Cold War

      I highly recommend Alexander Mercouris’ July 22 discussion of FM Sergey Lavrov’s recent interview with RT’s editor-in-chief, Margarita Simonyan.

      This is the section that Mercouris rightly considered extremely important (emphasis added):

      Question: […] But where do you think it should end? I am not asking about the goals that Vladimir Putin announced at the start – the goals, and hence the potential results of this operation – the demilitarisation and denazification. This much is clear. Where should it end geographically? Where would it be reasonable, right and good for us?

      Sergey Lavrov: As regards any projections or timeframe, I have just recalled an amusing fact. Ukrainian Minister of Foreign Affairs Dmitry Kuleba recently said that Vladimir Zelensky had set a deadline for joining the European Union, but he wouldn’t reveal that deadline, because many in the European Union might get scared and try to slow down their accession to the EU.

      We don’t have any deadlines. As for the special military operation and geographic goals, President Vladimir Putin said clearly (as you quoted him): denazification and demilitarisation, which means no threats to our security, no military threats from the territory of Ukraine . This goal remains.

      Geography-wise, the situation was different when the negotiators met in Istanbul. Our readiness to accept the Ukrainian proposal was based on the situation as of the end of March 2022.

      Question: That was the DPR and the LPR?

      Sergey Lavrov: Yes, more or less. Now the geography is different. It is more than the DPR, the LPR, but also the Kherson and Zaporozhye regions and a number of other areas. This process continues, consistently and persistently. It will continue as long as the West, in its impotent rage, desperate to aggravate the situation as much as possible, continues to flood Ukraine with more and more long-range weapons.

      Take the HIMARS. Defence Minister Alexey Reznikov boasts that they have already received 300-kilometre ammunition. This means our geographic objectives will move even further from the current line. We cannot allow the part of Ukraine that Vladimir Zelensky, or whoever replaces him, will control to have weapons that pose a direct threat to our territory or to the republics that have declared their independence and want to determine their own future.

      Question: How can this be arranged, technically? This is our territory. Then there are the republics that will accede to us. In fact they already have – the Kherson and Zaporozhye regions. You are diplomats, so you cannot say this. I’m a journalist, and I call a spade a spade. Further west, there is the territory controlled by Vladimir Zelensky. They have a common border. So either there should be a 300 kilometre buffer zone or something between them, or we need to march all the way to Lvov inclusive.

      Sergey Lavrov: There is a solution to this problem. The military know this.

      Question : A secret one? Do you think there is a chance that we will leave half-way? This is something our subscribers and viewers are fearing.

      Sergey Lavrov: I see no reason to question what President Vladimir Putin announced on February 24, 2022, and reaffirmed a few days ago – our goals remain the same. And they will be met.

      Mercouris’ discussion closely matches the discussions going on in Russia right now, both in the Russian MSM and on the Russian “street”.

      Just last night, for example, Margarita Simonyan was on the pro-government show “Evening with Vladimir Solovyov” (Вечер с Владимиром Соловьевым) discussing the interview and she drew special attention to Lavrov’s cryptic statement that the Russian military had a “solution” to the buffer zone problem. One can only wonder what that solution might be.

      1. Maxwell Johnston

        One can only wonder, but one possibility is that RU military conquers everything up to the Dnieper plus the Black Sea coastline up to Transnistria, and then uses missiles (only conventional, no nukes) to pummel civilian infrastructure in rump UKR: power stations, water treatment facilities, railway stations, airfields, key bridges and road intersections, ports, grain silos, etc. Basically render western UKR uninhabitable bar subsistence agriculture. Brutal but effective. Where that leaves Kiev (which inconveniently straddles the Dnieper) or what fate awaits the nuclear plants located in western Ukraine…..good question.

        This is an ugly situation, and the ugliness will increase until enough EU governments come to their senses and impose a sustainable solution, regardless of USA opposition. So far BoJo and Draghi are out, my guess is that Scholz is next. These things take time, and Putin seems convinced that time is on his side. He may be right.

        1. Balakirev

          This is an ugly situation, and the ugliness will increase until enough EU governments come to their senses and impose a sustainable solution, regardless of USA opposition. So far BoJo and Draghi are out…

          In Johnson’s case, the Guardian quotes a YouGov poll of Tory members that has Liz Truss ahead of Rishi Sunak by 24 percent:

          She’s already spoken out about Brexit:

          “Her Brexit plan would mean each remaining EU law and regulation [that number in the thousands] would be “evaluated on the basis of whether it supports UK growth or boosts investment”, with those deemed not to do so replaced. Any EU laws not replaced would simply disappear at the end of 2023, just 15 months after Truss potentially takes power in September.”

          This, and her other pronouncements do not create a sense of comfort over Russia!Russia!Russia. If she wins the PM race (as seems likely at this point), it might be that we have Johnson’s policies, only pursued with more vigor.

      2. square coats

        I only listened to Mercouris’s coverage of the interview with Lavrov but wrt to that particular comment about the military knowing the solution I took it to be referring to the Ukrainian military knowing that the solution to that possibility of Russia needing to expand the geography of its operations was to surrender (probably a foolish interpretation on my part without enough understanding of the conversation).

    3. Martin Oline

      I think it was Military Summary who said yesterday that Russia redeployed their S-300 systems from the Kherson region giving the UA a two day window to strike the bridges there. They have now replaced them with the S-400 systems and these are the rockets which allegedly destroyed all 12 of the HIMARs launched. Regardless of the system, 12 out of 12 is pretty good shooting. The unfortunate side effect is these warheads and debris have to fall somewhere.

      1. midget

        It’s much more likely that the S-400 was used as a more powerful (i.e., longer-range and more accurate in identification) detector of missiles and passed the targeting information on to the Pantsir systems. The Pantsir rockets are more than sufficient for an MLRS warhead, and using an S-400 missile to destroy 1 GMLRS warhead is massive overkill.

        1. The Rev Kev

          Was just listening to talk by Alexander Mercouris where he was saying the exact same thing. Like you said, you only need a Pantsir missile to get the job done as those HIMARS rockets are not very large. It seems like the Russians are getting a handle on how to handle those HIMARS systems now.

          1. Yves Smith

            Yes, it seems the Russian S-400 missile defense system (note even their earier-gen S-300 is ahead of anything the West has) allegedly took out all 12 rockets in the latest attempted strike.

        2. Yves Smith

          S-400s don’t just have more powerful missiles but also can coordinate across more launch sites (I don’t have the nomenclature right yet). And it fires missiles that go from 40 km to 400 km.

          The point IMHO aside from making triple sure infrastructure was defended was to tell the West no point in sending those 300 km HIMARS missiles, which has not yet happened but Ukraine has made clear it badly wants.

          1. Polar Socialist

            Not claiming Mercouris or wrong or anything, but Russia does have S-350 Vityaz system, which is designed to handle exactly this kind of situation. It uses the the same medium range missile (9M96) as S-400, but is more mobile, simpler and can have two radar units for 8 launchers (to be split in any way between radars as demanded by the situation) and it can, of course, link to S-400 systems (or S-300, Pantsir and Tor).

            Deploying S-350 instead of S-400 would make a more sense, since it’s much lighter system, being brand new hasn’t seen combat yet and it would keep the true capabilities of S-400 still veiled in a mystery from the spying eyes of the West (completely different radar). And, as said earlier, it was designed specially for operation in an environment with very heavy UAV, missile and rocket activity – just like the battlefield in Ukraine is.

            For what it’s worth, while there’s really no data available, it seems that 9M96 is much cheaper than a MIM-104C PAC-2 of Patriot but more expensive than M31 used in HIMARS. Of course, protecting newly conquered population from it’s old regime is priceless.

            1. PlutoniumKun

              I’ve no idea of the relative costs, but from what I understand about the Pantsir is that its missiles are deliberately designed to be very cheap – they are mostly ground guided using radio links rather than having active homing. So large numbers can be fired at relatively low value targets such as drones or incoming missiles. So it would well make sense for them to use them if at all possible.

              Given the known interception rates (wikipedia states 0.7 for a 9M96), then it makes sense to go for layered defences with pretty much everything you’ve got. If they intercepted all 12 of a silo, that implies that a lot of missiles were used to make absolutely sure they didn’t get through.

              In terms of a crude cost benefit analysis, this may not make sense, but in terms of sending a message to Nato, it makes perfect sense to thrown everything you have at Himars salvos to make sure nothing gets through.

    4. Louis Fyne

      Supposedly according to one of the Russia-sympathetic twitter accounts, Ukraine would fire their a salvo of vanilla rockets to saturate Russian air defences and then use their HIMARS rockets, scoring hits.

      The Russian military wised up to this strategy and reinforced the air defenses. Blunting the early successes of HIMARS.

      And note that Ukraine may have 12 HIMARS, Russia has hundreds of HIMARS equivalents, with longer ranges. Russian-HIMARS and regular dumb artillery are wrecking havoc on the Ukrainian army.

      Quite likely the vast majority of Ukrainian dead never even fired a shot against a Russian, they were killed by a projectile weapon fired from a position that they couldn’t see.

      1. LawnDart

        And note that Ukraine may have 12 HIMARS…

        Had, as of 7/20. Reportedly, they’re now down to eight, although another eight are supposed to be delivered. Can’t post link because Skynet will blow it up along with this comment, but you can find the info over at South front.

      2. HotFlash

        Quite likely the vast majority of Ukrainian dead never even fired a shot against a Russian, they were killed by a projectile weapon fired from a position that they couldn’t see.

        You mean Nato?

  4. Robert Hahl

    Re: Buying blood from Mexicans

    I think there is a systematic reason we are running short of blood donors. Sometime around 2010 they raised the passing value for the hemoglobin test from 12.5 to 13.0, for men only. Women can still donate blood with a reading of 12.5. So before, I could have theoretically given blood every eight weeks with a hemoglobin value between 12.5 and 13.0, but now I am told they can’t take my blood, and i need to have a diagnostic colonoscopy to see if I am bleeding. As it happens, I have had a three routine colonoscopies and there was never any bleeding.

    1. Verifyfirst

      I was a regular blood donor before Covid–unfortunately they cannot, and will not, provide me a Covid-safe way to donate.

      As it stands, I would have to sit in a donation chair for….45 minutes, in a room with other donors and staff, none masked, none required to take a rapid test that day, no vaccination requirements, no free-standing HEPA filter, no improved ventilation. And then 15 minutes afterwards to be monitored while eating cookies.

      No thanks.

    2. Polar Socialist

      Where I live the lower limit is 13.5 for males. And if one donates regularly, as I do, they will give you extra iron pills to take between donations (61 days minimum).

      1. PlutoniumKun

        Where I live they give you a free pint of Guinness (full of iron). Much better than pills.

        1. ambrit

          The pint of Guinness must be the reason for the mandatory waiting period before a repeat donation. /s
          My Mom was prescribed a pint of stout or bitters a day by the doctor while she was carrying me as a fetus in London, specifically for the iron content.
          Try suggesting such over here in America.
          (American Puritanism has a lot to answer for.)

    3. neo-realist

      When I worked for the city of NY, they would give you 3 hours of paid time off to give blood. You could leave at 12pm for the rest of the day: 3 hours plus lunch:).

      1. Robert Gray

        Best blood donation story ever:

        In 2012, the chorus at the Latvian National Opera (LNO) had a contract dispute and called a strike. The company went to court and found a judge who said ‘No, if you don’t work as scheduled, you’re all fired’. So that was that.

        In 2013 the LNO orchestra was in the same situation but, having seen what happened previously to the singers, they didn’t want to jeopardise their jobs. So they came up with a genius idea.

        One Friday morning, 69 of the 104 musicians in the orchestra went and gave blood to the Red Cross. Under Latvian law, they were thereby entitled to two days off from work. Result: Friday and Saturday night performances cancelled with basically no advance notice, and hundreds of pissed-off ticket holders putting pressure on management to settle!

        I take these details from an e-mail I sent at the time to an American labor activist friend of mine. Unfortunately, the searchoverse is so crapified nowadays that I can’t find any reference to this incident — so I don’t know how it turned out.

  5. Mr. Magoo

    “Why the U.S. failed to control COVID-19: incompetence, class violence, deception, and lies”

    The US totally dropped the ball on it’s covid response, due to a lot of factors, some of which are outlined here. But when you see statements such as this:

    “China takes human life seriously.”….

    “China’s socialist benevolent policy, scientific management, and ability to learn from this pandemic…”

    Just destroys any credibility.

    1. The Rev Kev

      This whole thing about China’s response to the Pandemic and how successful they have been seems to be getting under some very important people’s skins. An example. Last night on the TV news they were covering the heat wave currently laying waste to the northern hemisphere. But when they covered China, it was bizarre. Instead of showing people in China trying to cope with that heat, the only thing that they showed was outside Covid-workers getting clobbered by the heat in their plastic suits. So videos of workers collapsing and having to be carried away, sweat accumulating in that medical gear by the liter, and workers in their plastic suits hugging huge blocks of ice. The underlying message was that if they just ‘let ‘er rip’, none of those workers would be suffering like this. It was seriously f***** up coverage.

      1. Ted

        I also saw that and would have never picked up that . All I can say in defense of me not seeing the big picture is I did think it was odd to linger so long on the sweat pouring pouring out !

    2. in_still_water

      That figure in the beginning of the article asserting that only 5,226 people from China died from COVID would have made ex-Governor Cuomo blush.

      1. Pat

        You assume that our ex governor can experience shame or remorse. Personally I believe the only regrets Andy has are related to the fact that he was late to the openly let ‘er rip contingent. It could be him and DeSantis.

    3. PlutoniumKun

      A key element in China’s response seems to be related to risk averseness. There is a lot of business research on different approaches to risk, and China’s domestic companies have always been outliers. My understanding of the research is that Chinese companies are fully prepared to take on ‘known’ risks, but are highly ‘unknown risk’ averse. It is, presumably, a cultural thing.

      I don’t think thats the sole reason, or even a primary reason why China has taken a zero covid approach, but its a potentially significant variable in their decision making. The manner in which a lot of supposedly risk educated people in the west have taken on the demonstrably idiotic approach that ‘if you can’t prove long covid exists, then its existence can be discounted’ has continued to shock me. Even the medical profession seems to some degree to have bought into this.

    4. Sutter Cane

      “China takes human life seriously.”….

      “China’s socialist benevolent policy, scientific management, and ability to learn from this pandemic…”

      Just destroys any credibility.

      In comparison to the US, can anyone really argue with this? Chinese numbers would have to be 200 times larger than those reported to match the number of US deaths. Even if the Chinese government is engaged in an extensive cover up, they wouldn’t be able to hide that many. We’d be seeing covert images of mass graves. But the images of mass graves so far, as in the article, are from the US. Sure, all governments lie, but China is currently taking human life more seriously than the US. Even if the Chinese numbers are cooked, they are still way below the US numbers.

      Notice how the US propaganda campaign has moved from “You can’t trust the Chinese numbers!!!” to “BUT AT WHAT COST???”

    5. Katniss Everdeen

      Not to be too much of a pity party pooper, but are we certain that the definition of “covid death” is exactly the same in both countries? (Not to mention the definition of covid “cases,” diagnosed in the u.s. by PCR test at 40 cycles of amplification, from which a “covid death” proceeds, and even fauci said in July, 2020 was probably only detecting “dead nucleotides.”)

      From our very own cdc:

      In cases where a definite diagnosis of COVID–19 cannot
      be made, but it is suspected or likely
      (e.g., the circumstances
      are compelling within a reasonable degree of certainty), it
      is acceptable to report COVID–19 on a death certificate as
      “probable” or “presumed.” In these instances, certifiers should
      use their best clinical judgement in determining if a COVID–19
      infection was likely. However, please note that testing for
      COVID–19 should be conducted whenever possible.

      In other words, a diagnosis of covid need not be confirmed in order to label a death a “covid death.”

      As noted in the article, extraordinary economic interventions by the federal reserve and .gov, to the tune of trillions of dollars, were justified based on the severity of the pandemic as evidenced in part by the high death toll, and went largely uncontested in the hysteria. The “benefits” redounded pretty much exclusively to the richest americans, and the illusion of america’s “free market” was preserved.

      The Chinese government is in a very different position with respect to its economic governance, having no need to “justify” anything it does. I’d argue that the Chinese government benefits from keeping “covid death” estimates as low as possible, thereby demonstrating its competence to govern, not only to the Chinese people, but to the world.

      I think there’s more here than meets the eye, and I don’t think simple comparisons are particularly useful.

    6. hunkerdown

      But your values don’t matter to China and they don’t matter to the MR writer, and it’s up to you to make an explicit case for why your unsubstantiated feelings about the capacities of states that you cannot understand on their terms should be accorded any credibility whatsoever.

    7. Lambert Strether Post author

      > “China takes human life seriously.”….

      Considering that if Xi relaxes Zero Covid, millions of elders will die (contrast Ratfaced Andy Cuomo), and he has not, I’d like to know where the lie is. In the United States, we’re culling the herd. That does not appear to be happening in China.

      > ability to learn from this pandemic

      The only thing the United States has learned from this pandemic is that you can slaughter a million people with no political impact. An important lesson, I grant.

  6. SocalJimObjects

    Noam Chomsky has a new article on the UK-US Special Relationship.

    “UK officials continued that their American counterparts believe “that the United States stands for something in the world – something of which the world has need, something which the world is going to like, something, in the final analysis, which the world is going to take, whether it likes it or not.” What true believers in the historical profession call “Wilsonian idealism”.

    From then, Britain takes it, whether it likes it or not. Things could have gone a different way at various points in modern history, recently if Jeremy Corbyn hadn’t been destroyed by a vicious media campaign. But today’s British authorities just take the orders and Julian Assange is one of the victims.”

    Watch Liz Truss become Prime Minister soon. She should be more ambitious. With the backing of Washington, she could even become Queen!!!

    1. Louis Fyne

      (arguably) Woodrow Wilson inadvertently killed more people than almost anyone else in history—we’re talking Genghis Khan, inventor of leaded gasoline levels.

      US intervention in WWI (versus the US being an honest broker for peace) created the lob-sided armistice, which ruined Weimar Germany, which created the fertile soil for those 1930’s Germans in brown shirts.

      1. ambrit

        The “lob-sided armistice” rules you mentioned were the result of European Allies demanding punishing impositions on Germany, not, as far as I can see, American intransigence. As usual, the French wanted to crush the Germans. (This may be understandable, considering who started the war, and on who’s soil.) My reading is that Wilson and the Americans were outmaneuvered by “Cunning Diplomats” from the other Allied governments.
        As for Wilson, being that he was a senior Academic, I view him as an early example of “Rule by PMCs.” Look how well that turned out. It is not a comforting harbinger of things to come here in today’s West.

        1. Roger

          The US would not forgive the war debts, requiring the European allies to push for large impositions on Germany so that they could pay off those war debts. Previously, allies had forgiven each others war debts.

          After WW2 the US did the same, using the war debt leverage to force the UK to hand over its empire to US domination.

          I just love the “accidental empire”, “taken advantage of by Europeans” stuff that people come up with to cover up for US motives and actions.

            1. Alice X

              J.P Morgan had loaned the Allies some one billion and a half dollars during the war. The war was turning against them and he and the other Wall Street denizens would lose their money if Germany dictated the terms of a peace. That’s the simplistic view from 35,000 feet.This Seeking Alpha piece has considerable detail about the financial elements and much else, including the banksters’ control of the US press. It doesn’t get into the Creel Commission, but that alone is worth volumes.

              Seeking Alpha:


              1. Procopius

                John Dos Passos’ novel, The 42d Parallel, was published in 1930. Memories were still fresh of the ‘teens. In several places he has characters saying they don’t want to get into the war because the only reason would be to pay off the war debts to the New York banks. I’m not sure why Wilson reversed his position. It might have been the sinking of the Lusitania, it might have been the pressure from the bankers, it might have been both or more, but the idea that we only entered the war to pay off the banks is very believable.

          1. David

            French domestic politics, and extravagant promises made during the war by French politicians, left the French at Versailles with no foreseeable alternative but to press for huge reparations to rebuild the industrial areas of northern France that had been devastated during the war. The French argued, not unreasonably, that the Prussians had inflicted crushing reparations on them after 1870-1 and they were just doing the same.This was well established a long time before the negotiations began, but Lloyd George, and to some extent Wilson, were worried abut a security vacuum in Central Europe if Germany collapsed, and the possibility of a Communist Revolution. So the conditions, though extremely tough, were not as aggressive as the French wanted. In the end, Versailles was a failure on all counts: in the words of one French historian it was simultaneously “too hard and too soft,” weakening and hurting Germany, but making German revanchism not only possible but also likely.

          2. Darthbobber

            What were those previous wars in which allies had forgiven each other’s war debts? And for how much? And how much British and French debt accrued to American banks when America was a neutral rather than an ally?

        2. drumlin woodchuckles

          US intervention certainly provided the final straw which broke Germany’s back and brought Germany to a state of defeat where the European Allies were able to impose an armistice of their dreams.

          Had America stayed out of the war and not given either side any support, the EuroAllies might have been forced to reach an armistice-of-equals with Germany.

      2. Roland

        You should read some of the memos officially published in Foreign Relations series, concerning the Russian Civil War. During the famine 1918-19, Kolchak was actually willing to allow shipments of Siberian grain to relieve hunger in some Bolshevik-controlled cities. But US officials, all Wilson appointees, threatened to abandon Kolchak if he did, and insisted on a starvation-based strategy. USA had the leverage, because Kolchak was dependent on delivery of the arms contracts made by the late Czarist gov’t, which were being shipped to the Whites on credit.

        It’s fair to say that Wilson was complicit in the avoidable deaths of around a million non-combatants in Russia. The evidence was officially published in the early 1930’s. Hoover was a failed president, but at least his State Dept. did a good job doing a document dump on that fraud Wilson.

        And the corruption: Wilson created a gov’t-funded private corporation to handle Russia expenditures, unaccountable to Congress. To think that Harding got grief over a paltry thing like Vacuum Oil…

        And the US duplicity regarding the Czech Legion was pretty foul, too. Wilson deliberately blocked their return, to force them to fight for the Whites if they ever wanted to get home. Not, mind you, that Trotsky had treated the Czechs with less skulduggery, but at least he could claim he had to honour the terms of his peace treaty with Austria-Hungary, and return their PWs.

    2. Quentin

      Seen from the angle of Wilsonian idealism, one might typify the Anglo-American world as the curse that keeps giving.

      1. SocalJimObjects

        But how will she rally the nation to America’s cause? By shooting another steamy scene?

    3. jrkrideau

      Watch Liz Truss become Prime Minister soon. She should be more ambitious. With the backing of Washington, she could even become Queen!!!

      Uh, you really think a nobody beats a 1000+ year family dynasty?

      Watch the USA crumble. The royal family does not joke around.

      1. SocalJimObjects

        She has Uncle Sam’s backing. From the article “From then, Britain takes it, whether it likes it or not. “.

    4. Lambert Strether Post author

      > Jeremy Corbyn hadn’t been destroyed by a vicious media campaign

      Don’t leave out the intelligence community or Israel, both of whom participated enthusiastically.

  7. in_still_water

    From the Why the U.S. failed to control COVID-19: incompetence, class violence, deception, and lies article:

    In fact, only 5,226 people died from COVID on the Chinese mainland.

    Not saying that the U.S. failed to control Covid-19, but what an impressive accomplishment by China/WHO.

  8. The Rev Kev

    “Republicans wince as their Ukrainian-born colleague thrashes Zelenskyy”

    I think that Poltico have got it wrong here. They make it sound like the Repubs are scared of one of their own criticizing the Ukraine but I don’t believe this for a moment. By the time that the midterms come rocking around in about 15 weeks time, nobody is going to want to know about the Ukraine. All those Ukrainian flags outside people’s homes will be replaced with American flags and all those social media Ukrainian flag emojis will be long gone too. This will be a result of the recession, skyrocketing gas & food prices, etc. which people will tie to Biden & the Democrats shenanigans with the Ukraine. So by then the Repubs can say that they have opposed all that financial support to the Ukraine for a long time and will point to Victoria Spartz as an example of this.

    1. Bart Hansen

      Isn’t she complaining about Zed’s corruption rather than him sending the young and middle aged men to their deaths?

      1. The Rev Kev

        Shhh! You’re not supposed to talk about corruption in the Ukraine. Well, not yet. Do that and questions will be asked about all that money and all those advanced weapons going there.

    2. amechania

      This article is still a darling of the algorithm. (published in march) Looked up the author’s twitter and he already has changed his profile picture frame back to an LGBTQ flag.

      The problem with economically induced group-think is that the eggs are all in one basket, and nobody has any stake in the outcome. Just drift from ‘issue’ to issue and play for likes.

  9. Jeff W

    How Japan Achieved One of The World’s Lowest Covid Death Rates Bloomberg

    I think the link was even better the first time around because our site host included the factoid from this tweet: If the US had Japan’s death rate, only 82,000 people would have died. Not 1 million+.

    1. Louis Fyne

      the US would need Japan-levels of obesity/healthy eating in addition to safety measures.

      US hitting <5% obesity will never happen in any of our lifetimes.

      1. SocalJimObjects

        With the PMCs in charge, <5% might be doable. After all they are letting the virus spread freely.

      2. ambrit

        I don’t know about that. Wait for the upcoming food shortages to really bite this winter and onwards. Obesity rates in America can be seriously knocked down simply due to shortages in available calories.
        Add to that the population drops attributable to Covid and Monkeypox, (and whatever else suddenly “appears,”) and we have a culling of those pesky “deplorables” and “useless eaters” that would warm the hearts of the most fanatic New World Order fanboi.
        The food “shortages” will continue for years simply due to fertilizer ‘shortages.’
        The original “Green Revolution” is now grinding to a halt. Just look at Ceylon for an early example of that. Factor in the financial aspects of the Ceylonese decisions concerning fertilizer imports and we have an almost ‘Perfect Storm’ of dystopian management.

        1. JTMcPhee

          The hopeful among us find solace in the appearance of many pockets of movement toward local autarky, including people learning to foster living soil, forms of land stewardship that actually show steady or improved “yields” of healthy foodstuffs, localizing of transportation, bits of participatory democracy.

          It ain’t over til it’s over.

          Of course, “Permaculture could help alleviate poverty & hunger. However, everyone has to be involved and progress can not be hasty.”

      3. Paul Jurczak

        Obesity and unhealthy lifestyle are the elephants in the room. Stunning how little attention is devoted to them in “follow the science” official narrative vs jabbing and masking.

  10. paul

    RE: UK stuff

    I think I’ve spotted a rising star:

    Last seen bravely fleeing from his crashed car and sporting a nice ensemble

    Wallis, who earns £82,000 a year as an MP, was also given 14 days to pay costs of £620 and a victim surcharge of £190. Convicting him, the judge said: “I am going to be upfront. I didn’t find the defendant credible in the evidence he gave.

    “When I watched him give evidence it seemed to me not only was he fitting his own behaviour around the behaviour of PTSD, and his actions on the night does not suggest he was overwhelmed and acting out of fear that night.

    As he left court, Wallis told reporters: “I don’t have any comments or statements to make at this time.”

    The Conservative Party will not be taking further action against Wallis.

    He is obviously where he belongs.

    It does get better:

    Hughes, prosecuting, said residents Adrian Watson and Natalie Webb were having a gathering when just after 1am they heard a “very loud bang, significantly louder than a domestic firework”. Mr Webb said he went outside and saw amber flashing lights and that a Mercedes E-Class saloon had crashed into the lamppost.

    Mr Watson said he looked inside the car and saw “a white male wearing a white long-sleeve top which was tight to the body, a black leather PVC mini-skirt, tights, dark shoes with a high heel and a pearl necklace”. Ms Webb in her statement described the male as wearing “black court shoes”.

    Imagine if jeremy corbyn ,or a distant relative of his, would have done such an understandable thing?

    1. PlutoniumKun

      Seriously, you couldn’t invent this as the plot of a TV show without being accused of being ridiculous.

      And once again, the Tories prove that they are entirely without a trace of bigotry or bias. So long as you have cash and went to the right school, they are the most tolerant political party in the world.

      1. The Rev Kev

        The older Tories seemed to have a problem with their pants too. Before Tony Blair came into power back in ’97, it seemed that it was every other week that you heard about some Tory personage caught with their pants down in a sex scandal.

        1. Colonel Smithers

          Thank you, Rev.

          The best week for that sort of thing was the first week of January 1993, when every day there was a Tory sex scandal. The week was bookended by Tim Yeo’s two scandals. As Rory Bremner wished the single mums with children sired by Yeo, “Happy New Yeo.”

          It was never supposed to happen.

          My former boss, when a bankster lobbyist, was a junior minister at the Treasury under Major, including crossing swords with Cameron and Osborne and feuding with Major’s mistress, Edwina Currie. She explained that the “back to basics” campaign was just a conference week slogan and not to be acted upon. Unfortunately, some young spin doctor spun it into something more substantial and things got out of control.

          What did not help the Tories was that there weren’t enough ministerial jobs to keep MPs occupied after the big Tory victories in 1983 and 1987, so many got up to mischief, financial and sexual, and, under Major, trouble making. Major tried to compensate with a big payroll vote, but it was not enough.

          One hopes Anonymous 2 and David share their experiences of these, er, good old days.

        2. Colonel Smithers

          Thank you, Rev.

          It’s not just the Tories. There was Liberal leader Paddy Pants Down and Labour’s Welsh Secretary and Clapham Common rover Ron Davies.

        3. PlutoniumKun

          Who could possibly forget the unfortunate self inflicted demise of Stephen Milligan MP, who at least in his passing opened up to the public an entire area of erotic play most people had probably never even knew existed.

          1. The Rev Kev

            I guess that one man’s peccadillo is another man’s pecker dildo. At least he didn’t do a Jeffrey Toobin and do it live online.

            1. JohnA

              Naturally, the Daily Mail and veteran BBC stenographer Simpson as ever leap to accusing the dreaded Russia and KGB!

      2. paul

        I think ‘outlandish’ is not long for the oxford english dictionary.

        It is a great insight into the talent puddle that is the modern tory party.

        link to the more salacious quote in the 2nd half

          1. paul

            I’d be happier if you referred to them as the loyal opposition (and with 1 or 2 exceptions include the snp)

            But you know to depress a person, I’m getting flashbacks to the days of bunker broon.

            That article has so much crap in it, I can see another run on toilet paper.

            Example Given:

            And yet, these messy competitions can also revive the party. They introduce new narratives and solidify previously hazy characters. The media helpfully provide nonstop, disproportionate coverage.

            I understand such guff is hard to write, but to expect anyone to read it is delusional.

            In 2016, instead of laying out its alternatives to a likely May premiership, Labour was preoccupied by an attempt to unseat Corbyn. In 2019, instead of offering a rival vision to Johnson’s, the party was preoccupied by antisemitism.

            This begs a question about the preoccupation

            Why has it ceased, flickered into the ether, when it was such an urgent danger from the man who was ,at worst, an observer who wanted peace.

            Since the loyal deputy leader assumed the red cloth cap and covered his ears over the forde enquiry findings, which, according to the leader of the opposition’s PR dept, exonerated the ambitious robot.
            From the article:

            Starmer went to Berlin to meet arguably Europe’s most important politician, the German chancellor, Olaf Scholz, who won power last year through a cautious and not very charismatic centre-left approach.

            and has royally fucked up ever since

            The ‘conclusion’ of the article, if you are kinder than me, is thus:

            Yet when Truss or Sunak takes office, the next election will be two years away at most. For such a short period, it is possible that either of them will be able to maintain the illusion that they have a new vision for Britain.

            If there was a nobel prizzees for vacuity, you could find little competition

    2. spud

      Corbyn was the wrong man at the right time. taking advise from the thaterite tony blair, and embracing free trade, is like bernie and his friend joe. did not work out to well did it.

      Corbyn was his own worst enemy, and he had the election till he right ward turn.

  11. Just An Analog Girl

    Re: Biden’s plan for digital money. If implemented, does this mean cash, the dollars in our bank accounts, retirement plans, savings accounts, etc. will no longer be viable/usable? Will we all have to start using digital money? If so, just kill me now.

    1. The Rev Kev

      If it comes about, the Black Economy will grow by leaps and bounds. And what will they use for currency if they are not bartering good and services? I would not be surprised if it was ‘physical’ dollars not turned in at the banks. It will be interesting to see what the exchange rate eventually works out to be but I would guess that long term, that “black” dollar would be worth more as it would be tied into local economies and not like the digital dollar which will be tied into Wall Street and the Fed’s (or do I repeat myself?) shenanigans.

      1. Wukchumni

        Gooooooooood Mooooooorning Fiatnam!

        You didn’t want to go into battle with a bunch of change jingling jangling in your BDU with the prospect of a lowly Lincoln giving away your position, leaving only folding fiat to win hearts & minds of the underground slippery slope economy.

        A Hamilton was usually sufficient in paying off the locals to mow down 5 foot high elephant grass, but sometimes it took a Jackson if a firefight was in progress.

    2. flora

      Those savings will certainly no longer be “ours”, but will become property of the govt who can switch our access to the money that was once ours on and off and can program what we can spend the money on. You know, the way they do now with food stamps (SNAP) issued on credit cards. If, in the name of saving the planet, they don’t want you to buy more than 10 gallons of gas a week you won’t be able to buy more than 10 gallons of gas a week… or a month. If they don’t want you to eat beef or poultry, you won’t be able to buy beef or poultry. (But you can buy the insect-burgers.) You think this is too far fetched, too loony, they would never do that. Did you think they’d do what they have done for these last 3 years? (I thought this was dystopian nonsense 3 years ago. )

      And then there’s the digital ID that will be required to use digital dollars. They didn’t mention that, did they?

      1. flora

        Adding: Whitney Webb refers to “smart cities” as open air prisons due to the intense surveillance these cities will have and require.

        1. Skippy

          Imagine having your account debited in real time for some infringement and your social credit score takes a hit, smart[tm] phone will ping and notify, with the help of 5G one could also see or check the scores of those around them – per se someone you just met for the first time out and about … “never can be to careful” … eh

          THX1138 seems closer than I thought … albeit Spiderhead is a new twist …

      2. rob

        and to put this in terms for people in the sharia law states where abortion is illegal…they won’t have the money to buy any abortion pills, or a bus ticket to a non sharia law state… and when their phone and facebook accounts show “inconsistencies”… well.. someone will have to investigate..
        when will people learn to never trust their political class?
        If this is the plan…. the fed and the bank of international settlements have in mind for us all.. we will have to just steal the pitchforks.

        1. Norm de plume

          Not sure enough pitchforks can be found for the numbers who will want them.

          Plenty of lampposts though.

    3. SocalJimObjects

      I wonder what that will mean for Eurodollars or any dollar stored overseas. One upside is probably, the drug cartels are hosed, especially if they haven’t washed their dirty money. But yeah, the future does look frightening.

      1. flora

        Oh, I think the richest, including the richest criminals will have “special” rights, like how the big Wall St banks do money laundering for the cartels, and then there’s the Panama Papers. The rules are for the “little people” – to misquote Leona Helmsley. / ;)

      2. Jeremy Grimm

        The drug cartels would accept physical cash only and might become a source for physical cash to feed into the black economy. They might add black banking to their repertoire, or expand whatever existing black banking and loan sharking activities they might have.

    4. Katniss Everdeen

      The idea of a “biden plan” for anything is terrifying. End of quote. YOU repeat the line.

      1. Susan the other

        It’s not Biden’s plan. That’s exactly why he was nominated and “elected”. Joe has a preplanned agenda to push. He might not even be aware of it anymore. But it’s gonna be pushed. He came closest to revealing it all when he made the shocking comment about “this catastrophic transition.” CBDCs could get pretty catastrophic if they are not fully tested, vetted and fail-safed for use. I don’t think that can happen in 7 months. I do believe that the basic “plan” is already in place but I have no doubt that it will have to be given several test drives, both domestically and internationally. If we see it go mainstream before it is ready I’ll be very surprised. And on the good side of the equation – money will be redefined. We won’t be living in a profit-or-die straightjacket but something more like money for legit necessities. Yes, Dorothy, there is a reason this is being done. And one good thing is that if we can’t get our hands on cash we’ll be less likely to catch monkeypox and other things! (My pharmacist put up a sign “credit cards only.”) And just the possibility of the system shutting down and leaving us stranded demands a backup plan. So we can count on something like local currencies or other media of exchange. When the electricity goes down the shit won’t even be able to hit the fan. So the government will soon be soliciting bids for plans for catastrophic digital failure mitigation.

    5. Lambert Strether Post author

      > If so, just kill me now.

      Get your passport in order and/or prepare for internal exile. Nobody anywhere near power today should be trusted with digital money.

  12. Wukchumni

    Continuing a 22-year downward trend, water levels in Lake Mead stand at their lowest since April 1937, when the reservoir was still being filled for the first time. As of July 18, 2022, Lake Mead was filled to just 27 percent of capacity.

    The largest reservoir in the United States supplies water to millions of people across seven states, tribal lands, and northern Mexico. It now also provides a stark illustration of climate change and a long-term drought that may be the worst in the U.S. West in 12 centuries.

    The low water level comes at time when 74 percent of nine Western states face some level of drought; 35 percent of the area is in extreme or exceptional drought. In Colorado, location of the headwaters of the Colorado River, 83 percent of the state is now in drought, and the snowpack from last winter was below average in many places.

    Now appearing on the stage in Las Vegas-adjacent for a limited engagement, live from the Soviet Union, please give a hearty hello to the Aral Sea, who will do a dance number and then gracefully exit.

    1. Sardonia

      “water levels in Lake Mead stand at their lowest since April 1937”

      Bear in mind, that 1937 water measurement isn’t an apple-to-apple comparison to today, since in 1937 there weren’t nearly as many weighted-down corpses at the bottom as there are now.

    2. The Rev Kev

      That water level must be going down at a fairly predictable rate. So have you heard on the news in your part of the world if there is a calculated date where as far as water supplies and power generation are concerned that it is game over? Probably two different dates when I think about it.

      1. Wukchumni

        With any luck the deadpool will coincide with finding the corpse of Jimmy Hoffa somewhat intact, chomping on a quite waterlogged stogie.

        The claim is we are a few years away from a deadpool if things continue apace, but we’ll see~

        The Feds start taking away water from the various states on the receiving end in the next month, and artichokes & asparagus don’t pay property taxes… but home moaners do-so Ag gets the shiv.

        We’ve been doing a flatwater kayak trip on the Colorado River for a few decades putting in below Hoover Dam and last year it was $100 for kayak rental-including having the outfitter drive you to the put-in point and picking up @ the put-out point, and launch permit.

        Now it’s $122.

        1. Anthony G Stegman

          It’s not likely that Lake Mead will reach a dead pool situation. Just on time the drought will end with massive accumulations of snow and prodigious amounts of rainfall. Big Ag in California has walked on thin ice numerous times over the many decades, but the ice has never collapsed on them as all droughts eventually end and flush times return. This is why there are so many tens of millions of people living in the west, with acres and acres and acres of irrigated turf lawns, and acres and acres of irrigated golf courses. The water always arrives just in the nick of time. The demise of Lake Mead, and by extension Los Angeles, Phoenix, Las Vegas, etc…is greatly exaggerated.

          1. Jeremy Grimm

            Do you truly believe everything will be fine in the long run or are you simply unwilling to accept how bad things could and probably will become? What evidence suggests that Big Ag’s numerous crossings of thin ice in the past, that you claim, somehow demonstrates their continued ability to make those crossings of thin ice in the future?

        1. The Rev Kev

          By 2024? Wow. During an election year too. Good thing that this will never become an issue for voters in the South-West.

        2. Wukchumni

          I expect all upriver users of the Colorado River to faithfully abide by the law and not be tempted by the life saving largess flowing by them, in taking what isn’t theirs.

            1. Shannon

              The current plan, as I understand it is for the Lower Basin states (namely California and Arizona) will take the brunt of the cuts coming after August. It will be interesting to see if California will takes those cuts without a lawsuit.

    3. pnwarriorwomyn

      Thanks ‘Junuary’: No more drought for Washington state Washington’s Department of Ecology has canceled a drought declaration for Central and Eastern Washington.

      All areas of the state, including the five watersheds specified in the drought declaration, have received significantly above-normal precipitation.

      Context: drought is declared when water supply levels are below 75% of normal in an area. That’s what is written in state law. The Colville River, for example, is 86% of normal right now.

    4. Lexx

      We’ve been breaking heat records here in Colorado. Highest high on one day and highest low. It’s the second one that worries me. Cool nights have been one thing we Coloradoans could count on. Two nights this past week we couldn’t shut off the air-conditioning and open the windows before going to bed, because the temperature hadn’t dropped below 80… but this is ‘normally’ the hottest part of summer for nighttime temps, we’re assured by the meteorologists.

      Next week the daytime temps drop back down into the 80’s and thunderstorms are forecast throughout. We must be in the 17% that is not in drought. We’ve had (rainbarrel-filling) showers off and on all summer. Everything is perversely green and the canopies of the trees have never looked larger and happier. It’s a little weird, but locals (those who have lived in this city for over 40 years?) say this is normal.

      Husband is off to the races next week… yes, literally… and he said he felt bad that he wouldn’t be here to help me protect the garden from potential hail storms, then sought absolution with ‘yeah, but it’s safe now, right? It’s July!’… and I reminded him that nonviolent weather months no longer exist, by way of pointing out that he was going on vacation with his pals, while I stayed home with our elderly dog and haven’t been on vacation myself for six years… the double speak of old married couples.

      Recommended movie: ‘Pig’. Starring Nicholas Cage… the only other actor I recognized was Adam Arkin.
      If you need a movie that’s loud and filled with action and excessive dialog, this isn’t it. It’s small, slow, spare, and intensely entertaining.

      1. Norm de plume

        Yeah I enjoyed Pig too. So much so that I also watched Gunda, which was even smaller and slighter, but for me a tad less entertaining.

  13. The Rev Kev

    ‘Today we changed the law to allow businesses impacted by strike action to hire skilled, temporary workers to mitigate disruption. This was a criminal offence. Now it’s an option for business. We will not let trade unions grind our economy to a halt.’

    I understand that the new law will be called the ‘Skilled Corporate Aid Brotherhood’ Act.

    This is how the elite in the UK want the future to look like – one where workers are not protected by a union but are ‘on their own’. Now where have I heard that phrase before? And asking what unions have ever done for us anyway is really like asking what the Romans have ever done for us.

    1. paul

      Let us all hope the doctors lawyers and nurses do not go on strike, and I hope there is a carve out for the royal family in this ‘tough,new’ law.

      I am skilled at crossing a picket line, therefore I can do anything

      Didn’t descartes say that ages ago, like b4 phonez, or was it about MBAs?

      Way ahead of his time,man.

    2. lyman alpha blob

      Notice how they got a black man with an African name to make the announcement instead of some pudgy white Tory. That makes it all OK, right?

      1. Boris

        It’ll make it OK, totally! Reminds me of a story under the title “Not for old white men” in Spiegel online today about the contenders fighting it out in the Tory party atm: The author was thrilled about the greatness of that party, because: So much diversity! (Not one single word about the politics of these contenders, or their past, or anything but: skin color, gender. No more old, white man! The future looks bright!)

    3. eg

      The ignorance of history where trade unions are concerned in expanding the franchise and bringing on universal suffrage is scandalous.

  14. Kurtismayfield

    So how many of Ms. Harris’s recent staff “retirements” are now sweating that she is one heartbeat away from the presidency? Biden is 79, has heart issues, asthma, and has COVID. This is her shot!

    1. Wukchumni

      Bam-bam-baba, babam-ba-baba
      Bam-bam-baba, babam-ba-baba
      Bam-bam-baba, babam-ba-baba
      Bam-bam-baba, babam-ba-baba

      Caught Covid twenty-twenty-twenty-four hours ago
      I wanna be intubated
      Nothing to do, nowhere to go home
      I wanna be intubated

      Just, get me in an updated iron lung, put me on a plane
      Hurry hurry, hurry, before I go insane
      I can’t control my fingers, I can’t control my brain
      Oh no, oh-oh oh-oh

      Caught Covid twenty-twenty, twenty-four hours ago
      I wanna be intubated
      Nothing to do, nowhere to go home
      I wanna be intubated

      Just put me out to pasture, get me on a plane
      Hurry, hurry, hurry, before I go insane
      I can’t control my fingers, I can’t control my brain
      Oh no, oh-oh oh-oh

      Hey, oh, let’s go
      Hey, oh, let’s go
      Hey, oh, let’s go
      Hey, oh, let’s go
      Hey, oh, let’s go
      Hey, oh, let’s go

      Caught Covid twenty-twenty-twenty-four hours ago
      I wanna be intubared
      Nothing to do, nowhere to go home
      I wanna be intubated

      Just put me in an updated iron lung and get me to the show
      Hurry, hurry, hurry, before I go loco
      I can’t control my fingers, I can’t control my toes
      Oh no, oh-oh oh-oh

      She’s a punk, a punk veep elevated to chief
      I wanna be intubated
      Just put me out to pasture, get me on a plane
      Hurry, hurry, hurry, before I go insane
      I can’t control my fingers, I can’t control my brain
      Oh no, oh-oh oh-oh

      Bam-bam-baba, babam-ba-baba
      Bam-bam-baba, babam-ba-baba
      Bam-bam-baba, babam-ba-baba
      Bam-bam-baba, babam-ba-baba

      Hey, oh, let’s go, bam-bam-baba, babam-ba-baba
      Hey, oh, let’s go, bam-bam-baba, babam-ba-baba
      Hey, oh, let’s go, bam-bam-baba, babam-ba-baba
      Hey, oh, let’s go, bam-bam-baba, babam-ba-baba
      Hey, oh, let’s go, bam-bam-baba, babam-ba-baba
      Hey, oh, let’s go, bam-bam-baba, babam-ba-baba

      Bam-bam-baba, babam-ba-baba, I wanna be intubated, hey, oh, let’s go
      Bam-bam-baba, babam-ba-baba, I wanna be intubated, hey, oh, let’s go
      Bam-bam-baba, babam-ba-baba, I wanna be intubated, hey, oh, let’s go
      Bam-bam-baba, babam-ba-baba, I wanna be intubated

      1. Sardonia

        I wasn’t paying REAL close attention to pop/rock music in the 70’s (avant-garde jazz period for me), but I got the sense that The Ramones were the ones who officially euthanized Disco (with fire).

        I remember hearing California Sun and thinking “Wow – someone is finally doing Rock the right way again!” Stripped down and raw. It was time to start listening again. The Golden Age of Punk was here.

        1. LawnDart

          Ramones may well have provided the soundtrack, but 44 years ago in Chicago, the lethal blow was dealt:

          The Night Disco Died

          Thirty-seven years ago this month, a radio station promotion gone bad forced the White Sox to forfeit a game and became part of baseball lore. An oral history of Disco Demolition.

          When that door opened and I saw all those people … And then it was, “What the fuck?” They are throwing beers and cherry bombs at us. And they’re the people who like us!

          At first I saw little fires breaking out in the outfield. Three nuns were sitting near me. They turned around and asked, “What is everybody chanting?” In those days, “Disco sucks” wasn’t a nice thing to say. My friend told them, “They’re just going, ‘Let’s go, Sox.’ ”

          People tore the bases apart. Home plate was gone. There was a big spot in center field where the albums had been blown up. There was vinyl everywhere. I walked out to look at center field, and I heard something go by me. It was an album from the upper deck and landed next to my right foot. It was stuck in the ground. I said, “Holy shit, I could have been killed by the Village People.”

          [WLUP station manager] Les Elias and I were in Bill Veeck’s office at two o’clock in the morning waiting to see what the damage results were from the insurance company, because we were going to pay it. Bill goes, “Gentlemen, I hope you don’t mind. It is real late and my leg is killing me.” And in front of us, he unscrews his leg, puts it on the side of his desk, and proceeds to use it as an ashtray. He says, “I don’t know who this guy [Dahl] is, but, boy, does he know how to draw people.”

          1. Sardonia

            Bill Veeck was a Chicago legend. Best owner ever. My favorite anecdote was when he put a (what’s the PC term?) “little person” on the roster who could draw a walk anytime because his strike zone was about 4 inches from top to bottom.

            1. LawnDart

              He was a madman who made the games fun in a time before the suits took over. As you pointed-out, he stood-up for the little-guy, both in the figurative and literal sense. The Sox stayed a blue-collar team well into the 90’s, unlike the Northsiders, who priced the bums out of the bleachers (and beer) early on during their quest for yuppie appeal.

              Thanks to Wuk for sending us down this lane– I’m sure Joey Ramone would have approved!

    2. John k

      Pretty scary, and then Pelosi is next.
      But, would I be able to detect a change from joe?
      Sure, she loves the banks, who doesn’t? Ditto pharma, mic, deep, our oligarchs, won’t do anything for workers, and hates Russia. These are all prerequisites for advancement with dems.
      Related… where is big o regarding Hillary vs Kamala? And, was it he or Hillary that picked Kamala? Maybe they compromised on a bank acceptable candidate that would bring big bucks?
      If joe is dragged across the finish line it will be Hillary vs Kamala. I’ve got grandkids, so I’m an ABC guy in the primary and general.

  15. The Rev Kev

    “Why Nord Stream II Must Be Opened Immediately”

    I came across a Canadian news article which explained why Canada eventually relented and handed over that turbine. The Germans got heavy with the Trudeau and this is what happened-

    ‘Germany’s foreign minister said Berlin warned Ottawa it could be forced to suspend military and economic aid to Ukraine if a Russian gas pipeline turbine stranded in Montreal, a result of Canadian economic sanctions, isn’t returned. Annalena Baerbock said the German government told Canada if the missing turbine led to a stoppage of natural gas from Russia, it could spark popular uprisings and force Berlin to halt support for Ukraine.’

    So, no turbines, then that leads to Germany giving the Ukraine the chop – and it would all be Trudeau’s fault. The only other alternative was to open Nord Stream 2 but Washington will never allow that to happen so the turbines it had to be-

    1. pjay

      This short piece in New Left Review is an interesting and succinct statement of the effects of the Ukrainian war on Germany:

      I would never underestimate our level of hubris, recklessness, ignorance, or incompetence. But I have to admit, if the purpose of NATO in Europe is to “keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down,” then this has been a pretty successful campaign.

      1. Maxwell Johnston

        Yes, it’s an excellent summary of Germany’s predicament, but (perhaps mistakenly) the article makes me feel a tad optimistic. After having spent the last 30 years (or 50, if we go back to Willy Brandt and Ostpolitik) systematically building production and trade links, it’s hard to envision hard-headed German industrialists tossing away their hard-earned prosperity (and that of Germany as a whole, a society with excellent infrastructure and a high quality of life) to satisfy the USA and the UKR and the crazies in Poland and the Baltics. I think reality will eventually reassert itself, but I don’t know when.

    2. jr

      Not sure if this was mentioned here before but it’s obviously relevant:

      Germany accused of ‘breaking all trust’ with Nato over failing to complete Ukraine tank deals

      “Berlin has not yet completed any deals to back-fill soviet-era tanks sent to Ukraine by Nato allies including Poland and Greece”

      The German hawks have a plan though:

      “We have to be brave and say: ‘Guys, let’s drop it and deliver directly to Ukraine’,” she said, referring to the possibility of the deals breaking down.”

  16. paul

    force Berlin to halt support for Ukraine.

    Is that diplomatese for saying ‘we’ll stop sending 50 years of military landfill to the morons in kiev’
    or am I missing a nuance?

    1. Mel

      There is this wee contradictory nuance:

      “We can’t oppose Russia’s actions in Ukraine unless we get Russian help.”

      1. anon y'mouse

        your comment is why Russia should be smart and cut them off entirely.

        i know they are trying to use this faithfulness to contracts and not punishing the citizens of these countries as a soft power technique, but “our” side is not swayed by acts of good will.

        and cutting them off would make them hyperaware immediately of the bargain they’ve struck, when their lives could have been easier not participating in all of this.

  17. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Live Blog: January 6th Hearings, Thursday, July 21 Matt Taibbi, TK News. So we don’t have to….

    If Taibbi’s subscribers / commentariat–you have to be a paid subscriber to comment–are any indication, the one-sided, scripted, edited, produced, teleprompted, cherry-picked, TDS-inspired Jan. 6 “inquiry” commission is not doing itself or the democrat party any favors.

    Supposedly they’ve announced more “hearings” to be held in September. They may want to do a re-think.

    While I haven’t read all 500+ (and counting) comments, what seems to be particularly offensive is the lack of any representation of the other side of the issue, which just cements the idea that the whole thing is a kangaroo court show trial.

    This embarrassing fiasco, coming as it does after 7 years of relentless persecution of Trump for mostly made-up bullshit from all bureaucratic corners, even seems to be convincing some commenters that the election may have actually been stolen, and has others declaring that they’d vote for Trump if he ran again because his policies are so much better than the democrats’.

    At any rate, these “hearings” seem to be dredging up all manner of previously forgotten dem hypocrisies and betrayals, from bill clinton’s media consolidation to Seth Rich’s unsolved murder to hillary’s role in Benghazi to unpunished blm violence and everything, and there’s a lot, in between. The idea that the secret service was in on the “coup” and was going to kidnap the wimpy pence seems to be a particular knee-slapper.

    I, for one, have no problem watching these idiots repeatedly shoot themselves in both feet. But what kind of chaos will they cause this time when they lose, refusing, again, to admit that it was their own damn, stupid fault.

    1. Wukchumni

      I caught a little of the hearings finale with what appeared to be the smoking gun in that Josh Hawley ran through the capital building in what could be called a sprint if you squinted enough in the 2 second clip that proved pivotal to something or another, in that that the show-me state advocate was running from the clutches of those he earlier raised his fist to in solidarity, oh the humanity!

    2. Watt4Bob

      On a related tangent;

      Edward Snowden revealed the fact that all digital communications are surveilled and recorded.

      So why is everyone pretending that the Secret Service’s text messages can’t be found?

      Just asking.

      1. The Rev Kev

        If you want a copy of those texts, here would be a good place to try-

        Utah Data Center,
        Saratoga Springs,
        Utah, 84045,
        United States

      2. Pat

        It’s doing it’s job. Doubt must be cast on The Secret Service as they did not support the damning narrative. The conflicts weren’t enough on their own.

      3. doug

        Having recently been aware of a title nine inquiry, I learned long ‘deleted’ texts’ are actually quite easily retrieved by a technician from the phone.
        That Congress ‘went for that excuse’ is a big tell.

          1. amechania

            Contrarian opinion. Maybe the Secret Service uses those radios, like they have since the 60’s.

            I have ample evidence of their unprofessionalism off duty, but perhaps they aren’t texting like high schoolers about the real stuff.

            Presumably, they know as much about the insecurity of texting as we do.

            Also, who cares about the secret service. They aren’t quite the Praetorian Guard.

            Talking about COVID is to small potatoes compared to the lack of universal healthcare, as surely as talking about this non-trial show-trial is another molehill-as-a-montain

      4. Norm de plume

        Yeah and while they’re at it they could have a quick hunt for those messages van der Leyen exchanged with Bourla before the EU signed up for the Pfizer substance, which sadly seem to have been mislaid.

        Also perhaps a closer look at communiques between Biden pere et fils..

        If indeed all such records exist, imagine the range and depth of entries on an open source wishlist such as the one I started above, and the potential embedded therein.

        And imagine the power of those with the keys to this secret history. Recent events and the elite actions and behaviours which led to them take on a darker hue in this light.

        As Eliot might have said

        ‘After such knowledge, what forgiveness?’

    3. pjay

      You would think that anyone who has any connection to real world America would know this. It is obvious that most people in that world are either apathetic or increasingly irritated by this show trial. Yet, I have friends who have been watching this showbiz production religiously as if the future of the Republic was truly dependent on the outcome. Their level of obliviousness is something to behold. They are the ones who will vote Democrat and be shocked as the rest of the country gives them their new Republican Congress and President — followed by fund-raising appeals by the DNC for the “crucial battle ahead.”

      1. Screwball

        Yet, I have friends who have been watching this showbiz production religiously as if the future of the Republic was truly dependent on the outcome.

        It is, or so some think. Below is a couple examples of things I have been told by my PMC friends.

        This night (last night) is going to live on as providing some of the most memorable moments in the history of this nation.

        I am not concerned about gas prices or inflation, those things shall pass. The biggest issue of our time is Jan 6th.

        Another told me I had to go watch Lawrence O’Donnell from the other night – it was a must see and one of the best shows ever. The gave me the show name. I looked it up – he was interviewing Adam Shiff. Of course I didn’t watch it.

        Barf and double barf. I think whoever watches MSNBC and CNN (not sure about the NYT or Post) but it seems like the propaganda is all about Jan 6, with a side dish of fear. These people are scared to death about what will happen if they don’t win the election. One person even thinks their will be open season on democrats by the right – as in they will start killing them.

        Oh brother! I have come to the conclusion (after digesting all the crap they have over the last 5 years) they are simply nucking futs. I think they should also have their degrees repossessed. Anyone believing all the stupid shit they have doesn’t deserve one.

    4. Michael Ismoe

      The Jan 6 Committee has only one job and it was a huge success. They are so flush with cash that they are sharing it with Liz Cheney for her part in keeping the grift going.

    5. marym

      Taibbi’s point about whether Trump committed any actual crime continues to be valid, though that’s an issue more for the DOJ than the committee.

      As far as representation, the House Republican leader rejected all participation in a House committee when 2 of his 5 nominees (2 of the 3 who had voted to reject electoral ballots) were rejected. Arguably a shared responsibility for lack of Republican members. Prior to that Republicans in the Senate had already rejected a proposal for a bi-partisan independent commission where R and D nominees would have had equal subpoena power.

      Except for a few cops and the election workers from GA that Trump and his followers harassed, all the witnesses have been Trump appointees, family, campaign officials, and lawyers; Republican elected officials; and members of the Republican legal establishment. Some Trump allies have refused to testify at all.

      Not sure which “other side” is unfairly unrepresented or what they would have contributed.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > As far as representation, the House Republican leader rejected all participation in a House committee when 2 of his 5 nominees (2 of the 3 who had voted to reject electoral ballots) were rejected. Arguably a shared responsibility for lack of Republican members. Prior to that Republicans in the Senate had already rejected a proposal for a bi-partisan independent commission where R and D nominees would have had equal subpoena power.

        Correct (although I think that tactically this was a smart move by McCarthy, since the lack of opposition means the Democrats will over-reach).

  18. The Rev Kev

    “U.S. hopes for global price cap on Russian oil by December”

    This might prove to be hilarious this. So Japan, for example, tells the Russians that they will only buy Russian oil at $45 a barrel. Russia says so sorry, your oil is now heading towards China and India now. Japan screams that the west will never insure those ships and Russia says that other countries are now eating London’s insurance lunch and they are set. And it is not like OPEC will help out the west here. OPEC knows that of this ever worked for Russia, then they would be next and the demand would be that OPEC sells their oil for the same low price. Yeah, not going to happen.

    I use to think that western leaders used Ayn Rand’s book “Atlas Shrugged” as their bible but it looks like it was Rhonda Byrne’s book “The Secret” all along-

    1. Chas

      When Bernie was arrested back in the sixties in Chicago, he was handcuffed and perp walked. Of course he wasn’t an elected official back then, but I suspect the cops knew the only way they were going to get Bernie out of that segregated housing protest was with force. How the left has changed.

  19. The Rev Kev

    “Captured nuclear plant doubles as launch pad for relentless Russian rocket attacks”

    That didn’t take long for the media to cover for the Ukrainians attacking a nuclear power plant not once but twice. But seriously – their main witness is an “activist” who is a member of Ukraine’s territorial defence forces? And going by the map, he is reporting on something that happened at night about forty or fifty kilometers away. He would have no clue what was going on at that plant. Those rockets that he saw were probably ones the Russians fired to intercept the incoming Ukrainian ones.

    1. Henry Moon Pie

      Thanks for that. Great link. The picture that Vandana paints of how the world works at the human level is pretty much the one in my head. What an unliberal she is. Her message to farmers immersed in Frankenplants and glyphosate is “We will help you change,” not “We will regulate you.”

    1. PlutoniumKun

      That’s one hell of an investigation. A lot of people are going to come out of this looking very bad indeed if this is true.

      As any conman will confirm, you can get away with almost any lie if the person you are telling it to really wants to believe the story.

    2. hunkerdown

      Can degrees be rescinded? If not, why not, and if so, why aren’t we doing it more often?

      Of course, because this is the very world they were trying to produce by issuing those degrees.

  20. jr

    World food crisis to ease as Russia and Ukraine sign grain deal:

    Some bon mots:

    “In a rare reprieve for Russia’s sanctions-struck economy, the United States on Monday scrapped hefty anti-dumping duties on fertilisers from Russia.”


    “A fresh package of sanctions against Russia adopted by the EU on Thursday made it clear that Russia’s agricultural supplies were not covered by the EU’s restrictions on Russian exports in a welcome development for the Kremlin.”

    Maybe some bright lights in the West figured out that food shortages and the attendant riots weren’t a good idea? Perhaps they realized that with the climate going bonkers, having no fertilizer would be a double whammy?

    1. hunkerdown

      “in a welcome development for the Kremlin.” -Torygraph

      “Selflessness isn’t the strategy, it’s the prize.” -David Graeber

      I noticed unleaded dropped 70 cents this week while I was staying home for a while. Oh ho, it’s that easy, is it.

  21. ambrit

    After reading the piece on Italian Fascist art, I immedietely flashed to American movies from the last few decades. What else are films like the Superhero genre and Super Patriot efforts like “Zero Dark Thirty,” not to mention television shows like “21” but full on American Fascist Patriot Propaganda?
    ‘Pundits’ are willfully deceiving everyone when they assert that “American Fascism” began with Trump.
    The “real” American version of the ‘March on Rome’ was in 2000, and sponsored by the Supreme Court. The later “Patriot Act” can realistically be considered as an American ‘Enabling Act.’ It codified Fascism for America.

    1. jr

      Let’s not forget the “Super Cop” genre of television dreck like CSI etc. Suspects are regularly roughed up. Constitutional rights are routinely ignored. Surveillance is glorified.

  22. Wukchumni

    My Kevin (since ’07) spearheaded this a month ago:

    Peters (D-San Diego) and McCarthy (R-Bakersfield) introduced the Save Our Sequoias Act to provide $350 million over 10 years to protect the iconic trees, streamline environmental review for restoring groves and create a reforestation plan.

    They ended up settling for a 1-time $10 million stipend which is better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick, but just 3% of what was needed, My Kevin folded like a cheap suit.

    While the effort continues to provide much more comprehensive protection for the Giant Sequoias, a step has been taken to at least provide a little help for the iconic trees in the near future.

    A bipartisan amendment as part of legislation to fund parts of the federal government in fiscal year 2023 was overwhelmingly passed by the House of Representatives on Wednesday.

    The amendment which would provide $10 million in funding to protect the Giant Sequoias was passed 355-56. The legislation to fund parts of the federal government which included the amendment also passed as a whole. The legislation will eventually go to the Senate for conference negotiations.

    The amendment would provide $5 million to the National Park Service, which oversees Sequoia National and Kings Canyon National Parks, and $5 million to the U.S. Forest Service, which oversees the Sequoia National Forest. The funding would go to the thinning of trees that increase the threat of wildfire and prescribed burning whenever possible to reduce the threat of killing Giant Sequoias.

    1. Anthony G Stegman

      It bears repeating over and over again that “thinning” does not reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfires. On the contrary, there is ample evidence to suggest that removing mature trees as well as understory increases wildfire risk, and also seriously damages forest ecosystems. What the Park Service and Forest Service are doing on public lands is shameful. Despicable as well. Peters and McCarthy are ignoramuses.

    2. bongbong

      Wuk, had no other place to put this little tidbit but thought it might be of interest to you, as well as everyone else, under the category of nominations for “Irony Of The Week/Month/Year/Century” (choose one).

      Paul Volcker’s medals are coming up for auction. The highlight is the GOLD (!) medal he got for “service” to the Treasury Dept.

      If nothing else, proof he was in that “Big Club” that Carlin is famous for revealing. TPTB were probably ROTFLOL when they handed that to him.

  23. Henry Moon Pie

    I noticed that the “Biden’s digitized dollar” article from Newsweek was an op-ed written by an “editorial director” of the infamous Heartland Institute. That fine institution began its work denying that smoking tobacco is harmful and has since moved on to denying that increased CO2 in the air produces warming. I don’t know what Newsweek is doing printing something from that source, but if the Heartland Institute told me the sky was blue, I’d run out and check.

      1. Henry Moon Pie

        To me, their history is not just paid liars but paid fabricators. They just make stuff up.

        Vs. the genetic fallacy is the parable about what kind of tree bears what kind of fruit.

  24. Wukchumni

    You keep repeating a claim from an extremist environmental group best known for something else not even closely related, and while i’m not a tuna eater, I do enjoy watching dolphins frolic.

    Earth Island Institute is the standard-bearer for dolphin-safe tuna labeling in the United States. The organization works to verify or reject domestic tuna as dolphin-safe

      1. Wukchumni

        Yet another article that tells of how strong winds can burn up everything in it’s path including thinned and prescribed burn areas, well yes that is true, but not all fires act like that. More cherrypicking to make their narrative.

        The 2 Sequoia Groves (Giant Forest Grove and Mariposa Grove) which have survived wildfires last year and this year had extensive thinning and prescribed burn histories, while the dozens of groves that had nothing done to them have largely burned up. Coincidence?

  25. Bsn

    I just want to laugh. Seeing this article’s title “The search for the source of plastic pollution” encourages me to save everyone the trouble of reading it. (spoiler alert) Plastic pollution comes from the plastic factory. I suppose someone could say the answer is more nuanced than that, but it’s like a doctoral thesis with the title “21st Century Discoveries on the Origin of Sunlight”.

  26. will rodgers horse

    “Hang around the superyacht world for a while and you see the metaphor everywhere. Four months after Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, the war had eaten a hole in his myths of competence. The Western campaign to isolate him and his oligarchs was proving more durable than most had predicted. ”
    Oh really?

  27. Pat

    OMG, they are barely pretending to follow Covid quarantine procedures, they are so concerned with making sure Biden is seen as not on his deathbed. The White House has been reduced to essential staff, there were photos of Biden at his desk signing a bill (masked) and another of him smiling or talking unmasked. Both photos clearly taken by another human.

    WTF isn’t he locked in his bedroom. If they want to show him working, set up an echo or Google portal in a nearby room to record him and screw security. I, for one, don’t want anyone making secret security decisions while sick and on paxlovid anyway. But I sure as hell would like them to treat his infection appropriately and not just for show.

  28. Glossolalia

    Re: Why Nord Stream II Must Be Opened Immediately

    Is that an actual transcript of Putin’s response? If so I marvel at the thoroughly detailed response and saddens me that our leaders would not be able to even approach this sort of clarity.

    1. The Rev Kev

      I always have the same response. Once a year he briefs the nation and takes questions and this goes on for about three hours I think. Name one other world leader capable of doing the same. To tell you the truth, I am beginning to think that several decades ago, that this would be something that most politicians would be capable of doing. Alas, these days we are left with sound bytes.

      1. LawnDart

        Genesis 11:7

        “Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.”

        Well, the Russian officials may very well be intelligent, highly-educated, articulate and precise speakers, but we of Mammon have great focus-groups and even better PR, so there’s that.

  29. LawnDart

    The First Interview with the Panama Papers Whistleblower

    “The Russian Government Wants To See Me Dead”

    The revelations about offshore firms brought to light by the source behind the Panama Papers toppled government leaders and spawned thousands of investigations. Here, for the first time, “John Doe” speaks about their fears for their life and their disappointment with the German government.

    Hmmm… If Doe was an employee at Mossack Fonseca, how difficult could it be to actually ID the whistleblower? Killing and confirming the ID of a whistleblower seems like a bad move that’d arouse attention– more logical to accept damage done and wait for the world to move on to newer interests: those who play in shadows don’t like the limelight.

    [Sorry about the bold– I f’ed up formatting]

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