Links 7/30/2022

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

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


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The claim: Scientists at CERN are communicating with demonic entities and opening a portal to hell USA Today. Good news!

U.S. Economy Transitions to Slower Growth as Inflation Weighs on Consumers WSJ. The URL shows how the editors rewrote the headline: us-employers-labor-costs-inflation-q2-2022. On “transitions,” commentary:


GDP Report May Have Showed a Decline, but It’s Not a Recession MorningStar

Signs of Softening Barry Ritholtz, The Big Picture.

The Last Days of Sound Finance Phenomenal World


Drought Threatens Major Rivers in the U.S. and Europe Maritime Executive and Rhine level in Germany falls again, vessels only part-loaded Hellenic Shipping News


A Taiwanese contrarian on China’s rhetoric, thread:


Somebody who knows Mandarin might have a go.

Debate deepens over Wuhan wet market’s role in kickstarting the pandemic National Geographic. Not a photo-essay, a review.

Would a nuclear-armed Taiwan deter China? Australian Strategic Policy Institute. From 2020, a happy thought that’s still germane!

The Koreas

Minimum Wage and How South Korea Avoided Japanization The Blue Roof



COVID-19: Time to put people ahead of politics Insight. Australian Medical Association. Austrialian visits New York: “[T[t was striking how much more sophisticated their response was than ours” [bangs head on desk].

Three myths about COVID-19 — and the biggest challenge that lies ahead ABC Australia (KatieBird). “As an immunologist with four decades of research on antibodies under my belt, I always felt like I had a pretty good handle on COVID-19. But when I caught the virus in May, my hubris quickly turned into humility. COVID-19 left me with a serious heart complication that occurs in 2 per cent of infected people, with the risk not diminished by immunisation or prior infection.” The myths: “Myth #1: It’s just a cold now so let’s get it over with”; “Myth #2: Being fully immunised stops infection”; “Myth #3: Variant-specific vaccines are the answer.” Lots and lots of charts. Well worth a read.

Hope, denial and Covid-19 The Saturday Paper

Queensland records more than 18,000 COVID-19 cases after software issue ABC Australia (Skippy).

* * *
Why these two East Vancouver residents are distributing thousands of N95 masks for free CBC (MR). Being Canadian, the two residents characterize BC’s mask policy as “neglectful.” What “neglectful” means is that Dr. Bonnie Henry, BC’s Provincial Health Officer, is a malevolent droplet goon.

Los Angeles County avoids new mask rule as COVID stabilizes LA Times. I think I’ve seen this movie before….

Life expectancy in Japan sees first decline in 10 years amid pandemic Japan Times

Pandemic Inspires A New Crop Of Farmers Texas Observer. Being a peasant is not in the least romantic.


America Should Have Been Able to Handle Monkeypox Katherine Wu, The Atlantic. The deck: “Has COVID taught us nothing?”

Clinical features and novel presentations of human monkeypox in a central London centre during the 2022 outbreak: descriptive case series BMJ. n = 197. Conclusions: “These findings confirm the ongoing unprecedented community transmission of monkeypox virus among gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men seen in the UK and many other non-endemic countries.” The sampling comes from HCID (High consequence infectious diseases) Centres in London. Gruesome photos.


Is open Saudi airspace really a big deal? – analysis Jerusalem Post


West London faces new homes ban as electricity grid hits capacity FT. Because of data centers. There’s gonna be a lot of excess capacity if the City of London dwindles to a regional player.

Analysis from Italy: A political crisis that nobody wanted Euro News

New Not-So-Cold War

Zelenskyy visits port as Ukraine prepares to ship out grain AP

* * *
The rouble is soaring and Putin is stronger than ever – our sanctions have backfired Simon Jenkins, Guardian (KLG).

Actually, the Russian Economy Is Imploding Foreign Policy

* * *
Ukrainian billionaire Dmitry Firtash: ‘Putin will go further. What will Europe do then?’ FT

Europe’s fight to stay united over war in Ukraine FT

Ukraine Won’t Save Democracy Foreign Affairs

London’s High Court rules against Venezuela’s Maduro in $1 billion gold battle Reuters

Biden Administration

Pelosi Visit Sets Up No-Win Situation on Taiwan Foreign Policy. Pelosi’s district is 31.9% Asian. Of course, Asian is not the same as Chinese. Nevertheless, I would not be surprised to learn that high-value Chinese donors have strong views on Taiwan policy, and were greatly concerned to share them with Pelosi. So, 冰淇淋 (if I have translated aright).

The Wisdom of Stepping Back From the Edge Eunomia

Climate experts experience an odd sensation after the Manchin budget deal: optimism NPR

Joe Biden and the Disappearing Elephant: How to Make a Full-Sized Scandal Vanish in Front of an Audience of Millions Jonathan Turley. Dear Hunter. How is he holding up?


Trump Just Told Us His Master Plan David Frum, The Atlantic. The deck: “If he gets in next time, he won’t be dislodged by any means.” Seems legit. After all, we haven’t even been able to “dislodge” Bush era war criminal flack David Frum.

The Bezzle

Tiger Global-backed Missfresh stops paying salaries as it runs out of cash FT. “An executive at the Tiger Global-backed company told employees on a hastily arranged call that an expected investment from a coal mining group had not materialised, and that it could not pay overdue June salaries.” So the Shanghai PMCs whinging about not being able to get food deliveries during lockdowns were really whinging about not being able to cash in their tiny subsidies from the billionaires who funded loss-making operations. Just like here. And the “essential workers” are left holding the bag. Just like here. It’s a funny old world, as Maggie Thatcher once remarked.

The Crypto Collapse Has Flooded the Market With Rolex and Patek Bloomberg

Web3 darling Helium has bragged about Lime being a client for years. Lime says it isn’t true. Mashable

The right to never be forgotten The Pull Request. I have yet to encounter anyone saying “You have to use this Web3 app, it’s amazing.” And I do try to keep track, even the shills and crooks. Have any readers had a different experience?

Elon Musk Tesla’s new $10000 home for sustainable living. Queen Stories. Entertaining, because AI that emitted it needs some work. This is the only link I can find on Musk’s putative newest project. The rest is on YouTube, Pinterest, and Reddit, so organic, totally. Nevertheless, I am filing this adjacent to “The Bezzle,” not in it, because today is my day to be kind.


Stringent measles, other vaccine rules for N.Y. schoolchildren upheld Reuters

Sports Desk

Hurry home early Indignity. On the Baltimore Orioles and the economics of baseball.

Zeitgeist Watch

“I’m just going to the heart of the inferno”: Interviewing Alex Moyer, Director of “Alex’s War.” Matt Taibbi, TK News. A must-read. Chris Arnade covered similar territory in Dignity.

The Dirtbag Is Back The Atlantic

A real-life Lord of the Flies: the troubling legacy of the Robbers Cave experiment Guardian. But “Middle Grove” is just as important.

Why Are There So Many Mass Shootings in the United States? Foreign Affairs

Imperial Collapse Watch

How it started:


How it’s going:


Back in the day, I occasionally glanced at the newspaper of the Albanian Communist Party (gray newsprint, very). I vividly remember a triumphant story about Albania…. building a boat. “Renewing” a single-track line from New York to Burlington reminds me of that, somehow.

Guillotine Watch

Boston Consulting in ‘nepotism’ row over work experience for children of top staff FT

Families With Young Children Led Exodus from Major Cities During COVID Economic Innovation Group. EIG Atlantic Council-adjacent.

Class Warfare

On Economics And Democracy In The Long Run

Newsom 2024!


Is Australian rhyming slang in a bit of froth and bubble? Let’s take a Captain Cook (spoiler: the billy lids may hold the key) The Conversation. Useful to communicate en claire. Eh?

Antidote du jour (via):



I’m pretty mild-mannered about critters generally, but when the groundhogs threatened to invade — they didn’t — I was looking into potato guns.

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. Cocomaan

    I love groundhogs, neat critters, but they have been trying to build burrows next to my foundation and are determined to destroy my garden. I’m paranoid they’re going to crack my foundation. And man, do they multiply. I started with only seeing one and I’ve dispatched four this year already.

    They do get into havahart traps fairly easily. Granola bars have worked and worked fast, you just need to set up the trap along areas they frequent or, even better, right next to a burrow entrance.

    1. Lexx

      And by “dispatched” we can only assume you mean then ‘skinned, gutted, marinaded, and tossed on the grill’, or perhaps currently occupying your freezer for further culinary consideration this winter?

      Husband is on vacation and the newest squirrel to claim our yard and feeders for his very own is extra brazen. I had to withdraw one of the feeders and had set it down on the smoker in the corner of the patio just outside the patio doors. The next day I looked up from curling my hair just in time to see him crawling across the screen doors like a big furry cockroach, nose down so he drop down into the tray. Why ‘he’? He was dragging his nutsack, teabagging the screen on his way toward his snack. I was surprised, appalled, and impressed at the same time. Squirrels don’t usually come that close to the house. I half expected him to shoot spider cable out of his wrist and Tarzan over to the maple tree… not that the barking terrier on the ground seems to worry him at all.

      Husband returns on Monday afternoon…. on Tuesday morning Tarzan dies.

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        i know nothing of groundhogs…but squirrels are good eating.
        rule of thumb is to “dispatch” them in a month with an R in it.
        skin and clean(they carry all manner of diseases, so care is required) and soak in beer(or wine or cocacola) for a day or 2 in the fridge and then “oven fry” like you would chicken legs, then make a gravy from the drippings and cook em some more in that(fricassee).
        we’re thinning the squirrel herd on this place just as soon as it gets cold.
        and i’ll do a cajun version of the above in the big dutch oven on the fire at the bar.

        1. Janie

          Chorus of “oh groundhog”

          Shoulder up your gun and
          Whistle up your dog.
          Off to the woods fer to catch a groundhog.

          Here comes granny with a great big grin
          Groundhog grease all over her chin.

          YouTube includes this as one of the top ten most annoying songs ever.

    2. upstater

      If you have a cat, dump a ripe litter box in the holes or dog droppings (i have no experience using other potential insults). We had persistent problems with them demolishing crops in the vegetable garden. It didn’t take long for them to vacate and it’s been 10 years now. Think of it this way, wouldn’t a dump truck of waste dumped through your front door be revolting?

      1. lyman alpha blob

        It works. We had one removed from our yard a couple years ago and dumped used cat litter down the hole. The guy who caught it suggested it since other groundhogs can catch the scent of the old one and will think it’s a good place to move in. We haven’t had any come back to our yard since although there are still plenty of them around the neighborhood.

    3. notabanker

      That groundhog is Chunk and is a channel on youtube. The guy feeds them and records them and has for years. Hardly invasive in this particular case.

      1. John Zelnicker

        Thank you, notabanker.

        I knew that it couldn’t be just good luck that he serendipitously caught all those groundhogs eating his veggies.

        How does a groundhog end up with a clean, trimmed carrot? And, in some cases it was obvious that the animal was picking up the food from right in front of him.

        I’m glad to know I’m not getting senile, yet. ;-)

      2. Lexx

        I thought the big clue was the sheer variety of the banquet, trimmed and tidy too. I’m going to assume the produce is directly below the camera… otherwise ‘Chuck’ is a bit a narcissist, gazing at his reflection in the lens while power munching. He looks a little pissed off, like the waiter forgot an item from his order. ‘Okay, I’m going to go ahead and eat this, I’m in a hurry today… but no tip for you!’

  2. PlutoniumKun

    Minimum Wage and How South Korea Avoided Japanization The Blue Roof

    Usually the Blue Roof is very incisive, but this article is a bit on the shallow side. Not least because it doesn’t mention that Japans minimum wage is very little different than that in ROK (I think about a dollar less, although since housing costs are usually lower in Japan it probably works out similarly). The Gini Index for both countries are fairly similar, although ROK has far more super rich than Japan as its big industrial conglomerates are still family affairs – in Japan the original oligarch class was decimated in reforms both pre and post WWII. And elder poverty and an impoverished underclass are almost certainly a much bigger problem in ROK than Japan (although much depends on how you measure these things).

    I think that probably the biggest difference between the two countries is that in its late 1990’s crisis the ROK watched and learned from Japans earlier experience and managed the debt and banking side much better. And they were helped by having (at the time) more favourable demographics.

    Mind you, there is an almighty bubble about to pop in the ROK property market right now – given that they’ve voted in a bunch of ultra conservatives to handle it, there is no guarantee they’ll come out the other side in good condition. So far, we haven’t seen any Asian country, with the possible exception of Singapore, manage to maintain solid growth in the face of bad demographics. Pretty much all Asian countries share the disease of low internal demand, with an insistence on trade surpluses to make up the difference. A hell of a lot of economic problems in the world could be solved by just giving everyone a pay rise.

  3. Amfortas the hippie

    this, of all things, needed a Fact Check in USAToday…
    “Our rating: False

    Based on our research, we rate FALSE the claim that scientists at CERN are communicating with demonic entities and opening a portal to hell. ”

    geez…what does that say about “us”?

    guess i’ll go back to avoiding the news, lol.

    1. The Rev Kev

      ‘communicating with demonic entities and opening a portal to hell’

      Wasn’t that the background story for the game Doom? Except it was happening on Mars? Fortunately a quick-witted scientist at CERN had the presence of mind to transmit a live feed of the daily news from our planet into that portal and after only five minutes the portal was slammed shut – from the other end.

      1. Polar Socialist

        IIRC, in Doom it’s a malfunctioning teleport, but in Half-Life it’s a scientific facility on Black Mesa that accidentally opens a portal to monster dimension. The protagonist then has fight both the monsters and the soldiers sent to cover up the accident.

    2. QuarterBack

      How much can I trust fact checking on disavowing a Hell portal when a significant portion of MSM ad revenue comes from Satan?


    3. lyman alpha blob

      No kidding. Somebody’s been watching too much Stranger Things and makes a sarcastic post and one for the most widely circulated papers in the US feels the need to fact check that?!? CERN should aim the beam at newspaper editor’s with too few brains and too much time on their hands.

    4. pjay

      Well, I was not really worried about CERN opening portals to hell before. But now, given the recent track record of Establishment “fact-checking,” I’m not so sure.

      1. johnt

        Not for the first time have I been reminded of the 1988 John Carpenter movie “They Live.” An earlier version of the red pill phenomenon using “special” sunglasses.
        Made to comment on the social divergences of the Reagan Era, I think about many of the opening scenes when I am in a large and often decrepit urban environment. I also think about it when on a street featuring high-end shops, restaurants.

    5. petal

      Perhaps demons from this CERN-generated portal would be an improvement on our current(and prior) crop of politicians and oligarchs. Or maybe said portal is already open and that would explain a lot of them.

      It sounds like some of the comments on an article about an archaeological dig down in Kingston, NY. They’re looking for my 8th and 9th great grandparents, so I’ve been following along. I shouldn’t have read the comments-it made me really despair for this country. Hauntings, demons, curses, the whole 9 yards. sigh.

      1. Skip Intro

        I, for one, welcome our new subatomic-demonic overlords. Most of the entities they deal with at CERN are metaphorical or mathematical, so describing quarks as demons is just as reasonable, Maxwell had his own demons after all. And we don’t really know what will happen when new high-energy interactions are created, if we did, there wouldn’t really be a point in doing it.

        1. Michael Ismoe

          I thought everyone already knew that the portal to Hell is under the US Capitol.

          Pelosi, Schumer, Cruz, Manchin, AOC, even Bernie – (all 535 of them) they are all spawns of the Devil. We don’t need midterms, we need an exorcism.

          1. Skip Intro

            I can see how they’d be upset at the Swiss muscling in on their portal concession. They should sanction them back to the stone age!

          2. ambrit

            Wait! That’s where Gore Vidal says all the “Dry Powder” is stored! I smell a Demonic Conspiracy.

          3. Oh

            Perhaps some human excrement at the doorways of the Capitols will drive away these warhogs.

    6. cfraenkel

      Everyone’s focusing on the portal half of the claim, which is obviously nonsense – and ignoring the communicating with demonic entities half, which is obviously true given their funding comes from Washington and Brussels.

        1. digi_owl

          Well there is the idea, in certain scifi circles, that the reason aliens have not made contact is that earth is classed as a “death world”. Meaning a place too hostile to produce intelligent life.

          1. Alex Cox

            Neoliberal scientists and academics opening a portal to hell is the subject of CS Lewis’ great sf book That Hideous Strength.

            Their public private partnership is called the NICE.

  4. PlutoniumKun

    Families With Young Children Led Exodus from Major Cities During COVID Economic Innovation Group

    Correct link for the above.

    The full analysis isn’t out yet, but my understanding of the latest census data on my own city, Dublin, is that Covid led to a very significant ‘replacement’ effect in population. While overall trends in terms of numbers stayed similar, there was a strong trend of what you might call native Dubliners moving out to rural areas (or returning to rural areas) and small towns, and being replaced by immigrants, mostly from EU countries. This was an existing trend, but covid very significantly increased the movement. Much of the outflow was of families, while the immigrants are far more likely to be younger single people or couples. This has led to major problems with housing supply and school provision, among many other things.

    I suspect the official figures understate the effect, as ease of movement within Europe often means that the number of immigrants can be very understated – many are for a lot of reasons reluctant to fill out official forms. It took me two weeks just to persuade my Chinese lodger to fill out the census form back in April (the reason I insisted is not due to me being a stickler for rules – its that I’m aware of a significant under provision of support for some ethnic groups because according to ‘official’ figures they barely exist). At one stage a few years ago, I made a rough calculation on the basis of mandarin newspaper sales in Dublin that the Chinese population was undercounted in Dublin by a factor of five.

  5. jackiebass63

    I have personally ignored government recommendations that say you no longer need to wear a mask. Whenever I go out in public I wear my mask.I will continue this practice until there is a vaccine that prevents people from getting Covid.I don’t expect this to happen soon.I know a mask isn’t 100% effective but it improves my chances of not getting Covid. I will also continue to avoid situations where the potential of getting Covid is great.As we learn more about Covid we find it is a very dangerous disease that needs to be taken seriously.

    1. Kevin Smith MD

      I’m with Jackiebass63 …
      When people around here cut back on mask wearing, my wife and I adapted by switching from KN94’s to 3M-N95’s. We also have been swabbing out our noses deeply with 1% ivermectin cream [works great topically] and spraying our throats with 0.5% Betadine solution twice a day. [Covid often starts in the nose and throat, then after a few days moves on the to the lungs and other organs, so the nose and throat are the first line of defence.]

      It used to be that we did not know anyone who had Covid. A couple of weeks ago we realized that we don’t know anyone [apart from ourselves] who has NOT had Covid …

      1. IM Doc

        There are consequences to out and out lying by the media, health officials, and Big Pharma.

        I point all to this tweet from the Pfizer CEO. This is especially important for all the vaccinated who were promised complete prevention and now think they are bullet proof. It is also important as a reminder to all who seem to have forgotten, THIS WAS WHAT THE PEOPLE WERE BEING TOLD FOR MONTHS AND INDEED THIS LANGUAGE IS STILL ON THE CONSENT FORMS FOR THESE INJECTIONS AS OF TODAY.

        Please note two things. The study he points out was Pfizer proprietary data and we have no idea what the true numbers are. This has been a recurring theme for two years. Statements like this made and then absolutely no one is allowed to see the raw data, not even the peer reviewers. Must be nice, and it must be nice to have an iron grip on the media and having no pesky questions. FYI, I was already seeing uncomfortable numbers of breakthroughs in my practice when this was printed.

        And please note the second thing. This tweet was a full four months after Birx has now admitted she knew, and I would say that suggests others knew, that the vaccines were not going to prevent anything.

        I would suggest to all that one of the big reasons there is no masking compliance is that a good majority of our population has lost all faith in these clowns and ANYTHING they say. And they have good cause.

        This lack of faith is not going to be fixed until handcuffs are applied.

        If I were Mr. Bourla, I would be looking at real estate in a very remote area about now, preferably with a nice hidey hole. Based on the ever increasing anger being expressed to me daily, I would suggest things are going to get interesting quicker than we may think.

        Of course, an alternative explanation for the above tweet could be it was meant to be a joke. Please note the publication date.

        If you note a tint of anger on my part, you are correct. I am tired. My practice is now overwhelmed with vaxxed/boosted patients not a small amount sick. My hospital and work environment are cratered because of rolling COVID quarantines. Quarantines of vaxxed and boosted employees. And we have our federal officials not even acknowledging these facts, continuing right on with the same “safe and effective” mantra. Even now, the majority of admits are vaxxed/boosted so I am being pummeled by family members and patients promised this too would never happen. They are being assured daily that they are protected from the hospital and bad COVID.

        I am tired. The nurses are tired. And yet the officials just keep right on with their narrative.

        1. antidlc

          I about lost it when I listened to Biden’s first public remarks since testing negative.

          President Joe Biden delivered his first public remarks since testing negative for COVID on Wednesday and touted his administration’s efforts to mitigate the public health crisis.

          “The reality is that BA.5 means many of us are still going to get COVID even if we take the precautions,” Biden said. “That doesn’t mean we are — we were doing anything wrong. Unfortunately, this COVID is still with us, as it has been for two and a half years. But our fight against COVID is making a huge difference.”
          They are willing to let millions get infected. And they are willing to put further stress on our healthcare workers.

          We lost 651 people yesterday (US Covid deaths).

          I just want to crawl into a hole.

          Still waiting for someone to wake me up from this nightmare.

          1. Objective Ace

            I wish the media and medical community would stop focusing on the binary dynamics: either we get covid or we do not. That allows our leaders to shrug off their responsibility. Even if Biden is correct that we are all going to get covid no matter how cautious we are, that has no bearing on how detrimental the second, fifth, tenth time you get Covid will be. I see that as the much bigger problem that everyone is ignoring because, “what’s the point, we’ll all get it eventually”

          2. Verifyfirst

            I don’t think Biden actually had covid. It was staged. He is a pro-virus President in a pro-virus country–he just wanted to show us a). he’s just like us and b). it’s no big deal!

            Come to think of it, that could explain all these elite Dems “getting covid” but none of them getting long covid (except Tim Kaine–remember him?)

            1. Mildred Montana

              Just heard on CNN that Biden has tested positive for a second time. We’ll know if it’s for real if his betting odds in the presidential election go up (currently 6/1).

              1. Objective Ace

                That’s both Biden and Faucci now getting rebound covid after Paxlovid.. maybe someone should–you know–bother to study how common that is and if its worth even using in the first place

                1. IM Doc

                  They both were tested twice daily during their recovery.


                  My guess is that if everyone was tested that often during recovery that Paxlovid rebound would be frighteningly common.

                  I guarantee you based on my experience it is much more than the 3% that is reported.

                  1. HotFlash

                    Fascinating. And if you need more, there are more.

                    My dear IMDoc, did you ever get that WHOpox* test for your patient?

                    Thank you, sir, for being so principled and so fierce, and for telling us what you see. Witnessing, if you will. May God have mercy on all our souls. I feel sure we will need some mercy pretty soon and I don’t know where else it might come from.

                    * using drumlin woodchuckles descriptor, as apparently there is a search tor rebrand That Pox. This is drumlin’s suggestion for a New Name and I really like it. Have seen it a few times around these parts.

                2. Medbh

                  What are the practical consequences of rebound covid after Paxlovid? Is the main concern that people are going to (unknowingly) be infectious again after returning to work, or are there potential negative affects for the individual too?

                  1. Objective Ace

                    For society — you nailed it — risk of unknowingly spreading it. My understanding is its also a really nasty drug with loads of side effects and can negatively interact with many other medications.

                    There are also anecdotal reports that the rebound in many cases is much worse then the initial bout.. although I think that’s debateable because its unknowable how bad the initial bout would have been had a patient not been on Paxlovid, but like i said–these are all things worth studyin

              2. JTMcPhee

                Biden supposedly was given Paxlovid. No surprise, then, when Joe gets a rebound infection. One wonders if the Pelosians were involved in this. Losing Biden might hurry up a war with China. Just wildly speculating, of course

            2. Jess K

              Said elite Dems who’ve caught Covid lie habitually about everything. Why wouldn’t they lie about Long Covid symptoms?

          3. Jason Boxman

            Guess what:

            Biden Tests Positive for Covid Again in ‘Rebound’ Case

            The president tested positive on Saturday morning and will once again isolate, though his symptoms have not come back, the White House physician said.

            Paxlovid strikes again?

            President Biden tested positive for the coronavirus again on Saturday morning, a rebound attributed to the Paxlovid treatment he was taking, but he has not experienced a recurrence of symptoms at this point, the White House physician said.


            We’re just giving this virus every opportunity we can to evolve, aren’t we?

            1. JohnM_inMN

              Loved this quote at top of CNN article:

              “President Joe Biden tested positive for Covid-19 again Saturday morning, per a letter from presidential physician Dr. Kevin O’Connor, in what is likely a “rebound” Covid-19 positivity that the doctor noted is “observed in a small percentage of patients treated with Paxlovid.”

          4. Glen

            I went and looked on the Worldmeter web page for COVID death totals:

            America 1,055,051
            China 5,226

            That data is astounding to me, just astounding. American public heath obviously sucks. And cases of long COVID are going to cripple our country for decades.

            Yet at the same time I listen to some of the more prominent “futurists” predicting the future, and one is adamant that China is “running out of young people” and “will completely collapse” when they don’t have enough people to run all those factories. And I’m just sitting there thinking – dude, they PLANNED that, they paid families to NOT TO HAVE kids. They have been PLANNING, not something America is real good it. And as you can clearly see by the numbers, when they decide to protect people from sickness, they are a whole lot better than America.

            Is it just so much rocket science to figure out that America is honed to create billionaires? And that the best simulation of what’s going to happen has been around for about 100 years now and it’s the game called “Monopoly”? (Hint: one person wins and everybody else is [family blogged].) That judging “progress” and growth” in the future by GDP and population is a [family blogging] joke? Is it just so hard to figure out we’re at like “peak post WW2 based economy everything” and maybe PLANNING on having less people is going to be a huge advantage? As opposed to yeah, they all got sick and just randomly dropped dead.

            The stupid, it burns…

          5. jackiebass63

            and now Biden has again tested positive for Covid. It’s called poetic justice.

        2. Bart Hansen

          Do the vaccines generally keep us out of the hospital, or is that the last of the myths?

          1. ambrit

            Now that Medicine in America is no longer a science and has become a political tool, expect Id-pol to take over there as well. From now on, only the “deserving” will be classified as suffering from and recieve proper treatment for the Coronavirus -19+++

          2. lyman alpha blob

            Wife’s co-worker, vaccinated and boosted, just hit the hospital with the rona last week. Your mileage may vary.

          3. IM Doc

            My own practice numbers from Jul 23rd to Jul 29th.

            I would not be repeating this if I have not been hearing from colleagues all over North America very similar numbers.

            I had 10 patients in the hospital last week with COVID.

            6 were admitted BECAUSE OF COVID. 4 were there for some other reasons and found to incidentally be COVID positive. This positivity played no role in their admission, but that is not hindering the hospitals of America from getting the COVID surcharge on these patients. There is serious grifting going on.

            The breakdown on the 6 admitted because of COVID. 5 were vaxxed and boosted twice, 1 was vaxxed and boosted once. All 6 are over age 65 and all 6 have at least one comorbid condition, most commonly obesity or diabetes. No unvaxxed COVID admissions. I have personally had no truly unvaxxed admission since mid June. Most of my colleagues are reporting minimal or sporadic unvaxxed COVID admissions. Certainly not zero but not many either.

            The breakdown on the 4 incidental COVID finds.

            A 20something athletic male admitted for appendicitis. Totally unvaxxed. Found to be positive on admission, had no symptoms on admit and never developed a sniffle.

            A 30 something woman giving birth to a healthy infant. Vaxxed twice but got no boosters during her pregnancy ( at my urging). She had no COVID symptoms and developed none during her admission. Husband was also found to be asymptomatic and positive. New baby was negative. All remained healthy and well during the entire stay.

            A 68 year old man with cancer. Vaxxed and boosted times two. Admitted for neutropenia after his chemo and a slight fever. Found to be COVID positive on admission. No other symptoms but fever during the entire admission. Since these neutropenic patients have fever for a living, I think this has nothing to do with the COVID. He left hospital in great shape.

            A 42 year old male diabetic type I, very athletic, involved in accident with need of orthopedic surgery. Vaxxed and boosted times 2. Asymptomatic and positive on admission. And no issues during the entire stay.

            All 6 of the true COVID patients were sick enough to be in the hospital but not in icu. All are doing well. I have not seen a true critically ill COVID patient in some months.

            This has been the pattern and the same general proportion of patients since the start of June. They are much less sick than previous waves – but WAY WAY MORE admissions than previous waves and the significant majority are vaxxed/ boosted.

            Notice the detail I conveyed on the vax status. It is not hard at all to report. You can rest assured that games are being played if these kinds of details are left out.

            At this point, we would have easily been able to handle this level of illness a year ago. However, the hospitals across America are cratered with rolling COVID quarantines, burnout, and major employee loss after mandates. This small number of patients along with those of my colleagues is actually stressing the hell out of the hospital.

            God help us all if a more virulent variant appears. Americans are blissfully unaware of how tenuous this all is right now.

          4. Yves Smith

            It did very much for wild type and I think pretty much with Delta. It appears not much with Omicron variants. Those variants pretty much entirely escape the vaccines.

    2. eg

      Same here. I consider the dropping of mask mandates for indoor public spaces and mass transit under current circumstances to be an egregious policy error.

      1. jefemt

        It would be funny to find the metrics on google or web searches that your inserting 冰淇淋

        You made ME look!

        I still think the guy that was making politician ice cream pop missed the lowest hanging frut by not casting a purse-clutching Nan-ceeee

        We’ll leave the pearls to Judy Woodruf

  6. Louis Fyne

    —Boston Consulting in ‘nepotism’ row over work experience for children of top staff FT—

    Wowsers…..this would’ve never happened in “the good ole’ days” at BCG.

    Point of pride of BCG was that BCG were like the Martin Lutherans versus the Roman Catholic Church (McKinsey).

    1. griffen

      It’s 2022, how is this exactly headline news…? How else with these children learn about consulting best practices and how to remain competitive with their peers…\sarc…

      When younger, my nieces and nephew would petition a few of us for supporting funds to do similar trips. Well not exactly, these were week long mission trips to somewhere in the developing world, maybe Costa Rica or similar. I tend to forget where exactly. It was not corporate headquarters in London for fancy dinners.

    2. hunkerdown

      500 years of Reformed theology labored and brought forth a cadre of “busy controllers”, mountebanks, and other frauds whose primary concern is to answer Matt 6:24 with “Hold my near-beer”. So much for religion.

      1. amechania

        Re: Amtrack

        My neighborhood and family were long associated with pre-Amtrack Boston train conglomerations. In fact, my fathers generation has been spit upon decades later for my great grand uncle siding with managment during the great strike.

        Back then they built trains in rooms with dirt floors, the b@stards were so cheap. Iron Horse park is still the dispatch central for Amtrack trains. It is also one of the first federal super fund sites (super fund sites are sites so polluted it needed federal interventions, for the young folks. Not sure if they still bother to do that.)

        Lots of money spent, but still lots of pollution in the soil etc. Lots of disabled old buses abandoned there too.

    3. Questa Nota

      Bitching, Complaining, Griping
      That is what McKinsey wanted us to avoid, as one of their PowerPoint decks showed.

  7. PlutoniumKun

    Would a nuclear-armed Taiwan deter China? Australian Strategic Policy Institute.

    Just a point on the article – it states that the Taiwanese dropped their nuclear program in the 1980’s on the basis that they considered mainland China to be a lesser threat. All the sources that I’m aware of say that it was US pressure that forced them to drop it – they were well on their way to a fairly crude but useable bomb by the mid 1980’s. There were rumours of information exchanges with Japan, who probably have a ‘paper’ bomb ready to go if needed – there is a lot of covert co-operation between the two countries.

    What the article doesn’t say is that even if Taiwan had nukes, there is no way they would use it on China because of the probable overwhelming response. However, using a nuke to neutralise an amphibious invasion force at sea would be highly effective and would put Beijing in a very difficult position when it came to knowing how to respond. So in simple terms, the answer to the title is ‘of course it would’.

    1. digi_owl

      It would not surprise me if many a nation around the world have a “paper bomb”.

      The problem is as always to get hold of a viable amount of fissible material.

      1. LY

        Taiwan has nuclear reactors. Which is a bit eye opening considering the exposure to earthquakes and typhoons.

        Question is if they can refine it.

    2. Gavin

      Fuel-air explosive would be the “conventional” way to take out a tightly-packed invasion fleet.
      It was also the final element of a Dale Brown book.. i forget which one, they’re all nearly the same.

    3. GeorgeSiew

      Ppl have the complete wrong understanding of how nuclear war works. All nukes do is kill alot of ppl efficiently, its doesn’t end the earth and it cant kill all the ppl. Even with the entire global arsenal you cannot replicate the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs. The energy difference is off by a factor of several hundred to several thousand.

      Also 1 nuke does not protect you. Pointing a nuke at someone creates an existential threat for them. That only motivates them to kill you more. That is they start considering options like investing 50% of gdp every yr to kill you. So if you go down this road rather than being a smart Alec and saying you will threaten to kill someone better you just go kill them. If you cant then the whole exercise is suicide especially if the person your threatening can kill you.

      China has plenty of options to make taiwan or even the us hurt if it ever gets to the realm where things warrants spending 20 of gdp a yr. Remember total war is not i’ll spend 3% of gdp to fight your 3% of gdp. Total war is an existential fight for survival where ppl spend 50-90% of gdp non stop to kill you. Lessons from history show that countries can keep that up for at least several yrs at a time.

      1. The Rev Kev

        I am afraid that you may misunderstand here. It has been calculated that even a “small” nuclear war will create so much ash and dust in the atmosphere that it will create a nuclear winter. Try drinking water that is not radioactive. Or growing food in soils whose topsoil is also not contaminated, especially with dimmed sunlight that will be insufficient to grow crops with. The temperature drop will create icy conditions that will alone kill off people in the hundreds of millions. So a nuclear war will not replicate the asteroid strike that killed the dinosaurs but it will recreate the nuclear winter that followed that wiped out most of what was left. Having a nuclear war is akin to two idiots having a flamethrower fight in a locked room. Sorry but that is the truth.

        1. digi_owl

          A nice little reminder for people, when Chernobyl blew it sent a cloud of dust all the way north to Norway. Where it left enough radioactive particles that to this day some sheep farmers still have to take special precautions with their animals after the summer gracing. That was just one reactor boiling over outside of Kiev, leaving a 30 year mark some 1700km away.

  8. Louis Fyne

    —Elon Musk Tesla’s new $10000 home for sustainable living. —

    More greenwashing from Elon. Elon’s house still needs a plot of land that needs Amazon deliveries.

    If everyone lived at a population density of Hong Kong, all 8 billion people can live in an area roughly the size of something like Kansas + Nebraska.

    Not saying that living in Hong Kong conditions are optimal as cramped is an understatement for many HK tenements. Just that the more realistic future is living like a Manhattanite—-even though the idea of the sustainable future as Jeffersonian yeoman farmer sounds much cooler.

    1. The Rev Kev

      At first glance I thought that this might be a good idea and that maybe it was based on the tiny homes that you see on TV. But then I remembered that it was Elon Musk pushing this idea. So my first thought was that these homes would be internet connected and have all sorts of apps and gimmicks built into them. And a central data panel would control all functions in that house. So the teaser is that it is cheap homes for people but the real aim is that it is a conduit to get people’s personal data which will be uploaded in real-time continuously to Tesla for analysis and future sale to data brokers. Sort of like Toronto’s smart city but on an individual scale.

      1. upstater

        You forgot the always on interior video cameras recording to the cloud, used for what ever purpose the “terms of service” checkbox allows, as in everything.

        1. The Rev Kev

          Gasp! Are you suggesting that some of that video footage may end up being sold by Musk to PronHub?

          1. hunkerdown

            Sell? You bleedin’ Luddite. ;) Try PronCoin NFTs, where everyone can own one frame of someone else’s flagrant deliction.

    2. Solarjay

      Hi LF
      It gets more musk all the time.
      The photo of the curvy mini house with big T on it isn’t the one they are selling.
      But typical musk, it’s flashy and bait and switch.
      It actually takes some digging around to get any info on the actual one.
      And as best I can figure out, it’s built by a company based in Singapore

      Mini houses can be great. But when I see them advertised for a family of 4 at 200 odd sq ft? For 1 or 2 maybe.
      And they lie that it’s 100% solar powered.
      It just never stops with that guy.

    3. Jesper

      That article…. The most interesting thing for me was how little actual information was in that article and of what little information there was then some of it was incorrect.
      They even failed to correctly spell the name of the company that designed the home.

      I am not sure if it is much of a solution, for city-dwellers then it would still be an inefficient use of space as apartment buildings might be better than those homes. For the ones living outside of cities then space does usually not come at a premium and a big cost might still be connecting to electricity and running water. I agree that some live in houses that are too big but the ones I know of who do so they simply do not heat the parts of the building they rarely use.

      The tiny home might be a good vacation home available for rent, other than that I am not sure if there is much market for it.

      Anyway, this quote from the article:

      This is a major game changer for sustainable living. This is not an extraordinary home.

      something not extraordinary is at the same time a major game changer? I might have missed something there.

    4. Charger01

      even though the idea of the sustainable future as Jeffersonian yeoman farmer

      If someone hasn’t farmed before, they won’t grasp the difficulty in the effort. Reading Little House on the Prarie won’t cut it.
      Even gardening takes a strategic and tactical approach to manage, with enormous amounts of time weeding and keeping pests away if you go organic. It’s a very difficult task and formidable profession if you’re serious.

      1. Mildred Montana

        >”If someone hasn’t farmed before, they won’t grasp the difficulty in the effort.”

        Right on. My brother organically farms forty acres in southeastern BC. His is a mixed farm: that is, hay and other cash crops, a few cattle for beef and chickens for eggs and meat. He emphasizes self-sufficiency, sustainability, crop diversity, and environmental protection (his tractor is solar-powered). Everything is used or re-used, nothing goes to waste.

        But his modest income does not come easily. From planting to harvest (approximately six months) he works harder than any plantation slave ever did. And of course, all his careful planning can be for naught if the weather doesn’t cooperate.

        It’s a tough business. City-slickers have no idea.

      1. WhoaMolly

        According to Tarnow the “Tesla 10K Home” headline is “Too Good To Be True” clickbait.

        Tesla made a tiny trailer for demonstrating it’s solar battery but not a tiny home.

        The “real” player in this area appears to be a company called Boxabl with a “set anywhere” foldable 400 square foot home at $49,000.

        1. Mildred Montana

          My olfactory sense is becoming repelled by Elon’s musk. Like the heavily perfumed aristocrats of the 18th century, what’s it covering up?

      2. amechania

        Is this the same Elon Musk who said we can sustain more people on the planet and sustain growth?

    5. cfraenkel

      As Lambert mentioned – the only interesting takeaway from the tiny home article is how *bad* the copy is. That’s much worse than any of the AI generated text I’ve seen. It feels more like poor quality SEO link farm turn-the-crank blendermatic text than anything put together by an AI. (Take one human generated article – strip it apart into phrases, shuffle and mix to make 500 different articles, …, profit!)

      The real question is why Tesla (with a virtually unlimited bankroll) engage such junk?

    6. HotFlash

      Elon Musk, isn’t he the hyperloop guy? According to Wikipedia, max speed from a test by Technical University of Munich Hyperloop set the hyperloop speed record of 463 km/h (288 mph) in July 2019. Meanwhile, Japan set the world record for high speed trains 603 km/h (375 mph) in 2015. So, as they say, what’s your point?

      1. Acacia

        USians are generally focused on their own property values, and are thus opposed to any transit infrastructure projects that might affect those values. US civil planning and engineering has sunk to such a level that surface level transit projects are no longer possible in many places. Although trains are infrastructure that raises property values in many countries (e.g., Japan), USians seem unable to imagine such an outcome. Thus, no transit infrastructure gets built.

        Musk’s solution is to go underground. Property owners can carry on. Whether hyperloop will ever work… idk… seems like a real long shot.

  9. Polar Socialist

    Regarding what China is saying about Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, South China Morning Post’s chief editor Wang Xiangwei seems to think that the message is the same as in 1950 regarding the 38th parallel: “you cross this line and China will go to war”.
    Meanwhile the articles in Global Times are not about if People’s Liberation Army will react, but how PLA will react. The main idea seems to be that Pelosi’s visit is seen as a clear provocation by the Global South, and thus offers China unprecedented opportunity to assert Chinese sovereignty over the island. It’s almost as if some in China are hoping she makes the attempt.

    1. Randall Flagg

      As some others noted before, isn’t there someone with a little sanity and common sense that can convince Biden to pull her passport if Pelosi doesn’t relent?
      If not, hopefully I can do a little more stocking up before the REAL supply chain crisis, hits courtesy of WW3

      1. notabanker

        Let her go, poke the bear. Take on both Russia and China is simultaneous economic war with the real opportunity to escalate into something much worse. Get on with it already, it’s the end game.

        1. Cirno (9)

          I at least want to live long enough to see Pelosi’s private jet get shot down by a PLA missile. Everything that happens after is gravy.

      2. Dr. John Carpenter

        Nope. Biden’s hands are as tied as AOC’s were at the abortion protest a few weeks ago.

    2. The Rev Kev

      I like Caitlin Johnstone’s take-

      Russia: Don’t cross our red lines in Ukraine or we’ll take action.

      US politicians: They’re bluffing. Cross those red lines.

      [Russia invades.]

      China: Don’t cross our red lines in Taiwan or we’ll take action.

      US politicians: They’re bluffing. Cross those red lines.

      1. griffen

        Reminds me of an exchange from the film Tombstone, where I recall the Earps have Curly Bill and are prepared to hold him overnight. Maybe inexact but it follows the above logic.

        Ike Clanton. Law dog you turn him loose.
        Wyatt Earp. You die first. Your friends will get me but I turn your head into a canoe. Understand.
        Other Cowboy. He’s bluffing.
        Ike. No, he ain’t bluffing.
        Wyatt. You’re not as dumb as you look.

        1. Wyatt Powell

          My parents loved that movie so much they named me Wyatt ^_^

          Obviously im biased, but IMO, still the best Western Movie ever made.

          1. griffen

            I wouldn’t quibble much with making it a worthy choice. Eastwood vs Hackman in Unforgiven, though is worthy competition. Adding, I do enjoy quoting Tombstone at every chance available.

            If you take the casting lineup from Tombstone and somehow dropped them all in a modern movie for 2023, it’d be a Avengers All Hands on the MCU deck sort of CGI and green screen plot-light result. Or some ridiculously version of Fast and Furious, which I insist someday will progress into Slow and Cantankerous territory.

    3. Lex

      Well it seems everyone is hot on her tail via flight tracker and she’s flying in a US military registered plane. That isn’t going into Taiwan. She got herself in a real pickle: either she goes and maybe kicks of WWIII or she doesn’t and the GOP roasts her and Biden alive for being “weak on China”. The strategic brilliance of the Dem leadership knows no bounds.

      1. hunkerdown

        Elections are tactical. Strategy is too important to be left to chance; otherwise, transnational bodies would be popularly elected rather than appointed.

        Pelosi’s performance of middle-class/commercial-class will intends to distract internal audiences from the tacit bipartisan policy of intentional material privation at home by proposing the exercise of middle-class/commercial-class will abroad as mEaNiNgFuL. This has nothing to do with points. Points are a distraction from power. This has everything to do with forming and solidifying the #girlboss cadre that holds power when elections are not in progress.

      2. Tom Stone

        Was Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan the opening of her 2024 Presidential campaign?
        She’s certainly delusional enough to give it a try with Biden looking this weak.

      3. Yves Smith

        The Pentagon said it would fly her. Due to my not remembering the exact construction or the name of the official, I can’t find a link. But someone with the authority to say so said the Pentagon assists in the foreign travel of Congresscritters.

        Confirmed by Task and Purpose:

        If House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) visits Taiwan to show support for the island nation, she would likely fly in a U.S. military plane at a time when China is increasingly challenging U.S. aircraft and ships in the Pacific region

        1. ambrit

          Hmmm…. When I clicked on the Tweet, it came back; “Age restricted adult content.” What happened? Did Nancy take the Lolita Express? (Maybe she hitched a ride with Bill and Hillary. Another word for ‘bipartisan’ is “swinger.”)

    4. WhoaMolly

      Pelosi has wealthy Chinese constituents in her San Francisco district. I expect many are rabidly anti CCP.

      Makes me wonder if she being “paid” to go before the mid-terms by big donors who have their own agenda.

      1. hunkerdown

        Small donors have a reason too. There are lots of small gentry-class “princelings” who own property abroad, out of CPC ambit, and want it to stay that way.

  10. dftbs

    Observations like Claudia Sahm’s always remind of Michael Corleone speaking with his future wife in the Godather, “who’s being naive Kay?” After the last two decades of incessant decline culminating in the last two years of flagrant institutional failure across all fronts, some Americans still think we have a country.

    With respect to the Fed, they showed their cards long ago in the GFC. Making creditors whole through inflated asset pricing wasn’t an indirect way of supporting the economy through trickle down consumption. Rather it was a way to maintain the structure of power that had so glaringly failed. By their metrics this was so successful that following Covid they applied this same gambit but in hyperdrive. Making sure equity prices go up during a pandemic is the equivalent of Nero fiddling and history will judge it so.

    In the present moment the Fed will combat inflation at all costs, because inflation is what directly threatens the structures of power they’ve been holding up. This situation is dire enough that they will be forced to make hard choices. For instance, while they can’t say it out loud unless they lose all control, they will have to take more fat from asset markets. I anticipate they will hike beyond the market expected terminal rate and reverse their present QT posture back into QE. They will sacrifice even the lower part of the “one percent” to those institutions of capital that will retain access to the cheap credit they Fed will continue to provide only them.

    I fear this “recession” is something completely new. We have an economy that on the surface is mainly composed of its service sector, but is in essence just credit driven consumption. All our mismanagement, culminating in the aggression we so carelessly unleash on the world, including the threats our gerontocrats are directing to our largest supplier of goods has led to this point. On a geopolitical scale outside the DXY empire the one thing we make, the Dollar, is a hot potato. The Saudis are even trying to build their own cities in the desert so they don’t have to buy more Treasuries or Park avenue hotels. The only thing our elected masters and their central bankers can do now is defend the power of the Dollar within the political sphere they control. That means commiserating even more of us by making the Dollar abundant to them but scarce and necessary for us.

    Yves, I saw that you will be on Gonzalo Lira’s stream today. I look forward to finding sometime to watch. In some weird way, like a fan, I consider myself part of “team nc”. And while this is no sporting event or competition I’m still cheering for you and know you’ll make us all proud!

    1. hunkerdown

      Be careful. MoA’s commentariat is deeply infiltrated, not only with their usual g*ldbug reactionaries, now with logic bros. Something changed over there after the DDoS. Eric Zuesse’s trite moral bloviation about his dead-weight PMC values might be some sort of bid to cast NC into their electional chronotopes.

      1. Yves Smith

        Yes, sadly some of the sites with very good insights on geopolitics are out of their depth on finance and macroeconomics. so you need to be in “horses for courses” mode.

    2. Gloria

      Last decades? The Liberal World Order first sanctioned
      Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Venezuela, then Russia,

      to weaken their currency, assure corporate profits, and consolidate power.

      Now they use Ukraine as excuse to sanction your family to grab huge corporate profits and to consolidate power.

  11. griffen

    Baltimore Orioles and the reality of cheap owners. One of the US cable channels was recently running the well done “Moneyball” based on the Michael Lewis book, It’s a fun topic to revisit, but the Oakland A’s have only and merely sniffed a World Series birth (if even that) and are now pathetically one of if not the lowest salaried teams.

    Reverting back, this is all too bad for the Orioles’ Mancini, who might’ve made trade demands to leave for a contender in years’ past. In fact he should have. Professionals usually have a short horizon, so why labor on a disaster of a major league team. But hey winning streaks in July and August can given any team some hope!

    1. Adam Eran

      In my view, Moneyball debunked the myth that athletic stars deserve an ever-expanding paycheck. This is what the C-suite uses to justify it’s extraordinary salary heist, er, I mean pay.

      Pro sports teams in the big leagues are also a preferred diversion for plutocrats since those leagues can never (by law) violate otherwise forbidden monopoly and oligopoly practices.

      So…When he threatened to take his team and leave, Al Davis extorted subsidies and stadiums from Oakland, then Anaheim, then Oakland, and now Vegas for the Raiders. They don’t have to win to make these guys money. 75% of W’s net worth came from a stadium deal for the Texas Rangers in Arlington. The team lost money before that massive subsidy. After, W sold his (borrowed) stake for millions. Naturally this was a capital gain, so taxed at a lower rate.

      In Sacramento, former NBA player Kevin Johnson was mayor when the City (which otherwise claimed to be strapped for cash) came up with more than a quarter billion dollars to help build the venue for the NBA Kings, who were also threatening to leave. Forbes reported the team’s value double with this massive subsidy. Of course the City owns the stadium, so no property tax revenue from this huge investment, and (bonus!) they got zero stake in the team itself. This also means the team can (again) threaten to leave and extort more subsidies… It’s Al Davis all over again.

      As a bonus, Kevin married Michelle Rhee, the “tiger mom” who ran Washington D.C.’s school system, firing teachers, and promoting the neoliberal line that testing, (union busting) charter schools, and merit pay will improve educational outcomes. Science validates none of those educational “reforms” as effective, but does notice that what correlates with educational achievement is childhood poverty.

      1. griffen

        When it comes to gaming the system and the locals for regional support, I believe the previous owners of the Miami Marlins are in a selected grouping. By special I really mean they are exceptional for their as*hole behavior and the grift to build a sparkly stadium for their MLB team.

        I think the NFL has a unique position based on the product and marketing of their game. As in they own every Sunday practically from late August to early February. Smaller city NBA franchises like Sacramento, like Charlotte, for examples, will always struggle to remain relevant.

      2. Socal Rhino

        Leagues have mainly figured out that very few players are more valuable than cheap replacements, but those very few are worth even more as a result. Success comes from not confusing which is which. That tends towards a winners take all outcome.

    2. fresno dan

      July 30, 2022 at 8:24 am
      I looked at the article as an analogy regarding the shortcomings of neoliberalism, and the whole “efficiency” thing.
      Unaddressed, though, in all the bittersweet observances, was the question of why exactly it had to be Mancini’s final home game at all. The idea that the Orioles need to trade Trey Mancini away is, in its own way, every bit as based on feelings as the idea that they should keep him—only it’s built on a negative sentimentality, a fable not about the power of devotion but about the power of callousness. Running a proper 21st century baseball team is supposed to be about ruthless pragmatic management, the readiness to treat the players as fungible assets in a portfolio, to be liquidated or flipped in the name of maximum efficiency. In this light, getting rid of a fan favorite like Mancini is a way of showing how rational and results-oriented the team is.
      To paraphrase: Running a proper 21st century country is supposed to be about ruthless pragmatic management, the readiness to treat the citizens as fungible assets in a portfolio, to have their jobs exported to China the name of maximum efficiency (i.e., profit).

    3. Anthony G Stegman

      Teams like the Oakland As pocket the luxury tax money they receive from the league, rather than investing in better players to create some parity as the luxury tax was intended (at least in spirit). These cheapskate owners bamboozle rubes, like those who run the city of Oakland, to give them massive subsidies all the while providing a crappy product to the fans.

  12. The Rev Kev

    “Would a nuclear-armed Taiwan deter China?”

    Well I know where the Australian Strategic Policy Institute can go and what it can do when it gets there. For those not up to speed on this mob, they are a neocon think tank founded by our conservatives and receive funding from ‘defence contractors such as Lockheed Martin, BAE Systems, Northrop Grumman, Thales Group and Raytheon Technologies. It also receives funding from technology companies such as Microsoft, Oracle Australia, Telstra, and Google. Finally, it receives funding from foreign governments including Japan and Taiwan.’

    Nukes for Taiwan? That would be an existential threat at China’s throat and they would launch a preventative attack before any nukes could be deployed. Zelensky was saying that the Ukraine should totally have their own nukes and Russia crossed the border only a few days later. I sometimes think that neocon’s plans are like second marriages – a triumph of hope over experience. And they never learn from their errors as they never have to pay for them.

    1. SocalJimObjects

      The Taiwanese would not go that far. It’s simple. Just look at the list of Taiwan’s 20 richest people. Morris Chang, the founder of TSMC is part of the list but with a fortune of merely 2.6 billion dollars, he’s far from the top dog. Anyway my point is that a lot of very rich people in Taiwan would become poor overnight if war were to break out between China and Taiwan. These people have everything to lose so in the end I bet they’d rather keep the current state.

      1. Socal Rhino

        I don’t have a source, but a macro trader commented last night that high net worth money flows are being observed between Taiwan and Singapore.

        1. SocalJimObjects

          It doesn’t work that way. You can transfer money, but you can’t transfer factories or the actual businesses. Well given enough time, you kinda can, but not to Singapore, since it’s just too small. Also you’ll lose the social standing you have. A billionaire moving from say Taiwan to the Philippines might lose his money very quickly without local connections.

          As for Singapore, many very rich people from all over the world have been setting up family offices in the country, so your macro trader is just telling a very small part of the story.

    2. digi_owl

      The western leadership is old enough to have seen the Cuban Crisis first hand, yet seem to have learned zip all from it.

      1. amechania

        And been promoted for it.

        Someone online asked when was the last time a policy failure in the West led to consequences for the PMC. Which is their alleged job.

        I had nothing.

        1. hunkerdown

          Social promotion starts in school, according to the Gonzalo/Yves/Izabella confab this morning. The PMC lifestyle does have a certain ritual component.

          1. digi_owl

            So basically a continuation of the British system of classes.

            It is funny how much USA replicated the flaws of the British system even as they rebelled against it.

            1. amechania

              In some ways we also stole it from the Native Americans too.

              Their sacred tobacco circles were essentially college (especially in the bad old days when it was basically all a religion…)

              The seats in these circles were limited so in late stage pre-colonialism a seat there could cost as much as 50 horses if it was particuarly prestegious.

              source: Man’s Rise to Civilization As Shown by the Indians of North America from Primeval Times to the Coming of the Industrial State

              They used to teach it in college here in the 60’s, but stopped for ‘some reason.’

  13. Donald

    I read the Foreign Policy piece that claims Russia’s economy is imploding. The author is clearly a cheerleader for the Western economic war on Russia but I am not competent to judge his arguments. They sound somewhat plausible in the sense that I would expect harsh sanctions involving a major country like Russia to hurt people on both sides, but again, I don’t know.

    1. JTMcPhee

      I hear a co-author of that FT piece was a guy named Elmer FUD — as in “fear, uncertainty and doubt,” that wonderful set of stratagems that keeps the world on course for the gates of Hell that the CERN alchemists have opened…

    2. Alex

      I’m also not competent to comment on most of their points, but my own experience contradicts what they write debunking the myth of strong ruble The restrictions make it effectively impossible for any Russian to legally purchase dollars. I was in Russia recently and had no problems buying dollars legally at ~10% discount compared to the central bank rate. People I know go to summer vacations abroad and are able to buy dollars and euro.

      1. Polar Socialist

        Last I heard dollars and euros are sold in high volumes at Moscow Exchange. It’s called rubles-for-gas, it’s actually based on a recent law and it’s annoying the heck out of European governments.

        The article is behind a paywall for me, but the second chapter – I think – is saying that their analysis is based on assuming all statistics and number from Russia are lies and propaganda, so they just have to make up their own.

    3. KLG

      Nice juxtaposition by Lambert! I just read that, too. Cheerleaders? From the Yale School of Management? Inconceivable!

      Russia has food and energy. The Russian people do hardship very well, especially when attacked. Although if virtually everyone has enough to eat and can live a decent life, while Western Europe freezes in the dark starting in November…

      The Grauniad is often infuriating these days, but I’ll take Simon Jenkins over the “Lester Crown professor in management practice and a senior associate dean at the Yale School of Management” and the “director of research at the Yale Chief Executive Leadership Institute” (can you say “sponsored content”). Anytime and every time.

    4. OnceWereVirologist

      The source given on all their pretty graphs is basically the same : Yale Chief Executive Leadership Institute, Moscow Stock Exchange, Bloomberg, Russian Federal Service of State Statistics, JPMorgan, Bank of America Global Research, Deutsche Bank, UBS – with links that go straight through to the respective organizations homepages, to articles that often seem only tangentially connected to the topic of the graph in question or to paywalls. It’s practically impossible to verify that they’re not just making s##t up. So basically “Russian statistics are bogus, but you can trust our secret unnamed insider sources, bro”.

      1. Keith Newman

        @OnceWere: My experience was similar to yours with respect to the deck so I went to the original paper itself.
        It is quite long so I limited myself to evaluating some of the arguments re natural gas exports.The slant was relentlessly anti-Russian both in the presentation of the facts and the language used.
        The paper notes that “Russia is far more dependent on Europe than Europe is on Russia is natural gas”(p.13). The argument is that 83% of Russian exported gas goes to Europe but that Europe imports 54% of its gas from other countries. The paper fails to underline the that still means a very high 46% of European gas imports are from Russia. In any case these numbers should not be compared as they have different meanings.
        Making the case that European imports of Russian gas can be fairly easily replaced by other sources there was a prominent graph (p.13) showing that US sourced LNG to Europe had now surpassed Russian supplied gas. But the numbers compared February 2022 to July 2022 without drawing attention to the obvious seasonal differences you would expect. So Russian gas exports to the EU were way down but since gas would not be used for heating that was to be expected. No attempt was made to account for this.
        Similarly the paper noted (p.20) there was “significant domestic supply from sources such as the giant Groningen gas field in the Netherlands as of 2021” but the footnote referred to wheat not natural gas. A source footnoted earlier did note that 12% of Germany’s gas came from the Netherlands. No indication was given if this source could be increased.
        The paper also stated (p.15) that for Germany “32% of the total gas supply hailed from Russia”. The source cited did indeed show this but also that 22% came from domestic storage. Where exactly the stored gas came from was not mentioned.
        Further, the paper exhibited a very neo-liberal orientation: “Gazprom’s role as an appendage of the Kremlin is further reflected by its significant domestic obligations, as it only exports about a third of its 725
        bcm of production capacity in 2018 – keeping the rest of the gas within Russia to sell at discounted
        rates for its own population, to the detriment of its profitability.” (p.20) Hmmmm… Using your resources to benefit your own population is a negative in the view of the authors.
        The paper is long and detailed. It would take a lot of time to evaluate it properly. Nonetheless the part I did evaluate was sloppy, not convincing, and full of Russia being personified as “Putin”.

        1. Greg

          I saw Groningen mentioned the other day so looked into it. They’re trying to shut it down, lest it shake the Netherlands into the hole CERN opened.

          Gas extraction resulted in subsidence above the field. From 1991 this was also accompanied by earthquakes. This led to damage to houses and unrest among residents. It was decided to phase out gas extraction from 2014 onwards. The Groningen gas field is expected to be closed between 2025 and 2028, with the possibility of bringing this forward. The reinforcement operation and damage settlement as a result of the earthquakes are progressing slowly. The National Ombudsman called this a “national crisis” in 2021.


    5. Yves Smith

      Well, since Lambert made me by running that piece….it’s a recap of a six author SSRN article with the same lead author, Jeffrey Sonnenfeld. From an e-mail to a reader who sent the FP article to me:

      I looked at the underlying paper. Makes the Pfizer clinical trials look good

      The data sources are fabricated. The only one that isn’t is foreign co reports on their business exits…but that tells you squat re substitution or whether goods important. Russians said the loss of Coca Cola and McDonalds was a plus. No one is missing French cosmetics. Etc. So that one is real but misleading in isolation.

      I’ll take just one claim from their SSRN paper:

      Despite Putin’s delusions of self-sufficiency and import substitution, Russian domestic production has come to a complete standstill with no capacity to replace lost businesses, products and talent; the hollowing out of Russia’s domestic innovation and production base has led to soaring prices and consumer angst

      Prices are actually FALLING in Russia in the last month. And a lot of “talent” has seen how the West despises not just the leadership class but Russians generally. The “cancelling” of Russian musicians, Russian music, purging of Russian authors, and barring of Russian athletes has lead to a great upsurge in nationalism and internal solidarity.

      And consumers are not anxious. What citizens are worried about is possible mass mobilization.

      Witness this report from Gilbert Doctorow earlier in the war:

      The other part, when I was at McKinsey, more than once, some “partners” (fortunately when I was there never in the tenured partner rank; word usually got out within the firm and they didn’t get the promotion) flat out and obviously fabricated data. I can tell you as a financial services person who worked on developing data systems for international trade (as in shipping by sea) that the sources that Sonnenfeld et al claim they have either do not exist or do in only at such small levels as to be impossible to generalize from them.

      This is what they say in the SSRN paper:

      Our team of experts, using private Russian language and unconventional data sources including high frequency consumer data, cross-channel checks, releases from Russia’s international trade partners, and data mining of complex shipping data, have released one of the first comprehensive economic analyses measuring Russian current economic activity five months into the invasion, and assessing Russia’s economic outlook.

      They CANNOT have “high frequency consumer data”. The only thing that approaches that in the US is Visa/Mastercard data. Visa/Mastercard suspended services in Russia. Any data would be on the MIR card. MIR does not make that data available for mining.

      “Cross channel checks” is utter bafflegab. Channel checking in the US is an established and very dirty business. Channel checkers seek to bribe key internal staff like warehouse managers to report on activity. Those reports are uneven in extent and quality in the US. I see no evidence of a pre-existing channel checking business in Russia (which makes sense, the main customers in the US is private equity and there never was much PE in Russia). If there were any, their view of the economy would be extremely limited. And pray tell, how could any Westerner pay for a study, particularly a super costly comprehensive study (channel checkers usually report on an industry niche) given sanctions?

      I could go on. This exercise shows how deeply propagandized Americans are.

      1. Keith Newman

        @Yves 1:19pm.
        It is not only that Americans are heavily propagandised, and let’s face it, the vast majority of people in the West subjected to US propaganda are as well, it is also that academics at Yale, an elite school, are prepared to attach their names to nonsense. It’s very sad. It’s a manifestation of the growing incompetence and lack of integrity of our elites.

      2. Greg

        If I was to take a guess, based on work I’ve done previously, “high frequency consumer data” could be web traffic data. There’s a few vendors who do global panels which can provide good realtime data across many nations webpages (mostly based on shady sources and ISP feeds which skew western).

        Given the infowar aspects of the Ukraine proxy war, I don’t think we need to discuss the merits of comparative analysis of web traffic to try to discern anything about the state of economics.

  14. Tom Stone

    I find the Biden family scandals interesting partly because they do just go away.
    The heavy handed interference by the FBI in both 2016 and 2020 elections is in plain view and clearly not newsworthy ( The FBI plot to kidnap a sitting Governor and the disappearing laptop),the repeated lies by Joe claiming no involvement in Hunter’s biz deals deals despite clear evidence he was,to the point of commingling his funds with Hunter’s which came out when Hunter used a joint account to pay a whore named Janna.
    Raw corruption,right up front where anyone looking would see it.
    And it’s no big deal,biz as usuall.
    More revealing to me are the revelations from Ashley Biden’s diary that she and Daddy Joe took showers together during her childhood.
    I growed up in ‘Murika and one thing I know is that the press loves stories like this,the depth of prurient interest and hypocrisy of America’s media is unsurpassed historically.
    So…if that had been Ivanka Trump’s diary left behind in drug rehab and had also been verified as genuine how would the US Media have handled it?
    “There’s nothing to see here,move along” as Ashley’s diary is being handled?
    Or would it be “Did Trump rape his Daughter?”and cracks about the shower scene in Psycho…

    1. griffen

      I’ve seen the articles linked over the last few days or weeks, just hadn’t dialed into what they all were up to. It’s one thing to ignore these stories, it is another yo just bury the lead. Hunter is a degenerate is not earth shattering news.

      At least the Kennedy clan before had learned a wee bit about being somewhat honorable ( I suppose anyway* ). One of them was instrumental in starting the Special Olympics I thought. Not too sure what Joey from Scranton has done.

  15. Objective Ace

    >California is exporting the poor and importing the rich

    Did anyone else notice that data is from 2006-2016? Me thinks those dynamics may have changed recently..

    1. Objective Ace

      It would also be interesting know if/how the homeless are counted? As far as I know, Census needs an address to count you

      1. digi_owl

        That sound like the kind of “having to actively looked for work in the last 2 months” to be counted as unemployed stats shenanigans.

    2. CheckyChubber

      Somebody who can afford it is buying the eye wateringly expensive homes of all the cheap Californian scallywags who packed up and headed out to Arizona, Idaho or Texas. …Or are the rich Californians simply abandoning their residency for tax reasons, and keeping the homes?

      1. Objective Ace

        I do not believe California home prices have increased (percentage wise) anymore than the rest of the country.

        I’m sure rich people are still buying California homes.. but is it more rich people then a couple years ago? California is losing population–the reasons I’ve seen given are tax avoidance, wild fires/air quality, and avoiding homelessness. Those are reasons I typically associate with richer people immigrating.. but I could be wrong

        1. Socal Rhino

          Before last year, California saw many years of net population gains, and one year hardly establishes a new trend. That said, I’m with Wolf Richter on this: California is horrible, please don’t come here.

          Just from personal knowledge of people who have moved, it is about cost of housing. Younger people move out of state where jobs are plentiful and houses are cheaper. Colorado, Utah, Idaho, but Texas most of all. Retiring people look to trade down for a lower cost location, and the destinations are driven by political tribe (either Oregon/Washington or Arizona/South Carolina). And then some older retirees move to be near their children, wherever they are.

  16. Lex

    I put this in yesterday’s comments but late. The Ukrainian MoD published a statement saying it was the Wagner Group that shelled the POW camp. Which would require Wagner to have gotten a HIMARS, moved it around behind Ukrainian lines and then fired on a russian position. Which is a neat trick. It obviously wasn’t the Russians, they wouldn’t have rushed the survivors off to hospitals and saved most of them.

    There’s at least one telegram post from the wife of a POW who was nearby (not uncommon) and she clearly blames Kiev. Russia released the names of the dead; wives are protesting already. The pentagon – unable to not talk – says if Ukraine did it, then it was surely a mistake. Why even open your mouth to say stupid things?

    And it appears that the castration video has been picked apart. Someone is wearing special issue Nikes that were for the Ukrainian Olympic team. They also point out that all the clothes are very Ukrainian specific. [shrug emoji] But it does seem more Ukrainian than Russian behavior in context, which is not me saying Russian forces or Russians are incapable of such brutal inhumanity. They are. It’s more that Ukrainians (not all Ukrainians!) have shown a propensity for such behavior performed with great drama and for publication.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Wasn’t hard for the Ukrainians to know where those prisoners were-

      ‘The DPR’s ombudswoman, Darya Morozova, explained that Ukrainian authorities had previously insisted Yelenovka’s facility be a detention center for Ukrainian prisoners of war.

      “It was discussed, it was their proposal. That is, they knew perfectly well where the prisoners were being held, at their own request. That’s how cynically they took the lives of 50 of their own officers and soldiers,” she told Izvestia newspaper.’

      1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

        Supposedly, there’s a bunch of Azoz POWs in the detention camp.

        Wonder if the Russians pulled a bait and switch? Of course it’d be hard to hide a bunch of Nazi Tattoos….

        1. The Rev Kev

          Saw one guy in a video – or what was left of him. His body was mostly charred except for an arm which showed a distinctive set of tattoos and this was matched up with photos of the guy before that strike when he was alive.

      2. HotFlash

        I can not turn up the article I read (pretty sure it wasn’t a video) that the International Red Cross checked the POW’s in the blown-up camp in May and June (IIRC) and that Ukrainian observers accompanied them. Anybody else see this or know where to find it?

    2. CaliDan

      A previous comment of mine got blasted to oblivion wherein I linked to an interview by Josh Mark Dougan with famed Brit mercenary Aiden Aslin who was being held in Donetsk. The interview is well worth watching, not only for the details of being a mercenary in Ukraine, but especially for the fun details about geopolitics in Syria (he was there, too, as a mercenary).

      Yesterday I heard it speculated that the Ukrainians (and US intelligence) may have wanted to prevent further public interviews from happening… I don’t know, but it sounds plausible and fits the M.O.

      Here is the original interview (ca. 1 hr.) for perusal.

    3. vao

      The pentagon – unable to not talk – says if Ukraine did it, then it was surely a mistake.

      Commenters here have previously remarked that it does not make much sense and could even be counterproductive for Ukrainians to shoot at their own captured fighters in order to deter them from revealing crimes/secrets to the Russians, that attributing the massacre to a mistake is not credible, as the prisoner camp was an isolated place without any relevant target in the surroundings that could have been missed, and that using artillery rounds to make a breach in the camp so that prisoners may escape is pointless if no forces are sent to collect the fugitives and ferry them out of hostile territory.

      Now, when putting the following points together:

      1) Before surrendering, the Azovstal defenders systematically burned a number of selected corpses and destroyed their belongings. From the remains, it appears that there were foreign citizens (USA) among them.

      2) Ukrainians repeatedly attempted to exfiltrate (via helicopters and ships) some important people out of Azovstal. In one case, Russians found indications that foreign citizens (France) were present among the people killed in one of those downed transports.

      3) Foreign governments (f.ex. France) had been insistently trying to negotiate a safe conduct for some people trapped in Azovstal.

      4) There are persistent rumours that foreign personnel (USA) has taken over fire direction for the most advanced version of HIMARS provided to Ukrainian troops.

      Then comes a further hypothesis: could it be that the bombardment of the prisoners camp was actually ordered by some NATO countries, who forced or lured Ukraine to carry it out, because they really, truly did not want captured Azovstal defenders, who had started to depose, to reveal what those countries were up to in Mariupol?

      1. Michael Ismoe

        According to Kiev Independent, Putin did it. If you get caught, baffle them with bullshit. I suspect there will be a telethon on all five broadcast networks soon to collect money for the victims and their kin.

        More than 50 Ukrainian prisoners of war have reportedly been killed in what is believed to be a Russian attack on a prisoner camp in Russian-occupied Donbas on July 28. This is possibly the worst crime against captive combatants since Russia launched its full-scale war.

        1. vao

          The MSM in Europe tend towards the same explanation:

          “Ukraine and Russia accuse each other of having perpetrated the bombardment; at this stage, it is impossible to state who is responsible. However, specialists indicate that an HIMARS would have caused much greater damage. Besides, ever since the war started, Russia has been profusely lying about its deeds — see Bucha — so its denegations have little credibility.”

          Methinks that no matter what the situation is, what Russia says, and what proofs can be brought forth, Russia will always be found guilty. If a specific case collapses when it uncontroversially becomes clear that Russia is not culpable, it will just disappear in the memory hole and never be talked about again.

          1. Yves Smith

            I find the contention about HIMARS to be questionable. Various military experts have pointed out that they are not terribly powerful missiles, as in their strike force is comparable the old Soviet multiple launch systems that Ukraine had and depleted. The ones that do pack more punch are the 300 km version which Ukraine supposedly does not have.

  17. Tom Stone

    Having met survivors of the NAZI death camps I read a bit about the subject and one opinion was unanimous,the guards from Ukraine were the most sadistic.
    That part of the world has been a scene of ethnic and religious violence for a long time, and those kinds of conflicts bring out the worst conduct humans are capable of.
    There’s also the lack of discipline Among UA troops and paramiliitaries which is common among corrupt puppet states.
    Hearing ukes accused of torturing and murdering POW’s is no surprise.
    An effing mess and no mistake.

    1. Lex

      When Grossman wrote “the horrors of Treblinka”, one facet was that the whole camp was run by 250 guards. 50 were Germans and 200 were Ukrainian volunteers. Stalin redlined the ethnicity of the Ukrainians in the published piece. I don’t think that there’s something about “Ukrainians” that makes them behave this way; I think there’s something about the Bandera/UPA ideology that makes people behave that way. It’s disturbing that the “west” purposefully kept alive after WWII and then purposefully reinjected it and encouraged it in the failed state context of post-soviet Ukraine. That context was important and perfect for incubating it. I still predict that when this conflict is over and the west abandons Ukraine, that the west will pay a steep price as the ideology turns against its former sponsors.

      1. Tom Stone

        It will be interesting to see how many stingers went astray and where they show up.
        I’d be very surprised if only 25% were diverted ( With the connivance of US Officials in some cases) for fun and profit.
        A few hundred stingers in the hands of right wing nutjobs could liven things up quite a bit.

  18. Verifyfirst

    Re: Three Myths About Covid-19 article.

    I’m gobsmacked this four decade scientist (immunologist no less) was so dumb as to stop wearing a mask. Do I really know more about Covid risk from reading my Twitter feed than he does?!

    He focuses on the risk from the one complication that he happened to get, apparently oblivious to the many other possible complications. If you add up the risks of all possible complications, what percentage of people who get Covid will have at least one of them?!

    My 2 plus years long covid sister–among her many totally disabling other covid problems–had to have her appendix removed last week, she was told it was covid-related (which makes sense–at her age, appendix issue rare). Her anesthesiologist informed her she was the second long covid appendectomy the anesthesiologist was doing THAT DAY.

  19. The Rev Kev

    “Is Australian rhyming slang in a bit of froth and bubble? Let’s take a Captain Cook (spoiler: the billy lids may hold the key) ”

    Fair suck of the sav. I think that someone is trying to come the raw prawn here. Strewth!

      1. c_heale

        Of course he is. He’s just not typing the subset of English called standard English or something similar.

      1. EGrise

        I know that “coming the raw prawn” is like “playing dumb” in American english, and “Strewth” = “God’s Truth” which is sort of like “I swear to God!” for us Northern hemisphere types.

        But “Fair suck of the sav?” Too Strine for me, strewth!

  20. Robert Hahl

    The war party has taken such total control over the Biden administration now that it demands some kind of explanation. My guess is that it is Hunter’s laptop, and probably not just due to dirt on the Biden crime family but several others in Washington as well. The prospect of having remote control of a US President may also explain Obama’s actions in securing the nomination for Joe during the primaries, and why the media and FBI covered it up as best they could. Just ask yourself, what would J. Edgar Hoover have done with Hunter’s laptop?

    1. fresno dan

      I agree – not just covering up for Hunter but there sure are a lot of convergence of interests. The objective facts is that Ukraine is corrupt and a lot of this was exacerbated by US policy so there is a lot of incentive look, squirrel!

    2. Donald

      I would not be surprised if there is some blackmail going on, but you don’t need that to explain DC warmongering. The only conflict in the Beltway has been over which villain needs to be designated as the official Bad Guy we need to justify massive military spending— is it Russia or China ( with Iran in there as a secondary villain as needed). They have resolved that debate by agreeing that it is both.

      With a Pentagon budget creeping towards the trillion dollar level ( I doubt it is going to drop below the current 800 billion) you don’t need any particular President to be subject to blackmail. It doesn’t hurt, but our entire political culture, politicians and media alike, are thrilled about this new Cold War. They have been pushing for it for decades.

      1. HotFlash

        But what kind of Bad Guy? Domestic Bad Guy seems to be a fairly lucrative position, Global Bad Guy — seems to work fine and the money is good, but for a limited time.

        Why am I hearing Henry Kissinger in my minjd? Noooooooooo!

    3. Lambert Strether Post author

      > The war party has taken such total control over the Biden administration now that it demands some kind of explanation. My guess is that it is Hunter’s laptop, and probably not just due to dirt on the Biden crime family but several others in Washington as well.

      Here’s a story of a second lost Hunter Biden laptop (who among us….). Perhaps there are others…

      It’s not inconceivable that Biden is being blackmailed by several intelligence agencies (or other entities) simultaneously — perhaps working at cross-purposes. Entertaining!

    1. ambrit

      Shouldn’t that be “High Concept Evil Principalities?”
      Gotta keep the sharks moving you know.

    2. Jonathan Holland Becnel

      Speaking of Portals emitting Evil onto the World, I watched In the Mouth of Madness last night! John Carpenter. Sam Neill. The GREAT Jurgen Prochnow (Das Boot is one of the GOAT War Films). It’s a Lovecraftian themed narrative about an Insurance Agent who is tasked to find a missing author…

      I have to admit I’m a YUGE Carpenter fan and having forgotten the plot (saw it when I was like 12) everything was new. Still holds up after all these years! Well, except for the authors fanatical fans who wait in line at the bookstore to buy the paperback.

      1. jr

        That’s a great movie, JHB! The claymation monsters are quite scary. There is something about stop-motion animation that is profoundly terrifying.

      2. ambrit

        Yes. Sam Neil laughing maniacally at the end is creepy as H—. It also struck me as a sly send up of the publishing industry.
        John Carpenter has made a lot of interesting and downright fun films. I particularly like, and don’t throw popcorn at me for it, “Big Trouble in Little China.” You cannot go wrong with the Infernal Lo Pan as your villian.

        1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

          Oh man, Big Trouble is def one of the greats.

          You know what Ole Jack Burton says when the Kalibrs are flying and the Mortars are exploding, “What the Hell!”

          Good Ole Pork Chop Express….

          Lo Pan should of stuck to ONE emerald eyed beauty!

          Love me so 80s movie cheese!

  21. spud

    bill clinton had a response all ready for the massive unemployment and poverty he created with his crank free trade junk economics. he did not fear mass unemployment, he super charged the for private profit prison industrial complex.

    “Progressives who are loudly complaining about President Obama’s record on civil liberties (which is abysmal) were overwhelmingly SILENT about Clinton’s dramatic expansion of the prison industrial complex. I remember that period of time clearly. I invite you to send me your own examples of the many ways that Bill Clinton’s presidency was destructive to people of color and I will happily post them here. I think that this is a period of history that many people either don’t know about or are willfully choosing to forget. It should NOT be forgotten since we are living with the consequences of that era today.”

    1. Questa Nota

      Bill Clinton ended welfare as we know it, and started a different welfare as we know it. He just didn’t clarify whose welfare he was starting, aiding and abetting. Say the right things in the right way and it doesn’t matter if they are true.

      He didn’t have sex with smile and screw over the country?

  22. Mark Gisleson

    State of Minnesota released their monkeypox numbers and we have 33 cases.

    All men, mostly in their thirties and forties. Lots of travel reported.

    But I am confident that this is not a “gay” disease.

    The CDC will make sure of that.

    1. CheckyChubber

      I thought i saw a post on here from the illustrious IMDOC, in which he was lamenting that he could not obtain a monkeypox test for someone with symptoms, who wasn’t a gay man.

      Could it be a replay of the old CDC “dont test, don’t tell” strategy from Feb 2020?

      1. ChrisRUEcon

        Or could it be a replay of the family-blog AIDS crisis where Reagan basically ignored it “because gay guys” … #NC has published on how MonkeyPox can be spread – please see What to Know about Monkeypox (So Far) (via #NC) … it’s not a “gay disease”, as in (assuming from comment above) one that can only be spread by sexual contact among homosexual men; skin to skin contact with some evidence or droplet/aerosol.

  23. DJG, Reality Czar

    Matt Taibbi inteview with Alex Moyer. Yes, a must-read. Much to contemplate, because so much of what she details is sad more than anything else. Not even political.

    Moyer: I personally think it’s a really wholesome movie. I mean, I was thinking of The Catcher in the Rye when I was editing. These people who fall between the cracks and society not paying enough attention and they don’t just go away, they’re there.

    [Wowsers. She’s right. But the young men are being treated as symptoms of the end of civilization and of Our Democracy[tm]. Because I still have some respect for Hemingway (I know–I’ll go flagellate myself now), I’d mention the peeps in The Sun Also Rises.]

    Moyer: Wow, so people, no matter how careful I am and no matter how much integrity I try to execute this with, people are still just going to react like little babies. So I might as well make a movie about something that’s a huge challenge for me that I think is fascinating because I don’t have anything to lose.

    [Yep. I am reminded of Duncan Black’s (Atrios) formulation: Whiny-Ass Titty Babies. We used to call them wet blankets. Or, more colorfully, the turd in the punchbowl. And that last sentence is also what art is about–one realizes that one has nothing to lose by putting the world into art. So be it.]

    And now I plan to apply to be the wicked flight attendant who keeps dropping red-hot guo-tie on the august passengers during the Freedom & Grift Flight to Taiwan with Leader Nancy…

    1. fresno dan

      What I got from it was:
      What I was most drawn to, that I hadn’t seen anybody paying any attention to yet, were the amount of tweets and huge accounts that dealt almost exclusively with talking about being depressed and poor.
      I thought I was making a movie about irony culture, but really the underpinnings were a mental health crisis, linked to socioeconomic factors in this country.
      Why I believe there is such concerted and herd hostility to this movie, is that our oligarchs will not permit any MENTION that our problems can possibly be due to economic misfortune. Poverty as a reason for misfortune just can’t be brought up in ANY venue. The people writing the reviews have all been filtered toonly contain people who will NEVER contemplate that the lack of money, and the people who keep most people from having enough money, are the cause of 99% of these people’s problems. I’m even a little put off about mental health as a reason, because to the extent it is a cause to these problems, it is made infinity worse due to the refusal to have public health care.

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        my formerly barstool conservative randian libertardian gunnut cousin (now almost as NewDealy as me,lol…one of my greatest triumphs) keeps bringing up the mental health component of shootings and the overall malaise and nihilism.
        always stop him right there…”mental issues” do not always spring from a vacuum.
        ie: while some schizoid and other aberrant mental conditions are biological(lesions, etc), most are socioeconomic.
        the sudden discovery of “mental health” by creatures such as gregg abbott is indicative that this is a fallback rhetorical ink-cloud for when the usual pseudo-explanations no longer obscure things sufficiently.
        IOW, don’t take the bait and stop on that square…go on further: with Cousin, i like to quote Fight Club…the parts about ennui, angst and lack of meaning…because he can take that back to the strip club to further educate his cohort.

        1. fresno dan

          its one of those things that drive me to apolexy – mental health as an excuse.
          Of course, FUNDING more mental health treatment? SOCIALIZED MEDICINE!!! and the rejoinder, so what, is never considered. And of course, the fact that probably most mental problems are generated or exacerbated by policies designed to foster inequality can never be acknowledged…

      2. Lambert Strether Post author

        > depressed and poor

        The Washington Post actually sent a reporter down to write a story on Dylann Roof’s milieu (Roof having short up a bible study class at Charleston’s Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church). The story was very good/.

        Not to go all Daniel Patrick Moynihan, but it was most tragic, grimy scene you can possibly imagine. Living in a trailer, couch surfers with no jobs or horrid ones, plenty of downers, and deaths. deaths, deaths among friends of the same age, but family too (not just Roof; everybody in the milieu). “Nothing to look backward to with pride, And nothing to look forward to with hope….”

        Moyer quotes one of the young men in Taibbi’s companion piece, of young men turning violent:

        “I’m not excusing that or anything,” he says, seeming genuinely confused, “but, what, that happens for no reason? Do people like really think that?”

        OTOH, dry tinder. For whoever lights it.

        1. spud

          The Triumph of Capital (Creating a Domestic ‘Shithole’)

          “In the following section, we will discuss the larger picture, including the powerful socio-economic and political forces that have profited from the addiction and killing of millions of Americans – past and present. This deliberate policy, with strong neo-Malthusian overtones, has decimated a sector of the US working class, rendered ‘surplus’ or redundant by political-economic decisions of the American ruling elite. In its wake, the prescription addiction crisis has turned large swathes of the former manufacturing and mining sectors of the US into what the current President Donald Trump would characterize as domestic ‘shitholes’ and populated by what his rival, Hillary Clinton, callously derided as ‘deplorables’. In terms of rapid loss of life and social stability, this population devastation mirrors the patterns seen in countries subjected to US/EU neo-liberal economic dictates or to US/EU imperial invasions.”

          “Recently a few leftist journalists have attacked the pharmaceutical industry, while others have cited the lack of oversight from the US-Federal Drug Administration, asking for a few tepid reforms. The former FDA Administrator David Kessler, who served under the Clinton Regime from 1990 to 1997, belatedly condemned his agency’s negligence over the mass destruction caused by unregulated prescription of powerful narcotics, which he admitted after 10 years of silence was ‘one of the biggest mistakes in the history of modern medicine’, (editorial NYT May 6, 2016).”

          “The producer of the leading commercial ‘gateway’ into addiction, Oxy-Contin, is Purdue Pharmaceuticals. The company was founded and run entirely by the Sackler family under the leadership of the recently deceased Raymond Sackler and his brothers. They started by manufacturing laxatives and ear wax, then introducing the highly addictive tranquilizer, Valium, to finally producing and pushing the most profitable prescription drug in history, Oxy-Contin in the 1990’s, during President Bill Clinton’s ‘health care reform’ administration. “

    2. Hank Linderman

      That interview rocked me, haven’t been able to finish it yet. Started to watch “TFW No GF” and it took me even deeper, only a few minutes in and had to stop. I will need to sip from this cup in order to finish it. This is extremely important work she is doing, not just her subjects but her approach. Wow.


    1. Tom Stone

      Covid deaths do not matter, officially.
      I do think that when Muffy’s little darling comes home from Sidwell Friends or the like covered in open sores, that will change..
      3-4 Weeks of isolation and quite possibly serious facial scarring.
      You can’t see Myocarditis or most other internal damage which makes it easier to ignore Covid’s harm, with Monkeypox you can not do that.

      “Out of sight, out of mind” doesn’t just apply to infants.

      1. JBird4049

        It is awful that appearances and not reality seems to be the most important thing. And as long as you leave a beautiful corpse in that coffin, what does it matter?

  24. ChrisRUEcon


    Lambert > I am filing this adjacent to “The Bezzle,” not in it, because today is my day to be kind.

    ;-) … too kind, Lambert … too kind.

    The subtext here is “housing for me, but not for thee”.

    I cynically see this as a magnet for CA workers priced-out of housing. Once again, chef’s kiss on the links – what do you do if your sub-50K workers start heading for the exits? Why not give them a cheapie option? Look for Musk to invest in trailer parks/communities next. I’d hazard a guess there are a lot of tech workers higher up the salary scale that would look into this as well – see “Google Employee Lives in a Truck in the Parking Lot” (via BusinessInsider)

    1. ChrisRUEcon

      Yep, it’s the Paxlovid rebound, reported here since way back in April (vi #NC)

      As I’ve said before, I know it’s petty, and spiteful … but I will relish all the misanthropes in leadership – Fauci, Biden et al – suffering at the hands of COVID. Just desserts for their dereliction of duty.

      1. playon

        Yes that was my first assumption as I knew he’d been given Paxlovid as a treatment.

        To my knowledge these “leaders” never seem to get a serious case of COVID or the long-haul version, and none have died from it to my knowledge, unless you count Herman Cain.

        1. ChrisRUEcon

          > none have died from it to my knowledge, unless you count Herman Cain.

          Yes, this is true, and for folks like me who hang out on #Twitter a bit, liberals there have been happily acting as if it’s only pols from the other side of the aisle that have paid the ultimate price for ignoring the dangers of COVID. I’d like to think #TeamBlue is due …

  25. Wukchumni

    Just back from a weeklong backpack trip to the best backcountry hot springs of all-Iva Bell hot springs on the backside of Mammoth starting out of Red’s Meadow…

    It’s a bit of a schlep to get there but oh so worth it. There was 6 of us on this sojourn~

    Feels somewhat satisfying to have no idea what happened in my absence from this ball & chain as far as news goes, I know nothing! (with apologies to Sergeant Schultz)

    1. Carolinian

      Hey I’ve been reading a new library book that seems right up your alley: The High Sierra: A Love Story by sci fi novelist Kim Stanley Robinson. It’s all about hiking in and the geology of the Sierras. Your Mineral King even gets a mention but only as an access route into the mountains.

      He says the Mediterranean climate of the CA mtns makes them somewhat unique among glacial mountains and more accessible for walking. Even the great (if somewhat misnamed?) Whitney not that much a push if you can take the altitude. While the scenery–many pictures–somewhat other worldly for us Deep South swamp dwellers it’s perhaps perfect for someone who writes novels about Mars.

      Anyhow good book. I’m enjoying it.

      1. Wukchumni

        Hey I’ve been reading a new library book that seems right up your alley: The High Sierra: A Love Story by sci fi novelist Kim Stanley Robinson. It’s all about hiking in and the geology of the Sierras. Your Mineral King even gets a mention but only as an access route into the mountains.

        He says the Mediterranean climate of the CA mtns makes them somewhat unique among glacial mountains and more accessible for walking. Even the great (if somewhat misnamed?) Whitney not that much a push if you can take the altitude. While the scenery–many pictures–somewhat other worldly for us Deep South swamp dwellers it’s perhaps perfect for someone who writes novels about Mars.

        I read it a month ago and its as if we have been doing the same thing, him for 50 years and 40 for me in the High Sierra, lots of off-trail stuff and no mountaineering, but Class 2-3 stuff where you don’t need equipment other than boots and a brain to figure your route.

        I enjoyed the tome immensely, he put to words quite elegantly the devotion of a lifetime of walking…

        What makes the Sierra Nevada really special is nothing really happens weather-wise in the summer usually, you can count of sunny days and temperate nights, except when monsoonal storms approach from the south and east as this week is shaping up to be. Mineral King is forecast to get rain all week long down south, that’s unusual and welcomed.

        1. Carolinian

          I’m sure low humidity and fewer bugs also helps. I’ve never been much of a backpacker myself but I ejoy reading about it. Here in the muggy South the goal of most people hiking our Appalachian Trail is to hike out of the South before the summer hits. However as compensation we get our riotous vegetation and my idea of an ideal campsite involves cozy woods. Guess it’s all about how you grow up.

  26. ewmayer

    “Why Are There So Many Mass Shootings in the United States? | Foreign Affairs” — Nice placement of this, just a few Links below the Taibbi interview (and the later “Hate, But Don’t Look” which includes reviews of Moyer’s “TFW No GF” and “Alex’s War” is also a must-read.)

    But in response to the FA question-as-headline, let’s see: “Bitter Clingers to Guns and Religion” (Obama), “Irredeemable Deplorables” (Hillary), and “White Supremacists” (the entire DC/MSM establishment). Did I overlook anything?

  27. Car Burglar

    The Atlantic article on the concept of dirtbag is a little out of it’s depth on the historical origin of the term. The earliest use I met with was in the late 1970s or early 1980s in Yosemite Valley, and the coinage was an ironic and humorous take on climbers so dedicated to the sport that they lived as inexpensively as possible, worked as little as necessary, and spent as much time climbing as possible.

    Historical sources generally agree that erstwhile air traffic controller Mark Powell was able to become one of the best Yosemite climbers of the 1950s after realizing that by climbing all the time he could get in excellent climbing shape, so he just moved into a campground in Yosemite Valley and worked in the off seasons. He held that “climbing could be a lifestyle and the basis for a philosophy,” and was recognized by climbers as the originator of the idea, and to the end of his days said he thought that was his most important contribution to climbing history. It rapidly generated converts, and I figure that there was a continuous semi-resident climbing population in Yosemite Valley from around 1960 to around 1980 (and possibly beyond) until Reagan-era police efforts finally closed it down. Powell ultimately became a college geography professor.

    The most accomplished North American mountaineer of the 20th Century, Fred Beckey, figured out the trick contemporaneously with Powell. The ironically titled film Dirtbag, which I have linked to before in comments, describes his Figaro-like life as a mountaineer and author of many books. As he said, “I don’t think I’m a dirtbag. I’ve always owned a car.”

    A rock climbing and mountaineering bohemia with a strong working-class membership emerged in the decades after the second World War, made possible by rising incomes and universal car ownership. It was a small popular movement to find something worth doing besides money and conforming to social discipline. The people who did it knew exactly what they were doing, why they were doing it, and what they were rejecting.

    “Dirtbag” was a fun joke back in 1979 — I mean, free showers are hard to find sometimes! — but as an earnest descriptor I find it functions to obscure the lives and contributions of some of the most amazing people I have known, an attempt to efface with social stigma the way they left for us.

  28. Jason Boxman

    Seeking Relationship, Therapy Required

    Like most daters, Elyse Fox, 32, a model who lives in Brooklyn, is looking for a partner who is kind, attractive, smart and funny. She is hoping he likes to travel, is ready for commitment and communicates well. But she has one nonnegotiable: He must be working on his mental health, preferably in regular therapy.

    She decided to make this rule a few weeks ago after going on a date with a guy who unloaded his problems onto her. “Over wine and this beautiful dinner he was pouring out all this trauma and childhood stuff that I never asked about,” Ms. Fox said.

    Oh. Honestly, that’s called a bad date. It happens.

    Gen-Z and younger millennials are much more likely to seek mental health help than older generations, according to a 2018 survey by the American Psychological Association. The pandemic also brought mental health even more into the mainstream, making it something people make into priority and talk about openly.

    Some of this is now trickling into dating. Many singles, rather than looking for someone of a certain height or a particular profession, are now saying they want someone who works on their mental health.

    Yeah, no, I don’t think working on mental health is going to trump height. It just doesn’t work that way.

    Many of these daters have mastered smooth ways to probe into someone’s mental health regimen.

    “I bring up my therapist in a conversation and see if they mention theirs,” said Theodora Blanchfield, 39, a writer and marriage and family therapist in Los Angeles.

    And if not, that’s a strike?

    For Sarah Papadelias, 32, a lawyer in Tampa, Fla., the men she dates don’t have to be in therapy, per se. “I know some people don’t have access to it, or they don’t have health insurance to cover it,” she said. But they do have to be working on their mental health. “Are you journaling? Are you meditating?”


  29. Susan the other

    Just did a quick scan of “The Last Days of Sound Finance” on the remnants of sound money nostalgia. This by Melinda Cooper who was reviewing “Engine of Inequality” by Karen Pertrou. I thought it was an interesting take on MMT, maybe a bit more nuanced than the usual stuff, talking about how Marxists miss the big picture on MMT because they are stuck in a thought process of controlling the “means of production.” And how now the socialization of finance is the equivalent. So this requires looking at MMT more seriously. I didn’t read it very carefully but I got the thought wave that MMT applies accurately to our future because the industrial revolution and the industrial capitalism that made it, are history. And MMT will be the organization of the tokens which make the wheels go round, not for profit and growth but for sustainable sufficiency. Etc. Although nobody ever puts it quite that way. It’s not Marxism; it’s not Communism or Capitalism; it’s the future. Must go back and read better. Make sure I’m not projecting ;-)

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