Links 9/25/22

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

* * *

Opium Traces Found in 3,500-Year-Old Pottery Suggests the Ancient Canaanites Were the First Humans to Use Psychoactive Drugs Artnet

Fossil egg analysis in China adds to debate of what may have caused dinosaurs’ demise CNN

You’re not good at this. The Reformed Broker. Of the Fed.

The Great Bond Bubble Is ‘Poof, Gone’ in Worst Year Since 1949 Bloomberg

Investors pile into insurance against further market sell-offs FT

SPAC King Palihapitiya Shutters Two SPACs as Deal Hunt Fails Bloomberg

They Were Entitled to Free Care. Hospitals Hounded Them to Pay. NYT. The extremely wussy deck: “With the help of a consulting firm, the Providence hospital system trained staff to wring money out of patients, even those eligible for free care.” The “consulting firm” was — hold onto your hats, here, folks — McKinsey. Commentary:

This goes for a lot of projects. For example, this one–

The MiDAS Touch: Atuahene’s “Stategraft” and the Implications of Unregulated Artificial Intelligence UNM School of Law Research Paper No. 2022-21. From the Abstract:

[W]hen state agents have engaged in practices of transferring property from persons to the state in violation of the state’s own laws or basic human rights, it sits at the intersection of illegal behavior that generates public profit. Although these measures can be quantified in many other examples of state corruption, the criminality of state practice goes undetected and is compounded when the state uses artificial intelligence to illegally extract resources from people. This essay will apply stategraft to an algorithm implemented in Michigan that falsely accused unemployment benefit recipients of fraud and illegally took their resources.

The software, the Michigan Integrated Data Automated System (“MiDAS”), was supposed to detect unemployment fraud and automatically charge people with misrepresentation. The agency erroneously charged over 37,000 people, taking their tax refunds and garnishing wages. It would take years for the state to repay the people and it was often after disastrous fallout had happened due to the years of trying to clear their record and reclaim their money.


Limited climate change mitigation potential through forestation of the vast dryland regions Science

US installs record solar capacity as prices keep falling Ars Technica

The US wants to become a hydrogen production powerhouse The Verge (Re Silc).

Small communities could be buying, selling and saving money on electric power right now – here’s how The Conversation

Ancient Indian Caves Hold a Record of Historical Droughts across Asia The Swaddle


Pfizer’s chief executive tests positive for COVID-19 for second time in two months Sky News. The damage is cumulative

Covid Still Kills, but the Demographics of Its Victims Are Shifting KHN

WHO warns ability to identify new Covid variants is diminishing as testing declines CNBC


Former adviser sees influence by Chinese President Xi Jinping in Putin’s recent decisions Deutsche Welle


The Most Stinging Resignation Letter Ever Written The Atlantic

Mahsa Amini’s Death Spurs Iranian Women to Cut Their Hair, Burn Hijabs in Protest Teen Vogue. Thinly sourced, except for influencers.

Dear Old Blighty

Investors warn Kwarteng that fiscal plan threatens markets’ confidence in UK FT. But:

How an obscure intellligence-linked party fixed a second Brexit referendum and torpedoed Corbyn The Gray Zone

New Not-So-Cold War

Holding Ground, Losing War Douglas Macgregor, The American Conservative (RS). Six-day forecast for European weather:

No snow yet, if that matters.

Prospects for guaranteeing the military campaign of 2023: the Ukrainian view (translation) Events in Ukraine. Original. Authors: Valery Zaluzhnyi, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, General, member of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, Mykhailo Zabrodsky, First Deputy Chairman of the the Verkhovna Rada Committee on National Security, Defense and Intelligence.

Peace in Ukraine or U.S. Hegemony? America Must Decide The National Interest

* * *

Historic Context Of The Referenda In Ukraine Moon of Alabama

Why Ukraine referendum is a big deal Indian Punchline

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Putin’s Energy War Is Crushing Europe Foreign Policy

How war in Ukraine resembles past conflict in Yugoslavia Asia Times

Biden Administration

The Antitrust Shooting War Has Started Matt Stoller, BIG. Important.

We don’t have a hundred biases, we have the wrong model Works in Progress. Behavioral economics.


The seven Democrats most likely to run for president — if Biden bows out The Hill. Harris, Buttigieg, Whitmer, Newsom, Warren, Sanders, AOC. Yes, Pharoah Sanders should run, but sadly it’s too late.

The Memo: Unease about Trump’s legal woes spreads through GOP The Hill

2020 Post Mortem

Georgia voting equipment breach at center of tangled tale AP

‘Kraken’ Trump lawyer Sidney Powell was a no-show for Georgia special purpose grand jury: report Alternet

How soon we forget:


Durham insists Danchenko lies about ‘pee tape’ sourcing be evidence at trial Washington Examiner


State employees gear up for fight over cost-cutting Medicare Advantage plans VT Digger (MR). By “cost-cutting” we mean “privatized.” From the article: “Clarke Collins, deputy director of benefits and wellness for the state’s Department of Human Resources, said that … he believed that these particular plans would receive the same level of oversight from the state’s Department of Financial Regulation as is provided with retirees’ current plans” [nods vigorously].

Our Famously FreePress

Legal Journalism Is Broken Balls and Strikes

Supply Chain

Shipowner to blame, claims industry plaintiffs in latest Ever Given court case The Loadstar

Zeitgeist Watch

Guardians, eh?

There’s plenty of people I’d like to see in orange jumpsuits, no baseball players among them.

Realignment and Legitimacy

The rise and fall of the Oath Keepers, born in Las Vegas Las Vegas Review-Journal

Experts See Downside for Democracy in Patagonia Sale The Energy Mix

Imperial Collapse Watch

Grover Cleveland: One of the great anti-imperialist presidents Responsible Statecraft (Re Silc).

Class Warfare

Class Warfare Grinds On Counterpunch

Buckle up, America: The Fed plans to sharply boost unemployment CBS

What Canada’s Largest Art Heist Reveals about the Art World’s Shady Side The Walrus

This artist is dominating AI-generated art. And he’s not happy about it. MIT Technology Review

Did Neanderthals Make Art? Sapiens

In Memoriam: Pharoah Sanders, 1940-2022 Downbeat. Musical interlude:

Antidote du jour (via):

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. DJG, Reality Czar

      GramSci: Thanks. The Israeli P.R. machine is about as good as the Ukrainian one.

      The use of opium was widespread in Egypt and Minoan Crete at the same time as the era the article posits as Canaanite High Time.

      Pulling from Wikipedia:

      The Egyptians cultivated opium thebaicum in famous poppy fields around 1300 BC. Opium was traded from Egypt by the Phoenicians and Minoans to destinations around the Mediterranean Sea, including Greece, Carthage, and Europe. By 1100 BC, opium was cultivated on Cyprus, where surgical-quality knives were used to score the poppy pods, and opium was cultivated, traded, and smoked.[16] Opium was also mentioned after the Persian conquest of Assyria and Babylonian lands in the 6th century BC.[1]

      From the earliest finds, opium has appeared to have ritual significance, and anthropologists have speculated ancient priests may have used the drug as a proof of healing power.[13] In Egypt, the use of opium was generally restricted to priests, magicians, and warriors, its invention is credited to Thoth, and it was said to have been given by Isis to Ra as treatment for a headache.[1] A figure of the Minoan “goddess of the narcotics”, wearing a crown of three opium poppies, c. 1300 BC, was recovered from the Sanctuary of Gazi, Crete, together with a simple smoking apparatus.[16][17]

      c. 1300 BC = same time article posits.

      If you get a chance to look up a photo of the Goddess of Poppies, she is quite something. A goddess indeed.

    2. The Rev Kev

      While reading this I could not help but think that perhaps this was an explanation for the ‘Book of Revelation’ at the end of the Bible. You read it and it sounds like it was written by somebody who had come off a seriously bad trip. It’s nothing like the rest of the Bible, that is for sure. Just sayin’.

      1. ambrit

        The Book of Revelations is generally agreed by textural students to be a mash up of two separate letters. One aimed towards the Jewish community of Rome and the other aimed at the Gentile community of Rome. The phantasmagoric imagery used is fairly standard allegorical usage for religious screeds of the era. Every ‘outre’ term and image used had a fairly well known religious meaning to the associated Christian cultists of the time.
        Interpreting and ‘understanding’ the Book of Revelations was a major interest of Sir Isaac Newton, a well known Crown administrator (Warden and Master of the Royal Mint,) and “Natural Philosopher” of his day.

    3. drumlin woodchuckles

      I suspect the knowledge and use of plant hallucinogens in the Americas also far predates this discovered use of poppies in Canaan.

      One also suspects the use of Amanita muscaria mushroom for shamanic purposes throughout cold-deciduous and taiga Eurasia also far predates this use of poppies in Canaan.

    4. Grateful Dude

      I love how the discovery of some traces of some opium on some old pottery leads to the conclusion that this was the first time people used it, as if all other antecedent pottery has been examined and so this must be the first. A lot of prehistory is reported this way. Real archeologists must know better.

      “The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross” is a tome using linguistics to explain about how ancient mushroom worship formed the legends of Christianity. It’s very geeky, but fascinating nonetheless.

  1. PlutoniumKun

    How an obscure intellligence-linked party fixed a second Brexit referendum and torpedoed Corbyn The Gray Zone

    Unless I’m missing something, I can’t see what this article is trying to argue. The Reform Party was a tiny blip on the UK electoral map, I see no evidence whatever that it had any influence on either Labour’s policy or Corbyn’s prospects. I doubt if many even very politically aware people even knew it existed. Corbyn lost because he mishandled the early period of his leadership and so never convinced many voters that he was PM material; because the internal Labour apparatus never wanted him to win; because he was facing an enormous battle against the entire UK media; and because Labour are not very good at winning elections.

    Also, Labour (and Corbyn) were never ‘pro Brexit’ as the article claims. Corbyn personally was probably not unhappy with Brexit, but Labour was, and is, internally split on the matter so have perpetually tried to fudge the issue. If there was some sort of internal UK intelligence plot to hold another Brexit referendum they’d have had far better other means to push one than to set up a half assed ‘alternative’ party. The UK electoral system is not like France or Italy, there is no possibility whatever of minor upstart candidates, however heavily backed, having an impact from outside the system.

    As for Reforms intelligence links – I think you’d be hard pressed to find any political party in the UK over the past half century or more that didn’t have more than its fair share of ex military, police and intelligence operatives or ‘spook adjacent’ types.

    1. SOMK

      With apologies for flogging a long dead horse but can you elaborate on “Corbyn lost because he mishandled the early period of his leadership and so never convinced many voters that he was PM material” a little?

      My understanding is at least colloquially he had no expectation of actually winning the leadership election so didn’t have anything in place and what was put in place was put together on the fly (this was also limited by the fairly thin talent pool on the labour left), in the British media connections go a long way (this is true everywhere but seem particularly true in the UK since the new labour era), which seems to be why people from PR-ish media backgrounds tend to be over-represented in leadership campaigns. That being said what was striking was once the post-Brexit/Cameron Theresa May snap election was called UK fair coverage media laws came into play, which meant Corbyn momentarily got a fair chance to talk directly to the public which he hadn’t previously and all in all came within a few thousand votes in marginal seats of winning in 2017 and as his own central HQ was effectively sabotaging the election diverting resources to safe seats away from marginals, he came fairly close to winning.

      Bearing in mind the recent census data from the North of Ireland giving the nationalists/catholics a majority, it’d be a hell of a thing to have a pro united Ireland PM in. Westminister now (though it’s doubtful he would have lasted very long, very probable there would have been a coup or worse, can’t imagine what an anti-war British PM would even look like)

      1. PlutoniumKun

        In my opinion, he lost in the first two days of his leadership. He looked confused and incoherent – I recall seeing his first interview with the BBC and knew he was never going to be PM – first impressions matter, and most non-politically active people would have come to the conclusion of ‘nice guy, but not a PM’. Its not his fault – in the circumstances it would have been very difficult to come out strong – but politics is a cruel game, perceptions matter, and elections are won by persuading regular non-political folks that you can lead. For all his faults, Blair was very, very good at that, so was Cameron.

        Its also important to remember that the so-called Corbyn wave was almost entirely enthusiasm from young people. i.e. people who rarely vote or who live in constituencies that are not up for grabs. Even when he was at his height of popularity and the Tories were at their lowest it was still an uphill fight and the odds were against him. UK elections are decided by a very small number of people in a very small number of constituencies. Corbyn never got any traction in those key cohorts.

        1. jsn

          He was in the position to purge the people who ended up purging him.

          He didn’t.

          Not because he’s horrible like Obama and always wanted to be one of the neoliberal winners, the opposite: because he thought his party gave a damn about it’s electorate.

          1. Roger

            The problem with so many left-wing politicians, they aren’t up to the dirty work needed to clean out the opposition. This “niceness” is not respected by the right-wing, who are happy to use every underhand tool necessary to kick out the left.

            1. Colonel Smithers

              Thank you, JSN and Roger.

              Insiders, at some personal and professional risk, offered, ahem, information, on his tormentors to Corbyn, but Corbyn and his team refused. Had the information been used, the likes of Lord Mandelson of Rio would have had some serious explaining to do, serious stuff to do with their, ahem, flamboyant lifestyle.

              1. norm de plume

                Perhaps it is the absence of such ‘serious stuff’ in the lifestyle of Corbyn that posed the greatest threat to TPTB.

                Perhaps the presence of such stuff is nowadays the pre-requisite for real power.

            2. Jess K

              Not so much a psychological issue as a political one. The Western ‘left’ is tied by a dozen different threads to the ‘progressive’ wing of its own bourgeoisie, the existing national political setup, to the US-dominated global order, etc.

              They have no desire to (and could not even if they wanted to) take a ‘hard line’ against their opponents; doing so would blow up the political order they want to maintain, opening the door to potentially far more radical and ‘dangerous’ political currents on the extreme left and right they find abhorrent.

        2. Bruno

          Brexit offered Corbyn an open goal, but he just dribbled in midfield leaving his own open. Supporting in Parliament the Tory “advisory,” speciously phrased “remain or leave” electoral gambit.
          Then refusing to call for abstention against the phony referendum, which would have resulted in an overwhelming non-voting, and thereby pro-Labour majority.
          And then, following a very narrow “proBrexit” plurality, calling for the immediate invocation of Article51.

          After all that, who could possibly expect Corbyn to cope with the British Establishment-owned media and party system?

    2. Old Sovietologist

      Two things worth pointing out.

      If the 2017 GE had have lasted a few days longer Corbyn would likely have sneaked in as the big ‘Mo’ was with him.

      I do agree he mishandled things but that came after 2017 and not before. After all he won 40.0% of the vote at the 2017 GE

      However, here is now way on god’s earth that the Military/intelligence complex or the Americans would allowed to stay in office even if he had won. Imagine a Corbyn led govt during the present Ukrainian Crisis.

      1. PlutoniumKun

        I can’t agree with you about 2017. Total vote is largely irrelevant in UK elections – its key constituencies that matter, and the return of the UKIP vote to the Tories meant that a whole series of mostly working class constituencies were out of Labours grasp, no matter what happened. While Corbyn did well, the Tories were also in absolute chaos at the time, and yet they still held him off. If the Tories had been even marginally well led they’d have won much more easily.

        But I do agree that he would never have been let make any decisions. A Very British Coup would have taken place one way or another.

        1. The Rev Kev

          As an aside – It might amuse you to know that for the past week, every time I go to Naked Capitalism on my tablet, that I am getting adverts to Nigel Farage Speaking Live in Brisbane – for about $300 a ticket. Gawd! One of the UK’s worse exports-

            1. The Rev Kev

              Maybe he is doing a speaking tour around the world so that he does not have to spend this winter in the UK. I wouldn’t bet against it.

        2. John Beech

          Rather like Trump where the PMC put paid to him along with Hillary’s dirty work to run him in circles for four years.

    3. Revenant

      The Reform Party still looks pretty suss, whether or not it worked. You don’t leave the FO to start a party with no cooling-off period. And the place is thick with spooks.

      Vote Glowie! We’ll know you did!

      1. Revenant

        I just did my own research. ;-)

        For somebody who is not a spook, Chris Coghlan has made some unlucky career choices.

        1) Kings College war studies department. Spook nursery.

        2) British Army

        3) Charlemagne Capital. Curious outfit belonging to Burnbrae, which, scratching deeper led to Jim Mellon.

        There is something that does not add up about Mellon. He has launched various funds, published various books on his investment thesis and yet everything remains shadowy and without concrete gains. There is the Mellon name but no clear connection to the Mellon fortune. For a whole he was investing in biotech very noisily but there was not much actual money on the table. Time may tell if he is the Isle of Man’s Allen Stanford or Jeffrey Epstein character, at least financially.

        Putting that to be side, Mellon gas made his “money” in post-Soviet privatisations, in uranium mining and in shorting stocks in Brexit. He spends it on supporting Brexit parties and on David Cameron and others. How could you work for him for several years and then set up Renew? Grayzone have missed the weirdest connection of all!

        4) FO “Diplomat”. Come on, nobody describes themselves like this. You have a Home or Diplomatic civil service grade. If you are a graduate trainee, it will be something low, even if you enter with ten years work experience, because none of it is relevant. Whatever you did, you would crow about – junior official in charge of agricultural trade issues on the Brasil desk, for example. Not just “Diplomat”.

        Then back in the Army randomly as military advisor in Iraq. And no mention of the little career break between, setting up a new political party??!!

        A man is judged by the company he keeps….

        1. Colonel Smithers

          Thank you.

          Insiders, at some personal and professional risk, offered, ahem, information, on his tormentors to Corbyn, but Corbyn and his team refused. Had the information been used, the likes of Lord Mandelson of Rio would have had some serious explaining to do, serious stuff to do with their, ahem, flamboyant lifestyle.

          A Tory consultancy, Public First, provided staff and offices, collected donations and wrote the manifesto for Change UK. Over 2020, the Change UK MPs were found big corporate gigs by the consultancy as reward.

          Berger and Umunna are in talks to return as Labour MPs. They will join Orange Order boss Henry Dunbar.

    4. spud

      Corbyn torpedoed himself listening to Blair.

      i love victory laps:) Last Thursday Britain held the ‘2nd’ referendum that all those smart-alec, urban, educated, cosmos were demanding, and which so perverted the Labour Party’s message to the people.

      If the massive swing to the Tories is anything to go by, the Leave vote intensified.

      And it was entirely predictable.

  2. Old Sovietologist

    What passes for investigative journalism in Germany.

    Germany is looking for those responsible for the growing energy crisis, so German investigative journalists from “Correktiv” compiled a dossier that included politicians and public organizations helping Russia to increase Germany’s gas dependence on Russia

    I wonder when the Green’s will set up their own version of “Peacemaker”

    My takeaway from the article.

    Schroeder = rich Germany

    Scholz = poor Germany

    Such simple formulas are usually the best.

    1. Ignacio

      Not knowing German I couldn’t enjoy that piece of investigative journalism. I never try google translations.

      1. The Rev Kev

        @ Ignacio. You could try the Google Translate page at-

        Click on ‘Websites’ at the top left. Copy and paste the web address of that article in the box that comes up. Then select ‘German’ from the Detect Language”on the left (using the downward arrow to find it) and on the other side you would choose ‘Spanish’ as the language to translate it into. It only takes several seconds.

    1. Betty

      It’s hard to read the endless pain people have been put through (Time, 2022). All this chatter about the need to cut back on state budgets, etc. And the answer seems so simple — tax the rich who remain essentially un-taxed.

  3. John

    If Biden does not run… The democrats have their seven. Is that the best they can do? Aged, inexperienced, ineffectual, all but unknown. And in the other corner the self-regarding DJT and the other Florida man. What have we done to deserve this? What do they promise other than acceleration toward the Jackpot?

    1. griffen

      I’ve got the Jackpot / Apocalypse on my personal bingo card in 2028. So, whomever wins in 2024 is surely gonna find new methods of just accelerating the most to fudge our way downhill towards ruination a little bit more as a country. Maybe we get a Commodus approach; circus and bread, entertainment for all.

      I’d suggest a state governor offers something new and possibly more tangible as opposed to Pete with his airline miles top 10 suggestions, just for one example.

      1. Mark Gisleson

        I’m still holding out for Giant Meteor and am glad to see NASA’s doing its part to accidentally make that happen.

        (In truth, the Giant Meteor Fan Club has members embedded at NASA where they apparently never double-check the math anymore : )

        1. Mark Gisleson

          Took another look at the Politico story and saw a typo in Sanders picture description that I cannot decipher: “Sen. Bernie Sanders, (I-VT) weals away after talking to reporters…”

          I’ve mistyped everything that can be mistyped but cannot figure out what word they meant to use because surely they didn’t mean to say that Sanders “prospered away.” I guess it could be a spellcheck crime — weals for wheels — but wheels? Did he “barrel” his way down the sidewalk or “throw” himself into a waiting car?

    2. Henry Moon Pie

      “What do they promise other than acceleration toward the Jackpot?”

      You talk like acceleration is a bad thing. ;) The sooner things crash, the sooner the amount of carbon we’re putting into the air drops, and quickly. It would make things a lot easier on the survivors if something over two degrees was not already “baked” in.

      What a sad reality that is. Are we really this incapable as a polity? Are the billionaires that committed to crash us into the wall?

      1. griffen

        If you pair your question to the above article at CounterPunch the answer is a resounding, definitive one. No spoilers from me. And I’m not exactly an enthusiast for labor unions historically but times change.

        What senior citizen and investor Mr. Buffet has said in the past still fully applies. It’s a class war, and his class is winning.

    3. Katniss Everdeen

      So, I’m having trouble figuring out which of these should make americans feel more effed with:

      that the dems are offering a full slate of presidential “candidates,” and five of them are named harris, whitmer, newsom, buttigieg, and aoc (OMG); or that joe biden is contemplating “running” again.

      If any of those people were to get “elected” in 2024, this “democracy” jig that america has been playing at for the last 250 years would be well and truly up.

      1. Joe Renter

        If we are able to see 2024 it might be a win none the less. WW3, in my mind is as close as the Cuban crises. I have been looking at buying potassium iodide and will look up wind patterns from the potential ground zero.

        1. hk

          Probably closer. During the Cuban Missile Crisis, Khrushchev wisely backed down and averted the crisis even if it ended his political career. Biden is no Khrushchev.

          1. LifelongLib

            JFK also agreed to withdraw U.S. missiles from Turkey, which IIRC had been Khrushchev’s reason for putting Soviet missiles in Cuba. I don’t think Biden is JFK either.

            1. Bruno

              What did Khrushchev in politically was the Kennedy assassination/coup d’état. The “Cuban Missile Crisis” was a triumph for both Ks and led to greatly increased cooperative détente between the two, expressed for instance in the Test-Ban Treaty, the American University speech, the removal of Diem, and the incipient restoration of relations between the US and Cuba being negotiated with Fidel that very Nov. 22 with Jean Daniel as intermediary. Alas, the military-industrial-police apparatuses of the two imperial superpowers had less than no tolerance for such a prospect, and so we are where we are today…

    4. drumlin woodchuckles

      If Sanders runs, it would only be as an educational excercise. He “may” be too old to be President. He is certainly too nice of a guy. He showed that the last two times ( ” tired of hearing about your damn emails” . . . ” my friend Senator Biden”) Each time when his “worthy opponent” had accidentally offered him her or his unguarded throat, Sanders pointedly refused to lunge and bite the throat out of his “worthy opponent”.
      You can’t be an effective President if you are not prepared to do what has to be done.

      That said, if Sanders runs in the primaries yet again, I will vote for Sanders. He could still be a measure of our discontent.

      However, if he decides to run Third Party or Independent, I will have to decide whether a President Democrat or a President Trump or DeSantis are equally dangerous to my survival. If they are, then I could vote for Third Party/Independent Sanders. However, if I decide one of the two brand name tickets poses a more genuine threat to my survival, then I will vote for the less threatening ticket in hopes of getting President Less Dangerous in order to buy a few more years for myself to make “other survival arrangements”.

  4. digi_owl

    Such a cute rascal.

    Anyways, snow is unlikely to show up until maybe somewhere in November.

    And i fear US leadership will cling to hegemony until the bitter end.

  5. timbers

    Holding Ground, Losing War Douglas Macgregor, The American Conservative (RS)

    “Russia already controls the territory that produces 95 percent of Ukrainian GDP. It has no need to press further west. At this writing, it seems certain that Moscow will finish its work in Donbas, then, turn its attention to the capture of Odessa, a Russian city that saw terrible atrocities committed by Ukrainian forces against Russian citizens in 2014.”

    In other words, the war is basically over, and Russia has won.

    Holding my breath to see those words in Western Media headline print….one, two, three…

    1. PlutoniumKun

      I think the big question is not whether the war is over, but what end form it will take. If Kiev refuses to accept defeat and insists on, for example, throwing missiles indefinitely into newly anointed Russia cities, then Russia will have to keep up the conflict. The only end point then is the complete collapse of the Ukrainian government, which itself of course will generate not one, but maybe several civil wars. Russia may think that it can draw up new boundaries and force everyone to accept them, but I don’t see this happening in anything but the very long term.

      1. timbers

        My estimation, is Russia has the means to inflict any level of damage upon what remains of Ukraine she chooses. It’s her call, not Ukraine, US, Europe, NATO. If her people continue to be attacked and suffer after things settle down, it will mostly be the result of Russia holding back. Hopefully the Russian leadership will be held to account by Russian people, if she fails in her task. If the West resorts to long range missiles, Russia can escalate to any lever she chooses. Just as she might also be able to do, should the West take a different strategy by using asymmetrical terrorist tactics.

      2. The Rev Kev

        I wonder what would happen if after taking over all Russian-speaking areas, that the Russians announced that they were going to adopt the Israeli doctrine. You know – the concrete barriers & checkpoints, the occasional mini-invasion, missile strikes to take out leaders, destroying military gear and formations on sight, keeping the whole place under surveillance, stuff like that. They could even give lucrative contracts to Israeli companies that make drones and surveillance gear to help them here. Think that anybody would mind?

        1. PlutoniumKun

          The problem, as I see it, is the balance of incentives for Ukraine. It may be that power brokers feel that an ongoing conflict makes more sense for them than making any sort of peace. If they do a deal, or just accept a fait accompli, then they are left with a basket case economy and the rest of the world losing interest in them.

          Whereas with a ratcheting conflict, then they at least get lots of cash from the west (a percentage of which will get skimmed of course), and plenty of further attention. They may feel that they can accept Russian retaliations (after all, Ukrainian power brokers have their second homes far away from the conflict) in exchange for the attention and money from constant provocations.

          1. Stephen


            I do wonder if part of the issue for Zelensky back in April when Johnson scuppered any peace deal (as Biden’s messenger) was not just that the money would be taken away from Ukraine. Quite possible too that he understood that losing his own personal assets, second, third, fourth, … homes in the west was very likely too. Or at least not being able to enjoy them.

            Ukrainian power brokers clearly do not care about Ukrainian people. Oh, western power brokers do not care about western people either. They are definitely made for each other.

          2. The Rev Kev

            It may be that the Ukraine will end up as the Idlib of Europe then. A nest of extremists that may prove problematic not only to the Russians but eventually the rest of Europe. I wonder how the Ukrainian mafia is doing out of this war? You never hear much about them anymore but they must still be there


          3. Lex

            My guess is that the US plan was a reverse Iraq where Russia was saddled with a large scale, long term insurgency after it took Kiev in a few weeks. What Russia actually did (and is doing) makes that almost impossible. It’s problematic for the US because if Russia stops at anytime, the basket case stays in the US’s lap. Ukraine can’t fight back in grey area type insurgency with plausible deniability. It’s only option is direct military assault and/or terrorism.

            So let’s say Russia takes all of Donetsk and then stops, offers ceasefire and waits. Ukraine and its sponsors are in a tough spot of either admitting defeat, fighting on or accepting and then breaking the ceasefire. Can Biden force Zelensky to stop? What’s the political fallout if he does? If he doesn’t or can’t, then the global reaction likely further undermines the US position and leaves the US in another quagmire.

            1. PlutoniumKun

              The only way I can see a peace deal being signed is if Kiev is forced by their western sponsors. But for the moment, I don’t see any appetite for this in the west. A cold winter may however change some minds.

              I do see Biden as quite a minor player in this. Support for Ukraine is being very heavily pushed by the northern Europeans and the Poles/Baltic States with the UK keeping the pot boiling. The problem is that all the European states will have to come to the same conclusions as its all too easy for one or more hardline State to veto a deal. As one example, Denmark was a major driver in stopping a more pragmatic approach to energy sanctions against Russia.

              So in short, I see far more momentum behind Ukraine fighting on indefinitely than to a peace deal. The problem for Russia is that protecting their new lands from Ukie based terrorism will be extremely difficult. It’s one thing to protect a military base from a Himars rocket, its another to protect a swathe of urban areas and associated infrastructure from random rocket/drone/insurgent attacks.

              1. Sibiryak

                The problem for Russia is that protecting their new lands from Ukie based terrorism will be extremely difficult.

                Yes, that’s the conventional wisdom, but I’m not entirely convinced.

                It may be that after Russia incorporates pro-Russian regions and creates a buffer zone, it will, at the very least , move on to destroy as much Ukraine’s remaining military potential as deemed necessary while building up massive defensive forces and infrastructure in the new Russian territories.

                Putin might then call a unilateral cease fire and declare victory.

                True, there would be no negotiations for a permanent peace agreement, no recognition by Ukraine/the West of Russian gains, no end of sanctions.

                But if Ukraine refused to agree to a cease fire/armistice and instead tried to mount an endless campaign of “random rocket/drone/insurgent attacks”, Russia could then respond to each and every attack with disproportionately massive destruction of Ukrainian command and control centers and critical infrastructure.

                Would Ukraine really be able to absorb that kind of damage indefinitely and continue attacking Russian territory in the manner you suggest? I’m not so sure.

                An alternative scenario predicted by many –the total liquidation of Ukraine’s civil and military leadership followed by its dismemberment and loss of statehood —seems extreme to me, and very risky (NATO might intervene in Western Ukraine), but of course, cannot be ruled out.

                1. feox

                  Would Ukraine really be able to absorb that kind of damage indefinitely and continue attacking Russian territory in the manner you suggest? I’m not so sure.

                  If the Palestinians are any indication, then yes.

                  1. Stephen

                    The difference may be that the Israelis are not wanted in the territory they have occupied. If the Russians stick to the approximate territory of “New Russia” then they are in regions where much of the population is sympathetic. Harder to run an insurgency campaign in such a situation.

                2. hk

                  So, kinda like Iraq, except it would be Russia imposing a “no fly zone” a la 1993-2003? That could actually”work,” I wonder….

              2. David

                Yes, but fighting with what? Its stocks of Russian/Soviet weapons, especially missiles and ammunition, are finite, and so is the materiel it can hope to receive from the West. It doesn’t seem to be capable of making much by itself, and it’s clear that the Russians are waging a war of attrition, with the intention of destroying Ukraine’s military capability to the greatest extent possible.

                The Russians will be able to thoroughly infiltrate whatever remains of the Ukrainian state and its government, and I doubt whether the UA will be able to do much, even if it has a few rockets hidden away somewhere. But what will be determinant, I think, is the attitude of the West. I don’t think there’s a precedent for a “western” state in good odour carrying out a guerrilla/terrorist war against its neighbour. To find that kind of thing, you have to go to Africa, for example. And I wonder how the population will react to a constant state of near-war?

                I wonder whether we might not have a situation like that of Ireland: a political claim to a part of the country “occupied” by another power, but no more than that.

                1. Polar Socialist

                  “The West” (mainly USA and UK) tried that in 1945-1955 in Ukraine. Until 1947 there were even Abwerh and Gestapo personel fighting in Ukraine alongside UPA against the Soviets.

                  People wanted peace, so the “insurrection” pretty much petered out* by 1950, after UPA had killed over 20,000 civilians in their “asymmetrical warfare”.

                  Especially if Russia reconstructs the Novorussia like it did in Chechnya (btw, Kadyrov claims Chechnyans overmobilized by 250%), the Ukrainian people may again find their agenda more peaceful than West prefers.

                  * as in supporters, their friends and families were ratted out, detained and deported.

              3. Kouros

                How can Ukraine fight indefinitely. If Russia is serious about demilitarizing Ukraine, this means that in the next several months, there will be a big influx of Russian troops, and probably some more volunteers from the newly acquired regions (won’t want to go back to Ukraine) that will occupy the rest of Donetsk, Zaporojie and Kherson and likely go to Mikolayv and Odessa and Krivoi Rog and maybe Kharkov. All this fight will exhaust Ukraine (men and materiel) and the west.

                As such, Russian Army can move across Ukraine and even start controlling the western borders, removing any possibility for supplies (Belarus can always offer to be a staging point for that).

                Russia can escalate and escalate and escalate and escalate. Ukraine cannot. Nor the West. And I am talking here only conventional war…

          4. Ignacio

            Problem with the second alternative it will be more and more difficult each passing month to justify pouring money and weapons in Ukraine and, for example, at the same time imposing more and more fiscal constraints at home compounded with monetary tightening. The PR according to which “we are saving Ukraine and her citizens” won’t hold for very long. Not to mention the economic mess we will be suffering the longer the conflict runs.

            1. PlutoniumKun

              The problem is that there does not appear to be anyone willing to shout ‘stop’. I think that the politicians will keep insisting on sending out even useless weapons as being an easier option than admitting that it hasn’t worked and won’t worked. Its like a reworking of Keynes maxim that ‘the markets can remain irrational longer than you can remain solvent’.

              1. digi_owl

                Because either they have “skin” (money) in the game, or are fearful of having their “virtue” questioned.

              2. Ignacio

                This article underlines the mess we are in with one of the most obvious contradictions: Germany’s Energy Crisis Plan Contradicts Itself. Bottom line: Our leaders want us to cut energy usage while at the same time susidize energy usage.

                I have taken by myself and from long ago a battery of measures to save energy at home: thermostats at low temp, reduced energy intensity in wash machines, energy saving fridge etc. I am out of money to do some pending measures on the house envelope, but the reality is that one cannot expect massive saving by the public at large. Only marginal, if any, in most cases.

                And there is a case now for recommending some easy stuff. Regarding dishwashers and washing machines using short programs at 30ºC saves quite an amount of energy and helps the machines last for longer. Yet I don’t see real campaigns with such recommendations.

                Yet, the elephant in the room is energy intensive industry.

                1. The Rev Kev

                  ‘Yet, the elephant in the room is energy intensive industry.’

                  That is becoming a self-liquidating problem that. More and more industries in Europe are having to shut down as the energy costs have made their business not financially viable anymore. And I was reading yesterday that some are beginning to relocate their machinery to other countries – like the US – in order to stay in business. That will be one way to reduce demand.’

              3. Kouros

                There was a moment there when some workers in Greece or Italy refused to load weapons for Ukraine. This can re-occur, but at wider scale…

                And if the public starts protesting en mass, then being beaten and abused all over the place, then heads will start rolling, the old fashioned way…

          5. Carolinian

            I think you are bending over backwards to see some leverage for Ukraine. The leverage–sanctions–has already been applied and hasn’t worked. Putin could end the war in a few weeks or days if he did what people thought he was going to do in the beginning which is level Kiev.

            For those of us who agree with Mearsheimer the actions of NATO and Ukraine in this years long conflict have always been irrational and therefore bound to fail. They have scored a kind of propaganda victory but not inside Russia–the only place it matters since Russia holds the cards.

        2. timbers

          The optics of Isreal doing that for Donbas under Russian contract would be…fascinating. Neoliberal heads might explode. But seriously this is my biggest concern, also. Not a full-blown concern really only because my guess is most Ukrainians won’t be interested in eternal was except the Azoz types and some Ukrainians may want to cross over to live on the Russian side. What ever does happen at least her people are “liberated” and can be in a position to meet any new challenges.

          1. PlutoniumKun

            One of the weird loops that has taken place when it comes to the defense industry is that the new game changer on the ground (or at least claimed game changer, I’m not so sure), the Iranian drone the Shahed-136, is a reverse engineered Chinese ASN-301, which in turn is a reverse engineered IAI Harpy. The Israeli’s got a lot of heat from the US for selling the Harpy to China and they themselves may regret it now that the Iranians learned so much. From what I can see, the US has successfully muzzled much of Israels arms export industry to prevent this happening again. The Chinese have made quite a few major strides forward from Israels willingness to sell them anything they wanted.

            It would though be bizarrely interesting to see both the Shahed 136 against the Harpy to see if the Iranians actually improved the design.

              1. PlutoniumKun

                From what I can tell, the big ‘unknown’ with kamikaze drones is the software and sensors. How is the drone selecting a target? Can it attack without an instruction from the ground? How is it distinguishing military from civilian infrastructure?

                From open source it seems that the Shahed 136 uses a mix of passive electronic monitoring (i.e. tracking radar waves and perhaps radio signals) to find military activity with an electrooptical signal to select anything that looks like a suitable target. They are probably ground guided, but its possible they are independent. If so, its likely that this would make them very vulnerable to spoofing and/or decoys, but given their apparent success, it seems like so far whatever secret sauce the Iranians have added, is very good indeed.

                Having said that though, I do think that judgement needs to be held back on whether they are a game changer or not. This morning I was looking at drone footage of an attack on Ukie armour that was being described by usually reliable sources as a Shahed 136 attack, but clearly this was not the case – the Shahed has a very large warhead (50-80 kg) while the tanks were very obviously being hit with something much smaller and more precise. So I think there is a lot of cheerleading going on that may not be reflected in reality on the ground.

                1. digi_owl

                  The IAI Harpy is referred to as anti-radiation, meaning it it meant to target a radar installation or similar.

                  Radars usually work on frequencies not used for anything civilian, and are likely to be a far stronger transmitter as well.

                  All in all i suspect they are similar in use to a AGM-88 HARM:


                  Only that they can be launched in the general area of a suspected radar site and have it circle until the radar comes online.

                  Effectively they are doing Wild Weasel (SEAD) without putting aircrews at risk.

                  1. PlutoniumKun

                    Some are dedicated anti-radiation drones – they simply home in on any radar’s emissions. But from what i can see the latest drones seem to be a little more sophisticated, detecting any military radio activity to allow them to screen in potential targets, with the electro-optics to identify the final target.

                    What I don’t know is if they are capable of doing this entirely autonomously or whether they are guided in remotely.

            1. Michaelmas

              PlutoniumKun: The Israeli’s got a lot of heat from the US for selling the Harpy to China … the US has successfully muzzled much of Israels arms export industry to prevent this happening again.

              There’s historical precedent. When the USAF entered the Korean War, they found that Sovet-made MiG-5s and then MiG-17s flew higher and faster, thanks to the re-engineered Rolls-Royce Nene jet engines on the Soviet planes. The US muzzled the UK to prevent that situation repeating itself thereafter.


              ‘The Soviet aviation minister Mikhail Khrunichev and aircraft designer A. S. Yakovlev suggested to Premier Joseph Stalin that the USSR buy the conservative but fully developed Nene engines from Rolls-Royce (having been alerted to the fact that the U.K. Labour government wanted to improve post-war UK-Russia foreign relations) for the purpose of copying them in a minimum of time. Stalin is said to have replied, “What fool will sell us his secrets?”

              ‘… To Stalin’s amazement, the British Labour government and its Minister of Trade, Sir Stafford Cripps, were perfectly willing to provide technical information and a license to manufacture the Rolls-Royce Nene. Sample engines were purchased and delivered with blueprints. Following evaluation and adaptation to Russian conditions, the windfall technology was tooled for mass-production as the Klimov RD-45 to be incorporated into the MiG-15.’

              1. PlutoniumKun

                Yes, its a common thing, this is why staying ahead of the game is so difficult in military technology. The Russians got their first air to air missiles by buying up a Sidewinder from the Chinese that stuck (without exploding) in the side of a Chinese aircraft during the 1958 Taiwan Strait crisis. The Chinese have assiduously reverse engineered Russian military tech since the 1950’s, and seem to have gotten to the stage where they can now make some weapons even better. They’ve also bought a lot of know-how from Israel including (probably) key design for the J-10 which bears a very strong resemblance to the IAI Lavi. It would seem that many Iranian designs have been based on, or directly purchased from China. Israel may be learning the meaning of blowback.

                To be fair to the Israelis, they are not particularly discriminatory to who they sell designs to. The Taiwanese also have a kamikaze drone that looks suspiciously like the Harpy. Whether they got the design from the Israelis, Iranians, or stole it from the Chinese is anyones guess, but my money is on some Israeli engineers making a little cash during a vacation in Asia.

                1. hk

                  Iran sent some Phoenix missiles that were supplied by US during the Shah’s reign to Russia (and at least one F-14 wound up in Russian hands after the Iranian Revolution as well).

      3. drumlin woodchuckles

        If zero inputs of Russian gas and oil could actually force NATO European citizen publics back to a 13th century standard of living, then those publics might well rise up and overthrow their current governments and install compromise peace governments in their place. But Europe would have to go back to the 13th century and stay their long enough to threaten tens of millions of Europeans with immediate personal physical death in order for the European publics to rise and destroy their current governments.

    2. Old Sovietologist

      More drone strikes in Odessa. It seems like the Ukrainians are struggling to detect these “Kamikaze” drones and are resorting to small arms fire to try to bring them down. They seem to operate in pairs . What happens when they start to operate in bigger swarms.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Alex Christoforou was suggesting that, as Zelensky had thrown out the Iranian Ambassador because of them, that they may in fact be the “game changer” that we keep on hearing about.

      2. Antifa

        Zelensky the soldier supreme
        Plans to defeat Vlad Putin’s regime
        With the rains of October
        He’ll wake up cold sober
        And find it was just a wet dream

    3. voteforno6

      There’s quite a difference between “basically over” and “over,” as Hitler learned in WWII. As is the case in all conflicts, I don’t think this one will truly be done until all parties agrees that it is. That includes Ukraine and NATO.

  6. PlutoniumKun

    Investors warn Kwarteng that fiscal plan threatens markets’ confidence in UK FT. But:

    Even putting myself in pure Randian shoes, I can’t see the economic logic of Kwartengs budget. Those people are supposed to be against huge budget deficits. As @pilkington points out, it creates a very high risk of a sterling crisis and depends on pretty much everything possible going right (including having a big drop in energy prices) over the next few months to have any chance of working.

    The only real explanations I can come up with are:

    1. The inner advisors are genuine economic cranks who have gone well beyond Randism and now believe in some sort of pick and match version of uber-free markets, supply-sidism, MMT and Keynesianism.

    2. It really is nothing less than a deliberate policy by insiders of making lots of cash by destroying the UK economy. These people are a mix of Year Zero maoists with disaster capitalism mixed in with sociopathic levels of greed.

    3. Agent Kwarteng is part of a secret plot by the ex colonies to get their revenge for 2 centuries of colonialism.

    1. feox

      It’s neither of the above. It’s starve the beast on steroids. The neoliberals have been doing it for 40 years.

      1. PlutoniumKun

        Its hard to say they are ‘starving the beast’ when they have just announced the biggest deficit spending budget in history.

        1. Objective Ace

          How much of that deficit is due to less taxation and “pork” giveaways to defense contractors and the like?

          1. PlutoniumKun

            It is almost entirely due to very large tax cuts on the rich and to the winter energy cost capping. The latter seems the biggest and most open-ended financial commitment and is likely to be matched by a similar commitment to businesses.

    2. nippersdad

      Maybe they are just cashing out and sending the proceeds to invest in India as the Rothschilds have. Galts’ Gulch ca 2022.

    3. Art_DogCT

      PK, on first glance, I read ‘supply-sidism’ as ‘supply-sadism’. Perhaps presbyopia results in clearer understanding after all.

  7. The Rev Kev

    “Peace in Ukraine or U.S. Hegemony? America Must Decide”

    At the bottom of this article it says that the author is Joergen Oerstroem Moeller, a former state-secretary for the Royal Danish Foreign Ministry. So I am going to say that he actually knows what the real deal is so why he would write an article posing if Washington will listen to the better angels of their nature and accept the new multipolar world is hard to understand. By now he knows that the US – and the EU – will only ever double down if meeting a setback and that they have no reverse gear. I can only think that he wants to raise this possibility as only a possibility lest he get cancelled and all future book deals cancelled. So maybe he is setting things up so by this time next year people will say of Moeller that he was a bit of a prophet and should be listened to more.

    1. timbers

      “Peace in Ukraine or U.S. Hegemony? America Must Decide”………As if America is the one who gets to decide. How quaint.

    2. Sibiryak

      Negotiations? Really? It seems like various writers from the left, centrist, and populist-right “anti-war” camps just can’t help but call for negotiations based on highly improbable, if not absurd, proposals. (They are ideologically driven to do so.)

      Three examples:

      Anatoly Lieven (Responsible Statecraft, Sept.22)

      …the possibility still exists that Russia will pocket the “results” of the referendums as bargaining chips for negotiation but will not move to immediate annexation. This will therefore still leave open the possibility of peace talks .

      Aaron Mate (Substack, Sept. 25)

      … as Anatol Lieven outlines, these annexation referendums offer a possible off-ramp. While separatist Ukrainian regions are voting to join Russia, that does not guarantee that Russia will immediately annex them. Instead, Lieven proposes, Russia could use these votes as a bargaining chip to pressure Ukraine and its Western patrons to revive the peace talks that Putin claims were undermined.

      Tucker Carlson (Fox News, “This is Insane”)

      [the United States] could end this war tonight, by calling Ukraine to the table…Russian troops leave, Ukraine promises to not to join NATO, everything is as it was in January, and everything is fine.

      1. Old Sovietologist

        The collective west is betting the house on “setting fire” to Russia from the inside before the start of winter. The main strategy is to discredit Putin. The only cards they have left is a Maidan in Russia

        Expect a repeated massive blitzkrieg aimed at destabilizing Russian society. Most of it will be non-violent but I expect to see a series of terrorist attacks in Russia to sow panic.

        If by the end of 2022 this hasn’t happened then the end is nigh for Zelensky.

        1. Old Sovietologist

          It might be worth keeping an eye on Dagestan. It looks like NATO is putting in lot of effort in the region as part of the strategy of destabilisation from within.

    3. Kouros

      Gen Yamamoto:

      “Should hostilities once break out between Japan and the United States, it would not be enough that we take Guam and the Philippines, nor even Hawaii and San Francisco. To make victory certain, we would have to march into Washington and dictate the terms of peace in the White House. I wonder if our politicians [who speak so lightly of a Japanese-American war] have confidence as to the final outcome and are prepared to make the necessary sacrifices.”

      Is Ukraine/US/NATO ready for that?

      1. The Rev Kev

        Marching on Moscow does not have a stellar history. It’s sort of like getting involved in a land war in Asia.

  8. Tom Stone

    I had a little fun yesterday “Gushing”.
    I was taking a walk through a nice neighborhood and encountered a man in his front yard, a yard with both BLM and “We Stand With” signs.
    I remarked that it was SO WONDERFUL to once again have a President and administration we could trust and to live in a country with a free press.
    He happily agreed.
    And I went on about what a WONDERFUL change it was not like the days of Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Grenada, Panama,Libya, Iraq or those other places!
    He looked a little confused, but my cheerful tone and ability to keep a straight face allowed me to move on with a “Have a BLESSED day.”

    1. Michael Fiorillo

      In This House We Believe:

      – We’re better than you, and you should genuflect before
      our virtuous superiority

  9. Colonel Smithers

    Thank you, Lambert.

    Further to the link about how Corbyn was undermined, readers should go through the Twitter account of one of Corbyn’s supporters,, for more detail, including the series on Al Jazeera that has just ended.

    It’s interesting to note the involvement of Stella Creasy’s partner. In the second half of the teens, I would often see Liberal leader Jo Swinson meeting Creasy near the office, near Liverpool Street station, and wonder what was going on.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      Corbyn was always fighting his own party staff. The manner in which party staff openly opposed him in every way possible was almost without precedent in any parties history I think. The Blairites in many ways learned how to out-Trotsky the Trots. I really do wonder if Labour as a political party can ever be reformed.

        1. PlutoniumKun

          The problem is that in most of Europe bad parties can be replaced (and they are being replaced) – but in FPTP parliamentary systems its almost impossible. Its pretty much a century since there was any significant change in the party make up of the British parliament (when the Liberals were replaced by Labour). The Scots and Welsh and N.Irish have a choice in the voting booth – the English do not.

          1. digi_owl

            By populist right wingers for the most part, from what i have seen.

            Most places the “labour” parties are so entrenched that the outcome becomes a FPTP in practice if not in theory, because trying to assemble a government without one of the big ones will be borderline impossible (or result in some kind of barely functioning rainbow coalition).

            1. OnceWereVirologist

              Two parties – ruling and opposition – is the default dynamic in a democracy. That’s no reason to “pooh-pooh” electoral systems that allow you to discipline your own preferred party without automatically throwing the election to the other establishment party. If the votes of people who want to throw the establishment bastards out go to populist right wingers, well that sucks but that’s democracy for you.

              1. JBird4049

                >>>If the votes of people who want to throw the establishment bastards out go to populist right wingers, well that sucks but that’s democracy for you.

                Interesting description of democracy. Here in the United States I have the choice between the Evil and Lesser Evil Parties with both party proudly claiming that the other party is just evil, evil, evil. Best vote for Us, the Lesser Party

                I have been a voter for four decades and just once I would like to vote for the better, not the lesser party. That is my description of democracy.

              2. Kouros

                Prey tell, what is the actual difference between Democrats and Republicans in the US, difference that truly benefits the larger population?

    2. Old Sovietologist

      Than you Colonel.

      After the 2017 GE – The “Get Corbyn” campaign went into over drive. The man had came with in touching distance of a shock win in 2017.

      He wasn’t going to be allowed to get close at the next one. The Pro EU/Atlanticist elements in
      in the Labour Party allied with British military/intelligence community would use every smear in the book to undermine him. They had different reasons for wanting him to lose but it was to prove a deadly combination.

      Now even if Corbyn had entered No10 in 2017 he wouldn’t have lasted five minutes in office. The old colour revolution tactics would have have been quickly launched and he would have been replaced with a man/woman who Washington and British ruling class could do business with.

      1. digi_owl

        It really do seem like Wall Street and City of London has been running Oceania since the days of Reagan and Thatcher…

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          Are we the proles-in-reality freer to do this, that or another thing than were the proles of the Orwell novel?

          If we are, what things might we do to undermine Wall Street and City of London in order to set them up for possible tear-down and destruction?

          Here is a sign of effective freedom-of-action for proles . . . high proles and lumpen PMCs have been making corsi boxes to try capturing and reducing the presence of covidosols in confined air spaces where people have to endure hours of containment for whatever the reason. If we had a truly 1984 level of zero freedom of action, the secret police would have destroyed every corsi box and killed or disappeared everyone who knows how to make one and would erase every bit of information about them from the internet. And traced everyone who ever clicked on a website describing them and found and killed or disappeared every one of those people.

          But that hasn’t happened. So we clearly have some degrees of freedom of action.

  10. griffen

    Interesting anecdote about the Grover Cleveland article, I did not realize he is in the rarest company of all, a group of one (if that’s not a thing well scold me later). He is the only US President to be elected to the office a second time, but he did not serve consecutive terms. He was confounded by the electoral college count for that four year term in between. I used to be good at these tangents of history but I am getting older.

    1. The Rev Kev

      All sorts of interesting tidbits in his Wikipedia entry. I had forgotten but not only was he the second guy to be elected as a President while a bachelor (unimaginable today), but he married while President and the wedding was held in the White House-

      Against him though was things like his crackdown on the Pullman strikers, campaigning against voting rights protection, vetoing help for drought-stricken farmers, etc. so he was pretty much a mixed bag.

      1. Carla

        Really, honestly, Rev Kev, is anyone NOT a mixed bag? I’m mean, I am. And I’ll bet even you are.

        In politicians, I’m just looking for more of the positives I want to see than the negatives I reject. Admittedly, I continue to look in vain…

        And politicians who stand by their stated principles? Rarer than hen’s teeth…

      2. albrt

        My dad bought me one of those U.S. history book sets when I was a kid – might have been the Time/Life one. The main thing I remember about Grover Cleveland is “Maw, maw, where’s my paw? He’s in the White House, haw-haw-haw!”

    2. hk

      Part of his opposition to annexation of Hawaii was that he was protecting the domestic market for Louisiana (and Florida?) sugarcane plantations (which were the only sugar producing regions in the continental US.) Of course, a big part of the reason for the coup against the Hawaiian kingdom was to secure exactly that: easy access to US markets. Places things in interesting perspective.

    3. Coleman

      That’s an interesting article, however, the author falls into the Autism Spectrum, theory of mind bit, when he fails to mention what years Cleveland was president.
      Sure we could look it up, but it would have been so easy to mention some dates.

  11. RockHard

    “ Mahsa Amini’s Death Spurs Iranian Women to Cut Their Hair, Burn Hijabs in Protest”

    NYT has an article today right under their coverage of the same subject, right under “they were entitled to free care…”

    The Iran subreddit has had a lot of stuff get promoted to the front page lately.

      1. digi_owl

        Elsewhere it was pointed out that Russia had just asked Iran to help with the latest Armenia-Azerbaijan flareup.

          1. drumlin woodchuckles

            In a society as heavily policed as Iran, how would foreign based color-revolution instigators have any freedom of action?

            Why should I believe this upset in Iran is not genuine?

            I personally will be watching to see if the situation in Iran develops into a parallel of the situation in Myanmar, where large parts of the Iranian public come to see the Islamic Republic and its armed morality enforcers the way large numbers of “Myanmarese” regard the Tatmadaw.

            If it develops that way, then the Islamic Enforcers ( Baseej, IRGC, Morality Police, etc.)will show themselves willing to kill millions of Iranians to keep power. At that point the Regular Armed Forces will feel forced to decide on whether they are an Iranian National Armed Forces or whether they are part of the Islamic Republic Tatmadaw ( or TonTon Macoutes, if one prefers).

            One thing for sure, the Islamic Republic Religion and Morality enforcers will not fold and surrender the way the Shah finally did, if they are put in that position.

      2. Bruno

        So the “Morality Police” are not mere imitators of US policing, but actual agents of the Great Satan? (and by the way, “Yankee Frank;” what is the color of your, presumably fireproof, hijab?)

      3. Kouros

        I don’t know. Maybe a lot of Iranians, women and men, couldn’t breath any longer. I would burn more than a couple of cars and smack a policeman in the head if they would have killed my daughter for having her hair too exposed…

    1. psv

      On Persian-language Twitter, it seems at the moment that a great number of people have had enough, and many people are detailing there for whom or for what reason they are protesting. Many also see support from the west, for example from London-based Persian media like Manoto and BBC, cynically – the feeling being that some outside the country who welcome the unrest have their own motives. Many people may oppose the government but don’t want to be under control of other countries again either.

      The government over the years has painted those in opposition as working with the west. In certain cases that may be true, but it’s also a handy way to discredit dissent. It feels to me like a dam is breaking now, things are developing quickly on a large scale and I have no idea where this will lead – somewhere positive let’s hope.

      A lot of video can be seen on 1500tasvir_en on Twitter.

  12. Lex

    Fascinating how “we’re cutting Russia off from selling energy to the world because it funds the Russian war machine” became “Putin’s energy war”. Maybe I’m wrong, but I think that if Putin was waging an energy war against Europe, it would be rather more dramatic. Sure, the malicious compliance with NS1 turbines is something. But beyond that it’s really a story of the west assuming that no rules or consequences apply to us. It appears that EU leadership really believed they could get free Russian energy. They’re big mad it isn’t so. This category of article always leaves out that Poland and Ukraine cut off a lot of the gas flow too.

    1. Felina

      Counter propaganda, to the Globalists’ horseshit argument about Putin’s price hike?

      “Promote Peace and bankrupt Putin!”

    2. nippersdad

      It is particularly interesting how difficult it is for the press to pick up on Putin’s routine offers to open up NSII. They can find a preemptive nuclear threat under every utterance, but can never seem to pick up on his open offers of assistance.

    1. jo6pac

      Saw him twice at Oshi in Oakland. The first time in a Amerika in over 20 years. He lived in Richmond, Calif with his sister when not in Europe. Great Show.

      1. Tom Stone

        Yoshi’s in Oakland.
        I liked it better before it moved.
        The Jazz scene in Oakland was one of the biggest reasons I liked living there.

        1. Late Introvert

          The first Yoshi’s is a locus of a ton of great memories of great music for me, but so too the new Yoshi’s – only much fewer because I don’t life in Cali no more. I agree it’s not as funky and too upscale now.

          The last show I saw there was in ’15 with Nels Cline and Jenny Scheinman. So great.

    1. Late Introvert

      I joked about buying food at gas stations that I was worried they would get gas in my food, and my friend responded I’m worried they will get food in my gas.

      1. JBird4049

        The jazz scene, any kind of arts really, or of the community that made the Bay Area interesting is another victim of gentrification.

  13. chris

    Fun series of dunks on both sides here in this tweet.

    I have to wonder why Larry Summers is considered someone anyone should listen to. He knows nothing. He says nothing useful. He is uninterested in learning from his mistakes. He’s not even nice to look at. Why is he given any attention at all?

    1. YankeeFrank

      The reason any of them are still “up there”: they carry water for big finance and monopolists.

      I joked yesterday in comments about the PMC/ruling class and its main power: its ability to avert its gaze from things that might trouble it. This Summers tweet is a perfect example.

      I will quote it here for its awesomeness:

      Lawrence H. Summers:

      There is some social phenomenon which I suspect explains non work, non marriage, deaths of despair, general alienation and, I suspect, the rise of reactionary populism. It should be a major task of social science to understand it.

      1. Henry Moon Pie

        “The reason any of them are still “up there”: they carry water for big finance and monopolists.”

        Very true. Essentially, the media, the academics and the politicians are all salesmen for the billionaires’ agenda. And when Coming Features is a horror flick, the number of volunteers to sell that particular sh-t sandwich tends to dwindle. Larry, don’t we love him, is willing sell anything for the right–and-not-so-cheap price.

    2. griffen

      Every year during the fundraiser, they will run a serious takedown of Larry as a perennial punching bag. There is a valid reason for doing so.

      Summers is the gift that never stops giving, in his case, polishing turds into golden nuggets. Heck, a broken clock is right more often.

      1. Lexx

        As we learned here recently, turds can in fact be polished.

        I was once at an art show where one vendor was selling molded manure figurines that you set out in your garden, and where subjected to weathering they dissolved slowly and released their packed nutrients to nearby plants. I bought a bunny for $35. I know… I couldn’t believe I was doing it either, $35 in cash for molded horseshit, but the concept had me by my short hairs, aka ‘curiousity’.

        I returned from the show with my pricey doo-doo and waited for spring then set it out under the hydrangea, and there it stayed for the next decade, looking less and less like a cute little bunny rabbit and more and more like a hardened pile of dung that needed disposal, but I couldn’t because $35!

        One spring when I ventured back into the garden the weather had finally rendered my foolishness unrecognizable and I buried it where it could yet do some good… yes, I’m still on point about Larry. A lot of money has gone into The Larry Summers Project and I suspect in the end most investors will find their high expectations have not worked out… but Larry may yet be made useful. They just need to plant more roses in the back garden.

  14. Alice X

    Pharoah Sanders – I had caught in person quite a few years ago, maybe in the seventies? About ten years ago I was picking up a girl friend at the Detroit Airport and waiting patiently in the arrival area when out came Pharoah and his group. I went up to them and said: Pharoah Sanders! I’ve got your albums (I had a couple) I love your music, where are you playing? (slightly embarrassed I didn’t know). They told me and I thanked them. It didn’t actually work out for me to go but I was amazed. I think he was slightly surprised that this white chick was hip enough to recognize him and come up with such a warm welcome, out of the blue, so to speak. I had also caught Ornette in the early seventies in Detroit. I was working in Cleveland at the time and my other and I drove back to Detroit for the set. Ornette also played the violin, which I didn’t know before. My violin will never sound like that. Astonishing.


    The MiDAS Touch:

    I read the paper, it doesn’t give information on the nature of the frauds alleged or examples. I can offer from personal experience that the Michigan unemployment system was/is a mess.

    In 2021 I received a notice from the MI Treasury that they were downgrading my property tax refund since it was stated that I had received some $4,700 in unemployment the previous year. That was news to me. I immediately filed an identity theft report online and by mail with MI unemployment. I immediately froze my credit. Several days later I received a letter from unemployment that I had, in fact, been the target of identity theft. I thought great, that was easy. I sent the letter to Treasury and they sent me the remainder of my tax refund. For them the case was closed.

    But…, six weeks later I got the first of four monthly demands for the repayment of the unemployment that some fraudster had purloined using my ID. I made calls, ultimately a dozen and wrote letters. After the second demand I filed a protest. Later an appeal. Finally, after about ten months of rigmarole I received a definitive letter that I was indeed the victim of identity theft, had no obligation and the case was closed. It was a mess.

    I also had sent the initial U agency letter to the IRS. After a runaround with them I finally, almost a year later, got a definitive letter agreeing that I had been the target of identity theft and the case was closed. Except that two weeks later I got another letter that they were still investigating. BUT, two more weeks still later I got another letter that the previous letter was a mistake and the case was closed. So the IRS is a mess.

    The whole thing reeked of the Keystone Cops.

  15. Ignacio

    RE: Prospects for guaranteeing the military campaign of 2023: the Ukrainian view (translation) Events in Ukraine. Original. Authors: Valery Zaluzhnyi, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, General, member of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, Mykhailo Zabrodsky, First Deputy Chairman of the the Verkhovna Rada Committee on National Security, Defense and Intelligence.

    Thanks a lot for this link that provides a direct vision on what Ukraine’s military want us to know. They say they need weapons, weapons weapons, long-range please! And then the obsession with Crimea which is probably one of the regions in the world with less collective desire to belong to Ukraine. They would like to erase Crimea apparently.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Not Crimea. Just the ‘disloyal’ population. They hate the people there for leaving the Ukraine to go back to Russia which was why they cut water & electricity to the place right from the get-go. If given extra range artillery I have no doubt that they will use it to strike population centers to spread a form of terrorism just like they are still doing to the city of Donetsk. And of course they will have NATO’s blessings to do this, just as they gave blessings for the Ukrainians to continuously strike a nuclear power plant. Apparently NATO is now encouraging the Ukraine to spread terror into Russia proper which was one of the reasons why this mobilization – to secure the Russia-Ukraine border.

      1. YankeeFrank

        The ‘disloyal’ population, if I recall, was upwards of 90% in the referendum held 8 years ago. We’ll see how the vote goes in the 4 oblasts that are now voting. That’s a lot of ovens the Uke Nazis will need. Even Hitler knew he couldn’t take out all the Catholics. First time tragedy second time farce I guess.

        1. The Rev Kev

          From what I have read Ukrainian nationalists saying over the years, I had the impression that the general plan was to kill their enemies and launch pogroms to ‘encourage ‘ the population to go to Russia from Crimea and the Donbass. And all that empty land would then be given to true loyal Ukrainians – which I would suspect to be the nationalists themselves.

          Sibiryak was saying (quoting Putin) how as Zelensky had told these people to go to Russia, that they did so – and took their lands with them. We know that about 80-90% of the GPD of the Ukraine comes from the Donbass regions. So was this an additional motive for those nationalists? To be the ones to seize all those facilities and factories and make themselves rich in the process?

          1. YankeeFrank

            That’s the Nazi liebensraum plan: kill and enslave the native population and take the productive land. The Ukrainian Nazis would be the Junkers administrating the land for their western owners (BlackRock, etc). So perhaps my ovens comment was overblown. Pick your Nazi outcome: ovens or enslavement.

      1. Michael Fiorillo

        I was also lucky enough to see him numerous times during my gloriously misspent youth, but true heaven was the night at the Vanguard with Leon Thomas and Sonny Sharrock sitting in… talk about glory days!

    1. griffen

      I can comment on my upbringing, which was rigid and planned and strict even by most right wing / not snake handling Baptist conventions. That said I picked up on a key sequence from that article, that of choosing your companions for this journey wisely. I read the Bible a whole lot and knew scripture by book and verse. But by age 14 to 15 I was not choosing wisely, these weren’t evil teens but we had a lot of time to waste in a place where nothing really happened. Fortunately I stayed friends but we were going in very different directions by the time high school was ending. Going to work at ~ age 15 to help pay college costs and learn some independence definitely helped, and work eventually became my practiced “religion of choice” by my late 20s. Whatever talent I was imbued with was getting put to a full utility by then.

      I believe many others here can add more heft and philosophical context. I still have certain Puritanical tendencies but adhere to a strict protocol of drinking coffee each morning and later drinking beer. I do have to continue functioning in a work from home setting, so back to the structure of work.

      1. MaryLand

        Coffee has anti-oxidants and helps the mind to focus. Beer helps a person destress at the end of the day. All good IMHO. While I can appreciate good sipping whiskey, I stay with a beer because it’s a measured quantity unlike the temptation to pour a bit more with whiskey or wine. There is a history of substance abuse in my family so I am watchful of amounts.

        Whether from religion, ancient philosophers like the Stoics, or newer self-help books the advantages of good habits are well known if not always practiced. Keeping in mind one’s end goals is always good, but accomplishing them depends on daily habits. Nowadays you hear about “intentionality” which applies as well.

        The article says we tend to blame the poor circumstances of others on their bad morality, but excuse our own because of circumstances. I see that all the time. If only we did the opposite more often: explained others problems as due to circumstances and our own as due to our own moral choices.

        Religion always gives us much to think about but of course can make us judgmental too. As with most things we do well to take the good and leave the rest.

        1. Anthony G Stegman

          You can have the best of both worlds – beer with coffee added during the brewing process. It has a stout like appearance. Pretty tasty too.

    2. Mike

      I think a lot of that article unfortunately is crap. What the puritans did well was create a homogeneous environment that just simply didn’t allow for people to go astray without severe punishment. The environment has more to do with it than the people within the environment. No different than any other tight knit community.

      There is tons of research on how will power (via introspection such as in this article) does not get you through your struggling habits. Drinking too much? Don’t put yourself in that environment; don’t have booze at home, have your wife shame you if you drink etc.

      The podcast hidden brain has lots of good episodes on this.

  16. jefemt

    2024 POTUS ‘race’ The Dim and Repug Clown Cars….

    after reading the Nader/Hudson interview and this, I was thinking a

    Sanders – Nader 2024!

    ticket really could be disruptive. Long-knife futures!

  17. The Rev Kev

    “Ancient Indian Caves Hold a Record of Historical Droughts across Asia”

    A fascinating article this. By mapping those droughts through history, it may be that we may have to re-write the history of this region.

    1. Petter

      Sometime back in the mid-eighties I came across Iben Browning and his book Past and Future History. Browning’s hypothesis was that climate was the determining factor in history and the book went through the millennia and centuries tying climate and political events to support his hypothesis.
      Browning’s problem, among many, was that he thought we were entering a cooling period instead of warning, and – he made predictions – the most famous of which was predicting an earthquake in New Madrid, Missouri in December of1990. There had been a minor earthquake in the area earlier in the year so people were freaked out. Well, December came and went with no earthquake. Browning died a year later.
      He was wrong in his predictions but his thesis, that climate is the determining factor in history has remained with me and the article on the caves support it.

      1. Brunches with Cats

        Whether he erred in his prediction isn’t as important, IMO, as his overall hypothesis, which is gaining acceptance. A lot has been written in the past 50 years or so about the link between long-term climate trends and major developments in human history. The so-called Little Ice Age is the example I see cited most often, and I’m guessing that’s what you’re referring to in Browning’s book. One can argue over cause and effect, but colder weather in the North Atlantic region from roughly the mid-14th to the mid-19th centuries indeed correlates to massive social, economic, and political upheaval in Europe, which in turn altered the course of world history.

        The theory holds even when climate trends aren’t global — in other words, some regions could be in a warming phase while others experienced cooling or no change at all. Likewise, there could be a few centuries of warming, interspersed with short periods of cooling, and vice versa. It would stand to reason that the more extreme the temperature change, and the more of the planet that’s affected — even if one region is warming while another is cooling — the more dramatic corresponding human events will be.

  18. Carolinian

    Interesting about Grover Cleveland. Doubtless some would argue that an anti-imperial America would have left England at the mercies of Hitler but there’s also the very real possibility that no American intervention in WW1 would have ended that war in a stalemate and WW2 might never have happened. But in the even longer view America’s love for lucre meant that we would inevitably join the imperialists as the country’s wealth expanded. In the battle of Jefferson vs Hamilton Hamilton won.

    1. GramSci

      … and, thus far in WWII, the Nazis have won.

      For those of you who came in late, it looked bleak there for a while, when FDR shut down Averell Harriman and Prescott Bush’s Union Bank, which was bankrolling Germany. Along the way some Jews were inadvertently saved, but eventually the Hamiltonian Democrats got Harry Truman to send an a-bomb signal to the commies, Harriman got JFK elected, the top marginal rate went down to 70%, and the rest is familiar history.

  19. antidlc
    Pensions Brace for Private-Equity Losses
    Retirement officials predict grim results from investments in private equity and other illiquid assets
    The California State Teachers’ Retirement System, based in West Sacramento, Calif., has been advised to expect write-downs in the illiquid part of its portfolio in the next few quarters.

    Public pension funds are already reporting big losses in 2022. Things are likely to get uglier.

    1. Anthony G Stegman

      Private equity (at least in some cases) is finding it difficult to sell their portfolio companies at the prices they desire. The market valuations have declined substantially. Private equity itself never loses, but investors in private equity funds can expect losses, or in the best case minimal gains.

  20. Richard

    Never cared for the Pharoh, who I viewed as Coltrane lite.

    Shepp would make a better president, even the shy Shorter. Book would have been great, but he’s been gone for half a century.

  21. Mikel

    “You’re not good at this” The Reformed Broker

    After the already wealthy have benefited the most from the easy money, the policy has now shifted to squeezing any worker wages and bargaining power – by any means necessary.
    The overleveraged businesses also will now be driven into desperate straights so that they can be easy pickings.
    Then, after inflation has eroded the savings of many, rates get cut again for the super wealthy to take advantage of. Not only businesses, but homes and other assets also, are there to scoop up on the cheap by the people and institutions at the front of the line at the Fed window.
    They’re good at it.

    1. Late Introvert

      I would have started a small business many years ago, but when I saw the debt treadmill you were expected to occupy I asked myself who would ever do this? You win, they win. You lose, they win.

  22. Mackie

    About the Oath Keepers. Why are journalists still relying on the utterances of the Southern Poverty Law Center?

    That whole operation is a money raising scam. Women and minorities are discriminated against in their offices.

  23. Carolinian

    Re Stoller and antitrust

    Now, however, if enough judges like Nichols block the use of antitrust law to deal with unpopular companies like UGH, or high-profile cases against Google and Facebook, legislators will react.

    Yes I’m sure our untainted Congress with their strict rules of conflict of interest will do that (????)

    Here’s suggesting that ninety percent of Americans have never even heard of United Health and therefore any pressure for reform would have to come from other corporate actors, not the public. There was a time when the national press or shows like Sixty Minutes might energize the public with a corporate expose but that time too seems to be past. Biden himself could do a lot to bring attention to corporate abuse and ensuring that something would “fundamentally change.” Crickets.

    And while there is pressure now on Big Tech it seems to be more about getting them to censor more rather than antitrust. Perhaps the above is unfair cynicism. Hope it is.

  24. Tom Stone

    A question for the commentariat:
    Will we see a “Domestic Terrorism” bill passed before the Mid Terms, after the Mid Terms but this year or whenever the massive unemployment Janet Yellen has guaranteed takes off?

    1. JBird4049

      I look at it as something on the federal government’s to-do list. It could happen at anytime, but it is most likely after the protests that will likely happen after the next election especially if they are in anyway inconvenient for the government. If somehow, there are no serious protests, then a manufactured one will be created using the FBI’s frequent manufactured cases like Michigan Governor Gretchen Witmer’s.

      1. JBird4049

        To add to ideas of a checklist and waiting for the right opportunity: the USA PATRIOT Act ( Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism (USA PATRIOT) Act of 2001), 9/11, the Reichstag Fire, and Disaster Capitalism.

        The Patriot Act was already pre written and ready to be introduced. I also must say that the writers of that legislation had serious balls to create such a mendacious title for the act. But then was the home of Edward Bernays and P. T. Barnum

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