Links 10/21/2022

Heaviest Bony Fish Ever Measured Is a Wheel-Shaped Behemoth Scientific American

Dozens of ancient viruses are ‘switched on’ in healthy cells throughout our bodies Live Science

Transition Theory Phenomenal World

Fed Really Having Trouble With This Whole Transparency Thing Dealbreaker

CAPE Ratios by Country (Global Shiller PE Ratios) Siblis Research (DG).


Global CO2 emissions to grow less than 1% this year thanks to renewables- IEA Reuters

Once Cheap, Wind and Solar Prices Are Up 34%. What’s the Outlook? Inside Climate News

Tomorrow’s corals Aeon

Setting Fires to Save the Houston Toad Texas Observer


Estimating SARS-CoV-2 transmission in educational settings: A retrospective cohort study Influenza. From the Abstract: “We analyzed transmission patterns associated with 976 SARS-CoV-2 exposure events, involving 460 positive individuals, as identified in early 2021 through routine surveillance and an extensive screening conducted on students, school personnel, and their household members in a small Italian municipality. In addition to population screenings and contact-tracing operations, reactive closures of class and schools were implemented…. From the analysis of 152 clear infection episodes and 584 exposure events identified by epidemiological investigations, we estimated that approximately 50%, 21%, and 29% of SARS-CoV-2 transmission was associated with household, school, and community contacts, respectively…. From the analysis of 152 clear infection episodes and 584 exposure events identified by epidemiological investigations, we estimated that approximately 50%, 21%, and 29% of SARS-CoV-2 transmission was associated with household, school, and community contacts, respectively.” So much for “parent influencer” Emily Oster.


Beijing’s pivot from market reforms sparks viral debate on economic agenda FT. Commentary:

Yu Yongding: Can China Stabilize Its Economy Without Increasing Central Government Debt? Caixin Global

How revised Chinese law makes Shanghai party chief a hot candidate for role of premier South China Morning Post. After Shanghai’s miserable* and offensive record on Xi’s flagship policy, Zero Covid? Really? NOTE * “[W]hile Beijing’s new positive daily cases in 2022 range from one to three digits (weekly average cases are 115 as of 30 June 2022), Shanghai has seen over 30 000 cases per day during its worst Omicron surges—cases that took the city a 2-month lockdown to control.”

Organized crime-linked group of 100 brawl at Tokyo skyscraper restaurant Japan Times

Dear Old Blighty

Surely not Boris? Runners and riders for next UK prime minister as Liz Truss quits Politico. Commentary:

But wait:

How the Tories Brought Endless Anarchy to the UK John Authers, Bloomberg

Leader: The rout of the libertarians The New Statesman

Liz Truss’s Government Was Brought Down by a Capital Strike Jacobin

European Disunion

EU leaders agree to combat rising energy prices Deutsche Welle

Berlusconi, Caught on Tape Gushing Over Putin, Heightens Anxiety About Italy NYT. Commentary:

Aghastitude ensues.

Spain could be the latest to offer digital nomad visas: What you need to know about this growing trend World Economic Forum. Of course, a “nomad” is still tethered to their country of citizenship in many ways: Passport, banking, etc. Still waiting for “Mr. Lee’s Greater Hong Kong” to emerge!

New Not-So-Cold War

Zelensky accuses Russia of planning false-flag operation at hydroelectric plant The Hill (CI). Commentary:

More on the North Crimean Canal and water war generally (with photos). Who knew there was a Hydropolitics Association, and based in Ankara?

Ukraine war: Ukrainian forces inch closer to Kherson as Russia resumes ‘evacuations’ EuroNews. Looks muddy:

Ukraine’s civilian army takes aim at Russia as Moscow steps up strikes FT

Ukraine, follow the money Le Monde Diplomatique

Normalizing Nazis. From 2019, still germane:

How soon we forget.

The Caribbean

‘Every day you’re hopeless’: Haitians eye foreign help warily as gangs, cholera outbreak take toll ABC. Cholera was introduced to Haiti by UN “peacekeepers.” So Haitians are right to be wary.

Venezuela opposition parties consider ditching ‘interim government’ FT. Defenestrating Greedo? But why? The deck: “Plan could open way for US oil deal with government of Nicolás Maduro.”

Biden Administration

Lawmakers Looking to Pass $50 Billion in New Ukraine Aid Before Next Congress

Twitter Shares Tumble After US Weighs Reviews for Musk Deals Bloomberg. Musk trying to use The Blob as his catspaw is pretty neat.

Our Famously Free Press

Semafor Is The Problem Defector. Semafor is a media launch, not as cheesy as Grid. Reassuringly, they have a masthead: The Founder and CEO, Justin B. Smith, “is a lifetime member of the Council on Foreign Relations.” So there you have it!


TikTok Parent ByteDance Planned To Use TikTok To Monitor The Physical Location Of Specific American Citizens Forbes

Texas sues Google for allegedly capturing biometric data of millions without consent Reuters

It was all downhill after the Cuecat Cory Doctorow, Pluralistic


CDC Advisors Endorse Adding COVID Shots to Vax Schedule MedPage

Mayo Warns It Won’t Take Most Medicare Advantage Plans MedPage Today. “Medicare Advantage plans have been under increasing scrutiny and investigation because so many of them have been accused by federal agencies of denying care, exaggerating the severity of illnesses to pull billions more from Medicare, and delaying care with lengthy prior authorization requirements.”

Imperial Collapse Watch

Promoting Stability or Fueling Conflict? The Impact of U.S. Arms Sales on National and Global Security Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft

Stop Projecting America’s Democratic Decline Onto the World Foreign Policy

Another ‘Mighty’ stealth fighter (F-35) crashes in Utah Al Mayadeen

The Bridge: Failure to Launch POGO. More on the F-35.

Class Warfare

Railroads reject sick time demands, raising chance of strike AP

Midterm Elections First, Rail Strike Later WSJ. No. Really?

Union Pacific CEO Goes Off the Rails Chasing Profits Bloomberg

* * *

A New Doctors’ Union in the South Is a Model for Health Care Organizing Jacobin

What’s At Stake in the Labor Market? J.W. Mason. Quoting Powell: “We all want to get back to the kind of labor market we had before the pandemic,” “We”?

What Have Workers Done with the Time Freed up by Commuting Less? Liberty Street Economics

Employers’ Productivity Standards Are Not Real Science. Here’s How to Push Back Labor Notes

End of the road (review) Times Literary Supplement. The Passenger, new from Cormac McCarthy.

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. Antifa


    The worst flaw of neo-liberals
    Is not that they’re divinely right
    Nor them thinking they’ve found the Great Answer
    Ye Olde ‘End of History’ shite

    It’s not that they can’t leave you be
    To live life as your nation sees fit
    Nor their rigid control of all language
    Nor the labels and terms they emit

    It’s their notion that they are creators
    Disruptors who break laws on sight
    Thinking they create new standards
    With TNT and cordite

    But some five billion people on Earth
    Who follow the laws between nations
    See the neo-libs as crass pirates
    And a danger to all generations

    Which creates a complete lack of trust
    A failure to win minds and hearts
    So the neo-libs force full compliance
    Which works till their army departs

    The locals who step up to join them
    Do it for money and fame
    And power which means lots of money
    So greed is the name of the game

    ‘Tis better to live as a shepherd
    Than to preach ‘two and two can be five’
    Or that price is the same thing as value
    That Invisible Hand shuck and jive

    1. John Zelnicker

      A great poem, Antifa.

      You managed to get all of the evils of neo-liberalism in just seven stanzas. Very impressive.

      Although you didn’t set it to a tune, I’m still going to include it in the NC Songbook.

    2. Old Jake

      I particularly like the last four lines. The belief that price is the same thing as value pervades our society. It is the sand that is mistaken for bedrock, and underlies the foundations of our belief system. It’s harmful in so many ways.

  2. Sardonia

    CDC panel unanimously approves adding the mRNA Covid shots to the regular list of childhood vaccinations. So, once again stealing Emerson, Lake, and Palmer’s “Welcome Back My Friends” (but just using the staccato carnival barking), here’s what Pediatricians will now be singing:

    Welcome back, my child
    There’s a bug that’s running wild
    But we’re sure it’s only mild
    Nonetheless, nonetheless

    We’ve got a jab for you
    It’s not FDA approved
    It’s just something that we do
    Don’t you stress, don’t you stress

    It might have some side effects
    We’re unsure of all its specs
    I take American Express
    Be at ease, be at ease

    The benefits aren’t clear
    But we certainly adhere
    To Wallensky’s mighty cheer
    It’s a breeze, it’s a breeze

    You still might catch the bug
    And still spread it from your mug
    It’s not the world’s greatest drug
    But it’s brisk, but it’s brisk

    Your heart might start to swell
    You might feel quite unwell
    It’s impossible to tell
    Worth the risk, worth the risk

    It’s still in testing phase
    All the data’s in a haze
    Might turn your blood to mayonnaise
    But we’ll see, but we’ll see

    So I’m ready with your rig
    You’re so brave to take this gig
    Pfizer’s no-cost guinea pig
    Nice of thee, nice of thee

    We thank you for your part
    But it’s only just the start
    We’ve more vaxes a la carte
    For the best, for the best

    They’re fresh out of the labs
    And each one is up for grabs
    So many brand new jabs
    Time to test, time to test

    There’s an African disease
    It’s hit thirteen Congolese
    But just trust our expertise
    Take no chance, take no chance

    You’ll need seven shots for that
    Or so says our technocrat
    They might make you mighty fat
    Drop your pants, drop your pants

    The Sahara has a woe
    Sand fleas causing hammertoe
    Though you live in Idaho
    Let’s be safe, let’s be safe

    There’s a nasty STD
    We’ll head off that malady
    Even though you’re only three
    Just a waif, just a waif

    We’ll see you once a week!
    For a new technique!
    Science at its peak!
    See you then!!!!!

    1. Randy

      You are so talented. If I wanted to do what you do, it would take me a month, not a day, if I could even pen something in that time. Obviously you don’t have to deal with writer’s block.

      Keep them coming, please.

  3. griffen

    Heaviest fish story, that is a big damn sunfish. How many packs of fish sticks would that bad boy have supplied, were it living? \sarc

    Three tons of him. Big fish.

    1. nippersdad

      At first glance it looked like that guy had reeled him in!

      I’m sitting there thinking, “No, that can’t be right.” And it wasn’t.

  4. Stephen

    “Larry the cat for UK PM.”

    It is a good idea and he could hardly be any worse than the other available options. Except maybe the lettuce.

    Back in the 80s Oxford College elections for student Junior Common Room positions tended to attract a lot of jollity. There would always be a manifesto written and distributed for a joke candidate such as “Trevor Roillette Paper” with the selling point of “keeping abreast of all college movements”, and similar undergraduate style humour.

    Usually, the said candidate could not formally stand but I recall at least one college where the joke candidate did manage to do so and won.

    Of course, much of the UK’s current political “elite” honed their hacking and self glorification capabilities in Oxford student politics. For example, Truss was President of the OU Liberal Democrats. Junior Common Room politics is about the right metier for these characters.

    1. jsn

      If banned, “write in” campaigns are effective, particularly for pointless, illegitimate systems like ours. That’s a big part of the attraction of voting machines for TPTB.

    2. Judith

      Craig Murray has an interesting dissection of the state of the Professional Political Class in the UK.

      The highly paid political class in charge of each of the UK’s three major political parties detests, despises, distrusts and seeks to discard their own party membership.

      The Conservative, Labour and SNP elite all view their party members as a potential embarrassment.

        1. hunkerdown

          Yep. Graeber defined society “essentially as a potential audience, the totality of those people whose opinions matter to a social actor.” The interests of inferiors can’t be recognized in a social order without blurring class identity. Thus the continuous efforts on the part of the Betters to ignore, negate, or simply exclude inferiors and their interests from the “conversation” and to core wrecked the record.

      1. Stephen

        He is spot on.

        They also despise the wider electorate too. Not just those in the political parties.

        The most hypocritical element is that they accuse Putin of not being democratic but despise democracy themselves. Am increasingly concluding that all accusations against others by our political class are just pure projection.

        1. hunkerdown

          The political class have a particular definition of democracy, which is more a ritual of competitive moral condemnation and generalized low-grade antagonism than a substantive means of participatory decision-making. Step one is the projective misattribution of the own crimes of the ruling class onto a suitable scapegoat/whipping boy. Step two is guiding the redemptive violence in favor of the status quo, which feeds back into step one. Self-licking ice cream cone!

          1. Kouros

            I think we need to be precise and clarify that the political class is not the same as the ruling class.

            1. LawnDart

              No kidding– the political class is simply an appendage of the ruling class, as easily lost and regrown as a crab’s claw.

    3. digi_owl

      Years back a pair of Norwegian comedians started their own party, managed the get enough signatures to stand for election, and even looked like they would get half a seat in parliament.

      1. Skip Intro

        Didn’t a TV comedian win an Eastern European election a few years back by running against an unpopular civil war launched by the violent extremist faction that had taken over the government?

        1. amechania

          A popular female radio host in the 1940’s ran for president ‘as a joke.’ and had enough adherents she had to withdraw her canidacy and hope it wasn’t too late to change the outcome of the real election with her thousands of willing write-in voters.

          Her slogan
          “Down with Common Sense : Vote for ‘Gracie Allen'”

          (The campaign song was quite terrible, showing favorably on the state of today’s commentators laudable efforts)

      2. johnnyme

        Icelandic comedian Jón Gnarr formed the Best Party as a joke party in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis and ended up winning the 2010 election to became mayor of Reykjavík. The party also picked up six of the 15 city council seats in that election.

    4. JW

      Its a bit demeaning for Larry to be associated with such a position. Lettuces? fine, but a perfectly normal cat? a step too far!

    5. KD

      I was listening to Georges Sorel’s Reflections on Violence on audiobook the other day, and it was interesting in that he stated that–going back to Aristotle’s Politics–the hallmark of the demagogic state is the constant talk of oligarchs (and debt forgiveness and land redistribution), and the hallmark of the oligarchic state is the constant talk of the people (and no talk of debt forgiveness or land redistribution). Certainly the Roman Republic and its Senatorial class couldn’t talk enough of the people and libertas.

      Sure, elites in UK love the People and their Liberty. Its only when a tribune of the people rises up to cut down the oligarchs that they turn around and make Sulla dictator, and blood on the River Tiber and all that.

      1. Kouros

        Yup. Magna Charta was never for hoi polloi, only for those that sign it and their ilk. This is why that Wyatt guy was lured and killed mercilesly…

  5. griffen

    Three cheers for our Congress. Keep the spigots flowing on all that billions in aid to Ukraine. Benefits for the average American in an uncertain economy, and the experiences of high inflation too, well these are just so not high on the list.

    1. The Rev Kev

      It would be interesting to know just how much has been spent on the Ukrainian project. To date for this year, about $65 billion have been spent on it and now they want to add another $50 billion more. But then you go back and remember how Vickie Nuland was recorded in 2014 saying that at least $5 billion had been spent on overthrowing the Ukrainian government leading up to the Maiden. Then you have to work out how much has been spent on the Ukraine by the US from 2014 through to the beginning of this year for loans, military gear and training, bribes, etc. And then you have to remember that the EU has been shoveling in money by the tens of billions as well. Then there were other ways to funnel money into this financial black hole like the IMF and World bank. So if somebody said that they worked it out and it comes out to about a quarter of a trillion dollars, I would not be surprised at all.

      1. Polar Socialist

        What also would be interesting is to make the aid dependent on Ukraine banning any kind of commemoration of Nazis or their collaborators – since there are no Nazis in Ukraine, only liberal western values, it should be as easy for them as banning opposition media and parties.

        1. The Rev Kev

          They’re more likely to rename the Ukraine as Banderastan. The indoctrination has gone far too deep already.

      2. JTMcPhee

        It’s even more of a MIC/CIA cutout than the other “democracy” projects, even ahead of the Israel Ites!

        Not much on what percent of the over $100 billion has just evaporated into offshore accounts and bribes to congress critters.

        Let’s not forget that the EU bits have dumped in another $50 or so billion, and by sacrificing their economies to the “greater good” of US- rule-imposed “sanction” regime, have forfeited another trillion or two.

        Let’s go, Abandon!

      3. Screwball

        To one of the most corrupt countries in the world with a GDP about the size of Nebraska. Seems to me this is nothing but a money laundering cesspool of corruption, and wonder how many war toy makers and American congress grifters are making a fortune?

        And what do we get? A lettuce brain president who can’t put a sentence together, and controlling party that has nothing but endless bull$hit telling us how much they have done, will do, and how great they are.

        I will voice my displeasure next month.

      4. Antifa

        Jotting down expenses on the back of a napkin like this is hardly suitable for the princely sums involved . . .

        but then it is the only method of accounting ever used in Kiev, so . . .

      5. Jackie

        Add to that the price of the overpriced weapons we gave them for free, plus the cost in inflated dollars to replace those with newer models and the interest on the borrowed money to buy them.

        The only advantage of “You will own nothing and be happy” is that you can work for cash or barter and not tax fund this rotten elite greed driven system.

        Election week is an appropriate time to not only vote, but to boycott all spending as protest. A good time to put out on the street all the things you no longer use with a “free” sign on them.

        1. tegnost

          The only advantage of “You will own nothing and be happy” is that you can work for cash or barter and not tax fund this rotten elite greed driven system.

          This is why you will have to switch to card/digital payment, and banks will be required to report your deposits, and there’s 8,500 new irs agents to back it up.
          I expect a raft of extremely unpopular legislation to be pushed through in the lame duck period. We need a meaningful recession after all…

      6. Anthony G Stegman

        Another $50 billion for Ukraine. $18 billion for Covid (which has already killed more than one million Americans) is out of the question. What kind of nation is this? What kind of people are Americans? My goodness.

    2. nippersdad

      I wonder how many lead pipes one could replace, or affordable houses one could build, for a hundred fifteen billion dollars.

      But, I understand that pet Nazis can get expensive. As with keeping your two Sub-zero freezers stocked with designer ice cream, there are things that just have to be done in a civilized society.

    3. anon in so cal

      Dreizen report:

      “(At the current rate of degradation, the Ukraine’s energy grid will more-or-less fall apart by mid-November at the latest. Read my last piece to see what that means for their economy.)

      Furthermore, as the Ukraine gets progressively wrecked over the winter and thereafter, the military aid focus will have to shift…..

      … training a guerilla army, which will involve housing Ukrainian personnel (in Poland, Czechia, wherever) for MUCH longer than the existing three-week training stints employed to date.

      It would be more like an army-in-exile… like the “Bay of Pigs” fools… but 20-plus times bigger. This will cost enormously more than what’s been spent on training to date.

      The “skim” by contractors will reach Afghanistan levels, that’s just how the war machine does business. American war is a business.

      I could go on.

      Look here, the $50 billion (if that’s what it is) WILL MORE-OR-LESS RUN OUT BY MID-APRIL.

      That is, by that time, there may be a few billion dollars left in the pot…..

      …..but our leaders will already be looking at appropriating the “next installment.”

      Folks, as I hinted at in my last piece (if it wasn’t clear enough, here it is in plainer language)…..

      For as long as the USA is fighting Russia by proxy, using the Ukraine…..

      …..there is NO LIMIT to the cost.

      There will be NO LIMIT to the cost.

      It is IMPOSSIBLE TO LIMIT the cost.

      We are in it to win it, full stop….

      …..and no politician (in any position of leadership or authority) will DARE stand in the way.

      Because, as I covered profusely in the first months of this year, at stake is U.S. hegemony over Europe…..

      ….. which is the foundation, cornerstones, keystone, and capstone of the American Empire project…..

      …..and there is NOTHING that won’t be sacrificed, if it needs to be sacrificed.”

  6. bassmule

    All about Franchulates!

    “For example, if a citizen of Mr. Lee’s Greater Hong Kong is being chased by some armed racists from New South Africa, they could duck into the gates of Greater Hong Kong, where guns are not allowed, and a robotic security force backs up this edict.”

  7. zagonostra

    >Concerned Over Lack of ‘Working-Class’ Energy for Midterms, Sanders Plans 8-State Blitz – Common Dreams

    …the upcoming tour “is about energizing our base and increasing voter turnout up and down the ballot,” Sanders… “concerned” about “the energy level for young people, working-class people…On Tuesday, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez also announced that she plans to hold a rally this coming weekend at University of California, Irvine, where Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.) is up for reelection.

    This is going to be very interesting, especially since more protestors disrupted an AOC townhall in addition to the one that went viral a couple of days ago. I’ll have to see if Bernie is coming my way when he starts his tour on Oct 27th. As someone who donated to both his campaigns and encouraged others to vote for him, I’ll be out there to protest his Ukraine war support, among other disappointments.

    He may just wish to tamp down on “the energy level of young people” this go around, though I doubt he’ll draw 1/10th the turnout he did when running for the Democratic presidential nomination.

    1. nippersdad

      “As someone who donated to both his campaigns and encouraged others to vote for him, I’ll be out there to protest his Ukraine war support, among other disappointments.”

      You are a better man than I. I am not sure I could calculate just exactly how much I would have to charge them to attend one of their rallies at this point, but it would be a lot. That was just magical when the little bird landed on Sanders’ podium; I think that may have been the high point of his career. It is sickening to think that he is now collaborating with Nazis.

      And I am feeling even less generous towards AOCIA. Quislings all.

      1. Screwball

        I don’t think she handled that town hall very well. And TBH, I have watched enough of her antics and hope she gets primaried and loses.

        We can’t flush fast enough.

        1. hunkerdown

          Thus begins her elite social media consulting career, where she never has to deal with another member of the general public again. Cheap modern toilets just don’t flush like they used to.

      2. Teejay

        nippersdad: So you’re equally sickened by your tax dollars paying for Christian white nationalist in our military and police departments.

        1. nippersdad

          Seriously, don’t even try that on me. Democrats have been funding the police with every bit as much fervor as Republicans do for decades now.

          Now tell me who funded the fusion centers that were used in Ferguson and who just passed a new police funding bill.

          That is not an argument you will win with me.

        2. spud

          free trade is fascism with manners: it was Democrat Bill Clinton— along with Joe Biden, who was able to pass the ‘Republican’ agenda that included deregulating Wall Street, facilitating the consolidation of media ownership, cutting social welfare programs, militarizing the police, and greatly increasing the scale and scope of the carceral state: Madeleine Albright starved half a million Iraqi children to death for the Clinton administration

    2. Laura in So Cal

      So I’m not in Katie Porter’s district, but since I’m in Southern California, I’ve seen her TV ads. They are horrible if she wants to win. Her district is purple. Her ads are all about being pro choice and that the national Republicans are pushing for national legislation. Most people understand that such legislation is unlikely and after the Kansas vote, many republicans are backing off that idea. Lacking that, abortion access in CA isn’t under threat. I respected Katie Porter because of her informed use of a white board which showed that she really understood real things and wasn’t just a political animal. If she emphasized her “holding corporations and government accountable” ideas, I think she would easily win. Unfortunately that is probably against the current DNC rules.

      1. boomheist

        I have to say of all the politicians now in office I have been more impressed by Porter than anyone. If she ran for President I would suppoet her. All common sense. Sounds like she has a DNC campaign ad consultant, though…and where is she on our warmongering? Where is anyone on the left? Hello?

  8. hondje

    A big reason people can get raises by changing jobs is, presumably, that their new work is more valuable than what they were doing before. But from the point of view of employers, this is a process with winners and losers. Some businesses will adapt, offering higher wages—as many food service and retail giants are already doing—and nonpecuniary benefits such as predictable schedules and pathways for advancement

    This is academic woo with no understanding of labors mindset. Everyone – literally everyone – born after 1980 knows that the only way to get a real raise is to switch jobs, and that staying with a job more than 2-3 years hurts your earning potential. And the end part, food service jobs and retail offering pathways to advancement to attract workers? Peak boomer reasoning. Attract workers with money or convenience, but the PMC would rather try to charge workers for training to retain them than with respect and a fair wage.

    1. hunkerdown

      Fast food employment serves the same purpose of cultural indoctrination as the European model of apprenticeship served years ago. The promise of advancement is a call to internalize commercial mores, value property, and celebrate that liberal social ideal of domination-in-service.

    2. nippersdad

      The practice of moving up the ladder has always been the path of success, it is just that the path of success is now so much less substantive than it used to be. It used to be moving from professor to dean to provost to president, now it is losing your tenure and having to work at Wendy’s, or writing up articles like that, to pay the gas bill.

      Being a boomer, myself, I have witnessed it in real time. I know former bankers that now work for the roads department, deciding how to get the kudzu under control.

      Academics prolly know as much about it as those behind cash registers, because many of them are also behind cash registers these days watching Ben Sasse* (one of the guys who changed the academic paradigm) cut the line in front of them.

      That is not “peak boomer”, that is standard MBA. And MBA’s are as likely to be phased out as anyone. It is a dog eat dog world, and the dog you eat should really be the one who does not fundamentally agree with you.


    3. Michael Fiorillo

      “Boomer reasoning?”

      Please spare us the distracting inter-generational warfare; it’s “employer reasoning” you describe.

    4. Anthony G Stegman

      Even higher level jobs in corporate America require leaving after 2-3 years in order to advance oneself. Go-getters know this. Familiarity breeds contempt, and after working for 3-5 years many employees are held in contempt by their employers and thus are denied decent pay raises, promotions, recognition, and the like.

    5. Joe Renter

      Koger grocery stores pay $12.00 to start per hour here in Las Vegas. You have to do some serious climbing to make a decent wage.

  9. crantok

    Transition Theory Phenomenal World – opens with discussion about the history of capitalism

    This reminded me that I saw an excellent website once that discussed how tricky conversations/debates/arguments about capitalism are because there are several different things that people mean when they say “capitalism”, e.g. government policy that is tailored to favour corporations vs free or deregulated markets vs distinct owner and working classes, etc. If anyone knows what that website is, I would love a link because I never found it again.

    1. jonboinAR

      It’s the same with “socialism”, “communism”, “fascism”, “democracy”, etc. The terms are rarely defined, mean different things to different parties to the conversation, and so we talk past each other.

  10. zagonostra

    >Transition Theory – Phenomenal World

    Is Dr. Michael Hudson in the room?

    to return to the original question, when did capitalism begin? In another essay, Banaji has written that “a form of ‘war capitalism’ may well be the best way of characterizing even Rome’s expansion and domination.” We are almost at a transhistorical notion of capitalism, which may after all be correct. But a few pages later we find: “The Roman fine ware industry was organized on a capitalist basis, but it doesn’t follow that Rome’s economy was driven by capitalism in the sense in which one would normally understand this.” At stake here are theoretical questions about social forms and modes of production, which are treated at length in Banaji’s Theory as History. The Brief History is written far more accessibly, but it leaves unanswered the definition of “capitalism in the sense in which one would normally understand this.” The new book starts with Venetians in Byzantium around the year 1000. It’s clear that their story can be brought forward until it merges with something we all recognize as capitalism, but it’s not clear if they themselves are already merchant capitalists, or, more concretely, whether and how they took control of and reordered production processes. Banaji does make clear, near the end, that not all complex commercial societies are capitalist. He cites (and seems to endorse) Roy Bin Wong’s argument that the late imperial Chinese state fostered a market economy that was distinct from commercial capitalism. What made China different from Venice and Genoa in the later middle ages was that the latter had states subordinated to the merchant class. Here, in an aside on another author’s claims, in an easy to miss paragraph in the final pages, we get an actual origin story: commercial capitalism was born in the class struggles through which Italian capitalists conquered state power.

    1. Kouros

      Capital – gold, silver, and land always mattered.

      The current system, started with that Bank of England sleight of hand creation of fiat money around 1700s started the current phase.

      Technological change was also very important (and I would not attribute it to the “capitalism system”, which is pretty good at killing innovation as well) and helped with speeding up the rate of capital accumulation.

      Historically, we always lived in a capitalist society, just that the units of measurement varied. Also, politically, the network of plutocrats were, at times, dependent on the good will of kings. So while there was capitalism all the time, capitalists did not have absolute political power. This is why they hate so much Russia, China, Iran, etc. and are hell bent in abolishing such systems.

        1. Stephen

          Yes, compared to pretty much every western leader he is remarkably rational, polite and the opposite of chest thumping.

          When you listen to what he actually says, of course, as opposed to what corporate media claims and selectively quotes him saying.

          Has even resisted the crass personalisation of this conflict that the west has (as usual) gone in for. The Global South must be seriously cheering him on as their opportunity.

          1. juno mas

            Yes, Putin’s actions speak louder than words. Russia has exposed the true character of the mendacious West. The Global South has now seen how a multipolar world leader will act.

            It is clear to me that China’s, Xi, has taken notes.

      1. hunkerdown

        The 1998 movie Office Space featured the Geto Boys song “Damn It Feels Good To Be a Gangsta” (CW: language) including this priceless and very apropos quatrain:

        “And n*****s always got a high cap(1)
        Showing all his boys how he shot ’em
        But real gangsta-a** n*****s don’t flex nuts
        ‘Cuz real gangsta-a** n*****s know they got ’em”

        (1) High capacity magazine, or by analogy, a trillion-dollar military budget.

    1. fresno dan

      Indeed, Biden issued a rare statement on Truss’ exit, which stated that the US and the UK “are strong Allies and enduring friends — and that fact will never change.” He thanked her “for her partnership on a range of issues including holding Russia accountable for its war against Ukraine.” Biden underscored that “We will continue our close cooperation with the U.K. government as we work together to meet the global challenges our nations face.”
      Biden has sent a powerful message to Britain’s political class signalling that he expects them to come up with a new prime minister who will faithfully adhere to the compass set by Boris Johnson on Ukraine. In immediate terms, what does it signal for the Anglo-American project in Kherson? Will it go ahead? That is the big question.
      Biden: the UK has been our poodle, is our poodle, and for ever more, will remain our poodle.

      1. Stephen

        Right. I am an English guy. US Ivy school for my masters. Love the American people. But the UK US alliance based on empire needs to end and I will support any British politician who wants to abrogate it. Unfortunately, our puppet status is so internalized that no one realizes. I wonder if Indian client states in the days of the Raj were the same.

    2. Rolf

      Nice article, thank you.

      In political terms, with the UK bogged down in a domestic quagmire, Biden has the option to shift to diplomacy. This is “Biden’s war” now. He is about to script his presidential legacy as the fifth of the 14 American presidents in office since World War II to “own” a war — after Harry Truman, Lyndon Johnson, George HW Bush and George W. Bush.

      And only W, age 58 in 2004, sought and won a second full term. And Biden will be a few weeks shy of 82 come the Nov 2024 elections.

  11. The Rev Kev

    “EU leaders agree to combat rising energy prices”

    ‘European Council President Charles Michel said EU leaders agreed to cooperate on energy after a long day of talks. However, a consensus was not reached on capping gas prices.’

    In other words, nothing came of these talks and they agreed to disagree, Did they ask Norway how they felt about capping gas prices? Or Poland who receives that Norwegian gas now? They are stuffed and they know it. It took them all year long to realize that there is no substitute for all that Russian gas that use to flow west. Not from the US, not from Qatar, not from anywhere. They should have been able to work that out way back in March but nope. And winter is coming. Winter always comes.

    1. digi_owl

      Norway will grumble, but play ball. Our political class wants us to be EU members, even as the people has voted no multiple times. There will be no “vikings” rocking this boat.

    1. JohnA

      David Davis, the Brexit Secretary, was described as ‘thick as mince’ by former Johnson adviser Dominic Cummings a few years ago, but for sure, many tory politicians fall under that description.

      1. Lexx

        I had to look that one up. My American ears heard ‘mints’ and that made no sense at all… not that ‘mince’ is clearer. I’m still vexed (and amused) about my long Wordle streak that ended on the word ‘trice’. They’re not just American ears but 21st century ears. Then Jonathan goes and uses a phrase like ‘thick as mints’ and I wonder when, if ever, do phrases like those age out of common usage in the U.K., while casting a leery eye on the fact that ‘mince’ too is a five letter word.

    2. Eclair

      Thank you, Lexx.

      “She swoops in, kills the Queen, crashes the market …..”

      Much-needed laughter over an epic rant!

      My only (well, one of my only) fears: what happens when no one (for whatever their reasons) believes their ‘leaders’ are competent, or virtuous? Do we slog along, at an acceptable level of misery, for years, or does the vacuum give space for a ‘strong man’ to fill?

      1. britzklieg

        This is the important question and perhaps unanswerable owing to the likelihood that whomever the “strong man” is to arrive and fill that vacuum won’t fill it well and that slogging along in misery is probably the only future available to most in any event. We’re at the tether’s end. TINA.

      2. Tom Bradford

        There’s always the chance you’ll get an effective ‘strong man’ to fill the vacuum and get things done. The likes of Adolph H, Benito M, Francisco F, Leopoldo G, Mao Z, some Kims and similar charmers come to mind.

    3. flora

      Thanks, Lexx. He’s not wrong. I keep thinking that Boris and earlier PMs set a course that was going to inevitably crash to earth. I think once Boris was out the more intelligent Tories set up Liz to take the ultimate fall. None of them wanted to be in the hot seat when it all crashed. She was, what , too witless to see what was coming, didn’t care what was coming, only interested in a title and a better pension payout? Anyway, I do think she was promoted to take the fall and blame for years of bad policy. Now any of the other Tories, even the worst, can become PM and say, “Well, I’m not as bad as Truss after all.” My two cents.

      (Adding: this is no apologetic or excuse for what Truss did and how she handled her responsibilities. She shouldn’t have been elevated to the PM position in the first place.)

      1. flora

        Adding, and going on too long, I thought her resignation comments outside No. 10 were interesting for saying she “tried to go too fast” with policies and changes. That’s exactly the same excuse a former Kansas, US gov used when his “real time experiment” destroyed the state’s budget.

        Neither Truss nor former US gov (or their parties) said the policy goals were wrong or too extreme or needed a rethink; they only said they went too fast toward the goals. oh.

      2. Tom Bradford

        Truss was “only interested in a title and a better pension payout? “? No, she was a believer, a fanatic, utterly certain of the ‘truth’ of her creed, blind and deaf to any counter-evidence against it and passionately antagonistic to any attempt to even water it down. She was that most dangerous of people – someone seizing a religion on offer to fill a vacuum in her mind created by an inability to have an original thought of her own and willing to do whatever it takes to make it real.

        Two millennia ago she would have marched into the arena to face the lions with unshakeable faith it would protect her. This time, as they always do, the lions won.

      3. Kfish

        In Australia, we call it the “glass cliff”: when things get so bad, the party puts a woman in charge to take the inevitable fall.

  12. Glossolalia

    European Disunion

    The top story on the NYTimes is about inflation in Europe and, to their credit, a large part of the story is about Europeans’ support for Ukraine starting to wane.

    “Prices have gone up on everything,” said Simonetta Belardi, 69, a self-described leftist who argued that while inflation whittled away her savings, it also wore down her support for Ukraine in the war that many across Europe blame for the astronomical costs. She was no fan of Russia, she said, but the time had long passed for an end to military support for Ukraine and a shift to diplomatic negotiations for peace. She said more and more people she knew, in need of economic relief, were losing their patience, too.

    “All they want is arms, arms, arms,” she said of Ukraine. “I’m sick and tired of them.”

  13. The Rev Kev

    “Ukraine war: Ukrainian forces inch closer to Kherson as Russia resumes ‘evacuations’ Access to the comments”

    ‘General Sergei Surovikin claimed that Ukrainian forces were using HIMARS rockets to strike the city, adding that “As a whole the situation in the (war) zone can be described as tense.”‘

    I’m surprised that they let that bit slip into this article. But they did not mentioned the bit where those HIMARS were used to shell civilians on a bridge evacuating from Kherson, killing four people and injuring 13 others. If you look, you see the truth slip out every now and then and one is making the rounds on the net where this French reporter was saying how the Ukrainians were hitting infrastructure such as hospitals when suddenly the connection was lost. Of course doing that led to the Barbra Streisand effect- (41 secs)

    1. digi_owl

      What is the chance that those reporters have some burly “guides” following them around?

      That said, the cut was surprisingly clean if someone was pulling the plug.

  14. Carolinian

    That’s a good Doctorow.

    If Cuecat’s manufacturers had simply skinned their firmware with a thin scrim of DRM, they could have threatened Coupard and Rothwell with prison sentences. The developments in “IP” over the two decades since the Cuecat have conjured up a new body of de facto law that Jay Freeman calls “felony contempt of business model.”

    Once we gave companies the power to literally criminalize the reconfiguration of their products, everything changed. In the Cuecat era, a corporate meeting to plan a product that acted against its users’ interests had to ask, “How will we sweeten the pot and/or obfuscate our code so that our users don’t remove the anti-features we’re planning to harm them with?”

    But in a world of Felony Contempt of Business Model, that discussion changes to “Given that we can literally imprison anyone who helps our users get more out of this product, how can we punish users who are disloyal enough to simply quit our service or switch away from our product?”

    I think I have a Cuecat (free proprietary barcode scanner) around here somewhere. My brother gave it to me because he had no use for it, who also had no use for it. In fact being a bit of a pack rat I have an amazing amount of not that old but obsolete or at least out of date tech. Silicon Valley has always been Detroit’s Planned Obsolescence on steroids. In that sense people who worry about having such devices in their expensive automobiles are fully justified.

    But Doctorow also talks about how we–well, some of us–love all that tech and try to keep it alive as long as possible. I kept my previous car going for years and years, not because I couldn’t afford a new one, but because I enjoyed it. Every fresh repair made me part of it. In the recently mentioned Nomadland she names her van, her home and companion, and when Lindbergh wrote a book about his Atlantic flight he called it We–him and his plane. Industrial society keeps trying to dehumanize us. We keep fighting back.

  15. Tom Stone

    I do not believe that Joe Biden is competent.
    The utterly reckless aggression on all fronts reminds me all too much of my late landlord’s last 18 months of life.
    One of the ways senile dementia expresses itself is with a generalized Rage and a disregard of consequences.
    Did I mention deliberate cruelty as a demonstration of “Dominance” ?

        1. Wukchumni

          Kaput yourself in her position though, with all the cabbage snatch ploys in the future for when she was on the cress of the wave…

    1. nippersdad

      That was pretty clear on the campaign trail. Those viral videos of him attacking the people at his own campaign stops were pretty shocking. He is just demented.

      My big question is why anyone around him thought that he would suited for the job.

      1. digi_owl

        They perhaps hoped to direct him at their enemies, or contain his worst antics?

        Thus use him as a figurehead for their own schemes.

      2. Screwball

        My big question is why anyone around him thought that he would suited for the job.

        I don’t think they did, but that wasn’t the plan. He was sold as the only person who could beat Trump, and the voters bought into that, which is all that mattered. The bonus was, they got a clueless ventriloquist dummy who says things on TV, while the blob does whatever it wants in the background. Win-win.

        That may be shorter lived than the blob expected as his air time is getting more and more painful. It has also been said some candidates don’t want him around. Why would they? Every time he goes on camera something bad usually happens.

        After Nov. 8, all bets are off.

        1. Wukchumni

          How’d you like to be the person that has to take Joey out for a walk-back on something stupid he utters all too frequently?

          1. digi_owl

            didn’t someone find that the crazy trump tweets came from an Android phone, while the calmer ones came from an iPhone? Meaning that the latter ones were likely done by some aide or similar?

      3. chris

        He’s perfectly suited to the job. He’s an empty bag. They can stuff whatever they like into him. He looks harmless enough. He appears different from Trump. He really doesn’t have the brain power or ability to push back on all the factions pulling and pushing things. The one time he surprised them, by following through on the Afghan withdrawal, the whole liberal world came down on his head. He hasn’t done that again. Now, when he says things, his minders go on TV and tell people that no matter how many times he said what he meant he never meant it.

    2. hemeantwell

      I don’t think Biden is particularly competent, but I also think he’s drawing from a menu of options being served up by people who are desperate.

      I’m reminded of Deutsch’s The Nerves of Government and his kinda goofy translation of political and bureaucratic structures into information processing organs. Do we have any idea who’s in the contending policy-making factions? They are basically equivalent to the component faculties of Biden’s brain right now.

    3. semper loquitur

      I agree on the demented bit but do you think he is the genesis of that aggression? I think his handlers are the one’s fanning the flames. He then parrots what they said.

      He probably, when possible, thinks he is running things though. Someone whispers in his ear, a few rusty gears grind, and he suddenly repeats what he was told but in a louder and gruffer voice. With a wink and a nod, the courtiers scurry off to kill babies. An aide wipes the drool off of Joe’s chin. Then it’s Jell-o Time and his favorite American Teens got Talent reruns!

      1. tegnost

        He’s known and been part of the plan forever, he knows his part, and he and his close advisors are playing his role to the best of his ability…as others have noted, though he may have dementia his close advisors, who are not necessarily blinken and sullivan, don’t.

      2. nippersdad

        “I think his handlers are the one’s fanning the flames. He then parrots what they said.”

        I think that has been the case for a very long time for the Senator from MBNA. He even told us that was his goal…..

        “do you think he is the genesis of that aggression?”

        ….but that does not negate the fact that he has always been an (family blog); poor Anita Hill. I think time has not aged that (totally un-PC term) well, and that his many Johns will not ultimately get the kind of return from their investments that they thought they would. The threat of Sanders or Trump was really not all that big a threat to them. They would still have had Congress and the SC in their pockets.

        I think people like the Koch cabal and the WEF have just bred the monsters that will end them. If you go scorched earth for too long you end up with…a scorched earth, and Elon has yet to perfect the escape plan that they are now too old to avail themselves of. They might want to keep that in mind.

        They are stuck with us, and we are not yet used to eating bugs. If he is not careful, Klaus Schwab will soon be seen as the other, other white meat, and he is unwittingly training us to hunt in packs.

      3. semper loquitur

        @tegnost and nippersdad

        Totally agree, I wasn’t trying to absolve him of his numerous, hideous sins by any means…

    4. Eureka Springs

      I think Biden has always been one who used – deliberate cruelty as a demonstration of “Dominance” Lots of people who have met him in person over the decades describe the experience in this manner. From Col. Lang to little girls, to hanging people for everything but jaywalking.

      1. nippersdad

        “hanging people for everything but jaywalking.”

        He very definitely has a cruel streak, and has taken great pleasure in showing it off for years.

  16. ex-PFC Chuck

    What’s even more troubling to contemplate is the probability that Biden is mentally out of the loop and what we’re seeing are the reckless decisions and actions of people in the primes of their lives pulling the puppet’s strings. i.e. Sullivan, Blinken et al.

    1. nycTerrierist

      agreeing with Tom Stone and ex-PFC Chuck

      we have a lethal setup with demented puppet Biden operated by ghouls who feather their nests with warbuck$
      (Blinken, Sullivan)
      what could possibly go wrong?

      Don’t Blinken et al (WestExec advisors) have a conflict of interest here with all
      their ties to the defense industry?

      1. nippersdad

        Yes. IIRC, there was an article here a couple of weeks ago about how he had packed the State Department with his own apparatchiks.

      2. digi_owl

        The rules for insider trading etc is a slap on the wrist.

        Conflict of interest only come up when they want someone else removed.

  17. Jade Bones

    Many years ago a friend sent me a link to a film promoting the idea that there was a conspiracy by the ubers to rid the world of 80% of humans. It seemed a bit too crazy for me at the time but over the past decade the evidence has mounted…

    1. Thistlebreath

      Jay Forrester was a remarkable engineer, inventor and systems analysis pioneer. His work contributed to the “Limits To Growth.” That evolved into “Limits to Growth in A Finite World” that has been updated in 2018. Associated charts do not paint a rosy future. has narrowed their focus since their famous 2025 forecast that posits a massive shrinkage in US population, growth, etc.. There no longer appears to be any such forecasts on their website. Most of the sites who have archived screenshots of that last forecast tend to run to the anti-vax, chemtrail theorists, precious metal hawkers, etc. But it’s a sobering forecast to read, regardless of present context.

  18. caucus99percenter

    The link for “Promoting Stability or Fueling Conflict? The Impact of U.S. Arms Sales on National and Global Security” (Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft) isn’t working.

  19. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Mayo Warns It Won’t Take Most Medicare Advantage Plans MedPage Today.

    So, the mighty mayo strikes a blow for truth, justice and the american way of “traditional” medicare. But, with more seniors opting for MA plans every year, it sounds more like the blow being struck is against us oldsters covered by medicare, a government program that’s not as lucrative as private insurance.

    According to the linked article:

    In February, according to a story in the Star Tribune in Minnesota, Mayo had stopped scheduling out-of-network Medicare Advantage patients enrolled in UnitedHealthcare plans. “Seniors in UnitedHealthcare plans are among those no longer getting clinic appointments due to capacity concerns,” the story said. “But the change also hints at a financial dispute over payment rates between Mayo and UnitedHealthcare, the health insurance giant based in Minnetonka.”

    In that vein, who can forget this from the honorable dr. john noseworthy (not a joke), ceo of the mighty mayo, from 2017:

    Citing tighter profit margins, the chief executive of the Mayo Clinic recently told his employees that the prestigious health system will prioritize the care of privately insured patients over those on Medicare and Medicaid.

    As a top hospital system, Mayo stands to lose big on the spread between public and private insurance reimbursement from those sources, said Harold Miller, chief executive of the Center for Healthcare Quality and Payment Reform….

    The health system’s market power gives it the ability to charge more for its services and command high payments from commercial insurers, a clout it can’t wield with the federal government. So, Miller said, in prioritizing those commercially insured patients, it is following the money.

    And now for a bit of personal tinfoil hattery–According to Forbes (November, 2021), a “stunning” 98.5% of seniors had at least one covid jab, and 85.8% were “fully vaccinated.” Considering the growing number of incidents of complications from the jab, mayo may be preemptively avoiding an onslaught of “capacity” issues caused by old people without enough benefits to make it worth mighty mayo’s while.

    1. flora

      Interesting addition to the TV ads for medicare Advantage plans. Elderly actor is assured they’ll be told if their doctor is in the Advantage plan network, they won’t have to ask. (Just like an HMO with networks, which is what most people going onto Medicare are trying to get away from, imo. Traditional Medicare and Medigap plans do not have networks, they’re accepted nation wide by doctors that take traditional Medicare insurance payments.)

      I think if the ads are including this new bit it’s because there’s been a lot of unhappy enrollees and push back on the medicare Advantage (or “advantage”) plans advertising than leaves out important information.

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        Traditional Medicare and Medigap plans do not have networks, they’re accepted nation wide by doctors that take traditional Medicare insurance payments.

        For now, as long as there’s not a private insurance patient in the queue who could be treated instead, at least at mayo. See dr. noseworthy’s comments linked above, from five years ago.

    2. Carolinian

      But, but…Ken Burns did a puff piece of a documentary on Mayo a couple of years ago, conveying the official PBS Americana stamp of approval.

      I thought there was something fishy about it at the time. Reading between the video lines you could tell the place was a lot more about bucks than the proles.

      1. Lex

        My wife used to get her specialist treatment at Mayo. We were there every 6 months, plus other things like surgeries or special trips. The knowledge of the doctors is very good but the Mayo system itself is emblematic of the dystopian nature of US health care. They leave patients to deal with insurance companies, which is problematic with specialized treatments. We switched to the University of Michigan and it’s been life changing. At UM, there is a whole division that gets insurance preapproval and will beat the hell out of insurance companies over off-label treatments and similar. There is never a bill issued by UM until all insurance haggling is settled between the hospital and insurance.

        It’s amazing how much of a difference it makes in treatment when the patient can not think about insurance bullshit.

  20. semper loquitur

    So this sounds fun:

    COVID Virus May Tunnel through Nanotubes from Nose to Brain

    Nanotubes may provide a cunning answer to the mystery of how the virus that causes COVID infects neurons and produces long-lasting neurological symptoms

    “SARS-CoV-2, though, may have come up with an ingenious work-around. It may completely do away with the molecular maneuverings needed to attach to and unlock a cell membrane. Instead it wields a blunt instrument in the form of nanotube “bridges”—cylinders constructed of the common protein actin that are no more than a few tens of nanometers in diameter. These tunneling nanotubes extend across cell-to-cell gaps to penetrate a neighbor and give viral particles a direct route into COVID-impervious tissue.”

    1. hunkerdown

      The answer to Harvard’s William Haseltine’s childish whining from Links a few days ago about why anyone would put a vaccine up their nose.

      1. semper loquitur

        I didn’t read that article but I wonder if Haseltine has any connections to Big Pharma. He does have a lot of scratch in the biomedical industry:

        “Haseltine is a founder of several biotechnology companies including Cambridge Biosciences, The Virus Research Institute, ProScript, LeukoSite, Dendreon, Diversa, X-VAX, and Demetrix. He was a founder chairman and CEO of Human Genome Sciences, a company that pioneered the application of genomics to drug discovery. He is the president of the Haseltine Foundation for Science and the Arts and is the founder, chairman, and president of ACCESS Health International, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving access to high-quality health worldwide. He was listed by Time Magazine as one of the world’s 25 most influential business people in 2001 and one of the 100 most influential leaders in biotechnology[1] by Scientific American in 2015.”

        Wow, he plunks all the ducks: a businessman, a foundation founder and president, a non-profit founder, chair, and president, and he owns a drug discovery company.

          1. semper loquitur

            If I recall correctly, it was the esteemed IM Doc who warned us about doctors with letters like MBA, or too many letters at all, behind their names. I think this is adjacent. I realize Haseltine isn’t an MD but he has too many fingers in too many pots to be a net plus to public health.

            1. semper loquitur


              “At the heart of our work at ACCESS Health is the belief that all individuals, no matter where they live or what their age, deserve access to high quality, affordable healthcare. To help achieve this goal, we partnered with the World Bank and Results for Development created and manage the Joint Learning Network for Universal Health Coverage.”


              “Conduct research on best practices of models blending finance services and healthcare innovations.”


              Ugh, “access” and “innovation”. They are partnered with the fine folks at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, for good measure.


    1. The Rev Kev

      Clare Daly does that a lot and there should be more of it. At the rate that the EU is going, I would not be surprised to see the EU start to build an actual wall/fence between themselves and Russia along the borders. They are already planning one in Finland which would be a helluva long one. Just for fun, could you imagine Clare Daly taking Ursulla van Der Leyen’s job?

      1. Irrational

        The Finnish wall will only cover 150 km of the 1000 km or so border (100 miles out of 600 miles). Let’s see if it gets EU funding! The ones Hungary and Greece (IIRC) wanted to put up against migrants were deemed not eligible, but I am sure other rules apply here.

        1. Polar Socialist

          The Finnish fence is mostly just talk, because the people are afraid that Russian economy collapses causing mass migration, and politicians are trying to come up with something.

          The way the economies are trending, it looks more likely that Finns will be looking for jobs in St. Petersburg (once so valued domestic servants and craftsmen in the city that it was jestingly called the second biggest Finnish city in the world).

      2. nippersdad

        There has never been a pol that I would have wanted to have a beer with. She may have to become the exception, and I’m buying.

        1. Bugs

          She’s very cool and indeed looks like she might enjoy the occasional drink.

          I don’t know how else you survive in that building, tbh.

          There are a few nice spots and the best frite stand in town nearby, which is a damn good thing.

          Strasbourg is a different story. I’d just get the heck out.

  21. Mikel

    “Liz Truss’s Government Was Brought Down by a Capital Strike” Jacobin

    So as neoliberal as Truss’s agenda was, apparently she’s out because she wasn’t sufficiently neoliberal for the extremists in control?
    Faster and deadlier shock therapy is being sought.

    1. Lee

      From the article:

      “Tory British PM Liz Truss resigned this morning, and her downfall is well worth celebrating. But make no mistake: her government was brought down by a revolt of financial capital, of the same kind that would threaten a progressive economic agenda.”

    2. Massinissa

      I think the PTB were mostly angry she wasn’t going to ‘pay for’ the tax cuts with spending cuts. They didn’t mind the tax cuts, but they need public Austerity more.

  22. David

    The author of the POGO article on the F35, who describes herself as a “Digital Writer and Strategist”, is shocked!, shocked!, to discover that some of the widgets in the F35 are made in China. But the aircraft market has been international longer, I expect, than she’s been alive. In the time of Little Bush, there were attempts to bring the average percentage of foreign components in US weapons down from 60% to 50% The Pentagon said then that it was industrially impossible.

    1. Wukchumni

      Had F-35’s over Mineral King yesterday, and being the loudest* jet fighter, the noise is greatly exacerbated when it bounces off of mountain canyons.

      * see, it’s got a superlative

        1. Wukchumni

          I was under the impression the stealth part was the enormous cost…

          Said fighter jets emanate from Naval Air Station Lemoore, and it’d be so easy to change the name of the base to NAS Lemon~

          1. Polar Socialist

            Their VHF radars from the late 1950’s can see stealth aircraft relatively easily. They are not accurate enough for fire control, although already the 1RL14 (Spoon Rest by it’s NATO name) was able to couple with other 1RL14 to have more accurate information.

            One of the latest is 55Zh6ME Nebo-M RLM-ME, which is actually three separate radars (3D VHF/UHF band, L-band and X-band) and a command center with IFF-antenna. Combining the signal from all three the X-band can be used for fire control up to 300 kilometers range.

            The system itself doesn’t have any missile launchers, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it can relay the target position to a battery of S-400, so a 40N6E missile can be directed close enough for it’s own active radar to get a lock.

    2. fresno dan

      Well, I’m sure that widgets aren’t all that critical to flying the thing – maybe just the bombing, shooting, and landing…
      And who is that outfit that makes sure trade ageements are kept? Who ever, I’m sure they will make sure that if we go to war with China, that China will not be able to retaliate against us by banning exports of widgets.

      1. B24S

        fresno dan
        In modern military aircraft maneuverability, the ability to change direction quickly, is directly related to inherent instability (a quality also found in rally cars such as the Lancia Stratos, known for being more stable going sideways). On land, there are only two dimensions to deal with, but in the air there’s a third, and that one can easily be more consequential.

        Pilots, no matter how well trained and skilled, are unable to read and respond quickly enough, therefore “widgets” are essential for reading data and commanding air control surfaces; the pilot is merely “pointing” the craft. Without “widgets”, they’d “depart controlled flight”, if they could even get it up to begin with. Some more so than others.

        So, with respect, it seems it is the flying part.

  23. Mikel

    “Twitter Shares Tumble After US Weighs Reviews for Musk Deals”Bloomberg

    Some reports that Musk is saying there won’t be 75% of workforce laid off.
    I’m just wondering if this is only an attempt to bide time until economic conditions worsen so that job hopping decreases along with worker bargaining power?

  24. Wukchumni

    A U.S. Forest Service employee leading a prescribed fire in central Oregon was arrested after the fire crossed onto adjacent private land Wednesday night, according to the Grant County Sheriff’s Office.

    According to a press release from the Grant County Sheriff’s Office, a controlled burn “escaped” Malheur National Forest lands north of Seneca, Oregon, before burning about 20 acres of a nearby ranch. Officers arrested the burn boss, the person in charge of planning, organizing and executing the operation, for what they deemed “reckless burning.”

    Fire scientists and prescribed fire practitioners say the reported arrest is unprecedented and shocking. “This is a really big deal,” said Christopher Adlam, a regional fire specialist for Oregon State University’s fire extension program. “Burn bosses need to be able to do their job, and if they are going to be under arrest for doing their job, then there’s going to be a chilling effect on the whole practice.”

    1. fresno dan

      Details on the prescribed burn and subsequent arrest remain sparse, and the sheriff’s office said the incident is still under investigation.
      A press release from the sheriff’s office stated it was “working out the events that led to the fires’ escape” with the Forest Service. Neither the sheriff’s office nor the Forest Service said whether there was any damage to structures, livestock or other assets. While the sheriff’s office called the burning reckless, they haven’t explained if and how standards for various levels of negligence, a key factor of determining liability, were met.
      So, in general, my view is that government officials (especially law enforcement) aren’t arrested nearly as much as they deserve…
      But in this case, this sure reeks of a political arrest, where one of those “local” (or loco?) sherrifs is gonna teach the federales. And sheriff’s office said the incident is still under investigation. So, if this is one of them constitutionalist sherrifs, aren’t they suppose to have an actual crime committed before they go off and arrest people???

      1. Wukchumni

        Keep in mind the location: Malheur National Forest

        I wouldn’t be surprised if nutters were involved…

        1. Carolinian

          Nutters in Oregon? No way.

          And doesn’t the Forest Service have Federal immunity over a mere sheriff?

        2. fresno dan

          That is what I was thinking. I lived in Redding in ?2016? for a year shortly after I retired and moved back to Ca.
          It was full of those who wanted to form a new northern republic of CA. Of course, what was interesting (i.e., appalling) wasn’t the FREEDOM to grow marijuana on Federal land (its OUR land! WE should be able to cut down all the trees too!) as much as it was the idea that all the marriage laws (and all those pesky laws about the age of consent) were unconstitutional. Not living up there any more, I don’t know if it has died down or what.

          1. semper loquitur

            “its OUR land! WE should be able to cut down all the trees too!”

            When I worked at a small, private museum in Philly we would get a lot of that “This is our museum!” from certain guests. I would explain it was private and they would look confused and be quiet but what was telling was that by “ours” they seemed to mean “mine”. It was always someone who was doing something like leaning on a case filled with precious documents or sitting on the stairs blocking the fire route.

  25. CaliDan

    Heaviest Bony Fish Ever Measured Is a Wheel-Shaped Behemoth Scientific American

    “Despite the fish’s death, it is heartening to see that sunfish can currently survive to reach such a massive size in the wild, Thys says. ‘I think it’s a hopeful sign,’ she says, ‘that we still have big animals out there that can cause us to gasp with awe.'”

    All in all, this last paragraph is perhaps one of the most melancholic things I’ve read here or abroad lately, and amongst such tough competition, too. Though maybe we can look forward to, for other reasons, a different [cough] leviathan meeting a similar fate in the not too distant future?

    1. fresno dan

      A while back I read a study where an investigator took all the pictures taken beginning when such pictures were taken of fishermen who had caught some kind of fish (?sailfish? ?marlin? etcetera) in Florida. The results were as one would surmise – the average size of these fish had diminished over the decades as ever more fishermen, with ever better equipment (both fish finding and fish catching) had been catching fish. Fewer big fish caught.
      Ever more extinction, and ever greater decrease in habitats.
      I digress but maybe in the future population pressure will abate – it seems to me that other than being indoctrinated to “be fruitful and multiple” a lot of people are not fit to be parents, and really don’t want to be parents. It seems odd to me this obvious fact is so little acknowledged as a source of so many problems. I was talking with my wife last night and the topic of mothers came up. We noted the lousy mother a friend of ours had, and it turns out my wife’s daughter in law had a pretty abysmal mother as well. Not to mention all the conversations over the years I’ve had where parents were not the Norman Rockwellesque characters that the media stereotypes families as being.

  26. fresno dan

    Mayo Warns It Won’t Take Most Medicare Advantage Plans MedPage Today. “Medicare Advantage plans have been under increasing scrutiny and investigation because so many of them have been accused by federal agencies of denying care, exaggerating the severity of illnesses to pull billions more from Medicare, and delaying care with lengthy prior authorization requirements.”
    If you make medicare supplements (i.e., medigap) more expensive, you run day and night on the TV celebrities from the 70’s touting all the “free” stuff from medicare advantage, than of course you are going to eviserate original medicare funding (of course, it would be EASILY funded if money didn’t go to Ukraine, but of course, the whole SHAM is based on the twofer of FREEDOM…for rich people to fleece everybody without restraint and limitless funding for war).
    The people I saw simply were on too tight a budget to afford original medicare, so it seemed like medicare advantage was the only alternative – because a corrupt political process MADE it that way. Subsidize the more profitable (always more crappy) and diminish the higher quality…driving people to the more crappy, while saying they have more choice (yes, a wide variety of crappy alternatives)
    This reminds me so much of the article in today’s post from the Jacobin, about how the English neoliberal plan was simply to subsidize the rich and immiserate the poor even more. I hope what is happening in England opens people’s eyes to the fact that what is happening isn’t a result of nature, (as if the market is like the tides) but man’s will, political will, and if you reward greed and corruption, you get more greed and corruption (yeah, you do get more of what you subsidize).

  27. Culp Creek Curmudgeon

    Re: Zelensky accuses Russia of planning false-flag operation at hydroelectric plant The Hill.

    No question now that the Ukrainians are planning to blow up the dam…

    1. Tom Bradford

      I’ve heard that the Russians are planning to blow up the Kremlin, too, and blame it on Zelensky.

  28. Wukchumni

    War On Cash: National Parks edition

    A number of National Parks don’t take cash for entry fees, only plastic.

    This calls for a trebuchet slinging $35 worth of pennies in their general direction.

    1. Carolinian

      In AZ Forest Service sites don’t even take plastic. You have to buy a hang tag at a convenience store before going.

  29. zagonostra

    >Amazon banning books by Aleksandr Dugin on behest of U.S. Gov’t

    If mandatory vaccinations wasn’t enough to disturb you, maybe this will.

    if you were to go into Amazon to read books by a man who is in the news and whose ideas are directly bearing on world events, you look for a guy called Aleksandr Dugin [but you would not find it].

    …we learned that Amazon and the Justice Department were ignoring our Bill of Rights. Amazon apparently based its decision on a Treasury Department designation concerning “disinformation.”

    1. Screwball

      My PMC friends tell me we have to vote blue so the fascists & authoritarians can’t take over. One, in particular, is going to get a vasectomy because of where the fascist GOP is taking this country, and he doesn’t want a child to grow up in that environment.

      I am so thankful for democrats. /s

    2. Stephen

      They will be burning books next. The US yet again becoming what it claims to oppose. Sheer hypocrisy and projection.

    3. Laura in So Cal

      I saw the Carlson clip on a link to Twitter. The Twitter comments almost universally called him out on not commenting on school’s banning books. They didn’t seem to understand that a school not including a book in their curriculum/library didn’t preclude getting the book from another source and reading it while this treasury department “rule” is a much bigger deal.

      BTW, locally the last book “banning” effort came from “woke” types who wanted “To kill a mockingbird” removed from the high school curriculum for use of the “n” word and the encouragement of “white patriarchy”

      1. Irrational

        The regime in charge in Germany from 1933 were also big on banning books. The West is fast becoming what it claims to fight. I think Yves wrote the other day “how quickly we forget”. Kurt Tucholsky had a few things to say on that, too Recommend his books.

        1. hunkerdown

          Bureaucracies tend to accompany world wars. First there were Wilson Democrats, then there was the NSDAP (who incidentally invented Reprivatisierung, literally reprivatization), and now there are hashtag Ukrainians. I suspect a similar tendency applies to smaller worlds back to the First Dynasty of Egypt but there are too many histories to know them all.

    4. KD

      That is below stupid. Dugin is a political philosopher. . . now, you can agree, disagree, think he is a dangerous moron on this philosophy but how can any political philosophy be “disinformation”?

      What bugs me is you know these people haven’t even read the books that they are banning, its just what some jackass told them . . . Galileo is another disinformation specialist pushing Giordano Bruno’s discredited occult theories.

      Everyone used to complain about McCarthyism and the Spanish Inquisition, even though both operations provided more due process and fairness than our woke imperialists. On the other hand, I suppose it will probably mean more people reading Dugin.

      1. nippersdad

        We appear to have reached the stage of political evolution in which the Overton Window stretches all the way from Joe McCarthy on the left to Kevin McCarthy on the right. That Kevin is rhetorically flanking Joe on the left just makes it interesting.

        1. KD

          The American problem is that official discourse has become so narrowly bounded in terms of acceptability and the range of possibilities and points of view so thoroughly purged of heresy that you can pretty much ignore most academics and most crap in MSM because you know what it says before you read it, because there is only 1.5 degrees of freedom and you can tell from the caption where it falls. Plus, people don’t know history, they can’t distinguish junk social science from decent social science, you have economics owned by ideologues, its just hopeless. People don’t have the tools to think their ways out of a paper bag, let alone mind-forg’d manacles.

          1. nippersdad

            1.5 degrees of freedom! That sounds about right. And the chances for diversion make up the other 98.5%.

            I was just looking at Yahoo News; just pages and pages of stuff that I simply cannot believe would interest anyone. How many Kardashians could there possibly be, and why should we care about their new swimsuit?

  30. Anthony G Stegman

    With all of the focus on Russia, Ukraine, NATO, Biden, Putin, Zelensky the United States is quietly choking China. The mainstream media is largely ignoring what is going on in Asia. China is being threatened more intensely than Russia is being threatened. Will China respond? In what fashion? Is a hot war between the US and China inevitable? Will Russia join the fight? Very perilous times.

    1. KD

      Are you kidding? China is putting ~$200 billion into chip fab R & D, and graduates something like x7 the engineers as the US, and they are happy to buy up anyone in Taiwan with industry knowledge. The US is quietly forcing China to develop the most advanced semiconductor industry in the world, while handing out $25 billion to Intel so they can do more stock buy-backs.

      With the Biden people, every time they waive the gun they manage to shoot themselves in the foot.

      Team Stupid, Team Big Stupid!

    2. Stephen T Johnson

      … Zelensky the United States is rather noisily attempting to choke China

      Is, perhaps a more realistic way to put it. Unfortunately (or maybe not), today’s USG appear to be a modern iteration of the gang that couldn’t shoot strait.

  31. orlbucfan

    Okay, I am going to focus my comment on my earlier one. What exactly is going to happen with this idiot SCOTUS case concerning the CFPB?

  32. Wukchumni

    We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in finance, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in wealth conjured out of thin air, we shall defend our island of inanity, whatever the cost may be.

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