Links 5/25/2023

Yves says she has to get up very early today for estate duties, and so must sleep when she would otherwise be posting. So wish her luck, and she’ll make it up to you later. –lambert

When you adopt a desert tortoise, prepare for a surprisingly social and zippy pet AP

Borealis Mud Volcano – Unique new volcano discovered in the Barents Sea The Watchers

Private-Equity Fundraising Blues Weigh Heavily on Newer Managers WSJ

Downtown LA’s Office Distress Shows the Pain Coming for Cities Bloomberg. Why, it’s almost as if, official propaganda notwithstanding, people are voting with their feet against 3Cs spaces, like offices (with elevators).

Foul Mood? Barry Ritholz, The Big Picture

Tina Turner, ‘Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll’ whose triumphant career made her world-famous, dies at 83 AP


Ozone Treaty Delayed Arctic Melting by 15 Years Scientific American

What Is Permitting Reform? Here’s a Cheat Sheet. Heat Map. If you want to fight any infrastructural project, understand permitting.

The Perfect “Pathogen” Storm – Deadly Bacteria Is Adapting to Plastic Scitech Daily


Despite deal, Colorado River’s long-term water crisis remains unsolved Los Angeles Times. Handy chart:


Estimation of Excess Mortality in Germany During 2020-2022 Cureus. From the Conclusion: “These findings indicate that something must have happened in spring 2021 that led to a sudden and sustained increase in mortality, although no such effects on mortality had been observed during the early COVID-19 pandemic so far.” Brain Trust member GM’s main observations:

1) Germany stopped counting in mid-2022 and as a result excess deaths in December 2022 were 6-7x the official COVID deaths. 2) It was actually the worst winter of the pandemic for them but it was almost completely ignored by the media and official statistics suppressed it 3) As I have pointed out many times, there is no temporal correlation between vaccination drives and excess deaths.

(#1 would be a triumph of German (social) engineering….) GM: “Lots of useful data, Figures 7 and 9 are the most relevant.” Here they are:

Study finds significant amount of clotting in the arteries of patients with STEMI and COVID-19 News Medical Life Sciences

COVID-19 vaccines may undergo major overhaul this fall Science


US State Department’s top China official Rick Waters is stepping down South China Morning Post

New Chinese ambassador to US acknowledges ‘serious difficulties’ in relations Channel News Asia

The walls are closing in:

LGVF = Local Government Financing Vehicle. “They call it a ‘vehicle’ because it’s designed to drive off with your money.”

China’s 2023 iron ore imports seen unchanged as demand falters – industry sources Hellenic Shipping News


UN urges Myanmar junta to open up to Cyclone Mocha relief Channel News Asia. Myanmar’s mlitary rulers failed to cope with a cyclone in 2008: “[T]he Burmese regime was caught between the undeniable need for help and an acute sense that its survival depends on keeping the truth from its people and from the world.” History rhymes….

The Koreas

Massive Stock Pump-and-Dump Scheme Alleged, Featuring Energy Companies and K-pop Stars The Blue Roof


China said to be negotiating arms deals with Saudi Arabia and Egypt South China Morning Post

European Disunion

Spanish voters face ‘strange crisis’ of high employment and rising prices FT

Will Romania Become The 3rd Submarine Operator In The Black Sea? Naval News

Dear Old Blighty

Food prices are falling dramatically on world markets. Why then is UK food price inflation running at 19%? Richard Murphy, Funding the Future (was Ta Research UK).

SNP support down as Yes voters eye Labour, poll finds Holyrood

Ely riot: Everything we know after death of two boys and unanswered questions that remain Wales Online

New Not-So-Cold War

Ukraine’s membership amid war ‘not on agenda,’ says NATO chief and NATO chief says delivery of F-16s to Ukraine ‘remains to be decided’ Anadolu Agency. Ouch and ouch!

I was just in Kyiv under fire. I saw why Ukraine can win. Max Boot, WaPo. “The Ukrainians tried negotiating an end to the war in the Minsk process.” Angela Merkel (!!) disagrees, so one can only wonder what else Boot is delusional about.

Ukraine Lost in Bakhmut. But It Has Much Bigger Plans (transcript) NYT. Doubling down.

* * *

Ukraine Armed Forces’ Commander-in-Chief Receives Head Injury in Missile Strike: Source to Sputnik Sputnik but Russia has data on Zaluzhny’s condition, but will not disclose it — foreign intel chief TASS. Is it really a coincidence that Zaluzhny disappears and Ukraine ratchets up the cray cray in Belgorod, after losing the biggest battle on the great European plain since World War II?

* * *

A look at the Free Russia Legion, the pro-Ukrainian group that attacked Belgorod France24

Russian raiders of Belgorod side with Ukraine but struggle to stick to Kyiv’s official line CNN. Oh, my sweet summer child!

Fresh From Attack on Russian Soil, Raiders Taunt the Kremlin NYT. Because the world is like high school.

White House says it is looking into reports about Ukraine’s use of US vehicles in Russia Anadolu Agency

* * *

Head of Russian private army Wagner says more than 20,000 of his troops died in Bakhmut battle AP

Wondering About Prigozhin Weapons and Strategy. The deck: “Will he run for President in Russia?”

* * *

After Ukraine: Arming down for lasting Eurasian security Responsible Statecraft. Articles like these assume that the United States is agreement-capable, but we’re not. Why would Russia sign on to a second Minsk, so that the Azovs can rebuild and give it another go? Massive triers, those boys.

The Outcome of the War in Ukraine Depends on China and India The Nation. The deck: “Whether Americans like it or not, this country will have little choice but to begin planning for an emerging world order.” Or others will do the planning for us. Oh, wait, that’s already happening….

* * *

Tech-Mythologies New Left Review. “Ukraine claims to be the first state in the world with a digital ID that’s valid throughout the country.” Commentary:

South of the Border

Argentina in talks to expand China currency swap line, source says Reuters

LAC becomes second-largest destination for China’s outbound investment Xinhua. LAC = Latin American and Caribbean.

Biden Administration

Here are some possible debt ceiling escape hatches for McCarthy, Biden The Hill

JPMorgan’s US debt default Q&A FT. The deck: “Sellside research as a public service.”

Urgent measures are needed to shore up NIST’s crumbling facilities Physics Today

Central NY hotel management sent long-term residents scrambling to make room for migrant contracts (bob). On the bright side, who said real estate was dead?


DeSantis, Musk bash the media – after embarrassment of Twitter chat crashing FOX

Digital Watch

Solving the explainable AI conundrum by bridging clinicians’ needs and developers’ goals Nature. “[Clinicians] were looking for the clinical plausibility of model results. They did this by connecting model outputs with patient-specific context information gathered from EHR systems* and by observing the manifestations of clinical symptoms in their patients…. they were looking for the clinical plausibility of model results. They did this by connecting model outputs with patient-specific context information gathered from EHR systems and by observing the manifestations of clinical symptoms in their patients.” Certainly AI, being a bullshit generator, is well positioned to deliver “plausibility.” But will reifying conventional wisdom in software mean that paradigmatic shifts will be harder than they already are? I’m guessing yes. NOTE * EHR is optimized for billing, let us remember. So the models would, presumably, also optimize for upcoding.


How doctors buy their way out of trouble Reuters. A must-read.

The Bezzle

How Will We Know When Self-Driving Cars Are Safe? When They Can Handle the World’s Worst Drivers WSJ. Which explains why they’re being tested in Phoenix, with its broad streets, rectangular streetmap, and wuss-level snow.


Empowered or Traumatized? A Call for Evidence-Informed Armed-Assailant Drills in U.S. Schools NEJM. “Have we applied the rigor of evidence-informed decision making to these armed-assailant preparedness drills that have profoundly changed the school experience?” Rigor is not, in itself, a positive, if the premises for it are wrong.

Guillotine Watch

Why Are Economists Still Uncertain About the Effects of Monetary Policy? Federal Reserve Bank of Policy. Because they haven’t added enough epicycles?

Class Warfare

Billionaires Contribute to Climate Change the Most — and Determine Climate Policy Teen Vogue

Air pollution exposure linked to severe COVID-19 outcomes Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy. Stochastic eugenics.

LiDAR analyses in the contiguous Mirador-Calakmul Karst Basin, Guatemala: an introduction to new perspectives on regional early Maya socioeconomic and political organization Ancient Mesoamerica. WaPo story. Commentary:

“The first freeway system.” Fancy that!

Antidote du jour (via):

Bonus antidote:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. ChrisFromGA

    Re: China

    I have a theory that the differences in language and culture are being exploited to simply lie to the US/Europeans. All these reports about crazy unhinged talk from Blinken and the State Dept, about “China must not sell weapons to Russia, China bad, etc.” sounds like racist drivel, the antithesis of diplomacy.

    I don’t believe that’s actually what is being said to the Chinese in these meetings. Probably, it is the polar opposite. “Please, be super kind to us, we know we’re about to collapse. So, just ignore our public rhetoric in English. Let’s have more tea and crumpets.”

    It’s a weird sort of psy-op on the American people.

    1. Pat

      I’m not so sure about that. It isn’t just with China where we have seen the Biden Administration and its State Department act as if their word is law. Remember that oil price cap, for example. I think we are seeing the political example of a two year old having a tantrum when they are firmly told “No”, because they don’t believe that should happen to them.
      “But…but…but we are the most powerful nation on earth!”

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      The reports about the Alaska meeting and the remarks in recent months by African leaders lead me to believe what is said in private is much worse. These are people who believe “America is back” because of Joe Biden being president. Absolutely dangerous people.

      1. jrkrideau

        That was exactly my thought. I was horrified by the US rants in Anchorage and applauded the Chinese response. Sanctioning Chinese officials just as the meeting began struck me as insane. Though, it might be a good mafia negotiating move if you are from New York.

    3. Matthew G. Saroff

      I cannot tell if this is snark or not.

      That being said, if it is not snark, the Blob, in which Blinken is a member in TREMENDOUSLY good standing has been proverbially sniffing their own farts since at least December 25, 1991.

      Do not underestimate their capability for self delusion.

    4. tevhatch

      The State Department and Security State even go so far as to make John Bolton style threats against children and relatives of Asian, African, and South American government officials studying in the USA. Of course these children are going to be studying elsewhere in the future, say Russia, and yet one more rung in American soft power ladder is sawn through.

  2. zagonostra

    >COVID-19 vaccines may undergo major overhaul this fall – Science

    Robert Frenck, who directs the Vaccine Research Center at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and helped conduct trials of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, points out that most vaccines for other infectious diseases “use one methodology,” without causing concern. The strategy against COVID-19 need not be any different, he says.

    Hmm…just don’t try to force people to take it again, pushback will be 1000x greater than last time around this block.

    1. Bugs

      If the vaccine is based on the currently circulating variant this Fall, I’ll be first in line. Even better if it’s nasal.

  3. griffen

    Private equity blues. I have a tiny violin I’d like to play. My first tune will be sung, the title “we really don’t give a damn!” Life is tough, suckers.

    1. tegnost

      There’s a non zero chance that it’s bs PR to keep the carried interest loophole out of the debt discussions “because the children” who just signed up to run the grift. Kids have just as much right to rape and pillage as their parents. Add that to the ukraine digital celebration, and indeed all the uke stories today, and it seems like the power of positive thinking is doing some levitating…

  4. zagonostra

    >Fresh From Attack on Russian Soil, Raiders Taunt the Kremlin – NYT

    Yes, that is what the NYT is good at, creating elaborate school plays, many of which are being produced, staged and performed daily.

    Military analysts suggested that the cross-border attack in the region of Belgorod on Monday and Tuesday had twin goals, military and political.

    1. The Rev Kev

      The whole point of the attack was to hide the fall of Bakhmut – which our western media are still denying has happened. But it wasn’t just a bunch of Russian traitors, I beg their pardon, Russian loyalists but something just as bad. It was a battalion size invasion force which had large contingents of the Kraken and Azov brigades backed up by heavy US military vehicles, including a tank apparently. Final box score was one Russian soldier and seventy Ukrainians dead plus the loss of a several of those vehicles. For a brief propaganda win for the Ukrainians it might have been a win of sorts. Otherwise it was a disaster. It has now demonstrated to the general Russian public that only a military defeat will halt these sort of terrorist attacks and more important, the Russians can now go to the countries of the Global Majority and point out what they are dealing with and the US support that it had. And this is what is leaving the Collective West high and dry with no support for Project Ukraine except for themselves.

        1. Lex

          There’s pictures and videos all over telegram. Today the Russians drove one of the MaxxPro vehicles the US isn’t sure were used down the road and away for safe keeping.

          There are pictures these Russians took of themselves before and during the operation. Pictures that clearly indicate their identities so it’s known that the group was primarily Russian neo-Nazis who left for Ukraine years ago, because that’s where most of Russia’s serious neo-Nazi problem in the 90’s ended up. Somewhere they were welcomed.

          Since every local report says it’s all over and whatever is left of the raiding party went back to Ukraine, but the “exiled” russian group is giving press conferences in Ukraine saying they’re 40km deep and dug in, someone is lying. But russian doomers and turbopatriots aren’t crying about it anymore so I’m going to go with it was a disastrous failure and it’s the west that’s lying.

  5. zagonostra

    >Why Are Economists Still Uncertain About the Effects of Monetary Policy?

    Concluding paragraph:

    Policymakers need to balance the challenges laid out in this article with the knowledge gained from careful theoretical and empirical economic analysis, both in setting policy and in communicating with the public. These trade-offs are particularly salient and delicate in our current situation, with inflation recently rising to a 40-year high on the back of a historic pandemic.

    Challenges, trade-offs, delicate situation, i.e., those “uncertainties” that the article refers to deal with unpredictable human beings and they haven’t quite figured out how to exorcise that demon.

  6. LawnDart

    This could be important/become important for the next few news-cycles, although to me it’s just more hyperbole and BS, much like the balloon-story that took-off (and literally blew-up), and this headline is particulary click-baitey:

    ‘Major attack’ by China on US infrastructure says local cyber security expert

    ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — On Wednesday afternoon, Microsoft said they uncovered ‘stealthy and targeted malicious activity’ by China with the aim of attacking critical US infrastructure.

    Cyber security expert Paul Robinson with Tempus Network LLC says since mid-2021, there has been major Chinese state-sponsored infiltration into critical US infrastructure across the nation.

    This pertains to telecommunications, electric, and oil and gas. Robinson said these hackers were looking to cause damage to some of these sites.

    FT has coverage too, but it’s behind a paywall and not worth my time.

    1. ddt

      They’re always poking and probing. I’m sure we’re doing the same to them. I worked in healthcare and our membership system was pinged daily from China while I was there. Sure that’s still going on.

      1. Kouros

        In my neck of the woods in Canada, when the provincial gov launched a public site with information on wait times for elective” surgeries, the first coming knocking on the door was US DoD, probably vacuuming all data that they could first 2500 hits on the site… That was almost 15 years ago…

      2. digi_owl

        It is why the blob got so hissy about Huawei, because they do not have backdoor into those products unlike with say Nokia or Qualcomm.

  7. zagonostra

    >Scientists in Guatemala have discovered “the first freeway system in the world.”

    Good, maybe they’ll learn something and improve I85/I75 into and out of Atlanta.

    1. KLG

      Or maybe the freeway system is what finally led to the collapse of Mayan society! Yes, I have driven in, around, and through Atlanta hundreds of times since the 1970s, when Spaghetti Junction was just the northeastern intersection of I-85 and I-285. So it seems like a good hypothesis ;-)

      1. Carolinian

        It may no longer be true but for a long time I-85 north of 285 was the highest traffic count segment in the US. At least within my memory Atlanta has always been totally about carz. And reportedly it’s getting worse as the population increases and the pavement can’t keep up.

    2. LY

      They going to make Atlanta walkable? I can tell you one thing, building more highway lanes ain’t it.

    3. Henry Moon Pie

      From 1977:

      Damn, this traffic jam.
      How I hate to be late.
      Hurts my motor to go so slow.
      Damn, this traffic jam.
      Time I get home my supper’ll be cold.
      Damn, this traffic jam.

      I used to think that I was cool,
      Driving around on fossil fuel.
      Then I found what I was doing,
      Was driving down the road to ruin.

      Traffic Jam” James Taylor

    4. CanCyn

      I flew into Atlanta once, destined for a small conference in Athens, Georgia. My original plan was to rent a car and drive from Atlanta, tacking on some vacation and sightseeing. Plans fell through and I ended up taking a shuttle bus from the airport to the hotel in Athens. My god was I glad I wasn’t driving, the traffic was unbelievable. No way would I have wanted to drive in it. And I lived in the Greater Toronto Area, no slouch when it comes to traffic, let me tell you.

  8. The Rev Kev

    Good luck to Yves today and hopefully this will become just one more checked off item of the list of stuff to get done. Nothing much fun about estate duties but it is something that has to be done.

  9. griffen

    The tweeter crashing is just so very, um, unfortunate and hilarious and pretty much any description one could think of. I’m sure there is a follow on explanation, such as “we were testing out our sea legs…note to self, America is not ready yet for this!”. Welcome to the big leagues, champ, good luck with the Donald! You don’t give your opposition, and Trump in particular, red meat out of the gate.

    Saw this excellent quote line on CNBC. “In Twitter Spaces, no one can hear you stream.”

    1. WhoaMolly

      Looked like pretty standard “startup pains” to me. Fixed in real time with world watching.

  10. Colonel Smithers

    Thank you, Lambert.

    Further to the new not so cold war links, readers may be interested in Aurelien / David’s latest,

    Further to Aurelien / David’s comments about the Liberal reaction to the coronation of Charles III, readers may be amused to read this thread from former British diplomat Alexandra Hall-Hall, I can’t remember Ms Hall-Hall and the other PMC centrist log rollers who infest her Twitter feed / echo chamber complaining about police brutality against people protesting about corrupt infrastructure projects like HS2, including where I live in Buckinghamshire, and the Israeli arms factory, Elbit, near Leicester.

    One wonders what flag these types will add to the Ukrainian and EU flags on their social media profiles. Perhaps, one from the Interregnum, as per, may inspire.

    1. Ignacio

      How is it that the Conservative Party appropriated the Monarchy? (apparently the reason Hall-Hall turned republican)

      1. Colonel Smithers

        Thank you, Ignacio.

        I think the association became more overt. Plus the new breed of Tories, often estate agents, are happy to use the Royal Family for cover in a way that the older breed of Tories, often estate owners, were reticent about or hid the use of better.

    2. The Rev Kev

      Thank you Colonel. I wouldn’t worry about what flag type they will be adding to the Ukrainian and EU flags on their social media profiles as I am pretty sure that space is being reserved for the flag of Taiwan. The UK government is so concerned about maybe having to fight China that they have decided that the best thing that they can do is to reduce the size of the British Army down to 60,000 people. Jesus wept-

      1. Colonel Smithers

        Thank you, Rev.

        Further to the size of the army, for the past dozen years, there have been more estate agents / realtors in the UK than soldiers.

        1. ambrit

          Hmmm… Estate agents and realtors are adepts in the arts of obfuscation and deception. They might make good Rangers or “Irregulars.” I can see it now; the pennant of the City of London Property Agent’s brigade proudly carried in the Sino War Veterans annual parade, (held just outside the Southern Radiation Exclusionary Zone.)

      2. synoia

        One needs a to look behind the “bright shiny object” before accepting any assertions. A few days in time generally expose the mirror patina on the bright shiny object..

        Note: The patina is normally extracted from a large male quadruped and is covered by a new and different layer of of excrement.

      3. Wæsfjord

        The Kaiser asked Bismarck what he would do if the British army invaded the Reich. “I shall have the police arrest them” he answered.

      4. Kouros

        Politicians have noticed that Ukrainians, Poles, maybe Balts are much more willing to fight to the death against the bear. I have seen an interview on Ward Caroll’s Utube channel with Justin Bronk from RUSI institute, in which Justin was positively giddy and gleeful at the tremendous opportunity to kill Russians via Ukrainian proxy…

        Why then to increase the army??

        1. ambrit

          In the Orient, the West will have to supply “boots on the ground.” From what I’ve read, the Taiwanese, as a people, are not as easily ‘motivated’ to fight their mainland cousins as are the Ukrainians to fight the Rus. (Which is curious since the Principality of Kiev, if I remember my history correctly, was a mainly Rus enterprise from the start.)

    3. Bugs

      Aurelien’s essays get better every time. This one was profound and described in stark terms the state of Liberalism and subtly predicts its demise.

    1. Skip Intro

      The IRS sure has dedicated employees:

      What possible legitimate explanation could there be for someone at the IRS logging on, on the afternoon of Christmas Eve, on a Saturday, to assign a case over a three-year-old matter, involving a taxpayer owed a substantial return? Was the state in a hurry to square its books with me? What supervisor was overcome with that itch on that particular day, and why?

      p.s. Good luck today Yves, may your logistics be uncharacteristically snafu free!

    2. John Zelnicker

      I commented at the OP, that I feel badly for the IRS employees involved in this harassment.

      As a tax accountant I deal with the IRS on a regular basis and ALL of the employees I talk to are truly interested in treating taxpayers with respect and doing the right thing for them.

      Any agent can look at the record of this case and see that it’s a purely political hit job and will not be happy being made a part of this situation.

      1. flora

        I think you’re right. I also think most of the men and women in the FBI are doing honest work. There have been so many whistleblowers coming forward, or trying to come forward from both agencies in recent years I have to wonder what is going on that the top of those 2 organizations.

        1. JBird4049

          Birds of a feather flock together. The scum rises to the top with networks of corrupt individuals aiding fellow scum to the top with the security deep state using people like Jeffrey Epstein as “quality control.”

  11. Pat

    Gotta give it to Samantha Power. She was already as low as the trustworthy level could go, but managed to use her overestimated intelligence and non existent integrity to dig out a level even lower. She really is an overachiever.

    Because everybody wants to entrust all aspects of their digital identity including the ability to declare you a criminal to a tech enterprise run by a country where multiple variants of “corrupt” are necessary for any description of it.

    1. jsn

      I dug this out to comment on Lambert’s “Gunz” post, but it’s more salient for Samantha.

      “I divide my officers into four groups. There are clever, diligent, stupid, and lazy officers. Usually two characteristics are combined. Some are clever and diligent — their place is the General Staff. The next lot are stupid and lazy — they make up 90% of every army and are suited to routine duties. Anyone who is both clever and lazy is qualified for the highest leadership duties, because he possesses the intellectual clarity and the composure necessary for difficult decisions. One must beware of anyone who is stupid and diligent — he must not be entrusted with any responsibility because he will always cause only mischief.”
      Kurt von Hammerstein-Equord

      As they said in Spinal Tap, “It’s a fine line between clever and stupid” and Samantha is the cleverest stupid, and diligent, all to diligent.

      1. Samuel Conner

        one can be stupid as to ends, but clever as to the means of achieving the stupid ends.

        Perhaps the distinction is between “intelligence” and “wisdom”

      2. Principe Fabrizio Salina

        As Heinrich Heine might have observed he was insane except for the infrequent moments of lucidity when he was merely stupid.

  12. The Rev Kev

    “White House says it is looking into reports about Ukraine’s use of US vehicles in Russia”

    After claiming that arming the Ukrainians with US will not mean that it will be used against Russia, Washington now finds itself in the awkward position of explaining why there are images of wrecked US military vehicles on Russian soil and videos of other captured US vehicles driving along the highways of Russia. It was like watching a cat try to hide a mess on a tile floor. John Kirby was saying-

    “We’ve been pretty darn clear that we don’t support the use of US-made equipment for attacks inside Russia,” Kirby told reporters. “We’ve been clear about that with the Ukrainians. I won’t get into private discussions that we’re having with them, but I think we’ve been nothing but consistent about our concerns in that regard.”

    But the best performance was by US State Department spokesman Matthew Miller who was saying that he was ‘skeptical of their veracity’ but also claimed that they were only ‘fuzzy pictures.’ Saywhatnow? if those pictures were any clearer, you would be able to read off the serial numbers off the plate of each vehicle.

    1. John

      My translation: We will supply Ukraine with anything they want to conduct our war against Russia, but you must understand that we are not involved. How could you think such a thing.

      I cannot imagine any job more degrading than to be the mouthpiece for the state department.

      1. Pat

        I would love for some comedy minds to put together a video of American officials demonstrating to the Ukrainians how to disguise the vehicles. They could show yarn bombing, painting mustaches, even large masks.

        1. griffen

          There is the precedent setting from a fictional work, Argo, whereby the agency discusses options to extract the 7 or 8 hostages who’ve been hidden in the Canadian embassy residence. Teach them to ride bikes !

          Bicycle riding in the brisk Iranian winter cold, no less.

      2. Bart Hansen

        The job did not degrade Newland. More like a near stepping stone to Queen of all Ukraine

  13. Ignacio

    Max Boot opinion:

    “Ukrainians have taken the worst that Russian dictator Vladimir Putin has dished out, and they have not only survived but also thrived”

    Ukrainians thrived through the war! Ukrainians need more war! Made me recall this scene for unknown reasons.

    1. zagonostra

      It’s true, Ukrainians have thrived; it’s the small group who owns villas in Italy, condos in MIA, and Ferraris. These Ukrainians couldn’t care less +300K were killed and the half the country has left.

      1. jrkrideau

        It is likely that those Ukrainians who went East are not doing too bad. Virtually automatic citizenship and a common language would help, I would think.

      2. digi_owl

        Question is, how many of them were from the eastern oblasts and got pressganged into what may well end up being ethnic cleansing by artillery barrage?

    2. The Rev Kev

      Love that clip though I haven’t seen it in years. And yes, it is very appropriate.

    3. Diogenes

      That’s fantastic, thank you!

      I thought I’d seen the whole Marx Brothers “oeurvre'” but somehow that gem escaped me.

  14. griffen

    Debt Ceiling Hokey Pokey. You put your R foot, put your R foot out, do the hokey pokey and turn the math all about, defense spending what it’s all about. You put your D foot, put your D foot out, do the hokey pokey and turn the math all bout, evil and mean Repubs what it’s all about.

    Are we doomed, or are we just destined to be governed by stupidity. I wish that statement was more rhetorical in nature. Fitch ratings agency has gone on the record this morning, issued a warning, rating watch negative, is basically a downgrade without saying so.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Doomed. Biden and the WH are too lazy and offering nothing to get 100 Team Blue votes. Guys like Clyburn are going to make demans Biden cant meet. I somewhat suspect the GOP knows and expects Biden to use the 14th, but theyve overestimated Biden. Biden still may not know this happened just a few years ago when he was VP, so the various issues are all new items of information for him to digest. His staff is full of “centrists”, a cross of crooked and deluded fantasists incapable of serious thought.

      Biden loathes the “left” more than Maga types who want to see him in prison for being in Team Blue. Obama for all his faults at least understood other options. He played a bad game, but he recognizes dead lines and minima aspects of issues. The GOP power brokers knew Obama would use the 14th or mint the coin if he had to. They think Biden will too and see Biden as a less charismatic Obama. They don’t recognize how dumb he is.

      1. Carolinian

        how dumb he is

        And yet it seems obvious to the public who call him Brandon. How do people like Biden and Dubya get to be president? ‘Tis a mystery.

        1. Katniss Everdeen

          How do people like Biden and Dubya get to be president?

          In biden’s case it was the cleanest, most pristine, un-rigged, un-fixed, un-propagandized, most honest election this sacred democracy has ever witnessed; the night of the long knives, the fbi, nsa, 51 “intelligence” professionals, Russiagate, hunter’s laptop, bastardized voter rolls, helicopter drop of mail-in ballots and covid notwithstanding.

        2. djrichard

          Biden isn’t dumb. This is how union negotiations work. The union heads make sure to keep dissenters away from the negotiating table. And then bring a deal back to the union rank and file and tell them there’s no alternative. And that they better not do a wild-cat strike.

          Fortunately we can count on both sides not to do a wildcat strike. The GOP rank and file won’t because they really don’t want a debt default. And the Dem rank and file won’t because they’re obedient.

          And the GOP rank and file will understand that the real victory is having this playbook to use in the future whenever a Dem “deal maker” like Biden is president.

          Biden wants this outcome. He’s not dumb.

          1. djrichard

            If anybody is dumb, it’s the Dem rank and file politicians. They’re conflicted on how to show their virtue: is to their constituency? Or to their president? When there’s no leadership, go with the president every time.

            1. Gregorio

              Or just take a knee while wrapped in Kente cloth, or alternatively, the new Kente cloth, the Ukrainian flag.

    2. cnchal

      I expect as the crisis unfolds, that Yellen will pull a half trillion dollar rabbit out of the hat at the last second, the debt default becomes a softee till the stawk market has a conniption fit. So, it should be resolved in about three weeks, with ten days of hell in between now and then.

      1. griffen

        Listening to this discussion about the debt ceiling by varied anchors and econ persons on CNBC, and one makes an interesting point. That the dollar index is strengthening, although I’m not really a currency maven that strikes me as perhaps unusual.

        UST yields are grinding higher too. Can’t be off the back of the 2nd read for Q1 GDP. And for ten days of hell, the Damn Yankees have a fun track called “Living this Side of Hell…” FWIW.

        1. djrichard

          Jeff Snider of Eurodollar University has a thesis on this. Predates and has nothing to do with the debt ceiling. Check out his YouTube vids or his Twitter posts.

          Note his thesis is the basis for why I think a severe recession/ depression is just around the bend.

  15. The Rev Kev

    ‘so one can only wonder what else Boot is delusional about.’

    I see your delusional Max Boot and raise you a delusional Bernard-Henri Lévy. His idea? As the Soviet Union no longer exists, ‘Russia’s permanent membership and the veto power it confers have no legal basis.’ And because of Russia’s crimes since 1991 ‘Ukraine can and should inherit the rights of a fallen Russia. Remove the Russian Federation from its seat as a permanent member and transfer it to Ukraine.’ A quick Google search would show that this is not legally possible but when you are as rich as he is, you can come up with all sorts of bs and people are supposed to take you seriously-

    1. Aurelien

      This was all settled in 1991, and is an example of the doctrine of the Succession of States in International Law (Wikipedia, sorry.) The Ukrainians protested at the time and have been grumpy ever since, but legally Russia is the successor state.

      It’s tough for BHL: he’s been a Public Idiot ever since his Maoist days in the 1960s, and it gets harder and harder every year for him to find new idiocies.

  16. Pat

    I think “Spencer” may need a better background in agriculture if he thinks ranching is the aspect of it that is using the most water from the Colorado River. Admittedly some of the corn and most of the alfalfa grown in Colorado goes to cattle feed, but much of the water used in California goes to crops that should never ever have even been considered for the climate for example almonds and rice.

    I’m happy that attention is now being paid, even if it is over half a century too late. Sensible water policy would have led to a deeply different landscape in Colorado, Arizona, California and Nevada… even New Mexico. There would be significantly less people, less lawns, and yes different agriculture.

    1. John

      Growing alfalfa in a desert and exporting most of it in the long run is eating your seed corn. 55% of the water used is to produce cattle feed. I would not use the term ranching to describe that. I would call it irrigation of a desert to grow water thirsty crops to feed cattle who are elsewhere. There is a better way,but this is where the money is.

      1. Pat

        My problem is I grew up with a real small rancher. Having too many cattle so that you had to buy a lot of feed was a good way to go bankrupt. I’ll look into it more but yes just as rice is a stupid use of water in an arid climate so is cattle feed.

    2. t

      Good luck. Many years ago I tried looking into this with a smarter person and it’s a rats nest of cows being assumed raised entirely on feedlots while also overgrazing public lands and simultaneously spending their entire life on fertilized an irrigated pastures but somehow no pecan orchards in New Mexico and sorghum is used exclusively for cattle feed.

      Perhaps the current data has more reasonable assumptions and no magic cattle.

    3. Mikel

      “…Instead, the alfalfa will be fed to cows in Saudi Arabia.

      The storehouses belong to Fondomonte Farms, a subsidiary of the Saudi Arabia-based company Almarai – one of the largest food production companies in the world. The company sells milk, powdered milk and packaged items such as croissants, strudels and cupcakes in supermarkets and corner stores throughout the Middle East and North Africa, and in specialty grocers throughout the US…”

      And always getting something in the mail about conservation and sustainability.
      I may just leave my water running today as a shout out to the Saudi deal.

    4. Lexx

      What I want to know and don’t know is how much of the land in Colorado used to grow alfalfa stays to feed cattle in the U.S., and how much is being shipped abroad? We first became aware of foreign investment in U.S. natural resources when we bought acreage south of Olympia (that had been logged off and replanted), that our acres were adjacent to a huge tree farm owned by a German industrialist. The kind of news I would usually let whoosh right by me was suddenly personal and curious and it’s been on my (passive) radar ever since.

      Given the cooling in our relationship with the Saudis and the water wars ahead, are they thinking about selling their investments here and moving their interests in water rights to countries that are more water-fat, with gobs of poor farmers looking to cash out? I’m just thinking out loud… maybe there are worse investors to have buying up water rights and forests.

      After this many years I imagine the German industrialist has clear cut those acres again and replanted. Trees are just another “crop” to him after all, but the climate has indeed changed. Do the wildfires worry him, is time to sell? Who still wants to be in the timber business out West… and why? Every tree out there seem to under assault or at risk.

      We replanted the tree in our front yard a few weeks ago and I’ve been hovering over it since like it just got rolled into our ICU with dodgy vital signs, even before it’s had a chance to dig in.

    5. skippy

      The original Colorado River Water Agreement was doomed from the start, due to bad maths, acerbated by the political desire to spur economic development in all states concerned. These bad maths were pointed out and ignored.

      Sorta like orthodox economics making up its inputs from whole cloth to arrive at the conclusion it wants[tm] and then handing out Nobles for gravitas ….

      1. Lee

        “These bad maths were pointed out and ignored.”

        John Wesley Powell, courtesy telephone please.

        “In Cadillac Desert, Powell is portrayed as a champion of land preservation and conservation.[27] Powell’s expeditions led to his belief that the arid West was not suitable for agricultural development, except for about 2% of the lands that were near water sources. His Report on the Lands of the Arid Regions of the United States proposed irrigation systems and state boundaries based on watershed areas to avoid disagreements between states.[28] For the remaining lands, he proposed conservation and low-density, open grazing…”

        1. skippy

          Quite familiar with his and others works as I grew up in AZ during the mid 60s to the mid 70s, with relatives going back a long way. Uncle grew cotton/millet and had a cattle feed lot – Dobson Ranch – Golf course now lol. Know the 4 corners well and AZ from Tucson up to Sedona so I’ve seen it grow and all the changes, especially suburban landscaping, yet pools still abound in direct sun light. Sister keeps moving to the north east of Maricopa County so she can indulge in her passion for hiking in the desert.

          Then did 11 years in South Bay L.A. Calif and with a few friends would drive from Malibu to Boulder CO for some skiing every year. Over those years the time it took to hit the open desert grew and grew, see the massive terraforming of the desert to build massive suburbs and malls, think it was 6 hours last time in the 90s. Which then I got to watch the same thing happen around the area outside Boulder after moving there in the early 90s. Funny thing is its all founded on the demand for RE/MBS to be sold to investors. None of it would have happened or happened on such a scale if not for the demand of its income streams.

          The thing is now in places like the U.K. they are facing high inflation, wage price spiral, dodgy productivity outside the City of London, and fighting to keep the Pound up, which messes with exports, yet allows them to buy stuff they don’t have or make …. which again started off with building C/RE and RE paper in lieu of socially productive enterprise. Best bit is anything built post 80s is going to need lots of work or demolished because of the incentives noted above. Hence why its such a joy to me to be working on homes that are almost or over a 100 years old, extensions/remodel/upgrades to systems aside, and in lots of cases will be there in another 100 years.

          Plus I don’t mind the clientele as I can put some NC level stuff out there in our conversations and get feed back. Especially since most are repeat customers of means and influence in society.

  17. Henry Moon Pie


    When I was a 9th grader in a prep school middle school, the entertainment for the senior prom, attended by maybe 120 people, was Ike and Tina and the Ikettes. Talk about privilege.

    I’ll admit to being a fan of “Miami Vice” in the mid-80s. Here is Tina singing “What’s Love Got to Do with It” as Sonny and Tubbs pilot a massive Cigarette returning from Bimini to Miami. (video)

    1. The Rev Kev

      Back in ’85, Tina Turner stared in the film “Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome” and made herself very popular down here. So much so that a coupla years later she was invited back here to film a promo for Australian rugby league. This proved so popular that she did a few more of them in the following years and she was widely respected here. Here is one example from one year- (1:32 mins)

      American grid iron missed a great chance to do the same.

      1. skippy

        Bushnut was introduced as a song played in school as part of the exercise curriculum = arts&fitness thingy and ingrained in minds since. Now seen as a D-floor migration for anyone’s aunts over 40 yrs old B-day party here in Oz.

        Today I’m sanding a large deck just a 100m from the front ticket gates to Ballymore Rugby fields, expansion was approved IMO. Sigh … long gone are the days that I attended a semi formal dinner party where the houses back yard led to the green area behind it and was escorted to a tree with about 15 blokes awaiting. Next command was to get kit off and proceed single file at a trot whilst singing some Scottish bard, close to the backyards of all the other houses so arranged. The lights being switched on and off as we paraded by …

      2. John D.

        Tina also sang the theme song for Thunderdome that played over its opening credits, just as she sang the theme song for Goldeneye, one of the better Pierce Brosnan Bond films.

    2. Lex

      Now that is a story because Ike and Tina were titans of R&B, even if that’s not what she’s really famous for these days.

  18. The Rev Kev

    “How Will We Know When Self-Driving Cars Are Safe? When They Can Handle the World’s Worst Drivers”

    I am in total agreement with this article. It’s the only responsible way to look at it. I mean look at the cars that run underneath trucks, smash unknowingly into parked red fire trucks, run over bicyclists, go across road lines and into other cars…oh wait. That’s what self-driving cars have been doing.

    1. John

      Just like the so-called AIs … not ready for the Big Leagues … not ready to be loosed on an unsuspecting world.

      We already know how to have auto accidents. Why test another method?

      We already know how to write badly. Why do we need more word salads? (Which by the way derogates salads)

    2. Not Again

      The real reason that the self-driving cars are tested in Phoenix is because some Musk-y businessman gave a six figure campaign contribution to governor who was running for re-election in 2018. Magically, he received a ten year contract to run his Christines all over the metro area.

      “Money talks. Bullsh*t walks.”
      Former Congressmen (and former federal prisoner) Ozzie Myers

  19. FreeMarketApologist

    Re: “Central NY hotel management sent long-term residents scrambling to make room for migrant contracts

    Gotta follow the money on this one. Hotels in upstate NY putter along on a light tourist / traveler trade, and the occasional local event: college graduations, sports events (if your area has a stadium), fairs, concerts, and antique shows. Owners (often local franchisees) are typically not rolling in piles of money. So, when NYC shows up paying at or above the standard rate to house a busload of people (and payment is guaranteed), the owners will jump through flaming hoops, if necessary.

    What is only casually mentioned in the story is that by booting out the longer-term residents (>30 days), there is likely a violation of NY tenancy laws.

    Meanwhile, in NYC there are several large hotels (e.g., look along Lexington Ave in the high 40s/low 50s) that closed during the pandemic and have not reopened (one has been converted to student dorm housing). Plenty of available space, but perhaps it’s good that NYC $$ are being spread around the state, rather than going to the usual city interests.

    1. Pat

      They did turn one empty hotel into a shelter that I know about. And I know for sure they contracted with open one on West 57th.

      I could be wrong, but the Mayor’s legal actions trying to get permission to bypass some of the housing restrictions and Hochul opening up the campuses says to me they really really don’t want to do deals with hotels but want large group housing as in cots because of the cost savings.

      And I would have no problem betting that the cost for the space in Syracuse is cheaper than West 57th…

      1. Mildred Montana

        Here in my Canadian city, at least six hotels that I know of which used to house tourists are now government-owned, -run, and -subsidized social housing.

        I’m sure the owners of those properties made out like bandits on the sales because as any savvy businessman knows, 𝘞𝘩𝘦𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘨𝘰𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘯𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵’𝘴 𝘣𝘶𝘺𝘪𝘯’, 𝘴𝘦𝘭𝘭!

        But at least the government had the good sense to purchase outright, thus eliminating the privateers and their perpetual grift of exorbitant rents and fees it would be responsible for. Not the case in Syracuse sadly.

          1. Roland

            Municipal & Provincial gov’ts, at least in Vancouver, BC.

            Apparently, scant funds are available for maintenance, since deterioration is rapid. e.g. the former Ramada on East Kingsway already looks pretty bad, after about five years.

            There is still going to be corruption. I think that once the buildings are fit to be condemned, then the properties will be re-privatized to well-connected developers, at a significant net loss to the public.

      2. S D., M D

        Upstate NY is littered with abandoned state prisons. pens and asylums for the criminally insane. Seems like an ideal fit

    2. petal

      Is it(that NYC $$) really being spread around the state, though, at least in this situation?
      “Fligelman is with Churchwick Partners, a New York City real estate investment firm. Churchwick and Rockledge, another investment firm, bought the Salina hotel in May 2022 along with eight other extended-stay hotels in six states.”

  20. Mikel

    “Downtown LA’s Office Distress Shows the Pain Coming for Cities”Bloomberg. Why, it’s almost as if, official propaganda notwithstanding, people are voting with their feet against 3Cs spaces, like offices
    If they want more people back in office buildings without complaint, give more people an actual office. Larger than a cubicle…doesn’t have to be grand.

  21. spud

    spain is perplexed, gee, who’da ever thunk!

    if your economy is in the feverish death grip of free traders, do not be to surprised at the fact that rising unemployment and rising poverty is not blunting rising prices.

    because you are buying imports from another country with low unemployment and high demand(that demand is mostly foreign thanks to the crank policy of free trade)that is increasing prices.

    remember, if you give more money to the poor who were created by free trade, you will inject even more money into the free trade system, driving prices ever higher.

    yesterday bernanke was also perplexed.

    1. skippy

      Watch the wage price spiral in the U.K. as CRE/RE implodes …. Pensions would be having a bad time too IMO … here you’ll get that with no productivity outside the City of London … thanks Maggie ….

      1. Revenant

        No productivity in City of London either. Entirely fake notion of productivity given most transactions are zero-sum game sardine tin trading, not real capital / sardine formation, and the losses in the bad years undo the good years. Not so much picking up pennies in front of a steamroller as fighting for pennies in front if a steamroller.

        1. skippy

          Concur that yield should not be confused with social or otherwise productivity …. in the shuffling of paper with dubious ratings ….

          Those shouting Capitalism the loudest seem to be killing it … eh … ninnies … then have a sad about social turmoil …

        2. skippy

          Addendum … the defense of the Pound is epic to watch … so short term … yet trade balances down the road … splat … and then the Pound lmmaso …

  22. The Rev Kev

    ‘Incredible how long it’s taken major newsrooms to identify the industry killing the Colorado River (ranching), but it’s finally happening. The data visualization is both beautiful and horrifying.’

    Hark! What light through yonder window breaks? Why, tis the Pareto Principle-

  23. The Rev Kev

    “Will Romania Become The 3rd Submarine Operator In The Black Sea?”

    This might be NATO hedging their bets. Before the war the British were going to build two missile boat bases on the Black Sea coast so that they could be used to attack the Russian naval base in Sevastopol. Well it looks like the Ukraine may soon be a landlocked country so they need another patsy and immediately Romania sticks their hand up. They have already been sending troops to fight in the Ukraine so this is more of the same. You can bet that both Russia and Türkiye are looking at this sideways because of the pipeline connecting the two countries.

    NATO wants the Black Sea to be a continual hot zone and just today a Russian warship patrolling the TurkStream gas pipeline was attacked by three Ukrainian drone boats which they managed to blow up with gunfire. Thing is, this was way, way within Türkiye’s exclusive economic zone so I can’t see the Turks happy about this-

    Footage of one of the boats being taken out- (12 secs)

    1. Kouros

      NATO hedging bets on Romania’s dime, eh?

      Poor Romania, it used to have a thriving ship building industry now has to procure vessels from foreigners. It used to build tanks under soviet license, now that is all gone.

      The problem with Romanian politicians and elites is that they are easy to buy, and even easier to blackmail…

      There is a Romanian literature classic, translatable into “Old money and New money”, written around mid 1850s. There are no more Old money in Romania nowadays, and the mores and behaviours are shaped by this fact… And the best have left…

    2. LifelongLib

      I’m totally at sea (so to speak) about what international law is these days. In the past there were rules about belligerents only being able to go to neutral waters/ports for certain amounts of time for certain purposes etc but I suppose all that is out the window, especially since nations don’t even declare war anymore. And I guess an economic zone is different from territorial waters. But I would think combat in any third party’s space would be a no-no…

  24. Henry Moon Pie

    Glen Greenwald is back in the saddle at Rumble after the death of his husband, and he’s putting out some very interesting stuff. He performs a nice dissection of billionaire Democrat darling, Dan Goldman, who has been discussed in threads here previously. Along the way, he does a nice job on sellout AOC. You can stick around for his interview of Jeffrey Sachs about the history of neocons and the press along with the origins of the Covid virus. There’s also a full episode on the anthrax scare and its parallels with Ukraine and Covid.

    1. Darthbobber

      On that downtown office thing. It isn’t just the workers, it’s a lot of the firms as well. Whole some companies seem determined to go back to their pre-covid model, a lot of them are making the reduction or outright elimination of center city office space a permanent feature. It may have taken the pandemic for them to find out that they could make due without that pricey space, but once they learned that there was no putting the toothpaste back in the tube.
      Eg. One of the large philly law firms has leased 2 full floors of the 2 liberty place high rise for eons. A friend I talked to there said that when the current lease expired they’d be in the market for less than half of one floor, for offices for some of the partners, their servers, and the obligatory conference room for when you have to do the full dog and pony show.

    2. lyman alpha blob

      I’ve seen a lot of interviews with Sachs recently, and that one with Greenwald was maybe the best. Highly recommend it, especially for those who need some background on how the Ukraine war happened. he covers all the bases.

  25. spud

    should we be surprised at whats happening in those new york hotels, after all, it was predicted.

    least we forget: We Forget What It Was Really Like Under the Clintons

    Clintonism never saw a sector it didn’t want to deregulate

    NAFTA can view it as a simple extension of Clintonism’s obsession with deregulation, in this case deregulating trade and borders.

    In the real world, opening up the borders between two exceedingly disparate economies leads to disaster, which is what happened under Nafta till trump repealed it and changed it to democratic control

    “How can we get back what we have lost without confronting those who took it?”

    “The only thing that saved Mexico from collapsing into economic and social chaos was the massive emigration of Mexicans across their northern border.

    Illegal migration has camouflaged Mexico’s economic weakness. Between 1994 and 2004, Mexico’s working-age population increased by a little over 1 million per year, but the number of jobs expanded by only half as much. The annual exodus of 500,000 to 1 million Mexicans kept unemployment at least to manageable levels.

    Migration has served another even more important salutary function: national financial safety net. In 2005, Mexicans in the United States remitted some $20 billion home, about 3 percent of Mexico’s national income. Remittances now exceed tourism, and the maquiladoras, and until the recent runup in oil prices, even oil as the country’s top single source of foreign exchange. It turns out that it is aid, not trade, that is keeping the Mexican economy afloat.

    NAFTA’s designers promised it would keep Mexicans at home. Yet its very objectives undermined that possibility and spawned the waves of illegal migrants that have become one of the most divisive issues in the 2008 campaign.”

  26. Carolinian

    Re LAT Colorado river compact–so the adminstratiojn is proposing yet another kick the can down the road that is for Biden’s political benefit (the stalling) not unlike his ongoing draining of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to tamp down complaints about gas prices. It’s “I’ll be gone you’ll be gone” but he isn’t even offering to be gone. Or, to quote a famous individual: “what, me worry?” Alfred E. Newman as president.

    Presumably the federal government has the power to simply force reductions on the various states rather than bribing rich farmers not to use “their” water. If US water law ever made any sense it increasingly doesn’t in the US West.

  27. spud

    the vogue article i have not finished yet, but this quote is exactly why we can never recover, till free trade is abolished for good.

    any people in any country around the world that are stymied as to why they can’t pressure politicians to stop the race to the bottom in their countries, this is the reason why, either they become educated, or live a life of a rope a dope.

    “Not only is the wealth of the superrich wedded to highly extractive activities, many billionaires hold significant stakes in the world’s largest corporations, which grants them power and influence over their conduct.”

    1. tevhatch

      …Blumenthal asks Markarova why she’s still planning on beating and murdering his spouse….

  28. Otis B Driftwood

    Blumenthal’s style of journalism is confrontational. It’s often effective and it’s great to see these people squirm when confronted, but I also agree with this comment in the Tweet.

    “Whats the point in not letting her answer? Now she walked away instead. You should practice your language a bit. With a shorter worded question you might have been able to get an answer.”

    But he is still 100 times better than the MSM press.

  29. jan

    Interesting how AP reported on the Prigozhin interview.

    Head of Russian private army Wagner says more than 20,000 of his troops died in Bakhmut battle

    And then this

    Prigozhin’s admission of heavy losses appears to show the impact of Ukraine’s strategy. Ukrainian officials have said their goal in Bakhmut was to exhaust and deplete Russian forces

    So somehow they missed the part that undermines that, as he also mentioned that the

    AFU had 50,000 KIA, with upwards of 70,000 severely injured

    Unbelievable how they spin the interview by leaving out the parts that undermine their narrative.

    See here, Simplicius:

    1. Polar Socialist

      That is how you costruct a narrative; by leaving out the things that go against it…

      When I saw some transcripts of that Prigozhin interview, my first thought was that he was just pulling numbers out of somewhere. So I agree with Simplicius there.

      What occurred to me after reading Simplicius, though, is that maybe Prigozhin has no game here. After all, he used to run a restaurant in St. Peter before capturing the lucrative businesses of feeding schoolkids and armed forces. Maybe, just maybe, real war and loosing 15,000+ of his employees are taking their toll – even if he’s a “tough cookie” from the 90’s.

  30. Richard H Caldwell

    “ Because they haven’t added enough epicycles?” — brilliantly literate and sardonic commentary! A complete and total skewering. Love it! Thank you for the belly laugh — I needed it.

Comments are closed.