Links 3/2/2024

Pardoned Pig Louisiana Daily Independent (furzy)

Helium Discovery In Northern Minnesota May Be Biggest Ever In North America CBS


Unmitigated COVID is overwhelming hospital systems- globally The Gauntlet (Randy K)

Covid ‘pandemic babies’ show two ‘fascinating’ biological changes, study finds Daily Mail


Texas wildfire: Officials warn the state’s biggest ever blaze could worsen over weekend BBC. Kevin W: “Meanwhile in California – ‘Monster blizzard is forecast to dump 10 feet of snow on mountains in California and Nevada’ at

Chinese scientists produce a powerful winter-proof lithium battery South China Morning Post

Zombie climate myths that refuse to die (feat. Bob Henson) Yale Climate Connections


Shifting deck chairs to the Titanic’s Taiwan side Asia Times

Biden Calls Chinese Electric Vehicles a Security Threat New York Times (Kevin W)

Old Blighty


US Vetoes UN Resolution Condemning Israel for Flour Massacre (Kevin W)

UN says many bullet wounds among Gaza convoy injured BBC

“Starvation as a weapon of war.” The Floutist

Israeli minister calls for ‘wiping out’ month of Ramadan Anadolu Agency

Israel’s war on Gaza updates: Biden says US will air drop aid to enclave Aljazeera (furzy). So the US is having to circumvent Israeli intransigence with letting aid trucks in.

The Story Behind the New York Times October 7 Exposé Intercept (furzy)

Neocon Iraq war architects want a redo in Gaza Responsible Statecraft. Don D: “Haven’t seen this detailed-out before — it’s quite amazing that this cabal would think this pig would fly.”


Hardliners leading in Iran’s parliamentary election Arab News

New Not-So-Cold War

Bundeswehr Wiretap Bombshell – German Generals Exposed Planning Kerch Strike Simplicius the Thinker

Transcript released of purported German discussion on attacking Crimean Bridge RT. Kevin W: “Transcript at

When Putin Talks the West Better Listen Larry Johnson (furzy)

State Duma to review discussion of attack on Crimean Bridge by German officers — speaker TASS (guurst)

China resumes shuttle diplomacy as Ukraine war drums get louder Indian Punchline. The West is hostile to China, but not as hostile as to Russia, and in any event, has no intention of considering the condition condition most critical to Putin: a neutral Ukraine. So what is the point save maybe to try to talk Macron et al out of their stupidity?

* * *

Presidential Address to the Federal Assembly President of Russia

Vladimir Putin’s State of the Nation speech today: an overview Gilbert Doctorow

Putin’s Address To The Federal Assembly Moon of Alabama (Chuck L)

* * *

What is the Endgame for Ukraine? Andrei Martyanov, Mark Sleboda

* * *

The CIA in Ukraine — The NY Times Gets a Guided Tour ScheerPost (Chuck L)

Independent investigator: Elements of UK government behind Nord Stream attacks Nordic Times (Chuck L)

Colonel Baud And Me Talking Today. Andrei Martyanov (Chuck L)

* * *

* * *


Western Values

The Way: confused resistance in a muddled mix of genres Dennis Broe

On Bowles, Friedman, and the Loyalty Oath Rajiv Sethi

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

White House goes to court, not Congress, to renew warrantless spy powers The Register

Police Now Need Warrant For IP Addresses, Canada’s Top Court Rules CBC

Imperial Collapse Watch

It’s not too late to reverse America’s political decay Francis Fukuyama, Financial Times. is your friend.

Lloyd Austin Doubts Protective Value Of NATO Moon of Alabama

U.S. Army Chief of Staff Highlights Major Improvements to Russia’s Defence Sector Military Watch


Texts show prosecutor’s ex-law partner gave info for effort to remove Fani Willis from election case Associated Press (furzy). Hoo boy.

Trump, Georgia attorneys clash in final Fani Willis disqualification arguments The Hill

The big question for Nikki Haley is what to do about Trump after she drops out Politico


Road to Hunter Biden’s Burisma riches was paved in Moscow with effort to court Russian oligarchs Just The News (Chuck L)

GOP Clown Car

GOP senators face Trump civil war with McConnell retiring The Hill. They say it like it’s a bad thing.

Not buying it because sequels are never as good as the original and the original, despite huge amounts of PR, was a flop. Plus a lot of the Blob thinks spending on Ukraine diverts funds and attention from the real threat, China:

Our No Longer Free Press

Woke Watch

Education Department launching an investigation into death of Nex Benedict The Hill. No indication that they have the power even to fine. The only investigation that appears to have the authority to Do Something is the one being conducted by the local police.

The effect of health-care privatisation on the quality of care The Lancet (Doug S). Important.

Falling Apart Boeing Airplanes

Boeing is in talks to buy back fuselage maker Spirit AeroSystems after spate of quality defects CNBC (Kevin W)

The Bezzle

California Approves Waymo Robotaxi Services In LA, SF Neighboring Cities Reuters

Guillotine Watch

Journalist Kara Swisher ‘burns’ Bezos, Gates, tech culture in memoir Seattle Times (furzy)

Class Warfare

Wendy’s says it won’t use surge pricing for burgers after announcing ‘dynamic pricing.’ What’s the difference between the 2? Yahoo (BC)

Yelp Says Remote-First Policy Boosted Job Apps By 43%, Led To a More Satisfied Workforce Fortune

Antidote du jour (via):

And a bonus (Chuck L):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here

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  1. Antifa

    (melody borrowed from Chelsea Morning by Joni Mitchell)

    Woke up — it was a White House morning
    And the first thing that I heard
    Was a throng outside my window
    Then my name and nasty words
    They’re inviting me to burn in Hell
    Pointing downward with both raised thumbs

    Oh quite a display I smell pepper spray
    Billionaires aren’t rude like these bums

    Woke up — this is a secret meeting
    With the folks who pass our laws
    Chuck Schumer tucked my shirt in
    Then washed his hands with alcohol
    Pelosi had polled all Congress too
    Working in the weeds I reckon

    ‘Oh, too many nays and not enough yays
    Now we’ll really have to threaten’

    I was really hopin’ I’d receive some private pay
    No receipts are saved for cash that’s mine
    Just satisfy the Big Guy before you all just sneak away

    Woke up — there was a bright light shining
    It’s the doctor guy I knew
    He said ‘No amount of money
    Will ever fix what’s wrong with you!’

    Then he said I’m on his graveyard watch
    And wanted cash for his expenses

    When he went away I laid back to pray
    Till another day commences

    When the curtain closes on an Oval Office day
    Protesters by the fence howl all night
    They want a fight I know I’m right so we chase them away
    ‘I should listen to . . .’
    Woke up — it was a White House morning

    1. timbers

      The blob should make McConnell retire now, so Yulia (Navalny’s wife) can assume McConnell’s mantle in the Senate as Majority Leader. After all Navalny’s is “the most popular Russian opponent of Putin” says Vicky Nuland and the CIA has 6 ways to Sunday to make it happen to anyone who dares stand in blob’s path.

      Just ask Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-Ukraine). He knows. He’ll be one of the first to help make it so. It will be a perfect start to Russia Gate 3.0 just in time for the election, MSNBC viewer ratings will soar. There will coverage 24/7/365 just like a few years ago and suck oxygen out of coverage of anything else, so, no coverage of issues real people might be more concerned about.

      So Yulia. And if she won’t do it, Sarah Palin. If we have to live thru this re-run again, we at least deserve some comedic relief this time.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Maybe Germany can second Annalena Baerbock to the US Senate but if it has to be a local, why not Neocon Nikki? It’s not like her political campaign is going anywhere and even her big donors have pulled the plug on her.

        1. timbers

          A Nikki / Palin Presidential ticket would be ideal as a runup to a TV comedy series. First episode: Sarah Palin helps Nikki find Russia on a map. Liz Truss co-stars, pops in the Oval Office to say “hello” and offer political advice to the ladies. Sergery Lavrov makes a cameo as the Presidential valet who brings the two ladies a globe of earth into the Oval Office, silently shakes his head in disbelief as the ladies have at it. The duo begin their hunt to find Russia on a map.

            1. Henry Moon Pie

              MSNBC favorite, Adm. Stavridis, has turned your satire into reality. (look over his left shoulder) It was a prop to promote the admiral’s new book.

              We are in the grubbing-est timeline.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      The Ukraine blob failed in the House. The leadership election won’t be until after the election. The GOP is worried about the majority in the House and wants to secure the Senate. Trump can come or go, but right now, being plucked from obscurity for the running mate slot is on every elected’s mind. 2028 is wide open at the moment. Even Susan Rice is rumored to be out of sorts over Harris getting picked. Obviously she didn’t game that out.

  2. Lena

    Stunning White Cardinal. I have never seen one before.

    In Appalachia, where I am from, it is a traditional belief that deceased relatives visit us as Cardinals: “A Cardinal in the snow is a loved one come to say hello”. A White Cardinal would be a very special visit indeed.

    1. DJG, Reality Czar

      Lena: The belief that a cardinal is a visiting dead relative is lovely.

      However, whatever that bird is in the photo above, it isn’t a cardinal. Cardinals are seed-eaters and have a seed-eater’s wedge-shaped bill. Also, northern cardinals have black eyes, no yellow. And even if fluffed out against the cold, cardinals are sleeker than the red/white bird shown above. Noting, too, that a cardinal’s beak normally is a darker shade (possibly affected by the white pigment above, but…).

      Having lived most of my life in Chicago, I have been around cardinals for years and years. They are charismatic. The bird in the photo doesn’t have their sleek self-assurance.

      So I am not sure what the bird in the photo above is. Anyone else?

        1. What? No!

          It’s all just so sad. There isn’t a single picture or video now where I don’t force myself to say “it’s probably AI”, refuse to engage and move on. Our new cat calendar has more shop’d and faked images than last year.

          Human systems are built on trust, the final frontier to exploit and trash.

          1. Wukchumni

            It’s funny, growing up we would go to Tijuana about every year, my dad wanted us to see the cardboard shacks on the hill coming in where people lived, and I was all about finding a store where they would sell fireworks to a 10 year old.

            For whatever reason somebody decided if you painted a donkey to look like a zebra, people would be excited in a way that wouldn’t if it was a donkey.

            Paint , not pAInt

        1. Bugs

          Beak and eyes look like a bald eagle’s.

          I wish I could unsee AI pix. They do something to the brain. Make me unsure of reality.

    2. iread

      The Cardinal is the state bird of Virginia, a major seat of our “Founding Fathers” who laid the trail to
      where we are now. The above, says the legend, more than 2000 yr old, has several variations but all
      mean more or less the same; “Have communication with the Creator thru prayer with clear intent for
      Peace, Harmony, and Balance for all life living in the Earth Mother.”

      Appalachia would have been in the Virginia territories at the time. For all of us close to nature, the signals all around the world coming now from what Henry Beston, (The Outermost House) calls the animal nations, are an indelible wake up call in whatever way, shape or form they appear to the individual gifted to receive them.

      “For the animals shall not be measured by man…They are not underlings; they are other nations. caught with ourselves in the net of life and time…the splendor and travail of the earth.”

      What a magnificent photo. Thank you.

    3. MaryLand

      I have seen a cardinal that when it flew the wings flashed a lot of white on the underside. We have a lot of regular cardinals in our yard, but this one was the odd one. Somehow I don’t think all these cardinals in our yard are deceased loved ones. If they are we have a lot of deceased family hanging around! Maybe the one with white under its wings …

      1. Lena

        No, the belief is not that ‘every’ Cardinal is a deceased loved one. It will usually be a single Cardinal or perhaps two that appear. They visit at certain times in our lives to comfort us or bring us a special message. That message is for each person to interpret according to what might be happening in their lives. It may occur in times of sorrow or of joy. They remind us that we are loved and are not alone.

      2. steppenwolf fetchit

        I remember once seeing a cardinal with some kind of mange on its whole head. At first I didn’t know what it was. Then I realized it was a cardinal with a totally bald head.

        It looked like an angry nasty little vulture.

  3. The Rev Kev

    ‘Mike Benz
    I hope everyone appreciates what this means. The CIA disclosed highly classified intelligence to hand-picked journos in order to fight a PR war against Republicans in Congress who want to scale back Ukraine war funding. The CIA is literally unleashed on Republicans in Congress.’

    Is this all being coordinated by all those CIA Democrats that were elected last time around? My first thought was that the CIA wants their slice of that $61 billion but then again, maybe not. Project Ukraine has proved a bust but there are a lot of very powerful people out there that still want their payoff anyway. Those beaks are not going to wet themselves after all and almost certainly this $61 billion will be the last big sum that it will be possible to vote through. So maybe the CIA is just being used as a tool by people behind the scene to free up that $61 billion so that those payoffs can be made.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Trump has supporters too. This story undermines poor wittle Ukraine narratives and raises questions about what we have really spent. The idea Biden wants to push the collapse past and Trump wants it done before November is out in the wild. This is probably why McConnell stepped down.

      I saw two more elementary schools are closing in the region. Bidenomics!

      1. GF

        Remember Cookies blabbering about the $5 billion spent on Ukraine prior to the SMO? Now we know where it went. Building underground secret cities isn’t cheap.

        1. Neutrino

          Those purported biolabs need to have their star turn.

          There is so much about Ukie history from the past decade or so that we’ll probably never know, at least not the truth. It would be instructive to get various Senators and other insiders in front of a judge or some empowered panel for sworn depositions. Start with the Bidens, Nuland, Hillary, Obama, Graham and then delve into McNoName correspondence, too. They all got around.

    2. Feral Finster

      Of course that is what happened. I am surprised that they haven’t blackmailed Johnson yet.

      1. ambrit

        Johnson comes from Louisiana. Politics there is really “rough and tumble.” He’s seasoned, with just a touch of ‘special herbs and spices’ to make him formidable. The rumour is that he is a real Christian Conservative, and fears naught. Blackmailing him would thus fall under the oft cited Edwin Edwards Disqualification Rules. “The only way I can lose is if I’m caught in bed with either a dead girl or a live boy.”

  4. griffen

    Russiagate 3.0, the beat must go on. Look at all the facts & pretzel logic, do not think just follow and nod in agreement!! \Sarc

    meanwhile in the real world….who is really going to continue on with this, aside from some scribes at New Republic or any other usual example… Let’s do this once more but this time with feeling…Making Orwell just a little too real, perhaps? And here I thought the many Trump cases in court would be the thing they focus upon.

    1. Feral Finster

      Once upon a time, not so long ago, any development that the establishment of the day didn’t like could automatically be blamed on Jews.

      Crops failed? Because Jews.

      Freak storm sank the royal fleet? Everyone knows that Jews can control the weather. And in fact, Jews often do so, for their own nefarious purposes.

      Foreign invasion? Machinations of Jews. Because they hate us for our noble character.

      King’s eldest son and heir turns out to be a flamboyant homosexual? Jews, you silly goose!

      No evidence needed. Because Jews. What, are you on their side?

      Today’s establishment is far more enlightened. They do not blame unwanted election results and social dissension on Jews. Instead, they blame Russia.

      1. griffen

        Speaking of that analogy, from the first season and first episode of Justified, lawman Raylan Givens pays a visit to old friend and former coal mine pal, Boyd Crowder. Crowder opines on his views of the world and how Jews are the source of America’s troubles.

        Raylan responds, “Boyd, do you even know any Jews?” Back to the establishment comment, they’re stuck in a Tom Clancy based movie, where a Russian Navy commanding officer has taken control of a nuclear submarine and could fire a bunch of missiles while sitting silently off the East Coast.

  5. flora

    re: FBI arrests J6 journalist.

    Sort of like Brazil, (where the election was also meddled with by the US CIA, according to reports). Is the real constest left vs right or is it authoritarian vs not authoritarian?

    Tucker Carson talking to Eduardo Bolsanaro, exiled Brazilian journalist. ~33+ minutes.

    Warning From Exiled Journalist: The U.S. Is Making a Huge Mistake

    1. flora

      adding: my definition of authoritarians goes something like this.

      Authoritarians want to take for themselves powers and rights not granted to them in their country’s Constitution, by force is necessary. And, they want to deny or limit the powers and rights of citizens granted to citizens by their Constitution, by force if necessary.

      Debate and dissent are not allowed.

  6. flora

    re: FBI arrests J6 journalist.

    Sort of like Brazil. Is the real contest left vs right or is it authoritarian vs not authoritarian?

    Tucker Carson talking to Eduardo Bolsanaro, exiled Brazilian journalist. ~33+ minutes.

    Warning From Exiled Journalist: The U.S. Is Making a Huge Mistake

  7. griffen

    Nikki Haley ponders her future, possibly from her comfortable island set home in Kiawah Island. One idea that was mentioned is to join a cable news organization. Haley on CNN or even an ABC…seems to make some sense since it’s America in 2024 and good sense is not that abundant.

    Haley won’t hungry or homeless…start a think tank or join a few conservative institutes of high or perceived high repute ( but funded by billionaires)…

    1. Martin Oline

      After campaigning she probably has developed a need for attention so she will likely seek a job in the media. A think tank will not gratify her ego. MSDNC seems to love her and they always hires the scoundrels and disgraced liars from Washington to be their pundits and experts. My money is on them.

      1. Carolinian

        Has she ever even been on MSNBC? Apparently she often appears on FOX. From the Politico story

        Haley on Friday took the initiative to preempt any comparisons to the former New Jersey governor, who ended his presidential bid in January after playing the role of top Trump critic in the GOP primary.

        “I’m not anti-Trump,” Haley said. “Look, if I was doing that, I would be Chris Christie.”

        Rob Godfrey, a former Haley aide from her time as governor, said he expects that after ending her bid, Haley will spend as much time as she can with her family — not just her children, but her elderly parents, who live with her — and after some time out of the public eye, go back to highlighting the policy initiatives she has championed over the last year. And she’ll have to decide whether she wants to spend the rest of the year campaigning for down ballot candidates — or even for Trump.

        Here’s betting that that is right. Haley is just a useful idiot to the Dems and the wealthy donors who have supported her. A future of obscurity seems more likely to me.

      1. Benny Profane

        VP? I honestly think that a huge surprise of 24 would be her being put up for nomination for President at the Dem convention.

    2. Benny Profane

      Well, let’s not forget she was almost broke when she left SC government, and now she’s living in that incredibly tacky house on the island and seems to be doing very well traveling around the country Trump bashing and selling wars and weapons. Nice job, and, if she continues doing this, yeah, why drop out? The media loves her.

    3. Eric Anderson

      I think Haley is just playing the odds game right now, and will take any benefit that falls out from it.

      1. Not insignificant chance Trump (or Biden) does the dirt dance prior to election.
      2. Not insignificant chance the Blob puts him behind bars.

      Together, those aren’t horrible vegas odds.
      She’d be positioned with the strongest argument for nomination should either above occur.

  8. The Rev Kev

    ‘Landslide victory for George Galloway in the UK elections, and he seems somewhat unimpressed with Sky News and the Prime Minister’

    So satisfying to see Galloway tear that Sky News hack a new one with his insinuations in that extended version. True reporters should be treated with respect, stenographers with only contempt. I wonder if once in Parliament he will do the same job that Ireland’s Clare Daly does in the European Parliament? One thing is for sure. He does not tolerate fools gladly. Anybody remember when a bunch of US Senators tried to haul him over the coals back in 2005? It did not go as expected- (4:31 mins)

    1. CA

      Arnaud Bertrand @RnaudBertrand

      Incredible interview of @georgegalloway after his electoral victory.

      The dishonesty of the questions by the @SkyNews journalist are maddening.

      How on earth can you assert that the VERY SAME people who voted for someone more than for all other major candidates COMBINED are worried about his win? And how can you characterize his victory as “divisive” when the very fact he united so many people behind his candidacy means he managed to… unite people like we rarely see anymore in liberal democracies!

      This type of questioning is literally Orwellian doublespeak, which is sadly par for the course in today’s mainstream media…

      Thankfully Galloway is a masterful rhetorician and he made mincemeat of this poor excuse for a journalist, which makes it a very pleasing watch.

      10:35 PM · Mar 1, 2024

      1. Benny Profane

        I love the way the interview starts with just the two of them, and then the crowd slowly swells around both (how intimidating!), and then they all exit right with cheers and derision for Mr. Sky.

        I’m having the same argument with people about Trump right now. “He just won a democratic vote, fair and square. By 30%! Wake up!”

        1. Jeff W

          I was struck by the same thing. The crowd gathers spontaneously at about the midpoint, laughing approvingly at Mr Galloway’s jabs, some commenting (“I despise the Prime Minister!” “We all do!”) and breaking into applause at the end. It definitely says something about Galloway’s appeal. (And Galloway stays on message, repeating over and over again about his mandate and the fact that “the thumping majority” voted for him.)

      2. Yves Smith Post author

        The interview is in Links. Please pay more attention. Our site Policies call for reader to have read a post in full before commenting.

        It is a great exchange. Galloway really can stomp on the deserving.

          1. Terry Flynn

            Crucial tidbit for non-Brits that probably went under their radar. Galloway told us he will be escorted in by David Davis MP. David Davis is (to many people) similar to Galloway in terms of being thoroughly annoying but he is a Conservative MP that I respect (mostly) because he doesn’t seem to throw away principles on a whim.

            I’m pretty sure there are others who can remind me of his indiscretions (he isn’t good on certain minority rights, was part of the fiasco concerning implementation of Brexit etc) but he has shown little fear in going up against his own party and government when they sought to compromise civil liberties. He even resigned his seat, forcing a by-election (which he won), to bring national media focus to the issue. Eurosceptic but allegedly wants to stay in the ECHR because he knows exit will cause future governments to do whatever they like.

            There’s a fair bit of the “but what does that mean in actuality?” side of libertarianism to him but I get the feeling that if he’s your opponent he’ll play somewhat fair, unlike a lot of other Tory MPs who have been brought down recently. It is certainly curious as to why he is the one to introduce Galloway.

            1. CA

              Crucial tidbit for non-Brits…

              [ Thank you for both comments, since I would not have understood these UK nuances otherwise. ]

        1. flora

          Galloway is so refreshing to listen to after years of hearing mush-mouthed pols trying to slide away from issues voters care about.
          Thanks for the link.

          1. Terry Flynn

            Agreed. Galloway is brilliant orator but gets a very bad rap in the UK MSM. He’s done some downright silly stuff. When I woke up, looked at Twitter and saw “Rula Lenska” as the top trending topic in the UK I knew exactly why. If you don’t know, and want either to reduce your faith in humanity further or to have a laugh of the “WTAF?” variety then google her name and Galloway. Safe for work but you may want eye-bleach afterwards.

            The trouble (for him at least) is, he is a sort of Jeremy Corbyn – someone who says the correct stuff but manifestly failed to “control the narrative”, either by not understanding how modern media works or just “not looking the part”. I actually think he was a little below par with the Sky News “reporter” – he was a bit wordy compared to some of his past scathing one liners. He could have made a more direct insult concerning the reporter’s arithmetic following the “we’ve spoken to some people” comment – people like Trump are adept at coining memorable insulting adjectives that people remember. Galloway hasn’t been quite that unsubtle but he has given some really great one-liners. I think he was tired (understandably) but he still hung that excuse for a reporter out to dry and got a crowd really riled up. I’m betting the producer told the reporter via earpiece “bail NOW”.

            1. CA

              The trouble (for him at least) is, [Galloway] is a sort of Jeremy Corbyn – someone who says the correct stuff but manifestly failed to “control the narrative”, either by not understanding how modern media works or just “not looking the part”…

              [ Ah, I understand, but Jeremy Corbyn was ultimately ruined by the media and Labour elite. Corbyn never seemed to recover from the BBC portraying him as a Russian, in Russian dress before the Kremlin. Also, Corbyn could not recover from the absurd anti-Semitism accusations.

              Likely I do not understand British politics to know why Corbyn was ruined, but Glenn Greenwald also failed to understand and is bitter about the way in which Corbyn was treated by Labor elite. ]

              1. Terry Flynn

                I think we may be on the same page here (more or less). Corbyn just got hammered a lot more because he isn’t the bruiser Galloway is. I was a member of the Labour Party for one year during Corbyn’s leadership – the vitriol at the local constituency expressed by New Labourites who knew no history, nothing about money, but just that Blair was God and Corbyn was the devil shocked me.

                I’d never previously been a member of a Party before that year. On its completion I resigned my membership and vowed never ever to be a member of any political party in the UK in my life. The local party lost a huge chunk of its membership at the same time.

            2. Daniil Adamov

              If he hadn’t done the thing you refer to, they’d attack him for something else and with no less fervour. I think it’s basically harmless, if not downright humanising (ironically enough). Granted I’m not sure I’d recommend it as a political tactic.

              1. Terry Flynn

                Yep. The thing that is more worrying for him is whether the “different campaign leaflets for Muslim and non-Muslim parts of Rochdale” story gains traction. I have no idea if this is true or not but the MSM is reporting it in an attempt to smear him.

                If you gain a perception of being two-faced you’ll run into trouble. Let’s face it, he’s got into Parliament as a spoiler more than once and he must tread very carefully since the tabloids have ample opportunities to paint him as merely that. Going on that TV programme shows a degree of poor judgment: it’s as if he’s following influencers rather than concentrating with laser-focus on the message.

                The UK public wont show infinite patience if he doesn’t nail his colours to the mast once and for all and give a thoroughly coherent message that emphasises his oratory and principles. Publicity stunts and any whiff of “two-facedness” will sink him. Plus there is the HUGE elephant in the room. Before Google discontinued it, autocomplete on searches of “Rochdale…” were practically the worst things you can think of in terms of certain crimes. I wouldn’t want to be the MP if you paid me 10x the salary. Possibly the most notorious constituency in the history of the United Kingdom. It’s all there in public and on wikipedia.

                1. Daniil Adamov

                  That’s fair enough. I’m just not sure if there is any degree of prudence that could shield him from an all-out media attack, which i am sure is only getting started. Corbyn was, I think, a lot more prudent, but they still found a way to bring him down. So trouble will find him regardless. Being on message would be worthwhile anyway, of course, and maybe it would help him cut through the noise.

                  1. Terry Flynn

                    I pretty much agree. I’ve laid out before some rules that should form a written UK constitution (which a pretty venerable member of the commentariat actually thought should be *strengthened*!)

                    The rule in question is that I don’t think anybody with 1% or more ownership of a newspaper or other government licensed (e.g. TV spectrum) should be allowed to possess citizenship of any other country than the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Let’s face it – an Aussie/American controls us via media.

                    Indeed I believe dual/multi-citizenship should be illegal for all persons in a variety of powerful positions in society. Such people should also spend a minimum of 75% of the year physically present in the UK mainland unless engaged in diplomatic or similar roles. I’m half Aussie and remember the big kerfuffle when it turned out so many Australian MPs had British, not Australian citizenship. They cracked down on that hard and fast. Time we did it. And if I get any power (ha!) I’ll burn my Aussie passport and citizenship document pronto. On YouTube. Or maybe my UK one if the UK beats Oz in the race to the bottom…..

        2. CA

          The interview is in Links…

          [ Yes, I always read in full and knew the link was already there. But, I thought the summary by Arnaud Bertrand added a helpful perspective. I found the win and comments by Galloway very heartening.

          Alice X also helped me find more in the post about the focus of Galloway. Interpretations can help me better my reading.

          Thank you so much for the encouraging post. ]

          1. Yves Smith Post author

            The reason for raising the issue is that readers often complain that Links are already overwhelming, as in are more than they can process. So posting a tweet that is largely redundant and not giving readers any indication of that is not considerate of the concerns regularly expressed about limited information bandwidth

    2. Neutrino

      Galloway demonstrates what is sadly lacking in Washington. Principles. Combined with his communications skills, that is toxic to stenographers and elected mouthpieces. That Senate video should be included in the curriculum of all college history and poli sci majors. And all others.

      1. digi_owl

        One can dream, but i doubt it. I’m convinced polsci is like MBA, a place for networking not learning (and i believe Navalny’s daughter is taking polsci in USA right now).

    3. .Tom

      The Rochdale byelection results are really something. It is not surprising that the Tory did so badly but omg Labour was utterly humiliated, coming in 4th with 7.7% of the vote. This shows what can happen when an alternative to the party duopoly is available, when your only selling point is “We’re not Them” and you can’t limit the ballot to Us vs. Them.

      1. Terry Flynn

        Indeed. Re voting alternatives, I had a conversation with family today in which I predicted something based on Canada’s experience and the ongoing collapse of centrist parties (or factions of major ruling parties) within the EU/US/similar countries. I am extremely worried that history is repeating, what with the excessive UK coverage of Nigel Farage. Dial back to the “New Labour” government days when the top BBC satirical news quiz “Have I Got News For You” (HIGNFY) put Boris Johnson on a pedestal “because he’s a fluffy idiotic buffoon”.

        HIGNFY broadcast a special “non-season” edition to celebrate Johnson’s downfall. It was funny. However, it was deeply hypocritical and I have no respect for the two team captains, Ian Hislop and Paul Merton, for failing to acknowledge that THEY gave the oxygen of publicity to Johnson that accelerated his rise to power and failed to show the “less fluffy” side to him. I came to dislike Hislop most strongly when the Guardian noted that he failed to unequivocally apologise for Private Eye’s semi-defence of Andrew Wakefield. The Daily Mail is mostly drivel but as Yves has noted, its health coverage is often on the money. Private Eye (IMNSHO) failed miserably. Then Hislop raised up Boris.

        So where is this going? I’m going to stick my neck out and predict a huge Labour victory at next general election will cause the right wing to become dominated by a more extreme party (as happened to the Progressive Conservatives after their 1990s almost wipe-out). Labour don’t understand the economy and within 10 years, thanks to shows like HIGNFY, instead of principled but flawed people like Galloway, we’ll have a certain “figure of fun” like Nigel Farage as Prime Minister. History doesn’t repeat but it does rhyme.

        1. Revenant

          If Rochdale is repeated for Labour – because Labour has lost the Muslim vote over Gaza – they won’t have a thumping majority….

    4. .Tom

      The exchange shows the fragility of the established political class. Over the years the media and pols have been increasingly relying on an etiquette that bats around fashionable buzzwords and slogans to conceal their co-dependent corruption. Here Galloway demonstrates how to shake that reality to bits. Start by assuming that the voters recognize abject bullstuff, step outside those terms debate and clearly refuse the frame of each question and then point to the nonsense assumptions and values implied by the question.

      It’s easy for a person like Galloway when he’s filled with the confidence of his victory and mandate. But it’s a skill any decent aspiring politician should be able to learn.

    5. The Rev Kev

      Somebody was pointing out that the difference between George Galloway and Rishi Sunak is that George Galloway was actually elected while Sunak was not.

  9. The Rev Kev

    “Neocon Iraq war architects want a redo in Gaza”

    Because Iraq was such a spectacular success for them. This article needs a bit of translation so I will choose two examples here-

    ‘The plan, which was published as a report Thursday by the hard-line neo-conservative Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, or JINSA, and the Vandenberg Coalition, is calling for the creation of a private entity, the “International Trust for Gaza Relief and Reconstruction” to be led by “a group of Arab countries such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates” and “supported by the United States and other nations.”’

    Translation – Israel wants Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, the US and in fact the world community to pay for everything to do with this napkin plan. This is a feature of every outlandish plan that Israel has come up with – that other countries pay for it all.

    ‘the plan calls for security to be provided by the Trust’s leaders and “capable forces from non-regional states with close ties to Israel,” as well as “vetted Gazans.” ‘

    Now this is a head-scratcher. ‘capable forces from non-regional states with close ties to Israel’ Who the hell would that be? Maybe Modi’s India? Milei’s Argentina? Biden’s America? Trudeau’s Canada? Israel has been pulling brigades out of Gaza as they keep getting hammered so which country wants to step in and do occupation duty with the task of uncovering that 400 miles of underground tunnels? Pretty sure that as far as Hamas is concerned, all occupation troops are the same and are fair game.

    1. Feral Finster

      “’Neocon Iraq war architects want a redo in Gaza’

      Because Iraq was such a spectacular success for them.”

      For the neocons, Iraq went just fine. They got their war, Iraq was destroyed, none of them suffered in the least, not personally or professionally.

      1. digi_owl

        And they got their pet companies the reconstruction contracts.

        And i think Col. Smithers have mentioned that they are already divvying up the spoils in London along similar lines.

      2. judy sixbey

        I swear that Elliot Abrams dude looks very much like Jim Carey’s character in A Series of Unfortunate Events. Count Olaf. Yes!

      3. Don

        I think that they expected Iraq to go much, much better; that Iraq, followed up by Syria, was the beginning of their end in that neighbourhood… but time will tell.

  10. John

    I would say the US “chooses” to allow the Israelis to show their contempt for it by “allowing” these air drops. Who is the tail? Who is the dog? Allowing a client state to call the tune is beyond stupid.

    1. The Rev Kev

      On the news tonight they had some turkey talk about how these drops cost more than ten times than it would to just send them by truck. He was also arguing that the capacity of drops is only small as compared to using trucks. But at no point did the reporter ask him or say that the Israelis are stopping nearly all the trucks going in and the only reason why the air drops is that this is the only way to get food in to Gaza

    2. jo6pac

      I’ll go on record that israelis shot one of the planes down. I wonder if the planes will be USAF or contractors? They’ll be flying a closed air space. If they do will joey b. send fighter jets to protect them?

      israelis tried to sink an Amerikan ship and lbj won’t send fighters to protect it.

      1. undercurrent

        I once wrote a letter to the Pt. Townsend Leader(WA) concerning Netanyahu’s visit and address to Congress. At the time, Obama was the President, and the House was controlled by republicans. I criticized the democratic congressman, the neoliberal Derek Kilmer, for attending. I remember writing that he was elected to represent the people of Washington state’s Sixth District, and not the extreme rightist members of Israel’s Likud Party.

        It’s taken me 72 years to fully understand that the interests of Jews occupying Palestine are the single most paramount issue to American politicians.

    3. Vandemonian

      The Israelis will know exactly where and when each food drop will arrive. They will have IOF troops on hand for each drop, so that they can fire “warning shots” to make sure that starving Palestinian children don’t injure each other in the mad panic to get food.

    4. Verifyfirst

      This is all very strange–Biden suddenly air dropping food and supposedly pushing for a ceasefire (temporary or permanent?). The only reason I can think of is Biden really is worried about the 100,000 uncommitted votes in the recent Democratic primary in Michigan, which were largely a protest against his policy in Gaza. He should be concerned, he beat Trump by only 150K votes in Michigan, and Hillary lost to Trump in Michigan by a margin of 10,000 votes.

      But it is still very strange, given his behavior since 10/7 on Gaza. Both food and ceasefire will anger many Israeli’s and their US supporters, since these could, if successful, prevent the final solution they seek–expelling all Palestinians from Gaza permanently (or just killing them–they are indifferent as to which option). It also seems to clearly say the US believes Israel is intentionally starving the people in Gaza, i.e., US agrees that there is no actual logistical reason adequate supplies couldn’t come in to Gaza as they normally have, but we will have to airdrop–presumably outside of Israeli control and inspection–since Israel is not allowing food in.

      By saying you will airlift in food to Gaza, what you are saying is that you believe–the US government believes-it is important that these people not starve to death, and we will take the responsibility for providing them with food. Even if that is successful, what then about medical care? Shelter? Water and sewer infrastructure? And so on. Does Biden think a ceasefire will end the dire need for all these things, or the Israeli blockade?

      The Israeli’s have long restricted what gets into Gaza–the current situation is one of degree, not kind. Imagine how the Israeli’s will react to the gazillion tons of material that will have to be brought in for any reconstruction, when they had already severely restricted building supplies as a matter of course. So now we are going to do a new Berlin airlift? (which I doubt we could if we wanted to, but we could bring in by boat, perhaps). But instead of defending Germans from the Soviets, we will now be defending Palestinians from the Israeli’s. Gaza a US protectorate? Interesting.

      1. Feral Finster

        Biden is trying to have it both ways, to put on a performative humanitarian gesture that to pacify voters, but not change anything of substance.

        Cynical, even by Biden administration standards. If further evidence were needed that we are ruled by sociopaths…

        1. John Steinbach

          Read in the WAPO that the airdrop is for 38,000 meals.That means they have to make 58 airdrops 3 times a day every day to feed the Gaza Palestinians. The work ‘cynical’ to describe the US government is a grotesque understatement.

        2. ArvidMartensen

          How would the citizens of Gaza trust any food airdrops from the US, the main enabler of Israeli massacres.
          Would they worry that this is just another honeypot trap to shoot another 100 of them?
          And more to the point, is it?

        3. Neutrino

          Biden as creaky weathervane. Need to work that into campaign literature, or maybe some TikTok videos! /s

  11. ilsm

    The German generals’ conversation reflects the amount of engineering already done on Kiev aircraft to deliver Stormshadow and other guided ordnance.

    As well as the part played in giving discreet targeting from US intel/Surveillance/recon assets!

    This is the script already repeated several times, and reflects the western origin of too many headline attacks, that have limited value to the war.

    Terror by tech!

    1. The Rev Kev

      It sure is a good thing that Germany is not part of this war or else there would be hell to pay. Looks like the Ukrainian obsession with the Crimean bridge is now becoming a German one. It is still essentially a civilian bridge and bombing it would have no effect on this war but they just can’t help themselves.

      1. Carolinian

        So these rocket strikes in the face of an already lost war would be a Vengeance Weapon. V-3?

        It is said that the Germans really care about their image and guilt after the events of the 20th century and that is why they are such strong supporters of Israel. But shouldn’t that same attitude apply to Russia where far more people died than died in the camps? Of course Germany did pay a price for decades with the post war partition but that was mild compared to the complete de-industrialization that some of the victors desired.

        As several articles today have pointed out they shouldn’t be tempting Russia to finish the job. Their leaders may have become wagging poodles of the US but is that what their public want?

        1. Daniil Adamov

          The problem with the exclusive status given to the Holocaust is that it lets a lot of people, including many of the Germans, decide that they have learned the only moral lesson that history teaches: “don’t mistreat Jews”. Anyone else is fair game, though. (See also their negligent attitude towards Turkish nationalists going after Armenians in Germany. Armenians are not Jews; no problem there.)

          1. digi_owl

            Also, the cold warriors never retired.

            Every time i see some uniform or spook talk about Russia on TV i expect them to slip up and refer to Russia as the Soviet Union.

  12. Neutrino

    Saturday morning coming down.

    Glenn Greenwald is right about the Democrat tendency to do that which they accuse others of doing. They’re not alone in that, just more seasoned.

    Next, there can be a Washington scorecard, with a Wall Street variant. Call it the Rating Alinsky Political Exercise, to see how many rules are being applied and how effectively.

    That traffic court judge could have a walk-on role in the Baker trial for walking while journalising. Quite the career move, with the lucrative CNN Panel sinecure and odd Op-Ed teed up.

    1. chris

      Yes. It has seemed for a long time that the reason why all the DNC party luminaries claim that Russia and others are engaging in psy-ops to change voter behavior is because the DNC is already doing that and the DNC believe it works very well. Trump is scoring hits with his “they’re doing it to me but their real target is you!” talking point.

  13. CA

    Arnaud Bertrand @RnaudBertrand

    This is an excellent takedown of a recent Washington Post editorial entitled “Xi is tanking China’s economy”, which demonstrates the unbelievable amount of lies and misrepresentations it contained.

    For instance the WaPo editorial board wrote: “China recorded a respectable 5.2 percent economic growth rate last year, but the real rate is lower when adjusted for falling prices. Rather than being an economic juggernaut, China seems likely to be entering a period of deflation, the sorts of conditions that led to Japan’s ‘lost decade.'”

    Any Econ 101 student would know this is laughably wrong. Falling prices would actually make the real GDP growth rate HIGHER, not lower. This is because when prices reduce, the value of money increases (you can buy more with the same amount of money): adjusting for this shows that the real quantity of goods and services produced has increased more than the nominal rate suggests.

    And this is just one example of the good dozen ridiculously wrong assertions in the piece. Which again is written by WaPo’s editorial board, so this isn’t some crazy lone op-ed writer…

    When you need to lie to people – and to yourself – to such a crazy extent about how your competitor is doing, it says a LOT more about how you’re doing than it does about them…

    7:18 PM · Mar 1, 2024

  14. The Rev Kev

    “”A dream. It’s perfect”: Helium discovery in northern Minnesota may be biggest ever in North America”

    Initially when these scientists tried to phone in their results to the US Geological Survey, they were not initially believed as they all talked in Mickey Mouse voices.

    I read an article about twenty years ago talking about how the US only had one helium mine left so the US government tightly controlled its use and raised prices to discourage frivolous use. Nah, just kidding. They tried to use that last helium mine up as fast as possible until it was all gone.

    1. Jeff W

      Meanwhile, a bit over a month ago, the US “just sold its helium stockpile,” leaving the medical world “worried,” according to NBC News.

      I have to admit I never gave much thought (meaning any) to where helium comes from but it just didn’t occur to me that it was a non-renewable resource mined, as an article from IFLScience says, “as a by-product of the natural gas extraction process.” I would have surmised that it was manufactured somewhere (but, apparently, no such process exists).

      From that article

      In 2019, David Cole-Hamilton, emeritus professor of chemistry at the University of St Andrews, told the Independent that he estimated that the world had around 10 years left of helium unless more effort was put into recycling. Others suggest between 100 and 200 years of helium usage could be a best estimate.

      [link as in the original]

      (The article doesn’t specify who the “others” are.)

      The dek in The Independent piece is a quote from Cole-Hamilton: “By having helium balloons at your birthday party you may prevent people from having an MRI scan.” (Well, no more birthday party invites for him!)

      I imagine that this current “dream discovery” revises the estimates favorably upward but, as yet, we don’t know by how much.

      1. digi_owl

        It seems the basic problem with Helium is that it being right next hydrogen in size, but nowhere near as chemically reactive, it basically floats off into space when vented. The only other gas between hydrogen and oxygen is Nitrogen (right next to Oxygen), and while while it can form quite stable bonds with itself it is also a main ingredient in most explosives and fertilizers out there.

        The more one look at it, the more these last 200 years will be a flash in the pan for human history. The short period when we were effectively gods before we wasted all the perishables and returned to feudalism and subsistence farming.

        And on the fringes will be the ever more weird “wizards” dabbling in lost tech, and the priests warning about the corrupting influence of same.

        1. Jeff W

          “The short period when we were effectively gods before we wasted all the perishables and returned to feudalism and subsistence farming.”

          I look at it that way, too. Between the profligate waste of all these non-renewable resources and our loss of the relatively benign climate of the Holocene, people in the future will look back on conditions in the human past (if they can look back on anything) as unimaginably beneficent and unforgivably squandered.

  15. Alice X

    ~Israel’s war on Gaza updates: Biden says US will air drop aid to enclave Aljazeera (furzy).

    Another day, another ten thousand tears for Gaza. But so many are crocodile tears:

    Joe Biden confuses Gaza with Ukraine in airdrop announcement


    ~US Vetoes UN Resolution Condemning Israel for Flour Massacre

    It looks like a simple but grim case to me. Starve them, then bring in trucks as bait and kill those who show up. The IOF opens fire on starving people. Is the drone video suppose to make the IOF look good?

    Am I over the top here?

    I happened on this link with Sam Seder (The Majority Report) discussing the massacre. Not overly impressed with the gravitas but they did have a segment with an IOF colonel that shows a dark mindset.

  16. timbers

    Israel’s war on Gaza updates: Biden says US will air drop aid to enclave

    Israel says “thank you”…….

    MOA – Prediction: Israel Will Bomb Gazans At Drop Sites For U.S. Aid

    1. LawnDart

      Re; Israel’s war on Gaza updates: Biden says US will air drop aid to enclave

      UNPROFOR here, ’92-’93, did the airdrop-thing out of C-130s… I volunteered for the missions, proud and pumped– it seemed that we were doing “the right thing,” for once.

      It didn’t go so well. And this PR stunt will probably get people killed too– it is a PR-stunt.

      What we learned from our efforts:

      A. Dropping pallets into a drop-zone a safe-distance away from people means that they get to try to dodge sniper-fire (the real-stuff– not to be mistaken for marching-bands playing a welcome) for several hundred yards/meters while they try to retrieve the supplies.

      B. Air-dropped pallets are heavy and fall quickly, and can effortlessly crash through roofs, turning unfortunates beneath into sticky red mush or limp globs of pulp.

      C. In order to allieviate A and B, we experimented with open-topped cardboard containers which when dropped would tumble through the air and scatter the MREs and other individually packaged meals across the target. It then becomes a risk/reward thing for the hungry: unless you get real lucky and one falls into your lap, you’ve still got to expose yourself to snipers for each packet of food… how hungry are you? Is dinner worth a bullet?

      We knew within weeks of beginning our effort that airdrops were proving mostly ineffective for that environment and those circumstances, that the only way to get aid to the people trapped by the fighting was to break the blockades. But the politicians and generals ordered the airdrops to continue, because airdrops look good for the cameras, and they get to look like they are doing something.

      Break the blockade or set-up a turkey-shoot for Israeli snipers, using food as bait to lure victims to the killing field. But I guess it doesn’t really matter, since they seem to be weaponizing aid already anyway.

      1. Feral Finster

        Of course it’s a PR stunt, like shooting a man six times and then taking a selfie of giving the victim a bandaid.

        1. LawnDart

          The average person who will watch the video-clips online or see the airdrops in segments of TV news might not understand what it is that they are actually seeing… hell, Genocide Joe and his minions are probably sick enough to use footage of the drops in campaign ads (’cause airdrops can be really exciting and cool to watch!).

          I fully understand that we mostly have very well-informed readers here, but hopefully I have provided some information that can be useful in discussion or debate with the mis/disinformed, the intellectually complacent, or the pro-zionist armchair warriors that one may encounter.

          “Of course…” makes a dangerous assumption, much along the lines of the statement, “people know…”, as if we people were cookie-cutter shaped and of one collective, omniscient mind.

          Note that these same aircraft used for “humanitarian airdrops” in the morning can be quickly reconfigured, reloaded, and be delivering pallets of bombs and bullets to wherever needed in Israel before lunch. Could this “relief” be a pretext under which we provide further support to Israel’s operation by providing their military with additional logistic capabilities? It’s an excellent way to quickly move assets from Gaza to South Lebanon…

      2. rowlf

        Your point B came to mind as I read the news story.

        “Hey Bibi, this is Joe. I found a way to help you. It will look good too.”

          1. rowlf

            Nope. But being a mil-brat surrounded by veterans I have seen/heard many “Airdrop Gone Bad” stories/pictures/films over the decades. Flat no-longer-serviceable equipment stories are fun. Hurt people stories are not.

        1. Wukchumni

          ‘Adore Dash’

          “Hey Bibi, this is Joe. I found a way to help you. It will look good too.”

    2. LawnDart

      Hell, just read MOA’s piece– it brought back memories.

      Prediction: Israel Will Bomb Gazans At Drop Sites For U.S. Aid

      As I have asserted before:
      The Zionist occupation forces send food into the northern Gaza strip to then kill starving Palestinians who try to collect it.

      Imagine those lucky ones who survive running the gauntlet and have managed to get their hands on an MRE… only to find that it’s pork-and-beans.

      Hopefully “Hamas” doesn’t manage to shoot-down one of our C-130s, just like the time they almost sank the USS Liberty.

  17. Benny Profane

    Kara Swisher is a gossipy tool of the neo liberal warmongering caste. I guess she finds it easy to mock the tech bros that are now in the twilight of their start up careers, because, after all, everybody hates them, but in the meantime she’s helping develop Orwellian “apps” in wartime Ukraine to help neighbors snitch on neighbors, because, you know, Putin.

    1. Feral Finster

      Which blows up the “all Ukrainians are united!” myth, otherwise there would be no need for anonymous denunciation apps.

  18. The Rev Kev

    ‘Michael Tracey
    The judge who just threw Trump off the ballot in Illinois typically “presides over minor traffic violations”

    You literally cannot make this sort of stuff up. And all it does is curb-stomp the concept of court justice while giving rocket fuel to MAGA Americans.

    1. Benny Profane

      File this under why Dems are losing the black vote. They experience this junk firsthand.

      1. Carolinian

        The Dems seem to spend all their time fretting about rebellion if Trump wins but what they are really worried about is rebellion if they win. It’s not Trump but rebellion in general that these authoritarians fear. You can see it in Biden’s every move from vaccine mandates to his most recent bid to get the courts to extend FISA rather than going to Congress.

        If some of us seem to see more in Trump than is really there perhaps it’s in the spirit of that very rebellion. TINA is not what this country is supposed to be about and the more the Dems hate Trump the more the public who are not in their cozy group tend to like him.

        A more intelligent ruling class would let the public have their way and get it out of their system. They’ve bought all the politicians anyway. Why worry whether an R or a D?

        1. digi_owl

          Perhaps because while Trump was on paper an R, he was (and is?) a self-funded wild card.

          He was an uncouth outsider violating all the unwritten strictures on political behavior.

          That is perhaps their real problem with him, that he showed that the power of the beltway tastemakers had limits.

          1. Daniil Adamov

            Kind of… He still governed as a conventional Republican for the most part, didn’t he? Going along with the party line out of self-interest 90% of the time is, I suppose, more independent than going along with it out of sincere conviction/organisational loyalty 100% of the time. But the difference isn’t that big.

          2. Frank Pandullo

            Trump wasn’t self-funded. His biggest funders were Sheldon Adelson, Steve Roth (who bailed him out of bankruptcy twice that we know about), Bernard Marcus of Home Depot fame which destroyed small independent hardware stores in the US, and Private Equity ghoul Paul Singer.

            Trump has since built a mini political empire funded by people buying his rubber duckies and other swag, but he is still heavily dependent on donors, as are all pols. And both Trump and his donors love Israel, deregulation and less taxes on the wealthy. Period.

            Just consider that Trump never mentions reversing NAFTA or Glass-Steagall. He’s never even uttered the words Glass-Steagall.

            On Covid, Trump mentioned hydroxychloroquine a couple times and that was it. He never said the word “ivermectin” and he did absolutely nothing which would have in any way materially contradicted the DOD/HHS Guidelines. In short, it is he and his admin who set things up so that ultimately only adenovirus-based “vaccines” and mRNA concoctions were used. At least he and his admin weren’t serious proponents of the utterly preposterous “zero covid” nonsense.

  19. Neutrino

    If she plays her cards right, there could be a television show.

    As long as she doesn’t run afoul of those* who put her up to the stunt.
    Then, no show, no career, no anything.
    Don’t buy any green bananas.

    *Unnamed, plausible deniability, comfortably numb

  20. Henry Moon Pie

    Fukuyama’s end of democracy–

    Apparently, history is not only still alive, but it also is a lot more interesting than Francis expected.

    The whole thing is a fisker’s delight, but here’s one teaser to get you started:

    Several other aspects of the American political order have contributed to polarisation. Presidentialism locks in the winner for an unalterable four-year term, and that person can be turned out only through impeachment, which is an extraordinarily difficult process. One of Trump’s biggest advantages today is Biden’s age and general unpopularity. In a parliamentary system, the party elite could move to replace a failing leader with someone more electable, but this can’t happen in the US.

    Last election the “party elite” collaborated/conspired to nominate that already failing leader. It would be so much easier to “save democracy” if our system didn’t still have a few, barely surviving vestiges of representative democracy.

    1. Carolinian

      From what I read the “party leaders” decided they needed Biden to beat Trump–no Trump no Biden. I believe even Biden himself has said he’s only running to make sure Trump doesn’t get in.

      The real problem may be therefore that the Dem bench is enfeebled from all these years of being the Not Trump party. They are victims of their own propaganda.

        1. John

          When the gerontocrats refuse to retire or die, the replacement bench empties out. They have done it to themselves assuming they are indispensable. These puppets passing as politicians, these puffed up marionettes performing on the stage as their strings are pulled. They are disgusting … all of them.

        2. Not Qualified to Comment

          Sorry – first quick reading of this gave me:

          The democratic bench is filled with sphincters.

          …which is how polite persons refer to a…holes.

      1. JBird4049

        If you keep screaming the Orange Man Bad is coming to get you and that anyone who does not proclaim their eternal, uncritical fealty to Saint Joe of Scranton is a demonic Maga and servant of the Demon Lord Orange, you do not have to look at yourself.

        Francis Fukuyama wrote an entire article that avoided any criticism of the Democratic Party, and he put all the responsibility for Mr. Trump’s likely re-election on the Republicans and the MAGA faction. He lied by omission, or he is so enbubbled in Neoliberal World that he has become a fanatic.

    2. Daniil Adamov


      I think William Penn had the right of it (“Let men be good, and the government cannot be bad; if it be ill, they will cure it. But, if men be bad, let the government be never so good, they will endeavor to warp and spoil it to their turn.”). The people (the party elite, in this case) matter a lot more than the fine details of the system. If they wanted to fix it, they could. As they don’t, having a parliamentary system or a different voting system or whatever else won’t help; certainly not by itself.

    3. steppenwolf fetchit

      I gather that Fukuyama believes that America should go to a parliamentary system.

      They have a parliamentary system in Israel. Netanyahu brought two very-minority parties into his coalition to build up enough numbers to have a coalition government. So Israel-government policy is now made by the Smotrich and benGvir Parties as the price Netanyahu pays to delay going on trial and maybe to prison for a little longer.

      This is what Parliamentary Democracy smells like.

      I don’t see any benefits to be had by adopting Parliamentary Democracy in America.

  21. Tom Stone

    It’s going to get even livelier as November approaches.
    I very much doubt that Genocide Joe will voluntarily step aside and dropping Kamala Harris from the ticket is problematic because she is an extremely vindictive Woman.
    Perhaps a $65MM book contract and an appointment as Ambassador to the Court of St James would do…after Joe trips on the stairs and dies.
    IMO there is also a one in three chance that the election will be cancelled due to a National Security threat and the need for a steady hand at the helm of the ship of state.
    Assuming, of course, that we avoid a Nuclear exchange.
    Something that is very possible given the quality of “Western Leadership”.

    1. John

      There was an election in the midst of our Civil War. Since so many already believe past elections were rigged why cancel it in the face of a national security threat … I have heard ‘national security threat’, ‘in the interest of national security’, ‘danger to national security’ etc. so many times that the terms have become meaningless if they ever had real meaning. Cry national security or cry wolf: what’s the difference?

      Finally, why cancel the election? There is no choice between the legacy candidates anyway. It is the same BS now as four years ago There is not really a viable candidate at all. Hold an election. Everyone expects one. Why disappoint them? Think of all the money that election entrepreneurs would be denied. All the preparations for election coverage by the media; it’s a huge industry, billions, the show must go on.

      The rhetoric or lack of it changes. Foreign policy sails serenely on perhaps tacking slightly to wind from center left or center right. Looting continues disguised as business. People will still be living in mansions, gated and guarded communities, suburbs, tiny apartments, their car or van, a tent or under a bridge. Hey that’s America. And in America we have elections.

    2. ArvidMartensen

      I wonder if what we are watching is just a very disorganised, slow moving coup run by a loose cabal of military and CIA backers and funded by bros with common interests at the moment.

      And being the Toms and Daisys of our generation, they will eventually stop at nothing to get what they want.
      If I was Trump right now, I would be vetting all of my personal services providers, cooks, doctors, drivers etc. Because the lawfare hasn’t neutered him yet.

      1. Oh

        The US is already run by a loose cabal of military and CIA backers and funded by bros with common interests at the moment!

  22. chris

    Regarding the teen who died of injuries from the fight she had at her Oklahoma high school…

    Things escalated after Benedict poured water on the students, who then responded by grabbing at their hair. Benedict then pushed one the girls into a paper towel dispenser, and eventually got thrown to the floor and beaten up.

    Now, we don’t know what happened on the days before. We don’t know what mental state Benedict was in when that encounter occurred. But what seems undisputed is that this teen started a fight with 3 girls, in a confined area, with no training or weapons or control of the situation. They just lashed out when they were outnumbered and in a closed area with few options for maneuvering. It was a stupid thing to do. It is tragic that action resulted in them dying.

    This is what it means to FAFO.

    But from reading that Guardian article, and others, the people who are most to blame for this situation are the parents of the teen. The Benedicts didn’t know their kid was being bullied that badly? The Benedicts didn’t train their kid to defend themselves? The Benedicts didn’t talk to their kid about what it means to choose to be non-binary in that community? I have no doubt that these parents feel awful about what happened and the death of their child. They should.

    1. Revenant

      The article you link actually says the death was not the result of trauma: “Authorities have not released Benedict’s cause of death, but authorities have said that a preliminary autopsy finding showed the student did not die as a result of trauma.”.

      So I don’t think.we should draw at lessons for anybody involved from it.

      1. chris

        You’re right. We should wait for the autopsy results. We should wait for whatever investigation information is released because it could very well inform what happens next on a variety of levels.

        Doesn’t change what I said about it being tragic and stupid. Doesn’t change that person should have been better prepared by her parents.

  23. Wukchumni

    “Meanwhile in California – ‘Monster blizzard is forecast to dump 10 feet of snow on mountains in California and Nevada’

    Took awhile for the storm to show yesterday, long enough to ignite some burn piles before the deluge…

    The real action is in the higher climes in the First National Snowbank of the Sierra Nevada, with another fruitful year in the books~

    We’ve had a trying year on the slopes in terms of weather conditions, and seeing as we make reservations 6 months in advance, you have no idea what’s coming.

    We start skiing on Monday in Mammoth with mostly clear skies and it ought to be epic!

    1. Benny Profane

      Sierra cement!

      Seriously, I’m envious. Have fun. Loved Mammoth the one week I was there. Say hi to Glen Plake, but, he’s probably in France.

      1. Wukchumni

        My dad was an expert skier and Mammoth was his favorite place to go in the 1960’s, my mom told me he couldn’t be bothered with crappy little ski resorts in SoCal…

        It’s my favorite too!

        1. Pat

          I am so glad the gods decided to bless it and you with a whole bunch of the white stuff that has gotten so rare!

          1. Wukchumni

            Looking at photos of my dad skiing in Switzerland and Colorado from the 1940’s and 1950’s.

            The equipment back then was rather crude…

            Before my mom passed away she got involved in a company called ‘Story Worth’ that asked her questions about her life via e-mail, and she dutifully answered them, and my sisters and I each got a book with all the queries and answers.

            “Dad loved to ski…in the early 1950’s the ski industry was just starting in Colorado. Having lived in Lausanne, Switzerland about 5 years, he was an expert skier. Dad always loved clothes and he arrived in the USA with a stunning ski ensemble. I learned to ski, we spent a memorable week at Christmas in 1953 @ Aspen.

            Arapahoe ski resort had just opened in the late 1940’s and we skied there many times.

            In those days they had lifts but T-bars were common. Dad was proud as he knew the fellow who invented the Poma lift, a Frenchman.”

            1. Neutrino

              Leather boots, cable bindings, often wood skis, sometimes accessorized with a leg cast. Made for good conversation and free drinks around the fireplace in the lodge.

              1. Wukchumni

                The gear is so good now compared to back in the day…

                I have my dad’s mid century skis boots and bindings, and no way-no how would I ever use them.

    2. Eric Anderson

      What’s a lift pass at Mammoth going for these days Wuk? My local hill is up to $125. So, these days, I bounce across the state line to a little 1 chair USFS hill for $40. It’s about a 1/2 hour more drive time. But, remarkably, I always have more fun on the $40 hill and get more ski time b/c I don’t have to fight crowds of gapers.

      1. Wukchumni

        I have an Ikon pass, so its a moot point for yours truly but the daily lift ticket in Mammoth varies in price from $189 to $279 in the past year when I take a look at what its fetching.

        1. Eric Anderson

          I’ve heard rumor that all the big resorts are pricing their daily passes through the roof to push people into season passes. Allows them to better cover costs given climate variability.

          1. Wukchumni

            It gives 2 big players (Ikon & Epic) money up front 8 months before you could conceivably ski, and i’ve noticed the smaller resorts such as China Peak near me, have banded together with a ‘Cali Pass’ good at 4 ski resorts in the state.

            So far out west, climate change hasn’t really affected the ski resorts all that much, but I got a glimpse in the winter of 2014 where there was no snow @ China Peak to speak of, and it was always too warm to make snow.

            I could have skied in early December on minimal coverage, but didn’t and that winter we never used our season passes.

  24. Wukchumni

    Waymo is cleared to launch robotaxi service in Los Angeles

    Wouldn’t it be fun to program a Waymo so that it could be in one of those oh so popular LA freeway chases*?

    * If Jesus showed up for an interview in the City of Angels, he’d be pre-empted by a freeway chase, priorities-man!

    1. steppenwolf fetchit

      That clearance to launch was probably a message sent to the burners of that other Waymo. If the people of LA don’t like the effects of waves of Waymos in their fair city, they will probably have to burn as many of them as they can reach as fast as they can before police are authorised to ” shoot to kill” any seen to be threatening a Waymo.

      Or before it occurs to Waymo Incorporated to send out some Waymos with shooters hiding inside them as decoys.

  25. pjay

    – ‘The Story Behind the New York Times October 7 Exposé’ – Intercept (furzy)

    This is indeed a very good article, thoroughly debunking the whole propaganda effort and exposing the NY Times’ role in it. I strongly recommended it yesterday and still do. However, I think this observation from Electronic Intifada is also relevant:

    “While The Intercept has done some important reporting, adding to the pressure on The New York Times, it comes late to this story.

    “Weeks after The Electronic Intifada, Mondoweiss, The Grayzone and the popular Twitter account @zei_squirrel had debunked the “mass rape” claims, The Intercept was still credulously promoting them.

    “One thing is true: Hamas and other Palestinian militants committed unspeakable sexual violence against Israeli civilians on October 7,” begins a 24 December article in The Intercept by Judith Levine.

    “Yes, some individuals and extreme-left organizations have denied these atrocities or upheld them as justified resistance,” Levine claims, an appalling smear The Intercept should retract.

    “What we did and will continue to do is report based on facts.”

    “Will The Intercept show the level of accountability it now rightly demands of The Times for spreading Israel’s deadly lies?”

    Good question.

    1. Neutrino

      Why has the prior event at the Al Aqsa Mosque received such little coverage?
      What role did that play in 10-7?

    2. Em

      The Intercept article looks like the textbook example of a limited hangout. Blame a couple overzealous reporter and focus attention on the “good” NYT reporters who “pushed back”. The system works, no need to look further!

      Memory Hole the other sources for the story who brought up much more troubling implications about how Schwartz got hired and got her stories approved, how NYT and the Intercept both still propagate Israel sourced rape and atrocity stories uncritically, and how all MSM goes to ludicrous lengths to not name Israel as the source of Palestinian suffering.

  26. Wukchumni

    Knott’s Berry Farm launches pay-per-ride option to rival Disneyland

    Knott’s quietly rolls out a new Fast Lane skip-the-line option that charges $7.50 and up per individual ride.

    The first roll-out of the Single‐Use Fast Lane passes at Knott’s received positive feedback from visitors and employees, according to the latest Cedar Fair Investors Presentation.

    In the coming months, Cedar Fair plans to roll out the Single‐Use Fast Lane pass option at Carowinds (March 8), Dorney Park (April 12), Kings Island (April 19), Canada’s Wonderland (April 20), Cedar Point (May 4) and Schlitterbahn water park (May 18).

    Cedar Fair tested the Single‐Use Fast Lane passes at Ohio’s Cedar Point and Kings Island theme parks, selling the passes at kiosks stationed near ride entrances.

    Disneyland charges $16 to $28 for the Individual Lightning Lane pay-per-ride option on Rise of the Resistance and Radiator Springs Racers, according to Touring Plans. The Disney Genie service debuted in 2021 as a replacement for the retiring FastPass and MaxPass line-cutting options.

    Six Flags Magic Mountain launched a Flash Pass Skip-the-Line single-ride option in 2022 on four coasters: West Coast Racers, Twisted Colossus, Full Throttle and Goliath. Flash Pass single-ride prices ranged from $5 to $25 per person and varied per ride and by day when the program was introduced.

    I grew up in the Egalitarian State of America, where everybody waited in line to ride the Matterhorn bobsleds, when it cost $6 for admission and rides on your Disneyland adventure.

    1. Carolinian

      Disney World is going up to $170 per day standard rate. Fight the power!

      I’ve been there. May have been worth the $40 or so I paid just to see what it is about. A lot of standing in line.

      1. Wukchumni

        Growing up in SoCal we’d go to Disneyland once a year and I tired of it by the time I was a teenager, it’s been almost 50 years since I went to the so-called magic kingdom.

        Real life is much more interesting…

        1. caucus99percenter

          Adventure Land (nature), Tomorrow Land (rockets / Wernher von Braun), Frontier Land (the Wild West), Fantasy Land (castles / fairy tales), and “Main Street U.S.A.” (the Midwest circa 1910)?

        2. Carolinian

          As some may know underneath Disney World there’s a vast Disneybunker where some guy with an uncanny resemblance to Frank Morgan pulls levers and knobs to make the whole thing work. Above ground I’ve been told even the trees are fiberglass.

          And Steve Martin got his showbiz start at Disneyland and later Knotts Berry. I read this in Born Standing Up.

        3. digi_owl

          Disney has been about selling escapism pretty much from day one.

          their primary product is an idealized USA that never really existed outside of Hollywood.

        4. Martin Oline

          I figure it has been 63 years or so for me. I remember Bobby Darin’s Beyond The Sea was playing on the intercom while we waited to ride either the monorail or the submarine. It was released in 1959.

  27. Alan Roxdale

    US Vetoes UN Resolution Condemning Israel for Flour Massacre (Kevin W)

    US global leadership is dead. Sacrificed on the altar of a few grubby land grabs for settler condominiums. Nothing more. The US is bleeding diplomatic and I suspect also cultural and economic leverage all over the world due to responses to outrages and incidents like these, and is receiving absolutely nothing in return.

    It costs little to do as Regan did and simply reign in the Israeli’s worst excesses, but Biden and Washington refuse to even do that. And so actions that would have gotten the Serbian army justly airstriked are instead rewarded with more bombs and more vetoes. And no oil in return. No axis of evil member defeated. No war plunder. No extra security. Only more costs.

    With any justice a lot of the present US administration will find themselves in federal court for genocide, but more likely the post war institutions including the UN will simply fall asunder, and US global dominance along with it. I hope the sea-views from Gaza graveyard balconies will be worth it.

    1. ACPAL

      Biden will never be tried in court, he’s senile and can’t even remember which country is which. And all his henchmen (the real rulers of USA inc.) are just following orders. Imagine having a government job like that, do anything you want and be immune from prosecution.

    2. spud

      the real criminals were not the serbs, but clinton and blair. and milosovic was found innocent.

      bill clintons kosovo blunder: when people discuss what went wrong with the world since the 1990’s, its impossible not to come to this conclusion, the astonishing shallowness that governed much of the President Erect’s time in office, one marked by squalid scandal and the desperation for foreign distractions

      Bill Clinton in Kosovo: Reminiscing KLA Terrorism and US-NATO Humanitarian Warfare

  28. Jason Boxman

    The domain of the multiple SARS2 strains has ended, checking COVID-19 Variant Dashboard – USA today. The only variant not JN.x is XDP with a paltry 1.06%. All other variants are under 1%.

    I suppose the wait begins for what’s next for this year; As usual, it’ll probably be a surprise!

    Boston wastewater continues its collapse, with this having been the largest set of readings in early Jan since Biden’s winter of death.

  29. Carolinian

    Turley stating the obvious

    First, the Court did not create this collision with the election. Both state and federal prosecutors have waited until shortly before the election to bring charges for actions taken almost four years ago. They are now demanding expedited and in some cases abridged reviews due to an urgency that they created.

    Shorter Maddow: manipulating the calendar for political purposes is our job. It’s remarkable that anyone takes this silly person seriously.

    1. griffen

      Yeah I’m interested in this film. Happened upon the first one last night and taped it, or rather hit the record on the DVR ( would a millenial even recognize a VHS tape and how to load that tape into a still functional VCR, I wonder ? )…

      I have tended to wait it out and play a waiting game, not really going to a theater in the past few years. Probably shoulda coulda to watch Oppenheimer.

      1. Carolinian

        I didn’t think Oppenheimer was all that great. It’s not really the history of the bomb and overstates Oppenheimer’s indeed considerable role. And as cinema it crashes on the shoals of Oppenheimer’s security hearing which may be interesting in a book but not in a movie. It isn’t clear what Nolan is even out to do other than signal prestigious Big Themes.

        1. c_heale

          I have a friend who is a real film buff, and we don’t always agree on movies. I didn’t watch Oppenheimer, because I don’t like Nolan’s films, with the exception of The Prestige (which wasn’t written by him).

          My friend said that the movie was completely self indulgent and revolved around Oppenheimer musing on whether dropping the Bomb was the right thing to do.

  30. Glen

    Interesting to see good reporting on this by a YT motorcycle channel, but their riders are most probably on the wrong end of this trend:

    The Grille Trend that Kills 509 People per Year

    As a long time bike rider, the physics on this was always very clear to me. I weight 200 lbs, vehicles weight 2000+ pounds, even a slight bump by a vehicle has a very, very good chance of killing me.

    I also happen to own a rather new truck, and the sight lines are lousy, and I do make sure to give riders (all types) and pedestrians as much space as I possibly can.

  31. Random BSN Student

    The Minneapolis Strib pauses to rubberneck at local small businesses that still require masks, including theater companies with masked Sunday matinees. CIDRAP’s Osterholm says health care systems should require N95s but “Our hospitals have let us down.” I’ll say.

  32. steppenwolf fetchit

    a little quote-snippet from that unmitigated covid crashing hospitals article . . . ” It as if the author does not even remember COVID exists.”

    Perhaps the author being referred to has a touch of covidementia. Or Covidunning-Kruger. Or both.

    Or perhaps the author being referred to is just another secret mass-mind-massager working to prevent covid-awareness on behalf of the WHO-CDC-WEF conspiracy to spread covid everywhere to everyone in order to reduce the human population just slowly enough to where only the naturally paranoid realize that the Long Dieoff is being carefully engineered and stealthily applied deliberately, on purpose, and with malice aforethought.

    And from further down in the same article . . . ” What is the plan? 30 reinfections in 30 years?” Well . . . yes, actually. That is the plan. Or rather, the goal.That is what the goal is.
    Deliberately, on purpose, and with malice aforethought.

  33. Willow

    Is Europe really panicking about Ukraine or.. Israel? By trying not to say anything about Israel are European leaders ending up blurting out secrets and nonsense about Ukraine conflict? Desperately trying to move public focus away from Gaza? Gaza is a much more serious issue for Europe leaders who will fear being caught between the rock of entrenched power structures of funded influence and the hard place of history recording them as genocide deniers. Ukraine on the other hand is only collateral damage of the Great Game (UK being an exception).

    1. Willow

      Let me be more clear. A ‘panic’ over Ukraine means Europe can’t possibly intervene in Gaza because its ’hands are full’. Which means what’s coming out of Europe with respect to Ukraine is more talk than commitments to action. This is why Macron’s words were so unnecessarily specific. (UK though is a different matter). Gaza is by far Europe’s elites’ greatest risk, both politically & economically.

    2. Daniil Adamov

      How much do they actually care about “history” in any sense? I think they are trapped between the rock you describe and the opposition of an increasingly wide swathe of public opinion… which is not such a hard place after all, at least to judge by its results so far.

  34. steppenwolf fetchit

    Politico predicts that Haley will drop out after Super Tuesday. I predict that Haley will stay in through the very last primary.

    If I am wrong, my excuse will be that I am just an amateur anyway. What will Politico say if they are wrong? Given that they are professionals and paid to get these things right?

  35. anon

    From the “nothing is never enough for us” department:

    AIPAC Enters Democratic Primary Wielding Unprecedented $4.5 Million Against Candidate

    “Despite State Sen. Min’s support of Israel, and a broad coalition of endorsements from the Jewish community, a number of Republican donors at AIPAC are upset that he has called for Bibi Netanyahu to be held accountable for the security failures on Oct. 7 and Netanyahu’s failure of leadership during this crisis,” Min campaign manager Dan Driscoll said in a statement reported by various media outlets.

    This is for Katie Porter’s former seat.

    Further info:

    1. steppenwolf fetchit

      Well, that sounds like a test and possibly an opportunity for the broad coalition of endorsers from the Jewish community to challenge and defeat those Republican AIPACers in that primary. They are probably not collectively rich enough to outspend those Republican AIPACers, but are they numerous enough, especially working with Min’s other support groups, to out-organize the witless dupes who will vote the way instructed by those Republican AIPACers and their $4.5 million?

      ( By the way, I remember reading once that AIPAC proudly proclamed its interest in making “pro-Israel” a bipartisan consensus. More recently, AIPAC has decided to be more of a Republican-Party-oriented group. I remember reading once a book called They Dare To Speak Out by Representative Paul Findley of Illinois. It had a lot of detail about Likud’s long-march through the Jewish institutions and community organizations in order to Likudify them and purge non-Likud elements from them. I remember reading once a New York Review Of Books article about how these Likud brainjackers within AIPAC used AIPAC to reach back the other way, and begin manipulating politics in Israel to a more Likudiform position. This was in an article mainly about the Walt-Mearsheimer book about the Israel Lobby).

  36. Jason Boxman

    Failed COVID vaccination policy sighting. Saw a range Rover today with No Vax license plate.

    Meanwhile someone blew though my little exit light by subdivision, third time since November. Never noticed this before.

    A majority of cars and trucks have murder headlights out here now. Makes night driving dangerous for others. What a failed state.

  37. Wukchumni

    Food for thought dept:

    I was somewhat startled that the IDF soldiers didn’t shoot the olive pickers.

  38. zach

    – Presidential Address to the Federal Assembly President of Russia –

    Most of the document outlines spending priorities for the next 6 years, and while the Russian gov’t has mastered the act of funding dual-use technologies, Mr. Putin’s proposed spending is far and away more targeted towards domestic civilian priorities – education, wage increases for civil servants, housing, funds for families and particularly families with multiple children, healthcare, business, etc.

    Is it reasonable to infer from Mr. Putin’s address that he does not expect further escalation from the “western bloc” to unduly complicate life for the people of his nation, or that any possible escalation is manageable within the current framework?

    1. The Rev Kev

      ‘Mr. Putin’s proposed spending is far and away more targeted towards domestic civilian priorities – education, wage increases for civil servants, housing, funds for families and particularly families with multiple children, healthcare, business, etc.’

      Well the man is obviously a dictator who has no sense of what the priorities of a country should be like. /sarc

    2. Daniil Adamov

      Of course, and I suspect it is a reasonable inference on his part. The war can almost certainly be managed safely at current pace, which is brutal for Ukrainians and those Russians who live nearby, but fine for the rest of the country, especially Moscow.

  39. rowlf

    We used to build things…

    Chas Freeman ─ Recovering Diplomatic Agility (2015)

    “The Pax America is no more. In the second decade of the 21st century, world affairs are shaped by shifting coalitions, not fixed alliances. The new world disorder calls for strategic nimbleness, not the ideological constancy and geopolitical steadfastness demanded of Americans by the Cold War. To cope with the new international environment, American diplomacy must become unprecedentedly agile. How can the United States meet this challenge?”

  40. Glen

    Asianometry going over the next big advance in IC fab:

    The Gate-All-Around Transistor is Coming

    If the AI “wars” really take off, this technology will form a key part of it. My guess is that we will also find that the “training material” used for LLMs and the like will also be critically important as Garbage In, Garbage Out cannot be overcome by more massive GFLOPs of number crunching.

  41. skeptonomist

    It’s true that the American economy has not made a quantum leap forward under Biden, but the economy is not worse than it was under Trump, as alleged by Republicans. Of course Presidents have little immediate influence on the economy. It is a fairly safe prediction that the economy will remain under control of capitalists whoever wins in November.

    But there are other things than the economy which will be affected. The attitude of Trump and MAGAs is a matter of racism and religion, not economics. In this election, politicians’ fantasy stories about the economy may have less real importance than in most elections since the Civil War.

    1. spud

      are we better off today than four years ago. i do not need to be a skeptic to answer, “NO” we are not. we are worse off. and what a president does, matters.

      it did not take much for trump to be the best president we had since Nixon, who was no champ, but did do a few good things.

      when ever i ask this question to a democrat, name one universal concrete material benefit americans got from bill clinton, barack obama, or joe biden, i get all sorts of silly little things that affect a few. but not one benefit that makes our lives better. not one!

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