The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

Open Thread

Use the comments to discuss topics unrelated to recent posts.


Western Australia Proves Basic Pandemic Control Methods Would Have Stopped Covid


Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – January 23, 2022


  1. Z

    The weather in Portland, OR this summer will be interesting, at least to me though I don’t live there. It reached 116 last year during a prolonged heat wave blowing past the previous record of 107. We’ll see whether their weather goes back to the previous normal, heats up about as much as last summer – which would be scary, or maybe even makes another jump.

    If they get a jump of another 5 degrees or so that could lead to thousands of deaths and maybe tens of thousands, especially if it leads to power outages from the use of electricity for life-saving air conditioning. Sadly, that’s what it may take to get “our” government to do anything about it: tens of thousands of deaths in one city due to a heat wave. Mind you if that does happen and it is partially due to power outages there will be a chorus of idiots calling for more drilling to solve the power outages.

    Unusual heat increases near the poles … Alaska had a record shattering seasonal heat wave recently … also lends credence to methane releases accelerating the heating of this planet. It may just be anecdotal I suppose, I don’t claim to numerically analyze the data or even google much about it since I have essentially zero control over the matter, but it seems that I have been reading of record high temperatures near the poles over the past year.


  2. Z

    It’s nice to see President he/bipartisan Biden hopping on hot coals recently though. He’s certainly earned it. There’s not a politician in power right now who has had more to do with where we are than he, especially in creating the economic and environmental hellscape that has been foisted upon the younger generations.

    Oh well, as long as Hunter is comfy in a hotel room with a prostitute, some blow, a soon-to-be-missing laptop whose disappearance will probably coincide with the unexpected departure of the aforementioned conniving coke snorting prostitute while Hunter goes out to get some smokes (“hey, keep your eyes on this, hun. I’ll be back in a bit”), and he has some straws and paint so he could blow some paint bubbles on canvass to sell to his dad’s billionaire pals when he becomes inspired enough to support his habits, it’s OK with Fourteen Hundred Dollar and Zero Sense Joe, I suppose.


  3. Z

    2022 Hopes and Dreams …

    U.S.’s (((Israel’s))) Ambassador to Japan Rahm “Sonny Corleone” Emanuel gets exposed in Japan for trying to blackmail Japanese politicians and business leaders.

    We have a wikileaks type of disclosure about what happened in the Fall of 2019 (pre-COVID) that led to the Fed pouring trillions of dollars of repo loans into the banking system.


  4. Z

    Signs of solidarity with the young is sprouting up though with several reports of high school students walking out of their schools to protest being coerced into the COVID incubation centers that our rulers want to herd them into so that their parents can get back to their patriotic duty of swan diving into the wood chipper to provide our rulers with low cost energy.

    They’ll need solidarity to revolt against the carbon-fueled death march our rulers currently have us on to extinct all life on this planet.


  5. Z

    The greatest value that McKinsey has to the C-suiters who hire McKinsey to “restructure” their companies is not the advice McKinsey gives them on how to reduce their work force, it’s the accounting gimmicks that McKinsey deploys to toss current and future operating costs into those write-offs that these restructurings provide cover for. These accounting games allow Wall Street to confidently get behind the companies by buying, driving up, and promoting the stock so that they can eventually sell it at a profit because it empowers the C-suiters to manage their earnings for at least the next year or two so that they always meet or beat the Street.

    This, of course, also personally lines the C-suiters’ pockets through the exercise of the stock options they hold. Note also that Wall Street has promoted the prolific use of stock options for C-suite compensation. It’s essentially a circle jerk of fraud and corruption like many aspects of our hyper-financialized economy and the costs for it are scattered onto the working class.

    Again, the biggest reason these and many other financial games continue and there hasn’t been a working class beneficial forced restructuring to the economy due to a collapse to the financial system from a cavalcade of unserviceable debt is because the Federal Reserve backstops the system with its unlimited ability to create money and paper over the whole mess for our rulers so that they can maintain their power over us (see 2008 Financial Crisis).

    The Federal Reserve is the biggest enemy that the working class has and somehow they continue to evade responsibility. They provide a drive-up window to our rulers for free money whereas the only route the working class has to get their economic concerns addressed is through the rigged obstacle course of Congress which primarily consists of millionaires whose wealth is heavily tied to the assets that the Federal Reserve inflates. Again, a circle jerk of fraud and corruption that would not be possible without the unaccountable power of the Federal Reserve.


  6. Z

    -Our rulers route their subjects’ complaints to our rulers’ bribed and blackmailed Congress which doesn’t answer our calls or places us on interminable holds or transfers us to some other department which sends us through a labyrinth of other unresponsive ones that never lead to us getting anything we want.

    The only way to get anything done through the political system that rattles the structure of the system such that it benefits the working class over our rulers’ interests is through the presidency via executive orders, but of course President he/bipartisan Biden has no intention of using it to benefit us. He’s got to please his billionaire pals so that they bid high on Hunter’s paint bubble blowing masterpieces.

    -Biden’s Chief of Staff Ron Klain, the lead director of Weekend at Biden’s, is a conman who postures like he is on the side of the progressives, but who is really an frenemy, the worst kind of enemy, who uses his inside knowledge of their plans and his influence on them to sabotage their goals.


  7. GlassHammer

    Not sure where this belongs but if you ever asked, “How do I know when I need to go to the hospital after contracting COVID?” a fairly reliable answer is “When your oxygen saturation level drops under 94%.” (Healthy adults and children should have a saturation level between 95-100%.)

    Now to figure out your oxygen saturation use an oximeter (also called an o2 monitor). You should be able to buy these devices for around $30.

    Even if COVID wasn’t a problem, it’s generally a good idea to have one of these in your first aid kit.

  8. GlassHammer

    For the record I am not a doctor or medical professional so don’t let my advice supercede your own judgement when it comes to serious illness. Oxygen saturation isn’t the only way to decide when you need help, it’s just something I use for serious respiratory illness.

    If you think you need to go to the hospital than go.

  9. mago

    Thanks GH. Next time I think I need to check into to the corporate medical/pharma/ industrial complex I’ll be sure to make an appointment first. Wouldn’t want to be wheeled into the emergency room with shit in my pants.

  10. Trinity

    It’s becoming clear that the ones responsible for economic inequality are the same ones driving us over the brink in terms of climate change. Oxfam has an info graphic saying that twenty billionaires are emitting as much as 8000 tons MORE of carbon then the carbon emitted by one billion of the poorest people.

    They also estimate that a new billionaire is created every 26 hours. Yes, that’s HOURS.

    “The richest countries are responsible for 92 percent of excess emissions, and the richest 1 percent are estimated to be producing more than double the emissions of the 3.1 billion people who make up the poorest half of humanity. Yet, while it’s the wealthiest who are doing the most damage, they can afford to avoid the worst impacts. It is the poorest people who have contributed the least to the problem who are suffering the most.”

    I have a feeling the Davos crowd, however, considers these statistics to be a huge “win”.

  11. Jim Harmon

    A few months ago I was hospitalized overnight. The next morning the doc told me I had had a pretty good night’s sleep.

    I replied, “No wonder – I was given four different meds.”

    He said, “That’s below average.” Ka-Ching! Keep those pills a-poppin’!

    This hospital’s ad slogan is “Healthy Driven.” I think what they really mean is “Healthy Profits.”

  12. Mark Pontin

    Trinity: ‘a new billionaire is created every 26 hours. Yes, that’s HOURS.’

    If money is created as credit — and it is — and if the other side of credit is debt — and it is — then the increase in the number of American billionaires, and Jeff Bezos being on the way to the becoming the world’s first trillionaire, must have as its corollary the increasing, corresponding immiseration via debt peonage of the vast mass of Americans.
    It’s that simple. So while the propaganda has it that the increasing money supply — or notional debt — necessary to support the increasing number of billionaires that the US produces is a sign of US wealth, in reality the opposite is true: without an increase in actual material wealth — and US manufacturing was largely offshored — the increasing number of American billionaires must presumably create an equal and corresponding immiseration of the mass of Americans.

    Today in America, the Exceptional Country © —

    Police: McDonald’s employee shot in argument over discount over French fries KRCG

    The Milwaukee Burger King employee accused of accidentally shooting his 16-year-old coworker is in custody and charged with homicide Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

    Argument over BBQ sauce leads to teenage Wendy’s employee being shot in head WOAI

  13. Z

    What a slug of DC swill …

    At critical junctures in the political process Klain retweeted out posts that called for reducing the size of the BBB and also to pass BIF before BBB. If this is the “partner” that progressives have in the White House it just shows how stupid and easily played they are by mere politeness and why they rarely get their way.

    The only thing that Klain helped them with was passing the ARP, which was to Biden’s political benefit since Trump had also called for sending checks to people, and Klain’s been riding on that ever since and playing good cop to Richetti’s bad cop while sabotaging progressives’ aims.


  14. Z

    It was also progressives’ “pal” Klain that arranged to have Rahm Emanuel appointed as Ambassador to Japan.

    It is why chief of staff and fellow operative Ron Klain (who can be seen as he looked 30 years ago with Emanuel in The War Room, the Clinton ’92 campaign documentary) believed he had to come up with some cool job for Emanuel even once the original idea of secretary of Transportation didn’t come through.

    You’d think these supposed progressives would learn …


  15. Mary Bennett

    Well guess which 2016 presidential candidate was receiving foreign donations, and fairly substantial ones at that?

    This Nader character, not so far as I know related to Ralph, is one serious degenerate. The article coyly declined to state the names of the 6 other defendants. I wonder why?

  16. Z

    This thread from a former Deputy Chief of Staff of Harry Reid might interest those who love to blame the political and economic outcomes in this country on the white working class (((probably not though since it doesn’t sell the racist snake oil you’re trying to peddle))):

    Moderates and Dem leaders control all of the money and the power. They have the campaign committees, the big IEs. They get their candidates in most big races and dictate their strategies.

    This is a plea for accountability, thoughtfulness and nuance. Start by looking at the people who have the money, power and decision-making ability. If they reflexively blame those who have a fraction of what they have, and who do not control the campaign machinery, be skeptical!

    In 2020, the campaign machinery was controlled by mods. In 2021, Dems have followed the mod playbook, passing just ARP & BIF. Everything else is noise.


  17. Z

    And of course the same group of powerful people who bribe and blackmail our politicians to keep anything meaningful from passing Congress that benefits the working class over our rulers’ interests also work to prevent third parties from getting on the ballot thereby routing all working class political movements through the despicable democratic party (((and yes, the republicans are horrible too!))).

    But yeah, it’s the white working class’s fault that they don’t all hold hands – all tens of millions of them – and clear these huge hurdles in unison. If only they voted harder and stabbed their stylus through the D candidates like Norman Bates in Psycho or were more polite to our politicians or all tens of millions of them got in a room together and figured their sh*t out or or or …


  18. Z

    Sent a six page college application cover letter to Bari Weiss’s newest inspiration The University of Austin (UATX). They sent me back a donation request. Go figure …


  19. bruce wilder

    The first flex of those controlling the Dem Party is that they get everyone to call them, “moderates”

  20. Z

    President he/bipartisan Jo Biden gave up the game again when he said during his recent press conference that he likes Mitch McConnell, he “gets on with him”, despite the fact that Let Them Eat Shit Mitch has publicly stated that he is against all the pro-worker policies that Biden supposedly is in favor of and that he’ll do everything in his power to prevent those policies from being passed.

    Why wouldn’t Biden like him? Let Them Eat Shit Mitch provides him an excuse as to why Status Que Joe is “forced” into effectuating only what the “donor class” wants.

    Those two did a ton of dancing with each other when Biden was VP, they know each other’s moves. and Biden always cedes to McConnell’s lead.

    Their game is so old and tired and these old, worn political stage whores keep imposing the same stupid skits on us.


  21. Z

    Our rulers MO is very well established by now: when they want to do something that benefits them over the rest of the populace (((which is ALL they want to do))) they come up with lies to justify it, pretend to believe those lies, and then when it doesn’t turn out the way they lied it would they tell us that no one could have predicted it would have went that way. Rinse, repeat, consequence-free.


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