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

Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – October 15, 2023

by Tony Wikrent


Strategic Political Economy

US science agencies on track to hit 25-year funding low 

[Nature, via Naked Capitalism 10-11-2023]

The Smart Corporate Tax Idea That Might Have Prevented the UAW Strike

Jessica Church, October 9, 2023 [washingtonmonthly]

Targeting out-of-control CEO pay by using the tax code is the right policy for this moment. Here’s how it works….

Indeed, this strike could have been avoided were company profits shared more equitably among workers and management. But despite taxpayer largesse that not only rescued the auto industry during the Great Recession but led it to thrive, that has not been the case. Under the Barack Obama-era bailout, workers and company executives were supposed to make sacrifices. But while unions accepted that two-tier wage system that the UAW is fighting, executive compensation has soared.

A situation where executive compensation shoots up like a missile while workers’ wages flatline was not inevitable. In 2021, Congress debated a measure that might have made the strike unlikely and unnecessary. Both chambers considered versions of the Tax Executive CEO Pay Act, introduced by Bernie Sanders, the independent senator from Vermont.

The clever and potentially revolutionary legislation (discussed extensively in Washington Monthly) aimed to rein in excessive executive compensation by levying a tax on companies that pay their CEOs 50 times or more than their median employee earns. The tax came as a surcharge on corporate income tax, meaning that it only applied to profitable companies with federal corporate income tax liability. That surcharge increased as the CEO-to-median worker pay ratio worsened (0.5% for ratios between 50-100:1, 1% for ratios between 100-200:1, 2% for ratios between 200-300:1 and so on, up to 5% for ratios more than 500:1)….

How red-state politics are shaving years off American lives

[Washington Post, via The Big Picture 10-09-2023]

Americans are more likely to die before age 65 than residents of similar nations, despite living in a country that spends substantially more per person on health care than its peers. Many of those early deaths can be traced to decisions made years ago by local and state lawmakers over whether to implement cigarette taxes, invest in public health or tighten seat-belt regulations, among other policies, an examination by The Washington Post found. States’ politics — and their resulting policies — are shaving years off American lives.

Africa’s revolt against Net Zero 

Thomas Fazi [UnHerd, via Naked Capitalism 10-14-2023]

For the past two centuries, human prosperity has correlated with one factor: energy, released through the burning of fossil fuels. This is a self-evident global truth. Europe and North America, the wealthiest regions on the planet, are also those with the highest per capita CO2 emissions (along with the oil-producing Gulf states); Africa, on the other hand, has the world’s lowest levels of per capita energy use — the average African consumes less electricity than a refrigerator and around 600 million people live without access to to electricity. In this sense, it’s the “greenest” continent on the planet. It’s also the poorest, with almost half a billion Africans living in extreme poverty.

More than any other resource, Africa is starved of the energy it needs for economic development. This isn’t for lack of natural endowment. Africa possesses vast reserves of coal, oil and natural gas. But extracting those resources and using them for domestic development requires money, infrastructure, expertise and institutional capacity — which Africa’s poorest nations, especially in the sub-Sahara, sadly lack. One solution is partnering with foreign energy companies — until recently, mostly European and American firms — but that means that much of the domestically produced gas and oil is then exported rather than used for local development….


Global power shift

You’re not going to like what comes after Pax Americana 

Noah Smith [Noahpinion, via Naked Capitalism 10-08-2023]



Egypt intelligence official says Israel ignored repeated warnings of ‘something big’

[Times of Israel]


[X-Twitter, via Naked Capitalism 10-10-2023]


Gaza ‘will soon be a tent city’ says Israeli official as IDF launches 250 airstrikes in one hour into Gaza’s ‘Nest of Terror’ and readies for ground invasion: Generals have ‘released all restraints’ on its troops for fight against Hamas 

[Daily Mail, via Naked Capitalism 10-11-2023]

The Horrifying Details of What It Is Like in Gaza Right Now: The bulldozers have run out of fuel to clear the rubble to get to the bodies.

Aymann Ismail, October 14 [Slate]

[X-Twitter, via Naked Capitalism 10-14-2023]



Seymour Hersh [via Naked Capitalism 10-13-2023]

When he returned to office in 2009, the insider said, “Bibi chose to support Hamas” as an alternative to the Palestinian Authority, “and gave them money and established them in Gaza.”

An arrangement was made with Qatar, which began sending hundreds of millions of dollars to the Hamas leadership with Israeli approval. The insider told me that “Bibi was convinced that he would have more control over Hamas with the Qatari money—let them occasionally fire rockets into southern Israel and have access to jobs inside Israel—than he would with the Palestinian Authority. He took that risk….

The attack by Hamas was a direct result of a decision Bibi made, over the protest of local military commanders, “to allow a group of Orthodox settlers to celebrate Sukkot in the West Bank.” Sukkot is an annual fall holiday that commemorates the ancestral journey of Jews into the depths of the desert. It is a weeklong festival that is observed by building an outdoor temporary structure known as a sukkah in which all could share the food that their predecessors ate and viscerally connect to the harvest season. …

The Sukkot celebration, held near a Palestinian village known in Hebrew as Haware, would need extraordinary protection, given the tension over the latest violence, and the local Israeli military authorities, with the approval of Netanyahu, ordered two of the three Army battalions, each with about 800 soldiers, that protected the border with Gaza to shift their focus to the Sukkot festival.

“That left only eight hundred soldiers,” the insider told me, “to be responsible for guarding the 51-kilometer border between the Gaza Strip and southern Israel. That meant the Israeli citizens in the south were left without an Israeli military presence for ten to twelve hours. They were left to fend for themselves. And that is why Bibi is finished. May take a few months, but he is over.”

Why I no longer stand with Israel, and never will again 

Scott Ritter [via Naked Capitalism 10-14-2023]


Larry Johnson [via Naked Capitalism 10-14-2023]

The carnage of mainstream neoliberal economics

US wealth, income concentration resume upward climb in post-pandemic era

Howard Schneider, October 9, 2023 [Reuters, via]

“The richest Americans are emerging from the coronavirus pandemic with their share of wealth and income on the rise again despite some thought that the tight job market and hefty wage gains spawned by the crisis might narrow the gulf between rich and poor… For the bottom 40% by income that means a smaller slice of the pie even as their net worth has risen at the swiftest pace in years. While the collective net worth of the bottom one-fifth was up 27% to $4.2 trillion at the end of the second quarter from $3.3 trillion in 2019, their share of the country’s wealth shrank to 6.7% from 7% during that time.

Stealing Home: Corporate Welfare: America’s Other Favorite Pastime

Senator Chris Larson (DownWithTyranny]

What Wisconsin company is worth more than 7 times what it was 17 years ago (now $1.6 billion), averages $20.6 million per year in profit, pays no property tax on 265 acres of land, and has received $1.5 billion in public benefits since 1996?….

The answer is the Milwaukee Brewers, whose owners are now asking for over $600 million in additional taxpayer funds— not for anything new— but to maintain and improve their stadium for 20 years beyond the existing lease….

Mark Attanasio bought the Brewers in 2005 for $223 million. The team has been profitable every year of his  ownership except the covid-stalled 2020 season. It is now worth a whopping $1.605 billion. He could sell the team, pay for the requested $600 million in stadium renovations out of his own pocket, and still come out of the deal $1 billion richer. We’re talking about millionaires and billionaires making hundreds of millions of dollars on cannot-lose investments. The only part of pro sports that doesn’t appreciate in value over time is the stadiums themselves. Ask any private business owner— if they could keep all the profits from their business and outsource all of their capital liabilities to someone else, they’d take that deal every single time….

Major League Baseball’s ownership cartel has decided that maximizing profit is more important than creating the best product on the field or securing the long-term stability of the league. As such, they’ve decided to outlaw public ownership of MLB franchises. But public ownership may actually be the best thing that could happen to the sport….

‘Wage Theft Is Built Into the Business Models of Many Industries’ 

[FAIR, via Naked Capitalism 10-13-2023]

March of the Four–Stars: The Role of Retired Generals and Admirals in the Arms Industry

[Quincy Institute for responsible statecraft, via Naked Capitalism 10-08-2023]

National Association of Realtors Is Imploding

Barry Ritholtz, October 13, 2023 [The Big Picture]

Predatory finance

The Free-Money Experiment Is Over

[Businessweek, via The Big Picture 10-11-2023]

The carnage from the bond market—where the rout is worse than anything you’ll find in the history books since 1787—is spreading, and the implications are nasty.

Fed’s Vice Chair for Supervision Says Another Financial Crisis Could Cost U.S. $5 Trillion to $25 Trillion – Potentially as Much as 100 Percent of GDP

Pam Martens and Russ Martens, October 12, 2023 [Wall Street on Parade]

There Are Two Reasons that 75 Percent of U.S. Banks Didn’t Hedge Their Interest Rate Risk as the Fed Hiked Rates at the Fastest Pace in 40 Years

Pam Martens and Russ Martens, October 9, 2023 [Wall Street on Parade]

The New Kings of Wall Street Aren’t Banks

[Wall Street Journal, via The Big Picture 10-11-2023]

Private Funds Fuel Corporate America. With interest rates at multiyear highs, hedge funds and private equity are taking over lending.

Janet Yellen’s Treasury Department Hires 5-Count Felon JPMorgan Chase to Look for Fraud

Pam Martens and Russ Martens, October 11, 2023 [Wall Street on Parade]

Finance as alchemy

[Aeon, via The Big Picture 10-14-2023]

Finance fraud is not a deviation from an essentially rational system but a window onto the reality-distortion of markets.

International Bank Study, Using 150 Years of Data, Shows Mega Banks Like the Big Four in the U.S. Produce Financial Instability and More Severe Crises

Pam Martens and Russ Martens, October 9, 2023 [Wall Street on Parade]


Chris Hedges, October 13, 2023 [The Real News Network

Stephanie Gibaud pulled back the cover on the criminal activities of UBS, the world’s largest private bank. The French government has utterly failed to protect her from the harassment and retaliation that followed.


Health care crisis

A Price Jump From Pennies to $20/Pill for the Same Drug 

[MedPage, via Naked Capitalism 10-14-2023]


Information age dystopia / surveillance state

Fixing Disinformation Online

Anya Schiffrin, October 13, 2023 [The American Prospect]

What will it take to regulate the abuses of Big Tech without undermining free speech?

[Books reviewed:]

Digital Empires: The Global Battle to Regulate Technology

By Anu Bradford

Oxford University Press

Building Back Truth in an Age of Misinformation

By Leslie F. Stebbins

Rowman & Littlefield


Shitposting, Shit-mining and Shit-farming Three Stages of Platform Decay

[Progammable Mutter, via The Big Picture 10-13-2023]

This then leads platform executives to explore the exciting opportunities of shit-mining. Social media generates a lot of content – it’s gotta be valuable somehow! Who needs content moderation if you can become a guano baron? But that only makes things worse, driving out more users and more advertisers, until eventually, you may find yourself left with a population dominated by two kinds of users (a) chumps, and (b) chump-vampirizing obligate predators.


Restoring balance to the economy

Why Walgreens pharmacy workers are walking off the job 

[CNN, via Naked Capitalism 10-13-2023]

Biden’s Latest Initiatives Against Junk Fees

Robert Kuttner,  October 11, 2023 [The American Prospect]

Why did it take so long for other presidents to appreciate the power of these regulatory counterweights?

To take a tour of all the deceptive “junk fees” imposed on consumers by an array of industries is to appreciate the insidious nature of predatory capitalism that has become all too normal. Getting rid of junk fees and saving consumers hundreds of billions of dollars has been a Biden administration theme.

It’s also very good politics, since it demonstrates how Democrats are on the side of ordinary people, as well as demonstrating the need for countervailing consumer regulation—and it smokes out Republican fake “populism,” since Republicans hate an activist state constraining corporate abuses.

Today, the administration took junk-fee prohibition to a new level, with detailed initiatives by the Federal Trade Commission and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. New FTC rules will require all businesses to show all fees up front, as well as clear disclosure of whether fees are refundable. This rule would apply to event tickets, hotels, car rentals, apartment rentals, and more. Companies that failed to comply would pay fines as well as customer refunds….

A Plan To Stop The Vulture Funds Fueling Global Debt

[The Lever, October 12, 2023]

As conversations on the global debt crisis heat up, activists push New York State lawmakers to take on exploitative private creditors.

Feds Rein in Predictive Software That Limits Care for Medicare Advantage Patients 

[Pharmacist Steve, via Naked Capitalism 10-09-2023]

The Cooperative That Could: How S Group became Finland’s most dominant retailer

Ryan Cooper, October 11, 2023 [The American Prospect]

…The interesting thing about S Market, and what brought me all the way to Finland, is not this bog-standard grocery store. It’s the parent entity S Group, a cooperative network owned by its members—and one of the biggest and most successful companies in Finland. S Group has about 2.5 million members—in a country of just 5.6 million inhabitants—representing 78 percent of Finnish households, along with 41,000 employees, 1,984 business locations, and an annual revenue of €13.5 billion last year. S Group accounts for fully 47 percent of the Finnish grocery market.

While nowhere near Walmart in absolute terms, relative to the size of the Finnish economy, it’s about twice as large as Walmart’s U.S. operations, which controls about a quarter of domestic grocery spending. And it’s member-owned.

From an American perspective, this is difficult to understand. Practically our whole society is built on the assumption that the only way to have a wealthy, productive economy is for entrepreneurs to be incentivized with massive rewards for building efficient businesses. It is necessary for people like Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk to become rich beyond the dreams of avarice, so the theory goes, because otherwise we wouldn’t have Amazon or Tesla.

One might attack this narrative empirically—Amazon was helped tremendously in its early days by not paying state sales taxes, while Tesla has relied on large government subsidies for most of its existence—but S Group poses a more fundamental challenge. Here we have a hyper-efficient retail operation, run with cutting-edge management and logistics, dominating half the grocery market of a wealthy country, without minting a single billionaire in the process. It is not just competitive with capitalist businesses; it is more successful. It’s enough to make the ghost of Ronald Reagan cry….

Green New Deal – An opportunity too big to miss

Low-Key Green: Pueblo is a world-class model for the clean-energy economy envisioned in the Inflation Reduction Act. But its residents may not feel it.

Chase Woodruff, October 12, 2023 [The American Prospect]

…Dubbed “The Pittsburgh of the West” by its 19th-century founders, Pueblo is a coal and steel town — which is to say, it’s a railroad town. The former Colorado Fuel & Iron plant, now owned by Russian conglomerate EVRAZ, still churns out roughly half of the railroad track laid down in North America.

Today, the facility is the world’s first and largest solar-powered steel mill. Its considerable energy needs are almost entirely met by a purpose-built photovoltaic array next to a nearby coal plant, Comanche Generating Station, where the first of three boilers has already come offline as Colorado pursues an aggressive coal-retirement strategy. Shifting energy policy and falling wind and solar costs have helped make Pueblo County a burgeoning renewables hub, and not just for solar; to the south, a sprawling factory owned by CS Wind is the world’s largest manufacturer of wind turbine towers.

“Pueblo is going to be, I hope, known as the renewable energy capital of the world,” said Mayor Nick Gradisar, the son and grandson of CF&I steelworkers. “It’s exciting what’s happening here.”

‘People are happier in a walkable neighbourhood’: the US town that banned cars

[The Guardian, via The Big Picture 10-14-2023]

For the first piece in our new series the alternatives we visit a community without cars in the desert of Tempe, Arizona.


Creating new economic potential – science and technology

The world’s first true female car crash dummy is here — and it’s a big deal 

[ZMEScience, via Naked Capitalism 10-11-2023]

…a report from the US Department of Transportation suggests that women are at a 17 percent higher risk of dying from a car crash. They are also 75 percent more prone to severe injuries during an accident but, unfortunately, nobody is talking about these facts….

…“We see from statistics that men and women are at different risks from different types of crashes. The aim of the prototype dummy is to show that we can make models of the female population in the same way as we have, for a long time, made models of the male population,” Astrid Linder, an engineer who is leading the SET 50F team at VTI, told CNN.

Most women have less muscle mass and body weight than men of their age. In fact, even if a man and a woman have equal body size, the skeletal size and bone mass will still typically be higher in the man.

“Women are generally lighter than men, so they are catapulted forward more quickly, and subject to greater acceleration,” Anna Carlsson, a researcher from Chalmers University, told the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation….

Democrats’ political malpractice

As 2024 Looms, Democrats’ Campaign Tech Crumbles Under Private Equity Squeeze

[The Intercept, via Naked Capitalism Water Cooler 10-10-2023]

“In recent years, the privately owned monopoly over the Democratic Party’s voter data has changed hands from one for-profit company to another. Apax Partners, a global private equity firm, currently owns EveryAction and NGP VAN, the firms that house the Democrats’ suite of voter file, compliance, and organizing tools. Apax acquired them from another private equity firm in 2021, creating a new merged entity called Bonterra. Last month, according to current and former employees, Bonterra cut at least 20 percent of its staff, more than 200 employees. Staff members across EveryAction and NGP VAN, which hold the Democratic Party’s most sensitive data, were cut. At least a quarter of the people laid off belonged to the union, 51 of them unit members from EveryAction and NGP VAN. At least half of the developers at ActionKit, a fundraising and customer relations management software acquired by EveryAction in 2019, lost their jobs…. The recent cuts at Bonterra come after layoffs earlier in the year, which preceded a wave of contraction in the Democratic-aligned campaign industry.” Makes you wonder how much was funded by SBF. More: “In the two years since Bonterra’s creation, at least 340 people have been laid off. Cuts in January were followed three months later by layoffs at other Democratic and progressive consulting, media, and polling firms like Middle Seat and ActBlue. Last month, EMILY’s List laid off eight people, including most staff working on grassroots candidate outreach and training, and shut down its national training and recruitment program. The leader of the group who oversaw the cuts, Laphonza Butler, was just appointed to represent California in the Senate on Tuesday.

West Virginia Used To Be A Solid Democratic State… When Will They Come Back?

Howie Klein, October 11, 2023 []

On Sunday, Richard Eskow wondered if the Democrats could ever reclaim West Virginia. Now that the state Democrats have adopted an updated version of FDR’s Economic Bill of Rights (only the 3rd state party to have done so), it may not be as far-fetched as it looks. He focused on McDowell County, the poorest county in the state….

…Here’s how McDowell County voted in the 2016 primaries:

That’s right: the democratic socialist got more votes than Trump or Clinton by a factor of nearly two to one.

The general election results were as follows:

  • Hillary Clinton: 1,438 (less than Sanders received in the primary)
  • Donald Trump: 4,629
  • Decline to participate: 11,433

That’s a decisive victory — for political alienation….

“Trump country”? Nationally, 27 percent of eligible voters cast their ballots for Donald Trump. In McDowell, that percentage was a slightly lower (if statistically insignificant) 26.45 percent.

Yes, Trump won decisively in McDowell among those who voted. But McDowell County isn’t “Trump country.” It’s “None of the Above” country.

And yet, despite the fact that Donald Trump only won the votes of about one in four voters, the county’s residents soon became the poster children for right-wing “deplorability.”



A billionaire-backed think tank keeps sabotaging Florida workers. More attacks are coming

Jason Garcia [Seeking Rents, via Naked Capitalism Water Cooler 10-13-2023]

“Dick Uihlein, the Midwestern billionaire and Republican megadonor who is the largest funder of the Foundation for Government Accountability. Uihlein, an heir to the Schlitz brewing fortune and the founder of the shipping supply company Uline, has been very good to Ron DeSantis Campaign-finance filings show that Uihlein has given more than $2.4 million to DeSantis over the past five years — including $1.4 million to a state political committee that DeSantis used to control and another $1 million to a federal super PAC now financing his campaign for president. Uihlein’s wife, Liz Uihlein, has given DeSanits another $1.5 million. And Ron DeSantis has been very good to Dick Uihlein and his Foundation for Government Accountability. Emails, schedules and lobbying records show that senior DeSantis aides have worked closely with FGA staffers while simultaneously cultivating Uihlein with perks like invitations to private events at the Governor’s Mansion in Tallahassee….. With Uihlein’s FGA cheering him on and providing public-relations cover, DeSantis has slashed unemployment payments to laid-off workers. He has made it harder for public-sector employees to band together in unions and collectively bargain for better pay and benefits. And he has refused to extend Medicaid to an estimated 800,000 Floridians who don’t have health insurance — and is now presiding over a particularly callous purge of the state’s post-pandemic Medicaid rolls. The FGA is pushing for more. Records show it been working on proposals that could deny food stamps to more Floridians, evict some people from affordable housing, lock full-time college students into near-full-time jobs, and allow government contractors to pay their employees poorer wages.”

Big Philanthropy Is a Scam That Makes the Rich Look Better, Conceals Their Crimes 

[Teen Vogue, via Naked Capitalism 10-13-2023]


(anti)Republican Party

The Deeper Meaning of Scalise’s One Day Speakership (No Really…)

Josh Marshall, October 12, 2023 [Talking Points Memo]

…there’s an elemental breakdown here that transcends the individuals involved. Participating in a majority organizational vote means, if sometimes only implicitly, abiding by its results. The caucus vote wasn’t a straw poll or an advisory opinion. It’s binding. It’s over. And yet it was treated as basically a given, in the GOP caucus and in the press coverage, that Scalise, having won the vote, then had to build from the 113 he got in the caucus vote to 217.

You’re probably saying: We know this Josh. They’re a mess. But we know this.

But I think that’s only a measure of how much this has been normalized when it’s actually completely abnormal. The literal definition of a caucus in American political usage is a defined group that collectively decides on actions by majority vote and then acts in unison in a parliamentary context.

From one perspective this is no more than a replay of what happened in January. A group of holdouts refused to vote for the caucus’s candidate….
there’s a clear thread connecting this to 2020 rigged electionism and, perhaps more tightly, the dramas of debt ceiling hostage-taking and government shutdowns. The premise of all those dramas is that they’re what you do when you don’t have the votes to do what you want. If you’ve got the votes in the Congress and a President who will sign your bills, you just do it. Threatening to shut down the government is what you do when you don’t. Do what I say even though I don’t have the votes or I start breaking things. That’s the bottom line behind every one of these gambits.

The Republican House Speaker Doom Loop

Matt Ford, October 15, 2023 [The New Republic]

…The House GOP’s problem goes much deeper: a critical mass of their members expect the speaker to refuse to compromise on anything with the Democratic Party—a position that might work well on the campaign trail but is unfeasible in day-to-day governance.

Impeachments and forced removals from office emerge as partisan weapons in the states

[Associated Press, via Naked Capitalism Water Cooler 10-10-2023]

“As Republicans in Congress begin their impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden, the process is calling attention to the increasing use of impeachment in the states as a partisan political weapon rather than as a step of last resort for officeholders believed to have committed a serious offense…. It’s not just impeachment. Over the past two years, Republicans also have sought to pry Democrats and nonpartisan executives from office through recalls, legislative maneuvers and forced removals, even when no allegations of wrongdoing have surfaced.”


Conservative / Libertarian Drive to Civil War

Trump tells court he had no duty to ‘support’ the Constitution as president

Matthew Chapman, October 11, 2023 [RawStory]

Former President Donald Trump is arguing to a judge in Colorado that he was not required to “support” the Constitution as president, reported Brandi Buchman from Law & Crime.

The argument came as he seeks to dismiss a lawsuit filed in the state by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), seeking to have him disqualified from the ballot in the state under the 14th Amendment. The Insurrection Clause of the amendment prohibits those who have “engaged in insurrection” against the United States from holding a civil, military, or elected office unless a two-thirds majority of the House and Senate approve.

But Trump’s lawyers are arguing that the specific language of the Constitution argues that this requirement only applies to people in offices who are bound to “support” the Constitution — and the presidency is not one of those offices.

In some states, more than half of the local election officials have left since 2020

[NPR, via The Big Picture 10-10-2023]

In some battleground states, more than half of the local election administrators will be new since the last presidential race, according to a new report from the democracy-focused advocacy group Issue One shared exclusively with NPR before its release.

The (anti)Federalist Society Infestation of the Courts

Two right-wing judges seem to be trying to rig a US House race

[Vox, via The Big Picture 10-10-2023]

Once again, the Supreme Court must deal with judicial arsonists on the Fifth Circuit.

The Next Targets for the Group That Overturned Roe

[New Yorker, via The Big Picture 10-09-2023]

Alliance Defending Freedom has won fifteen Supreme Court cases. Now it wants religious exemptions to anti-discrimination laws—and is going after trans rights.


Open Thread


Palestine and Ukraine Updated Commentary


  1. bruce wilder

    a new report from the democracy-focused advocacy group Issue One shared exclusively with NPR before its release

    an NGO gives an exclusive to NPR to feed to its tote-bag liberal audience

    can you just smell revolution in the air? /sarcasm

  2. different clue

    . . . ” Low-Key Green: Pueblo is a world-class model for the clean-energy economy envisioned in the Inflation Reduction Act. But its residents may not feel it. ” . . .

    If the residents don’t feel it, that means its working. If the residents were to feel it, they would rebel against it and shut it down.

    If it can succeed without the residents feeling it, it can be a good example and an inspiration to others of how to de-fossilize an energy portfolio without harming lives to the extent of inspiring backlash rebellion. It can undermine Big Fossil propaganda and agitation and wean people away from the Coaly Roller Death Cult.

    ( ” Coaly Roller”? Here are some videos showing what is meant by ” rolling coal” or ” coal rolling.” These people are indeed loyal and indeed eager slaves of the Coally Roller Death Cult. Here are some links to videos.)

    The key search phrase is . . .” you tube rolling coal”

    Does Canada and Europe also have coal rollers rolling coal as shown in these videos?
    If not, then this truly is an American cultural deformity which deserves utter contempt and hatred from all non-Coaly Roller Americans.

  3. what next

    Egyptians cross the desert into Palestine to carry water, food and supplies for the people of Gaza.

    As noted at the bottom of the “X” link, the video is actually from the Libyan-Egyptian border and was posted back in September. If you go through the thread of tweets, you’ll be hard-pressed to figure out where it’s actually from or who it actually depicts, or what the depiction in any way represents. One tweeter suggested it’s Egyptians moving into Libya because Libya now pays immigrants more than it does much of its native populace.

    The thoroughly Zionized Obama-Clinton US faction bombed Libya (“we came, we saw, he died”) because Gadaffi wouldn’t join their banking scheme and was inappropriately spreading the wealth to the people inside Libya, and building relationships with others in the region who were doing the same.

    Sisi was an Israeli-US supported puppet who was trained in the UK and at a US Army War College before being installed as “director of military intelligence” in Egypt in 2010. He was appointed minister of defense under the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamed Morsi, who gained the presidency after the 2011 Egyptian revolution. Sisi promptly removed Morsi in a coup after more protests, went on to win the presidency in an unheard of 97% landslide, and immediately changed the country’s constitution so as to allow presidential powers to supersede all others during a “state of emergency” – then declared said state of emergency.

    It makes sense that the next step in the process of maintaining fracture, division and ultimately subordination is to import cheap labor from outside the already war-torn and decimated country.

    Egypt is in fact building a wall along the Gaza border:

    Hamas has been involved with the wall building and opinions vary as to its intent and utility:

  4. VietnamVet

    The surprising thing about neoliberal globalism is that it is still working. WWIII has started in the forests of Ukraine and the rubble of Gaza. China has hidden it well but to save its economy it unleashed the coronavirus pandemic and reports of a significant number of important Chinese elders dying off is on the internet. Enough deaths and the mandate of heaven vanishes.

    Indeed, the global ruling belief is that the only thing of value is money not society, morals, or good government. Last night, Lloyd Austin, Secretary of Defense, was on NewsHour. He had nothing to say to Israel about invading Gaza or wining wars but his job is to assure that Israel gets the military equipment they need. Not a single mention of the huge risks if Israel tries to take Gaza City and kill, capture or clean the million Palestinians in the north of the strip. A 21st century Stalingrad is likely and WWIII nudges closer to going nuclear. He is simply an arms dealer getting orders for his partners in the armament industry.

    Hugh Laurie portrayed this bloody scum occupation the best in the TV Series “The Night Manager”.

  5. Tony Wikrent

    what next: thank you for an important catch. I’m embarrassed I missed it.

  6. different clue

    I am just a single citizen layman in the field. So any personal experiences I may have are just individual personal experiences.

    Here is a personal experience bearing on the Sisi-overthrew-Morsi events. One of my co-workers at that time was from Iraq. She was an old-school pious Muslim ( as against a political Islamist or etc. And I am just assuming that the wearing of the hair-concealing headscarf indicates Muslim piety). So anyway, one fine day somewhat into the post-overthrow events in Egypt; she, without any prompting from me, offered the opinion that the overthrow was a very good thing and thank God for it because Egypt leads the culture of the Arab World and if Egypt got Brotherized then the whole Arab World would have its culture Brotherized. And she didn’t want that for Iraq.

    Well, that was a single person’s opinion as relayed to me at that time.

    About the Quaddafi overthrow, I hope EUrope gets it fair share of the credit for instigating that. Sarkozy of France and also the Italian government I think were terrified of new waves of migrants coming from a disordered Libya and they thought that overthrowing Quaddafi would quickly re-order Libya and prevent that. Those EUropean leaders very heavily pushed America into heavy pro-rebel bombing. Such is my memory. And they got the opposite of what they sought. They got a Libya in permanent disorder and fresh waves of migrants coming across.

    ( Obama supposedly had his doubts but Clinton absolutely demanded and pushed for and got a lazy ” let George do it” Obama to okay her demands for a rolling bombathon because ” Womens’ Rights”. Just as Obama was prepared to accept the Zelaya election in Honduras and Clinton herself pushed for the anti-Zelaya coup which resulted in the disorder we see in Nicaragua today. And millions upon millions of Pink Pussy Hat Clintanons love her for that as well as for everything else she did, because they love her and worship her and so they love and worship anything she did because . . . She . . . Her Imperial Herness . . . did it. In many ways, the rise of the MAGAnon is a response to the earlier rise of the Clintanon.)

    @Vietnam Vet,

    The best that mere citizens can do about World Stealth War Three is to try undermining it from within and below at some sort of cultural level. Part of that might involve mere citizens putting some small part of their lives onto an unmoney basis. I myself live in an attached townhouse unit in a co-op with limited scope and space for gardening. I have some beds and bedlets which add up to 250 square feet of garden space. I do what I can.

    If 50 million suburban people with real houses on real yards were to devote some of their yard space to food-gardening according to the best knowledge and information now existing, they could create the stub of a Free Unmarket CounterEconomy as a partial refuge and then a base-of-operations against the Forced Market Economy we all live in.

  7. different clue

    – – – correction to above comment – – – ” the disorder we see in Nicaragua today” ?
    I meant ” the disorder we see in Honduras today”.

  8. Ian Welsh

    Good Greer post, shared by Forecasting Intelligence.

    Greer’s latest. A superb analysis of what is going on.

  9. Ian Welsh

    Agreed that it’s excellent. Also largely in line with what I’ve said, especially the first half.

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