…the funny thing [DOT 27/10/22]

might not be funny...

…a man walks into a joke

Mr. Musk, who runs Tesla and SpaceX, visited Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters on Wednesday and tweeted a nine-second video of himself smiling and carrying a porcelain sink into the building.

“Entering Twitter HQ — let that sink in!” he wrote.
Mr. Musk, 51, also changed his profile on Twitter by describing himself as “Chief Twit” and marking his location as “Twitter HQ.”

…nobody said it was a good joke

Doctors are taking aim at the fossil fuels industry, placing blame for the world’s most dire health problems on the companies that continue to seek oil and gas profits even as climate change worsens heat waves, intensifies flooding and roils people’s mental health.
The report accuses fossil fuel purveyors — and the governments that subsidize them — of subverting “efforts to deliver a low carbon, healthy, liveable future” and demands that world leaders pursue a health-centered approach to solving the climate crisis.

…but there are certainly too many sick jokes going around

The legislation came after research published in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that nearly 18,000 out of 113,000 emergency visits related to sexual violence in 2019 resulted in out-of-pocket costs for the survivors. The average cost was $3,551 per person.

The Violence Against Women Act (VA[W]A), a federal law enacted in 1994, stipulates that sexual assault victims cannot be charged for a forensic exam, which involves treating people for immediate injuries and collecting evidence needed for an investigation such as samples of blood, urine, skin or hair.

But some patients are charged anyway, either because of hospital error or because the exam included medical services that are not covered under the VA[W]A.

[…for reasons I don’t follow NBC had an M in that acronym…maybe I’m missing something…or maybe I’m not the one who hasn’t had enough coffee this morning?]

If a victim receives a bill for costs the state is legally responsible for under the Violence Against Women Act, the proposed law would also require private insurers to let survivors know how to seek proper reimbursement.

Additionally, the bill, called the No Surprises for Survivors Act, stipulates that forensic medical exams should be considered an emergency service under the No Surprises Act, a 2020 law that protects people with private insurance from receiving surprise medical bills for certain forms of emergency care.
A March study published by KFF, a nonprofit health-focused think tank formerly known as the Kaiser Family Foundation, found that two-thirds of privately insured women who likely received a forensic exam after a sexual assault from 2016 to 2018 were charged out-of-pocket for at least one standard service included in that exam. The women spent $347, on average.
The bill, however, would not have an effect on the additional medical services that some survivors get charged for as part of an emergency visit, such as pregnancy tests, emergency contraception, or testing or treatment for sexually transmitted infections. Only some states require that such services be free. The KFF report found that 17 states cover the costs of STI testing, 15 cover preventative HIV treatment and 11 cover emergency contraception.

…maybe there are some clues in who the joke is on

Aphasia has been back in the headlines following the stroke that Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman suffered days before winning the Democratic Senate nomination in May. Fetterman’s campaign said earlier this month that he didn’t have aphasia. Whatever the diagnosis, though, it’s clear that several months post-stroke, Fetterman still struggles to process what he hears and sometimes jumbles words when he speaks.
Although scores of experts agree that speech and language disorders like aphasia do not affect intelligence or other cognitive functions, they also agree that they do affect how people perceive our intelligence. The Oz campaign is clearly hoping that perception will hurt Fetterman.

…about which you could make some guesses based on who’s laughing

In mid-September, the government of the Canadian province of Nova Scotia announced a blockbuster, 5bn-watt “green” hydrogen plant.

The plant was meant to deliver 200,000 tonnes of ammonia to Europe each year, without the use of fossil fuels.

Heading into November there is no prospect green power will be available by the time the EverWind Fuels facility begins operations, the Energy Mix and Halifax Examiner have learned in a joint investigation in partnership with the Guardian.
Nova Scotia has five large onshore wind farms due to start up by 2025, but they’ll account for only 30% of its electricity use – without factoring in new demand, much less the needs of the EverWind plant.

In a 20 September release, Nova Scotia premier Tim Houston’s office said a separate set of leases would deliver “5 gigawatts of offshore wind energy by 2030 to support [the province’s] budding green hydrogen industry”. But that’s just the deadline for offering leases to wind farm developers, with actual production expected around 2038, a provincial spokesperson later clarified. The5 gigawatts, she added, is a target, not a firm commitment.

…the arc of the moral universe may well bend towards justice…but it could be it needs to get its skates on

Pledges to cut greenhouse gas emissions will lead to global heating of 2.5C, a level that would condemn the world to catastrophic climate breakdown, according to the United Nations.
The UN calculated on Wednesday that the plans submitted by governments would lead to a temperature rise of between 2.1C and 2.9C, with the best estimate about 2.5C. This represents a “marginal” improvement, said Stiell, on the 2.7C temperature rise that would have followed from the commitments made at Glasgow.
The NDC synthesis report showed that current NDCs would lead to an increase in emissions of about 10.6% by 2030 compared with 2010 levels. This is an improvement over last year’s assessment, which found countries were on a path to increase emissions by 13.7% by 2030 compared with 2010 levels.

But the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has estimated that greenhouse gas emissions need to fall by about 45% by 2030 compared with 2010 levels, to give the world a chance of staying within 1.5C.
A second UN report on long-term low-emission development strategies, also released on Wednesday, examined the plans that many countries have put in place to reach net zero emissions by or around mid-century. These plans showed that emissions could be about 68% lower in 2050 than in 2019, if all the long-term strategies are fully implemented on time.
The prospects for the Cop27 UN climate summit, hosted by the Egyptian government, which will begin in Sharm el-Sheikh on 6 November, are being viewed with increasing concern. Geopolitical tensions from the Ukraine war, the energy, food price and cost of living crises around the world, and the chill between the US and China are all casting a shadow over the talks where the likelihood of major progress on emissions cuts remains small.

…because some of the things that’re looking like a joke

Opinion polls that show massive support for the war are unreliable, since opponents of Mr Putin are warier of sharing their views with strangers. Independent analysts say that there probably is still a majority in favour, but that it is not monolithic. There are hardline nationalists who see the conflict as a crusade against the west, but also a less ideological segment that backs the country’s armed forces as a matter of cultural habit. The former group is committed to total war without limits. The latter camp would gladly see the whole thing brought to a swift conclusion. That division is increasingly reflected in debates on state propaganda channels, where it is no longer taboo to suggest that things have not gone to plan.
He badly underestimated the capacity of Ukraine to resist invasion in February, and he has overestimated the readiness of Russians to martyr themselves for his vanity. Independent Russian media in exile report that senior government figures have lost faith in Mr Putin, but have no way of replacing him. The image of totalitarian control shown to the west is a facade, concealing a weak structure held together by fear, corruption and inertia.

Mr Putin’s authority cannot withstand unlimited military setbacks and his regime might be more brittle than it looks. His method of responding to failure with escalation is leading to yet more failure. His defeat in Ukraine would be the just outcome for the people of that country. It is also a necessary step on the long road to a better future for Russia.

…seem like they’re in poor taste

It’s like being forced to sit through a game of cricket or baseball. The beer and the snacks are fine, but the game only makes sense to the insiders who have been thrilled by the secret strategies since childhood.
There has long been a yawning chasm between what British people admire in the mirror and what the rest of the world observes.

But over the last six years, that gap between myth and reality has become unbridgeable.
Sunak, for all his earnest schoolboy affect, is heading for the same fate as all four of his predecessors, because you can only fool all of the people some of the time.

Of course, some of the people can be fooled all of the time. We call those people Conservative party members who are – like their American Republican counterparts – no longer conservative at all.

On both sides of the Atlantic, the monster raving loony right has glugged down a radical cocktail of conspiracy theories, free-market fever dreams, and a corrosive taste for cultural victimhood.

Six years into Brexit, it’s obvious that the world is not in fact hankering after glorious new trade deals that will make Britain ludicrous amounts of loot. It’s also obvious that erecting trade barriers to the largest economy on your doorstep did not in fact punish the foreigners on the other side.

As the former governor of the Bank of England points out, before Brexit the British economy was 90% the size of Germany’s. Today it is less than 70%. Well done, chaps.
Today’s rightwingnuts idolize the notion of a long-lost greatness that somehow proves their own exceptionalism.
Today’s so-called conservatives are united in their desire to demonize outsiders, especially immigrants and those they consider immoral, who are allegedly threatening the national culture. Nothing identifies and separates left and right today like attitudes to immigration.
And yes, Rishi Sunak is a hardcore Brexiteer who is determined to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda and has pandered to the anti-trans mob who claim they are threatened by pronouns.

…it’s amazing what a difference perspective can make

The leak of the draft supreme court opinion abolishing the right to abortion put members of the conservative majority at risk of assassination, Samuel Alito, the author of the draft, has said.

…yeah…still processing that one…but it’s hard to wring even a dry chuckle out of this chucklefuck’s antics…lemme get this straight though

Alito’s draft opinion, arguing for overturning the two definitive precedents that for decades established a woman’s constitutional right to terminate her pregnancy – Roe v Wade and Planned Parenthood v Casey – was leaked to Politico, which published it on 2 May. The final ruling, with only minor amendments, was released on 24 June.

…now his “logic” appears to be that (notwithstanding the part where little substantively changed between draft & final ruling) the threat component boiled down to the part where someone might get it in their head that killing a supreme court justice from the majority…or I guess a couple or three if they wanted to alter the majority part…could alter the outcome…if they did it before the draft matured into a ruling

In his 75-minute Q&A session, Alito pointed to the arrest of a man outside the Maryland home of one conservative justice, Brett Kavanaugh, two weeks before the release of the abortion ruling.

…imagine having to content with that kind of thing for a less finite span of time…over something other than your own egregiously twisted partisan hackery…what might that look like?

“Everybody is free to criticize our reasoning, and in strong terms … But to say the court is exhibiting lack of integrity is something quite different,” he said.

He added: “Someone also crosses an important line when they say that the court is acting in a way that is illegitimate. I don’t think that anybody in a position of authority should make that claim lightly.”

…who the fuck said anyone was doing that shit lightly you trifling shitbird?

His remarks were clearly directed at Elena Kagan, one of the three liberal justices who now form the outvoted rump of the court. Following the upending of abortion rights, Kagan has spoken out in unusually forthright terms, accusing the conservative supermajority of damaging the legitimacy and standing of the court.
“When courts become extensions of the political process, when people see them as extensions of the political process … that’s when there’s a problem,” Kagan said.

…refusing to call a problem a problem isn’t historically a great way to arrive at a solution

Mackerel is the most economically valuable fish in the north-east Atlantic Ocean, and along with herring and blue whiting at No 2 and No 3, it has been systematically overfished – in some cases, for more than a decade.
To avoid a wild west scenario where everyone takes whatever they can, the coastal states – Norway, Russia, Iceland, the Faroe Islands, along with the EU and, since Brexit, the UK – meet every year in London at the North-East Atlantic Fisheries Commission (NEAFC), where they must try to agree on catch quotas. (Russia was not invited this year after it invaded Ukraine.)

In most cases, the countries formally accept scientists’ recommendations for the maximum amount of fish that should be caught. When it comes to sharing the pie, however, the negotiators don’t agree on who gets what. They almost always end up allocating themselves quotas that are far too high – and, collectively, end up fishing too much.

The result has been chaos. An investigation by journalists from the German broadcasters NDR and WDR, the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung and the Guardian shows that in recent years, fishers in the north-east Atlantic have caught between 66% and 86% more than the amount scientists – and even the countries themselves – agree is safe.
The effect could be catastrophic. Mackerel, blue whiting and even the famously plentiful herring may soon be in real danger should this systematic overfishing continue.
“When you understand how the negotiations are really going, you can’t believe it,” says Anna Heiða Ólafsdóttir, a marine biologist at the Marine and Freshwater Research Institute in Iceland. Along with many experts, she describes the current system of negotiations as unsustainable.
Then Brexit happened, and things went from bad to worse.
There are negotiations of this kind all over the world, and like many of them, the NEAFC has a problem: it has no way of forcing the countries to agree, and no way of punishing them for not agreeing. As long as the countries meet, they have, officially, done their duty.

The negotiations follow a similar pattern. Each country sends a delegation to London, usually accompanied by industry representatives and marine biologists, and together they sit down in the NEAFC offices, in a nondescript building like any other in white-collar Baker Street. Between rounds of negotiations, the representatives occasionally step outside for a coffee, but are otherwise confined to the closed-door meetings.

To open the dance, scientists from the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea – an independent organisation that studies the sustainable use of the ocean – recommend a maximum catch quota for each species. Mostly, everybody agrees. Then the negotiations begin. In round after round of backroom talks, each country jostles for the highest quotas, leaning on historical or territorial arguments in an attempt to justify why it alone should get a different share than the proportion recommended by scientists.

[…]Fishing was a key plank of the campaign to leave the EU, and fishers were targeted with such slogans as “seas of opportunity” and “take back control of our waters”.

“I was constantly amazed by the sort of high profile of fisheries in the [Brexit] debates,” Stewart says, noting that the industry accounts for only 0.12% of the UK’s economy. In the end, small-scale fishers strongly supported the Brexit campaign.

Many now feel betrayed. “We’ve probably lost more than we’ve gained,” says David Milne, the chairman of the Scottish White Fish Producers’ Association.

…& the little things effect the big things

Warming water temperatures caused by climate change are affecting where zooplankton multiply in abundance, which has in turn been driving North Atlantic right whales into areas with fewer regulatory protections in recent years. For example, many whales were killed by entanglements and vessel strikes in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, Hamilton said, spurring Canada to begin adopting measures to manage ship traffic during certain parts of the year. Meanwhile, it is illegal to get closer than 500 yards from right whales in U.S. waters.
North Atlantic right whale population drops to about 340, worrying scientists [WaPo]

…speaking of little things…to give some idea of context…that 0.12% thing

…context can be kind of a bitch when it comes to the punchline

Far from an outlier, Texas, with its new law, joined what has been an expanding effort to remove nearly all restrictions on carrying handguns. When Alabama’s “permitless carry” law goes into effect in January, half of the states in the nation, from Maine to Arizona, will not require a license to carry a handgun.

The state-by-state legislative push has coincided with a federal judiciary that has increasingly ruled in favor of carrying guns and against state efforts to regulate them.

…or…you know…you can just duck the question & kick the can a little farther down the road

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who has taken on the unenviable task of restoring Britain’s credibility in international markets, said on Wednesday that he would delay the announcement of a major economic plan by two and a half weeks as he seeks more time to make the “right decisions.”

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who has taken on the unenviable task of restoring Britain’s credibility in international markets, said on Wednesday that he would delay the announcement of a major economic plan by two and a half weeks as he seeks more time to make the “right decisions.”

…the “right decisions” or the “right” decisions?

“If all there is is tax rises and spending cuts, and there is nothing in there about growth, the country could end up in a similar doom loop where all you have to do is keep coming back every year to find more tax rises and more spending cuts because you’ve got no growth.” [Tony] Danker [the head of the Confederation of British Industry] told the BBC.

One of the consequences of delaying the fiscal plan is that it will now come after the Bank of England’s next policy meeting, set for Nov. 3.

The earlier date would have allowed officials at the central bank to assess the government’s policies and then decide how high to raise interest rates to curb inflation. This was deemed important when there was concern that Ms. Truss’s tax cuts would add to Britain’s inflationary pressures, pulling fiscal policy in the opposite direction of monetary policy, and force the central bank to raise rates sharply.

…sure…let’s keep handing out passing grades to people before they turn in their homework…that’s been working out great so far…right? …nothing throwing out the curve?


…at least tomorrow’s friday



  1. It’s like Bre-exiters wanted an endless supply of fish and plankton and sea greens and protein from the sea, but only found themselves frozen out by the stupidity/insanity of their creation.


    • …wanted to find a spot for something about those protests…but there’s a lot going on & it’s hard to see the shape of some of it…like that riot/fire in the prison a little while back

      …can’t get over how brave what they’re doing seems in the face of the reaction they have every reason to expect…but also can’t get a handle on what would give them the leverage to make things different?

      • I know, it’s astonishingly brave. And also crazy. Because I don’t know that they can change anything. But it’s a living example of the die on my feet rather than live on my knees phrase. It’s pure rage. Not the foot stomping, temper tantrum the GOP Patriots are playing at.
        And I certainly don’t mean to suggest that you missed anything. You do a damn fine job of keeping us informed. And I appreciate it. I’m just fascinated by this revolution, if that’s what you can call it. It’s unlike anything I’ve seen in my lifetime. I’m so proud of and yet terrified for these people.

  2. The talk of doom loops in the UK has me wondering whether the Murdoch press is capable of doing anything but guaranteeing more and more.

    Fixing what ails the UK is going to require hard choices outside of the usual rote Conservative responses of cutting benefits and privatization, and if the Murdochites aren’t on board, it’s hard to see how any of that happens.

    It can’t be just muffling criticism of some tax plan — it has to involve sending the obstructionist rats scattering. Right now the institutional links are very strong between the Murdochs and the libertarian and nativist kooks. But the Murdochs are the ones with the power in the relationship, and unless they get it through their heads that the people they built up are massively bad for business, the loops will keep looping.

    • My guess is the Murdoch networks might be smart enough to try and disrupt the cycle but the people who have been force fed those lies and had their brains turned into conservative foie gras aren’t likely to accept that. There might be a few things they can rally the troops behind, but a full reversal on pro-Brexit racism/Thatchernomics seems like a reach for those people to line up for.

      • On broad strokes I agree, but I think a lot of the power of the Murdoch press has always been the ability to reframe debates and change the subject.

        Anything that happens is going to be painful, whether it’s a good plan, a bad plan, or complete paralysis. I think the Murdochs have the capacity to guide the outcomes by essentially knocking down the barriers to one path moving forward, and also determining who takes the blame for the fallout.

        If a broad right-left coalition financial package emerges, does the Murdoch press go after it full bore and threaten the Conservative Party members who support it? Or do the headlines suddenly switch to stories of far right members caught in affairs?

        I think a big part of the problem is the Murdochs have lost their sense of perspective, and are in a bubble of kooks. The most likely outcome is they keep the doom loops going for the near future, at least, because they just don’t believe in them.


        • …I guess not all doom loops are equal…it might have been the FT that first went with the shorthand…but that one was fairly specific

          The Bank was forced to intervene late last month to stop a “doom loop” in the gilt market as funds used in the pensions industry to support the retirement schemes of people across the country came close to collapse.

          In the market turmoil after the mini-budget, some liability-driven investment (LDI) funds risked being unable to meet cash demands on complex derivatives they had used to hedge against movements in interest rates.
          In a market worth more than £1tn, the LDI funds had used long-dated gilts as collateral – assets pledged as security to back up a financial contract – to underpin their interest-rate derivatives. As gilt yields soared after the mini-budget, these schemes needed to deal with a rapid increase in collateral demands that they struggled to meet.
          Threadneedle Street stepped in with a promise to buy up to £65bn of government bonds on the grounds of financial stability. The intervention ended earlier this month after the Bank’s governor, Andrew Bailey, said the scheme must close.

          Over the four days after Kwarteng announced £45bn of tax cuts funded by a vast expansion of public borrowing, long-dated government bond yields – which move inversely to prices – rose by more than the annual increase in 23 of the past 27 years.

          …then you’ve got the kind that people like “Tony Danker, the director general of the CBI”  are worried about

          “Let’s remember, the 2010s began with some austerity and were then ensued with very low growth, zero productivity and low investment, right? It wasn’t a successful strategy for growth,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
          “If all there is is tax rises and spending cuts, and there is nothing in there about growth, the country could end up in a similar doom loop where all you have to do is keep coming back every year to find more tax rises and more spending cuts because you’ve got no growth.”

          …though in his case there might be some wishful thinking of a different sort involved

          […]he called on Sunak to pivot to rejoining the EU single market as a powerful tool to rebuild business confidence.

          “It was the biggest lie of them all: that we could replace the economic upside of being part of the most advanced free-trade zone in the world. No independent trade deal can replace its economic upside. It is time to face up to this as a country,” he said.

          It comes as concerns mount over the strength of the British economy as businesses and households struggle with the highest inflation rate since 1982. According to the latest monthly industrial trends snapshot from the CBI, factory output fell in the three months to October as business confidence collapsed at the fastest rate since the early days of the Covid pandemic.
          Alpesh Paleja, the lead economist at the CBI, said: “It’s a tough time for manufacturers. Price pressures remain acute, availability of materials is still a big issue – and it is 49 years since manufacturing firms were this worried about being able to find workers with the skills they need. It’s really no surprise that sentiment has deteriorated further.”

          …then there’s the whole mess of narrative feedback of the sort the murdochs & their ilk peddle in

          In just over a week, the new chancellor will return to the Commons armed with £30bn or more in spending cuts aimed at restoring credibility with investors. For the vast array of politicians and pundits this is terrible – and essential. After weeks of City chaos, and scoldings from Larry Summers and the IMF, even the most liberal of commentators have bought into a dangerous idea: that you can never buck “the markets”.

          Behind this mentality lies a whole mix of things, including the very understandable schadenfreude that comes with watching the Britannia Unchained lot find out that the markets don’t actually love them back. And who wouldn’t find joy in seeing the double-breasted, vacant-eyed, permanently post-prandial beetroots who between them make up the Conservative parliamentary party await an electoral tide that will sweep them out into generational oblivion? But the “markets know best” is not the lesson of the past few weeks, or the pandemic, or the bankers’ bailout before it. And believing so puts you on a collision course with voters.

          …except…the first sort don’t respond to anything at all the voters think, say or do…the second sort the government is in the business of paying lip service to “public will” about but it barely has more meaningful control over than it does the first sort…which it doesn’t even nominally control…& when it comes to the third sort…& those voters…up has been down for so long at this point most of them couldn’t tell the difference between a doom loop & a virtuous circle

          […]The vast spending cuts made by George Osborne wrecked our hospitals, our schools and our town halls, and stoked the frustrations that ensured Brexit. I heard it over and over while reporting before the referendum – passersby declaring they were voting out, and citing as their reason nothing to do with Brussels and almost everything to do with the Tories. Their mum’s wait for an operation, their kids’ inability to get a council house, the loss of industry, the black hole left by privatisation: 40 years of bombed-out economics and bullshit politics.

          …they voted for the pipe-dreams of the toriest of tories to register their dissatisfaction with a litany of things almost exclusively made up of grieviances brought about by the tories…& then followed up by voting them in some more…right up to the point of voting for boris on a ticket of being the one to “get ‘er done”

          To prove how far we have regressed, the politician who is once again everywhere is Osborne, easily the most ruinous Conservative minister this century. Others might name the layabout liar Boris Johnson or Truss the malfunctioning android, but it was Osborne who robbed Britain of a future. In the 2010s, interest rates hit rock-bottom and markets were practically screaming for governments to spend and invest. The UK could have rethought and rebuilt its post-crash economic model, but he chose to trample on the working poor and to cut, cut, cut. He is a big reason why Tory economics now has only two settings: cutting taxes for the rich, which never produces growth, or pursuing austerity that never brings prosperity.

          Even today, Hunt is copying Osborne’s moves, right down to outsourcing politics to the financiers – just look at the newly installed panel of economic advisers, which comprises just two representatives of giant asset managers and two hedge-funders. Yet Jeremy cannot be George, because his role model cut public services so far there is nothing of substance left to take without them falling over. Now inflation is in double digits (unlike the prime minister’s approval ratings), it is devouring every Whitehall budget.

          This is the UK’s horrific doom-loop, where voters are told the untenable is inevitable, while the sensibles keep mouthing stupidities and capitalists mirthlessly toast a cadaverous capitalism. Further downstream, surveys suggest over half (54%) of the 4m households on universal credit have gone without food in the last month, sick people in Wales can wait nearly two days inside an ambulance before getting admitted to A&E, and about 100,000 households each month are rolling off their mortgages into financial disaster.

          …so…yeah…the sun might be the only paper that still needs two commas to write out its daily circulation figures…& that’s not nothing when it comes to what a lot of people might take to be the news of the day…but the days of “it’s the sun wot won it” are looking a little out of date…& who needs ’em when you’ve got whatever cambridge analytica is called this week?

    • …murdoch has a certain amount of a certain sort of power…as does/did dacre…aaron banks…a baffling multitude of multi-generational wealth & influence whose locus could be approximated to “the square mile”…not to mention the crown…& the bank of england

      …very little of that has any moment when trying to shift the needle on steering out of rather than into doom loops that are artifacts of feedback between finance & business with an international component, though

      …so there’s things that broadly speaking will have to happen to keep things on an even keel & prevent any spooking of those skittish markets…there’s things they can’t avoid…like cutting some public spending…things they’d find politically hard to sell to their supporters but will probably have to do anyway…like raising taxes…& there’s the tory way…where you get as much as you want out of both by crippling public services & benefits to the people that need assistance from the state while making sure the tax hike is disproportionately borne by that same end of the wealth spectrum

      …by that calculus getting away with a rain check until after someone else has to do something you can laud or blame depending on how the markets react is his best chance at moving the conversation past the bit where his justification for being a more stable alternative to the market chaos allegedly guaranteed by anything as foolish as a general (or even party-wide) election relies on not putting himself on the hook for anything that could potentially rock the boat

      …meanwhile they’ll continue to play the game the same as they always have…the players might move in & out of the spotlight…but it’s not like they don’t all know the score?

      • I think there is a very real possibility that there will be another crisis, only with government paralysis that means a genuine crash.

        I can very much believe the Murdoch clan is content to pretend it just  can’t happen and will continue for to play little games that worsen the slide on the theory that they can just treat it like some minor recession. But when they need a functional united government, they only have a bunch of back biting ideologues.

        • …there’s no route through this that doesn’t pass through several things that could be called a crisis & nothing sunak or anyone else in government can do is going to result in the UK pulling up out of that nosedive in the next few months…there’s further sanctions coming into effect on russian exports so the oil & gas markets are going to continue to fuck with everything from household bills to industry…& that takes turn & turnabout with the inflation thing…& the cost of living goes up while the value of cash goes down & most folks get stitched up coming & going…it almost doesn’t matter which is the cart & which is the horse in some respects…either way the people claiming the important part is who’s in the driver’s seat are well aware that debate is to a significant extent besides the point…things will get worse before there’s any real chance of them getting better…& the tories will still claim to be the smart money bet for the better part despite having been not only the architects of most of the problem but having very much presided over the downhill slide without anyone else getting a look in…which, like boris, they’ll earnestly proclaim they’ve taken responsibility for…it’s one of their greatest virtues, they’d have you know

          …how the murdoch press choses to try to frame that is almost entirely a matter of window-dressing whether they throw in their lot with or against whatever sunak or the tories do…for the murdochs’ purposes they have a functional government…one that will give them what they want…& while the details might have varied a little over the years in broad strokes that hasn’t changed on account of anything recent

    • Those fees are very devastating to old people. My in-laws got hit with those a lot as my father-in-law declined. He’d just forget to pay things, and then it would start a cascade of late fees. Other times he overdrew his account, which then bounced checks, and the banks would slap on fees and the people to whom he’d written checks would add more fees.

      He couldn’t understand electronic payment and still thought that checks still have “float,” where if you write them at the grocery store it would be 2-3 days before it came out of your account, giving you time to get your Social Security check deposited. In reality the cash register scans the check and debits it instantly from your account. It’s literally no different than a debit card. But old people frequently can’t understand it.

      So yeah, Republicans want to allow that sort of thing to proliferate. And the old people it victimizes will vote … Republican.

  3. https://nltimes.nl/2022/10/27/video-activists-attack-girl-pearl-earring-hague-museum-3-arrested

    climate protestors man….i admire their optimism and copious free time

    you really think glueing yourself to shit and throwing soup at paintings will help?

    have you noticed whos trying their damned bestest to recycle shit and seperate waste and go green?

    coz its not the big polluters…its the people as always (well…a good chunk of them anyways)

    you want to make a difference…. borrow one of ukraines donated manpads and take down a private jet…hell…do it a few times….i mean..yeah…you’ll go to jail….but that point would get across…and its not like yous have jobs to worry about

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