A couple of weeks ago we were at the San Antonio Regional Hospital in Upland, where Marian was taking care of some administrative business for a relative. I stayed in the car and randomly shot pictures, including a series of high-shutter-speed photos of the fountain out front. This is one of them.
Kevin Drum 🕸
I suppose it was inevitable: The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is scrutinizing creators of nonfungible tokens and the crypto exchanges where they trade to determine whether some of the assets run afoul of the agency’s rules, according to people familiar with the matter. ....As part of its review, the SEC is seeking information on ...continue reading "The era of crypto-CDOs is coming fast"
Vladimir Putin dialed up the president of France earlier today to let him know about Russia's plans for Ukraine: Vladimir Putin has told Emmanuel Macron that Kyiv’s “refusal to accept Russia’s conditions” means “the worst is still to come” in Ukraine, saying Moscow was aiming to take “full control” by diplomatic or military means, according ...continue reading "Putin wants “full control” of Ukraine"
In a court filing seeking access to emails between President Trump and attorney John Eastman about the 2020 election, the January 6 Committee tipped its hand: The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol said on Wednesday that there was enough evidence to conclude that former President Donald J. Trump and some ...continue reading "January 6 committee says Trump “might” have committed fraud and obstruction of justice"
Here's an exceptionally nice photo of our local squirrel. He spends all his time chittering madly at both people and cats even though I keep telling him that nobody is even interested in his stupid pine cones. But he doesn't believe us. He probably never will.
Eurostat has issued a flash estimate of the euro area inflation rate for February: it will reach 5.8%, up from 5.1% in January. Here's how that compares to the US: There are a couple of takeaways from this. First, US and European inflation rates follow each other, so don't be surprised if the February number ...continue reading "European inflation spikes up in February"
The New York Times is getting dragged all over lefty Twitter for this fact check: We fact-checked President Biden's claim during the #SOTU about strong U.S. job growth. Follow our live analysis: https://t.co/wmEgwIYSOi pic.twitter.com/HwXEcia7IL — The New York Times (@nytimes) March 2, 2022 The Times deserves whatever they get for this. Given the lower US ...continue reading "Fact checking the president"
For the first time in a long while I watched the State of the Union Address like a normal person: only barely paying attention. Overall, I thought it was fine. President Joe was very much on his bipartisan schtick, starting off with lots of crowd-pleasing Ukraine stuff and then emphasizing things he thought everyone could ...continue reading "Biden’s SOTU wasn’t great, but it was pretty good"
Sen. Rick Scott got himself into the soup a few days ago by releasing a plan for the Republican Party that included, among other things, a tax proposal: All Americans should pay some income tax to have skin in the game, even if a small amount. Currently over half of Americans pay no income tax. ...continue reading "Rick Scott wants to raise taxes by thousands of dollars on poor families"
This is the Cathedra Petri in St. Peter's Basilica, directly behind Bernini's baldachin. It was built to house St. Peter's wooden throne, which Bernini enclosed in a typically massive bronze sculpture. The photo is (surprise!) a panorama stitched together to provide a good view of both the floor and ceiling.
Even though our sanctions regime against Russia specifically excludes oil and gas, energy traders are worried that Russia's crude oil shipments might suffer anyway. This has caused the price of Brent crude futures to soar, but not Russian oil futures: In a sign that demand for Russian oil has evaporated, prices for the country’s flagship ...continue reading "The price of oil is up. Or is it?"
I don't know a lot about sanctions, but I've learned two things over the past couple of decades: In general, unilateral sanctions don't work. They only work if they're backed by lots of countries. They take a while to work. Sanctions are sort of like a grinding medieval siege, something that's effective only if you ...continue reading "Our sanctions against Russia are tough but still probably won’t work"
What have Republicans done recently? They tried to extort Ukraine in return for military aid. They precipitated anti-mask/vaccine fervor, resulting in tens of thousands of unnecessary deaths. They defend the 1/6 insurrection as just an ordinary protest¹ and continue to support Trump's big lie about Democrats stealing the vote. They support efforts to allow red ...continue reading "Let us review the Republican record"
Nikki Haley has some advice for us: We need to become energy independent and we need to do it now. — Nikki Haley (@NikkiHaley) February 28, 2022 As it happens, we're already energy independent: We continue to import about a fifth of our energy for reasons of convenience and geopolitics, but we don't have to. ...continue reading "Let’s make Europe energy independent"
So it looks like Joe Biden will be giving his State of the Union address just as Russian troops are finally entering Kyiv. And make no mistake: despite Russian military clumsiness so far, they're going to take Kyiv and there's not much we can do about it. This puts Biden in a tough position. Will ...continue reading "This is a tough night for Biden to be giving a big speech"
Well, good news for me, anyway. As many of you know, there's been an explosion in recent years of what are called CAR-T treatments for blood cancers in general and for multiple myeloma in particular. Unlike ordinary chemo treatments, CAR-T involves taking T cells from a patient (e.g., me) and shipping them off to a ...continue reading "Good news today!"
For some reason, everyone seems to be missing the obvious reason why the US (and NATO more broadly) aren't attacking Russia directly: because we never have. Nor has Russia ever directly attacked us. This has been hard military doctrine in the nuclear era. Instead, both countries have fought lots and lots of proxy wars, the ...continue reading "We will not get into a hot war with Russia"
Showing support for Ukraine is the order of the day, but none of the pictures in my photo queue could be made to fit a Ukrainian theme of any kind. So instead I made my own. This is a Spanish needles daisy with the background converted to blue and then run through a Photoshop filter.
Patrisse Cullors, one of the founders of Black Lives Matter, wants us to take "Defund the Police" very, very seriously: Her new book, An Abolitionist’s Handbook, offers 12 steps in the form of a guidebook that everyday activists can use to fight for an abolitionist present and future—and her bold, humanistic approach can be previewed ...continue reading "Patrisse Cullors: Defund the police means just what it sounds like"
Why oh why? For the life of me I don’t understand why Dems aren’t falling over themselves to praise how Biden has handled things and express immense relief that he, rather than a fully compromised Trump, is leading the global response, but this delusional nonsense is what’s filling the void. https://t.co/0qBkAF2tRK — Brian Beutler (@brianbeutler) ...continue reading "Democrats need to back Biden more loudly on Ukraine"