Tom Friedman, writing in the NYT, does a decent job of trying to define what the end result of the war may be. None of his predictions, alas, seem particularly optimistic. But they are probably realistic.
• Zeynep Tufekci writes in the NYT about the benefits of the updated bivalent Covid booster vaccines. An excerpt:
“Many European countries and Canada, for example, did a better job of making sure more of their population got boosters. Their cumulative death and illness tolls from the Omicron wave are sharply lower than those of the United States, where only about a third of eligible adults had gotten boosters, compared with two-thirds of adults in many European countries. The United States has had a death rate 80 percent greater than Canada’s from the Omicron wave — a similar pattern holds globally. Countries like Japan, South Korea and Taiwan have about 80 percent or more of their adult population boosted, and their death tolls are even lower.”
- Might as well try to inject some optimism; see Matt Yglesias’ posting re. Janet Yellen’s take on the economy. I was especially taken with this graph of the recent recent growth of real GDP:
From the Steve Jobs Archive, a site set up by his friends and family, an email Steve sent to himself in 2010:
From: Steve Jobs, firstname.lastname@example.org
To: Steve Jobs, email@example.com
Date: Thursday, September 2, 2010 at 11:08PM
I grow little of the food I eat, and of the little I do grow
I do not make any of my own clothing.
I speak a language I did not invent or refine.
I did not discover the mathematics I use.
I am protected by freedoms and laws I did not conceive
I am moved by music I did not create myself.
When I needed medical attention, I was helpless
I did not invent the transistor, the microprocessor,
I love and admire my species, living and dead, and am
Sent from my iPad
From the Washington Post, Drew Harwell reporting; “Truth Social faces financial peril as worry about Trump’s future grows“
• Jamelle Bouie has it right with his Newsletter’s take on the Republican response to student debt cancellation:
“The fact of the matter is the Republican Party does not have anything to offer the millions of working- and middle-class Americans who labor under the burden of student debt. For all the talk of “populism,” the party is still hostile to the social safety net, opposed to raising the minimum wage, hostile to unions and worker power and virtually every economic policy intervention that isn’t tax cuts and upward redistribution from the many to the most fortunate few.
To debate the reality of student debt relief is to make that more than clear to the public at large. Republicans, then, are trying to make this a debate over culture, to try to reduce issues of class to a question of aesthetics, with traditional blue-collar workers on one side and the image of an ungrateful and unproductive young person on the other. And they’re hoping, as always, that you won’t notice.”
More good stuff from Matt Yglesias, writing on the peculiar reluctance of law-and-order Republicans to support adequate funding of the IRS (defund the police? horrors! defund the IRS? they vote yes!):
“…the government collecting the tax revenue it’s owed is unambiguously good, and the Republican Party’s opposition to it is telling and disturbing.
After all, they wrote a tax reform bill in 2017, and even though their bill cut taxes on net, it did raise a bunch of revenue (most famously from curbing the SALT deduction) to partially offset the cost of the tax cut. The GOP could have increased tax enforcement as another offset, and instead of letting Democrats spend the revenue, they could have used it to make the cuts in the Trump tax bill even bigger.
But they didn’t. Because separate from the party’s overall view on the desirable level of taxation, they’ve developed a peculiar soft spot for tax cheats.”
From Adam Schiff’s closing arguments at DJT’s impeachment trial:
“We must say enough — enough! He has betrayed our national security, and he will do so again.
He has compromised our elections, and he will do so again.
Can we be confident that he will not continue to try to cheat in [this] very election? Can we be confident that Americans and not foreign powers will get to decide, and that the president will shun any further foreign interference in our Democratic affairs? The short, plain, sad, incontestable answer is no, you can’t. You can’t trust this president to do the right thing. Not for one minute, not for one election, not for the sake of our country. You just can’t. He will not change and you know it.
You will not change him. You cannot constrain him. He is who he is. Truth matters little to him. What’s right matters even less, and decency matters not at all.
What are the odds if left in office that he will continue trying to cheat? I will tell you: 100 percent.
A man without character or ethical compass will never find his way.”
He couldn’t have been more correct.