Links 5/10/2021


Scientists Have Studied the Mysterious Behavior of Cats Sitting on Squares Vice (JD).

Bunny, the dog that can “talk,” starts asking existential questions Salon (DL).

Kentucky Derby winner under scrutiny after positive post-race test Racing Post (Re Silc).

How America Became the Money Laundering Capital of the World The New Republic.

“The threat of a prison sentence is much more persuasive than the threat of a large money penalty,” Jim Richards, a former anti–money laundering director at Wells Fargo and other big banks who now runs Regtech Consulting, told me. “It’s pretty simple: Anything that can be fixed with money isn’t a problem to a large bank, it’s simply an expense.”


“The Truth Turns Out to Be Ugly”: How Paul, Weiss Tried to Thwart Reporting on The Caesars Palace Collapse Vanity Fair

Jonathan P. Baird: Chevron’s kill shot against Attorney Steven Donziger Concord Monitor. From April, still germane.

Regional emergency declaration issued over pipeline shut down after cyberattack The Hill


Free beer offer results in more vaccinations than all Erie County first-dose clinics last week Buffalo News. Stop moralizing and do what works.

‘Dracula’s Castle’ in Transylvania lures visitors with promise of free Covid-19 vaccine iNews

At nursing homes, fears of a viral rebound as workers decline COVID-19 vaccine and new residents struggle to get shots Boston Globe

“The Mark of the Beast”: Georgian Britain’s Anti-Vaxxer Movement Public Domain Review

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Fauci says indoor mask guidance should ‘start being more liberal.’ NYT (KW).

Fauci: ‘Unlikely’ US will see COVID-19 surge in fall, winter The Hill.

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Vascular alterations among young adults with SARS-CoV-2 American Journal of Physiology. From January, still germane. “Using a cross-sectional design, this study assessed vascular function 3–4 wk after young adults tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. The main findings from this study were a strikingly lower vascular function and a higher arterial stiffness compared with healthy controls. Together, these results suggest rampant vascular effects seen weeks after contracting SARS-CoV-2 in young adults.”

66 Studies found for: Ivermectin | Covid19 (pq). I count five in the United States (though not all studies have the location field filled in).

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A New Wave of Vaccines Is Coming, and They’re Not All Also-Rans Bloomberg. CureVac, Novavax, Glaxo + Sanofi, Valneva SE, and Altimmune Inc. Interesting round-up.

‘The vaccine changed my life’: Yale study to examine effects on COVID long-haulers New Haven Register

How SARS-CoV-2 first adapted in humans Science

How science has been corrupted Unherd


China healthcare shares surge after COVID-19 vaccine patent waiver plan meets EU resistance Channel News Asia]

Chinese jabs dominate Latin American vaccination campaigns FT

Unused Shots Pile Up as Mistrust Mars Hong Kong Vaccinations Bloomberg

Fosun Pharma to provide factory with annual capacity of 1 bln doses of BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine Reuters. Oh.


Myanmar counts cost of coup, 100 days on Agence France Presse. 100 days is rather a long time for coup leadership not to be firmly in the saddle, especially a military as dominant as the Tatmadaw.

Myanmar’s journalists regroup on the run from the junta FT

Myanmar poet Khet Thi who died in detention had ‘organs removed’, wife says South China Morning Post

The Role of Critical Minerals in Clean Energy Transitions (PDF) IEA


Panic in AMU as 18 professors die of Covid in 20 days, V-C wants campus samples probed The Print

A Report Card on the End Times Brought Upon Us by Hindutva The Wire

India’s biggest steelmaker slashes output as oxygen shortage bites FT

Cipla inks licencing agreement with Eli Lilly for Covid drug Baricitinib Times of India. FDA-authorized with remdesivir; study.

India, Indonesia benefit as China’s ban on Australian coal reshapes trade flows Hellenic Shipping News


The one that gets away: Joe Biden’s jaded romance with Iran Politico

China holds US responsible for Afghanistan schoolgirl deaths South China Morning Post


UK Labour leader Keir Starmer reshuffles top team Politico. I went to bed, and Angela Rayner had been sacked. I woke up, and she had four (4) new job titles. Here they are (Rayner is first):

The optics of Angela Rayner having four jobs, one of which is “the Future of Work” 🙃

— Calum (@CalumC_91) May 9, 2021

… and Rightful Heir to the Iron Throne. Commentary:

Starmer’s plan to sack all of Labour’s voters seems like a questionable strategy to me, but all of the right wing papers love it, so perhaps he’s on to something

— Atrios (@Atrios) May 10, 2021

Scotland has voted for a second independence referendum, says Nicola Sturgeon Holyrood

Revealed: The UK’s largest intelligence agency is a significant emitter of greenhouse gases Declassified UK. The headline doesn’t match the story, whose point is that GCHQ does an awful lot of air travel for an organization that supposedly has no bases abroad.

Bayer Loses Fight Over Chemicals EU Blamed for Killing Bees Bloomberg

Chávez’s Excesses Venezuelanalysis

New Cold War

Where Ukrainians Are Preparing for All-Out War With Russia NYT

Biden Administration

Why Joe Biden Punched Big Pharma in the Nose Over Covid Vaccines Matt Stoller, BIG. “The people in charge of money and guns took the progressive position, because the progressive position was a way to counter Russian and Chinese vaccine diplomacy, and to keep the economy free from a renewed pandemic threat.” So where’s the PR campaign from the Biden administration? From this humble blogger’s perspective, the vaccine waiver story is yet another story that vanished as soon as Biden said he’d do something about it.

Gates Foundation reverses position on COVID vaccine patent protections after mounting pressure GeekWire. I would bet this is a sign the WTO effort will go nowhere.

The U.S. Is Playing Catch-Up at Vaccine Diplomacy New York Magazine. All that AZ still sitting in inventory? Joe? Joe? Joe?

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Democrats hit crucial stretch as filibuster fight looms The Hill

With civil rights charges, Justice Dept. signals priorities AP

Bernie Sanders opposes push to reinstate SALT deduction Axios

America Is Becoming a Social Democracy Foreign Policy. They may actually believe this.

Pushback stalls tribal sovereignty proposal Indian Country

Republican Funhouse

The making of a myth WaPo.

At meetings beginning late in 2018, as Republicans were smarting from midterm losses in Texas and across the country, Russell J. Ramsland Jr. and his associates delivered alarming presentations on electronic voting to a procession of conservative lawmakers, activists and donors.

Ramsland, a failed congressional candidate with a Harvard MBA, pitched a claim that seemed rooted in evidence: Voting-machine audit logs — lines of codes and time stamps that document the machines’ activities — contained indications of vote manipulation.

WaPo on Trump, so take with a dose of salts. That said, it’s always entertaining to watch particularly seamy political operatives in action; we’ve had too little of that with Axelrove out of action. And that said, the way Republicans have fastened upon a real problem — that electronic ballot marking devices are inherently not auditable — and so polluted the careful work of voting machine activists over many years with stupid arguments, idiotic claims, and yarn diagrams really makes me pound my head on my desk so that I don’t focus on the pain that grinding my teeth is causing me. People ought to be “alarmed” about electronic voting. So why, oh why, don’t the Republicans sue to see source code for the devices? Why are we focusing on bamboo shreds in ballot paper?

Trump’s Big Lie Devoured the G.O.P. and Now Eyes Our Democracy Thomas Friedman, NYT. Ol’ Dean wheeling out the big guns, I see.

Police State Watch

Border Police Wants a Bite of Burgeoning Anti-Drone Industry The Intercept

L’Affaire Joffrey Epstein

Melinda Gates met with divorce lawyers in 2019 amid Epstein revelations Axios


Armed Doesn’t Mean Dangerous WaPo. The deck: “Black gun owners are often portrayed negatively. One photographer set out to change that.” Have I mentioned woke hegemony in the PMC?

Class Warfare

CEO dismissed working from home. Her employees went on strike CBS. CEO was editor of the Washingtonian.

Clever tactic:

This is how you strike.
Take note…

— ✨Visurant✨ (@vizurantvis) May 8, 2021

We have housed them far away from where we can see them Welcome to Hell World. Our normalization strategy. Scroll to “She walked out of a crashing plane into the air and pulled the parachute.”

Antidote du jour (via):

And a bonus antidote:

VIDEO: Feline Eid: Dressing Malaysia’s cats for the Muslim holidays.

A rising number of Malaysian cat lovers are dressing up their house pets with traditional outfits as the country prepares to usher in the Muslim holiday of Eid

— AFP News Agency (@AFP) May 10, 2021

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

This entry was posted in Links on May 10, 2021 by Lambert Strether.

About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.

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