U.S. escalates in . . .wait, what? Syria? Against Russia?




Fig. 1. “Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, March 15, 2023.” Pool photograph by Vladimir Gerdo, March 15, 2023, via Reuters, fair use.

When it comes to aiding Ukraine, Joe Biden is all about Vladimir Putin’s “red lines.” Syria, however, would seem very much to be a very different story.[1]

Audrey Decker, “US Rushes F-22s to Stop Russian Harassment Over Syria,” Defense One, June 14, 2023, https://www.defenseone.com/threats/2023/06/russia-continues-harass-us-jets-over-syria-top-air-force-general-says/387528/


Fig. 2. “Destroyed Russian military vehicles located on the main street Khreshchatyk are seen as part of the celebration of the Independence Day of Ukraine in Kyiv, August 24.” Photograph by Gleb Garanich for Reuters, August 24, 2022,[2] fair use.

Gabriel Gavin, “Putin admits Russia doesn’t have enough weapons and drones,” Politico, June 13, 2023, https://www.politico.eu/article/vladimir-putin-ukraine-war-russia-doesnt-have-enough-weapons-and-drones-putin-admits/

Max Seddon, “Putin sides with Russia’s military in clash with Wagner,” Financial Times, June 14, 2023, https://www.ft.com/content/b9d91a08-0f89-4986-855b-42232c5291a6

Sam Skove, “Ukraine War Could Last a Decade, Top Ukrainian Official Says,” Defense One, June 14, 2023, https://www.defenseone.com/threats/2023/06/ukraine-war-could-last-decade-top-ukrainian-official-says/387523/



Fig. 3. The spectre of Death, in the form of a large skeleton, rises with the smoke and flames of the burning Asch Building during the Triangle fire, as people jump and fall to their death. Artist unknown, from International Ladies Garment Workers Union Photographs (1885-1985) at The Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY 2.0.

Larry Summers had predicted that several years of high unemployment would be necessary to curtail inflation.[3] This despite the fact that supply chain problems are causing inflation,[4] not workers. So it shouldn’t be the least bit surprising that Summers—and everybody else who preached the neoliberal gospel—was wrong.[5]

Helpfully, Eric Levitz will explain to you why, specifically, Summers was wrong.[6] But we should emphasize yet again that neoliberalism is entirely bogus as an economic ideology, completely discredited intellectually,[7] which is why, generally, Summers was wrong. But I guess we’re all surprised anyway.

Steve Bohnel, “Fitzgerald vetoes minimum wage hike bill, saying it violates county charter,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, June 14, 2023, https://www.post-gazette.com/news/politics-local/2023/06/13/fitzgerald-vetoes-minimum-wage-hike-bill-stating-it-violates-county-charter/stories/202306130122

Eric Levitz, “Larry Summers Was Wrong About Inflation,” New York, June 14, 2023, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2023/06/larry-summers-was-wrong-about-inflation.html


Donald Trump

Coup attempt

Fig. 4. “Jake Angeli (Qanon Shaman), seen holding a Qanon sign at the intersection of Bell Rd and 75th Ave in Peoria, Arizona, on 2020 October 15.” Photography by TheUnseen011101 [pseud.], October 15, 2020, via Wikimedia Commons, public domain.

Okay, yes, it’s interesting that Donald Trump is said to be “scared shitless.” Prem Thakker’s strongest evidence amounts to a Trump staffer explaining that the dinner at Miami’s Versailles Restaurant and the fundraiser at his Bedminster Golf Club are part “baby-sitting” so they won’t have to deal with him being in a rage.[8] Okay, except Trump is always this way, and has been since long, long, long before this indictment. Indeed, speaking of Trump, a number of—I am not any sort of mental health professional—mental health diagnoses come to mind, including narcissistic rage.[9]

Spencer S. Hsu et al., “Trump special counsel shifts focus of possible indictment to S. Florida,” Washington Post, June 7, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2023/06/06/miami-grand-jury-trump-classified-documents/

Alex Isenstadt and Kyle Cheney, “Trump notified that he is the target of an ongoing criminal investigation,” Politico, June 7, 2023, https://www.politico.com/news/2023/06/07/trump-notified-that-he-is-the-target-of-an-ongoing-criminal-investigation-00100920

Devlin Barrett, Perry Stein, and Josh Dawsey, “Trump charged in classified documents case, second indictment in months,” Washington Post, June 8, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2023/06/08/trump-classified-documents-mar-a-lago/

Marc Caputo, “‘Prosecuting Politicians is Hard Here’: Why South Florida is a Tough Place for DOJ to Try Trump,” Messenger, June 8, 2023, https://themessenger.com/politics/trump-south-florida-miami-doj-jury-challenge

Ankush Khardori, “The Chaos Inside Trump’s Legal Team,” New York, June 8, 2023, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2023/06/donald-trumps-lawyers-on-his-dysfunctional-legal-team.html

Hugo Lowell, “Donald Trump charged with illegal retention of classified documents,” Guardian, June 8, 2023, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2023/jun/08/donald-trump-charged-retention-classified-documents

Stefania Palma, “Donald Trump says he has been indicted on federal charges in documents probe,” Financial Times, June 8, 2023, https://www.newyorker.com/news/our-columnists/trump-is-desperately-trying-to-define-the-narrative-about-his-federal-indictment

Gabriel J. Chin, “Trump indictment unsealed – a criminal law scholar explains what the charges mean, and what prosecutors will now need to prove,” Conversation, June 9, 2023, https://theconversation.com/trump-indictment-unsealed-a-criminal-law-scholar-explains-what-the-charges-mean-and-what-prosecutors-will-now-need-to-prove-207469

Joseph Ferguson and Thomas A. Durkin, “Trump charged under Espionage Act – which covers a lot more crimes than just spying,” Conversation, June 9, 2023, https://theconversation.com/trump-charged-under-espionage-act-which-covers-a-lot-more-crimes-than-just-spying-207373

Alan Feuer, “Trump-Appointed Judge Is Said to Be Handling Documents Case,” New York Times, June 9, 2023, https://www.nytimes.com/2023/06/09/us/politics/aileen-cannon-trump-judge.html

David Gilbert, “‘We Need to Start Killing’: Trump’s Far-Right Supporters Are Threatening Civil War,” Vice, June 9, 2023, https://www.vice.com/en/article/wxjjgb/trump-supporters-are-threatening-civil-war

Ankush Khardori, “The ‘Lock Him Up’ Election,” New York, June 9, 2023, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2023/06/trump-indictment-turns-2024-into-lock-him-up-election.html

Tom Nichols, “Trump’s Indictment Reveals a National-Security Nightmare,” Atlantic, June 9, 2023, https://www.theatlantic.com/newsletters/archive/2023/06/trumps-indictment-reveals-a-national-security-nightmare/674362/

Jennifer Rubin, “Merrick Garland and Jack Smith come through: Trump will face justice,” Washington Post, June 9, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2023/06/09/trump-indictment-garland-smith-justice/

Jonathan Turley, “Trying Trump: Scandal May Be His Element — But This Time May Be Different,” Messenger, June 9, 2023, https://themessenger.com/opinion/trying-trump-scandal-may-be-his-element-but-this-time-may-be-different

Aruna Viswanatha, Sadie Gurman, and C. Ryan Barber, “Trump Charged Over Willful Retention of Classified Information, Obstruction,” Wall Street Journal, June 9, 2023, https://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-associate-also-indicted-in-mar-a-lago-documents-case-759cbb17

Marc Fisher, “Trump’s path to indictment: ‘Isn’t it better if there are no documents?’” Washington Post, June 10, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2023/06/10/trump-classified-documents-path-bathroom-indictment/

Michael S. Schmidt et al., “Trump Supporters’ Violent Rhetoric in His Defense Disturbs Experts,” New York Times, June 10, 2023, https://www.nytimes.com/2023/06/10/us/politics/trump-supporter-violent-rhetoric.html

Kyle Cheney, “He devised a fringe legal theory to try to keep Trump in power. Now he’s on the verge of being disbarred,” Forbes, June 11, 2023, https://www.politico.com/news/2023/06/11/john-eastman-disbarment-trial-trump-00101407

Richard Nixon [Justin Sherrin], “On the Trump/Nauta Indictment,” Patreon, June 11, 2023, https://www.patreon.com/posts/on-trump-nauta-84420752

Marina Pitofsky, “Barr ‘shocked’ by Trump indictment details: “If even half of it is true, then he’s toast,’” USA Today, June 11, 2023, https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2023/06/11/bill-barr-donald-trump-classified-documents-indictment/70310878007/

Paul Rosenzweig, “The Three Biggest Obstacles to Convicting Trump,” Atlantic, June 11, 2023, https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2023/06/three-biggest-obstacles-convicting-trump/674366/

David Aaron, “How Much Prison Time Does Former President Trump Face? Applying the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines,” Just Security, June 12, 2023, https://www.justsecurity.org/86901/how-much-prison-time-does-former-president-trump-face-applying-the-u-s-sentencing-guidelines/

Isaac Chotiner, “Will the Judge in Trump’s Case Recuse Herself—or Be Forced To?” New Yorker, June 12, 2023, https://www.newyorker.com/news/q-and-a/will-the-judge-in-trumps-case-recuse-herself-or-be-forced-to

Spencer S. Hsu et al., “Trump scrambles to find lawyer before first federal court appearance,” Washington Post, June 12, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2023/06/12/trump-documents-lawyer/

Molly Jong-Fast, “Even a Damning Federal Case Can’t Break the GOP’s Devotion to Donald Trump,” Vanity Fair, June 12, 2023, https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2023/06/donald-trump-federal-indictment-case-gop

Eric Lutz, “Judge Aileen Cannon Could Blow Up Trump Documents Case,” Vanity Fair, June 12, 2023, https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2023/06/aileen-cannon-trump-documents-case

Nick Madigan, Verónica Zaragovia, and Richard Fausset, “Floridians Would Make Up Trump’s Jury Pool. Here’s What Some Are Saying,” New York Times, June 12, 2023, https://www.nytimes.com/2023/06/12/us/trump-voters-florida-jury.html

Jeannie Suk Gersen, “The Case Against Trump Is Strong, but There Are Problems Ahead,” New Yorker, June 13, 2023, https://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/the-case-against-trump-is-strong-but-there-are-problems-ahead

Shayna Jacobs et al., “Trump arraigned, pleads not guilty to 37 classified documents charges,” Washington Post, June 13, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2023/06/13/trump-court-miami-indictment/

Bess Levin, “Trump Basically One Day Away From Hiring a Lawyer Who Advertises on the Side of a Bus to Defend Him,” Vanity Fair, June 13, 2023, https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2023/06/donald-trump-lawyer-search

Hugo Lowell, “Trump finds no new lawyers for court appearance in Mar-a-Lago case,” Guardian, June 13, 2023, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2023/jun/13/trump-finds-no-new-lawyers-mar-a-lago-documents-arraignment

Jesús Rodríguez, “In the MAGA mirror, Trump’s legal peril looks like a personal threat,” Washington Post, June 13, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/2023/06/13/trump-arraignment-courthouse-crowd/

Gabriel Sherman, “Donald Trump Advisers Worry Over Legal Team Civil War: ‘It’s All Coming to a Head,’” Vanity Fair, June 13, 2023, https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2023/06/donald-trump-legal-team-indictment

Maanvi Singh, “Trump claims ‘political persecution’ in speech after arraignment,” Guardian, June 13, 2023, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2023/jun/13/trump-new-jersey-speech-after-arraignment

Prem Thakker, “Trump ‘Is Scared Shitless,’” New Republic, June 14, 2023, https://newrepublic.com/post/173620/rump-is-scared-shitless

Glenn Thrush, Nicholas Nehamas, and Eileen Sullivan, “Trump Is Arraigned on Documents and Obstruction Charges,” New York Times, June 14, 2023, https://www.nytimes.com/2023/06/13/us/politics/trump-arraignment-documents.html

  1. [1]Audrey Decker, “US Rushes F-22s to Stop Russian Harassment Over Syria,” Defense One, June 14, 2023, https://www.defenseone.com/threats/2023/06/russia-continues-harass-us-jets-over-syria-top-air-force-general-says/387528/
  2. [2]Reuters, “Ukraine puts destroyed Russian tanks on display in Kyiv,” August 25, 2022, https://www.reuters.com/news/picture/ukraine-puts-destroyed-russian-tanks-on-idUSRTSALV9Q
  3. [3]Eric Levitz, “Larry Summers Was Wrong About Inflation,” New York, June 14, 2023, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2023/06/larry-summers-was-wrong-about-inflation.html
  4. [4]Paul Hannon, “Why Is Inflation So Sticky? It Could Be Corporate Profits,” Wall Street Journal, May 2, 2023, https://www.wsj.com/articles/why-is-inflation-so-sticky-it-could-be-corporate-profits-b78d90b7; Nouriel Roubini, “‘Most U.S. banks are technically near insolvency, and hundreds are already fully insolvent,’ Roubini says,” MarketWatch, April 1, 2023, https://www.marketwatch.com/story/most-u-s-banks-are-technically-near-insolvency-and-hundreds-are-already-fully-insolvent-roubini-says-18b89f92
  5. [5]Eric Levitz, “Larry Summers Was Wrong About Inflation,” New York, June 14, 2023, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2023/06/larry-summers-was-wrong-about-inflation.html
  6. [6]Eric Levitz, “Larry Summers Was Wrong About Inflation,” New York, June 14, 2023, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2023/06/larry-summers-was-wrong-about-inflation.html
  7. [7]David Benfell, “A monster that does not bleed and cannot be killed,” Not Housebroken, June 9, 2022, https://disunitedstates.org/2022/06/09/a-monster-that-does-not-bleed-and-cannot-be-killed/
  8. [8]Prem Thakker, “Trump ‘Is Scared Shitless,’” New Republic, June 14, 2023, https://newrepublic.com/post/173620/rump-is-scared-shitless
  9. [9]George Simon, “Understanding and Dealing with Narcissistic Rage,” Counselling Resource, July 24, 2017, https://counsellingresource.com/features/2017/07/24/understanding-narcissistic-rage/

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