BRIEFLY NOTED: For 2021-05-11 Tu
HOISTED FROM THE ARCHIVES: Review of Richard Evans: "Lying About Hitler"

BRIEFLY NOTED: For 2021-05-12 We; + A Guess at the State of the Plague in India, & the Right Wing Long Con



A Snippet from a Dialogue: The Current Plague in India:

Axiothea: How much worse are things in India than the statistics the Indian government is reporting say?

Parmenides: We do think that here in the United States we have had 900,000 rather than 600,000 deaths—out of a total caseload of perhaps 60 million, perhaps 120 million. How bad are things in India right now, really? And how bad are they going to get?

Aesclepius: We do not know. We guess that true plague deaths are between three and eight times officially recorded deaths. And we guess that India is only halfway through this current plague wave.

Axiothea: If so, note that India currently is at 200 reported deaths per million—say the true number is 1000, 0.1% of the population, and it is going to double before this wave is through. With a population of 1.4 billion, that would be 3 million dead by the time this wave ebbs…

The Right-Wing Short Con:

With America’s right wing, it is always, always the grift. Always:

Paul CamposJosh Hawley, Grifter: ‘I clicked on the link so you don’t have to, and discovered that my $75 contribution will keep happening every month automatically unless I unclick an already helpfully checked box that makes my contribution recurring. Also too unless I unclick another already clicked box I will make yet another $75 contribution on May 15th, to help stem the yellow red black brown tide of Joe Biden’s and Chuck Schumer’s and Nancy Pelosi’s Radical Left agenda. As always, Rick Perlstein’s now nine-year-old essay on the Long Con remains essential reading, although I suspect Sen. Hawley himself is strictly short-time, as they say in the rackets…

LINK: <>


One Video

Charles GoodhartLess Lower for Longer; More Higher and Sooner <>:

Share Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality

Very Briefly Noted:


Paul CamposThe Significance of the Liz Cheney Auto-da-fe: ‘The tiny remaining remnant of genuine Never Trump conservatives is pointing out that there’s something happening here, and what it is is precisely clear…. The new GOP consensus [is] that, going forward, no victory by a Democratic presidential candidate will ever be certified by Republicans…. We are on the verge of not having meaningful presidential elections in this country, just as there are no meaningful national leadership elections in places like China and Russia. I’m aware this sounds like hysterical hyperbole when stated in words of one syllable. It’s nevertheless nothing but a simple statement of the present danger… 

LINK: <>

Robert McClellandAvoiding Biden’s Proposed Capital Gains Tax Hikes Won’t Be So Easy. Or Will It?: ‘Current law does allow them to turn to the time-honored strategy of not realizing their gains and passing them tax-free to their heirs. In the past, that technique was so successful that it was possible a sharp increase in capital gains rates could raise little or no money for the federal government…. The second piece of the Biden plan anticipates this. It would tax at death unrealized capital gains that exceed $1 million…. Only a very small share of estates would owe any taxes… 3 percent… Ultimately, if this new approach is successful, many wealthy taxpayers will probably escape paying higher taxes, but most of their gains probably will not… 

LINK: <>

Leonard E. BurmanBiden Would Close Giant Capital Gains Loopholes—At Least For The Rich: ‘Critics of Biden’s proposal have several complaints. None hold water. Critics worry that raising capital gains taxes would lower the after-tax return for individual investors and drive down stock prices. However, taxable individuals hold less than one-third of corporate stock. The rest is owned by nonprofits, retirement plans, life insurance companies, and foreigners—none of whom pay individual income taxes on US capital gains and dividends… 

LINK: <>

Cory Doctorow: ’Seriously. Like Clarke’s Third Law/indistinguishable from magic Amazing. How amazing? Well. compared to conventional vaccine production, mRNA factories are: 99–99.9% smaller, 95–99.7% cheaper, 1,000% faster. If you convert a single closet in a conventional factory to mRNA production, it will make more doses than the rest of the factory COMBINED. Only part of the factory needs to be a high-spec cleanroom facility, and the rest can be cheaper and more easily maintained. Spend $20m to build one of these microfactories, install a 5l bioreactor, and, for $100m/year, it will produce ONE BILLION VACCINE DOSES…

LINK: <>

John Maynard KeynesThe General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money: ‘Even apart from the instability due to speculation, there is the instability due to the characteristic of human nature that a large proportion of our positive activities depend on spontaneous optimism rather than on a mathematical expectation, whether moral or hedonistic or economic. Most, probably, of our decisions to do something positive, the full consequences of which will be drawn out over many days to come, can only be taken as a result of animal spiritsï—of a spontaneous urge to action rather than inaction, and not as the outcome of a weighted average of quantitative benefits multiplied by quantitative probabilities. Enterprise only pretends to itself to be mainly actuated by the statements in its own prospectus, however candid and sincere. Only a little more than an expedition to the South Pole, is it based on an exact calculation of benefits to come. Thus if the animal spirits are dimmed and the spontaneous optimism falters, leaving us to depend on nothing but a mathematical expectation, enterprise will fade and die;ï—though fears of loss may have a basis no more reasonable than hopes of profit had before. It is safe to say that enterprise which depends on hopes stretching into the future benefits the community as a whole. But individual initiative will only be adequate when reasonable calculation is supplemented and supported by animal spirits, so that the thought of ultimate loss which often overtakes pioneers, as experience undoubtedly tells us and them, is put aside as a healthy man puts aside the expectation of death…

LINK: <>