A widely cited report predicting doom for the Russian economy has come under scrutiny from economists

By Margarita Lyutova. Abridged translation by Sam Breazeale, Meduza, 8/10/22

In late July, a team of researchers from Yale published a report titled “Business Retreats and Sanctions Are Crippling the Russian Economy.” Since Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the same team has maintained a list of international companies that have ceased operations in Russia in response to the war. The project is led by management and corporate responsibility expert Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, a professor at the Yale School of Management and the founder of Yale’s Chief Executive Leadership Institute. The report has been cited widely in recent weeks, but Sonnenfeld is neither an economist nor a Russia specialist, and experts have raised doubts about some of the report’s claims. Economic journalist Margarita Lyutova explains why the researchers’ conclusions might be worth taking with a grain of salt.

Meduza: A widely cited report predicting doom for the Russian economy has come under scrutiny from economists


Business Retreats and Sanctions Are Crippling the Russian Economy

Prescription Drug Price Reforms Won’t Happen for Years

Prescription Drug Price Reforms Won’t Happen for Years

The two biggest benefits for seniors in the IRA are the Medicare negotiation of certain high-cost prescription drugs, and the $2,000 out-of-pocket cap. But while price negotiations technically start next year, no consumer will see the benefit until the new prices begin in 2026, and even then on only 10 drugs (another 15 are added in 2027 and 2028, rising to 20 by 2029 and subsequent years).

The $2,000 out-of-pocket cap, which is across the board for all seniors, not just on certain drugs, is even worse. That cap doesn’t go into effect until 2025, although out-of-pocket costs get capped at $4,000 in 2024. If there is kind of an explanation for delays in setting up Medicare drug price negotiation, for the out-of-pocket cap there is not. You literally tally up patient out-of-pocket costs, which are fully transparent, until they hit $2,000, and then stop them. Why does this take more than two years to pull off? Medicare itself, the entire program, took only a year to implement.

Other parts of the bill do come online more quickly. The insulin price cap of $35 a month for Medicare recipients starts in 2023, as does free vaccine coverage in Medicare and the rebates on Medicare drugs with price increases above inflation. But the inflation rebate is benchmarked to 2021 prices, locking in those high costs, and just would mute price growth. The real benefits here are Medicare negotiations that lower drug prices, and the cap on all prescription drug costs for seniors. Those are delayed.

It is absolutely insane for a political party to boast that it lowered prices for seniors when the price reductions are years and years down the road. That kind of de facto bait and switch leads to distrust and anger. You’d have thought Democrats would have learned this lesson in the Affordable Care Act, whose major benefits didn’t kick in for four years after passage, a time lag that helped lead to two midterm wipeouts. But here we are again, as Democratic officials tout a drug price reform that isn’t visible to anyone.

That’s not necessarily Democrats’ fault (although they could have ignored the parliamentarian, of course). What is their fault is the failure to immediately make evident the benefits of the policy. Democrats have had a tendency to break faith with their base, to make promises and fail to deliver. Here’s a policy they’ve been promising for nearly two decades, they pass the policy, and they’re going to spend years explaining how the implementation is just around the corner. It comes off as double-talk and toxifies a political brand. And in this case, it was unnecessary.

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Justice For Liberty

produced by If Americans Knew.

Aug 16, 2022 – On June 8, 1967, Israeli forces tried to sink a U.S. Navy ship, the USS Liberty, killing 34 American servicemen and wounding 174. ‘Justice for Liberty’, filmed at the crew’s 54th anniversary reunion in Pensacola, Florida, allows the survivors to tell the American public their stories, some for the first time. It is time for the truth to come out. Visit the Justice for Liberty website.

According to former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Thomas Moorer, “In attacking the USS Liberty, Israel committed acts of murder against American servicemen and an act of war against the United States…. Those men were then betrayed and left to die by our own government.”

The survivors are still awaiting justice.The Liberty crew is one of the most decorated in U.S. Naval history. Yet, for decades this attack has been covered up and misrepresented.

Justice For Liberty via If Americans Knew

Did the Syrian Revolution Have Popular Support?

by William Van Wagenen | Aug 3, 2022

In the mainstream view, the armed groups fighting the Syrian government since 2011, collectively known as the Free Syrian Army (FSA), were part of a Syrian revolution that represented the Syrian people. At the same time, the Syrian government, or Assad regime, allegedly represented only a small number of loyalists, in particular from President Assad’s minority Alawite community. Such a view undergirded demands by Western and Gulf-funded think tank scholars, who claimed that the Syrian people wished for FSA groups to be armed, and even for Western military intervention on behalf of the FSA, whose fighters they sympathetically described as rebels.

Did the Syrian Revolution Have Popular Support?

Thai vaccine study

Video via Dr. John Campbell


Cardiovascular Effects of the BNT162b2 mRNA COVID-19 Vaccine in Adolescents

Myocarditis and Sudden Cardiac Death in the Young

Incidence, risk factors, natural history, and hypothesised mechanisms of myocarditis and pericarditis following covid-19 vaccination: living evidence syntheses and review

CDC: Vaccines for COVID-19

CDC: COVID-19 Vaccines for Children and Teens


Vaccine myocarditis update from Thailand