How To Destroy A City

in five minutes:

Hotels are laying off workers. Shops are empty and many will have to be closed. The city is reeling with feelings of guilt and anxiety. Guilt because one of their own murdered guests, the gravest possible offense against the ancient Arab code of hospitality, and anxiety because—what now? How will the city survive? How will all the laid-off workers earn a living with their industry on its back? Sousse without tourists is like Hollywood without movies and Detroit without automobile manufacturing.

Even Tunisia’s agriculture economy is crashing. Prices are down by 35 percent because the resorts don’t need to feed tourists anymore.

Rezgui’s ghoulish attack was spectacularly successful, wasn’t it? A single act of violence and—boom. Just like that, it’s all over.

The lights continue to go out.

Pleading The Fifth

I’ll bet this IT guy is sorry he ever got involved with the Clintons.

The only reason I can think of to not give him use immunity is because the DoJ doesn’t want to hear what he has to say.

[Update a few minutes later]

Hadn’t noticed the whole story. Apparently he wasn’t just a hired IT guy — he worked on her campaign.

No sympathy, then. Anyone who voluntarily associates themselves with this long-time criminal syndicate deserves whatever they get.

A New Class Of Cholesterol Drugs

I wish I had more confidence that they’re not just treating a symptom:

As for the efficacy of the drugs, it is not yet proved that very low LDL levels produced by drugs lead to sharp reductions in heart attacks, strokes and deaths from cardiovascular disease, as researchers have seen in people with the naturally inactive PCSK9 gene.

Many cardiologists, though, are persuaded by a large body of evidence supporting the idea that the lower the LDL, the lower the risk.

“I believe lower is better and do not believe that a very low LDL is harmful,” said Dr. Daniel Rader, a cardiologist at the University of Pennsylvania.

Others, like Dr. Harlan Krumholz, a cardiologist at Yale, urge caution. “We are in a period of exuberant enthusiasm about these drugs,” he said. “We could just be performing cosmetic surgery on a lab value.”

If it were certain that the PCSK9 inhibitors were safe and effective in preventing heart attacks and deaths there would be no need for clinical trials, he noted.

$14,000/year is a lot of money for a treatment for which we have no idea whether or not it’s effective. I think improving diets would be much more cost effective.

[Update Tuesday morning]

Here’s a longer piece about the new drugs and the issues. Note: 1) It is assumed that the goal is to lower cholesterol, and that this will in turn result in lower mortality and 2) No mention of diet as a potential solution. Of course, it’s hard to get people to change their diets. But I suspect that to the degree that doctors are telling people to do so, they’re still telling them to cut out sat fat and cholesterol, despite all the actual science, and probably still telling them to follow FDA food-pyramic advice, which is junk science.

[Bumped]

The Hillary Email Probe

It is becoming “extremely serious.”

Of course it is. Because it always was.

[Saturday update]

Hillary’s zone of maximum danger:

so now one of two things will happen. First, Clinton could keep the FBI at bay and sell the idea that this is all another partisan witch hunt. In this scenario, she scares off additional contestants for a short period of time-say, five weeks-at which point it becomes logistically impossible for someone to wage a serious campaign designed to beat her. If it’s just her, O’Malley, and Sanders in the ring by the end of September, then she’ll slug it out and probably win the nomination in a closer-than-expected fight. That’s one possibility.

The other is that one of the aforementioned big guns does get in, at which point things get interesting. Republican races always pit two basic political factions against one another: the GOP establishment against actual conservatives. Democratic races have three factions: the party’s establishment machine, ideological liberals, and people obsessed with identity politics.

The Democratic establishment isn’t as powerful as its Republican counterpart, but it’s plenty formidable. Howard Dean couldn’t beat it with his ideological liberalism. Barack Obama was able to merge liberalism with identity politics, and he still nearly lost to the establishment machine, winning only because of Clinton’s massive strategic error of not focusing resources on caucus states.

If Biden or Warren or Patrick gets in, then we could hae a three-way face off between each faction of the Democratic party – an epic, asymmetric showdown, like shark versus crocodile versus giant squid. At which point Clinton would step into the octagon with the outcome very much uncertain. And if Obama decides to weigh in and back one of the new challengers, things get even tougher for her.

[Bumped]

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