The USA: An International Perspective

Good morning. Yesterday’s quote was a quaint self-stylization from the village of Rockton. Today the law of supply and demand long endures; Jeffrey Toobin returns to pleasure CNN; the Senate passed a bill unanimously; and we recount the G-7 summit. Here is today’s quote:

Um, we can work together with Russia. For example: uh, in, uh, in Libya, we should be opening up the—the—the—the passes to be able to go through and provide uh, provide uh, um provide food assistance and economic ass—uh, I mean, vital assistance to a population that’s in real trouble. I think I’m going to try very mu—hard—to, uh, it, it is—and, by the way, there’s places where, I shouldn’t be starting off by negotiating in public here; but, let me say it this way. Russia has engaged in activities which are, we believe, are contrary to international norms. But they have also, uh, uh, bitten off some real problems they’re going to have trouble chewing on. And for example, the rebuilding of uh, of uh, of Syria; of uh, of Libya—of, this is, they’re there.


When prices go up, demand tends to fall while supply tends to rise. People, after all, are incentivized to change their behavior in response to fluctuating prices. Builders can switch to other materials when lumber prices go up, for instance. On the flip side—the supply side—more product will tend to be produced at those higher prices. Take the lumber industry (which is different, I should note, than the timber industry). Manufacturers see the higher profit margins and work diligently to fill the void; hoarders see their profits diminishing and flood the market with leftover product. And that is exactly what’s happening right now: lumber manufacturers have ramped up production and buyers are flooding the market as prices fall precipitously. July lumber futures ended Monday at $996.20 (per 1,000 board feet), down 42 percent from May’s record highs.

Media Spotlight

Formerly of the New York Times, lately from the New Yorker, and most recently the disgraced Condé Nast journalist—Jeffrey Toobin is back in action. Six months ago, Toobin was on a Zoom call with the entire New Yorker staff when he decided to pleasure himself. Among several issues with this scenario: he forgot to shut his camera off before doing the dirty deed. His employability, surprisingly enough, was never in question at CNN. They placed him on administrative leave for 6 months and just promoted him back to its full-time roster. This cryptically titled video apology tells you everything left to be said on the matter in hand.


Did you think bipartisan bills were a relic of times past? Think again. The Senate passed a bill unanimously yesterday to recognize Juneteenth as a national holiday, commemorating the emancipation of the slaves. Juneteenth “has been a state holiday in Texas for more than 40 years,” stated Texas Senator and chief sponsor John Cornyn, who was pleased to see it recognized at the national level, too.


Joe Biden’s aides have the toughest job in the world. Biden started the Group of 7 conference by mistakenly chiding UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson for his failure to introduce the President of South Africa. Johnson had to remind President Biden that—just seconds earlier—he did, in fact, introduce the South African leader. There was nothing his aides could do about the G-7 leaders laughing openly at the President of the United States. His aides had to remind him not to answer unscripted questions—instructions he mistakenly (if repeatedly) tells the reporters themselves. And later, Biden wandered into the wrong café as his aides scrambling to disperse the nearby cameras. When it is all said and done, this was a disconcerting precursor for Biden’s trip to Geneva this afternoon where he is scheduled to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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