Thursday, July 2, 2009

Last Call

Climatologists say we're looking at the lowest levels of Greenland sea ice in 800 years.

"We have combined information about the climate found in ice cores from an ice cap on Svalbard and from the annual growth rings of trees in Finland and this gave us a curve of the past climate" explains Aslak Grinsted, geophysicist with the Centre for Ice and Climate at the Niels Bohr Institute at the University of Copenhagen.

In order to determine how much sea ice there has been, the researchers needed to turn to data from the logbooks of ships, which whalers and fisherman kept of their expeditions to the boundary of the sea ice. The ship logbooks are very precise and go all the way back to the 16th century. They relate at which geographical position the ice was found. Another source of information about the ice are records from harbours in Iceland, where the severity of the winters have been recorded since the end of the 18th century.

By combining the curve of the climate with the actual historical records of the distribution of the ice, researchers have been able to reconstruct the extent of the sea ice all the way back to the 13th century. Even though the 13th century was a warm period, the calculations show that there has never been so little sea ice as in the 20th century.

In the middle of the 17th century there was also a sharp decline in sea ice, but it lastet only a very brief period. The greatest cover of sea ice was in a period around 1700-1800, which is also called the 'Little Ice Age'.

In other words, it took 500-600 years to build up the ice, and just 200 to melt it, and we're at levels now below where the Earth has seen in centuries.

It's only getting worse. But keep telling yourself climate change is a hoax, guys.

More For The Funeral Pyre

The FDIC was quite busy just before a long holiday weekend, shutting down six more banks this afternoon, keeping us on track for 100 banks closed by the end of the year.

More as it comes in.

[UPDATE 9:35 PM] FDIC closed seven banks, six belonging to one family, for a total of 52 banks closed so far this year.
U.S. bank regulators closed seven institutions on Thursday, including six banks in Illinois controlled by one family and a small bank in Dallas, bringing the total number of U.S. bank failures to 52 so far his year.

Founders Bank, of Worth, Illinois, was the largest of the financial institutions seized. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp said Founders had $962.5 million in assets and approximately $848.9 million in deposits.

The PrivateBank and Trust Co of Chicago (PVTB.O) will assume all of the deposits of Founders Bank.

The failure is expected to cost the FDIC deposit insurance fund an estimated $188.5 million.

The six failed Illinois banks were all controlled by one family and followed a similar business model, the FDIC said. The failures were related to losses that included soured investments in collateralized debt obligations.

According to a website of one of the Illinois banks, they were part of the Campbell Group of privately owned banks.

There will be many, many more, folks.

A Little Late To The Party

Barclays Capital analyst Michelle Meyer is going down the Roubini road on home prices.
U.S. housing prices will fall by a double-digit percentage from already beaten-down levels, resulting in an overall 40 percent plunge by the time foreclosures peak in the second half of 2010, Barclays Capital economist Michelle Meyer said.

Meyer issued her forecast two days after the Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller Home Price Indexes showed for April an 18.1 percent year-to-year decline, compared with 18.7 percent in March, in the rate of home price declines in 20 major U.S. metropolitan areas.

The indexes have tracked the prices of U.S. single-family homes since 1987.

"While the early signs of improvement are in place for housing, the market will likely remain out of balance for some time, given the flood of foreclosures," Meyer wrote.

"Home prices are likely to continue to fall, albeit at a slowing pace, even after the economy technically emerges from the recession." Home prices have fallen 32.6 percent from their peak three years ago, S&P/Case-Shiller said.

On that basis, they would need to fall another 11 percent for an overall 40 percent peak-to-trough decline. Further declines could imperil metropolitan areas that have yet to experience the worst of the nation's housing slump.

Funny how guys like Roubini were warning of this, oh, a year ago.

Nice of Michelle to join the party, however. Still, it's telling to see this kind of article in the happy-face financial press, warning we still have another year of pain to go. Dow lost another 200+ points today on the unemployment news.

"Green shoots" my ass.

Worse Than We Thought

Steve Clemons comes across evidence that the effective unemployment rate, the U-6 figure plus some other numbers, means that we're at 18.7% unemployment.
Here is a June 2009 version of the summary that calculates the Effective Unemployment Rate, which is now 18.70%, and the Effective Number of Unemployed, which is now 30,172,000.

There are currently 14,729,000 officially unemployed workers, as just announced. However, this figure does not include the combined 15,443,000 workers either (1) in the "labor force reserve" because they have abandoned their job searches (i.e., 4,278,000) or (2) underemployed because they are "part-time of necessity" (i.e., 8,989,000) or "otherwise marginally attached" (i.e., 2,176,000).

The effective unemployment rate is therefore 18.70%, instead of the official 9.51%.

Since the start of the recession in December 2007, the number of workers who are officially unemployed has increased by 7,188,000, while almost twice as many workers - 13,290,000 - have become effectively unemployed. And all the while, we should have been creating around 2,250,000 new jobs (i.e., 18 months times 125,000 jobs per month) just to keep up with population growth.

In June, the number of workers officially unemployed increased 218,000, while the number of workers effectively unemployed actually decreased 35,000.

The U-6 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics from this morning, is 16.5%. Leo Hindery is arguing that in fact the reality is worse than that, and significantly so. The numbers look to be convincing, but it means that the real problem is that even the government's U-6 numbers are in fact too low.

Thirty million effective unemployed? We're in serious trouble...especially since that number is only expected to go up.

[UPDATE 5:26 PM] As CalcRisk points out:

Employment Dec 1999: 130.53 million
Employment Jun 2009: 131.69 million

A gain of just 1.16 million. What are the odds that the economy loses another 1.16 million jobs over the next 6 months? Pretty high. That would mean no net jobs added to the economy for the naughts: Naught for the Naughts!
In other words, we're basically about to lose every job created over the last decade...and then some.

That is some truly sobering information...and of course, the race to blame Obama for this (after all the last five months clearly are the cause of this, not the eight golden years of the "Bush Boom", snort) is already on.

Youth Explosion

If this is true, it's positively, absolutely disgusting.
Pakistan's top Taliban leader, Baitullah Mehsud, is buying children as young as 7 to serve as suicide bombers in the growing spate of attacks against Pakistani, Afghan and U.S. targets, U.S. Defense Department and Pakistani officials say.

A Pakistani official, who spoke on the condition that he not be named because of the sensitive nature of the topic, said the going price for child bombers was $7,000 to $14,000 - huge sums in Pakistan, where per-capita income is about $2,600 a year.

"[Mehsud] has turned suicide bombing into a production output, not unlike [the way] Toyota outputs cars," a U.S. Defense Department official told reporters recently. He spoke on the condition that he not be named because of ongoing intelligence efforts to catch Mehsud, a prime target for a U.S. and Pakistani anti-Taliban campaign.

Of course if this is nothing more than Pentagon propaganda, it's still absolutely disgusting.

The fact that I don't know whether to believe this or not given both the source of the article (the Pentagon) and the outlet itself (The Moonie Times) speaks volumes about the last seven years in war reporting. In fact, the point that we have seven years of war reporting is in and of itself disgusting.

Where's My Liter Of Cola?

And then there's this story from the TPM guys.
We have an update on this incident over the weekend in SD which was in equal parts bizarre, horrific and comic. A Sheriff's deputy got called to the home of two Democratic activists who were holding a fundraiser for congressional candidate Francine Busby. The complaint he was responding to was sd-deputy-702-dc.jpgwhat appears to have been a bogus noise complaint called in by a neighbor who simultaneously yelling anti-gay slurs from outside the event (a lesbian couple hosted the event).

So Deputy Marshall G. Abbott shows up at house and within a few moments he's literally going berserk, twisting the hosts' arms behind their back and throwing them to the floor and then pepper spraying multiple guests. (Reading the various accounts the whole thing sounds like some Saturday Night Live episode, though probably less so to the attendees who had pepper spray squirted into their eyes.) Apparently convinced he was in some sort of imminent danger from the group middle-aged, mainly female Democratic activists, Abbott proceeded to call in back up, which lead to eight more deputies, a helicopter and a canine unit being dispatched to the scene.

Now the Sheriff's Department is in lockdown, refusing to answer any questions while allegedly conducting their own internal investigation of the incident. But what jumps out to me is that the DA's Office in San Diego is still deciding whether or not to file charges against the two women Abbott arrested during his rampage.

And God help me, the first thing that went through my mind is this classic scene with Kevin Heffernan as Farva from Super Troopers.

Dude even looks like Farva.

Zandar's Thought Of The Day

"Presstitutes" is the new "Porkulus".


The Golden State is issuing reserve warrants I.O.U.s (cause they are f'ckin broke) and hoping banks will accept them. Maybe. (Please?)
Its budget gap growing and its political process for addressing the gap unhinged, California will begin Thursday to pay vendors and taxpayers with i.o.u.’s, only the second time the state has adopted the emergency payment method since the Great Depression.

A state board will meet Thursday morning to set the interest rate for the i.o.u.’s — known officially as warrants — as well as their maturity date. By Thursday afternoon, state officials said, 28,742 warrants worth $53.3 million will be printed and readied for distribution.

The bulk of the warrants will be issued to Californians waiting their income tax refunds, though some will be issued to local governments as well as vendors doing business with the state. Federal and state laws prohibit paying state employees, schools, or Medicaid recipients with the warrants.

The issuance of i.o.u.’s comes after state lawmakers and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger failed to agree on how to close a state budget hole — now roughly $27 billion — by the end of the fiscal yearon Wednesday. The state is essentially too short on cash to pay its bills, and will continue to issue warrants — with potential long-term serious damage to the state’s credit rating — until the budget impasse is resolved.

In the meantime, Mr. Schwarzenegger, a Republican, has ordered state workers to take a third furlough day each month, beginning next Friday, to help stave off a further cash crisis in the state. On Wednesday, he proclaimed a fiscal emergency and called for a special session to continue the budget debate.

Vendors and state residents who receive warrants may take them to a bank or credit union that accepts them for cash, or hold on to them until their maturity date — which will probably be sometime in October — and get their cash plus the accrued interest.
I'll gladly pay you in 90 days. We're good for it!

Also, how long before we're at the point where all of California's state workers are simply payed in these warrants where they have to hope somebody will accept them so they can pay their bills...that is paid for the days they're not being required to work for free? And how many other states are going to go down this road and decide that furloughs are a great idea...we just won't pay them and expect them to work on furlough days or else!

California is once again is showing the nation how to do it. Way to go, Ahnold!

[UPDATE 9:57 PM] Via Digby, a list of who's gettin' paid, and who's not:
People who get California IOUs:

Grants to aged, blind or disabled persons
People needing temporary assistance for basic family needs
People in drug prevention, treatment, and recovery services
Persons with developmental disabilities
People in mental health treatment
Small Business Vendors

People California pays in cash:

University of California
Public Employees’ Retirement System
Legislators, legislative employees, and appointees
Department of Corrections
Health Care Services payments to Institutional Providers
Giving blind people I.O.U.'s while you pay the legislators that made this mess is just f'ckin mean, man. Mean.

Numbers Game

TNR's Jon Cohn explains the numbers behind the Dems' new health care plan.
So what's the real bottom line? Covering 95 percent of residents--and 97 percent of legal residents--through a program that will require outlays of around $1 to $1.3 trillion but should, if fully offset, not inflate the deficit by a dime.

Insofar as the new media reports make it seem like HELP came up with a magic elixir to cover everybody for far less money than most experts thought, I suppose there's a certain rough justice here. When the partial HELP estimate came out a few weeks ago, the media made the opposite mistake--and made it seem like the HELP bill showed reform to be way more expensive than it really was.

Still, neither the media--nor progressives--are doing the reform cause a favor by hyping the $600 billion figure. Right now, the committee with the jurisdicton over those other elements--Senate Finance--is busy hacking away at its program to bring the price tag in at under $1 trillion. But to do that, Finance is cutting subsidies and, most likely, coverage. The proper, honest reading of HELP's bill sets out a marker for how big a program has to be: at least $1 trillion and probably a bit more.

And where is that offset coming from? Not only the public option saving money and the reform of Medicare/Medicaid, but as Ezra Klein explains the real trick is the employer mandates to cover all employees under the plan:

The June 15th proposal didn't include an employer mandate. And without one, the news was grim: Employers would drop coverage for 15 million employees and send them to the Health Insurance Exchange where they would need government subsidies to afford health insurance. That meant costs exploded and coverage contracted. Health reform looked like a bum deal.

But oh, what a difference a mandate makes: The new version of the HELP bill includes an employer mandate for firms with more than 25 workers. Every full-time worker who isn't given health-care coverage triggers a penalty of $750. Every part-time employee not given coverage costs $375. Doesn't seem like very much, does it? But it's enough. In Massachusetts, the employer mandate has been a success with a piddling $295 penalty. Indeed, the evidence we have suggests that the small penalty creates a massive change in behavior.

And you see the result in CBO's latest score. The June 15 report estimated that 15 million Americans would lose their employer-based coverage under HELP's bill. Today's report estimates that a mere 150,000 will lose their coverage. That's nothing. And it means that a lot more Americans end up insured and the government spends a lot less in subsidies.

This is important news, and also explains why Republicans are already counter-attacking on the mandates issue by saying it will be average Americans who will be forced to have insurance (and penalized) rather than employers having to offer it and being penalized if they don't. Republicans are trying to kill the mandates issue the same way they have with gay marriage: by making it a state's rights issue, knowing that the more states enact laws to exempt themselves from mandates, the more likely Obamacare will fail...which is of course the point.

Remember, Obamacare can't pass. If it does, the GOP is done. They will do anything to stop it. Perception is reality here, and luckily, progressives understand this and are launching their own ad campaign.

Here's one.

The fight for Obamacare is truly on.

Dear America:

"Well, that whole Iranian Green Revolution isn't working out as quickly or as neatly as I want it to. This is proof that Obama's stupid 'smart power' diplomacy garbage is forever discredited, and clearly now is the time to give this fledgling democracy a gentle nudge by having Israel bomb the crap out of the country. I'm sure the bombs will only kill, maim, dismember and otherwise inconvenience the bad guys who want to attack everyone willy-nilly. They really are nothing like us, you know."

--John Bolton, Washington Post

[UPDATE 1:49 PM] Andy Serwer asks "When is it not time to bomb Iran?"
Of course, "theologically committed" could also describe Bolton, who has expressed support for bombing Iran for years now, so it's hard to take seriously his proposal that now is actually the opportune moment to bomb Iran. At the very least, we've come to see an addition to the GOP policy agenda, which for a while was simply "cut taxes." Now we have:

1. Cut Taxes

2. Bomb Iran

Can't wait for the white paper.

I'd have to add 3. Destroy Obama. That's just me.

Fight On The Village Green

The Right is eager to take the Village's side in the growing rift between the Villagers and the White House, but if you read the stories you can see the real battle is between the Village old guard covering 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and the new bloggers.
Following a testy exchange during today’s briefing with White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, veteran White House correspondent Helen Thomas told that not even Richard Nixon tried to control the press the way President Obama is trying to control the press.

“Nixon didn’t try to do that,” Thomas said. “They couldn’t control (the media). They didn’t try.

“What the hell do they think we are, puppets?” Thomas said. “They’re supposed to stay out of our business. They are our public servants. We pay them.”
Which is funny, actually. If there's a Queen Mother of the Village (who would see the rise of political bloggers as a threat) it's the woman who has been covering the White House for newspapers for going on 50 years now. Here's the real meat of the issue.
Thomas said she was especially concerned about the arrangement between the Obama Administration and a writer from the liberal Huffington Post Web site. The writer was invited by the White House to President Obama’s press conference last week on the understanding that he would ask Obama a question about Iran from among questions that had been sent to him by people in Iran.

“When you call the reporter the night before you know damn well what they are going to ask to control you,” Thomas said.

“I’m not saying there has never been managed news before, but this is carried to fare-thee-well--for the town halls, for the press conferences,” she said. “It’s blatant. They don’t give a damn if you know it or not. They ought to be hanging their heads in shame.”
How dare the Huffington Post believe it is a news outlet of some sort! How dare this....this...Obama person bypass the Queen Mother of the Village for these dot com upstarts and give them legitimacy!

Folks, this is the main event here. The Obama guys have realized rather that a large percentage of the Village is not on their side, and that the old guard isn't going to help them very much, not when they keep spouting GOP talking points on a near daily basis. Republicans have run the narrative too long in too many ways.

When you hear the Village complain about the White House controlling the message, the real complaint is that the White House is willing to go over the heads of the Village information gatekeepers and go straight to internet news outfits like HuffPo to get its message out. This is an existential threat to the news business, one that is already reeling from several body blows.

They're scared, and they're fighting back the only way they know how, by accusing the White House of trying to control the press...instead of the usual arrangement of the press controlling the White House. The GOP was more than willing to give the Village everything they wanted. The Obama administration doesn't want to go that route.

Could this be the opening shots of the Obama/Village war? Both sides have a lot at stake here. Just how high are the stakes for the Village? This high.
It's hardly a secret that newspapers, including the major dailies, have run into serious financial problems in recent years, and are frantically looking for new revenue streams. But if this report from Mike Allen is accurate, it seems the Washington Post's financial concerns have led the paper to consider a jaw-dropping scheme.

For $25,000 to $250,000, The Washington Post is offering lobbyists and association executives off the record, non-confrontational access to "those powerful few" — Obama administration officials, members of Congress, and the paper's own reporters and editors.

The astonishing offer is detailed in a flier circulated Wednesday to a health-care lobbyist, who provided it to a reporter because the lobbyist said he feels it's a conflict for the paper to charge for access to, as the flier says, its "health care reporting and editorial staff."

I haven't seen confirmation of this elsewhere -- and it's possible the Post has an explanation -- but it seems the paper would like to be some kind of middleman, connecting lobbyists with politicians, federal officials, and reporters, in exchange for thousands of dollars.

The Village is getting increasingly desperate, and don't think for a second they're going to go down without a fight...or without trying to take everyone with them.

Sometimes, Neither Side Is Right

Amnesty International has released its report of human rights violations in last winter's Israeli incursion into the Gaza Strip, and finds both sides guilty of atrocities.
Amnesty International said on Thursday Israel inflicted "wanton destruction" in the Gaza Strip in attacks that often targeted Palestinian civilians during an offensive in December and January in the Hamas-run enclave.

The London-based rights group, in a 117-page report on the 22 days of fighting, also criticized the Islamist movement Hamas for rocket attacks on Israel, which it called "war crimes."

Among other conclusions, Amnesty said it found no evidence to support Israeli claims that Gaza guerrillas deliberately used civilians as "human shields," but it did, however, cite evidence that Israeli troops put children and other civilians in harm's way by forcing them to remain in homes taken over by soldiers.

Amnesty International said some 1,400 Palestinians were killed in Israel's Operation Cast Lead, including 300 children and hundreds of innocent civilians, a figure broadly in line with those from the Hamas-run Health Ministry in Gaza and the independent Palestinian Center for Human Rights.

The Israeli military put the Palestinian death toll at 1,166 of whom 295 were civilians. Thirteen Israelis were killed, including three civilians, during the offensive Israel launched with the declared aim of curtailing cross-border rocket attacks.

Accusing Israel of "breaching laws of war," Amnesty said: "Much of the destruction was wanton and deliberate, and was carried out in a manner and circumstances which indicated that it could not be justified on grounds of military necessity."

In other words, both sides were killing people and trying as hard as they could to justify it by saying that the other side was killing people. Israel, being a heavily-armed nation-state with U.S. military backing, just has a better and more efficient operation. Hamas on the other hand is learning how to play that game pretty well, and is pushing the victim card pretty hard here.

And it's a game where nobody wins, and a whole hell of a lot of people lose. My personal thoughts are that Israel should behave better, and that the Palestinians should stop trying to prove their valid diplomatic point that Israel is using collective punishment by trying to fire rockets into Israel and giving Israel the valid point that Hamas is a bunch of terrorists that need to be collectively punished.

Time for some "smart power".

A New Low In Political Advertising

When I said time and time again that Obama Derangement Syndrome would be unprecedented, this is the kind of thing I was talking about.
A conservative lobby group is planning to launch an attack ad against President Barack Obama, in which the group compares the U.S. president to Adolf Hitler.

Our Country Deserves Better PAC plans to launch the TV ads on July 7. In the meantime, they've posted a sneak peek to YouTube.

"As the regime spun out of control, they labeled political opponents domestic terrorists, and warned of confrontations between such groups and government authorities," the preview ad begins.

"They proposed a civilian security force, and a Congressman warned it was exactly what Hitler did in Nazi Germany. Opposition heightened after voter fraud by the president's allies, including thousands of bogus voter registration," it continues.

"But wait -- these press reports aren't about Iran. They're about Barack Obama's administration right here in the U.S."

According to a story at, "the group is chaired by Howard Kaloogian, a California political operative and gadfly who ran and lost in the special election to replace disgraced Congressman Randy "Duke" Cunningham."

Less than six months in, and we have conservative nutjob groups openly comparing the President to Adolf Hitler. And of course, it's perfectly alright for them to do so. Who is going to call these guys out on crossing the line? Not the Democrats. Why, they'd just be proving how much they are like Hitler if they complained about this "patriotic dissent", so they won't say a word.

And the violence factor rises another notch on the scale towards an unthinkable act.

A Cover-Free Zone

BooMan has a great piece up explaining what Senator Al Franken means as the 60th Democratic Senator: no more games of CYA for our serious, centrist Democratic friends (emphasis mine):
There are different kinds of politicians. Most politicians come from very safe districts. A huge percentage of incumbents are reelected in every election cycle, and most of them are challenged only nominally, if at all. What makes the gears grind in Washington is not the overwhelming majority of safe politicians. It is the handful of vulnerable politicians who decide what is possible and what is not possible in Congress. And vulnerable politicians are predisposed against change. In effect, they are temperamentally conservative. Every significant vote that they take could spell the end of their political career. And the Democrats have dozens of these timid creatures in Congress. How does Al Franken and reaching 60 votes in the Senate affect them?

Basically, Al Franken screws them, plain and simple. A timid, vulnerable, conservative Democrat wants anything but to be put on the line in a contentious and significant vote. Their first instinct is to figure out if a piece of legislation is going to pass. If it is not going to pass, they want to make sure their Democratic base is happy, and they will vote for it. If it is going to pass, and it is either going to anger big donors or become a painful campaign issue, they will vote against it. In each case, they are ignoring the merits and voting to create for themselves the least amount of pain.

A third category exists where it is their decision which is decisive in determining whether something will pass. This is their least favorite circumstance, because it means they cannot avoid angering their base if they vote against it, but the business community will not give them a wink-and-a-nod-pass on it if they vote for it.

So long as the Republicans had 41 votes in the Senate, the timid, vulnerable, conservative Democrats could get away with voting for progressive legislation that wouldn't pass and against progressive legislation that did. But now that the Democrats have sixty votes, every single bill the Democrats introduce should pass. Every nominee should be confirmed. And each Democrat that votes 'nay' on an issue is giving the Republicans the ability to stop the president's agenda. They can no longer hide. And that is that last place they want to be.

In other words, the Democrats playing both sides of the fence like Evan F'ckin Bayh, Joe F'ckin Lieberman, Ben Nelson, Blanche Lincoln, and Arlen Specter (among others) now have to take responsibility for their votes. Once Al Franken is sworn in, Republicans are no longer capable of stopping legislation. Republicans have become irrelevant to the outcome of President Obama's agenda. It is now completely in control of the Democrats.

The GOP can no longer stop health care reform, climate change legislation, budget priorities, civil rights and social issues, or anything else the President wants to sign into law. Only Democrats can kill Obama's agenda now. Any Democrat that jumps the fence to vote with the Republicans against the President's agenda now has to take full responsibility for the action. Republicans know this. They're not going to provide any cover for those across the aisle. They can finally lay low and stay off the radar, which would be the first smart move they've made since the election.

The Party of No card no longer functions. Republicans can vote however they want to now. Democrats now have to count each and every vote in the Senate. The President's agenda is now in the hands of his own party.

We'll see how history unfolds...and how history will judge.


Since Friday's a federal holiday for Independence Day, the June jobs report will be out a day early today. The bets around economist-land are on a new U-3 figure of 9.6%, up two-tenths of a percentage point, and 363,000 lost jobs, up from May's 345,000.

Me, I'm a pessimist. My years of not being at Harvard Business School and not being a famous economist mean I'm gonna say 9.7% and 400,000 jobs lost.

Numbers will be out after 8:30 AM, as usual. I'll update then.

[UPDATE 8:43 AM] 9.5%, up one tenth of a percent, but 467,000 jobs lost in June, well higher than expected. U-6 figure up to 16.5% from 16.4%.

The "If It's Thursday..." numbers are out too, a slight fall to 614,000 new jobless claims last week, a slight fall to 6.702 million continuing claims.

Still bad bad news all around.


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