The “Trap” Closes: Kherson, 11/11/2022

Remember the question a skeptical JohnH asked on 9/2/2022, about the Ukrainian offensive? Here’s the answer:

Source: Militaryland, accessed 11/11/2022.

From CNN:

In a huge setback for the Kremlin, Russian troops withdrew from the Kherson region west of the Dnipro River, and images geolocated by CNN show Ukrainian forces are entering the key southern regional capital city.

Here’s what we know so far:

Russian retreat from Kherson: All Russian troops have left the key Ukrainian city of Kherson, the country’s defense ministry said, confirming a humiliating retreat for Moscow.


100 thoughts on “The “Trap” Closes: Kherson, 11/11/2022

  1. pgl

    It took a while but JohnH finally admits he consistently told EconomistView readers that UK real wages rose during the reign of David Cameron. Of course back in the day Simon Wren Lewis kept putting up blog posts to the contrary but back in the day JohnH pretended he knew more than one of the premier UK macroeconomists. Now I out up this link here before but to remind everyone:

    “Figure 1 shows that median real wages grew consistently by around 2 per cent per year from 1980 to the early 2000s. There was then something of a slowdown, after which real wages fell dramatically when the economic downturn started in 2008. Since then, real wages of the median worker have fallen by around 8-10 per cent (depending on which measure of inflation is used as a deflator – the consumer price index, CPI, or the housing cost augmented version CPIH).”

    Of course the first time I put up this link – Johnny boy denied what he told EV viewers and called me a liar. I am glad he has finally owned up to what he said back in the day. Even though his read of the facts were completely wrong.

    But course everyone here has figured out that this nonsense is just what Johnny does.

    1. JohnH

      More BS from pgl. There was a period of virtually zero inflation in the UK in 2015-16, when economists were warning of deflation hurting workers, but instead, labor markets stayed tight, and real wages rose.

      My comment was never intended as an endorsement of Cameron. Instead of accepting the information, well documented by the UK’s own Office of National pgl REPEATEDLY LIED about what I had said. Cameron lucked out that economists were wrong during that period, which was not representative of real wages during the rest of his term.

      As for Kherson, past results do not always predict future performance, as those making forecasts here should know by now.

      1. pgl

        We went through this many times. Let me cite YOUR source:

        ‘Pay growth (excluding bonuses) has averaged 2.8% over the last year’

        One more time for our retarded troll. If something falls by 10% but then rises by 2.8%, its net change is still negative 7%.

        Ah Johnny – the more you try to get out of this horrific dishonesty of yours, the more apparent it becomes – you are one DUMB LIAR.

        1. JohnH

          pgl insists on moving the goal posts. My comment referred to a specific period in 2015-16 when real wages in the UK were rising despite economists’ fearmongering about deflation hurting workers there. My posts were accurate and amply documented at the time with ONS data. pgl insisted on responding by ignoring the time frame I was using and instead and accused me of falsifying the data, even though I almost always quoted directly from ONS and provided links.

          If pgl had wanted to discuss a different time frame, he was certainly free to do that, as long as he explained his parameters. But instead, he just insisted on talking apples and oranges, and lying about what was being reported in 2015-2016.

          1. pgl

            “pgl insists on moving the goal posts. My comment referred to a specific period in 2015-16 when real wages in the UK were rising despite economists’ fearmongering about deflation hurting workers there.”

            I do declare – this is the new winner for the DUMBEST comment EVER. Look little child – everyone here gets your pathetic game and yet you continue to embarrass yourself? OK!

      2. pgl

        Torsten Slok at Apollo Global Management and Cochrane? Are you effing kidding us. It is official folks – JohnH is a right wing lunatic! And I doubted Macroduck when he told us this? My apologies Macroduck.

      3. Barkley Rosser


        The problem is (and has been) that when you put up the comment you made that Menzie linked to (surprised “Econned” has not popped in here to dump on Menzie for being mean to poor pathetic loser you), that what had been going on and was being well reported was the Uktainians cutting the supply lines to Kherson across the river, especially by hitting bridges. While some were stupidly expecting a massive frontal assault, reports of which brought Putin to move troops from the northeast down there to no avail and to lose territory in the northeast, the Ukrainians were instead setting the Russians up not to be able to maintain their forces on the west bank of the Dnipro. This was being widely reported when you piled in here with your clearly silly post about “where is the counteroffensive”? It was not you somehow accurately reading evidence of no counteroffensive, but you not reading sources that explained what the Ukrainians were doing.

        An important bottom line on how they did it is that this approach, which they also essentially took in taking back places like Izyum and Lyman, was to by effectively cutting off their supplies thus forcing the Russians to withdraw withiout a direct confrontation in the metro area, is that they have taken these areas without destroying or even damaging all that much of these urban places they have taken. The contrast with Russia’s conquest of utterly destroyed with almost no people left in it Mariuopol says about as much as there is to say about what has been the nature of this war.

        Oh, excuse me, addressing a fan of V.V. Putin, how the “special operation” has gone. Calling it a war gets on 15 years in Russia still.

        1. Econned

          “Barkley Rosser”,
          Does your significant other approve of your obsessive infatuation with me? You’re nearly as bad as other commenters here who I don’t even acknowledge. If I weren’t so concerned that it may result in furthering your absolute mental and emotional deterioration, I may included you on my Econbrowser ignore list.

          1. Barkley Rosser

            “Econned,” that should be “whom I don’t even acknowledge,” which, of course, you just did. LOL.

          2. Econned

            “Barkley Rosser”,
            But of course, I didn’t – if I acknowledged these commenters as you suggest, I would’ve mentioned their names. So please sho me where I identified them.
            “LOL”, indeed.

          3. Barkley Rosser


            The LOL is that you popped in at all, dumbkopf. Here I note that this post by Menzie is the sort that you often dump on Menzie about, and what do you do? You pop in to go on about how you have not mentioned all kinds of people I necer ecen mentioned. Your own self-obsession and lack of ability to make substantive comments is really quite something.

          4. Econned

            “Barkley Rosser”,
            The “LOL” is your strange fascination with me. Here you note that I’m regularly on your mind, and what do you do? Continue to engage with me. You’re the one who brought up my name – your obsession with me and your lack of ability to control your weird obsession is really quite something.

          5. Econned

            My natural reaction is to reply to someone who brings up my name. Unless I’ve chosen to ignore them like some on this blog. Hope that helps.

          6. Baffling

            Econned, I just noted you act like a moron. You simply verified it was your natural behavior. I am not going to dig into why you behave that way. You can pay a therapist for that information.

          7. Econned

            You’re clearly confused and/or dishonest…

            1) You claim to have noted you that I act like a moron but you never noted an example of why it is you feel this way.

            2) I never claimed acting like a moron was my natural behavior. I told you “[m]y natural reaction is to reply to someone who brings up my name.”

            3) no one asked you to dig into why it is you feel I behave a certain way. And there’s certainly no reason to seek a therapist for simply responding when someone mentions one’s name. I asked “why you feel someone responding to their name being brought up is moronic”. So suggesting that I “can pay a therapist for that information” is strange.

          8. Econned

            I thought I was clear – I’m defensive over your being confused and/or dishonest with respect to your discussion of your opinion about…. me.
            Go figure.

      4. Noneconomist

        ‘My observation…nothing to suggest….” Gee, John, your powers of observation are really , uh, something.

      5. Moses Herzog

        Apparently you and Johnny Cuckrant are so F’ing dumb, you think inflation forecasters can also predict war in East Europe, the level of war sanctions, and zero tolerance on a pulmonary virus pandemic in the world’s most populace nation (and largest exporter of goods) in the world. Johnny Cuckrant just screams inflation 365 days a year for the last 30 years, was wrong 95% of the time, and now wants to castigate the group that got way closer to accurate than Cuckrant’s egomaniacal ass did. None of this is surprising from the typical Hoover blow-hard.

        Funny he quotes Torsten Slok. Cuckrant could learn one important thing from Slok: The ability to admit when you’ve been wrong on inflation~~for roughly a 30 year time span~~~NO, better yet. Just STFU on inflation when you are clueless on the topic.

      6. pgl–july-2015.html

        JohnH cites some July 2015 government release cheering about wage increases in 2015 but I guess he did not go through the information provided by his own release. This part of JohnH’s own link shows real average weekly earnings over a more extended period of time. And yes there was a significant decline in real earnings for most of Cameron’s regime with a small reversal of this longer term decline in the last year.

        This chart from JohnH’s own link confirms what I said back in the EV days and what I am saying now. No – I accurately portrayed the intellectual garbage eminating from JohnH back then and now. And this chart shows what the data shows. So JohnH can say I lied but no – JohnH has been the liar the entire time.

    1. pgl

      I think you missed the headline news:

      ‘Top Russian propagandist says that Russia waited to announce the Kherson withdrawal until after Nov. 8, to make sure it does not help Joe Biden and the Democrats in the midterms.’

      Yes – Putin has been meddling into American politics since 2016 to get people like Donald Trump in power. Go figure!

          1. Steven Kopits

            You’re suggesting that if I put a link into the comments I have to provide a precis of the main findings? Once again, I have to ask why you are permitted to post here.

          2. pgl

            Steven Kopits
            November 12, 2022 at 8:41 am

            Oh my – little Stevie has a pity party. OK – you can post links and misrepresent what they say with my permission. It is what you routinely do anyway.

      1. Moses Herzog

        Yeah, I think this is where I was “missing the boat”. It wasn’t the timing of the actual decision to leave Kherson, that Biden’s “foreign policy for grown-ups” had effected, but the timing of the official announcement of the decision to leave Kherson that was effected by the adults (Biden and friends) entering the room. This also shows how conscious the Kremlin is of Americans’ awareness and perception of current events (I suspect more conscious of than many Americans perceive, but that may be my own coloring of things).

        This was a fairly obvious reading of events I wasn’t putting together quite right in my mind. See, (no joke, except the joke on myself) I knew I read this damned blog for some reason.

    2. Moses Herzog

      @ Kopits
      Educate me here, the man in the car is Leonid Nevzlin?? What is the name and the significance of the man in the car?? He is the returning mayor??

    3. Moses Herzog

      “APU”= Armed Forces of Ukraine?? I’m still confused about the man in the car, unless he is a semi-well known leader of APU??

    4. Barkley Rosser

      Steven et al,

      My Russian sources have it that there is a massive pivot going on in Russian media to cover for this retreat from Kherson. It is being praised, with the Russian military leaders being compared to Kutuzov, the general who made “strategic retreats” before Napoleon before ultimately defeating him. Some spin there, although, of course, Kutuzov allowed Napoleon to burn Moscow before he got the better of him, something I suspect Putin is not keen on having happen now.

    1. Moses Herzog

      @ BlueStatesResidentKopits
      Your whole week must be ruined now that Biden and the adults have entered the White House, and State Department (no more spots on the floor from Giuliani’s dark brown goo dripping down his face) who think that foreign diplomacy involves more than racketeering foreign governments for false dirt on your domestic political opponents. I guess you’ll have to take a page out of the Republican/MAGA playbook and just make shit up about Biden now. But that’s a specialty of yours anyway, isn’t it Kopits?? It really is amazing donald trump never cared to give you a place in his administration. You DO check all the boxes for MAGA material. How many times did you send your resumé in to the White House for MAGA membership?? Did you forget to write “loser” next to “Statistics 101 Practitioner”?? That alone could have gotten you the express lane for a desk right next to Kevin Hassett.

      1. Steven Kopits

        Sorry, Moses, I am not a MAGA guy. I voted for Hillary and Biden. That doesn’t put me into the woke crowd, but definitely puts me into the I-like-democracy crowd. I personally think Trump has been a disaster for the Republican Party.

        I can’t tell you where my party ideologies fall nowadays. My liberal impulses are for efficient, effective government, but the focus is on value, not size per se. I am skeptical in general about redistribution, but not dogmatically so. I also have the ordinary conservative values of safety, order, legality and propriety. There will always be a tension between liberal and conservative values — freedom versus propriety, for example. But without propriety, there is no order and individual rights are compromised. For example, here in the comments section.

        1. Moses Herzog

          @ Kopits
          Hahahaha, funny. Truly funny. I doubt if Menzie is any more “enthused” by hunting down all your no doubt hundreds of comments here on the blog STRONGLY contradicting you voted for Hillary and Biden. But I can tell you for certain I do not have the energy at this particular moment.

          Let’s put it this way (and you really don’t deserve this level benefit of the doubt), if your comment above has even a whiff of truth to it, you are the most politically eclectic person who has ever walked planet Earth. But as I just stated, your record of comments doesn’t exhibit that diverse of a view.

          1. Barkley Rosser

            Oh dear, I may well have Moses yet again declaring that for the good of the taxpayers of Virginia I should probably retire tomorrow. But I shall dare to contradict you here, Moses. I actually do remember Steven posting here, not repeatedly, that he did not vote for Trump. Digging up criticisms by him of Biden, which he has certainly made many of, do not prove that he did not vote for him. Lots of people find themselves becoming highly critical of people that they voted for.

            I shall also note that indeed his views are complicated and not necessarily particularly consistent either over time or at any particular given point in time. While I have taken him seriously on various issues, there have been plenty of times and issues here where I have sharply disagreed with him, while also avoiding the name calling and more perfervid personal criticisms that some here have leveled against him.

            I would simply note as someone who knows a lot of people from Eastern Europe, quite a few of them indeed have “complicated” views, some of them even more complicated than what seem to be Steven’s, which indeed do seem to be pretty complicated. I have also noticed that this awful war in Ukraine has heightened the complications that some of these folks have regarding their views, this being a matter that has a lot of people very upset for many reasons and thinking all over the place, as it were, whatever any of us think of what they think.

          2. Moses Herzog

            If you want to defend Kopits, by all means. When Elaine on Seinfeld was dancing drunk at the office party, nobody stopped her. There was just too much fun being had watching. Dance away Barks Junior, dance away. Die defending that hill. Defender of the braindead.

          3. Steven Kopits

            First, thank you, Barkley.

            Second, Moses, as you know, I use a three ideology model. This enables me to toggle among the various ideologies by shifting objective functions. In the educational context, the three ideology model would precede intro econ. That is, econ typically deals with the optimization of a given objective function, but historically has been light on the objective functions themselves.

            Now, it is fair to say that classically liberal ideology is well developed in neo-classical economics. The two are virtually synonymous. Egalitarian ideology is also addressed in economics, for example, in a Rawlsian framework. In my framework, egalitarian objective function seeks to equalize individual utility on a static basis around the median. So egalitarianism tends to focus on improving the lots of those below the median but comes from the classically liberal wing of economics, ie, it’s about maximizing personal utility. The underpinning notion is the declining utility of wealth and income (itself the foundation of democracy). Btw, if you understand this then you understand why China must either 1) remain poor or 2) become a democracy.

            As I have written many times, conservatism as I use the concept means “pertaining to the group and its members.” If you use your name, you are being a liberal. If you use your title, you’re being a conservative. Thus, conservatism is not about the individual, but rather the individual’s avatar in the group setting. This is, of course, not the established definition. There is no established definition of conservatism. However, if you use mine, then you can place conservatism into a neo-classical economic framework. You can optimize and use mathematical models, etc.

            If you have the three ideology model, you can trade off objective functions and essentially use them on a portfolio basis. And I do that all the time. So if you give me a policy topic, I can make all of the egalitarian, liberal and conservative cases for you. This is something all economists should be able to do, and none can within a single framework.

            As for my personal Weltanschauung: This is not limited by your or others’ imagination or wider political litmus tests. I have historically visited the comments section to teach and learn, but of course, that is not what it is all about anymore. It has largely become about silencing dissenting voices and enforcing some brutal orthodoxy, as we all know.

          4. Barkley Rosser


            You are welcome.

            I think you only listed two of your three ideologies.

            Regarding classical liberalism, it is not utlility that declines with wealth and income, but MARGINAL utility. As it is, increasingly the happiness lit is finding that happiness or life satisfaction continues to rise with with wealth and income, although indeed at a slower rate, good old declining marginal utility kicking in.

            What is unclear to me is your attitude to Orban. pgl is convinced you are his total fan. I have seen you describe him as an “effective politician,” which he clearly is in terms of his ability to manipulate the Hungarian political system to maintain power. But that is not necessarily the same thing as supporting him, which you seem to be more ambivalent about, although that remains unclear, and perhaps you prefer to leave it that way, if you wish to have dealings with the Hungarian government in the future. I do not know your bottom line on him, although maybe you do not have one or prefer to keep it murky.

          5. Steven Kopits

            Barkley –

            I listed all three ideologies: liberalism (the root of all other ideologies), egalitarianism (a form of liberalism) and conservativism. Liberté, égalité, fraternité. Those are the three basic ideologies.

            You can add to that virulent forms, communism and fascism. Plus there’s a noblesse oblige ideology on the right sitting on top of social conservatism, if you want to take the full count. So six in all.

          6. Steven Kopits

            Regarding Orban. I have said that I consider Orban the most talented politician in Europe, and I stand by the statement. But you can be really talented and still be caught by the bear.

            As for Orban’s family and social policies, like most Hungarians, I am largely supportive of them for the reasons most Hungarians are. Hungary, in many ways, is a big family. Social preferences reflect that.

            Unfortunately, the FIDESZ supermajorities in parliament have undermined accountability. This has created what appears to be a massive kleptocracy, today reminiscent of that of Russia. Not surprisingly, the Russians have capitalized on this criminality to capture Orban and probably key members of his government. That’s a problem and the reason I wrote here that I would have far preferred Peter Marki-Zay become Hungary’s new prime minister in the recent elections. (After they finish with Putin, I think we can expect the EU to come for Orban. Hungarians should have voted for change.)

            Also — and related — Hungary can’t afford to run a closed economy. So it’s a balancing act. But let me assure you, pick any random Budapest restaurant, and you’ll hear a lot more languages from many more nationalities than you will in, say, New York. And many, if not most, Hungarians speak English, which is more than I can say for most New York taxi drivers. So if you’re asking who has more interaction with diverse nations and cultures, the citizens of Budapest comfortable outpace anywhere in the US, save perhaps the southwest border zone.

            I appreciate that you, like Moses, may believe that I am unable to hold nuanced views of individuals and policies, but let me assure you, I can.

          7. Barkley Rosser


            I do not get why you lump me with Moses in not thinking that you can hold “nuanced views of individuals.” Heck, I am the person here who said you could have “complicated” views, including ones about Orban that appeared “murky,” although you have clarified the latter somewhat since I made that comment. Tsk tsk, please do not put me in a stupid bucket with Moses Herzog, who has been making a seriously ridiculous behind of himself here recently.

          8. Steven Kopits

            I am most certainly not lumping you in a basket with Moses, Barkley. And that’s not a nuanced view.

        2. Moses Herzog

          @ BlueStatesResidentKopits
          I’ll tell you something else while we’re on it. Certain parties on this blog think I am mean and overboard in my comments. But if I really took a mind to it (mostly I don’t, except in especially annoying cases) I could really rhetorically slaughter some of you. But let me just throw a very small pebble into the water. Did you want to “review” us on your brilliant idea to “sell off” large parts Of Ukraine to Putin?? I don’t know about the rest of the regulars on this blog, but I sure as hell am up for the ensuing humor.

          1. Steven Kopits

            Your preferred solution is then a brutal war in which nearly 250,000 have died so far? That’s your optimal outcome?

            The sale of Crimea back to Russia is, if you care to think it through, back on the table. Of course, Russia would have to pay a price in land as well, and I could envision Belarus being that price. Putin could easily throw Lukashenko under the bus. What’s a little treachery among friends, after all? There’s precedent: Lukashenko could die falling out of a basement window, for example.

            It’s clear that Putin is desperate to hold Crimea; else Russia would have blown the Nova Kakhovka dam (or perhaps they tried and simply failed). So there is a deal in principle available. If I were Putin, I might well consider swapping Belarus for Crimea. The northern NATO members — the Baltics, Poland, Germany, Slovakia and the Nordic countries — would be thrilled to see Belarus put into the western camp. Free elections in Belarus would likely do the trick, as they did in Ukraine. And from Putin’s perspective, it’s not Russia, is it? Title to Crimea for elections in Belarus? Worth considering.

            So, yes, money can be part of a settlement, if the belligerents so choose.

          2. Moses Herzog

            The “sale” of Ukraine land is not “back on the table”. And you’re a complete imbecile for thinking so. But I’ll let you go on (same as I do Barkley Junior) making a jack-ass of yourself.

            Putin from the beginning wasn’t going to allow the “optimal outcome”, no invasion, no land grab. I’m just trying to imagine how dumb you’d have to be, to think Putin would stop there after he was handed over land for free.

          3. pgl

            ‘Steven Kopits
            November 12, 2022 at 10:24 am
            Your preferred solution is then a brutal war in which nearly 250,000 have died so far? That’s your optimal outcome?’

            Gee Stevie thinks the US or Ukraine had a choice here? This is dumber than even JohnH’s pro-Putin rants. Yea Stevie thinks he had some optimal solution but guess what – Putin could care less what little Stevie wrote.

            Maybe someone should tell the dumbest consultant ever that Putin started this war all by himself.

          4. Barkley Rosser


            While it might have saved lives, your discussion of a “sale” of Crimea has always been and remains a non-starter, and, no, I do not hink Lukashenka will be thrown out a basement window, much as many would like that. He and Belarus will simply not be part of this at all.

            Where you are right is that Putin clearly wants Crimea above all other parts of Ukraine. If he gives up land to keep it, that might be Luhansk and Donetsk, which only got annexed recently. It is clear in this that he reflects not only his own views, but opinion in Russia as well as in all of those oblasts. His poll ratings went way up when he annexed Crimea back in 2014. They went nowhere when he did so to Luhansk and Donetsk.

            Two things to remember here. Crimea was part of Russia until Khrushchev gave it to Ukraine in 1954, which many in Russia view as a very personalistic and unreasonable move by him.

            Also, one can see the differences of opinion in the oblasts themselves by going back to the independence referendum ijn 1991. Overall in Ukraine, independence was supported by 94% of the Ukrainian population. It was still over 80% in both Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts. But in Crimea it was only 54%, by far the most pro-Russian oblast of Ukraine. And then there is that naval base there in Sevastopol.

            If it comes to ik Putin will move troops out of Luhansk and Donetsk to defend Crimea, and the land link between Crimea and the rest of Ukrain is might slender, a lot more defensible then either Luhansk or Donetsk, much less the rest of Kherson and Zaporizhia oblasts that he still controls.

          5. Barkley Rosser


            Sorry, but your Alaska and Louisiana examples do not cut it, despite your wisecrack about wars over them. In fact your wisecrack ahows how irrelevant they are to the case of Crimwa or any other part of Ukraine Putin has tried to conquer or annex.

            There certainly have been lots of cases where one nation bought terrritory from another. But all such examples occurred with no war involved, strictly peacefully. I doubt they would have entertained such an offer, but for your case to have had a chance it would have involved Putin offering to buy Crimea prior to having his green men take it over.

            We have seen nations made to pay reparations after they tried to take over territory in other nations and then were defeated in their efforts to do so. What I think we have necer seen and are not going to see, hence the non-starting nature of your proposal, is for a nation to conquer territory of another nation and then after having done so, pay the defeated nation for the territory they conquered. Has never happened and never will.

          6. Steven Kopits

            That’s not correct, Barkley. The US offered to buy from Mexico the territories it later acquired in the Mexican American War. It’s not done commonly, but there is no reason it can’t be done. It has been done before many times.

            You may argue that Kyiv would be unwilling to cede Crimea. That’s possible, but I think it comes down to pros and cons. The issue is rather an amazing lack of nimbleness in western leadership. Politicians think in terms of power, not money. But money is also a unit of value.

          7. Barkley Rosser


            Your Mexican War example also does not help you. That is a case where offer to buy came first. When refused, territory taken by war. What you need is a case where nation took territory, as Russia did with Crimea, and then offered to pay for it. I remain unaware of any such example.

        3. pgl

          ‘I can’t tell you where my party ideologies fall nowadays.’

          One word – Orban. Hungary’s Trump. Stevie – your slip is showing.

          1. Steven Kopits

            Unfortunately, Orban has been fully captured by Russia. It’s plain if you follow events there. His recent 1956 commemoration speech was particularly telling, and sad.

        4. pgl

          “I also have the ordinary conservative values of safety, order, legality and propriety.”

          I guess this must be why you are afraid people from Latin nations might move into your neighborhood even though they are doing so for good jobs. Do not deny it – you have been the leading Stephen Miller consultant for over 5 years.

          1. Steven Kopits

            I could care less who my neighbors are as long as they meet the standards of safety, order, legality and propriety. This is an absolutely consistent theme in my writing and a principal objective and result of ending the prohibition in migrant labor.

          2. Moses Herzog

            BlueStatesResidentKopits hasn’t typed two sentences on this blog about all of the illegal activities donald trump has willfully committed over the last 7 years, but Sh*t For Brains in Harrisonburg VA thinks “I voted for Biden” clears Kopits. By this same standard, if a German sat on his hands while Hitler took over the Reichstag and went on to slaughtered Jews, he just needed to say “I voted for Theodor Heuss” and all the accounts had been cleared.

          3. pgl

            ‘Steven Kopits
            November 12, 2022 at 11:52 am
            I could care less who my neighbors are as long as they meet the standards of safety, order, legality and propriety. This is an absolutely consistent theme in my writing and a principal objective and result of ending the prohibition in migrant labor.’

            And we thought Stephen Miller was the racist. I am friends with lots of Hispanics who meet these standards a whole lot more than you do. Damn it troll – you are even more racist than Tucker Carlson.

          4. Barkley Rosser


            You are the one here whose brains are not functioning all that well. You were absolutely convinced that Steven could not have voted for Hillary or Biden because he had criticized them and now you think that his lack of sufficient criticisms of Trump proves the same thing. But this is just silly, about as silly as your ongoing efforts to claim Pelosi has not been an effective House Speaker, not to mention your bizarre comments about incoming governors in MA and OR. We have long known that you have a deep and very sick sexist streak, but now you seem to be somewhat homophobic as well. Yikes.

          5. Steven Kopits

            I don’t know why you feel I need to condemn Trump to make you feel good.

            But here goes:

            I think the reasonable interpretation of Jan. 6th was that it was an attempted coup by the President of the United States, then Donald Trump.

            I think the taking of the confidential material from the White House is plausibly interpreted as espionage and should be treated as such.

            To me, Orban and Trump look quite similar: the Russians have their hooks all the way into both of them.

          6. Barkley Rosser


            I am retracting the charge that you are homophobic. You made a weird comment about those incoming governors, but I do not think you are outright homophobic, although you are certainly some sort of weird sexist with your intense vendettas against various older powerful women, somehow most of them Democrats.

            Since I have dumped on you, I shall recognize that you do have some virtues. You are certainly much better than I am at providing functioning links here, and from time to time you actually provide ones that are useful and informative. I note that AS has thanked you for some of those that have provided him with data to make his model estimates. I know also that Macroduck appreciates some of your links as well.

            Your heart is actually mostly in the right place, despite your various off-the-wall vendettas that are not supported by anybody else here, in case you had not noticed.

          7. Moses Herzog

            @ BlueStatesResidentKopits
            “I don’t know why you feel I need to condemn Trump to make you feel good.”

            The irony of this comment is rather thick, because you are the same man who was demanding and excoriating Professor Chinn that he “must” call out Xi Jinping on every issue under the sun, on the sole basis that Professor Chinn is ethnic Chinese. Now you sit here, after throwing darts at anything on the political left that moves, wondering why it’s strange that you hadn’t a single negative word to say about the biggest black mark on this nation over the last 7 years. Is hypocrisy your middle name??

  2. Macroduck

    The trick is to avoid becoming artillery targets. Russian generals have said they’ve set up across the river to pound Ukrainian troops, and we know what the like to do to cities they don’t occupy. The problem is, Ukrainian forces need to pitch camp somewhere. Hittint Russian artillery before it has much time to operate looks like a plan, but what do I know?

    1. Ivan

      To be effective an artillery shell has to explode right above the trenches. Poorly trained Russian forces have been reported to attack Ukrainian soldiers with shells either 20-30 yards in front or behind the trenches and not exploding until they hit the dirt. Even worse they didn’t seem aware or capable of adjusting their fire to eventually become effective. However, Kherson is not a place for civilians this winter, for many different reasons.

  3. Ivan

    They really cut off river crossing very quickly. It will be interesting to see how many troops, ammo and equipment was left behind, in what appears to be an organized covered retreat, turning disorganized.

  4. Ivan

    When Ukraine got the HIMARS and could send precision shells 40 miles behind the frontlines it was a done deal that they eventually would throw the Russians over to the east bank of the Dnipro river. They had the ability to break the Russian supply lines at the river. Then all they had to do was engage enough at the front lines to have Russians spend more ammo every day than could be deliver across the river every day. The rest is grade school math. They didn’t even have to sacrifice a lot of their soldiers with brute force attacks on dug in Russians – just shell and wait. Then one morning they woke up and the Russians were gone. Brilliant plan and brilliant execution.

    1. Anonymous

      himars missile, with real time us/uk targeting and us/uk ‘contractors’ setting them up for missions has a 200# high explosive warhead with 8 meter circular error, which means six missile pod needs to be expended for a precision target….. then the contractors have to bring up the next pod from stores.

      unless the usa gifted the updated ‘anti personnel’ rocket with a hundred thousand + pellets to rake people and light vehicles… cluster munition were not reliable!

      ‘interdicting’ supply lines is a military theory ….

      1. Ivan

        The beauty of those “across the river” supply lines, is that they are superb target for even a single high precision missile. The Russian force design, with few supply trucks per unit (whether armored vehicles or soldier “units”), force them to move supply depots closer to the front line using rail. So their rail supply lines and depots are vulnerable to HIMARS. This is why Ukraine managed to cut supplies and strangle the Russian forces on the west bank – although they were not ONLY using HIMARS. As the success in Kherson show, you don’t need to kill the soldiers just their supplies. Ukrainian forces reported being “stormed” by units with only small arms. I guess if you are out of fuel and shells that all you can do, it just doesn’t end well when the other side have plenty of both.

        1. 2slugbaits

          Ivan The Russian force design, with few supply trucks per unit (whether armored vehicles or soldier “units”), force them to move supply depots closer to the front line using rail.

          What’s even worse is that the Russians still haven’t figured out how to use palletized combat loads instead of human muscle moving boxes & crates one at a time. The old rule of thumb was that Russian doctrine called for a head-to-tail ratio of 2:1. The NATO ratio is closer to 1:1. The Russians have always counted on quick wins. And the Russians still haven’t figured out how to mathematically connect operational availability (i.e., percent of time a weapon system is fully mission capable) to logistics supply/maintenance echelon range and depth.

          It looks like the Russians are counting on a winter lull in fighting to replenish their stocks and train those new recruits. But if what they did in the months leading up to the war tells us anything the Russians will end up consuming operational readiness in attempting to train new soldiers.

          1. Ivan

            Yes in their desperation for troop at the frontline, Russia send many trainers to be killed in Ukraine. Now they have had to send enlisted men to the front line with minimal or inadequate training. Ukraine intend and will be able to fight through the winter. Many Russian conscripts haven’t even got a winter coat and a riffle. I am sure many of them will start up wood fires, signaling to Ukraine soldiers where to shell.

          2. Anonymous

            intewresting how anyone could worry about russia’s imperial aims given the abyssmal level of logistiocs, as the marines say amateurs talk tactics, professionals talk logistics.

          3. Anonymous


            us operational availability:

            i doubt himars is better than aircraft systems with the added concern for stockpile reliability.

            “GAO examined 46 types of aircraft and found that only three met their annual mission capable goals in a majority of the years for fiscal years 2011 through 2019 and 24 did not meet their annual mission capable goals in any fiscal year as shown below. The mission capable rate—the percentage of total time when the aircraft can fly and perform at least one mission—is used to assess the health and readiness of an aircraft fleet.”


            i am sure the log tail sent with the ukraine donations is better than the peace time results for us forces in peace time operations and training.

            usa dod is troubled with budget issues bc the reliability is passed w/o meeting during design test as well as optest and the sustainment budgets are short as a result.

            and the atlantic wants to lend f-16’s!!

          4. 2slugbaits

            Anonymous…aka ILSM i doubt himars is better than aircraft systems with the added concern for stockpile reliability.

            Well, I’m pretty sure it is better. Operational availability (OA) targets are always about ten percentage points lower for aircraft systems than missile systems. And that’s just the OA targets. In general aircraft systems struggle to meet those targets while missile systems usually exceed targeted OA by quite a bit.

            Regarding the circular error probability (CEP) issue, this has always been more important for strategic ICBMs then it is for systems like HIMARS, and that’s because of the relative importance of the “yield to the two-thirds power” rule with ICBMs. With HIMARs the rule is more like “close enough is close enough” because you don’t need to bust hardened silos.

          5. Moses Herzog

            Curious if our good man and gentleman of old school courtesy Mr. 2slugbaits has thoughts on the missiles fired into Poland?? Most likely “accident” or…….. ??

          6. Moses Herzog

            No answer to my query. It’s always fascinating how many people on this blog give you opinions when you don’t want them, and then when you ask a question~~~nothing.

          7. Ulenspiegel

            Moses Herzog wrote: “No answer to my query. It’s always fascinating how many people on this blog give you opinions when you don’t want them, and then when you ask a question~~~nothing.”

            Why don’t you check the location of the Polish village and check the range of an S-300 systems yourself? It becomes clear that it is hard for Russians to hit the village with an S-300, however, it is no problem for a mal(e)functioning Ukrainian missile of the same type to hit the village.

            As long as the information in respect to the type of missile, i.e. an S-300, is correct, it makes much much more sense to assume a system initially under control of Ukraine.

          8. Barkley Rosser


            People did not give you an answer to your question because for once people here were cautious about not knowing the facts and so avoided shooting off their mouths with wild guesses. As it was, of course, initial reports indeed speculated that the missiles were fired by Russia, but now it is widely thought that they were Ukrainian air defense ones, although as of so far the Ukrainian leadership is denying it. But even if they were Ukrainian, they were clearly fired because the Russians have been attacking them.

            This is a bit like the situation with the matter of what heppened with the gas pipelines in the Baltic Sea. Most of us think the Russians probably did it, although they are claiming the US did it, but despite lots of investigative efforts by several nations, it remains unclear just what happened and who did it, if indeed it was actually done by somebody and not just an accident. I think you were one demanding people here provide an answer, while I noted it was unlikely we would get one soon, if we ever get one, which continues to be the case.

          9. Barkley Rosser

            I have just seen a report that the Swedes claim to have found evidence of an explosive on at least one of the pipelines, so probably not an accident.

      2. Barkley Rosser


        You claim to have been in the military and had a security clearance, and you spout this silliness of “Interdicting supply lines is a military theory.” Yes, and one that in this case seems to have worked out. As Ivan notes given only a couple of bridges gong across the river, and it easy to spot the pontoons they would set up as alternatives, not that hard to hit them, including with things besides HIMARS. And it was widely annouced that this was exactly what they were doing months ago back when JohnH was making his foolish statements about “where is the counteroffensive?” that Menzie has now successfully ridiculed him for making. That the Ukrainians were hitting the bridges and damaging their usability for providing SUPPLIES was being reported even back in August, with it being loudly discussed by many that the goal of this was precisely to cut off the Russians on the west bank so they would run out of supplies and have to peacefully leave, which has more or less happened now.

        Why were you not paying any attention to this when it was being reported earlier, along with people like me pointing all this out here way back then? Wow, you really have degenerated mentally since 2005 when you actually made intelligent comments here.

  5. Ulenspiegel

    “which means six missile pod needs to be expended for a precision target”

    At least debatable, IMHO nonsnese. A ammunition dump is a large target, a barn with a Russian staff too. Trucks are also destroyed when a HIMARS rounds explodes 6 meters away….

    “interdicting’ supply lines is a military theory”

    BS. It is reality and was already proposed before the war:

    The Ujkrainian addition to the concept was the use of very motivated militia too decimate Russian supply capacity.

    1. Ivan

      Not just nonsense. It is a failure to understand probability, geometry and what a stationary vs mobile target represents.

  6. Anonymous


    usa wasted trillions prepping for a war against a logistics less military!

    why do you think i care or worry about russian military strategy and operations?

    but, “not that hard to hit”

    what i said with the himars rocket with an 8 m cep you need to shoot a mission not a single round. that is orsa thinking which 2slugs may remember!

    interesting how people think usa can give the ukers himars, and the stuff just works. the usa gives them a vehicle/launcher and stores with a support tail including high trained humans which the ukers do not have so they get “contractors”, and they get real time data to shoot the things. the ukers do little more than press the hire levers.

    and atlantics wants to give them m-1 and f-16’s which with uker operators are no more than drones functioned by usa contractors.


    and real time targeting is an act of war….

    1. Barkley Rosser


      This statement is seriously incomprehensible. I cannot even begin to make any sense out of it.

      To get to the main point, it has been widely reported that Russians have good logistics if they are near railheads, and out about 25 miles from a railhead. Their military has been in fact mostly built to be defensive and assuming nearby Russian railheads. All this broke down when they invaded Ukraine, and they have repeatedly been shown to be unable to function logistically when beyond that lmiit.

      So, why is it that you still seem to be mocking this matter of logistics? It is clearly how the Ukrainians took Kherson. Do you disagree with this? Or do you want to whine about the US military budget being too large? You really make not a shred of any sense here, none whatsoever. You are again beginning to compete with CoRev for stupidest commenter here with this sort of garbled nonsense.

    2. Ulenspiegel

      “interesting how people think usa can give the ukers himars, and the stuff just works. the usa gives them a vehicle/launcher and stores with a support tail including high trained humans which the ukers do not have so they get “contractors”,”

      That is BS again. The HIMARS can be operated by crews that are mainly conscripts, you need one guy with little bit deeper knowledge (e.g. an NCO). The German system, which uses the same munitions, is the MARS, same launcher on a tracked vehicle, already used during cold war in the Bundeswehr.

      The whole issue is easy: If you destroy ammunition dumps near the front, the (even in best case too) low number of Russian trucks can only do fewer and fewer runs per day, the Russian artillery runs out of rounds, and if you depend for some missons on rocket systems you are really screwed. If you also lose staffs to HIMARS attacks, the situation become even more interesting as the Russian commanders are more and more disconnected from the front, they are even more clueless than before.

    3. 2slugbaits

      Anonymous and atlantics wants to give them m-1 and f-16’s

      I don’t think the US military is keen to give Abrams tanks to the Ukrainians. The M1A2 SEP variants are highly complex and require a lot of training and a lot of contractor support. Even trained US soldiers have difficulty operating the direct support electronic test set and interpreting its output. And without the electronics the tank is just a tractor with a gun.

      1. Ulenspiegel

        “The M1A2 SEP variants are highly complex and require a lot of training and a lot of contractor support.”

        Are the tanks in US depots really this variant? I guess not. BTW the training is not the issue, the logistics would be.

    4. Steven Kopits

      A troll! What fun!

      The US has had a large military budget since WWII, principally because it was deemed necessary to deter the Soviet Union, later Russia.

      You are correct that Russia was extraordinarily foolish to start a war against the US, which has 2x its population, 7-14x Russia’s GDP and 12 times its defense spending. Further, you are correct to imply that Russia’s defense spending is in significant part wasted. Thus, Russia’s effective military budget may be only 1/20th the size of the US defense budget. (But Russia’s Supayachts are way better than anything the US has! There’s your defense spending for you!) Russia would have to be an idiot to take those odds. But it did. Well, Putin did.

      So here’s the thought for the day: Russia’s army will be destroyed without the US and NATO putting a single soldier in the field. NATO will have proved able to crush Russia pretty much by just phoning it in.

    1. Anonymous

      fred kagan is ‘in law’ to vicky nuland [kagan], a long term state dept. “employee” with connections to strobe talbert and the early clinton administration, as well as being in kiev in 2014.

      no doubt the ‘advisors’ let the ukraine’s ‘play’ with the himars he rounds…..

      1. Barkley Rosser


        Oh gag, more gibberish out of you. So, Kagan is not to be believed because through his wife, who has spent time in Ukraine, he is connected to Strobe Talbot (not “Talbert”)? Talbot is a very smart and capable guy who has run the Brookings Institution as well as being an ambassodor to Russia. You have not proved much with all this, especially regarding HIMARS.

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