2:00PM Water Cooler 2/11/2020

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Politics

“But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature?” –James Madison, Federalist 51

“They had one weapon left and both knew it: treachery.” –Frank Herbert, Dune

Here is a second counter for the New Hampshire Primary, which is obviously just around the corner:

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2020

Alert reader dk (not to be confused with DK) is in the process of developing the following interactive chart.

We have two new national polls, first Morning Consult (with a big fat sample size) and Quinnipiac, as of 2/11/2020, 12:00 PM EST. This is the three-day average:

The numbers from Morning Consult and Quinnipiac:

The numbers from Ipsos:

Absurdly, there has been no polling in SC for a week, but we do have CA:

CA numbers:

Hard to imagine the DNC planned for Sanders to lead nationally and in California, no matter the gaming and scheming that was going on.

CAVEAT I think we have to track the polls because so much of the horse-race coverage is generated by them; and at least with these charts we’re insulating ourselves against getting excited about any one poll. That said, we should remember that the polling in 2016, as it turned out, was more about narrative than about sampling, and that this year is, if anything, even more so. In fact, one is entitled to ask, with the latest I boomlet (bubble? (bezzle?)) which came first: The narrative, or the poll? One hears of push polling, to be sure, but not of collective push polling by herding pollsters. We should also worry about state polls with very small sample sizes and big gaps in coverage. And that’s before we get to the issues with cellphones (as well as whether voters in very small, very early states game their answers). So we are indeed following a horse-race, but the horses don’t stay in their lanes, some of the horses are not in it to win but to interfere with the others, the track is very muddy, and the mud has splattered our binoculars, such that it’s very hard to see what’s going on from the stands. Also, the track owners are crooked and the stewards are on the take. Everything’s fine.

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Bloomberg (D)(1): “Mike” on stop and frisk in Aspen. This is a must-listen:

Yes, the video is authentic:

(Maybe grab the YouTube before Bloomberg gets it taken down.) And the published version:

(Is any of this legal?) I guess we’ll see how effective Bloomberg’s money is in keeping this a non-story.

UPDATE Bloomberg (D)(2): “Bloomberg’s Blunt Defense of Stop-and-Frisk Policy Draws Scrutiny” [New York Times]. “Material like the audio recording is certain to continue surfacing as the campaign advances: Mr. Bloomberg has not been shy about expressing his views since leaving office in 2013, often at elite conferences before friendly audiences. But he is seeking to win over a different audience now, making significant inroads among Democratic primary voters thanks to a massive and largely unanswered blitz of television advertising. It remains to be seen whether the appeal he has demonstrated so far can survive a more searching examination of his record.” • The Sanders campaign comments:

One has to wonder if a similar piece of oppo surfaced on, say, Sanders, whether the Times would adopt such a detached, Olympian attitude. “It might have an effect, or it might not. Who can say?”

Bloomberg (D)(3) “Poll Finds Bloomberg Trailing Among Young Black Males He’s Already Thrown In Prison” [The Onion]. • It certainly is odd that the Democrat Party — so tenderly solicitous of its black firewall — has two leading candidates both with serious, systemic racism in their police departments (although I grant South Bend’s are smaller than New York’s).

Buttigieg (D)(1): “Pete Buttigieg’s Health Care Plan Is A Joke” [People’s Policy Project]. “Buttigieg’s health plan has mostly avoided scrutiny in the debate so far, which is a shame because it is so bad that it borders on comical…. In the first part of Buttigieg’s plan, he says he is going to automatically enroll the millions of uninsured people with incomes low enough to already be eligible for free insurance…. the bill doesn’t actually provide any way of identifying eligible people for automatic enrollment. Instead it proposes granting money to states so that maybe they can innovate a way to do this. Nobody has any idea how you could possibly identify people in real time who slip into eligibility but never go to the welfare office to fill out the forms. This is because it is not possible…. This is, in a nutshell, what is wrong with “technocracy” as it has come to be known in the discourse. What masquerades as technical competence and a light touch is, more often than not, really science fantasy delusions about what a state can actually successfully administer.” • Which is why #MedicareForAll’s simplicity is key. Toi be fair, it’s not a Jobs Guarantee for PMC technocrats.

Buttigieg (D)(2): “Why the Buttigieg Campaign Tried to Have Me Arrested for Handing Out These Medicare for All Fliers” [Normon Solomon, Common Dreams]. “You’d think that a presidential campaign backed by 40 billionaires and untold numbers of bundled rich people wouldn’t worry about just one leaflet on Medicare for All. But minutes after Pete Buttigieg finished speaking in an auditorium at Keene State College in New Hampshire on Saturday, a Pete for America official confronted me outside the building while I was handing out a flier with the headline ‘Medicare for All. Not Healthcare Profiteering for the Few.’ ‘You can’t pass that out,’ the man told me. I did a double take, glancing at the small ‘Pete’ metal badge on his lapel while being told that he spoke on behalf of the Buttigieg campaign. We were standing on the campus of a public college. I said that I understood the First Amendment. When I continued to pass out the flier, the Buttigieg campaign official (who repeatedly refused to give his name) disappeared and then quickly returned with a campus policeman, who told me to stop distributing the leaflet. Two Keene city police soon arrived.” • Buttigieg’s goons get little metal badges. That’s cool.

Buttigieg (D)(3): This keeps happening:

Buttigieg (D)(4): “Buttigieg is the only top 2020 candidate not offering staffers health care yet” [NBC]. “On the campaign trail, Pete Buttigieg likes to say that ‘health care is freedom’ and that if ‘leaving your job means you’re going to lose your health care, that means you’re not free.’ But as he staffs up a national campaign, the upstart Democratic presidential candidate isn’t providing health care coverage to any of his own campaign workers, an NBC News review of his campaign spending disclosures shows. Instead, Buttigieg is providing a monthly stipend to workers to buy insurance on their own through the Obamacare exchanges, his campaign said, with plans to offer health care in the future.”

Buttigieg (D)(5): “How Pete Buttigieg Defied The Polls In Iowa” [HuffPo]. “Scott Matter, a semi-retired corporate PR strategist, has held high-level positions on Republican campaigns from Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley’s 1986 re-election bid to Sen. Bob Dole’s 1996 presidential run…. Matter joined hundreds of other Buttigieg supporters to attend a two-day caucus training in Des Moines following the Liberty Justice Celebration dinner at the start of November. Matter went on to serve as a precinct captain for Buttigieg on caucus night, where he estimates that the number of Buttigieg volunteers ran 40 deep…. Several Iowa Democrats who spoke to HuffPost about Buttigieg’s performance said his success is a credit to the moderate message that appealed to newcomers like Matter; his investment in a sophisticated field program, particularly in the state’s many rural counties; his profile and style as a midwestern mayor; and ample campaign cash to leverage all of those strengths.” • I’d like to know what the Sanders operation was doing to compete.

UPDATE Sanders (D)(1): “Wall Street might actually be fine with Sanders moving to the front of the Democratic pack” [CNBC]. “‘There is a lot of chatter that a Sanders nomination would roil markets, but there’s another way to consider that possibility,’ Nick Colas, co-founder of DataTrek Research, said in his daily market note. ‘Investors may assume that Sanders’ platform of radically remaking American society/commerce will not resonate with voters during a time of relative economic prosperity. That would make President Trump’s reelection more likely, preserving a market-friendly tone to government policy.'” • “Relative” to what? And for whom? And for how long?

UPDATE Sanders (D)(2): “I helped coin the term ‘identity politics’. I’m endorsing Bernie Sanders” [Barbara Smith, Guardian]. “In 1977 I co-authored the Combahee River Collective Statement – a document that emphasized the overlapping forms of economic and social oppression faced by black women. The Combahee Statement coined the term ‘identity politics’, and it was instrumental in pushing the international left and other political movements to understand inequality as a structural and intersectional phenomenon which affects oppressed groups differently. Those ideas continue to reverberate today. I am often disheartened, however, to see support for identity politics and intersectionality reduced to buzzwords. I am supporting Bernie Sanders for president because I believe that his campaign and his understanding of politics complements the priorities that women of color defined decades ago…. Sanders has said that as president he will be “organizer-in-chief”. He is committed to fighting for regular working people, which is most of us, and he has the advantage of connection with an existing broad-based social movement. As president he can implement policies that give those who are most harmed by the current system full access to opportunity and a decent human life.” • Hoo boy. No doubt to be distributed widely in the idpol crowd.

UPDATE Sanders (D)(3): “Bernie Sanders’s Multiracial, Working-Class Base Was On Display In Iowa” [Jacobin]. “Sanders’s strength among working-class Latinos was no accident. More than any other presidential campaign, Sanders staffers and volunteers fanned out across the state, organizing in cities and towns, big and small. Satellite caucuses were a main point of emphasis…. In many cases, Hispanic-heavy towns proved the exception to Sanders’s otherwise underwhelming support in rural areas: In West Liberty, the first majority-minority town in Iowa, Sanders won 45 percent of the second alignment vote. In nearby Tama, he bested Biden to capture the most delegates in the city. All told, Sanders hoovered up 52 percent of the vote in the top thirty-two high-density Latino caucus locations and a stunning 67 percent in majority-Latino caucus sites, according to a UCLA study. Sanders also performed well in black and white working-class precincts. Shortly after results began trickling in, Iowa politics writer Pat Rynard summed up the presidential aspirant’s base in Des Moines: “precincts with younger voters downtown, the African-American precincts on the North Side, Latino neighborhoods on the East Side, and [white] working-class precincts on the South Side.” The blue-collar river town of Dubuque, which is about 90 percent white, went heavily for Bernie on caucus night. In Waterloo, the city with the highest percentage of African-Americans in the state, Sanders cut into Joe Biden’s much-touted backing among African-American voters, running well in the city’s black-heavy east side. Davenport, another working-class city with a relatively large black population, proved a wellspring of support, too. Sanders won or tied for most delegates in nearly every precinct, performing particularly well in places with more black residents.” • The article is worth a read for the history of meat-packing in Iowa.

UPDATE Trump (D)(1): “Trump looks to upstage Democrats on eve of New Hampshire primary” [NBC]. “The president’s stop Monday in New Hampshire was a return to the site of his first big win in the GOP contest in 2016… Trump has held rallies during Democratic debates and in Iowa days before the state’s caucuses. On Monday, he sought to further influence the outcome… The president’s New Hampshire visit — which shut down several streets in the core of the state’s largest city on the final night of primary campaigning — was the latest in a string of attempts to rival key moments in the Democratic contest.” • Trump is The World’s Greatest Troll™.

UPDATE Trump (D)(2): “Why Donald Trump keeps messing with the Democratic presidential race” [CNN]. “And just as the Democratic race heats up, the President is suddenly beginning to look like a formidable opponent after three years of weak polling that suggested in might be an easy target. He skated free from his Senate trial last week with his party — minus Mitt Romney — in lock step marching toward battle in November. And a low turnout last week in Iowa is worrying Democratic Party leaders who had made assumptions on massive enthusiasm among liberal voters desperate to deprive the President of a second term.” • Some of us always thought Trump was formidable, in 2016 and now.

Warren (D)(1): Spoiler alert:

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NH: “New Hampshire primary results: track the votes, county by county” [Guardian] • Here’s a live tracker. I didn’t add any material on NH today, because why speculate when we’ll soon know? (Nomiki Konst, in a podcast I am too rushed to link to, says that the NH Democrat Party chair is not a DNC chair or a Clintonite, so perhaps the more egregious problems in Iowa won’t happen here). Readers, especially NH readers, please keep each other posted!

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NV: What could go wrong (1):

NV: What could go wrong (2):

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IA: You can turn down the sound, but do watch:

Iconic!

Realignment and Legitimacy

“U.S. Counterintelligence Chief Warns of Meddling After Iowa Vote” [Bloomberg] • As anybody but some national security goon talking his book knows, the main threats to democracy are domestic, not foreign. Although–

“AIPAC Must Stop Bernie Sanders – at All Costs” [Haaretz]. “‘Never Bernie’ AIPAC now sounds a lot like a pro-Trump caucus, not a bipartisan pro-Israel lobby. But it has no choice.” • Clarifying, but isn’t this “meddling”?

Stats Watch

Retail: “Coronavirus Outbreak Drives Demand for China’s Online Grocers” [Bloomberg]. “Like their counterparts in Silicon Valley, China’s largest tech companies struggled to prove online groceries can be a viable business. Then the novel coronavirus struck. Its spread has extended a lifeline to a slew of money-burning businesses — many backed by big name venture capital funds and tech giants from Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. to Tencent Holdings Ltd. — that in some cases were on the brink of collapse in 2019. Millions of consumers shunning supermarkets and meal-delivery services are testing promises by Tencent-backed Missfresh or Alibaba’s nationwide Hema chain to ship fresh food to their doorsteps. Those that deliver can expect many of first-time customers to stay even after the epidemic burns itself out.” • Every pandemic has a golden lining! Go long social distance.

Shipping: “The coronavirus toll on shipping is becoming clear as the impact rolls across maritime operations from container terminals to shipyards” [Wall Street Journal]. “A new report from Sea-Intelligence says the falling trade volumes are costing container lines $350 million a week in business… while operators in other sectors report feeble trade. Dry-bulk carriers may end up taking the biggest hit, according to IHS Markit, because of weak demand from China’s factories. On the container side, the U.S. retail sector’s Global Port Tracker slashed its forecast for container imports into major American seaports in February and March by some 370,000 boxes.”

The Bezzle: “A popular self-driving car dataset is missing labels for hundreds of pedestrians” [Roboflow]. “We did a hand-check of the 15,000 images in the widely used Udacity Dataset 2 and found problems with 4,986 (33%) of them. Amongst these were thousands of unlabeled vehicles, hundreds of unlabeled pedestrians, and dozens of unlabeled cyclists. We also found many instances of phantom annotations, duplicated bounding boxes, and drastically oversized bounding boxes.” • Garbage in, dead pedestrians out. I certainly hope some robot car-chasing lawyers are reading this.

The Bezzle: “Apps that claim to test moles are missing skin cancers, doctors warn” [CNN]. “A study found that the leading apps were both missing melanomas and incorrectly telling people their moles were a cause for concern. The researchers evaluated SkinVision and SkinScan, two popular European apps which have not yet been approved for a launch in the United States by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). ‘Our review found poor and variable performance of algorithm-based smartphone apps, which indicates that these apps have not yet shown sufficient promise to recommend their use,’ wrote the authors, from the universities of Birmingham and Nottingham in the United Kingdom. They warned that the current regulatory processes ‘are inadequate for protecting the public against the risks created by using smartphone diagnostic or risk stratification apps.'” • More regulatory arbitrage.

Tech: “Who’s in charge at Amazon? Moves on secretive S Team signal tech giant’s priorities” [Seattle Times]. “The senior leadership team — or S Team — added seven people in 2019 and saw two longtime members depart. That’s a significant change and expansion of a group including some of the company’s longest-tenured executives, but which Amazon rarely talks about. Now numbering 22 people including Bezos, the changing composition of the group provides a sense of ascendant priorities for the company, which in general gives little in the way of strategic forecasting to financial analysts and investors. The 2019 S Team additions included executives focused on cloud computing, advertising, Alexa and fashion.”

Infrastructure: “N.J. Rail Bridge Gets Boost, But Hudson Tunnel Low on Trump’s List” [Bloomberg]. “A replacement for the century-old New Jersey bridge that is key to northeastern U.S. train travel took a major step forward, while a Hudson River rail tunnel remained a lower priority among new project rankings by the Trump administration.” • Because of course it did.

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Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 57 Greed (previous close: 57 Greed) [CNN]. One week ago: 55 (Neutral). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Feb 10 at 12:28pm.

The Biosphere

“US environmental law scale-back effort draws ire” [Associated Press]. “President Donald Trump on Jan. 9 proposed narrowing the scope of the National Environmental Policy Act, signed by President Richard Nixon in 1970. Along with the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act, it spells out the nation’s principal environmental protections. NEPA requires federal agencies to determine if a construction or commercial project would harm the environment or wildlife. It gives the public the right of review and input. Over the decades, NEPA has applied to federally funded construction, management and development of public lands, roads, bridges, tunnels, highways, power plants and electricity transmission. Trump, backed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, American Petroleum Institute and other business and trade groups, says the law’s reviews delay infrastructure projects for years and dramatically boost their costs.”

“This 7,000-year-old well is the oldest wooden structure ever discovered, archaeologists say” [CNN]. “The square well was built with oak by farmers around 5256 B.C., according to researchers who pinpointed its origin after analyzing the tree rings in the wood…. Its design shines a light on technical skills that researchers didn’t think Neolithic people possessed. ‘The design consists of grooved corner posts with inserted planks. This type of construction reveals advanced technical know-how and, till now, is the only known type from this region and time period,’ the authors wrote.

According to experts, the well indicates that whoever built it was able to process the surface of felled trunks with utmost precision, given that they only had tools made of stone, bone, horn, or wood. ‘The shape of the individual structural elements and tool marks preserved on their surface confirm sophisticated carpentry skills,’ the authors wrote.”

“Climate Change Is Coming for Your Oreos” [Bloomberg]. “The latest victims of climate change could be Oreos, as drenched fields across the U.S. make the wheat that’s a key ingredient a scarcer commodity. Winter-wheat plantings fell to their lowest levels in more than a century as the grain got harder to seed. That was especially true for soft red winter wheat, with sowings in critical states like Illinois slumping 25%. And that might be bad news for snack fans—the variety is used in the flour that forms the base for crackers, biscuits and beloved goodies including Mondelez International Inc.’s Oreos and Kellogg Co.’s Cheez-Its.”

“The Terrifying Science Behind the Locust Plagues of Africa” [Wired]. “locusts will likely be winners on a warming planet. They need a lot of vegetation to fuel their swarms, and that requires rain. The highly active cyclone seasons the past few years may be a sign of things to come. Warmer seas spawn more cyclones, and more cyclones—especially sequential ones that give locusts wet soils to breed in as they march across the landscape—could mean more locusts. On the climatic flip side, locusts are highly adapted to a life of heat and drought: The Global Locust Initiative’s experiments have shown that Australian plague locusts can survive up to a month without water. So while other species struggle to adapt to a rapidly-warming planet, the locusts will have an advantage both in their heat-tolerant physiology, and potentially from a decrease in competition from less fortunate insects.” • Well worth a read!

“For Kid’s Coughs, Swap The Over-The-Counter Syrups For Honey” [NPR]. “‘Honey is at least as effective as those many, many products that you see in the drugstore,’ says Dr. Bud Wiedermann, an infectious disease specialist at Children’s National Hospital in Washington D.C. This is only for kids older than 1 year old. (There’s a risk of botulism for infants.)” • I gargle with honey (undiluted, with a little salt). Anecdote: It helps!

Health Care

“Doctors group breaks from health care industry with support for ‘Medicare for All'” [The Hill]. “[The American College of Physicians (ACP)] made waves last month when it broke with other leading health players to endorse Medicare for All, along with an optional government plan, as a way to get to universal coverage. The move by the ACP, which represents internal medicine doctors who are often a patient’s primary care physician, is a sign of changing attitudes among doctors. ‘A lot of this is driven from the grassroots membership,’ Bob Doherty, senior vice president of governmental affairs and public policy for the ACP, said in an interview last week in the group’s Washington office…. A motion in the American Medical Association’s (AMA) House of Delegates to end the group’s decades-long opposition to Medicare for All proposals failed by a close margin in June, going down 53 percent to 47 percent. ACP is the second-largest doctors group in the country after the AMA, and its new stance could have ripple effects.” • Worth a read on why these doctors changed their minds.

“The Doctors Who Bill You While You’re Unconscious” [The Atlantic]. “Let’s say you need to get a minor surgery, such as repairing some torn knee cartilage. If you have insurance, you would probably call the hospital or your insurer ahead of time to be sure that the hospital was “in network” with your insurance. If you’re extra savvy, you might double-check that the surgeon who will be operating on you is in network, too…. [But] Americans often find themselves getting staggering bills from providers they didn’t realize would participate in their surgery…. And now, a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association has found surprise bills might be even more common than previously estimated: They happen about a fifth of the time that a patient has an elective surgery at an in-network hospital with an in-network surgeon. Having an out-of-network surprise bill raised the total bill by an average of $14,083. The dollars racked up often while the patient was unconscious, and an out-of-network specialist simply walked into the room.” • This is why people love their insurance.

Games

“ICE Is Using Location Data From Games and Apps to Track and Arrest Immigrants, Report Says” [Vice]. “The Department of Homeland Security began purchasing location data in 2017 from Venntel, a Virginia-based company which markets itself as a ‘pioneer in mobile location information,’ according to the database of federal contracts. Since then, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has purchased $190,000 in Venntel licenses and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has spent over $1 million on the company’s products. The data is drawn from inconspicuous cell phone apps, like games and weather apps, that ask the user’s permission to access their location. But the data has been used by DHS to ‘help identify immigrants who were later arrested,’ and by CBP to identify cell activity in places such as remote desert areas on the Mexican border, according to the Journal, which said it both reviewed documents and spoke to people ‘familiar with the matter.'”

Class Warfare

“Educated Fools” [The New Republic]. “This is a high school nation. Even now, after all the years of pumping up college education as the only way to survive, there’s still close to 70 percent of U.S. adults from age 25 and older—yes, living right now—who are without four-year college degrees. If a college education is the only way to survive in a global economy, then the party’s effective answer to anyone over 30 is: It’s too late for you. And of course, that message gets across. If FDR is not rolling over in his grave, Harry Truman is. We liberals talk about the historical obsolescence of the working class as if the working class were not in the room…. Of course we should have more college—absolutely—and yes, it should be cheaper, if not free. But more college should be part of a new and more democratic education that reflects a new and more democratic workplace.” • Well, if the working class is to own and control the means of production, it needs to be educated. And not in neoliberal pieties either. MBAs should be servants, not masters.

“Study Finds Leading Cause Of Childhood Obesity Witches Fattening Up Children To Be Eaten” [The Onion] • Speaking of extractivism…

News of the Wired

“Jules Verne’s Most Famous Books Were Part of a 54-Volume Masterpiece, Featuring 4,000 Illustrations” [Open Culture]. “Not many readers of the 21st century seek out the work of popular writers of the 19th century, but when they do, they often seek out the work of Jules Verne. Journey to the Center of the Earth, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, Around the World in Eighty Days: fair to say that we all know the titles of these fantastical French tales from the 1860s and 70s, and more than a few of us have actually read them. But how many of us know that they all belong to a single series, the 54-volume Voyages Extraordinaires, that Verne published from 1863 until the end of his life? Verne described the project’s goal to an interviewer thus: ‘to conclude in story form my whole survey of the world’s surface and the heavens.’…. Together with the stories themselves, on the back of which Verne remains the most translated science-fiction author of all time, [the 4000 illustrations] allow [Terry] Harpold to make the credible claim that “the textual-graphic domain constituted by these objects is unmatched in its breadth and variety; no other corpus associated with a single author is comparable.”

Very up-to-date!

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Readers, feel free to contact me at lambert [UNDERSCORE] strether [DOT] corrente [AT] yahoo [DOT] com, with (a) links, and even better (b) sources I should curate regularly, (c) how to send me a check if you are allergic to PayPal, and (d) to find out how to send me images of plants. Vegetables are fine! Fungi and coral are deemed to be honorary plants! If you want your handle to appear as a credit, please place it at the start of your mail in parentheses: (thus). Otherwise, I will anonymize by using your initials. See the previous Water Cooler (with plant) here. Today’s plant (JJ-D):

JJ-D writes: “Helleborus niger, Christmas rose, flowering on Christmas. With two of our honeybees foraging. H. niger is often sold by florists, and typically does not survive summers in this area (Piedmont of North Carolina). This one has for the last three years, and even though it has not grown much, it has flowered every winter.This was taken with a not-great phone camera, so you may be unable to use it.” Phone cameras seem to be continually improving. To me, the ergonomics are horrid, but the kidz don’t seem to mind.

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.

284 comments

  1. a different chris

    >Garbage in, dead pedestrians out.

    Ok, I think I have to back off on my asserting that AI doesn’t really model human behaviors at all. :D

    Reply
    1. D. Fuller

      AI is being misapplied. We don’t have AI since no one has ever created an AI that one can talk to. It’s not even sure that an AI can be created based on the underlying hardware.

      AI is a marketing & advertising term for advanced algorithms that follow a precise mathematical formula, even if they are self-modifying to some very limited extent. They don’t deviate from mathematical rules and thus are not truly AI.

      Silicon Valley is nowhere even close to the beginning stages of a true AI. Might as well as label their efforts to date, Fake AI.

      Reply
        1. D. Fuller

          Compilers used to compile programs such as “AI”? We don’t understand them. We can’t predict the outcome of the code compiled into machine language. Not with 100% certainty. Compilers introduce bugs, for instance, depending on the flags set at compilation time that affect the outcome of the compiled program into machine language.

          Then you have the hardware itself. Processors are effectively little black boxes that we have to abstract out into diagrams to begin to understand the complete package. Oh, engineers can describe to you the individual functions of circuits that comprise the processor… but once completely assembled? We have no way of knowing what is truly going on in a processor. Engineers expect a certain behavior and generally they are correct. Never 100%, though.

          It is even argued that the hardware architecture is indeed a limiting factor on how programming languages are constructed to run the hardware.

          The compilers produce machine code run on processors which engineers HOPE will do about what they are programmed to do. And that is successful. We have programs that work. One can take two identical machines, that will behave differently. Thanks to the processor and the compiled code interacting in unpredictable ways or unintended by the engineers.

          Intelligence is an adaptive survival strategy that arose out of emotions. Fear for instance. How does a human know where to drive? Because we fear, instinctually, what happens if we don’t follow the road. We know something bad is going to happen if we deviate from the road.

          A computer does not and never will, as constructed today. Fear messes with most people’s ability to process information, resulting in undesireable outcomes. We could program such a mechanism into a computer that messes with the execution code and then introduce code that attempts to counteract that?

          It will never work. The computer is not even self-aware. Has no concept of survival. The above code would merely be a pre-determined mathematical formula. That because of the underlying fundamentals of compilers and processors? Not even the computer is aware of that.

          Such would remain a very advanced simulation that Silicon Valley would call “AI”, in an attempt to get government and other corporations to purchase.

          The Profit Motive.

          Reply
          1. JTMcPhee

            Intelligence in the biological world is built on teensy meensy molecular machines, here is a beautiful YouTube that shows some of the cellular biochemistry in action: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WFCvkkDSfIU So unless there really is a “soul” that animates what we choose to call the higher functions, it would appear that “code,” somehow built into the Universe, rules and drives and operates all our functions — from the mitosis cell replication modeled in the video, to Mozart composing, or Edward Teller doing his darndest to bring on the hydrogen bomb and nuclear war against the Soviet Union. The same kinds of processes are active in all living things that we are aware of, as far as I know.

            Investigators (scientists) are working hard to understand and, more important, comprehend all these processes. Some to see if biological repair mechanisms can be crafted via what is also being approached by others in the physical disciplines — nanobots to do precise functions like breaking up neoplastic cells or arterial placque, without becoming “gray goo” that would be a real endgame, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gray_goo

            Yes, computers operate via code elements that are orders of magnitude smaller than the amazing machinery of DNA replication and all the other cellular functions, like transmitting nerve impulses in our brains. Awareness of quantum realities adds levels of complexity to all of these effort to comprehend how reality operates and “make a machine in the likeness of the human mind,” or better even and suited to the purposes of humans who have shown little but a talent for destruction of living systems, including their own.

            And it seems that the best we can come up with in the computer realm is Big Data and attendant looting and propaganda, or better models for dial-a-yield nuclear explosives, or assisting the bioscientists in the creation or replication of pathogens, or playing chess with each other.

            Anyone for a Butlerian Jihad?

            Reply
      1. Aumua

        We have to define our terms clearly here. Is Artificial Intelligence in its current state actually intelligence? It could be argued either way depending on what ‘intelligence’ is. Does that mean possessing consciousness and/or self awareness the way that we do? Certainly AI does not fit that definition currently, and possibly never will. But then what is consciousness? Can we really say with 100% certainty that an algorithm can never posess consciousness? You’re getting into issues of philosophy and faith here.

        On the other hand, there are many potentially defined qualities of intelligence that AI does indeed possess. The ability to adapt, to find novel if not creative solutions, to solve problems using reasoning, and so on.

        Reply
        1. D. Fuller

          Excellent point.

          How do we create something when we don’t even understand that fundamentals of how that something came to being or even operates?

          We don’t. We only imitate, poorly in the case of artificial intelligence.

          Silicon Valley hyped the technology to create a market in which they are the beneficiaries. Such is the same with the information “economy”. Self-dealing and marketing & advertising to convince people and corporations that a market exists.

          The Information Economy is nothing more than using computing to improve on serving ads more efficiently. The use of data analytics in a more advanced form. Those are merely improvements on old methods. Like when Wall Street dresses up old scams in new terminology – HFT is frontrunning using computers – to bilk investors.

          There is truly nothing new.

          How much power in watts was consumed for a computer to beat a chess grandmaster? Or win Jeopardy? Well above what a human employs by orders of magnitude. Revealing that AI is simply brute processing using mathematical formula.

          In other words, AI is a marketing scam.

          Current “AI” does produce results in improvements in many areas. Brute power for data analytics with some clever programming.

          Reply
        2. Odysseus

          Is Artificial Intelligence in its current state actually intelligence?

          We keep training computers to perform skills which previously only humans could perform. Every time we do that, we define that skill as not requiring intelligence.

          What we have today is significantly more advanced than what we had 10 years ago. It might be better to ask “what is the IQ required to perform the tasks that we know computers can now perform?”

          Reply
      2. Detroit Dan

        Well said, D. Fuller.

        We humans spend our time from birth wandering about in the real world, interacting with various spaces, objects, and other living creatures. So that is the basis of human intelligence, along with the human body and brain which are the products of billions of years of evolution. Most of our common sense we take for granted, but that doesn’t mean it’s trivial

        Moravec’s paradox is the observation by artificial intelligence and robotics researchers that, contrary to traditional assumptions, reasoning (which is high-level in humans) requires very little computation, but sensorimotor skills (comparatively low-level in humans) require enormous computational resources.

        Reply
        1. D. Fuller

          Thanks for expounding upon the discussion.

          Focus on “AI” in driving since that is a big thing.

          When a person is driving, and certain situations become apparent that could result in bodily injury? Muscles clench – you know the ones (humor). Heart rate elevates. And processing becomes more difficult as adrenaline floods the system – also resulting in a sharpening of senses and reaction time. And a feeling of urgency or other emotions express themselves.

          Well, that is a poor description of what happens.

          Artificial Intelligence as it is known? Have none of those that contribute to our ability to correctly arrive at a conclusion that steering off the road is a bad idea.

          Emotionally stunted people – such as psychopaths – display a deficit in those areas, which hampers their ability to make choices and arrive at decisions and conclusions. What does a computer employing “AI programming” already lack?

          Emotions.

          Another area that may be of interest to engineers? How outside affects influence our intelligence. We have everything from cosmic rays to infections to drugs and other external influences. Our bodies are adequately adapted to correct errors efficiently until our systems are overwhelmed. The human body does not exist in isolation.

          Computers are affected by external factors. Usually voltage variances and cosmic rays and the such. However, nowhere near the experience of a human being whose systems fail over time.

          How does the above effect our intelligence and responses? Given that such is random – in the case of cosmic rays and radiation – and others (bacterial infections and viral infections) are influenced by our hygeine.

          Reply
      3. Polar Socialist

        In the context the was originally used, it refers to machines, or programs, that demonstrate some form of intelligence. Usually learning.

        Semantically it is, of course, very loaded term.

        But for most people working with AI, it’s just a different paradigm for dealing with data. One of the best description I’ve seen is that in the “old way” rules and data are the input and answers are the output, whereas in machine learning input is data and answers, and output is the rules.

        It’s more fuzzy statistics than precise math. At least the things I’m working on.

        They’re not intelligent, but they can learn, supervised or unsupervised, to pick cancer cells from tissue images, or identify you from the way you tend to decelerate your car. Or how to convert Moliere brothers’ films to 4k. None of which we could actually program the computers to do. We have to teach them how to do it.

        Reply
      4. turtle

        We don’t have AI since no one has ever created an AI that one can talk to.

        Sure they have: https://www.theverge.com/2018/5/8/17332070/google-assistant-makes-phone-call-demo-duplex-io-2018

        Plus, all the technology for AI to have extended conversations with humans has been around for years now. Google is far from groundbreaking here. They just assembled a few pieces together that were already around (voice recognition, voice synthesis, natural language processing, and a little bit of psychology and polish to trick people into believing that they’re talking to a human).

        Some of the pieces have been around for a long time, like ELIZA: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ELIZA

        Reply
        1. D. Fuller

          It’s programmed. When it starts formulating its own questions and talking back, instead of following a rules-based program? When it can follow a person’s nuances in language and decode “dawg” not to actually mean “dog”?

          Then we can talk about AI.

          Reply
      5. Mo's Bike Shop

        Thank you. This is my hobbyhorse as well. The field is Artificial intelligence. What we have is a really cool advance in machine learning. All I see is an attempt to present that, with some if/then statements, as intelligence. Kind of like three raccoons in a trench coat.

        We can’t build a cockroach at any scale. Mars rovers need a lot of kuroko. Is DARPA even trying to develop something that can at least accomplish the Third Law of Robotics?

        Has anyone tried using data sets that are curated in some way by human expertise? When I get a captcha, I make a point of giving Google a lot of ‘Not Crosswalks’ before I submit for the last two rounds. Imagine what 4chan does to these things.

        Google has not yet asked me to identify pedestrians, other than the trolley problem. (!!) I wonder where that is being farmed out to?

        Reply
  2. Bill Carson

    Good stuff….

    America Must Not Become Socialist, Lest We Abandon What Makes Our Country Awful

    “According to a recent Gallup poll, the majority of Democrats have a positive view of socialism. With the rise of Bernie Sanders as the clear and obvious front runner for the Democratic nomination, it seems Americans are starting to warm to the idea of a more socialist America. But America must never become socialist, lest we abandon what makes our country awful.

    “If America embraces “Venezuelan-style” socialism, a term we all know the meaning of that I will refuse to explain, make no mistake — America will no longer be the land of the free that all of us wealthy white people know and love. Just take a second and think about it: healthcare that woefully lags behind the rest of the world, crumbling infrastructure, a corrupt and incompetent electoral process. And now, stop thinking about America, and start thinking about what it’s like in Venezuela. Under socialism, Americans might have to ration their medicine — and not just their insulin, like we currently do….”

    Reply
  3. inode_buddha

    Wow that’s just appalling. I think that Banana Bender’s campaign could benefit from the input of a few lawyers regarding constitutionally-protected speech.

    If I was a member of the press, or handing out flyers, I would invite my lawyer to come along with me and be a member of the press for a day, or something. He would do it just for giggles.

    Oh, and a guaranteed shoe-in win.

    Reply
    1. Mo's Bike Shop

      Trespassing on state property is a big thing here at the FLagship ‘Don’t-Taze-Me-Bro’ State U. And the Campus Cops are triggered by band fliers on up.

      Reply
  4. carl

    Watching the sign drop during that Iowa Dem video was the funniest thing I’ve seen all week. And then the twitterers eviscerated poor Troy.
    RE: honey. Last year I suffered 2nd degree burns over my entire thigh due to spilling a pot of boiling pasta on it. I treated it with local honey and there is no trace whatsoever of the burn. I’m a believer.

    Reply
    1. laughingsong

      Yup. Both honey and lavender essential oil (neat) can totally help burns. However, honey is better because a good few people have reactions to lavender.

      Lavender-infused honey is the best if you are not sensitive.

      Reply
  5. Hana M

    I understand that the election is the biggest news this year but I really miss Water Cooler’s economic stats section. It was my first stop for a quick view of the economic news every day.

    Reply
      1. clarky90

        Breakfast Briefing (www.Interest.co.nz) about 8 am nz time, every NZ weekday

        https://www.interest.co.nz/news/103584/us-economic-data-moderate-best-china-still-struggling-uk-growth-evaporates-aussie

        There is also (same site, so twice a day updates)

        A review of things you need to know before you go home; at 4 pm NZ time every NZ weekday

        https://www.interest.co.nz/news/103577/review-things-you-need-know-you-go-home-tuesday-no-retail-rate-changes-truckometer

        They have a very active/interesting commentariate. Often their other articles are very informative.

        Reply
      2. Hana M

        Alas, no. I’ll do some research. The Daily Shot at the Wall Street Journal is good but, of course, it’s paywalled and it’s also a very visual, chart oriented approach that doesn’t work well with the Water Cooler’s format. Bespoke Investment Group’s content is worth checking out. https://www.bespokepremium.com/interactive/research/think-big-blog/ I’ve never subscribed but I love their free Sunday Brunch Reads with lots of linky goodness.

        Reply
  6. Harold

    It is a real shame that the texts of Jules Verne’s works have been so ill-served by English translations. The illustrations and movies (including animé ) do a better job of conveying the content of the stories, IMO. Hopefully, that will change soon.

    Reply
    1. divadab

      Classics Illustrated – comic book version. I read almost all my high school classics thanks to Classic Illustrated. My “real” reading was 100% science fiction.

      Whatever happened to Classics Illustrated? Its version of “toilers of the sea” was simply fantastic.

      Reply
      1. Shiloh1

        If I recall correctly Classics Illustrated, or something like it, books were for sale locally at a grocery store for about $3 each about 25 years ago. Loved reading them with my kids.

        Reply
        1. albrt

          There was another cheap hardcover version of classic books for kids in the 1970s that was sold in grocery and discount stores. I can’t recall the publisher, but they were quarto sized, usually a little less than an inch thick, and with annotations in the side margins to explain historical references and words that kids would not understand.

          Those were great, but not engineered to last. On the rare occasions when I’ve seen them in latter years the covers were warped and they did not look too appetizing.

          Reply
    2. John Anthony La Pietra

      I still have my father’s 1931 Junior Literary Guild edition (published by H. P. Lippincott) of “The Omnibus Jules Verne, With Illustrations by Helene Carter”.

      Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea
      Around the World in Eighty Days
      The Blockade Runners (a ship is built during the US Civil War to run the blockade of Charleston, bringing supplies and returning with otherwise un-market-able cotton)
      From the Earth to the Moon and a Trip Around it

      Translator not identified, BTW, but it seemed to this young reader to get the job done nicely. And there’s a fascinating note at the end of “Around the World in Eighty Days” about how, when he stepped off the train in London on the way back, the clocks were all striking ten minutes before nine. The only footnote in the book adds:

      “A somewhat remarkable eccentricity on the part of the London clocks? — TRANSLATOR.”

      Reply
    3. Mo's Bike Shop

      As a hard SF punk I’ve found the translations fine. I don’t think my disappointments with ‘Off on a Comet’ were due to translation problems. Even that baggy monster was worth it to realize where the inspiration for Myst came from. Was the balloon landing more sensible in Hector Servadac?

      Reply
  7. Bill Carson

    Re: “The Doctors Who Bill You While You’re Unconscious”

    I wish that some energetic reporter would investigate how much each person who provides care for a patient actually receives in compensation. I don’t think that doctors, nurses, clerks, lab techs, pharmacy techs or anyone else in the building (save the billing department) have any idea how much the hospital is charging for the services provided. I bet you’d see that hospitals bill 20, 30, or 40x’s how much they pay to the staff. Certainly a hospital has high overhead, and they have to factor in non-collectibles and health insurance discounts, but still….I bet the world would be shocked by the amount of markup for services.

    I had a friend who recently spent 24 hours in the hospital for a short bought of chest pain. They put her on a low-sodium diet overnight, performed an EKG and a treadmill stress test, and the bill was over $42,000. No surgery involved. The insurance discount was $35,000, her health insurer paid less than $6,000, leaving her with a $1,500 co-pay. It’s absurd.

    Reply
    1. aj

      I’m scheduled for a surgery next month. I tried to ask my doctor questions about the cost, but he had no idea. He gets his salary from the hospital regardless of how many surgeries he performs and has no idea what the cost is. He had to refer me to the hospital finance guy.

      Reply
      1. Bill Carson

        It is perplexing to me—as a lawyer—that judges will usually grant a judgment for whatever amount a hospital claims they are owed. Contracts usually require a “meeting of the minds” on the amount of consideration. How can you have an agreement when a hospital can charge whatever ridiculous sums it wants with no rational basis?

        It just goes to show that the purpose of the courts is to support the power structure, rather than to dispense justice.

        Reply
        1. Fraibert

          I’d put the blame for that legal point on mid-century legal liberals. The UCC (though only applying to contracts for the sale of goods) adopted the idea that a contract without an agreed upon price is enforceable, with a judicially determined reasonable price as the price term. (See UCC sec. 2-305)

          Reply
          1. Fraibert

            Forgot to add: Before the UCC, I don’t think Anglo-American law would have accepted a contract without a definite price.

            Reply
      2. polecat

        Of COURSE he’s going look you in the eye, with a shrug and a nod to some ‘finance guy’ ! Just another Ferengi, this time with a scalpel !

        #Every Doctor a King .. #Every Hospital a Taj

        Reply
      3. JohnnySacks

        So the doctor is on salary, basically paid no matter what amount of services he provides. But the hospital operates on a bill per service basis. Nothing to see here I guess. In general, if the entire health care service chain operated on a salary basis, service padding for unnecessary tests and up-coding wouldn’t be the profit center it is.

        Reply
      4. jo6pac

        Yes I had that problem and they told me a person on staff would get back to me. They never did and after 9 weeks of radiation I received bill for 3500.00 and that was after Medi-Care and supplemental paid out over 125,00.00. I making payments and at lest they don’t charge interest.

        I told my GP that and he told me to call them and tell them to write it off as hardship case. I haven’t done that yet.

        I’m having cataract in a few weeks and I know what I well owe do to wanting a different lens installed.

        Reply
    2. Ford Prefect

      The criminalization of medical debt. This is brilliant and is making America great again. https://news.yahoo.com/scared-death-patients-jailed-over-194108017.html

      Basically, an attorney buys medical debt from providers. he gets a law passed that requires people to come in every three months to prove they are destitute and can’t pay. If they miss a hearing (they can be disabled, have multiple jobs, not have a car…..) then they are cited for contempt of court, arrested, and jailed. Bail money is then given to the court and attorneys to cover their costs. The attorney who bought the debt is still owed the debt but he is getting regular paychecks from the bail money from debtors who miss a court date.

      Reply
      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        Attorney Michael Hassenplug? Fiction authors can only dream of inventing such a name. Doesn’t “hassenplug” mean “cruel heartless a$$hole” in German?

        And my only question about this article is: When?

        When is it time for brick to have a very close encounter with window? For blood to have an intimate tete-a-tete with street?

        Surely every society has a breaking point.

        Reply
        1. ambrit

          Our society has passed it. It is on “life support” courtesy of the Federal Reserve.
          Best strategy going forward: Subvert the local National Guard.

          Reply
    3. Tom Doak

      Every capitalist enterprise has huge markups; the shirt you buy at the department store for $60 came off the boat from China for $4.

      What makes health care criminal is that they donit when you have no choice, and apparently when you’re not awake. And the worst part is that health insurers don’t care about the fraud, because we are all cost-plus profit centers to them.

      Reply
    4. alex morfesis

      out of network billing ?? how exactly is this not a HIPPA violation ? How can some mystery doctor, or service provider who has not the “capacity” to contract with the patient claim the right to review the medical history of a patient who is not authorizing them to even look at them if they are not in network…sounds like a nice set of lawsuits against hospitals for improper HIPPA violations…

      Reply
  8. cuibono

    “Study Finds Leading Cause Of Childhood Obesity Witches Fattening Up Children To Be Eaten” [The Onion]
    “who wants nothing more than to plump them up like a piggie and get them ready for stew”

    Well, if you think of the alignment of interests of our food industry and the medical industrial complex this is precisely what is happening

    Reply
      1. fajensen

        It is easier to make stews in an oven (Some English dishes like Shepherds Pie *are* a kind of stews, which are made in ovens):

        On the stove, one does the ‘interactive bits’ like frying and so on, adding liquids depending on the type of stew, seasoning, and brings the pot to boiling.

        When boiling, one puts a lid on the pot and plonk it in the oven at something like 120 degrees C for maybe 2-4 hours. At this low temperature, the dish will boil very slowly and nothing will get burned so one doesn’t have to watch it. Instead one goes and does something else. Like a long hike in the cold weather. Food is ready to go whenever one is back!

        The long, slow, cooking will make the Mystery Meat (which IMO is The Selling Point of stews) tender and nice.

        One can also use starchy vegetables like potatoes, with leeks and onions as a ‘base’, the slow cooking ‘dissolves’ the potatoes partly which adds ‘fill’ to what would otherwise just be a thin soup. Or use yellow peas instead of potatoes, these also benefit from slowly cooking for a long time.

        Reply
  9. Shonde

    Comments seem to be down on an opinion piece about Bloomberg’s Stop and Frisk speech originally published in the Washington Post and republished in the Mpls. StarTribune today. So no fear that this story will be hidden.

    http://www.startribune.com/michael-bloomberg-s-stop-and-frisk-problem-persists/567764532/

    In the last couple of days, the StarTribune has been publishing opinion pieces questioning everything Bernie.

    A Buttigieg opinion piece on the 10th unfortunately was generally positive.
    http://www.startribune.com/buttigieg-wants-to-be-the-goldilocks-candidate-it-just-might-work/567731932/

    Reply
    1. Lee

      FWIW, its all over Daily Kos. Only a relatively small number of goodthinkers posing the binary: Yeah, but is he worse than Trump?

      Reply
      1. Carla

        Is he worse than Trump? No, he’s the same as Trump, only much wealthier. Why do I say “the same”?

        Think about it. Is Wall Street unhappy with Trump? Well, hell no, why would they be?

        Would Wall Street be unhappy with Bloomberg? Well, hell no, why would they be?

        Slightly different channels, same show.

        Reply
  10. Andrew

    Re: Climate Change is Coming for Your Oreos

    I know my mind immediately goes to highly processed snack foods when I hear about falling wheat harvests.

    Reply
  11. clarky90

    Re; “Coronavirus Outbreak Drives Demand……”

    IMO, globalization is over. The combination of “just in time” manufacturing, plus the manufacturers (of bits and pieces) that are distributed around the world, plus complex supply chains that are (100s of) thousands of miles long.

    (a metaphor) “My cellphone worked perfectly, up until I dropped it into the toilet. How do I fix this? Try putting the phone in a plastic bag full of uncooked barley…..and hope for the best.

    I phoned around my big town in Southern NZ yesterday. I wanted 5 or 10 surgical face masks. (Wearing a face mask reminds us not to touch our face.) Surgical face masks are now unavailable. They have all been bought in the last few days. There are no confirmed cases of the novel corona virus in NZ, yet.

    The masks are manufactured in Asia. I do not expect to see masks for sale here for months or even years to come.

    “Last month, the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission held a hearing on the United States’ growing reliance on China’s pharmaceutical products. … In the discussion, Gary Cohn, then chief economic advisor to President Trump, argued against a trade war with China by invoking a Department of Commerce study that found that 97 percent of all antibiotics in the United States came from China…..”

    https://www.cfr.org/blog/us-dependence-pharmaceutical-products-china

    I heard that a crucial chip for the new iphone is fabricated in Wuhan. So no new iphones are possible. So what. but

    How about respirators, bandages, IVs, antibiotics, surgical gowns, gloves, body bags……if the supply chain suddenly freezes?

    Reply
    1. Amfortas the hippie

      and drugs, or their precursors.
      this is the whimper Eliot spoke of.
      talk about a black swan.

      (I’ve had several black geese, for several years, with no ill effect, however)

      Reply
      1. clarky90

        I agree with you Shonde. But, where does your honey come from? Your backyard? An apiary down the road from you….. ? If can’t access a therapy, it can’t help you.

        Also, in Coronavirus infections, doctors use antibiotics to treat secondary bacterial infections in the lungs. I believe that the antibiotics are delivered by IV? I don’t know if honey would help?

        Reply
    2. D. Fuller

      There is this thing that actually results in shortages that corporations have touted for decades…

      Supply chain efficiency.

      Which results in, “I can’t find a pair of jeans most times that meet my specifications”, in my size. Or shoes. And many other products. Yet, I find lots of jeans and shoes that do not sell and have been sitting on store shelves waiting to be sold.

      Here’s looking at Walmart, especially. For nine months I have checked for straigh leg jeans with a non-eleastic band in my size. They sell out so fast that I have never seen them in my size. Such demand is huge.

      Yet Walmart consistently fails to order more jeans in that size meeting those specs.

      Supply Chain Efficiency.

      Results in shortages. Because a “maybe” such as a sudden emergency resulting in huge demand of products… is expensive to produce. Especially on a “maybe”. MBA’s hate that. They can’t predict the market at all under such circumstance, thus leading to markets always being inefficient.

      Whenever I encounter a situation where a store advertises availability of an item… and then tells me to go online to order it because it is not available? “Your company doesn’t want my money. If I go online? I’ll find it cheaper.”

      Thus, brick and mortar retailers are going under. Their management doesn’t understand such a simple concept as, “I find cheaper online than from you.” They simply don’t want to stock their stores on a maybe. They want surety and risk-free operations.

      Hence the “supply chain efficiency” that is anything but efficient.

      Reply
  12. chuck roast

    “Trump, backed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, American Petroleum Institute and other business and trade groups, says [NEPA] reviews delay infrastructure projects for years and dramatically boost their costs.”

    More disinformation, as you would expect. When Bush was elected in the oughts, the same nonsense was propagated. The Federal Transit Administration was required to do a review on all projects that got Environmental Impact Statements that did not meet their original timeline. The study was done in-house so the usual suspects (engineering firms) would not distort the data. It was the conclusion of the study that project delays were caused less by environmental obstacles than by major project changes by project sponsors.

    Reply
  13. petal

    Apparently there’s now a Joe Biden insult twitter bot. The DM also said Biden is skipping his campaign’s NH primary party in Nashua and heading down to SC instead.
    I’m planning to vote after work and will check in with y’all tonight. Very heavy fog has settled into our valley, so not looking forward to the drive.

    Reply
    1. polecat

      Was it a .. biden fog ??

      tip: if you should be unforunate enough to find yourself dodging lying-faced dogs in the center-right portion of the road .. pull to the Left, HARD !

      Reply
      1. ambrit

        It’s always a “drift to the right,” and a “lurch to the Left.” Words have power.
        My first Buttigieg bad joke sighting: Who could have expected it? A South Park inspired candidate! ‘Butters’ gieg.

        Reply
      1. Hoppy

        Yeah, but you know what I’m saying. Why are the 27 votes being reported now?

        It’s ludicrous. Who are these 27 people who get their votes tallied and published ahead of the precincts everywhere else?

        Reply
        1. petal

          From the AP: “Note: Polls in Dixville, Hart’s Location and Millsfield will open at 12 a.m. EST on Feb. 11 and will close shortly thereafter. State law allows municipalities to close the polls and report unofficial votes when all registered voters have voted. AP will report these results as they are made available, shortly after midnight.”

          Just about every other polling place is open for like 12 hours, say from 7-7, or 8-8. You can look them up. It’s run like regular election voting. Results will be released when they close. Relax, put your feet up, and check in again after 8pm.

          Reply
          1. petal

            Sorry, let me rephrase that-smaller towns may be open for less hours, like described in the AP quote. My town’s sites are open for what I said above. There’s nothing weird or out of the ordinary.

            Reply
          2. D. Fuller

            It should be illegal to report results before all results are tallied from all precincts.

            At least that is how it should be.

            East Coast results in the General Election for President affect the turnout of West Coast balloting – suppressing the vote. Very well known effect.

            Reply
        2. sierra7

          Tonight (2-11-20) 4PM “news”; KCRA Sacramento, Goldstan Dart in New Hampshire, “live” commenting on the possibilities of the candidates mentioned all candidates except Bernie Sanders!
          What a creep!
          Such obvious bias!
          This is the worst I’ve witnessed over years of watching this stuff.
          I thought Iowa was bad; this might be worse!
          Good-bye KCRA local news watching!!!!

          Reply
    1. John k

      Every election that small town goes and votes right after midnight. Every voter having voted, they close the polls. With the polls closed they can count and announce the result. I assume they then go party, but don’t know.

      Reply
    2. Laputan

      I hate CNN as much as the next fellow traveler, but where do they say that’s breaking? I think we can take a breather on being the victim for now. There will be plenty of actual results to be disappointed about later.

      Reply
      1. Hoppy

        I said breaking news, not cnn. I was just interested that the results page had 27 votes.

        Now I know why.

        My bad. Sometimes you really are just paranoid :)

        Reply
        1. a different chris

          I don’t think you should apologize. CNN has no right to claim that 27 votes are “news”. They just aren’t. I can’t believe they don’t have anything better to do.

          Reply
    3. Mo's Bike Shop

      Stupid software is stupid. This is not a thing. If you find this indicative, you should learn about how crap our software-driven world is. i’m sure no one at any meeting asked how this would behave with early partial results.

      You can’t even test the real failures of this implementation until you have a boatload of data. It would be neat if all these apps gave public links to their revision histories.

      This app has Bernie at a two point lead as I check it now. Unless someone is showing that the imbalance persists, this whole meme is misdirection.

      Reply
      1. inode_buddha

        Bee barf! :D

        (ever wonder what was the guy thinking when they discovered honey was good? What about goats milk?)

        Reply
          1. rowlf

            I always suspected the roll of the little brother throughout history in the discovery if all these food products were actually edible. “Hey Mikey, try this!”

            Granted, the position of being the little brother who tasted everything his big brother handed to him must have seriously sucked as mushrooms, berries and cheese formulations got sorted out.

            Reply
        1. Mo's Bike Shop

          Huh. You can smell the sweet and we go crazy for sweet. And we probably tried out whatever Br’er Bear liked, we seem to have had a Bro-worship with the ursids. It’s not like deep human history was a bunch of New Jerseyans waiting for the food truck to arrive.

          Weirder is acorns or soybeans or fugo. “Why in the hell did you decide to make this food and how many died before you succeeded?”

          Reply
  14. aj

    The New Hampshire Dem party chair was on Rising this morning. He claims there will be no shenanigans. It’s reassuring that he at least is familiar with the program. video is 6 mins. If you have time, check out the interview with Chuck Rocha too, that man is great.
    https://youtu.be/QAX_rwxV-Jk

    Reply
    1. chuckster

      I believe the NH primary voting is run by the local governments, not the parties (as in Iowa). There is less motivation to manipulate the results since vote tampering in still illegal and some people take their responsibilities seriously.

      The caucus votes in NV (as they were in IA) are monitored by the party so don’t believe anything coming out of those two places.

      Reply
        1. Oh

          The manipulated election for Gore vs. Bush in 2000 was also run by the Secretary of State. Just because it’s run by the SOS means nothing.

          Reply
          1. Big River Bandido

            It means that the process is subject to the law. That is not the case when the parties run elections rather than the state.

            Reply
            1. pretzelattack

              yeah but it’s debatable what effect that has on the process. katherine harris did quite well out of subverting the law, for a time anyway–the incentives to cheat are out of balance with the legal risks.

              Reply
      1. JohnnyGL

        I suspect her wishy-washiness may have been a set up so she could deliver the sucker punch.

        Media loves the spectacle of the contemplative, nuanced, undecided voter struggling with their choices. Instead, she dished out a very clear message which Ari Melber pretended not to understand.

        “Your thumb is on the scale, I see it and I don’t like it one bit”

        Reply
  15. David Carl Grimes

    Bloomberg has been climbing up the polls too. From 5% to 11% to 16%. In two weeks, he’ll be in 2nd place.

    Reply
      1. Pat

        I will bet he will also have problems throughout the rust belt. Some of it with the Stop and Frisk stuff and the gun stuff, but he will also have a big problem that so many of our Dems do. Not that his trade views were all that front and center during his terms as mayor, but it isn’t as if Bloomberg News wasn’t a supporter of our long descent into globalization. It is not going to fly.

        Reply
        1. inode_buddha

          I’m Rust Belt but I aspire to be flyover. And I can pretty much guarantee Bloomberg isn’t going to go anywhere in flyover.

          Reply
            1. inode_buddha

              I think its more like his policy positions and his social background will not mix with them at all, like oil and water.

              Reply
    1. Amfortas the hippie

      i finally got around to mr nathan’s utterly damning exegesis of bloomburg.
      https://www.currentaffairs.org/2020/02/a-republican-plutocrat-tries-to-buy-the-democratic-nomination

      i’ve passed it on to where it might be seen by people more at risk of infection.
      there are no bloomberg signs anywhere i roam…only a few bernie…a lot of trump…and a handful of pete and amy….and a whole forest, stretching for hundreds of miles, of signs for state and local races…sheriff, city council, constable, state rep, etc…even state school board..
      maybe an indicator…that races of national significance are so thinly represented on lawns?
      Texas Primary is a little over 2 weeks away.
      my range is limited to the texas hill country and on down into san antone and environs.

      Reply
      1. JohnnyGL

        I often find that’s true here in MA, too.

        Local races for school board and other municipal seats attract a lot more signage.

        I’ve seen one Pete sign.

        Reply
      2. ChiGal in Carolina

        shockingly, the ONLY national signs I have seen are for Mike Bloomberg, and they started appearing about a week ago. This is in a college town located in blue territory smack in the middle of a mostly red state.

        Reply
      3. jrs

        well signs imply homeownership which implies $ so in Cali car bumper stickers are probably more reliable indicators for the masses unless all we care about is PMC which is probably a perfect overlap with homeowners except those who bought 50 years ago. So for bumper stickers it’s Sanders, some for Yang and Warren, I did see a house that was for Gabbard, uh 1 house it the total support I’ve seen. Everyone else, nonexistent.

        Pete, Biden, Bloomberg, you have zero support in the golden state. So unless they rig the election entirely you better pack up your bags and don’t let the gate hit you on the way out.

        Reply
    2. Lou Anton

      Meet the new Biden, same as the old Biden.

      I think he’s just filling the slot of “Yeah, I’ll go with Bloomberg, seen his name a lot.” Biden got the name recognition vote (or “extremely likely to vote for” in poll parlance) until his actual words and positions started being heard and read. Figure the same will happen with Bloomberg.

      Reply
  16. Bill Carson

    Coronavirus Gets a New Name

    “The coronavirus is now called COVID-19, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director general at the World Health Organization announced during a Tuesday news conference.

    “Co” stands for coronavirus, “Vi” is for virus and “D” is for disease, Tedros explained. Health officials purposely avoided naming COVID-19 after a geographical location, animal or group of people.

    “Having a name matters, to prevent the use of other names that can be inaccurate or stigmatizing,” he said.”
    ********
    Bill: I still wish they’d named it the Flu-Manchu.

    Reply
    1. Massinissa

      Innacurate or no, I think I’m going to keep calling it “The Coronavirus”, because Covid-19 sounds like a computer file or something.

      Reply
    2. Aumua

      Health officials purposely avoided naming COVID-19 after a geographical location, animal or group of people*.

      * or beer

      Reply
      1. Expat2uruguay

        LOL!! I still fantasize about it someday being called the Medicare for all Virus, at least during the US election if it started up there.

        Reply
    1. inode_buddha

      Oh, that’s interesting. Not only do we have spooks, but also the press running nowdays? So, the fourth and fifth column? I’m going very long on ammo. The masks really *are* coming off, aren’t they.

      Reply
      1. ambrit

        I’m long on ammo too, as are some of my near and far neighbors. There is a perceptible ground swell of ‘bunker mentality’ going around the lower middle and middle classes.

        Reply
  17. Pelham

    Re the Jacobin article on Sanders’ working class base in Iowa, specifically the history of the meatpacking industry there: That history leaves out one salient fact, one that Sanders would have recognized in 2016. Where did all the Latinos come from to help the packers bust the union?

    From what I’ve read, the consolidated companies recruited these workers south of the border. Their desperate presence was a key part of the drive to break organized labor, pull down wages and benefits and turn what were once decent places to make a living into limb-threatening hellscapes. (Several authors have touched on this, including Thomas Frank.)

    Of course, the immigrants themselves aren’t to blame. Unfettered immigration, rather than immigrants, is the problem. And apparently it’s a problem none of the Democrats running for president this year will acknowledge, including the updated 2020 version of Sanders.

    Reply
    1. Bill Carson

      Yep, which is why I, a Sanders-supporting progressive, don’t oppose the ICE raids on chicken processing plants and other manufacturing facilities. The corporations have learned that it is cheaper for them to entice large numbers of undocumented workers to work in their plants than it is to move the plants overseas. And don’t anyone try to tell me that employer verification requirements weren’t intentionally watered down to give these plants plausible deniability. Meanwhile, like you said, the toll on the local communities is enormous.

      Reply
      1. Peter from Georgia

        A dirty little secret about our “E-Verify” system is that it only verifies that the name and SSN match, but does not inform the employer that a candidate’s SSN is being used in other locations. Puerto Ricans regularly “rent” their SSN cards and identification cards so that a person can pass e-verify.

        What a scam…

        Reply
    2. John Wright

      Here is an article on Sanders and his shifting stances on immigration.

      https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/nidhiprakash/bernie-sanders-immigration-record

      He has definitely evolved…

      I went to a Bernie Sanders rally last year and he mentioned a “humane immigration policy” without specifying what that means.

      Some economists suggest that opposing immigration is wrongheaded as this this ignores “the lump of labor fallacy” (in which, it appears, holds that new labor creates its own demand).

      I suggest many USA citizens are waiting for the never arriving increase in labor demand that drives up real wages.

      Reply
      1. a different chris

        I used to spend a lot of time on economics blogs, and the one thing I came away sure of was that the “lump of labor fallacy” was a concept completely invented by the economics profession to tar anybody who tried to ask any questions (which were most questions) about labor that they couldn’t answer.

        I called it the “lump of labor fallacy fallacy”. I mean, it literally didn’t address the questions being asked, But that’s not a surprise, because they literally didn’t hear the questions. Fresh-water economists are basically diodes, the stuff just flows one way.

        Reply
        1. Yves Smith

          Ahem, that’s just not true. Econospeak regularly discusses the lump of labor fallacy and those posts are cogent, but they do demand close attention.

          I recall yesterday you were insisting that strong tailwinds led to rough airplane rides, which readers debunked. You are demonstrating a strong propensity to generalize from personal experience….and from far too few data points to being to do so. This is verging on making shit up, a violation of our written site Policies. Please take more care and refrain from misleading readers.

          Reply
      2. Pelham

        Thanks for the link!

        Having said what I said, I still wonder why an appeal to Latinos must always include advocacy of still more open borders. Those who have been here for many years are probably more subject to the economic pressures of unfettered immigration than most of us. If Sanders made that distinction, I’d be with him. But he doesn’t at this stage.

        Changing the subject to climate change, Sanders is also unrealistic in his otherwise admirable proposal by excluding nuclear power (IMHO). I believe even Gov. Jay Inslee included nuclear in his plan. Again and as with immigration, Sanders 2.0 appears to be abandoning independent, realistic thinking in favor of checking off a list of topics that exclude any possibility of reaching beyond the lockstep left. And that leads me to think that he wouldn’t do well against Trump — although none of the other Dems look the least bit promising at all.

        Reply
        1. John k

          My career was in designing components for nuclear plants, obviously favorably inclined.
          But nukes can’t compete with coal, coal can’t compete with nat gas, and new nat gas plants cannot, in most of the us, compete with renewables. And the one issue renewables had was storage, already resolved… wholesale Texas solar plus storage recently priced at $.022/kwhr. And prices continue to fall.
          Nukes helped, but no longer needed or cost effective. Existing plants will be shut down before end of life, e.g, San Onofre.

          Reply
        2. jrs

          Yea the problem with the lockstep left is yea they are incredibly dogmatic, but who knows how much of the base that is, but it’s vocal is the thing, the less dogmatic Sanders supporters may not be so vocal.

          And it might be a negative for Sanders or not, the other candidates are not strong, heck only a few are even remotely likable, and they aren’t doing well.

          Reply
      3. False Solace

        I wouldn’t be surprised if it was the price for AOC’s endorsement. She came out strongly against ICE just after she was elected. It seemed a weird choice considering how strongly the other side feels about immigration enforcement, as opposed to bread and butter economic issues that might have been harder to caricature.

        Reply
        1. jrs

          Yea no it’s bigger than her I think, it’s for the endorsement of a vocal part of his base, DSAs official position, probably many of his young supporters etc.. I find it highly unlikely it’s just about AOC though she may have talked to him.

          Reply
    3. Goyo Marquez

      Unfettered immigration is to blame just like fever symptoms are to blame for the spread of the Corona virus.

      Unfettered hiring of illegal aliens is to blame. If they put the people who hire illegal immigrants in cages, there’d be a lot less economic illegal immigration.

      Reply
      1. sleepy

        Have mandatory minimum prison sentences for hiring undocumented workers, with widely broadcast TV footage of CEOs doing the perp walk. Problem solved, or at least reduced.

        Reply
        1. ambrit

          Where have you been for the last half a century? CEOs do not do the “perp walk.” They have underlings to do it for them. That is what power is all about.

          Reply
  18. kareninca

    I don’t understand how quarantines work. You put 10 people in a room. One of them is infected, per testing. (The others are stuck there because they were around someone who was infected, but for purposes of this experiment they aren’t infected). But no-one (as it happens) has any symptoms. On day 13 1/2, the infected person infects another person (but it doesn’t show up on the tests since it just happened). On day 14, you let them all out. Thereby letting out a freshly infected person. Am I missing something? Isn’t there always the risk that just before you let people out, someone in the group is newly infected? Even if you waited a year, couldn’t the virus just move around within the quarantined population?

    Reply
    1. John k

      Put the infected person into isolation in a hospital. Put the other nine into nine rooms, each with own restroom. A hotel, or BOQ on mil bas, would work. Wait, then test again.

      Reply
      1. kareninca

        But that isn’t what they actually do, right? The people on the cruise ship are not being quarantined in the way you describe. No-one could afford to quarantine more than a few people that way. Given the problem I am pointing out, how could they ever decide that it was safe to drop the quarantine of the province of Wuhan (for instance)?

        Reply
    2. MLTPB

      I think one way is to test a person before leaving, though a negative result does not rule entirely the absence of it, I understand.

      On the other hand, does it mean everyone should be quarantined, positive or negative? Is it money-time-freedom of movement vs tail end risks?

      Reply
  19. flora

    re: Hard to imagine the DNC planned for Sanders to lead nationally and in California, no matter the gaming and scheming that was going on.

    Americans, in general, root for the underdog and hate the bully. The DNC is looking like the biggest bully in town.

    Reply
  20. ChrisAtRU

    UPDATE Sanders (D)(1): “Wall Street might actually be fine with Sanders moving to the front of the Democratic pack” [CNBC]

    Capitalists are really a dumb lot … good grief. Too see them obsessing over Sanders’ radical agenda from the fallacious “OMG we’re gonna run huge deficits and run out of money!” point of view, it is remarkable that none of them see the aggregate demand flip-side.

    Imagine, if you will, a world where people earn a living wage at least double the current minimum wage. What oh what will they do with the money?

    Imagine a world where households don’t have to spend out of pocket on health insurance deductibles. How oh how will they ever spend that money?

    It’s truly maddening.

    Almost every economic sector stands to gain from people having more actual money in their pockets due to an expanded set of social programs. But the dimwits in lower Manhattan can’t see the forest for the trees

    Reply
      1. Pat

        Do not discount decades of subtle propaganda in films and television and yes in the press which has discounted the value of labor. Not all of it was unintended.Layoffs cheered on our business news (which logically makes no sense even from a business sense), clearly delusional attitudes to jobs lost to off and out shoring from our politicians, in our news coverage, even in our fictional works, coupled with few if any depictions of working class life. And if we do get to see someone struggling to make a living they are usually someone who is lazy or unthinking with few exceptions. (Yeah I know Roseanne Barr is a problem, but the first few years of Roseanne were deeply unique for showing a family struggling, both parents working and doing what they can and still never getting ahead. Name another.)

        Reply
        1. Dan

          the first few years of Roseanne were deeply unique for showing a family struggling, both parents working and doing what they can and still never getting ahead. Name another.)

          The African American sit-coms of the 1970’s all showed familes struggling and never getting ahead, though usually only one parent was present. Sanford and Son, Good Times, What’s Happening. The Jeffersons was the first to show a “black man making good in society” as George and Weezie “moved on up” to the east side. Then Reagan got elected, and Benson and The Cosby Show proved that life in America is just fine for blacks. Oprah and a few black millionaires and then Barack Obama. Now what’s the problem exactly? Just leave your TV on and everything is fine.

          Reply
          1. Milton

            Watch Good Times on TV Land or online sometime. Talk about a program that is more topical than anything created today. Nobody seems to have the creative gumption to write shows like that anymore. Probably the best part of the show is the opening-the lyrics are spot on to anyone living by the paycheck.

            Reply
            1. Pat

              So we have the rural shows of the sixties. The Lear comedies of the seventies which were gone by the early 80’s, Roseanne in the late 80’s, and then Mom which started in 2013.
              Yeah, pretty sure the exceptions are making the case.

              Reply
        2. ForFawkesSakes

          Being the deeply cynical person that I am, I suspect that exact reason is why Roseanne was thrown to the wolves so quickly necks snapped.

          Growing up, I always loved that show. It looked liked my home, with generic groceries and shabby furniture and parents who changed jobs numerous times. I also saw myself in the multitudes of LGBT characters on that show; characters who were fully realized and their sexuality was rarely the joke, thought I didn’t realize this until I was well into adulthood.

          Roseanne was clearly struggling with mental health issues and has been for some time, but that is a woman who always seemed to have the working class at the heart of her work. It never scanned to me that the woman who addressed race and economics so adroitly on her show would really be the racist deplorable that she was painted to be. She was, unapologetically, a strong, though unbalanced and undisciplined voice of the working class, and while I often found her to be shocking, I was always grateful that she never forgot her roots and would always continue to be a voice that understood the struggle the deplorables faced every day.

          TL;DR: Roseanne was defenstrated because she was undermining the Narrative that Trump voters were motivated by racism. Be in mind, the Roseanne reboot commercials came at a high price, so her termination cost the network a pretty penny. You’ll also note that the executive who fired Roseanne was quietly terminated shortly after she got rid of the Ambien Addled Golden Goose.

          Reply
      2. John

        Define huge deficit. Is one trillion plus not huge enough? As long as the USA can issue its own money it cannot run out. It can inflate it to worthlessness but not run out. We must all remember that Wall Street is its own self-contained bubble.

        Reply
    1. Monty

      They probably heard Amy! at the NH debate saying one third of the D senators (probably understating it) are not on board with Bernie’s agenda… So even if Sanders wins, nothing will change.

      Reply
      1. John

        No matter who wins nothing is going to change without a national mobilization of will and effort on the scale of World War II

        Reply
        1. pretzelattack

          this is true. first there is the long slog through the primaries, then the general, then a long 4 year war in the first term with all the combined forces trying to torpedo a sanders administration. it’s not going to be easy, and there are risks in every step, but it beats the alternative of increasingly rapid social disintegration as the ptb try to hang on to the status quo.

          Reply
      2. ambrit

        Oh, things will change. The Left will have to learn the lessons of the Far Right’s decades long slog back to Oligarchic Predominance. Dirty tricks and ‘liquidation’ squads. The Class War has been a literal war for decades, only, the Left hasn’t wanted to admit it. Once Sanders is stabbed in the back again, and remember that Sanders is an FDR liberal, so, far from the “real” Left, to survive, the Left is going to have to fight, because their lives will be actually on the line, whether we fight or not. The unacknowledged Ur Policy of the Right has always been full on Social Darwinism. The Left and ‘less competitive’ elements of the population are expected to actually go off and die somewhere quietly.
        Dylan Thomas was right: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1mRec3VbH3w
        “Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”

        Reply
      3. Daryl

        No doubt Democratic congresscritters will find the spine they lacked for the last…40 odd years or so and start acting like an opposition party. But as Trump has demonstrated, there is a lot a motivated executive can do without their approval.

        Reply
    2. inode_buddha

      Were they worried about running out of money when they were on the receiving end of the bailouts ca. 2008-9?

      Are they worried about running out of money when Trump unilaterally raises the Pentagons budget by more than your entire state is worth?

      Reply
    3. Matthew

      If money is power, what is the lack of money? Keeping people poor keeps the boot on their necks, and that’s why none of the people who currently have all the money will ever give it up voluntarily, no matter how good it would seem to be for them. They already have more money than they could ever spend on anything, other than buying a small class of professionals to help them keep it.

      Reply
    4. Oh

      These selfish businesses don’t want to pay higher wages. They want a playing field tilted in their favor where they make more money by paying less.

      Reply
  21. Hoppy

    “the consolidated companies recruited these workers south of the border.”

    Maybe its the consolidated companies that are the problem?

    Reply
  22. D. Fuller

    Regarding “Educated Fools”. Back in the 1990’s, apprenticeships and such classifications were converted into college credits. A friend of mine, R.P. was a Journeyman Machinist Mate in The U.S. Navy when that happened. His rating was never converted to college credits. R.P. left the Navy and tried to find a job with his journeyman machinist cert… and couldn’t. The machine shops he went to told him that because his certification had not been translated into college credits? That they could only hire him to sweep shop floors for low wages.

    R.P. could machine bomb casings and fabricate critical parts for aircraft or the ship he was on. Yet could not find a job in the civilian economy in any machine shop.

    Who came up with that system that left R.P. unemployable in his own field that he enjoyed very much? Those same Educated Fools from Harvard and other Ivy League schools. Now? Education is at a premium in America.

    Reply
    1. JacobiteInTraining

      I had a friend who served in the Marines out of high school in the mid-80’s to the mid-90s and after his first stint as a grunt he managed to specialize in maint/repair of the Harrier jump jets. He had lots of cool stories, but despite the expectation that he would be able to get into some from of aircraft maint in civilian life he was never able to break in to the field. (he became an officer and then retired as a detective, small town oregon)

      I’ll have to ask him if something similar happened to him. His secondary choice of careers worked out fine…but I remember him doing the ‘starving student’ thing just out of the Marines as he went to a ton of places in Arizona, Puget Sound, and California, trying to break into airframe maint…of *any* kind. Whatever certs/experience/credits he had sure didn’t seem to have helped him in that regard.

      Reply
      1. D. Fuller

        We do get college credit for our classes taken in the military here in The US. I have seen the amount awarded change over time meaning they don’t even know what the military schooling is worth in equivalence to college courses. That amount has changed, in my experience, depending upon which college or university one is applying to.

        It is ridiculous. That no one even agrees upon what the college equivalence is for military schooling and (more difficult to quantify) real world experience. I knew people who, just by their experience alone, would blow away university professors in such areas as foreign relations. They wouldn’t survive a university course in a class on foreign relations, giving that they would be constantly blowing up their professor’s material. Instead, remain quiet. Get through the course. Get your grade. Write the papers that conform to the (oft times) irrelevant course material that the professor is teaching.

        The only way to then get the job after the degree? Conform.

        Reply
        1. RMO

          When I made an ill-judged attempt at a computer science degree (in which I mainly learned that I have no talent or affinity for writing code and hated doing it) I had one fellow student who was only there for the piece of paper that he would get upon graduating. His coding skills were such that he could do all the assignments pretty much in his sleep but he had run into a career dead end because any prospective employers wouldn’t hire anyone without a degree.

          I have my own story of trying to get into the aircraft maintenance field. I spent a great deal of time and money at one of the most highly regarded schools in Canada that have an AME (Aircraft Maintenance Engineer – roughly equivalent to an Airframe and Powerplant and Inspection Authorization ticket in the US) program, graduated with the highest marks in the class, perfect attendance and was the class representative as well. Once someone has graduated from the AME course they need to get hired as an apprentice and work for a couple of years logging their time before they can write a final exam (on the Canadian Aviation Regulations) at which point they get their AME license. It was the “getting hired as an apprentice” step that killed it for me… and all but one of my fellow classmates. Out of the entire class, only one person was able to find an apprentice job and get their license. This despite all we heard from the industry mouthpieces, the schools and the government about how there was a great and growing demand for people in the aviation maintenance field. I’ve found a similar situation with most trades. Lots of babbling on about how desperately various industries need people but then check for actual job openings for people who have spent their time and money on the training and now need the on the job experience to get their tickets and you often find little to nothing on offer.

          Reply
          1. inode_buddha

            You too? I have spent the last 35 years going through this in the US.

            Welding and fabrication, Millwright/pipefitting and rigging, machinist.

            There’s LOTS of demand for people who will work for minimum wage with no benefits.

            I have been in shops where I have heard senior management bragging to potential customers about the experience of their employees while I was training the guy they just dragged in off the street that day, and paying both of us less than $10/hr…. Shop rate was over $110/hr there. in 1996. With no long-term debt.

            They have no shame.

            Reply
            1. RMO

              In my case I was actually willing to work for minimum wages and no benefits (being in Canada means I wouldn’t have to worry about health care at least) and do anything just to get started – haul luggage, clean planes, clean toilets, mop floors anything There just weren’t any jobs out there at the apprentice level. At the time (just pre-GFC) there weren’t even many jobs advertised for people who were licensed and endorsed on specific airliners and who had years of work experience, but there were still government ads proclaiming a shortage of tradespeople and encouraging enrollment in schools and industry backed news articles about how big an opportunity there was in the aviation maintenance field.

              My next door neighbor (a fairly young guy, late 20s living with his parents) recently gave up on his pipefitting apprenticeship due to difficulty finding consistent work in the field making him despair of ever finishing the apprenticeship. Pay in his case was OK… when he could find work. He gave it up to work for the railroad. He had heard that Canadian Pacific needed workers and when he looked into it CP was putting it’s money where it’s mouth was by offering training at their facility including a stipend for living expenses. It’s hard work but he’s enjoying it so far. I use this as the acid test as to just how much demand there really is for skilled workers in certain areas: are the companies that say they need these workers willing to put their own money into training them? If not, any PR about how badly they need workers or how they are suffering from a shortage of skilled workers is almost certainly rubbish.

              Reply
              1. ambrit

                Here Down South, the trope, “lack of skilled workers” is code for, not willing to pay a living wage. Otherwise known as, we can hire illegals for cheap, and you have to beat their ‘offers,’ or starve. (You end up starving either way.)
                Time for the return of the original ‘Rednecks.’
                While looking for a reference to the Kentucky coal field “Rednecks,” I came across a scholarly article, on the JSTOR network. I have to be a member of an academic institution to gain access. Huh? JSTOR is a non-profit. A non-profit that uses a paywall! WTF???!!!
                Harlan County War: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harlan_County_War
                Those times are soon to be returning.
                What would a ‘Silicon Valley War’ look like? (Paging William Gibson! Please access the courtesy peripheral!)

                Reply
                1. inode_buddha

                  Wanted to say, not just down south, but also the entire rust belt. The most reliable jobs around here are either a convenience store clerk, or medical student.

                  Reply
      2. rowlf

        Something is missing. From the mid 90’s to Saudi Aviation Day the airlines and maintenance repair organizations were hiring anything with an FAA Airframe & Powerplant certificate that could pass the drug tests. The industry couldn’t cover the work in the US and lobbied to allow sending the work outside the US. At the same time the AMFA union negotiated a large wage increase due to the lack of available staffing in the US.

        Did your friend test for an FAA A&P certificate?

        Reply
  23. Craig H.

    > “AIPAC Must Stop Bernie Sanders – at All Costs” [Haaretz].

    “It’s in that context that the AIPAC Facebook ads that so offended Democrats must be seen. For centrist pro-Israel Democrats, the problem with Sanders is not just that he is the most critical toward Israel of all the Democrats. It’s that the left-wing activist base that is fueling his candidacy is also largely hostile toward the Jewish state. Sanders is backed by Representatives Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich), who are supporters of the BDS movement and are accused of using anti-Semitic language and tropes in their criticisms of Israel’s supporters. ”

    I don’t believe I am the only one who thinks this is the one only entire reason why all these opinion goofs have said all along a Sanders nomination is impossible.

    (Article is pay walled at my computer but google has it cached for now.)

    Reply
    1. Phacops

      Interesting how the Dem elites were in a moral panic about unproven Russian meddling but are OK with Israel meddling in our elections since 1949 when AIPAC was begun with MOSSAD encouragement.

      I, for one, would like to see all US support of Israel eliminated until the pilots and the officers involved in the attack on the USS Cole are executed and Israel’s nuclear stockpile is decomissioned.

      Reply
  24. Max

    I know Lambert likes hearing anecdotes from readers – I received my mail-in ballot for Santa Clara County, California about two days after it was mailed out. All the presidential candidates were listed clearly on the first page, Bernie at #2 (so not hidden away at the bottom or something). I recently changed my party affiliation from Green to Dem so I was expecting some shenanigans but so far, so good. IMO they make it pretty easy to vote here.

    I had a DMV appointment last week and the lady helping me was VERY friendly, talkative, and helpful. She saw my Bernie pin and went on a little rant against Trump. She told me that she likes Bernie but worries that he can’t win, thought Iowa was probably stolen from him, and would “vote for Satan himself if it meant getting Trump out of office.” All the >40 people I know seem to feel the same way, not particularly enthusiastic about any candidate and still making up their minds. Pretty much all of the <40 crowd I know are backing Sanders.

    Our mayor Sam Liccardo endorsed Bloomberg in December. He has previously received some Bloomberg "philanthropy" money for training and staff for cities to fight climate change.

    Reply
  25. GF

    “This is a high school nation. Even now, after all the years of pumping up college education as the only way to survive, there’s still close to 70 percent of U.S. adults from age 25 and older—yes, living right now—who are without four-year college degrees.”

    This is by design and has been part of the long game leading up to the border wall fiasco. Now, with no labor for the slaughter houses or to pick the tomatoes, these high schoolers can be “utilized” to their full potential. The gutting of safety nets by Trump is also part of the plan to get these people to work at slave labor type jobs.

    Reply
    1. jrs

      even if they all had degrees, the jobs would be the same type we have now, most of them not living wage. And if there were no border walls (which isn’t actually doing anything except psychological deterrence maybe) and more immigrants it would be better how? What is needed is unions and pro-worker policy plus perhaps reduced cost of living, because many of the jobs will never be fancy but all workers deserve a living wage.

      Reply
  26. rd

    ACP backing single-payer.

    The high deductible plans under the ACA have changed the playing field for providers that are early in the treatment process. They fall in the high deductible zone and have to collect from the patient. This often means one of two things: either the patient doesn’t want the care because of the money; or the patient can’t pay for the care because it is under the deductible amount and they are out of money. This causes major financial problems for providers that are first in line, such as primary care physicians and rural hospitals: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/health/2020/01/10/rural-hospitals-high-deductibles-give-financial-hit-communities/4422129002/

    If it is a bad case and the patients are transferred, then a bunch of the deductible has been used up and the next stage involving major hospitals and specialists are under the umbrella of the insurance payments at that point. Then the “out-of-network” doctor shows up…..

    Reply
  27. Knot Galt

    “For Kid’s Coughs, Swap The Over-The-Counter Syrups For Honey”

    Honey causes the candida in the gut to flare up. A good replacement is Dark Maple Syrup. It works wonders!

    Reply
  28. JohnnyGL

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sNwYdJj0LNU

    I post Yvette Carnell links on here from time to time because I think there’s a clarity to how she sees the construction of race in America.

    What you can see here is that brains in the media are broken when it comes to issues like social class within the context of race.

    I’ve watched Yvette for years and she starts from the premise that the American idea that anyone from any background can make it anywhere in any field through sheer force of will and meritocracy is complete garbage. America tells itself a pack of lies. Most academic studies show that your parents’ income and wealth levels are a very strong predictor of your own future success level.

    When we apply that social class background to black america, it means the overwhelming majority of black americans come from a working class background with lower levels of income and wealth.

    Today’s media-driven narrative of identity politics tries to flatten the context of a person who comes from a Nigerian doctor father with a working class black american (who may have not had a father) and say, ‘they’re all black and have a shared experience’ and ‘white america looks at both of us and sees two black people’.

    Yvette’s point is to assert that’s a very superficial take and misses the point. This should be screamingly obvious, but, again, media brains are broken.

    I think the biggest mistake she makes in the short interview was to get trapped into talking about DNA stuff. That’s a distraction and she should have shut it down.

    Reply
    1. Dan

      Being that Arabs are Semites, the common usage of the term “anti-Semitic” is inherently hateful and ought to be abandoned on that fact alone, aside from the obvious point that it makes no sense to begin with.

      Reply
      1. Massinissa

        Its also gotten to the point where it has gone from being applied to people who hate jews, to people that jews hate, such as Jeremy Corbyn and to some extent even Bernie Sanders, who is himself Jewish.

        And yes, even before that, the term makes little sense when one knows what the word ‘Semitic’ actually means.

        Reply
      2. Basil Pesto

        “Semite” is obsolete as a racial term (though not as a linguistic one) – the etymology and the word’s conceptual history make it pretty clear that as a descriptive word it was predominantly dealing with anti-jewish sentiment of the time, and the word has stuck (though I note the wiki entry has an interesting section in the debate about whether the correct form is “antisemitism” or “anti-Semitism”). To say that the common usage of the word today is inherently hateful is a long bow to draw, to say the least. The idea that the word makes no sense to begin with is, likewise, a pretty feeble prescriptivist/literalist argument.

        Reply
  29. petal

    Just got home. The lady collecting ballots said it’s been steady all day, not more than normal, but steady. The elderly lady checking my photo ID(license) had some issues(“You’re not on the roll. This isn’t your town.”) but I got her straightened out(she was spelling my last name wrong instead of reading it directly off my license, and had not looked at the back of my license for my physical address). No biggie. We got it sorted in good humour. I do appreciate them giving their time like this. There was no line when I arrived, but people(the after work crowd) were starting to show up as I was leaving.

    Reply
    1. petal

      Oh, and the LMIAL house has a new addition: “KLOBUCHARGE!” in the same vein as the “KLOMENTUM!” sign from this morning.
      These people are killing me. Can’t wait to see what’s there tomorrow.

      Reply
      1. John Anthony La Pietra

        For some reason, I find myself wondering if the Trump riposte will be to try to earworm us all with:

        “Klo-bu-CHARK, doo-doo-d’doo-d’doo,
        Klo-bu-CHARK, doo-doo-d’doo-d’doo,
        Klo-bu-CHARK, doo-doo-d’doo-d’doo,
        Klo-bu-CHARK. . . .”

        Reply
      2. pretzelattack

        if there isn’t a giant stay puft klobuchar they don’t really mean it. maybe there is an inefficient supply chain for those, though.

        Reply
  30. RubyDog

    American College of Physicians endorses Medicare for All.

    One of the keys here is that this is a primary care group, representing “cognitive” (ie listening and talking to patients) rather than “procedural” specialists. This is an important dividing line in US medicine. Primary care docs tend to have ongoing relationships with their patients over time, and see and hear first hand the issues faced by patients in the current dysfunctional and broken system, hence more awareness of the need for fundamental change. Proceduralists by and large are among those profiting from the status quo, thus less likely to favor anything that would lower their high incomes. The other article about out of network billing by a doctor you never met illustrates this nicely.

    There is a shortage of primary care physicians in this country, which will become an even bigger problem if Medicare for All comes to fruition. There are plenty of reasons – high medical school debt coupled with lower incomes and higher stress are at the top. There have been studies that suggest the optimal ratio of primary and specialty care physicians is around 50/50, which is where you get the best overall patient outcomes at a lower cost. More specialists seem to lead to more hospitalizations, more procedures and higher costs, and worse patient outcomes. Reform of medical education and physician reimbursement disparities will be needed if Medicare for All is to work as hoped for.

    The following is an older article but still pertinent, if anything the problems are worse now.

    https://www.kmuw.org/post/why-there-imbalance-between-primary-care-doctors-and-specialists

    Reply
  31. The Rev Kev

    “This 7,000-year-old well is the oldest wooden structure ever discovered, archaeologists say”

    Fascinating that. I went looking for an article that actually showed what it looked like and here is one such article talking about this find in the Czech Republic-

    https://9jaflaver.com/7000-year-old-well-in-eastern-europe-oldest-wooden-structure-ever-discovered/

    The thing looks like a wreck but it is amazing that it survived at all. But then I found that others of this type had been discovered in Germany and that have been better preserved which gives a better idea of how they looked when in use-

    https://www.upi.com/Science_News/2012/12/24/Oldest-timber-constructions-unearthed/90681356382919/

    Reply
  32. Titus

    Lambert – the ” Every pandemic has a golden lining! Go long social distance”, is too much. I would guess your a fan of “Spring Time for Hitler” (I am) but Mel give it a few years. No pandemic has a good side, unless you yourself have shorted stocks and/or commodities, or are in academic medicine. Can the dead be at least be “buried”? And grow cold. Otherwise, excellent job. *I love Lambert I just think a bad slip of a phrase. It happens.

    Reply
  33. grayslady

    Regarding locusts: Locusts need damp soil for egg laying, so the key to controlling locusts is to destroy the eggs. In the 1870s, the Rocky Mountain Locust was a major pest in Colorado and several of the plains states. Part of its demise was due to development of cattle ranching. The ranchers allowed the cattle to drink freely from streams, and the cattle basically trampled all the locust eggs that had been laid by the streams. Plowing of damp land by farmers who had moved west due to enticements of the Homestead Act were another factor in the eventual disappearance of the locusts. So there are some pretty basic, low cost methods for eliminating locusts over time.

    Reply
  34. Kurt Sperry

    Vido leak: Mike Bloomberg- “I think we disproportionately stop whites too much and minorities too little.”

    https://www.newsweek.com/bloombergisracist-trends-second-resurfaced-clip-shows-dem-candidate-saying-we-disproportionately-1486722

    Even if this is what he believes*, saying it in front of a camera shows incredibly bad political instincts for a guy running for Pres as a D who will need millions of black votes to win.

    *which would be even worse

    Reply
  35. Chris

    CNN is reporting that Andrew Yang is suspending his campaign. He cited the lack of clarity in Iowa as one of the reasons leading to the decision because his campaign invested a lot of time and energy there and did not get any benefit for that. Kind of a shame because he had new ideas and was not an awful neoliberal. He was also a special needs parent and having someone like that in the White House or even more in the media spotlight would have been good.

    I guess Biden and Bloomberg and Buttigieg are doing their job. Once Tulsi drops out and Bernie is sandbagged it will be mission accomplished :/

    Reply
    1. John k

      Not biden, he looks not getting any delegates in NH. Nor will warren… and next two primaries won’t do her any good, either.
      IMO Bloomberg won’t get any in the first four primaries.
      So it’s up to Pete to carry the neolib banner… and he likely won’t do that well in states with large minorities.

      Reply
    2. blowncue

      Even where I disagreed with some of his policy prescriptives, I still pound the table for having raised to awareness the problems he invoked – particularly the impact of automation upon the workforce. The debates I’ve witnessed and participated in – UBI included – catalyzed by Yang I believe are sorely needed.

      I’d give anything to teach a course incorporating works such as Asimov’s I, Robot, Heinlein’s Friday, history of the adoption of inventions upon manufacturing, then give a final assignment: I want to manufacture a compact short chassis hydraulic floor jack with a $125.00 selling price that is equal in quality and longevity of the Walker jacks of the 1950s. And I want to do it in the USA. Can I do it? Why or why not? If I can, how do I get there? (Hint: look at Norco and Arcan as your competitors on quality, and Harbor Freight on price). How much robotics could and should play a role? Do you think we will see the day when deliberate sabotage of robots will occur? What does history say about the chances of success of such actions?

      Reply
      1. HotFlashfor

        My dear Ms Petal,
        Thank you for your tireless and charming observation of the LMIAL house and all your on-the-ground reports from NH. One question, I forgot what LMIAL stands for; what does it?

        Reply
        1. pretzelattack

          since she may have gone to sleep, it is a reference to an old phil ochs song about the hypocrisy and cluelessness of liberals–love me i’m a liberal.

          Reply
    1. Samuel Conner

      It has a bit of the “feel” of the 2012 R primary, with a different “anyone but Romney” getting a month-long pop in polls, one after another. Romney cruised along with about 25% preference and of course won the nomination.

      I like the thought that this is a happy precedent for the present situation, but of course the 2012 R primary had winner-take-all states, and the 2020 D primary does not.

      Reply
      1. Shonde

        I did not know until today that Ron Paul actually won the Iowa 2012 primary but that fact was not reported until June. By that time, Paul had dropped out and endorsed Romney according to an old Business Insider article. Romney was originally called as the winner.

        https://www.businessinsider.com/ron-paul-wins-iowa-caucuses-2012-6?op=1

        The Paul people got the Republican chair to resign and took over the Iowa party. So it isn’t just the DNC that rigs? Paul is a non-interventionist so that policy alone must be considered a kiss of death by both parties or maybe it’s his FED policy.

        Reply
        1. cm

          I supported Paul in 2012, and vividly remember the Iowa coverage. So, when Bernie experienced the same dirty tricks in 2016 I was not at all surprised.

          I hope Iowa Caucus gets rescheduled to happen after Hawaii. Those Iowa grifters need to be punished.

          Reply
    1. Samuel Conner

      At 9:20, msnbc.com has already “awarded: Klobuchar 5 delegates from MH, and has PB in the lead in terms of total delegates awarded from IA and NH.

      They haven’t “called” the race yet.

      Me thinks that had the situation been reversed, with PB 4.5% ahead with nearly half the vote counted, they would not have been so circumspect.

      Reply
    1. jrs

      Warren might well endorse Klobuchar as she keeps talking Klobi up. What a disappointment that would be, worse than no endorsement.

      I’m not sure at this point what exactly Warren believes, I’m really not. Yea sure Trump makes anyone look good even Klobi, but still what does Warren actually believe? I get more and more confused about it. Was she promised Klobi’s VP?

      Reply
      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        I think Warren believed she would be President through holding enough of the left, combined with her own backers, and appealing to faux feminists when Biden imploded.

        She has demonstrated she will hold onto wretched ideas.

        Reply
      2. cm

        what does Warren actually believe?

        Whatever she thinks will best serve her interests at the moment.

        NPR really seems to be pushing Klob tonight, as well as the idea that the “moderates” are too crowded and someone needs to drop out. I think NPR no longer loves Warren (as a foil to Sanders) nor Biden (as the obvious moderate choice).

        Reply
  36. HotFlash

    Per AP 52.49 % Precincts Reporting | 45% expected vote Feb. 11, 2020 9:49 pm EST:

    Sanders, Bernie 33,616 27.2%
    Buttigieg, Pete 28,881 23.37%
    Klobuchar, Amy 24,202 19.58%
    Warren, Elizabeth 11,727 9.49%
    Biden, Joe 10,39 8.41%
    Steyer, Tom 4,333 3.51%
    Gabbard, Tulsi 3,919 3.17%
    Yang, Andrew 3,993 2.88%

    As reported above, Andrew dropping out.

    Reply
      1. HotFlash

        Yeah, thank you,jrs, I will add that to the channels I am watching. Politico is faster, too. The Hill is getting their numbers from AP, perhaps that is why the lag. But I like the percent of precincts and percent of expected vote.

        Reply
      2. John Anthony La Pietra

        Looks like Vox (and/or its number source) is now calling the race for Sanders — presuming that’s still what a check mark means these days. . . .

        Reply
    1. ObjectiveFunction

      Trying not to get sucked into the horse race here, but I’m worried.

      Per the above: Bernie + Yang + Tulsi + Steyer = about 1/3 of a highly engaged (white) NH voter base. And this is about as Bernie friendly a place as you’ll find outside VT. The progressive group really needed to break 40% here, high 30s even, to send a message and push the others left.

      Otherwise, what it it means is 2 of 3 voting Democrats still back the neolib circular firing squad, which is very clearly for the status quo (less Trump) and sees no need to rock the boat.

      Sad to say, I doubt Bernie is still a second choice for this 2/3 (prove me wrong!); they’ll shuffle from clown to ABB clown as that field shrinks, and then service the Bloomborg.

      Will nonwhite voters in less white states push Bernie over 40%? I hope so, but…. worried.

      Liz threw progressive under the bus months ago to woo the Shrillaries. Bernie’s already taken the votes he’s going to take from her.

      Reply
      1. ObjectiveFunction

        [EDIT] Ha, I can’t add… the progressive line adds up to almost 37%. Well, really hope they can break 40! That sends a message.

        Reply
      2. jrs

        Yea sure it’s horse race, keep the faith. I think there may be more Sanders friendly states, CA according to polling, WA maybe.

        But it’s not necessarily Dem voters, New Hampshire is a true open primary I believe. Now I don’t know if this is good or bad if it turns out Republicans and independents are voting for Buttigieg now but … we don’t have any breakdowns by actual party membership is all.

        It’s frankly hard to run on a progressive message in a time of relative high employment, now I know this has problems (jobs aren’t living wage for one) but still .. This prosperity such as there is is FAKE as can be, but people don’t know that and they can prop it up some more probably. Still many want change.

        Reply
        1. pretzelattack

          i don’t know what is currently causing this, but gas prices have dropped quite a bit locally to under $2 a gallon, making life a bit easier, and no doubt contributing a bit to trump’s support if it continues.

          Reply
      3. hoki haya

        IMO, there’s ample cause for concern. NH should have been nowhere near this tight. Nevada, Super Tuesday, ring plenty of prospective alarms. Who knows, they may even make Buttigieg viable in the south, despite his sheer plasticity and racism. Klobuchar too could continue to be rebranded. Bloomberg another wildcard. Sanders should be, I believe deserves to be, in a far better position than he’s in at present. Underhanded party tactics and a curious electorate, hmph.

        Reply
  37. smoker

    Re: “Who’s in charge at Amazon? Moves on secretive S Team signal tech giant’s priorities” [Seattle Times].

    I wish the author had included (was given the time to/allowed to? if I’m aware of it, a paid journalist should certainly be able to find the data) some of the geographical hot spot physical locations where those Amazon S team™ members have been reigning – so everyone knows where to bring the pitchforks after Bezos does even further damage in his sociopathic and insatiable need to own, surveil, and control everything that human beings need to survive.

    One huge one is, David Limp (mentioned in the Seattle Times piece) connected, Lab126 (it’s Wiki Page™ seems woefully incomplete, if not seriously disingenuous, as (for just onet hing) it notes Alexa as a product in the upper right corner, though not in the main text), in District 17, of Silicon Valley/Santa Clara County.

    I hope I live to see the day that utter scumbag, Jeff Bezos, is knee capped (preferably confined to a very small space, perhaps 450 square feet at a maximum, with a permanent ankle bracelet) back to the world that billions are now suffering in – very much due to the likes of him, and his ilk.

    Reply
    1. curious euro

      You can argue that Bezos is more successful than most other Silicon Valley guys, but in psychopathy he is probably one of many, merely a blip in a sea of blips.
      The whole culture of silicon valley is psychopathic. Google and Facebook are certainly not better than Amazon.
      And for personalities, Thiel, Zuckerberg, Musk, etc.

      Reply
    1. Samuel Conner

      Perhaps they are people who got the message that the corporations are trying to communicate, pressing into the schools as they are: “democratic socialism bad”

      Reply
    2. Matthew

      The craven toadies have found their man, I guess. I’m looking for an explanation of the New Hampshire results that doesn’t involve me writing off the Democratic electorate wholesale, but prospects aren’t looking great.

      Reply
  38. richard

    Can someone please tell me, and i’m not trying to be wise here, i’m really asking, why is it that when the corporate media decide we’re not going to exit poll anymore, or provide any independent check on results, then that’s just sort of it and the conversation stops there.
    Isn’t this something that more vibrant democracies do as a matter of course as a check against fraud? How is this not a WAY huger deal that we lost exit polls? And how do we get them back?
    I’ll take my answer off the air:/

    Reply
  39. john k

    Bernie nursing a 4,000 lead, 86% reporting. He will win, but Buttigieg and Klobuchar did extremely well as Biden and Warren crashed.
    And now large amount of bucks attacking Bernie in NV, no doubt SC too.
    Still hopeful he can win the first four and have big mo going into Super Tue, but opponents fighting hard.

    Reply
  40. Aumua

    Sanders wins NH! Albeit by a rather disturbingly narrow margin. Surprisingly though, many mainstream media outlets seem to be getting behind a bold declaration of his victory. A well needed momentum boost for Sanders looks to be in the cards.

    In other news: Biden lol, Warren lol.

    Reply
    1. Samuel Conner

      Not sorry to see Warren whiff, but was kind of hoping that Biden would do a better job of splitting the “anyone but Sanders” vote. Perhaps that has already played itself out.

      Reply
      1. meeps

        > Not sure what’s next with Buttigieg’s sketchy rise in the polls and “victory” in Iowa, but I am enjoying Biden and Warren falling over at the starting line.

        My impression is that much of the potential Biden and Warren vote is shifting to the other moderate republicans in the race, Buttigieg and Klobuchar. I’m curious how much of the remaining support for Biden and Warren (last I checked it was 8% and 9% of the NH vote, respectively) might have transferred to Sanders absent the two of them. If not much, the maths could have been uncomfortable for Sanders.

        But Sanders did win so I’ll join you in gloating.

        Reply
      2. Grant

        Well, Iowa was obviously a disaster and rigged to hell. It gave Buttigieg a huge bounce, and the media went along with it. No other candidate would have faced what Bernie faced between Iowa and today and won. No way. Let’s switch it, and pretend for a second that Bernie got the propaganda and institutional support Buttigieg got in Iowa and thereafter. His campaign paid for that app and had a buddy of theirs with connections to the DNC test it, the DNC and the IDP did what it did for Bernie and at the expense of Buttigieg, and Bernie was treated as Buttigieg was treated by the media. Is the result today the same? Would Buttigieg have done as well? Of course not, none of the other candidates would have held on.

        However, I feel exhausted and it has been two primaries. The DNC and the state parties have a ton they are going to throw at Bernie, the media too. Bloomberg has all that cash. What I would remind people of is how hard it was in the past to get victories for working people, civil rights and the like. Look at what the left faces in other countries. It is never easy. It was never going to be Bernie just walking away with it. It isn’t perfect, but he has won more votes in both states, and I don’t entirely trust all the votes, certainly in Iowa. Better that is the case than not. All I can say is that people better show up. Bernie can win, but people have to show up and vote, and contribute in any way they can. The DNC is going to have be confronted as well eventually.

        Reply
  41. Expat2uruguay

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-health/who-brands-coronavirus-public-enemy-number-one-idUSKBN20504Y

    “The world must “wake up and consider this enemy virus as public enemy number one,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters, adding the first vaccine was 18 months away.”
    And…Tedros continued, “To be honest a virus is more powerful in creating political, social and economic upheaval than any terrorist attack,” he said. “It’s the worst enemy you can imagine”

    I gotta think there’s going to be a sell-off in the stock market…

    Reply
    1. fajensen

      I gotta think there’s going to be a sell-off in the stock market…

      Nah – because there is no-one left to sell to.

      Normally, this part in the cycle, “they” would sell to ‘orphans and widowers’, then to the rubes and suckers, but, this time round, the 0.1%’s have all of the stocks, all of the income and all of the solid credit lines. The coffers of ‘orphans and widowers’ have been looted for about two decades and all of the rubes & suckers are maxed out with credit cards, financing on their F-150’s and ‘health care’!

      This time “they” have to dump via the derivative markets, somehow, probably the infamously unregulated markets under ISDA. I think that is why ‘The Market’s’ are going UP no matter what happens, but I don’t understand what the machinery used for dumping ‘their’ holdings could be.

      Reply
  42. vickie stewart

    The Democratically controlled U.S. house of representatives removed the ban on surprise hospital billing from the budget bill. Based on that alone, I will never trust Democrats again.

    Reply

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