2:00PM Water Cooler 2/20/2020

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

Key dates coming fast now, so I added some counters:

Here is a second counter for the Nevada Caucus, which is obviously just around the corner:

And for South Carolina, coming soon:

And for Super Tuesday:

Super Tuesday states: AL, AK, CA, CO, ME, MA, MN, NC, OK, TN, TX, UT, VT, and VA.

* * *

2020

For readers who want to play around with the charts, here is a link to alert reader dk’s project. You can also file bug reports or feature requests using the same contact process as for Plants, below. Thanks — but no promises!

Today we have two new state polls from SC and FL. As of 2/20/2020, 12:00 PM EST (three-day average):

From SC:

SC numbers:

Biden still hanging on!

FL:

FL numbers:

For those who’ve counted Bloomberg out after his poor debate performance, look at his Florida numbers. Sanders doing surprisingly well everywhere, though we don’t know how soft his support is. (My uninformed guess is less soft than average, because the media vilifies him; it takes a bit of courage to go against that tide.)

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.

* * *

Bloomberg (D)(1): “Bloomberg Wants to Swallow the Democrats and Spit Out the Sandernistas” [Black Agenda Report]. “Bloomberg has already laid the groundwork to directly seize the party machinery, the old fashioned way: by buying it and stacking it with his own, paid operatives, with a war-against-the-left budget far bigger than the existing Democratic operation. Bloomberg’s participation in Wednesday’s debate, against all the rules, is proof-of-purchase. In addition to the nearly million dollar down payment to the party in November that sealed the deal for the debate rules change, Bloomberg has already pledged to pay the full salaries of 500 political staffers for the Democratic National Committee all the way through the November election, no matter who wins the nomination. Essentially, Bloomberg will be running the election for the corporate wing of the party, even if Sanders is the nominee. In an interview with PBS’s Christiane Amanpour on Tuesday night, senior Bloomberg advisor Timothy O’Brien made it clear that the DNC is in no condition to refuse being devoured by Bloomberg, even if they wanted to. O’brien predicted the Republicans will spend at least $900 million on the election, while the DNC has only about $8 million on hand. Even the oligarch’s underlings are telegraphing the takeover game plan… Such a party cannot possibly accommodate both sides, and is ultimately destined to split.” • Yikes.

Bloomberg (D)(2: Hmm:

Can’t Bloomberg afford to write his own app?

Bloomberg (D)(3):

Sanders (D)(1): “Major Latino group backs Sanders on eve of Nevada caucus” [Politico]. “Mijente, a grass-roots organization that mobilizes Latinx and Chicanx voters, decided to make its first-ever presidential endorsement in response to President Donald Trump’s rhetoric and policies targeting Latinos. The endorsement adds to the growing collection of progressive groups coalescing around the Vermont senator. The organization will use its reach on social media, its roughly 1,000 dues-paying members and more than 300,000-person email list to mobilize Latinos to vote and hit the pavement for Sanders in Nevada and other states.”

Warren (D)(1): “Elizabeth Warren just tore apart a billionaire. Why not Trump?” [Greg Sargent, WaPo]. “Is the problem festering at the core of our current crisis largely reducible to President Trump alone? Or is he mainly a symptom of much deeper pathologies afflicting our politics and economy?… Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s breakout debate performance in Las Vegas on Wednesday night is drawing wide acclaim for her brutal dismantling of Mike Bloomberg, who appeared shaky and unprepared. By repeatedly savaging one ‘arrogant billionaire,’ as Warren put it, she induced many to envision her woman-handling the other ‘arrogant billionaire,’ the one tweeting maniacally from the White House. But there’s a hidden reason Warren’s performance deserves attention. In her treatment of both arrogant billionaires, you could discern how she’d strike her own version of the balancing act outlined above, by attacking Trump as both symptom and exacerbation, as both the result of deeply ingrained problems in our political economy and a figure of unique depravity and venality in his own right.” • I’m not sure where Warren cashes in. SC? NV? CA? Where?

Warren (D)(2): “Black activist group gives its first presidential endorsement to Elizabeth Warren” [Axios]. “Black to the Future Action Fund, a think tank and political organizing group, was formed by Black Lives Matter co-founder Alicia Garza. This is their first endorsement of a presidential candidate, though they’ve endorsed down-ballot Democrats like Stacey Abrams and Lucy McBath. Garza told Axios that the group likes Warren’s “analysis of how power operates in this country” and have decided that she is the best vehicle to help shift power in the direction of our communities.”

* * *

NV:

“Democrats won’t commit to same-day release of Nevada results” [Associated Press]. “Democrats won’t commit to releasing the unofficial results of Saturday’s Nevada caucuses on the day of the vote, as they emphasize accuracy over speed in the aftermath of the chaos surrounding the Iowa caucuses. Tom Perez, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, told The Associated Press that several factors, including early voting and potentially high turnout, could affect the tabulation and timing of results. In addition, Nevada, like Iowa, will be reporting three sets of data from the multistage caucus process. Perez said he doesn’t know when results will be released. “We’re going to do our best to release results as soon as possible, but our North Star, again, is accuracy,” he said late Tuesday after touring an early voting site in Las Vegas.” • Home cooking?

The Debates

Accurate:

UPDATE “Winners and losers from the Democratic debate in Las Vegas” [The Hill]. “Love him or hate him, there is no reason to assume Sanders’s trajectory toward the nomination is about to shift anytime soon.”

UPDATE “Democrats forgot about unity for a night. Good.” [The Week]. “Democrats, being the party of the left, tend to prefer consensus-building.” • Oh.

UPDATE “Despite His Billions, Bloomberg Busts” [Frank Bruni, New York Times]. “Sanders was the big winner of the night, because he entered the debate as the front-runner but evaded the kind of harsh treatment that a front-runner usually gets. Bloomberg got it instead.”

UPDATE “Who won the Democratic debate in Las Vegas?” [NBC]. “The Democratic candidates formed a circular firing squad Wednesday night, with arrows flying in all directions and fights breaking out among a seemingly infinite permutation of candidates on matters from health care policy to lewd comments about women.” • Dude, it’s a primary. Candidates are meant to compete! “”It’s a little bit like a presidential version of ‘Survivor,'” former Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., said on MSNBC after the debate.” • Yes, that’s exactly what it is — with the exception of the showrunners rigging the voting, of course. Oh, wait…

UPDATE “Michael Bloomberg was mercilessly attacked in his first debate – and he flopped” [Nathan J. Robinson, Guardian]. “In terms of who the debate served best, Sanders was the clear winner. He went into it the frontrunner, and mostly just needed to avoid embarrassing himself. The debate went far better than he could even have hoped. His chief rival, Bloomberg, flopped completely. The other centrists spent time bickering with each other that could have been spent trying to undermine Sanders. Warren did the “dirty work” of eviscerating Bloomberg, allowing Sanders to make a more elevated pitch and somewhat rise above the fray. He was given plenty of time to talk, and while he stuck close to his usual talking points he had above-average energy and was clearly enjoying himself. He was effective in pointing out how Buttigieg dishonestly presents the costs of Medicare For All without mentioning the benefits, and easily parried Bloomberg’s absurd attempt to conflate Sanders’ democratic socialism with “communism”. Bloomberg was a perfect foil for Sanders; Sanders probably wishes Bloomberg had been there all along, a cartoon of an evil billionaire for Sanders to point to as an example of everything wrong with the country. Sanders went into the debate the frontrunner and he left the frontrunner. If Biden, Buttigieg, and Klobuchar were to stand any chance of overtaking Sanders, they needed to make him look foolish, and they didn’t. Instead, they looked petty, and he survived. Warren was in good form, but she’s simply not going to reclaim the lead over Sanders at this point. Bloomberg was the only serious threat, and he fizzled, showing that the “electability” case for his candidacy is laughable. It’s increasingly clear that Sanders has no serious opposition and Democrats are going to need to start reconciling themselves to the inevitability of his nomination.” • Oy, to me, this shades into triumphalism at the end. Bloomberg is leading in FL, and of the other Super Tuesday states, AL, AK, NC, OK, TN, TX, and VA are Southern or Border states. Granted, the South has a rich populist tradition, but we simply don’t know how Sanders’ message will play. It may be that the Sanders campaign is operating on the theory that a CA win would be a knockout punch. But will it?

UPDATE Oh, the humanity!

Funny, but see the first link. Bloomberg appears to have a two-track strategy: Buying the nomination (not going so well) and buying the Democrat apparatus (going swimmingly).

UPDATE Sanders on socialism:

Nice encapsulation, particularly the mention of Walmart (a significant portion of Sanders donors being Walmart workers, who know exactly what he’s talking about, and probably threw something at the screen when Bloomberg, in his closing statement, said being President meant being a good manager).

Impeachment

Still waiting for Pelosi’s strategic genius to manifest:

2019

“AOC Knows Exactly What the Problem Is With Billionaires Like Jeff Bezos” [Jacobin (NippersMom)]. “If Jeff Bezos ‘wants to be a good person,’ she said, he should ‘turn Amazon into a worker cooperative.’ She argued that our primary message to billionaires shouldn’t be that we want to redistribute their money. Instead, it should be that ‘we want their power.’ In making this distinction, Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez was giving voice to an idea with deep roots in socialist thought — that the unequal distribution of wealth is just a symptom of the deeper problem of the unequal distribution of economic power.”

Stats Watch

At reader request, I added some business stats back in. Please give Econintersect click-throughs; they’re a good, old-school blog. If anybody knows of other aggregators, please leave links in comments.

Employment Situation: “15 February 2020 Initial Unemployment Claims 4 Week Average Marginally Improves” [Econintersect]. “This marks 252 consecutive weeks of initial claims below 300,000, the longest streak since 1970. The general trend of the 4-week rolling average is a slowing rate of improvement year-over-year which history suggests a slowing economy.” • IIRC, this comment has persisted for some time, so “slowing.”

Leading Economic Index: “January 2020 Leading Economic Index Improved” [Econintersect]. “[T]he authors say it is “suggesting that the current economic expansion – at about 2 percent – will continue through early 2020.” Analyst Opinion:

“Because of the significant backward revisions, the current values of this index cannot be trusted. This index remains on the low side of values seen since the Great Recession.”

Manufacturing: “February 2020 Philly Fed Manufacturing Survey Again Significantly Improved” [Econintersect]. “Not only did the survey index significantly improve, but the key elements also significantly improved. Overall, this report was much better than last month’s report.”

Tech: “JPMorgan Hosts 200 Virtual Meetings in Two Days Amid Virus Scare” [Bloomberg]. “Global banks are coming up with alternatives to keep business moving in Greater China, with clients in the midst of the world’s largest work-from-home experiment to contain the spread of the deadly new coronavirus. After having to call off a conference in China’s technology hub of Shenzhen, U.S. bank JPMorgan Chase & Co. instead last week arranged more than 200 virtual meetings in two days. Senior executives at Chinese companies in industries including consumer, manufacturing and technology were connected with institutional investors through video and telephone conferencing.” • Go long social distance….

Honey for the Bears: “Unsold Class 8 truck inventories second highest since Great Recession” [Freight Waves]. “The ratio of retail sales of Class 8 trucks to inventories in January ranked second-highest in industry history, trailing only the worst month of the Great Recession a decade ago… Overall sales of Class 8 trucks are expected to be down 33-34% this year compared with 2019, one of the best on record.”

* * *

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 55 Neutral (previous close: 51 Neutral) [CNN]. One week ago: 60 (Greed). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Feb 19 at 12:59pm.

The Biosphere

“Police investigate after truck drives through protester blockade in Canada” [Freight Waves]. “The Royal Canadian Mounted Police is investigating after a semi-truck drove through a temporary roadblock in Manitoba and possibly struck a demonstrator as tensions and supply chain disruptions intensified in Canada from protests over a proposed gas pipeline. Investigators are reviewing footage captured Monday by Global News, which appears to show a semi-truck attempting to drive around the blockade before protesters got in front of it. One protester reported that the truck struck him and caused minor injuries. Police officers monitoring the blockade quickly stopped the truck, RCMP Manitoba spokesperson Robert Cyrenne told FreightWaves. The unidentified driver cooperated with officers, who released him pending further investigation, Cyrenne said.”

“Something Stinks in the Panhandle” [The Texas Observer]. “In the Texas Panhandle, which produces a fifth of the U.S. beef supply, communities are being choked by fecal dust from nearby feedlots. The state’s regulatory agency isn’t doing anything about it—and it’s about to get a whole lot worse.” Welcome to the third world! More: “A Hereford resident who asked to remain anonymous says that fecal dust would collect on the roof of his former home. After infrequent rains, the dust washed into his gutters and rehydrated into a gloop of manure, breeding maggots. Fed up with the situation, he mailed a letter in the mid-2000s to then-Agriculture Commissioner Susan Combs. He included in the envelope a sample from his gutters. Combs’ office sent a response, but instead of pledging to use her regulatory agency to look into the problem, she said she’d ask the industry to look into the issue itself. Nothing ever happened, he says.”

“A stench in the nostrils of God” [The Outline]. “The smell of hog farms and pork production plants and all of the problems that come with them — including potential health issues versus the economic boost the industry brings to the region — is a common dilemma in the small towns and rural areas in eastern North Carolina. And in the last few years, more and more of the farms’ immediate neighbors have started fighting back against the literal shit spray they have to live with…. In North Carolina, Smithfield owns or operates more than 200 hog farms, in addition to contract farms and six feed mills. Roughly 5,000 people work at the Tar Heel plant alone, and the facility “processes” more than 10 million hogs a year. Smithfield Foods, which is based in Virginia, is the world’s largest pork producer; in 2013, it was purchased by Chinese conglomerate WH Group for nearly $5 billion.” • Seems like we’re importing China’s public health system.

“Meat company faces heat over ‘cattle laundering’ in Amazon supply chain” [Guardian]. “[Brazil’s JBS, the world’s largest meat company,” remains unable to monitor a significant proportion of its suppliers despite operating deep in the Amazon. It is a problem for the entire meat industry in Brazil, but other companies, such as Marfrig, have come clean about the scale of the issue, and are taking action to resolve it. Meanwhile, JBS has refused to answer direct questions about exactly how much of its beef comes from so-called ‘indirect suppliers’. Further criticism has been levelled at the audits done on the JBS supply chain, which state openly that there is ‘no verification system’ in place for indirect suppliers.”

“‘Radical Change’ Needed After Latest Neutron Star Collision” [Quanta]. “Last summer, the gravitational wave observatory known as LIGO caught its second-ever glimpse of two neutron stars merging. The collision of these incredibly dense objects — the hulking cores of long-ago supernova explosions — sent shudders through space-time powerful enough to be detected here on Earth. But unlike the first merger, which conformed to expectations, this latest event has forced astrophysicists to rethink some basic assumptions about what’s lurking out there in the universe…. Based on the recent observation, LIGO scientists estimate that these heavy pairings should be almost as common as the lighter binary star systems that astronomers have been studying for decades. Big neutron star pairs should be all over the universe, including our own Milky Way. Why, then, have they never been spotted before?”

Health Care

Nothing dystopian about this:

“Missouri lawmakers confirm up to 60,000 children wrongfully removed from Medicaid” [News Tribune]. “Missouri’s Republican leadership is coming around to verifying what Democrats have been saying for more than a year — the state wrongly kicked thousands of children who qualify for Medicaid out of the program…. [state Rep. Sarah Unsicker, D-Shrewsbury] added that a survey of health care providers found 87 percent of patients who lost coverage still qualified for coverage but lost it because of changes to the renewal process.” • Complexity lowers enrollment. Who knew?

“Election 2020: State Health Care Snapshots” [KFF]. “To understand the health care landscape in which the 2020 election policy debates will unfold, these state health care snapshots provide data across a variety of health policy subjects, including health care costs, health coverage—Medicaid, Medicare, private insurance—and the uninsured, women’s health, health status, and access to care. They also describe each state’s political environment.”

Five Years Later, HIV-Hit Town Rebounds. But The Nation Is Slow To Heed Lessons.

Class Warfare

I don’t have time to unpacl this, but this is an extremely important thread worth reading in full:

Note the critical role played by neoliberal professional economists in gaming the statistics.

“In New York City, Homeless Is Where The Heart Is” [The American Conservative]. “Some 3,000 human beings make their full-time home in the subway system. Their belongings crowd out morning commuters. In the winter many never emerge above ground. A visitor from outer space would be forgiven for thinking they weren’t even human, recognizable as just a head emerging from a urine-soaked bundle of clothing, not living really, just waiting. The ones who ride the trains hours a day are like one-celled amoebas that react to light by moving out of the way, in the specific case of a transit employee whose inquiry causes some physical shift but no sign of sentient action. Don’t be shocked—we here aren’t anymore —what did you think runaway economic inequality was gonna end up doing to us? But for most New Yorkers the issue isn’t confronting the reality of inequality, it is navigating the society it has created.”

News of the Wired

Welcome to the future:

* * *

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 (MD):

MD writes: “I’m no help on the name of your plant, but I have the same tree in my garden. A firm favourite of the local bees in Johannesburg, South Africa.” On the mystery plant of January 13, alert reader Bill wrote:

The flowering tree looks like a ceibo or erythrina crista-galli.

It is the national tree of Argentina, and its flower the national flower of Argentina and Uruguay.

It must be closely related to the “flame tree of thika” of Africa.

So, “a flame tree of thika.” Do readers agree?

* * *

Readers: Water Cooler is a standalone entity not covered by the annual NC fundraiser. So if you see a link you especially like, or an item you wouldn’t see anywhere else, please do not hesitate to express your appreciation in tangible form. Remember, a tip jar is for tipping! Regular positive feedback both makes me feel good and lets me know I’m on the right track with coverage. When I get no donations for five or ten days I get worried. More tangibly, a constant trickle of donations helps me with expenses, and I factor in that trickle when setting fundraising goals:




Here is the screen that will appear, which I have helpfully annotated.

If you hate PayPal, you can email me at lambert [UNDERSCORE] strether [DOT] corrente [AT] yahoo [DOT] com, and I will give you directions on how to send a check. Thank you!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
This entry was posted in Guest Post, Water Cooler on by .

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.

333 comments

  1. Wukchumni

    I guess the most interesting thing in regards to the SF pissoir saga, is just how difficult it must be for the homeless to use the shitters, leading to ad hoc deposits, elsewhere.

    Reply
      1. jefemt

        If you didn’t read this mornings long read on The police, , you gotta. Can’t recommend it enough. I think Tim Maughan needs to read it- we all need some humor!

        Reply
        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          I don’t get the reference, thanks.

          Come to think of it, there seem to be rather a lot of “ad hoc deposits” these days. One thinks of private equity. Or family orifices offices.

          Reply
      2. ewmayer

        “That’s a keeper” — No, a keeper is when you hold it in. :)

        Recalls a scene from a Beavis and Butt-Head episode, in which Beavis is imitating the mannerisms and speech of the late Andy Rooney of 60 Minutes fame: “Why do they call it ‘taking a dump’? I mean, you’re not really *taking* it anywhere, you’re *leaving* it…”

        Reply
        1. Calvin

          Confucius says;
          “Man who holds poo for days has backlog.”

          There used to be French style public restrooms on San Francisco streets. Quite lovely, subsidized by advertising on them and nearby round ad podiums. They were used for sexual encounters, shooting up drugs and camping, so they were removed.

          Major local scandal with the FBI investigating the head of public works demanding kickbacks for new ones.

          Reply
          1. Calvin

            You think the dog DNA is a sign of corruptio?
            F.B.I. indictment: U.S. Attorney David Anderson alleged “corruption is pouring into San Francisco from around the world.”

            The 75-page complaint, unsealed today, alleges “corruption, bribery, and side deals by one of San Francisco’s highest-ranking public employees. San Francisco has been betrayed as alleged in the complaint.”

            “Bathroom Trailer Scheme and Homeless Container Shelter Scheme: Nuru is charged with pushing contracts for bathroom trailers to Bovis, and, in essence, bid-rigging to assist Bovis on these bathroom and shelter projects. Bovis purportedly indicated to “business partners” that the competitive bidding process was “just a formality.”

            https://missionlocal.org/2020/01/mohammed-nuru-director-of-san-francisco-public-works-arrested-by-fbi/

            Reply
    1. clarky90

      Re the Diamond Princess; densely populated with the well off with time on their hands, now has 621 confirmed cases of SAR2. Viruses have no respect for wealth.

      TPTB jetset live in the most at-risk locations (SanFran, NYC, London…), and have the most dangerous lifestyles (nternational airtravel). This virus will infect private jets.

      Back in 1347 to 1351, the rich retreated to hide aways with NO ONE coming in or out.

      Of course, everything is actually different now.

      Reply
      1. clarky90

        The word “quarantine” means “forty days”. We have a quarantine island in the middle of the harbour that I live beside It is now a Christian Retreat Centre. There was a big hospital and living baracks and houses to receive everybody off the quarantined
        ship.

        The medical industrial complex have convinced us that we don’t need this archaic tech anymore. The Masters of Economic s…..

        Reply
      2. Lambert Strether Post author

        > This virus will infect private jets

        I think the danger is less, since private jet passengers don’t mingle with the hoi polloi in the airport terminals. One does, however, think of the runway staff, baggage handlers, and cleaners. And the pilots, of course.

        And the passengers themselves. An oligarch super-spreader for example. Reminds me of this passage from Greg Bear’s truly frightening Blood Music (1985):

        (I include “vat spill” for the vividness of the language, not to support #COVID-19 CT.)

        Reply
    2. Keith

      That is probably the point. People are all for allowing the homeless to use bathrooms in restaurants and coffee shops, unless it is one they frequent. Just NIMBY by technology.

      Reply
    3. clarky90

      Global Surgical Mask Shortage Spells Doom For U.S. Amid Coronavirus Pandemic — TAIWAN CUTS OFF EXPORTING MASKS, THAILAND LIMITS EXPORTS

      //www.thegatewaypundit.com/2020/02/global-surgical-mask-shortage-spells-doom-for-u-s-amid-coronavirus-pandemic/

      Also

      Re Case Fatality Rate.

      “Vital Surveillances: The Epidemiological Characteristics of an Outbreak of 2019 Novel Coronavirus Diseases (COVID-19) — China, 2020”

      http://weekly.chinacdc.cn/en/article/id/e53946e2-c6c4-41e9-9a9b-fea8db1a8f51

      as discussed by Dr John Campbell
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rn5rlBmcxpU

      Mild cases 80.9%
      Severe cases 13.8%
      Critical cases 4.7%

      Dr Cambell makes the point that people in the “severely ill” and “Critically ill” categories will struggle to survive if a hospital system (anywhere) is overwhelmed. FI, the CFR in Wuhan (the epicentre) is far higher than anywhere else, simply because their medical resources/infrastructure are overwhelmed. People who would ordinarily survive, IF best practice had been available, are dying.

      Reply
      1. Yves Smith

        Please don’t spread misinformation. Those masks are not useful for people trying to avoid getting sick. In fact, if anything, experts have said they make matters worse by producing a great environment for the virus (warm and moist). Those masks do not shield the nose and mouth effectively from viruses getting in and provide a false sense of security (as in encourage people to go out and about when they should stay in more).

        They might reduce the amount of disease propagation mildly by lowering how many and how far mucous droplets spread when an already infected person coughs or sneezes.

        The best protections are relentless hand hygiene, avoiding touching your face, and social distancing.

        Reply
        1. Wukchumni

          I agree with you, masks aren’t all that, but the one thing they excel at is spreading fear in a quite visible way.

          Asians have worn face masks in public for some time now-its a common thing, but not here among the American public.

          For what its worth, i’ve not seen one person wearing one in my travels since the news of Covis-19 broke.

          Reply
          1. False Solace

            Haven’t seen any masks, but I did see a grocery store clerk wearing disposable gloves yesterday as I went thru the checkout line. The clerk is 1st Gen Asian which maybe has something to do with it, but I’m familiar with him and haven’t seen him wear gloves before. I live in a midwestern state with no reports of the virus so far.

            Reply
            1. Anon

              For a clerk having contact with numerous people, disposable gloves is the equivalent of “repeated hand-washing”. The next step is to avoid touching your face (not easy).

              I saw an Asian student on campus today wearing a N-90 mask. I immediately left the building. Like many young students, she likely was seeking attention. She got mine. The next worse place for acquiring a communicable disease is a college campus.

              Reply
              1. Yves Smith

                Sorry, that is NOT what experts say. The CDC recommends them ONLY for potential risk cases (“household members, intimate partners, and caregivers in a nonhealthcare setting of A patient with symptomatic laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 infection
                or A patient under investigation”) and then only for short term use:

                …when you touch or have contact with the patient’s blood, stool, or body fluids, such as saliva, sputum, nasal mucus, vomit, urine…

                When removing personal protective equipment, first remove and dispose of gloves. Then, immediately clean your hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Next, remove and dispose of facemask, and immediately clean your hands again with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer

                https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/guidance-prevent-spread.html

                They recommend frequent hand washing. It is too easy to have the gloves become contaminated and then contaminate yourself with them. The point is your hands OR the gloves get dirty. The best remedy is cleaning your hands often. Or else you have to replace the gloves often and per the CDC, you are still supposed to wash your hands then.

                If you can’t leave your desk, I would recommend getting alcohol wipes (better than hand sanitizer) and use them often often OR see if you can find hand sanitizers of the grade used in operating theaters (harder to find but germ zappers last longer than for consumer grade hand sanitizers.

                See also this: “How to Avoid Coronavirus on Flights: Forget Masks, Says Top Airline Doctor”

                Q: Does wearing masks and gloves help prevent infections?

                A: First of all, masks. There’s very limited evidence of benefit, if any, in a casual situation. Masks are useful for those who are unwell to protect other people from them. But wearing a mask all the time will be ineffective. It will allow viruses to be transmitted around it, through it and worse still, if it becomes moist it will encourage the growth of viruses and bacteria. Gloves are probably even worse, because people put on gloves and then touch everything they would have touched with their hands. So it just becomes another way of transferring micro-organisms. And inside the gloves, your hands get hot and sweaty, which is a really good environment for microbes to grow.

                https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-02-06/want-to-avoid-virus-forget-face-masks-top-airline-doctor-says

                Reply
                1. Lambert Strether Post author

                  They recommend frequent hand washing. It is too easy to have the gloves become contaminated and then contaminate yourself with them. The point is your hands OR the gloves get dirty.

                  Yes. If you touch your face with your hand or your glove, the effect is the same. We, it seems, to look for technical solutions (masks, gloves) when it fact what is needed is discipline (don’t touch face; wash hands; move quickly away from symptomatic people).

                  Besides, alchohol, household bleach* is said to work as well. From the American Chemical Society, “Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)—Fighting Products, Clorox and Lysol are listed.

                  I believe that for handwashing, the rubbing action is important as well as the soap and water. That is why a quick spritz with the hand sanitizer is less effective. Twenty seconds at least, including wrists. I would argue that that same goes for wiping down a surface.

                  * Makes sense to me, since back in my days as an amateur winemaker, we sterilized with Clorox. granted, that was more for bacteria. But it seemed like nasty stuff…

                  Reply
                  1. HotFlash

                    Hospitals here in Toronto spray surfaces with a liquid known as Hygeol (sp?). It is 1 part chlorine bleach to ten parts water. Evaporates completely, so leaves no toxic residue. 10% is easier on ski .

                    Reply
          2. The Rev Kev

            I noticed that my doctor has taken to wearing a mask in his medical practice this week. I always thought of those masks mostly being useful in case people cough droplets in the direction of your face. Or if you have it already, stopping you cough over other people.

            Reply
          3. Lambert Strether Post author

            > I agree with you, masks aren’t all that,

            Then why post a link that argues that they are?

            (I think that wearing a mask may become a social necessity, as a way of signaling one takes the virus seriously, but they’re not medically necessary.)

            Reply
        2. clarky90

          My understanding of the efficacy of masks is they shield the uninfected from the droplets of the infected. That is why surgeon ALWAYS wear them, so as not to pass their own pathogens to their patients.

          Wearing a mask reminds us, (like a reminder written one’s hand) not to unconsciously touch our mucus membranes (eyes, mouth, nose) with our, possibly infected, hands.

          It is a criminal offense to go out without a facemask in Hubei Provence. There must be a reason.

          Reply
          1. Yves Smith

            How is that different than what I said? People are buying them for the wrong motives, to protect themselves from being infected by others, not on the premise that they might be infected.

            And epidemiologists have said masks increase your odds of infection if you are not infected. They do not shield you from disease (you need a hazmat equivalent suit to do that) and worse, create a favorable environment for pathogen growth.

            You are offering readers advice contrary to experts say. Stop immediately. This is agnotology, a violation of our written Policies. You are already in moderation for past violations. You cannot afford to accumulate more troll points.

            China has dreadful public health. We’ve described how medicine is not a respected profession in China, and to be a “doctor” you don’t even have to have two years of college! US nurses have to have more training than “doctors” in China.

            Reply
          2. Matthew

            Given the dreadful response to the virus so far, I don’t see any cause to assume there is a reason for what they’re doing now. Or rather, given the focus on optics over efficacy, one might imagine that the mask requirement is also primarily or wholly about optics.

            Reply
          1. Yves Smith

            Do you have a reading comprehension problem? Do you not understand “…they make matters worse by producing a great environment for the virus (warm and moist)”?

            Those surgical masks create a moist, damp area on your face around your nose and mouth. And these masks don’t create a seal from the broader environment. You could not breathe if they did. They fit only loosely over your mouth and nose.

            Reply
      2. D. Fuller

        Capitalism once again fails due to inefficiency in predicting future needs. As Capitalism always does. Want to complain that government doesn’t work in such situations? Sure, when government is run as a business, it is less effective.

        As for face masks?

        But infectious-disease experts say a face mask can offer only slight protection against airborne illness. A more effective defense against a virus is washing your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water after using the restroom and before eating.

        “The regular surgical masks that you might buy at the drug store probably are effective for half an hour, and after that, they become wet from your breath, then they’re much less effective,” said Dr. Stephen Blatt, medical director for infectious diseases at TriHealth. “The longer you wear them, the less effective they become.”

        Reply
  2. Off The Street

    Oren Cass brings up interesting observations. Looking at his tweets and at The Atlantic cover story made me think of that famous Minard chart about Napoleon’s little Moscow round trip.

    I’m concerned that our best and brightest healthcare grifters and Bezzlers have gotten us citizen soldiers in a futile death march

    Reply
    1. a different chris

      I wanted to hug the guy. And that given that he may nominally otherwise (I never heard of him before, so don’t know) as rightwing as most economist are. There were a few KoolAid drinkers in the thread, where it was clear what he was saying went completely over their little pointy heads.

      Reply
    2. Pelham

      Agreed. And, once again, this is another reminder for me of the USA Today story a few years ago that concluded a family of four would need annual income of $130,000 a year (and that may have been from a single earner) to live just a rock-bottom middle-class life. No doubt the figure is substantially higher today.

      BTW, Cass was on Tucker Carlson a few nights back making these points. I doubt he’s likely to make any appearance on the other cable news channels.

      Reply
      1. Anonylisa

        Here is my take. In Texas, we have about that much per year ($130k), and we are able to live a modest middle class life. One full time parent. One nice house with mortgage. Working on retirement savings. One decent vacation a year. 2 cars we paid off. Braces and after school activities for 2 kids. No savings for college (would kill all our vacation and entertainment funds). Cannot complain. Lifestyle about as nice as my grandparents. I am also very frugal, do all my own home cleaning, maintenance, yardwork, and repairs. We started adult life with no debt and no inheritance. We worked and saved for several years to afford down payment. When we made $80k, we still had the house and cars, but no vacations or extras. I hear from friends that you need a lot more in places with pricier housing. Our $250k got us in a great place here. It wouldn’t buy a shed near the coasts. I feel VERY lucky, and I know that most people don’t have what I do. I’d happily pay more taxes for M4A and cheaper college.

        Reply
      2. Lambert Strether Post author

        I think the key point is that the economist’s assumption — shout out to the PMC here — that we can substitute our way back to the costs of a decade or two ago is false. The substitution is not possible, because the goods are no longer made (as NC readers have often discussed in re: clothes and shoes, for example). So, if I understand the argument, their view that prices have not really increased because quality has improved is just false. If you could buy a car for $10K, and now cars are $20K, it doesn’t matter if you can’t afford the $20K car and the $10K car is no longer made, even if the extra $10 is genuinely added value (as opposed to rent-seeking etc).

        Reply
    3. Grachguy

      I agree that it was a thought provoking observation – although certainly not new to anyone outside the conservative internet bubble. Incidentally, it seems that Cass is no ally in this or other fights. According to Wikipedia, Cass believes that we should allow states to defund medicaid (presumably to give the money to the private sector) (source: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/445260/obamacare-has-not-saved-american-lives). He also apparently believes that climate change doesn’t represent a grave systemic threat and claims that the science doesn’t support this position (narrator, along with every climate scientist in the world: it does)

      Reply
      1. Swamp Yankee

        I went to college with Cass and worked closely with him for our school newspaper and other similar projects. Grachguy is right: Cass is no friend of ours, he is a doctrinaire right-winger who has opportunistically realized that his meal-ticket (big time Wing-nut Welfare d-bag) is no longer so tenable with the Kochs et al. and so has been trying to shade into some form of Sam’s Club Conservatism a la’ Douthat and Reihan Salaam. I knew Cass, and let me say I find it deeply unconvincing — though it is positive as a suggestion of where the Zeitgeist is today rather than mid-2000s.

        IIRC, Cass worked for Banksters immediately post-graduation. One of my most significant memories of Oren Cass was when we worked on a student political magazine together. I noted that he was reading Othello. “Oh, _Othello_!” I said. “I love the language in Othello.” I asked him how he liked it.

        He didn’t really care about it one way or another, he said, he was only taking the Shakespeare class (was a devotee even at a young age of the dismal science) so he could appear to know cultural references that would be of use to him in the future in elite circles, esp. in business. He could give a toss about old Bill of Stratford-upon-Avon.

        I was shocked at the cynicism.

        Even more shocked I was when this guy, who didn’t give a shit about Shakespeare and openly bragged about the same, presented a dreary paint-by-numbers NRO c. 2004 -style column in our school paper about how our humanities departments weren’t offering enough “traditional” western civ style material, etc. I knew crocodile tears when I saw them, and published an evisceration of Cass in which I reminded our Intrepid Economist that yes, in fact, in our History and English and Philosophy Departments, you could take classes on WWI and WWII, the Reformation, SHAKESPEARE, Yeats, Immanuel Kant, Descartes, the US Civil War, The American Revolution, and more, if only you’d look beyond trying to get hired by McKinsey or Goldman Sachs.

        He hated me ever after that, and I continue to return the favor.

        Our last encounter was when he told me he didn’t vote for me for Class Commencement Speaker. “And yet I still won,” with 64% of the vote, I informed him.

        In short, take it from me, he is not the friend of NC types, then or now. I know from experience.

        Reply
        1. Grachguy

          Man, I almost feel like I know him. It is such an archetype, isn’t it? Although I have to say, reading Othello to cynically absorb cultural references for your shitty career in shilling for power has got to be one of the saddest things I’ve ever heard. Seriously, this guy has got to live a life utterly without joy.

          Reply
      2. Roland

        Nevertheless that was a superb series of tweets. Most people’s lived experience of inflation is substantially worse than is indicated by the Boskinized official figures.

        In the mid-90’s Canada also tried to define-away inflation, because aging demographics and indexed pensions are a combination which would make any government look bad. That’s why all of our political parties went along with it. The artificially low inflation makes GDP growth look better and also helps justify loose monetary policy.

        Reply
  3. Darthbobber

    The Florida poll, by St Pete’s polling, says it was conducted on the 18th and 19th. So doesn’t incorporate any debate effect.

    Also automated, which implies landline.

    Reply
    1. hamstak

      I could see Sanders facing a couple of voting-bloc headwinds in FL, the “land of the hanging chad” (unofficial motto):

      1) A relatively well-off and politically motivated set of retirees with a certain affinity for a particular ME nation

      2) A relatively well-off and politically motivated set of citizens with a certain affinity for a particular Caribbean nation, at least as it had been pre-revolutionary (and hopefully how it will be post-revolutionary)

      This is, admittedly, a naive analysis lacking any data to substantiate it.

      Reply
      1. Keith

        Also retirees of a certain generation very susceptible to Red Scare style tactics.

        Tampa Bay has a very large New York population, several of my family transplanted there. They carry a nostalgia for everything from “Up Nort” regardless if it is based in reality or not. That couold be helpful to Bloomberg.

        Regarding the debates, I doubt many watched, and even if they did, I doubt it would have much effect.

        Reply
        1. philman

          Right now, it is a toss up on whether Bernie or Doomberg runs the most youtube adds in FL. I show a lot of videos in class, and the two combined have almost taken over youtube adds altogether.

          Reply
    2. GramSci

      Stay calm, NC. Let’s not forget that fifteen months ago Florida came within a hair’s breadth of electing a black, socialist governor. Bernie’s prospects in Florida are excellent.

      Reply
      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        Bloomberg can’t even get his own super-lame “stop-and-frisk” apology storyline right.

        He said he had an epiphany and he dropped it 95%. Fact check: it dropped 67% solely because a judge ruled it was against the law

        Biden dropped his own howler on the subject: that “Obama appointed a Federal monitor” to curb the practice. Also 100% false: the judge appointed a Federal monitor

        Even MSNBC admits all of this :https://twitter.com/Bern4Bern

        Reply
      2. Carey

        >Let’s not forget that fifteen months ago Florida came within a hair’s breadth of electing a black, socialist governor.

        1) I hope you’re talking about someone other than neolib Andrew Gillum.

        2) “We almost got ’em! #fightingFor!!!

        effing Dems

        Reply
    3. Alex morfesis

      The entire election rests on one county in Fla …Pinellas, which consists mostly of the city with that Tom krewz religion and the city with a baseball owner doing his best version of that baseball movie with Charlie sheen and one too many rainbow flags for a city with less than 5% lbtqxy12345’s…this is the make or break county for Florida and thus the election

      Reply
      1. orlbucfan

        Long-time Floridian here. You are somewhat incorrect. Travel up into the Panhandle and west of Tallahassee. Panama City, Destin, Pensacola, etc. Check out Bay and neighboring counties. It’s called “Southern Alabama.” Southern fried RWingnut-ism reigns there. That area has to vote for a decent(?) choice to carry the state.

        Reply
  4. russell1200

    OMFG – we are so toast if these don’t turn out to be extreme outliers.

    Via The Automatic Earth
    https://www.scmp.com/news/china/society/article/3050893/coronavirus-death-toll-rises-1770-china-reports-100-new

    Longer incubation periods?

    Henan province in central China has reported two coronavirus cases that took much longer to confirm than the previously estimated incubation period of up to 14 days. Incubation is the time between exposure to the virus and beginning to show symptoms.

    The government of Xinxian county, in the city of Xinyang, on Sunday reported that one of its new cases had been confirmed 34 days after the patient returned from a mid-January visit to Wuhan. He had been sent to hospital with suspected symptoms on January 28, but twice tested negative before testing positive on February 16. A further two people who attended family gatherings with the man in Xinxian were reported as infected, while three were suspected cases or under hospital quarantine.

    The county government announced it would extend the home quarantine period from 14 to 21 days for residents who had been to Hubei or had contact with people who had been there.

    It also reported a case that was confirmed 94 days after the patient’s contact with a relative from Hubei. The patient had taken care of his father-in-law, who arrived from Wuhan on November 13 and died days later. The son-in-law continued to stay in the father-in-law’s house until January 31. However, the government statement said the origin of the son-in-law’s infection had yet to be identified.

    Reply
    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      I have seen similar studies before (and I think posted then in links). They were (numerically) outliers, but then again, we are dealing with a multiplying process, so one outlier is 1, 5, 10 and so forth; if control measures do not kick in, each outlier is a mini-epidemic all on their own. (I frankly don’t take any statistics information from China at face value, however, including case reports. I think their health system is much worse than our own. Presumably we will be getting “results” from Japan (and Korea) soon enough.

      Adding, I guess the other issue is how this fits in to our picture of how far the virus has spread.

      Reply
      1. Fern

        Warren refused to oppose a brokered convention when the question was directly posed. This was yet another stab in the back by Warren to Bernie and the progressive movement that has been brushed under the rug.

        Reply
        1. ambrit

          Agreed. I wouldn’t trust any statistics emanating from Warren either.
          Time to subject Warren to a little “social distancing.”

          Reply
    2. allan

      Also: Ukraine protesters clash with police over evacuees from China [AFP/SCMP]

      Dozens of people clashed with police on Thursday outside a hospital in central Ukraine over government plans to quarantine evacuees from coronavirus-hit China in the facility.

      Six buses with the evacuees arrived at the medical centre, accompanied by law enforcement officers, a video published by Ukrainian media showed. …

      The demonstrators lit several bonfires and broke at least three bus windows, while some of the evacuees waved Ukrainian flags and some hid their faces behind the curtains …

      Coming soon to a declining imperial power near you.
      I’m guessing it’s too late to go full prepper.

      Reply
    3. Annieb

      There are reports that the tests are not always accurate. Also, the virus affects people differently. A person could have a mild infection that doesn’t show up on the test until several weeks later when the infection grows more serious. There’s a lot of uncertainty about this virus right now. I have been following Chris on Peak Prosperity (YouTube). He has a Ph.D. In pathology and is making it his job right now to interpret the medical research coming out. His take may strike some as alarmist, but he admits he is an “early adopter.” There are a few other doctors on YouTube doing the same thing, such as Dr John Campbell.

      The good thing is that the virus appears not to affect young children very much. The bad thing is that it does seriously affect the elderly.

      Reply
      1. polecat

        I’ve occasionally used a kind of ‘Standian’ term – Capt. Wuhan …… But in light of recently determined physiological effects peculiar to this virus, I’ve now decided on Capt. Gramps instead.

        “Get off My Gurney!”

        Reply
      2. ambrit

        I second your two recommendations. People with expertise in the requisite fields and no obvious ax to grind.
        The Diamond Princess cruise ship is an inadvertent test bed for this virus.

        Reply
      3. PlutoniumKun

        Yes, Peak Prosperity is quite interesting on this – I’ve been trying to pick holes in his arguments and I haven’t succeeded so far.

        The most worrying hypothesis he’s put forward is that it becomes like Dengue – an infection that is far more dangerous on its second hit. If it becomes endemic and has this capability to hit the heart via existing antibodies (he explains the biological mechanism very well on yesterdays video), then the consequences will be devastating worldwide, for many years.

        Reply
    4. False Solace

      I’m kind of doubting there really is an outlandishly long incubation period. If you consider these
      supposed 30+ day cases in addition to reports from Singapore and Japan of infections with no known source, it seems more likely we’re just seeing the virus in the wild. Containment has failed and tests are too inaccurate so it’s no longer possible to track the source. We’re not quite at the stage where if you test for it, you’ll find it, but we seem to be heading there.

      Reply
      1. Cuibono

        not to mention the possibility of false positives from a variety of sources. too much we dont know about both the test and the people doing the testing in condition s that are likely far from perfect.

        Reply
        1. Expat2Uruguay

          I have not heard anything about false positives. Does anyone have a link for that? I’ve only heard about false negatives being a problem

          Reply
          1. Cuibono

            I can dig it up …on CDC website. but fact is ALL tests have both. If you read on cdc website about how to carry the tet out you can quickly see that the test requires fair bit of skill, training and discipline. and since it can multiple TINY amounts of genetic material, ANY degree of contamination can make the results falsely positive: somehow i wonder just how good those labs doing all these tests are
            The positive and negative predictive values of any test are what ultimately matter. And that depends on the expected prevalence in those tested.

            Reply
      2. Lambert Strether Post author

        > I’m kind of doubting there really is an outlandishly long incubation period

        I would want to know a lot more about the cases and I would want a physical mechanism proposed. One thing that occurred to me, as opposed to infection within the body, is a physical reservoir of some sort, say in luggage, or a cellphone case*. I did go so far as to check whether viruses could be transmitted in earwax, but apparently they cannot (at least for HIV).

        * There seems to be no adequate way to disinfect cellphone screens without destroying them; one should not rub them down with alchohol, because destroys the oleophobic coating. That’s a problem.

        Reply
    5. Lee

      This thing seems to be popping up in unexpected places. I’m guessing its out there, uncontained, and coming soon to theaters and other venues near you and me. It seems likely that it is being transmitted over distances by carriers who are either asymptomatic or who are mildly ill with symptoms similar to the common cold.

      Like its viral relative, the common cold, it could become endemic, over a number of years culling the vulnerable ~2% of the population. This vulnerability, centered in the ACE2 receptor, appears to be a result of the effects of smoking or other lung damage, old age, and chronic illness. There is a hardly definitive bit of scientific evidence suggesting there might be genetically determined susceptibility in persons of north Asian descent.

      Reply
      1. VietnamVet

        Either the Wuhan coronavirus was engineered or it found a very favorable new host to infect in central China. A virus that kills off old, weakened hosts may mutate to the less virulent versions that would be selected for, keeping the plague going. This virus is unusual in the asymptomatic transmission and longer incubation period. Reportedly there are secondary infections that are worse than the initial infection. It is a cold virus that kills people.

        At the beginning, the outbreak fitted into Donald Trump’s building walls around America. A Democratic President would have kept the borders open. However, to date, there is no government planning for the pandemic or mass purchases of personnel protective equipment (PPE). The virus will run wild wherever it gets established. Hospital care will collapse in the infected areas killing more than the 1% mortality rate cited by Anthony Fauci.

        Donald Trump will not implement a national quarantine that shuts down everything; he has to be reelected in November to avoid indictment. Corporate media reporting will be incomplete to avoid a Wall Street crash. Businesses will keep running and employees will be told to report work even though there is no PPE to protect them. Until there is a vaccine there is only two options, avoid contact with the virus or survive the illness. Millions will die. They will go unreported.

        Reply
        1. Expat2uruguay

          I agree with all of your assessment up to the idea that Millions of deaths would go unreported. I I guess I could see it happening, but that would be so very very awful and I hope you’re wrong about that

          Reply
        2. Yves Smith

          Please stop with the CT. That “engineered” claim has been debunked repeatedly by various independent sources. The paper that suggested it was rubbish, very poorly done on a number of levels (like attributing a DNA sequence that is almost pervasive as originating in HIV).

          I’ve chewed other readers out about it and it needs to stop. Agnotology is a violation of our written site Policies. Any more comments that dignify this idea will be ripped out.

          Reply
    6. Cuibono

      THE Shanghai stock amrket doesnt seem overly concerned about this so far. Amrket can sometimes , not alwayss obviously, suss out big problems.

      Reply
      1. PlutoniumKun

        The problem with the Shanghai stock market is that Chinese investors have few real options for storing their money, so its health may be a reflection of desperation more than anything else. Its also the case that there are beneficiaries in the short term of a crisis like this, as spending goes up as people and businesses stockpile. And don’t forget that the Chinese central bank has massively increased liquidity to keep the market going – all that cash has to go somewhere, and its certainly not going on restaurant dinners.

        But its true that stock markets around the world seem remarkably sanguine about the whole thing. Its hard to say why, but I think the best guess is that investors are hoping that it will be just a short sharp shock with no medium to long term implications.

        Reply
  5. Seth Miller

    Re: “I’m not sure where Warren cashes in.”

    Warren’s hope, IMHO, is that the party turns its lonely eyes to her, at the convention, after Bernie fails to make 50% on the first ballot. Her argument is that anyone else would alienate every single Sanders voter, and that only she has any chance of winning them over. She cynically expects (as I do, and maybe you as well) that once Bernie doesn’t make 50%, he will be denied the nomination, even if he has the most votes.

    Of course, Bernie will have a good, loud, rafter-rattling argument to the contrary, but is there anyone who thinks that he is sure to get nominated with less than 50% of the delegates on the first ballot, even if he has the most votes? I hope he does, but Warren is betting that he doesn’t.

    Reply
    1. nippersmom

      I think you are probably right in your analysis, but I also believe Warren and the DNC are kidding themselves if they don’t realize a significant portion of Sanders supporters will decline to vote for her if he has the most delegates But is denied the nomination. “Vote blue no matter who” isn’t going to cut it this time; the DNC has no good will amongst Sandernistas (especially those of us who identify as Independent) and Warren has proven herself too much of an unprincipled opportunist to win Sanders voters over on her own merits.

      Reply
      1. jefemt

        Yet another diagram that gets us to 4 more years of El Cheeto in Chief.

        And, as a corollary to 2016, Bernie will be blamed, again.

        Reply
      2. Oregoncharles

        this whole discussion presumes that the (top) Dems have any intention of winning this year.

        Denying Bernie, if he has the most votes short of 51%, would be a very effective way of throwing the election – as they have done on a regular schedule in the past (Gore, Kerry, HRC).

        Reply
      3. Grant

        She also is adding to (let’s be honest) right wing propaganda in attacking Bernie’s supporters, and is relying on identity politics to attack him and his supporters. So, she thinks that she stabs Bernie in the back and coordinates with CNN to do so, attacks his supporters, talks down about him calling for a political revolution, offers half or quarter measures on issues that are life or death with people, has less support nationally, and then the party gives it to her even if she has less support and Bernie’s supporters will then support her? That is utterly delusional. In the best case scenario she isn’t a great matchup with Trump. In those circumstances, she would stand zero chance at beating Trump. Again, I think, if that is the thinking, they are functionally stupid. They are not nearly as likely to do that as they are to steal the election via vote rigging. We are much more likely to see voting results that aren’t likely to be accurate than that scenario, and it is harder to fight against or prove vote rigging.

        I also don’t know why, at this point, we are even talking about Warren. Yes, she had some good moments last night. She also had some bad moments too, and said some things that were troubling. She isn’t going to just spring to the top based on a single debate. What is more likely, I am guessing, is that she sees a moderate increase in some areas and possibly harmed Bloomberg’s support. If Warren gains at all, it will be at the expense of those who are in her ideological area, and that isn’t Bernie.

        Reply
      4. Deschain

        It doesn’t matter if Bernie supporters will actually vote for her. It only matters that she can convince the ‘centrists’ that the Bernie supporters will (or at least are more likely to) vote for her. In terms of her getting the nomination in a contested convention, anyway.

        Reply
        1. richard

          I see your point, but at the same time it does very much matter if she wanted to win the general and actually govern
          or what is the point, sorta kinda?
          Warren’s biggest problem right now is the choice she made to ally herself with the most retrograde wing of a dying party. She doesn’t have the votes now, and wouldn’t have them in any general election, because she hasn’t done anything to earn them in a long time.
          Yes the CFPB. Good on her for that, but that’s not good enough to be president.

          Reply
      5. Oh

        My own feeling is that Bernie needs to be prepared to run as a third party candidate if the crooked Dims refuse to nominate him in spite of his winning a majority of the states or fixes the votes to make it look like he’s second or third (like in Iowa and possibly in NH). His supporters will back him up and even if he loses, there will be momentum for his revolution. If he rolls over and support the worthless DNC candidate, it’s end of the story. It’s time to shake up the 2 party duopoly.

        Reply
        1. False Solace

          From what I understand, sore loser laws in all but 3 states will prevent Sanders from appearing on the ballot should he fail to get the nomination. In addition to that, Sanders signed the DNC pledge agreeing to support the party’s nominee, and I don’t see him breaking with that agreement. He is far more likely to hold out support in exchange for whatever policy concessions he can get, as he did in 2016.

          Reply
          1. ambrit

            We all can see how much good those 2016 “policy concessions” did Sanders. None.
            Once Sander’s supporters were purged from the Democrat Party leadership positions, after the 2016 debacle, the writing was on the wall.
            I expect Sanders to sit out the 2020 “Two Mommies” campaign in it’s entirety.

            Reply
            1. richard

              Well he’d have a %$*&ton of company, should your mad vision come to pass! It would be a very Taftian solution to the problem (“your party is a shambles” vs. “yeah but we elites control the shambles”).

              Reply
            2. Lambert Strether Post author

              > We all can see how much good those 2016 “policy concessions” did Sanders. None.

              I don’t think that’s true at all. Many of the strengths of the Sanders campaign in 2020 come, not from the policy concessions as such, but from the battle-hardening of Sanders supporters in seeking them (and being seen to seek them). It really does matter than Nomiki Konst got on the Unity Reform Commission and can explain, in detail, how the process really works. I am sure examples can be multiplied.

              Reply
              1. ambrit

                Ah. I’m making a category error? Mixing up Sanders himself with the ‘Sanders Movement?” That’s a possibility.
                If we are talking about the ‘Sanders Movement,’ then my question is, where does it effectively function in pursuit of power? Within the Democrat Party seems to be ‘firewalled’ away from the movement. The idea of the ‘Third Party’ has been described as a non-starter. So, where do the ‘Sanders Movement’ stalwarts go from here?
                Roughly, as with the Occupy Movement remnants, where is the unifying system not tied into either extant legacy party? One that is also politically effective?
                It is a bit of a puzzle.

                Reply
        2. Lambert Strether Post author

          As Harry Reid says, Sanders is “no fool.” I would bet that Sanders has gamed all this out. There was an awful lot of heartburning about Sanders endorsing Clinton in 2016, but that was the price of admission for the extraordinary campaign of 2020. Anybody who thinks that a third party run would have been more successful has an obligation to explain how that would be. Further, if one agrees that the Democrat Party as presently constituted must go the way of the Whigs, there is the further obligation of showing how splitting the Democrat Party after the debacle of a brokered convention would not be the best way to go about this.

          The Bloomberg run is wonderfully clarifying, even more than Trump, because it’s showing just who can be bought, and who cannot.

          Adding, speculating extremely freely, see the Democrat National Conventions, plural, of 1860. One might imagine making the argument that a Sanders Democrat Party was the real Democrat Party, the nominal one having been purchased by Bloomberg (making the agreement Sanders signed invalid). One might wonder whether the Sanders campaign has quietly investigated hiring a second hall…

          Reply
          1. PlutoniumKun

            Thanks for this. I still can’t understand Progressives who keep on criticising Sanders’ long game. He’s winning, this is the proof that he has been thinking longer and deeper than any of his critics. He has always stayed steady to his vision and strategy, supporting HRC was a necessary part of that. Quite simply, three years ago it was too soon to split away, the movement wasn’t strong enough.

            The ‘perfect’ situation for Progressives has always been that the Dem party would split, but that the left would take over the apparatus and name while the Centrists go off and try to chase those mythical Republican Soccer Moms who Might, or whoever it is they think will win. Bloombergs intervention has made this far more likely. Its Bloomberg who will break the Dems, and this is perfect for Sanders.

            Reply
      6. Tom Bradford

        How many women who might otherwise vote for Trump would move across to a woman on the ballot? Enough to make a difference?

        Reply
        1. False Solace

          Well, if we consider the Dems tried that in 2016 and still lost the white woman vote by a big margin, it’s apparently not enough to matter.

          Reply
      7. Calvin

        Bernie is real political reformation.

        Warren is just a status quo deformation.

        Might as well vote for Trump if Bernie is not nominated.

        Trump’s reelection would be the best thing to save the Democratic Party.
        “Bernie Sanders, or Trump”

        Reply
      8. Lambert Strether Post author

        > the DNC has no good will amongst Sandernistas

        The DNC is gonna have been less good will when people figure out that all its staffers were bought by Bloomberg (that BAR piece is really important).

        Reply
    2. Grant

      The notion that she could act as she has but then swoop in and take up his former supporters, who would by then be spitting mad, is delusional. She may have had an argument before she started to do all of this underhanded stuff, but even then, the undemocratic nature of that party and process would make whoever got the nomination a sure loser. Beyond that, given all that the DNC has done, given what it did in 2016, given all that is likely ahead of us, if they topped it off by denying the person with the most support, the optics would be bad and whoever got it would get killed by Trump. If that happened, the DNC would have done something blatantly undemocratic for someone that went on to lose to Trump. Total disaster. Even Hayes, Matthews and people on the Obama campaign said that if Bernie goes to the convention with a plurality of votes that the party would be utterly ruined by handing it to someone else. It still may go with someone else, but the repercussions would be gigantic.

      People are getting ahead of themselves. Bernie first needs to stay on this trajectory, he has to overcome rigging and get to the convention with more support than anyone. Chances are good that does come about, unless something radically changes. At that point, Democrats will have to decide if they will allow Perez and the corrupt people sucking the life from that party to destroy the party just to maintain their access to power. Maybe they will, but the likely long term impact would be that all of those like him in that party is to greatly weaken the very party that enriches them. I don’t personally assume that they will give it to someone else. What I do assume is that they are going to work and do all they can to stop Bernie from being in that position. They’re going to cheat as much as they can. That NY Times Article early in 2019, about the anti-Bernie Democrats said as much. That is why Iowa was a disaster and that is why they are going to work as hard as they can to rig the thing, play with the votes.

      Reply
      1. inode_buddha

        Their logic escapes me. These people won’t have any access to power, or anything else, if they destroy the party. The best thing they could possibly do for both themselves (in the future) *and* the party, is to go with the will of the People, and not game it.

        Reply
        1. a different chris

          It isn’t logic. Or maybe it’s logic, but highly constrained by the world they live in.

          To them, Biden/whoever may or may not beat Trump. But it won’t be the death of the party. If Sanders runs, he’ll “lose 49 states OMG” — they really, really believe this – and they’ll have to rebuild like they did after Mondale.

          And yes, sadly it seems that most of them were party VIPs then, too. Man they need new blood.

          Reply
          1. John k

            It’s simpler than that.
            Their donors don’t want sanders. So, they will do everything in their power to keep him from the ballot.
            Honestly? Well, that’s not a requirement.

            Reply
        2. Amfortas the hippie

          it’s been alluded to here before…neera tanden pushing a bent shopping cart, for example.
          who would be hiring the consultant class under a bernie regime?
          would they be had on by the media at the same rate?
          if bernie wins…and then gets anything done at all…that lot will be like proverbial buggy whip manufacturers…useless appendages.
          this is what they fear…and is why they’re willing to gamble with the very party, itself, in such a way.
          because from their perspective, it’s beat the bern or die.

          Reply
            1. ambrit

              Yes, a pivot to a place where there is “something rotten in.”
              To torture an analogy, we shall see a reprise of “Waiting for The Vote.”

              Reply
          1. Basil Pesto

            I think it’s a bit naive, not to say utopian, that political consultants will disappear in the event of a President Sanders. inshallah, tho.

            Reply
        3. carl

          I think it’s related to how the MSM keeps trying to “choose” the candidates and keeps failing. The DNC still doesn’t realize how many people won’t be told who to vote for anymore.

          Reply
          1. Carey

            As long as Team Dem continue to get paid for #failing, little will change. Have a look at those Dem strategist/consultant™ types on
            even Ball and Enjeti’s show.. “self-referential” is an understatement.

            Reply
        4. hunkerdown

          It depends on what, exactly, is destroyed. Do they still hold one of two ballot lines? Do they still have some lucrative career web (cf. Wedel’s flexians) to offer ambitious yuppies within and without political office? Do they still maintain and support a hegemony that excludes the interests, concerns and values of the working class? If so, their mission of #resisting the left is accomplished and there is no problem, just challenges. If not, they may have to earn their mid-six-figure lifestyle from David Cameron or some astroturf front for a trade organization, quelle horreur!

          Reply
        5. False Solace

          They don’t need to win, they just need to be the only functional alternative to the Republicans. That’s what keeps the donor $ flooding in.

          Reply
          1. Grant

            A damaged, hated and dying party that can no longer really compete nationally doesn’t provide much access to power anymore. And that is where the “leaders” of that party are leading that party. If the rest of the party lets them, it is on them. I don’t know if most rank and file are paying attention enough to realize what is coming for them and their party. But, it may force the left to build something new. However, given how little time we have, probably not enough time to do that, and given how little time we have thanks to the environmental crisis, them stacking the decks against the best candidate to deal with that crisis could not be more destructive or short-sighted. These people may be smart, but they’re functionally stupid. They really good at doing things that are socially destructive.

            Reply
        6. Calvin

          Access to power, if they destroy the party?Their donors will not lose their Trumpian tax breaks, the profitable wars will continue, their healthcare stocks will not drop in value,
          Neoliberalism will continue to shift money from the American public into their purses…bonus, they will have something to whine about at their retreats, book groups and cocktail parties. Besides, the imminent slide into financial depression can then be blamed on Trump.

          The last thing the Democrats want is the White House and a majority in congress; they would be expected to carry out their promises and that would threaten the financial well being of their donor base.

          Reply
          1. Grant

            The current trajectory we are on will collapse shortly thanks to the environmental crisis. We don’t have tons of time and these idiots are making dealing with that crisis impossible. They have done so with the way they have designed the economy and their rigging of the political system. There is no long-term clinging to neoliberalism. It will come down because of the crisis one way or another. We are on the way to something close to ecofascism, and I fail to see Neera Tanden’s value in a society like that. There is no long-term when it comes to this trajectory. If people fully appreciated what is coming for us, they would stop pretending that Bernie is anything but as moderate as you can get.

            Reply
          2. Copeland

            Yes, a Trump win is still a win for this lot. Sounds crazy, but when you have eliminated all other explanations, what remains –no matter how outlandish it sounds– must be the truth.

            Reply
    3. jrs

      Most votes only becomes a decent argument if it’s by a decent margin though. If it’s like arguing Iowa and noone is really all that sure – ugh, it will be a cluster, and Trump gets 4 more years.

      Reply
      1. flora

        Thought this was the Dem estab that loves ‘most votes’ and hates the Electoral College…

        Oh right, this is the Dem estab that loves whatever it’s convenient for them to love at the moment.

        Reply
      2. Grant

        Not really though, because there is plenty of other data that shows that Bernie is the best person to go against Trump. He polls better than anyone else, does by far best with independents, is the most likely politician, and is most trusted on policy. So, even if he has more support but not overwhelmingly so, there is plenty of other metrics to back up his case. He also has a far better record than anyone else and is, unlike Warren, consistently good about issues that Democrats at least say that they care about. The electability argument was always absurd, as there is no one else running that is clearly more electable than he is, and now the data shows that Bernie is best situated to beat Trump. Miracles can happen, but I don’t think Warren doing well in a single debate is going to propel her to the top. She would have been better off though if she just stuck to what caused her rise (outside of the media propping her up, which was a big factor too).

        I also really could care less about her advisers. I mean, she hired these hacks, and they have clearly not led her in a great direction. So, they can strategize all they want, they have to pull themselves out of a big hole they put their candidate in, and in a matter of weeks. I have heard some people on the left blame her turn for the worst on her advisers, but I don’t buy that, and I think that lets her off the hook and removes her agency entirely. Let’s say that Bernie chose to hire those people, he wouldn’t, but let’s say he did. And let’s say that they advised him to walk away from single payer and to do all she has done. He wouldn’t do it. She was never committed enough to most of the issues she pretended to support. If she was, those advisers would not have moved her in another direction. She does have some strengths, but she has also shown that what she does on stage matters little as far as what she does behind closed doors. She’s also shown herself to be a willing participant in attacking Bernie and the left if she herself can get the nomination. She went from being the woman with the plan to relying heavily on identity politics and aligning herself with Amy K of all people, a right wing Democrat. Why, logically, should a single debate erase all of this? Again, she chose to hire those advisers and she was so uncommitted to positions that the left holds that they were able to talk her out of abandoning or not focusing on those positions as much. Why give her power at this time? Our system is crumbling because of politicians like her. No thanks.

        Reply
    4. nippersdad

      Between the shiv she gave Sanders over his supposedly saying a woman could not be president and her new line of insults about his supporters all being haters, I don’t think her electoral analysis will stand up. I don’t think it is unusual for people to be tired of being called vicious for defending themselves from obvious attacks, and her gleefully joining in on catapulting the propaganda we have had to listen to for years at this late date is disqualifying from my perspective. I’d rather have a new party arise from the ashes than participate in my own barbecue for the next four years.

      If she wants my vote she needs to be kissing my butt right now, not kicking it and thinking I won’t notice.

      Reply
      1. nippersmom

        Too late for that. There is quite literally nothing that woman could say or do at this point that would entice me to vote for her,

        Reply
        1. Annieb

          +++++1,000%. And if the DNC pulls any shenanigans at the convention against Bernie, the whoosh of people quitting the Democratic Party will blow their hair back.

          Reply
          1. ambrit

            Alas, for this bunch, the whoosh that they fear is not that of disgusted voters leaving the Party, but the whoosh of donor dollars leaving their revenue streams. So, if they can engineer it so that they lose the election but hold on to a chunk of change, (change you can believe in,) from wealthy ideologues, they will be all right with that.
            We need to do some serious studying about the Populist movements of the 1900 era and how they worked out, or did not work out. Then reverse engineer the successful versions of populism to come up with a viable play book for moving forward.
            The cynic in me foresees blood in the streets. Otherwise, no progress will be made. Various quips and witticisms come to mind about this subject. Observations like, “Politics ain’t beanbag,” or “Power concedes nothing without a demand,” or “How many of you do we have to kill before you take us seriously?”
            Politeness is for civilized societies. We now live in a Neo Barbarism. My way to tell the two states apart is to look at how the classes relate to each other. When a general balance is in effect, we have civilization. When one group, or a small cadre of groups hold predominance and preeminence, we have Barbarism.
            Today’s socio-economic milieu is a real world demonstration of the maxim: “Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

            Reply
            1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

              11th dimensional chess and dilemma for the Dem donor class. Repub Party will spend about $900M, Dem Party has $8M on hand. They literally cannot do this without Mike The First’s money, donor class can only ride coattails on the kind of money Mike The First has. Mike The First has said he will support whomever the candidate is. Since the Dem donor class wants either Trump or Trump-lite (Dem), but def not Bernie, maybe Jeff Bezos and Zuckerberg’s phone lines are burning up right now? With pledges to support only a “centrist” (read: far right) Dem candidate? So Bezos versus Bloomberg in the back room in Milwaukee…

              Reply
            2. inode_buddha

              I would like to add that the only people whom Power corrupts, are the ones who can be bought. That is why management hates people like Sanders so much — he actually has principles and they are not for sale.

              Not being for sale deprives the Powerful of their one method, and also forces them to confront themselves in the mirror of the past.

              (personallly and professionally I have survived a few rat-(family-bloggings) ) so I’ve had some time to formulate and express these things. It is always a rat fight among the unprincipled.

              Reply
      2. Lambert Strether Post author

        > her new line of insults about his supporters all being haters

        The new one is that Sanders yells (a line that is not, in fact, new). Appeals to the Beltway and the PMC, since one must never, never angry. Didn’t get traction before, won’t get traction now (especially since, for some, it’s a subtle way of saying Sanders is too Jewy.)

        Reply
    5. Titus

      Seth- Sorry, but I don’t believe that’s ever going to happen. Warren can’t win, for better or worse, Pennsylvania, Michigan, & Wisconsin. Wisconsin is extra tough as it’s citizens have gone nuts over the last 8 years – Scott Walker will do that to you. Texas might flip but not over Warren. Then there is the Senate which is Bloomberg’s trump card (intended). If Bloomberg can get 30-35% of the delegates he wins. But almost every election after Grant to FDR followed the same path. Not guessing look at my own data (sociological).

      Reply
      1. a different chris

        Wisconsin booted Walker. I don’t understand how your “data” doesn’t reflect that.

        You want Pennsylvania and Michigan? Make Klobochar your VP.

        This election is way, way harder for Trump, who is stupidly playing to his 46% base because I guess he just can’t help himself, than it is for any Dem candidate. Rove was right about how you want 51% rather than 60%, but Trump is not there and will never get there, it’s too late.

        I really think he’s toast. My problem is what replaces him.

        Reply
        1. Spring Texan

          Agree. Trump will lose. Even if a lot of people sit on the sidelines. And yes my worry is who will replace him because #OnlyBernie would be excellent. Most would be TERRIBLE.

          Reply
          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            Walk me through that. Trump’s big guns against Bernie so far are pretty silent, we’ve yet to see film clips of Bernie being asked “are you a capitalist?” and Bernie responding “no”. Dems did absolutely everything they could in the last 3 years to put The Red Scare back into people, and Red = Communist = Not Capitalist. Even if you take Mike The First’s word (!) on “blue no matter who” including Bernie how likely that the check will arrive in the mail? Bernie stands for everything Mike hates. Mike may go through the motions and concentrate on the legacy of his money affecting 2024 instead. Given Bernie’s age all eyes will be on his VP pick. Who? Who could possibly triangulate the forces at play? In other words a standard bearer for Bernie’s revolution but also a “safe pair of hands”? None of the picks I can think of square that circle.

            Reply
    6. Keith

      All the candidates, except one, rejected the notion that the candidate with the most votes should get the nomination, so I would agree. Question is can Warren raise enough money to stay relevant? A big chunk of NV already voted, so any bump from her performance is muted.

      One interesting thing I saw by watching the debate play by play, one of the Politico analysts noted that Warren’s team was focused on getting her to be the number two option for people rather than number one, so who knows how that strategy will play out.

      Reply
    7. Dr. John Carpenter

      It seems like at the point when Warren seemed to be leading there was an awful lot of chatter from the 1% making it clear they don’t find her acceptable. This was when she started backpedaling on M4A and eventually tried to torpedo Sanders.
      So, if her game is trying to be a compromise candidate, my question is, has she genuflected enough to win the support of those at the top? Talking to her better as she did last night doesn’t help her case. I think she’s spent most of this campaign trying to thread that needle and failing.

      Reply
  6. John Beech

    Liz tore the billionaire a new one, eh? I don’t care because somewhere in America, an elderly Amerindian woman is destitute (the vast majority are if you didn’t know it). Sadly, it’s because she didn’t get a chance. Why not? it’s because a pretty white girl with beautiful blew eyes and golden tresses – whilst claiming she was of Cherokee descent – claimed a benefit for herself, which was created expressly for a real American Indian. How can Elizabeth Warren live with herself? And much less put herself out there as a candidate for President of the United States? Not on my watch, Liz, and not with my vote, or that of anybody I can influence.

    Reply
    1. JacobiteInTraining

      You and I probably don’t agree on a lot of issues, but on this one – I’m with you 100%.

      In memory of an elderly Tlingit lady I once knew, and who had (has?) more integrity in her littlest pinky then most any politician has ever had:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DyUssKc2TLQ

      Sadly, she has passed:

      “…Helen Anna Abbott Watkins was born to Lilly Klanot Abbott Nigh, Shtookukaa and John Abbott of the Ganaxdedi Frog House of Klukwan, Alaska on November 16, 1939. Helen’s spirit left her body to meet her Lord and she is being greeted by her mother and other family, at the age of 76 in Juneau, Alaska on February 9, 2016 surrounded by family and friends.

      Helen Anna Abbott Watkins was a Chilkat Eagle Tlingit of the Shangukeidἰ Clan from the Thunderbird House, Kaawdiyaayi Hit, the House Lowered by the Sun in Klukwan, Alaska. Helen’s Tlingit name was Kahani (blankets piled as high as a man standing) and Shyee (base of a mountain…”

      https://www.juneauempire.com/news/leaving-a-legacy-one-video-at-a-time/

      Reply
  7. Bill Carson

    My brother-in-law asked me if I was going to Trump’s rally in my fair city this evening. I told him that if I wanted to see a monkey climb into the rafters and fling it’s poo that I would go to the zoo.

    Beau put up a good video this morning, discussing what the Democrats don’t understand about Sanders; that is, real progressives and radicals already view Sanders as the compromise candidate.

    Let’s talk about misunderstanding Bernie’s supporters….

    Reply
    1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      Pretty weak tea. The words matter not, it’s the actions that “real progressives and radicals” are willing to take. If this was France I would buy the argument. It’s not. The actions suggested in the vid if anybody but Bernie is nominated would be “screw it I won’t vote, again”, not “hand me that pitchfork”. I have no doubt we will/can get there over time but we’re a very long way away from that.

      Reply
  8. Lambert Strether Post author

    Yes, I see the argument that Warren is a spoiler, and might emerge as the candidate from a brokered convention. But it seems to me that if she does not win at least one primary outside MA (where Sander is within striking distance, IIRC) then making her the candidate won’t have the greatest optics. So which primary would she win? NV? CA? SC? Which?

    It’s notable that we’ve seen media bubbles for Buttigieg (after Iowa), and Klobuchar (after New Hampshire). The press is now busily inflating Warren’s. We’ll see how long it lasts. Her takedown of Bloomberg puts her squarely in the Clintonite lane, a pivot she began with her betrayal of Sanders immediately before Iowa, a year or so after the famous lunch. But that lane is confined to the PMC, lost in 2016 badly, and is narrower now than it was then (because she didn’t bring all Clinton’s voters, or all Clinton’s network, with her). Her good debate performance solves none of Warren’s problems as a candidate. (For example, there is now a Warren SuperPAC. So we have another twist in the twist and turning of Warren’s position on campaign funding.)

    Reply
    1. Seth A Miller

      All true. That’s why I read your commentary with interest every day. But she doesn’t need to win a primary to be able to make the argument that she is clinging to. She will argue that only she has any appeal to Bernie’s irrational hordes, and she’ll even say that, but for Bernie, she could have been a contender. The intended audience isn’t you or me. The argument will be addressed to the superdelegates, to the delegates pledged to the lowest-polling candidates, and to Bernie’s (large plurality of) delegates. As DCrane says, above, war indeed.

      Bernie delegates need a strategy for getting superdelegates and other candidates’ delegates to switch to Bernie.

      Reply
      1. nippersmom

        She may make that argument, and the DNC may fall for it. But that doesn’t make it accurate. Sanders supporters are not going to vote for her. She will lose to Trump by a large margin, and once again the DNC will blame everyone but themselves.

        Reply
          1. nippersmom

            True. And I will tell them the same thing I did after 2016– you don’t own my vote, and if you don’t run someone worth voting for, you won’t get it. Heinous policies don’t somehow suddenly become palatable when enacted by Democrats.

            Reply
            1. dcrane

              Heinous policies indeed. A friend of mine is prone to comments like “At least Bloomberg won’t do anything as horrible as sell pardons”. Selling pardons apparently being more horrible than supporting endless wars based on lies.

              Reply
            2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

              This is the problem with corruption and hypocrisy, which are both pegging the meter at 11.

              It’s like the owners of a sports team throwing the championship because they made heavy bets on the opponent. Very difficult to ascribe rational behavior in a case like that. I would think that continued opposition theatre, that Nancy and the Dems are so good at, is still the preferred outcome. Gumming up the works is Mikey’s “blue no matter who” pledge; but there is not a single solitary thing keeping him from summarily withdrawing that (or slow-walking it).

              Reply
          2. Titus

            No if the Senate is flipped, it won’t be by much and the Dems will need Sander’s vote. If the Dems loose they are more likely to wonder aloud what do voters want. That be Sander’s message in a different box. With Clinton and Obama this is personal, it’s not about his politics, it’s about the ‘guy’. With my own ears I have heard things (I worked for Clinton from 1992 – 1995, so kill me). Sanders is going to have to win 80% of vote to overcome this. Unless a black swan shows up, that isn’t going to happen.

            Reply
            1. nippersmom

              They may wonder aloud what voters want, but they will never hit on the actual answer, because they refuse to acknowledge their own shortcomings or to realize we don’t actually want what they keep telling us we’re suppose to want.. Democrats won’t “need” Sanders’ vote to continue to pass Republican legislation, as they did when they had both houses of Congress as well as the presidency during the first two years of Obama’s tenure.

              It may be about “the guy” to Clinton and Obama, but it is about policy and sending a clear message that our needs don’t matter to Sanders voters.

              Reply
              1. BobW

                The DNC does need to know what voters want, so that they can appear to support it without actually doing anything but craft a sound bite.

                Reply
        1. Left in Wisconsin

          She will lose to Trump by a large margin, and once again the DNC will blame everyone but themselves.
          Win-win.

          Reply
      2. Dan

        Bernie delegates need a strategy for getting superdelegates and other candidates’ delegates to switch to Bernie.

        I wish them luck with that.

        Reply
          1. Typing Chimp

            Unless Bloomberg promises to buy the Dems a majority of house an senate seats, his cash probably does not matter nearly as much as everybody seems to currently believe

            And again, all this assumes that Bloomberg even really wants the presidency and that the convention will be brokered.

            Not likely, IMO

            Reply
        1. Amfortas the hippie

          is there a word for a member of an irrational horde?
          i’ve never really belonged to anything before.
          not sure how i feel about it, but it would be cool to have a word like that.

          Reply
      3. John k

        But she still needs delegates. The supers can’t elect, they can only swing a close race. So they can only swing it to somebody with enough delegates that when combined with say 2/3 of the supers is 50%+1.
        So imagine Bernie has 45% and bloom 30%… supers can’t put bloom over the top. Plus, those with a few delegates will find that their supporters switch on the second ballot… and Bernie is most voters second choice when not the first, so Bernie’s total will go up on the second ballot, not down.
        And Bernie has a few supers anyway.
        I’m an eternal optimist, but if Bernie wins Nv and at least ties SC, it is likely over, particularly after blooms performance…. many tuned in on account of his ads to hear him speak.

        Reply
        1. Amfortas the hippie

          over at mom’s last night for bird putting up and quick dinner.
          msdnc was on as usual.
          she offered that she was ashamed of her democratic party for the last debate….I asked what that meant.
          she says, ” for how they ganged up on bloomburg”
          (sigh)
          insists he was a democrat before he was a repub before he was a dem(lol. whatever)…and how he supports…and has supported…the democratic agenda
          do tell, sez I
          “climate change and gun control”
          i said what about stop and frisk and disciplining the poors and the general authoritarian nature of the man and his horrible treatment of protesters and “black=criminal”, etc.
          i added that bernie appears to be winning across the board
          “but he’s so old….”
          i ended it by saying…again…that i will not be voting for anyone but bernie for the presidency.
          stepdad…for the millionth time…emerges briefly from his usual evening stupor to be shocked that i have principles and a care for integrity…but it’s too much to go into again, at such a late hour, and with such painfulness on my part(lingering effects from my ditch digging, plus the effects of the weather).
          it wouldn’t matter anyway….short term memory loss and wall to wall msdnc(interspersed with gunsmoke and home and garden)…means that i’ll confront the same script again and again.
          they already voted with their mail ins….him for warren, her…well…she won’t say…for a first ever evasiveness on the subject.

          I’d love to just hang out here all day(NC is like a distributed Think Tank)
          but we’re off ere dawn to san antone for chemo, and it’s 29 degrees…but at least it ain’t raining.
          Eliot had it wrong….February is the cruelest month.

          what i’ve been into in the early hours, tending the fires:
          https://americanaffairsjournal.org/2020/02/soulcraft-in-a-complex-society/
          https://americanaffairsjournal.org/2020/02/tripartism-american-style-the-past-and-future-of-sectoral-policy/
          https://americanaffairsjournal.org/2020/02/common-good-capitalism-an-interview-with-marco-rubio/

          the last is a further example of how weird our politics have become: little marco as sane and considerate sage.
          what a world!

          Reply
    2. Fern

      (I seem to have inserted my previous comment in the wrong place).

      There’s a reason that Warren backed a brokered convention during the debate. She’s either still hoping to offer herself as the more “moderate” progressive alternative to Bernie or to jockey for VP position or get some other career advantage for herself.

      It’s interesting that Warren has never attacked Biden, even when he was the clear front runner. When Biden was at his peak, she lobbed her infamous grenade at Sanders instead.

      I like Warren less and less each day (despite her occasionally useful debating skills). She’s an opportunist who’s successfully captured the vote a lot of my progressive friends.

      Reply
  9. ChiGal in Carolina

    my 90-yo mother is gnashing her teeth about how stuck in the rut of his preferred narrative Sanders is (she supports him). She thinks he needs to start responding to the socialist rap by hammering home that he is a New Deal Democrat in the tradition of FDR, who saved this country.

    At least as often as he thunders on about how immoral it is for such a wealthy country to allow so many to die for lack of affordable health care and how corrupt the corporations are, he should shout to the rooftops, I AM A NEW DEAL DEMOCRAT LIKE FDR, WHO SAVED THIS COUNTRY!

    She thinks this is the only way he can get his numbers high enough to avoid a second ballot at the convention because the enormous appeal of this framing to older people will outweigh the negative force field of the socialist label.

    Thoughts? And if so, how to get the word to his campaign?

    Reply
    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > “I AM A NEW DEAL DEMOCRAT LIKE FDR, WHO SAVED THIS COUNTRY!”

      I can hear him saying exactly that. Your mother is right. I hope the Sanders campaign has some intern reading NC…

      Reply
        1. a different chris

          I dunno – yes if he was losing. But it might actually be a good idea to “keep the powder dry” this time.. Just let everybody waste all their fire on “socialism” and:

          1) Let the electorate tune in to see this “socialist”. It’s a eyeball grabber, is it not?
          2) They will then see that he has a lot of common sense stuff
          3) Going into the DNC, then bring up FDR to close the deal

          You get a lot of attention from step one, you prime the audience in step 2, and then they all go “Ahhh, now I know why I like him so much. I tuned in thinking he was Castro, and now I finally realize he’s Roosevelt.”

          A good TV show doesn’t put all its cards up front. But it has to put enough out there to keep the eyeballs. So as long as Sanders is getting said eyeballs, he can save the Big Revelation for when it will have the most effect.

          It’s tricky, I will admit.

          Reply
          1. a different chris

            I don’t think I was clear on #3, I mean bring up the FDR thing between the last primary and the convention if he can wait that long.

            Reply
      1. neo-realist

        Framing himself in those terms may help allay the fears of socialism and marxism that the MSM will push night and day if he is nominated.

        You don’t like me, so you don’t like FDR?

        Reply
        1. ambrit

          There are a H— of a lot of clueless ‘voters’ in America who have been conditioned to view FDR policies as “Socialism.” This is joined to and amplified by the decades old right wing propaganda effort to portray any sort of collectivist policy as “Dirty Communism!” The terms “Socialism” and “Communism” have been conflated in the public’s perceptions by another decades long propaganda campaign. All this leads to a great part of the polity voting against their best interests.
          The important part of the Sanders “Winning Message” is: FDR SAVED THE COUNTRY. SO WILL I. YOU ARE THE COUNTRY!

          Reply
      2. Samuel Conner

        Are there primary states in which this would not go down well?

        I’ve thought of Sanders as an “FDR Democrat” from the beginning.

        Loads of establishment Ds, going back to WJC or perhaps even before, don’t seem to like New Deal policies.

        Is there a significant sector of D primary voters in some important state who also take this view?

        Or maybe Sanders isn’t ready to risk alienating everyone who liked either BHO or HRC or WJC, since each in their own embraced a rollback of New Deal policies. Maybe that’s too large a segment of the potential D primary electorate to risk alienating?

        In the general election, with turnout among sufferers of the consequences of New Deal policy rollbacks essential, one could not mention FDR too often, I would think.

        Reply
      3. Deschain

        Well, he isn’t a Democrat for one.

        Two, FDR doesn’t carry the currency he used to. The capital-D Depression was 90 years ago. We’d love to hear him say that but I don’t know that it would be all that resonant.

        Reply
      4. Amfortas the hippie

        i texted it to the bernie people who text me. don’t know their names, but i have their numbers,lol.
        new deal language works really well in the feed store and on the sidewalk in san antone.

        Reply
      5. phiddle

        There’s even a good label available: the Re-new Deal.
        And a whole bunch of follow-ons:
        1. secure Social Security (by lifting the cap and extending benefits),
        2. restore control over the financial sector with an updated Glass-Steagal,
        3. the Green New Deal is an updated version of the New Deal infrastructure programs (TVA, Rural Electrification, Civilian Conservation Corps),
        4. Every democratic president since Truman has wanted a national health insurance plan.
        5. Progressive taxation

        Reply
        1. GramSci

          The 2016 poster I liked most ran like this:
          Teddy Roosevelt : The Square Deal
          FDR: The New Deal
          Bernie: The Real Deal

          Reply
      6. Calvin

        Bernie should say
        ” I am against tax payer funded Pentagon Socialism, Corporate Tax Socialism and Socialism for Oligarchs. I will divert those taxes to finance benefits for the Middle Class.”

        Reply
        1. lambert strether

          Not the “middle class.” That’s either meaningless or the PMC. The “working class” (and not “hard-working families”).

          Reply
    2. Debra D.

      ChiGal — your mother is correct. Says this 65 y/o white college educated woman. Sanders needs to say that he is the New Deal Democrat like FDR. He needs to say it over and over and over.

      Reply
      1. Darius

        I think Sanders talking last night about socialism for billionaires was effective. A good illustration of where he is.

        Reply
      2. Titus

        “New Deal Democrat like FDR”. Why and to who, that’s ancient history and Americans are horrible at history. Better to talk specifics, as people have specific problems and lack solutions. Sanders needs to go after the Senate too.

        Reply
      3. polecat

        Who’s his campaign manager again ?? Somebody dial him/her quick-like ! .. to fill them in.

        Do it like the russians – make those pincer-moves count !

        Reply
    3. Henry Moon Pie

      I’m sure that the New Deal and FDR resonate strongly with your 90 year-old mother, and as a Boomer whose grandparents had a pic of FDR right under that of Jesus, it tugs at my heart strings too.

      A more immediate and personal memory for many Boomers who might be inclined to Bernie are in the youth candidates of our era: McCarthy, RFK and McGovern. Bernie’s amazing coalition resembles that of RFK more than any other Democrat of the last 50 years. Those campaigns evoke some powerful memories for us.

      Not suggesting an either/or but a both/and.

      Reply
      1. ChiGal in Carolina

        Serious question: how do those of us who respond positively to this idea get the word to the campaign? A petition? An email campaign (everybody ask 10 friends to email the campaign and ask 10 of their friends)?

        I have tried giving feedback in the boxes after you donate which has no impact and I know the texts come from random decentralized volunteers, so…? All of us attend a formal Bernie event or get on an organizing call and bring it up?

        Reply
        1. Dan

          Yesterday there was a twitter feed that voiced concerned over possible shenanigans in the early voting in Nevada. A couple people in the thread said to “dm @ChuckRocha” with the information immediately.

          Chuck Rocha is the Sanders 2020 Senior Advisor and President of Solidarity Strategies. I don’t know that he would be the one to contact about this, but my point is that I imagine a lot of campaign ideas are shared this way, i.e. by direct messaging via twitter.

          I’m not on Twitter myself so I’m not privy to the inner machinations of that world. Hopefully others can expand…

          Reply
    4. nippersdad

      That is the way I have been framing it in other comment sections and it truly is unanswerable. The worst kind of Republicans have nothing to say when you ask why they have erased FDR and LBJ’s legacy to fit their own “communist” narrative. It works even better with Democrats.

      Reply
    5. marcyincny

      Yes, and please whenever there is a reference to moving the Democratic Party to the left it should be BACK to the left.

      Reply
      1. Seth Miller

        Back to the center? In my tiny world of NYC rent control and rent stabilization, even after last year’s leap ahead (the HSTPA), we are nowhere close to where we were in the ’40s and ’50s.

        Reply
        1. a different chris

          Don’t say left or right. “Back to the greatness of FDR.” Remember FDR did not only save the economy, he led us on to beat the Nazis. (Russians could argue that second one, but they aren’t voting regardless of HRC’s delusions).

          Heck, bring up Truman and Kennedy too, even though that would be sort of a lie. Americans aren’t very good students of history. :D

          Reply
    6. Titus

      Sure, own it, as in “Socialism for the many, not the few”. But then he has to be quick on his feet with retorts as what that exactly means. 76% of Dems don’t mind the term. Dem leaning independents are at 54%, most dont know what it means. FDR was 90 years ago, better to talk specifics (I guess though, throw in some hope & dreams) then labels.

      Reply
        1. Phil in KC

          The unfinished legacy of the old Democratic Party, before they abandoned the wage workers for the salaried class. The newsreel footage of FDR’s speech was lost until found in 2008 by Michael Moore. Good for a chuckle in the corporate wing of the Dem party.

          Reply
        2. Foy

          I hadn’t heard of that before. Most interesting, thanks for posting montamaven. I’ll have to look into how people argued against that, because it’s a very reasonable list. I feel you wold have to be fairly cold to disagree with most of those items.

          Reply
      1. nippersdad

        FDR may have been ninety years ago, but Biden taking a nosedive after the ads about his wanting to cut Social Security shows us that his programs are still as popular as they ever were.

        If you want to find out how many closet socialists there really are out there, you could do worse than to point out who was supporting Simpson-Bowles during an off year and watching what happens. Those are the kinds of ads I would run in Florida.

        Reply
    7. Quentin

      Born in 1930 your mother has seen a lot. Try to imagine what the US was like then. She’s right about Bernie. His consistency and tenacity are his strong points. But his seeming inability to grasp the obvious to gain the prize is frustrating as hell. Claim the legacy of FDR. No one in the Democratic Party even mentions him anymore. Bernie goes much too much out of his way to please all his ‘friends’ on the debate stage. Which of them returns the compliment?: oh I overlooked Elizabeth Warren. Someone has put a huge buzzing bee in her bonnet and she’ll only come to her senses when it stings her.

      Reply
    8. Montanamaven

      This Chigal in Montana wholeheartedly agrees with your mother and one of the reasons I was not a big fan. He is in a rut. I saw him speak in 2004, 2005 and 2008. Same speech that he gives now. He needs to be able to pivot or present his position from another angle and I haven’t see much of that. He should definitely say that the present Democratic Party has steadily moved to the right as the Rockefeller Republicans (DLC) have taken over the party. It’s time for the New Deal and even the Great Society Democrats to take the party back. FDR’s policies could easily be called a Social Democracy. His Economic Bill of Rights is something to run on. I would also lightened up on calling Donald Trump the most dangerous man alive or the most dangerous president we ever had. There are conservatives out there that don’t like him much, but don’t think he’s the devil. They think Washington is a swamp and (mixed metaphor alert), he has exposed the creatures moving the levers behind the screen. They also voted for no more wars. That’s a big deal in rural America that sends a disproportionate number of their children of to defend the homeland. But maybe he can save that strategy for the general election.

      Reply
      1. Bill Carson

        Add me to the list of Bernie supporters who wish he could show more agility with the message. I think he needs to go back to the vault and read some Eugene Debs and Martin Luther King, Jr. and other sources and think of other ways to fashion the message to today’s voters.

        Reply
        1. GramSci

          I sympathize with you and Montanamaven, and I personally wish Bernie would distance himself farther from the MIC. But that’s a good way to get himself shot. He’s threading a needle. He might not succeed, but I think he’s doing it masterfully.

          Reply
      2. Wukchumni

        I wish Bernie would talk about our National Parks once in a while, as if there’s one thing that’s beloved by the public, they are it.

        He could score so many points in a relatively reasonable way, by discussing the $12 billion backlog of badly needed infrastructure projects, and the recent proposed 17% drop in NPS funding by the Trump administration.

        It’s very low hanging fruit, just waiting to be picked.

        Reply
      3. FluffytheObeseCat

        “He is in a rut. I saw him speak in 2004, 2005 and 2008. Same speech that he gives now.”

        Sanders’ saying the same 4 things again and again is not for you or me. It’s for the average, some-of-the-time-if-my-schedule permits voter. Whether Sanders wins or not, the American population will know he stands for ~4 things by the end of the 2020 clown show:

        Medicare 4 All; affordable prescription drugs
        A living wage; $15/hour minimum
        Green New Deal; end favoritism towards oil and gas companies
        Take power away from the billionaires; redistribute it to the people

        Even getting this many ideas into most people’s heads is a tall order. He needs to keep repeating them to do it. On the off chance he is elected and sworn in, he’ll need the same monomaniac focus in order to make them policy.

        Reply
  10. Bill Carson

    In researching student loan forgiveness yesterday, I came across this article that seems to suggest that student loan payments are counted as revenue for purposes of the deficit.

    Foster says most of these loans are from the federal government, and it could forgive them. But that would mean giving up the $85 billion in annual revenue it’s currently collecting on these loans. And, he says, “That would result in a wider fiscal deficit.”

    Is that possible—that the government does not count the funding of student loans as spending, but payments received are counted as revenue?? That doesn’t sound right at all.

    Reply
    1. Samuel Conner

      85bn/1500bn is about 0.057, 5.7%, so this “revenue” number might reflect interest income rather than interest and principal repayment combined.

      But the whole premise of the objection is barmy; the writer plainly hasn’t caught on to MMT yet, and given the venue, might lose his job if he did.

      Reply
      1. Bill Carson

        Yeah, I guess it could be the interest, thanks.

        We can’t let the citizens know about MMT, because then they might EXPECT some benefit in return for their hard earned tax dollars. We have to keep them thinking that we can’t give them nice things because how would we pay for it? /s

        Reply
        1. Wukchumni

          I feel certain the American public would be dead set against Military Monetary Theory being utilized instead to repair infrastructure, build daycare centers, and prepare for the onslaught of climate change, as none of those pursuits is even vaguely patriotic.

          Reply
          1. Bill Carson

            It’s branding, dude. Don’t call it infrastructure, call it Trumpfrastructure. Not daycare centers, but Trumpcare centers.

            Reply
  11. Amy Fargochar

    Truth, right here. Many jobs these days are unnecessary. It’s really just a form of social control. 80% of any organization is superfluous fluff and that includes a good chunk of so-called upper management. Many Silicon Valley organizations have remedied this. Most have very few employees per revenue and profit dollar. They’re the exception to the rule. There’s a massive bubble of uselessness being paid to pretend. I’ve been there, I know, and I’m sure many of you have been there and still are there. I’ll never forget Jeff Fl***** making copies of everything all day long. Anything he could find he copied including the CEO’s underwear that he had framed and placed on the wall in his “man” cave. When his filing cabinets were full to overflowing with copies, he’d shred it all and start again. He’s a COO now, ol’ Jeff. He perfected the art of doing nothing and making it look like something. His head is permanently stained and always will be with feces it’s been up upper management’s ass for so long.

    Hidden Brain — BS Jobs

    Reply
    1. Keith

      I can agree to that. I am a regulator, and really serve no purpose by going over what other agencies already do.

      Problem is we have an educated population, so you need to keep them busy, otherwise problems will arise.

      Heck, I am playing here during my working hours!

      Reply
  12. TonyinSoCAL

    I’m not sure where Warren cashes in. SC? NV? CA? Where?

    VP, Sec Tres., AG, Supreme Court….Chair of Fed…..She keeps slugging like this and she will be a force to be reckoned with politically–regardless of how she does in the primaries.

    Reply
    1. Yves Smith

      She’s never been a judge. No way Supreme Court. And a Dem is going to have difficulty getting any picks approved, particularly Warren, unless he is able to have enough of a coat-tail effect to win the Senate. Remember Obama couldn’t get her approved as the head of the CFPB.

      Warren is too old to be a VP. You need someone no older than 65. Pence can skate as being the existing VP.

      And as Lambert has pointed out, she’s done herself a lot of damage with insiders by reporting out on a supposedly confidential dinner with Sanders. You can’t do business with someone who can’t keep their mouth shut.

      Reply
      1. GramSci

        I take your point, Yves. Never having been a judge, Liz will be disqualified by the NYT and the oligarchic Senate. But William O Douglas had not been a judge, either, and he was among the best. (Which is not to say Warren is in the same league with Douglas.)

        If I were to disqualify Warren, it would be because she would be another Ivy League “Justice”. We’ve had too many of those.

        Reply
        1. GramSci

          I’d like someone younger, but how about Bill Black? I don’t think the “liberal” wing of the court fully understands how “justice” relates to “the economy”.

          Reply
        2. Kurt Sperry

          The right knows how to stack a system. You get dyed in the wool ideologues who agree with your political philosophy and install them in droves. If they have been judges or have sterling credentials, or distinguished legal careers, well great, but that’s far less important than the ideology they possess and can be relied upon to apply to cases. I’d rather have leftist mediocrities than brilliant, ultra-qualified right-wingers or “moderates”. Above all, they must be ideologically reliable and not offer up any unwelcome surprises from the bench. Every judgeship they occupy is one less your enemies can. Lesser minds may be more reliable in fact.

          Reply
    2. John k

      I thought much earlier Bernie would likely pick her for veep or at least treasury. certainly it veep now, and maybe not treasury even tho, as senator, she would be confirmed.
      If she doesn’t get a job with Bernie she has nowhere to go from the senate… and she’s not that popular in Ma, as we will likely see.

      Reply
  13. Toshiro_Mifune

    Michael Bloomberg was mercilessly attacked in his first debate – and he flopped

    I have to wonder, especially given all the build up to this debate; what did Bloomberg expect to happen? For a guy who heads an actual media company did he not recognize he was being set up to be bashed at the debate? Is he so colossally out of touch that this didn’t occur to him?
    I also have to wonder if someone from the DNC set him up for the fall on this. Like; Mike has been hanging around the DNC lunch room for the past 6 years and pestering everyone about running for Pres, even if its tots obvs he’d be horrible. They finally let him out on stage just to kill him and shut him up.

    Reply
    1. Samuel Conner

      Provided that MB doesn’t get too close to Sanders, so that Sanders maintains a clear lead in pledged delegates, MB’s presence would seem to inevitably have the effect of helping to hold other candidates below the thresh-hold for delegates — 6 candidates and only 100% of the vote to be distributed among them. And his $$$ are sucking up staff who might otherwise have worked for the other campaigns.

      I’m not sure that MB’s attempt to defeat Sanders might not actually be the secret sauce that assures Sanders’ arrival at the national convection with a majority of pledged delegates. What a lovely irony that would be!

      Of course, in that case one might see curious adjustments to the rules regarding superdelegates before the first ballot.

      Reply
      1. JohnMinMN

        Right. And the more candidates still in the running in each primary, the more that fail to reach the 15% threshold to obtain delegates.

        Reply
      2. John Anthony La Pietra

        Or the ultimate nuclear option: Tom Perez (or whoever succeeds him as DNC chair if Perez takes his golden parachute and flies) ups and declares that Sanders wasn’t sincere enough in his pledge of fealty and just isn’t a good enough Democrat to be the party’s nominee. . . .

        Reply
        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          I’m not going to ascribe devilishly clever double and triple dealing, I just think the DNC and Bloomie are so unbelievably insulated from reality in all its many forms that arrogance, entitlement, sleaze, stupidity, and regular old hubris are more than enough

          Reply
    2. dcrane

      I also have to wonder if someone from the DNC set him up for the fall on this.

      His podium position conveniently next to Liz has me wondering the same thing. The two of them perfectly fit the TV frame while she dissected him. But maybe just luck…not that many on stage this time.

      Reply
    3. Titus

      Bloomberg needed all the crap to get out, get a close encounter and now go retool. Expect him to follow a path similar to Boris Johnson in the UK. He has the ability to target micro ads very precisely and I expect he will start putting out a lot of fear, uncertainty, and doubt about everyone else. He’s now also in position of effective rebuttal using whatever mediums serve him best. The guy is driven and very intelligent and best of all (this is politics) amoral. No I don’t work for him. My issue is who is going to best for my state – Michigan and the country. Not trump and I don’t like a single dem that’s still in the race. In sales they teach you that people always buy the person before they buy whatever you selling. I just don’t like any of them as people. My perfect candidate, for right now is AOC. I know, I know, she’s to young.

      Reply
      1. Bill Carson

        Yep. This election feels existential to me. Like it is the billionaires vs the people for control of the soul of the world.

        Reply
      2. kareninca

        He is not that intelligent. I just read a list of 50 facts about him. He was a nerd as a kid; fine. However, he was a C student in engineering. That doesn’t make him stupid, but he is not some sort of genius. He is monstrously selfish and goal oriented.

        Reply
        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          Few are mentioning that Bloomberg’s entire client base was on the receiving end of $29 *T-T-Trillion* in free Fed bailout monies.

          Don’t really need to be a genius to sell into an ocean of money like that.

          Even if you are telling your saleswomen to “tell the guy that if he signs up you’ll pay him back with a bl*wjob”

          (verbatim from court documents, his line about “jokes women may not have liked” is pretty lame)

          Reply
    4. Keith

      I think there are two factors here, one is that Bloomberg is not on the ballet until March, so this buys time and lets him see where the other politicians go with it.

      The second, and more surprising is that the candidates are not attacking the front runner. Sanders is in the lead and expanding his share of the vote, as such, the pile on should have been on him. Last night he had an easy go as you had the group pile on Bloomberg and Pete driving Amy crazy (it was entertaining to see her so flustered at the end that she fled her end of the debate stage to avoid Pete. Good TV, but back for what’s becoming of the also rans).

      Reply
      1. Samuel Conner

        Me thinks that the popularity of Sanders’ policy positions makes it difficult and perhaps politically dangerous to attack him on substantive grounds.

        When EW’s trial balloon sexism charge did not have any lift, there was nothing left to go after.

        Reply
        1. Keith

          Outside the Twittersphere, I do not believe the identity politics/cross sectional stuff holds any merit, so the ploy was doomed to fail. Some of that will will backfire, too, such as open borders and such. Bernie’s positions are popular with a segment of the population, but he can be hammered on the cost of his programs and the likelihood that he cannot pass his programs. That may resonate with bigger segments of the population. People like the idea of free stuff in the abstract, but not when details and tax hikes emerge.

          Reply
          1. Dan

            People like the idea of free stuff in the abstract, but not when details and tax hikes emerge.

            Ultimately, people are most concerned with their bottom line. Sanders’ policies help them immensely in that regard. The current system itself is abstract to them. The Sanders campaign just to has to repeatedly hit on the bottom line, like he did last night in the debate when they tried to raise the tax issue. Sanders immediately said, “Yeah, and no premiums, deductibles, or out-of-pocket costs.” People understand that, though I do think he should harp on overall savings and the bottom line even more.

            Reply
          2. Kurt Sperry

            “People like the idea of free stuff in the abstract, but not when details and tax hikes emerge.”

            This is the argument that will be deployed against him, but it won’t hold up under any sort of closer examination and the vast majority of people dumb enough to swallow it will be Trump lifers anyway who will never vote D and thus are irrelevant and don’t matter.

            Reply
    5. chuck roast

      My guess is his “people” f****d up. Doubtless he surrounds himself with sycophants and suck-ups. The last thing they would do is tell his-highness that he will be attacked as a racist, classist, sexist, out-of-touch twit. Were his staff to adequately prepare him for this “debate” they probably would have found themselves immediately on the N train to Queens. But then, I’m sure he cooled off quickly after the debacle when his “people” all rushed to calm him, smooth his feathers and praise his performance. It takes lots of cash to maintain this kind of illusion.

      Reply
      1. Kurt Sperry

        This. I’m sure Bloomberg, like any billionaire, lives in a bubble of toadies and boot-lickers and never meets anyone who he doesn’t own and isn’t deathly afraid of saying the “wrong things” and upsetting him. Even if that’s exactly what he needs to hear.

        It may have been decades since anyone has been truly honest and forthright with him.

        Reply
  14. Eureka Springs

    If Bernie Sanders were President of say any South American country, every other Democrat on stage last night would be delighted as president themselves to covertly and overtly destroy him and his nation.

    Even Warren.

    It’s who the U.S. is and what it does all around the world. Liberal capitalist Democrats are as guilty as any other. And I give no quarter to semi-faux progs who play along.

    Reply
  15. Jeremy Grimm

    RE: “AOC Knows Exactly What the Problem Is With Billionaires Like Jeff Bezos” — Turning Amazon into a Mondragon type Cartel does little to address a much bigger objection to Amazon than the way it abuses its workers. Amazon is a new, special kind of monopoly which should be dismantled. Ideally, in a more democratic society, the functions of Amazon should be handle by a closely controlled public utility managed by the Government for the benefit of the public. The billions Bezos has pocketed from his monopoly rents should be summarily recovered in a special Bezos tax — which could serve as a model for the many similar monopoly deconstruction efforts the Government should, and soon must, adopt — again assuming that somehow we can rebuild a democratic society where “benefit of the public” has meaning.

    Reply
  16. John Anthony La Pietra

    Do folks here think Bloomberg is closer to “a billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you’re talking real money” Everett Dirksen? Or this guy before inflation flipped the M over on its side and added a line to make it a B?

    Reply
    1. Wukchumni

      I used to be able to barely get the word billions out of my mouth, but now trillions flow easily, bring on quadrillions!

      Circa early 80’s, Nelson Bunker Hunt was hauled before Congress and uttered this in regards to the B word. He was a funny guy who among other pursuits, decided that he’d corner the market on Byzantine Empire gold coins.

      “A billion dollars ain’t what it used to be,” he commented amid his financial travails. At a Congressional hearing examining the silver debacle, he was asked about his wealth. “I don’t have the figures in my head,” he answered. “People who know how much they’re worth aren’t usually worth that much.”

      Reply
    2. Tim

      The former. Hes worth 60B. SO when he tries to skewer Bernie for being a hypocritical millionaire it isn’t a valid comparison, it’s FOUR orders of magnitude difference in wealth, impact and influence.

      Reply
  17. JBird4049

    On Bloomberg buying the Democratic Party now, the nomination next, and bidding on the Presidency, I know I must sound like a broken record; you could say bye-bye to the party. Any knowledge of political history combined with how bad things are would make it obvious that the Democratic Party would lose all power for at least a generation at a minimum. Hell, I am pretty sure that another long hot summer like 1968 will happen. Won’t that be fun. Bring beer, popcorn, and maybe some wieners for the fires.

    When I wondered how the Milwaukee police were like in comparison to the Chicago PD, drumlin woodchuckles pointed out that since Milwaukee and its police department is much smaller than Chicago, if the National Guard is called out, we will know that the fix is in.

    We’re run by spoiled and incompetent narcissists. Oh, yes we are.

    Reply
    1. a different chris

      Lose all power to who? Trump can only run for one more term, he is far from a party organizer and he’s one Cheeto away from a drop-dead heart attack anyway.

      Show me the Republican’s bench.

      Maybe if we’re lucky, both parties will be essentially gone (transformed if not renamed) in 8 years. Would not shock me.

      Reply
      1. JBird4049

        It is not the issue of losing this presidential election. It is the continuation as a viable party. The Republican Party was losing viability in 2016, which is how Donald Trump took the nomination. Jeb Bush, aka Jeb!mentum, was the mentally competent version of this year’s Joe Biden.

        I mean really, when it comes down to vote for me because reasons, like I’m a woman, or I am a sane and competent Republican, or healthcare is the socialism, what economic and societal collapse? Let’s bomb some more terroristic goat herders! Freeeeeedooom!!! There is no there, there in either major parties and across the entire political class.

        Fifty years ago even the the Republican Party had effective, and wide grassroots and the Democratic Party had even more effective, wider, and deeper grassroots community organizations. You know…individuals who volunteered and were known to block captains, precinct leaders, county leadership, then state, and finally nationally. Between then and now, it all is went away as the parties got to the use of just accepting “donations” for the massive media blitzes (and the atrophying print, radio, and television media also became dependent on that sweet advertising cash) and let those troublesome local organizations just fade away.

        This makes connection between money, corruption, and the ongoing collapse so very easy to see. Political ideologies and parties be damned, most people just do not like having someone just buy an office or say vote for me just because I’m not them. Since only money is really keeping the parties in power, as well as blatant rigging and lying, there is not that much to keep those political structures up. And the media chanting the political equivalent of “the pedo-pimp Jeff Epstein killed himself, so bad, so sad, nothing to see here” ain’t gonna work much anymore.

        So, if Bloomberg the Oligarch buys himself the nomination or the superdelegates decide to steal Sanders nomination away, just what do you think will happen? Mild quiescence and acceptance of the results will probably not be one of them.

        Reply
    2. Samuel Conner

      I wonder whether it might work out that even if MB does not purchase the nomination, he may be able to purchase whatever policies he wants if the “wrong” people come to power in 2021.

      He could easily afford the funds necessary to “primary” every seat in both houses of Congress.

      We may see a situation in 2021-22 in which it’s Sanders versus Bloomberg again, with Sanders campaigning against obstructive legislators and raising masses of small donor funds for them, and MB doing everything within the grasp of his ample financial power to see that they are re-elected.

      Reply
  18. Samuel Conner

    re: “seemingly infinite permutation of candidates”

    I guess they don’t teach people to write and do maths at the same time anymore. With 6 candidates, there are only 15 binary pairings. If one wants to count two ganging up on 1, I think the number is 20.

    If that seems like “infinite,” that may help to explain why the MSM finds the cumulative “from inception” public injections of demand into the economy to be so scary. They can’t even get their heads around the number of digits on the extremities of a single unmutilated human.

    Reply
  19. Expat2Uruguay

    I disagree that the Plantidote I sent in and was published on January 13th is indeed a “flame tree of Thika”. I did some more research and all I could find under that search term was a book and a television series “The flame tree of Thika, memories a African childhood”. Based on this image of the book cover, I can say that does not look like the same flower at all.
    https://images.app.goo.gl/aZnG11JkVRC53E6S9

    I did however also find a limerick:

    The magnificent African flame tree
    And the Chilean aren’t the same tree.
    The latter, in fact,
    Is more bush—more compact,
    Not deserving, some feel, of the name tree.”

    Original author credit here https://www.oedilf.com/db/Lim.php?Word=African%20flame%20tree

    The images I found on the internet, where of an entirely different plant.https://www.alamy.com/stock-photo/flame-tree-of-thika.html They either showed a huge tree where I couldn’t see the actual flowers, or flowers that were differently grouped from the ones I photographed.

    The small tree with the unusual red flowers that I submitted as a plantidote on November 26 is I believe, a Ciebo, and is the national flower of Uruguay. That part of alert reader Bill’s identification I believe is correct. https://es.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flor_nacional_de_Uruguay

    There is no plantidote picture today. Did MD submit a picture of his tree in Africa? If so, I’d really like to see that.

    Reply
    1. Carolinian

      Just to add this from the BAR link

      But Blacks don’t back Biden for ideological reasons, or even on the strength of his service as Barack Obama’s number two. Older (and scarier) African Americans were under the impression that Biden was the Democrat best equipped to beat Trump – but it turns out he can’t even beat previously unknown Democrats.

      If Warren has to win at least a primary or two to be credible then surely the same applies to Bloomberg no matter how much money he has. The Dems have to at least pretend to be about the the thing they are named after.

      So what state is going to be dumb enough (to use Bloomberg terminology) to give a win to Bloomberg?

      Reply
      1. John k

        Bloom won’t win any primaries before super tue. And hopefully AA’s will have seen enough Bernie winning to switch to Bernie… plus Biden always underperforms his polls while Bernie overperforms.
        So Bernie might go into super tue having won all four… who doesn’t love a winner? Well, beside the dem elite.

        Reply
  20. Amy Fargochar

    As part of Bernie’s suggested FDR schtick, he should get some leg braces and hold rallies once a month in the regenerative waters of Warm Springs, Georgia.

    Reply
  21. fdr-fan

    History is straightforward on the question of socialism leading to communism.

    Soviet communism succeeded in countries where capitalism or feudalism had failed. Soviet communism didn’t take over in countries where non-Soviet socialism was already in place.

    Socialism is literally a vaccine against Stalinism.

    FDR understood this point and acted on it.

    Reply
  22. Wukchumni

    I’m so sick of hackers in the White House, whacking off repeatedly.

    Speaking at a rally in Hilton Head, S.C., Trump warned supporters about the dire consequences if Democrat Bernie Sanders wins the White House:

    “This guy wants to tax you — think of it — this guy wants to raise your taxes to 90 percent. No, no, think. You’ll have to move out — I love this area by the way, I’ve been here many times. Great golfing area, right? We love it. No more golf — no more golf. You won’t have any golf any more. You won’t have any money left to be golfing.”

    https://www.golfdigest.com/story/no-more-golf-if-bernie-sanders-is-elected-according-to-donald-trump

    Reply
    1. Basil Pesto

      I mean, not enough to play on a Trump course, but then most don’t anyway.

      in fact, government funding for essential services, thereby reducing debt burdens, might mean that fewer people have to work multiple jobs, thereby freeing up time for super healthful leisure activities like golf.

      Reply
  23. John Anthony La Pietra

    Am I misreading that new Florida poll, or does it really say only Biden and Bloomberg are viable for delegates there, with Sanders almost 5% away from the threshold?

    Of course, after last night’s debate at least Bloomberg might go Blustberg — and there’s still almost a month left until that primary awards 219 pledged delegates — but. . . .

    Reply
    1. Samuel Conner

      I intuit that older, relatively prosperous voters (who might be afraid that a Sanders nomination would spook the markets and send valuations down toward levels more like what has been the historic P/E level) may not be enthusiastic about Sanders.

      They forget about the “Plunge Protection Team” at the Fed, so beloved of commenters at the “Calculated Risk” weblog back in the mid to later ’00s.

      Reply
    2. nippersmom

      Also consider that it was probably largely landlines that were polled; not necessarily representative of likely Sanders voters.

      Reply
      1. Expat2Uruguay

        Important for Florida, One of Sanders’s very effective national surrogates is the guy who co-founded the Dream Defenders, Phillip Agnew. The Dream Defenders are an organization affiliated with black lives matter that formed in response to the Trayvon Martin killing by that idiot George Zimmerman in Florida. Pretty sure the people that Phillip Agnew influences don’t have landlines. See him in the “with these hands” video, 5 minutes
        https://youtu.be/wPlbTwObmOQ

        Reply
    3. John Anthony La Pietra

      Both comments true . . . Sanders may well have more support even now than this one poll indicates. My point is that he better have it — or get it soon — or he gets none of that big chunk of delegates.

      Reply
  24. dearieme

    The Twitterman writing about inflation: one of his links includes this – “What does it mean, after all, to say that a 2018 dollar is worth 29, or 34, 1979 cents? No currency-exchange counter exists at which one can be swapped for the other.”

    Up to a point. In 1974 I bought my only new car. In 2014 we bought a similar ten year old car for much less, in CPI-adjusted terms. It’s far better equipped, presumably far safer, much more economical on fuel, and – the big deal – it’s a comparable case because it’s likely to last roughly as long. His Cost of Thriving Index wouldn’t capture this result. I’m don’t know whether the proponents of CPI with hedonic adjustments would claim that it could.

    I’m not sure, I confess, that there are comparable examples other than cars. Be that as it may, what he had to say was interesting though I have a somewhat puritanical objection to his suggestion that one component of thriving should be based on: “Society-wide changes in behaviors and expectations can alter the value or necessity of a good or service, while having no effect on inflation.” Is he really saying that Keeping Up With The Jones’s should be part of the official figures? But, logically, how could it be? Surely over a large population the effect would average out at zero? Maybe he’s arguing that the cost of thriving for a bus driver should embrace the fact that more billionaires own private jets? I’m not persuaded.

    Reply
  25. Jeremy Grimm

    2nd Try: RE: “AOC Knows Exactly What the Problem Is With Billionaires Like Jeff Bezos” — Turning Amazon into a Mondragon type Cartel does little to address a much bigger objection to Amazon than the way it abuses its workers. Amazon is a new, special kind of monopoly which should be dismantled. Ideally, in a more democratic society, the functions of Amazon should be handle by a closely controlled public utility managed by the Government for the benefit of the public. The billions Bezos has pocketed from his monopoly rents should be summarily recovered in a special Bezos tax — which could serve as a model for the many similar monopoly deconstruction efforts the Government should, and soon must, adopt — again assuming that somehow we can rebuild a democratic society where “benefit of the public” has meaning.

    Reply
  26. Carolinian

    Here’s an interesting story. The US refuses to extradite the wife of a US intelligence officer who drove the wrong way in Britain and killed somebody. 5G, Boris Johnson, raging Trump also involved.

    https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2020/02/20/diplomatic-immunity-and-raf-croughton-trump-goes-after-the-brits/

    Just to add that now all the world speaks English they should start driving on the right so we Americans don’t, in the words of Nikki Haley, “get confused.” I once almost got flattened myself while bike riding on the wrong side in Ireland–having just gotten off the ferry from France.

    And it cuts both ways. Churchill was badly injured in New York when he stepped off the curb to cross the street and looked the wrong way.

    Reply
  27. Tom Denman

    I would never vote for Michael Bloomberg in any primary or general election, but Pete Buttigieg’s call for Bloomberg to withdraw from the presidential contest [1] is another example of the former South Bend Mayor’s remarkable presumptuousness, which goes to a serious character flaw that the Our Famously Free Press has so far overlooked.

    Another instance of Buttigieg’s imperiousness is his falsely claiming the endorsement of black leaders for his “Douglass Plan” (and which the campaign also implied endorsed his candidacy).

    Then there is his proposal to automatically enroll health insurance holdouts in his proposed program and retroactively bill them for it as a federal income tax liability, which makes the deeply unpopular individual mandate look like a $10 parking ticket by comparison.

    But most disturbing is his apparent advocacy of a period of mandatory national service for high school graduates, [2] an attack on the principle of self-ownership that poses a greater long term threat to abortion rights than any Trump Supreme Court appointee and is unlikely to get young people out to vote Democratic.

    The Trump camp will have little trouble in painting “Mayor Pete,” the McKinsey man who cut people’s health insurance and put people out of work, [3] as an entitled and arrogant little creep who seeks to impose his corporate masters’ will upon the American people.

    [1] https://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/483858-buttigieg-calls-on-bloomberg-to-drop-out-after-debate

    [2] http://www.msnbc.com/transcripts/rachel-maddow-show/2019-04-15

    [3] https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1204054770388013058.html

    Reply
    1. jrs

      It was just tit for tat for Bloomberg calling for people to drop out. It mimics Bloombergs exact wording from the article. There is an argument for Bloomberg dropping out, namely he’s an oligarch trying to buy the Presidency and a Republican in the wrong primary.

      Pete should be running for Jeopardy contestant, afterall he knows the name of the President of Mexico. No wonder Klobi hates him, dude has no experience but has memorized a bunch of Jeopardy answers.

      “Oohhh I’m young (no health records for me) and memorized the Prez of Mexico!”

      Pete Buggitieg 2020 – for Jeopardy contestant

      Reply
    2. Samuel Conner

      reference 1 has for me the feel of expectations management and pre-blaming if PB’s coming primary results disappoint.

      And, of course, an opportunity to boast about his contested delegate lead before that evaporates in the Iowa recounts

      It may rankle PB to have in the race a mayor of a city 100 times the size of his. It makes PB look like a precinct captain.

      Reply
  28. Tom Denman

    “Pete should be running for Jeopardy contestant, afterall he knows the name of the President of Mexico.”

    Exactly. He reminds me of a seven year old Teacher’s Pet who has gotten used to getting patted on the head for getting 10% on the pop quiz. Come to think of it, that’s probably how he became so obnoxious.

    Reply
  29. allan

    Colorado River flow dwindles as warming-driven loss of reflective snow energizes evaporation [Science]

    Abstract

    The sensitivity of river discharge to climate-system warming is highly uncertain and governing processes are poorly understood, impeding climate-change adaptation. A prominent exemplar is the Colorado River, where meteorological drought and warming have been shrinking a water resource that supports more than USD 1 trillion per year of economic activity. Monte-Carlo simulation with a radiation-aware hydrologic model resolves the longstanding, wide disparity in sensitivity estimates and reveals the controlling physical processes. We estimate that annual-mean discharge has been decreasing by 9.3% per °C of warming due to increased evapotranspiration, mainly driven by snow loss and consequent decrease of reflection of solar radiation. Projected precipitation increases likely will not suffice to counter fully the robust, thermodynamically induced drying. Increasing risk of severe water shortages is expected.

    Surely this can be fixed with a smart, targeted public private partnership.

    Reply
  30. notabanktoadie

    In making this distinction, Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez was giving voice to an idea with deep roots in socialist thought — that the unequal distribution of wealth is just a symptom of the deeper problem of the unequal distribution of economic power.” [Jacobin (NippersMom)]

    Government privileges for private credit creation (aka for “the banks”) preclude the need for the so-called “credit worthy” to share wealth and power.

    But hey, they produced wealth, didn’t they? Yes, but grossly ill-distributed wealth.

    Somebody goofed, didn’t they? So much then for pragmatism over principled ethics.

    Granted we are still recovering from (un-Biblical, btw, cf. “Render to Caesar what is Caesar’s …”) Gold Standard thinking but soon there will be no excuse for continuing with a Gold Standard banking and fiat model.

    Reply
  31. D. Fuller

    “‘Radical Change’ Needed After Latest Neutron Star Collision”

    Neutrons decay into a proton, electron, and an anti-neutrino when outside the nucleus of an atom. Given this decay, how do neutron stars retain neutrons as the primary ingredient? Perhaps someone can explain that one.

    Reply
    1. Samuel Conner

      One could also ask “where do the neutrons come from in the first place?” There are roughly equal numbers of protons and neutrons in the iron core of a pre-supernova star. Why do most of these protons get converted to neutrons?

      The super-compact (no pun intended) hand-waving explanation is that in the collapse that produces the supernova that leaves behind the neutron star, gravity squashes the electrons into the protons, and afterwards, as suggested above, keeps them there.

      There’s a lot more going on, but gravity is indeed essential, since it is the cause of the high density and energy of the particle soup inside the star. A slightly less compact explanation is that unlike the “neutron decay in empty space” scenario, in the dense conditions of a neutron star, the residual electrons are highly dense and relativistic (kinetic energy an appreciable fraction of their rest mass) and are “degenerate” — Pauli exclusion principle in energy/momentum space. Neutrons cannot decay if there are no available unoccupied states for the produced electron to arrive in.

      For more, Google

      neutron star electron Fermi surface

      This link

      https://www.astro.umd.edu/~miller/teaching/astr498/lecture17.pdf

      discusses neutron stability in neutron stars in the 3rd paragraph of the 2nd page.

      Reply
  32. Pat

    Florida is the one large electoral college state I wouldn’t even make a best guess at in Trump vs Bloomberg. Bloomberg has a history of positions that should kill him there, but there are so many former NYers who were among those who loved him…

    Reply
  33. Carolinian

    This is really good. All the things Michael Bloomberg doesn’t know about farming and manual labor

    But Bloomberg’s dismissal is part and parcel of our culture’s disdain for manual labor or “blue-collar work.” Matthew Crawford captures this disdain well in his book Shop Class as Soulcraft: in the 20th century, the “intrinsic satisfactions” of various forms of manual work were “degraded by automation.” Henry Ford’s assembly line served to sever “the cognitive aspects of manual work from its physical execution. Such a partition of thinking from doing has bequeathed us the dichotomy of white collar versus blue collar, corresponding to mental versus manual.”

    But this dichotomy falls prey to two big errors, Crawford argues: “First, it assumes that all blue-collar work is as mindless as assembly line work, and second, that white-collar work is still recognizably mental in character. Yet there is evidence to suggest that the new frontier of capitalism lies in doing to office work what was previously done to factory work: draining it of its cognitive elements. Paradoxically, educators who would steer students toward cognitively rich work might do this best by rehabilitating the manual trades, based on a firmer grasp of what such work is really like.”

    More

    https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/farming-isnt-an-information-age-skill/

    In the recent PBS Amazon show they said one question Bezos would ask all his prospective employees was what their SAT scores had been–even if they were well into their thirties. Bloomberg’s ignorance about farming seems to reflect this same worship of the meritocracy and disconnect from practical experience. This may not provide them with useful accomplishments (what does Bloomberg do again?) but it does fuel a great deal of arrogance. If Hillary in her misplaced vanity thought she was “ready on day one” then Bloomey may be Hillary squared but with even less charisma. Surely the Dems won’t really “go there.”

    Reply
  34. Adam1

    ”I’m not sure where Warren cashes in.“

    Warren is another Herbert Hoover. A Republican progressive (wannabe) who really can’t be a real progressive.

    Reply
  35. Cafefilos

    I don’t like the term Latinx. According to a recent survey, 98% of Latinos dislike the term. People who know or have studied Spanish know that the gender neutral term for a person of Latin American origin is Latino. The “x” at the end of the term is ugly and even a bit disrespectful of a beautiful language.

    Reply
      1. Carey

        >If we’re writing in English, what’s wrong with just plain “Latin”?

        Not divisive enough, as with “Latino”.

        Reply
    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      I wonder if the term latinx can be traced back to the very first Social Justice Warrior who invented it for the purpose of calling people who don’t use it “racist”.

      Reply
  36. Daryl

    > Welcome to the future:

    To me the most amazing thing here is that this person found a public-ish restroom in San Francisco.

    Reply
  37. Michael99

    Would any of the candidates at the debate last night bow out before Super Tuesday, which is less than two weeks away? Biden seems to me the most likely one to do that. If he doesn’t win SC he may decide to get out while the gettin’ is good. I think all of the others (and maybe Biden) will stick around to see what happens on ST. Even the campaigns that are low on cash can run on fumes until then, can’t they?

    My guess is that Biden and Klobuchar are weaker than Warren, Buttigieg and Bloomberg, and will be gone next. Buttigieg was strong in both IA and NH so bears watching. Klobuchar trounced Warren in NH, so I may be wrong about those two. Both of their home states (MN and MA) vote on ST. Bloomberg bears watching because of his money and novel campaign strategy. I hope he bombs big-time on ST but he might not.

    If Bloomberg wins the most pledged delegates in the primary, and is nominated in a brokered convention, that’s one thing. But if Sanders wins the most delegates, and Bloomberg still gets the nod in a brokered convention, ooh boy. That would be a provocation of epic proportions to Sanders voters.

    Reply
    1. Carey

      So far, I’m still seeing Bloomberg as a placeholder for the Few (and likely funded by them
      as well, as others have surmised).

      Reply
      1. Yves Smith

        Huh? His net worth is $61 billion. He can spend $5 billion and not even notice it. He was spending hundreds of millions a year on charitable donations, interestingly anonymously, in the 1990s, and that number can only have gotten bigger over time.

        He does not need OPM and he does not want them in his hair.

        Reply
    2. typing chimp

      But if Sanders wins the most delegates, and Bloomberg still gets the nod in a brokered convention, ooh boy. That would be a provocation of epic proportions to Sanders voters.

      Which is why this won’t happen.

      Not sure why so many people want to spend so much energy debating what happens if a brokered convention occurs and what happens if Bloomberg then gets the nomination–there are so many other more likely hypotheticals that actually further improve understanding rather than angst and outrage.

      Reply
  38. Michael99

    This article has some interesting detail on the Dem candidates’ campaigns in CA and thresholds needed to win delegates.

    https://apnews.com/5acc3c51c0313e235bb7e1de867f33ec

    The Warren, Biden and Klobuchar campaigns are making little to no effort here. Bloomberg is saturating the TV markets with ads, making a few campaign stops, and has hired a lot of staff to work the state for him. Buttigieg is said to have done very well with fundraising in CA and is actively campaigning. Sanders has been actively campaigning and buying TV ads. Two different people quoted in the article say that Sanders could – if things go his way – win big in CA and thereby take a formidable lead in delegates.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *