2:00PM Water Cooler 2/26/2020

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.


“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 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.

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We encourage readers to play around with the charts; they are dynamic, and there are a lot of settings, more than I can usefully show here. 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! UPDATE DK notes: “I’m completely removing the YouGov polls that were making that weird spike. Sorry for the inconsistency, I think it’s for the best. I can put them back in if it’s a problem for readers.”

Today we have two new national polls from Ipsos and Public Policy Polling, and a new state poll from TX. As of 2/26/2020, 10:00 AM EST (three-day average):

And the numbers for IPSOS:

Public Policy Polling:

Again, hard to think this is what the DNC had in mind.

And now to states, with the caveat that they are all small samples, irregular, and bad. TX:

TX numbers:

Sanders within striking distance. Wonder if there’s anything under the radar gping on, as in NV (and the IA satellite caucuses, which saved his bacon then, give that organizer a promotion).

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

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Biden (D)(1): “Clyburn endorses Biden ahead of South Carolina primary” [The Hill]. “House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) on Wednesday endorsed Joe Biden’s presidential bid, giving the former vice president a much-needed boost just three days before Democrats in South Carolina head to the polls…. The endorsement is a major vote of confidence for Biden at a critical time in his campaign. After lackluster finishes in the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary, and a distant second-place finish in the Nevada caucuses last weekend, the former vice president is in desperate need of a win in South Carolina to power his presidential bid into Super Tuesday and beyond. Aides and allies of Biden have long pointed to South Carolina as a firewall for his campaign, given his strong support among black voters, who make up a majority of the state’s Democratic electorate.”

Bloomberg (D)(1): “Mike Bloomberg’s Big-Tech Campaign” [New York Magazine]. “[Bloomberg’s campaign is a] series of shots in the dark and money-sucking experimentation, buoyed by a single funding source. Bloomberg is not accepting donations and his campaign runs off of his own enormous fortune. It has been estimated that he could spend up to $1 billion on his campaign – an unfathomable amount of money to most Americans and also barely a dent in Bloomberg’s $62 billion. This is analogous to how companies like Facebook and Google operate, using revenue collected almost entirely from a single product – their programmatic ad tools – to fund moonshots like driverless cars, or drones that beam internet access, or virtual reality, or video-game streaming. Or, more troubling for Bloomberg’s chances, his campaign is being run like a tech startup that’s bloated with venture-capital money and has no real path to profitability. Big Tech companies have graveyard full of dead software and hardware, because they are able to fully realize and implement ideas before determining if they even work. At these companies – and Bloomberg 2020 – there is no idea too foolish or counterintuitive that it can’t be attempted.” • Silicon Valley doesn’t run on an election calendar, though. And a failure in one area doesn’t ricochet into all the other areas (“the Dean Scream”). So how are those robot cars working out?

Bloomberg (D)(2): “Bloomberg catches himself from saying he “bought” House races in 2018″ [CNN]. Bloomberg: “All of the new Democrats that came in, put Nancy Pelosi in charge, and gave the Congress the ability to control this President, I boug… I got them.” • Readers spotted this in real time, it made the Twitter, and here it is in the mainstream. Turning Bloomberg’s greatest strength — his money — into a weakness is good, clean fun! Anyone can play, and many are. x

Bloomberg (D)(3): “Harvey Weinstein Recorded A Robocall For Mike Bloomberg In 2005” [HuffPo]. “HuffPost was not able to obtain an audio file of the robocall, but there were media reports at the time about it. ‘New York City is a great place to make movies,’ Weinstein said, according to the now-defunct New York Sun. ‘And we’ve got a great leader in Mike Bloomberg.’…. Bloomberg has not yet commented on the Weinstein jury verdict, although in 2017, he said Weinstein’s behavior was ‘disgraceful.’ ‘It’s not a world that I’m really familiar with,’ Bloomberg told The Hollywood Reporter at the time. ‘I certainly never heard stories. I don’t know about rumors or anything, but I never heard stories. I’m not tuned in to the Hollywood thing.'”

Buttigieg (D)(1): Hmm:

Somebody should ask Liz Smith if Buttigieg was tested for #COVID-19 before he took the stage. Not that I’m foily.

Buttigieg (D)(2): “Buttigieg campaign cancels Wednesday visit to Miami, citing illness” [Miami Herald]. “Buttigieg had planned to hold fundraisers and ‘community conversations’ in Wellington in Palm Beach County and in Coral Gables Miami-Dade. But his campaign says he is too sick to come down to Florida after appearing Tuesday evening in the 10th Democratic presidential debate.”

Buttigieg (D)(3): Hmm:

Sanders (D)(1): “Bernie Sanders to hold election rally in Springfield days before Super Tuesday primary” [MassLive]. • Cheeky! But if Sanders is to avoid a brokered convention — the now-avowed purpose of all his opponents — he’s got to scrap for every delegate.

Sanders (D)(2): Hoo boy:

Speaking of youth turnout….

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The smarter commentators are now attacking the Sanders theory of change directly:

“Bernie Sanders looks electable in surveys — but it could be a mirage” [Vox]. “Our data (laid out in an academic working paper here) also found what polls show: that Sanders is similarly electable to more moderate candidates. But, on closer inspection, it shows that this finding relies on some remarkable assumptions about youth turnout that past elections suggest are questionable…. We found that nominating Sanders would drive many Americans who would otherwise vote for a moderate Democrat to vote for Trump, especially otherwise Trump-skeptical Republicans… Democrats and independents are also slightly more likely to say they would vote for Trump if Sanders is nominated…. Despite losing these voters to Trump, Sanders appears in our survey data to be similarly electable to the moderates, at least at first blush. Why? Mainly because 11 percent of left-leaning young people say they are undecided, would support a third-party candidate, or, most often, just would not vote if a moderate were nominated — but say they would turn out and vote for Sanders if he were nominated.The large number of young people who say they will only vote if Sanders is nominated is just enough to offset the voters Sanders loses to Trump in the rest of the electorate.” • Hmm. Demographics only. No mention of class.

“Can Bernie Sanders really beat Trump? His pollster makes the case.” [WaPo]. “Sargent: I want to press you on 2018. That win was driven by a galvanized Democratic base. But it was also driven by a big shift in the suburbs and among educated whites. I want to understand the degree to which you see holding those gains as crucial to winning in 2020. Tulchin: The key to that is making the election a referendum on Donald Trump. [He] is uniquely polarizing, sexist, racist, misogynist. That motivates suburban voters. Bernie is solid on all the social issues they care about, especially choice. But we can’t just rely on that suburban vote. Bernie has unique appeal with working-class voters. He can be more effective in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. If we turn just those three states around, we win the White House.” • This is an extremely mild way of saying that the Clinton/Pelosi/Schumer turn toward the suburbs is based too narrowly to win, and that in fact Teixiera’s “coaliton of the ascendant” was the correct strategy if and only if the various demographics are not sintered together by idenitity, but welded welded togehter by their class interests in universal concrete material benefits. The whole article is worth a read.

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“Is Gmail hiding Bernie’s emails to you? How inbox filtering may impact democracy” [Guardian]. • Handy chart:

Of course, it could be that Buttigieg and Yang are more skilful at manipulating Google’s algo. But doesn’t Google look with disfavor on such behavior, and try to prevent it?

The Debates

CBS’s South Carolina debate last night was universally panned. Thanks to readers for their real-time comments; over 500 (!). I couldn’t get through them all today, so please forgive me if I duplicate any points made while not giving a hat tip.

“Sanders targeted at chaotic SC 2020 debate where candidates struggled to score points” [Post and Courier]. “In a move that had been telegraphed in recent days by his campaign speeches, Biden hit Sanders on his gun control record, specifically his votes against the Brady Bill, a 1994 law that mandated federal background checks and waiting periods on gun purchases. Biden noted that Emanuel AME Church, site of the 2015 mass shooting, was walking distance from the debate site. ‘I’m not saying he’s responsible for nine deaths, but that man would not have been able to get that weapon if he had supported this bill,’ Biden said.” • Classic use of paralipsis.

“Who Won (and Lost) the Democratic Debate in South Carolina” [Eric Levitz, New York Magazine]. “An honest transcript of the evening would be 50 percent comprised of ‘[inaudible crosstalk]’ or ‘[much shouting].’ We reprised the Medicare for All financing argument and somehow found a way to make it even more tedious than the first 573 renditions. We were treated to incisive questions like, ‘Why are your poll numbers less high than they used to be?’ and ‘What’s your personal catchphrase?’ The crowd booed too much, and then not enough. Somehow, the candidates’ eagerness to tear into each other didn’t produce high drama (as it had in Nevada) but instead a vexing unpleasantness — less like watching a reality show than a dysfunctional, booze-soaked family dinner. Anyhow. I’ve been doing this thing for a while now where I rank the candidates’ debate performances from best to worst. And for the sake of brand consistency and search-engine optimization, I’m doing it again. But make no mistake: The only true ‘winners’ of tonight’s proceedings were those whose professional choices and televisual tastes spared them the burden of witnessing this garbage.” • If Sanders didn’t lose, he won. So Sanders won. There is no expectation that Sanders will win SC (and if Biden wins, it may the last time the Black Misleadership Class is used as a club against the left, so good). On to CA and TX (!).

“Democrats needed a good debate, but got a bad one” [Politico]. “The snarling incoherence of the latest Democratic presidential debate Tuesday evening made it painfully hard to follow. But in its own way, the encounter perfectly crystallized the twin strategic challenges facing the party. The first strategic challenge is the problem of the impassioned plurality represented by frontrunner Bernie Sanders taking control of the party. … .The second strategic challenge is to convey what most Democrats regard as the gravity of the case against President Donald Trump.” • Challenge? After Pelosi and Schumer impeached him? How could that be?

Twitter results:

I really enjoy the “RIchard Nixon” account. This thread is as good as any other:

“With Tickets $1,750, Debate Audiences Are Elite of the Elite. But That’s Not New.” [New York Times]. “The state and local parties that help organize the debates offer the option for people interested in attending to ‘sponsor’ the debate. This was the case tonight in Charleston, S.C., as it has been in other debates over the last seven months. The Charleston County Democratic Party offered sponsorship options ranging from $1,750 to $3,200, which included admission to the debate as well as access to other gatherings surrounding the event, according to a local news station, WCSC. ‘This is something that the average person doesn’t usually get to go to,” the station quoted the county party chair as saying.'” • Well, that explains the boo-ing. Obviously, the tickets should be allocated by lottery. Just one more reason to level the existing apparatus to the ground, burn it, and then salt the ground.

“Democratic debate: CBS, Bloomberg draw jeers for ad buy, ‘stacked’ audience” [New York Post]. “DNC spokeswoman Xochitl Hinojosa said tickets were divided among the campaigns, the South Carolina Democratic Party, the Congressional Black Caucus Institute, CBS and Twitter. ‘We invited local and community leaders, and DNC supporters,’ she wrote on Twitter. ‘This is the most diverse audience.'” • Ever? See above.

Realignment and Legitimacy

“Centrist-child syndrome” [The Outline]. “Antonio Gramsci, a Marxist theorist and founding member of the Communist Party of Italy, described this historical cycle succinctly in his Prison Notebooks, written as he served a life sentence in one of Mussolini’s jails. ‘The crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new cannot be born,’ he wrote. ‘In this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms appear.’ Morbid symptoms certainly abound in our time, with one of them sitting in the White House. But the underlying sense of stasis, the refusal to be born, has found its own acolytes in contemporary politics. It has been on full display in the Democratic Party. One such representative is Pete Buttigieg, Mayor of South Bend, Indiana, and a candidate for president. At 37, the clean-cut young Navy veteran and former McKinsey consultant is the youngest person running, yet possesses the least-youthful disposition in the race…. Why is Buttigieg, the first arguably Millennial presidential candidate, so leery of even slightly radical politics? In might be that his heritage lies in a revolutionary intellectual tradition. For all his appeals to the middle, mayor Pete has described his father as a ‘man of the left.’ Joseph Buttigieg was a literary scholar whose work specialized in none other than the writings of Antonio Gramsci.” • Ironically, Kamala Harris is a victim of the same syndrome.

Stats Watch

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

Leading Indicator: “February 2020 Chemical Activity Barometer Improved and Now In Expansion” [Econinterect]. “The Chemical Activity Barometer (CAB) rose 0.4 percent in February on a three-month moving average (3MMA) basis following a 0.7 percent gain in January. On a year-over-year (Y/Y) basis, the barometer increased 2.0 percent… Production-related indicators increased in February. Trends in construction-related resins, pigments and related performance chemistry generally improved and suggest further gains in housing. Plastic resins used in packaging and for consumer and institutional applications were mixed. Performance chemistry improved, with widespread gains among segments. U.S. exports were mixed. Equity prices surged, while product and input prices improved. Inventory and other indicators were mixed.”

Retail: “[Walmart Inc.] is combining its U.S. online and store product-buying teams… as the company seeks to reduce conflict between the units and increase profits at its $50 billion e-commerce business. The latest integration move comes after Walmart combined its online and store supply chains and finance teams last year as it sought to create a single, unified business. But suppliers selling both on Walmart.com and in Walmart’s stores still had to pitch two separate buying teams. The teams sometimes clashed over pricing differences and over plans to use stores to facilitate online sales for home delivery” [Wall Street Journal]. “That use of stores for fulfillment has grown popular with retailers as they try to leverage sprawling real estate holdings to minimize the high inventory demands of separate e-commerce distribution channels.”

Shipping: “BIMCO: Coronavirus Shows Shipping’s Dependence on Chinese Economy” [Martime Executive]. “BIMCO chief analyst Peter Sand laid out three likely scenarios for the impact of the epidemic on shipping. In the first, China’s control measures succeed, and work begins to return to normal in Chinese factories by March. Shipping demand would return accordingly. In the second, normalization does not occur until April. In the third and worst scenario, the virus continues to spread in ways that are not possible to predict or analyze. (With significant new cases in Iran and South Korea reported Friday, the last case may be possible.) Scenario 1 entails a relatively minor disruption to global supply chains and a manageable impact on carriers. Scenario 2 would be more serious. In the second case, with an enforced shutdown in China extending into April, ‘a temporarily obstructed active labour force . . .will extend disruptions to manufacturing, hinterland transportation and port operations. Given the lower container volumes, caused by a halt to regional manufacturing, the disruption could extend into a global supply shortage of retail and manufactured goods,’ Sand wrote.” • No detail on scenario 3.

Shipping: “The impact of China’s coronavirus economic slowdown is landing hard at U.S. ports. The Port of Los Angeles is projecting a 25% decline in container volumes this month” [Wall Street Journal]. Holy moley. More: “[T]he drop will likely cascade across other ports through April as factories and logistics operations in China struggle to resume shipping flows. Cargo operators are already bracing for what [Port Executive Director Gene Seroka] says could be a ‘big pendulum swing’ as operations recover and pent-up demand reaches the ports.”

Tourism: “Royal Caribbean ‘Unable to Predict’ Coronavirus Impact for 2020” [Maritime Executive]. “In an earnings report released Tuesday, Royal Caribbean warned that it is ‘unable to predict the full financial impact’ of the coronavirus epidemic on its earnings for 2020, given the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the disease and the public health measures to contain it.” • A petri dish in the coal mine.

The Bezzle: “Uber Ousts Uber Eats Head As It Looks To Stem Losses” [PYMNTS.com]. “As Uber aims to stem losses from its Eats business in places where there is no indication that it will turn into a number one or two player, the executive leading the Eats business of Uber is departing the firm.” • All these other stupid Silicon Valley names: Zomato, Swiggy. Say what you want about Uber, at least it’s an ethos.

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Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 23 Extreme Fear (previous close: 22 Extreme Fear) [CNN]. One week ago: 53 (Neutral). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Feb 26 at 10:05am.

The Biosphere

“SF Mayor London Breed declares state of emergency over coronavirus” [San Francisco Chronicle]. “‘Given the high volume of travel between San Francisco and mainland China and the spread of the virus to other countries, there is a growing likelihood that we will see cases in San Francisco,’ [Dr. Grant Colfax, director of the city’s health department] said.” • Also given the state of San Francisco’s streets, and the fact that #COVIF-19 spreads by fecal transmission.

“China and India are home to nearly 90 per cent of cities with worst micro-pollution: Study” [The Straits Times]. “Taking population into account, Bangladesh emerged as the country with the worst so-called PM2.5 pollution, followed by Pakistan, Mongolia, Afghanistan and India, according to the 2019 World Air Quality Report, jointly released by IQAir Group and Greenpeace. China ranks 11th. Particulate matter of 2.5 microns or less in diametre – roughly 1/30 the width of a human hair – is the most dangerous type of airborne pollution. Microscopic flecks are small enough to enter the bloodstream via the respiratory system, leading to asthma, lung cancer and heart disease. Among the world’s megacities of 10 million or more people, the most PM2.5-toxic in 2019 was the Indian capital New Delhi, followed by Lahore in Pakistan, Dhaka in Bangladesh, Kolkata in India, Linyi and Tianjin in China, and Jakarta, Indonesia. Next on the list were Wuhan – epicentre of the new coronavirus outbreak – along with Chengdu and Beijing.” • We will, I suppose, see if cities with high PM2.5 ratings also have more/more serious cases of #COVID-19.

“Forest fire in New Jersey burns at least 80 acres near Appalachian Trail” [USA Today]. “The fire warden said that 2 to 3 feet of snow would usually be on the mountainside at this time of year, and that it was unusual for brush and forest fires to occur in February.”

“Rio CEO Says World Must Sacrifice Growth to Meet Climate Goals” [Bloomberg]. “‘The challenge for the world, and for the resources industry, is to continue the focus on poverty reduction and wealth creation, while delivering climate action,’ Jean-Sebastien Jacques told investors on Wednesday. ‘This will require complex trade-offs.’ Jacques said consumers, governments and shareholders must all be willing to make sacrifices — in the form of lower consumption, growth and returns — if climate targets are to be met. The mining industry, a key pillar of growth in many developing countries, is facing investor demands to cut the scale of emissions created by its products, from thermal coal to iron ore.”

“Can plants develop their own bacterial symbionts?” [John Kempf]. “Our principle task as growers is to farm soil microbes. The larger and more vigorous a population of microbes we can grow in our soil profiles, the more nutritious and healthier our crops will become. Soil biology can supply all of a crops nutritional requirements when they are well managed and well supported.” • A controversial thesis!

The far side of the moon:

Black Injustice Tipping Point


Health Care

Greatest health care system on earth:

News of the Wired

Not feeling wired today!

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

ChetG writes:

I thought to have a Venus-setting photo, since it is Valentine’s Day.

When trees are in leaf, they block the stars; in winter, I find the stars among trees amazing.

The exposures averaged from 15 to 10 seconds (with a 20mm lens). With Earth rotation in mind, looking north allows a longer exposure than looking south; otherwise, one begins to have star trails. Star trails can be lovely, but take away something in a landscape when trees are to be the main focus.

Although Venus setting was an hour or so after astronomical sunset, sunset light lingers in the west.

Cheers – and thank you ever so much for Water Cooler!

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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. flora

    re: speaking of youth turn out….

    From a long time ago but relevant to this. Jesse Jackson running for the Dem nom in 1984 gave this great speech. His ‘David and Goliath’ speech. 7 minutes. Worth a listen , imo, the last part of the speech in particular. No matter who is your preferred candidate.


  2. Grant

    A Clemson poll has Biden up 18 points, with Bernie in third. I doubt he leads by that much, it is an extreme outlier. And this poll at least has Biden rising in TX. My god would he be a horrible candidate. I hope people aren’t measuring the drapes too early for Bernie. I think he has a path to victory to be sure, but there are battles ahead. And I don’t trust the judgement of many Democrats or the party counting the votes.

    1. Grant

      Looking at that Clemson poll, an extreme outlier it looks like. Bernie winning in SC would be far less daunting than Michigan in 2016. If he could pull off a victory or get really close, gotta believe he is in good shape moving forward.

      1. eg

        I think a decent second place showing is good enough for Bernie to maintain momentum going into Super Tuesday

    2. JohnnyGL

      I think there’s a couple things going on, here.

      1) There seems to be somewhat of a gap between the national polls, which have Bernie up by high-single, low-double digit margins, and the state polls on Super Tuesday which show much closer races.

      2) The bundle of states that vote on Super Tuesday are pretty southern-heavy, and more conservative.

      Regarding 1, recall there was also a gap in the 2016 general election where the state polls were off and national polls were correct.

      To cite one example….

      1. a different chris

        >The bundle of states that vote on Super Tuesday are pretty southern-heavy, and more conservative.

        Oh Jeebus I suspected it but had never actually looked. So the “big day” for Democrats has a lucky 13 states, 7 of which will never, ever vote for a Democrat in the Presidential election.

        This is so stupid it must be deliberate. They really don’t want to win anything important, made obvious first with Obama pulling the plug on the 50-state strategy. And nicely bookended by Clinton taking everybody’s money and wasting it on herself (but not a plane ticket to Wisconsin, oh no).

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          I remember reading about how it was deliberate. The DLC types engineered these conservative states into a Super Tuesday in order to screen out all non-DLC-type nomination-seekers early. It was never about “winning elections”. It was about preventing ” real Democrats”.

        2. russell1200

          North Carolina

          I only count 6 states that haven’t voted Democrat at least once since 2000.
          I assume you are thinking North Carolina is the other one. But it did go for Obama in his first election.

        3. jrs

          But the bulk of the delegates aren’t in those states, except Texas and Texas is supposedly turning blue, but we will see if that is really the case or not.

      2. Grant

        Yeah, but I would point to some things that are troubling for Biden. For one, those committed to him are far lower than Bernie. And as we have seen, there is an enthusiasm gap between the two. Someone might be polled and says they support Biden, but will they actually show up? To this point, they largely haven’t. Beyond that, despite claims in the media, Bernie has in fact been pretty successful in getting new voters out. If he wasn’t he doesn’t win Iowa and he doesn’t do what he did in Nevada. So, it isn’t entirely possible to know to what extent those new voters will turn out, but to the extent that they do, they are almost certain to support Bernie more than anyone. And among black voters, will younger voters vote in larger numbers than they normally do? If so, not impossible Bernie does better than what the polls are saying. Either way, it is one state, one he had little chance in a few months ago, and Bernie is doing well in Texas and California. If he wins those two states, big if, gonna be hard to beat him. Not entirely impossible too that there are only a few people that will even qualify for delegates in either state, given how top heavy the support is and given the momentum of the campaign. And voters in both states started voting some time ago, which means a decent amount of the votes are already baked in. But, the fact that Biden has any support at all is still pretty disturbing.

    3. ChrisAtRU

      The Clemson poll is a hack. Go to the actual poll (PDF) here. Scroll down to page 4 for the demographic profile – 64% of respondents 55+ years old. They basically cooked up a poll in Biden’s wheelhouse. Talk about manufacturing consent: first, Clyburn’s Black Misleadership Class endorsement; followed a highly dubious poll to boost Biden further.


      1. Andrew Thomas

        And, whatever one thinks of South Carolina Democrat’s, or their motivations, there is absolutely no chance of any Democrat nominee carrying the state in November. Regardless of their commitment, unity, or any other wonderful qualities they may have, there is no chance any Republican nominee for president in that state would lose in November. This makes the state primary result moot. It simply doesn’t matter. All of our citizens deserve the attention of all of the candidates. That said, the attention paid to this hopeless cause by the corporate media with Super Tuesday on top of us would not be happening if Bernie was leading.

  3. a different chris

    Here’s a good review of a book that, if you have been contemplating your wrists for awhile but just can’t make the slit, oughta help get you there:


    I, as I’ve said before, don’t think Trump has much chance at a second term. But it’s almost “so what,” as things are so fubar as per this link to wonder why we should even be paying attention.

      1. a different chris

        Can’t tell from the blurb, as it implies Millhiser* seems to stop somewhere about the time I was born. But maybe not.

        But thanks for calling my attention to it.

        *a Center for American Progress dude, but I’m not gonna hold that against him.

  4. a different chris

    >endorsed Joe Biden’s presidential bid, giving the former vice president a much-needed boost

    Has the Hill read any of the, I dunno 300 million papers written showing that these kind of endorsements mean jack to the electorate? I suppose there are a handful of baby authoritarians that say “hey Mr. Big said vote for this guy and I am so happy because I have no opinions of my own!” but it’s not enough to register on any but the closest elections.

    1. grayslady

      No one should be endorsing Joe Biden. To the contrary, his friends and colleagues should be having a serious conversation with him about dropping out for the good of the country. I can’t be the only one who sees that Joe is suffering from obvious dementia. Last night he claimed that guns had killed half the population of the U.S. The day (or two) before, he sincerely asked a group of supporters to vote for him for the U.S. Senate. I could go on, but these are not harmless comments made by a guy who used to have a stutter, or who is known for putting his foot in his mouth in the past; and they are happening constantly. Joe needs to bow out–now. Yes, it’s very sad to see this happening in public, but he is running for the nation’s top job. It’s time to be brutally honest.

      1. katiebird

        …Half the population of the United States!!??…

        Do you have a link to that? I would like to hear it.

        1. grayslady

          From Politifact:

          “150 million people have been killed since 2007 when Bernie voted to exempt the gun manufacturers from liability.” — former Vice President Joe Biden

          This is wrong. Biden’s team said he misspoke.

          Firearm deaths reports gathered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show 413,403 deaths between 2007 and 2018. That is all deaths related to firearms, both intentional and accidental fatalities. Biden’s press team said he meant to say 150,000, the number of firearm homicides. That number checks out with the CDC data.

          I’m pretty sure that 150 million is close to half the population.

          1. katiebird

            Thank you! I didn’t watch the debate and wanted to share this. I hope I didn’t sound rude.

            How long can Biden get away with speaking so thoughtlessly?

            1. grayslady

              Not at all. You’re never rude.

              “How long can Biden get away with speaking so thoughtlessly?”

              I would guess as long as people continue to downplay the symptoms. Matt Taibbi did say, in a recent article, that Biden shouldn’t even be allowed to drive a car. Taibbi’s comment was only somewhat facetious, and that’s part of the problem–no one else in the press has come out and even said this much. You may not remember that, in the early debates, Biden would be speaking on one topic and then, mid-sentence, he would wander off on to some other topic, and then often a third topic–coming off as totally incomprehensible. I honestly believed voters would see, back then, that Biden had issues with an aging brain. I think some voters did identify the problem and that was one reason his poll numbers fell. But now, he’s still competitive in S. Carolina, and if he wins the state he’ll stay in the presidential race and people will be tempted to ignore the issue.

        2. Carey

          Biden said during the last mcDebate that gun violence had killed “150,000,000 Americans”. Yes, he sure did.

    2. Geo

      I have no expertise on the subject but figure endorsements are effective for giving a candidate a veneer of establishment acceptance and electability. Maybe not sway undecideds as much as those who already like the candidate but doubt their prospects? Much like the AOC/Omar/Talib endorsement rejuvinated Sanders after the health scare.

      So, for Joe who has been down and out for a while this may give a modest boost to his electability image which has been tanking lately. Beyond that I agree with you. Won’t sell any new voters. Might reaffirm him to those losing faith.

      Just my armchair amateur analysis.

      1. hunkerdown

        Also those who lowkey really like the candidate but need an authoritative voice to “excuse” their vote for them.

    3. Milton

      When it comes to CA propositions I lean heavily on endorsements: a recommendation from the nurse’s association will usually get me to vote accordingly as will the inverse of having the Howard Jarvis Taxpayer’s association recommending yea or nay on any particular one.

  5. Alex morfesis

    Not that people are panicking… Off to bigCo hardware a few days back and grabbed one of about ten remaining n100 masks, joking with cashier anything less than n100 will be useless against the Xi virus. Buddy asked me yesterday to help him with an old floor removal/demo and showed me his n95 mask and told him it was worthless…just lipstick on a pig…he went to get n100 mask today…all out everywhere in North tampabay… Went to confirm and luckily found tucked away behind a paid for corner display the last two…the staff asked where I had found it…was waiting for my buddy to swing by to make purchase but staff was looking at me as a snack and so went and bought them for him…not a good look…unfortunately these are made in China… Thus packaging claims may not match performance requirements… But still…all out already…will be doing my shopping at 3am at the 24 hr grocery… Not so busy then…

      1. a different chris

        Until their whole model of “pay people nothing and wear out their second most expensive investment (a car)” breaks down spectacularly.

        Everybody that needs food is going to have somebody else go shopping for it? Don’t think that’s gonna work.

    1. clarky90

      “Leaked Documents Reveal Coronavirus Infections Up to 52 Times Higher Than Reported Figures in China’s Shandong Province”


      “The CDC’s (Shandong Centers for Disease Prevention and Control) daily new infection numbers ranged from 1.36 times to 52 times greater than the officially published data by the Shandong health commission and China’s National Health Commission.

      As of Feb. 25, the Shandong government stated that there were a total of 755 infections in the province. But the internal document showed that 1,992 people had tested positive for the virus via nucleic acid testing as of Feb. 23.

      The government publicly stated that there were four newly diagnosed coronavirus patients on Feb. 22, but the internal document said that there were 61 positive tests that day.

      In recent days, official……”

      Now, moving right along to the real news, The Queen is EXTREMELY pissed off (!) at Meghan for taking Harry to Canada! OMG, Harry is now insisting on being addressed as plain old Harry, not Cur (I mean Sir…) What is the World coming too? What about civility…..? Just my two cents… IMO, if you want to profit, Big Time in 2020, buy Harry and Meghan mugs and collectables…….(I am not a financial advisor).

      Oh, and don’t worry about this overhyped coronavirus thing. High powered Hollywood insiders have secretly confided, “Covid19 is just an annoying sniffle…Everything will be fine and dandy in just a few weeks…..”

      1. Geo

        Call me cynical but I don’t trust any info coming out of China on this. Sadly it will have to spread to other – more transparent – places before we truly know the real deal.

        And, now that it’s possibly in my LA neighborhood I might get to be the guinea pig to let y’all know how it goes.

        1. clarky90

          Hi Geo…. Exactly! I don’t trust official, unofficial, Chinese data either. (For that matter, even USAian data…. -cost of living, poverty…)

          We are getting a steady stream of data from citizen journalists, who risk their lives, their employment, their freedom (Seth Rich, Julian Assange, Eric Snowden, Chelsea Manning….and many many more (heralded and unheralded) from around the World.

          “Au contraire”, we are also getting different data from highly-paid bureaucrats/technocrats whose employment, lives, first class lifestyles, freedom….. are contingent on “Hewing to the Party Line”.

          So, who should we give credence to?

          The latest “official talking point” is that the Chinese outbreak is under control, and we can expect BAU soon. We all have to make our own decisions.

          Dr John Cambell thinks that the data out of S Korea and Singapore is creditable….

            1. Foy

              People with good track records of telling the truth to authority, who often subsequently get ostracised but are eventually proven right are usually what I look for. But you usually wont find them in mainstream media. They’ll have their own little blog somewhere. And you still need to take things with a grain of salt if/when speaking outside their are of expertise.

              For instance I really like Retired Colonel Pat Lang’s website Sic Semper Tyrannis for International Geopolitical Military analysis. He was one of the few in the US who said at the time the Iraq war was a mistake and that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. So he had a good track record and has been on the money since regarding Ukraine Syria, Venezuela Saudi Arabia, Israel, Russia and other US misadventures. He’s a professor of Arabic and knows the middle east inside out. But his thoughts on internal US politics (he calls Sanders ‘the Marxist’) and climate change I ignore.

              Craig Murray is a retired ambassador who usually gives good analysis on diplomatic matters eg his latest work on Assange.

              And of course Yves and NC commenteriat for financial economic and other stuff (there’s always an expert lurking in comments on whatever topic under discussion, it’s fantastic).

              Krystal Ball is doing some good work now after leaving MSNBC. Matt Taibbi writes well I think.

              The voices in the wilderness…

              1. Procopius

                Minor quibble: LTC (Ret) Pat Lang is not a Professor of Arabic. He was a top level Army Intelligence officer who spent his career in the Middle East. He does speak, read, and (I suppose) write Arabic. I believe he at least speaks some of the other relevant languages from the region, but I may be mistaken. He has said he likes Trump’s economic and immigration policies, so I find him credible when he is critical of Middle Eastern policies. The Professor of Middle Eastern Studies is Juan Cole, whose Informed Comment blog is an absolute must read. He’s been covering the fiasco since 2003, is fluent in both Arabic and Farsi, and has contacts throughout the region. His blog aggregates stories from many sources, but I trust that he wouldn’t include stories that he thinks are inaccurate.

          1. wilroncanada

            Almost none of them are “citizen journalists”. Real journalists (there are very few in most MSM businesses either), even if they are writing for the internet, check and double-check and triple-check their information, They ask real questions ( which eliminates the moderators in the democrat debates), and weigh contending narratives. They never use anonymous stories without researching background on the sources. If they cannot find background, for some reason, those sources are disregarded.
            What journalism is NOT, is repeating social media scuttlebut.

      1. clarky90

        “Coronavirus: Man receives $3,500 medical bill for test after returning to US from China”


        “Osmel Martinez Azcue returned from a work trip last month to China and discovered he was feeling flu-like symptoms. Worried about the coronavirus, the man decided to go to a Florida hospital to get tested, according to the Miami Herald.

        Testing revealed Mr Azcue had the flu, not the coronavirus. But his limited health insurance left him with a bill of $3,270 two weeks after his test. He will be responsible for $1,400 of that bill.

        “How can they expect normal citizens to contribute to eliminating the potential risk of person-to-person spread if hospitals are waiting to charge us $3,270 for a simple blood test and a nasal swab?” Mr Azcue told the newspaper….”

        When the dust settles, I believe that the USA will have good, universal health care, of one sort or another. It will have to happen. It will be bipartisan, because there will be no other alternative.

    2. Louis Fyne

      i wonder how workers in the demolition, lead removal, mold, etc. are going to cope w/the scarcity in respirators. Doubt that they would have more than 1 month’s supply on hand.

      1. LawnDart

        In my business we work with a lot of fabrication– burn, cut and grind stuff.

        Many (certainly not all) of the workers in this biz can’t see further out than their next paycheck. Health? “Got enough in my pocket to get me another pack of cigs…”

        They’ll do without the masks, and come to accept that.

        In Trumpistan, worker-safety regs are hardly worth a hoot by anyone but some ambulance-chasers looking to roll the dice for a payday.

  6. Dalepues

    At Mobile’s Mardi Gras yesterday I saw at least a dozen people wearing masks (not party masks). So it will soon be a thing….

  7. a different chris

    >“Centrist-child syndrome”

    Actually doesn’t sound like lil’ Pete and Kamela are that rebellious at all. I bet everybody on this list knows a person or two that fell way farther from the tree than that.

    I always laugh at the earnest belief, I see it in conservatives but maybe as an engineer I don’t know enough well-off liberals, that people are going to “mold and shape” their kids to be simply more perfect versions of them.

    Don’t work that way. I have no idea how or why my kids turned out like they did, and we get along really well.

    1. Amfortas the hippie

      i’ve thought a lot about this since my eldest was born, 18 years ago.
      I endeavored to get them to think for themselves….socratic method(asking questions) since they could talk, etc.
      “what’s the first step on the Path to Wisdom?”=”I don’t know”
      and i never, ever did baby talk with them…speaking to them as adults from birth, and hoping thereby to spur them to catch up, as it were.
      somehow maintaining their respect….i think mostly by quickly owning up to my shortcomings…Radical Honesty.
      they both f&ck with us…in a deadpan seriousness that rivals my own…by pretending to be all MAGA…and the deadpan is so convincing sometimes that wife and i (especially wife) can’t tell…at least briefly.
      but then high school drama intervenes and the exasperation with idiocy comes to the fore and all that faux trumpism needling is washed away…and they’re both socialists,lol…at least in the “Unto this Last” sense.
      I wanted above all to build Human Beings, ala the Bene Gesserit Gom Jabbar…and(touch wood!) it looks like i have succeeded.
      as for their peers…politically(small-p), they’re all nominally conservative/gop/righty(all lower-case)…until they get enough exposure to my boys…and to us.
      eldest especially “brings them to me” after preparation…”you should hear my dad out…”
      not sure how i feel about this…let alone how their parents do(see: Plato’s Apology, or Xenophon on the Trial and death of Socrates for a cautionary tale)…i’ve never even suggested it…let alone encouraged it.
      the baseline small-c conservatism, larded on with various parrot noises that they hear at home, but have never thought about(because thinking is, truly, discouraged(!!)…is a mere patina…a placeholder.
      it appears that the other parents try real hard to propagate their belief structures in their kids…but fail horribly.(some of them even marvel to wife and i at how we’ve done with our boys…unpopular mugwumps, including a radical outcast(me), producing the politest, most thoughtful and well rounded individuals)
      either the kids abdicate politics,etc altogether, or they become the sort of online wokesters we so often lament(and how much of that is akin to dyeing one’s hair purple?)
      regardless…in politics, philosophy and religion, the Norms are not being passed on in any but the most rudimentary, root code, ways.
      we were fortunate in that i became disabled/unemployed right abut the time they were born…so that they had a stay at home parent. this is very unusual, these days.
      all anecdata, of course. usual caveats apply.

  8. hamstak

    Here’s a question for Bloomberg I doubt he will ever be directly asked: If you are willing to spend as much as $1 billion to fund your presidential bid, temporarily employing a significant number of Americans and lending a boost to the national and local economies, why were you not able to previously invest that money towards productive, long-term enterprises, also employing people, perhaps on a long-term basis?

    Suggested private answer: Because buying congress-critters worked so well, I decided to save it and just buy the whole kit-and-kaboodle!

    Suggested public answer: Because the economic and financial environment was not suitable for such investment.

    1. Samuel Conner

      I’ve been wondering what he did to pressure Senate Rs to convict DJT in the recent trial (20 votes to convict, or 30 “no shows” for the final vote, would have been enough)

      One would think that if DJT is so dangerous that he must be defeated in November, it would have been worth a major effort to persuade the most wobbly Senate Rs to cooperate with the House removal agenda.

      Perhaps MB did not believe in the merits of the specific charges?

  9. Bill Carson

    We’re going to know in a little more than three days whether and to what extent Bernie will get the black vote in South Carolina and the South. This was his Achilles heel in 2016, but I feel he has made great strides to reach out to minority communities since then. Fingers crossed that it will work for him.

    1. JohnnyGL


      Let’s keep in mind what a hill he’s had to climb. Clinton beat him by almost 50 points in 2016.

      Biden seems like he’ll hang on by a few points in SC. I think he’s getting a little bit of a bump from a fall in Steyer, Amy, and Pete. Bernie’s getting some of that, too, but not quite as much.

      Chuck Rocha might yet have some tricks up his sleeve as he did in NV, where Bernie hit the top end of his polling numbers.

    2. Big River Bandido

      Let’s keep in mind that in any event, no Democrat is going to win in most Southern states in November. In that sense it doesn’t matter how black people in SC will vote in November. What matters is whether black people turn out to vote in Detroit and Milwaukee and Philadelphia.

      1. Samuel Conner

        One wonders whether the history of HRC outpolling Sanders in “red” states in the 2016 primary (combined with the outcome in the general, assuming that people can recall what that was) will influence the narrative should JB exhibit a similar pattern next week.

      2. Deschain

        But also, how many Latino/Latina voters turn out in NV, NM, AZ, and even TX. Feeling pretty good about that right now.

        1. Big River Bandido

          I agree. But only NV and NM are in the traditional Democrat column, and they account for only a handful of EC votes which don’t generally bring other states along (although sometimes CO will back a Democrat who is strong enough to win NM).

          A Democrat needs to win all the “reliably” Democrat states (Northeast, West Coast, MN and IL) plus (in order of difficulty) WI, MI, PA, IA and OH. Those five states come as a bloc, and each one leads to the next step on the list. (If you can win IA you may well have the strength to prevail also in OH. If you can’t win IA, forget about OH, and might as well forget about the entire campaign.)

          Any Democrat needs all five states to win. That said, Sanders does show the potential to shake up the map. But those states (esp. TX) will be “gravy”, as opposed to being integral to the overall strategy.

      3. Bugs Bunny

        Except that the candidate with the majority of delegates will likely get the nomination, and those states are, unfortunately, worth some delicious delegates.

    3. Dirk77

      As of today, Vegas oddsmakers give Biden a slim win over Sanders in SC, Biden winning bigger in AL, then Sanders getting a slim win in AR. Then Sanders destroying everyone in CA, CO, etc.

      One interesting aspect of this betting is that state by state Bloomberg is not expected to do well, yet for the nomination he’s still second behind Sanders.

  10. laughingsong

    “Clyburn endorses Biden ahead of South Carolina primary”

    Can’t wait for Glen Ford’s evisceration of this.

    1. chuckster

      What choice did he have? You knew it wasn’t going to be Bernie.Amy and Mayo Pete will get fewer black votes than Strom Thurmond. Steyer? Gone after Saturday.

      Christ, he endorsed Hillary in 2016. Nothing out of the ordinary. At least Bloomberg didn’t buy another endorsement

      1. Pat

        Not sure Bloomberg tried. This is the last of the states he couldn’t be bothered with.
        That said, I am not sure even Clyburn would be arrogant enough to think he could get away with endorsing Mayor Stop and Frisk.

  11. Woodchuck

    One thing that’s bothering me a bit regarding the DNC debate tickets is that I heard/read it being presented many times as a simple result of tickets being expensive so the people there were obviously more favorable to Bloomberg. I mean ok, sure, makes sense to some extent. But nobody can convince me that this explains the booing and cheering on its own.

    Rich people wouldn’t just boo Warren when she’s talking about Bloomberg telling a woman to get an abortion or something like that. Rich people can be a lot of things, but usually it’s not hooligans and the sheer amount of loud boos and cheers early on clearly in sync with Bloomberg talking points/critics was just not natural in any way, no matter who the crowd was. That was very clearly paid shills. Tickets could have been handed randomly for free, they could still just had someone buy them from people for 1k$ a piece to still fill the place with the same paid shills. I can’t believe it was simply the result of expensive tickets. I fully understand how this facilitates things, but it’s too kind of an explanation. Bloomberg clearly just bought (part of) the crowd.

    Oh, and Congress lol.

    1. Bill Carson

      Early in the debate, Bloomberg remarked that he had been endorsed by many black politicians, many of whom were in the audience. OR some of those politicians might have given their tickets to some rowdy folks.

        1. Bill Carson

          Oh it doesn’t matter that they are black, but that’s what Bloomberg said to boast about his support in South Carolina. Here is his quote from the transcript: “But if you talk to the people in New York City, I have over 100 black elected officials that have endorsed me. A lot of them are in the audience tonight.”

    2. clarky90

      “After Attending a Trump Rally, I Realized Democrats Are Not Ready For 2020”
      Karlyn Borysenko Feb 12


      “I’ve been a Democrat for 20 years……..

      ….You might not think of the knitting world as a particularly political community, but you’d be wrong. Many knitters are active in social justice communities and love to discuss the revolutionary role knitters have played in our culture.

      I started noticing this about a year ago, particularly on Instagram. I knit as a way to relax and escape the drama of real life, not to further engage with it. But it was impossible to ignore after roving gangs of online social justice warriors started going after anyone in the knitting community who was not lockstep in their ideology.

      Knitting stars on Instagram were bullied and mobbed by hundreds of people for seemingly innocuous offenses. One man got mobbed so badly that he had a nervous breakdown and was admitted to the hospital on suicide watch.

      Many things were not right about the hatred, and witnessing the vitriol coming from those I had aligned myself with politically was a massive wake-up call…..”

      1. hunkerdown

        “MSNBC viewer” was the dead giveaway. No, she’s been a neoliberal centrist for 20 years and very likely a #NeverSanders since 2016. Notice how carefully she avoids saying Sanders’ name in the piece and tries to lump her real friends, the centrists, in with him. It’s Bernie Bro transference.

    3. fajensen

      Rich people wouldn’t just boo Warren when she’s talking about Bloomberg telling a woman to get an abortion or something like that.

      Rich people don’t waste their own time on DNC debates. If they even care, they will pay someone to do that for them and prepare a one-page PowerPoint executive summary.

      In this case, Bloomberg could have paid the tickets for ‘a supportive audience’, but, since he is obviously not a ‘man of details’ probably did it through some hired flunkies, so some of the crowd requirements were value-engineered away and they got a shouty bunch of loudmouths instead of the ‘intelligent & civilised supporters’ he likely imagined.

      Like happened with the ‘graffiti-teers’: Task is ‘show a vicious attack against Bloomberg within a 2000 USD budget’. Therefore they couldn’t just spray bomb the wall like the normal graffiti-wielding ruffians would do, the hole thing becomes staged and the money is wasted. Typical Management ‘Thinking’, worrying about random specifics to ‘show leadership’ and ‘being on the beat’, while forgetting what one is trying to do!

  12. Samuel Conner

    Re: “Also given the state of San Francisco’s streets, and the fact that #COVIF-19 spreads by fecal transmission”

    The thought has been nagging me in back of mind in recent days whether it is possible for the virus to survive for any length of time in municipal waste streams.

    I have read a teeny bit about how sewage is processed to produce potable water and solids usable for ag purposes. The disinfection procedures sound to me like they are targeted at cellular pathogens. I’m not confident the filtration processes are sufficiently stringent to remove virus particles, which are typically sub-micron in size.

    The abstract of this item, near the top of a qwant search, does not seem encouraging:


    Are there readers who know more about this?

    I’m not panicking, but my mood is a bit sombre.

    1. Chris

      The thing to really worry about are the overflow retention areas for sewers and any areas with open cesspools. Or those smaller communities that experience water treatment failures and have to release untreated water. Or the highways with drainage ditches connected to sewer areas or storm runoff areas.

      Fecal transmission is not impossible to deal with but it means we’ve got a lot more holes in our infrastructure to plug than people realize for any kind of coordinated response. Also, this whole issue fits into Yves’ and Lambert’s often mentioned HappyTown/PainCity split. If you’re living in a community that’s not wealthy enough to pay for upgrades to infrastructure, or say there are a lot of poor people with broken sewer connections or failed septic fields in your district, you’re going to have a much greater chance of being exposed to this virus. I’m going to make a bet and say that everywhere in Florida, Georgia, and Alabama that is currently experiencing a resurgence of round worm infections will also be hotspots for CoVid-19. Ditto for places like Detroit where apartment buildings that have not been maintained properly often develop cesspools underneath them.

      If Trump was smart and wanted to goose the economy and win the election he’d start funding sewer upgrade projects in the south and midwest now so we have a hope of containing this virus once it grabs hold in the US. If the puppet masters behind whoever is finally the Team Blue nominee are smart, they’ll do the same.

  13. Kurt Sperry

    I saw my first Bernie TV ad of this election this morning on a local Seattle news program. Much better produced than the wall-to-wall Bloomberg ads.

    1. a different chris

      Well read down:

      A Republican has won a seat in a state that voted Republican presidents in 5 of last 7 elections, 2 Republican senators, 5 of 6 House representatives, and 2 of past 3 governors.

      So Kentucky plays true to form. Did you think a Democrat was going to win there? I suspect we will (if we care to bother) find that “Dem for decades” is a very personal thing. Pittsburgh itself had some Republican politicos that were – granted this was before R’s were crazy – always voted into whatever office they wanted. For “decades”. Jim Roddey (sp?) comes to mind.

      1. David J.

        I suspect we will (if we care to bother) find that “Dem for decades” is a very personal thing.

        Mostly so. The seat being filled had previously been held by Rocky Adkins, a popular Dem who took a position in the new Beshear admin. Generally a Democratic area, but has drifted towards Republicans in recent years. Much like other parts of flyover-land.

    1. Lee

      One expert’s advice from the program: stay home if you have symptoms.

      Suppose you had #COVID-19 symptoms but co-pays and an enormous deductible. Would you seek help immediately? Would you put the visit off as long as possible? Or would you to gut it out, at home? Would you self-quarantine? Suppose you had only $400 for emergencies, like most Americans. What if you were a retail worker? Or a server? Could you self-quarantine?

      Lambert Strether

      One of Lambert’s quotes that’s getting a lot of play at Daily Kos.

    2. Alex

      Piles of human shyt seen 5x in one block in S.F. this morning. And that’s Union Square, supposedly the best shopping area of the city. A dog was chowing down on one pile.
      Hopefully not an animal companion of someone who lets Fido lick their face.
      The city is approaching? is, at a Third World level now. The alleys south of Market Street are as bad as anything I ever saw in Nigeria or India. That’s the fault of the supervisors and the Homeless Industrial Complex that spends well over $300 million tax dollars a year on benefits for them–no wonder so many drug addicts come and stay forever. Would you believe 4.4 million drug syringes handed out in San Francisco in one year? https://sf.curbed.com/2018/5/9/17336090/san-francisco-needles-syringes-exchange-numbers-sf

      I wonder if the cartels are donating to the San Francisco supervisors?

      1. Aumua

        Sure and giving clean syringes to addicts has what to do with COVID-19 or the homeless crisis in America, exactly?

        1. Monty

          As far as I understand it, the argument, (usually forwarded by “Dan” and his other noms de guerre) is: if we just left these people to die, rather than supporting them in any way, they would die off.. or at least not show up en masse in the place offering the best perks.

        2. Alex

          You will notice a bunch of block text above comments where subjects are mentioned for discussion. I was in reply to
          “…..Also given the state of San Francisco’s streets, and the fact that #COVIF-19 spreads by fecal transmission.”

          Addicts and public poopers are very often the same people. Maybe you live in Rhode Island and the junkies are all in Newport mansions with bathrooms?

  14. Ranger Rick

    Had to crack a smile today on the way to work. The local Bloomberg campaign office is occupying the same spot Hillary’s did in 2016. The place hasn’t had a tenant since then, either, and up until recently had a #HillaryForPrison sticker on one of the windows.

    1. sleepy

      Here in Iowa there was no Bloomberg office of course. But Hillary’s rented digs from 2016 are still vacant, as are many properties.

      Unlike yours, it’s too bad our little town doesn’t get any benefit from Bloomberg’s riches.

  15. Jeff W

    “The smarter commentators are now attacking the Sanders theory of change directly”

    There’s also this from CNN: “Sanders could not beat Trump simply by mobilizing turnout. Here’s why.”

    It starts out quoting longtime Democratic strategist/political hack James Carville saying that the idea that Sanders can win by expanding the electorate “is the equivalent of climate denial. If you believe that, you are dumb as a climate denier.” Interestingly, it also quotes pretty left-wing Sean McElwee of Data for Progress along the same lines: “…turnout is a pretty durable attribute and it tends to correlate with intrinsic human identities.” And there’s this weird argument: “Experts on the electorate in both parties, as well as political scientists who study voting patterns, almost universally agree that at this point the massive pool of nonvoters does not break decisively toward one party.”

    But that all seems a bit irrelevant. the Sanders campaign isn’t targeting “the massive pool of nonvoters” indiscriminately; it’s targeting those nonvoters who would view Sanders’ policies favorably—as it did with Latino voters in Nevada—and it doesn’t need massive amounts of those to make a difference. And we don’t know just how “durable” voter turnout is if the most durable thing in US politics in the past 40 years—an establishment Democrat running on neoliberal policies indistinguishable from those of the Republican opponent—no longer holds.

    1. flora

      Wow. They sound a bit desperate to shape the narrative and conclusion into their preferred direction, do they not? /heh.

      1. Jeff W

        It’s the usual. Attacking how Sanders will get it done is smarter than what he wants to get done but it doesn’t make the actual arguments any better. A self-proclaimed democratic socialist isn’t supposed to be the front-runner, according to the conventional wisdom, but that just says something about the conventional wisdom.

    2. Bill Carson

      Hispanics in this country are a sleeping giant. They could easily turn Texas blue if they would only get out and vote. And yes, I am aware of the ways that their participation has been suppressed. But let’s hope that Sanders is able to stoke a fire in the Latino community and motivate them to vote. It could change the entire country.

      1. Jeff W

        “…Sanders is able to stoke a fire the Latino community and motivate them to vote.”

        Chuck Rocha, senior advisor in the Sanders campaign (and native Texan), did that very effectively in Nevada and is pursuing the same strategy in Texas and elsewhere (including South Carolina, where the Sanders campaign is also doing something similar with black voters).

        The Sanders campaign isn’t just advocating systemic change, it refuses to accept the constraints that act as barriers to that change as an unalterable given.

        1. foghorn longhorn

          Most of the hispanics I know in tejas are very republican and solidly trumpians.
          Not to say bernie can’t win the dem primary, but the state will go trump in november, unless he gets caught with a live boy.
          So it’s not entirely a no go. Lol

          1. mraymondtorres

            None of the latinos I know in Texas are republicans or support Trump. But then Texas has a population of about 25 million of which approx 40% are latino and I’m guessing that between us we know an immeasurably tiny portion of them.

            Re the state going Trump, that’s true. But it must be said that it’s only because the Dems haven’t really campaigned or worked registration and get-out-the-vote here in decades.

            1. Bill Carson

              “…only because the Dems haven’t really campaigned or worked registration and get-out-the-vote here in decades.”

              This is true. I’m sure that has changed, as close as Beto O’Rourke got to defeating Lyin’ Ted Cruz.

            2. Alex

              Legal immigrants, once they have attained residency or citizenship, disfavor the illegals. That’s why they support Trump.Too bad the Democrats are committed to lose by calling for open borders.

              1. Bill Carson

                You must be watching a different election because I haven’t heard any candidates proposing open borders.

    3. a different chris

      Yes I mean the whole underlying concept of polling is that “the massive pool of X” is pretty much the same as the sampled X.

      Jesus and that’s the “smarter commenters”?

    4. Geo

      “The most popular and trusted candidate cannot win. We must go with a less popular and distrusted candidate!”

      Is this seriously their argument?

      1. Alex

        It is if they want to keep the Trump tax breaks in place for the Billionaire class and prefer to lose to Trump. Plus, it gives them something to complain about instead of having the responsibility to actually do some thing for the people they pretend to represent.

  16. RMO

    “Biden hit Sanders on his gun control record, specifically his votes against the Brady Bill, a 1994 law that mandated federal background checks and waiting periods on gun purchases. Biden noted that Emanuel AME Church, site of the 2015 mass shooting, was walking distance from the debate site. ‘I’m not saying he’s responsible for nine deaths, but that man would not have been able to get that weapon if he had supported this bill,’ Biden said.”

    Can someone explain that one to me? I was under the impression the Brady Bill passed into law and so was in effect at the time of the shooting and the shooter passed the background check due to a glitch in the system.

    1. flora

      Biden is a long experience, successful, and wily politician.
      How does he explain trying to cut SS and Medicare, when 1 in 2 African American senior citizens have only SS for all of their retirement income? He doesn’t. He changes the subject. imo.

  17. ObjectiveFunction

    I boil with rage every time I see a GoFundMe or a “Hope for Bob” fundraiser for yet another American fighting a severe illness, and facing ruin on top of that.

    Consider me a single issue voter at this point.

    If America is a ship, the hull is leaking and taking on water, her timbers worn away from poor maintenance and now being gnawed by rats. How we power and pilot the ship are frankly secondary considerations. And the typhoon of climate change is coming no matter who’s at the helm.

    Fix the hull!

    1. Late Introvert

      I have met more than a few people who I wouldn’t have otherwise thought would be supporting M4A. We have a shot at it in 2020. Corona virus may have a serious impact on the vote though, plus or minus. I suspect plus.

  18. phemfrog

    Re: Pete B with a cold

    I listened to Rising (with Krystal Ball) today and the representative from the Buttegieg campaign said he had “the flu.”

    Funny thing was that Krystal and cohost both made the same joke you did, asking if Pete had been shaking hands with any Chinese people lately.

    1. chuckster

      He walked across the stage last night after the debate to shake hands with Amy Klobuchar. If Bernie doesn’t get the nomination can we at least have a Klobuchar-Buttigieg ticket?

    2. flora

      Pete with ‘a cold’. That’s what they said about Andropov and Gromyko. (Yes, cheap shot, but still.) /heh

  19. Bill Carson

    Based upon my interactions with Trump voters over the last few days, it is possible that Team Trump will go into the general election with a bit of overconfidence.

      1. Bill Carson

        It’s all just one big tribe, and they just assume that everyone is in it. They don’t know anyone who doesn’t support Trump, and they can’t imagine anyone not supporting Trump. I think they have a blind spot. This whole “Bernie can’t win” mantra may end up helping because it will lull them into a false sense of security. Yes, they may be motivated to vote by the fear of communism and higher taxes, but I don’t sense that they hate Bernie with the same white hot hatred as they hated Hillary.

        1. Samuel Conner

          wait, I thought that, with regard to people’s attitudes toward Sanders, and per a wise and powerful figure in the D establishment, “nobody likes him”

        2. Aumua

          Well they are told by their higher ups: Levine, Beck, Limbaugh etc. on a daily basis that Sanders either guarantees Trump’s win and is therefore irrelevant, because Communism, or alternatively Sanders is very, very scary, because Communism.

          I personally think that their nickname for him, “crazy Bernie”, is not very effective a put down because coming from Trump, “crazy” is practically a compliment.

          1. Monty

            I predict that if Bernie is clearly going to win in November, he will be executed in the street whilst on the trail. Everyone will be shocked, and know it stinks, just like the Epstein suicide. DOJ reports it was Lone gunman, bad apple, case closed. Dems don’t have a really deep bench… Checkmate.

            1. chuckster

              If it looks like Bernie is going to win and gets shot, the more likely suspect would be the Dems not the GOP

          2. Massinissa

            Compared to ‘Little Marco’, ‘Little Mike’, and ‘Lyin’ Ted’, ‘Crazy Bernie’ is really weaksauce. Trump is usually much better at creating nicknames.

            ‘Crazy Bernie’ sounds like a used car salesman at worst. And if hes selling a barely used universal healthcare bill, where do I sign?

              1. Samuel Conner

                I sense grudging respect.

                I’d like to think that DJT is alert enough, and self-aware enough, to notice in Sanders a high level of integrity that absent from his own character.

              2. Foy

                Yep, Steve Bannon Trumps ex strategist and ex-Chief of Staff talked about their respect for Bernie Sanders in a recent interview, as he says is a populist just like Trump. Bannon said he doesn’t mind Sanders so much, they see similar problems (the working guy is getting shafted) but just have different solutions to the problem. Bannon said this election will be between Popular Nationalism and Popular Socialism.

            1. NotTimothyGeithner

              These “nicknames” only work when a person takes oneself too seriously and becomes inflexible. Rufio pretends to be a tough dude. Cruz likes to fancy himself as a moralist. Bloomie goes on about the size of what is above his neck.

              When has Sanders ever prided himself on being part of the chattering class and Trump clearly has brain worms at the same time. “Crazy Obama/Pete/Hillary” could work because they are heavily invested in being establishment types.

              Pointing out Sanders isn’t that radical (there is a good article his views taken to their logical outcome on issues such as race and colonialism which are in his critiques makes him quite revolutionary compared to European center left parties Americans get compared to) is probably the one thing that would get under his skin.

              1. Aumua

                In fact Bernie’s closing statement of the debate last night had him saying that in his opinion, the biggest misconception that is tossed around about him is that his ideas ARE all that radical.

            2. richard

              lol my sentiments exactly
              well he’s not a liar or a fake and that doesn’t leave trump much to work with

              1. Late Introvert

                Insightful comment. Trump fails when he can’t expose the very things he is personally guilty of and therefore knows so well. Trump is venal, but he is not stupid.

                Bernie FTW.

          3. Sailor Bud

            Some of the Chapo fellows argued a few episodes back that “Crazy Bernie” is effective at evoking the TV huckster Crazy Eddie (whose prices were “INSANE”) though I think those ads were just on the east coast, so maybe it’s not so great an argument.

  20. BobW

    Super Tuesday list still says Alaska (AK) instead of Arkansas (AR). You can’t see Russia from the Walton’s house.

  21. martell

    Interesting article on Buttigieg’s father. It gets some things right, and some wrong. Marx didn’t think that the “fundamental polarity” is between the ruling class and the masses. He thought that the societies in which human beings produce their own means of subsistence have been class societies. The classes making up a society vary, depending on modes of production. He also thought that capitalism was the dominant mode of production of the 19th Century Western European social formations with which he was most familiar. And he held that the capitalist mode of production is one in which legally free individuals agree to work under the authority of other individuals in return for wages. The commanding individuals ensure that laborers produce a value that is over and above the value of wages, they control the surplus, and they typically reinvest it in the firm over which they have control (if not ownership). Those empowered to so direct the productive activities of others could be called the bourgeoisie and those dominated could be called the proletariat, though Marx himself often spoke in terms of capitalists and wage-laborers. But these are not the only classes which Marx and Marxists have recognized. There are, in addition, self-employed individuals and state employees (making up the so-called petty bourgeoisie) as well as classes pertaining to the non-capitalist modes of production with which the capitalist mode is always mixed (e.g., peasants). From this perspective, polarity between some one ruling class and the masses (all the other classes) is anything but a given. If it comes about at all, it’s a political achievement.

    As for the suggestion that Buttigieg has some sort of variation on the Oedipal complex, I think another possibility should at least be considered: he’s an A student. The schools he attended, especially elite universities, teach (quite explicitly but also tacitly) the fundamental tenets of progressive neoliberalism, the hegemonic discourse of corporate Democrats. Common sense, relative to this way of talking, includes the following: self-regulating markets are efficient, just, and even natural. Aside from securing those markets, the only remaining social problems that the state might legitimately address are problems pertaining to ascriptive identities. No other problems can be thought, partly because no other problems can be said. Of course, ‘class’ in the Marxist sense plays no role in this way of talking/thinking.

    1. Jeff W

      “The schools he attended, especially elite universities, teach…the fundamental tenets of progressive neoliberalism, the hegemonic discourse of corporate Democrats.”

      I think that’s absolutely right but, moreover, Pete Buttigieg was born in 1982—the only way forward to success politically in the 1990s and 2000s would to be the Third Way neoliberalism of the Clintons. Buttigieg is absolutely nothing if not a rank opportunist—he’s just checking all the boxes and following the most conventional, if now superseded, path to victory.

  22. Big River Bandido

    Thank you for the link to the Richard M. Nixon Twit account. This is my first exposure to it and it was delightful. At times it really does have the voice of Nixon: “some son of a bitch in CBS advertising…”. I will be chuckling over that for days.

    1. Off The Street

      I saw him on an Econ panel and he was in non-crying mode while eviscerating Robert Reich. Of course, that was so last-Millennium as the new evisceratee of choice appears to be Bloomie.

      1. Samuel Conner

        Starting in to that DN video now (linked in AM links); intrigued by your comment. I tend to think of PK as swaggering and disdainful, at least in writing.

        PK looks, at the beginning, like he just got really bad news on the phone from a medical specialist.

        1. Samuel Conner

          Krugman sometimes gets my ire up. Krugman favors universal health care, and considers himself a “centrist”. Ergo, everyone else should understand ‘universal health care’ to be a ‘centrist’ policy preference. How dare Sanders call himself a ‘democratic socialist’!

          I’m actually more upset listening to this than I was last night listening to the dumpster-fire debate.

  23. curlydan

    10 year Treasuries hit an all-time low again today: down as low as 1.302%, closed at 1.31%. I’m guessing those 2% savings account yields I’ve been seeing lately just got a little riskier for the banks?

  24. Mildred Montana

    Michael Bloomberg says he is the only candidate who can beat Trump. If he believes this, he is seriously deluded. He has NO chance of beating Trump.

    He’s a plutocrat, stiff, priggish, and humorless. Trump is also a plutocrat but a sarcastic, outrageous, clownish, plain-spoken, and simple one.

    Americans much prefer the Trump version of plutocrat, which so reminds them of their favorite reality-show and WWE stars. That’s why he’s got a solid ~45% of the electorate immovably behind him.

    No hope for Bloomberg to shake this support but it’ll be fun watching a fool being separated from his money. As John Kenneth Galbraith once wrote, “Watching other people lose their money can be a source of great amusement.”

    1. Monty

      That’s 45% of the 50% that votes. Give them something to turn out for, maybe some of those will show up?

    2. ObjectiveFunction

      Hmm, you are referring to the same Bloomdenberg who suggested employees perform 0ral acts on other employees?

      To paraphrase Douglas Adams, this appears to be some curious new definition of the word “priggish” of which I was previously unaware. Piggish, yes, in spades.

  25. Henry Moon Pie

    Is more than even a vitally important Presidential election underway? Even the cynical and worldly Glenn Greenwald was amazed at what Sharpton said today as Bernie sat there.

    It was attuned to what seems to be going on all over TV as somebody finds their conscience. Sure, maybe it’s just a recognition that Bernie is unstoppable because of the numbers, but I’m not so sure that Bernie’s position is quite that strong yet. Remember in the debate that it appeared that the moderator, Bloomberg, Bloomberg’s noisy thugs and Butti were ready to all descend on Bernie as “Putin’s favorite. It was a tough moment even for Bernie who has already navigated shoals and rapids that would have wrecked a lesser captain. Just as it seemed that their little plot might yield one of those moments they play over and over again on cable, a group shouted down Bloomie’s cheering section. It threw them off balance and gave Bernie a moment to collect himself. Were they Bernie supporters? We didn’t hear a lot from them the rest of the night. Or were they some of the men Sharpton was talking about who were there for Biden?

    Yesterday, I watched Donna Edwards stand up to Nicolle Wallace’s smears and defend Bernie to the point of almost endorsing him. Then Eugene Robinson came on and talked about his op-ed telling people to “get over it” because they can beat Trump with Bernie. The old Bushie Wallace was flabbergasted.

    Is it just cynical players judging Bernie to be the winner? Or maybe a moral revival, better a tsunami if it’s able to reach Al Sharpton. It’s quite a year already.

    1. Yves Smith

      Holy shit, Al Sharpton is the ultimate opportunist. He thinks Bernie can go the distance, even in SC. He wouldn’t stick his neck out like this unless he thought Sanders would do at least pretty well (as in a pretty close second).

      Plus as an MSNBC host, he’s bucking the channel’s party line.

      1. Carey

        >Holy shit, Al Sharpton is the ultimate opportunist. He thinks Bernie can go the distance, even in SC.

        These are good signals.

  26. skk

    RE: Harriet Tubman DEBIT card

    Jeez. Is nothing sacred ? Welll.. seeing as this is financial capitalism, of course not. Other examples of sacrilege:

    A rice brand called Mahatma rice.
    Marks and Sparks ad for food featuring the instrumental “Albatross” by the (original, Peter Green ) Fleetwood Mac.

    There’s no shame in this system, none whatsoever.

    1. The Rev Kev

      How about a Jesus debit card? Only none of your trespasses there would ever be forgiven. But obviously you could never have a Mohammed debit card.

  27. urblintz

    Aaron Maté on Russiagate lunacy now aimed at Sanders: https://www.thenation.com/article/politics/bernie-sanders-russiagate/

    “The outcry proceeded despite a stunning lack of evidence or even a single detail on what the supposed Russian interference entails. “It is not clear what form that Russian assistance has taken,” The Washington Post noted; Russia, The New York Times added, has “a new playbook of as-yet-undetectable methods.” This raises the obvious question: If Russian methods are undetectable, how can US officials detect them? Perhaps there is nothing to detect: In yet another familiar development, the story quickly unraveled. Citing three national security state officials, CNN reported on Sunday that the characterization of the available intelligence was “misleading” and “overstated.””

    1. Samuel Conner

      The fact that these new methods are so cleverly designed that their existence cannot be confirmed by actual detection of any of them is surely powerful evidence that it is indeed the Russians who are behind them. I mean, Russian weapons are better than ours, their dictator is more effective than ours, their military interventions are more effective than ours. Why wouldn’t their election meddling methods be better, too?

    2. James

      Citing three national security state officials, CNN reported on Sunday that the characterization of the available intelligence was “misleading” and “overstated.”

      Translation: it was “fabricated” and “entirely false.” I’m not surprised at all that our lying media reported it, but I’m simply amazed that in the current environment “US officials” had the nuts to even present it.

    3. The Rev Kev

      It sounds like an Schrödinger’s Accusation. “US officials” don’t really want to look into it lest they would find the truth of the accusation. Which would be that there was in fact nothing in it.

  28. dk

    Pete’s Charleston, SC headquarters in the fancy King Street shopping district was closed and desolate the entire time I was staying in Charleston, just a few days before the primary. Something isn’t right.

    If this is the only office in town, yeah it’s a bit odd. But campaigns are low-budget affairs, they don’t always have formal front desks and staff to handle walk-ins (although located in a shopping center and paying shopping-center rents, it sounds like over-optimistic and inexperienced planning at the least).

    In the past campaign offices housed phone banks and canvassers would at least pick up lit (literature) and materials, directors and managers would have meetings, etc. But these days everything can be done from a smartphone and materials drop-shipped to canvassers homes. That’s not necessarily optimal; grassroots campaigns live or die by team solidarity that face-to-face contact significantly strengthens.

    But at crunch time, everybody is probably out doing something at least nominally useful, running events, managing surrogates, running GOTV, preparing election-site logistics. A 24-hour survey of the location might reveal some activity during evening hours. The real question is whether that’s the only office in town. Between a high-profile location and a more secluded industrial-park alternate, the high-profile location attracts distracting foot-traffic and will be unpopular with staff. Especially when it’s crunch time.

      1. Another Anon


        Thanks for the link. The reason why the astronauts were so surprised was that they could not see the Moon until they reached it. The Apollo space craft when it left Earth orbit was “pointing” towards the Earth so all they could see was the Earth getting smaller. Then all the sudden they see the Moon up close.

        By the way, I was less than two feet away from Michael Collins but I could not say anything as I was an usher at a talk he gave and we told in no certain terms that we should not speak to any of the speakers. Rather frustrating as he was one of my childhood heroes, but I certainly understand his need for not being badgered just before his presentation.

        1. RMO

          My gliding club had a display at the Abbotsford Airshow many years ago and that airshow has a big after hours party for performers and volunteers. It can get pretty wild. I’m not much of a party person so I didn’t stay too late the day I was at the display but when I was having my one drink of the night I noticed one of the performers standing next to me – I recognized him as the guy who was flying a P-51 Mustang. I introduced myself and thanked him for the elegant flying he did and for letting me see and hear a Mustang in person for the first time. The next day when I was on my way out to our own airfield to do some flying of my own I suddenly realized where I had heard his name before – Bill Anders – Apollo 8 – “Earthrise” Felt a little foolish for not having recognized him the night before but if I had, what could I have said differently anyways? With Neil Armstrong I at least could have got into a talk about gliders and soaring!

  29. Wukchumni

    Watching a presser with the President, and Pence will be in charge of Covid-19 task force, which is less than reassuring.

      1. chuckster

        If Jesus didn’t want you to get coronavirus then you wouldn’t. Problem solved. The certainty involved in being an Evangelical Christian makes me somewhat jealous.

        1. ambrit

          The main problem with that world view that I can see is that, from the evidence of history, God has a wicked sense of humour.

  30. Bill Carson

    Well Trump just held a press conference and suggested that they are ordering more face masks just in case we need them “and we may not need them.” So that means that I waited too late and we won’t be able to find them for sale anywhere.

          1. Yves Smith

            I have a friend who routinely handles toxic materials as part of his very hard core home handyman routine.

            Even on YouTube “do it yourself” videos, they tell you those masks are no good. You need a tight seal to the face at a bare minimum and most people don’t wear them properly. And even when they do, they become impossibly uncomfortable fast:

            Can wearing a medical face mask protect you against the new coronavirus? It’s a question many people, including pet owners who are putting canine face masks on their dogs, are asking.

            If it’s a regular surgical face mask, the answer is “no,” Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious-disease specialist at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee, told Live Science.

            A more specialized mask, known as an N95 respirator, can protect against the new coronavirus, also called 2019-nCoV. The respirator is thicker than a surgical mask, but Schaffner doesn’t recommend it for public use, at least not at this point.

            That’s because, in part, it’s challenging to put these masks on and wear them for long periods of time, he said.

            Specialists receive retraining annually on how to properly fit these respirators around the nose, cheeks and chin, ensuring that wearers don’t breathe around the edges of the respirator. “When you do that, it turns out that the work of breathing, since you’re going through a very thick material, is harder. You have to work to breathe in and out. It’s a bit claustrophobic. It can get moist and hot in there,” Schaffner said.

            “I know that I can wear them when I need to for about a half-hour,” he added. “But then I have to go out of the isolation room, take it off and take some deep breaths, kind of cool off, before I can go back in.”



            Schaffner noted that this coronavirus spreads the way flu does, yet the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention doesn’t recommend face masks as a way to avoid flu.

            “The reason is that CDC requires scientific evidence to show that any intervention they recommend is likely to have value. It turns out that evidence for using masks in the community is scanty at best,” he said.

            Also, masks have different uses. Schaffner said a flimsy painter’s mask prevents paint from getting in your mouth or nose, but won’t stop a virus.

            Then there are surgical masks. These are designed to keep fluids or germs from the doctor from contaminating the sterile field in the operating room. But viruses can still pass through it to the wearer, Schaffner said.

            When doctors are treating patients who have a communicable disease, they wear a type of mask called an N95 respirator. Because this mask is sealed around the mouth and nose, it will block a virus. But using it requires special training, and it makes breathing harder and is uncomfortable to wear, Schaffner said.


            Please do not promote disinformation. This topic is too important.

            1. WobblyTelomeres

              I agree with you re: cheap masks that hook over the ears. The mask I linked to at HF does seal. Take a look. I can’t wear them for more than 20-30 minutes (a good sandblasting session).

              I have a box of the cheap surgical masks (they help my wife with diesel fumes in airport terminals). I know they are useless for CV.

            2. bob

              “Then there are surgical masks. These are designed to keep fluids or germs from the doctor from contaminating the sterile field in the operating room.”

              That the only place a mask might make a difference- to everyone but the person wearing it.

              Wearing respirators is awful. I’s not possible to do it for any extended length of time. Hazmat and/or Positive pressure suits are what is used for people working for any extended periods of time.

              Respirators are most often used to LIMIT exposure to environmental hazards. They don’t prevent exposure. They are designed to allow a person to work for say, 8 hours and only expose that person to X amount of whatever might be in the air.

      1. Carolinian

        I have one of those Harbor Freight masks. It’s not particularly uncomfortable to use but you do have to tighten the elastic to make a seal.

        Clearly though this is not something you’d want to use in public unless you want to scare the c**p out of your neighbors. Spray painters use them to block toxic fumes.

        1. bob

          They do not BLOCK fumes. They LIMIT the fumes reaching your lungs. They are rated that way. They might allow a person to be exposed to less than X over an 8 hour shift. At 9 hours, the person is getting too much of a daily dose. There is no overtime. They are not very forgiving and they need to be changed, tested and serviced a lot.

          It’s a very important distinction.

          1. Carolinian

            Yes, I too can read a package.

            I’m merely reporting that the Harbor Freight version I have is more comfortable than a different brand I owned previously. And they are not very expensive.

              1. Carolinian

                Misconstrue. I said “block,” not totally block. Are you saying spray painters don’t use these masks? Or that they don’t use them for toxic fumes and mist? From above

                When doctors are treating patients who have a communicable disease, they wear a type of mask called an N95 respirator. Because this mask is sealed around the mouth and nose, it will block a virus. But using it requires special training, and it makes breathing harder and is uncomfortable to wear, Schaffner said.

                Gonna quarrel with that one too?

  31. John Mc

    The Outline (Haider) – “Child Centrists”

    Can anyone think of other examples from the left of children who shifted away from their historical, political ideology from previous generations?

    Moving Right Moving Left
    1. Bill Browder 1. Max Blumenthal
    2. Pete Buttigeig 2.
    3. Kamala Harris
    4. Miliband/Benn in UK
    5. Obama???

    Any other examples NC supporters can think of? Always been fascinated why we do not have multigenerational families from the far left influencing politics (besides that they tend to be ruined, shot, or blacklisted). Makes you wonder if there was a CIA op regarding the takedown of famous radicals to prevent multigenerational transmission to occur.


    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Gore Jr., Evan Bayh (I hope no one saw what I had before I edited this) Andy Cuomo.

      I think the structural problem is many of these people were raised around the elites who are officially the “bad guys” and they can’t really comprehend how these people who were always nice to them are bad. They may be rebelling in a few cases or have perceived their parents have won and curbed the worst excesses. After all, the guy funding their campaign doesn’t have a volcano lair or plans to kill Superman, and he is always surrounded by different young people.

      Admittedly, I don’t think we are as complex as we tend to be and are largely the people we were when we turned 21 or so like Napoleon noted.

      1. John Mc

        From Indiana originally, so the Evan Bayh notion resonates — and Evan was definitely a creature of the party teen 70’s, polished up to a more neoliberal self. Nice pull. Do not know that much about the Gore’s historically (Gore Sr.), but will take your word.

        I find it interesting that we struggle in this country to develop longterm families from the far left (as our politics have shifted so far right over the last 6 decades). And I am not sure I can chalk it up to complete innocence, naive networks of power. The work of Harry Anslinger bubbles up in my memory. Same with Hoover’s FBI, and the OSS post-war transformation into the CIA. After watching the series on Netflix about who killed Malcom X and remembering a skosh of history during 60’s & 70’s, the kind of pressure put on the radical left must have been immense — so much so that people learn how to survive with less ideological views….

        Just ruminating on this… thanks for the reply

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          The old man, besides being the Senator that broke the Solid South, was involved in every good piece of legislation that came through during his time in office on the wonkier side of things. Gore Jr. played the old man on tv.

          As to the lack of leftist families, one you have to address the appeal of power. We don’t know how many of our heroes of the past were out for number one and had no taste for subservience in exchange for a place at the country club and a good tee time. Obama never quite recognized he sacrificed being Lincoln/FDR for hanging out at Richard Branson’s guest house. Maybe this is what he wanted.

          Then there is the natural flow of democracy and so forth. Consider a father-son dynamic is still going to be 30 years apart. What do you do in between? Even then leftier political thought expects leadership from anywhere not the blessed semen. You can fret about shadows and such, but the nature of the political left means there are more people eligible than the current aristocracy. There is a reason many of these political families don’t get to the third generation.

        2. NotTimothyGeithner

          Then of course, there is the obvious which is electoral politics is hard and requires a skill set that not everyone has, and the best Obama voice coaches in the world can’t teach. There have been anecdotal reports of people saying things like how they needed to take a nap after a Sanders rally and they aren’t even 40 when Sanders is jetting off to stand in a picket line. The energy and the ability to feed on this isn’t for everyone.

          Not leftists by any stretch, Bill and Hill are probably behind the stories about Democrats in NY hoping Chelsea will gift them with her presence, but can you imagine the same person who informed Corey Robin on twitter that she knew what “banality” meant because she went to Stanford, implying Robin was a twitter weirdo working a crowd? Without a seat to hand over or a population crying out for her, she’s never going to make it in the political world. Just because mommy and daddy are stars, the kids aren’t guaranteed to have “it.”

          1. John Mc

            Agreed with a few of these sentiments, but it is really a stark set of circumstances that we cannot point to one major family on the radical left in this country — that has three generations of important voices. It’s stark to me.

            1. dommage

              Louis Boudin, Leonard Boudin, Kathy Boudin, Chesa Boudin.
              four generations (though also Michael, Leonard’s son, on the First Circuit Ct of Appeals, the black sheep)

  32. CarlH

    So good to hear that we are in good hands regarding COVID-19. My first choice to battle a plague that could be of biblical proportions, and soon, is to put the guy itching for Armageddon and the end of the world in charge of the response. And he did so well with AIDS in Indiana!

    1. Samuel Conner

      I consider it a clever move on the part of DJT to put VP Pence “in charge” of US public health response to the COVID-19 situation in US. Pence did not look pleased in the photo accompanying the online news item (though he rarely does look pleased); I did not watch the news conference and don’t know if that photo came from the same event.

      I am tempted to suspect that this delegation (in public perception) of responsibility to the VP could be evidence that the President expects negative political fallout before the November election. If he were highly confident that things were and would remain well in hand, I would think he would prefer to affirm that he was personally supervising the government’s epidemic response in order to ensure the safety of the American people.

      Pence has functioned as a loyal political servant of the President for years. I wonder whether he ever feels put upon.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Obama tasked Biden with gun control efforts. Biden just promised to cure cancer if he was elected President.

    2. VietnamVet

      Every decision the federal government has made since the turn of the century [Tesla’s Autopilot, Boeing 737 Max, or the Endless Wars] is to increase corporate profits and decrease the safety of the American people. Likewise, Mike Pence’s decisions as the Coronavirus Czar will be to protect the profits of the Healthcare and Pharmaceutical Industries.

      There will be outbreaks in the USA. The CDC said it is inevitable. The responses will be local and vary across the 50 States. Richer localities will have better healthcare. My prediction is that the federal government will quietly recommend closing ERs to the public, guard hospitals and require that medical appointments be made by phone. People who catch the Wuhan Coronavirus will have to sweat the illness out at home. There will be no formal quarantine because workers who are not ill will be expected to show up or lose their jobs. The Professional Managerial Class will telecommute. If the ill can’t breathe, they or their family will frantically phone trying to find an ICU that will accept a patient close to respiratory failure. Millions will die early if the health system breaks down and the “Killer Cold” spreads across the USA. The dead will be incinerated. Mass burials like during the Spanish Flu are unsanitary.

  33. anon in so cal

    Mart Taibbi re: Bernie and Russiagate:

    ”Bernie got to where he is by telling the truth about establishment bullshit. He derives his credibility by showing courage in standing up to propaganda. Deferring to this makes him look weak – it actually is weak. He’s not standing up for other people hurt by these narratives.“

    1. Carey

      I think Sanders has to pick his battles with care, lest he end up like JFK/RFK/MLK.
      Not a fan at all of his kowtowing regarding RussiaRussia™ , but I think he’s doing
      his best given the circumstances.

    2. Samuel Conner

      OTOH, as was suggested in comments recently, Sanders could leverage fear of Russian intervention into changes in US election systems (scrapping the technology and returning to hand-marked paper ballots, hand-counted in public) that would harden the voting process against foreign interference.

      A useful side-effect is that it would also be hardened against domestic interference.

      And, if nothing else, it would be hilarious to watch how the establishments of both parties reacted to such sensible proposals.

      Politics ain’t beanbag (as Lambert notes from time to time), but I’d like to think that it could be fun.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Its not necessarily soft. Electeds go to their home districts. Look at how reduced and pliant Corey Booker has been since his vote on behalf of Big Pharma.

        Make them choose, and then let nature take its course. Not to sound crass, but America’s colonial forebears kept royal governors in line with tar and feathering and control over their salary. What good is hiring a Senator’s idiot kid if it leads to a boycott? Do the electeds really want veterans at every event protesting? These are just the more positive outcomes of an informed electorate with clear heroes and villains.

        I know its from a play, but Mark Antony’s funeral speech was quite clear about how Brutus was an honorable man. How would he have known how the little people would react? This is the Big Leagues.

  34. Jeff W

    I rather enjoyed this take on the debate by Maximillian Alvarez, host of the Working People podcast, on The Hill’s “Rising” segment “Panel: Did Bernie win debate by default?”:

    MAXIMILLIAN ALVAREZ: The thing is what I particularly loved about last night—and it was a terrible debate—was that it was actually a perfect microcosm of this whole, you know, process within the Democratic party, right? You fill an auditorium with, you know, donors and VIPs to cheer after everything Bloomberg says, to boo after a lot of the stuff that Bernie says, when, really, what you’re doing is just amplifying the disconnect between you, your establishment buddies and everybody else.

    Like when Mike Bloomberg is going at Bernie saying, like, “We need to appeal to moderate Republicans” or, you know, “Just ask anyone that unions and teachers love me,” I can hear the entire teaching force of New York screaming from my house in Baltimore. Because Bloomberg—just Google him for two seconds—he fought the teachers unions—

    SAAGAR ENJETI: He took on the teachers union, as I recall—

    MAXIMILLIAN ALVAREZ: I mean, he has launched after war after war after war against workers in unions. Ask the transport workers unions in 2005 who he called thugs for going on strike. Ask the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) bus drivers who struck in 2013 and he broke that strike and then gloated about it. Ask the teachers with whom he threatened over 4,000 with firing in 2011. He compared the United Federation of Teachers to the NRA. He let city contracts with public workers, like in District Council 37, lapse, which resulted in wage freezes and general chaos. The guy is lying to you and everybody knows it except the people in that room.

    [my transcript, lightly edited]

  35. ambrit

    With the indulgence of the site admins, herewith a “from the street” zeitgeist report, election department.
    Your befuddled correspondent is tooling across town this afternoon to stock up on some supplies in anticipation of the lockdown when I spy a curious assemblage. It is a corral of two motorhomes and ancillary vehicles grouped in the front parking lot of a closed small business. This is on the “White Flight Suburban” side of town. Situated about half way between downtown, with it’s congeries of Preppy and Yuppy empty nesters, and the gated community exurbs with their horizontally mobile professionals, this spot is highly visible and accessible.
    The two motorhomes are plastered with Trump 2020 signage. There are several tables set up in front of one of the motorhomes, filled with Trump campaign “stuff.” Tee shirts, baseball caps, buttons, bumper stickers, medium sized flags, mugs, shot glasses, and various other knick-knacks. I, being somewhat curious and feeling in a masochistic mood, stopped by to perhaps pick up a souvenier or two. (I secretly desire to send some to my middle sister, just to “take the Mickey” of her a bit.) I am not particularly surprised to discover that these items are not free. This is America, after all. What does surprise me is how bloody expensive all this ephemera is. Bumper stickers are two dollars. (That was the cheapest item.) Baseball caps are twelve to fifteen dollars. Tee shirts are from sixteen to twenty-four dollars. The other items were similarly priced.
    What a concept! Run a political campaign as a money making enterprise!
    One cannot be too cynical.

    1. Samuel Conner

      Maybe this is a pilot program for the DJT version of the Job Guarantee.

      Give a job selling MAGA merch to everyone who needs work.

      It’s not quite as blatantly absurd as JM Keynes’ “last-resort” stimulus of burying bottles of money and paying people to dig them up. And, provided that the merch sellers are paid salary and not simply a commission on goods moved, it will inject demand into the economy.

      Ummm,… in what nation is the merch manufactured?

      1. ambrit

        I should have mentioned that. Most of what I looked closely at was “Made in China.”
        The motorhomes sported out of state license plates. (Where exactly I did not have the presence of mind to make note of.)
        Somehow this reminds me of Good Ol Boy David Duke’s fabulous “make work for the unemployed” program. Give each unemployed person an Uzi, a bag of drugs, and a street corner location.
        I did notice that this group of “political merchants” had the most cold, hard facial expressions I can remember seeing in many a year.

  36. NotTimothyGeithner

    Its over. Bernie is done.

    Of course, this could just be a double standard where we call Harris and Klobuchar cops for their prosecutor careers, but how many “twitter leftists” are going to denounce Sanders for this move?

    1. ambrit

      Clue me in please. I don’t get this. As in, full blown McCarthyism is now the norm again? What century are these idiots living in?

    2. John

      What? You mean that Bernie is one of those fetishists who dresses up in plush animal costumes to have sex. I forget the technical name. Oh noes.
      Obviously photoshopped from Pornhub. Please.

    1. The Rev Kev

      I would be very much surprised if there are less than a thousand undiagnosed cases walking around America right now. Saw something that raised my hackles this morning. The guy that runs the Snafu blog said-

      “Wow. Sucks to be in New York, that monstrosity known as the Eastern Seaboard, Los Angeles, San Fran, Atlanta, Baltimore etc….you guys are all about to be sick!”

      I hope that that is not a common attitude as it is at best delusional and cruel.

  37. Tomonthebeach

    One flaw in Brookman and Kalla’s reasoning in which they express doubts that the youth vote will actually show up and thus Sanders would lose to Trump is that they based this on 2016 voting patterns. In 2016, nobody had experienced just how incompetent and racist Trump would be as a president. He has also done nothing to improve the lot of college debtors. The jury is in, and unlike the Senate, I suspect that Trump has impeached himself with the under-35 crowd.

    PS: I am still annoyed that Boomers are assumed to be pro-Trump. This Boomer loves Bernie, thinks we need 100 AOC on Capitol Hill, and think Heather Cox Richardson walks on reflecting ponds.

  38. Roland

    Important news on the direct Turkish intervention in the Syrian War:

    Hurriyet quotes Erdogan, “We will not take the smallest step back in Idlib and we will certainly push the regime outside the borders…The deadline we gave to those who besieged our observation towers is expiring. Our demand is the regime to withdraw to boundaries set by the Sochi Agreement, meaning behind our observation posts…We are planning to liberate our observation posts from the encirclement by the end of this month, one way or another.”


    RT headline: ‘We’re the hosts there’: Erdogan says Turkey won’t pull back from Syria’s sovereign territory, gives Assad ultimatum to retreat.


    Syrian official sources are still rather coy, as they’ve been throughout the war. However they now admit that Syrian and Turkish forces are in open confrontation.


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