Links 2/1/2020

NASA is Trying To Save Voyager 2 After a Power Glitch Shut Down Its Instruments MIT Technology Review

Australia fires: Residents told to seek shelter in Canberra region BBC

A new tidal energy project just hit a major milestone in Scotland We Forum (David L)

Green energy could now be cheaper than fossil fuels thanks to breakthrough New York Post (David L)


This photo of a man lying dead in a Wuhan street shows the reality of the coronavirus outbreak SBS News (Kevin W). There have been lots of videos of collapsed or collapsing people on Twitter, supposedly from Wuhan, but I have been concerned that they are “Web evidence,” as in not from the press, the independent media, or individuals with something to lose reputationally. SBS is Satellite Broadcast Systems, a Murdoch-owned free to air network in Oz and they cite Agence France-Presse. Story is careful to say they don’t know how he died. Perhaps more important factoid is that there is a two day wait at hospitals to get seen for virus symptoms, irrespective of one’s condition.

CDC issues mandatory quarantine for first time in more than 50 years to Wuhan passengers in California CNBC. They are doing it correctly. 14 days.

Wuhan, my hometown, is not a city of fear Guardian (Kevin W)

Apple to Halt China Operations as Outbreak Widens: Virus Update Bloomberg

Pilots, flight attendants demand flights to China stop as virus fear mounts worldwide Reuters

Coronavirus has sparked racist attacks on Asians in Australia — including me (Kevin W)

Dog owners buying face masks to protect pets from deadly coronavirus Metro (Kevin W)



Brexit happens BBC


Erdogan warns of ‘military force’ against Syria amid Idlib exodus Al Jazeera (Kevin W)

Big Brother Is Watching You Watch

A New Bill Could Punish Web Platforms For Using End-To-End Encryption The Verge

Fingerprints Can Now Be Dated To Within a Day of When They Were Made Economist

FCC Says Wireless Location Data Sharing Broke the Law Axios

Sale of .Org Domain Registry Delayed By California Attorney General Mashable

Social Media Boosting Service Exposed Thousands of Instagram Passwords Techcrunch

Imperial Collapse Watch

F-35’s Gun That Can’t Shoot Straight Adds To Its Roster of Flaws Bloomberg

The Foreign Influence Transparency Initiative Center for International Policy (Chuck L)

America Needs a Miracle Andrew Sullivan, New York Magazine. Resilc: “Headed to revolution.” Moi: Stuff like this makes me want to scream. Why have ethnic/tribal splits become so acute? Because everyone outside the elites is scrambling for pieces of a shrinking economic pie. Notice how the rise in tribalism coincides with the start of the neoliberal era? That’s a feature, not a bug.


Senate GOP passes resolution setting up end of Trump trial The Hill


DNC members discuss rules change to stop Sanders at convention Politico. Dems are really committed to losing, as long as they have what they think is a credible excuse. First impeachment, now apparently the 2020 election.

The Party’s Over: Bernie’s Last Dance With the Dems Counterpunch. Jerry B: “Grab a cup of coffee as this is long but very good. Discusses not only Bernie but the future of the Democratic party if Bernie is the ‘technical’ winner but is prevented from winning by the DNC elite.”

How the Dodgers Leaving Brooklyn Influenced the Politics of Bernie Sanders InsideHook. UserFriendly: “LOL, humanizing, though.”

Bernie Sanders Leads Trump, All 2020 Democrats in Military Donations Rolling Stone (furzy)

Sen. Elizabeth Warren: “Young Trans Person” Will Choose My Secretary Of Education RealClearPolitics. UserFriendly: “Facepalm.”

Bernie Sanders’ real obstacle is not Trump. It’s the Democratic establishment Guardian. Brian C: “‘One of Bernie Sanders’ greatest advantages in the race is that many of the most unlikable hypocrites in America despise him.'”

Speaking thereof:

Clinton: Sanders and supporters did not do enough to unify party in 2016 The Hill (UserFriendly). Can someone please tell her no one likes a sore loser?

Corporate Media Are the Real ‘Sanders Attack Machine’ FAIR (UserFriendly)

Our Famously Free Press

This: A Pro-Trump Blog Doxed A Chinese Scientist It Falsely Accused Of Creating The Coronavirus As A Bioweapon BuzzFeed…led to:

FWIW, ZH has so many investors who go there for news and rumors I doubt their traffic will be affected meaningfully. But not being on Twitter will lead to less MSM mention of their posts.

George Soros: Mark Zuckerberg Should Not Be in Control of Facebook New York Times (David L)

Uber Officially Bans Drivers From Carrying Firearms, But Company’s Business Model Prevents Enforcement Atlantic

Lambert featured the tweet below yesterday in Water Cooler. This is the story by the same author: How Chaos at Chain Pharmacies Is Putting Patients at Risk New York Times

Huawei Outsells Apple In 2019, Becomes No. 2 Global Smartphone Vendor arstechnica

EU Lawmakers Vote Overwhelmingly in Favor of Charging Cable Standard, Despite Apple’s Protestations MacRumors

Amazon Reveals New Details About Its Federal Tax Bill in Shot Across the Bow at Critics Geekwire. Not impressed.

Bayer considers new tactic in Roundup settlement talks Reuters

Preeminent Hospitals Penalized Over Rates Of Patients’ Injuries Kaiser Health News

S&P 500 wipes out gain for the year on coronavirus fear Financial Times

‘Godfather’ of technical analysis says stock-market downturn is going to get worse: ‘I am looking at a 10% drop maybe a little bit more’ MarketWatch. Lead story.

Class Warfare

“In Aggregate,” Consumers Are Doing Pretty Good, But America’s Vast Income Disparity Skew the Data Wolf Street (Dr. Kevin)

Antidote du jour. Furzy: “My son’s kitty in Berlin”:

And a bonus, from Dan K. They look like they are having fun!

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.:

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    1. ptb

      Good article. I think Bernie will actually have a quite strong start with delegates thru TX/CA, and as a result, 50%+ is within reach.

      Unfortunately, have to agree that a purge of the Repub-Lite DNC people would be a prerequisite to winning the general election. No doubt at all that in the event of Bernie winning, the traditional DemRep party sponsors will prefer having team Blue lose to Trump both for the sake of defending their internal Blue party power structure, and because Trump gives them 95% of what they want anyhow. The existing 2016 DNC people, if left in place, will internalize this preference (not for the first time – e.g. 2004).

      We are in a weird news environment because impeachment and virus… will see what happens.

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          The Democratic Party is a private corporation with no obligation to do anything other than what its owners and managers want

            1. ambrit

              Get with the game plan Consumer!
              There is no, nor ever was a Public anything. All is Market Driven.
              (Sarcasm, as if….)

              1. polecat

                Damn right, ambrit ! You tell em, Bro …..there’s no such thing as a piss-ant little CITIZEN .. doin good, for the benefit of all …. am I right ?? It’s What ya Knows, and How Much Ya Can Steals from the peons !

                F#CKIN A !!
                MURICA !!!!

                …And God Bless My Golden Hill To Die On.

                1. ambrit

                  Yep. Now you have to be doubleplusungood to make it, if you buy into ‘their’ game.
                  Parallel institutions has morphed into parallel realities.
                  At some point, the tension has to be released.

            1. inode_buddha

              DNC actually is a private corporation… guess who owns it. Yep. When they were almost bankrupted by Obama, the Clinton Foundation bought them as a bailout. Remember, these are the same people who are screaming about Trump’s corruption. And they control the party.

              1. polecat

                ‘I Buy up your entirly empty Milkshake glass… and YOU make Damn Sure I’M not Thrown to the Wolves !’

              1. Acacia

                Given this reality, I’m honestly wondering why anybody thinks Bernie has a fair shot at the nomination. Isn’t it clear the DNC will do whatever it takes to sabotage him? The only question in my mind is how well they will manage the optics of the inevitable backstabbing. They’ll have full support of the lamestream media, of course.

          1. richard

            as jhb might say
            i believe they have argued in court that they can count the votes any way they want
            internally that is, in regards to primaries

        2. Michael Hudson

          Haha. No. But the dmc chair DOES have the power to replace the seeming nominee.
          And that’s just what’s going to happen.

          1. urblintz

            If so, game on… and it won’t be bloodless.
            I don’t see how the Democratic party survives in that event, especially if it appoints Bloomberg. Biden seems to be self destructing in spectacular fashion so who else would they choose? Warren is a non-starter after smearing Sanders (imho) and even Tom Perez must know that HRC is toxic…

            1. lordkoos

              Now some news outlets are saying that Biden is ahead in Iowa. Interesting, since every recent poll I’ve seen puts him second to Bernie.

            2. Oregoncharles

              Biden’s been ” self destructing in spectacular fashion” the entire time. So far, zero effect on his poll results, either way. Very odd.

      1. Sam

        I see that Orange County CA just announced its first case of CV, to go along with the one previously reported in LA. Assuming that each patient infected others before diagnosis and that those individuals are now spreading the infection further, then (extrapolating from the timeline in Wuhan) it’s not unreasonable to expect that there could be thousands of cases by Super Tuesday. That certainly would put a damper on mass rallies and door-to-door canvassing. Would it also result in calls to “postpone” voting?

        1. ptb

          I dunno about that. Conditions are different in CA. More space betw. people, single family homes, lack of mass transit, and a huge head start in awareness. The origin of an outbreak always lacks that head start b/c it takes, say, 50 fatalities before something is a public health emergency, which extrapolates to 1000s of infections in the wild before a public response is initiated. That can indeed lead to overwhelming numbers in high density urban situations.

          1. ambrit

            This will be a double edged sword as regards the “homeless” population. They will become a repository of the disease, and be demonized and “disappeared” as a result. Look to see the homeless population of Southern California declared a public health risk and rounded up, then sent to underutilized military sites out in the desert. Or sent to some of those ‘urban legend’ converted Bigg Boxx Stores out in the exurbs.
            next, some enterprising bureaucrat will suggest that all those barely healthy bodies should “pay their own way,” and be put to work. Just like the Organization Todt. I mean, America has to make up for all that lost supply from China somehow.

            1. smoker

              That Unsheltered Homeless Scapegoating certainly is a huge worry, particularly when three US hotspots of unsheltered homeless coincide with Multinational Corporations whose Founders, or CEOS, or employees may have frequently visited China, along with those hotspots having significant populations of Chinese Citizens on visas, both in numbers, but also as a percentage of the population, where the San Francisco Bay Area/Silicon Valley Reigns.

              Those, at plague risk™, US Unsheltered Homeless hotspots are: the San Francisco Area; Santa Clara County/Silicon Valley; Los Angeles/Coastal Southern California; and Seattle/Kings County, all of which have confirmed early cases of the virus, and most probably many unconfirmed cases, mostly in California.

              Given Trump’s focus on California Homelessness (as he and Gavin Newsom, et al, show utter disregard for the millions of average residents, homeless, or at threat of it) – and the fact (in my decades long observance living in Silicon Valley) that Federal, State, County, and Local California Dems would love nothing more than a quick EXCUSE to absolve themselves of the homeless tragedy they actually, and willfully, allowed to happen – it is a horrifying state of affairs.

              I sincerely believe that horrid Gavin Newsom (just for one of countless greedy and corrupt STRIVER California politicians) would have no problem at all consigning the minimum 140,000 homeless in California to horrid camps, because PLAGUE. This, despite the fact that most of those confirmed virus cases will have emanated from fairly wealthy individuals, if not millionaires and billionaires, who have the homeless swept from their streets on an hourly basis.

          2. MLTPB

            The convention…smoke filled room or rooms.

            I am hoping by June, we are on the other side of the curve, like SARS in 2003.

          3. smoker

            Conditions are different in CA. More space betw. people, single family homes, lack of mass transit, and a huge head start in awareness.

            First of all, the only states that can be defined that simplistically (and even then, I doubt it) are the least populous. California has approximately 30 Million residents and doesn’t even come close to fitting your description as a generalization.

            Secondly, what in the world has you thinking that California has a huge head start on awareness? Can you be far more explicit as to what you mean, I’m sorry, but that gave me a panic attack. For starters, what do you mean by California, and what do you mean by awareness?

            Do you live in California?

          1. MLTPB

            I am curious to hear from others how this has changed them personally.

            I haven’t put on a mask yet, but I have altered the where or when of some errands. Grocery shopping right when the store opens is one.

            This month and the next, I will have to take my brother and mother to see their doctors. I will be thinking about these.

            1. lordkoos

              Even if you shop when the store opens, that is no defense. People will have handled the produce etc the day before. Best thing is to wear gloves when you go out, and wash your hands (and the gloves) often.

              1. MLTPB

                Thanks. I did use the wipes they offered at the front. (Also bought a few cases of that – hope I’m not starting a run on those with this comment)

                You are right about from the night before. It just seems better relative to later in the day, when there are more shoppers, and ‘fresher’ life forms in the air.

            2. Lina

              I’m shopping when there are fewer people in the grocery – when it first opens, tomorrow during the Super Bowl (which I don’t watch, etc. I am avoiding any crowded areas, but I do this already from Nov – March because of flu and because I have a young daughter who has already has pneumonia 2x in the past year.

              Loads of hand sanitizer, wipes, but again not different than usual to avoid flu.

              Here’s what I still don’t get and what I realize is unnerving me most of all about this… media is saying the flu is a much bigger threat but when I think I or my daughter has the flu, we go to the doctor and no haz mat suits are being donned by the medical profession, no quarantines put into place. This thing requires such massive precautions? What are we not being told and why such precautions? I understand the uncertainty and unknowns are requiring everyone to be extra careful and to avoid outbreaks… but again, the flu is more widely “found” here in the States, is very contagious and also kills. Why the big difference in how the 2 are being handled?

              I live in Eastern Mass and Boston case #8 is making me twitch.

              1. BlakeFelix

                I would think that the flu is routine while Corona is new. Imo we should stomp out both of them, but it is much easier to kill virus when they are small. Flu is so widespread that we can’t strangle it in its crib. I fear this new virus has escaped, but if we can get a handle on it, it might stop something as bad as the 1914 flu for 500 years. I bet it wouldn’t be that bad, but the thing about new virus is they are beyond my understanding, so I like to keep them as safe as possible.

            3. Yves Smith Post author

              The masks are no good. They aren’t sealed well enough. Waste of time and false sense of security.

              Gloves MIGHT be useful to remind you not to touch your face. The biggest transmission mechanism is from your hands to your face (which then gets the microbes to your mucous membranes….)

              Also really avoid touch screens. Studies of airport touch screens say they are dirtier than airport bathrooms, which are cleaned regularly.

              1. Late Introvert

                My daughter is prone to colds and my advice is always:

                if you touch anything that might be dirty, don’t touch your face until you can wash your hands

                Since I adopted this in my own life my sick days have dropped 75%. Agree the cheap masks are useless, anyone who has painted or sanded knows this.

              2. drumlin woodchuckles

                If one is dealing with masks whose pore-size itself would exclude the virus or viral-load particles ( or at a distant second best the general run of sneezed-out coughed-out droplets), could one seal it better by smearing all the touch-the-face edges with a thick band of vaseline petroleum jelly and stick it to the face that way? And once stuck to the face, smear even more all over the visible mask edge-face margin?

      2. Pelham

        The third-party option is something to think about.

        If Sanders is cheated in any way — such as entering the convention with a plurality of delegates and then the superdelegates handing the nomination to a Biden or Bidenesque contender (at this sorry stage including Warren) — I would entertain a third-party scenario that would guarantee Trump’s reelection.

        For one thing, we can expect nothing from a centrist Democrat other than incremental policies — most crucially on climate change — that would make his or her election worthwhile. For another, the reelection of Trump would be a stupendous event, and that might open up many possibilities, chief of which would be the destruction of the Democratic Party as it now exists. The non-corrupt third party could then grow or perhaps sweep in and seize the fallen Dem banner.

        I’ll disagree with the writer on one point. He says Sanders won’t break his vow to support the Dem nominee. Of course, Sanders will stay true to his vow if he loses fair and square, or at least if there’s the appearance that he’s lost fair and square. But it’s reasonable to infer that his vow is predicated on the condition of a fair contest. If that’s not the case, he would be justified in frankly acknowledging the fact and breaking his promise. In fact, for the sake of the country, it would be required.

        1. CoryP

          From all I’ve seen and heard of Senator Sanders, I don’t think he’ll go back on that vow. MAYBE if Bloomberg is the ‘unity’ candidate, since then the contrast with wealth and power will be too great to ignore.

          I know twitter and podcasts aren’t representative, but I take heart in the fact that if when Bernie gets screwed, Milwaukee will be rioting.

          The best outcome would be that a prominent surrogate goes 3rd party. Nina Turner would probably bring the whole movement with her, but given that she declined a spot on the Green ticket, I don’t see it happening.

          Not that rioting has done much for the French after a whole g****mn year. But it will still be satisfying, not to minimize the injuries and resulting increased state repression.

          Here in Canada I wish we had someone worth rioting for. But then I’m close to the archetypal Bernie Bro so, I’m probably all talk.

          1. inode_buddha

            I decided a month ago that I think AOC should step in the moment they screw Sanders over, and take over the show and keep the pressure on, campaigning until she is Prez. If anything, she is even further to the Left than Sanders. She should be able to make the age cutoff in 2024.

        2. drumlin woodchuckles

          If Sanders is dis-nominated at Dem Con 2020, he could do one thing and some of his supporters could do the other.

          If his supporters themselves without any traceable encouragement from him were to put his name on all 50 state ballots, then his name would be there for uncontrollable Rebels-For-Sanders to vote for no matter HOW hard Sanders pleads with them to vote Decromatic . . . for the good of defeating Trump.

          1. John Anthony La Pietra

            They’d have to start yesterday if not sooner, to beat the bi-partisanly imposed ballot access deadlines and other rules. And hire good lawyers for some of the worst states — and to overcome sore-loser laws, which got an unfortunate boost in my own home state of Michigan.

            First step: put Richard Winger of Ballot Access News on speed-dial.

    2. QuarterBack

      Interesting how the DNC is ranting about how the Electoral College is so “unfair” and “anti-democratic” and must be replaced by the popular vote, yet they describe Sanders, Trump, and issues like Brexit as inherently dangerous because they are “populist”. And at the same DNC wields weapons like Super Delegates to enforce the back room will of the party establishment, and uses a court room defense that the Democratic Party has “no duty to have a fair and transparent primary”. It’s time for Bernie to help lead the replacement of the toxic DNC party establishment. Fix the party, and better candidates and better government will follow.

  1. Wukchumni

    What a contrast, Warren singles it down to what a 9 year old trans wants-as a Baedeker for her run, whereas Sanders is all inclusive in his campaign video.

    It’s a perfect look for her though, encompassing 1 out of 1024 people in our society.

    1. Carolinian

      Warren is rapidly turning into the new Hillary. Grayzone detailed her neocon heavy foreign policy team and she has just endorsed the need for web censorship in case Russia tries to influence the upcoming election. Then there’s her attempt to paint herself as a feminist champion versus the “Bernie Bros.”

      Clearly she’s decided to throw in with the elites in order to have a chance, and her past challenges to corporate misbehavior will probably last about five minutes should she be elected.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Warren is in the flailing part of the race. Like many pretenders, she is too small for the job (she simply doesn’t possess an understanding of the challenges facing the country or the scope of the real power invested by being the sole national office holder (her promises to be a unifier are jokes because an elected President is almost always the winner of the popular vote and unified by existing), but Team Blue is so full of misfits she seemed credible. Look no further than Biden and Mother. It’s a party of small people and virtually no ideas, despite the easy ability to simply copy ideas. They still don’t have any beyond faith based reliance on their version of the priest class.

        1. Wukchumni

          Warren’s Hail! Mary moment accusing Bernie of being anti-Chief Executrix, was a strange shingle to single out, but soon we wont talk about her anymore.

          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            We’re in the False Prophet phase of re-ordering our politics and the list of FPs is too long to mention.

            In France (where I went to university) people are already highly politicized and can be summoned to widespread action (general strikes) that actually get results. In the US they’ve made sure over decades that people regard politics as something you only think about every four years, then Lucy simply pulls the football away from Charlie Brown yet again, child’s play. Once every 4 years circus, then never any bread, which ensures you lose interest in the circus.

            Changing, however, this next generation (finally) has access to the information they need to be informed citizens. If we see a President Sanders they’ll learn lesson 2, that you need to be constantly vigilant and pay attention to the day-to-day too: where vague words get translated into the legislation that actually changes things for the better.

            Unfortunately I think it’s a long process. Lots of oldthink people need to die off first, too.

            1. furies

              “We” don’t have time for all this dithering. Certainly seems Trump is set up for round two.

              There is no escaping this house of mirrors…

            2. Wukchumni

              I see what lies ahead of Sanders as nothing short of FDR revisited, and replace the bootleggers with the bankers & moneyratti and its a good match between then and now.

              The key difference being the American populace was a beaten down people by November 1932 and everybody knew it, as word of mouth and eye told you all needed to know, but we on the other hand are seeing things crumble as we’re informed of the latest rosy monthly numbers that confirm all is well, maybe it’s just you?

              1. Samuel Conner

                re: ” moneyratti ”

                scanning comments quickly, I read this as


                on first glance. But me thinks that’s a fortuitous mis-reading and perhaps a term that could usefully enter general circulation.

                Now, if one could scare them away simply by writing “Elbereth” in the dust …

            3. aletheia33

              sorry, but i am not impressed by any of the newthink people.
              and i don’t ”think” sanders is among them.

              1. RWood

                ‘Trump is a symptom.
                You know what a symptom is?
                When you get a cold, what comes out of your nose is a symptom.’

          2. Robert Hahl

            She was hoping Bernie would say something insulting to her in the hot-mic trap, which would prove that he is a misogynist, which would prove that she is telling the truth. Instead he was polite and she got nothing, except proof that Elizabeth Warren is a fool.

            1. ambrit

              The entire debate performance marks her as a novice in retail politics. Sanders knew right away what was up and responded correctly. “Not here. Later, in private.” He showed her respect in that. He gave her the benefit of the doubt and offered her a way out.
              I would not be surprised to learn that she has been getting this type of ‘advice’ from Clintonistas in her entourage.

      2. Phenix

        This is who she has always been. I do not understand why people cling to her as a progressive champion.

        She has always been a R2P identitarian liberal that wants to make modest reforms to a corrupt economic system.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      Besides the cynical nature of the request,, it’s another clear example of a candidate who wants to live in a big house and have a band at their appearances but not actually be President. Hiring this person is the President’s job. Even now, she wants to farm out responsibility.

    3. Otis B Driftwood

      I know there’s more than a few of us Californians here and I’d like to put out a call to action to those who support the Sanders movement to get involved. I’ve canvassed and phone-banked.

      Sanders has an exceptionally good organization here but getting volunteers out to help talk to voters is critical right now.

      The next few weeks are absolutely critical. This is the first time in my rather long life that I have made this kind of a commitment, and I’m going to work as hard as I ever have before to help us win this election. All hands on deck.

      1. Scott

        Saw a handmade roadside sign yesterday on U.S. 101, Redwood City.

        “Only Bernie can beat Trump”

        Why can’t you make your own sign?

        1. Late Introvert

          Cool, there was a truck with the same saying on a premade roof magnet spotted recently here in Eastern Iowa. Get yours now!

      1. Monty

        Yes indeed! I bet the NYT editorial board would have given her a standing ovation.

        I saw the top comment on the story was, “Where did she get the idea that we need more reasons NOT to vote for her?”

      2. Scott

        Carry the idea forward and put it in the hands of a different lunatic candidate:

        “My HHS secretary to be chosen by coded kicks from a late term fetus.”

    4. Jeff W

      “…Warren singles it down to what a 9 year old trans wants…”

      It’s like something a Hollywood screenwriter would dream up to show a seriously out-of-touch “woke” politician, played for laughs. Really, who on the campaign thought this was a good idea?

      1. CoryP

        It is absolutely absurd. It’s not even a virtue signal that would be effective for the lives of trans people! Ugh, these people make me want to scream.

    5. CoryP

      I swear I’ve offended my closest LGBT friends about crap like this (I am also gay), but such cynical moves really make it questionable how much of this ID pol stuff is completely insincere. I’m glad the trans people I know don’t seem like the nutcases on twitter. I should really get off that thing.

  2. cnchal

    > Pilots, flight attendants demand flights to China stop as virus fear mounts worldwide Reuters

    The Max won’t be missed, after all..

  3. Phil Williamson

    This is à propos of nothing really but the commentariat here is so well-informed that somebody might know: has the iconoclast Arthur Silber finally died? He has been ( /was ) in poor health for several years and the last post on his blog was back on July 1st.

    1. Eureka Springs

      Chris Floyd would probably know. Silber, among so many things, was a warning to me of my fate in USA social security and not health care if I live long enough or die slowly.
      Thus my search for alternatives includes this very day, anywhere but the US.

      1. JohninMN

        Let me know what you come up with ES. I’ve been searching as well. I know there’s an expat living in Uruguay that has commented in the past, but I’m not sure that warmer climes will suit me.

      2. Yves Smith Post author

        Not to speak for expat2uraguay, but I think she very much likes it except for the food. Fish hard to come by and the local cuisine is OK rather than inspired.

  4. oxymyron

    from first Coronavirus link – “SBS is Satellite Broadcast Systems, a Murdoch-owned free to air network in Oz“. No it’s not. It’s Special Broadcasting Service and it’s government funded, not owned by Murdoch. I work there and I would never sully myself working for the likes of Murdoch.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      I will correct that! It struck me as very very public service oriented for free to air when I was in Oz, so I had mistakenly assumed Murdoch had to make tons of concessions to get the license.

    2. norm de plume

      Yes, SBS is the state owned ethnic broadcasting service. Stated purpose: ‘to provide multilingual and multicultural radio and television services that inform, educate and entertain all Australians and, in doing so, reflect Australia’s multicultural society’

      Its genesis was the establishment in the dying days of the Whitlam govt of ethnic radio stations in Sydney and Melbourne. This was 1974; to his credit Malcolm Fraser’s government didn’t drop the ball and in 1979 the TV station kicked off. I was in high school and I recall breathless reports of movies with full frontal nudity (‘acres of pubic hair’ said Norman Gunston). It’s now also a prominent online content provider. Lots of us love our SBS On Demand – check out the World Movies (all free):

      So this wonderful, broad-minded, nourishing societal accoutrement was established by both sides of the political aisle in the 70s. What odds would you get for something like that occurring now?

      ABC is Aunty for many of us, and I have friends who refer to ‘Cousin SBS’. Like the ABC it is under constant funding pressure and political attack from the conservatives in particular but Labour also, and so has had to introduce advertising. While the tv station and especially the radio stations have been boons for ethnic communities, the impact on the general cultural awareness of the wider community has been at least as important. Along with its cultural focus, it has also maintained a quality news and current affairs service. This has given the ABC some much needed company, surrounded as they are by the billionaire and hedge fund owned commercial media.

      Of course Murdoch HATES the whole idea of the SBS and he employs op-ed lieutenants to fire upon it at will – all that uncapitalised content is a sin for one thing, and such an enterprise really ought to owned by him or someone like him; but also it carries enough independent weight to be, like the ABC, and Labour and the Greens, one more impediment to the achievement of an untrammelled control over our political direction.

      1. The Rev Kev

        SBS is great for foreign films and I found some very good South Korean films that are very much worth watching. The news service, I am afraid, has gone to crap over the past coupla years and is used to propagate whatever is convenient for the west. It used to be anti-Russia for a long time but now you are getting more anti-China stories. Sometimes I sit and listen to how spin is put on certain stories and it can get very crude at times.

  5. timbers

    Pardon the gallows humor, but with all the civil service cuts and privatization I read of in Britain and the de-professionalization and corporatization of agencies in the U.S….

    ….do you suppose Boris Johnson and Donald Trump training instructions to their team regarding Coronavirus response consists of watching movies such as Dawn of the Dead, where a key take-a-way is make sure you shoot the in the head, otherwise they won’t die?

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Err…I feel like Shaun of the Dead doesn’t have enough Michael Bay-esque quality to hold their attention, and if they tried to watch it, they would just get sleepy. Boris might wonder when Ricky Gervais was going to show up as he seems like the type to really identify with David Brent.

    1. The Rev Kev

      I was reading years ago of UK plans in dealing with a flu pandemic. A major plank was that in order to protect doctors and nurses, who would be needed to clear up the mess afterwards, that people would be forced to deal with a serious outbreak at home instead of heading off to the nearest hospital or medical center.

      So your family would have to take care of you even if it led to them catching what you had and it would be a matter of who was still alive after the virus had run its course. If this sounds familiar, this was what they did in medieval times though then they would board up your doors and windows and maybe post a guard nearby to stop you escaping.

      1. BillK

        The UK NHS already does this with norovirus infections. (Winter vomiting and diarrhoea). Some hospitals have stopped all admissions when they get a norovirus infection.
        Stay home till it gets better, usually 2 to 3 days. Don’t visit doctors or hospitals because you will spread infection. Stay home for 2 more days after symptoms stop to avoid spreading infection.

        1. vlade

          Norovirus mortality is trvial and most of that are elderly with well known complications (like post-surgery…).

          So this is actually a sensible step – home quarantine has extremely low chances of complications, but an outbreak in a hospital can have severe consequences.

      2. Kurtismayfield

        So it’s a quarantine, but they don’t want to label it a quarantine. I am sure all sources of media and information will cooperate with not calling it a quarantine also.

    2. David

      Don’t make jokes like that. It’s actually a real problem (no, not zombies….).
      Up until the 1990s, the UK (like most European countries) had a developed Civil Defence System. It was heavily decentralised, with Regional Commissioners appointed ahead of time to coordinate activities, hordes of civil servants and local government officers pre-assigned, and a network of regional government sites. (The names changed a lot over the decades but the underlying concept remained fairly constant). The objective was what was called Continuity of Government, so that basic services, including health, transport, food distribution etc. could be continued for as long as possible. There was a substantial staff in Whitehall involved in planning and exercises, all coordinated by the Cabinet Office. Although the system (which dated back to 1918) was designed to be used in war, it was also recognised that would be very useful (indeed probably essential) if there was a widespread civil emergency.
      Almost all of that has now gone. The Civil Defence structures were stood down after the end of the Cold War, and many of the resources that would have been used no longer exist or have been privatised. The military, which would have provided logistics, movement, transport, health etc. is a shadow of its former size, and the NHS has been cut to pieces. I doubt whether there’s anyone working in government now with experience of such planning, even though some low-level planning for specific incidents (eg air crashes) does apparently still go on. Likewise, the supply chain for fresh food , for example, is much longer and more fragile these days, and many local government workers are contractors.
      We don’t want to get apocalyptic, but if, for example, there’s a rash of 10-20 cases in one medium sized town, it’s not at all obvious that that town could be sealed off, or exit and entry controlled, because the resources to do so, and keep daily life going, probably don’t exist any more. And of course the most likely place for an outbreak is actually London …
      For what it’s worth, most European countries are probably going to struggle as well, even though most of them (the wealthier ones anyway) are in somewhat better shape than the UK.

      1. vlade

        Don’t worry, when it hits, Cunning Dom will sort it out with his 20 year old geniuses. And if not, well, they will just reload the save, no?

            1. pasha

              this may give you pause as well: the 2020 budget for the center for disease control (our front line against pandemics) was slashed by $1.2 billion, nearly 20%.

    3. David

      I had a (serious) comment on this which has disappeared into moderation for some reason. If it doesn’t emerge I’ll repost it. Let’s just say emergency preparedness in the UK is not what it once was.

    1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      Yes very instructive Tweets/responses, the billionaire owners of America’s political party (with two right wings) must be in absolute glee to watch the left version of populism self-immolate.

      Reminds me of when the CIA funded Facebook. Let’s see, we need the intimate personal details of every last American: I know, we’ll get them to enter all of the data themselves!

      Just make everyone on the “left” attack one another other with woke hair-splitting (versus the distinction on *class* which means everything).

  6. La Peruse

    In the coronavirus story SBS is wrongly attributed. SBS stands for Special Broadcasting Service and is a government owned independent broadcaster specialising in multi-cultural programming. Although it accepts advertising, it is definitely a Murdoch free zone.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      I had mistakenly assumed Murdoch had to make many public broadcast concessions to get the license (I watched it in Oz and it was clear it was public-service-like). Fixed now.

  7. The Rev Kev

    “DNC members discuss rules change to stop Sanders at convention”

    The problem here is that Bernie has so much popular support that this may not guarantee him being excluded. After a bit of thought, I have a suggestion for the DNC. Just go full antisemitic as in making a rule saying no Jews allowed as a Presidential candidate. Problem solved.

    And it just turns out that Bernie is the only Jewish candidate in the race I think. Bloomberg is basically secular (neither of his daughters was raised Jewish.) so it would not apply to him. Then they could go to him and say “Nothing personal Bernie nor is this a criticism of your policies. It is just a Gentleman’s Agreement that we have and rules are rules. But you do plan on campaigning for our eventual winner after we choose him, don’t you?”

      1. Scott

        I often wondered about that.
        I starting to think it’s all semantics.

        “An anti-Semite used to be what you called someone who hated Jews.
        Now an anti-Semite is what you call someone the Jews hate.”

    1. flora

      Bloomberg was a keynote speaker at the 2004 Republican convention and endorsed W.

      The Dem estab turns to a W. Bush supporting Republican to save them in 2020? The NYC mayor who started the reviled Stop-and-Frisk policing? That guy is now claiming some sort of anti-Wallace mantle?! You can’t make this stuff up.

      also: love that finger wagging. /s

      1. JTMcPhee

        I talk to people I do some stuff for, older folks less healthy than I am, mostly stay-at-home, many of whom do not have computers and internet access. So they are still interested in what is happening in the world, but their information comes from TV And print news. Several of them have bumper stickers and signs on their houses identifying them as Democrat. These folks mostly have voiced investment in Bloomberg as their candidate. I ask why, they recite stuff from his commercials that apparently are flooding FL (I have no idea where else) with positive and negative messaging. Even the ones who are on-line are saying nice things about Bloomberg. The ones who are lifelong Dems lived through the election where on-his-way-to-being-a-billionaire Senator Rick Scott bought the governorship with millions stolen from the Commons. You’d think they would know better. Not low-information, just corrupted information.

        It’s scary.

        1. inode_buddha

          Wasn’t it Mark Twain who said, “If you don’t read the papers, you’re uninformed. If you do read the papers, you’re misinformed” ?

        2. Pat

          I got a call telling me that there were free Bloomberg for President yard signs and a number to call. I deleted the message before I thought about calling them back and telling them that since he seems on intent on buying office again my vote was going to cost Bloomberg a hell of a lot more than a yard sign. Start negotiations with the $50,000 that his nominees to the rent stabilizatiion board will cost me over a couple of decades because of their raising rents 7 and 8% almost every year while inflation was nothing and no one outside of the Fire sector was seeing any pay raises. Now figure on adding at least one zero and a multiplication of that just to make up for how much his policies will certainly cost me over the next decade. Otherwise they can stick those signs somewhere the sun doesn’t shine on Mike.

          I’m getting Bloomberg ads here in NY. As someone who lived with him as mayor, I know they are either smoke and mirrors, say nothing except Trump bad or outright misrepresent his record. They are well produced and unless you really think about how much power a mayor DOESN’T have over things like healthcare, financial laws, and taxes they sound very reassuring. He doesn’t run much about education or yes crime and policing – his record his too obviously bad on the subjects. If you were white upper middle class and lived in Manhattan or Westchester with a view from a distance, his terms as mayor probably do look good. Residents of Queens, Brooklyn and Staten Island were too often afterthoughts when there were problems, they aren’t such a sure thing. Still there are a heck of a lot former NYers of the first group in Florida. With them praising him, and the well produced ads… Let’s just say his numbers there are disappointing but far too understandable.

          As deluded as they think Trump voters are, any one who isn’t at least a multi millionaire several times over would be just as deluded voting for Billionaire Mike. And they would find that out pretty quickly.

        3. lordkoos

          We must depend on the votes of millenials to overcome the misinformed boomers that you describe.

      2. flora

        shorter: nothing to do with religion. Bloomberg is Republican real estate guy, and Sanders is a New Deal Democrat guy. The Dem estab DNC prefers the Republican billionaire real estate guy. ….no surprise.

            1. The Rev Kev

              Which would bring Bill back into the White House through the back door. If so, all female interns should wear blue dresses to greet him with.

              1. ambrit

                And Hillary would become a literal night-mare to the nubile young things. Although, as the polished politica she is, she’ll bridle at the suggestion. I could go on, but I’m afraid that she’ll rein on my parade. (Any more of this and I’ll be turfed out!)

  8. PlutoniumKun

    Coronavirus has sparked racist attacks on Asians in Australia — including me (Kevin W)

    Its certainly an issue, but this is weird coming from a doctor:

    Gold Coast surgeon Rhea Liang tweeted on Thursday that one of her patients joked about not shaking her hand because of coronavirus. Dr Liang didn’t find it funny at all. Instead she felt offended by racism.

    “I have not left Australia. This is not sensible public health precautions,” she wrote.

    It seems to me that it is entirely rational of a patient to be concerned about physical contact with a medical professional when there is a highly contagious infection at large. To interpret that as racism is more than a little oversensitive.

    BTW, I’ve been told that the latest rumour on Chinese social media is that the coronavirus was created and released by the US in revenge for…. something or other. This is circulating on WeChat – if the Chinese government wanted to quash a rumour like that it could quickly block it on Chinese based social media apps. Its significant I think that they are choosing not to.

    1. Wukchumni

      I grew up in the San Gabriel Valley in LA and it was pretty WASPy & a bit tired, but not rundown, places such as Temple City et al.

      And now most every city in the SGV has many Chinese residents, the aforementioned Temple City is 55% Asian, for instance.

      Every house in the neighborhood I grew up in sold to a Chinese buyer, a neighbor on one side was a Chinese movie star agent, and my mom asked him why here instead of West LA where all the action is, and he related it was to be closer to a Buddhist temple about a mile away, and he could always drive to Hollywood, ha.

      In contrast there’s really few Chinese-Americans here in the Central Valley, more Hmong among us, not that there’s that many.

      I’d be watching the City of Angels as a vector zone…

      Watching the Detectives by Elvis Costello

      1. MLTPB

        Prayers to the sick.

        Be safe, to all – in Arizona, Washington, Boston, Santa Clara, and everywhere else.

        My mother is close to 90, and I believe yours too, in Whittier, practically San Gabriel Valley. Hope this is contained.

        Interestingly, when I read about the case in Santa Clara, it says the San Francisco Bay Area has the 2nd largest Chinese community in the US, after New York. LA is 3rd, i assume. If New York is so far free, it is not impossible LA ends up no riskier than the Central Valley.

        1. lordkoos

          Vancouver BC has the largest Chinatown after San Francisco I believe. So far there have been two known cases of the CV in BC.

    2. David

      That was my reaction too. Meanwhile, the best the WHO can come up with is “this is a time for solidarity not stigma.” I had already decided that the Coronavirus might be a test to destruction of globalisation and uncontrolled movement of people. If this continues, I’m beginning to think it might be a test to destruction of Id Pol as well.

      1. JTMcPhee

        Most of my doctors ( too many, sadly) do not want to shake hands with ME. They are •supposed to• wash their hands before and after each patient contact, as part of best practices in infection control. For a doctor slaving under neoliberal vulture capital regimes, that may mean hand washing or applying alcohol-based gel 50 or more times a day. And how many people (recent link says Chinese are significant offenders) wash THEIR hands after pooping or blowing the snot out of their noses and observe the other simple precautions ( covering sneezes and coughs, sanitizing door knobs and faucet handles and the rest)?

        IDPOL? I’d just say “common sense.”

        As a species, we are incredibly stupid and egocentric, no?

        Yes, I think it’s Murphy’s Law event, testing to destruction. As a homebody and non-tourist, it sort of pleases me that traipsers pursuing “peak experiences” might get their wings trimmed. Though I’m sure the Few will find their ways around the strictures…

      2. neo-realist

        This make me think of corporate offices where people use the bathroom to do number 1, and, if alone, don’t, in many cases, bother to wash their hands. I wash my hands then use a paper towel to grab the bathroom door handle to open it to protect myself from the place(s) their hands have been.

    3. curious euro

      It is never ever a good time to shake a doctors hand. Neither for the patient, nor the doctor.
      A Doctor (nephrologist) I see regularly, told me before not to shake his hands.

      In times of multi-resistant bacteria and desinfection dispensers everywhere in hospitals, even an arrogant surgeon should understand that.

    4. kiwi


      Here we have a doctor whose fee-fees are more important than typical medical precautions.

      I don’t even like to go to medical establishments or stand in line at the pharmacies because of all of the sick people hacking away all over the place. But I have to go to take my Dad to his doctors. And I have to go for checkups.

      And since I wash my hands much more frequently now, I don’t get colds as often.

    5. MLTPB

      I think Dr Liang is seeing it slightly differently.

      I am assuming of course. So there is the disclaimer.

      To the doctor, the question is if another doctor, of different identity, gets the same rejection, or not.

      And when one is on the receiving end, today, in the 21st century, the benefit of the doubt goes to the potential victim.

      That is, we dont know if the patient would act differently to another identity doctor, but we are open to hear the doctor express her feelings, including the feeling about being put in that uncertain territory (is someone trying to do it without being obvious – not you, doctor, just the current situation )

      Agree or not, that is how I see where the society or the opinion making part of it is

  9. PlutoniumKun

    F-35’s Gun That Can’t Shoot Straight Adds To Its Roster of Flaws Bloomberg

    Kinda funny really as accurate aircraft mounted guns were perfected in WWII and earlier. The reason why it can’t shoot straight is that the tip of the barrel has a stealth cover which lifts when the pilot starts to fly. The problem is of course that as soon as the cover opens, it disturbs the airflow over the wing, so causing the aircraft to flip a degree or two to one side, which if you are firing at 1500 yards means quite a miss.

    1. The Rev Kev

      As the 25mm gun is for hitting ground targets, it may not really matter. If an F-35 was low enough to do strafing runs, then it stands a good chance of being toast as it has not great armour. I doubt that it would be given this mission much. In any case, the F-35 was supposed to be able to replace the venerable Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II but consider this.

      The F-35A has an internal 25mm rotary gun and carries 182 rounds. The F-35B and F-35C have instead an external pod but still carries only 220 rounds. The A-10 “Thunderbolt”, which the F-35 is suppose to replace, has a 30mm rotary gun can carry up to 1,350 rounds in a special drum and is built like a tank. As for the F-35 using its cannon in aerial combat forget it. if an F-35 was caught in such a situation, it would be a weapon of last resort.

      1. Wukchumni

        For what it’s worth deportment:

        Had an hour-long F-35 sortie overhead 3 days ago-a high altitude effort @ 20k? which muted the noise more, but they’re still really loud compared to other fighter jets in our arsenal, the longest in a long time with contrails looking like so many crossed swords on high. I’m also happy to impart as far as I know, that the planes have no gun issues.

        1. The Rev Kev

          The F4 Phantoms that went into combat in Vietnam also had no gun issues. But that was because they initially had no guns as they had been removed as the theory was that they would be useless in an age of missiles. Trouble was that the missiles were not up to it and heat-seeking missiles would sometimes not track an enemy fighter but would head off towards the sun instead. Pilots would rage when they ran out of the unreliable missiles and many unkind words were said in those cockpits when this happened.

          1. Wukchumni

            Just off the side of Highway 99 in Tulare (Devin Nunes’s turf) are an F4 Phantom and a B-17 bomber that goes by the name of Preston’s Pride

            The bomber is apparently a junker on the inside and beyond restoration, but looks resplendent on the outside, especially so after a recent rehabilitation project.

            Here’s the before image:


            And after restoration:


          2. The Pale Scot

            The AF was focused almost entirely on delivering nuclear weapons at the beginning of tactical ops in Vietnam.

            A cornell told his RO as they entered an area filled with AA and Mig fighter with an aircraft loaded with iron bombs and equipped with a visual gunsight “I’ve got it on good authority that non of this is happening”

      2. WobblyTelomeres

        The F-35 is obsolete. Just like carrier battle groups. And buggie whips.

        Modern aerial combat is “fought” at standoffs of 10-20kms with very effective air-to-air missiles. Stealth planes lose their stealth when faced with varying radar frequencies. Carrier battle groups must standoff 800 miles to avoid devastating missile/drone attacks, at which point they are beyond the usable range of any aircraft they are carrying.

        I was not very popular at a very large space agency when I opined that manned space missions were stupid, that our specific watery bags of protoplasm were only suited to our specific watery planet. Sigh. But with ex-astronauts and wannabe-astronauts running things… I realized the same problem must occur at the DoD, former fly boys charged with aircraft procurement, former carrier boys charged with carrier procurement, etc.

        If I were king, I’d put all the dickwaving fighter jocks in T-6s. Harrumph.

        1. WheresOurTeddy

          as useful as the old dreadnoughts and ironclads

          our navy is full of things that should be in a museum, but war is the health of the state

        2. The Rev Kev

          ‘Carrier battle groups must standoff 800 miles’

          Unfortunately the combat radius of the F-35 which will be manning the decks of those carriers is less than this distance which means the carrier battle groups have to get in real close to use those F-35s. And those Chinese carrier-killer missiles have a range longer than that

      3. Phacops

        Yep, more evidence of a useless military by replacing the reliable, durable, A-10 which excels at ground support with a fragile F-35 which has little ability for extended time on target.

        Have the general and officer staff gotten stupider over the years?

        1. rowlf

          Wait until you get to work with retired military officers that got an MBA during their service career… I’ve had the pleasure of seeing Vietnam veterans I work with rip into retired brass in the civilian world.

          1. samhill

            Ever see the comedy film The Pentagon Wars (1998)? It’s a lightweight movie but it has some bite. That’s what this discussion reminds of, in fact it hit me that the F35 is just a repeat of the Bradley Fighting Vehicle, a flying BFV, and like the BFV God help us and the soldiers if we ever get into a real war. I’m not the best at macro-economics, dollar hegemony and all that, but I think these boondoggle weapon systems are all about how we extra tribute from client states. eg Saudi Arabia sells us 90 billion dollars in oil @$60/b, we sell them 90 billion dollars in boondoggle weapons at 3x what they actually, secretly, cost to make and we get our oil at $20/b. Beats me, not my expertise but I know it’s one hell of a scam.

              1. Samuel Conner

                As portrayed in the movie, “Pentagon Wars”, the Bradley Fighting Vehicle started as simply a specialized armoured and lightly armed infantry transport vehicle, sort of an upgrade to the venerable M113, but the procurement brass kept adding requirements to it, which increased its size, weight and vulnerability. The movie focuses on the certification process; as originally designed the vehicle was not safe for crew to inhabit under combat conditions.

                I have no idea if the movie portrayal is accurate, but the portrayal does seem analogous to the F-35 design in that it’s a multi-purpose craft that does very little well.

        2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          No, they’ve gotten smarter, much smarter, they know the game is the efficient extraction of the maximum number of chump taxpayer dollars. #Winning!

          SpaceForce should be a wonderful new vector, build multi-trillion dollar new weapons systems that fire off in outer space where there’s no chance to verify if they work *at all*. The ultimate.

          Maybe they can say they discovered an offshoot of al-Qaeda on Mars, living in colonies with madrassas and everything, that they simply must urgently bomb. Paging Adam Schiff/Sondland, forget Ukraine, Mars is the REAL place where we simply must “fight them there so we don’t need to fight them here”.

      4. Jason Boxman

        When combat flight sims were big, I remember playing A10 Tank Killer for PC. The damage model allowed you to take several hits and still land, like losing part of a wing or engine. Probably my favorite sim.

        I also played F117 stealth fighter; the campaigns acquainted me with regions that we would again launch disastrous wars in, that we are still fighting!

        Both of these titles are from the mid to late 1990s.

  10. divadab

    Re: Chinese recruitment of US researchers to Gain Technology

    Isn;t it interesting that China is spending trillion(s) on scientific research while the USA has spent $7 trillion blowing stuff up in the middle east? Meanwhile our traitorous elite has offshored 3 million jobs to China. The net effect is the impoverishment and hollowing out of our country in favor of foreigners, including a foreign policy that benefits only foreigners and is a net negative for US citizens.

    Our government is a clown show of corruption and selling out. DIsgraceful.

    1. Monty

      “foreign policy that benefits only foreigners”

      I disagree. I think that the global expression of superpower status is critical to the US economy at home. I don’t think they could be 20 trillion in arrears in their own currency, if they were not menacing the world with sanctions and f16s. If the playground bully stopped using violence, do you think the others would still give him their lunch money?

      1. divadab

        You consider burning $7 trillion in failed efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq and Syria is an effective “global expression of superpower status”? More like a global expression of stupidity and incompetence. And allowing foreign client states to control imperial foreign policy in their regions.

        Stomping around blowing stuff up is necessary to maintain superpower status currency? Really?

        1. Monty

          The ability to ignore international law, and murder who and where you please, is exactly what I consider to be expressions of superpower status. It gives you kind of Mob style “Nice country you’ve got there…” credibility that allows you to dictate the terms of your relationships. From a selfish us-centric viewpoint, it’s great. It’s everyone else that suffers from it.

          Don’t forget, the money didn’t get burnt, even if the bombs did. The money got spent, and then went on to fill the pockets of connected cronies, 10 percenters and even “regular folks” who are 401k holders, MIC employees or service members. All of whom spend it on stuff in The Economy.

          1. divadab

            Pirate Empire, eh? And yes the money got spent – just not on anything useful. Rather it got spent on death and destruction – when this country is in dire need of massive investments in infrastructure. And all over the world, the US empire is hated even more than it was during Vietnam. Soft power completely wasted and lost by the stupidest war mongers. Contrast this with what the Chinese are doing – carefully and peacefully (mostly) investing all over the world in order to benefit their citizens. The US empire rather views its citizens as a herd of animals to be exploited and used as cannon fodder.

            Yes an empire needs to project power, credibly. What the trillions wasted on death and destruction in the mideast accomplished is a diminution of power and influence all to the benefit of the Chinese. Complete incompetence. It’s amazing to me that anyone not part of the imperial machine could think otherwise but the delusions run deep.

            1. Monty

              What I am trying to say is that, being able to throw your weight around on the global stage is literally a license to print money. Those trillions most likely would not exist without the death and destruction part. The money is not wasted (just the opposite) if you were downstream of it, as most US citizens are to a certain extent.

              1. Petty Little Thieves

                Trump is good in the sense that he gets rid of the bull/()-&. He has clarified that the reason for the invasions is to take the oil.

                I wonder how the Pentagonians feel about having been reduced to petty little oil thieves.
                Most likely they are crying all the way to the bank.

              2. shtove

                I suppose there’s a useful comparison to be made with the British Empire. As far as I understand, its maintenance effectively retarded productive domestic investment and eventually funnelled the money into south coast real estate and garden parties, where Hercules Poirot would turn up to solve the murder by poison in the hilltop folly.

          2. Jero

            “The ability to ignore international law, and murder who and where you please, is exactly what I consider to be expressions of superpower status. It gives you kind of Mob style.”
            Moab style is preferable. According to CHRONICLES, the Moabite king, his armies defeated and his capital under siege by the Israelites, issued this ultimatum: Abandon the siege or I will sacrifice my own children on the city walls. The besieging army fled in terror.

    2. J7915

      IIRC everything about american spies comes down to money. Most other countries spies work for ideology.

      1. Olga

        On the Chinese recruitment… A family friend, who was a professor in Kiev for many years, told us that Americans had given entire faculties “grants,” so all slowly became dependent on US largess. (It may be that the $5 bil Nuland was talking about could be partly found there. How does that saying go about sauces and geese…?)

        1. MLTPB

          You do it publicly, you attract better professors.

          The US can get bright students from Iran, Russia etc that way.

  11. Lee


    Amidst the dire indications out of China, coupled with daunting projections by some medical experts, there is at least one story of recovery from the disease in the news:

    Washington Coronavirus Patient Is Recovering After Receiving a Trial of an Experimental Antiviral Drug

    After testing positive for the deadly coronavirus, the patient was admitted to an isolation unit at Providence Regional Medical Center. On his sixth day of hospitalization, according to the NEJM, “clinicians pursued compassionate use of an investigational antiviral therapy.”

    After treatment with the antiviral, Remdesivir, “the patient’s clinical condition improved.” The patient is still in the hospital, but all of his symptoms except a cough have resolved.

    Remdesivir is made by the drug company Gilead Sciences. It is not yet licensed or approved but it is being tested as a coronavirus treatment.

    From Wikipedia

    In response to the 2019–20 Wuhan coronavirus outbreak induced by the coronavirus 2019-nCoV, Gilead provided remdesivir for a “small number of patients” in collaboration with Chinese medical authorities for studying its effects. [14] Gilead also started laboratory testing of remdesivir against 2019-nCoV. Gilead stated that remdesivir was “shown to be active” against SARS and MERS in non-human animals.[15]

      1. Lee

        Agreed. Evidently some progress was made back in 2003 in developing an effective anti-viral for Coronavirus then extant. But nothing much of note has been developed since then. No fast money to be made, I guess.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Help me. One case proves nothing.

      And this drug isn’t even approved for anything, so it’s not as if it’s approved and can be prescribed for coronavirus as an off label use.

      It will take the better part of a decade for this drug to be approved for anything. You have to go through three stages of clinical trials to prove safety and efficacy and establish the dosage needed.

      That article is just irresponsible. Only purpose is to goose the stock.

      1. Lee

        Good to know.

        FWIW, possible off label use of existing antivirals was mentioned as a possibility by experts interviewed on this week’s Science Friday. They did mention one but I can’t recall which one. Too bad they pretty much stopped developing Coronavirus specific anitvirals back in 2003, as was also mentioned in the cited interview.

      2. Rex

        This isn’t quite right. The FDA can fast track drug approval and has done so for dire conditions when there is compelling evidence for efficacy. Granted, seeing positive health effects in a single patient when there are a lot of uncontrolled variables is not yet compelling evidence. Given a few more weeks, we may have much better and compelling evidence. It will not mean that the drug can immediately be used anywhere for any suspected case, but it could open the door to monitored use of the drug for the highest risk cases.

  12. Howard

    It seems so much depends on the young of Iowa to join together in numbers and journey to their respective caucus locales and strike the first blow among many that will be needed to still the beating neoliberal heart. I salute them in advance for their efforts on this upcoming cold Monday night. Here is to Iowa, may they light the way to a true Field of Dreams. Go Bernie.

  13. Dr. John Carpenter

    The Party’s Over/Counterpunch link is well worth the read. Rarely do I agree with every word, but this I did. As much as I’d like to see Bernie win, I reach the same conclusion as the author and really am hoping for a massive Demexit (hopefully to something new and better) as the best outcome for 2020.

    1. carl

      I also had many of the same thoughts in the last few days, as I watched the establishment of the party beginning to panic and scramble to meet this existential threat. I imagine this kind of conversation in my head: “we’ve always done it (lying, cheating) in the past, and it worked”
      “do it this time and you’ll wish you hadn’t”

    2. Geo

      Still have to read that one but I wish the Left would take the route the Tea Party did and take over the Dems. Of course, the Tea Party has billionaire backers and Fox News in their side which gave them a lot more leverage. The Left merely has people power which has little leverage in our “democracy” so it’ll be a tougher road. But, when the establishment compares Bernie supporters to Trump supporters I find it funny that they think it’s a bad thing. To me it’s nice to see a diehard devoted movement on the left finally.

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          The billionaire class globally, all 2200 of them, only have one “side”, and align perfectly to destroy anyone and anything that threatens the status quo. That has been so very, very good to them. Their two-step Plan is going exceeeedingly well:

          Step 1. Steal from the poor;
          Step 2. Make sure everyone is poor.

    3. HotFlash

      R J Eskow talked with Nomiki Konst about exactly this situation yesterday, Nomiki, a young and progressive DNC member who wants to reform the Dem Party from within, is launching an eponymous show. Sounds like she intends to call out the backroom deals as they occur and throw sand in the gears wherever possible. This will help those who are interested keep informed and might even serve as a rallying point for further action.

      1. ambrit

        Wait for Konst to be banned from YouTube for “fake news” or “community standards” “reasons.”
        The gloves are coming off.

    4. lordkoos

      The problem is that on the climate front we are rapidly running out of time. If it takes four more years to get enough progressives in power to make a difference it could well be too late. I kind of think that it is already too late… but hope lives on.

    5. Carey

      >The Party’s Over/Counterpunch link is well worth the read. Rarely do I agree with every word, but this I did.

      Yes, that was an excellent piece.

  14. Dalepues

    Regarding the Democrat Party and it’s vile treatment of Sen. Sanders, I wonder if The Party Deciders have any plan to deal with Sanders’ supporters if he is twice cheated of the nomination.

    I would not wish to be within a hundred miles of Milwaukee if Madame Speaker Pelosi announces that the Party nominee is Biden or Warren or anyone but Sanders.

    It’s true that every election is historical, but we could be witnessing truly earth moving events between now and July.

    1. nycTerrierist


      I get mucho spam from the DNC, even ‘personal’ messages from
      Tom Perez and the sainted/s Barack

      I take 2 seconds to reply ‘Only Bernie can beat Trump’, just to let them
      know we Bernie voters don’t do lesser-evilism

      They can’t say nobody told them…

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      No, they simply expect the damn kids to learn. These people besides being total prices are very isolated. Even though they will move heaven and earth to prevent their taxes from going up, they haven’t even clued themselves in on the effects of this economy. They’ve also internalized bs propaganda such as people become more conservative as they grow older. They expect the millennials to learn from that nice boy Mayo Pete. Within their circles, no one Is telling them differently.

      What did Perez expect to gain from letting Bloomberg in the debate? He charged him $300k. That’s it.

    3. Butch in Waukegan

      The CP article has a quote from Krystal Ball with two predictions of what will happen if the nomination is stolen. I am sure The Party Deciders have answers for both.

      “(it) will absolutely destroy the Democratic Party . . .”
      No it won’t! We will still have our donors and our jobs.

      “destroy the idealism and political engagement of the young people who overwhelming back Sanders.”
      Those pesky activists, with their unrealistic demands, will go away! It makes our job so much easier.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Some donors. The shallow Team Blue types yes, but part of the money flowing to Team Blue in recent years Is a direct result of the expectation the GOP isnot capable of getting elections close enough to steal anymore.

        Tom Perez just sold a spot at the debate for $300k. I mean that’s peanuts. The perception of Team Blue’s value among the both sides donor class must be in decline.

      2. Katniss Everdeen

        The dem party / dnc is effed six ways from Sunday.

        If anyone other than Sanders “wins” the nomination, even “legitimately” (meaning according to whatever “rules” they cobble together to deny Bernie plus vote counting shenanigans), the noise that the nomination was “stolen” will be cacophonous. None of Bernie’s supporters will ever be convinced otherwise.

        Having started way back in 2015 to rig the 2016 election for hillary with everything they had and failing, they’ve been forced into years of more and more bizarre and desperate political manipulations that make less and less sense.

        You’d have thought they would have let it go after mueller fizzled. Instead they doubled down with this crazy Ukraine impeachment that only makes biden look worse than he already is, and puts them in a position of depending on big bucks, stop and frisk, Zucotti Park head-splitter bloomberg and a stacked to the hilt “platform” committee.

        They may manage to wiggle around Bernie one more time, but the likes of AOC and Krystal Ball and Nina Turner won’t be going away any time soon.

        1. inode_buddha

          Well, they did it to themselves, ever since 1968, so its really hard to have *any* sympathy for them. And even less sympathy for their owners.

    4. John

      The great brains and hearts of the Democratic party can nominate whomever they will as they ignore any but the voices in their heads anyway. That does not mean we, the despised and scorned groundlings, have to vote for the Anyone-But-Sanders they put on the ballot. In their heart of hearts I think many of the great brains and hearts of the Democratic party are content with a witless authoritarian in the White House. Hasn’t upset any ‘important’ apple carts… yet; neither did Mussolini at first.

      1. Wukchumni

        Mussolini was thought of as the epitome of a 20th century leader in the early 30’s by other leaders in the world. You couldn’t really pin that tale on our donkey, just the opposite.

        Il Duce’s crescendo perhaps with this aerial display ending up @ the Worlds Fair in Chicago in 1933.

        The Decennial Air Cruise (Italian: Crociera aerea del Decennale) was a mass transatlantic flight from Orbetello, Italy, to the Century of Progress International Exposition, Chicago, Illinois.

      2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        Afraid that the righteous political act of not voting for a bogus candidate may not play out well.

        So Bloomberg or Deval Patrick or HRC is the candidate, Bernie’s army stays home, and Trump wins, again.

        Wouldn’t we just see a repeat of 2016? Dems will insist the result was illegitimate anyway, Trump isn’t really president, Russia did it, Macedonian troll farm bots did it. Trump farts in the Oval Office Executive Wash Room but it’s loud and smelly so the Dems gin up IMPEACHMENT again. CNN breathlessly recounts every last detail, doesn’t the Constitution say that the release of intestinal gas by the Chief Executive must be pre-approved by the State Department? That executive farts with excessively bad odor go against long-standing US policy and jeopardize our national security? After all a 5-minute phone call with the leader of a totally corrupt fifth-tier country was enough to try and impeach last time, and now this! What about the dignity of the office?

        1 million people crowd the Mall, they’re not wearing pink hats this time, no this time they all have clothespins on their noses…and the hashtag #NotMySmell trends massively. Taking one final wave over the bow, the ship of our constitutional republic slips silently beneath the waves…

    5. inode_buddha

      I take comfort in the idea that we can vote for whomever we want regardless of who the party nominates. Getting it counted properly is another matter.

      It would be very foolish of the party leadership to die on this particular anthill. They could become politically extinct like the whigs.

    6. kiwi

      Well, Bernie has had plenty of time to establish a 3rd party. It’s too bad that he will likely be screwed out of the nomination again.

      1. inode_buddha

        Yeah but then you have the problem of ballot access. I think that if they screw him again and we get 4 more years of Trump, AOC should switch to Independent and run on that. Hopefully Sanders would back her with his campaign machinery already in place, and she could get ballot access as an independent, becoming the first woman Prez *and* a progressive.

      2. Yves Smith Post author

        Please, no fantasies. The system is set up to promote the existence of two parties. Third parties have always been marginal except at when a major party is fracturing. Sanders would be out ahead of the state of play in launching a third party for 2020, a futile move that would get him denounced as acting only as a spoiler to Trump’s benefit.

    7. Plenue

      Versailles, circa about 1788. The Democratic leadership have no idea what they’re playing with.

      I want to make very clear that I’m not advocating this. But if they blatantly cheat Sanders again, I think there is a very real possibility that at some point someone puts a rifle round through Tom Perez’s skull.

      1. ambrit

        That’s what Perez is paid for, to ‘take one’ for the Donors. As long as ‘activists’ focus on the hirelings and ignore the Owners, nothing substantial will change.

      2. ForFawkesSakes

        Yes, I agree. I’ve seen the sentiment more and more online that these people have names and addresses. I think it has the possibility of getting very ugly.

      3. urblintz

        Let’s hope not. Worst thing that could happen to the progressive agenda and a horrible, unjustified act of violence. Perez deserves much scorn but murder is murder.

        1. ambrit

          The “People’s Commandos” would frame the death as “Justice.” This will be a case of the Public, or some elements of, refusing to allow the ‘official’ state to hold a monopoly on the use of force. The State kills people all of the time, and generally gets away with it.

        2. Plenue

          Class warfare isn’t a metaphor. These people are facilitating policies that are literally killing people. They are guilty of at least manslaughter every second they hold power.

          At some point the beaten are going to start beating back.

            1. ambrit

              And then poor Malcom X gets bumped off by Elijah Muhammad’s people.
              It just goes to show that people are people, no matter where they hail from.

              1. Dan

                It just goes to show that people are people, no matter where they hail from.

                And it takes every kinda people
                to make what life’s about, yeah.

                I was listening to Robert Palmer earlier :)

    8. lordkoos

      I was thinking of going to Milwaukee for that very same reason, to protest. Hopefully it wouldn’t be a rerun of Chicago in 1968, but it could well be.

        1. ambrit

          No matter what you do, watch out for ‘agents provocateur.’ Such will ‘short circuit’ the “rage” of the public by sparking outrages at inopportune moments. Organization is key, even in “outrages.”
          I just about predict “false flag” riots at Milwaukee.

          1. Wukchumni

            Fauxsuasion efforts will belt Sanders, but he will turn the other cheek after taking an uppercut to his $700 rich man’s parka.

  15. The Rev Kev

    “Australia fires: Residents told to seek shelter in Canberra region”

    What is really making this worse is a heat wave that is moving through this region with temperatures in the mid-40s. In the article below, it mentions temperatures of 46 Celsius which works out to be about 115 Fahrenheit. Add to that high winds and you have ideal conditions for a fire to cut loose. Heard about one major blaze today that was caused by an ember being blown from another fire several kilometers away. Another tough day on the firefront and autumn cannot come quick enough-

  16. Tinky

    I hate to be pedantic about an “Antidote”, but those ducks ain’t “scooting”, they’re walking.

    1. T

      Gonna pedant right back – see where they are resting their breasts on the snow as if it’s water. Not walking on their legs.

      1. kiwi

        But they mostly aren’t scooting or sliding when they ‘rest’ on their breasts. You can still see the side by side waddling when they look like they are resting on their breasts.

        We must analyze this further. ;)

    2. Lina

      I showed the video to my 6 year old daughter, said to her “let’s watch the ducks scoot like penguins” . She said, “they aren’t scooting, they are walking”. Trust a 6 year old.

  17. Carolinian

    Re the ZH suspension–they have their own article up discussing it.

    It says they have so far not heard back from Twitter but that the cause may indeed have been an article on a Chinese scientist who had been experimenting with bats and viruses. Twitter forbids giving out personal information. However the ZH article goes further to suggest that media business fear of China’s own censorship may have been involved in the suspension.

    So as with all ZH articles take with a grain of salt. Some of us do follow the site because they have good articles to go with the flaky ones (once they even republished a post from NC).

    1. Monty

      That China HIV bio-weapon story was blatant scare mongering. I would have kicked them off too, if i were in charge.

      1. Carolinian

        And all the blatant scaremongering in the NYT and WaPo is not worthy of being kicked off Twitter? Censorship is a slippery slope.

        However rules against doxing are reasonable.

      2. epynonymous

        Well, buzzfeed outed the identity of the ZH guy, so logically, they will have their account deactivated post-haste.

        Now, including addresses etc. are obviously going too far but it’s just a matter of degree.

    2. skippy

      I miss the old HAARP days at ZH, in order to frack minds, so they could insert some Von Mises code. Then for good measure go Gitmo on readers with some of Cog-Dis’es altered state musings.

      Its epic that a ***private*** company banned it from its “property” and they have a wobble about it.

    3. Yves Smith Post author

      Not just giving out personal information….thuggish suggestions too:

      In a piece titled ‘Is This The Man Behind The Global Coronavirus Pandemic?’, Durden included a picture of a scientist at Wuhan’s Institute of Virology and suggested users could pay him “a visit” to find out more about what caused the outbreak.

      “Something tells us, if anyone wants to find out what really caused the coronavirus pandemic that has infected thousands of people in China and around the globe, they should probably” contact him, the report said.

    4. djrichard

      I always thought the issue was that people can’t handle the truth. Apparently the issue is that people can’t handle the untruth. Who knew. Ah well, I guess this is the price we pay for freedom. Or for democracy. Or something.

  18. The Rev Kev

    “Bernie Sanders Leads Trump, All 2020 Candidates in Donations From Active-Duty Troops”

    I think that this has to do with the fact that Berne is least likley to get soldiers killed undertaking a useless mission that would make no difference in a place that most people could not find on a map. Still it is sad to read Rolling Stone repeating Pentagon talking points such as the U.S. military was actually achieving its stated mission of defeating the Islamic State. That would actually be the Syrians, Iranians, Iraqis and Russians who did the heavy lifting. The US military defeated ISIS in the same way that the US military defeated the Wehrmacht in WW2 – after 80% of it was already gone.

    And I doubt that the actual soldiers would be cheerful about being stuck behind dirt barriers in the middle of nowhere like some 21st century Fort Apache in order to steal another country’s oil. Bernie would be the most likely one to pull the plug on this foolishness and get these soldiers back to their families at home – and I am willing to bet that the soldiers know it as well. Without a Bernie, you would have a situation in Afghanistan in 2040 where one soldier would turn to another and say “Did you know that my grandfather was part of the initial invasion force here? That was his guard post over there and his initials are still there.”

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Why they joined too is at play regardless of the esprit de corps efforts.

      Without widespread poverty, thereally is no way the US has the military deployment it’s had. Single payer or education reforms, some kind of jobs program, watch those numbers collapse until army pay is increased or the mission is radically changed.

      1. rowlf

        Consider that a lot of military enlistment comes from pockets of the US that have been filling up with haunted veterans and the trend of the officers to avoid leadership and focus on management makes one wonder how long before the US military is hollow again.

        1. lordkoos

          I think it’s pretty hollow already. If we get in a real war with someone who isn’t a pushover, such as with Iran, I think that would be revealed.

  19. Wukchumni

    Zero Hedge is yell!oh! journalism that never saw a wolf it couldn’t cry about, that said, censorship is the responsibility of the self, not of others viewpoints.

    If we value the pursuit of knowledge, we must be free to follow wherever that search may lead us. The free mind is not a barking dog, to be tethered on a ten-foot chain.

    Adlai Stevenson

    1. Off The Street

      ZH seems to scream The Sky Is Falling and then repackages that monomaniacal fever dream into other headlines. Their world has been under falling skies seemingly forever. Do they own shares in gold and prepper companies?

      1. lordkoos

        I think the Zerohedge site is funded by a very wealthy Canadian gold bug type, so ZH talks his book quite a bit. I wish I could recall the man’s name but I cannot.

    2. rowlf

      I like Zero Hedge (minus the comments sections) but then I also used to bring a copy of the Weekly World News to work every Saturday so my coworkers and I could read the articles out loud.

      In both publications there are occasional intersections with reality. (Forest monk type go-kick-a-rock reality)

      1. lordkoos

        The repulsiveness of the racist and anti-semitic comments that are never discouraged by the admins were what made me stop reading ZH.

    3. Plenue

      The best part about ZH is their tag-line. They’re less useful than even Global Research.

      Anyone who is rabidly pro-capitalist but unironically uses Tyler Durden as an alias is an idiot.

  20. Off The Street

    Soros and Zuckerberg are two sides of the same coin for me. They both want to use Facebook, and other social media, to track, manipulate, monetize and monitor. Different techniques toward the same end, and not good for users.

    I was on Facebook just long enough to see that it was boring and a waste of time, so am not in their target demographic. Account deletion was satisfying.

  21. JacobiteInTraining

    In Hong Kong, apparently a newly formed union of health workers…a rather direct offshoot of the ‘5 demands, not one less!’ protests, if I am not mistaken…has voted to go on strike until/unless the government closes borders with China, as a way to stop the spread of coronavirus, and prevent ‘mainlanders’ from overwhelming local HK resources:

    Interesting to see how that plays out, since the street protests (though for distinctly different reasons) haven’t had much of an effect on the government’s behavior. If a strike forces ‘compliance’ for this, I would assume the wider freedom/demo protests will adjust accordingly.

    I think a lot about the recent government shutdown that seemed to magically get resolved & end once the flight attendants union said the magic words ‘General Strike’. I think we will see a dizzying array of strikes of this kind here in the US as the months roll on. Pretty much the only way to really fight the oppressors, it seems.

    Then again, it would be wise to keep an eye on the inevitable escalation from the cult of personality….it seems like this country isn’t going to be satisfied until we finally get to ’30’s Spanish Civil War territory:

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      If the Hong Kong border gets closed against Chinese from the mainland, I think the ChinaGov will take bussinesslike and unflashy steps to force the border open again. If Hong Kong says ” we are not part of your One Country, the One Country will demonstrate that Hong Kong is indeed part of One Country China.
      And sick Chinese WILL be treated in Hong Kong, one way or another.

      Well, that’s a pretty specific prediction, isn’t it? I may either gain some credibility or lose some credibility with this one.

  22. ObjectiveFunction

    “The four giant turbines have now exported 24.7 gigawatt hours (GWh) of predictable renewable power to the national grid.”

    Sorry guys, great links lately but this one is a dud. This clip is yet more of the kind of useless rah rah flack that hinders renewables. The above info is completely meaningless without knowing (a) the time period of generation (b) the installed capacity of the array.

    Same thing with pseudofactoids like ‘powers 4000 homes’, as if a lay reader knows how much power a Scottish home uses, or how many homes there are in Scotland, or what proportion of total demand that is.

    Ocean power is appealing in theory, but in practice hopelessly uneconomic, even in the limited locations offering suitable tides. Short of the inside of a volcano, the sea floor is the least hospitable operating environment to be found on earth for complex rotating equipment, between salt, silt and the relentless destructive power of surging water itself. Installation and operating costs are astronomical, well beyond nuclear on a per watt basis, and only ever seem to go up, not down.

    1. cuibono

      depending on how you look at it that could be seen as good news. if so, and we have 2-300 deaths, the virus is not quite as fatal as first feared.( 0.4%)
      Of course deaths may be grossly undercounted. Or the 75k is way off.
      Hoping it does not mutate.

      1. MLTPB

        New cases keep coming in daily.

        Their outcomes are not immediately known. Hoping for the best for them.

        The rate should be based on when the results (add up all the negative ones as the numerator) of all the cases in the dominator are known.

        Do we know all the outcomes of those 75,000 cases?

  23. Off The Street

    If you can stand another article that shows the sausage-making apparatus of DC, you will see how your elected representatives and their ilk behave. A pox on the whole lot. Vote out every last one.

    1. Samuel Conner

      From above remarks, it appears that the Democratic National Corporation …. er Committee, is a private corporation currently owned by the Clinton Foundation. If that’s right, the DNC’s officers are not subject to the authority of anyone other than the CF. Perhaps the CF would graciously accommodate the wishes of the 2020 nominee, but if that nominees is the Senator who must not be named, I rather expect it won’t happen.

      But Senator Sanders may have a strong enough organization to start a 3rd party that could in future, as a practical matter, endorse progressive Ds who manage to get onto the ballot while it fights for ballot access in its own name. We need a new party.

      I agree with the counterpunch article above-mentioned that the D party in its present form does not have much time left, Regime change is coming.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        If that is true, then the DNC people would have to know about it. They would have to know who owns them and who they are working for.

        If its true, that could be turned into a good thing. The DNC could be a roach motel for Clintonite apparatchiks and nomenklaturists. All real Democrats could do everything in their power to extermicott the DNC and shun and reject every person who has served on it since the Clintons bought it. Drive them out of the party.

        A Sanders/Gabbard ticket could set the tone for that.

        1. inode_buddha

          So far, I can count the “real Democrats” on one hand. The electorate doesn’t know or care.

          1. Late Introvert

            They do here in Eastern Iowa, Bernie is going to roll on Monday. Two neighbors put up signs this past week, both were a surprise, and skew younger!

  24. John k

    If you go to hospital with fever these days, do you get turned away if no insurance?
    If you have bronze ins, do you get big bills if they admit you? And if diagnoses with Coronavirus, who pays for your 14-day stay in isolation?

    1. Monty

      {SPOILERS] There isn’t the capacity to treat thousands more critically ill people here, insurance or not. Hope for the best, because IF they lose control, think “The Super Dome during Katrina” on a national scale.

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        on our local tv news, drifting in from the next room:

        and, John K…yes. they treat you at the er without insurance, then send a large bill later…and are quick to go to debt collectors.
        also, it sure feels like they drag their feet in the er if you have no insurance…but that may be just subjectivity.
        and it also depends on the er. the 16 mile away one is crappy and mean…so we go to the 47 mile away one, where they are professional. better hospital, too.

      2. drumlin woodchuckles

        Except if some arm of government tries to give a bunch of heavily gunned-up-and-ammo’d people the “Super Dome During Katrina” treatment, they may find themselves in nasty gunfights and shootouts.

  25. Wukchumni

    If you have bronze ins, do you get big bills if they admit you?

    Sadly yes, when covered under Corona lite.

    1. ambrit

      “We have bronze bills! Big bronze bills!”
      From the background we can hear the Hospital CEO chorus calling out; “But we have the biggest, bills of them all!”

  26. Calypso Facto

    re: Counterpunch – The Party’s Over

    I feel this author takes the perspective of Bernie’s positions on some aspects to be a moral factor rather than political. A lot of the author’s argument, should he be screwed by the DNC, is that he brought it on himself for not being tough enough:

    We have to ask: What is Bernie saying or doing about this? What is he doing to support not only himself, but the many thousands of people who are working hard for the “political revolution” he is claiming to lead—supporters who see the Democratic Party right now organizing to deprive Bernie of the nomination and derail anything like that movement from taking hold in the party, whether Bernie is nominated or not? Not him, us, and all that—and “us” want to know. ‘Cause if Bernie is doing or saying nothing about this, if he’s willing to ignore and accept it without raising hell, then it’s fair for “us” to suspect we’re seeing a hair of the Democratic sheepdog emerging through the revolutionary lion’s mane.

    There is an entire entrenched class that has gotten their children through hyperinflated college and purchased hyperinflated housing purely because of their ability to shame, scold and triangulate people into supporting whatever policy they’ve been paid to sell. Neoliberalism made everyone compete and they fought their way to the top and they are going to fight to keep control but there are limits to what shaming, scolding and triangulation can do now that the veils have been ripped off post-2016. Even if Sanders is screwed, the ground movement he created will annihilate the existing Dem party and DNC structure permanently. If you don’t believe that based on the power of the movement and it’s primacy among the under-40 population, then meditate on the fact that most of the ghouls pulling the strings on behalf of moneyed interests are old and too arrogant to prepare successors. Just look at Hunter Biden and that one Koch spawn with the shirts, for god’s sake.

    The idea that any single one person can have the perfect personal response to every contrived attempt to ‘catch’ him saying or doing something they can use to swiftboat/Dean Scream him is like setting oneself up for disappointment: if they screw him, he didn’t do enough, and there is nothing I have to do but grieve. No. If Sanders can make it past the DNC, then he can win. If he wins, then the real battle begins to actually implement these changes, and they will be bigger and crazier than RussiaRussiaRussia! and a lot of these entrenched power players will need to be purged, yes, but others can be turned like Peter Daou. And if you make these fights now political fights, not moral battles, you pave the way for those people to turn later as they recognize their livelihoods were at stake. Remember, Tallyrand served the King, Napoleon, and the Directory.

    1. witters

      There is an entire entrenched class that has gotten their children through hyperinflated college and purchased hyperinflated housing purely because of their ability to shame, scold and triangulate people into supporting whatever policy they’ve been paid to sell.

      Shame, scold, triangulate (SST) – Man, you’ve nailed it.

      1. newcatty

        Spoiled Bowl: feel free to use your imagination and make a mental list of all that the Spoiled Bowl contains in its decayed container. Grifters all agog with glee, the security state all puffed up with self-importance, the city and state governments all cashed in, the advertisers all awesomely funny, the corporate hacks and hangers -on all hot to be seen, the MIC being the misty eyed pride and hustlers of the featured abandoned young people, the in plain sight homeless hustled into “shelters. What a bread and circus…it, as mentioned already…The bread is getting stale or scarce. Hmmm…

    1. HotFlash

      Mr HotFlash has counseled friends who despaired of ever meeting a nice lady to settle down with thusly, “Do your laundry at a laundromat on Super Bowl Sunday.” Multiple messages delivered silently: not in a relationship, clean, not interested in football.

      1. Wukchumni

        Friends wedding in Lake Tahoe got canceled being the weekend after 9/11 and rescheduled to the Saturday of SB weekend, and we went skiing on Sunday and it was wonderful with not too many other skiers/boarders on the slopes, and last lift is 4 pm so ski till 3 pm and catch the game afterwards. Saturdays are good too, as it turns out.

        We did that for a number of years, the last time a few years back.

        1. HotFlash

          Hah! My own parents scheduled their wedding for the morning of the UofM/Notre Dame game, since if it had been in the afternoon they wouldn’t have many attendees, let alone the best man. Mr HotFlash and I opted for Tksgiving, since the famblies would all be in town already. Besides, it’s easy to remember.

    1. John k

      A pity he didn’t say more about Bernie’s support in the country’s largest voting block, independents. If beating trump is your top priority, you should nominate the person who best attracts indies, by definition people not attracted to either wing of the Corp party. Any dem will get most dems in the general and few reps; who brings in the indies is critical. Granted, a certain level of enthusiasm, lacking among dems in 2016, is useful in getting voters to the polls and voting for a candidate… wouldn’t think wine cave photo ops would help that much.
      Would love to see more polls of indies.

  27. Ignacio

    RE:Green energy could now be cheaper than fossil fuels thanks to breakthrough New York Post (David L)

    The phrase to pick in this article is this: The latest development is only one step along the road to cheaper renewable energy. It’s not about the size of any step, but the cumulative effect of them all, say experts.

    It has been so for the last years. Small cumulative improvements in manufacturing and cell efficiency as well as in the performance of the whole installation. If you go back to the nineties it was very different and much worse. You obtained about half the energy you can get today with the same panel surface. The newest panels to enter market this year are nearly 23% efficient in energy conversion which is not a lot more than the 15-18% efficiency of past century cells but these are now cheaper and energy losses are substantially lower.

  28. Plenue

    >Erdogan warns of ‘military force’ against Syria amid Idlib exodus Al Jazeera

    “Turkey with complete sincerity wants Syria’s stability and security, and to this end, we will not shy away from doing whatever is necessary, including using military force.”

    Part of me kind of loves the guy. He’s just so utterly shameless. He can spout clear contradictions in the space of a single sentence and not bat an eye, and feel no remorse whatsoever.

    1. Susan the other

      I think Turkey’s interests have been ignored by everyone from the Saudis to the French. He doesn’t get any respect from NATO until he actually goes off on his own, like to Libya – which brought Angela Merkel to Ankara to talk alliance. Erdogan is almost a human barometer of the twists and turns of the conflict.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Erdogan’s favourite Jihadists are being ground down in Idlib by the Syrian/Russian campaigns and so has had to resort to transporting thousands of them to Libya in order to save them. He may want to be careful about sending Turkish formations into combat in Syria as the Syrians are now a highly experienced bunch of combat vets who would probably maul them. The Turks sent their military against some irregular fighters in Syria about 2-3 years ago and lost several tanks in the ensuing battle which must have shocked them. Erdogan’s purges of the military would be helping either.

  29. TroyIA

    Everything is totally fine. Just a city with 7.5 million people completely shut down. Seriously this is a confidence building measure that shows authorities are in control of the situation. No need to panic. This is done out of an abundance of caution not because the situation is even worse than imagined. Nope everything is fine.

    Huanggang limits time outside for residents

    Amid the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, on Saturday authorities in Huanggang, Hubei province imposed an indefinite limit on the mobility of residents in its urban areas, allowing only one designated member per family to leave home once every two days to buy daily necessities.

    Exceptions were made for people working at supermarkets and pharmacies, as well as sick people who need to visit doctors, according to an announcement by the local epidemic prevention office. The policy took effect on Saturday.

    The announcement called on local officials, legislators and political advisors to set an example and persuade family members and neighbors to minimize outings and congregations, to reduce possible infection.

    Those who breach the restrictions and pick quarrels with law enforcement officers will face punishment, it added.

    1. MLTPB

      Some one from Beijing mentioned about neighborhood guards he or she saw everywhere there.

      It relates to the how ancient Chinese capitals were designed.

      Take Chang An of the Tang dynasty for example. Like all ancient Chinese capitals, it was rectangular, divided in the squares by north south and east west lines. At night, the square sections were locked down…every night, by guards posted there.

      The famous wine shops Li Po mentioned in one of his poems, with yellow haired singing girls from the Western Regions, were located in one of those square neighborhoods on the eastern side of the main north south road which led, in the south to the Red Sparrow Gatem and in the north to the imperial palace (always in the north).

  30. martell

    Regarding “America Needs a Miracle,” the author, Sullivan, accepts ‘tribalism’ as an apt description of present day developments within the US and wants to explain those developments by appeal to some combination of purported facts about the brain together with demographic changes beginning in the mid 1960s. Whenever I read about so-called tribalism I can’t help but wonder whether the phenomena in question actually have much of anything to do with what anthropologists would call tribes. I also wonder whether anthropologists would even accept ‘tribe’ as a useful analytical category. My suspicion is that ‘tribalism,’ as used be people like Sullivan, evinces a host of sophomoric misconceptions about non-Western, pre-modern societies. As for it being “hard-wired,” I found no evidence of this in the article and no evidence of this in the article linked to the article. And that’s not surprising, considering that there are so many confounding variables that might also (and might better) explain contemporary factionalism.

    All that said, it’s an enjoyable read. Unintentionally funny. He starts out talking like a neurologically well informed social scientist but ends with idea that only a god can save us. Specifically, he floats the idea that what we really need is another universalist religion to bind us all together again in our humanness (or maybe just a revival of Christianity). Were there any material conditions of universalist religions, e.g., social arrangements like empires that were themselves contingent on what we would nowadays call the economic arrangements of the time? I’m sure this question would never occur to him.

    1. flora

      I thought the ‘universal “religion” ‘ in democracies is democracy and the democratic process itself. Sullivan has given up on democracy, apparently, unless it can guarantee the election of politicians he prefers. (That abandonment of democracy seems true of one of the parties, too.) My 2 cents.

      1. martell

        A similar question could be asked about democracy. Athenian demokratia (which was considerably different than what is nowadays called democracy, with relatively few laws and official positions mostly determined by lottery) seems to have required a certain balance of power in the Greek world, such that no one polis was able to dominate all the others. There furthermore had to be sufficiently productive arable land distributed in such a way as to support a relatively large body of free, male citizens, each of whom could thereby provide for his own family (with more than a little help from his slaves, wife, and children) with lots of time left to spare, much of which was taken up by gigantic, day long meetings. Massive inequalities, both external and internal (some of which probably had to do with differences in the productivity of the land) eventually brought the system down. Or so I am told.

        Modern, representative democracy is, again, much different than the Athenian variety, but perhaps a similar, “materialist” story could be told of its (potential?) demise. My guess is that parts of that story could be taken from the works of various historians, social scientists, and political theorists. Certainly, I’d look there first. Cognitive science and neurology? Maybe later. Musings of NPR level thinkers who see tribes everywhere and always? Wouldn’t bother.

  31. MLTPB

    It’s not all bad in the US.

    While we got ours out a few days ago, I read the South Korea did the same just today or yesterday, like a few other countries.

    And over at Marketwatch, there is at article about Russia refusing to let a German evacuation plane land for refueling.

    Germany’s defense minister said a plane carrying 128 passengers, most of them German citizens, was refused permission to land and refuel in Moscow due to what the Russians said was lack of capacity. The military transport plane had to divert to Helsinki before it landed in Frankfurt. None of the people aboard was suspected of infection but they all will be quarantined at a military base for two weeks as a precaution, according to the German Foreign Ministry

  32. Oregoncharles

    From the Ellen Gabler tweet: “The American Psychiatric Association is particularly concerned about CVS, which it says ignores doctors’ explicit instructions to dispense limited amounts of medication to mental health patients.

    Patients may use the excess pills to attempt suicide, the association says.”

    That sounds like the psychiatrists are being pretty careless, prescribing potentially lethal drugs to unstable people.

    Which doesn’t let the pharmacy off the hook, but is still problematic.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Sorry, caffeine in high doses will kill you. Even overhydrating will kill you. Fer Chrissakes, Tylenol, which is sold OTC, most definitely will kill you in a not all that high a dose.

      Had you read the article (to which we linked), the issue is that enough pills allow for a suicide attempt, while lower doses do not.

      Also what it does not explain is 90 pill scrips are usually cheaper than 30 pill scrips. I always make my doctor write 90 day scrips for that reason. So one wonders if CVS is also profiteering somehow (although they buy in bulk but maybe a pharmacist could explain if there is a possible billing gimmick here). So at a minimum the patient should be charged less for 90 days, but is probably charged for 3×30.

      And killing yourself with Tylenol sucks. If you fail, you’ve likely totally shot your health.

  33. Oregoncharles

    This is unexpectedly interesting:
    “The Joe Rogan controversy revealed something important about the American left
    On Joe Rogan, Bernie Sanders, and the hidden moral philosophy of American politics.”

    You have to get past the first few paragraphs, where he buys the claim that Rogan is a bigot – no real evidence in the article, I haven’t read all the links. That is actually irrelevant to his main point, essentially a more fundamental redefinition of idpol vs. “material benefits” familiar here.

    He calls the underlying positions “deontological” ( vs:. ” “consequentialism.” In this view, the morality of actions must be judged by their consequences.” This is not just a matter of terminology; the distinctions are quite clarifying, and well worth reading. I don’t know who Dylan Matthews is, but I thought he did a good job of elucidating the meanings – without actually taking a position.

    Since the Green Party is solidly committed to having it both ways, I’m used to thinking that we need both. The Twitter examples of the argument mostly struck me as fake logic.

    1. dk

      This was fun, thanks for posting it Oregoncharles.

      The deontological view may be predicated on an interpretation of politics where the candidate/elected is expected yield to the demands of their supporters, further implication is that they *don’t* have to consider non-supporters. The latter component is not a good configuration for regional representation where the elected should represent the will, and/or the interests, of *all* of the region’s residents.

      An extension of the first component leads to the idea that a candidate should choose between competing factions who both offer support, and must reject one to favor the other.

      It reminds me a bit of the religious concept that worship of a deity is virtuous in itself, and that thanks and praise has intrinsic material worth (to the deity). God’s acceptance of Able’s offerings and rejection of Cain’s is seen as volitional preference, rather than a consequentialist reflection of the qualities of the offerings and the material actual interests and ends of God.

  34. anon in so cal

    Escalating censorship on Twitter and other sites.

    Last week, Twitter suspended the account of Marcel Sardo, who had previously been hounded by Ben Nimmo, PropOrNot, and Hamilton68. Today, Twitter banned ZeroHedge.

    Max Blumenthal:

    “Marcel Sardo has been falsely identified by NATO censorship operative Ben Nimmo as a Russian bot, as I reported here:”

    1. Oregoncharles

      I’ve long worried that the dependence of much political organizing on social media was an obvious vulnerability. Those huge corporations are not our friends.

      So it’s Twitter that confirms the danger. Back to mimeograph machines. We stopped a war in those days.

  35. CoryP

    I have to say that the most recent Chapo episode (subscribers only, I’m afraid)… while very hopeful, also changed my opinion of them for the better.

    I didn’t listen to them from the very beginning, but I’ve been open to arguments that they are somewhat of a sheepdogging outfit. I have been suspicious about their pointed refusal to address certain newsworthy but verboten topics (mainly, Assange, Gabbard, and some Syria stuff, though they did have the War Nerd on).

    However, they flat out advise that if Bernie doesn’t get the nomination, “we” are morally obligated to vote 3rd Party to destroy the Democratic Party.

    I could be mistaken, but I don’t recall them saying it this explicitly before, and it raises their credibility in my eyes.

  36. cm

    Thought experiment: if Sanders is the Presidential nominee, and Clinton is his VP, who do you vote for in the election? Trump/Pence vs. Sanders/Clinton?

  37. drumlin woodchuckles

    Interesting video from Reddit. Fascinating and inspiring and a little bit informative. But the fascination and inspiration of a real-life good example might get some watchers to gather their own information from clues in the video.

    It is titled: I Only Ate Food That I Grew Or Foraged For One Year. Here is the link.

    Here is an example of a particular piece of information I got from this video. At timepoint 3:11- 3:13, the hero of the video is shown reading a book. By freezing the you tube video at timepoint 3:12 and expanding the screen to full size, I could read the title of the book. Then I could find the book on the Internet, withOUT linking to Amazon. And here is the link to the book.

    1. Late Introvert

      I bought that as a present for my wife’s birthday at one point. We haven’t needed it yet. Purslane grows in the driveway, which is where the car goes so I tend to avoid it.

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