Links 2/12/2020

A woman lured a group of deer into her living room to feed them snacks. Wildlife officials said she risked the animals’ lives CNN

Mysterious radio signal from space is repeating every 16 days CNN

Australia bushfires ignite calls for indigenous fire practices Agence France Presse

Traditional Ways of Paying for Fires and Floods Aren’t Cutting It Bloomberg

Surge in plastics production defies environmental backlash FT

The Sprint-T-Mobile Merger: A Jump the Shark Moment for Antitrust? Matt Stoller, BIG

FTC demands data on small buys by Google, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft Channel News Asia


Exclusive: New leaks shatter OPCW’s attacks on Douma whistleblowers The Grayzone


COVID-19 is to 2019-nCoV as AIDS (the disease) is to HIV (the virus).

Rectification of Names (1):

Rectification of Names (2):

Rectification of Names (3):

* * *

At Outbreak’s Center, Wuhan Residents Question Accuracy of Virus Tests WSJ. “Medical experts around the globe have expressed fears that the scale of the outbreak could be much larger than Chinese data suggests—in large part because of concerns about potential flaws in testing. Independent experts say many tens of thousands of Wuhan residents are likely infected by the coronavirus, while the city’s government puts the tally at less than 20,000. Only one in 19 infected people in Wuhan was being tested and confirmed, according to an estimate by Imperial College London as of Jan. 31.” Eerie photos of a Wuhan empty of pedestrians and cars. Also, I would have expected China to have universal health care. China does not. From the anecdotes of patients being asked to pay exorbitant sums, they are rationing by price; the brutality seems similar to our own. One wonders if the difficulties the CCP has had in mobilizing a response has anything to do with the profit motive (“Close to 100 companies in China say they have developed testing kits for the virus…. ‘[But] due to the urgency, these products haven’t been registered,’ Hybribio executive Li Liejun told the newspaper. As a result, some tests are less reliable than others, experts say”).

Early Coronavirus Genetic Data May Have Forewarned Outbreak Bloomberg

Early lessons from the frontline of the 2019-nCoV outbreak The Lancet

Spatially Explicit Modeling of 2019-nCoV Epidemic Trend based on Mobile Phone Data in Mainland China (PDF) medRviv. Modeling to the city level.

The effect of travel restrictions on the spread of the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak medRxiv

‘Everyone is guessing’ about coronavirus economic impacts, say experts Channel News Asia

The Best Defense Against Disturbing New Diseases The Atlantic


Viral Alarm: When Fury Overcomes Fear China Files. A must-read.

China’s Communist Party faces its biggest crisis since SARS AP


Defeat of BJP in Delhi election points to lack of strong face and local narrative in States The Hindu

The National Population Register Has No Proper Legal Backing and May Be Ultra Vires The Wire

Lone door led out as fire burned Indian factory of US denim AP

The brothels of Daulatdia: Sex workers to get ‘honourable’ funeral Agence France Presse

Locusts and food shortages add to pressure on Imran Khan FT. Locusts not only in Africa.

New Cold War

Exclusive: While The Press And Public Focus On Iran, US Military Prepares For War With Russia William Arkin, Newsweek. Let’s hope the war stays cold. Lunatics.

Ukraine: Conflict at the Crossroads of Europe and Russia Council on Foreign Relations

Space Force says Russian satellites are following American satellite CNN

Interview: Obama Russia Adviser on Cold War Liberals Consortium News

The Valdai Rest Home and “Gagarin” Gilbert Doctorow

Puerto Rico’s Energy Insurrection The Intercept

Guaidó’s return (1):

Guaidó’s return (2):

Needless to say, if Maduro were really a “brutal dictator,” Guaidó would have been whacked, instead of jeered.

Trump Transition

Trump Gives Conditional Go Ahead on Peace Deal With Taliban, Officials Say NYT. “Trump The Peacemaker” ffs. Well done, Democrats.

The Oversight Wars Are Not Going Away The Atlantic


Winners and losers from the New Hampshire primary WaPo. I will have a post on the NH results later today.

An important endorsement:

Paging Michael Bloomberg Thomas Friedman, NYT

Biden left New Hampshire earlier than expected to go to South Carolina USA Today

Boeing 737 MAX

Boeing to Resume Max Production Before Flight Ban Is Lifted Bloomberg. No pressure.

Imperial Collapse Watch

The Sanders Doctrine The Atlantic. “This is the first U.S. presidential election to feature voters who were born after the Afghan War began. The ‘forever wars’ in the Middle East have disillusioned younger generations in particular, who constitute a significant part of Sanders’s base. In different ways, both Trump and Sanders have seized on this despair. Central to the case they’re making to voters is that as president, they would end these conflicts and refuse to have America serve as the world’s policeman.”

Philippines scrapping military cooperation pact with US The Hill

“How Could You Not Connect the Dots?”: Inside the Red-Pilling of State Department Official Matthew Gebert Vanity Fair. Dropping the ball in Loudoun County….

2 Big Teachers Unions Call For Rethinking Student Involvement In Lockdown Drills NPR

Class Warfare

The Dismal Kingdom: Do Economists Have Too Much Power? Foreign Affairs. Throwing a flag on a clear violation of Betteridge’s Law.

John Weeks – Joan Robinson and the Theory of Capital Brave New Europe

Someone blew the whistle on Hookers for Jesus Boing Boing (Re Silc).

OnlyFans: a day in the life of a top(less) creator The Economist

Mutinous librarians help drive change at Elsevier FT. We need more mutinous librarians.

Neuroscience study finds evidence that meditation increases the entropy of brainwaves PsyPost (DL) (original).

Antidote du jour (Furzy Mouse):

Furzy Mouse writes: “My sister’s ‘furballs’ Jake and Elwood….”

Bonus antidote:

Simultaneously upping my cat and dog game!

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. The Rev Kev

    “Space Force says Russian satellites are following American satellite”

    Space Force says that they are not paranoid but have photographic proof of their assertion. They say that the Russian satellite was spotted wearing a trench coat & fedora while peering over a newspaper which upon closer examination was revealed to be a copy of “Pravda.”

    The Space Force says that the only way to prevent the militarization of space now is to be given a multi-trillion dollar budget to militarize space first and putting defensive tactical nuclear missiles in orbit around the earth would be a good start.

    1. Amfortas the hippie

      let me be the first to point out that things in orbit just kind of naturally “follow” one another.

  2. Zagonostra

    Amy K. Surprises in NH, so begins the headlines from NPR this morning when I searched to see who won primary.

    1. jrs

      Well it’s NPR as corporate as it comes. Yesterday I heard on NPR that Warren had bothered to put on to paper the plans for healthcare that Sanders just talks about it and doesn’t actually try to work on paper. Uh .. he wrote a bill, you may have heard.

      Plans are not the problem per se, it’s what all candidates have on most issues, but in this case how much more put on paper can anything possibly be than Actual Legislation? Hello.

      1. chuck roast

        I’m kind of like Goebbles. If I say it enough times, people will believe it. NPR is funded by The CORPORATION for Public Broadcasting. Kind of like the the DNC is the Democratic National CORPORATION.

        1. zagonostra

          Good point, Public Broadcasting is a misnomer.

          Most people are skeptical that the “Public Good” in general is something tangible, that in reality there is only private/corporate interest. I often debate friends who don’t think that there is a “common” good that it’s just casuistry aimed at milking people. I always retort with how the air you breath or the water you drink is a common good, but that doesn’t seem to sway anyone…

      1. Harvey

        The new rules for reporting …
        The 2016/17 headlines –

        Clinton Wins Presidency Popular Vote by Landslide
        Clinton Opponent Loses Popular Vote
        Clinton Supporters Overwhelm Deplorables in Vote Totals
        Loser to Clinton Holds Fake Inauguration
        Unpopular Clinton Opponent Illegally in White House
        White House Squatter Illegally Making US Policy Against Clinton Wishes

  3. CBBB

    On New Hampshire – the results don’t look good long-term for Sanders. I really do think he’s at a ceiling of like 25% and I don’t see where he attracts more votes from. Biden, Warren, Kolbechar voters will all go en-mass to Pete Buttigieg. All the talk is of PoC tipping the balance for Sanders but who knows, Buttigieg also was supposed to get hosed in NH but every time he proves himself strong in one state he starts surging in the polls.
    At the end of the day I’m starting to think the media was right all along – US voters are basically conservative “centerists” and they just want a stuffed-shirt neoliberal guy who doesn’t say crazy things like Trump.

    1. Morgan Everett

      Buttigieg was always decently strong in New Hampshire, and got a bounce out of Iowa. Nevada and South Carolina will be pretty decisive in showing who will consolidate those who flee supporting Biden (and probably Warren). If Sanders doesn’t win at least one of those states, I’ll agree with your premise. I’m struggling to decide whether Warren is going to choose to stay in the race long passed the time she is feasible, or will drop, and just not endorse Sanders. Either will be pretty definitive proof that the left were correct to go Only Sanders

      1. CBBB

        Left-Twitter seems to think the key is picking up Warren voters – but that’s like what? 10%? And most of Warren voters are more likely to go Buttigieg – they aren’t progressive they just want to feel good about supporting some weak-tea progressive policies and a women. Meanwhile the neoliberal wing of the party – once you consolidate Buttigieg, Klobechar, Biden, and most of Warren is utterly dominant.

        1. Chris Hargens

          A clean consolidation may not be in the wings. Buttigieg, Klobechar, Biden, and Warren are not given support for exactly the same reasons. As some of these candidates drop out, there may be significant spillover into Sanders’ camp. Further, apart from Biden, Sanders has the most support among minorities, particularly latinos. IMHO Bloomberg is the real threat, but if the Sanders’ campaign can dig up enough dirt on him and tar him (with substantial evidence) as a meddling oligarch, then Sanders has a good chance of going in strong at the convention. Nevertheless, I’ll concede that everything is still swirling up in the the air.

          1. Lambert Strether Post author

            > A clean consolidation may not be in the wings.

            If all the candidates (except perhaps Sanders and Bloomberg) believe that the convention will be brokered, they have no incentive to unite. They will have more leverage later, so except for people like the ridiculous Deval Patrick — what on earth was he thinking? Who was he talking to? — they have no incentive to drop out.

      2. Bill Carson

        The left figured out Warren in 2016 when she sat on the sidelines. Any principled progressive would have endorsed Sanders and she did not. Now, as to CBBB’s point about picking up Warren voters, I think real progressive voters abandoned her after she walked back support for M4A. The remainder are not inclined to support Sanders. Warren has been signaling that she will endorse Klobuchar. The thing that is clear is that Amy hates Pete with a red hot loathing. Should be interesting.

    2. chuckster

      The party of FDR passed away last night.

      There will be no Green NewDeal. There will be no college debt forgiveness. There will be no free college. Medicare will be gone by 2030. Social Security MIGHT last until I die but if it does, it’s an accident.

      1. CBBB

        If it’s Buttgieg or Bloomberg as the nominee than the party has completed the transformation it began in the late 1970s. It will be purely a party for the top 10-15% of the income distribution. A rump party that doesn’t win outside California and New York. I even think Trump could pick up significant non-white voters if he’s running against the Buttigieg party.
        That’ll be the end of the Democrats as a national party. Although what the hell do I know?

        1. Monty

          I think he might challenge Reagan’s record for number of states won, if he runs against Buttgieg. … but then, I think Trump winning was always the DNC goal.

        2. Lambert Strether Post author

          > If it’s Buttgieg or Bloomberg as the nominee than the party

          I think the party could split if and only if the organizing of the Sanders campaign is deep enough and built for the long haul.

      2. The Historian

        The party of FDR died in the 70’s and it wasn’t that great to start with – FDR was more interested in saving capitalism than he was about saving people. It is time to bury that old corpse. There are better ideas out there.

        I worry about people who think that only Sanders can save Medicare and Social Security, etc. It’s like they are putting all their eggs in one basket. Sanders has an uphill fight and his chances of battling off all of his enemies is slight. If he doesn’t make it, what are you going to do? Just give up? If Trump is defeated, the Republican Party won’t fall apart. If Pelosi and Biden get defeated, the Democratic Party won’t fall apart. I fear that if Sanders gets defeated, then his movement will fall apart.

        I want Sanders to win simply because he will move the Overton Window back towards the left, but I have no illusions that Sanders will accomplish all that he promises. That is going to take the work of a movement that is strong enough to survive even if it loses its leader. I just don’t see that happening right now. That’s why I want to see a breakaway party forming from disgusted ex-Democrats.

        1. pretzelattack

          it may have begun dying in 1944, when henry wallace got screwed by conservative democrats, or 1946, when truman fired him for giving a speech advocating cooperation with russia, but you are right about needing a movement. on the other side, capital doesn’t need a movement, it just needs to be somewhat organized, one of many advantages it has in our present system. it started organizing against fdr when he was elected, or perhaps even before that, and never stopped.

          1. The Historian

            I think FDR wanted to save the capitalist system because he feared Communism. The wealthy corporatists at the time that fought him were only interested in protecting their own greed – they weren’t thinking about the system as a whole.

            1. inode_buddha

              “The wealthy corporatists … were only interested in protecting their own greed – they weren’t thinking about the system as a whole.”

              They never are, and still aren’t.

              In a somewhat related vein, I have been wondering about forming a Party to promote the frictionless movement of labor (from one country to another), in the same way that Capital promotes frictionless movement.

              1. Left in Wisconsin

                I’ve been involved in a fair amount of transnational union activity. It is really hard because unions are structured by labor law, which is virtually all national or local and varies widely from place to place. For example, in the U.S. employers are only required to bargain with unions that represent certified bargaining units, which by definition can not include workers outside the U.S. (If anyone claims to you that capital wants a completely frictionless global market system, ask them why they work so hard to keep labor law local. They understand how power works.) Beyond the practical legal issues, one result of this has been the construction (in an identity sense) of national working classes.

                Also, one thing a lot of people miss is that globalization doesn’t treat all workers the same – there are clear winners and losers (or slight losers and devastated losers). Two examples:
                1. The UAW was truly transnational for about 25 years – exact same contract in the US and Canada. But floating exchange rates and different health care systems made the Canadians much more competitive than the Americans in the early 1980s, which drove the US side to agree to job-preserving concessions that were unacceptable to the Canadian side, leading to the break up of the union into separate national entities. Even in this case, which is about as favorable as one could imagine (same language, same employers, similar union structure), it was impossible to get members to think transnationally. Similarly, NAFTA has done nothing for international union solidarity in North America. The labor arbitrage that makes globalization attractive for business is precisely what inhibits international labor solidarity.
                2. Unions in the EU now have 30 or so years of experience with EU-wide works councils. Again, despite relatively free movement of labor, they have never amounted to anything beyond a bit of joint solidarity in various national struggles. Here, I think identity is probably a bigger issue, though again, just looking at market conditions, it is hard to see that the interests of German workers, Italian workers, Greek workers, Eastern European workers are similar, even in the most general sense.

                For better or worse, the things that drive labor activism (dignity, respect, solidarity) have up to now been constructed at the nation-state level, and it is only at the nation-state level that unions have seen any success in tempering the worst aspects of capitalism.

              2. Lambert Strether Post author

                > In a somewhat related vein, I have been wondering about forming a Party to promote the frictionless movement of labor (from one country to another), in the same way that Capital promotes frictionless movement.

                Maybe if you can stop frictionless movement of capital you’d have something.

                Anyhow, I reject the premise. It’s just “Why don’t these people just move?” as promoted by the PMC (the precarious subset of whom in fact moved, and were not lottery winners).

            2. notabanktoadie

              Except what in the definition of capitalism requires government privileges, explicit* and implicit** for a usury cartel?

              What FDR saved was not capitalism but a hypocritical, cynical mockery of it.

              * government deposit guarantees.
              ** the inability of all citizens to use fiat in account form.

        2. CBBB

          If Sanders does well in the primary but doesn’t end of being nominated and the Dems go on to lose then I think his movement is much safer long-term than if he does get the nomination but Trump wins. The second is the worst-case scenario.

            1. Lambert Strether Post author

              Harry Reid’s fingerprints are all over this. He was the one who got Warren into politics let us remember, though that seems not to have worked out for either of them.

          1. Left in Wisconsin

            Presuming Trump wins re-election and we maintain our current dysfunctional health care system for another 4 years, with 4 more years of attendant and growing human carnage. You think support for M4A is going to be lower in four years because our candidate lost in the general this time around?

        3. Dr. John Carpenter

          Well said. I see an alarming number of “Bernie is our last chance” comments around the web. This has to be something larger than a single person, especially one who is almost 80 with heart problems and the force of two political parties and the media working against him.

          1. CBBB

            I think it is though. We have been seeing in the last few years a raise in labor militancy, much more interest in socialism and it becoming more mainstream than before. I don’t think its all about Bernie although he did help trigger it. Bernie is not the last chance but he is the best chance in a long time. Bernie failing to get the nomination would not be the end – Bernie losing the general however WOULD be extremely damaging to the left. Not because it’s “all about Bernie” but because a general election loss would be a big shot in the arm for the “left-wing policies don’t sell in America” crowd.

            1. Left in Wisconsin

              I completely disagree. All the polling evidence shows that many core left-wing polices (M4A, job guarantee, $15/hr min wage) have strong majority support. The policies aren’t the problem; getting politicians elected who will support/enact them is.

              Also, the “left-wing policies don’t sell in America” crowd is not going anywhere so they will have to be beaten, not convinced.

              But getting a democratic socialist/social democrat to the general election, even if he lost the general (which would be terrible), would be a huge boost to the left. This election is showing that there is at least 20-25% of the DP electorate that is perfectly comfortable with a DS/SD message, which is 2,3,4 times more than one could have confidently said in the very recent past and suggests that the number of true (DS/SD) leftists running for office in the DP is likely to go way up in the future. (I have said many times here that there are no more than 10 true leftists in Congress, and that is probably being generous.) Expanding the electorate by offering current non-voters a real option could well drive that number much higher. There is no going back.

              What has some on the left depressed is 1) how urgent the crisis is and how sad it would be if this opportunity was lost, which I completely agree with, and 2) naively thinking based on 2016 that this number could be much higher. But we know now, if we didn’t already, that a considerable part of Bernie’s support last time was anti-HRC, not pro-DS.

              The other point worth making is that this election, like all elections, is a choice between real candidates. All of the other DP candidates besides Bernie have huge negatives and it will require some real contortion to promote any one of them as our savior from Trump, as is evident already. Bernie doesn’t have to persuade people to become socialists. He just has to persuade them that he is the best of the available options.

              1. Lambert Strether Post author

                > What has some on the left depressed is 1) how urgent the crisis is and how sad it would be if this opportunity was lost, which I completely agree with, and 2) naively thinking based on 2016 that this number could be much higher. But we know now, if we didn’t already, that a considerable part of Bernie’s support last time was anti-HRC, not pro-DS.

                Exactly. On #2, that’s why Warren splitting the “progressive” vote at the start of the campaign was so destructive.

          2. NotTimothyGeithner

            With climate change and for people on the edge, a Buttigieg Presidency means game over.

            Bernie being the last chance doesn’t equal success, but It is the last chance if we aren’t too late already. Unfortunately the stakes really are that high.

            1. Lil’D

              Nothing sensible to add


              Yup. Depressing.

              Not ready to give up but the trajectory seems inevitable. Like seeing the collision unfold over decades all the while shouting at the ones in control to steer a little bit left but they can’t hear or see, or think the risk is low.

            2. Left in Wisconsin

              I completely agree that this is the best chance in a very long time and it would be truly terrible if it was missed. But I do not get talk of last chance or game over. We have battered the door to the castle long and hard enough that it has finally cracked slightly open. The odds of capturing the kingdom are still pretty slim at this point but that door no longer functions in the way it did. And the people outside the castle are increasingly on our side. Why would we abandon them just when we have breached their defenses?

              1. Lambert Strether Post author

                > I do not get talk of last chance or game over. We have battered the door to the castle long and hard enough that it has finally cracked slightly open. The odds of capturing the kingdom are still pretty slim at this point but that door no longer functions in the way it did. And the people outside the castle are increasingly on our side. Why would we abandon them just when we have breached their defenses?


            3. lordkoos

              I don’t think Pete has a chance in hell of being nominated. He is in the race solely to disrupt, obfuscate, and to attempt to draw younger voters away from Sanders.

        4. neighbor7

          ++ At the Sanders/AOC rally in Los Angeles, there was a very strong “Not me, us” message. The first speaker was a young woman setting up post-rally student recruitment meetings. AOC said “We are just beginning. There’s so much to do. We’re starting a movement for the next century!” Not sure how many took in the implications.

          1. lordkoos

            I kind of hate to say it as a life-long Dem voter, but that could only be a good thing at this point.

        5. Lambert Strether Post author

          > That is going to take the work of a movement that is strong enough to survive even if it loses its leader. I just don’t see that happening right now.

          It will take a lot of stupidity by the Democrat establishment for that to happen. Fortunately, they are fully equal to the task.

      3. Krystyn Walentka

        Last night’s NH results are telling me Trump will win in 2020*. The fact that Pete and Amy shared the majority of the popular vote is not good. If Pete was smart he would offer Amy a VP slot and all those votes would drop in his lap.

        Hearing casual conversations, although anecdotal, tells me that people are too scared to change much in their lives. They fine themselves on a knife edge and think that any change will push them off and that leads the left to “compromise” with Pete and Amy.

        *If the Stock Market keeps doing well.

        1. CBBB

          2016 was the year of change. Bernie would have won that year, Hillary and the DNC got in the way and helped put Trump in.
          Now we have had 3 more years of good growth, it hasn’t amounted to much real for most people but I feel the appetite for change has lessened.

        2. urblintz

          A small time mayor asking a U.S. Senator to be VP? I don’t think so… Klobuchar has way too much ambition/pride for that to happen, imho.

          And I say that as no fan of A.K.

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            Another unaccomplished senator buoyed by media coverage and virtually no coverage of her real record. She’s going to go at Pete. She might throw a stapler at him. Warren and Biden will probably take walks in the woods before coming to grips they aren’t going to be President.

            Look at how long some of the weirdos stayed in it after Harris dropped out, and Harris was maybe the only one with a potential path. When she catered In California, she dropped out. I don’t think people grasp how amazingly arrogant these people are. Obama gave himself a B+ for his first term because he picked the better seed as determined by the NCAA selection committee. He and his cronies thought that was basically the job of being President.

            1. lordkoos

              I heard that Warren has run out of money to pay her supporters, so game is up for her. Biden has deeper pockets, but he’s still a goner, whether it’s sooner or later.

        3. jrs

          By the way I understand that sentiment. That any change will push them off. It’s hard out there. What I support is not necessarily personally good for me in the short term (depending, I mean these days even the short term is not predictable but looking at some things). I could drop off the knife edge and maybe I just figure I have enough in rainy day funds or job experience and a life partner (though they are also barely making it) to somehow survive and yes Sander actually cares about about the masses.

          Don’t hate me for whatever minimal privilege I may have, I’m curiously between a rock and a hard place, but making it for now, glory be making it for now. But able to choose to take the hit for a greater good. Because that’s all that fricken matters. If we don’t start voting people and planet …we are ever more screwed, we are going down baby, the whole country, the whole species. If I ever “compromise” with Pete and Amy it will be in the general and will be because of absolute horror at neverending Trumpism, it won’t be anything more than that.

      4. Oh

        Just because they fixed the primary to get Buttigieg to close in doesn’t mean everything’s over. Sanders and his supporters have to push hard to win the next few primaries until Super Tuesday and then win the big ones – CA, OH, WI, MI, IL, NY and PA. Don’t give up hope.

            1. Chromex

              Far less. And PB should have done worse given he negatives from Iowa ( PB Supporter spiked the poll PB linked app crashed , PB former naval intelligence). NH polls off significantly and when it was a 2 person race back in2016 ( pretty much) he did a lot better. Moreover, college support was not as robust as hoped . Lot of negatives. I will wait but this was disturbing>

              1. Monty

                A lot of first time posters decided to come on and share their similar takes on Pete vs Bernie today!
                *thinking emoji*

                1. Cuibono

                  Hmmm indeed. you beat me to it.
                  I wonder if this is true at similar websites. Need to try and undermine the narrative of his win. Try to get folks to be defeatest all while pretending to be Bernie supporters and/or true progressives.

                2. ocop

                  Conspiracy theorizing is not required.

                  I assume lots of lurkers (including myself) are beginning to feel concerned about the breadth of the centrist vote. Narrow, sub 30% wins(?) over empty suit Pete in Iowa and NH are not great signs for Sanders’ ability to avoid (or at least compellingly lay claim to) a contested convention. NV will be the most important barometer.

                  1. lordkoos

                    Personally I believe there are some thumbs on the scale, as was obvious in Iowa. You don’t need an app to cheat, both parties have done it for decades.

          1. Aumua

            Sanders did win, but we’re cynical around here. Sorry. It’s a defense mechanism against the inevitable letdown of one form or another.

            1. Lambert Strether Post author

              I don’t think it’s cynicism. If you want Sanders to win on the first ballot, he’s got to start winning majorities. That hasn’t happened yet.

              Personally, I’d love to see Bloomberg v. Sanders mano a mano. It’s by no means a foregone conclusion Bloomberg would win.

    3. ptb

      Sanders picks up voters who are:
      1. interested in beating Trump
      2. want more of the money spent on health care to go to delivering care, like in every other country in the world other than the US, and less into the pockets of insurance and pharma
      3. minorities and working class
      4. interested in climate change and green new deal

      now the US is a somewhat conservative country and both parties carefully cultivate the ignorance of their voters on a number of issues (just like any modern state), but this stuff is so basic, nearly everyone understands it.

      IMO it is looking like Sanders vs Klobuchar, after the conservative Dems will ditch Buttigieg due to what they reckon is electability. Not what I was expecting but we shall see. Bloomberg will split the field further, but won’t make the 15% threshold outside of maybe congressional districts in nyc and silicon valley.

      1. chuckster

        You don’t get to 50% plus 1 of the delegates by getting 25% of the votes. The math doesn’t work.

          1. chuckster

            64% of the delegates to the Democratic convention will be chosen in the next 30 days.

            (Actually, by March 17th.)

            1. Aumua

              Right, so that’s technically in the future. Which we don’t know. I mean yeah if Bernie continues to get the same percentage the whole way then that means a broken convention and the end of his run probably. But there are other factors, momentum and the general popularity of his ideas to name a few.

        1. ahimsa

          You don’t get to 50% plus 1 of the delegates by getting 25% of the votes. The math doesn’t work.

          Um, the math does work.. Please remember the 15% viability threshold!

          In this crowded race, a candidate can actually get 100% of the delegates with just 16% of the votes (if nobody else clears 15%).

          IA (5 candidates viable): Sanders won ~25% of the vote => ~ 32% of the delegates
          NH (3 candidates viable): Sanders won 26% of the vote => 38% of the delegates.

          Consider the following scenario:
          CA (only 2 candidates viable): Sanders wins 30% of the vote => 60% of the delegates.

          Sanders 30%
          Bloomberg 20%
          Buttigieg 10%
          Warren 10%
          Klobuchard 10%
          Biden 10%
          Other 10%

          It becomes clear that it is critical how many candidates achieve viability.

          1. ahimsa

            And one can (sort of) argue that the Dems are still split 40+/50+ between a Sanders (progressive + protest) and Clinton (neoliberal) factions.

            If Sanders was the only non-neoliberal running, I think he’d easily be polling 40%

            @ZaidJilana has argued Sanders needs to bring out some more moderate(less confrontational) surogates to court the +65 cohort. Although I think David Sirota’s pushing of the social security issue certainly swung some boomer votes.

            1. Bill Carson

              Yes, I think Sanders needs to do what he needs to do to win in Nevada and South Carolina. But somewhere along the way, Sanders needs to adjust his message to signal an openness to mainstream democrats. Also, he’s got to broaden his message so that it is more than “us vs. the billionaires.” Give Bernie credit for consistency, but at some point he becomes “Johnny One Note.”

              1. inode_buddha

                Well, what issues is he running on? off the top of my head, there is

                $15 min wage
                Women’s rights
                Immigration reform

                what more do you need? The fact is that *all* of these issues are driven by the billionaires and their preferred social orders

              2. Aumua

                Well it IS us against the billionaires after all. It’s called a class war, and it’s one in which we’ve been getting our butts kicked all our lives. The stakes are also now global. But of course this is NC, and there is always that little bit of cognitive dissonance around here, from a good percentage of folks who aren’t doing all that badly in the current system :D

                1. Bill Carson

                  I’m not suggesting a change in the message as much as perhaps some variety in style.

                  Plus, you do have to find a way to persuade the comfortable folks why they should want to change the status quo when it isn’t working that badly for them.

                  1. inode_buddha

                    Maybe if they don’t change the statu quo, those who are getting screwed by it will change it for them. Is that motivation enough?

              3. lordkoos

                Sanders was asked if he welcomed affluent types into his movement, and he said “of course”. That kind of thing needs to get out more. I think his campaign will adjust, his people seem pretty agile. He will need more than the youth vote unless every last one of them turns out to vote.

        2. ptb

          You don’t get to 50% plus 1 of the delegates by getting 25% of the vote


          After the first 4 early states, another 20% or so of Dem primary voters, those who say things like “the system is the way it is and we have no choice but to accept it” will have to make a compromise on their world view, just like they did in 2008. It may hurt them on some level, but they have “electability” and “beating Trump” as an excuse to feel better about it.

          Sanders is never gonna get the voters who think Bloomberg is the way to go. But thanks to the “unavoidable” economic realities, the bottom of the pyramid has grown a lot.

          1. CBBB

            I just cannot understand anyone who is not at least a millionaire thinking “Bloomberg is the way to go”. Not even talking about beating Trump.
            I would rather have another term of Trump than Bloomberg.

            1. a different chris

              Why? After 3+ years of Trump, what do you see him actually do, not talk about, but do, in a positive sense that Bloomberg wouldn’t?

              And Bloomberg seems to have some sensitivity to the climate and the gun crisises.

              PS: I would again vote third party, but I’ve bored everybody with my reasons 100x already.

            2. Tom Bradford

              If it’s a choice between “who is the less disgusting human being” I’m afraid Bloomberg wins for me. However, and fortunately, I’m not American so I don’t have to hold my nose and vote. However, and unfortunately, such is the position of the US in the world that the stench issuing from the Whitehouse can still reach me whoever lives there.

      2. Stormcrow

        wsws: without the usual boilerplate for at the end

        Sanders wins three-way contest in New Hampshire primary

        Interesting point that I haven’t seen made elsewhere:

        “The state of New Hampshire, now under a Republican administration, changed its rules to make it harder for the large student population to vote, and the percentage of votes cast by young people under 30 fell significantly, holding down the total for Sanders, who won more than 50 percent in that category.”

    4. Colonel Smithers

      Thank you.

      I watched CNN from 21:00 – 23:00, London time, yesterday and was amazed by the BS spouted by shill Bakari Sellers. I know there are sell outs, usually the ones most keen on Id Pol, in every community. We have many in the UK, e.g. David Lammy, Ayesha Hazarika and Chuka Umunna, but he really, to use an English phrase, takes the biscuit. Do the networks ever talk to Nina Turner or Killer Mike or do they think John Lewis and Jim Clyburn speak for all blacks? How can the likes of Lewis and Sellers prostrate themselves before the Clintons? The white panellists and Jake Tapper alongside Sellers must think he’s a court jester. It’s amazing what people have to do for their supper.

      Oh, as someone of part African origin, Maconde / Makonda and Yoloff / Wolof, African friends and I often chuckle at African Americans sporting African or what they think are African names and / or laying on thick the African stuff and other forms of Id Pol. Give it up, peeps. America is your home. Fix that first instead of worrying about a place few, if any of you, will visit or know anything about. Few of us are impressed, but often offended.

      In America, we rarely fraternise. As someone of Mauritian Creole origin, I feel most at home in rural and sometimes francophone Louisiana.

      1. a different chris

        >John Lewis and Jim Clyburn speak for all blacks

        Hey at least they are up to two possibilities! Give them another 50 years or so and they might reach the magical 12%. Of course they will be very well off black guys (and I guess some token females as well) but hey class doesn’t matter, right?

    5. Big River Bandido

      I do not see how anyone could extrapolate long term trends from an election in one of the whitest, tiniest, most conservative states, in which only 200,000 people voted.

      The IA caucuses and NH primary typically elevate one or two quirky “maverick” candidates (almost always conservative) who have no real constituency and end up going nowhere. Gary Hart, Dick Gephardt, Marco Rubio and Rick Santorum all won “stunning victories” in these contests — on their way to political oblivion.

      Buttigieg and Klobuchar are this year’s iteration. Neither one has a viable path forward. This is quickly turning into a two-man race between Bernie Sanders and Michael Bloomberg, the only establishment candidate with any legs (and those are limited to money).

      1. CBBB

        Because Bernie blew out NH last time so why would he not do the same this time?

        Except it turns out that he was nothing but a protest candidate against Hillary Clinton last time and even soft left-wing politics still doesn’t have mainstream appeal.
        Bernie WAS the quirky maverick of 2016 he just somehow didn’t realize it and stayed around too long
        And I say this as someone who had a lot of hope for Bernie but now after Iowa and NH I just don’t see the “revolution” materializing and he’s only chugging along due to splitting the neoliberal vote. Democratic voters just want a stuffed shirt who looks good on TV, who doesn’t say crazy things. They just want someone who talks like Obama – did you hear Buttigieg talk last night? His entire cadence is an attempt to mimic Obama.

        1. voteforno6

          Much the same thing happened to Trump in 2016. The stop Trump movement never coalesced around anyone else, so he kept racking up victories. What non-Sanders candidate will the rest of the party coalesce around? All of the remaining ones each has their own issues. How do we know that all of those others ones haven’t already hit their ceilings? Overall, they all seem to have positive approval ratings among Democratic voters. It’s just that those who hate Sanders are extremely vocal about it. There’s no reason to think that Sanders won’t be able to pick up support from other candidates who drop out, just like he lost some support to other candidates who weren’t running in 2016. This process will take a bit of a slog. Who has the resources to keep going? Right now it looks like Bloomberg, Sanders, and to a lesser extend, Buttigieg, although Klobuchar could eat into that.

        2. pretzelattack

          what did you expect in iowa and new hampshire?
          what do you mean by “Bernie WAS the quirky maverick of 2016 he just somehow didn’t realize it and stayed around too long”?

          1. CBBB

            Sanders won big in NH in 2016 and that catapulted him from being a curiosity into a “contender” for the nomination. But it seems a lot of his vote in 2016 was just anti-Clinton vote not because people actually believed in his policies.

            None of the results from Iowa or NH has me feeling very good about his chances. And if it’s Bloomberg as the nominee I absolutely hope Trump wins again.

            1. pretzelattack

              and yet he has built a very successful organization, getting donations from far more people than any of his rivals. it seems a lot of people do indeed believe in his policies. what results did you specifically expect in iowa and new hampshire, and why do you think he did not meet those expectations?

              1. CBBB

                Based on the latest polls I was EXPECTING a Buttigieg win in NH. But what I felt was needed was a Sanders win by like 8 points at least.
                Has Warren done a lot better I would feel more at ease because I would think there would be some potential to break off more from Warren. But the 8% support Warren got, those are not potential Bernie supporters. Those are neoliberal white women largely.
                And if Bernie does eek through the primaries I’m really questioning now if he actually can beat Trump in the general. Maybe these elections are really all won and lost on the basis of old white guys like the media says.

                1. Pat

                  No, they are won by the approximately 40+% of America who are not tied loyally to one of the parties deciding who to vote for or whether to vote at all. Some are old white men, most aren’t.

                  And for the record anyone talking about getting the votes of moderate Republicans is NOT interested in winning the election. The number of usually party loyal voters who will change allegiance for an election are not enough for a real plurality much less a majority. And that applies to moderate Democrats as well.

                  1. Amfortas the hippie

                    “And for the record anyone talking about getting the votes of moderate Republicans is NOT interested in winning the election”
                    amen, to that.
                    the GOP Base…ie: the people who identify as Republicans in polite society(sic)…are never gonna vote D…even if it’s an actual republican like bloomburg.
                    they’re undead, having drowned in the koolaide long ago.
                    I’m much more interested in all those people who don’t generally vote.
                    or those who do, but identify as “independent”.
                    those are the people i talk to and eavesdrop upon the most in my wanderings…and the almost universal in that cohort is 1. my vote doesn’t count.2.those in power hate me, and 3. both parties suck a$$.
                    if they bother to vote at all, they hold their noses for a lesser evil(from their disparate viewpoints…based often enough on narrow “issues” like abortion).
                    wife’s aunt is a case study of this: bank manager, hispanic,grew up in pretty dire poverty, very catholic(enough that she stayed with her cheating drunk husband, even through the worst of the local rumor milling).
                    abortion is why she’s a repub….but when wife talks about healthcare, or economics…she gets uncomfortable. like she knows…but doesn’t really want to know.
                    she still thinks…somehow…that dems are socialists…and actually want to promote abortion…but cannot articulate exactly why she believes this when pressed(wife presses)
                    wife has gotten almost as militant as me since the cancer….and has introduced a lot of doubt about their beliefs and assumptions into a lot of people’s little worlds.
                    it’s hard to keep pretending that “everythings fine…and if it’s not, it’s all your fault” when someone you love and admire gets cancer and then gets run through the grinder of american healthcare policy.

                    1. inode_buddha

                      American healthcare policy is the reason why I left the GOP back in around 2001. Completely disabled out of my job that sucked and didn’t pay the bills anyway, getting screamed at by the Right wingers for being a leech when I couldn’t hardly even stand up on my own…

                2. Aumua

                  Oh so you “had a lot of hope” for the “quirky maverick of 2016 [who] just somehow didn’t realize it and stayed around too long”? It doesn’t really add up. You’re spending all day here just throwing shade on Sanders, that’s what I see.

            2. russell1200

              Until you get to more diverse states, it is too early to say that.

              Biden might look like toast now, but he won’t if he cleans up in South Carolina.

              Or he might collapse in South Carolina, and Bernie pick up the African-American vote in South Carolina: which would make Bernie a lot more than a protest or niche candidate.

              The biggest problem the various moderate candidates have (less Biden) is any evidence they can pick up any non-white votes. If they cannot, then they will start looking like the niche candidates.

              1. Deschain

                This I think is the key right now. I too am a bit worried that Bernie couldn’t clear 30% in NH. However the implosion of Biden puts a big chunk of the minority vote up for grabs. The current viable alternatives right now are two mayors who ran institutionally racist police forces and a former prosecutor who ran as a ‘law and order candidate’ (and we all know what that’s code for).

                If Bernie can’t make major inroads and score some significant victories in the South, he doesn’t deserve to win. Power is laying there in the street, waiting for someone to pick it up.

            3. Pat

              The disadvantage that Sanders has that Trump did not is that the system is already set up to put road blocks to his winning the nomination. Including at the convention. Otherwise we are seeing a very similar scenario. Klobuchar will survive the next two states, Buttigieg will not. This as the media actually lets them hang themselves, both with their records and with their appearances. Think Bush, Rubio, Cruz, etc as the answer to Trump.

              So where we agree is that Sanders must start winning greater pluralities and then majorities in the next few weeks. Not because the American people don’t want his policies, but because the entrenched political leadership don’t.

            4. Bugs Bunny

              Bernie was only running against one candidate in 2016. This time votes got spread around more. Makes sense he would have a lower percentage.

              My worry is SC where Biden and Steyer (!) are both way ahead in the latest polls.

              We’ll see.

              1. CBBB

                No! This is the Sanders team’s line but the other candidates are all neoliberals. People voting for them aren’t going to vote for Sanders. The split field has helped Sanders. If it were just a two way race – Sanders vs. Buttigieg, Sanders would be getting crushed because all the Biden voters, Klobechar voters, and most Warren voters would switch to Buttigieg and not Sanders.
                Sanders really has problems with old whites and its going to kill his campaign.

                1. Mark Gisleson

                  Young blacks and hispanics are doing quite well with their grandparents but elderly white Americans do have a much longer and more studied history of telling their young’uns to eff off.

                  But I’ve been active in the rural upper Midwest and that’s changing. Millennials aren’t whiny Boomers and elderly Boomers/Silent Gen are not the Greatest [kids should STFU] Generation. It’s hard to tell a kid who’s never had stars in their eyes to screw off when your own voting history is clearly a history of self-owns.

                  Generational dynamics have changed considerably in Bernie’s favore.

                2. giantsquid

                  According to the most recent Morning Consult national poll, a plurality of Biden and Warren voters would support Sanders as their second choice (28% and 35%, respectively). Buttigieg didn’t make the top three in second selection choice among Biden voters, and he didn’t do particularly well with Warren voters either (14% supporting him as their second choice).

            5. Toshiro_Mifune

              I understand what you’re saying. You wanted it to be a blow out. For Sanders to have so much of the vote that there would be absolutely no doubt in everyone’s minds who the nomination would go to and where the party was headed.
              The DNC/etc have had four years though to plan and make sure the votes would be as spread out as possible to prevent him from getting the nomination. Even though I wanted a blow out as well I believe many knew this time would be much harder as they were expecting us. They will not relinquish power easily.

        3. Mattski

          What this facile analysis misses: Bernie has two million grassroots supporters working daily on three very sophisticated projects: organizing their friends for Bernie and assuring that they vote; approaching receptive voters in the area around them; and calling. They made 10 million calls into Iowa, doubling their January goal.

          What it also ignores: a sizable portion of the Democratic Party is now more conservative that the general public. Opposes universal healthcare. Bernie has led Trump for SIX YEARS in head-to-head polls. This time four years ago Hillary Clinton was dead even with Trump in the head to head; Bernie was ten points up.

          And hey–while we’re about it–why don’t we work for what we believe is right? Especially with the planet going up in flames? Leave the selling out to the politicians.

          1. Carla

            [Bernie’s grassroots supporters] made 10 million calls into Iowa, doubling their January goal.

            But all that effort did NOT produce higher turnout in Iowa.

            Seems pretty discouraging to me.

            1. Bill Carson

              The turnout in NH was higher than ’16 and ’08. And since NH changed the rules to make it more difficult for college kids to vote, we can only think the turnout would have been even higher and Sanders’ win even more impressive.

              I think all of Tulsi’s 3.3% would go to Sanders, and much of Yang’s 2.8%.

        4. Eureka Springs

          In ’16 after actual voters gave Sanders strong primary ballot box win, NH delegates (regular delegates) gave the state to HRC at convention. Is there any credible reason to think they wouldn’t do the same again this year?

          Quite a few states, including VT, were usurped this way.

          Two minutes everyone should watch and share, especially the second minute. Youtube keeps taking this down and someone fighting the good fight puts it back up.

          1. tegnost

            Thanks for that. No reason to think he won’t be up against the same nefarious forces, and it won’t be easy and maybe not even possible to overcome. I’m getting a bit of a kick from the fact that bernie won NH, but the story is pete. No reason for concern to me. IMO all the biden (by the way, how did the polling miss that train wreck?), warren, klobuchar, and buttigieg voters will gravitate to the one who remains in the race. My prediction is that if any one of those four gets to be president they’ll wish they didn’t because more of the same wont be very inspiring to the hoi polloi. The whole shebang is hanging on by a thread anyway, isn’t the dow at almost 30,000 now, compared to 6,000 12 short years ago? Funny how I still get paid less that I did before ’08, and rents are multiples of what I paid then. The beatings will continue until we just don’t care anymore.

            1. Matthew

              Disagree. The people who vote for them might wish they hadn’t, but any of those four would be pleased as punch because their personal power and prestige (among the people who count) are all these people really, demonstrably care about.

          2. Bill Carson

            Thank you for posting that. It reminds me that I need to get a hotel room in Milwaukee for the convention. If Bernie is (and WE are) robbed again, just like they robbed him of 2 delegates in Iowa, then we need to burn it all to the ground. Milwaukee 2020 needs to look like Chicago 1968.

            1. Shonde

              Anybody know if Bernie is organizing for the county/district conventions that lead up to each state convention where actual delegates to the national convention are chosen? Apparently, based on what I saw reported in California where I lived at the time, in 2016 this was not done. Also, this type of organizing is necessary to take control of state parties.

        5. Dalepues

          That’s an easy question to answer, even for me!
          Last time in NH the contest was between Sanders and Clinton. No Warren, Buttigieg, Biden, Klobuchar, Steyer, Gabbard, or Yang (who did I leave out?)to dilute the vote. Also, last time the good folks of NH, Republicans and Demoras alike, turned out in droves to show their disdain for Clinton. All their votes of course went to Sanders….

        6. Grant

          “Because Bernie blew out NH last time so why would he not do the same this time?”

          Because there are far more candidates. And even if he won last time, it wasn’t because of ideology then. Him winning big in NH also didn’t mean tons nationally, now did it? But now, magically, a vote in NH allows you to extrapolate nationally in ways it never has in the past. Ted Cruz won Iowa in 2016. What did that matter even in that party thereafter? There are plenty of other examples I could give, from candidates all over the ideological spectrum.

          “I just don’t see the “revolution” materializing and he’s only chugging along due to splitting the neoliberal vote.”

          LOL! In Bolivia, there is a part of the country called the Media Luna. Very white, very right wing, was funded by the NED and the CIA to actually break away from Bolivia and form its own country, it is very resource rich. Now, Morales won overwhelmingly nationally in past elections, but the MAS didn’t do well in those areas. What would you say if the first votes were in the Media Luna in Bolivia? Clearly Morales is toast and the social movements in Bolivia aren’t going to result in anything. In Colombia if you are a union organizer, a journalist doing a good job, a human rights worker, you get dragged into the street and shot. Deadliest place in the world for union organizers, human rights workers and journalists. Some parts of Colombia are dominated by the right wing, but a candidate there on the left did well nationally in their last election. If the first votes were in right wing areas, you simply couldn’t predict what would have happened thereafter. No victory was going to be easy for the left, and in some states, the Democratic Party is essentially a right wing party. It wouldn’t be easy for Bernie, or AOC, or anyone in their rough ideological area. Some parts of the country, they will do well. And Bernie seems to do far better among people outside that party than inside that party. He dominates Trump among independents. You, again, are generalizing in ways that are logically problematic, and whenever someone points out that it you aren’t doing an apples to apples comparison, you dismiss it out of hand.

          Democrats are prioritizing beating Trump. They aren’t rejecting Bernie’s policies, they overwhelmingly support those policies. They want to beat Trump and many of the older voters do in fact rely heavily on CNN, MSNBC and Fox for their information. So, they are told that in order to beat Trump, they need to support someone in Biden’s rough ideological area. Bernie is massively struggling with older voters, but in particular older white voters. That, coupled with how utterly biased the DNC and state parties are will make this difficult. Who didn’t anticipate this? Bernie has targeted the young, people of color and working class people. He has done amazingly well with those groups. There aren’t many people in those groups in the first two states, and the DNC tried to throw out the votes of many of those people of color and immigrants in Iowa. Those groups have to show up, but they were in such low numbers in these first two states, it didn’t lead to him running away with it. But, when the composition changes, the chance for it to make a bigger difference is greater. Can it overcome what the state parties and the DNC will do? The media? Who knows, but for you to speak with such certainty is ridiculous.

          1. David B.Harrison

            I smell subtle trolling here with all the defeatist comments(with various levels of defeatism).

      2. JohninMN

        Agreed. With Buttigieg and Klobuchar polling at 4 and 0 percent nationally with black voters (post Iowa), I would argue they are the ones with the ceiling.

        1. CBBB

          But all these numbers are fluid. Two weeks ago it was “Buttigieg has no support in NH” and then after Iowa the media pumped him up massively so that tonnes of undecideds and former Biden voters broke for him in NH. Who knows what Nevada looks like now.

          1. Grant

            No, they are not fluid. JohninMN said that support from people of color is very low with both candidates, relative to others. That has been the case in Iowa and NH. That has not been fluid. What is your motivation for making these arguments? I don’t think they are benign comments from someone on the left, but who knows.

            1. Ancient1

              Grant –

              “I don’t think they are benign comments from someone on the left, but who knows.”

              I agree with your comment.

                1. Grant

                  What lowly intern is tasked with going to blogs and spreading propaganda? Is that an entry level position at the CAP? Job title: Internet Thought Developer I?

          2. Katniss Everdeen

            There is no way that any “support” generated by the clusterf*ck that was Iowa is either genuine or rock-solid.

            A week’s worth of hyping 62% of cherry-picked Iowa results as a Butti “win” may have misled enough NH voters to get him 2nd place yesterday, but that’s going to be a hard trick to pull off 48 more times.

            “Support” that shallow is pretty easily redirected.

      3. Jeremy Grimm

        I agree with you. I can understand disappointment if Bernie does not show as well in NH as he did before. But this is a different time and a different situation. It is much too early to know anything except that the DNC will do almost anything to keep Bernie from receiving the ‘democratic’ nomination. As for Pete Buttigieg — he stands as a pygmy before even Trump’s stunted and warped stature.

    6. Dita

      Time will tell, but I think the poobahs have overlooked the fury of p.o.c. about dem complicity in creating a police state. If Sanders isn’t the nominee i expect younger p.o.c.’s to exit the big tent and even break for Trump. How deplorable!

      1. CBBB

        If Sanders isn’t the nominee the Democratic Party needs to die. It stands for absolutely NOTHING – Buttgieg is exhibit A right there. That this is the kind of guy many Democratic voters still think is a great choice tells you everything. It would be good for PoC to break away because the Democrats never plan to offer them anything.

      2. a different chris

        >and even break for Trump.


        The older POC are in many ways true conservatives. However, they are not stupid and are not going to vote R. Young POC are not even conservative. Yes they may well all stay at home. If I was black I very well might.

        But lordy. The freakouts and surrender -in early February! – just amazes me.

        1. CBBB

          I would consider POC marching to the ballot box for Bloomberg in November to be a surrender, not them staying home.

        2. Katniss Everdeen

          But lordy. The freakouts and surrender -in early February! – just amazes me.

          Amen. I can still remember the afternoon of Nov. 8, 2016 when “everyone” just knew that the next president would be hrc, 99.9% guaranteed.

          In the initial comment, CBBB says ” Buttigieg also was supposed to get hosed in NH but every time he proves himself strong in one state he starts surging in the polls.”

          Every time?? There have been all of TWO tiny contests and Bernie has won the popular vote in both. As Tucker Carlson said on his show last night, “If you want to win, what matters is winning.”

          Attacking the quality of Bernie’s win and making inferences of doom as a result is the media’s job and they don’t need any help. 77,000 well-placed votes out of 125 million put Donald Trump in the white house. Embrace the win and move on. 2nd or 3rd place may be “better than expected” but they are losses all the same.

          1. JerryDenim

            Amen Sister Katniss!

            What is with all of this doom and gloom among supposed Bernie-supporting commentariat? Bernie has won New Hampshire outright, and he is the undisputed winner of the popular vote in Iowa. The “Buttigieg Iowa Delegate count Winner” lie is so odious even the NYT and the AP has refused to play along. The IDP has made a laughing stock of themselves in front of the entire world by issuing a public statement that they believe math is merely a matter of “personal opinion”. The evil corporatist Democrats which wish to defeat Sanders are systematically destroying every single institution from which they derive their power. They have been doing so since 2016 and now when they cry “wolf” very few people listen. The political betting markets, which is far better than any poll at predicting winners, is calling Sanders as the most likely winner with a 17 point lead over his next closest opponent, who the betting markets believe is Bloomberg. Betting markets are giving Klobuchar less than a 5% chance, Buttigieg about 9%. Sanders is at 43% which is 37 points higher than his odds were four months ago, so no, I’m not sensing impending doom at the moment. My faith in the ‘Fat-Tonys’ of the world is far above the trust I place in Nate Silver types.


            Yes, I am aware there are storm clouds, and yes dark, powerfu,l forces are definitely aligned against Sanders, but these are the same geniuses who thought the Iraq War was going to be a cakewalk, sending our entire industrial base to China was a win, and everything would work out swimmingly if we decoupled credit risk from lending. Buttigieg is a pencil-neck, 38 year old, babyface weasel that almost everyone can recognize as an overly ambitious, under-qualified striver just waiting to plunge the austerity knife deep into the back of the American public. I have zero personal problems with it, but most voters still have no idea he’s married a guy named “Chasten”. Also in the “no-idea” or “Huh, what” department- Klobuchar – Once the average voter sees or hears her that is usually enough to end their curiosity.

            Anyone here who is worried Buttigieg or Klobuchar might defeat Bernie needs to unplug from the hysterical, doom and gloom echo chamber of 24 hour internet news cycle and go knock on some doors in your neighborhood. Bernie is winning the contest right now and winning bigly. This is no time for despair. Now is time to organize and proselytize- preferably face to face in the real world. Nate Silver (not that I’m a fan or necessasarily a believer) is calling for Sanders to win 12 out of 14 Super Tuesday States. If Sanders loses 12 out of 14 Super Tuesday States, then it will be time for despair. Until then, Sander’s chances are alive and well regardless of what surprises South Carolina and Nevada might hold. If Sanders rolls into Milwaukee after winning forty-something states with a commanding plurality of pledged delegates, denying him his rightfully-earned nomination will doom the Democratic party, make a progressive-left Demexit unavoidable, and guarantee Trump a second term. Are the Democrats ready to serve their own death sentence just to deny Sanders the nomination? We may get to find out. This is the least Bernie-tastic outcome I’m willing to accept – death to the corporatist Neo-liberal DNC. No quarter and no prisoners until then.

            1. Katniss Everdeen

              This morning on msnbs, stephanie ruhle interviewed some young guy who worked on Jon Huntsman’s 2012 campaign for the republican nomination (yes, there was one). They were discussing the NH results, especially the momentous “surge” to 3rd place for Klobuchar.

              He said the the same had happened for Huntsman–he came in a surprising 3rd in NH–to great fanfare. 6 days later, Huntsman was gone.

              His point was that sometimes a big deal is not such a big deal after all.

        3. jrs

          Yea it’s just silly. Minorities aren’t stupid, they aren’t going to vote for an openly prejudiced party run by an openly prejudiced a guy. That said there is some Hispanic support for Trump and will be, but no black support.

        4. Dita

          Hey I’m just passing along a sense I get from conversations with people, *younger* people. As with former Obama voters who flipped rather than vote for Hillary, the level of anger is high enough at this point that people just might vent by voting for Trump – who at least is a known quantity — than someone like Mayor Pete who will smile sympathetically even while he shivs P.o.C. in the neck. It’s not about “stupidity”, it’s anger that could result in a big middle finger to the DNC (see, 2016).

    7. Bill Carson

      Replying to CBBB’s comment, ” I’m starting to think the media was right all along – US voters are basically conservative “centerists” and they just want a stuffed-shirt neoliberal guy who doesn’t say crazy things like Trump.”

      Well there is this thing called Manufacturing Consent. The media created the cultural hegemony that now limits our perception of what is possible or beneficial. It’s just like Logan’s Run, where the people, save for Logan and Jessica, just assumed that life was supposed to end at thirty and that it was in everyone’s best interest not to resist this idea.

      1. ptb

        elsewhere in the world, people who are “basically conservative” still want and get better national health base than the US. Same for education.

        People who are “basically conservative” may think solar vs fossil fuel is bulls##t, but they will want something done to keep the ol’ house above the water line.

        etc etc

    8. Grant

      You are assuming a whole wide range of things. Bernie won, by a large margin, people of color, women of color and had more support from young people than everyone else combined (and they did make it harder for younger voters to vote). A poll just came out nationally where he leads Trump by 18% among independents. You are making all of these arguments on the assumption that two conservative and overwhelmingly white states can then predict how a candidate does nationally. I mean, Bernie won NH by a wide margin last time, and lost the nomination to Clinton. Ted Cruz won Iowa in 2016, didn’t do so well thereafter. Would you have the same argument if Iowa and NH weren’t the first two states, and California and Illinois were instead? Of course not, and if you generalized from Bernie doing well in those states there would be logical problems with that too.

      Beyond that, you are assuming a wide range of things in comparing 2016 NH to 2020 NH. To prove that he “lost” voters or that they “switched” from supporting a progressive candidate in 2016 to right wing candidates now, you would have to prove that they supported him in 2016 for ideological reasons. Clinton was not liked, she was a bad candidate, and there is no evidence that she lost to Bernie for ideological reasons in 2016. Many people that voted this time around maybe just had someone they weren’t as repulsed by and went with who they maybe would have last time. If you look at polls, a large percentage of those polled in NH want single payer and healthcare was one of the top issues. They didn’t vote for the candidate who puts single payer front and center in his campaign. Why? Well, beyond it being a pretty conservative (and white) state, many people didn’t vote based on policy and ideology. There is a viral clip of a woman who said she was torn between three candidates, she voted for Amy K. Why? She did eenie meenie minie moe.

      Yes, Bernie is going to struggle to get 50% of the votes if there are this many candidates, and they in turn will struggle to get tons. But, Bernie has won two conservative, largely white, states, at least as far as the popular vote. And that with all the horrible stuff that happened leading into Iowa, during Iowa, with what the DNC and the IDP did, and with the media lined up against him.

      No candidate running, not a single one of them, would have went into NH with all of that and still won. Pretend for a second that Amy and Pete were treated by the media, the DNC and the IDP as Bernie was, and he was treated as they were. Would either of them done as well as Bernie did? They both would have gotten three dozen votes. Not a single person, other than Bernie, could have taken on all he has and still won in a state whose demographics don’t favor him. I am not naïve about challenges ahead, including what that party and the media will do, but at the same time, I think it is absurd to generalize nationally based on what happened in NH. I would say the same if California was first and Bernie dominated. Doesn’t mean he will do as well in NH.

      “US voters are basically conservative “centerists””

      Another silly generalization. So, people that vote in a Democratic primary in NH are now a perfect reflection of all voters nationally? What I take away is that Bernie has to do better with older white voters.

    9. John k

      Au contraire.
      True, corps and msm hate sanders, and this has influenced liberal thinking. But msm has also trained liberals that trump is a danger to the republic and every one of our values. Excluding the 10%, most Liberals desperately want a winner.
      As the man said, winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing, not just in pro football but certainly in politics. A win by one point remains a win. Even cnn (cnn!) today acknowledged sanders win, though expected, is important and makes him the leader for the nom.
      So he has big mo going into NV and SC… and NV comes first, more influence for SC voters. Meanwhile biden, leading in SC since forever, is crashing hard… and Harris and booker dropped out. Sanders seems likely to win both… well, who else will do well with minorities?
      And three days after SC is super tue, sanders already leading in Ca, will do well in Hispanic Tx. Bloomberg spending big, but the electorate hasn’t seen him with any wins… or even a single delegate. He will just usefully take from Buttigieg… nothing wrong with each getting 14%.
      A large field of neolibs and a 15% rule was always going to be a great advantage for the only progressive.

  4. John

    I recommend some really really stern warnings and sanctions accompanied by a declaration that no one but the USA is allowed to put weapons in space. That should do it. The trillions could go to build the latest boondoggle with a generous slice of grift for the builders.

  5. Amfortas the hippie

    re: Thom Friedman’s gushing sycophancy:
    “If Democrats can choose a candidate who can hold the core Democratic base and also appeal to these same independents, moderate Republicans and suburban women in the key swing states, they can absolutely defeat Trump.”

    makes me just want to turn off the intertubes.
    has this dude ever been right about anything?
    posterboy for the bubbledwelling wokester class…
    “but for trump, everything’s fine”.

    and the parenthetical addendum/admission:
    “(Disclosure: Bloomberg Philanthropies has donated to Planet Word, the museum my wife is building in Washington, to promote reading and literacy.)”
    only book from thom i read was the one about how the world is flat…and i got around to it late, and only because so many bobbleheads(including the local dem hive) seemed to have absorbed osmotically the friedman doctrine of nonsense delivered as obvious “truth(tm)”.
    i read dense things for fun and relaxation, mind you….but that was a hard slog, indeed…stifling the gag reflex on every other page.
    it was so painfully obvious, even way back then, that he was full of $hit…and it’s amazed me ever since how otherwise educated and more or less thoughtful people could take him seriously….or even as some kind of man in robes, come down from the mountain with the New Revelation.
    oh, well.
    bi-directional ranting with my cousin(the other black sheep) last night about this very thing

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      “From Beirut to Jerusalem” was also trash, and as awful as one would expect. It’s only value is to people who know absolutely nothing. It does work as a primer.

    2. John A

      (Disclosure: Bloomberg Philanthropies has donated to Planet Word, the museum my wife is building in Washington, to promote reading and literacy.)”

      Aren’t schools and teachers supposd to be doing that?

      1. Pat

        One of the most telling things in the deeply deceptive ads Bloomberg runs is the one where he “highlights” working with Obama on education. Both worked very hard to weaken and corrupt our struggling public school system with charters and programs designed to overcrowd schools by closing rather than fixing struggling schools.

        Only the select are to be taught to read, write and think.

        Otherwise limited literacy is the new norm.

    3. a different chris

      >has this dude ever been right about anything?

      Yes his choice in marital partner. My spouse isn’t “building a museum”, for sure.

      1. John Wright

        Friedman’s wife also, apparently, a better understanding of world affairs and ill-advised policies.

        From Friedman’s March 2, 2003, “The Long Bomb” column supporting the Iraq War.

        “And that leads to my dilemma. I have a mixed marriage. My wife opposes this war, but something in Mr. Bush’s audacious shake of the dice appeals to me.”

        To the NY Times credit, they have not disappeared Friedman’s past columns from search engines.

    4. Lee

      Before the flat world, there was The Lexus and the Olive Tree: Understanding Globalization (1999), in which he extols Enron as a corporate model for the future. Oops.

    5. BlakeFelix

      Mat Taibbi wrote a good review of that Iirc. I think he said that the sequel should be The Moon is Made of Cheese

    6. eg

      Friedman gives hackery a bad name. Avoid other than for entertainment purposes or when you require a blood pressure spike.

  6. John

    Upon seeing a picture of a smiling Mayor Pete this morning, I immediately thought, “Alfred E. Neuman”. Mayor Pete says he had to look it up, generational reference you know, hint, hint …Trump is old. I am young. We get it sonny. If you have to look up Alfred E, of what other common knowledge to adults are you quite unaware?

    I cannot understand what people see in him. He may speak well, but his speeches have no content merely baffle gab.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      He tells boomers they are good, and to be perfectly honest, there isn’t much good to say about boomers in Team Blue.

    2. Quentin

      Or Howdy Dowdy. The Mayor looks like an altar boy holding a candle when he stiffly grasps the mic with both hands before his chest, lighting up in his radiant, cutesy little-boy smile.

      The effulgence of the heavens descends on me inspiring me to speak in the language of the neoliberal 1% snakes.’ Evidently quite a few people are into the scam. Going forward we will have to confront the highly likely scenario of the second Democratic woman presidential candidate, Amy Minnesota, actually making it to the Big White House in D.C. The forces arrayed against Bernie Sanders grow bigger and bolder every day. I can’t see how he will be able to prevail. Forgive me, I’m by nature a pessimist.

    3. Katniss Everdeen

      Every time he repeats his ever so “clever” and “profound” catch phrase “future former republicans,” I want to punch him in the mouth.

      1. jrs

        I doubt it even goes off that well with the true Dem party faithful though. U.S. politics can be tribal and Republicans aren’t them. Does Pete even know which team he’s playing for?

        The only thing it has going for it is the assumption some might think (as they groan at having to make nice with Republicans) that “well maybe it can beat Trump”. Of course, this is doubtful, most R’s support Trump, most Trump supporters are loyal and aren’t going to switch.

    4. Oregoncharles

      “He may speak well, but his speeches have no content merely baffle gab.”
      Well, Obama did very well on that basis.

  7. The Rev Kev

    “The Oversight Wars Are Not Going Away”

    After creating political chaos and unnecessary disruption based on no more evidence than can be written on the back of a postcard, it looks like the House is going to keep it up. You know, I think I saw how these guys relax in their off hours-

  8. Lark

    China had a universal healthcare system which was de facto privatized in the nineties; even at the time I heard from friends and acquaintances about people dying on the hospital floor because they could not pay cash up front. Many people in the West don’t understand the depth and nature of the late Deng Xiaopoing and post-Deng reforms – they removed many of the things we think of as “socialism” and intensified the pre-existing inequality between working class and professional/intellectual/”connected” people, between rural and urban people and between minority people and Han people.

    As I understand it, China doesn’t even have the US-style “we treat you upfront in the ER, you owe us a million dollars and go bankrupt” debt system – if you can’t pay, you can’t get treated. The Wuhan government is picking up the cost of coronavirus care now, but it was not at the start of the epidemic and people died in the hospital as a result.

    Although I’m sure that Naked Capitalism readers aren’t under a lot of illusions about China, it is amazing how many people in the West think that because the government describes itself as Marxist it is somehow providing a Marxist-style safety net. There is some central planning and a strong state, but China is rife with Marxist billionaires, Marxist union-busting, Marxist gentrification, etc. This was not always the case.

      1. Harvey

        True. The goal of the rich is to do whatever they want to whomever they want whenever they want.
        Looking at China right now with this coronavirus, the most important goal of the “elite” (mwhahaha) seems to be to preserve their position.
        If you look at the US Democrat Party, the most important goal of the “elite” (mwhahaha) seems to be to preserve their position.
        There is nothing between them. The US plutocracy is the same as the Chinese plutocracy. Were the Chinese corrupted by US money? Who knows, but they do like their Mercs and their Vuitton handbags.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      Even prior to the nineties the Chinese system was pretty basic and really only covered rural areas. There is a system of public (or publicly subsidised) clinics throughout the country, but the quality of care is pretty basic. The emphasis in government policy is on healthy lifestyles – in other words, if you get sick, its your fault. They actually call their policy universal healthcare (or at least, that’s what its translated to in English), but its anything but.

      I’ve heard some real horror stories from Chinese friends about what goes on in Chinese hospitals – for anything serious you either need full private insurance or it really is pay per treatment. Even if you have the money, most Chinese prefer to go for elective treatments anywhere but China.

      For whatever reason – possibly cultural – there is surprisingly little pressure so far as I know for a real universal system. There is a very strong social pressure in China for family and wider relatives to look after everyone’s health needs.

      Incidentally, this is one key reason why HKers and Taiwanese in particular really fear a Chinese take-over.

    2. The Rev Kev

      Let’s be fair and say that Coronavirus is a great opportunity to attack the Chinese political system and all it’s many faults, even though they are undertaking a massive effort to fight this outbreak. At least they are trying. Would we be seeing the same sort of attacks if this virus outbreak was happening in India instead? And how well would they be coping and what efforts would they be making if it had happened there. You have to be fair here.

      1. Pat

        Forget the media.

        More terrifying to me is imagining how America would cope if by chance it were here. How many people would never make it to the emergency room, or don’t have an emergency room within a hundred miles? How well could our national health system kick into high gear? Would we have as much in place in the same time frame? This truly is a case of pot calling kettle black.

        1. Monty

          I see potential for mitigation of a large outbreak to resemble the The Super Dome after Katrina, but on a national scale.

          Also watch as your supposed rights quickly become exposed as mere temporary privileges granted by our owners.

      2. Ignacio

        But the massive effort to fight this outbreak is suffered by who? For instance, Wuhan citizens that were caught outside their province after the closure with nowhere to go. Has anything been habilitated for them? Looks like the Government is very much worried with the fate of their exporting machine but one wonders what is happening inside. Not pretty, for the little we know. I have been searching for news on the epidemics in Guangdong for instance and apart for the increasing number of confirmed cases I can’t find anything after the 28th of January apart from the “asking for masks” news. Also, nothing is known about the less important cities and rural areas. The news about how Beijing was preparing for the after new year return of workers were also scary. Pictures with “vigilantes” in the wealthier districts, stopping whoever is suspect to have a caugh, and what are they doing with them? Are there mass quarantine camps? It seems to be the case in Wuhan. One wonders if the measures taken have been designed to protect the population from the disease or to protect the means of production.

      3. Jeremy Grimm

        It is very early for the U.S. to savor Schadenfreude over China’s handling of the Coronavirus or its impacts on the Chinese economy. We are throwing stones from inside our glass house.

        1. Pat

          As someone who lived through the beginning and the middle of the AIDS epidemic (where we still are), the disregard and lack of response was mind-blowing. Even worse was knowing that our government would run the numbers and the problems with correcting an issue and flat out lie about it as in their announcement that the blood supply was safe.

          And I would say that America was far more ready then to take on an epidemic than it is today. But that taught me that public health was, well subject to stresses where the public and health would lose.

          1. Shonde

            “blood supply was safe.” Pat, I learned not to trust our government on public health announcements when two sons of a neighbor, both hemophiliacs, died of AIDS in the late 1990’s.

        2. MLTPB

          Not so much about impacts on the Chinese or, for one example, German economy, but Globalism, including One Belt, One Road.

          If we are talkig about now, and it being early or very early, I think the China Inc brand has taken some early big hits.

      4. MLTPB

        To fair, the same crisis would have likely brought down, using one example, the Australian government.

        We can’t read the Chinese social media 100%, but we can be certain that one tragedy in the West would be big news, and whatcouldhavebeen discussed passionately here, much less a million, which is a mere stat to some.

        Chinese lives are not cheaper than others, certainly not to be wasted on some people’s idea of a heartland alliance to confront anyone else. If only if we could hear what people in China think about their leaders now, and what they are demanding.

        And people here can imagine what we would say about our leaders in a similar crisis.

    3. David Carl Grimes

      So the confirmed cases are the people who have the money to go to a hospital and get tested? And the unconfirmed cases are people who don’t have the money?

      1. Ignacio

        No. They test people with symptoms, though almost certainly not ALL with symptoms. If positive to hospital if negative back to… ¿mass quarantine camps? ¿their homes? But testing in Wuhan particularly seems to be done badly with too many false negatives by overwhelmed sanitary personal. To stop the epidemics spread, given estimated transmission rates you need to control at least 60% on infected but when the numbers infected are as high as suspected in Wuhan (according to estimates more than half a million today, so you need at least 300.000 quarantined, the correct 300.000 not by chance and you cannot do it if the diagnosis fails and is insufficient) this is meaningless. Even stopping everything for 4-5 weeks wouldn’t do the trick and then if the same is not done in rural areas you still have there a whole set of reservoirs.

        Some sources say that ‘millions’ have been quarantined, whether there are millions or hundred thousands, it may well be the case that many healthy are forced to become infected in camps.

      2. anon in so cal

        The definition / criterion of “confirmed case” was also changed. Those who have a positive test result but are asymptomatic are not listed as confirmed.

    4. MLTPB

      I also read that the government there is paying now.

      It seems to be less of a coverage issue, whether paid by Wuhan or paid to the ER later by the patient, but more about the health care system, including respirators, being overwhelmed.

        1. MLTPB

          I looked up earlier compbeln’s comment on Feb 7, 3:45pm, which has these fatalities predictions

          10/2/2020, 2/10/2020(US) 900
          11/2/2020, 2/11/2020 997

          Vs these (for China alone, which differ by 2, from global numbers, I think) adjusted for one day lag:

          2/10/2020 909
          2/11/2020 1,016

          I see a slight divergence, but still a good fit, and better than the ‘confirmed cases’ predictions (40,171 vs 43,084, and 42,638 vs 47,733)

          Both the confirmed cases and fatalities differences can be improved by removing the rest-the world numbers.

          I dont remember where I saw a comparison chart between this case and the SARS case (maybe NPR), but the graph for the latter was similarly smooth, though not as steep when rising (the point of the article). Now, those SARS numbers also contain figures provided by China, so, I can’t conclude that many or all epidemics spread in such a mathematical fashion, but only two cases are like that. Perhaps it is so (that many epidemics graph similarly). In that case, we can’t base our suspicion of manipulation based in that, but we must look for the fudging/faking elsewhere. It could be that the real numbers are 4X or 10X those we have been given, but that those ‘real’ 4X or 10X numbers sequences can also be best-fitted nicely or closely with quadratic equations.

          1. curlydan

            In the past few days, the number of new “confirmed” cases has been decreasing the past few days, so a quadratic model doesn’t fit new “confirmed” cases because a quadratic model would need a higher count of new “confirmed” cases from one day to the next.

            In math lingo, the 2nd derivative is negative. Hopefully, this continues to be the case in the future.

            I check each day here where there’s a good breakdown:

            1. Typing Chimp

              One reason the number of confirmed cases has been decreasing the past few days is that the Chinese government revised their guidelines so that those who are confirmed carriers of the virus are not counted as having actually tested positive until they also display clinical symptoms.

              Once again, the response of the Chinese government is absolutely repugnant, short-sighted, and self-destructive.

              1. MLTPB

                The 2nd derivative, by finite differences, has been fluctuating between plus and minus, signaling a transition perhaps, since around last Thursday or there about.

                I remember commenting on it. I dont know when the counting method was changed…but I believe that came after last Thursday, so the transtition is perhaps upon us. Just a guess, not a prediction.

                As for Beijing or the CCP, I feel somewhere between they’re trying at least, and absolutely repugnant, but not either.

  9. Amfortas the hippie

    regarding deer in one’s living room:

    we were set up for baby goats when i was a kid…and stepdad was buddies with a lineman, who was always out on cold rainy nights, and had a real talent for discovering orphaned baby deer on the side of the road.
    he’s bring them to us.
    so i grew up bottle feeding fawns, and setting them loose(they just did this by themselves) when they got older.
    they’d join the local herd(s)…and would come and visit, bringing their own fawns, as if to show them off to their humans.
    when i had my wreck and was bedridden for a winter, stepdad(wheelchair) would leave the back door open when he was getting firewood from the porch, and a young buck would sometimes wander in…more than a spike…4 tines.
    i had a little xmas tree by my bed, and would awake to a horned mammal eating either it, or the cigarettes in my shirt pocket.
    the unnerving part of this was keeping him from freaking out in such close quarters,lol.
    once, a couple of young women came over late one night…and i took them on the tour of the extensive gardens and orchards…and there was that buck…bigger, now, with an ample rack.
    so they stayed back, in awe, as i approached him, and knelt down as he ate corn from my hand, and nuzzled my cheek and allowed me to scritch his ears…as if i were Oberon from Midsummer Night’s Dream.
    the girls thought this was exceedingly impressive, of course, and a good time was had by all.

    1. a different chris


      This sortof cracked me up:

      > Wildlife officials said she risked the animals’ lives

      Yeah they should be left alone to get peppered randomly by drunk hunters like nature intended. (Seriously, the article is generally correct but the “left alone in natural solitude” impression is pretty funny, especially for those of us who live in rural western PA)

    2. PlutoniumKun

      My mother spent her last two years in a long term care hospital – there are fallow deer in the surrounding lands, and some of them learned that poking their heads through the ward windows would earn them biscuits and other treats from the patients, most of whom were profoundly disabled from strokes and dementia. One particular young stag would even venture into the corridors. When patients were brought out into the garden, they would usually be delighted if a deer would wander up – they seemed to sense that people in wheelchairs were not the same sort of threat as regular humans. Fortunately, the staff in the hospital realised that any possibly hygiene issues were more than balanced out by the joy these animals brought the patients and visitors alike.

      1. S.D.

        Enter Chronic Wasting Disease AKA zombie deer disease in a search engine, (still a lot of unknowns but scary stuff) then try infections from deer ticks( at least three Borrelioses, Anaplasmosis, Babesiosis, Ehrlichiosis, and Powassan).
        My BP spikes every time I see one or five or seven of the hooved vermin in the yard(even in broad daylight these days) and realize that they will devour any vegetable,fruit and almost any flower planted there, kill most young trees and shrubs, and make it messy and dangerous(see above) even to mow the weeds. Said yard is a quarter acre lot within city limits, so no opening the back door(which scares them not in the least) and shooting.

        1. Amfortas the hippie

          a decent recurve bow is a possible solution.
          worked for me in town when the loose dogs got after my chickens(a bow is not a “firearm”)
          or a blowgun, if you can find any poison frogs.

          but seriously:
          lifebuoy soap in a sock on the fence is a pretty effective deterrent for some reason…and if you have a zoo nearby…big cat crap, applied somewhat regularly, will keep the deer away.

          1. newcatty

            Amfortas the hippie, just ask Ralphie about how awful the taste of Lifebuoy soap was! Also, think it caused him to loose his sight! No wonder the deer scorn soap in a sock on annoying fences.

            Nod to “A Christmas Story”.

        2. The Rev Kev

          @ S.D.

          Are bean bag guns legal where you live like the police have? Might be an option if allowed to scare them off.

  10. doug

    At least the TV news reader this am actually said that Bernie had more popular votes than Pete, but less delegates after the first two events.
    Hypocrites from the D party say ‘electoral college is bad, popular vote should count’ . It is like the pigs in animal farm, going back and changing the rules. The DNC as currently operated is bad for america.

    1. chuckster

      Pete Buttigieg is three things. He’s ambitious, he’s a bootlicker and he’s smart. Mayo Pete gamed the Iowa caucuses the same way Bernie did in 2016. He went to places in rural and western Iowa that had fewer votes but still had delegates. He won these areas overwhelmingly and got a lot of county delegates because no one else bothered to go after them, Bernie did the same thing in 2016 and that’s how he kept in close against Clinton. There’s nothing nefarious from playing the advantages that are given to you. The real question is why didn’t Bernie’s people do the same thing? I keep hearing how awesome his campaign staff are but they seem to leave a lot of chips on the table.

      1. CBBB

        I don’t know if Bernie’s campaign this time around is too minority/young people focused. It’s very different than the 2016 campaign, his biggest weakness in 2016 was his lack of support from minorities but did he now overcompensate and give a big opening to Buttigieg?

          1. CBBB

            I’m incredibly concerned. I hope the Bernie team is not satisfied with these results. If they internally think these results from NH and Iowa are good then it’s DONE.

            1. hoki haya

              Yes, there’s a long way to go, and no, awareness of critical issues won’t die if Bernie’s candidacy does, but no doubt the campaign is less than thrilled with the result. The combination of corruption and its subsequent manipulation of perception is an ongoing force to be reckoned with. It can be despairing.

      2. Bill Carson

        We will never know how much it hurt Bernie’s campaign that he was being held hostage in DC while Pete had free reign to wander around Iowa.

        1. hoki haya

          Sanders hisself intimated as much in recent days. Not sharply with blame, but he seemed to feel it had an impact, among other factors.

      3. Grant

        “There’s nothing nefarious from playing the advantages that are given to you”

        Huh? You are comparing what Bernie did in 2016 to Buttigieg in 2020? Did Bernie get a poll pulled leading into the election because he didn’t like the results? Did he have the IDP and the DNC do for him what they did for Buttigieg? Did he fund an app that was tested by his buddies with connections to the DNC that we know now flipped votes? Do we even have data from Iowa to see what they actually did behind the scenes? You know, the only reason we know that there was rigging going on is because Bernie demanded transparency on how votes were done in the first and second rounds, which had to be released publicly. We didn’t have that data in 2016. Given what we saw, what logical person trusts the damn data from 2016? How about those lovely coin tosses? Seen videos of that kid tossing the coin? Maybe they had a similar strategy as far as targeting rural votes, don’t know, but to argue that they are an apples to apples comparison is absurd. Buttigieg lost the popular vote in Iowa, and if there was a fair process and no shenanigans behind the scenes and if votes were properly assigned, he would have won by a larger margin.

      4. Procopius

        I remember reading that Bernie actually was doing just that, which is why I was startled by Buttigieg’s large success. I was also surprised by statements that the turn-out was unexpectedly small. What was that about? The Iowa thing has turned out to a much bigger factor “undermining confidence in our electoral process” than anything the Russians could possible do, and the DNC and Corporate Media™ are complicit in it.

  11. The Rev Kev

    “Philippines scrapping military cooperation pact with US”

    Ending this pact means that if a member of the US military commits a crime there, that they will no longer be protected from the local law courts which is kinda a big deal for the Pentagon. I wonder what would happen if after 180 days the Pentagon says like they did in Iraq “We aren’t going anywhere!”

    What I would expect to happen first is that there is a resurgence in terrorist attacks in the Philippines but this time the Philippines brings in help from other countries with experience here. Not China obviously but perhaps Russia. There has already been talk of Russia going into partnership with the Philippines to produce Russian weaponry and civilian aircraft.

        1. MLTPB

          With 3 cases in there, it may not be a good time for any power, including Russia, to be going into the Philippines, even if it is warmer and more humid.

    1. ObjectiveFunction

      I think there is a very good chance of a kudeta to remove Duterte, who is ailing and has no successor. It won’t need much US prompting, just a quiet blessing.

      Trump may also see a coup as a low cost way to confront China, far lower risk than a shooting war over HK, Taiwan or the Korean Peninsula.

      Even though China isn’t particularly pulling the strings on Duterte, they have been expanding their influence there opportunistically.

      In the wake of a coup, look for the Marcos clan to attempt a comeback. Also, there will be an upsurge in NPA and Moro violence, likely Chinese backed.

      1. PlutoniumKun

        Duterte keeps changing his mind – or perhaps his swings from China to the US are deliberate to see who he can squeeze more money out of. Its a potentially dangerous game, but I don’t think the US blob is so worried, I suspect they see it as just bombast. I think the Chinese wouldn’t trust anything he says much either. I don’t think the Chinese have any great interest in the Philippines as a strategic gain, its not somewhere they see as being within their core arc of influence. Plus they wouldn’t want to have to inherit the headache of the near permanently unstable muslim islands.

        Duterte may have done serious damage, but the Philippines is still a democracy (more or less), so if and when he does leave there is at least some chance of a decent future government.

        1. witters

          “Duterte may have done serious damage, but the Philippines is still a democracy (more or less), so if and when he does leave there is at least some chance of a decent future government.”

          Do you know the history of US/Philippine “democracy”?

        2. ObjectiveFunction

          Comrade PK, I learn quite a lot from your commentary here – you’re a vital part of the NC bundle in fact and many thanks – but in this case I must apologize to tell you you’re a bit over your skis. I lived in Manila and Cebu for many years and still cover it closely.

          1. Saying China has no interest in the Phils is like saying they have no interest in monopolizing the South China Sea. Clearly, they think differently, whether or not that irridentism is objectively sensible. Would they fight WW3 over it? No. But there are other ways to dominate a country, especially one as fractious and dysfunctional as the Philippines.

          2. The Americans (and Aussies and Japanese and Koreans) simply won’t allow the Philippine Army to cut ties and thereby become a Chinese client or worse, openly factionalized among oligarchs like the Marcoses. That’s a one way trip. The AFP command won’t have it either; nor will the globalized chunk of the oligarchy who prefers private armies of bankers and lawyers to the other sort.

          3. That said, you are quite on point with regard to DU30 trying to get subsidized infra out of the Chinese (and others), expecting to forcibly renegotiate the terms later, on the presumption they can’t send a gunboat. Yet.

          1. ObjectiveFunction

            On a reread, please allow me to withdraw that first supercilious bit about over the skis.

            I don’t want to doxx myself here, but I am also irritated when my NatSec acquaintances smugly inform me that I must take their version of reality on faith because Hidden Knowledge. And so sorry but they can’t share their Sources and Methods. So I regret attempting to pull that very same nonsense on you here.

            My views are simply my views, and not infallible. Time will tell. Cheers!

  12. pretzelattack

    trying again–
    the interview with james carden was quite worrisome. bernie’s statements about russian intervention have made me deeply uneasy; he’s still obviously the best choice, but he does seem susceptible to being captured by the blob on related issues regarding russia.
    i did think carden minimized the role of the obama administration in provoking current tensions–the neocons seemed to have free rein in the ukraine and syria. if clinton had won i think there would have been an increased risk of war with russia. i wonder what he did, if anything, to counteract the influence of people like the kagan family.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Bernie is really weak on foreign affairs and will need a strong Veep to keep him out of trouble. Between supporting Russiagate, the attack on Venezuela and even Pussy Riot this shows, I believe, a willingness to make a deal with the Blob to let them have their way with foreign affairs so long as he can rack up a victory domestically.

      But that can backfire badly. You could very well having a future history book talking about the one-term Presidency of Bernie Sanders and its lack of accomplishments. It would lay the blame on Bernie giving the go-ahead for a military invasion of Venezuela’s oilfields but which degenerated into a Vietnam-style quagmire which completely undermined all support that he had built up.

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        like LBJ.
        vietnam killed his moral authority domestically.
        i prescribe radical foreign policy.
        empty the 800 bases, sell the real estate, and bring the troops home, stack arms, and put them to work fixing bridges, building factories and doing CCC/WPA type stuff. a whole lot of stuff can get fixed for a couple of trillion a year.
        “commander in Chief”, until recently, was a phrase that the blob held in almost mystical regard.
        use it.
        assume command and dare the blob to subvert all the imperial preznit/unitary executive powers they’ve given in the last 60 years because they were too cowardly to stand up and be identified with a decision.
        i can think of nothing in usa foreign policy in my lifetime that made the world…let alone america…a better place.
        just admit it ( and move on to something less destructive.
        of course, the above will never be uttered on cnn/npr,lol.
        and i’m prolly on a list somewhere in langly for maintaining this stance unwaveringly for 30 years.

        1. Olga

          “like LBJ.
          vietnam killed his moral authority domestically.”
          OTOH, opposition to the V war escalation got the guy before him disposed of
          No exit
          Bernie clearly knows how far he can reach – and on FP, it ain’t too far

        2. hoki haya

          Spot on! And you’re not by a longshot the only one with these opinions, probably not even among the lowliest in Langley.

        3. inode_buddha

          Don’t feel too bad, you’re not the only one who thinks that way. I’ve long thought the military should be defensive only, probably following the Scandinavian model.

      2. hoki haya

        FP has always been his weakest point, but he’s still stronger there than any candidate outside Gabbard, and would be less malleable than Obama was to deepstate, imo. He can be reasoned with. I certainly can’t see him pursuing war with Venezuela or needlessly inciting Russia or Iran. He’s farseeing enough to accept a multipolar world, I think.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      Obama can’t be separated from his self selected mentor Joe LieBerman, and Obama’s lust for the approval of Pete Buttigieg backers is indicative of his nature.

      And I would argue Obama was more focused on the ceremonial aspects of being President, so he simply ignored the bully pulpit allowing the agenda to be set for him instead of setting the agenda.

      1. urblintz

        ah yes, ceremony…

        Failing Tao, man resorts to Virtue.
        Failing Virtue, man resorts to humanity.
        Failing humanity, man resorts to morality.
        Failing morality, man resorts to ceremony.
        Now, ceremony is the merest husk of faith and loyalty.
        It is the beginning of all confusion and disorder.
        – Lao Tzu (#38 Toa Te Ching)

        1. Krystyn Walentka

          Oh my, I love this blog and the people here! How far away we are from the Dao indeed…

          Another translation just in case…

          Therefore when Tao is lost, there is goodness.
          When goodness is lost, there is kindness.
          When kindness is lost, there is justice.
          When justice is lost, there ritual.
          Now ritual is the husk of faith and loyalty, the beginning of confusion.
          Knowledge of the future is only a flowery trapping of Tao.
          It is the beginning of folly.

          1. MLTPB

            Ritual is likely a better translation than ceremony.

            Here, I believe, it is aimed directly at Confucius and his central idea of restoring Zhou and Shang rituals.

            (The state he went to, the state of Song, was allowed by the Zhou victors for the defeated Shang house, a practice called Er wang San ke, in wikipedia, and the Sage was said to be a descendant of the Duke of Song).

    3. Ted

      my impression of Bernie’s foreign policy is that it is mostly pro-empire (e.g., Russia! x 3). That may be a strategic move to appeal to “centrists” or, more likely, because he believes in it. Perhaps a “softer” imperium, but empire none the less.

      On the domestic side, his more consistently leftish appeal has been to be anti billionaire (feeling dated) and, now, in favor of expanding some social programs in a rather limited way … not exactly a critique of property rights and rentier capitalism as we would have seen over a century ago … so not really very left. This lack of a trenchant political-economic critique, packaged for the everyday folks, is why he has peaked at 25%.

      1. dftbs

        I think history has shown that we need to rephrase the old aphorism. The “empire” is the third rail of US politics. Confronting it head on has yielded fatal results.

        I don’t think Sanders can confront this head on; but a Sanders victory creates maneuvering room for the anti-Imperial Left.

        Tbh, I believe the imperial model is broken. Multi-polarity and imperial dissolution are here and coming. But like Wall St. risk models pre-crisis; reality has yet to hit the PnL, and the pigs are rolling in positive carry.

        But a strong and effective anti-imperial Left will be needed to manage imperial collapse; direct the anger toward the responsible actors and institutions and soften the blows that come with fading primacy.

      2. John k

        I’ve long thought Bernie is being pragmatic. His stump speech is populist, domestic policies that are, or should be, popular with the masses. In some cases he has made progressive ideas popular.
        But tulsi proves anti war gets no votes while creating more enemies… it certainly makes sense to me to first win pres, then fill positions with people not pro war, boost popularity by jailing bankers plus trust busting, and then cautiously withdraw from confrontation.

      3. Edward

        Sanders foreign policy advisor is supposed to be a member of the Washington “blob”, a former Obama person, I think. You can count on the neocons/neoliberals/imperialists to be hard at work placing their people in any new administration. Ultimately, the best solution is for the American public to force Sanders or any other president to adopt an anti-imperialist, reality-based foreign policy, but is this likely? Unfortunately, Americans seem mostly focused on domestic issues and Sanders’ campaign probably reflects this. There is some evidence Sanders is “woke” on foreign policy, despite his Russiagate pandering.

    4. Carolinian

      Perhaps it is tactical because he realizes that some of the Blob opposition is all about foreign policy. Or perhaps he believes such things. But he does seem capable of changing his mind and seeing reason which may be another reason for all that Blob opposition.

  13. DavRickshaw

    I was a librarian (is a non-practicing librarian a thing?), and my biggest issue with public, school, and university libraries is the reliance on subscription services to provide digital material. It was a quick solution to providing access to huge amounts of information, but the in the long run the gouging by these groups (which can essentially pull the plug on your entire collection at any time) will bankrupt them. Libraries have only increased their reliance on these services. Libraries should pool their resources and create their own service to buy up journals to prevent themselves from becoming obsolete middlemen.

    1. Carolinian

      Well they could keep the material on the shelves but they don’t seem to be into archiving these days either. I’ve been told that anything at my public library that doesn’t get checked out within a year gets tossed. Perhaps you could explain the thinking. There seems to be a desperate fear of libraries becoming irrelevant (and librarians becoming unemployed). This can to produce some faddish obsessions.

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        “anything at my public library that doesn’t get checked out within a year gets tossed”

        i’ve built my own library off of this phenomenon.
        and yes…aristotle hadn’t been checked out of either the county or the school library since the 70’s…which just points to a larger failure in which this one is embedded.
        i’ve always figured that if i won the lottery, i’d endow the county library and expand it 5 fold for archives of the canon of humanity.
        i’ve essentially done just that, with no money…filled a singlewide to the brim with a comprehensive selection of western thought…with a little less attention to eastern or islamic history and philosophy(but 100% more than the county)…and a whole room for DIY/1900AD tech/method.

        1. Carolinian

          There are books at my library that I loved and that are no longer there. It’s not as though they needed the space but rather some other reason not clear to those of us who haven’t attended library school.

          1. Frank Little

            Not trying to defend or critique any decision but just thought I’d chirp up with some firsthand experience as a librarian. Each library sets its own weeding schedule and a strict cut-off like that is an easier policy to administer than taking each book on a case-by-case basis because you can point to data to justify the decision. A year seems pretty strict, though I work at an academic library and we tend to keep things longer because we have more storage.

            As of late there has been a push to have libraries feature more creative spaces (e.g. 3D printing or A/V editing suites) at least among libraries who can afford them. This is a fad (IMHO) but I guess we’ll see. I know sometimes things are weeded in anticipation of one day getting the money to do a renovation like that.

            The push back against Elsevier from libraries was a long time coming and way (forgive me) overdue. They, along with most other academic publishers, are running an absurd racket and leaving acquisitions staff to pick up the bill. There was a long article a few years ago that goes into some of the history. Lately universities have been setting up institutional repositories to provide persistent access to material produced by staff and students of universities, though these are far from perfect. Not trying to downplay that part, but there’s also the pressure academics and grad students are under to publish in prestigious journals for the purpose of career advancement. Even if libraries get better at negotiating and/or setting up ways to get around these publishers, that incentive structure is still a hurdle.

            1. Tom Bradford

              My little backwater town is in the process of paying out a large sum of ratepayer’s money for the construction of a grand, flash new library which will have less room for books than the existing perfectly adequate one.

              Mind you the existing, perfectly adequate one does sit on some prime real-estate, and the new one will have a coffee-shop and more room for the tourists passing through to hook into the free wi-fi to check their emails. Oh and of course the new library will carry the mayor’s name into perpetuity.

  14. DJG

    The article by Dr. Hong Zheng in The Lancet has this odd observation (odd, not because Hong Zheng makes it, odd, because it strikes me as a symptom of U.S.-style medical care):

    Fifth, due to the previous medical custody control, many clinical drugs were identified as auxiliary drugs and their supply to the hospital was stopped. The general department of the hospital does not have the necessary treatment drugs, putting many medical staff at risk of infection.

    Also, I have been thinking of a comment written by Yves Smith a few days back about coronavirus and its predilection for adults: Is it hitting people with too much exposure too long to air pollution? Is it hitting smokers?–and the Chinese are still notorious for the large percentage of adults who smoke. There were early assertions that East Asians may be particularly susceptible, which may or may not be so. (I haven’t noticed fatalities in either Japan or Taiwan.) No one seems to be talking about environmental factors. Or am I wrong?

    1. PlutoniumKun

      I think its a reasonable hypothesis that air pollution and smoking could be a major factor in death rates – its one possible explanation why middle aged males seem to be the most susceptible.

      I don’t think there have been enough cases outside of China to draw any conclusions about whether mortality rates will be different – at current rates of infection it would probably be a few weeks before we’d expect to see a statistically significant number of deaths. But so far there have been two deaths out of 175 identified cases outside China, so that’s more or less what you’d expect from the Chinese figures.

    1. a different chris

      Chill. Comments are not (as I understand) evaluated in order, the long ones can be pushed off if the parser has to attend to, you know, his or her actual life.

      1. Oregoncharles

        There are also random drops. My personal theory is that NC is paying the price of success, that the sheer volume is pushing WordPress (I think it is), as well as the moderators, to the limits. Yves hasn’t confirmed that, but hasn’t complained, either.

        Valuable as they are, links increase the load and the chance the comment will go into moderation. So , f’rinstance, if responding to one of the Links, I post just the title, not the URL.

  15. JohnnyGL

    There’s truth in this take, no doubt. However, what they are missing is that field organizations work best when combined with a clear message.

    That blends together to give the candidate a ‘firewall’ of strong, commited support to anchor a candidate against the ups and downs of media driven narratives about who has momentum and who doesn’t.

    Media used to be able to make and break candidates at will. They’ve been trying to make pete and amy happen for months. They finally are getting some traction, but it’s coming at the expense of biden and warren. It’s barely even scratched sanders.

    The margin of the win in NH was small, but sanders just showed he can win a high turnout primary and a low turnout caucus.

    Warren and biden look to be on life support. Where those voters go will be really key.

    I’m going to watch polls to see bernie’s topline #s. Right now he’s leading with mid-high 20s. To look like a winner, i want to see him creep up to 30, then 35. Once he gets that high, towards 40, he’ll hit a tipping point and the voters will come around to unite and back the winner.

    This is looking more like 2016 than i’d thought.

  16. Frank Little

    I only read Friedman’s column because I knew he’d return the “grow the pie” metaphor he seems so fond of lately. He didn’t disappoint. I figured something this confused could only come from him (he’s used it at least 4 times that I could count), but when I looked for the phrase “grow the pie” I was surprised to find all sorts of people using it in the pages of the New York Times, including:

    -Paul Ryan
    -An Apple spokesperson
    -NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue (way back in 1994!)
    -The Director of the Stanford Center on Longevity
    -Jerry Jones

    Maybe it’s just because I’m an amateur baker, but I find this fascinating. How do these people think pies are made? Considering “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” describes an impossible feat yet it happens to be the very thing working people must to do to succeed I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Thomas Friedman is great and one of the best friends that working class Americans have. Don’t believe me? Think about this. Anybody with an ounce of sense sees how dysfunctional the system has become and when they read him, they get fired up to do something about it – like supporting Bernie Sanders for President. Or voting in Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in Friedman’s own city of New York.

      On the other hand, think about the people that believe in what he writes. What that means is that they are so detached from reality that they will have no idea how to cope when action is finally taken. Look at how such people had a melt-down when Trump actually won in 2016 in spite of people like Friedman saying it was going to be Madam President.

      1. inode_buddha

        Many people like Friedman need to get out more. Try living in Buffalo for a year. Lower West side. Or in Cleveland. Or inner Detroit.

        I’m sure it would be a very educational experience for them. Maybe try living on $12/hr in those places, with no other resources whatsoever but the shirt on your back and your wits.

        1. Colonel Smithers

          Thank you, both.

          Unfortunately, the likes of Friedman and David Frum are regulars on the UK media, political and academic elite circuits, both London and its Oxbridge outposts, and treated as gods or celebrities. There’s some deference and envy. Their UK worshippers think they are talking to “regular” Americans and vice versa. It’s the same with Friedman’s insight into the Arab world and Middle East. Friedman has this annoying phrase, “I’m from Minnesota. It’s why I’m optimistic (about anything).”

          Since Trump’s election, Frum has appeared more times on the BBC’s panels than any member of the Labour shadow cabinet or SNP government.

          1. Frank Little

            Yikes, that is depressing. I didn’t realize Friedman was from Minnesota, but as I am also from there I implore you not to treat him or his dough-brained “optimism” as a representative sample.

              1. flora

                ‘Scion’ has two meanings: 1. denoting plant biology, and 2. denoting a younger member or recently joined member (through marriage, e.g.) of a wealthy and prominent family.

                Friedman married a wealthy heiress, so definition 2 works in this description of Friedman.

                1. MLTPB

                  Thanks, I didnot know the part about becoming one through marriage. Always about it was being born into one.

                  In which sense is the car model Scion used?

                    1. RMO

                      In the sense of marketing people getting paid handsomely to come up with a brand identity that practically no one recognized and of those who did, most had no idea what it was supposed to mean or what exactly the brand offered.

    2. Samuel Conner

      You “grow the pie” by adulterating it with extra yeast or baking powder (or just pump in some exogenous CO2) so that it puffs up more. The slices are larger but the nutritional content per unit volume of pie is reduced.

    3. John A

      Grow the pie doesn’t even make sense. A pie is baked in a pie dish or pie tin or similar fixed container, does not contain yeast or other raising agent, which means as it bakes, a pie is constrained sideways, does not have any ingredient pushing it to grow or expand upwards. Especially not in the case of a pie with a pastry lid.

      In other words, you simply can’t grow a pie. You can make a bigger pie, by using a bigger pie dish and adjusting the quantities, but that is just a bigger pie, not a pie that has grown.

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        former chef sez:
        …and if you try to make it too big, it won’t cook right or all the way, and whatever eggs you used(depending) will remain raw in the middle and you’ll send yer customers to the er with salmonella.
        better to make an hundred regular sized pies and share them equitably.

        1. RMO

          Well, he is the guy who also came up with an extrapolation of the old “If you’re in a hole, first thing you should do is stop digging” by saying “If you’re in two holes, dig faster.” He has a history of putting metaphors into a blender adding, essence of illogic and pressing the “liquefy” button.

  17. Krystyn Walentka

    re: Neuroscience study finds evidence that meditation increases the entropy of brainwaves

    Why is brain entropy important? It has been the closest way to diagnose mood disorders discovered yet. (I would suggest care doing Vipassanna if one is manic or hypomanic.)

    But it also helps us see that serotonin plays a role in brain entropy and intelligence. Think of increased brain entropy as your brain being able to see multiple different scenarios, and low brain entropy as seeing only one, stuck in a rut as it were (depression).

  18. petal

    Primary 2020: Analysis: Among Democratic voters, an income divide in the Valley
    I noticed this last night while watching the area town and ward totals roll in. The richer towns broke for MP and AK, while the less well-off towns went for Sanders. I thought maybe I was nuts or perhaps missing something, but apparently not. So far everything is going according to plan, I’d say. (and btw, Kendal mentioned in the article is a retirement home for very, very well-off people.)

  19. Bill Carson

    Regarding the Vanity Fair article about the white supremacist (“Connecting the Dots…”), one sentence stood out in particular:

    “He was—no surprise—against the Iran sanctions, in large part, former State Department colleagues speculated, because Russia was too.”

    So it is just assumed that people who oppose economic sanctions are white supremacists or Russia-lovers. Is it not possible that some of us are capable of independent thought, and so we fight our quixotic wars against the cultural hegemony? I hate lazy journalism.

  20. marieann

    Oh look at those lovely kitties. I have two like that Simon is black and Fergus is white.

    Jake and Ellwood look so cozy together.

    When life is rotten or your aches and pains are acting up….cuddle your cat (or other animal) and you will feel better

  21. chuck roast

    Thanks for the John Weeks article on the great Joan Robinson. I was always an admirer, but I was shocked to see her photo…only because I had never seen a picture of her before.

    Back in the day, I had two women co-workers who were Econ Phd’s. I used to love to go to lunch with them, pick their brains and generally listen to them gab about the economics of local policy issues. They had the additional attributes of being beautiful.

    One of them told me that she did an internship at Cambridge, and she was Joan Robinson’s chauffeur one summer. I have never been afflicted with the deadly sin of jealousy, but you could have sent me directly to h**l on this occasion.

    Oh…and a cool website.

  22. antidlc


    NH was called around 10:15 central time. Is that past deadline for the morning papers?

    The reason I ask is our local rag front page this morning just said Bernie was “leading”.

    It never said that he won.

  23. timbers


    Just did my annual self annual review for Kelly Services, which is a major supplier of workers to Johnson&Johnson.

    The online self review is obviously done by another firm hired by Kelly, probably hired to comply with something or other rule or regulation. It’s appears no one actually looks at it, or at least hasn’t for a very long time.

    The job description isn’t what I do at work. It says I am a Travel Audit Analyst. I am a medical device audit analyst. The examples provided for me to self rate myself, are not related to my work. I am given 5 levels to rate my skill in each.

    I accorded the amount of time it would seem to deserve. I rated my self number 4 for all items (Very Good, just be low 5 which is Exceptional). A few items required examples be provided. For those, I typed in enough text (I wrote “Very Good” in and every one) to proceed to the next bullet, and completed the self review in just a few minutes.

      1. John k

        Elderly bridge players I know, well aware of cognitive and other problems elderly have, think he’s too old. I tell them I’d rather have an old pres with the right policies than a young one with the wrong ones. They remain unconvinced.
        However, the liberals among them detest trump and want a winner, so imo winning the first four will convert most.
        Progressive policies mean more to the young, who have nothing, than the old, who already have Medicare and are retired, so they’re willing to overlook Bernie’s age. Accordingly, Bernie outperforms with the young, without whom he would be nowhere… and where he has concentrated his attention.
        Note that the common denominator of those that crashed in these early, white states is older, while the two outperforming expectations are younger.
        Hopefully Bernie will do well in NV and, later, in Ca and Tx, with large numbers of young Hispanics.

        1. antidlc

          60% support eliminating all private health insurance in favor of single-payer.

          Buttigieg and Klobuchar do not support single-payer for everyone.

          So “6 in 10 New Hampshire Democratic primary voters support eliminating all private health insurance in favor of a single-payer plan for everyone. ”

          But they’re not willing to support the only guy running on single-payer.

      2. Grant

        Even better, Buttigieg did the best on those that prioritize the environment and global warming. ??? One exit poll I saw showed that as a strength. Just goes to show that the idea that people supported them because they agree with them on policy is nonsense.

    1. zagonostra

      Is there any information on voting/counting irregularities in NH?

      The polls would have indicated that Sander’s take of votes should have been much higher. It seems too co-incidental that PB came in so close. After Iowa, I’m pretty sure the ruling elites have contingencies to manipulate the vote in all the States.

      Obviously speculation on my part but after 2016 confirmation via WikiLeaks and Donna Brazil’s admissions, it’s not too outlandish. The poll showing 6/10 support M4A adds to my distrust.

      1. Copeland

        I was wondering this as well.

        I’m aware NH primary was run by the SOS not the DNC, but are there not plenty of Dems* still involved in counting on D side? Does anyone know?

        *Butti and Klob are Dems, Bernie is not, he is an independent.

  24. flora

    Blankfein and Bloomberg are horrified by govt spending. OK, not horrified by govt bailing out their economic interests in the GFC, horrified by the govt spending on the little people: things like ss, medicare, medicaid, and k-12 public education. They really are horrified by the deficit, and they want the little people to pay to “fix the debt”, not themselves. Are they great American patriots, or what?

    Here’s how hizzoner handled the NYC fall off in tax revenue during the GFC.

    Then there was the NYC “soda tax”, a regressive tax hitting the poor the hardest.

    Blankfein and hizzoner really are horrified by the deficit (they say), and they want the little people to pay to “fix the debt”, not themselves. Are they great American patriots, or what?

    No wonder they hate Sanders’ economic and tax plans. It won’t surprise anyone to learn that Bloomberg would pay $3 billion less under his plan than under Sanders’ plan.

  25. g3

    II hit the paywall on Spouting Thomas’ NYT piece on Bloomie. But I am going to take a guess and assume he endorses Bloomie. If so, not surprised. In fact, maybe 5 years ago, ST anointed Bloomie as the guy who would make trains run on time. Not bad coming from a guy who was swooning over Bowles-Simpson as the dream ticket once, at , wait for it – at Aspen. Or, how he embraced hedge-fund-backed “No Labels: as the insurgent group out to take out the special interests in both parties. Some improvement !

  26. Stephen V.

    Not sure what all the fuss is about. With Mr. Blankfein founding
    how can he go wrong?

      1. RMO

        To be fair, Blankfein is an authoritative source when it comes to the subject of wrecking an economy… few can do it better than him.

  27. antidlc

    From Wendell Potter:

    I read this morning that Mayor Pete plans to attack Medicare For All, for political gain in Nevada. This will thrill my old pals in the insurance industry, as Pete’s plan preserves the very system that makes them huge profits while bankrupting & killing millions. Here’s why. 1/7

    To boost corporate profits, the current system (high deductibles, denials of coverage, etc) is designed to keep you from getting care. By refusing to ban these toxins, Pete’s plan is a godsend to my old industry. It’s why they’ve given him more $ than any candidate but Trump. 2/7

    Another problem for consumers: Medicare for All enrolls everyone in a single insurance pool, giving the gov’t leverage to negotiate lower costs with providers & facilities. Pete’s public option only covers *some*, meaning a smaller insurance pool & higher costs. 3/7

  28. shinola

    “Elegant” is the word that came to mind while reading today’s “must-read” (Viral Alarm: When Fury Overcomes Fear). I don’t remember the the last time I used that term to describe a piece. I sure would like to hear that read out loud by a talented orator.

    Thanks Lambert!

    P.S. If any of y’all skipped over it, grab a cuppa & give it a shot. If you enjoy good writing, you’ll be glad you did.

    1. James

      In reading it, I couldn’t help but think he was talking about much more than just China, whether he realizes it or not. I also wonder how much genuine freedom they can tolerate over there right now, what with the US wolf always at the door and ready to pounce.

      Just as China has trumpeted the concept of a global Community of Shared Destiny, the international community is itself rejecting it. How tragic is that! Instead of embracing a real community, China is increasingly isolating itself from it.

      Just what and who is this “international community” of which he speaks and what is its true nature? I think the good professor might need to study abroad for awhile to broaden his perspectives. It’s a tough world out there.

  29. inode_buddha

    Up here in the Great People’s Democratically Elected Republic of New York, you have until tomorrow to change your voter registration for the Primaries. Note that you must be in a major party to vote in the primaries, and you will need your NYS Driver’s License or non-driver ID to do this.

    You can do so online at the motor vehicles dept:

    They will email you a recipt a few moments after it is processed.

  30. Cuibono

    Independent experts say many tens of thousands of Wuhan residents are likely infected by the coronavirus, while the city’s government puts the tally at less than 20,000. ”

    If so, it means the disease is far less deadly than so far estimated.

    1. ewmayer

      So the count-of-infected is clearly wildly understating things, but you believe the count of deaths? I’d say it’s way too early to conclude anything – it will probably take a long time for reasonably accurate numbers to filter out, if ever. It’s like with Chinese official economic stats, only worse – we have to look for proxy indicators. How long the provincial lockdowns remain in place, how many factories are closed and remain so, etc.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > we have to look for proxy indicators

        Crematoria are the only proxies I’ve seen. We can also get numbers from other “hot spots” also infected — although I think China may be unique in combining enormous scale with a poor health care system and lots of pre-existing respiratory dysfunction.

  31. Anthony G Stegman

    If Sanders were to become president it would amount to at best putting a bandaid on capitalism. Four more years of Trump may actually lead to capitalism bleeding out. That is a much better outcome in my view. History turns in strange ways.

  32. Roland

    Sanders wins a primary and, after months of trailing Biden, emerges as a front-runner.

    Yet comments are gloomy.

    That’s what happens when people spend too much time in the demi-monde of punditry and spin. They lose perspective, and become incapable of recognizing plain facts.

    Plain Fact: a self-described socialist is now the Democratic Party’s leading presidential candidate.

    As for fears of a consensus neolib, in case anybody didn’t notice, the foremost consensus neolib and former VP has plainly been defeated. The consensus neolibs have already lost the one whom they thought was their most electable. Buttigieg and Klobuchar are second-raters. Bloomberg is just some rich guy, without the purpose of a Perot, the personality of a Trump, or even the fancies of a Musk.

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