Links 2/20/2020

With a wingspan of 7 feet, the Harpy Eagle looks like a person dressed up in a bird costume. ACHNews (furzy)

Hive heists: why the next threat to bees is organized crime Guardian (Dr. Kevin)

Mapped: Visualizing the True Size of Africa Visual Capitalist (furzy)

Presence of alien life on Saturn’s moon Titan not likely after failing a crucial test International Business Times

Scotty from Marketing rebrands bushfires MacroBusiness

First sushi, now manga — will AI ruin great Japanese inventions? Financial Times (David L)

Unplugged: UMD students seek to re-normalize social connection Duluth News Tribune (Chuck L)

Bilingual people may make different choices based on the language they’re thinking in. Here’s why. Washington Post (Dr. Kevin)

#NCOV-19

Coronavirus latest: China’s banks to face up to $1.1tn surge in questionable loans, S&P warns Financial Times

Coronavirus: Two passengers dead from quarantined Diamond Princess BBC

Scientists question China’s decision not to report symptom-free coronavirus cases Nature (David L)

Covid-19: Indian pharma catches a cold Asia Times

Alibaba designs new AI tool to diagnose coronavirus; it’s 96% accurate ZME Science (Dr. Kevin)

American biotech company claims it developed a vaccine for COVID-19 in just 3 hours International Business Times (UserFriendly)

At least 11 dead in shootings in Germany’s Hanau: police Politico

Syraqistan

Turkey threatens ‘imminent’ attack on Syria’s Idlib after Russia talks DW

Hamas Chief Uses Israeli Election to Extract a Softer Stance on Gaza Haaretz

Big Brother Is Watching You Watch

Assange Lawyers Say Trump Offered Pardon If He ‘Played Ball’ Bloomberg

Exclusive: Barclays installs Big Brother-style spyware on employees’ computers CityAM (Kevin W)

Imperial Collapse Watch

The West Displays Its Insecurity Complex Consortium News (Chuck L)

Munich conference reveals East-West divide Asia Times

Trump Transition

Trump Names Richard Grenell as Acting Head of Intelligence New York Times (Kevin W)

How Trump’s economy stacks up Axios (resilc)

John Bolton says his testimony wouldn’t have changed impeachment outcome MarketWatch

White House advisers pitch minimum tax on corporations, fearing attacks over 2017 GOP law Washington Post. UserFriendly: “I’ll believe it when I see it.”

Trump’s budget gives Greenland another try Politico

Neil Young writes scathing open letter to Donald Trump NME (David L)

Utah Senate supports bill decriminalising polygamy BBC

Chicago Is The Most Corrupt City In The U.S., According To New Study Block Club Chicago (Dr. Kevin)

2020

Election Update: We Got A Flurry Of New National Polls. Sanders Led Them All. FiveThirtyEight

Bloomberg Said Young People Support Bernie Because They’re Dumb Vice

Bloomberg, like Trump, has shot his mouth off a lot:

Bloomberg’s Admiration for One-Party Authoritarianism American Conservative (resilc)

When Bloomberg News’s Reporting on China Was Challenged, Bloomberg Tried to Ruin Me for Speaking Out Intercept

Bloomberg in 2016: ‘Yes, Donald, I do love you’ Politico

55 Things You Need to Know About Mike Bloomberg Politico (UserFriendly)

Bloomberg’s Rising Polls Show The Power Of Billionaire Narrative Control Caitlin Johnstone (Kevin W)

How Michael Bloomberg Owned New York Media New Republic (resilc)

EXCLUSIVE: Leaked Bloomberg Campaign NDA Protects Abusive Bosses Nation

Bloomberg offers Pete Buttigieg $2.5 million to drop out, endorse him BeetPress Satire

Bernie Sanders and the Revenge of the Superdelegates CounterPunch (resilc). As the debates confirmed.

Environmental group ranks Bloomberg, Klobuchar last in climate plans The Hill

A Young Progressive May Defeat Dem Congressman Henry Cuellar New York Magazine (resilc)

Judge rips PG&E for poor safety record leading to wildfires KCRA

WeWork: how the ultimate unicorn lost its billions Financial Times

How the Drug Lobby Lost Its Mojo in Washington Wall Street Journal

Susan Fowler’s Memoir Shows Uber Was an Even Worse Place to Work Than We Thought Slate

Self-driving cars from Tesla, Google, and others are still not here Vox

Class Warfare

The Oligarch Stage of the American Disease: Bloomberg Edition Ian Welsh (Bill B)

Fuck the Poolice Current Affairs (UserFriendly)

We Don’t Know If The SALT Cap Is Driving Away Residents Of High-Tax States Tax Policy Center (resilc)

Forget London House Prices. Take a Look at Paris and Dublin Bloomberg (furzy)

A Coding School Tuition Model Spreads to 4-Year Colleges Income share agreements first gained popularity with tech bootcamps. Now some traditional universities are offering the tools as substitutes for student loans. Wired (JTM)

Racial Inequalities in Housing Extend to Flood Buyout Programs≤/a> Scientific American (Robert M)

Antidote du jour (furzy). Jake and Ellwood:

And a bonus (Chuck L):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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173 comments

  1. Anonymous2

    I loved the rescue dogs video. The work the French gendarmes do to save lives in the Alps is terrific. There is a great book on this by Anne Sauvy. These people risk their lives to save others. Sometimes the rescuers do not come back. I am filled with admiration for them. Amazing people.

    Reply
    1. JacobiteInTraining

      If our current system for leaders (be they CEOs Congress, Prime Ministers, or Presidents) self-selects for sociopathy, where is the detailed research on a system that self-selects for people like those rescuers?

      Other then Bernie, I would vote to elect pretty much any random alpine rescue person, or church homeless-food-server volunteer, or similar, over anyone else our system promotes to the tippy-top…almost sight-unseen…for Prez.

      Even willing to take a chance on those rescue dogs.

      Reply
  2. dcblogger

    Stephanie Kelton for Sec of Treasury, Warren Molser for head of the World Bank and Pavlina Tcherneva for head of the IMF.

    Reply
    1. sinbad66

      Kelton as Fed Chairman would probably be easier to appoint. Always imagined that Warren would be more suited as Sec of Treasury. No objections with the others.

      Reply
      1. Samuel Conner

        Having Kelton as the head of the Fed would be much more useful than at Treasury if Sanders were able to modify the institutional arrangements to allow the Fed to directly monetize Treasury issues or if Treasury were to implement unconventional measures such as “the Coin”.

        Reply
        1. Amfortas the hippie

          you mean the trillion dollar coin to end the deficit so the pete peterson lovers can shut the hell up at long last?
          i reckon that would be an indicator that something large and fundamental has changed,lol.

          Reply
          1. WobblyTelomeres

            Exactly. However, Randy Wray and Ralph Nader point out the millions of seniors who depend on treasury bonds for income.

            Reply
            1. John k

              And not just seniors but the entire private sector. But They’re not getting much income from treasuries these days.
              Infra spending is anyway a better way to inject spending.

              Reply
    2. deplorado

      >> Pavlina Tcherneva for head of the IMF

      To replace the current Bulgarian chief of IMF (a robot sycophantic orphanage headmaster whose forced frown-smile only half-conceals immovable cruelty and betrays an inner world sacrificed in service of power) with another Bulgarian — this time one with a brain and a heart — would be nice.

      Reply
  3. vlade

    Hive heist – manuka honey producing hives in New Zealand had problems with organised crime for a long time now, with the honey being a prime example of expensive commodity (which I suspect may command even larger premium in China now).

    Reply
  4. jackiebass

    In the article How Trumps Economy Stacks Up, they use the GDP as a measure.A problem is this measure doesn’t tell the entire story.Growth in the economy isn’t the same for all. Several presidents have had good growth. Unfortunately the growth mostly helped only a small part of the economy. The so called average guy is being left behind. We will never have a truly great economy unless most people benefit from growth. Once a segment falls behind they probably never catch up. I believe Neoliberalism is the driving force in an economy that doesn’t serve most people.

    Reply
    1. a different chris

      Yeah Trump jumped a little too quickly from “Make America Great Again” to “I’ve Fixed It!!”.

      Because he hasn’t. A better approach would have been to point out where specific things look improved (screw the GDP bs), take credit for that and talk about how “his leadership” deserves 4 more years to bring the other parts along.

      However, The Donald used to have some basic intelligence – Obama level anyway – and a lot of cunning, but his brain had started to go south even by 2016. Now…. oh my.

      Reply
    2. JTMcPhee

      Too bad growth, as practiced by “the economy,” is killing and spoiling the lives of so many mopes (“consumers”) that get “left behind” in the Great Consumption. And killing the biosphere at the same time. Growth = cancer.

      Reply
      1. Oh

        Growth is a dirty word. Imagine if the human body kept growing and there was no way for nutritients supply to the cells fall way behind. The body would shrivel and die. The same thing will happen to the economy.
        Imagine an economy with minimal growth, say 1%. Things would be stable. Of course, human beings think that they want higher salaries, more of this and more of that and therein lies the problem. My 2 cents.

        Reply
        1. Oh

          That was meant to be “no way for nutrients supply to the cells to keep up”.
          (Another senior moment in reviewing my draft)

          Reply
        2. Oregoncharles

          That’s an all too real genetic defect. Usually male, they just keep growing, reaching abnormal heights and dying very young. As you say, the systems just can’t keep up, and the human body is not designed to move that much weight.

          Reply
  5. dearieme

    The Pandemic: the people who’ve died in Iran are reported to have had no Chinese contacts. It is speculated that they may have caught the virus from pilgrims from Pakistan.

    I’ve not heard of Pakistan reporting any infection. I dare say we’ll hear if Iran bans pilgrims from Pakistan.

    When is the next big get-together in Mecca due? 28 July – 2 August says the internet. Will that be called off? Who has the authority to do so – the House of Saud?

    Are Americans going to be happy to join queues of voters in November?

    Reply
    1. Woodchuck

      You can be sure that if there is any Cov-2019 coverage still in November, there will be some massive propaganda scaring people away from the poll from the GOP. Low voter turn-out is at the core of their viability in the election, and it would be so easy to use.

      Hell, I could see Trump attempting to use that as a way to postpone elections because it’s a National Emergency.

      Reply
      1. MLTPB

        One scenario in that case (worldwide, except fortress America*) is the election will be about fighting inflation, and not so much about student loans.

        *the case of a Japanese couple still bears watching. Also, millions left Wuhan before lockdown, as mentioned here. What I haven’t read is the US travel ban started about 7 days later (1-23-2020 $ 2-1-2020). Where did some of those millions go? ABROAD?? China, I read, normally has about 900,000 young people studying abroad. Today is not yet 24 days from the first, though we are close. Fingers crossed.

        Reply
      2. lordkoos

        I’ve also floated that theory – elections “postponed” due to pandemic fears. Wasn’t this kind of idea put out there in 2008 by the Bush/Cheney regime? In case of terrorist attack, cancel elections, I think it was.

        Reply
        1. Oregoncharles

          Agreed. I definitely endorse it.

          The caveat: Oregon is a “clean” state. Can’t guarantee how it would work if there’s a lot of corruption (eg, California, I gather).

          Reply
    2. Brian (another one they call)

      The lack of reporting by nations is becoming obvious. We see one continent that has a few in Egypt, but no others where Chinese influence and business activity is consderable. When or if these nations decide to begin telling it like it is, the facts are going to be unpleasant. If the facts were helpful to the narrative, would they not have been released and hyped all along?

      Now might be the time to get your state to go retro and ask for paper ballots mailed to the voter that are mailed back and counted by hand in public. Oregon already has this, and we may be one of the few states that can vote. If we find that the vote goes on with phones, we will know representative democracy is fleeting its way out of fashion. All we need to know about phone voting happened in Iowa and was from all angles designed to distort the results.
      The big question is how long with this epi/pan demic continue. Cancellation of cultural events is likely.

      Reply
      1. MLTPB

        Did anyone at the debate last night talk about this?

        Did anyone challenge the travel bans being too late, or too early?

        Will the supply chain from S Korea, and or Japan be in doubt? More productive capacity destruction?

        Reply
        1. Wukchumni

          Is it wrong for me to think of walking into Wal*Mart a few months from now, with the shelves somewhat barren, and a bit of rush for what little remains of cheap Chinese imports?

          It’d be the perfect ending really, W*M takes out all of the retail competition heretofore, and then commits Seppuku.

          Reply
        1. russell1200

          LOL – I’d be fine with more Jake and Ellwood. Maybe they could change their pose, or at least which one is sitting where.

          Reply
  6. The Rev Kev

    “Utah Senate supports bill decriminalising polygamy”

    I’d go along with that. So long as they also agreed to decriminalize polyandry as well.

    Reply
  7. bassmule

    Poolice story is great!

    “So some guy got rich by copying someone else’s idea, tormented a lot of factory workers in China to make products that in turn tormented a lot of dogs with electric shocks, and, as a result, will now decide how an entire state’s schools should be run.”

    Reply
  8. The Rev Kev

    “Bloomberg”

    From the excerpts that I saw on the debate Bloomberg got eviscerated so badly, especially by Warren, that at the end of the debate he walked offstage with his bowels in his hands. You look at the Presidential contenders and there are a wide variety of viewpoints. You have socialists, business people, capitalists, public figures and each with their own viewpoint about what America should look like.

    But if there is one thing that all these differing people can agree on it is not being able to stand some rich smart*** who jumped the queue by throwing pocket change at the DNC to get himself onstage. Not after all the c*** that they have had to put up with the past few months of campaigning.

    If Hizzonner was expecting the usual fealty of his underlings or the admiration of his usual New York social set, then he was in for a shock. Maybe the DNC sent word to the candidates to go easy on Mike. Who knows? But from the bits that I saw, they mostly ganged up on him to send him a message which was “Welcome to the Bigs, Mike!”

    If he thinks that was rough, wait till he gets an unpaid for reception by the real democrats of the Democrat Party. Then the message will be “Welcome to the Party, Pal!”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9OpIbiFmY60

    Reply
    1. JacobiteInTraining

      “…bowels in his hands…”

      That is still a monumental failure on the part of his tormentors, in my mind.

      His guts should have been nailed securely to a pole, and he forced to run around and around the post until his bowels had no more slack.

      Oh my. Did I just say the quiet part out loud? Sorry… :)

      Reply
          1. Monty

            Private you tube video? What was it of?

            What do these New York media types see in the billionaire, media mogul Mike Bloomberg anyway?

            Reply
      1. Samuel Conner

        I thought the Anglo political tradition, from which US descends, would have been use them to strangle the victim.

        Reply
        1. a different chris

          As expected, here is a “just the facts, ma’am” take from AP:

          Mr. Sanders, meanwhile, tried to beat back pointed questions about his embrace of democratic socialism and his health following a heart attack last year.

          Oh wait. “Just the facts” would be like “Sanders had to address questions about….” but that wouldn’t make it look like:

          a) The questions were deeply introspective, well thought out. Hahahahaha.
          b) Sanders had difficulty with them.

          Maybe a and b were both true, but I thought Journo 101 was supposed to be at least use neutral language. Guess I misunderstood something.

          https://www.post-gazette.com/news/nation/2020/02/19/Nevada-debate-underway-Bloomberg-expecting-fierce-attacks/stories/202002190176

          Reply
    2. Katniss Everdeen

      Probably the most telegraphed “take down” ever.

      You’ve almost gotta wonder how a guy who “worked hard” to amass “more wealth than the bottom 125 million americans” with a “news” service failed to get the word, especially after having spent so much to buy the spot.

      He couldn’t afford some sort of a coach???

      Reply
      1. chuckster

        I didn’t watch the debates but have heard after-the-fact that Little Mikey was beaten and left for dead last night. Just wondering if his last word was “Rosebud” before he passed away.

        Reply
        1. Katniss Everdeen

          Speculation abounds on what bloomberg is really trying to do here. Most agree that he wants to deny Bernie a first ballot nomination and force a brokered convention, although you do have to wonder how far an arrogant prick like bloomberg is willing to go for a party that so readily humiliates him like they did last night. Not a lot of appreciation for his “efforts” on that stage, and he must have noticed what happened to Trump’s social stature as a result of his politicking.

          bloomie’s made no secret of the fact that he will spend lavishly to support whatever dem candidate gets the nomination (except Bernie), but, after last night’s beat down, the rhetorical contortions required to accept that “support” are really going to be something to see.

          Reply
          1. Stephen V

            The corpse of the Democrats twitches last night: sing it for Bloomie !
            It’s his party and he’ll cry if he wants to
            Would you cry too if it…

            Reply
            1. Katniss Everdeen

              For some reason every time I try to post a quote from that article, it gets dumped.

              It’s a good post and deserves to be read.

              Reply
              1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

                Stating the bleeding obvious, links to Bloomberg News, like links to the WaPo, should be treated as what they are: billionaire funded agitprop.

                Surely NC can sanitize the links so we’re not forced to send one thin click-through dime to tax evading war mongering sexual harassing oligarchs.

                (I know I know, the flow of money through our “truth” organs is an unpickable cat’s cradle of knots but even a top-level screening would help).

                And where is the FEC on Bloomberg’s news operation? Do we even have an FEC any more?

                Reply
            2. Kurt Sperry

              As creative clickbait/BS, I’d give that Tom Luongo post a 7/10. He hasn’t really got the slightest inkling of a clue if he thinks Trump landslides Sanders. Even geriatric-skewed landline polling doesn’t make that prediction credible.

              Reply
      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        I watched the whole Romney 47% video, and though Team Blue ran with Romney’s infamous line, that line was the safest thing said. Romney was being peppered with questions by wealthy oligarchs (despite not being russian) who knew nothing. The questions were so dumb. Bloomberg would have fit in that crowd.

        It’s like speaking to people who get their news from cable news. They are so ignorant they can’t really function anymore.

        Reply
        1. Swamp Yankee

          re: “It’s like speaking to people who get their news from cable news. They are so ignorant they can’t really function anymore.”

          Exactly this.

          I used to twitter a lot (tweet, I guess), and this was around the time Liz Warren was coming up even in the polls with Gov. Charlie Baker (R-HMO Dude), say, early 2017, I was saying things there that I’ve said here: Warren was relatively unpopular through her instrumental use of the Commonwealth for her own ends, lousy constituent services, not showing up locally esp. outside Rt. 128 (Boston ring-road), having even less connection with voters outside the Metropole-and-college-towns-affluent bubble, in places like New Bedford or Fitchburg or Pittsfield or Brockton, let alone villages in the Worcester Hills or the Swamp Yankee towns of SE Mass…..

          I was contacted by a young, well-credentialed reporter from The Atlantic (used to be the Atlantic Monthly and actually was on the Atlantic, today on the Potomac, so things have changed, for the worse of course), who wanted to follow up on some of what I’d said.

          It reminded me very much of talking to a robot or an alien. I said all of the above, we were on the phone, and she came back with: “So do you think people are unhappy with her going too far to the left?”

          I was perplexed. It was a kind of category error, like someone answering a foreign language badly: “Que hora es?” (What time is it?) “Las hamburguesas son azules.” (Hamburgers are blue).

          It had nothing to do with DC notions of left-wing, which are really just FDR Dems. It had everything to do with unselfaware and unaccountable professional-managerial elites using the country as a kind of sled on which to speed their ambitions. Of course the reporter didn’t get it — it was an indictment of her entire class!

          No, not that she was too left-wing, I explained; if anything, that she wasn’t left-wing enough, having alienated many Bernie people like myself in 2016, while not reassuring the Clintonista rah-rah party establishment/machine Dems enough to truly satisfy them she was one of them. But neither of these were the real issue, and this couldn’t be gotten across to the reporter.

          But it was like talking to someone who was, in 18th c. terms, exclusively of the Court, and trying to apply its idioms to the Country, came up with a fatally flawed and inapplicable understanding of the polity she ostensibly lives in.

          Reply
    3. Plenue

      Your excerpts were accurate. The entire thing was “everybody grab a bat and beat Mike”, interspersed occasionally with Buttigieg and Klobuchar’s bizarre feud, and a few flimsy attempts at dethroning Sanders.

      Reply
      1. Harvey

        Very strange behaviour from the other candidates.
        Unless they know the fix is in and Sanders has a snowball’s chance in hell of being the Dem candidate. Superdelegates and all.
        They are signalling that Bloomberg is the one to beat, the real front runner.

        Reply
  9. Wukchumni

    Presence of alien life on Saturn’s moon Titan not likely after failing a crucial test
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Lime and limpid green, a second scene
    Now fights between the blue you once knew
    Floating down, the sound resounds
    Around the icy waters underground
    Jupiter and Saturn, Oberon, Miranda and Titania
    Neptune, Titan, stars can frighten

    Blinding signs flap,
    Flicker, flicker, flicker blam, pow, pow
    Stairway scare, Dan Dare, who’s there?

    Lime and limpid green, the sounds around
    The icy waters under
    Lime and limpid green, the sounds around
    The icy waters underground

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pJh9OLlXenM

    Reply
  10. The Rev Kev

    “First sushi, now manga — will AI ruin great Japanese inventions?”

    Sooooo, if AI was used to judge Australian food tastes, it might then invent something along the lines of Vegemite flavoured ice-cream?

    Reply
  11. a different chris

    >it’s not possible for alien life to exist on Saturn’s moon Titan due to certain factors.

    Well maybe it is or maybe it isn’t. But being pedantic, it seems like they were looking for native life on Titan, not alien life!

    I guess that wouldn’t get the clicks, though. And they sure tried for them, using ctrl-f to search for alien shows 10 hits.

    Reply
  12. Wukchumni

    Its an interesting setup, the large reservoirs up north are full of water, while this winter of missed content in the Sierra looms large in the background, with nothing coming in the next fortnight, and only a month left in the season for something to happen.

    Much of the bounty of the tree crops for which the water diviner has decreed the need, are slated for export.

    The real crux of the battle is that farmers are running up against wells that are in some cases hitting TILT, and groundwater alone won’t make it work, as it did in the long 5 year drought, which caused so much subsidence and in particular did quite the number on the Friant Canal, which will require one hell of a fix.

    If it was an annual crop we’re talking about, all you’d need to do is not plant them in such a situation, but trees are continually needy.

    https://www.bakersfield.com/news/trump-signs-declaration-for-delivering-more-northern-california-water-to/article_8792e8ca-537a-11ea-a1a0-67fc11f4792d.html

    Reply
    1. nippersmom

      I truly wish there was a way we could share some of our bounty with you. We are at about 13″ in the past ~2 weeks, and it is still raining.

      Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        I’d appreciate if you could send some our way via a series of tubes, er, the internet.

        Book plug: The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi

        Reply
    2. ewmayer

      “nothing coming in the next fortnight” — Here in SF bay area, last rain was 16th January, 5 weeks ago. Nothing in the 7-day forecast either – high likelihood of a 0-precip February, the only 2 historically known of same were in 1849 and 1864. Even during the recent 5-year we never had a February without *any* precipitation. We are so screwed.

      Reply
            1. bob

              That’s really annoying. NBC news had the full debate posted to youtube under their own account. Now it’s only viewable on their crap filled website.

              Reply
    1. skk

      I watched it last night – streaming live, a very good stream – no stutter – on MSNBC’s facebook page:
      https://www.facebook.com/msnbc/videos/2239466069689334/

      Its still there today it seems. It allowed my VPNed UK proxy geolocation too.
      I mention this because youtube and media websites are where I normally go to. This is the first time I’ve tried their FB page – it worked very well for me.

      Reply
  13. The Rev Kev

    “Trump’s budget gives Greenland another try”

    It has been noted that the only country in the world that is safe from revolutions is America. And that is because Washington DC does not have an American Embassy in it. But if this consulate for Greenland goes ahead, I can see where it will go-

    “Greenland’s government n Nuuk were surprised to learn today that the new US Consulate will be based on the design of the Green Zone In Baghdad. It will be completely surrounded by high concrete blast walls, T-Walls and barbed wire fences with access only available through a handful of entry control-points, all controlled by a battalion of US marines and totaling some 10-square-kilometer (3.9 sq mi) in size. The Government was going to protest to the outlandishly huge size of what is only a Consulate but a terrorist attack was launched in Nuuk by a group never heard of before – the Popular People’s Front of Kalaallisut – who demanded independence from the central government or a majority say in how the government is run.”

    Reply
    1. xkeyscored

      I didn’t notice anything explicit in the article about actually asking for either Greenland’s or Denmark’s permission. Much as the plan for the new embassy in east Jerusalem will be built regardless of whether Palestinians agree, if Trump is to be taken at his word.
      This map will more than double the Palestinian territory and provide a Palestinian capital in eastern Jerusalem where America will proudly open an embassy.

      Reply
  14. zagonostra

    >BAR/Glen Ford vs. Stacy Abrams

    Clarifying contrast between Stacey Abrams with Glen Ford of BAR.

    Asked whether she thought it was an issue that Bloomberg was spending hundreds of millions of dollars to buy a frontrunner spot in the primary elections, Abrams replied that this was no different than a candidate using his or her pet on the campaign trail to attract voters…

    She was also asked about the fact that her political action committee, Fair Fight Action, had received $5 million from Bloomberg, the largest donation the group has received since it was founded in 2018. Queried as to whether the donation had any influence on her political views, she replied, “I am grateful to any person who contributes to Fair Fight. We have more than one hundred thousand contributors. His check just had a few more zeros on it.”

    **********************************

    The rich man’s wonderland that Michael Bloomberg has worked so hard to create and protect is predicated on eternal job insecurity and deteriorating living standards for the masses of people – and absolute insecurity for Blacks, whose very presence in a racist society devalues surrounding properties, requiring their constant displacement. This “austerity” regime – better described as the global “Race to the Bottom,” has been a joint project of both Republicans and Democrats for two generations. Enforced mass precarity – buttressed by endless wars abroad and growing police repression at home — created the class of super-oligarchs like Michael Bloomberg and Jeff Bezos, who are determined to defend their Billionaire’s Oz against Bernie Sanders’ political “revolution” within the Democratic Party, a property bought and paid for by the plutocrats…

    Bloomberg is not so much running for president as making sure that the Democrats don’t go “rogue” anti-corporate to accommodate the Sandernistas. He is ensuring that the Democratic Party will be an even more hostile environment for anti-austerity politics than in the past – not in spite of the phenomenal success of the Sanders project, but because of it.

    https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/02/20/abra-f20.html
    https://www.blackagendareport.com/bloomberg-wants-swallow-democrats-and-spit-out-sandernistas

    Reply
  15. The Rev Kev

    “Scotty from Marketing rebrands bushfires”

    Logic would dictate that this Royal Commission should be headed by someone with a large amount of experience of firefighting but for the government, this is not an option. The reason is that in the middle of last year, some of Australia’s most experienced fire chiefs got together and tried to warn the government of a potentially explosive upcoming fire season but Scotty from Marketing did not want to meet them. So now the job has been given to a retired Air Chef instead.

    The Commission is only being given a mere six months and it seems that he wants to load it up with investigating rubbish like all reports going back to the 1930s. It could still blow up in his face as happened with the commission on banking that took place not that long ago. It might serve to take that constant smirk that he has on his face when making announcements like this so let us see if some people will hold his feet to the (bush)fire on this.

    Reply
    1. a different chris

      I believe you meant Air “Chief” but Air Chef is funny. A guy that once made airplane food is probably just as qualified.

      Reply
    2. xkeyscored

      It seems to be a thing these days. Bolsonaro’s appointed a creationist as minister for science, Trump’s been censoring all mention of climate change by government agencies other that the so-called defense department, etc etc. Who needs facts when there’s faith to fall back on?

      Reply
  16. antidlc

    The video of Bloomberg saying that Bernie would beat Trump.

    I posted that the other day and asked about the source.

    What was this video taken from? Was it an interview? Just looking for more details.

    Thanks.

    And thanks for the running commentary last night on the debate. Thanks to NC for this site. I have learned so much.

    Reply
  17. DJG

    On corruption in Chicago: The article depends too much on a study that is a count. Dick Simpson knows better. The problem in Chicago, and I’m not denying the sheer breadth of corruption, is what is legal:

    https://chicago.curbed.com/2019/9/17/20870485/lincoln-yards-lawsuit-tif-dismissed-sterling-bay-development

    The latest real-estate fandango involving TIFs and signals to the feckless city council, all backed up by a judiciary that lost its way a long time ago. Lincoln Yards now has authorization to be built.

    And the problem among Chicagoans is that this kind of looting and pillaging now has folklore status–on odd local quirk. Da Bears. Da corruption. Da flight of black people from da city. Cheeseboogi.

    Reply
    1. Chris S

      I remember moving to Chicago after college and learning about how the TIF system was used as a mayoral slush fund to enrich developers. A scales-falling-from-the-eyes moment….

      Reply
    2. Oh

      I remember a certain President whose name starts with O and ends with A with a BAM in between who purports to have come from a city whose name starts with a C and ends with an O with a HICAG in between. He’s well known for his gift of the gab and grift. He recently bought a $14 million home in Martha’s VIneyard. Just saying…
      Can wait to see his Presidential Mausoleum Center.

      Reply
  18. Frank Little

    RE: Bloomberg Said Young People Support Bernie Because They’re Dumb

    It’s funny to watch Bloomberg present himself as a model of reason and rationality while campaigning when you compare it to the things he says. Here he says young people support socialism because they confuse it with social media. Why do they make that error? Because they’re not taught civics and Western history and literature. According to my over-priced education in the vaunted Western Canon I believe this is called a non-sequitur.

    His defense of stop-and-frisk, which he presents as merely a rational approach, show similar logical incoherence. In multiple interviews he claims that having the NYPD stop any black or brown person, even if they aren’t carrying a gun, acts as a deterrent. Setting aside the relationship between policing and racial oppression in the US (which is really the story with stop-and-frisk), this is completely non-sensical. Doing something to everyone merely reinforces the idea that enforcement is capricious and arbitrary. If someone knows they’ll be stopped either way because of their race, what incentive do they have to alter their behavior?

    Of course Bloomberg is far from alone in thinking this way about crime and policing, and nobody who thinks this way is really interested in a logical, rational approach to reducing crime. But given how many illogical and irrational statements he makes I can’t help but wonder if maybe he didn’t get to $60 billion by being just that much smarter than everybody else.

    Reply
    1. Katniss Everdeen

      The problem is, crime WAS reduced during the time of stop and frisk and new yorkers rejoiced. The policy, while wildly unconstitutional, was also “successful.” bloomie was able to buy himself a third term.

      Tucker Carlson refers to it as one of the most successful “gun control” policies ever, and questions why a candidate, whose signature issue is “gun control,” repudiates it now.

      Of note is that bloomberg currently “apologizes” for his enthusiastic implementation of stop and frisk because it “disproportionately affected black and brown people,” calling that consequence “unintended.” Right.

      Does bloomie think that violations of constitutional rights in service of social engineering are acceptable as long as they are racially “proportional?” I think it’s entirely within the realm of possibility. I don’t trust the guy as far as I can throw him.

      Reply
      1. xkeyscored

        Are you sure crime was reduced, or do you mean reported crime, crimes investigated or successfully prosecuted, or something? NYC is home to Wall Street and many an oligarch. Did they desist from crime during stop and frisk?

        Reply
        1. Frank Little

          My comment was mostly about his rhetorical positioning, which I don’t buy for a second of course but thought was funny. His view is emblematic, though, of a broader lack of understanding about what causes crime and how attempts to reduce it should properly be measured.

          Too much focus on the movement of crime rates or gun confiscations leads to mistaking the map for the terrain. Crime rates and arrest numbers are treated as a proxy for safety, but safety is more than just the absence of crime or violence. It is a much more complicated notion that encompasses the quality and availability of housing, economic precarity, sense of community or belonging, in addition to instances of interpersonal violence or theft, which is the only thing Bloomberg and his cohort really care about. Of course actually acting on these other facets would require redistribution of power and resources, which Bloomberg is running for president to prevent just the same way he did while he was mayor.

          Reply
        2. JBird4049

          The crime rate was decreasing nationally, but somehow the brutalization of hundreds of thousands of Americans was okay because reasons?

          Drug use is pretty equal across American society with the only difference being the fashionable drugs in each milieu. Strangely, whites are not nearly searched as much as blacks; just often are the upper classes searched?

          And with guns does anyone really think that there is that great a difference? Gun control has almost always been of concern with black folks dare to arm themselves. Not so much when whites do.

          No, let’s call a spade a spade. This was just another bit in the American System of Apartheid done, as normal, for the supposed crime control.

          Reply
          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            Everyone knows he was a Repub before he was an Independent and then a “Dem”, few know he was a Dem before he was ever even a Repub. Political parties and their (and his) philosophies are just a joker’s game of musical chairs for him, his gods are #1 Mammon, #2 Kratos (Power), #3 Yahweh. Severe case of short man syndrome, closet stuffed to the gills with skeletons, personality of a cardboard sandwich. And yet: we still misunderestimate him at our peril even after last night’s beat down. What I thought I saw in his eyes? Calculating dollars and cents on how he would spend to buy his way past this unpleasantness. To paraphrase fellow New Yorker Leona: politics are for little people.

            Reply
      2. Xihuitl

        The policy wasn’t the reason violent crime dropped in NYC. Violent crime was already dropping before Bloomberg and it was dropping in cities all over the country. The reason was the removal of lead in gasoline.

        ” … murders started declining a decade before Bloomberg took office and continued downward after he left.”

        See also:

        An Updated Lead Crime Roundup for 2018

        “In the early 70s the United States began to phase out leaded gasoline and newborns became steadily less lead poisoned. Like clockwork, as the leading edge of this generation became teenagers in the early 90s, the crime wave started to recede. By 2010, an entire generation of teenagers and young adults—the age group responsible for most crime—had grown up nearly lead free, and the violent crime rate had plummeted to half or less of its high point. This happened across the board: in big and small cities; among blacks and whites; in every state; in every city; and, as it turns out, in every other country that also phased out leaded gasoline.”

        Reply
        1. xkeyscored

          I’ve also seen it fairly convincingly related to Roe vs Wade.
          “We offer evidence that legalized abortion has contributed significantly to recent crime reductions. Crime began to fall roughly 18 years after abortion legalization. The 5 states that allowed abortion in 1970 experienced declines earlier than the rest of the nation, which legalized in 1973 with Roe v. Wade. States with high abortion rates in the 1970s and 1980s experienced greater crime reductions in the 1990s. In high abortion states, only arrests of those born after abortion legalization fall relative to low abortion states. Legalized abortion appears to account for as much as 50 percent of the recent drop in crime.”
          https://www.nber.org/papers/w8004

          Reply
    2. flora

      Hizzoner is a big proponent of charter schools (ka-ching) ,so talking about ‘dumb’ kids (who have public k-12 education) was talking his book.

      Same with stop&frisk; drive low income, black and latino people out of the city to free up more real estate for rich developers.

      He’s rational and logical about the end results he wants.

      Reply
  19. Ignacio

    RE: American biotech company claims it developed a vaccine for COVID-19 in just 3 hours International Business Times (UserFriendly)

    To develop a vaccine you have to test several things. Does it elicit IgA antibody response in humans? Are the antibodies neutralizing? Do they really protect (clinical trials)? These guys are not unique and to my knowledge there are at least three more biotech platforms that can do the same. I am familiar with one in Spain that has developed vaccines against animal coronavirus and uses now the same platform for SARS Cov2. But the former uses algorithms so it must be the best. What can make one attempt go ahead is to find a financing partner for clinical trials. It is not that easy to come with viable biotech-generated vaccines.

    Reply
    1. xkeyscored

      I think it’s more than just having a fancy algorithm; they do have a good track record.
      “It is important to note that the company had also created vaccines for three other deadly diseases—Zika, Ebola and the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). “We’ve done this many, many times before. The most relevant was building our vaccine against the MERS virus, which is a coronavirus in the same family as COVID-19,” said Kim.
      The company says that if everything goes according to plan, it will be able to begin human trials in the US as early as the coming summer. Developing a vaccine at such an unprecedented pace is something the company has experience with.
      According to Fox Business, the company is collaborating with a Chinese company, Beijing Advaccine, to create the vaccine. The Norway-headquartered, Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, has also provided Inovio with a funding of $9 million for the formulation of the vaccine.”

      Reply
    2. Tom Bradford

      In my tin-foil hat moments I do wonder whether Trump, faced with nothing to crow about re. the sanctions placed in China in his re-election campaign, might have considered backing them up with a little strategically-placed germ warfare. My foil-wrapped IQ replied that even Trump wouldn’t be stupid enough for that given the potential for it to hit the US economically via a pandemic – but now that a US firm just happens to have come up with a vaccine ‘in three hours’ (no great problem if you just happen to have had a sample of the virus in your labs for months) not only can you inoculate your own population (only those who matter, of course) the $$$ to be vacuumed up supplying it to others is almost infinite.

      But I’ll take the foil off now as it’s tea-time and I don’t want to worry about what they’re adding to the coffee to keep me nice and supine.

      Reply
  20. David

    House prices in Paris and Dublin.
    In Paris, property prices have soared in recent years and continue to do so. Few Parisians live in houses, but the average price per square metre of an apartment now exceeds €10,000, considerably more in any reasonably clean, reasonably central area. So a 60m2 apartment, quite cramped but large by Parisian standards, and in an unfashionable area, would set you back perhaps €750,000, which is so much beyond the means of ordinary people as to be ridiculous. The latest figures suggest, not surprisingly, that the population is falling: by about 12,000 per year on average, on a population base of about 2M. But that’s misleading, because most of those leaving are the middle classes (and thus the tax base) whereas those arising tend to be poor immigrants from Africa and Eastern Europe, often here illegally and performing poorly-paid casual work where there is work at all. Schools are closing even in quite prosperous areas. Increasingly, property in Paris is owned by the very rich, many of whom don’t live there, and the elderly who bought property decades ago, but won’t be living there very much longer. There are still places to rent, but Air B’nB is rapidly putting a stop to that. Paris is on the way to becoming a feudal city, where the very poor serve the very rich. The working class is long gone, and the middle class is dying off. but hey, there are millions of tourists and they bring in lots of money for multinational companies, so that’s all right.

    Reply
    1. PlutoniumKun

      Its pretty shocking and sad really. You’d wonder where the fuel for the rise in prices is coming from and who is sitting on all the property. Of all countries you’d expect the French to take a bit of a harder stance on absentee landlords. Even Ireland is now cracking down quite hard on Airbnb landlords.

      Reply
      1. David

        Some of it’s buying for investment, with interest rates effectively at zero, some of it’s money-laundering, some of it’s private companies and international institutions, some of it’s buy-to-AirBnB…. But Paris isn’t that big, and a lot of people who rent or have bought are grimly staying put as well, in a city which unfortunately is becoming more and more unliveable (it’s not even in the top 50 nicest places to live).

        Reply
    2. carl

      I have a strong feeling that this is going on in most major (and some minor) cities around the world. New York, San Fran, LA, are probably the worst in the US, but there are many others (including on a minor scale, my city of San Antonio). My travels outside the US have revealed a similar phenomenon, suggesting that it transcends countries.

      Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        The NZ housing bubble fascinates me, in that virtually every home in EnZed is playing along, unlike here where you can buy a $700k home in SoCal for $100k in many parts of the country…

        Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        How will this play out when COVID 19 comes in?

        Most of the vacation rental biz here is mom & pop stuff, and not really able to withstand a long downturn financially. If Covid-19 shows up, there’ll be a bit of a panic, which would rid us us of something that really brings nothing to the community, other than profit.

        Hey Nineteen by Steely Dan

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cvg5mbM6FGs

        Reply
      2. David

        Yes, well have a look at the photographs in this recent story about a slum not far from central Paris, where thousands of illegal immigrants live with no toilets or running water. We’ve already seen diseases reappear in Paris which were thought wiped out decades ago. If Covid-19 hits France seriously (there’s already been one death of a Chinese tourist) then these are the sorts of places it will spread rapidly.

        Reply
        1. Kurt Sperry

          I was staying in the 11th near Place Léon Blum, and North of there were near entire blocks with “clothes shops” with pidgen English names on street level with no retail customers ever but lots of Chinese who couldn’t speak French living in the floors above. I never understood what exactly was going on. Did they need a Parisian address for business purposes? Are there sweatshops in the back rooms where clothes are constructed?

          You can see similar areas in Prato near Florence, where there are immigrant sweatshops infamous for making counterfeit (and even real!) luxury brand products for the Napoli-based clans.

          I’m guessing that l lot of the immigration associated with these sweatshop/storefront operations is less than above board and health inspections are probably not being conducted as they should be.

          Reply
    3. Kurt Sperry

      Last time I was in Paris, a couple of years back, I stopped at one of those realtor’s storefronts with a bunch of apartment/condo descriptions taped to the inside of the window facing the street. I usually walk right past because, face it, I’ll never be buying/renting there, but this time I studied the listings and thought, this is probably still a significantly cheaper place to live than Seattle or the Bay Area in CA.

      I know a guy who bought a small condo in the “unfashionable” 19th as a middle manager at a Middle Eastern airline with a large office there maybe 15 years ago. That is probably no longer possible.

      Reply
  21. McWatt

    The chronic corruption in Chicago has escaped to the suburbs. We live in TIF besotted areas where millions are given to developers at the expense of all the other taxing bodies, primarily schools. Property taxes have increased 300 percent as a result. Now the Feds pile on by double taxing the local property taxes and home values are falling as a result. Just another example of government looking after the people.

    It use to be a hallmark of the American tax system that you could never be double taxed. Now even that is out the window.

    Reply
  22. allan

    From a live-tweeting of the Stone sentencing hearing:

    Andrew Prokop @awprokop

    [Judge] ABJ: With respect to the second filing — you signed it. Did you write it?

    [US DC Assistant Attorney] Crabb: I’m not at liberty to discuss the internal deliberations in DOJ.

    ABJ: Were you directed to write it by someone else?

    Crabb: I can’t answer.

    You sign a filing to the court but refuse to tell the judge whether you wrote it.

    Giving new meaning to contempt of court.

    Reply
  23. Pelham

    Re Ian Welsh’s thoughts on American oligarchy: If it ends up being Bloomberg vs. Trump in November, for whom should we vote? Let’s rule out a third-party possibility or abstention to make this more interesting. I’m thinking there’s an argument for Trump. If Bloomberg were to win, he’d be likely to cement the idea that big money is the bright way forward for the Democratic Party.

    OTOH, a Bloomberg win might be shocking enough to really upset the two-party apple cart, or at least the Democrat cart, and lead to the formation of an entirely new and viable party that soundly rejects oligarchy and oligarchs.

    Thoughts?

    Reply
    1. a different chris

      I won’t vote for either, but if I had to it’s an easy choice: Bloomberg.

      With Bloomberg you get at least a couple feints towards some important problems (gunz, climate change). With Trump you get nada. Actually, you just get more embedded Trumpism. Note that in the voting booth you will *not* find a place to “write, in 100 words or less, why you voted for the candidate you did”.

      Trump will assume you voted for him, not against Bloomberg. The Democrats will also assume that because moving rightward is so near and dear to their hearts so it gives them a reason to continue it.

      TBF, a long long longlonglong time ago I was a Bloomberg-style Republican. Of course there weren’t any billionaires then, arguably even in inflation-adjusted-to-today terms.

      Note: I have no hope, if those are the candidates, for any “apple cart” upsetting. Not saying you’re wrong, I’m just not feeling it.

      Reply
    2. MOnty

      There is absolutely no way I would ever vote for Bloomberg, so by your rules, that means I would be obliged to vote Trump. Luckily, your rules are just make believe!

      Reply
    3. carl

      Instead of voting for Bloomberg, I’ll just keep extending the 2016 middle finger to the Dem establishment and vote for Trump.

      Reply
    4. John Anthony La Pietra

      If the D wing nominates Bloomberg and the R wing sticks with Trump, that just make it even clearer that a vote for an alternative is not a third-party vote but a SECOND-party vote.

      Reply
    5. Oregoncharles

      “Let’s rule out a third-party possibility or abstention to make this more interesting.”
      That makes it LESS interesting.. Only voting 3rd-party sends the right message. Even assuming we can’t escape the 2-Party trap, that only makes sending a message more important. Abstention while casting a ballot gets you only half way there.

      Reply
    6. Tom Bradford

      I, thank God, am not an American but as a confirmed follower of NC I like to think I have a reasonable handle on what’s happening there.

      And I find it incomprehensible that anyone could vote for Trump even if the alternative was a foulness like Bloomberg. Bloomberg might be in it for the kudos, the money or his billionaire mates, or any combination thereof, but Trump is downright dangerous. Trump’s utter disregard for the Constitution, his attempts at accretion of absolute power a’la Putin, Kim Jong-un and Xi, his paranoia and egotricity and his utter lack of empathy and self-awareness frightens me from half-a-world away.

      Bloomberg would, I think, at least play by the rules. He might be another Bush II or Obama or worse but that’s a problem for the US. Trump is a problem for the world, but unfortunately one only the citizens of the US can fix.

      Reply
      1. Geo

        Bloomberg only plays by the rules if those rules benefit him. If they don’t, he uses his money and media control to change the rules – or just ignores them. As NYC mayor he proved this regularly but even NYC mayor is small time compared to president. Trump is to the left of Bloomberg on foreign policy by far (Bloom still supports the invasion of Iraq as one example). He blames to poor for the financial crash, blames Obama for racial divides.

        Look what he did to Occupy protestors and BLM protestors. His caging and hailing of RNC protesters. The well documented use of “undercover” police to start skirmishes as a pretext for mass arrests. His removal of term limits for himself only.

        I lived in nyc during his entire term. He made all of nyc a playground for the investor class and a s***hole for everyone else. Made Guilini seem like a reasonable mayor.

        Is he worse than Trump? Won’t know unless he gets the glance to show us. But he’s definitley more effective than Trump.

        Either way, nominating Bloomberg is the Dem Party admitting they have no purpose anymore and basically destroying the party. They will have officially merged with Republicans and admitted openly that only the richest amongst us are fit to rule.

        If that isn’t enough, just read up about the time he bragged about his “busty” 16 year old daughter and how he set her up on dates in every city while he did business in China and your “yuck factor” will reach Trump/Invanka levels.

        Reply
        1. Tom Bradford

          I don’t disagree with anything you said, but if being more ‘effective’ than Trump means we might get a coherent, ‘let’s not bring the world’s economy to its knees again, let alone start a major war by accident’ foreign policy from Bloomberg I won’t complain. Sure the other complaints you have re Bloomberg may be valid but you’re getting all than from Trump and the Republicans anyway, and that’s for the US to deal with not the rest of the world.

          Reply
      2. Roland

        Trump: so far, no new war.

        The paramount question in all statecraft is the question of peace and war.

        By this most critical of all standards, Donald Trump has been a better president than Barack Obama (Libya) or George W. Bush (Iraq). The latter pair had both gotten their country into an unnecessary war by the third year of their term. Both those wars continue today.

        So if it’s Trump vs. Bloomberg, then obviously Trump.

        Reply
  24. LawnDart

    “In December 2011, before sentencing Rod Blagojevich to 14 years in prison, U.S. District Judge James Zagel scolded the former governor not only for disappointing the people of Illinois but also for destroying careers and lives along the way.”

    Most of the above landed on their feet, and with a brief glance through this puffery, err, article, the reader will notice some names quite relevant in today’s news.

    It’s a club, and you aren’t in it.

    Obama’s seat wasn’t the beginning of Blago’s crimes, but the breaking point when Fitzgerald and his team had no choice but to lower the boom– a few thousand bucks to the guv’s campaign fund could help land a well-comped state position for the less than qualified and the ethically challenged, but a senate seat was a m.f. jackpot. Gov Pat Quinn had some cleaning-up to do when he assumed the office, to say the least.

    You’re beefing about your taxes? Cry me a friggin river. You are nothing but a source of revenues.

    You don’t live in a democracy. The makers of law and their enforcers are not accountable to you.

    If you want justice, you’ll have to make your own.

    Reply
    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Did Trump pardon Blago because:

      -he is a fellow reality tv show person

      -or as an insult to Obama?

      I suppose it could be both.

      Reply
      1. Copeland

        Does Trump really hate Obama, or does he cleverly realize that his base hates Obama, so he takes advantage of every opportunity to “twists the knife” to the delight of his base?

        Note: I do not support Obama

        Reply
          1. Harvey

            That was some takedown. The cool Harvard kid mocking the dumb ass deplorable kid. They say the best revenge is slooow.

            Reply
        1. periol

          No one followed the logic trail at the time, but if Blagojevich owned Obama’s seat and expected to be paid for it, surely if you take Illinois political corruption into account that leads to the inevitable conclusion that there was probably corruption involved with Obama getting the seat in the first place.

          Not saying that dog hunts, but you could see how there might be smoke there, or at least something to make a little noise in the press.

          Reply
          1. Alex morfesis

            Actually no…Val Jarrett and Michelle conspired and reverse engineered “da machine”… In chitown if you bother to notice, only black politicians married to a white counterpart can be “trusted” while anyone who does not get with the “paperbagging” of the next generation progeny are pushed aside or….out of the way/pushed up the ladder…Baruch Obamawitz took the pushed up the ladder route

            Reply
      2. FluffytheObeseCat

        – or as a hackneyed attempt to recapture media attention after Dems had too much of it for a few days.

        Watch him. Whenever the news machine hasn’t been utterly focused on him for 4-6 days, he does a Trump stunt. It’s always something that makes the pearl-clutchers rant and hiss….. which means his base then lavishes loud, brassy love all over him, regardless of what he actually did.

        Trump’s fondness for fellow scam artistes and hatred of Obama are secondary to his lust for public attention.

        Reply
    2. periol

      It’s definitely a club, and I thought it was pretty obvious at the time the corruption takedown of Blago was a clear way of letting him know he wasn’t in the club, not anymore.

      There seems to be a convenient memory hole around Blago and the internet that ignores that immediately before he was no-knock raided over his corruption, he stood up with protesting union workers and ordered the state of Illinois to stop using Bank of America for it’s accounts. Bank of America had closed a union factory over funding, and it was a pretty big protest at the time, as was Blago’s announcement.

      Hard for me to believe anyone really gets to power without blackmail skeletons in the closet. Blago went too far, so they went through their files and silenced him.

      Not sure why he’s being pardoned now, but it definitely seems strange.

      Reply
  25. antidlc

    Did NBC cut out the last part if the debate out of its Youtube upload? (The question to the debaters about whether who is ahead should get the nomination if no one has enough on the first vote at the convention.)

    That’s the claim here.
    https://twitter.com/NathanielKFoley/status/1230517110528512000

    Nathaniel Foley
    @NathanielKFoley
    ·
    1h
    NBC cut this section out of their Youtube upload. Share it, download it, re-post it, spread it like wildfire. Make sure they can’t make it disappear.

    Reply
      1. Monty

        Now NBC has “privatized” that “full” youtube video (that actually had the final question edited out). That’s why the earlier links posted here, don’t work any more. Scoundrels!

        Reply
          1. John Anthony La Pietra

            As of this writing, the video does include that question — around 1:35:35 in. Chuck Todd specifically makes Sanders answer last, “because I know where you stand”. . . .

            Reply
  26. John k

    Wrote in Bernie in 2016… didn’t matter in my state. Secretly hoped trump would win bc if Hillary did, Bernie would have no chance in 2020. Now he’s leading, I have high hopes for pres Sanders in Jan.
    Hrs right, he can’t do it alone. Congress will obstruct. He will threaten and cajole from the bully pulpit. But we will have to help by sweeping out the obstructionists.
    The hunger for change across the country is palpable. Vietnam caused the boomers to lose faith in gov… got to get it back.

    Reply
  27. CuriosityConcern

    Buttiguig on Sander’s supporters “toxicity”, if B is too thin skinned to be called out gently by his own party members he will not stand a chance against Trump.

    Reply
  28. Wukchumni

    What if we all spent as much money trying to procure a $40k job, as is spent in attempting to get that $400k job in the White House?

    …it’d be like spending $100 million to get employment

    Reply
  29. Cuibono

    “He and other researchers suspect that many more people have been infected than the 74,000-odd cases that have been reported, and that most cases are probably asymptomatic and would be positive if tested.”

    I believe I argued this point here last week or the week before that. it is important to know this to model the spread and to get better sense of the CFR. 2% will turn out to be very high if this is true.

    Reply

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