Links 2/22/2020

Ursus urbinus: ‘elderly’ 400lb bear spotted roaming Los Angeles suburb Guardian (David L)

Dog Strolls Into Police Station To Report Himself Missing The Dodo (David L)

Animals take medicine when they are sick: a few striking cases ZME (Dr. Kevin)

Fossil hunters find ‘ice bird’ from 46,000 years ago that looks like it died ‘yesterday’ Telegraph (Kevin W)

Antarctica Melts Under Its Hottest Days on Record EarthObservatory (resilc)

Please kill your lawn TreeHugger

Understanding what sustainability is not – and what it is Ecological Citizen. Important.

It’s time to say goodbye to our most ambitious climate target ever Wired (resilc)

Coding for uncertainty increases security against poachers in Africa Science Blog (Dr. Kevin)

Proposed Ethos Capital purchase of .ORG operator Public Interest Registry Americans for Financial Reform and Electronic Frontier Foundation. Letter to various FTC honchos opposing planned private equity looting.

‘We are literally making electricity out of thin air;’ UMass develop groundbreaking technology that will change the way we power electronics MassLive (David L)

Wood burners: Most polluting fuels to be banned in the home BBC (Kevin W). The Guardian version from JTM.

The World’s Tiniest Nuclear Plant Is Coming to Idaho Popular Mechanics (David L)

Mapping cells to build a complete atlas of the human body Economist (David L)


The Epidemiological Characteristics of an Outbreak of 2019 Novel Coronavirus Diseases (COVID-19) China CDC (Dr. Kevin). Careful reporting on the cases tracked, but you have the big known unknown of people de facto quarantined at home who have been told there’s no capacity to see/test/treat them at hospitals. Note the Guardian report of ~150,000 people in Hubei asking for help on Weibo and that is likely a (hopefully large) subset of the total sick but not treated, probably of cornoavirus, and not in the data set. That alone is 2x the cases analyzed here.

‘Dominoes falling’ in global shipping as coronavirus continues to grip China’s economy Telegraph

Fear reigns in Korea’s viral ‘hot zone’ Asia Times (Kevin W)

I work at a walk-in health centre. The coronavirus super-worriers are a problem Guardian (Dr. Kevin). On the one hand, the writers has a point re the lack of official advice about risk and precautions making his job way harder than it should be. On the other, the writer appears unaware that people can repeatedly test negative during the incubation period. There are already known cases (for instance, in Italy) of people transmitting the disease when they were not symptomatic. This admittedly poses a massive “So what do we do?” problem of the tests not providing good guidance as to when to isolate people. Dr. Kevin added: “The worried well will always be with us. Rather than being dismissed, they generally benefit from being educated about how to take care of themselves, and how to inform themselves. Docs who denigrate the worried well are on the wrong track.”

13,000 Missing Flights: The Global Consequences of the Coronavirus New York Times (Kevin W)

Coronavirus fears push long-dated US Treasury yields to all-time low Financial Times


New blue British passport rollout to begin in March BBC. Kevin W: “See? Brexit was totally worth it.”

The Brexit Interim Evaluation (Michel T). No doubt true, but the subtext is weird. The EU does not control the UK and the EU anticipated that there would be large economic and other costs to Brexit. That was the reason for all the glum faces among EU leaders the morning after the referendum.

EU summit collapses as leaders struggle to fill €75bn Brexit hole Guardian. The lack of fiscal transfers is killing the EU. New Yorkers (for the most part) don’t think about how their tax dollars are supporting Mississippi.

Big Brother is Watching You Watch


The algorithm is watching you London Review of Books (Dr. Kevin)

Trump Transition

California Disputes Trump Administration’s Claim That Abortion-Coverage Mandate Violates U.S. Law Wall Street Journal

Trump’s Presidency Isn’t a Dark Comedy — It’s an Absurd Tragedy Andrew Sullivan, New York Magazine (resilc)

Addled and confused’ Trump viciously mocked after his own intel pick snubs him on national TV Raw Story (furzy)

Donald Trump jabs at Parasite’s Oscar win because film is ‘from South Korea’ Guardian (Bob K)

Tulsi Gabbard: How Democrats’ impeachment campaign helped Trump Fortune. An op-ed. Good for her refusing to go away.

Satisfaction with state of nation climbs to 15-year high Gallup (Dan K). In theory, super helpful to Trump. But Dan K points out:

Gallup obtained sample for this study from Dynata.” Dynata ( runs panels primarily for marketing (to people who can pay for stuff), Gallup random-dialed through a Dynata-curated universe. Panels swing more conservative / wealthier, so these results shouldn’t be shocking. And of course, as Gallup obliquely observes in conclusion, more of these respondents vote regularly.


Culinary Union Member And Sanders Supporter Told Not To Talk To Press Shadowproof (furzy)

Bloomberg offers to release women from 3 non-disclosure agreements after Warren roasts him CNBC. Help me. I bet any amount of money it’s only three because that’s all his lawyers have been able to get to agree so far to sign up to a new deal, such as: “Bloomberg will pay you $100,000 on February 1, 2021 if you say nothing about him or Bloomberg LP through that date.” And this agreement has an NDA. Notice Bloomberg has committed only “Bloomberg LP will no longer offer NDAs to resolve sexual harassment or misconduct claims.” Although actually, the issue is it’s not a full release, just with respect to stuff Bloomberg said. I bet his lawyers went through all the stuff in past court filings and that ridiculous book of his “wit and wisdom” and determined (with respect to Bloomberg’s own words) it was already out there. Ahem, we’ll see if these women remember stuff that they didn’t make an issue of in their settlement negotiations (hence the lawyers can’t find documents on it).

FWIW, he’s actually worth $65 billion. But when I searched find a current number, Google helpfully autofilled “height” first.

Twitter is suspending 70 pro-Bloomberg accounts, citing ‘platform manipulation’ Los Angeles Times (furzy)

The 5 Lessons from 2016 Democrats Need to Understand If They Want to Stop Bernie The Bulwark. Lambert: “Aimed right at Bloomberg.”

Bernie opens up massive lead among college students Axios

Bernie Sanders Is No Donald Trump New Republic (resilc)

With No Evidence, Bloomberg Campaign Ties Bernie Sanders To Campaign Office Vandalism HuffPost (furzy). Don’t like the headline. A lot of cognitive science shows that debunkings have to be done carefully, that repeating the allegation has the effect of reinforcing it.

Bernie Sanders worries CA no party voters aren’t turning out Sacramento Bee (martha r)

Russia trying to help Bernie Sanders’s campaign, according to briefing from U.S. officials Washington Post. BC: “Reeeally? We’re supposed to believe this?”

Wells Fargo settles fake-account scandal for $3 billion Market Watch. Took an awfully long time, but this is the right sort of number. Prosecutions would have been even better. This this was flat out stealing.

AT&T Loses Key Ruling In Class Action Over Unlimited-Data Throttling ars technica

As electric car sales soar, the industry faces a cobalt crisis Wired. Resilc: “EVs for most of USA USA will not happen in our lifetimes. Leap on to hydrogen.”

Drug dealer loses codes for €53.6m bitcoin accounts IrishTimes

Google resists giving up emails, texts, & docs sought in state anticompetitive digital ad probe — reports BoingBoing

Delays in 737 MAX certification flight may push off Boeing’s goal to win approval by midsummer Seattle Times (allan)

Class Warfare

UCSC Grad Students Are on Strike for a Living Wage Teen Vogue (David L)

California grad students risk losing their jobs amid months-long strike Guardian

More Bosses Give 4-Day Workweek A Try NPR

A list of ten ways we are decadent and a (speculative) theory about why it might not matter It’s only chemo (resilc). A really annoying piece but its intro list is useful. Blames victims. No recognition of how neolibearlism has undermined community and forced workers into having to spend more time merely to (barely) get by. Also presumes that progress as conventionally measures is the best metric (how about noting instead the way the US is no longer the leader in average height, a measure of childhood nutrition?) /blockquote>

Antidote du jour (Tracie H):

And a bonus from Dan K. Be sure to watch the entire clip:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. dearieme

    “Ursus urbinus: ‘elderly’ 400lb bear spotted roaming Los Angeles suburb”

    He’s planning a run for the Dem nomination. That’s what elderly creatures do.

      1. Arizona Slim

        Which reminds me of something: I need to pick up the pace on that Russian phonetics course. Because if the Russians are truly coming, my pronunciation should be on point.

  2. dearieme

    The Pandemic: I have no idea why the reaction in The West has been so muted so far. It’s true something might turn up – the virus might mutate to something less lethal, for instance; summer will come, which may or may not help; …

    In these circs hope is a strategy. But I doubt if that’s the way to bet. I live near a university. Who will want to pack into lectures? Who will want to live in “dorms”? How will the hospital cope? The schools? The shops, offices, and factories? The pubs, cafes, and restaurants? The public transport?

    The care homes – will the old occupants be horribly culled? Will the carers turn up to look after them or will they be abandoned?

    And on and on. The “worst case” doesn’t bear thinking about; the prospects of a bad case are grim.

    I think my policy will be to cross my fingers, keep my chin up, and ask my Christian friends to pray. My strategy will be to minimise human contact. My tactics will be to wash my hands a lot.

    What else?

    1. Monty

      Perhaps a prolonged leave of absence from the internet. might help? Avoid news overload. Think about sticking to a once a day blast of the evening news, and stop frequenting news related websites until it’s all over.

      1. MLTPB

        Individual tolerance/resistance/immunity might vary though.

        Perhaps, some might get stronger from persistent presence.

        1. Duke of Prunes

          Not clear, are you talking about resistance/immunity to the virus or the internet fear mongering?

          I think we don’t have enough facts to panic or paint the global pandemic probability right now.

          Wash your hands is always good advice.

            1. ambrit

              Definitely both.
              Costa Mesa California just filed suit to stop the Feds from transferring coronavirus ‘involved’ people from Travis Air Force base to a run down community shelter site inside the Costa Mesa city limits. A judge has given the city a reprieve by halting the transfer.
              The kicker is that the Feds give a figure for this single instance of twice the “official” CDC figures concerning cases. Now some might be ‘innocent bystanders,’ but that the Feds quarantined this group at all says something about the murky state of play relative to this pathogen.
              The CDC is also sticking to the fourteen day quarantine period when evidence out of China is suggesting the the pathogen can take as long as 27 days to present after being caught. Add this to the evidence, being reinforced now, that this pathogen is contagious without obvious symptoms present, and we have the dreaded ‘nightmare scenario.’
              MSM report on Costa Mesa:

          1. MLTPB

            For example, this is not fear mongering (from an article from USA Today), ominous as it may sound, to me:

            Although the window of opportunity is narrowing to contain the outbreak, we still have a chance to contain it,” said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. “But while doing that, we have to prepare at the same time for any eventualities, because this outbreak could go any direction – it could even be messy.”

            And when China said the US was over reacting and spreading fear, when the travel bans were announced, to me, we were not.

            Others might feel differently.

    2. clarky90

      We have help yourself rolls of filmy thin plastic bags for produce (vegetables) in our supermarkets. I put my hand inside a bag to select bulk veges, like avos and garlic, instead of a glove. I put my hand inside a new bag to select options on the computer touch screen at the check out. I put my bank card inside the bag to swipe it. I cover my hand with the same bag to select the account and enter my pin number. I then bin the bag. I tried using tissues but this is less gross to others and works much better. Touch screens are very particular about what touches them..

    3. clarky90

      Dear dearieme. It is fairly simple. Stockpile necessities that you buy and use regularly. Food, medicine, toilet paper, water, batteries…..Learn to do without.

      As you have, I have withdrawn from my usual social contacts: laughter yoga, the gym, church…..I do go out to buy fresh food, but less frequently. There are no reported SARS2 cases here, but we are a cruise ship, University and tourist center. It’s just a matter of time imo.

    4. kareninca

      I am starting to take licorice. (“Of all the compounds, glycyrrhizin was the most active in inhibiting replication of the SARS-associated virus. Our findings suggest that glycyrrhizin should be assessed for treatment of SARS.”)

      It can raise your blood pressure and interfere with other meds and do other bad things as well; ask your doctor first.
      Obviously it is not a cure, otherwise it would have been used as one in China.
      Still, it is what I have found that seems comparatively harmless that might help around the edges.

  3. The Rev Kev

    “Source tells me that the Nevada Democratic Party is short on precinct chairs”

    According to Jon Ralston, this is because all the Bernie Bros grabbed them to use as ammunition in the upcoming Nevada Caucus.

    And those Democrat NDAs tell you all you need to know what Nevada is going to be like. And you thought that Ohio was pretty bad.

    1. QuarterBack

      I like this from sec 2.2 of the NDA

      Further, I hereby waive any moral rights that I may have…

      OK, got it.

      1. JBird4049

        Just how does one waive their moral rights??

        Reading the Bloomberg and the Nevada Democratic Party NDAs is like reading the legal reasonings behind explanations that surprise billings are not fraud. Yes, for the given values of reasoning, it’s not fraud, but the reasonings are specious justifications for the codification of deceits, lies and theft in the real world.

        1. The Rev Kev

          Just how does one waive their moral rights? That part is just a standard clause when you join the Democratic National Committee. This is just the first time they have tried to extend it to volunteers is all.

        2. Dan

          Yes, for the given values of reasoning, it’s not fraud, but the reasonings are specious justifications for the codification of deceits, lies and theft in the real world.

          Actually, that’s exactly how the country was “founded.” Just ask the “Indians.”

    2. tegnost

      pretty sure you mean Iowa, a state that is similar in shape to Ohio, but not the same place. Ohio has the Cuyahoga river that used to catch fire, Iowa has the IDC/DNC which has their hair on fire, as well as their pants…

      1. Big River Bandido

        Yes, the other four-letter Midwestern state with 3 vowels.

        Your slip, however, illuminates why Iowa goes so early in the process. It’s Ohio in microcosm and politicians find it a good test market for their campaigns.

      1. Duck1

        I saw NSDP and almost did a double take, quickly realizing it was missing an “A”.
        (Godwin’s law alert)

        1. Samuel Conner

          An old joke I encountered decades ago:

          Q: Are the Democrats nazis?

          A: Of course they are: they’re a national party, they’re a social party, and they’re a workers party.

          Of course, these days the last two parts no longer apply.

          They’re more of an antisocial elites party.

          1. ambrit

            Given the Democrat Partie’s penchant for identity politics, I’d call them a “crypto-social elites party.”

  4. Paradan

    Seems like it’d be kinda fun to get together with a couple friends and dress up in haz-mat suits, then head over to the grocery store at rush hour. Walk in and loudly announce “Good Afternoon everyone,Please stay calm, everything is gonna be ok.” Rapidly walk over to the beer aisle, grab a 12 pack and then get in line, buy it and head out.

      1. Paradan

        Actually wouldn’t be surprised if this violates the yelling “Fire!” in a crowded theater clause(?) of free speech.

    1. xkeyscored

      Dunno about getting in line and buying a six pack. Might be a good way to empty a bank or a pharmacy before robbing it! “You are ordered to leave immediately. This is an infected zone. Proceed at once to the FEMA camps.”

    2. PlutoniumKun

      At least one company is selling fake medical masks with dyed in blood splatters, advertised as a guaranteed way to get yourself to the front for attention in any hospital waiting room.

      1. JCC

        Speaking of Devo, here is an excellent interview with Gerald Casales, one of the founders of the group. A very smart individual with some excellent commentary on conceptual art, social politics, and the state of modern rock & roll in the U.S.

        After watching this I had a much better idea of what these people were trying to get at with their music, videos, and their concept of Devolution.

  5. ChiGal in Carolina

    Tulsi continues to inspire with her straight talking: she sounds less like a politician and more like someone who is interested in governing. how refreshing.

      1. Jagad Guru

        All thanks to Tulsi’s guru Siddhaswarupananda (Chris Butler).

        /makes me wonder why there was no Scientologist candidate running this cycle

    1. Edward

      The last debate couldn’t get though with even a single sentence without already speaking a lie; the moderator began by claiming all the Democratic candidates were present. This ignored Tulsi Gabbard.

        1. JBird4049

          Oh heck, maybe they were just following the advice of Karl “Turdblossom” Rove to create their own reality. So it is not really (to them) lying but reality creation. This would explain some things.

          1. drumlin woodchuckles

            It is a kind of brainwar magik. The Archdruid wrote about it in a few posts some years ago.

            Create the mentally projected virtual hologram of what you want the reality to be and saturation-marinate the mass public mind in that projected virtual hologram . . . and if you get enough members of the public to act as if the hologram is the real reality, their actions may well retro-create the magiker’s desired reality to fill the holographically created vacuum with.

      1. Carey

        Sounds like he doesn’t want the JFK/RFK/MLK treatment, so as to instead stick around and do something for the the People.

        Sanders is a stud.

  6. timbers

    Russia trying to help Bernie Sanders’s campaign, according to briefing from U.S. officials

    The article flat out makes stuff up:

    “U.S. prosecutors found a Russian effort in 2016 to use social media to boost Sanders’s campaign against Hillary Clinton, part of a broader effort to hurt Clinton, sow dissension in the American electorate and ultimately help elect Donald Trump.”

    In fact, U.S. prosecutors were told by the judge in that case that they would be sited in contempt of her court, if they continued to say in public that Russia interfered in the election. She review their evidence and said it showed no such thing, and reminded them they have not even charged anyone with such acts.

    I read her ruling myself, only because the headlines where were so bad and actually spun her decision as a “victory” for Muller.

    She spent a lot time explaining why she was not compelled to immediately site Mueller in contempt. Her reasons being, she extend the benefit of doubt that Mueller made an honest mistake but acted in good faith, and also time would heal any public damage to getting an unbiased jury pool if it comes to that.

    She ruled to dismiss the defenses motion to site Mueller in contempt – in this instance.

    The corporate media mostly headlined a spin this was a “victory” for Mueller and then gave accounts that were unintelligible that most readers would be left with no idea what just happened.

    1. Winston Smith

      If one accepts in some measure the concept of Russian interference, it should be clear that their primary goal would not necessarily be to favor Trump but rather to generate maximum chaos in the US.

      1. ambrit

        So, will Vlad Vladimirovitch soon be sending over some “heavy hitters” from the St. Petersburg School of Economics to ‘help’ with reorganizing our economy? One can only hope.

        1. Samuel Conner

          One could see the justice of that, in view of the depredations of the WJC years.

          What goes around comes around. Romans 1:18 comes to mind.

          1. Martin Cohen

            Maybe we should treat that as an instruction manual rather than a warning – as has been done with “1984”.

      2. T

        I suggest any supporter of any other campaign do their due diligence to confirm that, as of today, their candidate’s campaign is not aware of and has not been informed of “interference” from Russia, China, Brazil, etc. Fortunately, Israel is out in the open.

        File this under Bernie is too nice – not mentioning what he knows about this being a universal.

      3. rowlf

        So Russian generated maximum chaos would somehow be superior to made-in-the-US chaos? I’m not getting what the media morons want me to be afraid of this week.

        [Kaa tries to hypnotize Shere Khan just as he did to Mowgli]
        Kaa : [singing] Trust in me…
        [Shere Khan bats him away with his free paw]
        Shere Khan : I can’t be bothered with that, I have no time for that nonsense.

        1. workingclasshero

          The council on foreign relations is a big proponent of the russia as threat narative and many senior editors at american media organizations love this on basis of pure belief and simple news content to fill airtime and print media.

          1. divadab

            The criminal pimp Epstein was a member of CFR. What other filthy scum inhabit CFR? I suppose its advocating RUSSIA RUSSIA RUSSIA hysteria is a clear indicator there are others, and many.

            Why should we pay attention to this clearly corrupt organization?

              1. JBird4049

                I do not have to worry about any rattlesnake deliberately trying to hurt me. I just have to be sure to look where I place my hands and feet especially around logs and rocky trails. Given a chance any snake will quickly avoid me.

                The council looks like it wants to speak lies that could possibly harm more people than any species of snake and they don’t care about that.

      4. anon in so cal

        No rational actor ought to accept in any measure the propaganda piece that Russia wants to “sow chaos” in the US. That meme is an insidious and even more dangerous version of the main Russiagate psy ops. Consider what that chaos implies. Political chaos provides a window of autonomy and opportunity for the permanent war state–which is largely insulated from political proceedings—to solidify its grip on power and potentially move forward with what appears to be its principal agenda.

        1. Amfortas the hippie

          Chaos is the agenda.
          it just doesn’t ultimately originate in russia.
          doesn’t really even have to pass through there,lol.
          but…as in with the demparty and their beloved Donors…what good is it to the Machine if their little puppet show is broken,and nobody wants to play like that any more– and given that a president sanders(to an even greater extent than trump) is likely to engender high expectations…and political agitation…in the Herd.
          How does this help their “Agenda”?
          political unrest, here, is many more plates in the air to manage.
          so, what’s the goal?
          does it indicate more of the slow motion COG?
          or something worse?

      5. KM

        If you believe that garbage, then Putin was risking further deterioration of Russia’s relations with the western world and WWIII in the worst case scenario, just for pranks.

        This “sow maximum chaos” theory is a favorite of russiagate conspiracy theorists because no semi-rational theory makes any sense.

      6. Grant

        They favored Obama in 2012. Maybe it is as simple as preferring two candidates that are less hawkish than the alternatives.

        So, is the Israeli, Saudi, or Chinese involvement in our political system going to be covered by the media? I guess it depends if it can be used for propaganda.

      7. Montanamaven

        One should not accept in any measure the concept of Russia generating “maximum chaos ” in the U.S. Not a half cup, not a tablespoon, not a teaspoon. As Rowlf suggests, the chaos in Washington is for the most part self-inflicted. The Armando Iannucci TV series “Veep” captured that chaos. Nobody knew WTF they were doing at any given minute. They pulled stuff out of their butts while covering their butts. Brilliant series. Matched by my favorite movie of the last few years, “The Death of Stalin” which is about the chaos of Soviet life during Stalin that went into high gear when he suddenly dies. And Iannucci’s new series “Avenue 5” is also a hoot. It’s about a space cruise ship captained by Captain Ryan Clark (the hilarious Hugh Laurie with changing dialects). Nobody on that ship is good at the job they are assigned to. They bounce from one emergency to another with much hysterics. Nobody can get off this spaceship unless you die. An apt metaphor for our planet earth or for any government or for the chaos happening now in the Democratic Party. Highly recommend it. HBO Go. Sign up for a free trial.
        Until somebody defines what sowing chaos and discord other than the self imposed kind, looks like, I refuse to buy into the idea that Russia would spend much of it’s budget on throwing poo at us.

        1. Wukchumni

          Avenue 5 is a good fun, so inventive and you might mistake their added on voyage to our quadrennial plight, lost in orbit as it were.

        2. Jonathan Holland Becnel

          I second Avenue 5.

          Although I didn’t care much for Veep. Maybe I should rewatch it. I just figured it was a funny west wing or madame secretary. Which suck.

          HBO has THE BEST shows of the Streaming Wars. Watchman. The Outsider. Righteous Gemstones. Curb ur Enthusiasm. Big Little Lies. Etc.

          Apple believe it or not has been putting out great shows like Servant, See, and the Morning show. But unlike HBO, Apples got a clear liberal ideology. See is about disabled people, Morning Show is the Me too ripped from the headlines Roger Ailes/Matt Lauer garbage.

          Becnels Streaming War Rankings 2020
          1 HBO
          2 Showtime
          3 Apple TV
          4 Netflix
          5 Disney
          6 Amazon
          7 Paramount
          8 ATT

        3. Basil Pesto

          Though I’m sure you’re familiar, The Thick Of It is a must watch, although very Britain-centric. It’s masterful.

          The showrunner of Succession on HBO, Jesse Armstrong, was also a writer on TToI and, I think, Veep as well. Maybe also some Chris Morris projects? Very amusing show.

    2. timbers

      I look for it later today. On my way out to give my young Labrador his usual weekend dog meetup with fellow dog owners who also have pets that need to blow off puppy energy.

      You can find the Gaurdian (if I recall correctly) and a Tea Party site, basically agreeing on the judges ruling. But I had to search more to get a pdf of the actually ruling.

      Note: This happened just before Mueller was to appear on TV, and Dems had high hopes he’d say things they wanted to hear. Mueller delay his TV appearance, and disappointed with his lack luster comments.

      I suspect what happened is, the judge was P.O.’d she actually had to do some work and look up precedents to write her ruling, and told Muller she was not happy about having to cover his arse so to speak.

      1. inode_buddha

        I’m not rich enough for it, but if someone has access (an account) at Westlaw or LexisNexis, they should be able to download a PDF copy of the ruling. Are there any lawyers in the audience?

        1. The Rev Kev

          Demonstrating my naivety here, as a ruling is actually a public record from an employed public servant (the judge), should they not be available for the cost of photocopies or digital downloads plus a modest service fee? Why should they be made propriety just because a commercial company has a copy of the record.

          1. xkeyscored

            The need to balance the books? Slim down government? Ensure full spectrum dominance? Protect the honour of US institutions?
            If there’s one thing I know about the Land of the Free, it’s that ya gotta pay.

          2. John Zelnicker

            @The Rev Kev
            February 22, 2020 at 9:33 am

            IIRC, rulings can be found on the web sites of the court that issued them, but you have to know various details like the case number, title, etc., in order to find them, so it’s a bit time consuming.

              1. JTMcPhee

                Here’s the ruling, and I am not sure it says what partisans say it does.

                The judge observes that the AG made statements that were inconsistent with the indictment and went way beyond what was charged (“established that the Russian government was behind the “efforts to sow chaos,” and other remarks and press comments that also prejudiced the ability of the defendants to obtain a fair trial. But she found that what she acknowledged were violations of local version of Criminal Rule of Procedure 57.7 were not sufficiently intentional as to warrant sanctions especially the “extraordinary remedy” of criminal contempt. So Mueller and Barr are off the hook on that ground, and the leak machinery will continue to peddle the Big Lie about Russia and the “Internet Research Agency” being one big psy op aimed at “destroying our democracy.”

                In the Big Imperial Collapse Jackpot, WE HAVE A WINNAH!

          1. inode_buddha

            +1000 THANK YOU interestingly enough, the DNC could easily be accused of everything mentioned in the abstract…

          1. xkeyscored

            That very much looks like it! Congratulations.

            Titled: UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
            CONSULTING LLC,
            No. 18-cr-32-2 (DLF)

            Signed: DABNEY L. FRIEDRICH
            United States District Judge
            July 1, 2019

    3. urblintz

      And one can bet that most USians do not understand that Roger Stone was convicted of lying about his inside track to wikileaks: he didn’t have one. The announcements of his sentence ( I am no fan of Roger Stone) are presented in a way that implies his conviction proves Trump’s RussiaRussiaRussia “collusion” when it proves the opposite.

      “Five of the seven charges against Stone relate directly to Randy, who is the witness that Stone is accused of tampering with and attempting to intimidate. There is a tremendous irony here. The Mueller investigation was set up to reveal links between the Trump campaign, Russia and Wikileaks. There are no such links, as has already been proven in another US court. Roger Stone ends up being charged with lying to the Senate Intelligence Committee, by pretending he had links to Wikileaks when he did not. He is also charged with trying to intimidate Randy into saying there was such a link and Randy was the back channel; which I myself can attest is nonsense.

      The Mueller investigation has thus ultimately ended up prosecuting people for telling the same pack of lies that Mueller himself was pushing.”

      1. barefoot charley

        And note that the WaPo article on “Russia trying to help Bernie” ends by stating as fact Mueller’s fable that he was judicially barred from ever repeating again, that the St Pete clickbait site had any proven connection to Russian intelligence. NYT also repeats this as news daily.

        But it’s not fake news if it’s from the DNC!

    4. Woodchuck

      While I see the whole Russia thing as propaganda, my issue is in great part how it’s covered and perceived more than thinking it’s all made-up. I mean if I was Putin after seeing the huge melt-down caused by Russiagate, hell yes i would try to “influence the election” by paying a few trolls online. Must be the most cost-efficient way to disrupt the US and maintain his image as the all-powerful tough guy there is. What, pay a few trolls minimum wage to post stuff on social media and it’s enough to throw the entire system in a panic? Sign me in…

      But the media is offered something so easy to push their talking points they can’t resist it. Russia is helping Trump so Trump is bad! Russia is helping Bernie so Bernie is bad! As if they had any control over what Russia does in the first place.

      I would be surprised if the secret services DIDNT have any evidence of Russia interference. The fact that they do however doesnt mean they (and the media) are not using this information as a propaganda tool in the US. They certainly know how to influence elections themselves since they have been doing it in other countries for decades.

      Sad part is that it does seem to work.

      1. WobblyTelomeres

        I keep hearing that Putin’s main interest in U.S. elections is the infamous Magnitsky Act. If estimates of his wealth are true (200B, Yves?), it makes a lot of sense.

      1. Monty

        The reason the Bought and Paid For Corps are giving is (don’t laugh!) because Bernie is so weak that he will easily be defeated by Trump in the general election.

      2. ptb

        the logic is simple. trump was just the warm up, the real plot is communism. diabolical scheme 100 years in the making. the reds are coming to take your freedom fries etc etc

      3. Jesper

        I suppose the logic might be that by controlling both (which would effectively mean all) candidates then no matter the outcome the win is always ensured. Careful now so that big business won’t figure that out and try to do the same. If that were to happen then it wouldn’t matter which political party won any election, big business would always be in charge…… Or maybe it already has happened?

      4. Aumua

        I think we’re still in the phase Monty describes: Sanders has no chance of defeating Trump, and that’s perfectly obvious so the Russsians want Sanders in the general. Both the right wing talking heads and the liberals heavily imply this often as though it is a foregone conclusion.

        Of course the polls and election results tell a different story. If Bernie keeps doing well then we’ll probably pivot to OMG COMMUNISM! at some point. At least the right wingers definitely will.

    5. Tomonthebeach

      The pro-Bernie RU Bots are there to help Trump. RU is trying to convince Dems that the DNC has rigged the primaries against Bernie.

      Turned off by the pro-Wall Street/Clintonite neolib DNC coallition who loves Pete the Puppet, if the DNC screws Sanders again, many Dems will stay home. That may be a tacit vote for Trump, but it surely is the moral thing to do. Whyizit that so many Dems think that a Trump Mini-me like Biden, a willing Wall-Street pawn like Pete, or another squillionaire president like Trump would be so much better?

  7. PlutoniumKun

    Understanding what sustainability is not – and what it is Ecological Citizen. Important.

    Final paragraph:

    And so our modest proposal: given that (E)SD is an impossibility as a guiding principle, and that it is an impossibility capitalism demands, let us – for there is no sustainable alternative – build for ourselves a socialism that internally connects holistically conceived basic human needs and obligations. There is no other way when it comes to real sustainability. And one thing we can be sure of, and that may support us in our project, is that, unlike (E)SD, this project is not impossible from the start.

    Thanks for this link, very stimulating, although somewhat frustrating that they don’t articulate at the end a means to develop a political manifesto for what they are proposing. I’d argue that the more radical fringe of Green parties in Europe and in the ‘developing’ world have been doing exactly this, although with minimal political success.

    Another good reason for reading the article – it quotes Kenneth Boulding, a marvellous writer and economist who sadly seems to have been largely forgotten (I’d certainly forgotten about him, its maybe 25 years since I read his work), but still has very valuable insights.

    1. a different chris

      >that they don’t articulate at the end a means to develop a political manifesto for what they are proposing

      I think I’ve complained about this before, and this is not meant to be personal at all towards one of my favorite commenters!

      It’s the “thanks for the data but what’s the solution” stance. Well, maybe the people who collected all the data realized that solutions were outside their skillset. What if they did all that great work, proposed “a means to develop a political manifesto” and what they proposed was crap?

      Would give the opposing parties a bit of a cudgel to undo all the good work they did, would it not.

      Whereas if it stimulated a small herd of people to produce interesting solution proposals, it would move the ball down the field past the point where anybody could stall by questioning the basis of the new movement(s).

      This is unfortunately what has happened in the opposing sphere, where everybody who is listened to is proposing how to move forward with one or another version of “groaf” and “capitalism” and there is no examining of the underlying basis at all anymore.

    2. David

      I thought it was an odd article altogether. It starts with the terms of reference for the Brundtland Report, but doesn’t actually quote anything from the report’s conclusions or recommendations. It does reference the term “sustainable development, which it then argues “seems to mean” various things, including a continuationt of neoliberal economic theory, and which it also suggests means maximising all of the variables at the same time, even though it’s not clear that the report actually said that. It then shows convincingly that the straw man it has erected is in fact made of straw.
      The explanation is actually somewhat simpler. The Brundtland report had to square an impossible circle. Even thirty years ago, it was recognised that “development” as understood in the West and certain parts of Asia, was simply not possible for the world as a whole without destroying the planet. On the other hand, no report that said that could possibly be accepted by the majority of the nations of the UN, and indeed still can’t. So the solution was to postulate a kind of development which actually could be extended to the rest of the world without destroying the planet, whether or not it was actually possible. Thus “sustainable” development. And to be fair, I don’t think its proponents have ever argued that you can maximise development, poverty alleviation and the environment all at the same time, but rather that you should be able to achieve gains in one without incurring penalties in the others.
      There are many powerful criticisms to be made of the development industry, and quite a lot of what the article says is valid. But the real issue is the unsayable fact that no form of development, no matter how “sustainable” can be extended to the whole world.

      1. Jeremy Grimm

        The Brundtland report is 300 pages long. Just the description of the concept of sustainable development takes up more than a page. If you want a quote from the Brundtland report:
        “In essence, sustainable development is a process of change in which the exploitation of resources, the direction of investments, the orientation of technological development; and institutional change are all in harmony and enhance both current and future potential to meet human needs and aspirations.” [paragraph 15. on page 43 of the report] There are 10 more paragraphs above that one that ‘clarify’ the concept of sustainable development. After reading the section of the Brundtland Report describing the concept of sustainable development I cannot agree with your view that “Understanding Sustainability” constructed a strawman to tear apart.

        The Brundtland report states:
        “This Commission believes that people can build a future that is more prosperous, more just, and more secure. Our report, Our Common Future, is not a prediction of ever increasing environmental decay, poverty, and hardship in an ever more polluted world among ever decreasing resources. We see instead the possibility for a new era of economic growth, one that must be based on policies that sustain and expand the environmental resource base. And we believe such growth to be absolutely essential to relieve the great poverty that is deepening in much of the developing world.”[paragraph 3. on page 43 of the report] This extract seems to say “… you can maximise development, poverty alleviation and the environment all at the same time …”

        The “Understanding Sustainability” paper states in its conclusion: “… given that (E)SD is an impossibility as a guiding principle, and that it is an impossibility …” This sounds like agreement with you: “The Brundtland report had to square an impossible circle.” I think a “guiding principle” based on balancing three things requires being able to maximize all three together. Otherwise instead of a “guiding principle” you end up with a three variable optimization problem. I cannot judge whether the proponents of the Brundtland Report “ever argued that you can maximise development, poverty alleviation and the environment all at the same time” but I think proponents of sustainable development have used that argument, and government policy makers have used sustainable development as if it were a principle guiding their policies.

        I do agree “Understanding Sustainability” is an odd paper but it did inform me of some of the background for some of the odd ideas around the notion of sustainable development. The quote from the “Chinese economist and world systems theorist, Minqi Li (2008)” at the tail of this paper is the biggest takeaway for me.

      2. drumlin woodchuckles

        If the Five Eyes countries plus Europe plus Industrial Asia were to adopt ” sustainable re-development” in open view of the whole rest of the world, then these Consumptiondustrial countries would gain the credibility to make the pitch.

        How many people in each of these countries would it take to retro-fit their own lifestyling for sustainability to achieve the critical tipping-point massload of people it would take to cram sustainability right down the go dumm throats of the unwilling?

      3. Jeremy Grimm

        As I went to sleep last night I kept thinking about the paper “Understanding Sustainability”. Something about the paper bothered me. After some further thought on the paper I decided I did not like the idea of the triple entry ledger and all the hand waving about Von Neumann and Morgenstern and triple maximization. I suspect that is what bothered you too. The papers arguments around the assumed properties of a “principle” is weak the more I think about it.

        I am not sure “Understanding Sustainability” or the Brundtland report concerned
        “development” as understood in the West”, and I do not agree that “The Brundtland report had to square an impossible circle”. The problem of Ecologically Sustainable Development (ESD) appears deliberately or inadvertently designed for solution by a Neoliberal Market — and otherwise was exactly like squaring an impossible circle. Of course politically it suggested we could have our cake and eat it too — a politically pleasing idea.

  8. Wukchumni

    Watched the PBS Newshour for the first time in donkeys years yesterday, and it was quite instructive. Shields & Brooks at first admit to the obvious that Bernie is winning and looks to have a grip on the nomination, and then it segues over to the idea that Sanders is not only ANGRY, but is a socialist of the USSR kind, dirty Neo-Commie!

    “Having honeymooned in Moscow in 1988, you’ve got to explain that someday Bernie, and the trip to Nicaragua in 1985”

    Mark Shields

    1. a different chris

      haha I hope a lot of Boomers, who aren’t necessarily yet tied to Bernie’s cause, think about what they were doing in 1985 and think that maybe that isn’t a very good argument about… anything.

      God, Bush Jr. was a coke addict “back in the day” and he got almost 51% of the vote against Kerry.

      What was Mark Shields doing back then, I wonder?

      1. boomer for bernie

        voted for bernie today

        fyi, dallas county has switched to touchscreen voting (previously hand-marked ballots run through a scanner)


        1. Carey

          >voted for bernie today


          You could make a sign for your window, e.g. “Bernie got my vote today”-
          I did, and it could end up mattering, this time.

    2. Darius

      I saw that. For the first time since I don’t know when, David Brooks was making some sense. I have had some contact with Shields. I like him. He is a good guy. Humble. He’s also a dyed in the wool liberal and his brain is half-gone. American liberals and conservatives aren’t as different as they think they are. They’re all reactionaries.

      1. Librarian Guy

        Shields is a reactionary former professional pol bagman (or fluffer) for mainstream, biz-friendly Dims. The most annoying (of many) things about him is his love of Catholic theology, vis-a-vis women’s wombs and bodies, and he’ll praise the Church and its priests to the skies despite 3 decades of pedophilia scandals. And he’ll do paeans to dead ReThuglicans, about what “men of honor” and probity they were in private, among equals (like him). He belongs to the St. John McCain cult as well as the Catholic one . . .

        He has an occasional moment of lucidity, at least unlike some of the other honorary PBS “libs” like Ruth Marcus, he won’t say that torturing Muslims is good (‘coz it helps Israel somehow) when the US does it . . . overall, though, a clueless priest-fluffing reactionary, smug in his own entitled “goodness”.

    3. 3.14e-9

      Hey, Wuk, I saw that, too, and was struck by the outsized hysteria. PBS NewsHour is my evening broadcast of choice, because I can stream it on YouTube and avoid paying extortion to the cable monopoly in my rural outpost (means I have to live without CNN; not sure how I’ve managed. /s) I’ve been surprised by the NewsHour’s relative** objectivity on some stories and occasional excellent news features. Their coverage of Trump is what you’d expect, and yet they seemed to have been sincerely chastened following the Fall of Saint Mueller. They were relatively** restrained in their coverage of the impeachment trial, and that was even with Yamiche Alcindor as their White House correspondent.

      Judy Woodruff had Bernie in the studio for an interview the week before last, which I thought was very good, albeit probably by accident. I think she meant to corner him, and when he showed up in top form, making too much sense and even smiling, she seemed to be growing increasingly uncomfortable. I meant to post the link on NC but got sidetracked:

      Right after that, they went into full-blown Bernie meltdown mode. I couldn’t believe Mark Shields last night. I had to turn it off. Fortunately, when I hit the back button, among the YouTube videos recommended by the “smart” TV was Krystal Ball and Saagar Enjeti being interviewed by Matt Taibbi and Katie Halper. Best antidote ever to Shields and Brooks. Made me want to buy their new book — or, better yet, ask my (red county) library to order it.

      ** Cf. Maddow, Matthews, Todd. Very low bar, goes without saying.

    4. kgw

      There’s a yubertube of Bernie getting manhandled by the screws, along with the black women he was supporting, put into handcuffs and hauled away. Looks like his college days. He appears to be consistent! Heaven forbid!

  9. Ignacio

    RE:The Epidemiological Characteristics of an Outbreak of 2019 Novel Coronavirus Diseases (COVID-19) China CDC (Dr. Kevin).

    Those epidemiological curves in Hubei are completely useless, IMO, from the point of view of epidemiological control. Yes, if you quarantine everybody, the progress of the infection seems to slow down at least on reported clinical cases. This comes at a cost that can be considered unbearable for the region.

    It is not just that there are mild asymptomatic infections. It is the case that we still don’t understand the epidemiology of SARS Cov2. As for today, a cluster of cases has been identified in Lombardy that are related with a repatriate from China released after the quarantine period, being symptomless and negative by NAT assays after 14 days, but able to spread the virus several days later after the release. This raises the question on the type of infection this person could have, asymptomatic and undetected. IMO this is a cal for the possibility of persistent infections by the new virus in some individuals. This possibility was theoretically proposed in a paper in Lancet (2004) about potential recurrence of SARS: Seasonality of infectious diseases and severe acute respiratory syndrome–what we don’t know can hurt us. “What we don’t know can heart us”, how prescient looks now in retrospective. In this paper, the potential epidemiological role of Coronavirus persistent infections is discussed. The review includes some papers on persistent infections by several respiratory virus, including human coronavirus. There might be some other possibilities but this one is something that must be considered. Of course, repatriations and quarantine protocols should be re-examined.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      The more information we get, the more confusing the picture. This virus is clearly not behaving in the nice linear fashion flu and other viruses obligingly follow. Either we have big gaps in our information leading to a very incomplete picture, or Covid-19 is something very new and uniquely dangerous. What really worries me is that family Hubei where three out of four died. It could of course have been just chance – or the entire family were uniquely unhealthy – but this indicates to me that something else is going on – perhaps they got the infection early, but were killed on the ‘second’ time round, as often happens with Dengue? Are there, as you suggest, people with persistent low level infections who are acting as super-super-agents? Why is it seemingly going out of control so fast in South Korea but (so far as we can tell), not in places like Iran and Egypt?

      There may be very straightforward and reasonable explanations for all this, but I confess to getting more worried by the day.

      1. The Rev Kev

        That family where three out of four died. If it is the one that I am thinking of, perhaps there was something in their genetic makeup which made them vulnerable to Coronavirus. If I recall correctly, it was the father and two kids that died but not the mother who married into the family of course. Just a possibility of course and too soon to tell.

        Agreed that this virus is difficult to predict. Perhaps we may be looking at different strains of Coronavirus at work as it has already mutated. That infection point in South Korea, for example, may happen to be a more virulent strain. I seem to recall a classic description of the plague in Florence which noted that most people caught it by contact with infected people or goods. But at the same time, it was noted that there was also another strain that seemed to be airborne and was ferociously deadly. So, two strains operating at the same time.

        1. Ignacio

          In such cases what I suspect is that all the family was exposed to viral entry in high and or repeated doses that resulted in relatively rapid development of Covid-19. I suspect that is also what happened to the Wuhan doctor that famously denounced the authorities.

          1. clarky90

            Thanks Ignacio. That is a good rationale for not worrying/trying to be 100% in non-contact with the virus, but rather aim for 98-99%.non-contact. I aspire to the good enough.

            Which means, take this virus seriously, and behave in a careful, methodical manner. Hopefully, our immune systems can deal with infrequent contact with low amounts of virus?

            1. drumlin woodchuckles

              It would also be good for people who have neglected their own immune-system health through default-inertial neglect . . . to start upgrading their own immune function through nutravitamineral intake restoration . . . and moving their diet towards shinola food and away from shitfood. Especially away from mainstream refined and hyper-refined foodlike material productl and away from chemotoxic mainstream food full of various kinds of cancer juice, immunolytic compounds, roundup residue, and etc.

          2. divadab

            Yup – high virus load reinforced within the family. A good reason to isolate people with the virus.

            1. dk

              Well one doesn’t just throw all the windows wide, only just enough to circulate fresh air. But yes it can get really cold…the technologies of the times included feather/down blankets and mattresses, and bed warmers:


              A somewhat lower expectation for personal comfort and convenience may have helped too. These days we have antibiotics and antivirals, and treat diseases more casually.

      2. Ignacio

        The new outbreaks in Iran Korea and Italy have all ocured in a short span that suggests similar epidemiological factors at play: a pattern. Some persons might have been infected inadvertently, but instead of showing the typical acute infection, developed a kind of undetected persistent infection, for instance a “slow infection” that showed up in contagions many days after they were infected.

      3. xkeyscored

        Yes, there are many unanswered questions, as is to be expected of a novel virus that few people want to go near. But as for Iran and Egypt, it could be that Egypt struck lucky and nipped it in the bud, while it spread unnoticed (or concealed) in Iran – which may be ‘going out of control’ anyway; I think I heard every major city’s got cases now.

        1. Ignacio

          To add to the damage, besides Iran, Italy, North Korea, and D.Princess, and possibly Japan new outbreaks have been detected in several prisons in China. We may be on the brink of a second wave of infections.

          1. MLTPB

            I think Australia is the only country in the southern hemisphere to have any cases.

            None in S America nor Afirca south of Egypt.

            This morning I read Australia wants to let in high schoolers from abroad after passing certain health protocols. Is that wise in view of all the uncertainties, including reports of false negatives?

            1. xkeyscored

              The Australian authorities have repeatedly assured the world that Nauru has the finest accommodation and medical facilities, so why not send them there?

                1. xkeyscored

                  Some of the likeliest places in Africa would be Chinese construction sites, mining investments, infrastructure projects and so on. Where there might be a motive for keeping things quiet, even if they could test anybody.

                  1. MLTPB

                    Then there are education camps in Xinjiang.

                    Unlike Tibet, which has one case, there are 76 total in the former.

                    I dont know if neighboring nations there have closed their borders.

            2. Greg

              University semesters start next week here in NZ, and I imagine similar timing in AU. Both countries have significant populations of foreign students that pay exorbitant fees to prop up their universities, and in both countries those foreign students skew Chinese.
              My uni has asked for people to “self isolate” if they think they may have been exposed, but that’s it. Profit motive is too strong.
              Point being, both AU and NZ might see some new cases in their university cities over the next couple weeks, and after lectures start that could get pretty nasty.

            3. The Rev Kev

              ‘This morning I read Australia wants to let in high schoolers from abroad after passing certain health protocols.’

              I heard some spokesman on the news, here though I did not catch who he was a spokesman for, say that keeping out those high schoolers was having a bad effect on the “student market” which tells you all you need to know why they are doing this. And I thought that the Japanese government was dopey.

  10. Maff

    New blue British passport… “See? Brexit was totally worth it.”

    Oh, I get it – all those stupid Brexiters voting to get their blue passports back. How witty.

  11. The Rev Kev

    “Coal and wet wood burning: how will UK restrictions work?”

    With coal they have a point. One of my most vivid memories was getting off the Calais-Dover ferry back in the 80s and as soon as you got off the boat, you could smell the coal in the air as it was a common fuel to burn. I wondered if that was true of all the population centers in the UK. After an hour you no longer noticed it of course but you knew that it was still there.

    1. xkeyscored

      As usual, the poor will get hit hardest.
      The restrictions are limited and will be phased in over several years. Even after they come into full effect, fire lovers will still be able to collect their own kindling and branches and buy seasoned or kiln-dried logs (as long as they have moisture levels below 20%). Worst affected are likely to be former coalmining communities where sales of relatively cheap local supplies will be prohibited, and low-income residents in the countryside. Even before the ban comes into effect, rural dwellers are already 55% more likely to suffer fuel poverty.

      1. a different chris

        Hit hardest economically as far as the cost of heating. However how many people in those areas have chronic respiratory conditions from said coal burning?

        Life is not simple, for sure.

        In America, where you basically pay for your own health costs, it isn’t even obvious whether Grandma’s (Grandpa is usually already dead) medical expenses aren’t more than the cost of fuel substitution.

    2. PlutoniumKun

      There is a lot of older wisdom about burning wet wood – only ash is suitable for burning without drying – from ‘The Firewood Poem’ by Lady Celia Congreve

      Beechwood fires are bright and clear
      If the logs are kept a year,
      Chestnut’s only good they say,
      If for logs ’tis laid away.
      Make a fire of Elder tree,
      Death within your house will be;
      But ash new or ash old,
      Is fit for a queen with crown of gold

      Birch and fir logs burn too fast
      Blaze up bright and do not last,
      it is by the Irish said
      Hawthorn bakes the sweetest bread.
      Elm wood burns like churchyard mould,
      E’en the very flames are cold
      But ash green or ash brown
      Is fit for a queen with golden crown

      Poplar gives a bitter smoke,
      Fills your eyes and makes you choke,
      Apple wood will scent your room
      Pear wood smells like flowers in bloom
      Oaken logs, if dry and old
      keep away the winter’s cold
      But ash wet or ash dry
      a king shall warm his slippers by.

        1. Oregoncharles

          Bad news, that. Keep it away from here! We have ash trees that must be a hundred years old. One, down by the river, tilted to about 45 degrees, then grew new trunks above that that make pretty good timber themselves. I go down there just to visit it, sometimes.

        2. drumlin woodchuckles

          I don’t know how widespread this is but . . . I have seen ash trees girdled around the trunk by ash borer bark destruction who died above the girdle zone, but who then grew new sprouty branches from below the girdle zone. I haven’t yet seen what, if anything, happens to those branches.

          But if the ashes in general respond like that, it means that at least the root systems will stay alive enough long enough to keep their own suites of obligate mycorrhizae alive. And if all the ash in a huge zone all “die at once” so far as the emerald ash borer is concerned, then all the emerald ash borers will starve to death their own selves. And then ash from the live roots can maybe make an ecological recovery in a post-emerald-borer-dieoff habitat.

      1. lambert strether

        I had to burn wet wood one year; creosote my chimney badly. A ban on wet food saves on chimney fires, anyhow!

      2. Amfortas the hippie

        that’s interesting, in a natgeo sense:
        i’ve been heating houses with wood since i was 3 years old, and it’s regarded in my part of the world as almost a sin to burn “wet wood” in a stove.
        Indeed, guilt gnaws at me when i accidentally get a log from the unseasoned pile.
        I’ve never even thought about this, is what’s remarkable to me, right now,lol.
        but we have an abundance of mesquite, here…and plenty of oaks that drop large branches. and the places i’ve been had similar in abundance.
        in east texas, where i grew up, pine was verboten(for the chimney clogging flammable pitch)
        there must be a geography of woodburning…with many such quirks

        1. divadab

          Yup – good point. I burn pine and hemlock in my maple syrup evaporator- when mixed with standing dead spruce the flames are so hot they shoot out the top of the chimney and burn all the creosote out of the chimney. And grey birch, which is the first tree to come up in old pastures in these parts, burns quite nicely when green.

          Anyhoo there is so much standing dead white elm, which burns very hot, and dead spruce (not sure what’s killing them), I hardly cut any green wood anymore. My neighbors are working through their ash trees before the bugs get them. Globalization causes extinction events – very sad and very inevitable. My consolation is I won;t live long enough to see the worst of it as we unravel the living web of the planet in our ignorance and vanity and greed.

          1. drumlin woodchuckles

            Globalization extinctions are only as inevitable as globalization itself. If globalization can be banned, destroyed and exterminated, then any further extinction events which globalization would cause will be prevented.

        2. Brooklin Bridge

          If you let pine dry an extra long time and use only the parts with less sap, pine is burnable. I did this once for a winter and the only penalty was having to clean the stove pipe one extra time at the end of February (usually just in the fall and spring). The creosote was level 2 meaning it could be removed fairly easily with a wire brush. I have heard that people in some parts of Canada and North Western US burn nothing but pine and evergreens and are quite used to it.

          The problem, besides creosote and pitch, is that pine is light. Most wood (all wood basically) will produce the same number of BTU’s per pound, but pine is about half the weight of oak, so for the same volume, you only get a little over half the heat. Combined with the extra effort to prevent creosote build up (drying time, loss of too knotty and sap saturated parts), it’s just not worth it unless you have no other option.

          FWIW, I burn very hot for about half an hour in the morning to burn off some of the creosote, but I don’t like to do it all day as it can get out of hand. I once had a real chimney fire (stove pipe actually) where the chimney cap got white hot for a while and I hope never ever to repeat that performance.

          As to these new restrictions in the UK, aside from coal, the restrictions on wood sound fairly benign. One can buy green wood in bulk (the cheapest way here short of getting log lengths) and then let it dry. I can’t see anyone buying a bushel or so of wood on a regular basis for heat or cooking; seasoned or green, it would cost a fortune. Such small quantities are usually more for open chimney fires at festivities. Gathering wood (branches and such) when free or very cheap is a different matter. As to certifying wood at 20 percent moisture, I imagine the additional cost would depend on how they implemented it, but it could be a significant addition. Kiln dried wood would be excessively expensive, and defeats the whole point of wood as energy alternative, but as I understood it, the restriction wasn’t kiln dried; it was simply not more than 20 percent moisture.

          1. Amfortas the hippie

            there are no naturally growing pines where i am, now…one of the only things i sometimes miss about East Texas.
            but i have a large collection of pine knots(“fat wood”—resinous heart of a dead pine) from back home. cousin’s job has him in the pineywoods a lot, and he picks it up for me(and hunts deer out here)
            use it to start fires.

            as for seasoning properly, green mesquite will hardly burn at all,lol…until it does, when it burns really hot and sticky.
            it’s cool for bbq, if you have a separate firebox and a coal grate, but it’s inefficient and temperamental, and is more of an advertising gimmick than anything.
            there’s easier ways to get that flavor.

      3. polecat

        We let our’s air dry, with overhead coverage, for approx. 8 months minimum… burning the oldest, driest wood first (about 2 cord+ annually) .. which is usually from Last Year’s portion of the pile. No green/wet wood burned here.

      4. Oregoncharles

        Hmm – we have lots of ash.

        We also burn pretty much everything, once it’s dry. Wet wood burns very poorly – obviously worth avoiding. I agree with Amfortas there. Given my work and this property, there’s a steady supply and a wide sampling. We also get the chimney cleaned regularly; a couple of chimney fires will teach that lesson.

        A discovery worth propagating: the answer to a chimney fire is to put out the fire in the fireplace/stove, then *close the damper*. You now have a slow fire that will burn out the creosote, rather than a blast furnace. You do keep a fire extinguisher next to the fire, right?

        Wet is different from green; seasoned wood that gets rained on (happens a lot here) is easy to dry out. I stand the pieces in the corner of the fireplace till they’re dry. Granted, wood stoves aren’t so roomy. (Our fireplace has a heatolator – a wood furnace – that makes it fairly efficient.)

        And apple and pear prunings are perfect for barbecuing, with a flavor that’s otherwise expensive. I’ve tried using grape prunings, but they burn off too fast.

        1. JTMcPhee

          What ever happened to coppicing?, since we are on the subject of sustainability and permaculture. I can’t recall what species of tree was involved, one of the nuts, but I recall an article on how “aristocrats” denied peasants a major subsistence resource by destroying the coppicing forests of those particular nuts (which provided dense nutrition for minimal labor), keeping the peasants “Free” to serve the lord of the manor’s interests.

          There must be some full-spectrum studies that show the carbon balance results for wood burning for heating.

          UK phasing out coal and wet wood is maybe “a little too little, and a little too late, but maybe every little bit helps, since the climate threat is made up of lots of little bits. I grew up in Chicago when coal was king for home heating. Nasty deadly air, especially with the atmospheric inversions trapping the smoke at ground level. Until I was seven, I lived in a little salt-box GI house right next to the Milwaukee Road rail line. Huge coal-burning steam engines pulling iron ore and logs and hogs and such rumbled past the house day and night. They shook the ground, the whole house vibrated so that in the morning, because the floors were not exactly level, I might wake up with my bed half way across the bedroom. We ate outside in the summer, on a patio my dad built, behind the house, maybe 100 feet from the tracks. When we felt the fumbling of a train coming, we had a routine — cover the food, and especially the milk or iced tea, because you’d get a big dose of clinker ash as the train went by. Milk with a float of clinker ash on it is not particularly palatable…

          But Chicago eventually kicked the coal habit, at least.

          1. xkeyscored

            Nutters were originally hazel-nut gatherers, and bodgers made furniture and stuff from coppiced beech. From the OED (I’m sure bodger is a much more ancient word, the OED only records written uses):



            [f. nut n.1 or v. + -er1.]

            One who gathers nuts.

               1483 Cath. Angl. 257/2 A Nutter, nuclearius.    1826 in Cobbett Rur. Rides (1885) II. 95, I had some talk with some of these nutters.    1864 Tennyson En. Ard. 8 And a hazlewood, By autumn nutters haunted.

            bodger, n.3 dial.


            In full chair bodger. A local name in Buckinghamshire for a chair-leg turner. Hence (chair-)bodgering, the action or process of chair-leg turning.

               1911 G. Eland Chilterns & Vale vi. 136 The men who thus work in the woods are called ‘chair-bodgers’.    Ibid. 137 The purchaser then employs the ‘bodger’ to turn it [sc. a ‘fall’ of beech] into chair-legs.    1921 K. S. Woods Rural Industries round Oxford ii. i. 102 Most village turners or ‘chair bodgers’ confine themselves to the making of legs which they sell to the factories, mainly at Wycombe.    1939 D. Hartley Made in England i. 23 The shed for bodgering jobs may be left standing the whole year.

            And I’ve noticed how readily ash will resprout.

          2. drumlin woodchuckles

            Here’s an article called Top Ten Fuel Trees For Zone 5 And Above. It describes their benefits and their fuel and non-fuel uses. It describes which are coppiceable. It notes which give the most heat per cord.

            I have also read of the concept of “exergy”. I dimly understand that to be the amount of useable heat-energy . . . one way or another . . . available from a combustion procedure.
            I wonder if that could be a relevant consideration for some of these woods. If there are oils and resins and gums which burn at a higher temperature than cellulose, and if some kinds of woods have more of these non-cellulose chemicals than other kinds of wood, would the oil/resin/gum/etc. richer woods burn at a higher temperature than the nearly pure cellulose woods? If, say, a pound of osage orange burned at a higher temperature than a pound of willow, the higher temperature would allow more of the heat to be extracted from the greater source-to-sink temperature difference. Has anyone studied this question?

            exergy –>

          3. Amfortas the hippie

            FWIW, mesquite coppices easily…extremely hard to kill a mesquite tree.
            it’s also a dense wood that burns well…my choice over oak for the “ni-night log”…always have coals in the morning to rekindle easily.
            and i’ve often considered, while riding around in the Falcon(ranch golf cart), that given the climate zones shifting northward, mesquite’s area will shift northward…likes it hot and dry.
            a downside to mesquite proliferation is that it’s a water hog, very efficient at sucking up rainfall, and keeping it out of the aquifer(numerous long term “studies*” over the decades indicate that if you clear the mesquite(and “cedar”) from a place that used to have springs, the springs come back.—-*-“studies”, here, means mostly ranchers clearing their land for “improved pasture” and then noticing that the spring that grandad fetched water from had begun running again…but this could be due to a number of factors, like the end of peanut farming, and thus heavy pumping)

            the mesquite beans are nutritious, too…keep well, if stored properly, and make a neat flour…but with no gluten.
            we make mesquite/buckwheat pancakes. high fiber, complex proteins and the “good” sugars.

            1. Susan the other

              Have you by any chance written a book on all the stuff you know? It could come in handy for a lot of people.

  12. xkeyscored

    13,000 Missing Flights: The Global Consequences of the Coronavirus New York Times (Kevin W)
    Nice graphics, but it’s more “China China China” –
    The disappearance of tens of thousands of flights from China’s skies in recent weeks points to how the coronavirus has hobbled a nation.
    But China’s increasing isolation from the world could have lasting economic consequences.
    In 2018, Chinese residents spent $277 billion abroad, according to the U.N., or nearly twice as much as residents of the United States.
    As China struggles to reopen for business, a range of companies have warned that the outbreak may weigh on their financial performance.

    Well, it’s now also Italy and South Korea, two fairly major economies, not to mention Iran, Lebanon and wherever, plus of course any that have only been reported in the last hour or two. It sure looks to me like this is now a worldwide thing, and all these estimates of monetary loss are going to have to be revised sharply upwards.

    1. xkeyscored

      And at least the cruise ship industry may remain profitable. Wuhan is going to use a few as quarantine vessels. (This is, understandably, attracting some ridicule on Chinese social media.)

        1. Wukchumni

          Are you trying to imply my proposed cruise stopover in Phoenix is a no go?

          And talking cruises, we have a family one booked starting in some months time, and we’re getting cold feet about going, and can’t be the only ones.

          1. Susan the other

            This pandemic won’t be over in just some months’ time. Please put your cruise off for some years’ time, OK?

            1. Wukchumni

              I talked to my sisters about it, and we’d bought trip insurance on account of it being mom’s 95th, and we all went through hell on the SS Norovirus previously, so nobody is eager to have a repeat performance, with more lasting results.

              I’d expect the cruise ships to be repurposed as ad hoc hospital ships if the virus gets out of hand, to better sequester.

    2. Typing Chimp

      Hmm..Just for the record:

      1. But China’s increasing isolation from the world could have lasting economic consequences.

      Unless China increases domestic demand–and it has shown absolutely no serious interest in doing so–the net effect of its “isolation” is to reduce capacity in a world taht already has too much supply and not enough demand. China’s isolation, therefore, has overall positive economic consequences for the rest of the system, not negative consequqneces.

      2. In 2018, Chinese residents spent $277 billion abroad, according to the U.N., or nearly twice as much as residents of the United States.

      Once again, unless the Chinese are spending money in a country whose financial system has no credibility (e.g. Zimbabwe), the money spent abroad does not help the foreign country overall (although it may help specific sectors within the country, this would come to the detriment of another sector).

      First world countries are not constrained by lack of capital!

      As a very flippant (and inaccuarate, but hopefully illustrative) response, if this means that insanely overheated housing prices across the world are going to drop, then that is a good thing, not a bad thing.

      3. As China struggles to reopen for business, a range of companies have warned that the outbreak may weigh on their financial performance.

      It’s nice to read an occasional change in excuses from time to time. I can’t speak for everybody else, but I, for one was getting a little bored with reading companies blaming weather for earnings shortfalls. This new excuse doesn’t get many creativity points, but at least it’s a bit more topical.

      1. ewmayer

        “very flippant” is right – see my comment below. Sure, in the very long run some kind of global trade rebalancing and reshoring would be good for much of the neoliberalism-afflicted West, but in the near term, some very critical goods supply lines which will be difficult and time-consuming to recreate elsewhere will be significantly impacted. You better hope that any key prescriptions you or yours relies on to manage some nontrivial medical condition are not sourced in a now-shut-down part of China or rest of Asia, for example.

        1. Oregoncharles

          Makes my wife’s pharmacy-phobia look good, does it not?

          Does this apply to herbs and such? (I’ll ask at the co-op and maybe the vitamin store – might even learn something.)

          1. Amfortas the hippie

            “Does this apply to herbs and such?”
            short answer is Yes.
            there’s been a recurring kerfuffle in the supplements world about this…i don’t pay much mind to it, but it’s often adjacent to various gardening/horticulture/diy things i see.
            and source labeling is apparently a restraint of trade, and thus, a sin….as is autarky at any level….and don’t forget “hoarding”,lol.
            keeping a supply of staples and dry goods around, just in case, is viewed from on high as a very bad thing. suspect, even.

            and i’ve noticed even way out here where frontier/pioneer ways are still (just barely) in living memory,that when we make the bi-annual trek to the real grocery store to replenish those dry goods, we get funny looks.
            and the people at that store have known us(by sight at least) for 20 years…we make a monthly-tri-monthly fresh run that always turns heads,lol.
            they always ask either if we’re having company, or if we know something they don’t.

            1. Oregoncharles

              Evidently you do.

              I “hoard” staples, too, originally to save money by buying in bag lots. But the Co-op encourages this, besides which I’m in there everyday. It also emphasizes local sourcing.

              And I’m now growing the herbs we use, if I can. Even trying saw palmetto, which is presently covered against the cold. Marginal here, unlike tea.

    3. ewmayer

      “In 2018, Chinese residents spent $277 billion abroad” — Perhaps more pertinently for the global economy, in 2019 China had a net trade surplus with the rest of the world of roughly $1 trillion, i.e. the world sourced that net amount of good and services from China. What % of the production involved in that massive net outflow is currently idled due to the Coronavirus?

      Looking just at the U.S., sure, we could go without much of the made-in-China stuff we buy every day for either the rest of the year or forever, but there are some crucial subcategories which will lead to major pain, if not outright crisis – notably pharmaceuticals and medical supplies.

      1. MLTPB

        China’s offline production vs demand collapse here.

        As bars in China remain largely empty, distillers will be hit, making drinks here cheaper, I suppose. But restaurants here also are reporting lower sales.

        In Hong Kong, we have read about panic buying of toilet paper.

        The worst combination would be inflation plus economic slowdown. The best is obviously low inflation and solid growth.

      2. inode_buddha

        Guess what, much of our industrial supplies are now made there too, including tooling, parts, and heavy equipment. Losing China would have a large impact on industry and construction, and lots of industrial suppliers would either be scrambling, consolidating, or going out of business.

    4. VietnamVet

      People do not like looking down the abyss. It is frightening. Globalism is dead. A global flu pandemic is here.

      All goods from China, South Korea, Northern Italy and soon Japan are suspect. Manufacturers and shippers will have to prove their packaging and products are virus free to resume exporting. A consumer economy dies without products to sell. Food shortages will cause unrest. 78% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck. They face disaster without a job even if they avoid getting sick. The government and military will have to get involved to ease a overwhelmed healthcare system and to prevent starvation. It will take years to rebuild the supply chain at home and overcome the impact of millions dying. Neoliberalism cannot survive the end of globalism. The States likely will not remain United. Only the restoration of democracy and the Constitution will preserve civilization in America.

      The future appears so dire the only alternative is denial. “It won’t happen here.”

      1. Wukchumni

        Shortly after Obama didn’t veto a bill that allowed guns to be carried into our National Parks (but, if you discharge them, you’re liable to be arrested, toot suite) I was walking in the forest when up ahead I spied a doe with a deer rifle splayed out on a grassy knoll and only on account of not having an opposable forefinger and thumb was I saved. Not more than a quarter mile ahead, a rattlesnake coiled around a Ruger Mini-14 with silencer attached. Was this some sort of inside animal joke I wasn’t privy to, and how had the denizens gotten armed so quickly anyhow?

        As usual, it turns out the Marmot Cong were the merchants of death, arming everybody to the teeth.

        Walked a little further and heard but didn’t see the blue grouse with it’s distinctive sound kind of like blowing on the side of the top of a glass bottle repeatedly, and knew a Glock would be a perfect fit, just conjecture on my part, though.

        As I ascended towards the cirque, I spied mountain lions with Maxim machine guns, and an aerie of eagles in cahoots giving away my coordinates, in order to lure me into an ambush, oh the humanity!

    1. shtove

      Werner Herzog to the white brown courtesy phone.

      And this time I’d like to hear the tape! (Not really.)

  13. xkeyscored

    Donald Trump jabs at Parasite’s Oscar win because film is ‘from South Korea’ Guardian (Bob K)
    If I were The Don, I’d be a lot more worried about the semi-documented migrant workers at my resorts getting ideas than about the language they’re couched in.

  14. PlutoniumKun

    I work at a walk-in health centre. The coronavirus super-worriers are a problem Guardian

    This is potentially a huge issue – ground zero for infections could well be your local doctors waiting room. There is a lot to be said for reversing the process – the doctors go to patients, not vice versa. In Ireland, there are very effective schemes whereby family doctors share an appointment system and records and vehicles with drivers. The doctors spend their working shift being driven from patient to patient, using the driving time to write up the notes of the last patient and reading up on the next patient. They’ve found it to be highly efficient, so much so that most of the doctors have reduced or even eliminated their own surgery times. With appropriate precautions, surely this sort of system would be much better at ensuring that suspected victims get care in a manner in which they can also be isolated.

    Incidentally, the latest news from South Korea is very bad – it looks like it might be going out of control there. If the South Koreans can’t stop its spread I doubt anyone can.

    1. xkeyscored

      Hmmm. Wouldn’t that make your peripatetic doctors a mobile ground zero? How many doctors in Ireland are trained in high-level biosecurity or whatever the jargon is, let alone their drivers?
      We could try to find out if and why it’s spreading in Iran but not Egypt, etc, and learn from them and their mistakes. Not that that’s remotely easy.

      1. PlutoniumKun

        It would be easier to train and equip a small number of doctors than a large number of patients I would have thought.

        1. xkeyscored

          You might well be right, but have a look at the photo at the top of this page, captioned “Medical workers wearing protective gear carry a patient infected with coronavirus at a hospital in Chuncheon, South korea, February 22, 2020.AFP” Not exactly what you were getting at, but is Ireland ready if and when it happens? Pray for warmer weather and how and ligh humidity.

          1. MLTPB

            Perhaps self disinfecting, self driving AI robot doctors is the way to go.

            You save on human doctors, and human drivers.

            1. xkeyscored

              They’d be loads easier to (auto-)disinfect than us, but they’d need some seriously high powered AI and robotics just to do deep throat swabs, never mind for medical care. Maybe for the 2029 pandemic.

    2. dearieme

      Our old GP used to do house visits on her electric bike. As she said, she was far too busy to travel by a slow means such as a car.

    3. A cat in Korea

      If the South Koreans can’t stop its spread I doubt anyone can.

      FYI President Moon was warned repeatedly by Korean medical associations and experts to kill flights from China or this exact scenario would play out. He ignored them instead putting a very late token ban on Wuhan flights which had stopped anyway. He was still babbling about “solidarity” with China, meaning keep business open ( the planes running ) , days ago. AFAIK flights are still open and it’s too late anyway so why not? He’s been all in with the Chinese pressured WHO since day one.

      There are heavily attended mega churches every few blocks in every Korean city who are treating their churches the same way Moon treated the country. Keep the doors open for business. God will protect you, you better come to church. It’s been funny watching these pots call the “cult church” in Daegu black the last few days.

      With asymptomatic contagion Korean churches will spread this like wildfire. The government belatedly advised against attending religious gatherings yesterday but my wife insisted on taking my 2 kids to church anyway today, all day(there’s no such thing as a 1 hour church service in a Korean church).

      The point is IMO South Korea is the least likely country to stop this spreading as is proving out. The only sensible course was to shut down flights on day one. Too late.

      If it gets bad here, Korea will be the next cab off the rank for flight bans doubling down on the stupidity of President Moon’s reasoning. In putting the economy above citizens safety he screwed both.

      1. urblintz

        It will be reported ultimately as a false flag operation done by the Sander’s campaign itself to garner sympathy and counter the negative effects of having been decisively exposed as a Russian agent… doncha know?

        I heard that Bernie was an extra on the set of “The Russians Are Coming The Russians Are Coming” too… blatant Kremlin agitprop that. Sanders campaign working hard to suppress this latest evidence of a direct tie to Putn..

    1. The Rev Kev

      Maybe Bernie should have gone on TV and said “Look Mike, they don’t hate you because you oppose me. They just hate you.”

      1. newcatty

        Don’t you know that Bernie is an ANGRY old man? Wait… am confused. Isn’t Bernie “too nice”? Besides, the truth that the last Dem candidate for presidential election lost, among many other reasons, was that she was unlikable. Ho hum…Was she not the most qualified person, evah, to be the leader of the free world? Was she not cheated out of her deserved coronation ? It is hard to choose which one is the most creepy. Neither one has any clothing of respectability . Naked! From the mouth of a child. Come now, young and old, get together and support Bernie in his shirt sleeves! Also, Tulsi in her classy white suit. Aloha.

      2. Carey

        I thought Bloomberg’s debate performance was remarkable, though not because
        of anything he said; just his arrogant, hard presence spoke volumes.

      1. tegnost

        speaking of bloomie bros I peruse the comment section of the seattle times on occasion, just dipping my toe in the water as a reader, in order to see what the hive mind thinks… Yesterday when I looked, well go ahead and look for yourself…bashing the poor seems to be ok

        Yes, Brian Baird, and yes that Brian Baird? With Chris Vance, noted Washington Republican
        FTA…”“The midterm elections failed to demonstrate that there is any meaningful, existing constituency for centrist, independent candidates,” the group wrote in a [report on the 2018 elections].” [link in article]

        Is there no third way? No word on who is paying Mr. Baird right now. Wash independents appears to have foided in may 2019.

        1. neo-realist

          The Seattle Times comment section has been neocon for as long as I can remember.
          And the editorial board, which tends to be center right, just endorsed Amy Klobochar for president.

          1. Librarian Guy

            I recall the SF Chronicle (a good dishrag for rich swells in SF) endorsed EITHER Liz Warren or Amy Klobuchar for the Dem nomination. . . . I guess that plays into the “It’s a Woman’s Turn” narrative that Hillary botched last time, plus you’ll get either a dull as dishwater “left” quasi-reformer like Obama or a shrill You Little People Don’t Deserve Good Healthcare Neolib like Hillary herself . . . apparently even the Real-Estate owned Chron Editorial Board couldn’t find anything praiseworthy about little Mayo Pete.

  15. The Rev Kev

    “Tulsi Gabbard: How Democrats’ impeachment campaign helped Trump”

    I sometimes think that she should be considered a candidate as Vice President. Yes, I know that she would not bring in that many voters and that she has her own baggage but consider. If you have a Sanders Presidency, you want to be careful about who to choose as VP. Suppose that you pick Tulsi. If the establishment ever succeeds in taking out Bernie as President, then that would leave them with President Tulsi Gabbard which would create too much heartburn. In fact, if Bernie was put under too much pressure, he might hint about stepping down in favour of Tulsi. Talk about an own goal.

    Some people have talked about Elizabeth Warren as Vice President but that could be a disaster. The one thing that you can guarantee with a Sanders administration is opposition from the Republicans, the Democrats as well as the deep state. If Warren was put under pressure, she would fold like a cheap lawn-deck chair and become a focal point to the opposition of Bernie. Given enough pressure, he might retire due to health issues which would leave you with President Elizabeth Warren and I am sure that she would go along with that. She already has a solid history of back-stabbing Bernie with made-up stories so would be a permanent ticking time-bomb.

    1. Carolinian

      IMO she’s the most talented politician of the bunch. She has said she’s staying in through the convention.

      1. JohnnySacks

        I’ve been under the impression that her political instincts frankly suck. When the intelligence level of Howie Carr the Boston blowhard get you over a barrel for years for what’s basically a piece of family lore, talent isn’t what comes to mind. Not that she’s not the only other progressive on the stage at this time. We may also be overdue for a return to the great American past, assassinations and 1968 convention riots.

        1. Mel

          Ian Welsh described missions of political parties:

          “Let me put this precisely: The job of a political party is either to get a few specific people into power, or it is to offer a clear option to the voters. If it is the latter, then your job is to make sure that this option you offer remains available. In many cases, if you do so, you will get into power fairly soon after two to three terms. In other cases, if you are a minor party, it may take decades.”

          Getting elected would be one thing, but getting her issues heard during the convention is another. And they’re important issues.

          1. hunkerdown

            Good piece by Welsh, as usual. While puttering around the Internet last night I found someone quoting at length from historian Walter Karp’s 1973 (but always germane!) book Indispensable Enemies, more or less restating the Iron Law of institutions in the party political context. The table of contents promises 240 pages of hearty if grim reading. I’m only one page in as I write this, and he’s already accused moon flights twice as a wasteful expenditure that should have been spent on the general welfare. If it keeps up, I may be tempted to go to Milwaukee and hand out excerpts.

            1 The Foundations of Party Power
            2 The System of Collusion
            3 The National Democratic Party
            4 The National Republican Party
            5 The Indispensable Enemy
            6 Roosevelt Packs in the New Deal
            7 Johnson Launches a War
            8 The Politics of Special Privilege
            9 The Monopoly Economy
            10 The Myth of Trade Unionism
            11 The Rule of Caprice
            12 The State of War
            13 The Principle of Waste
            PART IV
            14 The Restoration of Self-Government

            1. richard

              Walter Karp! How did I miss this? I didn’t realize people were going around quoting him. I can assure you that it is hearty and not really grim at all, stylistically at least. Karp has a light and chatty style I’d say. I recommend him to everyone: he describes the U.S. political that obtained for many years, of corrupt interparty collusion, better than anyone. He put to rest the idea, for me anyway, that either party is motivated by an interest in attracting voters by representing interests, or whatever the schoolbook ideal was.
              I think McConnell and obstructionism have superceded some of the system Karp describes, but it is still a terrific book. Let me know what you think!

        2. Carolinian

          In English, please.

          And one reason she’s an effective politician is that she’s highly articulate. Of course the reason she’s at the back of the pack instead of the front is that she likes to tell the truth about our forever wars. This is definitely not like your usual politician.

        3. HotFlash

          Johnny, which ‘her’ do you mean? Both Tulsi and Liz are named in RevKev’s comment.

          On edit: Looked up Howie Carr, got this:

          Howie Carr: Fake Indian Elizabeth Warren is whistling past the Happy Hunting Ground Des Moines Register endorsement’s no arrow in her quiver.

          So, Warren.

          1. Carolinian

            Well, given the context I think it’s obvious I’m talking about Tulsi. Maybe not.

            As for Liz as talented politician–it is to laugh. Whatever her other qualities or virtues she’s clearly no politician at all.

      2. CloverBee

        She would be an awesome VP choice. I have a lot of friends and family on the right, and they LOVE her, male and female alike. This would be a seriously winning ticket.

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          If a nominee Sanders were to select Gabbard for VP, and she were to accept; they would be sending a clear message of no mercy, no forgiveness, no prisoners, no compromise. She would carry the battle to the heart of the Clinton, and all the Clintonites would vote for Trump if that is what they thought defeating Gabbard required. I think losing the Clintonites is a chance worth taking for a clean pure campaign on behalf of a clean pure choice.

          And maybe some firm-right Conservatives who hate and revile the Communist Sanders must might vote for Sanders-Gabbard in the hope that Gabbard would be right there . . . one stented heartbeat away from the Presidency.

    2. urblintz

      I will admit that after she took out Harris and stood up to Clinton I sent Tulsi a rather hefty donation. Her campaign contacted me personally, through e mails, and we’ve had several exchanges. Now they’ve asked me to apply to be a delegate (from Florida) to the convention and I am seriously considering it although there are real reasons why I have hesitated. Bernie being the most significant.

      But this convention looks to be a game changer and to be there might give opportunity for my tiny voice to squeak amidst the roar… that’s probably an ego trip but still it’s tempting!

      1. ambrit

        Do apply. Do go.
        It is your destiny to be there in Milwaukee when HRH HRC is proclaimed the “Protector of American Democracy.”

          1. ambrit

            As that great American savant Lovecraft observed: “When the stars are aligned…”
            “Ia! Ia! Hillary fhtagn!”

        1. urblintz

          well there’s a process to apply and I have no idea what my chances are of being chosen but thanks for the encouragement…. oh to be a fly on that wall!!!

        1. urblintz

          thanks for the nudge, lambert and I commit now, should it happen, to report as thoroughly as possible. Not sure how the process of actually being selected will play out. I have until March 7 to apply.

          I am somewhat intimidated by what I fear will be a very loud and chaotic environment. Has anyone here ever been to a convention? I have an acute sensitivity to noise (although ear plugs work) and don’t do well in the middle of a crowd. I’d hope to be able to witness things from some far and safe corner of the room, so to speak, and comment on what I observe while staying on top of the floor gossip somehow.

          And if the convention is likely brokered going in, I think Tulsi delegates will have all manner other delegates, mostly hostile, targeting them. I’m Greek and a mediterranean temper is not unavailable to me. I’d hate to hurt Tulsi more by telling a DNC official to familyblog-off.

          then again, now that I think about it…

          sounds like fun!!!!

          I’m going for it.

        2. urblintz

          Okay now I get it. The Gabbard campaign was pointing me in the direction of the Florida post-primary district caucuses where any registered democrat in the state can run to be a convention delegate. I registered to appear on the delegate ballots for both Bernie and Tulsi… but they both need to qualify in the district primary (3/17) for their ballots to be presented at the post primary (4/4) caucuses. I have my doubts that Tulsi will qualify in the primary for votes at the later caucuses but i do think Bernie will (District 13 – Pinellas county is reasonably “progressive” for Florida.)

          So now I have to get a bunch of friends who’ll get up early in April…

          1. ambrit

            Oh! I feel so declasse! All my friends and family down in Florida are ten percenters. They are so “pure of heart” that they argue amongst themselves over the proper shade of pink their ‘p—y hats’ should be.
            Pinellas county. Now I get the Greek reference!
            Good luck!

    3. xkeyscored

      I’d love to see Gabbard and Sanders, I think they’d complement each other: Gabbard seems weak on social policies, Sanders on foreign issues, and they both strike me as sincere about their core issues. Which none of the others remotely do, except when they more or less admit they have none. I can’t recall a single tangible, specific thing Warren has committed herself to doing, though I have tuned her out as my BS detector goes into meltdown.

        1. chuck roast

          Personally, I would rather see a Buttigieg vs. Buttigieg debate, but this could represent a potentially harmful health situation considering the interaction of my meds.

  16. KLG

    Regarding Zucman (and Saez), from the NYT atticle:

    “Mr. Saez and Mr. Zucman produced those revenue estimates. Leading economists have challenged them, most notably Harvard’s Lawrence Summers, a former chairman of Mr. Obama’s National Economic Council, and Natasha Sarin, a University of Pennsylvania law school professor, who calculated that the tax would raise less than half that amount.”

    This would be the same Lawrence Summers who told Herman Daly, whose work demonstrates the obvious truth that the “economy” must be considered as a component of a largely finite, closed system, “That’s not the way to look at it.” The same Lawrence Summers who thinks “girls” are not smart enough to do high-level “stuff.” Consider the source, but “less than half that amount” would be a good start, especially if we begin with Larry Summers.

  17. Carolinian

    Re The Bulwark–brevity is definitely not the soul of this writer’s would be wit. But boiling down the verbosity he’s saying if Sanders wins SC it’s all over, historically speaking. Meanwhile the latest Winthrop University local poll has Biden at 24, Sanders at 19 and Steyer at 15. So it’s not impossible for Sanders to win here if he takes Nevada.

    SC–“s” as in “socialism”? Should be interesting.

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      I have read that the “older and more conservative” black voters of South Carolina have been considered as very pro-Biden, in part because of decades of affectionate political memory, and in part because of a desperately pragmatic desire to elevate the candidate who can “beat Trump.” And the South Carolina black voters do consider defeating Trump to be Job One.

      So if Sanders has indeed way out-caucuspolled Biden in Nevada, the SC black affection for Biden will remain, but the assuredness that Biden is THE pragmatic choice who can defeat Trump will be strained. The SC black electorate may even find itself torn between warm affection for Biden and cold pragmatism-based concern about whether Biden is really the safe long-term winner to rely on.

  18. John Anthony La Pietra

    About that Greek chorus of uniformly, unanimously “deciated” fans of Bloomberg . . . they may have been dedicated — complete with a champagne-bottle launch (what kind of champagne goes for $150 a bottle?) — but it appears that his performance at the debate may already have decimated his support in some of the polls . . . at least in the old sense of losing 1/10 right off the top.

  19. WheresOurTeddy

    If Russia is interfering in the election to help Bernie, I have to ask:

    Why does Putin want me to have healthcare, a living wage, and avoid an environmental apocalypse more than the Democratic Party does? If they’d #Resisted half as hard against Trump the last 3 1/2 years as they have against Bernie..

    1. ambrit

      Putin is no fool. He knows that whatever happens in America that has an impact on it’s environment will have an effect on the environment of Russia. It is one big entangled world.

    2. hamstak

      My tendency is to believe that the implication is that Russia is helping Sanders in order to indirectly help Trump, as Sanders is a weak candidate who cannot defeat Trump, despite polls demonstrating the opposite.

      A friend suggested that this may also provide a last-ditch fallback strategy to prevent a Sanders nomination at the convention by declaring the vote illegitimate — this seems a bit far-fetched to me (how would it play out technically?), but the DNC at this point is pretty far-fetched, so you couldn’t put it past them. Party go boom!

      1. Randy Middleclass

        It’s been an obvious psy-op for the last 4-5 years now, hard to say where it’s going. Telling blatant lies is going to effect people mentally. I watched the Shock Doctrine the other day, just hope they aren’t preparing the nation for Allende/Chile event.

        1. Carey

          >It’s been an obvious psy-op for the last 4-5 years now, hard to say where it’s going.

          Sure has seemed that way to me, and now the caucus confusion™..


  20. Steve H.

    > It’s time to say goodbye to our most ambitious climate target ever Wired (resilc)

    A simple regression on land temperatures from 2011 through 2019 leads to:

    2011..2019: 2 degrees in 2020; 3 degrees in 2037; 4 degrees in 2054; 5 degrees in 2072.

    Current land temperatures are at +1.57 degrees now. Land temperatures are more relevant for most vertebrate species.

    Simple regression because complex feedback loops. Glacier concavities and methane from the volume and not just surface areas in particular. So many dials to twist in the models, I wanted a simple empirical baseline to look at.

    2011 because it looks to me like El Nino’s are kicking in unpredicted systemic effects. A mild one in 2010, and the regression slope dramatically increases. A strong one in 2016, and unprecedented fire effects for the next three years. 2020 is predicted to be an El Nino, so that 2 degrees in 2020 is possible.

    I show predictions for the run from 2010 below, for comparison. I also did runs with a proxy for 2020 which I didn’t include because (1) speculative, and (2) f*k.

    2010..2019: 2 degrees in 2025; 3 degrees in 2047; 4 degrees in 2069; 5 degrees in 2091.

    1. Wyoming

      2020 is predicted to be an El Nino, so that 2 degrees in 2020 is possible.

      Not true.

      I challenge you to provide peer reviewed research from an acknowledged PhD climate scientist which supports your made up numbers above also.

      I am certain that we are going way over the 2C limits and that climate change is the critical path problem of human history and failing to deal with it is our greatest fault. But there is no science in your post that I can see.

        1. Plenue


          It’s a type of symbolic language. It’s an important tool of science, but it is not a science itself.

          1. Susan the other

            Acc’d to Lee Smolin, he was advised by Feynman to not get lost in the math. It was the road to nowhere. But instead to stick to “nature” – to maintain a nature-based question.

        2. MLTPB

          If math is logic, and logic is philosophy, math is philosophy.

          Today, logic is not math, but a branch of math. And logic is not philosophy, but we study the philosophy of logic.

      1. Steve H.

        For El Nino, I’ve been looking at modelling from the Potsdam group: “In September 2019, the model indicated the return of El Niño in 2020 with an 80% probability.” [] However, I’ll withdraw the point; while CPC/IRI forecasts were running >50% for El Nino in JanFebMar, and a supermajority of models are running on the hot side, only a minority meet El Nino definitions. I give NOAA their due.

        To ‘no science’: as I stated, this is a regression from data. Dr Peter Wadhams, and Dr Peter D Carter, are two to review showing that current models are vastly underestimating inputs, for example the loss of ice and the volume of methane expression. Literally off a dimension, not just an order of magnitude.

        Science does best with interpolation. The future is an extrapolation. Model complexity begins to break down as inputs go beyond interpolated parameters. “State-of-the-art global models underestimate impacts from climate extremes” []

        My goal here is to provide a simple, easily verifiable baseline, using empirical data. This is to allow individuals to make decisions in a rapidly changing environment, when technical analysis is consistently underestimating impacts. If you invested off of ‘Wall Street Week’ technical analysis, and that analysis consistently underestimated impacts, you would lose your wealth.

        As a quick test, I just ran 2011..2018, and compared the 2019 predicted value to actual value. Predicted was +1.363, actual was +1.326, a difference of less than 3%. Take it as you will.

    2. Jeremy Grimm

      Good luck. I do not believe the climate data will yield much information to the techniques you described. I suggest you check out “Update day 2020!” [] and “Climate model projections compared to observations” []

      1. Steve H.

        Thank you, Jeremy, those are good links.

        I didn’t do a good job here of saying what I was trying to do. Provide a simple, quick-response measure to compare to longer-term models. Simple, so that anyone can do it, and too-simple, so understood to be directional rather than predicting marks on the timeline. A compass, not a ruler. Or on a dashboard, RPM’s as secondary to speed.

        The reason is a perception/hypothesis, that we’ve seen a marked change in effects in the last decade which needs paid attention to. My concern is that, if true, four years down the line is too late and we need a quicker-response measure to see it. I’ve benchmarked Inauguration Day as important in a number of ways, and I’ll review this the day after.

        Thank you again for the links.

  21. Pelham

    Re the tiny nuclear power plant: If we were serious about climate change, wouldn’t we be speeding up the regulatory process and clearing the way for mass production of these things?

    Yes, there are dangers associated with nuclear power, and Oklo’s technology is unproven, raising further and completely legitimate questions. But if climate change is a dire, pressing emergency — which it is — and the base load problem of wind and solar is insurmountable — which it probably is — shouldn’t we be willing to take some big chances with nuclear and, admittedly, risk dire outcomes at this very, very late stage?

    A rational and trusted leadership, I submit, would be making this case. Unfortunately, I don’t see anyone in either political party who fits that description. And environmentalists remain muddled on the subject, a sad commentary on that community.

    1. The Rev Kev

      I feel uneasy about potentially having several score reactors scattered around under who knows what commercial supervision. At the moment, “There are 60 commercially operating nuclear power plants with 98 nuclear reactors in 30 U.S. states.” Forgetting how corporations will cut corners on safety to make a profit with these things, would they not be a magnet for terrorists looking for a cheap hit? How could your Department of Homeland Security guard so many scattered sites?

    2. a different chris

      >and the base load problem of wind and solar is insurmountable

      If it is (I don’t think so yet) then why not develop a different model? What exactly do we mean by “base load” supply, or more to the point what does it give us and can we do without/work around?

      I don’t need a constant wall plug for my computer anymore. Has anybody noticed?

    3. Adam Eran

      The big problem: nuclear waste is hot for millenia, while the containers only last centuries. There’s also some question about the “carbon neutrality” of uranium when the fuels used to mine it are considered.

      I’m also suspicious in general about the “pressing emergency” mode of decision making. Could that be arranged as the default to favor some non-optimum decision? And is that pope fellow still Catholic?

      1. Pelham

        What about the carbon neutrality question when it comes to mining the metals needed for batteries and wind turbines?

        As for the pressing emergency, I see your point. Is 10 years a panic-inducing time frame or can we relax a bit and expect to go carbon neutral globally by taking incremental, rational steps? The sense I get is that it’s the former case.

    4. PlutoniumKun

      The tiny nuclear plants are not a serious solution, at least not without a couple of decades of investment. They are the energy industries equivalent of self driving cars – a non-solution searching for a problem. The major Naval Powers (US, Russia, France, China, UK) have spent countless billions trying to develop micro power plants for 70 years. The most up to date ones are still monstrously expensive and not even viable for any but the most expensive submarines or aircraft carriers. Every design apart from water cooled reactor has faced apparently insurmountable problems, and the small water cooled reactors are just too expensive to operate commercially unless scaled up massively.

      Also bear in mind that the fuel for the Aurora plant – HALEU – is essentially highly enriched Uranium (somewhere between conventional fuel and weapons grade U-235) – you know, the stuff that everyone is supposedly trying to stop proliferating. That type of micro reactor can only work on uranium with maybe triple the enrichment of conventional uranium fuel – which raises all sorts of safety and proliferation risks, and not least makes the viability questionable as its a very expensive fuel, even if made from waste.

      The only viable form of nuclear power available in the time frame needed to combat climate change are the designs already operating – i.e. the latest generation of light water reactors (ranging from about 800MW to 1.5 GW capacity). All others are either too expensive, unproven, or cannot be scaled up in the time needed.

      1. Shig

        Who is selling the plant operators liability insurance?

        Are we taxpayers supposed to be on the hook for the almost unlimited property damage, the cancers and the forever waste? Or, will the plant operators step up to their corporate responsibility and responsibly insure the plant with polices bought on the open market?

        Bernie Sanders is against This kind of Socialism.

        1. The Historian

          Look up the Price Anderson Nuclear Industries Indemnity Act. US citizens are “selling” the plant operators liability insurance for commercial reactors in the US.

      2. RMO

        You have to go to the linked source article and then to a linked Wikipedia article to find out just what kind of reactor the story is talking about – it’s a liquid sodium fast breeder reactor. To put it mildly, these haven’t had a particularly impressive safety or economic record in any time or place. A heavy water reactor can use fuel that is made from weapons grade plutonium and uranium if getting rid of nuclear explosives is part of the goal, can use spent light water reactor fuel as well and can be fueled with natural uranium which avoids the large amount of high level radioactive waste produced by the enrichment process in the first place. That would seem to be a better basic design to use as an accompaniment to the many light water reactors if fission is to be a widespread part of what takes the place of fossil fuels for power generation.

        1. Oregoncharles

          thanks – I thought the article was uninformative, and for a reason. You’re describing a bomb; those things are capable of nuclear explosions. A NEIGHBORHOOD bomb, designed to blend in with houses. Who are those people? They should be rounded up and put somewhere safe.

          This project is a strong argument for putting a complete end to nuclear power.

      3. Pelham

        Thanks for the informative reply!

        So given, say, a 10-year time frame, would you favor a global program to build a lot more of this latest generation of light water reactors? Or do you think we should commit completely to wind and solar?

      4. Oregoncharles

        Is it really a “fast breeder,” using highly enriched U235? That’s a bomb waiting to happen. There’s a reason nobody builds those.

        See “The Day We Almost Lost Detroit.” That’s the last fast breeder in the US.

    5. The Historian

      That Popular Mechanics story is mixing apples and oranges and the author apparently doesn’t know the differences between NRC and DOE.

      Oklo doesn’t have any permits, a.k.a. licences, from the NRC to build a power reactor. They have filed an application with NRC but it is in the very early stages.

      Oklo has been given permission to use its design in building a test reactor on the INL.

      The INL was historically a nuclear reactor test site so it makes sense to build it there, and DOE will control the construction and testing process. As long as it is just a test reactor, the DOE can approve any schedule for construction it wants. The DOE will not be selling any power made from this reactor if it works as tested – they can’t, just as they can’t sell any of the electricity ATR produces. That issue was settled long ago. The government cannot compete with commercial power plants.

      Before they can call the reactor commercial, NRC will have to approve the reactor design and verify that it has been constructed as designed and that will take time – so don’t expect one of these reactors in your neighborhood any time soon. And no, this is NOT the first time a non-light water reactor has been given permission to be built at the INL.

      The LAST thing anyone who has ever worked in the nuclear industry wants is a rushed reactor design out on the market. If the design fails while out there commercially, it WILL take down the whole nuclear industry. So no, don’t expect anyone in the nuclear reactor industry to rush this. I don’t really think YOU would want a Chernobyl here either, would you? Somehow, I don’t think that would help in the least to get us off fossil fuel.

  22. The Rev Kev

    “Bernie Sanders Is No Donald Trump”

    No, he is not. With each candidate you could come up with a term to describe them. Trump is “The Showman”, Bloomberg is the Oligarchic, Warren is the Professor, etc. With Bernie, I will borrow a software term and describe him as the WYSIWYG candidate as in ‘What You See Is What You Get.’ He has had the same basic message since before disco died and will not quit.

    1. shig

      I call him “My $40,000+ yearly savings account.”

      That’s what we are now spending in crappy ‘health insurance’, copays, out of network, eyeglass, hearing aids and pharma.

      Billionaires and Wall Street can pay half a penny tax per dollar to save me $40,000?
      Yeah, I know, I’m a self centered, selfish freeloader, who is going to vote for Bernie, along with our entire family in California.

  23. Nels Nelson

    Could not agree more on the importance of the link to the article on what sustainability is and isn’t.

    It is similar to a paper I read a while back by Trent Jones on how the term sustainability had become an “empty signifier”.

    This is the abstract: Until recently, the concept of “sustainability” appeared to occupy a central position in the politics of many Western democracies. Following the 2008 financial crisis, however, sustainability has been relegated to a position of secondary or tertiary significance. This article considers the rise and fall of sustainability through the theoretical lens of Ernesto Laclau considering whether it may be seen as an example of an “empty signifier”. Through detailed engagement with Laclau’s work as well as both theoretical and empirical studies of the concept of sustainability, I argue that sustainability signifies the multiple failures of dominant discourses to recognize “the future” as a meaningful category. After examining the historical conditions under which sustainability was able to operate this way, I go on to argue that the global financial crisis and neoliberalism more broadly have interrupted our capacity to think about the future, undermining the significance of sustainability, at least temporarily.

    And in a similar vein I came across this description for a job opening at the University of Leeds:

    The project “Cultural Interventions for Promoting Alternative Visions of Wellbeing in a Zero Carbon Economy” starts from the assumption that a reduction of emissions down to net zero will require radically new visions and practices of wellbeing. It will investigate the effectiveness of cultural interventions to promote such alternative visions and practices. What do we mean by “alternative visions of wellbeing”? Wellbeing is currently primarily framed as preference satisfaction through consumption. But high levels of consumption (and waste) are among the main drivers of continuing high levels of emissions globally. Scholars increasingly agree that a reduction of consumption, especially in rich countries, will need to be part of the solution to tackling climate change (Creutzig et al., 2018; Jackson, 2019; Mundaca et al., 2019). One of the main challenges for the zero carbon transformation is that a reduction of consumption is likely to be highly unpopular with the public. In western countries, current levels of consumption go far beyond fulfilling basic needs but also serve an important role for people’s sense of identity and self-worth, social status and social integration. New research is urgently required to understand how people’s underlying needs for identity, self-worth, social participation, and mental and physical health can be met at reduced levels of consumption, compatible with net zero emission targets. This can be informed by alternative understandings of wellbeing and economy, including eudaimonic wellbeing, capabilities, human needs, the sharing economy, etc. (Frenken, 2017; Gough, 2015; O’Neill, 2008). Culture and media often play an important role in promoting high carbon consumption. However, they also have the potential to question that role and to promote alternative, low carbon visions of wellbeing. So far very little is known about the effectiveness of cultural and media interventions for promoting alternative visions of wellbeing and for creating greater public acceptability for reductions in consumption of high carbon goods and services (including travel). We are searching for a candidate with training in disciplines relevant to this projects, for instance cultural and media studies, environmental studies and sustainability, sociology, social policy, sustainable business, etc., with enthusiasm for interdisciplinary research and ability for critical and creative thinking. The project can be narrowed down to particular types of consumption or dimensions of wellbeing, and if you have ideas for this project that you would like to discuss prior to applying please do not hesitate to get in touch with the prospective supervisors.

    1. xkeyscored

      COVID-19 might have more effectiveness in promoting alternative visions of wellbeing and creating greater public acceptability for reductions in consumption of high carbon goods and services (including travel) than a post-modernist academic.

    2. JeffK

      Interesting thoughts Nels. Thanks for sharing. I have a hard time imagining a future where students of this new program at Leeds incur loads of student loan debt to gain mastery in, lets be frank, asceticism. Somehow putting into the hands of the academic meritocracy a directive for “new research to understand how people’s underlying needs for identity, self-worth, social participation, and mental and physical health can be met at reduced levels of consumption” seems contrary to one of main reasons people attend university. Why would someone spend tens of thousands to learn how to voluntarily give up wealth and conveniences? What sort of stipend would the university pay such a professor – and more importantly – how would they justify such a rate? Religions have promoted asceticism at a far better bargain but it seems they eventually caved (in the west) to objective realities and the gospel of prosperity (god helps those who help themselves).

      I agree with the notion that education is the key to community responsibility, and appreciation and protection of the natural world. These values should come about with a balanced education in the humanities and sciences, not necessarily as a special field of study. If I were less of a student of human nature I’d still believe it could happen. When I think about the small swatch of the tapestry of civilization in England from the sixteenth century to today, with all of its comforts, conveniences, and protections (flawed as they are), I ask – what would it be like if we were forced to return to those conditions. Would we be kinder and more connected to community? Would we accept the harsher life with altruistic vision? Or, would we become more criminal, competitive, and self-serving in our striving for scarce resources? We’ll find out.

      1. xkeyscored

        Your final paragraph mirrors my thoughts, and I share your pessimism that we will manage this inevitable, as I see it, transition wisely.

        1. Monty

          Have you been watching Dr John Campbell on youtube?

          He works training nurses in NHS A&E departments and has been doing daily videos on there, discussing the news and stats each day, and also live streams answering questions. I think they are very useful, and even though they are not alarmist in nature, they are getting more and more ominous as the infection spreads around the world.

          1. xkeyscored

            Thank you. No, I hadn’t. He does seem very clear and informative. I expect there’s just been a huge surge in online searches for pulse oximeters, which he’s just been explaining.

  24. Linea

    Re: animals self medicate. Of course they do! They can’t go to a doctor, LOL. My dog eats grass whenever his belly gets upset. Smart little guy.

    1. MLTPB

      Our ancestors likely were similarly capable as well; otherwise, we would not be here today (unless space aliens favored us and helped).

      Somewhere in the past, we forgot or lost that capability. Now, we have doctors.

  25. Wukchumni

    Got enough rain overnight to fill up a teacup if you took in all the takings in an acre, which saved us from the ignominy of being precipitationless for all of February, as the rest of the month will be in the mid to high 70’s and a bit cloudy, and talking about cloudy, heard a couple F-35’s above the build up yesterday for 30 minutes, their signature song of being the loud American jet, unmistakable.

    1. Carolinian

      But, but they’re supposed to be so stealthy.

      When I was a kid our family would camp at Myrtle Beach and in the mornings the F-100s from the nearby Air Guard base would come screaming over the beach with their afterburners on. Now that’s loud. My brother and I loved it.

      1. Wukchumni

        It was a weak showing of watching Military Monetary Theory overhead this past Presidents’ Day weekend @ Saline hot springs, with just a pair of F-16’s @ 500 knots and 500 feet above briefly, and thats all she wrote. We usually get about 20-25 sorties. A friend showed me a shot of a F-117 Stealth she took over Thanksgiving, which was way cool. A year ago we watched 4 engine jet tankers go by @ 400 feet above the ground, and at about 2/3rds the speed of the fighters.

        Buzzed driving en route is fun, too.

        The decadent way to get to Saline hot springs would be the way my friend Wunderhussy did it, taking a helicopter from Vegas…

  26. ambrit

    Checking in from Mississippi to say that no one “on the street” here that I have yet encountered thinks at all about the revenue sources for State programs. Infrastructure issues? Fuggedaboutit! Federal ‘safety net’ programs? Oh my! The “Holy Grail!”
    In general, the State has a long standing reputation for parsimony, oligarchy, and anti-poor policies. Most of the “downtrodden” of the state recognize that it is the Federal Government that supports the ‘deplorables’ here. As to where that Federal money comes from, no one wonders. Money is fungible.
    One of the things that perusing this site has taught me is that taxes fund nothing in a fiat environment. Taxes are a social engineering tool. Now, where are those blasted instructions!?

    1. MLTPB

      Historically, taxes were needed to fund government spending under non fiat environments.

      Perhaps a new term would better avoid the confusion.

      Instead of taxation, call it Money Ably Destroyed contribution.

  27. Bill Carson

    A friend of mine wrote her senator, John Cornyn, (R) Texas, to express her concerns about Trump’s proposed budget. The emailed reply she received confirms that Republicans plan to make cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid in order to preserve funding for defense and national security. The email is pasted below in its entirety, with the pertinent portion in bold:

    Dear M—–:

    Thank you for contacting me with your suggestions regarding the federal budget. I appreciate having the benefit of your comments on this matter.

    President Trump released his Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 Budget proposal on February 10, 2020. I recognize the importance of funding programs to support national defense, infrastructure, education, border security, senior citizens, and veterans. Nonetheless, Congress must target and eliminate wasteful spending in the federal government. Going forward, Americans deserve a reliable and honest budget that holds the federal government accountable for excessive spending.

    I am determined to pass full funding for the operations of the federal government that include key priorities to Texas. Additionally, it is important to fund critical programs within the Department of Defense and the Department of Justice to keep our communities safe, protect victims of crimes, and enable our law enforcement agencies to better serve Texans. I look forward to working with my colleagues to fund our government in a fiscally responsible manner, while protecting important priorities for Texas.

    Given the federal government’s record deficits and debt, we must spend each dollar wisely. If we do not reform entitlement programs that are automatically funded, including Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, we will squeeze out other priorities such as national defense, border security, and law enforcement. With more than $120 trillion in unfunded liabilities, our toughest fiscal decisions cannot be postponed.

    To this end, I am proud to cosponsor Senate Joint Resolution 3, which would require the federal government to balance its budget each year. In addition, a Balanced Budget Amendment would make it more difficult for the federal government to continue its reckless spending by requiring a two-thirds vote of the U.S. House and Senate before increasing taxes or the debt limit. Families across Texas have to balance their budgets and make tough choices to live within their means. There is no reason the federal government should operate any differently.

    I am honored to represent Texas in the United States Senate, and I will keep your views in mind as Congress works with the President to move forward appropriations for FY2021. Thank you for taking the time to contact me.


    United States Senator
    517 Hart Senate Office Building
    Washington, DC 20510
    Tel: (202) 224-2934
    Fax: (202) 228-2856

    1. Samuel Conner

      Me thinks that Senator Cornyn is a liability to the nation.

      I wish there were a straightforward way to unfund him.

      1. Carl

        He’s the perfect representative of Texas, a more concentrated microcosm of all that’s wrong with the entire country.

    2. ambrit

      The old “Government Budget is like a Family Budget” lie.
      A direct lie, in an ‘official’ communication of an American elected official of high estate. How more clarifying can one get?

      1. cnchal

        A direct lie, told with gusto. What else it tells us is the family budget, as envisioned by this venal elected, is to spend the money on guns, ammo and fences while the house is rotting and the roof is missing half it’s shingles with food going bad in a broken fridge.

        What a hellish household it is.

    3. neo-realist

      If the Sanders campaign gets to the general election, he should talk excessively about Trump’s 2021 fiscal budget quoting the statement of cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, particularly in swing state campaigning. Show Trump for the liar and “anti-populist” that he is.

    4. drumlin woodchuckles

      It looks like somebody in Cornyn’s office took your letter seriously enough to feel as if they had to give you a coherent-sounding answer. They didn’t just “thank you for your interest”. They clearly feel they need to guide your thought to a place of their liking.

      I wonder how the Cornyn office would respond if you asked them, in all seeming innocence, how it can be Social Security which needs cutting when Social Security has spent decades taking more money in than paying out, and has been accumulating a vast surplus of special treasury debt instruments which were specifically designed to be used to pay back out as benefits to the boomers who endured the doubling of their FICA taxes starting in 1983 on the express theory that that special surplus would be paid back down to zero surplus when the last boomer died.

      See if they try to convince you why Social Security ( and Medicare and Medicaid) should pay for resolving the deficit and the debt when they did precisely nothing to cause the deficit the deficit and the debt.

  28. rowlf

    Resilc: “EVs for most of USA USA will not happen in our lifetimes. Leap on to hydrogen.”

    My father is a pack rat and likes to save old car and airplane magazines and books. While going through automobile magazines from late 1958 or 59 several years ago I loved finding an auto industry news story in Sports Car Illustrated on Chrysler working on hydrogen fuel cell technology for automobile use. (Chrysler was also a space program contractor.) It is fun to read the old publications a see what was supposed to be on the horizon.

    I’ve pretty much given up on the flying cars that were promised when I was a kid in the 1960s.

      1. Wukchumni

        I had to settle for a blue Schwinn Sting Ray with banana seat, monkey bars up front and sissy bar astern, knobby front tire and slick back tire.

        A kid’s Corvette, circa 1972.

          1. rowlf

            My friend’s dad welded motorcycle handlebars on our Stingrays, which saved a lot of future wedding presents when jumping the 40 pound or so bicycles. When the BMX bikes came out we never looked back.

  29. Grant

    They favored Obama in 2012. Maybe it is as simple as preferring two candidates that are less hawkish than the alternatives.

    So, is the Israeli, Saudi, or Chinese involvement in our political system going to be covered by the media? I guess it depends if it can be used for propaganda.

  30. Larster

    To sponsor a balanced budget amendment while voting for huge tax cuts, is simply nuts. One wonders how this country can get on the right track with this level of incompetence in the Congress. Additionally, one must consider that Cornyn was a Texas Supreme Court judge in Texas. Charles Pierce’s weekly post on what is happening in the states should be required reading for all. When the cry is “throw the bums out”, one has to realize that there are plenty more in the farm system at the state level.

    1. Samuel Conner

      > ” this level of incompetence in the Congress”

      Alert readers at NC have responded to my past expressions of dismay at the ignorance of members of Congress with the suggestion that they are only feigning ignorance, and that what we are actually seeing is a very high level of malice toward non-elites.

    2. notabanktoadie

      Actually, a balanced budget amendment is nuts by itself since it would eliminate fiat creation for the general welfare and leave money creation to a government-privileged usury cartel.

      The issue which has swept down the centuries and which will have to be fought sooner or later is the people versus the banks. John Dalberg-Acton

      1. GramSci

        Thanks for repeating this. There are newbies on NC, perhaps drawn here by enthusiasm for Bernie, who do not yet understand MMT and the deep and invasive roots of gold bugs, “balanced budgets”, and private banks.

        1. Susan the other

          Am I the only one worried that the sovereignty being silently usurped by private banks appears to be focused on making money itself private? A private, limited asset. It would maintain the store of value at the expense of the medium of exchange utility. We are skeptical of their efforts (Libra, etc.) but it doesn’t stop them from setting up their individual enterprises with their own tokens. We could block their encroachment by defining sovereign money not and never as a private asset serviced by private banking institutions (we currently have a public asset serviced by private banking institutions who are maintaining a profit-making operation at the expense of us all) – but as national democratic sovereign responsibility. Strictly. If, for instance, private crypto digital money gets confused with democratic digital social spending things could get very confusing. Co-mingling those assets puts sovereign spending in jeopardy.

        1. ambrit

          So far, I see no evidence of a ‘Plan B.’
          If Sanders is going to support in any way, the DNC candidate, then his movement members will be left with quite the conundrum.
          Going Third Party without Sanders will fragment the ‘Movement’ and dilute it’s power. Thus, the best alternative strategy I can see would be to force a split in the extant Democrat Party. Turn the convention in Milwaukee into a real warzone. With politics, at least as practiced in America today, appearance is reality. A factional and violent Democrat Party Convention would propagate the meme of the “Falling Apart Party.” Not just 1968 or 1972 style street protests, but outright storming of the convention centre. All of this ferment should throw up some “grassroots” leadership around which a cadre of leaders for a Rump Democrat Party can be constructed.
          Hey! It’s the ‘New Normal” in business: disruption and innovation leading to new norms. If business wants to take over the political process in America, what better way to do it than to utilize the methodologies that business has come up with in it’s own sphere? If the ultimate outcomes are not what business had expected, well, tough t—ies.

          1. inode_buddha

            Indeed, doesn’t the PMC toy with the idea of “creative destruction”?

            Of course, it’s always better when it happens to someone else.

          2. drumllin woodchuckles

            If the Governor of Wisconsin brings the National Guard to the streets of Milwaukee, is that still your advice? If so, will you be there personally to take your personal share of the bullets?

            You should be very sure of the ” downrange” implications of what you are suggesting.

            ( I personally would favor a plan to get the Sanders name legally and pickably onto all 50 stateloads of ballots so embittered Sanderbackers can vote for Sanders and destroy the Third Way candidate that way . . . thereby avoiding several thousand dead demonstrators from charging the National Guard . . . or a private army from Blackwater/Xe/Academi . . . if that’s who the Democrats decide to hire to mass-casualty massacre the kind of storm-the-convention action you are proposing).

            1. ambrit

              The situation has developed such that there will be “downrange implications” no matter what happens at the political conventions this year. Have you missed the militarization of the local police forces in America since 2001? Have you missed the creation of a ‘Military Caste’ out of a segment of the former working classes in America? Have you missed the creation of a system similar to a Banana Republic here in America over the past decades?
              Sometime after 1945, America became an Empire. History shows that all Empires eventually devolve or crash and burn. America is at that inflection point now. Either it “reforms” itself politically, or it will fall apart.
              I posit that the denial of Sanders of the Democrat Party candidacy for President will be a defining event in America’s political history. It will be the utter and complete repudiation of ‘reform’ as related to American society and politics. As such, the legacy parties will have thrown away the trust and allegiance of the American people with both hands.
              The choice for the American people will then be clear; either knuckle under and serve the oligarchs or rise up and take the ‘beating’ earlier than had been planned. On that issue, do not be deceived. When the “ruling class” views the “subject class” as less than ‘worthy,’ all sorts of devilment will follow.

        2. Big Tap

          Make sure the Third Way corporate Democratic candidate loses. The only way to do that is vote for Trump. I wish a third party could beat the Dems but they can’t at least at present.

          1. flora

            All the 3rd Way backed candidates have said openly they want to cut SS, Medicare, Medicaid, VA benefits, and safety net programs, while handing out bigger tax cuts to the richest corporations. Swell folks.
            I won’t vote for them.

      1. Tom Bradford

        Of course in the case of Hitler first they ignored him, then they laughed at him, then they fought him, and he lost.

        1. rowlf

          I’m sure there are old New York Times and Washington Post articles and op-eds from before Japanese Aviation Day where the writers thought that that Mr Hitler guy really knew how to get manufacturing back on track and handled unions well. He was really popular with some in the US until he wasn’t.

  31. anon in so cal

    Cobalt crisis and hydrogen: Honda manufactures three versions of its Clarity model, one of which uses a hydrogen fuel cell. Problem is, there are only hydrogen fuel stations in California, and very few at that.

    1. Kurt Sperry

      It’s unlikely there will be any significant infrastructure for making and distributing H fuel in at least the next fifty years. As far as I know, there isn’t even a realistic path to get there. There’s no existing or natural H supply, and it takes more energy to produce than it provides!

  32. anon in so cal

    For laughs:

    Biden on the campaign trail in South Carolina has fabricated a new narrative:

    “Here is @JoeBiden, abandoning his teleprompter in South Carolina this past week, COMPLETELY FABRICATING that he was arrested in South Africa during Apartheid.


    The US Ambassador he says was arrested with him says it’s a lie.”

    1. Wukchumni

      That’ll more or less lock up the nonagenarian vote!

      For what it’s worth, in my mom’s assisted living place in Whittier, Ca. which has 51 apartments, she is one of a few left leaning politically there. Read into it what you will, maybe righties live longer?

      1. Monty

        Maybe their family gets so sick of hearing regurgitated Rush and Glen Beck nonsense that they just can’t wait to pack then off.

    2. notabanktoadie

      Fabulous! Yes, my mother had all her marbles at 93 when she was killed by a doctor’s complacency/incompetence.

      No, I don’t think socialism is the ultimate solution but it sure beats our current system of welfare for the banks and the rich – or at least allows the victims some relief till we think of something better than both.

    3. inode_buddha

      This is very good news for Sanders. This will definitely reach the TV-watching older crowd, who get their news only from TV.

    4. ObjectiveFunction

      And Gen X icon John Cusack too!

      “Well sir, I’ve given this considerable thought. I don’t want to sell anything, buy anything, or process anything as a career. I don’t want to sell anything bought or processed, or buy anything sold or processed, or process anything sold, bought, or processed, or repair anything sold, bought, or processed.”

  33. xkeyscored

    ‘We are literally making electricity out of thin air;’ UMass develop groundbreaking technology that will change the way we power electronics MassLive (David L)

    Another hyped-up clickbait headline. The article’s based on a Uni of Massachusetts Amherst press release, titled
    New Green Technology from UMass Amherst Generates Electricity ‘Out of Thin Air’
    Renewable device could help mitigate climate change, power medical devices

    and I read somewhere that so far, this tech generates pretty miniscule amounts.

    1. Louis Fyne

      the technology already exists to make petrol from thin air (CO2) as well—and has for a while.

      naturally it’s extremely energy intensive and uneconomical. maybe in 100 years.

    2. Oregoncharles

      There is no indication where the energy comes from – “from the humidity in the air” is not an energy source.

      To Be Fair, they’re probably trying to protect a potential patent, which could be huge if it turns out to work. But as far as I could tell, the article says barely anything.

      It also claims the bacteria can produce CO2 from metals, which is worse than nothing.

  34. xkeyscored

    It’s time to say goodbye to our most ambitious climate target ever Wired (resilc)

    The article makes out that over-shooting 1.5 degrees isn’t such a bad thing, and 2 degrees will simply be a bit worse.
    It is not the case that if we fail to hit 1.5 degrees of warming that we’ve lost the climate battle. “There fundamentally is not a cliff edge – the world does not end in 2050, nor does it end in 2100,” say Niall Mac Dowell, leader of the Clean Fossil and Bioenergy Research Group at Imperial College London.
    True, the world is unlikely to end as a result, but we may well have passed a tipping point or two already. Turning up the heat a bit more only makes it even more likely that we will, meaning we may be heading way past 3 degrees by 2100. I noticed no mention of these tipping points, or feedback mechanisms, in the article. It’s true that we don’t know enough about them to put numbers to them, but that doesn’t mean they can’t or won’t happen. Far from it. And 4 or 5 degrees by 2100 will be simply catastrophic.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      I was unsure what the Wired article was arguing. In a way missing — the 1.5 degree warming limit is not such a bad thing. It was an arbitrary and unrealistic goal to begin with that makes a lot of assumptions about the relationship between the future peak average global temperature and current CO2 concentration in the atmosphere. As you point out there are too many unknown ‘tipping points’ and the fast and slow feedbacks built into the estimate are not well known. I object to the idea of a ‘budget’ for how much CO2 we can ‘safely’ dump into the atmosphere. It ties the issue too closely to economics. There are some things that should not be assigned a money price.

      I spent a little time scanning through various papers looking for a clear description of the starting number for the CO2 doubling used in the estimates of the global temperature sensitivity to the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere. The best I could determine after tracing back to the 1979 Charney report was the starting concentration was somewhere around 290 ppmv or 300 ppmv for CO2 in the atmosphere. Double that and I get 600 ppmv. “Paleoclimate data show that climate sensitivity is ~3°C for doubled CO2, including only fast feedback processes. Equilibrium sensitivity, including slower surface albedo feedbacks, is ~6°C for doubled CO2 for the range of climate states between glacial conditions and ice-free Antarctica.” [from the abstract to “Target Atmospheric CO2 : Where Should Humanity Aim?”, Hansen et al. 2008]. Does the 1.5 degree Centigrade ‘budget’ number include both the fast “feedback processes” and the “slower surface albedo feedbacks”? If double is 600 ppmv CO2 — we are at 413 ppmv CO2 as of Jan. 2020 and CO2 has been increasing at ~2 to ~3 ppmv per year. I guess I need to hunt down how the CO2 ‘budget’ numbers are estimated and try to find a definite number for what double is.

      “It has been shown that the dominant climate forcing, CO2, must be reduced to no more than 350 ppm to restore planetary energy balance (Hansen et al., 2008) and keep climate near the Holocene level, if other forcings remain unchanged.” [“Ice Melt, sea level rise and superstorms” Hansen et al. 2016, p. 41 (3801)] Maybe we should forget about these climate ‘budget’ numbers and focus on 350 ppmv CO2.

  35. Typing Chimp

    Coronavirus fears push long-dated US Treasury yields to all-time low Financial Times

    Translation: US trade deficit to continue going way, way up.

    Oh–and housing to become even more unaffordable.

    Oh–and pressure on US employment numbers.

    Blaming this on Coronavirus is a little indirect, though. More apt to say that coronavirus is forcing the typical culprits (e.g. China) to bid up US Treasuries in an attempt to keep their own economies humming–in other words, to export unempoyment

    You really gotta wonder how long the current global system can continue like this.

      1. Typing Chimp

        Here’s 2019 (and yes, you are correct about China’s levels over that time):

        One of the other typical culprits, Japan, increased its holdings and thereby out China’s decrease over that period. But notice that the “Grand Total” continues to increase.

        Let’s see how the January – March (and beyond) numbers look one they are released…

        1. Samuel Conner

          I think that the “grand total” will go on increasing as long as US runs a trade deficit.

          From an MMT perspective, paper dollars and Treasury bonds are basically “created from nothing” and it’s a good deal if other nations want to exchange physical product for these paper representations of value.

          The problem is that the unemployment generated by the redirection of domestic demand from domestic to foreign production is not being counteracted by national policy, such as a Job Guarantee.

          As to why there is no countervailing policy, one can never review too many times the arguments of Michal Kalecki:

          1. Typing Chimp

            I think that the “grand total” will go on increasing as long as US runs a trade deficit.

            I think you are mixing up cause and effect–the US will continue running up a trade deficit so long as that “grand total” increases. That is why trying to reduce bilateral trade deficits (e.g. reduce China’s trade surplus with the US) is irrelevant so long as the rest of the world can buy Treasuries in unlimited quantities–basically, it just forces the US to run bilateral trade deficits with other countries instead.

            I will read the link, though–thanks for it…

            1. MLTPB

              In the very beginning, a nation first runs a trade surplus, then it has the dollars to buy treasuries.

              After that, the order could be flipped, if you delay some actions, I suppose. Maybe you lend some money to another country to buy US products, and then later get the money back to buy treasuries.

            2. Samuel Conner

              I’m not confident this is right.

              Foreign actors don’t force US government to issue Treasuries in order to satisfy foreign demand for US treasuries.

              The sectoral balance identity

              Domestic-Government-surplus + Domestic-non-government-surplus + External-surplus = 0

              is an identity; true as a matter of accounting.

              I think that the direction of causality lies mostly with Domestic non-government decisions and foreign goods/services purchasing decisions. This is the view taken, IIRC, by Randall Wray’s MMT Primer

              If US citizens and businesses (non government domestic sector) insist on purchasing more overseas goods and services than rest of world wants of US produced goods and services, the External sector will run a surplus.

              But US citizens and business cannot go limitlessly into debt; they will tend toward balance or even accumation over time,

              So the Domestic Non-government sector will generally be close to balance or perhaps over time in surplus.

              Ergo, the Domestic Government sector will generally be in deficit. Those deficits are under current institutional arrangements “funded” through Treasury issuance. (Under different institutional arrangements, Treasury could emit new money rather than interest-bearing notes.)

              Government policy could perturb the External surplus by managing the foreign exchange rate of the USD versus other currencies,to suppress domestic demand for foreign product. Or one could impose tariffs with the same intent, or one could simply pass laws (“made in america” for federal purchases, for example). Those are second-order solutions to the unemployment problem.

              MMT theorists tend to favor the Job Guarantee as the way to counteract the unemployment produced by unbalanced trade. Directly employ people in useful work if the domestic private sector is unable or unwilling to employ all who want to work.

              1. MLTPB

                I suppose if idleness has no place in the theory, basic income would take second place to work guarantee.

              2. Samuel Conner

                My perception is that MMT theorists tend to prefer JG to BIG. However, they also tend to favor a generous social insurance system. Yang’s BIG proposal, by contrast, would replace all social insurance with a rather low BIG.

                JG has some macroeconomic impacts that BIG does not, in terms of setting a floor on private sector wages and also for price stability (I understand the former effect considerably better than I do the latter).

                1. MLTPB

                  Bigger BIGs.

                  Are there theories that account for idleness positively. (ie not mocking or denouncing it)?

                2. eg

                  The preference for JG over BIG on the economic side is increased productivity and protection against labor wastage (the decay of employability during periods of unemployment). It also has significant benefits on the social integration side, which cascades across many measures of wellbeing.

            3. Yves Smith Post author

              You’re relying on Pettis for this and Pettis isn’t considered to be a very good macroeconomist, which is where this falls. Absolutely no one buys the thesis he and derivatively you are touting.

              With China, it is indisputable that the trade deficits preceded the investment. Oh, and BTW ditto with the Saudis and their oil-derived dollar holdings.

              That is not to say Pettis isn’t sound on other topics, just on this one.

              So stop promoting inaccurate information. This is a huge disservice to the readership, and if you persist, a violation of our site Policies (see agnotology)

              1. Typing Chimp

                Hmm..Well, it’s your blog, so I will stop posting, although I don’t see the logical fallacy here.

                Regardless, there is a very easy way to test this–if China and Korea are having difficulties exporting over the next few months, then I guess the US trade deficit should decline, correct?

                This model presumes that the deficit will rise instead.

                Let’s see what happens.

    1. MLTPB

      I see a tug of war between productive capacity deer destruction (in our supply chain countries like China, Japan, Korea, etc), and collapse of demand.

      If we stay relatively contained, and factories remain largely offline, inflation adjusted treasuries may be the way to go.

    2. curlydan

      Since the 10yr yield is dropping as well, that might make mortgage payments more affordable, especially if employment starts to get hit and house prices fall in line with employment. No, I’m not a realtor.

      1. Typing Chimp

        Well, I guess the increased flow of funds doesn’t absolutely need to go to FIRE, but that is the typical place.

        Making mortgages more affordable pushes housing prices up–probably not what you want right now.

    3. Oregoncharles

      Wouldn’t the US trade deficit go DOWN, if China is shut down? No cheap plastic junk to import. Or phones, fo rthat matter, but a lot of them come from S. Korea, etc.

      If the trade deficit goes down, the exporting countries will have fewer surplus dollars to buy US Treasuries with, so the demand goes down and yields should go up.

      Assuming the whole system makes any sense.

      1. WobblyTelomeres

        My guess is panic/safe haven buying. Price of gold going up, Swiss franc will prolly go up relative to other currencies if/when CV goes global in a big way.

  36. Cuibono

    Disaster Capitalism 2020
    given that we know no good disaster should be allowed to go to waste here are four ideas that I see the current epidemic enabling.

    1 social distancing measures are rapidly enforced within the United States curtailing most political activity that involves the Gathering of people up to and including the possible curtailing of primary elections.

    2 modern-day assassinations do not require bullets.

    3 Those suspicious cluster of cases in Iran? Bio weapons of mass destruction. Our forces can’t sit idly.

    4. Martial law is required to restore order

    1. John k

      The primaries seems likely to be over before pandemic arrives.
      I’m also hopeful that the warm summer arrives and suppresses the virus at least until the election.

    2. MLTPB


      Russia banned Chinese citizens from entry 4 days or so ago. Around that time, the first 2 cases in Iran were detected.

      On Jan 30 or so, Russia closed her border with China. The new ban 4 days ago seems to be directed at people from China entering Russia from places other than the Chinese Russian border. Maybe from Iran? Was that what prompted the new ban?

  37. John Anthony La Pietra

    Is there going to be a Nevada results tracker here tonight? (Asking for a mostly-lurking-but-getting-louder friend.)

    1. ambrit

      I’m interested in any ‘shenannigans’ the DNC will come up with. Inventive crooks are always good entertainment.

      1. Typing Chimp

        I posted this this morning on yesterday’s water cooler and so it probably got missed (or perhaps doesn’t interest anybody as a topic), but I am sort of interested in anybody’s thoughts:


        If Bloomberg is such a poor debater and was obviously so poorly prepared, why did he manoeuvre himself into getting into the debate instead of deciding to not debate at all, and just get his message through via buying media? Who spends a ton of money to act as the pinata (even if he doesn’t care to actually win the election)?

        Most candidates need to go through this debates ordeal in order to get contributions or their message heard. Bloomberg doesn’t.

        Some candidates don’t find debates to be an ordeal, but rather a key strength. Bloomberg clearly doesn’t.

        So which idiot recommended this course of action to him, how much is (s)he getting paid to provide such lousy advice, and why are there no indications that [his campaign is] even adjusting its strategies going forward?

        (PS, MB–That one was for free, largely because you can’t undo that decision and you can’t refuse to debate in the upcoming weeks given your disaster of a performance. Think how valuable that advice might have been beforehand, though…Anyway, for $10m/EV vote, I’m willing to provide you a way out…)

        1. John Anthony La Pietra

          I’ve been thinking he considers it an investment . . . whether the payoff is in his becoming President himself, and being in position to actively boost his own brand and value, or just securing/insuring his fortune and fortunes against what, um, someone else might do to depreciate them.

          1. Typing Chimp

            I get that–I don’t think he even really wants to win, actually.

            But why bother showing up to debate at all? Why not just make your arguments from a distance, where it is much harder to be countered (and even more harder to look like an idiot)?

            1. Samuel Conner

              It seems unarguable that MB has a tin-ear; he doesn’t perceive how others perceive him.

              But maybe he’s not so out of touch that he doesn’t notice that “avoiding contact with competitors” looks a bit like “political cowardice.”

              And, not knowing how others perceive him and thinking as well of himself as he has shown he does, it evidently can’t have occurred to him that he would receive the reception that was awaiting him.

              Let’s hope that those 2 hours reverberate down to the Convention.

              1. NotTimothyGeithner

                Its shocking when you see how many electeds on the local and state level (not state wide) fancy themselves as the next great thing.

                I’m more surprised more billionaires haven’t been running all along, and I would argue the Clinton and Bush mafias seeming to have so much loyalty have kept them from running. At the same time, Henry Cabot Lodge use to be a Senator, and his whole schtick was that he was rich and Boston Brahmin. Even the old man Kennedy simply tried out different sons for different parties. The oldest was a Republican. Obviously they were more personable than Bloomie, but I think going through the “cursus honorum” is still out there. Rich people will run for office when they perceive its an easy path without thinking about it, expecting things to turn around.

                Even Pete is representative of the Bush and Clinton crime families not having real power anymore. He thinks he can jump the queue of the “cursus honorum.” He’s not part of a “values” party, like the old Gracchian party where is playing the game for policy outcomes. He’s playing it for the honors alone.

            2. richard

              I think he wants to control the party
              there is a difference between that and wanting to win in the general, to be sure

            3. ambrit

              It has been suggested that Trump didn’t really expect to become President either. If HRH HRC has a debilitating event, that we are made cognizant of that is, (the Ronald Reagan Alzheimers is the perfect primer on how to govern through an incapacitated figurehead, and I really can see Robo Hillary in the Oval Office for photo ops,) then greatness might be thrust upon Bloomberg, will he or nil he.
              Then we can begin to try to figure out how to live with an American Government that has been formally subjected to a stealthy hostile takeover.

            4. John Anthony La Pietra

              Maybe Bloomberg is our modern equivalent of Lord Itobad in Voltaire’s second-best-known philosophical satire, Zadig — very rich and very flattered, and thus very full of himself and not too hard to persuade that he should enter the climactic tournament to wed the heroine and become king: “A man such as I should rule.”

              If so, then we have to figure out how he might steal the Sanders armor and pose as the winner — maybe all it takes is for Tom Perez to “recognize” him as such? — and how to dispel the illusion.

        2. Lambert Strether

          > If Bloomberg is such a poor debater and was obviously so poorly prepared, why did he manoeuvre himself into getting into the debate instead of deciding to not debate at all, and just get his message through via buying media?

          Big Man Syndrome. His money means he’s surrounded by sycophants. Clinton had the same thing, although to a lesser degree (not as much money).

    2. Samuel Conner

      I seem to have formed the impression that the DNC was not promising same-night NV caucus results. Perhaps expectations-lowering after IA, or maybe getting in front of the news so that intentional delays implemented to find ways to credibly massage the results do not draw too much MSM scrutiny. That last possibility is a hint of how cynical I have grown.

      1. Dan

        Democrats won’t commit to same-day release of Nevada results

        LAS VEGAS (AP) — Democrats won’t commit to releasing the unofficial results of Saturday’s Nevada caucuses on the day of the vote, as they emphasize accuracy over speed in the aftermath of the chaos surrounding the Iowa caucuses.

        Tom Perez, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, told The Associated Press that several factors, including early voting and potentially high turnout, could affect the tabulation and timing of results. In addition, Nevada, like Iowa, will be reporting three sets of data from the multistage caucus process.

        Perez said he doesn’t know when results will be released. “We’re going to do our best to release results as soon as possible, but our North Star, again, is accuracy,” he said late Tuesday after touring an early voting site in Las Vegas.

    3. Samuel Conner

      Some results are getting reported;

      At the RCP home page,

      with 2% reported, Sanders has 55% of the 2nd round votes, to Biden’s 16.3%

      All the others have vote totals (averaged over all precincts) far below the threshold and they are getting few county delegates in the occasional precincts where they are viable.

      Given how close to the thresshold Biden is, if this continues throughout the night, Sanders could scoop up a large fraction of all the county convention delegates.

      Does anyone know if these are early votes?

      1. John Anthony La Pietra

        Hmm . . . it doesn’t say there, just says “Live Results”.

        Interesting that, as of this commenting, only Sanders and (very slightly) Buttigieg are gaining from the first round to the second.

        From this report, it would seem that each precinct should have gotten its early results when the live caucusing started, and folded those in with the in-person preferences.

  38. Oregoncharles

    mini-reactors: “HALEU-fueled fast breeder reactor.”

    The article is very careful to tell us hardly anything, including what “HALEU” fuel actually is. however, “fast-breeder reactors” haven’t been used for many years because they’re subject to nuclear (not just hydrogen) explosions. Can’t tell about this one, because we don’t know what the fuel is, or how much of it. If it’s small enough, there might not be a critical mass.

    note that it’s described as fitting in among houses. That’s the big issue with mini-reactors: they lead to “neighborhood nukes.” In fact, the local company working on them has TWICE promoted new legislation that would permit just that, in defiance of a voter-approved law from the 80’s. I testified against the first one (the second disappeared immediately), a big turnout.

    As Amory Lovins pointed out decades ago, there is a gross disproportion between the temperatures of a nuclear reaction and temperatures to, say, heat a house. That difference means a vast amount of entropy, too much for human beings to manage. As we’ve seen – in fact power reactors break down regularly, even with supposedly tight regulation. If there are more of them, there will be more breakdowns. And if they’re closer to people, the logic of having mor eof them, more people will be irradiated when they break down.

    All systems have a failure rate. Next question: how bad can the failures be?

    1. Samuel Conner

      There was a reactor technology developed in the ’50s that used liquid flouride salts as the heat transfer fluid and dissolved Thorium in this molten salt as the fuel. The reaction took place in a chamber equipped with neutron moderators. It was very hard for this reactor design to fail catastrophically. Perturbation of the arrangement of neutron moderators would lower the reaction rate, and in an emergency one could simply drain the molten salt out of the plumbing. If it developed a leak, the leaked molten salt would simply solidify and the reactions in it would continue at a subcritical level. A tens of MW demonstration plant was built and the operators would simply turn it off for the weekend (draining the molten salt into a tank, to be remelted ad pumped back into the reactor come Monday).

      The program was shut down by the DoE because the technology was not dual-use; no fissile materials produced suitable for weapons use.

      According to a talk I heard years ago, this approach, by then called LFTR, could also be used to process spent conventional nuclear fuel, that is accumulating all over the world from conventional reactors, into a much smaller volume of less dangerous nuclides, by dissolving the spent fuel into the molten salt; in the reaction chamber, some of the moderated neutrons would be absorbed by the waste radio-nuclides, and the end product after subsequent beta or other decays would be less dangerous than the input waste.

      I have never encountered a compelling argument that this technology is worse than what we now have. It looks like a giant market and/or policy failure.

      1. John Anthony La Pietra

        Perhaps your brief second paragraph identified the market which this technology fatally failed.

        OTOH, Wikipedia (FWIW) says there has been some revival of interest in recent years — though it also gives a list of claimed disadvantages for the technology.

  39. Oregoncharles

    “EU summit collapses as leaders struggle to fill €75bn Brexit hole”

    Britain was a net contributor by 75bn Euros? Sheesh. Is Germany? My first thought: no wonder they wanted out.

    EU is a loose confederation, not a union.

    1. Typing Chimp

      Britain was also acting as the capital importer of last resort due to German domestic, trade, and fiscal recklessness (and, no doubt, the City’s lobbying). What the US is to the rest of the world, Britain was to Euroland–a source and sink of unemployment that adjusts based on the continent’s whims.

      I will be astonished if the EU is not on absolute life support within the next few years and if it survives by the end of the decade.

      1. Monty

        I’m looking forward to finding out. Talk about a win win! Either the Brexiteers or the Eurocrats with egg on their faces. Probably both! Can’t wait!

    1. JohnMinMN

      I was watching the same (Belagio) caucus from a different feed. Status Coup youtube channel. Official count was 76 Bernie, 45 to Biden. One Warren supporter switched to Bernie. The others went to Biden. Final delegate count was 32-19 for Bernie and Biden respectively.

  40. Oregoncharles

    “Wells Fargo settles fake-account scandal for $3 billion”

    Shouldn’t a bank (of all things) that outright steals from customers be dissolved? This is an especially dangerous type of criminal enterprise.

  41. hoki haya

    voters in Nevada have to sign NDAs affirming they will not criticize the voting process? is that not cause for revolt right there? disgusting.

    1. Samuel Conner

      One can intuit that the text of the NDAs will be leaked to the press and the NVDP will get a well-deserved black-eye.

      Of course, if by then Sanders has been stopped, it will be reckoned to have been worth it.

      1. hoki haya

        Sanders will likely win, but the precedent of NDAs should be challenged. Do you have free speech in America? Is the right to vote unassailable or compromisable?

    2. barefoot charley

      It’s volunteers working the Nevada Democratic caucuses who must sign NDAs. And Bloomberg hasn’t even insulted them yet!

    3. JohnMinMN

      I heard third-hand from lawyers that these NDA’s aren’t enforceable since the signers are volunteers.

  42. Amfortas the hippie

    re: the It’s Only Chemo thing:
    last on list was the existence of a MFA Industrial Complex…which sounded crazy.
    so i rummaged around and landed on this utterly arid exegesis:

    that’s how the local wine industry is, too,lol….and a whole bunch of other fields of endeavor, it seems.
    what’s an antiauthoritarian non-joiner, to do?
    the link in Links makes reference to the Ross Douthat thing the other day:

    which i found interesting(i sort of like him, and get on more or less well with such First Things style religious conservative people and various Thomists…which is admittedly pretty strange)
    in the alley with Christopher Lasch, making sure the horse is dead.

    1. Samuel Conner

      Does that mean that the Professional Organization of English Majors is corrupt too?

      Say it isn’t so!

    2. The Rev Kev

      Thanks for those links, Amf. I have already bookmarked them. That article deserves to be a post in itself. I read of one side effect of the MFA Industrial Complex where in modern novels set in New York, you have a lot of characters that never need to be at work or to be very busy and universally it come out that they are New York writers. The authors were literally writing about the only people they knew in their lives – other New York writers – and putting them into their stories.

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        gels with something Olga said the other day regarding remakes and the general lack of creativity and innovation out there.(where’s our Balzac or Einstein or whatever)
        (plenty of creativity around here, tho,lol)

  43. JohnMinMN

    Nevada results:

    Plenue. I was watching the same feed, I think. I was doing write-up below when laptop crapped out, so I’ll just finish up.

    Link for results (updated automatically)
    Delegate % doesn’t come close to matching raw vote %

    Watching live feed from Status Coup on youtube. The vote from the caucus held at the Belagio attended by Status Coup had raw vote of 76 for Bernie, 40+ for Biden. Those were then only two viable. All but one Warren supporter re-aligned with Biden. Many shenanigans from other sites were reported. Take all with grain of salt. Julian Castro was electioneering (giving speech) for Warren in a caucus room, which apparently is not allowed. At Desert Oasis High School caucus the early vote totals had not yet arrived. Observers aligned with Bernie were not allowed to enter at some caucuses. SC reported some Buttigieg supporters did not have same issues. This isn’t surprising, but they reported that Chris Matthews was just heard to say that the Country would be better off with four more years of Trump rather than Bernie.

    1. Plenue

      All that may be true, but it doesn’t seem to have mattered in the end. Sanders seems to have delivered a piledriver.

    1. Carla

      Lookin’ good — way too early to forecast, of course. But this is the way we want Bernie to start, and also the way we want Bernie to continue.

      1. John Anthony La Pietra

        I note that Politico’s results page says the figures on percentages of precincts reporting “reflect[] precincts reporting second-alignment votes.” The RCP site doesn’t have that kind of note that I can see.

        1. John Anthony La Pietra

          I now also see that the percentage number at Politico for which Biden’s total is up is not popular votes but county delegates. Maybe that’s because he and Sanders are the only ones generally viable statewide?

  44. meeps

    I share Sander’s concern that the complexities faced by NPP (and other voters not registered as Democrats in California) will suppress the primary vote in Colorado, too.

    Sanders won handily in Colorado in 2015. The voters in my household (begrudgingly) changed our registrations from Green to Democrat well in advance knowing it was necessary to caucus for Sanders. All of us changed our registrations back by the general out of disgust with the Democrat party for their conduct toward Sanders during the campaign and convention. We receive ballots for the general by mail and hold them until election day, dropping them in the county collection box. This accommodates demanding work schedules while avoiding lines and other potential problems with early voting.

    Colorado has a March 3rd primary this year and my impression is that many are unprepared to dance a waltz with the minutiae to cast a vote. This time I’m the sole voter in my home who changed my registration early enough to receive a ballot by mail. My husband and son didn’t receive theirs (both changed their registration, possibly too close to mailing). Both are aware they’ll now have to show in person to request these, hopefully by speaking the correct incantation. Owing to their current work pressures there’s some doubt they’ll navigate this successfully. That’s two of three potential lost votes from just one home, and not because of a lack of will to vote for Sanders.

    I’ve encouraged my young nieces and their boyfriends to vote on super Tuesday, but none seemed aware of the date or the additional complexities they could face in getting the desired ballot. One young, registered Republican I spoke with said he’s voting for Sanders but didn’t know he’d need to request a Democratic party ballot to do so in a primary.

    I can’t imagine Colorado vote counts will accurately reflect the will of the people with this much chaos baked into the process. If you’re in Colorado and worried about the vote, speak with people about it NOW.

    1. Knifecatcher

      This is incorrect – non affiliated voters got ballots for both the D and R primaries, where if you were registered one way or another you would only get that ballot. Of course you can only send one ballot in or they’re both invalid.

      Source: I’m a Colorado non affiliated voter. I actually got my ballot before my D registered wife and daughter did. 3 Sanders votes in this household already, and we each got an email confirmation saying our ballots were accepted.

      1. meeps

        Thanks for your reply, Knifecatcher. Glad the process went smoothly for you.

        None in my home are or were non-affiliated, we were all registered Greens and are all registered D at present. I registered Dem early enough to avoid problems and my ballot reads “Official Democratic Party Ballot for Presidential Primary Election.” There are 17 Democrats including three I’ve never heard of.

        I don’t know why the men in my household didn’t get ballots. This is the first time they haven’t, so I’ll call the Sec of State on Monday to verify what needs to happen to make sure they can vote.

        As for registered Republicans who’d like to vote for Sanders, I see nothing on the site that would help them do that other than registering as D to get the D ballot or as unaffiliated, getting both and casting only one ballot.

  45. Samuel Conner

    Comparing the First and Second vote totals at the RCP home page summary,…

    Sanders is the only candidate whose vote total grows between the first and second rounds.

    If I understand the mechanics, this suggests that Sanders is viable in most precincts (no surprise there)

    AAANND ..

    that Sanders is the 2nd preference for many caucus-goers; he preferentially gets votes of people whose first choice is not viable in the first vote count.

    This tracks with news reports that Sanders is favorably regarded by most D primary voters.

    Perhaps Bernie has a high and firm “floor” AND a high but uncertain “ceiling”. Those aren’t supposed to go together, per

    1. John Anthony La Pietra

      Only Sanders has actual-vote numbers up between the first and scond rounds — but FWIW, Buttigieg is up in percentage, from 11.2% to 11.4% as of this posting (6:28pm EST by my PC’s watch).

      1. hunkerdown

        With 49.88% reporting, the Party machine finally created enough votes to put Buttigieg over the 15% threshold.

  46. Emmanuel Goldstein

    Anecdotal information from the Nevada caucus:

    My precinct is in the north west corner of Las Vegas. The area generally is older, whiter, and more wealthy than the average part of the city.

    There were a total of eight in person participants in the room. The initial ballot was four Biden, two Sanders, and two Warren. The early votes were then shown on the IPad as three Biden, five Buttigieg, ten Sanders, three Steyer, and two Warren.

    On the second round, the IPad reported early voting totals as seven Biden and fourteen Sanders. Subsequently, only Sanders and Biden were found viable on the first round for both in person and early voting. That left the two in person voters for Warren to join a viable candidate.

    The Biden group’s representative gave a one-minute speech to the two in person non-viable Warren voters and I gave a one-minute speech on behalf of the Sanders group. One Warren voter joined Sanders and the other declined to join either group.

    Therefore, the vote totals were: seventeen Sanders, eleven Biden, and one Warren. (The delegate count was three Sanders, two Biden).

    FYI – this same precinct went twenty-one Sanders to fifteen Clinton in the 2016 caucus.

    My conclusion is that it looks to be a very good day today for Bernie Sanders in Nevada.

    1. Lambert Strether

      Thank you. It’s interesting that the early voters were disproportionately for Sanders. I would imagine those votes skew working class, for the same reason the satellite caucuses in Iowa skewed working class.

  47. Samuel Conner

    Listening now to NPR ATC “coverage” of the NV caucuses; reporters desperately trying to spin the state of affairs as not favorable to Sanders.

    1. Carey

      Thanks for that. and on the Guardian pages, they’re oddly talking about Trump! and Bloomberg, neither of whom are on the ballot there, rather than Sanders’s outsized
      performance (so far, before the fixing)..

      1. The Rev Kev

        Maybe Bloomberg was supposed to be the Democrat’s Maginot Line but like the Germans, Bernie just went around him.

      2. Samuel Conner

        Perhaps CM is making an analogy between the two events in terms of the utter unexpectedness (within the ruling establishment) of the outcomes.

        Or perhaps Bloomberg is the D establishment version of the Dyle Plan.

    1. Samuel Conner

      So is Matthews implying that he regards the D Party establishment to be analogous to … cheese-eating surrender monkeys?

      that might be a meme with some legs to it

      1. inode_buddha

        That one is turning into a meme already, its got some legs on it… you should see the twitterati dissing the MSM — and rightly so.

      2. The Rev Kev

        Listening to that, was she sighing that they were picking Bernie or that that was the choice of local workers, ‘people of colour’ and Latinos i.e. the peasants?

        1. wsa

          My possibly too charitable interpretation is that they were expecting people of color to come out much more for Biden. They’re still expecting North Carolina to go that way.

    2. inode_buddha

      If you think he’s funny, let’s just wait till Sanders wins to watch Karl Rove have another meltdown. Guaranteed they will be openly bawling on live national TV and calling it the End of America and talking about leaving the country while they still can. Two weeks later the lawsuits will begin while the Propaganda machine goes into overdrive.

    3. richrad

      I wonder who his producer imagines Matthews is speaking to/for these days. Insanely paranoid tv personalities whose whole schtick is falling to pieces in front of them? How many people like that can there be?
      Seriously, Matthews whole tired deal of trying to rep working class dems (gone baby gone) by referencing traditional hogswillah, by ignoring class and euphemizing about it, well let’s just say it has never looked more tired.
      Things are clearing up all over! The fakes have never looked more fakey.

    4. Big Tap

      Matthews is giving Glenn Beck a run for his money. A neoliberal Howard Beale. He’s off his meds again. Matthews and Upchuck Todd think they’re on to something. Brownshirts and Hitler are back thanks to Bernie. Like Underdog they’re everywhere! How do these two still have jobs?

  48. Carey

    From the Grauniad:

    “..Some delays to the results were expected, as this was the first year that Nevada allowed early voting, which complicated the calculations that precinct leaders are required to make.

    However, there have also been some reports of precinct leaders struggling to report their tallies to the state Democratic party by phone. One precinct leader in Henderson, Nevada got a busy signal for “about an hour” as she attempted to phone in her results, the Washington Post reported.

    The state party has yet to release any official results. One source “close to the party” told the Washington Post that the process was “running smoothly overall” and that official results are expected soon..”

    should be fine

    1. FluffytheObeseCat

      I was precinct chair for a small precinct in a working class suburb north of the city of Reno. The results phone in ‘800 number’ was not working at the time we attempted to call in results. However, the backup text messaging number worked fine, and we had no trouble uploading photos of the caucus reporting sheets. The Democratic Party of Nevada should have verified totals by the end of the night for most precincts if the level of functionality that I experienced prevails in most regions. I know of no problems with the iPad app; it was easy to read and tracked our hand calculations perfectly. The iPad app also serves as a back up to texted photographic documentation of the hand calculated county delegate totals.

      We already know it’s a Bernie Blowout. He may crack 50%. The Reno Sanders campaign afterparty was frankly euphoric (I attended after my precinct duties were over). The key issue now is to canvas with a vengeance in the Super Tuesday states. He will not do as well in many larger states with older, less vigorous, and less forward-looking Democratic electorates.

      I hope the Republicans in South Carolina who intend to vote Sanders in the Dem primary “because he’s a Commie loser!!“ GOTV in large numbers. After 40 years of their venomous boasting, aggressive falsehoods, and self-admiring baloney…… I do want them to own goal his nomination. I really do. A dish served cold, in which the meat course laid itself down on the plate, is the best dish of all.

      Have a great night everyone.

  49. Carey

    I wonder, if one were to gather together those who voted for the status quo, and those who voted for Sanders, and let things take their natural course from there, what the outcome would look like?

  50. Dan

    A little inside scoop on the Park MGM caucus:

    Bernie just won the caucus I was at today, a special caucus for shift-workers on the Las Vegas strip, many of them members of the Culinary Union. Everyone was talking about healthcare, the speeches were about healthcare. Make no mistake: this was a referendum on Medicare for All

    I’m at the Park MGM casino hotel caucus, which is for workers (most represented by the Culinary Union) on the Las Vegas strip. After a Bernie caucus-goer’s beautiful speech about Medicare for All, EVERY SINGLE caucus-goer from the nonviable candidate groups realigned to Bernie.

    And a little emotion to boot:

    There was a moment just now at my caucus site where people were scattered all over the room and our Bernie section was medium-sized. So the precinct campaign went around and told people if they supported Bernie they should go over, and they all streamed over, and I almost cried

  51. urblintz

    On MSDNC, David Plouffe just said:

    “We’ve learned that a Democratic Socialist can not win the election.”

    I kid you not. Exact quote

    1. Samuel Conner

      As usual, one needs to include the mental reservations that make the statement arguably true in the mind of the speaker:

      My guess:

      “… a Democratic Socialist cannot win [90+% of the vote in] the election”

      Presumably he reckons that one or another of the Democratic Republicans could do better.

    2. Kurtismayfield

      They are pretty obviously in it just to protect their rice bowls. It’s not even being hidden anymore.

  52. Samuel Conner

    The thought occurs that Biden’s SC campaign operation may be getting a bit nervous. If he does not do as well as expected there next week, some of the consultants may find themselves publicly excoriated as …

    dog-faced phony pollsters

    1. Dan

      Amy Klobuchar is exceeding expectations (or losing sanity):

      Though the few early results show her in sixth place in Nevada, Klobuchar is giving a pretty confident and proud speech here in Minnesota.

      Klobuchar boasts about a Trump attack: “For the first time ever, he mentioned me at a rally. You know I’ve arrived now. You know they must be worried.”

      Klobuchar quickly points to why she came home to Minnesota on the night of the Nevada caucuses: “Guess what one of the Super Tuesday states is?”

      Klobuchar, despite a lack of a lot of results reported, tries to claim some momentum out of Nevada: “As usual, I think we have exceeded expectations.”

      Klobuchar just took the stage in Minneapolis, where she has about 150 supporters crammed into her campaign headquarters here.

      I’d actually feel sorry for her if I could in any way stand her.

  53. Carey

    Drily said on Klob:

    “Speaking in Minnesota, Amy Klobuchar told supporters her campaign had “exceeded expectations” in Nevada. “We will floor the country,” she said.

    With only 3% of precincts reporting, Klobuchar is in a distant sixth place, with just 1.6% of the vote..”

  54. Samuel Conner

    RCP home page sometimes shows the “1st vote” precincts reporting as 1% higher than the “2nd vote” precincts reporting.

    At this writing, with 3.86% reporting, the 1st vote % is 4% and the 2nd vote % is 3%. One can guess that the first number is rounded, and the second truncated.

    But why not simply treat the number the same way in the two locations?

    And why have 2 numbers at all; the precincts don’t report 1st vote prior to reporting 2nd vote, do they?

    Someone isn’t paying attention to detail, me thinks.


    and for a bit of levity, the phrase

    “dog-faced phony pollsters”

    comes to mind.

  55. allan

    While Nevada Berns, Nancy goes full Cuellar de Ville:

    Patrick Svitek @PatrickSvitek

    .@SpeakerPelosi: “We want this to be not only a victory,
    but a resounding victory for Henry Cuellar.” #TX28

    Have you left no sense of decency madame, at long last?

  56. Shonde

    Just got this email from Bernie:

    “We did it!
    We won the Nevada caucus, and we won BIG! ”

    Then of course the usual request for another donation. To celebrate, I will comply.

    1. Dalepues

      Good for you! I give every time the Sanders campaign asks. Not a fortune of course…but I so want Sanders to win.

      1. dcrane

        I give regularly but always have to immediately unsubscribe b/c they consistently hit me up again just a day or two after the donation. My complaints have no effect. Oh well.

  57. Samuel Conner

    While waiting for the next miserly parcel of precincts, am reading Damon Linker here:

    This caught my attention:

    “But then why do I catch myself shaking my head in dismay at the Democratic field? How is it that I’ve allowed the perfect to become the enemy of the good — or the meh?”

    How silly; what has actually happened is that the Progressive wing of the electorate has refused to agree that it is wrong to allow the good to be the enemy of the mediocre.

  58. Samuel Conner

    RCP is starting to report actual convention delegates awarded.

    4 to Sanders at this point, none to anyone else.

    Well, for a brief glorious moment, Mayor Pete could claim to lead in pledged delegates and use that as the basis for an appeal to Mayor Mike to drop out for the good of the Party and the nation…

    but, if you ask me, it was always a bright shining lie

    1. Randy Middleclass

      That Carville clip is some seriously insane stuff right there, like mental illness inducing, I can’t imagine what is happening to people exposed to that level of derangement on a daily basis. There must be some serious psy-op going on, that’s some serious lost your mind, batshit level stuff. It’s very unsettling to see that on a major network.

      1. WobblyTelomeres

        The only thing I ever liked about Carville was his penchant for wearing Camellia Grill t-shirts. Many fine memories of riding the streetcar up from Loyola for a very early morning breakfast and good coffee in the 70s.

        1. ambrit

          Oh my. The Camellia Grill. That place was a bit ‘rich’ for my pocketbook. I did hang out at The Boot on the odd weekday night if there was no exam upcoming. Then a couple of us rented a place down the trolley line near Napoleon and Saint Charles.

  59. cripes

    Its gonna be a rout.

    AP and NPR have Bernie Sanders at 54.1%, Biden at 17% but trailing way behind at one-third Sanders votes.

    Gonna be hard even for Perez to fudge these numbers, though they can try to squeeze a few points into Warren or Buttagieg to cross the 15% barrier and dilute the delegate count.

    They may have to settle for Tweetys Panic Reports to do the rest.

    C’mon and C’mon and Raise Your Glass

    1. richard

      terrific musical choice
      here is how i feel at the moment
      In general though, I’ve been feeling so odd lately. Has anyone else?
      I just had this feeling yesterday that I don’t think I’ve ever had before of time flattening, becoming just an undifferentiated mess with everything everywhere at once, the past not the past.
      But I couldn’t find a song for that, so here’s sum elvis!

        1. richard

          no, lol, and i wasn’t high either, not that that would have explained it
          it lasted 5 seconds or so, then I lost it
          I was thinking about us history since 2016 and just got the sense of everything sort of happening at once, that’s all it was

      1. Carey

        = JRubin telling her #class a nice bedtime story.

        It’s not workin, Jen; the party’s not over quite yet, but..

      2. Daryl

        The Democratic party’s inability to work with him will be a problem — for them, if he’s filling arenas with people who want these policies and the democrats are talking about the need to compromise on them.

  60. Amfortas the hippie

    i believe anecdata is the term of art.
    cousin in houston called a while ago.
    wants to come hide out out here indefinitely in a week or two(waiting on a big check), wants to know what to stock up on on the way up, and says he wants to help with the farm(one learns to never turn down free farm labor)
    turns out his cousin is a mid-level cop in houston, and that cousin’s wife is an RN in one of the big hospitals.
    both have been called to an all hands meeting on monday morning, and are freaking out.
    subject of meeting is, honestly, what i frelling expect my gooberment to do: prepare for the panic/what’s coming, regarding coronavirus.
    so i told my cousin to 1. calm down.2. obtain things like tylenol and ibuprophin and gut bug meds and masks in quantity, along with ronsonol and flints(for the zippo, for to start fires for as long as possible without resorting to flint/steel…I’m low).
    and 3. avoid getting sick, so i don’t have to quarantine him overmuch.

    other than lots of properly stored gas and kerosene, we’re pretty well situated for about 6+ months…prolly even more, barring garden disasters.
    whole lot better than the majority.
    what i worry about even more than the virus itself, at least for now, is the supply lines…and the panic that will ensue when things aren’t available.

    an experience that hit me where i live: Hurricane Rita, 2005, hit East Houston really hard. that’s where the port and the big distribution centers are.
    trucks quit running way out here(350 miles away) for a week.
    by the end of the week, this town had no gas, nothing on the grocer’s shelves but (literally) corn husks and canned oysters, no propane, and almost no beer(!!!)…for this last, the store owners got together and sent pick up trucks to the distribution/warehouse hub 100 miles north of here to get beer and cigs and toilet paper, so there wouldn’t be a riot.
    that experience is why i keep a pantry and things in storage, just as a matter of course.
    civilisation is the thinnest of patinas…and it doesn’t take much to rub it off.
    stay frosty out there.

    …and if it turns into a real stephen king style pandemic…well…i don’t really want to dwell on that right now,due to our cancer situation.
    just try to keep abreast of what’s happening, so i know when to bar the door.

    1. Carl

      The S Texas winter garden is good; I have three kinds of kale, spinach, carrots, cauliflower and cabbage. Basically a salad every night. Strong connections to the local farmers. Stocked fridge and some canned stuff. I think we can get by for a few months here…

    2. flora

      wants to come hide out out here indefinitely in a week or two

      A week or two weeks from now would be an interesting coincidence.

      A week and a half from now is the Super Tuesday primary day, when the largest number of states hold their presidential primaries. It’s on March 3rd this year. Texas has its primary on Super Tuesday.,_2020

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        sadly, i doubt he’s registered. he’s had a hard year…couch surfing, working all over the place, big wreck a year ago that totaled his work truck(other guy had a seizure), with insurance dragging feet, not being able to work like usual, and thus getting in arrears with child support. plus a neck injury from that wreck.
        all while getting a bachelor’s with a 3.8 gpa. Hopes to start law school next year.
        when it rains, it pours,lol.

        but he doesn’t want to be in the middle of houston if things break enough to where the mundanes loose their minds.
        i need the help any way…big push with tax return to get the derned infrastructure in place to smooth out my workload.

    3. Lambert Strether

      > 1. calm down.2. obtain things like tylenol and ibuprophin and gut bug meds and masks in quantity, along with ronsonol and flints(for the zippo, for to start fires for as long as possible without resorting to flint/steel…I’m low).
      and 3. avoid getting sick,

      4. 70%+ rubbing alchohol and/or bleach for wiping down surfaces

      5. Plenty of hand-soap (and TP — fecal tranmission).

      > both have been called to an all hands meeting on monday morning, and are freaking out.

      If you can get a report on that, it would be great. Thank you!

    4. PlutoniumKun

      Chinese and Japanese media are apparently running reports claiming that the US is burying Covid-19 deaths among annual ‘flu’ deaths (my language skills aren’t up to direct translations, but I’ve been told the Chinese media are showing the Japanese reports as a sort of ‘confirmation’ that it isn’t just Beijing making this up).

      Both countries of course have a bit of a vested interest in directing attention away from their own mistakes in this so I’d take any such claims with a grain of salt, but the Peak Prosperity Blog on youtube has pointed out that the ‘official’ US figures keep changing apparently randomly and make little sense from an epidemiological perspective.

      I doubt there is a big conspiracy going on about this but its entirely possible that ruthless buck passing means that nobody feels able to tell the truth, or even that anyone has a firm handle on what is going on in various States.

        1. Ignacio

          We can retrospectively say repatriation is a mistake unless much more stringent and longer quarantines are applied to both infected and those apparently not infected.

          1. PlutoniumKun

            I think more than retrospectively! Moving anyone with a highly infected disease seems to me to be an unacceptable risk when they can be treated where they are. I think sometimes we’ve lost the lessons of the past – authorities could be very ruthless within living memory of people with TB – this was entirely necessary to prevent the spread. It wasn’t unknown for people to be locked up in secure wards if they refused to co-operate. And of course, going back a century or more ships with infections were kept securely quarantined in port, even if it meant people dying on that ship.

      1. Ignacio

        To my knowledge most recent changes recorded have to do with the repatriation of infected from Diamond Princess to various military bases in California and Nebraska and that might explain those random appereances. But there are lots of incentives for hiding new cases like trying to avoid panics and other bad reactions plus mistakes. Hiding cases can make sense as long as you believe you are controlling all these supposedly new cases. But you know, with this virus control is more of a state of mind than a certainty.

  61. John Anthony La Pietra

    Anybody think that, if it stays about as is, Biden (as the only other NV viable) has a better chance of holding onto his SC lead and knocking some others out to be the last remaining Great Establishment Hope after all?

    1. Carey

      Just one opinion, but I think Biden’s *best* hope to to get a draw in SC, and then hang on for.. what?

      1. ambrit

        His best hope now is to hang on long enough to deny Sanders the nomination and reap his just reward with a cabinet position in the Clinton Protectorate. (We need ‘experienced’ politicos to run the country while ‘Democracy’ (TM) is purged and refined in the righteous fire of a robust application of “The American Way.”)

    2. Carolinian

      Biden is going to be in my town next week. The announcement said an RSVP is needed in order to attend–presumably over the web. They are probably going to keep out the riiff raff like me.

      By contrast when I saw Sanders at a black church here over a year ago I just walked in the door–no guards or security of any kind, all very laid back. Biden hadn’t announced then and in retrospect you have to wonder why he did. Surely anyone could have predicted that the mess with Ukraine and his son would sink him. Those Dem “centrists” are very much out of touch.

  62. Chris

    I promised myself I’d stay off Twitter and FB if Bernie won something bigly. No need to be crass when you’re winning after all… but that Pete BoodOffStage concession speech where he’s thinking he has a right to say that Bernie’s movement isn’t inclusive and his is? Nope. Can’t be quiet about that.

    And all the losers warning people about what a Bernie nomination will mean if he keeps winning? Wow. I’m waiting for the DNC to change the rules such that if Bernie is close to being nominated they’ll say he need 125% of all delegates and the signature of Hillary’s mom before he’s allowed to be the DNC candidate.

    In the meantime, I’ll enjoy this victory against the bastards and sip the wine I’m making from establishment sadness. I have a catch basin to gather all the MSM tears coming through the intertoobz right now. I will cut them with distilled populist rage into a particularly fine vintage :)

    1. eg

      I’m enjoying this win for progressive politics everywhere from up here beyond the border. Bernie’s victory speech was so inspirational, I’ve grabbed myself some (legal here) edibles and am watching delicious tears on CNN …

  63. cripes

    Van Jones on NPR says Sanders victory “extraordinary” not to be confused with approving.

    He said Sanders is “running away with the nomination” and if anyone wants to stop him, they better find “marbles” or “banana peels” to throw in his path.

    Pipsqueek Pwogwessives.

    Following decades as the most reliably pro-justice & anti-war voting block the spectacle of Black&Older votes keeping the deeply racist Biden afloat, and the Black political class selling their souls for pieces of Bloomberg gold is deeply saddening.

    Mayor of San Francisco London Breed fer chrissakes has endorsed the Lizard. And Stacy Abrams took 5 million.
    Hell, even Booker T is turning in his Gradualist grave.

    Time to mobilize the demand for “party unity” to beat Trump and point the blame directly at the DNC obstructionists standing in the way.

  64. Daryl

    I’ve no doubt they’re correct, but claiming victory this early is an interesting and unfortunately necessary move. Otherwise we might end up with another Mayor Pete “victory.”

  65. KFritz

    Re: Kill Your Lawn

    The first lawns to go ought to be golf courses, which seem to average 235 acres, taking up a total area equivalent to Massachusetts They’re the most lavishly cared-for and unnatural lawns of all. And Rex Stout in his Nero Wolfe novel “The Rubber Band” had his fictional Marquis de Clivers describe the game quite accurately–“A corrupter of social decency.”

  66. cripes

    “Bernie: First candidate in history to win the popular vote in the first three states.
    MSM: I don’t know, he’s too divisive.”

    Anyone know if this is accurate?
    Has any candidate won 1st three?

    I’m not sure I’m comfortable feeling good yet.
    I’m beginning to wonder if I should have taken that seminar on “managing success.”

  67. Plenue

    Too early to say with 100% certainty what the results are, but more and more media outlets are projecting a crushing Sanders victory. MSNBC is filled with people, from reporters to commentators to hosts, practically shitting themselves. Chris Matthews is particularly distraught, and is comparing this to the Fall of France, saying he can see the writing on the wall and the inevitable defeat of his faction long before it has actually come to pass. He’s resigning himself to Sanders being the future of the party.

    If Sanders indeed has won, this was in the face of multiple other campaigns outspending him by up to 5 to 1 in ads. This could be a sea change. No one is listening to the media anymore, or are even gravitating towards those the media tells them to hate and fear. Bloomberg’s prospects may have just gotten a lost worse, and Biden may have just returned to being the premier ‘stop Sanders’ candidate. The establishment Dems are screwed.

    1. ChrisAtRU

      “No one is listening to the media anymore …”

      This is what sent them all into a tailspin today. I’ve said many times over the last decade that relegating the entire putrid neoliberal class – media, economics, politics, finance – to irrelevance was a key outcome, and one they feared most. Today we saw what happens when people in that class are undone by a grassroots movement that causes the masses to stop listening. It was a beautiful thing to behold, and this is only the beginning.

      1. Carey

        I hope you are right, and you could well be.

        Maybe this is the “Wait, what? Aww, f*ck this bullsh!t” moment.. with Senator Sanders doing (awesome) yeoman’s work.

        Bravo, Bernie Sanders.

      2. Dan


        It’s the Bannon playbook but with a kind face. Ignore their absurdity and just steamroll by them with the same message. This time the messenger just happens to be a decent human being instead of a pathological liar. And that attracts a lot more people.

        This thing’s only just begun. The energy is intoxicating. I’m not a particularly “movement” kind of guy, and I can’t get enough of this stuff. People finally have something to believe in. I’ve been getting misty-eyed a lot more often than I care to admit. It’s cathartic.

      3. The Rev Kev

        This is what happens when reporters decide that they are instead ‘influencers’ and ‘gate-keepers’. Their high incomes depend on this status too. But if they find that they are now becoming irrelevant, that is when the teeth and claws will really come out too protect their livelihood. That Chris Matthews is emblematic of this inability to know what to do when the rules change leaving people like him high and dry. It’s going to get even more nasty in other words.

        1. ChrisAtRU

          Thanks for the [Thread] … ;-)

          I’d only say that it’s not that #MSM is not reporting on issues; they are willfully misleading on issues crucial to voters; and those voters have finally realized that what comes out of #MSM are talking points and opinions peddled by those whose aim is to keep the status quo.

      4. Typing Chimp

        Nobody listened when they babbled about Trump’s bid four years ago, either.
        Or about Brexit
        Or about Beppe Grillo
        Or about Marine LePen
        We can keep going…

        The easy analysis is that the media does not have the ability to lead public opinion anymore.

        The (IMO) more likely analysis is that the media very clearly cannot understand major secular turning points, and won’t particularly try until they are outright ridiculed on such a frequent basis that they feel the need to put real effort into understanding them

        1. Biph

          I remember back when Steven Colbert did the Washington Correspondents Dinner and he essentially did the same monologue that he had done for his first episode of the Colbert Show which was a very Swiftian take down of the media and media bloiviators. The initial reaction from them was very negative, but when they saw the positive reaction Colbert was getting on SM they quickly changed their tune.

      5. Ignacio

        Ok, I am not talking about the US but Spain. But irrelevance of generalist TV channels is quite obvious regarding politics. Those attract only those interested on reality shows. Online media and press look now like much more important regarding political news spread. I have detected a change about Sanders at El Pais, (the NYT branch in Spain) and they are starting to treat him with much more respect now. It has been a bold change in a couple of months.

        Looks like something is not going according to plan.

    2. Lambert Strether

      > If Sanders indeed has won, this was in the face of multiple other campaigns outspending him by up to 5 to 1 in ads.

      I have heard it said that Sanders deliberately stayed below the radar on TV, and put his money into newspapers, flyers, radio, and other local media.

  68. Michael99

    An excerpt from the AP story on Sanders’ win in NV:

    Buttigieg congratulated Sanders, too, but then launched an aggressive verbal assault on the senator as too divisive.

    “Before we rush to nominate Senator Sanders in our one shot to take on this president, let’s take a sober look at what is at stake for our party, for our values and for those with so much to lose,” he said. “Senator Sanders believes in an inflexible, ideological revolution that leaves out most Democrats, not to mention most Americans.”

    I wonder who PB means when he says “our party, our values and for those with so much to lose”.

    Come gather ’round people, wherever you roam
    And admit that the waters around you have grown
    And accept it that soon you’ll be drenched to the bone
    If your time to you is worth savin’
    Then you better start swimmin’ or you’ll sink like a stone
    For the times they are a-changin’
    -Bob Dylan

    1. Carey

      Mister Buttigieg claiming Sanders is “divisive” despite winning 4x as many votes from, y’know, the People.. you gotta love the former’s rhetoric.

  69. cripes


    Now we have 23% of precincts reporting, but the ranking of candidates hasn’t changed.

    Sanders – 47%
    Biden – 23%
    Buttigieg – 13%
    Warren – 9%
    Steyer – 4%
    Klobuchar – 3%

      1. Detroit Dan

        Good for Biden getting 23%. Longer he stays in the race, the better.

        Biden has underperformed spectacularly, leaving the field wide open for Bernie. Bloomberg may be a similar flop. Except in Florida — those 2 are big with the senior citizens I guess.

        1. Lambert Strether

          > Biden has underperformed spectacularly

          Not to mention Warren. I believe that Data for Progress has figures on late (i.e., post-debate) deciders, and the debate did not help Warren.

  70. Carey

    So when Sanders goes into Milwaukee with 49% of the delegates, the will of the people firmly behind him, only to have the nomination awarded to a Deval Patrick [Humphrey]
    type “unity candidate”, then the Corporatists monumentally lose to Trump! in the General- what happens next?

    1. ambrit

      I would counsel the ‘Progressive Democrats’ to be prepared to force a split in the party immediately after the DNC cheats Sanders of the nomination in Milwaukee.
      Mr. umlautless Ubercynical wonders if some political traction could be gained from making a ‘deal’ with Trump after a ‘brokered’ convention in Milwaukee. Say, throw the ‘Progressive Democrats’ behind Trump in exchange for some cabinet posts, or policy planks. (Such, illusory though it would be, would be no worse than what the ‘Progressive Democrats’ would get from the DNC.)
      As for a Democrat “Bull Moose Party”….

  71. lordkoos

    Carville was losing his mind, and Chris Matthews was comparing Sanders’ win to the Nazis crossing the Maginot line in WWII, lol. Loving it. The pundits look lost — you can sense there is a shift going on, and they know they and their worldview are going to be obsolete.

    1. Carey

      They no longer have an audience of significance. Not that the war is won; far from it,
      but those types will finally have to get in shape, maybe for their first time ever.

    2. John k

      Omg I really hope so. I’m so sick and tired of msm… stables have been unswept for far too long.
      Love it that Mathews and Carville are tearing their hair out.
      They’ll just have vote for trump… maybe register as rep…

  72. Daryl

    Scanning through the headlines, most are straightforward and positive in Bernie’s favor. It remains to be seen how the Democratic party and media are going to attempt to get this back in hand, but for now, things look good.

    1. Typing Chimp

      They aren’t–they are going to concede.

      Either that or they are going to try to discourage people from voting (not a good idea), because anything to get out more votes will help Bernie.

      As I said yesterday, this election is Bernie’s to lose. And he would have to make many, many mistakes to lose it. Not likely…

        1. Typing Chimp

          Well, they aren’t going to concede tomorrow, but yes, they will concede in order to safeguard the House and Senate seats once the who Russians 4 Bernie stories don’t get traction. Again, the attacks against Bernie and his supporters have been pretty laughable–it is very clear that there is not much they can pin on the guy, and it is increasingly obvious that the guy is not going to go away, and it’s pretty obvious that he has a groundswell of public support.

          Given those circumstances, what would you do?

          The media and large donors will likely shift to Republicans in an effort to concentrate a vote. And much like the media concentrating on anti-Trump four years ago, this is a move of desperation that very likely won’t work.

          So based on this, I strongly suspect Bernie in a landslide.

          1. ambrit

            My interactions with ten percenters, both family and otherwise, lead me to the conclusion that the RussiaRussiaRussia meme is still well and alive in the upper class’s zeitgeist.
            You make the common mistake of assuming that the “woke” cadres are amenable to logic. Such is not the case. You will always and everywhere be confronted with “True Believers.” That class exhibits all the characteristics of fanaticism.
            They will never ‘give up,’ but will have to be extirpated with fire and the sword.

            1. Plenue

              riverdaughter’s site is filled with people convinced Sanders fundraising is largely coming from the Kremlin.

              These people are certifiably insane at this point.

      1. hunkerdown

        In McGovern’s case, party bosses try to cut off the oxygen of their undesired candidate’s campaign: union endorsements (already proven ineffective), funding (Sanders funds independently), favorable MSM coverage (already burnt bridges with viewers). Eventually, if they have to, assassination (who do we take as hostages and how?).

      2. Amfortas the hippie

        saw a thing a minute ago(cnn or msnbc) that “higher turnout could help trump”….
        and on wapo:

        which contains this gem:
        “..If Democrats are awakening to a recognition that Sanders could pull away from the rest of the field, there is far less consensus about whether his nomination will help President Trump win reelection. Sanders’s power to turn out young and blue-collar voters or suburbanites is not fully tested, the ceiling of Trump’s support is poorly defined in a two-way race and the senator from Vermont has not yet been subjected to a negative paid advertising effort.
        (i bolded the last sentence, i think)

        the way my admittedly muddled mind remembers the last almost 5 years, sanders has been subjected to nothing but “negative…advertising”.
        and joy reid, a minute ago, in her breathless “hunger” segment, seemed like she was either in shock, or in shock but resigned to the reality.
        just the vibe i got.
        carville needs his meds and a nice cup of milk.
        and cilliza(sp-2) is even more peripatetic than usual…bouncy, even…
        chris matthews…i don’t know. I can’t take his voice and diction past 8pm.
        all in all, a delicious schadenfreude moment.
        enjoy it while it lasts…when the Machine recovers and gets off the floor, we’ll be back in the salt mines with the Commie.

        …and in fact…perusing random more or less MSM sites at this late hour(oh, my back), I’m seeing more scary, serious talk about socialism and even communism….not as strident for the most part as it most certainly will be, but it’s there…being tested, probably.
        and i think that points to one of the greatest screwups of the Machine and the punditry since 2015, at least: they still think that their decision trees about how to win and how to manipulate the public work as they always have….just push this button and the pavlovian herd will move over there…that button gets them to sit.
        I don’t think that’s the case, any more.
        and i think they’re just now coming to question their assumptions, however badly and tentatively.
        I expect actual meltdowns in the near future, peripheral to the renewed onslaught.

      3. Lambert Strether

        > They aren’t–they are going to concede.

        They will move to the next line of defense. “Moderating” Sanders policies, professional services strike, even a capital strike. And of course, RussiaRussiaRussia.

        It would be great to have Bloomberg make a $1 billion dollar ad buy on Sanders as a Russian puppet, and then have it fall flat.

  73. Carey

    NYT- ‘Bernie Sanders Wins Nevada Caucuses, Strengthening His Primary Lead’:

    “..Mr. Sanders’s success, and the continued uncertainty over who is his strongest would-be rival, makes it less clear than ever how centrist forces in the party can organize themselves for a potentially monthslong nomination fight. The moderate wing is still grappling with an unusually crowded field for this late in the race, no clear alternative to Mr. Sanders and no sign that any of those vying for that role will soon drop out to hasten a coalescence..”

    Mmm, we’ll see.

  74. Typing Chimp

    Incidentally, for an outlandish scenario that I think is actually quite possible (maybe 40% chance), I am willing to bet that if Sanders gets the nomination, the Republicans are going to have to put quite a bit of effort to even save Texas and are likely gonig to lose Iowa and Ohio.

    For good or ill, it will be Bernie in a landslide.

    PS–MB: my consulting fees will go up to $15m/EV if I don’t hear anything before Super Tuesday.


    1. Katniss Everdeen

      “Landslide”?????? Whoa, pardner.

      Not the “turn Texas blue while we skip WI, MI and OH” thing again.

      A little less typing and a little more “It ain’t over til it’s over” may be in order.

  75. The Rev Kev

    Check out what Trump tweeted-

    Donald J. Trump

    Looks like Crazy Bernie is doing well in the Great State of Nevada. Biden & the rest look weak, & no way Mini Mike can restart his campaign after the worst debate performance in the history of Presidential Debates. Congratulations Bernie, & don’t let them take it away from you!

    9:55 AM · Feb 23, 2020·Twitter for iPhone

    Trump doing what Trump always does. Putting the boot in.

    1. richard

      an interesting response
      crazy is really what he’ll go with?
      if he thinks that will work, or red baiting, he’s the crazy one
      coming straight for you president cheeto.

      1. ObjectiveFunction

        Don’t underestimate the power of that nastytag, and always remember, it wasn’t created with you in mind.

        Trump sees zero gain in appealing to the 1/3 of the electorate that hates his guts, except inasmuch as winding them up delights and fires up the other 1/3 that’s in his corner.

        Medicare for All and a return to the core principles of the New Deal is Bernie’s vanguard issue, and not especially ‘crazy’ to most of America. Keep it up, Bernie!

        But Trump knows that on many other issues, such as disengagement and disarmament and especially the Green New Deal — a day One ban on fracking for example — Bernie runs a real risk of ‘earning’ the Crazy monicker by sticking to his principles.

        Politically, it is of little relevance that you or I believe such drastic measures to be essential for the safeguarding of the planet. If Joe and Mary Sixpack don’t (yet) agree that’s true, then to them, face it, it’s still Crazy talk. And as the IdPol wing has amply demonstrated, you don’t bring them around by ranting at them or calling them stupid etc.

        Like Thaddeus Stevens (‘I don’t hold with equality in all things…’), the Bern and his followers are going to have to trim and prevaricate on many of these polarizing issues until he attains the high seat. Or else, ‘what’s the point of knowing true north?’

  76. Carey

    WaPo: Bernie Sanders decisively wins Nevada caucuses:

    “..He prevailed among those with college degrees and those without; those living in union and nonunion households; and in every age group except those over 65. He won more than half of Hispanic caucus-goers — almost four times as much support as his nearest rival, former vice president Joe Biden — and even narrowly prevailed among those who identified as moderate or conservative. Despite attacks on his health proposal by the powerful Culinary Union, he won in caucus sites filled with union members.

    “In Nevada we have just put together a multigenerational, multiracial coalition, which is going to not only win in Nevada, it is going to sweep this country,” Sanders said during a lively rally in San Antonio, after networks had declared him the winner..”

    Getting the oddest feeling

  77. Plenue

    50% reporting now. Sanders lead isn’t just holding steady; the gap with Biden is growing. He freaking annihilated the Nevada caucus.

  78. cripes

    Mayo Pete on CNN telling us the “vicious bullying” of the Sanders campaign must be stopped.

    Keep the Blackwater XE guard dogs at a safe distance, they’ll smell the fear.

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