Links 2/23/2020


To combat citrus greening, farmers are spraying medically important antibiotics on their trees The Counter

Revealed: quarter of all tweets about climate crisis produced by bots Guardian (furzy)

Sweden is now testing its digital version of cash, the e-krona MIT Technology Review


The EU and UK: A collapse in trust ahead of trade talks RTE (PD)

Julian Assange

With WikiLeaks, Julian Assange did what all journalists should aspire to do Independent. Patrick Cockburn.

The Assange Hearing: A Reticent Request Craig Murray

Julian Assange protest: Hundreds gather for London rally to demand release of Wikileaks founder Evening Standard

Class Warfare

Can Eminent Domain Preserve L.A.’s Affordable Housing? Capital & Main

A Travesty and a Disgrace’: Trump Quietly Issues Memo That Could Abolish Union Rights for 750,000 Federal Workers Common Dreams

‘If a Charge Can’t Stick on These Guys, No Charges CanStick on Anyone.’ Institutional Investor (re Silc)

The Cost of Thriving American Affairs (User-friendly)


Bernie Sanders’ Nevada win is a breakout moment. The others are toast Guardian (The Rev Kev)

Bernie Sanders on Bloomberg debate performance: “I think it’s quite likely that Trump will chew him up and spit him out.” CBS News. The embedded video is worth your time; I’m going to try and watch the full interview when it’s released on Sunday.

Elizabeth Warren Took Bloomberg To Law School In The Most Horrifying Way Possible Above the Law

“That’s Called Electability”: Diverse Coalition Propels Bernie Sanders to Big Win in Nevada Common Dreams

De Blasio to Buttigieg: ‘Try to not be so smug when you just got your ass kicked’ The Hill  (User Friendly)

Bloomberg needs to take down Sanders — immediately CNN (The Rev Kev)

Intelligence Sources: All Candidates Are Russian Agents But Pete Buttigieg Caitlin Johnstone

How Bloomberg is enabling Sanders to keep winning FT (BC)

The Billionaire Election NYT. Anand Giridharadas.

Why Sanders Will Probably Win the Nomination NYT. UserFriendly: David Brooks doesn’t know what ‘Myth’ means.

Ocasio-Cortez’s progressive PAC makes first round of endorsements Yahoo (UserFriendly)

The GOP’s Silly Attempt to Boost a Liberal Candidate New Republic (re Silc)

737 MAX

Boeing Finds Fuel-Tank Debris in Two-Thirds of 737 MAX Jets Inspected WSJ (BC)


Putin keen to cool Turkish hawk down Pepe Escobar Asia Times (The Rev Kev)

Iran elections expected to end with hardline victory for nationalists and religious conservatives Independent

Iran’s leader says enemies tried to use coronavirus to impact vote Reuters


CAA: Donald Trump will discuss religious freedom in India with PM Modi during visit, say reports Scroll

Trump in India: A brief history of US presidents’ trips BBC

The Fight Against US-Styled IP Is Not Only in Pharma, but Also on the Farm Front The Wire

The Trump visit as India-U.S. trade booster? The Hindu


10 Italian towns in lockdown over coronavirus fears Agence France-Presse

Iran shuts schools, cultural centres as coronavirus kills six Al Jazeera

Coronavirus: South Korea declares highest alert as infections surge BBC

The coronavirus is picking up steam outside China, narrowing chances of eliminating it Stat

The Coronavirus May Be ‘Disease X’ Health Experts Warned About Bloomberg

Amazon’s Trash Chute Of A Marketplace Is Now A Hotbed For Products Claiming To ‘Kill’ Coronavirus Gizmodo (The Rev Kev)

How epidemics like COVID-19 end (and how to end them faster) WaPo. Dr. Kevin: “Super high quality explanation of epidemiology, supported by excellent animated graphics.”

Tom Cotton demands ‘answers’ after China state newspaper says coronavirus originated outside wildlife market Washington Examiner (david L)

How big data is dividing the public in China’s coronavirus fight – green, yellow, red SCMP (Dr. Kevin)


Millions of Chinese Firms Face Collapse If Banks Don’t Act Fast Bloomberg

Big Brother IS Watching You Watch

The House wants to know what Ring is doing with footage from your house  Ars Technica


Trump Transition

Trump has flipped the 9th Circuit — and some new judges are causing a ‘shock wave’ LA Times

Antidote du Jour. Australian magpie as seen in Whangarei, NZ. Abundant in NZ. ~mgl:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here

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  1. Ignacio

    RE: Bloomberg needs to take down Sanders — immediately
    The Presidential elections look poised to be a contest between Putin muppets. For God’s sake we need someone used to do God’s job to avoid this.

      1. Ignacio

        I realise you did not like how I tried to reduce the argument to the absurd. I will not refrain to do it again If I see the opportunity as long as I am not banned here.

        1. Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg

          I think your joke was a bit too arch. It’s early! let us have some coffee before a ten kiloton dose of sarcasm :)

        2. flora

          I see you’re asking Lloyd “doing God’s work” Blankfein to step in and save the Dems for Wall St. ;)

        1. The Rev Kev

          I think his comment was in jest in a cross between the “Intelligence Sources: All Candidates Are Russian Agents But Pete Buttigieg” article and Lloyd Blankfein’s onetime comment about doing God’s work as a Wall Street capitalist and not meant to be taken literally.

          1. JCC

            Fear not, Rev. Yves’ reply seems to be directed at Michael based on comment insets.

            Ignacios’ statement was quick and clever.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      With his [Bloomberg’s] disastrous performance in the Las Vegas debate, it appears he won’t be building any organic momentum in this race. He has to buy it.

      Simple question– Where is “it” for sale?

      1. WheresOurTeddy

        there is no path for Bloomberg but a stolen nom at the convention
        there is no path for *anyone but Bernie* but a stolen nom at the convention
        It is Bernie or fraud
        There must be no 2nd ballot.

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          Simple question: if Bloomberg was not even on the ballot in Nevada what was the possible reasoning behind putting him up on the Nevada debate stage?

          My mailman has some very firmly-held political beliefs, can he be at the next debate?

          And can somebody please point out to the “Democratic” “Party” that they now have one Republican and one Independent leading? I mean you would think they could find a few Democrats, and if not, why not?


          1. JBird4049

            Well, we can all read yet other example today (If a Charge Can’t Stick on These Guys, No Charges CanStick on Anyone.) of how the laws only apply to the little people, you know the great unwashed, the common herd, the Deplorables; I think that the Democratic nomenklatura, their apparatchiks, and neoliberalism’s intelligentsia all think, perhaps unconsciously, that they are special people who don’t have to obey those rules.

        2. drumlin woodchuckles

          ” First ballot or first ballot not! There is no second ballot.” –as Yoda would say . . .

      2. human

        It never ceases to amaze me how the MSM can blather about all sorts of election interference, yet, prosetylize over Bloombergs’ ability to do so.

          1. bassmule

            After watching/reading various levels of hysteria on the part, mostly, of journalists based in DC, I still wonder: What, exactly, are they so afraid of? Having to work for a living once President Daily Outrage® is out of office?

            1. NotTimothyGeithner

              Yes. Many especially the ones who hold their position due to close connections to the Bush and Clinton families.

              The Republicans who run these networks only tolerate many of these people because they are perceived as curbing the left, but without that kind of control, they are gone. After all, the Clinton Global Initiative just didn’t attract the kind of financial support after Hillary lost. “OMG Russia” and the lack of Trump and the left not really being able to replace people en masse kept these people in place.

              I guarantee if Trump started tweeting about Joe Scarborough and said something even moderately not mean Scarborough would wear a MAGA hat every day.

              1. Ping

                I forget the MSNBC show or name of female commentator Clinton operator, but it was infuriating that she went on about how Bernie Sanders needed to kneel before Hillary for her blessing (coalition). Hillary is so desperate to be a power broker and relevant. Did her Sundance Festival biography fade away with a whimper?

                To her credit AM Joy, referencing discussions with her children, explained the POV of the youth generation in enthusiasm for Bernie…..they are drowning in student loans, can’t afford housing or childcare, let alone medical deductibles, premiums, co-pays, wages are flat….

                Chris Matthews and James Carvill, so consumed with self intellect pride, are foaming at the mouth totally astounded and clueless about Bernie’s support. It’s so obvious.

      3. Phacops

        Among the addled geezers of my generation who are so gullible they are susceptible to propaganda. One only needs to see his polling in Florida to realize that.

        Once baby-boomers are gone perhaps we can have some economic justice in America.

        1. flora

          and…. again…. age cohorts are not the argument. Trying to make it an argument is ceding to passive determinism – “if we just wait long enough then good stuff automatically happens” – and stereotyping. Also, the boomer age cohort is now less than 30% of the eligible voters in the country, and a lot of us have been working against neoliberalism for a very long time.

          1. flora

            Don’t fall for the “just wait for x to happen” argument. That’s what once young Dem voters were told in the 80’s:’Just wait till we elect another Dem pres and Congress. Then the Reagan Revolution will be rolled back.’ So we elected a Dem pres, who ran on FDR style progressive talk, and we elected a Dem congress who bowed to the Dem pres’s wishes, and watched that Dem pres make a U-Turn. We got NAFTA and other economic horrors. But just wait, the NEXT Dem pres we were to elect would surely mean it when he campaigned on reforming the financial system, reining in the Wall St. banks, protecting the safety nets. Just wait. So we waited and elected O, who also ran on all progressive things. Then he did a U-Turn, bailed out the banks, tried to cut the safety nets, and pretty much continued neoliberal Reagan Revolution economics. We waited and waited for the good stuff to ‘just happen’.

            Don’t think just waiting will get you anywhere.

          2. Librarian Guy

            Thank you, I like your clarification. I’m a boomer myself, & strong Bernie supporter (Warren is only a shadow of Bernie, won’t get the nom, the only one of his opponents I would’ve held my nose and voted for.)

            The Boomers have done a lot of damage, but many of us at least prospered, if not getting rich. I’m glad that younger people, who’ve had the bad luck to live in a time of insane economic inequality engendered by Dem as well as ReThug Neolibs like Joe “Senator from Mastercard” Biden, who put massive college debt onto them, have woken up and realized a step toward “socialism” might benefit (nearly) everyone.

            “History is the nightmare from which I’m trying to awake” (Joyce), if Sanders can beat the syphilitic narcissist, we may be a small step forward toward less of a nightmare.

          3. Kurt Sperry

            We know that Bernie Sanders frightens and appalls old, conservative white people. My question to you is: when, ever in the history of the US, has it happened that old, conservative white people have been right about *anything* politically controversial in retrospect? I can’t think of a single time, ever. It’s like the complete opposite of infallibility; always wrong 100% of the time.

            Have old, conservative white people ever been right about anything political? Even once?

            1. flora

              My reply to you is a bit nuanced. Old conservative people were once young people. If they were conservative laissez-faire economic supporters when young it’s no surprise they still are. They haven’t changed. But what about the once young progressive, even radical voters who now seem conservative to today’s young voters? They may well be looking back to time they changed a bad system to a better system (civil rights, equal opportunity, etc), but do not see the econ0mic system needs changing again. They gave a lot of neolib Dem candidates a pass on economics thinking the FDR party was still the same while working for civil rights. Unnoticed was the Dem party undermining the New Deal economics of the Dem party. Now the economic dislocation is too large too ignore. A lot of the old Dem voters, imo, are fervent civil rights supporters, but still wrongly believe the Dem party stands for a sort of keynesian economics system.

              In the 1930s young progressives worked against the older, in place, lasssez-faire economic system that seemed to work until the Depression. By 1931-2 it was clear the old lassez-faire economic system had run out of steam and couldn’t address the great economic dislocations of the Depression. The then young progressives elected and supported the then progressive programs of the New Deal, against the then older conservative voters. Well, you can see where I’m going with this. Those once young Dem voters grew older and kept supporting the Dem party even when it had flipped into a laissez-faire party itself, because their memories of what it had once been, and what they had created it to be when they were young.

              Now, the life and economic realities for Main Street have again changed from the 30’s and the 80’s. Now the young progressives are working hard to make the system economically better for most people in the country. It is about economics. My very great hope is that they will succeed.

              I’ve made a long way around answer to your question. I hope the meaning is somewhat intelligible.

            2. Waking Up

              Flora has provided a great response. May I add, if you need a visual aid to show that all “boomers” are NOT “old, conservative white people”, just check out protests on climate change, inequality, immigration and just about any other issue which effect the majority of citizens. You will see a whole lot of “gray hairs” at these protests. Economics and inequality is dividing this country…not age. Our primarily older, wealthy congressional members are not representative of the majority.

              1. JCC

                +2 to both flora and Waking Up.

                As an “old white guy” at an age where I could be collecting S.S. but instead still working, I can confidently say that not all “white boomers” support Blooberg, Trump, Biden, Buttigieg, and the rest of the neoliberals… and never have.

                And I know I’m not alone. In fact I’m often surprised at how many of my younger, educated co-workers in their mid 20’s to early 50’s support Trump and/or Bloomberg and the rest of those dogs.

                It’s not an age thing at all. It is more about education, critical thinking skills, and experience. And there are just as many not-well-educated millenials, x’ers, etc., as there are people my age. It’s sad and unfortunate for us all.

            3. Jeff W

              Kurt Sperry and flora are both right, I think.

              The age cohorts “argument” leads exactly nowhere. “Old, conservative white people” might be wrong about just about everything (and I haven’t yet seen a response showing that they aren’t); there might be good explanations for why some are; and, really, none of it matters. (And, even if it does, it doesn’t matter enough to give into defeatism.) They’re just not a big enough chunk of the population to matter.

              if Bernie Sanders’s movement means anything, it’s that we can enlist far more people who were previously not engaged (rightly or not) to make a difference. Sanders is saying let’s not take the constraints that have led to our current situation as a given—which is always the subtext of the Establishment Democratic incrementalism that “We can’t get that done”—let’s instead eliminate, to the extent possible, at least some of these constraints.

          4. smoker

            Thanks flora!

            Something I notice is that Boomer™s who did well neglect to consider that many millions of boomer™s have not done well at all, particularly the disabled; ethnic minorities; unconnected single, divorced or widowed females, and countless males fall backgrounds who always tried to operate with a social conscience. They neglect to consider the wound those words cause to those boomer™s not only living in misery, but having blame heaped on them for something they were not at all involved with.

            So very sick of that propagandized moniker which has done countless damage to social welfare and cohesion. The Nazi’s made great use of turning youth against the older with more life experience, and so have the US Elite. The word has been used to obscure the increasing amounts of boomer™s – particularly late stage boomers who were nailed by crucially timed and repeated recessions – committing suicide and forced into homelessness because rents are now obscene in most places an older person would fare better.

            1. CarlH

              Thank you for this. I am going to try to relay this sentiment whenever I am confronted with ant-Boomer messaging. It is such an easy trap for us younger generations to fall into and you just gave me some powerful ammunition to combat this sort of tribal poison within myself and others.

              1. smoker

                Thank you, CarlH!

                You just brightened my day enormously by verifying that many, of all backgrounds and ages, strive against all odds to do the right thing – something I’ve always believed – thank you so very much.

            2. smoker

              males from all backgrounds…, not males fall backgrounds….

              Should have done the word check manually, versus MSSpellCheck, but time to do things, and time to meditate and attain some peace, has become a huge – and deliberate – problem of The Technocracy for the average well meaning person. For example, due to unaffordability, surveilance, and deliberate obsolescence, it’s taking me insanely increasing amounts of time just to post a two word comment and then attempt to repond to any repliies, on the internet.

              By the way of which, if anyone responds to my comments, and I don’t respond back, that may well be the reason – I may no longer be able to reply when there are well over 300 comments. Thanks Ajit Pai; and thank you Obama, and Bipartisan Peers, for placing him where he is, a pox on all of you.

          5. richard

            2008 hit younger people a lot worse you know
            I think generational arguments that are about one generation acting better or worse than another generation are a bit bogus. As lambert and others have pointed out, generations can’t do anything, they have no agency.
            But that doesn’t mean generations can’t have a passive existence, all people who were around at the same time and all experienced the same catastrophic rise in education costs and all experiencing a super limited job market. Everyone together experiencing the same theft by capital, where the young are hit the hardest, well, somebody should have seen this coming is all I can say ;)

          6. JTMcPhee

            Not sure how big an organization Bernie has in FL. But we have a very active, one might say “radioactive,” Democratic Failed State here, And it’s been the case, time and again, that the Reps, having much more focused approach and goals and messaging, whip the sorry Dems nine ways from nowhere.

            I see young people driving around in pickups with not just Trump bumper stickers, but (often frayed) 3’ x 5’ TRUMP flags on staffs sprouting from their pickup trucks — people who are in the cohort of Gen X and Millenials, and working stiffs to boot. The Dem party here is diseased, like it is pretty much everywhere, with terminal narrowness and privilege. They fielded a business person, a FINANCIER , ffs, sadly named Alex Sink,in a losing, feckless run for Governor against vastly corrupt Rick Scott, and then in Losing a sad race for Bill Young’s House seat. Then they ran Charlie Crist, a Republican turncoat who as a Rep went up against Mario Rubio in the Rep Primary and lost, switched parties and snared one of the federal House seats guaranteed to the Dems by the gerrymandering the Dem fecklessness, over generations, now has brought us — because they can’t field candidates who win in the state legislature, which has been Rep-dominated for decades. Just two examples of the fecklessness of Debbie Wasserman Schiultz’s Dem Private Club — not so long ago, there were considerably more registers Dems than Reps, More on Crist, it’s a sad tale:

            I wish people would lay off the foolish stereotyping. I’m 73, all in for Bernie and AOC, as are most of the people of my age that I know and interact with.

            Eye on the ball: “Of course there’s a class war going on, and my people, the rich, are winning.” Said Warren Buffett, rubbing our feckless working people noses in the “working people’s party” (sic) poop.

            It will be clarifying, of course, to see how Bernie actually does in the FL primary.

        2. drumlin woodchuckles

          Really? Really?

          Once the baby-boomers are gone all the Chelsea Clintons and Pete Buttigiegs and Barack Obamas and Neera Tandens will still be here.

          Would I run afoul of the “no ad hominem” regulations if I asked whether you are a tool or a fool or possibly both? Would I get in trouble if I ask whether mirrors crack from laughing when you walk by?

      4. Bugs Bunny

        Picking Bloomberg in Milwaukee would be worse than Humphrey in Chicago. The police in that fair city don’t have enough tear gas.

        1. Elizabeth Burton

          Especially given the goal is to have a million members of the Sanders movement in Milwaukee ready to protest vigorously if the Democrats cheat again.

    2. Samuel Conner

      Lockhart’s piece is a delightful bit of hand-wringing.

      I can just see the Sanders ads that come out of a MB focus on him

      Please, oh please, ‘bring it on’

      My first attempt:

      “Hi, I’m Bernie Sanders,

      You’ve probably noticed a lot of advertising by billionaire Mike Bloomberg attacking me

      And you’ve probably noticed that President Trump doesn’t like me either

      I admit it, … billionaires don’t like me

      But the billionaires also don’t think that decent medical care is a human right

      And the billionaires aren’t offended by the idea that medical expenses are a leading cause of bankruptcy in this country

      And they don’t think that working people deserve a living wage

      Or that retirees shouldn’t be forced to ration their medicine because it’s so expensive, or choose between eating enough food or paying the utilities

      And the billionaires, many of whom made their money on Wall Street, like the idea that many college graduates are life-long debt slaves to powerful Wall Street corporations

      If you agree with the billionaires about these things,… well, in that case I guess that you shouldn’t like me any more than they do.

      But if you don’t agree with the billionaires about these things,… I invite you to vote for me in the Democratic primary and in the coming general election. The way things are, that the billionaires are so fond of, is not good for the great majority of the American people. We don’t have to put up with this. I invite you to join us.

      It’s not about me, and it’s not even about the billionaires. It’s about all of us.

      I’m Bernie Sanders and I approve this message”

        1. John Anthony La Pietra

          Well, that may be available. Jill Stein isn’t running this year, and I don’t know if any of our candidates for the 2020 Green nomination are emphasizing the theme as much as she did.

      1. Janie

        That’s really good, Samuel. Hope Bernie’s bunch uses it verbatim. I’m going to steal various paragraphs as i talk to people.

        1. Samuel Conner

          if it’s helpful, huzzah! I’d like to think of it as “meme reproduction”. “Propagate widely!”

          I think it could be improved by replacing “don’t think that” with “don’t like the idea that”

          for example:

          “But the billionaires also don’t like the idea that decent medical care is a human right”

          “and they don’t like the idea that working people deserve a living wage”

          etc etc


          The point, of course, is to draw the viewer’s/hearer’s attention to

          WHY the billionaires don’t like Senator Sanders.

          And I’m sure that the Sanders campaign already has responses like this gamed out, and quite possibly already produced and ready to air.

      2. Montanamaven

        And the answer to “socialism” v. “capitalism” comes from the great Martin Luther King Jr in his “Where do we go from Here” speech. His audience was very familiar with philosophers like Hegel and his theory of Dialectics.

        What I’m saying to you this morning is communism forgets that life is individual. (Yes) Capitalism forgets that life is social. (Yes, Go ahead) And the kingdom of brotherhood is found neither in the thesis of communism nor the antithesis of capitalism, but in a higher synthesis. (Speak) [applause] It is found in a higher synthesis (Come on) that combines the truths of both. (Yes) Now, when I say questioning the whole society, it means ultimately coming to see that the problem of racism, the problem of economic exploitation, and the problem of war are all tied together. (All right) These are the triple evils that are interrelated.

        I paraphrase this as “Communism forgets the ‘me’; Capitalism forgets the ‘we’.” We need a new system that rises from ashes of these two systems. If I were Bernie I would reread this great lesson in democracy and struggle.

        1. Aumua

          I would say that strictly speaking, that is a misreading of the meaning of the word Communism, in the Marxist sense anyway. Actual Communism (which we have not ever seen yet) does not necessarily subsume the individual, and of course Capitalism itself certainly oppresses the individual in many ways. My apologies to Dr. King.

          1. Dan

            What is “actual communism” and what do we have to do, according to jolly old Marx, to get there?

            Karl Marx, incidentally, stole most of his ideas from Pierre-Joseph Proudhon and then abruptly stopped corresponding with him when Proudhon pointed out the absurdities and ultimate danger inherent in Marx’ rigid dogmatism.

            Karl Marx was not a well man and, much like Freud, this is reflected in his writing.

            1. Aumua

              Yeah well he was the one who popularised if not coined the term Communism, and wrote ‘The Communist Manifesto’, so I mean whether he was well or not… his definition means something. And that definition is a stateless, classless, moneyless free association of individuals, in the economic sense.

              This presupposes a superabundance of material wealth of course, and the way to get there is ostensibly socialism.

            2. D. Fuller

              Karl Marx popularized the Labor Theory of Value. Which comes from earlier works by Adam Smith and others. What is a Capitalist to do?

              Karl Marx, like many philosophers, misunderstands the very basics of human nature. Capitalism, on the other hand, allows (and even encourages) the expression of the very worst of human nature.

              Karl Marx probably never envisioned State Capitalism that occured under Stalin.

              Perhaps one issue is a deep understanding of the nature of money and what it is, as opposed to how it is seen today. Which confounds economists and bankers alike. Such a misunderstanding allows for further misunderstandings on the nature of public goods and public activities and public property which are better off being the sole provence of the public.

            3. montanamaven

              I read somewhere another simplified but useful phrase about Freud. “The 20th Century was the century of Freud and the emphasis on “me”; and with any luck, the 21st Century will be the century of Jung and the emphasis on “we”. Bernie needs to rewatch “The Century of Self” by Adam Curtis.

              And I identify more as an anarchist in the manner of Proudhon, Prince Kropotkin (like Graeber a anthropologist), Oscar Wilde. Orwell and more recently Colin Ward and David Grabber. Never read Marx except for snippets. I find common cause with right wing libertarianism with their emphasis on freedom of the individual but not on their emphasis on owning lots of land.
              Thanks to commenters below who included the links to MLKjr’s great speech. One paragraph that I quoted does not do it justice. He is a great communicator.
              Personallly, if I were Bernie I’d ditch the term “social democrat” and just stick with the principals of freedom (which conservatives emphasize and were responsible for the Bill of Rights) and economic justice (for all of us, but are emphasized by liberals). Then add a big dollop of Tulsi to tackle the third of the Triple evils…WAR!

              1. Cripes

                “Bernie needs to rewatch “The Century of Self” by Adam Curtis.”

                I like Adam Curtis, but your statement is more than a little presumptuous. Perhaps when you overcome the opposition of 2 corrupt parties, the MSM and the billionaires, he should do what you tell him.

            4. Darthbobber

              Marx spends an entire book distinguishing his ideas from Proudhon’s. Which works of Marx have you bothered to read?

              1. Dan

                None in their entirety. I’ve never read the Bible cover to cover either, but I get the basic gist of it.

                    1. Harold

                      No like the Communist Manifesto & Sicialism Utopian and Scientifuc and th 18th Brumaire of Louis Napoleon. Capital was written much later. One is supposed to read these in school.

            5. skk

              I don’t know what you mean by he wasn’t a well man.

              In terms of the writings of Marx – there is definitely a Young Marx and then separately – I guess – the rest of his writings.
              The “young” Marx is definitely about the human spirit, about ALIENATION, about how human beings as individuals – who in communism would be able to “to hunt in the morning, fish in the afternoon, rear cattle in the evening, criticise after dinner, just as I have a mind, without ever becoming hunter, fisherman, herdsman or critic.”

              Admittedly he doesn’t mention just loaf about, doing bugger all – the SuperBowl Sundays ( for non-cooking males ? ) but then leisure was itself alien to Marx – there’s the Victorian work-ethic for you ! So says the George Mosse on Uni. of WIsconsin lectures from the ’80s

              1. Dan

                but then leisure was itself alien to Marx – there’s the Victorian work-ethic for you !

                That’s probably it, actually. He had such a shallow view of life. It’s off-putting. It leaves a really bad taste in my mouth.

                1. skk

                  He’s from a different era ! I’ve read Samuel Pepys’ ( an English man
                  ) abridged diary, recording times between 1660 – 1670. The way he lives a life – work and leisure and completely intertwined. The concept of 5 day/week, weekends off is non-existent.
                  That 5 day week is a product of clocking-on, the factory siren, – your time belongs to the boss etc.. which leads to the fight for “time that doesn’t belong to the boss” – i.e. the 12 hour day, the 6 day week…. to now to the 32 hour week or better.

                  But if we didn’t have bosses, if we were not alienated, ALIENATED, from the stuff we do as humans.. work and leisure would not be so bifurcated. As per Marx.
                  I, at 65, no longer work – aka “retired” – there’s another concept that’s new. But yeah now weekdays and weekends meld into each other – I do “work” – hobby data science ( betting algorithms as it happens ) – but some days I’ll do hours and hours and hours, easily 12 -14, other days – I’ll just mooch about. And any wins / losses from my work belong to ME. that’s non-alienation !

                  Marx is absolutely a product of his times – its really worth the time checking out his stuff, either directly or via lectures – David Harvey of CUNY does a great set of lectures on Capital – the “later” Marx.
                  Mosse does a great series of lectures 28-35 on Marx :

                  All this is IMO.

                2. KimberStormer

                  It’s not really true. Marx liked to party:

                  and I can’t find the quote but the police said he was extremely lazy but would go into bursts of super-intense work.

                  Don’t get me wrong, I am on the anarchist side, not a big fan of Marx in some ways, but I don’t think he was some kind of robot and I do think his ultimate dream was a life of relative leisure for everyone.

            6. martell

              Marx’s greatest work is Capital. It was also his life’s work as a social theorist (as opposed to revolutionary), taking decades to research and compose. Capital owes a great deal to Marx’s predecessors in political economy, especially Smith and Ricardo. I believe he takes the embodied labor theory of value over from the latter, though he toyed with a labor-commanded value theory in the Grundrisse. Capital owes quite a bit to Hegel too. This is partly just a matter of the style in which Marx expresses his theory. Hegel’s biggest substantive contribution would be historicism: Marx thinks that economic categories like capital are historically relative, reflecting social relations (and technological means) of recent origin.

              In any case, I’m not aware of any significant debt, in that book, to Proudhon. Also, I’ve read quite a few commentaries on Capital, and none of them attribute anything significant in Marx’s mature views on capitalism to Proudhon.

              1. Dan

                Everything is seen through the Marxian lens. It’s frankly frightening, and that is the point, and that was the point Proudhon was making. Marx’ thought was exceedingly totalitarian.

                All in all, it is hard not to disagree with Edward Hyams summation: “since [The Poverty of Philosophy] no good Marxists have had to think about Proudhon. They have what is mother’s milk to them, an ex cathedra judgement.


                1. martell

                  It’s probably true that Marx’s judgment of Proudhon has unduly influenced later readers, including scholars. Fair enough. And the linked article does point out a number of similarities between Marx and Proudhon, arguing that Proudhon often got there first. But similar is not same and many is not most.

                  If you wanted to show that Marx stole most of his ideas from Proudhon, you’d need to show that important, seemingly distinctive parts of Marx’s theories of capitalism in particular and society in general actually came from Proudhon. You’d need to show that Proudhon accepted an embodied labor theory of value (with value being a function of socially necessary, abstract labor time), that he distinguished values from the prices of production (thereby creating a transformation problem he couldn’t solve), that he developed a theory of commodity fetishism, that he distinguished relative and absolute surplus value, that he accounted for surplus value by differentiating between labor power and labor, that he sought to explain the apparent tendency of the rate of profit to fall by way of the growth of constant capital relative to variable capital, that he developed a general social theory along the lines of what later Marxists call historical materialism (distinguishing infrastructure from superstructure and, within the former, relations from forces of production), and so forth. This is a tall order.

                  As for the claim that Marx was totalitarian, that would appear to be an anachronism and, in any case, a charge that’s not well supported by the texts.

                  1. Harold

                    I like Kropotkin, too. But for someone to boast about not having read texts they are critical of—when some of those texts are short and approachable doesn’t inspire confidence In the anarchist point of view. You have to remember that in German “scientific” meant “rigorous”—not scientific in the sense of based on empirical research, as we anglophones tend to use the term.

                  2. Dan

                    Marxism is indeed the opiate of its followers.

                    I’ll study the texts. I just have to finish reading the Bible first.

                    And yes, I’m aware, this isn’t an intellectually rigorous response.

                    Good night.

            7. Roland

              The Communist Manifesto is actually mostly about capitalism and the bourgeoisie. Only about two pages of it concern a hypothetical revolutionary programme.

              As a book about capitalism, the Manifesto is brief and cogent. In a few pages Marx and Engels outline the class struggle of the bourgeoisie against the aristocracy and clergy (always good to bear in mind that the bourgeoisie were themselves once an oppressed and exploited class).

              Along the way, they explain industrialization, urbanization, and financialization. To top it off, they predict globalization, social liberalization, and both the rise and fall of the welfare state (which they refer to as “bourgeois socialism.”)

              The Communist Manifesto seems more up-to-date now than it did forty or fifty years ago. Recent history has done nothing but validate their work.

        2. Ford Prefect

          Given the nasty connotation of “socialism” in the current US political dialogue, it is odd that the countries that rank highest in the “world happiness” rankings would be viewed as “socialist” by the US. Those countries are also viewed as being relatively non-corrupt with good freedom to make life choices.

          The propaganda machine seems to be working overtime to convince people that inequality and relative lack of happiness is the optimum condition.

          Trump won the Republican nomination by targeting the offering to upend “The Swamp” along with preventing “the others” from invading. The Republicans were almost defenseless against this after spending decades offshoring jobs with self-contradictory messages as well.

          Sanders is going after the massive inequality built up after decades of Republican and Democratic economic strategies designed to maximize it. Health care is just one massive boil as a symptom of it. The Democrats may be defenseless against Sanders because their current campaign strategy seems to be “We are the Republican Party you used to want to vote for”.

          If it is Sanders vs. Trump, it is going to be like King Kong vs. Godzilla with two unlikely mythic beasts battling it out while the regular politicians just get to stand on the sidelines. The debates won’t be snoozefests, that is for sure.

            1. Hoppy

              Sorry to keep commenting on my own comment!

              But Bernie should just play this speech when he wins the nomination, and say this is what I have been fighting for my whole life. There is nothing more to be said.

              Except maybe that Tulsi is my running mate because she believes in the same thing.

          1. JCC

            And this, a Meet The Press interview of MLK back in 1965. What a difference in the tone of the questions, and MLK did a top-notch job answering them. In contrast to what we see today on Corporate MSM news and interviews, it’s pretty remarkable.


            It is also a reminder of the Poll Tax system instituted in many Southern States that were still being implemented within the lifetimes of many of the readers here.

            In the case of these US States, it was not a traditional poll tax on “moveable goods” but a tax you had to pay in order to vote. In these states it was specifically implemented in a way to make sure that poorer whites did not have to pay the tax, but poorer blacks did.

            (An additional plus, it was interesting to see the on-going concern with Russian infiltration – the more things change around here, the more they remain the same)

        3. Titus

          Sorry, but “His audience was very familiar with philosophers like Hegel and his theory of Dialectics.” I doubt that was true then or now. Even philosophy students don’t get into that until their third year and most don’t understand what they’re reading. I say as a sometimes philosophy professor. As as to Dr.King summary of communism v. capitalism. Communism is a way of life, capitalism is theory is about raising and using money – it might be a religion to some but if so it is false and misleading. No arguing that we have reached a point where capitalism as practiced is in direct confrontation to democracy. And we know how and why. The question as always is what are we going to about it?

      3. drumlin woodchuckles

        I wonder if Matt Stoller is on an actual first-name basis with any or all of our blog-hosts here. If he is, and if he is also on an actual first-name basis with people high enough in the Sanders campaign structure to be able to direct its high-planners’ attention to things worthy of that attention.

        If all that is true . . . every link in the chain . . . then perhaps Mr. Stoller can alert some dedicated intelligence-gathering/ idea-preparing people in the Sanders campaign to read the theoretical message from Sanders just upthread there . . . . and see if parts of it in concept or in detail might be actually useful in the Sanders effort.

        1. False Solace

          Bernie regularly quotes MLK Jr on the subject of “socialism for the rich” whenever he’s accused of being a communist, including at the most recent debate, so I’d say he’s on top of it.

    3. PlutoniumKun

      I’ve just seen a few random reports on Youtube, but the freaking out in the supposed liberal media is really hilarious. They will no doubt collect themselves and throw everything they have against Sanders in the next few days. Thats quite a good thing – so far, all the attacks have just strengthened him. You’d have thought they’d have learned their lesson with Trump. Seems not.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        They are also jockeying for positions without a single arbiter, ex. Hillary. Do you think Neera is going to sacrifice for the greater good of a Mayo Pete employee. Liz Warren’s staff have her embarrassing herself for the next three months.

      2. David

        Indeed, it would take a heart of stone not to laugh. I think that accepting that someone who is Not One of Us could win is just too much for their poor little heads to accommodate.
        But the real fun will come when and if Sanders wins the nomination. Will all the charges of Russian interference be suddenly forgotten? Will Sanders suddenly turn out to be a moderate after all? Will he be forcibly enthroned as the Commander in Chief of Id Pol? Will the Liberal establishment be trying to stop him winning whilst pretending that they don’t want Trump to win either? Will their heads explode?
        What do USians think?

        1. Samuel Conner

          A Sanders victory in the general election would be a death knell to “business as usual” in the D party.

          It’s not clear to me that the D establishment would be willing to contemplate that.

          From their perspective, a Sanders defeat in the general would be preferable in terms of preserving the prior state of affairs within the Party. They would hope that the progressives would grow discouraged and decline to participate in future elections.

          So I imagine that the Party corporations will not get behind Sanders even if he is nominated.

          [ one is reminded of WT Sherman’s remarks, adapted to current situation:

          “If nominated, we will not campaign for him, and if elected, we will not cooperate with his policy agenda” ]

          This will, I think, compel Sanders to continue to develop his “parallel sovereignty” alternatives, which could over time either replace the present Party under the current name, or become a free-standing group that is so powerful that it becomes a 3rd party that is more powerful than the “D” label within the current duopoly.

          That would, indeed, be a revolutionary development within American politics.

          1. xkeyscored

            I believe Sanders has stated that the grassroots movement that has built up will be even more necessary in the event that he wins, as that is when the real opposition to his policies will begin. If the Dems wish to self destruct over the issue of his presidency, that’s one less source of obstruction to deal with.

            1. Samuel Conner

              Agreed. I anticipate that years 1 and 2 of a Sanders presidency will be devoted to campaigning against incumbents, House and Senate, of both parties, pursued in parallel with numerous test votes in Congress of draft bills that are probably already drawn up, ready for submission in January 2021. The results of those votes will be part of the bully pulpit campaign against uncooperative legislators.

              Expect the phones in congressional offices to be ringing off the hook by February 2021.

              Faced with this pressure, Congress might fold before 2022, but if it doesn’t, there may be a lot of turnover in the class that takes office in January 2023. And then the policies will be enacted.

              I just hope that Sanders’ small-donor contributions model scales well to the case of large numbers of simultaneous progressive candidates in congressional and senate races.

              1. NotTimothyGeithner

                The real problem is discipled organizing. A full time organizer or being able to a point person transform campaigns. They don’t really cost that much, but they need the money in April and May (for November, primaries are different). Making sure early work is being done along with i’s dotted and t’s crossed is huge. AOC was able to focus on direct voter outreach because of the original support.

                1. Hepativore

                  Sanders would also do well to beef up his personal security forces and make sure that any vehicle he steps into has been thoroughly inspected by trusted mechanics on his staff. I am sure that an embittered intelligence community will be looking for ways to either control or remove a president that does not play ball.

                  As for Sanders getting parts of his agenda passed, a coalition of both Democrats and Republicans might try and block anything he does. He is going to have to get really creative to get anything through a congress full of neocon Republicans and neoliberal Democrats.

                  1. John k

                    He is in a dangerous position. But oddly, trump might be helping. Deep doesn’t like him, either, so the beast might be confused.
                    Same with msm… doesn’t it hate trump? Will they come out and say, ‘wait, trumps not so bad, Bernie’s the really bad evil?
                    Maybe it’ll be like the last election was for many of us… can’t determine the lesser evil, better stay on the couch…

                    1. curious euro

                      Trump will get the money for campaigning from the usual billionaires left and right of the aisle. Sanders will have to rely on only his small donors.

                      If Sanders wins, it will be the a reenactement of Trumps win: 750 millions spent for Trump vs. 1.5 billions for Clinton, just with different sides. This time Trump is the billion dollars spender instead of Clinton.

                      As for the MSM: they might not gushingly endorse him, but they can still vilify Sanders and keep quiet, ie not disparage, Trump.

                  2. drumlin woodchuckles

                    He might also want to have some decoy body-doubles to fly on small planes and see what happens.

                2. Darthbobber

                  Hopefully you mean disciplined organizing. Bob Avakian’s party already does disciples organizing.

              2. JTMcPhee

                I wonder about small donors. I am one and have given a lot of contributions to Sanders and AOC. But now I am getting plaintive emails from candidates all over the country, telling me that their race is the tipping point for a progressive wave in Congress or some local judicial election.

                Small donors are pretty much by definition a finite resource. Rich sh!ts can do strategic bribery giving — how is one to spread the little bit of income we small donors have around to “support” all these candidates?

                I remember when the Obamites and Clintonites were telling us mopes that we MUST “give til it hurts.” I’m on a fixed income, and there are a lot more like me.

                The big problem, of course, is how our electoral system works: “Money is the mother’s milk of politics.” The Empire has had this sham two-party spoils-system racket as the basis for assigning the legitimacy mantle for what, 150 years? The Sanders campaign shows that it’s possible for progressives to make a decent showing in the scam. But what is needed to allow the kind of systemic change we mopes need to not just “level the playing field” Needed to put in place the policies and muscular regulatory mechanisms and top to bottom replacement of K Street and J Street and MIC, etc., interest-peddling? All in the context of a world that is saddled with geometrically increasing complexity and under the dark shadow of globalization and the machinations of the kinds of sociopaths that already fill the political-economic space?

                Does Bernie, or the people around him, know the answers?

                I can’t afford to keep dropping scarce dollars into what is becoming a bottomless pit…

                  1. curious euro

                    Yes they haven’t donated and they never will.
                    There is a reason both parties are on the teats of the wealthy and the corporations, and not the power lower and middle class.

                    To paraphrase Dillinger:
                    “Why congressman are you only asking the rich for campaign money?” “Cause that’s where the money is”

                    1. John Wright

                      This money quote was attributed to bank robber Willie Sutton, who might rest easier with proper credit (or not, because he denied saying this).

                      This is known as “Sutton’s law”


                      “Willie Sutton, who reputedly replied to a reporter’s inquiry as to why he robbed banks by saying “because that’s where the money is.” ”

                      “In Sutton’s 1976 book, Where the Money Was, Sutton denies having said this.”

                1. Brian (another one they call)

                  I am constantly bombarded from Act Blue, which appears to be created by people that don’t want to be identified. They are often sponsored by the Kos, which makes me shun them like the plague. The only way I can donate to Bernie is to send him checks to the PO box in Vermont.
                  two cents; The democratic (party) congress found out how lucrative it is to shaft americans for money, and then lie about doing so. I agree with the author above that said soon it will fade and a new party will take most of its members. I hope not, because no one needs to go to a party that lasts a century. Doug Adams proved that. Most Americans are not served in any way by the politics of our existing system and are looking for an alternative that demonstrates it has a soul, rather than a sole. They have been kicked enough.

                  1. Samuel Conner

                    The fundraising emails I get from Sanders2020 have “donate here” links that go to an Act Blue page, the proceeds of which I assume go into an account that is controlled by the Sanders campaign,

                    And the Sanders campaign, encouragingly, appears to know how much I have donated through Act Blue — so I assume and earnestly hope that most of these contributions do flow straight through to the campaign.

                    But when I want to make a ‘bigger than small’ contribution, I prefer to mail a check. Don’t want to do that too frequently as I think there might be significant overhead in handling these. So scale those up a bit when I want to do that.

                    But the Act Blue links in the campaign emails are useful for expressing my anger — it feels good to make a gift to Sanders2020 in response to the news of the latest outrage.

                    Think about that, any DNC lurkers reading this.

                  2. Carey

                    Do you or anyone happen to have the address
                    to send the Sanders campaign a check?
                    Their website (like most, these days) is so

                    Been using Actblue™ to send him money and want to stop with that organization.

              3. Michael99

                SC: thanks for this comment. Seems like a great strategy for Sanders and other progressives. Where does the DNC fit in? If Sanders becomes President, will the DNC continue to be a hindrance to be worked around, or can it be transformed to become supportive of progressive policies and candidates?

                The small-donor contributions model seems the only option for progressives, barring major campaign finance reform.

                1. Spring texan

                  Once he’s the nominee, and certainly as the president, he has control of the DNC, so it should be fine.

                  DNC was in good hands -Howard Dean’s – when Obama was elected but Obama then appointed ppl who ditched the 50-state strategy and wrecked it – that’s why so many congressional seats were lost under Obama.

                  Wd be the reverse with Bernie.

                  1. Samuel Conner

                    > “Once he’s the nominee, and certainly as the president, he has control of the DNC, so it should be fine.”

                    I’m not confident that this is true.

                    What is the DNC? I believe that it’s a privately owned business:


                    Who are the owners, and in whose interest do these owners operate this business? I don’t know (and people who are better at digging up obscure facts are welcomed to speak up)

                    The customary arrangements prior to the current “anyone but Sanders” moment, that acceded to control by the nominee and the elected president, are not AFAIK cast in stone.

                    I believe that as a matter of corporate governance, whoever owns the DNC could instruct the officers to change the prior customary arrangements if they, the owners, preferred different arrangements.

                    I don’t have much doubt that they would prefer different arrangements.

                    1. Kurt Sperry

                      If the DNC is a private business, I can find no record of it having owners or shareholders, so I think it isn’t. Who owns the Democratic Party? If it is a private company it must publicly list its owners or shareholders.

                    2. Samuel Conner

                      There’s a court case somewhere, that has been mentioned from time to time at NC, with extracts from in-court pleadings, to the effect that the DNC is an autonomous entity not accountable to the voters, and that it can select the Party nominee in any way it pleases. The D primary and quadrennial convention process is simply a courtesy to the electorate. It could be done away with at the discretion of the appropriate authorities within the DNC.(or perhaps the underlying legal entity),

                      I agree that it is hard to dig to the root of the legal entity that is the DNC. Perhaps it may be incorporated in a secrecy jurisdiction. That could account for the difficulty of identifying owners, directors and officers of the underlying legal entity.

                      If any readers have information, please share!

                    3. Samuel Conner

                      Here’s that legal case, btw:


                      at the time of this filing, late 2015, DNC was incorporated in District of Columbia as a not-for-profit. So it has directors and by-laws. Depending on how the organization is structured, directors can be replaced and by-laws can be changed. Corporations can be dissolved and re-incorporated. It would be interesting to read the current by-laws, and know the identities of the current directors.

                    4. Michael

                      I’m Michael – not the guy who spammed Ignacio
                      From D&B
                      Jess O’Connell
                      Chief Executive Officer
                      HOWARD DEAN
                      Chairman of the Board

                      Membership Organizations
                      Organizations in this industry promote the business, professional, and political interests of their members….

                    1. Dan

                      From the article:

                      The catch: Bloomberg’s staff won’t directly work for the Democratic nominee’s campaign since the cost of operations would exceed federal contribution limits on his behalf. The group would instead operate as an independent group privately funded by Bloomberg.

                      If that’s the case the separation may make it easier to both avoid any influence peddling and to more easily point it out when it occurs or is attempted.

                      Certainly people within the Sanders loop, and increasingly an entire younger generation, automatically assume such conflicts of interest and are vigilant in unmasking them and making them public. It’s a badge of honor.

                      It’s simply much harder to get away with this crap, and the trend towards transparency will continue to intensify.

                  2. drumlin woodchuckles

                    He could create an RDC . . . a Real Democrat Committee . . . and make very sure that no one who was ever associated with the DNC in any way is ever permitted into the RDC.

                    The DNC is so full of metastatic clintonoma cells and Yersiniobama pestis political plague bacteria that I don’t think it can be decontaminated. Its physical buildings are probably all full of bugs and microphones listening in for the Inner Party Dems. Why would any Bernie person want to set foot into such a bug-infested building? Or deal with such bug-infested people?

              4. Kurt Sperry

                “…numerous test votes in Congress of draft bills that are probably already drawn up, ready for submission in January 2021. The results of those votes will be part of the bully pulpit campaign against uncooperative legislators.”

                This will be the winning political strategy. Quickly set up a series of bills that poll massively favorably with the electorate, then force the right-wing Dems to side with the Rs and vote the unpopular position against them. Build a record of these unpopular votes and use those unpopular votes against those right-wing D politicians and the Republicans who cannot, because of corruption, support those popular positions, You take out Republicans and blue dog Dems at the same time.

            2. D. Fuller

              The real opposition will be Democrats in Congress. Just like with Carter. What will be interesting to see is the amount of cooperation between Democrats and Republicans in Congress, to thwart Sanders (should he become President).

              I would imagine that Pelosi would be happy to impeach Sanders. That McConnell will be happy to convict.

              If Democratic leaders can not engineer a defeat of Sanders at the National Convention? They could settle for engineering that Sanders accept an Establishment Vice President. The template for this is, FDR and Truman. Interesting history in how Truman became FDR’s VP pick – a lot of maneuvering within the business wing of Democrats back then.

              Of course, my musings remain a hypothetical. The only protection against such a hypothetical is, of course, broad public support of Sanders as President. That Congressional Democrats and Republicans fear the repercussions from pursuing such an action – meaning they lose their jobs at the very least, next election.

              1. montanamaven

                What a different world it might be had Henry Wallace been VP for FDR and then President. One of the great parts of Oliver Stone’s
                The Untold History of the United States. I had a 33 year old bartender in Upstate NY tell me how much that documentary affected him.

          2. oliverks

            One of the questions I have been pondering is what happens if Bernie wins the presidential election, but Trump refuses to go?

            It seems like the kind of thing Trump might try, and you know Pelosi and Schummer, would love the situation. They would get stuff from Trump to support him, and they would be in a much better position not having Bernie in the White House.

            I am not sure how this works. Can you evict a president that refuses to go? Are the protocols so strong, that he would just be escorted out the door?

            Just curious what people think.

            1. chuckster

              You’ve been reading too much Kos. If Trump refuses to leave on Jan 20th, the Secret Service will escort him to the curb.

                  1. urblintz

                    actually, they started exploding when Obama took office…. because some of us were not fooled and said so. I was banned well before Trump was even in the picture.

                    1. davidgmillsatty

                      I was banned long before Obama. And again about ten years later (after about three months of new membership) when I said that white men would not vote for Hillary.

              1. carycat

                Don’t forget how long it took Al Franken to be seated in the senate. Not too sure about the secret service either. Are they really going to put their jobs on the line for BS which they know will be under intense bipartisan “friendly” fire for as long as he is in the white house or be on the side that can give them lucrative security consultant jobs after they retire.

                1. Darthbobber

                  Took longer to seat Franken than it did to toss him under the bus.

                  Gosh-maybe he could be the brokered nominee. There are at least 3 candidates still in that Franken would probably have outpolled.

              2. oliverks

                Doesn’t Trump appoint the head of the secret service?

                Presumably he will select for someone loyal to him.

                1. jsn

                  Secret Service is run out of Treasury, where there remains some malicious competence in the Trump Admin. under a stunningly corrupt and amoral Trump appointee.

                  This is an issue, seems to me.

                  Loyalty among thieves is always negotiable, but Sanders truly has nothing to offere these coprolites.

                    1. jsn

                      Ahh, no doubt part of one of the “Patriot Acts”. It would make sense but I missed it.

                      There’s a nice set piece in “The Devil’s Chess Board” about Treasury Secretary Dillon and retired CIA Director Dulles coordinating to both be out of the country when Kennedy was shot, documented in both of their personal calendars.

                    1. The Rev Kev

                      The US Secret Service was transferred to Homeland Security years ago but a coupla days ago I read an article of how Trump wants it transferred back to Treasury again.

                2. apotropaic

                  The winner of the election becomes president on Jan 20. With or without an inauguration. Even without a swearing in. The constitution says so. Staying in the White House will not make trump president. The winner of the election can take control of all executive branch functions no matter where trump lays his head at night. This is a really dumb concern. He can try. He will fail. Will there be blood? Maybe. Will bernie shy from shedding it? I don’t think so.

              3. Katniss Everdeen

                Right. Another “narrative” invented out of whole cloth.

                The first iteration was provided by–who else–hillary rodham when she was celebrating her historic presidency, a little too soon as it turned out, suggesting that Trump would refuse to accept the results of the election.

                Pure, unadulterated BS. People have got to stop falling for this crap.

                1. oliverks

                  There are some smart minds that have had concerns about how strong democracy really is in the US.

                  On December 5, 1947, Einstein and Morgenstern accompanied Gödel to his U.S. citizenship exam, where they acted as witnesses. Gödel had confided in them that he had discovered an inconsistency in the U.S. Constitution that could allow the U.S. to become a dictatorship. Einstein and Morgenstern were concerned that their friend’s unpredictable behavior might jeopardize his application. The judge turned out to be Phillip Forman, who knew Einstein and had administered the oath at Einstein’s own citizenship hearing. Everything went smoothly until Forman happened to ask Gödel if he thought a dictatorship like the Nazi regime could happen in the U.S. Gödel then started to explain his discovery to Forman. Forman understood what was going on, cut Gödel off, and moved the hearing on to other questions and a routine conclusion.

                  Let us hope none of the current or future occupants have the same level of insight that Godel did.

                2. Carolinian

                  She was projecting of course. She was the one who refused to accept defeat

                  Besides any good coup needs media backing and the press hates Trump.

            2. tegnost

              Trump will leave the WH and happily go on with his bombastic life. And he’ll be laughingly tweeting at the democratic elites on the way out the door (only bernie can beat trump), or the more likely crazy conspiracy theory, one of the not bernie candidates will lose to trump and trump will refuse to leave the WH because he doesn’t have to. And he’ll tweet about that too.

              1. Dan

                This is my thought too. Trump doesn’t care about his “legacy” or any such thing. There’s absolutely no thought about how he’ll only be perceived as a one-term president when the history books are written. He’s already succeeded, he’s probably bored as hell with the whole president thing, and he’s done enough favors for enough elites that he’ll land somewhere safely and go off on some other egomaniacal adventure. Another TV show could certainly be in the works.

                1. Wukchumni

                  The Sorcerers Apprentice

                  A reality tv show where what a fantasy demagogue does is all too frighteningly fact, not fiction.

                2. kiwi

                  Trump has been packing the courts, like any president tries to do, and changing the entire landscape of trade (after the dems and repubs have sold out the country for decades – sending our jobs to China, destroying our manufacturing base, destroying the middle class).

                  Or, as Tucker Carlson put it: They outsourced entire sectors of our economy to China. They imported a serf class to drive down wages, and they crippled the middle class while doing it.


                  He is protecting free speech on college campuses, getting Europe to pony up for defense-related costs, and restructuring the economy. The US has the lowest unemployment rate since forever (including for minorities and women), and wages have been going up for lower level employees despite the volume of illegal immigration.

                  He is finishing the job that Reagan started, stealing the former natural dem constituancy of the working class (the working class is getting bigger, thanks to some of the items I listed above). He is on track to obtain historical levels of black support. He approved paid medical leave for federal employees, (, so he is stealing this issue from the dems. He is in the process of stealing the medical issue from the dems as a campaign issue. This issue was the single issue that was a yuuuuge electoral strength for the dems – well, not anymore, because Trump is taking a hammer to that, too.

                  And the US was sold out to China for years; Trump is trying to correct that, too.

                  You can whine about his tax policy that favored the rich or the deficit, but you can’t deny some of the positives that have come from his presidency (oh, wait, of course you can – because there is no objectivity on your side).

                  Dems are feckless; they did this harm to themselves.

                  1. neo-realist

                    So cutting Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid is a good thing?

                    Not funding infrastructure when bridges, roads, and mass transportation systems are underfunded, aging, and falling apart is a good thing?

                    Cynically appealing to black support when his former Attorney General eliminated federal monitoring of police departments around the country that engaged in unlawful policing, which usually has a deleterious impact on Black Americans is a good thing?

                    Screw Americans who aren’t rich and white, i.e., MAGA.

                    1. kiwi

                      You do realize that Trump passed prison reform, don’t you, and he has been praised by blacks for that.

                      Have you heard of Trump’s opportunity zones? (not that opportunity zones haven’t always been around in some form or other, but blacks are complimenting his efforts)

                      And Soc Sec, Mcare and Mcaid – oh my!

                      You’re gonna try to scare people with that argument when dems have been trying to cut these programs too? Talk about a cynical appeal.

                      Maybe if dems hadn’t been so wrapped up in the Russia and impeachment hoaxes, people could have gotten together about infrastructure. But the dems can’t stand the notion of Trump getting any credit for anything.

                      And Pelosi would rather tear up Congressional documents like the petty churlish little git she is than work on issues. It so much easier to do propaganda than do something.

                      There has been plenty of political overlap on issues but the dems would rather wreck the party, whining about idpol 24 hours a day, than doing something worthwhile. Now they are whining about Bernie non-stop, trying to paint him as a Russian asset.

                      And they can’t even count primary votes. Ugh. I used to be a precinct person for the dems (lifelong dem here), and helped run the caucuses. It’s just not that big of a deal to get counts correct. I cannot believe the way they hosed Iowa and NH. If I’m disgusted by the dems’ chaos, how many other voters who have never been politically very active are thinking the same thing? The dem party wants votes, but it can’t even correctly count a simple primary???

                    2. marym

                      Re: You do realize that Trump passed prison reform

                      Trump boasts that his landmark law is freeing these inmates. His Justice Department wants them to stay in prison.

                      …federal prosecutors are arguing in hundreds of cases that inmates who have applied for this type of relief are ineligible, according to a review of court records and interviews with defense attorneys. In at least half a dozen cases, prosecutors are seeking to reincarcerate offenders who have been released under the First Step Act.

                      The Trump Justice Department’s war on progressive prosecutors, explained

                      The goal of the Justice Department here is, it seems, to undermine criminal justice reform. Barr, who helped write a report titled “The Case for More Incarceration” when he was attorney general under President George H.W. Bush, has long been critical of efforts to pull back punitive criminal justice policies, from aggressive policing to longer prison sentences.

                      Trump Just Bragged About Criminal Justice Reform. Look Closer at How His Administration Is Undoing It.

                      During the Super Bowl last weekend, his reelection campaign ran an ad about Alice Johnson, a grandmother who was serving a life sentence for trafficking crack, and who was freed in June 2018, months before the First Step Act, when Trump granted her clemency. “Thanks to Trump, people like Alice are getting a second chance,” the ad says.

                      But the ad didn’t share the whole truth.

                      Compared with past presidents, Trump has been shockingly slow to grant clemency to incarcerated people. So far, he has made decisions on only 204 requests for commutations or pardons—and has only approved 24 of them, according to another Washington Post investigation. For comparison, Barack Obama granted a record-setting 1,700 commutations during his tenure.

                  2. Copeland

                    You’re going to great lengths defending Trump and berating establishment Dems (below too, but there was no reply button below). Most here agree with you that the Est. Dems. have jumped the shark, and almost nobody here defends them, so your comments on how bad they are aren’t really relevant. Sanders is not a Dem, we hope he would do almost everything differently from what they have done since FDR.

                    It’s strange that most Trump pumpers cant find anything substantive to criticize him on, and always assume that everyone that wants him gone is a dyed-in-the wool-Dem…not true. You sound Like Greer sounds lately.

                    1. kiwi

                      It’s strange that people assume that if one defends Trump, one cannot dislike other policies of his.

                      I just happen to think that several of his policies are extremely important, such as re-aligning global trade and pushing for the return of manufacturing to the US.

                      The neo-libs/cons who dominate both parties are fine with the gutting of America. I am not. Therefore, I will support any politician who supports this type of economic realignment, and I won’t support any politician, who like Obama, says ‘too bad, so sad’ about the situation.

                      And now the roosters are coming home to roost with the coronavirus as our vulnerabilities as a nation come to the fore. The US has been far too dependent on China for some very important goods, goods we should be manufacturing here. But the dems, repubs, and business leaders just had to sell out the citizenry of the US.

                  3. jrs

                    I don’t give a @#$# about any of the positives, most of which are not actually positives. No jobs are not actually coming back. No Trumps BS is not about free speech but about conservative bullying (If Trump cared about free speech Assange would not be enduring his persecution). Or are pure correlation and not causation (no I am not going to give Trump credit for the business cycle … aka the economy being “good”, sorry just no not falling for that line of propaganda that somehow it was Trumps doing when the business cycle means there are good times and bad quite irregardless – though yes money is being dumped into Wall Street to try to prop up the bubble).

                    I only see the environmental destruction of Trump, gutting clean air and water standards, selling off national parks, etc. etc. NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER Trump. Poke my eyes out with a fork but not Trump, shoot me for not voting and I still wouldn’t vote for Trump, you’d just have to kill me. But the Dems aren’t all great, look duh, many of them are pretty bad, but that’s changing the subject. If you want to make pathetic Pete look good and even make the dictatorial oligarch Bloomberg look like they are worth another look, by bringing up Trump, well congrats: mission accomplished. And PS those people are bad but ..

                    I’d love to see Trump steal the medical issue from the Dems. Newsflash: Trump is not in favor of M4A. For heaven sake he’s not even in favor of the ACA. He’s for the Republican solution: absolutely nothing at all, and GO DIE!

                3. Aumua

                  There’s absolutely no thought about how he’ll only be perceived as a one-term president when the history books are written. He’s already succeeded, he’s probably bored as hell with the whole president thing…

                  I disagree. because only getting one term when you could get two would be losing. And Trump doesn’t lose.

                  1. Dan

                    Interesting, viewed through the lens of winning and losing.

                    There is no one, of course, who doesn’t ever “lose.” Or, no one wins at everything.

              2. urblintz

                I think he’ll re-register as a Democrat just for the hell of it and start publicly trashing the GOP again.

                1. urblintz

                  it’s tacky to reply to my own comment but can you imagine the reaction to Trump deciding to be a Democrat again…

                  would that assure a viable third party as well as Trumps place in history as the destroyer of both legacy parties?

                  the possibilities are infinite.

                  One thing for sure… Trump will not go away as a good ex-POTUS should.

                  1. kiwi

                    Yep, it would be very hard to return to the good life of running a company, living in luxury, travelling, playing golf, not dealing with politics, maybe doing a TV show for fun, writing another book for fun… very difficult.

                    1. urblintz

                      return? sounds like the life he’s leading now and has always led. Thanks for making my point. Trump will stay Trump, which means he’ll make sure the public always knows what he’s doing and how fabulous he is at doing it. It’s his nature.

            3. Ford Prefect

              I think John Roberts would expedite a clean legal decision by January. He would not tolerate the normal Trump legal delay tactics. Once that is in place, the Secret Service would fall in line along with the Joint Chiefs and the transition would happen.

              I don’t think a couple of thousand white “militia” members marching on Washington would go down well, so Trump would be on his own. Besides, if McConnell can keep the Senate, he will simply say “call me in four years when you want legislation done or a judge confirmed”.

          3. Phacops

            Hasn’t it been that the winning Dem president or the last winner exerts a large influence over the DNC? Hmmm . . . I’d just love to see A O-C as head od the DNC. A better outcome I cannot imagine.

            1. NotTimothyGeithner

              Who is the fellow with the organization that backed AOC in the primary? He bet the organizations meager resources on her. This is my DNC choice.

            2. Michael99

              From an NBC article when the Perez/Ellison DNC contest was happening back in 2017:

              “How common is this kind of election?

              The party has not been in this position for years. When Democrats control the White House, the president appoints the chairman of their party. When they lose the presidential election, they hold an election.

              But the last few times Democrats lost presidential elections, the outcome of the chairmanship race was decided before voting even began.

              In 2005, all the other candidates had dropped out and Howard Dean was elected by a voice vote. In 2001, Terry Mcauliffe cut a deal with the only other candidate left in the race. And in 1988, Ron Brown was unopposed.”


          4. Lil’D

            I wonder though if enough dem operatives see enough upside for their job prospects with a Bernie win to support the attempt to switch executive power from R to D…
            I’m looking at all the “never Trump” gang who are now happy feeding at the trough despite having to eat side dishes of scheisswurst from their “leader”

        2. PlutoniumKun

          I think its pretty clear the last two of your possibilities is by far the most likely. Well, the second from last after they’ve cleared up all the mess from the cranial mess.

          The reason i don’t think the first options are realistic is because stupid as they are, the MSNBC types at least know they can’t buy off or deflect Sanders. And they also know (well, I assume most do), that Sanders knows exactly the type of snakes they are so will not hand out jobs to a single one of them.

          Warren in particular will be waking up this morning with that feeling a gambler has when it dawns on him that he put every cent he has on the wrong 10-1 shot.

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            Warren strikes me as stubborn and may have bought that unity candidate nonsense. She’s burned bridges. I mean Klobuchar is more likely to introduce the 2021 Green Deal Act than Warren at this point.

            1. Dan

              lol. Tells you about all you need to know.

              There’s been talk that Warren would be a good Treas Sec and I used to imagine that so long as she is surrounded by enough true progressives she’ll do the right thing. But now I’m not so sure I’d want her anywhere near my administration. She simply cant’ be trusted. Hell, she threw Bernie under the bus and now the liars themselves don’t even trust her. She’s really toxic.

              The best place for her is probably to remain in her Senate seat under a Sanders administration. The progressive agenda coming from Washington coupled with pressure from her own progressive constituency may keep her in line. She has quite a proclivity for waywardness.

              1. Gregorio

                Obama certainly didn’t do himself or the country a favor by appointing Hillary as Sec. of State. Cabinet positions shouldn’t be a participation trophy for sore losers.

              2. PhilK

                The best place for her is probably to remain in her Senate seat under a Sanders administration.

                Agreed. After what she’s revealed about herself in the presidential campaign, holding on to that Senate seat may be challenging.

            2. Darthbobber

              I strongly suspect that Warren took some folks on board who prioritized harming Sanders over helping her, and had poor enough judgement to let them advise her right over the cliff.

              And somebody convinced her to try “like Bernie but not angry”.
              When she’s actually at her most convincing when she IS channeling anger about real issues.

              When it comes to public (as opposed to faculty or palace) politics, she’s like that chess player who, lacking knowledge of what her own strengths and style are, picks up one repertoire book after another, and follows them out the window

            3. jrs

              No Klobuchar is not.

              I’d give no great certainty to Warren on follow through, but at least Warren is running on good if inadequate positions in regard to the environment. Klobi is running on straight out bad environmental policy – pro-fracking etc.. So someone straight out starting out running on bad policy is not going to be good. Lofty rhetoric guarantees nothing and money buys what rhetoric can’t, but outright running on bad policy period … yea that’s not promising AT ALL. Plus Klobis base is people who don’t mind voting for someone straight out running on horrible positions with regard to the environment, the pro-fracking vote etc..

        3. NotTimothyGeithner

          Until the 08 Clinton campaign, I was convinced Clinton loyalists such as Carville sabotaged Democratic efforts on behalf of Mother’s expected run.

          Besides stupidity, these people are pathological greedy. We’ve seen them work under the control of a single authority. I do expect crazy stuff like a draft mittens movement. People like Chris Matthews who derive their worth from the inexplicable camera pointed at them on a daily basis will probably become egregiously spineless in an attempt to rebuild an audience and reach out to the kids before the effort gets brought down. After all, he doesn’t have ratings or influence.

          Pelosi is too focused on obedience to her to recognize there might be a problem. She was out stumping for Trump’s favorite Democrat against his primary opponent, a 26 year old Latina women. Women have to support other women by obeying the ilk of Pelosi.

          The Obama people who went to the private sector probably look like better bets for donors than Clinton people, so I suspect the Clinton people will really go crazy to prove their worth but in a constant effort to outdo each other.

        4. Daryl

          A lot of Trump haters will get behind Bernie immediately, I think.

          The media and party will not, and it will cause a great deal of cognitive dissonance among those folks. I think it might be the point at which people learn just because the d party, Intel agencies and media hate Trump does not mean they are our friends.

          There will also be a nonzero amount of defections from the neverTrump people to Trump, not enough to make a difference but enough to be darkly amusing.

          Thats my prediction anyway.

          1. Plenue

            It will be fun to watch ‘Vote Blue No Matter Who’ and ‘we must remove Trump at all costs’ backfire on the establishment.

            As I said recently, the Clinton cultists are already convincing themselves VBNMW was something the Sanders team made up.

        5. Bugs Bunny

          Krugman came out grudgingly for Sanders today in the shortest NYT column I’ve ever read. He also said it would be bad for centrist – lefties like him. I’m somewhat surprised.

      3. Samuel Conner

        There’s a recent quote from Howard Dean, who famously self-described, almost 20 years ago, around the time of “the Scream”, as representing “the democratic wing of the Democratic Party”, expressing admiration and puzzlement that attacks against Sanders tend to strengthen him.

        I guess that Dean’s a Democratic Republican these days.

        1. carl

          How come there’s never a reference to the right wing of the Democrat party? I mean, according to the media, there’s apparently a left wing and a moderate (or center) wing, but never a right wing.

          1. Wyoming

            They’re out there. I saw Rham on TV this morning with his buddy Christie. Hillary is lurking about and Obama is as well. Bill is kind of quiet though. Shumer still hangs around. Course they are all really moderate Republicans so perhaps they don’t count as the rightwing Democrats. And Bloomberg and Buttigieg certainly qualify don’t they?

          2. WJ

            Because the belief that the Democrats are more “liberal” than the Republicans is necessary for our Potemkin two party system.

      4. Wukchumni

        The worst thing about throwing spaghetti at the wall hoping something will stick, is that you get your hands dirty in the process.

      5. Chris

        I tend to agree with Matt Taibbi on this. I just don’t see the D establishment letting Bernie win the nomination. They will burn their party to the ground before they put the billions of dollars for the donors and consultants involved with the party at risk. I think the Democrats are much more committed to being undemocratic than the Republicans are at this point.

        I’m also not sure how many PMC people will switch to voting for Trump if Bernie is the nomination. It’s one thing to say you’re socially liberal but economically conservative (whatever that means). It’s another thing entirely to put your status at risk because of a nominee actually trying to implement all the things you thought would be great after several glasses of wine that you paid for by doing the work that would be eliminated if Sanders was president.

        I think the Democrats steal the nomination from Bernie at this point by any means necessary and without shame.

        1. lordkoos

          It’s not just the Democratic party — if the USA could successfully move to the left, it would be a huge example to other nations — can’t have that. The opposition would include US intelligence agencies, the Pentagon and its contractors, multi-national corporations, etc. Many of the most powerful entities on earth have a huge vested interest in maintaining the global status quo. It’s going to be interesting.

        2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          Agree, to posit any vestige of conscience and morality to the Dem Party at this stage is a nicely generous view of human nature but an inaccurate reading of the endless list of previous actual actions by said “Party”. Power is raw and binary, you have it or you don’t, and “where else are they going to go?” is still their mantra. A bully doesn’t ask what the helpless schoolyard kid wants, he smashes his face in the mud because he can. They will calculate that even the ugliest stealing from Bernie at the convention would be a storm that rages briefly but then will quickly pass. And let’s recall what said “Party” wants: to maintain the flow of money to their personal coffers at all costs, there are hundreds of billions of dollars at stake and some social angst and broken heads at the convention, especially with CNN, MSNBC, NYT, WaPo manufacturing consent for the institutional smashing and theft, will be viewed simply as negligible costs of doing business.

          As political philosopher Travis Bickle once said “someday a real rain will come and wipe this scum off the streets” but I don’t think this is it.

          1. Chris

            Yeah, see my comment below. I think they’re already seeding the idea that the primary should just be one factor considered in who is ultimately named as the nominee.

            I will enjoy the crash and “bern” coming when they finally get up the nerve to do it. But I just can’t see Bernie ever being allowed to run as their nominee.

            1. Cuibono

              Pretty sure Bernie must see that too.
              So what is he thinking? Use every minute he has here to build something deeper? Longing…

              1. drumlin woodchuckles

                Quite possibly. And also force the DemParty to reveal itself for what it is on Live TV.

                And let the buffalo chips fall where they may.

    4. Pat

      The article is just politics 101. You have to defeat your primary opponent to get to the general.

      The Clintonite who wrote it misses the obvious about Bloomberg. Bloomberg has two and only two real assets as a candidate. He can spend a lot of money, and his air of middle management competence hides his authoritarian nature. He not only wants to he needs to campaign from a distance. Bloomberg is already doing all he can to win against Sanders.

      The muppets for the win!

      1. Stephen V

        A trivial fact: just saw a FBook post about the local Bloomie Bus pulling in front of the site of a Sanders rally to use Sanders peeps as background for a photo. Here in podunk Arkansas.

    5. notabanktoadie

      “The God’s work” argument is dangerous indeed since the Torah DOES allow usury from foreigners (Deuteronomy 23:19-20). So was Blankfein arguing that US citizens are foreigners to him?

      Or is his god Mammon?

        1. notabanktoadie


          In this case, the son in view is not a child, for the sins brought forth in testimony to show his contumacious manner are gluttony and drunkenness (v. 20), hardly the sins of the average 6 or 10 year old! The case also indicates that the parents have tried to restrain their son, but all their efforts have failed (vv. 18, 20); specifying that he is physically beyond their control. Furthermore, the parents bring their son to the magistrates to judge the matter (v. 19); hence, the son would have opportunity to speak on his own behalf. All of this indicates that the “son” in question is no mere child, but, rather, a young man at least in his middle teens or older. As Wright observes, “The law is not talking about naughty children but about seriously delinquent young adults.”3

          But hey, let’s throw out debt forgiveness, monetary reform and land redistribution because of a snap judgement by you of a book Christians are not obliged to follow anyway but who should at least match it wrt to the economic justice commanded therein?

          Yeah, that’s smart. /sarc

          1. Basil Pesto

            All of this indicates that the “son” in question is no mere child, but, rather, a young man at least in his middle teens or older. As Wright observes, “The law is not talking about naughty children but about seriously delinquent young adults.”

            oh, well that’s alright then

      1. Bugs Bunny

        Good gawd what baloney. The comments are awesome. These guys are soon long gone from their pundits chairs. At least Paul Krugman has the good sense – and self-respect – to step back a few feet and revel in the move to the left.

        1. Dan

          At least Paul Krugman has the good sense – and self-respect – to step back a few feet and revel in the move to the left.

          I’ve noticed a few possible “defections” from orthodoxy today after last night’s trouncing. Will be interesting to watch. If Sanders wins South Carolina, look for a bunch more. If he doesn’t, it will be like a little hit of heroin for the establishment, just enough to keep them feeling “normal.” But there are no “highs” left for them. No more Obamas or Clintons to mask reality.

          The narrative is changing and will continue to change. They’ll be dragged along and will have to change their own narrative to match the new reality, the true reality, in order to continue to maintain some semblance of integrity. Or else they’ll be left behind.

      2. JCC

        Thanks for the link, I really enjoyed it. The comments and additional follow-up links here at NC are one of the many things that make this site so interesting.

        Truly this ABC broadcast is in the realm of “too good to be true”. And Rahm Emanuel’s statement regarding Putin and Trump working together to make sure that Sanders is the nominee was icing on the cake.

        As one of the excellent comments said, “The 3rd Reich called — they want their Propaganda Ministry back.”

  2. dearieme

    Many people who comment here seem to be great fans of FDR. So I suppose that they will rather approve of “Trump Quietly Issues Memo That Could Abolish Union Rights for 750,000 Federal Workers”. FDR, after all, was unambiguously against federal workers’ unions having negotiating rights.

    He did want to force unions on to non-government employees and employers: what was sauce for the goose was not sauce for the gander.

    1. Amfortas the hippie

      I really, really like Thomas Jefferson. have since i was little.
      this does not mean, categorically, that i also reluctantly accept slavery as an economic model.
      I dig Gandhi, too…but reckon sleeping naked with prepubescent girls is not very cool, at all.
      I’ve also been a fan of FDR for about as long as i can remember…but putting asian people in camps is not something i can let slide.
      people are complicated, and “contain multitudes”, and contradict themselves.
      The totalising trend in “center-left” dialog(sic) leads to ever smaller polities, until each of us inhabits a tiny rock in the ocean, sheltering behind our unreplicatable list of checked boxes, surrounded on all sides and as far as the eye can see with billions of other tiny rocks…constituencies of One, Alone..
      it is the opposite of a way to make things change for the better.

      1. The Rev Kev

        All too true what you say. Someone put that last bit even more eloquently into words centuries ago-

        No man is an island entire of itself; every man
        is a piece of the continent, a part of the main;
        if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe
        is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as
        well as any manner of thy friends or of thine
        own were; any man’s death diminishes me,
        because I am involved in mankind.
        And therefore never send to know for whom
        the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.

      2. xkeyscored

        I was disappointed to hear Sanders recently describe Putin as a thug. That’s rich from someone whose advice to the electorate not so long ago was to vote for the global mega-thug Clinton as their president. And I could go on.
        But he’d* get my vote and enthusiastic support any day, absolutely no question.

        *I’m a UK citizen, hence the would.

        1. Joshua Ellinger

          I was very glad to here him say that because of how it ties back to Trump saying admiring things about Putin.

          The right in US is going to equate “socialism” with “communism” with “russia-loving” and normally it would work quite well. Yes, it makes no sense but you are talking 30-second TV spots.

          Sander’s response to Russia influence was exactly how he needed to frame it to be more acceptable to the supporters of the empire than the current rogue who is in office.

          1. xkeyscored

            Maybe so. I disagree, and there’s other aspects of Sanders I could take issue with, but like I said, I’d still back him any day. Waiting for the ideologically pure and perfect candidate would be a long wait. And if and when I ever found one, they might not suit your criteria.
            My spirits are rising in parallel with Bernie’s chances of winning. A new future for for America?

            1. Oh

              If you did find an ideologically pure and perfect candidate, he’d probably turn out to be liar just like Barry.

              1. Librarian Guy

                Agreed. Though Barry ultimately had no ideology beyond doing what his donors told him to, & propping up the “respectability” of late Capitalist Plutocratic Empire with high-blown speeches.

          2. tegnost

            “The right in US is going to equate “socialism” with “communism” with “russia-loving” and normally it would work quite well”

            yes, that’s the angle he’s being attacked from by right wing dems…not working so good

          3. urblintz


            I have come to accept that we may never know what Bernie actually thinks about RussiaRussiaRussia! because it was designed, from the beginning, to trap him as much as Trump , a cynical ploy by the Clintonistas to stop exactly what’s happening w/Bernie in 2020 and impossible for him to counter thru direct refutation of the narrative itself.

            I’ve witnessed and had to put up with political lies my entire life. Bernie having to “repudiate” Putin because his opponents don’t want him to is a very small transgression in my book (unless he believes it and ups the New Cold War should he win – doubtful imho).

            That the Russigate fairytale, created by Clinton/DNC/CIA. was designed to stop Bernie as much as Trump is critical to understanding how limited Bernie was in his responses…

            …and therefore, how well he handled it. Tying Russia to Bernie’s campaign seems to have backfired… heh…

        2. anon in so cal

          Sanders’ statements about Russia and Putin are very disappointing. The other day, Sanders gratuitously parroted some of the worst bilge, along the lines of ‘Russia funded internet ads that influenced the 2016 election.’ Sanders essentially repeated one of Mueller’s big lies: The Mueller Report falsely alleged that an internet troll farm (IRA) had Kremlin links. Mueller was forced to admit in federal court that this was a total fabrication. Foreign policy has always been a weak point for Sanders and that’s a big concern.

          Yes, justifications for Sanders’ statements have been provided, along the lines that he has to make these statements in the current climate, especially considering a huge % of the electorate are brainwashed. But this all suggests he’d succumb to NeoCon pressure re Russia.

          1. lordkoos

            I don’t agree, I believe that Sanders is smarter than you give him credit for. He is walking a fine line here.

        3. Lawrence

          A guy gets to be a “Colonel” in the Secret Police of a country that has been a police state for some sixty years, then official head of the Secret Police, then unquestionable de-facto permanent “Leader” of the whole country. How can such a type *not* be a thug? “*Mackie Messer tragt ‘nen Handschuh; Drauf man keine Untat liest.*”

      3. h2odragon

        Amen brother! I may or may not like your politics; no matter, we can discuss gardening or appreciate the hounds abounding.

      4. Stephen V

        This is so true Anfortas and deserves to be repeated. I read a fair amount of history–academic journals mostly and wish I had a nickel for every time I think I understand a particular personage and then I hit a whole tranche of research that upsets my little apple cart.
        Case in point is revisionist history of Herbert Hoover’s presidency. Some scholars say that FDR took over HH’S cooperative strategy of working with shop councils, labor unions, businesses, and local governments –and renamed it. A big deal in terms of the *neat* conservative / progressive divide.

        1. JTMcPhee

          The problem we all face, in everything from the current US campaign to how to deal with the snowballing effects of crapping in our own nest, is how to identify and bolster the actually good ideas. Out of all the competing “I know best” chatter that floods our waking moments.

      5. David B.Harrison

        This is precisely the attitude we need to have to win.Only solidarity and fellowship will accomplish our goals.

        1. Stephen V

          I too read about the young girls long ago. I don’t know where. Another Gandhi fun fact: he wasn’t a total proponent non-violent. See Norman Finkelstein on this! Inaction was the worst sin in his moral universe…

            1. Dan

              Shatter all purist bubbles and ye shall be free.

              I’m working on it myself. It’s often the proverbial one step forward, two steps back. A lifetime of propaganda is hard to overcome.

        2. Amfortas the hippie

          do you have a link to this nonsense?

          i do not. i was slapped with it on faceborg a few years ago…pre-2015…when quoting Gandhi.
          along the lines of being pilloried for liking Miles Davis because he was a woman-hater.(yes. this is a thing, apparently. Mea Culpa)
          i looked into it at the time, and there was an article in the guardian or somewhere, and i juts incorporated it into my dataverse.

          1. Dan

            I remember reading that he wasn’t particularly fond of the lower classes in India (or anywhere), and had to be nudged towards supporting the anti-Apartheid movement in South Africa.

            No links from me either. People can investigate for themselves if they’re interested.

            I’m very wary of any human being who achieves that level of guru status.

          2. Dan

            Just adding, I read that Ghandi was attempting some sort of spiritual type thing where he wanted to lay with women and see if they could make it through the night without physical desire. I never saw it mentioned that they were prepubescent, though it certainly wouldn’t surprise me.

      6. Lee

        I just added your comment to my file of greatest NC hits, which I will shamelessly borrow (with linky attribution) when needed in future. Thanks

          1. Brooklin Bridge

            The thread indent goes to Amfortas the hippie’s comment at 9:16am that you don’t have to like everything about someone to still be solidly behind him or her; humans are complex.

      7. hunkerdown

        You might want to have a look at Indispensable Enemies by Walter Karp. He devotes a whole chapter to an examination of FDR as a plain old machine politician who gave up the least reform he could manage in the face of an angry populace, and of the deliberate choices he and Dixiecrats made to reach that end.

    2. marym

      Wouldn’t it seem at least equally logical to “suppose” that people who admire FDR for what he accomplished for working people, despite some inadequate or harmful policies, would be even more critical of Trump who has harmful policies without comparable accomplishments, or even proposals, to benefit working people?

      1. tegnost

        Well he tore up nafta, even though he and the pelosi crowd got another one in place, and I no longer owe the irs $700 a year because insurance is too expensive for me to buy…seriously, that’s the dem elite unaffordable healthcare penalties, student loan debt for life,ridiculous housing costs thanks to QE forever… Some people,not me, have forgotten about the TPP and it’s insidious ISDS clause (columbia is currently being sued by uber). I’m not a supporter of trump, but I’m not a supporter of that other right wing bs either Better policies will get better support, see bernie sanders. He’s the only one who beats trump, the others offer nothing but more beatings.

        1. marym

          He’s adept at dismantling or disregarding things he doesn’t like, and some of those things have bad elements.

          That it’s better for people not to be burdened with the mandate penalty isn’t the same as Trump having any accomplishments, or even any positive goals, in healthcare availability; nor does it acknowledge the Trump administration rule changes, court cases, and budget proposals that do further harm to healthcare availability.

      2. kiwi

        Of course it would be “equally logical”, to “be even more critical of Trump” because neo-libs/cons oppose full employement and want more illegal immigration to depress wages, especially now that the US has full employment and some wages are going up.

        Doesn’t the hoi polloi get it? They aren’t supposed to want well-paying jobs, houses, education, and medical care. All this stuff is for the elites.

        Full employment is so very harmful to the neo-libs/cons.

      1. dearieme

        I’m waiting to see if anyone would rise to the challenge of arguing against FDR’s justification for his stance. Unsurprisingly nobody has so far.

        1. cm

          Well, I don’t have a dog in this “fight” but if you can’t do a google search yourself, here are 2 links for the argument against public sector unions.

          I haven’t read either one, but just wanted to put a counter argument out there. Not much of a challenge.

      2. a different chris

        It was apparently a “coming of age” thing for dearieme. Us youngsters couldn’t understand. :)

        I also don’t understand how dearieme keeps posting but either doesn’t or at least pretends not to see any replies. I mean, this is bizzarro world:

        >anyone would rise to the challenge of arguing against FDR’s justification

        Say what?

    3. notabanktoadie

      Well, the difference being that Federal workers were well compensated with wages and job security relative to the private sector and that the Federal government had vital services to perform – such as delivering the mail?

    4. mrsyk

      “Some kind of man who can’t do anything wrong, when I see him I’ll tell him your waiting.”
      Lowell George

  3. dearieme

    Trump in India: I wonder how much Fluhan there is in India at the moment?

    Depending on how bad Fluhan turns out to be in the US, what are the odds of both Trump and Sanders surviving until November? They are old.

    Boeing: dear heavens, what on earth is going on?

    Assange: his treatment has been appalling. Shame on Sweden, shame on the UK, and shame on the USA.

    “The Cost of Thriving” is terribly sexist. It defines thriving in terms of one man’s earnings supporting a family. How reactionary is that? Certainly anti-feminist and, for all I know, transphobic. I mean what if the “man” identifies as a woman? Or, indeed, as a carrot?

      1. dearieme

        Why thank you. I was pleased with it. The joke I mean, not the phenomenon.

        “Pandora’s out of her box” as a comedian once said. There’s only a little we can do about it. The cruise ship fiasco confirms to me that it’s highly infectious. The scale of the Chinese response suggests to me that it’s pretty lethal – if only to people old enough to be on the politburo of the Communist Party.

        Prospects are not good.

        1. dearieme

          I am not on twitter. If it’s a decent joke many people will think of it. I invented it two or three weeks ago. Anyone who said it on Jan 20th beat me to it.

      2. xkeyscored

        I thought WURS (or WuRS if you prefer, Wuhan Respiratory Syndrome) was the obvious choice after SARS and MERS.

    1. Amfortas the hippie

      “It defines thriving in terms of one man’s earnings supporting a family.”

      it is explained quite clearly that they settled on that construction due to the availability of data to compare over long time scales.
      remember, womyn didn’t always make up such a large proportion of the “workforce”(which didn’t count social reproduction labor, like childrearing and homekeeping as “working”…and still doesn’t, save on the more marxist end of the seesaw.)…so there’s little data to compare from 1912 or whatever.
      there’s plenty of actual monsters to slay.

      1. Chris


        And it’s more of a teaching tool, too. If you tell the average US citizen that our inflation metrics have been low for over a decade they’ll laugh at you. The presentation for the COTI comes the closest to actually explaining what we have in people’s lived experience with real data.

      1. PlutoniumKun

        Thats been circulating for a while – I saw it on WeChat about 2 weeks ago, but I couldn’t be sure if its genuine. People really are suffering there and there is little sign of a let-up.

        1. Monty

          Certainly possible, but a very elaborate hoax if so. Very realistic stereo and Doppler effects as they move around.

          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            Wuhan is bigger than New York City and they are going door to door, if the thermometer reading is high they forcefully take you on the spot. Pretty sure that would not play well in The Big Apple

      2. xkeyscored

        It’s certainly scary and dramatic, like an unusual dystopian movie in which the usual locations are reversed, but I just watched it again, and I’m still not sure if the sounds are screams of agony and despair, or whooping and screeching as the nearest they can get to face-to-face interaction. Probably a bit of both, it seems to me.
        Do any Chinese speakers want to interpret, either the words or the calls?

        1. PlutoniumKun

          My Chinese friends say they are mostly calling to each other, it was taken just after Chinese New Year when people would expect to be home and partying. I don’t think its fake, but I also don’t think its ‘typical’, I think a lot of people just joined in when they saw people call out to each other from balconies.

      3. coboarts

        My version of hell has always been being trapped with humans screaming and clawing over their imminent doom, instead of accepting their fate and retaining their dignity in its face. But then we have to discuss faith – and not confined to Christian.

    2. Bugs Bunny

      3 cases in India. Trump’s probably the bigger risk, with his giant security detail and hangers on.

      FYI India has BAD relations with China. No Chinese have been able to get visas since mid December.

    3. JCC

      You might try reading the original the paper itself, linked first in the Notes section of the American Affairs Journal article.

      One section specifically covers both men and women in the workplace. And the appendix of the paper goes into more detail shows male wages at today’s average “40% cohort” costs need 53 weeks to cover and, even worse, female wages at today’s average “40% cohort” costs need approx 65 weeks to cover.

      I decided to read the actual paper after Lambert published Oren Cass’s twitter post a few days ago where Cass also linked to the actual paper. There was far more detail in the paper itself vs the journal article, and it didn’t strike me as particularly or “terribly sexist” at all.

  4. Stadist

    To combat citrus greening, farmers are spraying medically important antibiotics on their trees -The Counter

    I can imagine so many ways this can go badly. Antibiotics are being sacrificed on the altar of money and economy. Human health is secondary.

    Similar processes are seen with GMO glyphosate resistant crops, farmers noticed how handy it is just to spray everything with glyphosate and ditch all the other generally recognized good practices of weed and pest control. Now glyphosate resistant weeds are surging and these GMO crops lose their superior status within few years.

    1. xkeyscored

      Bayer/Monsanto has noticed how handy it is to spray everything with glyphosate and dicamba, allowing their products to boldly grow where Monsan has grown before:

      As farmers battle glyphosate resistance, Monsanto has developed cotton and soyabeans with genetic traits able to tolerate both glyphosate and dicamba, another herbicide, allowing farmers to toggle between weedkillers. “As resistances have developed in these [weed] species, farmers are moving to other modes of action that do effectively work,” said Mr Elmore [Bayer’s North American crop protection lead].

      1. Wukchumni

        I fertilize my citrus (pride & joy is a 6 year old Mandarin orange that had 75 offspring) trees and provide enough water and a spray of Diatomaceous earth, but in no way can I compete in terms of growth with corporate citrus down below on the fruited plain, where trees grow so much quicker, and seeing as you can’t claim income on your investment until they start paying off, there must be boucoup chemical wizardry going on to make it so, number won.

        What I found interesting in the article, was that they are spraying antibiotics in California as well as Florida. HLB psyllids keep being found in traps in trees here and down in SoCal, but so far no citrus has had the devastating greening effect, which is doubly bad in that it strings you along, thinking your ‘kids’ are gonna make it, before lowering the boom.

        In fact during the drought, a number of older citrus orchards were taken out and replaced with new trees, and if they keep finding HLB’s (Boy, that comes close to looking like H1B, hmmm?) its inevitable California will become the killing ground that Florida is now. Why replant citrus knowing the enemy is at the gates?

        The citrus belt is right below me, and all of the trees are cut so as to give them uniformly flat-tops, and just after you crest the high point leaving the foothills, it splays out like an never-ending green table top.

        Prokofiev – Love of Three Oranges

        1. Titus

          “can’t claim income on your investment until they start paying off”, not true, you have to tell the IRS when year one is, after that you need to show positive cash flow 3 out of seven years. I have a small nursery and have been audited by the IRS. Everything was fine and they owed me money.

    2. JohnM

      Not an expert, i’m just an amateur orchadrist, but i don’t think this is anything new. you can go to amazon and buy streptomycin by the pound to control fruit tree fire blight.

  5. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: “That’s Called Electability”: Diverse Coalition Propels Bernie Sanders to Big Win in Nevada Common Dreams

    Monica Smith, a Culinary member since 1987 and a server at the Bellagio, told Buzzfeed that she caucused for Sanders out of concern for those without union-negotiated health insurance.

    “We have so many people that have walked that picket line, blood sweat and tears, for us,” said Smith. “We’re going to be here to protect it, but I worry about other people that aren’t protected by unions. How do they get healthcare? What’s the dollar amount that they have to go through, do they have to worry about not being able to go to a hospital?”

    Not me, us.

    I don’t know how bloomberg is gonna “buy it.” I’m pretty sure he can’t even comprehend “it.”

      1. Amfortas the hippie


        closer to home, but further back, beyond most living memory:

        “Which side on you on?”

        one of the most effective strategies of the Machine is our self-policing…being ashamed of our Radical tendencies.
        sitting down, and shutting up…without the boss ever having to tell us to.
        we internalise the boss’ likes and dislikes…generally without even realising it.
        and remember, “radical” means “of the Roots”, and that this is better thought of as a conservative position(feedstore minds explode!)…it is the neoliberalism and resulting grand larceny that is the “unwanted innovation”.

    1. Carla

      Last night on NPR some idiot was interviewing a Native American tribal spokesman, asking how it was possible that Bernie was winning tribal caucuses so handily. The tribal spokesman replied words to the effect of: Well, he came and talked with us and listened to us. Nobody else did that.

      DAMN. Could that be “it”?

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          And I suspect Sanders was Sanders at the same event. He didn’t do any cultural appropriation nonsense such as demanding people call him their abuela (yes, I’m aware, but Dims probably would think that would be a good idea). Sanders won’t go to a black church and talk about all the services he’s been to for example. I wouldn’t be shocked if Bloomberg started doing this, and I wouldn’t be surprised if a Bloomberg staffer suggests Bloomie reminence about the sermons of the Reverend Cleophus James. Actually there are at least 3 democrats running who wouldn’t shock me if they said this.

          1. Ford Prefect

            He would probably reminisce about studying Torah as a kid for his Bar Mitzvah and then compliment them on their active Bible study groups.

      1. David

        Mainstream “leftist” candidates all over the world are shocked! shocked! when politicians go to listen to ordinary people, instead of lecturing them on how they should vote because of their skin colour or gender. In the 2017 French Presidential elections, one enterprising magazine sent a courageous reporter into some villages in La France Profonde to check on stories of increasing support for Le Pen. To his astonishment, large parts of the populations of several small villages were going to vote for her. Why? Because she was the only political candidate in the entire history of the villages who had ever bothered to stop by.
        It’s not that these idiots are ignorant: it’s worse than that. If they were only ignorant, I should be less concerned.

        1. Amfortas the hippie

          i was surprised and disconcerted to learn that le Pen(and her hot niece) had some pretty decent domestic, and especially rural, policies.
          things i could have come up with.
          if the Left leaves it laying on the ground, the Right will eventually pick it up.

    2. T

      Several interviews with those rogue Culinary Union workers who went for Sanders despite warnings from their betters. All spoke of solidarity – referring to their vote for Sanders as for people who don’t have what they have, and how organizing for their union taught them to fight for people they don’t know.

      If these people are squashed by politics as usual in Milwaukee….

    3. Phacops


      I have always thought that the quality of my life depends on my neighbors being well educated and not subject to the lash of need. A needy population insecure in their health, sustenance, shelter, and employment are gullible to the meanest impulses.

      But, perhaps I am being a little greedy too. A family who is well paid and who has sufficient time to enjoy our American landscape may be constituents for our great National Parks and Wilderness Areas which I keenly enjoy.

      1. smoker

        A needy population insecure in their health, sustenance, shelter, and employment are gullible to the meanest impulses.

        I wouldn’t have used the word gullible, and no one is impervious to mean impulses. From what I’ve noticed, the well to do are far more likely to act on mean impulses – and have the connections and resources to-do so – than the sick and poor.

        Many actually end up sick and impoverished in the US by not operating on base instincts. Further the sick and poor populations include high IQ and educated persons, increasingly so – as decent paying jobs increasingly require a sociopathic mentality.

          1. smoker

            Thanks, Carey, that’s certainly been what I’ve witnessed. After all, that’s almost always how the rich become rich, outside of winning a lottery.

          2. The Rev Kev

            Years ago I read a report about the rich in Australia. Not only did the rich give less to charities as a percentage of their income, but overall they gave less a total amount of dollars as compared to the poorer sections of society. And yet they are first up front in getting a hand-out or demanding a cut to their taxes.

        1. smoker

          Sorry, the preview didn’t show, and I messed up the ‘end blockquote’ html. The indented words are mine, the first sentence above them was a quote from Phacop’s 11:00 AM EST comment, directly above my comment.

    4. Carolinian

      This is interesting

      Bloomberg has done no real campaigning, but has purchased ads in such a saturated manner, that his name recognition is top-trending. Is this sufficient for a campaign? What happened to Bloomberg in Nevada is unlike anything seen in the recent history of these events. Typically, a candidate would be advised to come off as receptive to criticism and avoid certain body language and gestures. Moving forward, they would have an agenda of their own to focus on and drive attention back towards. Bloomberg is apparently immune to coaching on body language and public speaking.

      Herein lies Bloomberg’s real problem – he has no agenda. […] An agenda isn’t something that’s optional, something ‘nice to have’ – it’s the foundation of any campaign which minimally has the inner circle on-board. But Bloomberg’s organizational practice is at odds with anything resembling a movement. What the New Yorker lacks is any sense of the moment.

      The author speculates the prob may be a Bloomberg entourage of yes men. But perhaps someone as rich as Bloomberg simply views those campaign hundreds of millions as pocket change and is not willing to put himself out in any other way. Ironically his cavalier approach to his own campaign could be a compelling argument for soaking the rich.

      At any rate David Brooks gets at least one thing right in today’s linked column. The zeitgeist could be with Bernie.

      1. John k

        Certainly Bloomberg has an agenda… generally to keep in place the status quo, specifically the tax cuts for the rich. Plus he doesn’t like trump, figures if trump can do it then certainly he, with all his wealth, can, but realizes he can’t get the rep nom, so to replace trump in the Oval Office he must run as a dem.
        But if he loses to Bernie he will certainly prefer trump as a matter of principle.

      2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        The whole world is a Yes Man to Bloomers. They always say Yes to his dollars and it always solves every one of his problems.

        1. The Rev Kev

          Until he finds himself in an open debate where his money counts for zip. Then he had to count on his wits and we all know how that went.

  6. Tom Stone

    The State of California has asked 7,600 returnees from China to voluntarily quarantine themselves.
    If there is a 90% compliance rate…go long nitrile gloves.

    1. Wukchumni

      Talked to a friend with an Airbnb rental, and she told me this time of year is rigor mortis, which is not unusual as its shoulder season in the NP, and scant snow as an attractant, for lack of an added bonus.

      From about April on through to September though, she is about 75% booked up.

      It’ll be interesting to follow the failure rate on those reservations if the virus has legs.

      1. The Rev Kev

        That brings up an interesting point Wuk. If Coronavirus gets loose on America, will people be willing to offer up their homes for Airbnb? Or will people risk picking up a series of strangers in their own cars as an Uber driver? Suddenly the “sharing” model does not sound such a great idea any more.

    2. anon in so cal

      Remember how the U.S. voluntary quarantine for ebola worked? A physician who had an MSM position with MSNBC or some such was supposed to be under quarantine but she was seen at a fast food restaurant.

  7. Amfortas the hippie

    david brooks:
    “In the gathering myth, the heroes have traits Trump and Sanders lack: open-mindedness, flexibility, listening skills, team-building skills and basic human warmth. In this saga, leaders are measured by their ability to expand relationships, not wall them off.”

    the Holy Fool* of the Centrist Myth Cycle weighs in, but again fails to ask the right Question*.
    given enough time out in the hustings(visualise brooks in Compton,lol), brooks might come around…..but i fear that by then the sun will have burned out and the heat death of the universe will be way past comfortable.

    1. ChiGal in Carolina

      paywalled for me so thanks for exposing the Apostle of Decency for propagating the ludicrous notion that Trump and Sanders are remotely comparable on those measures. What utter bs. He should be ashamed to be polluting the public discourse with this stuff.

    2. Polar Donkey

      I guess Brooks never saw that bird land on the podium Bernie was using during the rally with thousands of people. That bird knows more than David Brooks.

    3. Carolinian

      I was going to comment on that column but Brooks, like his colleague Friedman, is too silly to be worth the effort. His appeal to “trust” is just a retread of high Broderism after its main proponent has kicked the bucket. Also it’s a bit rich for someone who works for the NY Times to be dissing “myths.” It’s all they do these days.

      1. curlydan

        I agree that all Brooks’s columns are silly, but unfortunately, a lot of “Democrats” and “liberals” (e.g. my parents) seem to think he is a rare, wise conservative. Every time I read his columns I think of one thing: Leave It to Beaver. It’s like that guy writes every column like he’s student council president and writing a 6th grade civics lesson in the Beaver’s school. Sorry, Brooks, but life isn’t Leave It to Beaver.

        And to say Sanders doesn’t listen is preposterous. See the comment above from a Native American supporter. He is the ONLY one listening. He’s just not listening to David Brooks or Chris Matthews or Mark Shields, etc. and that’s what drives them crazy.

        If you want to read the column outside the paywall, Brooks unfortunately gets distributed far and wide:

        1. Chris

          Thanks for the non-paywalled link.

          Nearly did a spit take with my coffee over the “Bernie isnt touched” in the debates section of Brooks’ bloviating. The PMC and others really seem to think that, gosh darn it all to heck, that willy Bernie just hasn’t be vetted or questioned or challenged enough. I guess this is what “will no one rid me of this meddlesome bishop” sounds like in 2020.

          The one myth that I have yet to see exploded revolving any of these elections is that it’s somehow better to unify around a candidate in the primary season and not question them so that they’ll be stronger in the general. Huh? How about, if a candidate can’t shake off an attack on some aspect of their personality or position and it’s considered a liability in the general, then they’re a bad candidate!

          1. Ford Prefect

            He hasn’t been vetted, because they keep spluttering “You…you…Socialist!” at him and he thanks them for the compliment. Unless you look like you have been punched in the nose, they think you haven’t been vetted. That is one reason Trump won; they would throw the stuff at him and he wouldn’t even blink.

        2. Amfortas the hippie

          brooks is one of those people who enjoy a standing reservation to a log to sit on around my fire.
          along with max boot and barack obama.
          I like to keep it interesting.
          they’d all either be eviscerated and thrown in the pond, or shocked and awed(here, try this Popsicle*) and thus open to epiphany.
          of course, there’s standing invitations to a log to people i like, too…

          (*shroom experience of note)

        3. wilroncanada

          Oh, he listens all right, even to Brooks, Matthews and Shields. He just, like most of us, regards their “wisdom” as too silly to adapt.

        1. Deschain

          Pete: what are the costs of other single payer programs?
          Bernie: African or European?
          Pete: I don’t know that …. ahhhhhhhhhhh

          1. ambrit

            “Explain to me these policies three, and the other side, (of this FEMA camp gate,) you shall see.”

    4. Jeotsu

      Brooks is a living embodiment of Pangloss from Candide. “All is for the best in this best of all possible worlds.”

      Note: Pangloss was one of the main objects of satire in that book!

      It is a wonderful example of the loss of capacity for self examination among the PMC. It is also a form of philosophical self defense, as if this is the best possible world then anyone seeking to change it is an enemy of prosperity and progress. It is the core of the Democrat message of “this is the best you’ll ever get”, with the unspoken subtext meaning being that anyone but us would make it worse.

    5. lordkoos

      Sanders doesn’t listen? There are literally dozens of videos of him on the campaign trail showing him listening empathically to peoples’ stories at town halls and rallies. Sanders isn’t a team builder? His staff and his volunteers are exceptional and they are helping him to win everywhere.

      1. FluffytheObeseCat

        Sanders doesn’t listen to the correct, important people. You have to interpret the silent adjectives into Brooks’ essays…… but they are always there. And his paying audience has no trouble making the necessary interpretative leaps. They have a native speaker’s ability on that score.

  8. The Rev Kev

    “Sweden is now testing its digital version of cash, the e-krona”

    Nice digital economy that you got there, Sweden. It would be a shame if somebody accidentally pulled the wrong plug out.

  9. Pat

    If aiming Russia! Russia! Russia! at Sanders proves nothing else it does show that the opposition play book is as empty as we were told.

    Unfortunately propaganda and scare tactics can work.

    What I really hope people finally get is that it doesn’t make any sense that Russia would help Sanders AND Trump. That the logic and reasoning just does not work. That they start hearing what Taibbi and Mate and other voices of sanity have been saying.

    1. Woodchuck

      It kinda makes entire sense that they would pretend to though. Do you see the amount of carnage they’re doing to US democracy and how they’re bolstering Putin’s image as the ultimate tough guy and man behind the curtain?

      If all it takes to achieve that is to pay some guys in a troll farm to post stuff on social media why WOULDN’T they do it?

      I’m not saying they are truly trying to help them win or that they particularly care who does. But if I was Putin hell yes I’d be doing that, it’s like the cheapest global publicity his regime can buy.

      What’s ridiculous is how the media in the US is covering it. How much impact do they think these social media tactics really have compared to all the stupidity they display in their coverage?

      1. Oxley Creek Boy

        I was going to post the following in response to the original post

        “Unfortunately, those who have bought in now hew almost universally to the “Russia just wants to sow chaos” line. Hence, anything and everything, including the totally contradictory, could be part of Putin’s plans. It’s entirely logically unfalsifiable.”

        And then I refreshed and found someone had beat me to the punch already with a “Putin’s in it for the chaos, so why wouldn’t he do it” post, doubly making my point for me.

        1. Woodchuck

          Just to be sure I understand your point, you’re basically suggesting they haven’t done anything? I’m not saying you’re wrong just want to be sure I read into it correctly.

          Personally I dont think all the reports of interference are based on absolutely nothing. I just think it’s a very logical thing to happen, the same way the US has Psy-ops in many other countries.

          What I think is a joke is the fact that it’s news (or covered) at all. I would be surprised if the Chinese aren’t doing the same thing, the UAE, Saudis or a whole lot of other countries. I don’t think (and I might be very naive here) that the traditionally allied countries would risk to do much directed by their government, but parts of their population is naturally invested in US politics in many cases and will be active on social media on their own (hell, I lived in the US and have many friends there but I’m Canadian, probably part of my country’s massive attempt at influencing US elections with the pro-Sanders coverage that is very prevalent in Quebec).

          US elections have massive impacts on the world at large and when that many people have skin in the game, they will attempt to do something about it in various ways. Can be through indirect money, social media campaigns, influencing people in their own country by biased media coverage and simply let them be active on social media on their own, etc.

          My main point is how could this NOT happen? How could Russia not be trying to influence the elections in their own way, whatever that is? And why is it news, why Russia instead of any other country that is likely doing it also, and why should a big deal be made out of it when it’s all but inevitable?

          This obviously comes down to in-country propaganda and US intelligence trying to tip the scales. But i would be extremely surprised if Russia was not trying to influence the US elections in some way, just like pretty much every other country (or corporation) that has much to gain or lose by the results.

          1. Ignim Brites

            US policies have global impact but only ( or mostly only ) US citizens can vote in US elections. That is called a democratic deficit. And if one really believes in democracy ( not just our democracy ) that is a problem. One way to ameliorate the problem would be to allow foreign leaders to run from President. Would it really be such a bad thing if AMLO were the democratic nominee?

          2. Dan

            I agree, of course it goes on. I think the more important point is the response to it. A confident, secure country would assure the population they’re doing everything to maintain the integrity of the nation and immediately set to work doing it. The current response, at least among the political and media class, is often outright denial, seen both on the Trumpian right and segments of the left. The overwhelming response, however, is to simply whine about it without offering any further analysis or even hinting at the possibility that it might in some way be restrained or mitigated. The unspoken message it carries is one of helplessness in the face of threat or crisis.

          3. curious euro

            Russia is not influencing the US elections cause it’s a waste of money.
            China would have the money to do it if they wanted. Israel and the gulf dictatorships have the money and the influence to do it, and actually do it. Mainly via onshore US people like Adelson, hence: the influence.

            Russia is way too small to compete with these behemoths and has nothing really to gain from the meddling. That is why they don’t do it. Certainly not the way the media is shrieking about with social media posts.
            There is no reason to sow chaos cause no one can create more chaos and division than the US elites themselves. Since 2017 the chaos is worse and worse. Who else would even want to compete with that,especially when you need tons of money, money that will leave a trail. Adelson and the likes can operate this way since they are allowed to do so, Saudi-Barbaria too of course. Russia or even China wouldn’t.

            Russia could do something like the DNC hack if it weren’t shown by the transfer speeds that it probably was an inside hack. This is an operation where the small resources of Russia could be having an actual impact. But again, while this shows how it’s possible, there first is no evidence anywhere and 2nd no reason since the politics against Russia hasn’t changed the last ~30 years, no matter which candidate won: either exploit Russia as a colony (90s) or when Russia puts the stop to that, declare it an arch-enemy and sanction it back to the stone-age. This has not changed with Trump, and will not change with Sanders just like it hasn’t changed with Obama.

            1. Dan

              Israel and the gulf dictatorships have the money and the influence to do it, and actually do it. Mainly via onshore US people like Adelson

              Israel’s ability to influence policy decisions in the United States is much deeper, and more intricate, than simply a few well-placed billionaires.

              1. curious euro

                The important point is “onshore people”. It’s not the state of Israel or even anyone living in Israel that is spending any money. It’s all the jewish people, who are US citizens, and their institutions inside the US.
                They are directed from Tel Aviv, but they do it with resources, material and especially immaterial, wholly from inside the US. Adelson is just a good example but only one of many.

                The gulf dictatorships however do it with foreign money of course, but that is the petrodollar contract, so it’s all good.

                The supposed russian interference in contrast was done with purely russian money, by evil russian people who sat in an office in St. Petersburg while doing the meddling over the interwebs.

          4. periol

            To me this is more like my crazy ex-gf accusing me of cheating on her, when the truth was she was cheating on me. There was no logic, she just screamed in my face that I was cheating until I gave up.

            The US glibly involves itself in elections all over the world, sometimes can’t even be bothered with elections. Why not scream that Russia is doing it? Maybe we’re so paranoid of Russia because we know how effective our own election interference is?

          5. lordkoos

            Russia may be doing something but it would pale compared to the efforts of the state of Israel and our own intelligence agencies.

      2. Amfortas the hippie

        “….If all it takes to achieve that is to pay some guys in a troll farm to post stuff on social media …”

        aye! then what does that say about the People?
        worse…what does it say about what the sundry Mouths of Sauron believe about the People?
        I find it utterly insulting that the “nattering nabobs” just casually assume that people are stupid, and can’t arrive at a place of discontent and disgust all by themselves, and without any help from putin….and that, whatever the People believe, they simply MUST have been led there by the nose by someone.
        is it perhaps because they really cannot see through the membrane any more?(Arnade)

        1. curious euro

          Literally BILLIONS are spent every election cycle on advertising and social media. If it didn’t work, it wouldn’t be spent. So those billions do work. Bloomberg right now is the best example. From zero to contender in a month with nothing but money for ads and bribery. Nothing else. Yes humans, and you merkins in particular, are so shallow and unfortunately even more stupid (sorry for the insult, but it’s the truth).

          The troll farm IIRC spent around half a million dollars or less. If you could meaningfully influence elections for half a million, why are the candidates alone spend 4000 times as much? They certainly don’t influence the electorate 4000 times better since then the half mill would be useless. If the troll farm had any influence at all, they wouldn’t have been sued (and the suit was lost), they would have been hired since they’d be the best campaign advisors on Earth. They’d run the campaign of the winner whoever that would be.

          1. cripes

            curious euro

            you merkins in particular, are so shallow …

            Have you forgotton Berlusconi?
            The fake anti-semetic campaign against Corbyn?

            Glass house

            1. inode_buddha

              Most americans don’t give a crap about any of that even if they can pronounce it. It doesn’t affect them.

            2. curious euro

              Look at advertising budgets in the US and the ones abroad, not only in politics but all of the economy. Look at the amount of people who do nothing but PR, especially in politics.

              Advertising works in the US more than in the rest of the world since the US has much much more of it. Either that, or the US people who greenlight those advertising budgets are more stupid than others in the worlds spending more money for something useless. Either way, more advertising, more stupidity.

              Doesn’t mean other countries aren’t comprised of stupid people electing stupid leaders. Just that they usually do it less so on the basis of very costly advertising.

          2. HotFlash

            Waaaall (that’s my midwest accent), I have worked in advertising and the only product that advertising can be proven to sell is advertising. But it is a convenient way of paying for other things, such as sympathetic coverage. For instance, why would Raytheon advertise on MSNBC? They don’t exactly make consumer products. But that is $$$$millions in MSNBC’s coffers and you can bet that MSNBC and their staffers won’t forget it. Ditto political campaigns. I don’t claim that advertising doesn’t convince some folks, but it is about buying the media and controlling the information.

            Remember the old movies about revolutions and coups? The first thing they do is capture the radio station.

            1. Dan

              I don’t claim that advertising doesn’t convince some folks, but it is about buying the media and controlling the information.

              Perhaps most of all, it’s embedding (false) ideas about the world into our cognitive structure.

          3. Biph

            OTOH Tom Steyer spent a lot of money, it seemed like he had a commercial during every ad break on the radio station I mostly listen to here in Nevada, and that’s gotten him next to nowhere. Yes Bloomberg has a lot of money but his 3 terms as Mayor of NYC gave him name recognition and experience in gaining and holding an elected office to go along with his money. Having experience in elected office is much more important in the Dem primary than the Rep.

      3. Pat

        Please ask yourself the following questions:
        1) what real benefit does Russia derive from “sowing chaos”?
        2.) Who ends up holding America’s power structures and what are their attitudes toward financial and physical warfare with Russia with that chaos undermining democracy.
        3.) How do continued sanctions and a possible hot war with America affect Putin’s image and interests?

        None of it helps Putin, not really. There was a somewhat logical reason for Putin and Russia to work against Clinton. She was outright endorsing a foreign policy that was a direct path to war. But all of the supposed meddling was so not really effective and so pointless. As for chaos in America, we’ve been managing that on our own. And it has been growing and building for my entire adult life. For Russia to have sown it, they had to start several leaders ago before the fall of the USSR.

        1. Woodchuck

          I think it benefits Putin to have a global image of being more powerful and having more influence than he really has.

          That’s important to keep control in his own country. I dont think they have to do anything substantial or effective. They just need to do enough so the US Intel can make a big deal out of it for their own purposes which helps his image of power and influence.

          But I’m totally open to the fact that I can be wrong about it too. Maybe the US intel is willing to just go with 100% made-up story but I would have thought they would want at least a minimum of a story to distort. But I could be wrong there to. I just personally dont think it actually matters, I think it shouldn’t be news or covered at all.

          1. WJ

            I’ll believe that Russia “interfered” when there’s publicly available evidence in support of that claim and not before. Intelligence “sources”, unsubstantiated assertions by Mueller and CrowdStrike don’t count as evidence, obviously.

          2. curious euro

            Meddling in the US doesn’t help Putin at home.
            Foreign politics that help, or destroys, Putin is done in Ukraine and since 2015 in Syria. Meddling 2016 in the US is utterly and totally irrelevant. Lots of risk, lots of money needed to actually do something with adverts and no upside.

            Foreign politics is only a small slice. Much more important is what he does in Russia itself. Mitigating the sanctions for example. Do you care about Russia or China in your vote in november or do you care about the US economy at home, M4A, student debt, etc.?

    2. Donald

      It actually does make some degree of sense from a crackpot centrist perspective. They have a view of how foreign policy should be conducted— it should be one where we intervene everywhere, but led by some Ivy- educated person with decorum, someone that won’t embarrass the upper middle class readers of the NYT. They favor the Empire, but they want the President to conduct proxy wars and blockades and air strikes “ in consultation with our allies.” Cliches like that are important. To be fair, they do want a bit more diplomacy but they also want imperialism.

      Trump is bad from their point of view because he has zero decorum and rips the mask off. Sanders is bad because he has somewhat less interventionist instincts than they prefer, though personally I think he might need to be watched by his antiwar base. He is from our point of view good but not perfect.

      1. Henry Moon Pie

        Bernie dealt very deftly with the smears coming his way these past several days. He turned one smear into a defense against the other with his Russian bots answer to the omnipresent Bernie Bros question. Then in an impromptu tarmac press conference, he showed he could wag his finger at Putin with the best of them, then signaled to those who were listening with his sarcastic quip about the timing and the WaPo that he was hip to what was happening.

        Pretty nice job considering he was under attack from everybody from Bloomberg to MSDNC to the Schiff/Brennan crowd.

      2. Plenue

        I don’t think he’s Russia baiting so much as just doing what he views as the bare minimum to cater to political received wisdom.

        ‘Russia is interfering in our elections’ is now the established narrative. It’s a narrative built on a foundation of sand, but it’s also not a hill worth dying on by disputing. So whenever it comes up, just mutter some token words about how ‘of course it’s happening and it’s bad’, and ‘Putin is a thug and not my friend’, and then move on back to pounding the domestic economic message.

        No one in the general population cares about Russia. Even if they accept that the interference is real, no one actually cares. It’s a complete nonissue. The media can tear their hair out over it if they want, and the Clinton diehard weirdos can wax ad nauseam about how everyone they don’t like is a Putin puppet, but both these crowds are idiots. No one listens to them.

    3. Culp Creek Curmudgeon

      I was discussing with a friend on Facebook the other day about how the Russians were “sowing dissent” on the internet. I asked what did “sowing dissent” even mean and compared the idea to segregationists saying that it was outside agitators riling up their good negroes. My friend replied with a link to a story about somebody posting memes intended for black people about how racist the U.S. is. I suggested that black people in the U.S. already knew how racist the U.S. is and didn’t need the Russians to tell them. He admitted that I had a point…

  10. Donn

    Another RTÉ report that indicates just how quickly even the mere semblance of trust may be eroding between the EU and UK:

    “British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Brexit team has been ordered to come up with plans to “get around” the Northern Ireland protocol in the Brexit withdrawal agreement“

    1. Clive

      To which the UK government would say, to varying degrees of agreement or argument, we thought you’d agreed to a CETA-style FTA.

      The Irish Protocol in the Withdrawal Agreement is pretty much unworkable — for both the EU and the UK — in the absence of an FTA. The Irish Protocol is too vague around how the UK (NI) Member State-lette should function with regards to customs being levied and then instantaneously reimbursed (a “pop-up” border in the Irish Sea that “pops down” as soon as it appears) or not levied at all in the first place but only paid on declaration that Single Market-destined goods are flagged as such on importation.

      Sadly, we live now not just in low trust societies, but in low trust international relations. No-one mourns the passing of the spirit of internationalism more than I do. But equally well, it’s probably best to face some unpleasant facts. Pretending that national interests have somehow been transcended is magical thinking. And that never served anyone well.

      Eventually, perhaps, this will all give way to a renewed outpouring of deontological ethics. But not in the immediate future.

    2. David

      I am reminded of:

      I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
      Why, so can I, or so can any man;
      But will they come when you do call for them?
      (Shakespeare, Henry IV, Pt 1).

    3. PlutoniumKun

      Yes, the protocol has done its purpose, given everyone some cover before the inevitable happens and the border closes off one way or another (or reunification happens). Nobody should have expected good faith from Bojo, and this really plays into the EU’s hands, they can use the excuse of no government in Dublin to move on – they can simply say they did their best.

  11. The Rev Kev

    “The House wants to know what Ring is doing with footage from your house”

    I wonder about stories like this. Could it be that members of the House have realized when they go home at night, that their neighbours across the street have Ring cameras installed by their doors? And that those Ring cameras film everybody going in and out of those House member’s homes which could prove embarrassing if generally known? So a case of privacy for me, but not for thee – until they realize that it also affects them?

  12. Presstitutes

    Assange: there are more and more articles like Cockburn’s. I take it that it is already decided that Asssange is going to a deep dungeon somewhere and never see the light again. Now tha media is publishing a couple of “obituaries” just to make it look like they are still standing up for the “free press”.

    Hope I am wrong though.

  13. Milton

    The Cost of Thriving-
    Two things:
    1) I would call the index and story, the Cost of Maintaining. To be able to continue affording the basket of goods and services means that you are at least keeping your head just above water-any hit to your income, though, puts you on the the street (we’re living without a net in 2020).
    2) There is no mention of new costs to a middle-class lifestyle. Adding the monthly charge for internet, cell plans, streaming services, and add’l services will run over $400 a month, or about 10% of a median income.

    The author did mention new technology replacements (auto/horse-buggy) but nothing about the truly extractive lifestyle which accompanies a household today.

    1. Craig H.

      I looked Cass up on google. The first sentence in his blurb is he worked for Bain Capital.

      (If I were to attack the man on this basis I would be making an ad hominem attack; I am just noting this, not attacking the man.)

    2. Kurtismayfield

      I pay $70 for internet and two streaming services. I pay $105 for cell phones. If you are laying $400 for all of that, then you are wasting a lot of money.

    3. tegnost

      re costs I was listening to the sports radio and the topic was the collective bargaining agreement between owners and players. What stood out in this context is that the owners expect a massive boost in revenue from streaming, i.e. people who are watching for “free” now will later be paying for the stream. It’s like america is now 10 industries and each one expects 20% of everyone’s income, which they’re content to ignore adds up to 200%. Good thing we are socialists when it comes to banks and corporations otherwise they are too weak to stay in business. poor things need a lot of extra help…

    4. marieann

      The article also did not mention the planned obsolescence in items bought with today’s dollars. All small appliances today are junk…lifespan is around 5-8 years, back in the day they lasted at least 20-25 years.
      I cannot buy a good tea kettle for any price…they do not make them to last.

      This is also the same with larger appliances, the quality is poor but at least the price is not that much higher.

    5. Chris

      I wonder if a complementary index could be developed? For instance, a state by state breakdown of how much of the resources contributed by another adult working in the same household go to discretionary income versus required expenditures. Literally, how much money made by a partner in the household goes to paying for vacations and kids’ summer camps vs. groceries and rent.

    6. Still Above Water

      I’d call it the Equitable Cost-Of-Living Index (ECOLI), as it’s a measure of how crappy things really are.

  14. timbers

    “That’s called electability”

    Watching the video of Bernie in that article, the one posted by People for Bernie (People4Bernie), he talks about equal pay, starvation wages, raising minimum wages for American workers.

    Very powerful stuff. Those issues Bernie talks about and the way he talks about them, will hoover up votes by the millions. Bernie comes across a PERSON, not a rehearsed candidate or Hollywood produced TV commercial. He hooked me in, despite these being issues I personally am NOT keyed into as much as others, but watching Bernie was very impressive because you could see they mattered to him that you have these in your life.

    Democrats could beat Trump very easily, if they talked about these issues, in the same way Bernie does. Trump would lose in a landslide.

    Glad Bernie seems to breaking thru the 25% barrier that was being written about last week. Bernie is talking things that matter to 80% of voters.

    If Dems just talked about these and similar issues and nothing else, Trump would be reduced to twitting away and out the door in 2021.

  15. The Rev Kev

    “How epidemics like COVID-19 end (and how to end them faster)”

    That article was interesting but the models seemed a bit simplistic. Each one demonstrated one outbreak in that model but what happens when you have simultaneous outbreaks in China, Italy, Iran, South Korea? Do they “cross-pollinate”? Then there is the seasonal aspect to the spread of the virus. The coming of the summer months may help but a lid on infections but that is only true in the northern hemisphere.

    In the southern hemisphere (where we are going into autumn right now), it could infect Africa, South America and Australasia and where it could thrive and mutate before heading back north next winter. Finally is the number of people that you need to spread an outbreak. That number is one. Imagine one infected person going to Africa where there over a billion people living there and that infects a truck driver for example.

    1. oliverks

      Italy may be in for a bit of a rough ride with COVID. The small towns are heavily populated with older people, who are often smokers.

      In addition in the small towns where tourists don’t go, the people tend to be very social. For example, they meet and greet each other during the evening stroll.

      Fortunately Italy has a very good healthcare system, and the government seems to be reacting fast, so perhaps it won’t be too bad.

  16. Ignacio

    How epidemics like COVID-19 end (and how to end them faster) WaPo. Dr. Kevin: “Super high quality explanation of epidemiology, supported by excellent animated graphics.”

    This does a good job explaining the simplest models of epidemics with simple graphics and saying that in reality this is much more complicated. A very good point also is what it says about masks: These should be used by people at high risk (sanitary personnel and others that contact many people, and with training on their use and disposal) AND by people already infected to reduce spread. If everyone wants to buy and use masks these might not be available in enough numbers for those that really need it. Also, masks will almost certainly be misused by untrained and disposed improperly. If I see someone with a mask I will suspect she or he is infected and will try to keep a distance. On quarantines we may be missing unknown epidemiological characteristics of SARS CoV2 an as for now current quarantine measures look insufficient but if we extend them even more the social trade off could result too negative.

    I find it annoying to find in twitter and other media so many blaming this or that too easily. I know it has to do with fear and it is unavoidable but it makes me recall that excellent film “The Chase” by Arthur Penn. I find this more frightening than the virus itself.

      1. Cuibono

        No evidence that this is true. Some evidence they don’t help. Still you think doctors caring at the front lines are not wearing them?

      2. Wukchumni

        Its not whether the masks are effective at stopping the virus, if we start seeing them worn on a widespread basis in the USA, it would serve as more of a spreader of fear.

        1. cnchal

          Once farcical recognition becomes more widespread, masks will be worn for moar than just flu avoidance, and I am seeing more people use them now anyway.

      3. John k

        But I assume that generally the virus is attached to a small droplet of spit or phlegm, hugely increasing the effective size.

    1. VietnamVet

      The WaPo graphics on the epidemic are simplistic and imply that the pandemic will burn itself out. Plus, their PowerPoint presentation doesn’t work well on the internet.

      They (the corporate media) assume that quarantines are perfect. They are not. Fourteen infected Diamond Princess passengers were flown to the USA with the uninfected much to the ire of Donald Trump. They assume that the quarantine is established with the first infected person. This is impossible with the Wuhan Coronavirus which can infect others while being asymptomatic. A super virus spreader apparently infected many at a Christian Church in South Korea. Some left the proximate area and started new clusters of their own. There are reports from China that the coronavirus is infectious up to 27 days. If the quarantine stays at fourteen days as recommended by the head of the American Center for Disease Control, infected will leave the quarantine area too early and start new clusters. We are waiting to see if this happens in Cambodia and Japan with the passengers released from the two cruise ships.

      The surprise is the incompetence show so far. But like the Boeing 737 Max debacle, it shouldn’t be. The spreading epidemic is another symptom of neoliberalism flushing government down the drain. Also, there is a cadre of professional managers who have taken globalism to heart; the free movement of capital, goods, people and services. Nations and their citizens are secondary. They don’t grasp that the Wuhan coronavirus besides killing thousands now and millions later, will kill globalism dead for months and likely for generations like WWI.

      When a major USA city (LA, Chicago or New York) shuts down, the new Western Empire ceases to exist. It really won’t matter to Americans if the Islamic State controls Sub-Saharan Africa or not. They will have much greater problems like staying alive, staying sane and finding food to eat.

    1. Wukchumni

      Vichyssoise is a thick soup made of boiled and puréed leaks, onions, potatoes, cream, and got caught shock. Throw out any leftovers.

    2. The Historian

      Sorry about that. Someone else has already posted the correct link.

      Chris Matthews has definitelly jumped the shark this time and definitely needs to be retired.

    3. Wukchumni

      We’re kind of nearing late stage Nazi, in terms of a comparison that instantly brings on shame to those so named. You wonder how much longer the stigma sticks before not having as much oomph?

      The players in the 3rd Reich have left the stage, and for younger generations, WW2 is as distant now, as the Spanish-American War was for me.

      1. Ignim Brites

        Of course, Matthew’s point is that Sanders’ victory in Nevada was as stunning as the German Army’s defeat of what was universally acknowledged to be the greatest army in the world. That is a bit hyperbolic for sure but it is hardly to call the Sanders’ campaign Nazi. Actually one thing that deserves some attention that undercuts Matthews’ point is that the vote totals are very small. The total vote was probably somewhere around 150K. That seems incredibly small even in Nevada. It suggests that Sanders’ victory was an organization victory. We will see if he can approach those percentages in SC and the super Tuesday states. I would guess he will be 1st or 2nd in every state but rarely with percentages over 30.

        1. Dan

          I expect the numbers to grow as more people become aware of his campaign both via his own network’s canvassing and, believe it or not, a change in at least some of the media narrative. We’re already starting to see this change today. This was Chris Murphy on State of the Union this morning:

          Tapper then asked Murphy if he “had any concerns” about Sanders’s ability to beat President Trump. The Connecticut Democrat replied, “I do not.”

          “What we need is a candidate who has a base of enthusiastic supporters, who’s authentic, who speaks truth to power, who can throw a punch and who can take a punch,” he said. “I think anybody that’s polling in the top four or five fits that bill.”

          “But Bernie’s base of support the enthusiasm behind him speaks to the strength of his candidacy both in primary and in the general election as well,” he added.

          Dare I say Murphy wouldn’t have said that even a week ago.

          Here’s Anand Giridharadas on MSNBC with Joy Reid:

          “Last night was a historic win that I think a lot of us are still struggling to understand,” said Giridharadas. “Something is happening in America right now that actually does not fit our mental models. It certainly doesn’t fit the mental models of a lot of people on TV.”

          “You have someone talking about, in a way we have not heard, genuine deeper democracy, popular movements, human equality in a meaningful way, and a politics of love in the tradition of Dr. King—and winning elections,” Giridharadas said of Sanders. “I think this is a wake-up moment for the American power establishment, from Michael Bloomberg to those of us in the media to the Democratic Party to donors to CEOs.”

          Giridharadas emphasized that Sanders’ win is also a wake-up call for MSNBC, whose anchors and contributors spent much of Saturday evening melting down on live television over the prospect of the Vermont senator winning the Democratic presidential nomination.

          “I think about this network, which I love… and I think we have to look within, also,” said Giridharadas. “Why is a lobbyist for Uber and Mark Zuckerberg on the air many nights explaining a political revolution to us? Why is Chris Matthews on this air talking about the victory of Bernie Sanders, who had kin murdered in the Holocaust, and analogizing it to the Nazi conquest of France?”

          The Joy Reid – Anand Giridharadas is really quite telling. Giridharadas shows what I believe to be a sincere attempt at not only self-reflection but also a strong appeal to others to do the same. Joy Reid agrees with much of what he says as it applies to elites and perhaps even others in her own class, but shows absolutely no capacity for self-reflection herself:

        2. John k

          People want a winner. It was the thought that Biden had the best chance that maintained his standing in the polls.
          More and more are coming to think Bernie is a winner, resonating with the masses that want to beat trump, though not, of course, with the dem elite, who loathe being Bernie for the same reason so many like him, his policies plus not corrupt able.

      2. Plenue

        “and for younger generations, WW2 is as distant now, as the Spanish-American War was for me.”

        I disagree. WW2 is ever present in movies and video games. Killing Nazis never goes out of style.

        1. The Rev Kev

          I don’t know. When I was a kid I saw veterans of the Boer war in the Anzac day marches but many would ask now what was the Boer war. A few years ago the last vet of WW1 passed away and the ranks of the WW2 vets are rapidly disappearing. And now all those Vietnam vets are now old and are starting to move on to elderly when I remember them as young kids. I predict that Hollywood going to the well of WW2 stories is really going to start to lose relevance to this generation of kids.

    1. Ignacio

      Krugman, apart some other interesting and positive things coming from someone well positioned in the establishment, says the following to cast doubts on Sander’s electability (that hateful term): because he could try unwinnable fights like abolishing private health insurance. I do not know what are the precise measures that Sanders would push for but enabling health care for all is not exactly “abolishing private health insurance”. If someone knows better…

      1. Mo's Bike Shop

        Surely the status humpers will be allowed to blow money on supplemental plans to show the hoi polloi their place. A lot of people are going to have cognitive dissonance with using the same exact service as the poors do, ‘if only there was a second tier, or hey, maybe platinum, gold, silver etc.’

        A free bus service doesn’t force you to ride the bus, it just directs the subsidies to the deplorables instead of the ‘deserving’ upper middle class. Gasp. And people may wonder why you’re still hauling a car around when you could be relaxing on public transport.

      2. rd

        Canada’s single payer system still has private health insurance. It covers upgraded services, like private rooms instead of four bed wards, prescriptions outside hospital use, home health care, dental care, etc. This is the insurance employers buy and provide for employees, or you can buy for yourself. However, everybody has the right to quality healthcare without charge, including ambulance, surgery, and hospital stays.

        1. HotFlash

          Here in Ontario we pay for ambulance, it was $55 for a trip to a nearby hosp last summer. Totally worth it for the VIP treatment on arrival! We had ‘ward’, which turned out to be a two-person room, quite nice. Private room can be quite lonely and during another hosp stay we (4 in a room) were joined by a nice lady who had pleaded with her Dr son to get her out of the private room he insisted on paying for and into where there were people to talk to. So, some people’s MMV.

          Private insurance co’s in Ontario still handle long and short term disability, prescriptions, vision, dental, naturopathy, chiropractic (used to have a $25 per visit subsidy, but that was nixed, my chiro said at CMA pressure), and certains kinds of physiotherepy, such a smassage which is not pesribed by a doctor, so hey, they still have income there, not to mention life insurance.

          In-home care is a dog’s breakfast, I am navigating it now and much is not covered, a lot seems to be means-tested.

          In fine: Our Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) could be a lot better, but it it still far and away better than what US-ians have. Here we have the New Democratic Party (NDP) ‘fighting for us’ to make OHIP better — be still, my beating heart! Sound familiar?

          My mantra is ‘if there’s a will, there’s a way’. If they tell us there is no way, it means they have no will.

          Go Bernie!


    1. Samuel Conner

      > Trump is going to be president forever and ever and ever

      The MB precedent in terms of relaxing term-limits is certainly not encouraging.

        1. WobblyTelomeres

          Mike Bloomberg changed the term limits for mayors of NYC (from two) when he decided to run a third time.

          1. kiwi

            It would take a consitutional amendment to change the number of terms that a president holds.

            In other words, such a change is not at all comparable to mayors and highly unlikely.

      1. Tom Bradford

        Don’t know the details and can’t be bothered to look it up, but isn’t the existing two-term Presidential limit a relatively recent development? So doing away with it would merely be returning to the status-quo ante.

        1. Samuel Conner

          It was a constitutional amendment to prevent someone like FDR, who was elected 4 times, from ever happening again.

          IOW, it was an R idea (ie, preventing another FDR). but lately embraced by the Ds, as seen by the “anyone but Sanders” panic.

  17. Zagonostra

    Damn shame and a disgrace reading the headlines and seeing hundreds gather to support Julian Assange, it should be ten’s of thousands. What is wrong with you Londoners?

    1. Samuel Conner

      I’m guessing that, in line with the official establishment Party “blacklist” policy, that there might be word circulating through back-channels that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Corporation may not take it kindly if candidates for lower office either support Sanders, support Sanders’ policies, or attempt to ride Sanders’ coat-tails.

      Whatever it takes to prevent a Sanders nomination.

      1. Mo's Bike Shop

        It will be interesting to see whether incumbents with primary opponents follow that Very Sensible advice.

  18. Wukchumni

    Boeing Finds Fuel-Tank Debris in Two-Thirds of 737 MAX Jets Inspected WSJ
    If the F-35 & the 737 MAX were to have offspring, would 2 wrongs make a right and auger in?

  19. Dan

    They’re coming around.

    Senator Chris Murphy on State of the Union this morning:

    Tapper then asked Murphy if he “had any concerns” about Sanders’s ability to beat President Trump. The Connecticut Democrat replied, “I do not.”

    “What we need is a candidate who has a base of enthusiastic supporters, who’s authentic, who speaks truth to power, who can throw a punch and who can take a punch,” he said. “I think anybody that’s polling in the top four or five fits that bill.”

    “But Bernie’s base of support the enthusiasm behind him speaks to the strength of his candidacy both in primary and in the general election as well,” he added.

  20. urblintz

    Has there been any news about when the Nev Dems/DNC will finally figure out how to give Pete as many delegates as possib… uh… er… I mean… when the final results will be in?

      1. Samuel Conner

        Perhaps they’re objecting that some caucus-goers who wanted to vote for Mayor Pete were unable to do so because they didn’t know how his last name is supposed to be pronounced.

      2. Samuel Conner

        That article is actually, IMO, kind of encouraging. PB and JB fighting for the “optics” of 2nd place. They’ll both stay in for a while longer, which is good in terms of the viability threshold and the large number of “not Bernie” candidates.

        1. Samuel Conner

          It is clarifying, though, what the PB campaign considers to be “2nd place” — PB is in deep third place (at 60% reported) in terms of county delegates and no recount is going to change that.

          But he is very close behind JB in terms of the “2nd vote” total.

          In Iowa, PB proclaims 1st place based on attributed intra-state delegates even though he lost, by a significant margin, the 2nd vote total.

          In Nevada, PB wants to proclaim 2nd place based on the 2nd vote totals, even though he is in deep third place in terms of attributed intra-state delegates.

          I feel perfectly confident that there is no cognitive dissonance; It’s simply a matter of what suits the narrative, which I regard to be a bright shining lie.


          but again, this is good. If both PB and JB can claim “2nd place in Nevada!”, it prolongs the splinteredness of the “not-Bernie” “lane”

  21. rd

    “If a charge can’t stick to these guys…”

    Maybe these judges can get assigned to criminal court with poor defendants with court appointed representation who have no time or resources to prepare defenses. They can then take on the role of evaluating the prosecution’s case, especially the ones with virtually no evidence.

    There are people who do more jail time for not paying a parking ticket than for stealing millions of dollars. If the judges want to get concerned about justice, then can start with that.

  22. Dalepues

    I knew it. I knew this was going to happen. Senator Sanders would win Iowa, which he did (despite Buttigieg’s (sp) claim otherwise), win New Hampshire (everybody knew he would win in N.H.), and now Nevada. He will also win South Carolina. How do I know about S.C.? Yesterday, on the shuttle from MSY to Union Station downtown New Orleans, the driver, a very energetic and helpful black man, yelled at the radio announcer who had said she would support Bloomberg or Biden, “You crazy lady, don’t know nothing but what some boss man has told you to know, and still know that we gonna vote for Sanders cause he the truth!”. So that’s how I know Sanders is going to win South Carolina. And lordy come Super Tuesday, the Eestablishment is gonna get hit so hard the cardiac units will be working overtime.

    1. Lunker Walleye

      Thank you for posting this link to Dr. John Campbell. My husband and I have been talking about going to Italy later in the spring and Ignacio’s information plus this video helped make the decision for us not to go now. We will wait to see what happens over the next several months.

    2. Ignacio

      Thank you Monty. Yes I think it is worth watching. Dr. Campbell is claiming for pandemic to be called by the WHO and in my opinion is that his claim is correct. He brings a lot of information and does his best to find explanations to reported numbers. There are two outbreaks outside China that he comments and I would like to add more.

      Italy. Italy is a case of striking epidemiologic facts in search for an explanation. To my knowledge Italy only repatriated 56 evacuees from Wuhan and one of these was identified as a close contact (a friend that met more than once) to the man who is considered to be ground 0 of the outbreak in Lombardy and the only one with a connection with Wuhan. Not only has he repeatedly tested negative by NAT before and after his release from quarantine but he has also been analysed for Anti-SARS CoV2 antibodies with negative results (equivalent to sero-negative). The sanitary authorities thus have come to believe that he has never been infected, leaving a pandora box of unknown possibilities. My opinion is that he might well still be the origin but our methods of detection aren’t good enough to detect the type of infection he possibly has/had. This could be true if he has a kind of persistent infection. For instance what is called a “slow infection” without acute phase that would allow detection by NAT. In some instances of “slow infections” with other viral pathogens it has been shown to progress without triggering immune response and that might explain the second result. How could then he spread the disease? This is another unknown but given this virus is so infectious he could be producing low viral titters but enough to spread the disease. I don’t know what is the sensitivity of the NAT assays applied to him but it might occur that we are missing here the correct sampling site in his nasopharyngeal tract that might be hidden somewhere and the source of this outbreak. One can speculate indefinitely but this case is quite challenging.

      Regarding Iran (hey, this is pronounced quite differently in the US and the UK!) and the apparent high mortality there, Dr. Campbell speculates the possibility of a virulent mutant spreading there. I doubt it and tend to believe that the number of unreported cases in Iran must be much higher. It is a possibility but given this virus encodes an (very interesting for virologists) RNA editing protein the rate of mutation is low compared with that of other RNA viruses.

      Regarding “other countries” I am still waiting to know the results in the US from samples taken in Ecuador that will probably be negative given the long lag between sampling (probably not correctly done) and analysis. There are many countries without proper analysis tools and trained people.

  23. Deschain

    I think very soon we’re going to see the most rational opportunists come out of the woodwork to get behind Bernie. While obviously these folks need to be monitored with a watchful eye, they will also be an important part of building a broader coalition for the election. The Krugman piece strikes me as this type of phenomenon.

    The bandwagon is open!

      1. Jen

        Not sure if Charlie Pierce is getting in line but I do have to love this dunk on Mayo Pete:

        “Pete Buttigieg, the man who will unify us to turn the page to a bright new day in which we will galvanize and not polarize, gave a speech early in the evening that, for sheer optimistic inspiration, lacked only a bell and a guy intoning, “Bring out your dead.” (There was one great moment on MSNBC when Steve Kornacki told the panel that, according to the network’s entrance polling, Buttigieg didn’t register among black voters. At all.)”


        “As for Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar, a continued Biden bounce-back in South Carolina means they’re both drawing dead. Their money will dry up and, seriously, when the margin of error among minority voters shows the possibility that your appeal could be in negative numbers, you have serious problems up and down the next few weeks.”

  24. drumlin woodchuckles

    @Susan the other,

    Several threads ago you asked someone if they had written or would write a book on coppicing. I don’t know if the particular person you asked about that either has or will write such a book.

    But here are a couple of people who claim to be working on exactly such a book, to be brought out at some future time.

    1. garden breads

      Dave Jacke is one of the authors. I used extensively Dave Jacke and Eric Toensmeier’s remarkable two volume “Edible Forest Gardens” to plan my own garden. I’m looking forward to this book. Martin Crawford also covers coppicing in a practical fashion in his books.

  25. Samuel Conner

    Mayor Pete on how to defeat DJT:

    from this item, linked above:

    PB: “I believe that we can bring an end to corporate recklessness and bring balance to our economy by empowering workers [Sanders’ policy: stronger unions, representation in corporate governance ], raising wages [Sanders’ policy: higher minimum wage], and insisting that those who gain the most must contribute the most [ Sanders’ policy: increase progressivity of the tax code ],”

    But Sanders, whose policies are what Americans want and whose policies PB thinks can defeat Trump, is the wrong candidate to run against DJT:

    again, from the link:

    Buttigieg repeated a talking point he has used against the Vermont lawmaker in the past, saying that he believes Sanders does not appeal to a broad swath of Americans. He underscored that he believed that Sanders would not be able to defeat Trump come November.
    “I believe the best way to defeat Trump and deliver for the American people is to broaden and galvanize the majority that supports us on critical issues,”

    This leaves me scratching my head. PB asserts that he thinks that Sanders’ policies are what the public wants, and that pursuing these policies is necessary to defeat DJT. But if Sanders runs as the advocate of his own policies, DJT will be re-elected.


    Me thinks that Mayor Pete should give up politics, go back to Indiana and take up artisanal tin-working.

    “broaden and galvanize” .. sheesh!

    1. Samuel Conner

      re: PB: “broaden and galvanize”

      I think it cannot emphasized enough that Sanders is “broadening” the D electorate — his support in Nevada was certainly broader than PB’s. And Sanders’ supporters are energized and contributing in various ways with great enthusiasm, which they will bring to the general election.

      The astonishing financial competitiveness of Sanders’ campaign, dependent only on small donors, is an illustration of both things. Sanders is drawing more and more people into the political process. Surely PB approves!

      It’s almost as if PB is saying, “The way to beat DJT is … what Sanders is doing, but with someone other than Sanders [hint, hint] at the head of the ticket.”

    2. drumlin woodchuckles

      Sneaky Pete McKinsey is saying what his donors and sponsors want said. He was their pick for ” fresher-faced young Gaybama-figure.”

      ” Whose bread he eats, their song he sings.”

  26. drumlin woodchuckles

    @ amfortas the hippie,

    I have noticed for a while that Ian Welsh is running consistently every Sunday a re-posting of Tony Wikrent’s real-economics blog Sunday Roundup Report. It is a huge post with many economics-related articles. Some of them are themselves consistently taken from Naked Capitalism, some of them from other places.

    It occurs to me that you might want to inspect it and look at the kind of comments it gets over there at Ian Welsh and think about whether you wish to add comments about Parity Economics and other things of the sort that might have been featured at Acres USA back when Charles Walters Junior ran that paper.

    Here is the link:

    1. JBird4049

      Prop. 13 was a direct addition to the California State Constitution; neither the city or county of Los Angeles can change it. It really would be better to have the state government deal with the problem, but right now that is not happening beyond some token efforts.

      What local municipalities can do is make some good laws and use of eminent domain to work on the crisis at their level.

  27. Carey

    Balloon Juice Nevada Caucus thread, post 258:

    “Thank you for this post! On one hand these folks have been wagging their fingers at Bernie supporters for 3 yrs now admonishing them to Vote Blue No Matter Who (TM), and now, finding the shoe on the other foot, are desperate in their attempts to sink the most popular campaign so far. It’s really maddening.

    Follow the primary process! The math seems simple: If, as is likely, Bernie earns the plurality of delegates, get behind him as the nominee or plan to beat Trump in the general w/o 5-10% of would be Bernie supporters that stay at home or vote third party. This is not a threat. This is increasing likely to be the reality.

    As I tiptoe thru the rubble of a post NV election on BJ, I am still surprised at the Bernie Derangement Syndrome shown here. People still talking about Hillary and 2016 for chrissakes! Move on, already.”

  28. Chris

    Omg, the surveys coming from DNC aligned congress critter PACs. They’re flooding my inbox. My favorite so far is the one asking about my opinions on the nomination process and should it be changed… they’re not even going to wait for SC or anything else on Super Tuesday. Here’s what I think they’ll say in a short while, “Due to the issues with the current nominating process they can’t rely on delegate counts alone and will use them as one component to determine who will be the nominee after the convention…”

    1. Biph

      Here is my solution, 3/4 of state delegates are divided proportionally between all candidates who hit the 15% threshold whoever wins the primary/caucus gets their share of the 3/4 plus the other 1/4 of delegates. For caucuses the candidate with the most 1st ballot votes before realignment gets that 1/4 share. Note this is vote total of all individual caucus votes, e.g. if candidate A gets 20,000 votes in first alignment and candidate B gets 18,000 Candidate A gets the 1/4 share even if candidate B ends up 25,0000 to Candidate B’s 24,000 on 2nd alignment. Or just get rid of caucuses altogether even if I have some affinity for their ability to indicate both organization of and depth of support for a candidate.

      1. Samuel Conner

        I think it fair to assume that if the DNC remains the autonomous entity it now is, not accountable to the voters in the primaries, that there will be adjustments in the formulae for delegate allocation in future primaries.

        My prediction — if there is no “regime change” in the D party, the 15% threshold will be lowered in future primaries because it is clear from this primary that it is going to help the candidate that the Party wants at all costs to not nominate.

        D Party has a history of tweaking the primary process to steer outcomes in the direction of what “the Party” prefers. This will probably continue, absent “regime change”.

        Maybe the “regime” will evolve — a form of change. Or maybe it will be overthrown by popular will.

        1. Biph

          I’m not going to defend the DNC I just think there should a uniform formula for gaining delegates. I don’t like the RNC method either where some States are proportional and others winner take all. If the point is to win elections (understanding that’s a secondary rather than primary motivator for many DNC insiders) then having the nomination locked up well before the convention is a good idea, which having an additional delegate haul for a State winner would due without ignoring candidates who showed well without winning a State. It also removes the need for super-delegates if there ever was one.

    2. HotFlash

      the nomination process and should it be changed…

      And of course, it should. The candidate with the most votes should be the nominee. The superdelegates should get a free Big Mac for showing up — isn’t that fair?

  29. Carey

    Nathan Robinson on Sanders’s Nevada victory:

    “It was a landslide. Bernie Sanders had been expected to win the Nevada caucuses, but not like this. With just 4% of the vote in, news organizations called the race for Sanders, since his margin of victory was so large. Sanders has now won the popular vote in all of the first three states, and is currently leading in the polls almost everywhere else in the country. He was already the favorite to take the nomination before the Nevada contest, with Democratic party insiders worrying he was “unstoppable.” His campaign will only grow more powerful now..”

    and this was fun:

    “..Pete Buttigieg can’t win voters of color or young people (and has accurately been described as sounding like “a neural network trained on West Wing episodes””..”

    1. Chris

      That’s brilliant. I think of PB as the political equivalent of a 90’s boy band. A bunch of rich white men sat in a room and picked a candidate that they though millennials would like and Mayo Pete is the one who got sifted out. He’s the Backstreet Boys of the DNC, without the talent or the good looks such as they had it.

      If I have to hate watch the rest of this DNC family blogging crap show at least I can be grateful that I get to see a box checker like a Pete lose repeatedly. It’s also fun to see The Klob vent her spleen in his direction. Her hatred of Pete is so pure it burns with the heat of a 1000 suns. I need them to be put together into some kind of bizarre buddy comedy road trip movie after they are both bounced from the election circuit.

      1. Carey

        Great comment on PB, esp this bit:

        >Her hatred of Pete is so pure it burns with the heat of a 1000 suns. I need them to be put together into some kind of bizarre buddy comedy road trip movie after they are both bounced from the election circuit.

    2. ChiGal in Carolina

      I am delighted to report that with 87% of the vote in, Butti has dropped below the 15% threshold!

      1. The Rev Kev

        In further reports, the DNC has cancelled Bernie’s win in Nevada on the grounds that he forgot to touch third base.

      2. Carey

        >I am delighted to report that with 87% of the vote in, Butti has dropped below the 15% threshold!

        Most excellent! Gotta keep watching those types, though.. always, always.

      3. Samuel Conner

        Below 15% statewide is definitely a bad look, but I think he will still get county delegates (earned in the precincts where he was above the cutoff), and if there are enough of these in enough counties, he could get significant numbers of delegates (elected at the county conventions) to the state convention and possibly, at that convention, a couple of national convention delegates

        It’s a bit baroque, but I doubt that they’ll fix it.

        1. John Anthony La Pietra

          I don’t know where is getting its numbers, but as of 10:47pm EST (15 minutes ago as I type), it says the county delegate counts are:

          Sanders 6,120 (47.15%)
          Biden 2,723 (20.98%)
          Buttigieg 1,772 (13.65%)
          Warren 1,243 ( 9.58%)
          Steyer 604 ( 4.65%)
          Klobuchar 506 ( 3.90%)
          Delaney 5 ( 0.04%)
          Yang 5 ( 0.04%)
          Bennet 2 ( 0.02%)
          Patrick 1 ( 0.01%)
          Gabbard 0 ( 0.00%)
          Uncommitted 0 ( 0.00%)

          Total 12,981 (100.00%)

          It says this translates to 21 delegates won by Sanders so far, to 8 for Biden and 3 for Buttigieg, with 4 more available now — when they are allocated, it projects, the split will shift to 24-9-3. Of course there are still the 12 unpledged “PLEOs” (party leaders and/or elected officers), a/k/a superdelegates, yet to come.

  30. The Rev Kev

    Re the Antidote du Jour
    Not a fan of magpies. Our last cat had trouble with them. They started to hang around at dinner time to get some of the left-over cat biscuits but over time they got impatient. In the end they would be banging on the cat’s back with their beaks to get it to move on and eventually would just push their way into the cat’s feed bowl wile it was trying to eat.

  31. Wellstone’s Ghost

    I feel Bernie’s most powerful argument to the DNC powerbrokers going forward is that he played ball last time around in 2016 and they screwed it up. He did what they asked him to do for Hillary (and more) and took endless s@!6 for it.
    This time, no more Mr. Nice Guy. Pissed off Bernie, look out.

  32. giantsquid

    The Johns Hopkins site that is tracking confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths is no longer available to those not having an account. Does anyone here at NC have a good alternative source for this information?


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