Links 2/9/2020

‘Consistent With a Mass Extinction’: New Study Warns Climate Chaos Driving Rapid Decline of Bumblebees Common Dreams

Are firstborns really natural leaders The Conversation This firstborn wants to know….

Marathon multi-party talks now likely as country faces hung Dail Independent (Ireland)

Why sushi could be the solution to a sea urchin invasion Guardian

Mad Dogs and Medical Bills The Baffler

Can charcoal make beef better for the environment? BBC

Anger as Lagos residents protest against motorcycle ban Al Jazeera

Storm Ciara’s hurricane-force winds batter UK transport network Guardian Stay safe, dear UK readers.

Kill Me Now

Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey headline arena like rock stars AP


Now starring in Democratic campaign ads: Barack Obama Politico

Nevada Democrats Canceled Their Caucus App. But That Poses Its Own Problems. FiveThirtyEight So the chaos will continue?

Biden Faces An Uncertain Fate In New Hampshire American Conservative

Iowa Should Be a Warning — It’s Time to Switch to Paper Ballots TruthOut

Bernie Got the Most Votes in Iowa, Which Means He Won Iowa Jacobin

The Clinton Machine Will Do Anything to Stop Bernie Sanders TruthDig

Big Buttigieg Bloviations: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix Caitlin Johnstone


A Bloomberg Presidency Would Have Trump-Size Conflicts of Interest TruthOut

Bloomberg Becoming Oligarch-in-Chief of Democratic Party Black Agenda Report

Bloomberg meets with Democratic governors The Hill

Imperial Collapse Watch

Imperial Graveyard London Review of Books

Big Brother IS Watching You Watch

Revealed: how drugs giants can access your health records Guardian

Our Famously Free Press

Can Journalism Be Saved? New York Review of Books

The Post’s masthead will have to accept that it is not God Columbia Journalism Review

Medical Care

Patients Stuck With Bills After Insurers Don’t Pay As Promised Kaiser Health News


Satellite images show how coronavirus brought Wuhan to a standstill MIT Technology Review

Coronavirus death toll reaches that of Sars as total hits 813 worldwide SCMP

How the Coronavirus Made Globalization a Deadly Threat Der Spiegel

Military preparing quarantine centers for coronavirus patients in US, Pentagon says Miami Herald

WHO cautions that transmission of the new coronavirus outside of China could increase Stat

Julian Assange

Three Extraordinary Australian Journalists: Burchett, Pilger & Assange Consortium News

Waste Watch

Waste Not, Shop Not New York Review of Books

Congress ramps up scrutiny on recycling amid renewed calls for federal help Waste Dive


Trump impeachment trial: Is US politics beyond the point of repair? BBC


US Considering War With Iran? Ayatollah Calls Sanctions ‘Criminal Act,’ Calls For Military Buildup International Business Times


Delhi Assembly elections 2020 | Exit polls predict big win for AAP; BJP likely to gain over 2015 tally  The Hindu

Russia pulls India closer with oil and weapons Nikkei Asian Review

Class Warfare

Does L.A.’s Homeless Crisis Require Federal Intervention?  Capital & Main

Part of America Is Still Forgotten, Now Under Trump NYT. Nick Kristof.

Will Spotify Ruin Podcasting? BIG Matt Stoller

Facebook and IRS Prepare for $9 Billion U.S. Tax Court Fight WSJ

Trump Transition

The Democrats’ Unserious Week Peggy Noonan (UserFriendly)

Democrats to plow ahead with Trump probes post-acquittal The Hill

Antidote du Jour (via):

Bonus Antidote:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. bassmule

    Noonan: “They can’t run a tiny caucus in a tiny state but they want us to believe they can reinvent American health care?” Um, no, Peggy. The DNC has no interest whatsover in creating Medicare for All.

    1. Harry

      My wifes father used this silly line with her at the weekend. She pointed out that he used Medicare. He pointed out that he had paid into it.

      So he likes the product but he doesnt want his grandchildren to have access to it till they are old.


      1. inode_buddha

        “My wifes father used this silly line with her at the weekend. She pointed out that he used Medicare. He pointed out that he had paid into it. “

        Of course, he’s fighting communism. /s

        1. flora

          I understand (I think) what he’s saying.
          -He probably thinks it’s being “given away free” when he had to pay for it. (It’s not being given away free. The income tax will go up a little for everyone so everyone can benefit. That will still cost less than premiums, deductables, co-pays. Dad wouldn’t need gap plans or part D under Sanders’ plan. Sanders’ plan restructures how Medicare is paid for, that’s all.)

          -opponents of M4A use “getting something for free that you had to pay for” as a ‘moral’ argument: the moral, the deserving vs. the unmoral, the undeserving. Those who worked and paid for years are ‘deserving’; those getting something for free (it’s not for free but that how opponents present it), those getting something ‘for free’ are undeserving.

          Then there’s the legitamate fear that changing Medicare will be as big a fvck-up as the ACA and it’s roll-out and incomprehensible rules.
          (The last 25 years of neoliberal govt ‘improvements’ to the safety net programs have made them worse, by and large. Even now they’re trying to cut SS and privatize Medicare.)

          So the dad’s response could be a distilled version of “I am not a lazy deadbeat” (responding to the anti-M4A insinuations of who’s deserving and moral) and “The govt will fvck-up any ‘reform’ of Medicare, look how they’re trying to cut SS.” Considering how many times the neoliberal pols sold us a bill-of-goods in the name of reform, it’s hard to argue with the last bit.

          1. flora

            adding: the neolib pols actually started short changing traditional Medicare to give subsidies to ACA private insurers to let them sell at what would normally be a loss. (Everything’s like Uber now.)

            Since ACA was enacted, traditional Medicare has lost money to subsidize insurance companies, and the rules for traditional Medicare have changed, and not for the better. ‘Dad’ may well have seen this and experienced it.

            I agree with Sanders on M4A, but I saw Sen. Ted Kennedy get rolled on Bush’s No Child Left Behind Act, which turned out to be a way to TAKE money from the public schools instead of providing more money for the public schools. So I understand peoples’ leeryness and open distrust about govt ‘reforms’ of important programs.

      2. The Rev Kev

        Maybe ask him if he would consider Medicare for all children up to the age of 16 or 18 years of age. If he won’t consider doing it for the children, then that would make him a hopeless case, particularly if he had young grandchildren.

        1. Carla

          @Rev Kev — American children really are pretty much “covered” under Obamacare up to the age of 18. The problem is, the privatized wealth extraction scheme that is our healthcare “system” doesn’t REALLY cover anyone. The patchwork of grifters makes a mockery of any semblance of public health, and is busily crapifying Medicare for elders as we argue about how we can’t afford to give everyone healthcare– whereas the honest truth is, we can’t afford NOT to give everyone healthcare. We’ll never have a public health system until we do.

          The situation vies with war to be the stupidest thing in the world. And actually, we are at war here, with our overlords, and each other.

          And for every American, it’s a long, long time from 18 to 65.

          1. Yves Smith

            Huh? If the parents are buying plans in the individual marketplace, odds are high they opted for high deductible plans which means they have only catastrophic coverage.

            And there are plenty of uninsured families in states that didn’t opt for Medicaid expansion:

            Who are the uninsured?
            Most uninsured people are in low-income families and have at least one worker in the family. Reflecting the more limited availability of public coverage in some states, adults are more likely to be uninsured than children. People of color are at higher risk of being uninsured than non-Hispanic Whites.

            Why are people uninsured?
            Even under the ACA, many uninsured people cite the high cost of insurance as the main reason they lack coverage. In 2018, 45% of uninsured adults said that they remained uninsured because the cost of coverage was too high. Many people do not have access to coverage through a job, and some people, particularly poor adults in states that did not expand Medicaid, remain ineligible for financial assistance for coverage. Some people who are eligible for financial assistance under the ACA may not know they can get help, while others have income above the cutoff for financial assistance. Additionally, undocumented immigrants are ineligible for Medicaid or Marketplace coverage.


      3. bob galak

        No, bad spin. If I go on vacation ( buy something/anything) and like it, then everyone should get it for free. Who pays for it. Is it fair to ask people to pay for your healthcare, education or anything else with an increase in taxes. What if I want housing to be free or food. We already allow for that for people who can’t afford it through Medicaid and subsidized housing, but to give it to everyone regardless of economic status is foolish. Should everyone get a Cadillac health plan. No deductibles, no co-pay and no limits on anything to include plastic surgery. Slippery slopes are dangerous.

        1. Carla

          I know, bob galak, it’s going to be really tough for the U.S.A. to spend half as much per capita on healthcare and have a much healthier population. How are we gonna pay for that, huh?

          1. Chris

            It’s like they can’t help themselves.

            How good will the Cadillac plan that you pay for be when you can’t get into an emergency room because too many people without health insurance are clogging it? Or when the ranks of the infected from a pandemic are so large that the children of the wealthy die? Or when they can’t get food delivered to their gated communities because no one can clear the fitness for duty checks to be a driver?

            Being on top of the pile when it’s a pile of rat manure isn’t worth the platinum premiums.

          2. Dave

            Well, part of that is people like me who pay into the system but don’t use it very much. I go to the dr’s once a year for lab work, and my wife hasn’t been to a doctor in 20 yrs (don’t ask,bad experience with mother’s cancer). I don’t mind a bit, I’m thankful for the health I have. What worries me about M4A is controls on greed. Look at college, pass out government largess and tuition goes up much faster than the rate of inflation. With the dollars involved, what might happen with health costs scares me, I look around and see no one I can trust to administer something like this. Like Will Rodgers used to say “America has the best Congress money can buy’. How will we keep costs from streaking for Mars?

            1. Spring Texan

              Well some costs will be lower automatically if we get rid of all the administrative overhead associated with insurance companies, annual enrollments, and checking the details of people’s coverage. Medicare for all will be ONE PLAN FOR EVERYBODY, uniform, and enrollments will not be adding and dropping except for births and deaths.

              As well, the M4A bills enable pharmaceutical price negotiation by the government, currently banned and abolish “Medicare Advantage” besides the other insurance-company-run plans

              PNHP (check their website at ) also strongly recommends global hospital budgets be put in M4A bills to keep down costs. (This would eliminate the need to produce individual, detailed hospital bills.)

              Have more simplicity will permit us to contain costs better. (A “public option” and keeping Medicare Advantage, insurance companies, and all the complexity, would not.)

            2. pretzelattack

              national health insurance is cheaper. greed is what we have now. and college tuition didn’t go up because of the gi bill.

              1. HotFlash

                Indeed! Education is now a racket, just like war.

                College tuition went up when Adminstration (largesse to PMC) became a thing, then colleges and universities became a safe haaven for of out of work politicians eg Condoleeza Rice and John Yoo, who pull down beaucoup bucks while the actual teachers are marginalized, TA’s, adjuncts, and untenured professors. Private donors, ie oligarchs, donate megabucks to influence education by everything from funding dept chairs and research into selected areas, eg, cancer drugs rather than prevention, petrogeology rather than climatology, capitalist economics rather than Marxist, identity sociology rather than class-based, and conservative, strict interpretation law rather than justice-based, restorative law. For more details on how and when this started, see the Powell Memo.

                See the pattern? Money from billionaire class goes in one end and is distributed to the courtier class, rewarding them for faithful service. Meanwhile, students and actual classroom teachers, those who do the real work of a college, which is education, are treated like galley slaves.

              2. Dave

                Nope, you’re right, I don’t think that the GI bill, which has been around a long time, caused the recent hockey-stick rise in college costs. But the recent hockey stick rise in student loans, $1.whatever trillion, had to go somewhere. I hope M4A as a government program will be better managed than the student load debacle.

                1. Amfortas the hippie

                  in texas, at least, the gop and the supine democrats spent 2 + decades introducing dog eat dog, i am an island to the college system, by many disparate avenues and vehicles…..from budget cuts=>entry of donors/sponsors, to high salaries due to perverse meritocracy, and an hundred others.
                  intentionally adding greed and the opportunity for corruption to a cultural machine was bound to have such effects…made politically viable by rewriting the purpose of college, from enlightenment bettering and thaumazein, into avarice and hyperambition.
                  it’s really quite an amazing accomplishment, when you think about it.
                  i think it’s of note that the GI Bill probably contributed a great deal to the elite’s fading ardor for Enlightenment Principles….see: the Sixties, and all that applecart upsetting.

            3. Jonhoops

              M4A. Is about cost control. It will be the monopoly price setter.

              The current system allows for massive price gouging, both by healthcare providers and by the parasitic insurance companies.

                  1. rowlf

                    I was always impressed with the Certificate Of Need laws for building medical facilities. I could never tell if it was capitalism or socialism at work. It was always a what-am-I-looking-at and how-did-it-come-into-existence puzzle for me.

                    CON-Certificate of Need State Laws

                1. Yves Smith

                  And private equity. They are buying up all sorts of physicians specialty practices, including ER doctors, and finding choke points, like dialysis centers.

            4. lordkoos

              College loans are loans, not gifts or “largess”. The only connection I see between college loans and rising tuition rates is greed on the part of universities who know that they will get their money regardless. As the insurance companies, do with our current health care system. Universal health care would greatly reduce costs.

              1. Tom Doak

                The more money people can borrow easily, the higher the price of college goes. It’s the same thing that inflates a housing bubble. If the banks approve you for twice as much as you can afford, you pay twice as much for the house, and think you’re wealthy — until you can’t pay off the debt and they take the house back from you.

                Except, thanks to Uncle Joe Biden, with college loans the debt burden stays with you forever.

              2. notabanktoadie

                The only connection I see between college loans and rising tuition rates is greed on the part of universities who know that they will get their money regardless.

                Let’s not forget that “Bank loans create bank deposits” and, due to government privilege such as deposit guarantees, vastly more deposits than they otherwise could and expect to get away with it.

                So we certainly don’t have the honest lending of existing fiat as far as banks are concerned but what is, in essence, a government privileged counterfeiting cartel that “lends” for usury (per the Bible ANY positive interest rate, cf. Deuteronomy 23:19-20, etc. )

            5. mpalomar

              How will we keep costs from streaking for Mars?
              Isn’t that the current problem. Meanwhile there is a history that we can refer to of versions of universal health care working in other countries resulting in cost containment of pharma and an array of medical procedures more or less across the board and with better over all outcomes than in the US.

              1. Dave

                You make a good point and one that I actually benefited from in the 80’s. My daughter was hit by a motorcycle in Italy while on holiday and her leg broke just above the knee. While it cost me a small fortune to medivac her back to the states because she was in a partial body cast, the medical procedures and hospital stay in Milan didn’t cost me anything. My concern is not that there are good examples to follow, but whether the lobbyists for the private equity firms that have bought up a lot of the medical infrastructure, will allow any of those to be implemented here. Obamacare comes to mind.

                1. mpalomar

                  “whether the lobbyists for the private equity firms that have bought up a lot of the medical infrastructure, will allow any of those to be implemented here.”

                  Yes indeed, that is a formidable underlying question to all political reform in the US on many fronts.

                  The increasing headwinds a moderate social democrat like Sanders is hitting when he proposes the US implement what is widely accepted as proven and successful policy by many of the advanced economies suggests the debased nature of our allegedly democratic political system.

              2. CitizenSissy

                Somewhat off-topic: During a recent family trip to Poland, my sister fell down a flight of stairs in a Warsaw museum and fractured her shoulder, and was treated without charge, because healthcare in Poland is a constitutionally guaranteed right. In addition, families receive a monthly 500-zloty per-child stipend. The hospital gestalt was cranky Eastern European, but we were treated quickly and efficiently, and her stateside doctor confirmed the Polish staff’s diagnosis and treatment.

                The Polish museum staffers who waited with me at the hospital were horrified at my tales of medical bankruptcy, out-of-network drama, and the structure of medical insurance tied to employment.

        2. katiebird

          Expanded Medicare would be paid for by shifting what we are already paying for healthcare. Also, an employer tax and income taxes. Plus $200/yr for prescriptions.

          It would be free at the point of service but not actually free.

          Also, health care is widely considered a human right and thus could actually be free in my opinion. While Cadillacs are not in that category at all.

          1. katiebird

            I am sorry, I misread the Cadillac reference to mean actual Cadillacs. Everything else I said stands.

          1. Phacops

            Well, besides that, bob galak uses what is known as a “Gish Gallup,” piling one falsehood upon another that people accustomed to reality are so flabbergasted that knowing where to begin a refutation is hard. A modification of the “on the spot fallacy.”

            That conveyor- belt of bullshit was named for the creationist Duane Gish as he used it to obscure the fact that he had no legitimate support in fact for his position.

          2. Katniss Everdeen

            Yikes, no kidding.

            “…….but to ‘give’ it to everyone regardless of economic status would be ‘foolish.’

            (Emphasis all mine.)

            Because “healthcare” is just like a vacation, a position that is not “foolish” at all.

            I suspect the tendency today will be for commenter after commenter to attempt to convince bob g. that a single-payer national healthcare system will not only be far less expensive but more effective, as it has been in every other economically developed country on the planet. But before you waste your time, consider whether a person who thinks healthcare is the same as a trip to Disneyworld and actually writes it down can possibly comprehend a rational argument.

            1. Amfortas the hippie

              maybe the more important question is “how many bob’s are there?”
              how does one measure that demographic, so as to not waste one’s time?
              use of the gish gallop should probably figure into that measurement somehow…at least anecdotally, people who employ it are not very reasonable, by definition…since if they were, they’d likely avoid using the gish gallop…since it’s not very successful at bringing people over to your side.

              1. Monty

                There’s a lot! From my experience with the folks around here, my guess is tens of millions of Bob galaks lurk in the US electorate. They would much rather overpay for terrible care, than knowingly subsidize the poors. Denying care to others gives them a rare chance to feel superior in their otherwise pointless, empty and tedious existences.

                1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

                  A trip to the doctor in any major first world country should be a required exercise for our Congressional betters. Make them see first hand: access; level of care; level of paper work; cost.

                  Or better yet in one of the “sh*thole” countries, Thailand, Mexico.

                  Shame them. All of these countries, you know, those places that only get negative news coverage, put the US “pay more to die sooner” system to shame.

                2. Amfortas the hippie

                  they’re a minority.
                  we can deal with that.
                  evangelise for a new new deal in spite of them.

            2. Chris

              Also consider whether the commenters who make this argument are genuine. A lot of paid trolls abound this season. It’s really easy to have multiple personas online and be a “corrective commenter” for the cause of the insurance companies, political campaigns, or some other agenda driven organization.

        3. The Rev Kev

          You do realize Bob that the US is the only modern country in the world that does not have a modern, efficient healthcare system. Most of the others pay only about half what Americans pay for healthcare, it is far, far more simpler, and we have much better health outcomes for what we pay.
          You want to see the real costs of your healthcare system? Then wait and see if Coronavirus spreads in the US and you will then have a front row seat as to how well it copes with such an event. I am going to be honest here and say that I wonder sometimes if the American healthcare system is really based on the idea of Social Darwinism going by the sort of comment that you made.

          1. GramSci

            I’m afraid it is, Rev Kev, and I’m afraid that, with all the wisdom of killer apes in the jungle, the Social Darwinists have thought their strategy through like a Marvel Comix plot.

            1. athena1

              The elites’ (who do appear to be social darwinists) strategy of having the MSM under their control is a highly effective one, indeed, as well as framing any question about election integrity a “conspiracy theory”.

            2. Darthbobber

              If you succeed in killing a social Darwinist, does this suffice to demonstrate that they were not the fittest?

              (and since the poor survive in far greater absolute numbers than the rich, does this imply…)

          2. John

            Lambert’s simple rules for Neo-Liberalism in Naked Capitalism March 17, 2014:

            Rule #1: Because markets.

            Rule #2: Go die!

        4. John A

          A vacation is a choice. Having a serious illness isn’t. I have been paying towards the British national health service all my working life in England but never had a life-threatening illness or serious accident, touch wood. However, I would not begrudge anyone any amount of expensive treatment and care, were they to need it, even though I didn’t. I guess you are the opposite.

          1. Katniss Everdeen

            Interesting “intersectionality” between vacations, “healthcare,” and government as “Americans on the Diamond Princess docked in Yokohama desperately pleaded for Trump’s help on Friday.”

            “‘It’s not going to be a luxury cruise; it’s going to be like a floating prison,’ wrote passenger David Abel on Facebook from the ship.

            Dunno what it means, but there must be some cautionary tale for the vacationing set in there somewhere. Like maybe it’s “foolish” NOT to make sure those swabbin’ the decks and setting up the buffets can see a doctor when they don’t feel well.

            Ditto for here in the states, where everyone hits a McDonald’s or WalMart once in awhile, or has a servant who has no other choice.


        5. inode_buddha

          Maybe the Republicans can get a $25-hr minimum wage passed. That way, almost everybody could afford health coverage, and we wouldn’t be talking about government programs.

          Indeed, it is a slippery slope the Right wing is on. Its heading right into the kind of hell that Charles Dickens wrote about, for which there is no excuse.

          1. ambrit

            Dickensian poverty and associated ills are their own “excuse.”
            This process is not self actuating. It is an artifact of a policy. The earlier “real” Dickensian poverty trap could be said to have been the ‘organic’ outgrowth of the Industrial Revolution. This time, being ‘enlightened’ by the history of the first Dickensian Phase, the policy makers have no excuses to hide behind.
            The Powell Memo:

            1. JBird4049

              There was nothing truly “organic” about the level of Dickensian poverty in 19th century Britain; our current political economy is an echo of it. Same ideas, actions, and results resulting in a libertarian hellscape then and a neoliberal hellscape today. The only reason why there was not a revolution then was because of military and judicial force. I rather think that the current militarized American police is also an echo.

              1. athena1

                The New Deal really might have staved off a revolution, too. The threat of a revolution is why they’ve erected the total surveillance state, I suspect.

            2. inode_buddha

              Thank you, that is indeed what I mean (but you say it aloud)

              I would clarify what I mean by “excuse” is the fact that this is the wealthiest country in Western History so far, surpassing even Dicken’s Britain. And so it is even more inexcusable.

              1. ambrit

                Yes. We are self censoring our conversations too much. (This is a global observation. Not particular. I know you have had to fight hard to get where you are today.) The fear of “the others” is a pervasive and subtly corrupting thing. Being brave and outspoken has never been lauded or celebrated, anywhere.
                Lonely are the brave. True then, true now.

        6. harry

          He doesn’t get it for free either. He pays 400 a month for it. Thing is I’m paying 2200 per month for my private policy.

          And that’s ignoring the absurd tax on my time.

          Clearly we would all be better if if we had a healthcare system like Canada etc. Its just that only a minority of Americans have experience of other systems.

        7. Pelham

          But that’s how medical insurance in the private sector works. People pay for everyone else’s care as well as their own within the plan. So I guess you’re for abolishing private insurance as well. Expanding Medicare to everyone is just a matter of streamlining and cost saving over the multitude of duplicative and unaccountable systems that we have now.

        8. martell

          Slippery slope is a fallacy. So, if someone tells you, for some x, that x is the first step on a slippery slope, they’re telling you they’re presently making a bad argument. It’s a bit like saying “I’m about to commit the straw man fallacy. I’ll be arguing against a ridiculous view that no one actually has.”

          1. athena1

            Slippery slope arguments aren’t necessarily fallacious. They can be legit. From wiki:

            The core of the slippery slope argument is that a specific decision under debate is likely to result in unintended consequences. The strength of such an argument depends on the warrant, i.e. whether or not one can demonstrate a process that leads to the significant effect.

            I agree that it’s fallacious here, for sure.

            1. martell

              I stand corrected. It’s an informal fallacy, so the question of whether the premises support the conclusion can only be answered by considering the content of the argument, as opposed to the form alone.

        9. athena1

          Should everyone get a Cadillac health plan. No deductibles, no co-pay and no limits on anything to include plastic surgery. Slippery slopes are dangerous.

          Yes, except for plastic surgery. None of the single payer countries cover that. And they haven’t had a slippery slope problem.

        10. montanamaven

          What’s the good of a Cadillac plan, if it means being tied to a certain job? What if you lose that job? And those plans can change from a Cadillac to a horse and buggy by a whim. It’s an illusion.

        11. cripes


          While you’re at it, don’t forget to privatize fire and police protection, libraries and public schools–starting at kindergarden–because I don’t want to pay for your kids education, your house burning down or **free** books you dirty socialist. And don’t come crying to me when you get hepatitis, coronavirus or rabies and your insurer refuses payment, WHICH THEY DO.
          Useless eater.

      4. Otis B Driftwood

        Attacking this line of argument is key to getting the political momentum needed to pass M4A. Very simply, showing that everyone would pay into the system and derive its benefits. Wage earners pay into it at a progressive rate. That no one who has “paid into it already” somehow is disadvantaged.

        And those who are too young, too old, or to sick to pay into the system are covered because it is not only our moral obligation, but it has the practical benefit of saving billions of dollars in acute care.

        If Sanders prevails against the corrupt DNC, then addressing the practical benefits of M4A should be a top priority of his media organization.

        1. Carla

          We need Anthony S. Fauci, M.D. at the National Institutes of Health, to join and become a primary spokesperson for Physicians for a National Health Program (

          Fauci is in the perfect position to move the needle on Expanded and Improved Medicare for All as a Public Health Imperative. He’s currently sought out by the media for his ongoing assessments of the Coronavirus pandemic.

          He can make it clear that as a nation, we can’t afford NOT to have M4A.

          Will he? Well, apparently he won’t if we don’t tell him to.

          Here’s his contact info:

 — 301-496-2263

          I’m going to email him today, and call his office tomorrow.

          From the NIH web site:
          Dr. Fauci was appointed director of NIAID in 1984. He oversees an extensive portfolio of basic and applied research to prevent, diagnose, and treat established infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS, respiratory infections, diarrheal diseases, tuberculosis and malaria as well as emerging diseases such as Ebola and Zika. NIAID also supports research on transplantation and immune-related illnesses, including autoimmune disorders, asthma and allergies. The NIAID budget for fiscal year 2020 is an estimated $5.9 billion.

          1. Spring Texan

            I’m very happy with Adam Gaffney as their spokesperson – he’s tactical and persuasive – and I would hope he would be in a Sanders cabinet or at least Medicare Director.

            But if Fauci’s on board, yes people already some of them know him and that might help too.

          2. anonymous

            Carla, that’s a great idea, which is not an insult to Adam Gaffney. Fauci has been known to the public for decades. Young voters already support M4A; Fauci would be a trusted voice for the older voters, who know Fauci as a serious researcher and expert. I think an endorsement of M4A by Fauci would carry a lot of weight. How could Fauci not want everyone to have health care, as it is essential to diagnose new cases of coronavirus ASAP to minimize transmission? How could he justify anyone’s (citizen or not) not getting diagnosed and treated because of lack of insurance or high co-pays or deductibles?

            1. Carla

              It was never my intention to insult or slight PNHP or Gaffney in anyway — I’m a dues-paying supporter and just trying to help raise their profile.

              Anonymous, only thing that worries me about Fauci is: why isn’t he onboard in a big way with PNHP already?

              Maybe if the NC commentariat piles on to write and call him, we’ll find out. The way I see it, it can’t hurt.

              1. anonymous

                I didn’t think you did insult PNHP or Gaffney; maybe I worded that poorly. I always refer people to the PNHP website for information about M4A, and I’ve emailed friends interviews with Adam Gaffney. I don’t know why Fauci isn’t already onboard with PNHP, but maybe it has been easier for him to stay out of political battles, as his work at the NIH has spanned administrations of both parties. We have nothing to lose by trying to push him.

      5. montanamaven

        Once you start working, say at 18 years or after college which would be 22 years old, you would be paying into the system. And, by and large, younger people are healthier than older people, so it should even out. Everybody paying in except when they are young or old.

        But I prefer to argue healthcare as a utility like gas and electric, sewer and water. So, at the least, it should be regulated. All involved in healthcare should be part of a non-profit. Everybody gets paid, but nobody gets paid 21 million dollars. (Like Switzerland). Maybe M4A was too much for Americans to deal with and, obviously, impossible for the Democrats to get behind or even argue effectively. Time for a new game plan.

        1. JTMcPhee

          One hopes that regulating health care as a utility would not descend to the level of corruption we see in FL, with ‘regulation’ of the electric utilities here. We mopes who are stuck with Duke Power have been told by our “regulators” that we have to pay billions of dollars for a nuke that was broken by Progress Energy (bought, with liabilities, by Duke) and has to be decommissioned, and more billions for another nuke that will never actually be built. Along with all kinds of unconscionable rate increases to pay grossly fat executive salaries and a steady “dividend” to the investor class.

          I am watching as Medicare and my VA health care get steadily more privatized and crapified. I do wonder where the cadres of decent and honorable people, actual public servants, are going to come from to staff the M4A structure and resist corruption and regulatory capture. The tapeworms and tumors of “capitalist” sort will be all over that structure, looking for the arteries they can bleed to feed themselves.

          I know too many people who espouse the “wisdom” that bob galak displays. Useful idiots for the oligarchy, to my mind. It’s the kind of opinion that sure looks like what troll farms are producing on the subject, to divert and delay.

          1. montanamaven

            I meant a true public utility. When I moved to Montana in 1992, Montanans had the cheapest power in the country. The citizens owned Montana Power. Then the rascal Governor Racicot convinced the Republican legislature to sell it and “privatize” it. So, yup, we now have one of the most expensive power systems. Oh and the linemen lost their pensions. But if I can make the argument that it’s good for business to have a healthy workforce like cheap energy, some people will at least not write me off. Don’t get me wrong, I spent 2008 and 2009 flying back and forth to D.C to lobby for Single Payer. I supported the EMT Docs that drove across the country from Portland to DC to advocate for Single Payer. I think that’s when I got to know Lambert and started blogging on Corrente Wire. I got in a big fight with Baucus and Tester. On a conference call with County Chairs, I countered Baucus’ argment that “Medicare for All” would be too difficult to do quickly and well with the fact that in 1965 Medicare was up and running in a matter of months and that’s before personal computers and APPS! After that I was done with the Democrats. Ad once more they are screwing this up…pretty sure on purpose.

          2. Eureka Springs

            This tweet confused me a bit. Shouldn’t M4A codify women’s reproductive health as a right for all – everybody in, nobody out? And shouldn’t codifying via M4A eliminate PP as an separate entity… disintermediation?

            Has anyone a link/ breakdown of Sanders and Jaypals bill on women’s health?

            Bernie Sanders
            ‏Verified account @BernieSanders
            Feb 8

            We have got to codify Roe v. Wade into law and significantly expand funding for Planned Parenthood.

            1. Yves Smith

              No, it needs to be separate. The last thing you want to do is give the right the opportunity to kill M4A by overloading it with separate issues. You unite the financial interests who oppose M4A with the pro-life types and assure defeat. And providing funding does not provide a right for services like abortions either. “Reproductive health” with no right to an abortion means Pap smears and HPV vaccinations and the like.

              Every other advanced economy except I think Ireland for the obvious reasons has legislation conferring a right to abortions. The compromise reached with the pro-life types is to limit it to the first trimester save if a woman’s life is endangered. The women’s rights movement totally blew it by directing so much effort to an ERA and not nailing this down during Peak Feminism (the 1970s).

              1. Eureka Springs

                I hear you. Just not convinced. These neo-libs and right wingers are all going to lie and scream and try to kill it no matter what.

                Wouldn’t women have to pay out of pocket for both care and meds if PP remains as a separate entity?

                We should just do the right thing without apology. As you point out – almost every other nation does. Time to stop blowing it.

                We should at least put it in the bill.

                Maybe we could toss in free male hair implants and female boob jobs for the fundies? Trumpsters would love it.

          3. ambrit

            We here in Mississippi are having the same experience with the ‘Southern Company’ which bought up smaller power companies over the past decades. Now we are on the hook for a massive coal gassification electric generation plant that went t–s up. The other attempt at this, which happened in Virginia before this one, also went the way of the Norwegian Blue Parrot.
            Who ever said that investors were guaranteed a positive return on their speculations?

            1. Carla

              “Who ever said that investors were guaranteed a positive return on their speculations?”

              Undoubtedly, a billionaire. Take your pick: Bloomberg, Steyer, Koch(s), Trump, all those a-holes. Or if not a billionaire, one who carries their water: Buttigeig, Biden, most other Democrat politicians or elites and ALL Republicans.

      6. Kurtismayfield

        So, liken it to roads.. everyone pays into the system to pay for roads.. everyone can use them. Everyone also pays into the Medicare system.. so..why can’t everyone use them. If he says only working people/taxpayers pay for Medicare.. well then so everyone on the road has to be a taxpayer?

        Really this is all about him keeping health care away from the “lazy”.

    2. antidlc

      I”ve made this comment before and I will say it again re: Medicare for all.

      You only need to look at what large corporations and institutions figured out a long time ago: they SELF-INSURE. They may use insurance companies for billing and administration, but they do not use insurance companies for underwriting (except, possibly, reinsurance.)

      They do this BECAUSE IT’S CHEAPER.

      We need to self-insure as a country. Get rid of the middlemen. The term is “disintermediation”.

      1. Anon

        Most States self-insure, as well. They use third-party administrators to interface with their employees/retirees. I’m in a unique situation, I have access to both state provided health insurance AND Medicare coverage (as a retired state official). I get to choose which plan makes the most sense, for me. My Medicare + supplemental coverage costs about 60% of the state offered, third-party administered, medical coverage. (Medicare has no large deductible, also)

        While current Medicare can be improved (add dental and vision coverage) it is far and away a better system than private insurance constrained medicine. And I speak from experience: major surgery, emergency interventions, five year cancer treatment episode. Fighting with your medical insurer over billing/coverage will kill you quicker than any serious medical condition. M4A is imperative!

        1. Carla

          Anon, please write an op-ed on this and send it to PNHP — AND to Anthony Fauci (his contact info is above).

      2. Carla

        @antidic, who said “They do this [self-insure via universal coverage] BECAUSE IT’S CHEAPER.”

        I think they also do it BECAUSE IT’S BETTER.

        Want PUBLIC HEALTH? Then you want effective, universal healthcare.

        Don’t want PUBLIC HEALTH? Okay, you’re free to suffer the consequences but I prefer not to, thank you very much.

      3. inode_buddha

        Quoting from my own post yesterday. I should make this a regular feature because I think it can’t be emphasized enough:

        “You should do what I just did: take a look at your W2 and do some math.

        In my case, Insurance is $750/month. I pay 100% of that.

        Now look at the Medicare tax column. In my case, $600 for the *year*. All numbers rounded to the nearest $10, etc.

        Which number is bigger? Where do you think the money is going?

        In my case, I needed some serious things taken care of, or else I would have done without. The monthly payments bankrupted me, given that I was making $15/hr, in my 50’s, some college and a lifetime in my field.

        This country should be ashamed of itself.”

    3. Darthbobber

      Not one of Nooner’s best. The same people who thought Trump’s biggest transgression for the week was uttering the word “bullshit” would probably agree with her that Pelosi’s speech tearing theatrics are the thing that deprives her of her alleged previous status as a “great lady”.

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        Still trying to figure out why Nancy tore up that document since she voted for everything in it. Was it a subconscious and involuntary act of attempted contrition and reconciliation? As in “I know in my very bones I’ve been lying to myself and everyone around me, but I can’t seem to help myself. Maybe if I make myself smash that bottle/cigarette/speech I will be on the road to quitting and redemption”

        1. GF

          She should have torn it up without opening it as it was being handed to her and then walk off the stage channeling Melania. Then all the Dems should have stood up in unison and walked out .

      2. Biph

        Trump being an ass by not shaking her hand, her being an ass by tearing up his speech, it’s all so 5th grade. It’s probably why I’ll end up holding my nose and voting Dem if they nominate anyone but Bernie (no nose holding there). At some level I’d like to see the DNC implode, but I find Trump’s thin-skinned, rude, insecure bully tactics so off putting that I would gleen more pleasure from a Trump meltdown caused by losing the election.

      1. Typing Chimp

        Or, perhaps, “How Chinese Politics and punishing inconvenient news Made the Coronavirus a Deadly Threat”.

        And the scary part of this is that these idiots will not learn from this, just like they clearly did not learn from SARS, and other than a couple of headline-grabbing pronouncements, the international community is not going to demand that they learn from this.

        1. JTMcPhee

          Interesting how it works kind of irrespective of how you order the words. Maybe there’s a deep truth in the interrelationship of those word. Calling Noam Chomsky! What’d ya think, doc?

  2. Kevin C. Smith

    Firstborn leaders:
    One time someone asked everyone in my medical school class [U of A ’83] to put up their hand if they were the first born in their family: about 2/3 put up their hands.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Maybe a factor that should be considered is that ever since medieval times, the practice of primogeniture has had an important effect on our culture and still does in the nobility. With this system, it was ALL about the first borns as they inherited the lot from their parents. It is legendary in our own culture too how middle children get neglected and the smallest child gets spoilt. But the first born get all the attention precisely because of the fact that for their parents, this was their very first child and more attention is paid to it.

      1. Massinissa

        On the other end of the spectrum, the Mongols had Ultimogeniture, where the main inheritance goes to the youngest child (The idea originally was that the youngest child would get the lands closest to the families home, and the older children would get lands progressively farther away from the home. Genghis Khan’s youngest child got Mongolia, whereas the oldest got the lands closest to Russia)

        There is no culture where middle children inherit the house, to my knowledge.

    2. Eustache de Saint Pierre

      I am a firstborn & my attempts at being an authority figure were never realised, for which I blame my 3 scornful younger sisters, who like cats would not co-operate in the slightest degree.

      1. KB

        I was always confused by this theory as I am half of a fraternal twin pair….We both are first borns? and a 10 month old younger sister was definitely spoiled…but, we were all treated as triplets…

        I identify myself the most with the first born theory, as taken by c-section first….

        1. Anonymous

          our Irish family also has sets of “Irish Twins” and “Irish Trips” ten and eleven months apart

    3. Krystyn Walentka

      I am the youngest of five. I can tell you that my parents had much less financial, matrimonial, and emotional stability by the time I came along.

      The firstborns get all the joy. Even though I know my mother loved me she did not have the mental space or time to care for me than she did for my oldest brother.

      So maybe this natural leader thing is about care rather than placement. And maybe if we lived in a much more communal care-talking society we would not need leaders because we would all be one.

      1. human

        I am the eldest of three, and, though I have recognized “leadership” qualities in myself, I seldom pursued them except when thrust upon me, patrol leader, class treasurer. An underachiever. For the most part, I always felt neglected once younger siblings came along.

          1. Eustache de Saint Pierre

            The Eighth son of an eighth son is probably even rarer & it & the rest don’t have that seventh son thing going on.

            The first son thing eventually comes to grief as can be seen often in the English & then British monarchy. One example being Henry V who was as far as I can tell was a one eyed psychopath whose idea of rule was occasional looting excursions into France. His son No. 6 took the throne but was nothing like his father & appears to have been a decent human being, who of course didn’t last all that long like others who were seen as pushovers by those wanting to make a hostile takeover.

      2. Amfortas the hippie

        “So maybe this natural leader thing is about care rather than placement”
        I’m the eldest of 2, but i never really had to take care of my little brother.
        My eldest son…due to my increasing disability at the time…became my helper pretty early…from stacking firewood to helping with his little brother.
        I am a reluctant leader…like you say, when it is thrust upon me, by fiat or by circumstance.
        my eldest is a natural.

        but these differences are at best coincidental: i’ve never been a people person, do not understand small talk, and have been essentially an outcast for most of my life.
        my son has had the opposite experience.
        as usual, there’s big problems with attempts to essentialise.

        1. meadows

          I am the middle of three. The firstborn suffered from too much of the wrong kind of attention, by young, confused parents. His entire adult life has been a strategic retreat from the modern world. I was left alone, thank goodness… the youngest was abandoned, by midlife crisis confused parents.

          Sometimes minimal attention is better than too much of the wrong sort of attention but NO attention is awful.

          1. Eustache de Saint Pierre

            They f*** you up, your mum and dad.
            They may not mean to, but they do.
            They fill you with the faults they had
            And add some extra, just for you.

            But they were f***ed up in their turn
            By fools in old-style hats and coats,
            Who half the time were soppy-stern
            And half at one another’s throats.

            Man hands on misery to man.
            It deepens like a coastal shelf.
            Get out as early as you can,
            And don’t have any kids yourself.

            Philip Larkin.

            1. paul

              Larkin was very good at expressing his damaged outlook and sniggering at others less blessed than him.

              There aren’t many libraries left to employ his like these days.

              I, for one (middle of 5), am very grateful to have been born into a healthy,happy family

                1. paul

                  The example given shows that he was a great poet of
                  the fucked up.
                  it deepens like a coastal shelf

                  I’m glad I met a 4 year old this morning who was happy to tell me he was going to take the bus and then get on the train to norfolk to see his grandfolks.

                  I’m glad i didn’t need to share larkin’s elegant thoughts with his mother.

                  1. Calvin

                    Some in society are foolish enough to allow others to convince them to commit genetic suicide.

                    Already am seeing legions of them where we live. They dye their hair green or blue to show what free thinkers they are. Dogs, or cats, become their family.

              1. NotTimothyGeithner

                Were you watching Monty Python this morning too? Or did I just hear/see two Hilaire Belloc references in the same day?

      3. T

        In bazillions of families, the first boy gets full firstborn treatment, no matter how many girls came earlier.

        That said, as a firstborn, I am not a leader and avoid groups. So. Dunno.

        My mother comes from a time and culture in which number one son was given whatever resouces they had, and expected to pull siblings up behind him.


        And how often does the firstborn benefit from spending the most time in a two parent-household? Or less time with a less than optimal step-parent?

      4. lordkoos

        As a firstborn of three brothers, my experience was that my folks learned parenting with me as the guinea pig. I definitely did not get all the joy. in contrast, my parents were much more relaxed and easy-going when raising my younger brothers (both of whose lives turned out to be more acceptable to them, and more conventional), whereas when I was young I was expected to live up to their expectations that I should become a teacher, doctor or attorney, which was the last thing on my mind. By the time I hit my teens my folks would freak out at any perceived deviation from the path they expected me to follow. This messed me up and it took me many years to understand it. As far as being a leader, I’m not too sure about that. I get a lot of push-back whenever I atempt to assume that role!

        1. Amfortas the hippie

          i wonder if being GenX is correlative, here?

          i was…precocious…as well as being the guinnea pig, and it didn’t turn out well. the proverbial mother’s milk contained a lot of hard headed anti-authoritarianism, and vigorous self-direction…but this was apparently frightening after the divorce, when i was just hitting puberty, and coming into my own mind.( i remember mom bragging to people that when i got sent to my room, i was as happy as a clam….no punishment at all. this story went into a memory hole when i was 13,lol)
          messed me up, too…like being a failed experiment, or something.

          1. lordkoos

            I should have mentioned, I’m a boomer, but our experiences sound very similar although my parents did not divorce.

        1. JTMcPhee

          It’s only a conundrum rhetorically. Both have their influences. But hey, think of all the doctoral dissertations and masters’ theses that have churned millions of words to try to establish primacy of one or the other, align with “naming rights” to the terms that smart people cook up to describe commonplaces in hypercomplex tergivisation.

      5. Wukchumni

        I’m the 2nd youngest of 5, and really don’t remember any special favors lavished on my elders, or at least the feeling that i’d been left out. We were more akin to a Bizarro World Beady Bunch, always at one another throats in a kid eat kid world.

  3. Some Guy in Beijing

    Re: Spotify

    Stoller compares it to Facebook and Google, but I think Netflix (and now Disney+) is also an apt comparison. “Your favorite content is on our network, now. You’d better install our app.”

    In any case, the end result will be the same. I’m pretty sad about this. Last Podcast on the Left is one of my favorites and it’s on Spotify starting next week. I have no plans to download the Spotify app. I wish those guys all the best, because they deserve to get paid for the awesome content they produce, but I’m not installing an app for ONE podcast out of the dozens I subscribe to. The article says they’ve acquired The Ringer. Most of their written content is disposable garbage and so are most of their podcasts, with maybe the exception of Simmons’ own stuff. Simmons’ brand is all sizzle and no steak. Grantland used to be pretty good. I’ll miss Cousin Sal guessing the betting lines on Mondays.

    Any free and independent creative space will always be gobbled up by the suits. It’s time to gobble up the suits.

    1. lordkoos

      I don’t know about podcasts, but Spotify is a pretty horrible model for musicians. I remember a few years ago when Pharrell Williams’ song “Happy” was a huge hit. He got something like 17,000,000 plays of the tune on Spotify, and his payout was a check for $2700. Of course he still did very well from other income streams, but in the days before downloads when radio ruled, he would have made some serious royalties.

    1. lyman alpha blob

      Yeah, I read that one and thought it may not be so simple as just eating urchins.

      Years ago I went swimming off the coast of Crete and didn’t listen to the locals who warned about all the urchins in the water and was picking urchin spines out of my feet all summer. Several years later I went back and was told not to worry as all the urchins were gone and I didn’t see a one. A local told me fishermen had taken them all. Greeks do use urchin roe to cook with but IIRC a price spike caused them to be overharvested and exported for sushi.

      Having one species eat another “problem” species never seems to work out as planned. I hear Aussies don’t like letting their smaller cats outside lest they get eaten by a cane toad. That may be a slight exaggeration but I could show you a store in rural northern Maine that sells tanned cane toad hides, more as a novelty than anything else, because evidently Australia has more toads than they know what to do with after they destroyed whatever pest they were imported to eradicate.

      1. ChrisPacific

        The main problem is that success requires creating significant demand, which won’t necessarily disappear just because the problem species does. So you end up with people advocating for the preservation and increase of the species you were trying to eliminate. The deer hunting lobby in NZ is a cautionary example.

      2. Kfish

        True about the cane toads, but now the local crows have learned to eat them by flipping them over and starting with the belly. Since the famous poison is stored in sacs on the toads’ shoulders, they can dine safely. There was a children’s book where the cane toads found acceptance by eating fire ants (another imported menace) but that didn’t happen in real life, unfortunately. And they didn’t even eat the cane beetles after all.

    1. urblintz


      1. By entering the sweepstakes you have given both Mayor Pete and Diet Dr. Pepper® consent to use your identity to vote on the following: primary elections, general elections and The Masked Singer

      2. You are responsible for your own transportation and accommodations. You are further responsible for providing Mayor Pete with lunch (he likes pizza and hot dogs) and a treat under $10.

    2. Lunker Walleye

      Unable to link to that, but I have a caucus story. I was seated in the front row of the Bernie section. Our group was not viable in round 1. A young woman dressed in a Pete t-shirt and swag tried to move us to Pete’s people and started talking up Pete’s agenda with lots of platitudes. We argued that Pete was not who he said he was, giving specific examples. She seemed to agree with us and so we invited her to sit with us. It is then when she told us she was 15 and couldn’t caucus.

        1. Lunker Walleye

          Thanks for correcting the link. That was fun! There must be a parallel site for 60-somethings because so many people I know think Pete is just peachy. There were lots of women in that age group for Mayo at our caucus. (Come to think of it, there were a lot of women at the caucus, period.)

  4. Some Guy in Beijing

    Re: Black Agenda Report’s Bloomberg story

    There’s something utterly terrifying about a billionaire riding in after all of the debates and buying his way through the party’s machinery. Trump disrupted the Republicans and ruffled their feathers; Bloomberg would be setting wholly new precedents in what is considered a legitimate nomination process, if not governance itself.

    Would lawsuits follow? Surely the candidates and their donors have standing as they worked hard and gave money on the assurance that rules were in place. The last Sanders donor lawsuit failed but this one might have stronger legs to stand on.

    I know that there are many many Republicans who are disgusted with what they call the Democrats’ corruption (it’s why many of them are Republicans). When that corruption becomes more and more transparent and blunt in its methods, will these Republicans be out on the streets with progressives, demanding a separation of cash and state? (methinks I just came up with a good bumper sticker)

    1. inode_buddha

      …”I know that there are many many Republicans who are disgusted with what they call the Democrats’ corruption (it’s why many of them are Republicans). “

      And yet those same republicans wish to deregulate everything and tend to be blind to corruption in their own ranks, and among corporate interests. That kind of corruption is just fine with them!

      1. Mike

        Methinks it is long past time to compare the two private corporations running our electoral gambols. They have been the two wheels of the capitalist bicycle since I was a image on my parents brain*. We have a system that corrupts, and it is reaching down to the bottom as people see how to get away with all kinds of “rule breaking”. Democrats have less corporate backing, and it shows in their historically feeble attempts to change anything — and that is in their past, because now they are completely won over to “markets” and “personal improvement” through debt-driven education a la Oprah & Co. You pay, we suck.

        *- I’m over 70 now, and wishing I were somewhere else, some “when” else.

        1. JTMcPhee

          The usual behavior for huge corporations competing for the same market share is for one to do a buyout or hostile takeover or one of those mergers that is like the great white shark swallowing the tuna. But I guess in this age of faux everything, and with the utility of having the mopes trying to eat each other, a simple silent cartel is the best way to go.

    2. Amfortas the hippie

      “will these Republicans be out on the streets with progressives, demanding a separation of cash and state?”

      the further down the comfortable scale you go, then yes….if someone presents them with the language and concepts for it…..and “they want to deregulate everything” means different things to people on different levels of that comfortability scale….down here at the bottom,it’s about barriers to entry…overlaid with the party nonsense that conflates that practical consideration with deregulating wall street.
      it’s the same, if to a somewhat lesser extent,with the anti-tax rhetoric.
      many of the less-comfortable conservatives(and even Conservatives) I know have turned away from the Cave Wall to varying degrees, and readily see the distinction if it’s pointed out to them.
      the central pole of both big tents…legitimacy…has snapped.

      1. Some Guy in Beijing

        >> the central pole of both big tents…legitimacy…has snapped.

        If it hasn’t already, it seems more and more like it will. After the DNC’s actions in 2016 and now it seems in 2020, there will be a generation of betrayed young people

        1. human

          There is already a generation of betrayed young people due to the ’08s election result of an empty suit.

          1. Amfortas the hippie

            i push the betrayal back at least to reagan…perhaps the late-70’s….which is not to say that this country has ever actually fulfilled it’s high ideals.
            but something fundamental changed about that time…or was changed.
            i couldn’t articulate it until much later, but i remember the uneasiness when they made us watch the carter/reagan debates in fifth grade on the newfangled vcr machine.
            like the taste of the air was different.

            1. John Zelnicker

              @Amfortas the hippie
              February 9, 2020 at 10:13 am

              There was, indeed, a change that became noticeable at that time. It was initiated by the Powell Memo written in 1971 by the future Supreme Court justice.

              “Business must learn the lesson . . . that political power is necessary; that such power must be assiduously cultivated; and that when necessary, it must be used aggressively and with determination—without embarrassment and without the reluctance which has been so characteristic of American business.”

              “Strength lies in organization, in careful long-range planning and implementation, in consistency of action over an indefinite period of years, in the scale of financing available only through joint effort, and in the political power available only through united action and national organizations.”

              Which led to the wealthy conservatives like the Koch brothers funding conservative think tanks like the Heritage Foundation, the Cato Institute and others of that ilk.

              They also invaded academia by setting up and funding such entities as the Mercatus Center where they maintain control over hiring and curriculum in order to instill their free-market ideology in the minds of the young students.

              1. flora

                Thanks for that. So, the big owners formed a ‘union’, and organized joint action to gain political power. Shortly after that, within less than 5 years, the Dem estab started betraying unions. Cowardice in the face of organized money, or avarice – we want big money, too ?

                They abandoned FDR’s idea of democratic goverment, turned it upside down.

                “We had to struggle with the old enemies of peace—business and financial monopoly, speculation, reckless banking, class antagonism, sectionalism, war profiteering.

                They had begun to consider the Government of the United States as a mere appendage to their own affairs. We know now that Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob.

                Never before in all our history have these forces been so united against one candidate as they stand today. They are unanimous in their hate for me—and I welcome their hatred.”

                ― Franklin D. Roosevelt

                The current Dem estab serves FDR’s ‘old enemies of peace’, not their voters.

                1. notabanktoadie

                  “We had to struggle with the old enemies of peace—business and financial monopoly, speculation, reckless banking, class antagonism, sectionalism, war profiteering. FDR [bold added]

                  As if the “prudent” use of the public’s credit but for private gain is OK?

                  As if allowing the banks to steal from the poor for their own benefit and for the more so-called “credit worthy” is OK?

                  Banks in the US have been a problem since the founding at least. They should NEVER have been part of what should be an inherently risk-free payment system besides mere physical fiat, aka “cash.”

                  1. skippy

                    All of which is proceeded by the divergence of wages and productivity, and legal underpinnings which enabled predatory loans E.g. all your complaints have roots in an ideology [concocted or otherwise] which proceed everything else.

                    Some seem to focus on the results with tweaks rather than deal with the foundations. Contracts proceed money in every case, contracts establish social organization, failure to redress this case means whatever post facto money state will enviable be gamed at onset by those creating contractual rights.

                    Capital owns those rights.

                    1. notabanktoadie

                      Reform of the money system is necessary but not sufficient. There’s still the matter of restitution for the centuries of injustice resulting from the current system.

                      The need for land reform stands on its own since no one (including government) should own so much land as to deprive any citizen from owning land to live, work, and work on (cf. Leviticus 25).

                      As for the largest corporations, including those owned by private equity, having been built with the public’s credit but for private gain, their common stock should be nationalized and distributed equally to all citizens.

                      Limit liability should be abolished too and that should help to reduce any remaining unjust wealth inequality.

                    2. skippy

                      Sorry you should know I don’t respond to the canons as a sound theoretical base for anything.

                      Aside … my argument is highlighted by the Derivative question above.

              2. hunkerdown

                Strength lies in organization, in careful long-range planning and implementation, in consistency of action over an indefinite period of years, in the scale of financing available only through joint effort, and in the political power available only through united action and national organizations. -Lewis Powell

                That’s right, Lewis. -Bernie Sanders

              1. lordkoos

                The 60s were a pretty rough time, but not nearly as dark as present times IMHO. What woke me up was the Democrats failure in 2009 to do anything substantial with their six months’ super-majority.

                1. pretzelattack

                  well there was a much bigger war going on, the nuclear threat was still active, cities were burning and sheriffs were setting attack dogs on peaceful protestors. major political leaders assassinated or shot left and right. otoh global warming was a blip on the horizon, plenty of time seemingly, and some of the support structures of the new deal were still in place, or even strengthened.

            2. Some Guy in Beijing

              I’m talking about direct and observable betrayal via the election process. With Obama, it was harder for many to see through the wizardry of his marketing machine. With Sanders it’s clear as day.

              In 2016, I was shouted down by people who said “Hilary has the best chance of beating Trump, the party isn’t working against Sanders.” After last Tuesday, nobody argued with me about the rigging of the system.

              We are the largest, most racially diverse, best-educated and best-traveled generation, getting screwed twice by the party machine after peacefully demanding change for a decade. We are also overwhelmingly registered as independents and not affiliated with religious groups.

          2. flora

            Taibbi puts the Dem big sellout in the mid-80’s. Although they’d been working toward that end since the 70’s, imo. From Taibbi’s latest RS article:

            Following the wipeout 49-state, 512 electoral vote loss of Walter Mondale in 1984, demoralized Democratic Party leaders felt marooned, between the awesome fundraising power of Ronald Reagan Republicans and the irritant liberalism of Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow Coalition.

            To get out, they sold out. A vanguard of wonks like Al From and Senator Sam Nunn at the Democratic Leadership Council devised a marketing plan: two middle fingers, one in each direction.

            They would steal financial support for Republicans by out-whoring them on economic policy.


            1. Librarian Guy

              As someone born in late 1959, I agree with the above.

              I know the Dems, FDR specifically, had saved my dad’s family’s poor, hardscrabble farm in the Dakotas in the 30s, kept it viable until the 40s. As a 19 year old, seeing the reactionary, clueless old Reagan fulminate against the hippies and minorities was scary.

              Seeing the Dems crumble from “Teflon” Reagan’s press-manufactured “popularity” and drop any pretense of populism or opposition to endless wars under Reagan and after, & the DLC and Clintonites turning the Dems into a fully “Center-Right” party to vie (ineffectually) with the Hard Right ReThugs filled me with hopelessness that continues as the US has spiraled downward and everything become more expensive, more cruel and more stupid in the culture at large.

              The Dem Establishment will do everything possible to destroy Bernie’s (partial) “revolution” if he gets the nomination . . . they want a world ruled by a “meritocratic” (means “born to rich parents”) small 5% class, thus are more “big tent” in their own eyes than the 0.1% Rapepublicans . . .

              America never really was “exceptional”, but with the full-on Oligarchy we have now only the stupidest would still believe such fairy tales. The Dem Elites want to continue the fairy tale forever, as the tent cities of the poor grow and grow.

              1. Titus

                On the day Lincoln give the Gettysburg’s – I’m going to say prayer, we were exceptional, we had put an end to slavery after 87 years. He wrote in his diary that he had got us this far and hoped other generations would make something of America- this thing – by, for and of the people. He feared we wouldn’t. But in his heart he wanted nothing more. Were we have succeeded it is because we followed the advice of another lonely soul, who said “love each other even if it shall cause your death”. Everything in front of us will hurt, for some it will be their deaths. Such is the nature of life we must choose: this or that. Love or hate. Life or nothing.

          3. inode_buddha

            There is a generation called “Gen X” that was betrayed first by Reagan then by Clinton. I know, I’m one of them. And my life isn’t any better than the Millenials. However, they did manage to extract a lifetime of work out of me already, so I guess that justifies my existence to many on the Right. /s

            1. ambrit

              Your ‘usefulness,’ like that of many of us out here in Deploristan, to the oligarchic elites is not absolute, but on a continuum. The ‘return’ for our labour is fluid, based on arcane metrics, kept obscure for strategic dominance of the society. As the pure monetary return on ‘investment’ waxes and wanes, so do our various and sundry ‘wages.’ To maintain this illusory framing device, any mention of standards of living are suppressed. This is the ‘True Progressives’ real crime. Policies like Free Tuition and M4A shift the focus from Finance to Social Utility. Who controls this narrative runs the country.

        1. Librarian Guy

          Well, the Looting that their kind do based on the dereg is the true “liberty”. Some people matter, the victims do not, they don’t even register really.

          1. lordkoos

            Yes, your last sentence was right on the money. I just finished watching an episode from the Netflix series “Dark Money” which dealt with the takedown of a predatory payday lending operation.


            The main culprit, Scott Tucker comes across as a total sociopath, and his ego is so big that he allowed them to film, apparently thinking he would get some sympathy.

        2. Aumua

          Right well the Democrats’ awfulness has been so front and center lately that it’s easy to forget about the Republicans’ longstanding corruption and criminality, and start to believe that they are actually the good guys or something. That’s certainly what right wing talking heads are telling their followers day in and day out. In fact, they more and more sound like they are agitating for the dissolution of the Democratic party altogether, and the changeover to an overt one party system.

    3. Typing Chimp

      Once again, though, why does anybody believe that Bloomberg will be able to buy anything other than a few headlines (LOL–which Trump basically got for free four years ago)? Moreover, what evidence is there that Bloomberg even wants the nomination? Most likely, he is trying to force the party platform more to the right/center than anything else. It would’ve worked in the last few elections, but it is highly improbable that it will have much impact this time around.

      Bloomberg is (basically) a status-quo candidate at a time when disgust with status quo is at an all-time high. Biden’s performance in Iowa (and soon to be New Hampshire) should demonstrate this clearly.

      I am sure that someone, somewhere is running polls to see what would happen to the Democrats’ fortunes if a status quo candidate ran this time around. I am also pretty confident that those polls show a disaster in the making if that were to occur–voter turnout will tank, they will lose seats in the House and the Senate, and their donations will decline. Whatever the DNC’s personal misgivings, they will simply not go down this road–they may be incompetent and they may be corrupt, but they are not suicidal.

      1. Tom Doak

        You should listen to the Lee Fang interview linked above. He makes a compelling case that Bloomberg has courted [i.e. paid] tons and tons of Democratic mayors and governors over the past few years through his charitable giving, so he will have an army of superdelegates pushing him if no one captures 50% of the delegates in the primaries.

        It isn’t like the Iowa caucus where supporters of candidates will switch allegiances before the first ballot if their candidate is not viable. They’ll vote for their man or woman in Round 1, nobody will get 50%, and then in come the superdelegates to save us from socialism.

        1. Lambert Strether

          > tons and tons of Democratic mayors and governors

          Not just the electeds. The NGOs and think tanks — the connective tissue, as it were, of the Democrat Party. In terms of executing a campaign (and running a subsequent administration) they are more important.

          After listening to the Trillbillies, I’m far more inclined to euthanize the NGOs. Why do we even need them? Because the State is not functional, that’s why. So it will be interesting to watch the Tara McGowans of this world fasten on to the Bloomberg campaign like the sucking leeches they are.

      2. CoyoteMoon

        I think the DNC is actually that stupid. Because it is run by the consultant class and big donors pay them. It will take them a longer while to realize they are cutting their own throats.

  5. The Rev Kev

    “Does L.A.’s Homeless Crisis Require Federal Intervention?”

    Probably. I am sure that Trump will do his darndest to help out the Democratic stronghold of California and bail them out of all their troubles so that they do not become unpopular. And if they were drowning, I am sure that Trump would never throw them an anvil.


    1. Krystyn Walentka

      The build quarantine facilities much faster than they build homeless shelters, that’s for sure.

    2. jrs

      Trump might jail the homeless. I mean he’s that kind of guy (his main concern about the homeless awhile ago was that they were a nuisance for other “better” people). I know, I know, some like the mayor of L.A. (having little power himself mind you) think they can work with Trump and maybe they find a way but …

      1. JBird4049

        Hey, it would be a profitable contract for whatever of the private prison corporations that we have. Adding all the California homeless like 50k plus in Los Angeles, the 15k in San Francisco, plus the rest of the state probably gives you 100k. Then there are the half a million or more nationwide each night. Add in the over one million who are homeless a few days or weeks each year. A see a very profitable opportunity here.

        I am sure that Mar-a-Largo would have a fortuitous convention of the private prison industry, if President Trump was to announce the Emergency House the Scum Homeless Program.

  6. Darius

    Lee Fang blew me away on Useful Idiots. Bloomberg Philanthropies is managerial class political machine, and Boss Bloomberg has been handing out the dinner pails for years, building a bourgeois army of political servants. That is why so many mayors have been endorsing him.

    1. Baby Gerald

      That’s an excellent interview. Lee Fang has been one of the best journalists covering the campaign. These Useless Idiots interviews are in-depth conversations you just don’t see in mainstream news coverage. Kudos to Katie Halper and Matt Taibbi for these and for making the interview segments into separate clips from their entire show which can include a lot of current events back-and-forth before getting into the thick of it. In the past few weeks they’ve had Nina Turner, Krystal Ball, Max Blumenthal, Cornel West, Glenn Greenwald, Dennis Kucinich, and Michael Moore and each one is worth a listen.

      1. David Carl Grimes

        Yes. Bloomberg’s philanthropy of $1 billion a year has been handing out grants to almost every Mayor and Governor across all 50 states

        1. chuckster

          In other news, Michael Bloomberg today announced that he had purchased the entire city of South Bend, Indiana, was evicting all the minorities and renaming it “Mayoland.”

          Bloomberg pointed out that even though Pete Buttigieg had been mayor for 8 years he was unable to make to meet his goal of making the city as “white as Idaho” and proves once again that “Mike gets things done” while others just try.

          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            People still paying little attention to the world’s 8th richest man buying one of the two right wings of America’s ruling machinery.

            As the entire concept of “politics” goes gently into that good night. All of those rights of the serfs, and then the barons, won with so much blood and struggle over centuries, slip beneath the waves without a ripple.

            The man with the most gold wins and becomes king. If we want a do-over we’ll have to start with a new Magna Carta, how to gain enough leverage against the king and force him to the negotiating table?

      2. Stillfeelinthebern

        The Dennis Kucinich interview was facinating. What a life. I have always admired him, but to hear about how he grew up and then his drive to make our world better, wow, just wow. An amazing person who is filled with positive energy. I wish we were hearing from more people like him, not the “Pete” ivy league, perfect achievement path types that inhabit Washington DC.

    2. curlydan

      FYI: The Mike Bloomberg part of Useful Idiots starts at 1 hr 22 minutes in case you’re pressed for time.

    3. Aumua

      Yeah I mean I’d love to, but an hour and 40 minutes? Geez. Can we get a highlights reel or something?

      1. Jeff W

        The part where Lee Fang talks about the “dark and murky” side concerning Mike Bloomberg’s philanthropy starts here but here’s a transcript if that’s easier:

        LEE FANG: There’s two ways to go about campaign finance reporting to understand the money trail and both are simultaneously important. One is well covered in the mainstream press and that’s, you know, these required disclosure reports when Bloomberg or Bernie—they buy a radio or TV ad, the FCC has to report that and then later the FEC has to report that. And knowing the kind of disclosed traditional money system is important to see who’s raising the most from whom and how they’re spending it

        But there’s the other side of this that’s dark and murky and we have less answers and is just as important. Bloomberg spent over a billion dollars a year just on his philanthropy and, you know, we want to talk about “political machines.” When you say that term that it evokes the image of Tammany Hall/early 20th-century big cities bosses, trading patronage jobs at the post service for votes and sewage collection or whatever. But here in the 21st century, we have a different type of political machine.

        We have an interlocking network of big corporate foundations, corporate consultants, lobbyists and nonprofits run by a group of people who are friends, who work together, who have a similar kind of neoliberal ideology, who have incredible influence in the political process. And Hillary Clinton did a very good job in creating this kind of 21st century Tammany Hall with her own Clinton Foundation and the many different—you know, Media Matters, Center for American Progress, American Bridge group—advanced her political fortunes or attempted to advance her political fortunes.

        This is nothing compared to what Bloomberg has. Bloomberg has the same style of a 21st-century political machine but instead he’s got this billion-dollar-a-year philanthropy that has trained hundreds of mayors, that gives them speaking fees, that has funneled tens of millions of dollars to Democrats who have run and are now members of the state legislature in Virginia. I mean he basically paid for half of that election that we just had last year. There are members of Congress. He’s one of the biggest funders of climate and clean energy groups in the country, definitely the biggest funder of gun safety groups. When he unveiled his African-American outreach program in Tulsa just last month, if you actually watch the press conference, it’s speaker after speaker thanking him for the various grants that he’s planted in Tulsa over the years. Go to any city in America—the mayor there has likely attended a Bloomberg boot camp and has received a Bloomberg “innovation grant” for infrastructure or art or whatever in their city. Bloomberg’s handed out a lot of favors.

        And a lot of this isn’t disclosed traditional campaign money. This isn’t stuff you’re going to find in a campaign finance report, but it’s money. It’s money that has influenced people’s political preferences. And for a lot of folks looking at the Bloomberg campaign, they also see the opportunity to make money down the road. When he ran for mayor, not were his staffers some of the best paid staffers we’ve ever seen in the political race, they received a $300,000—I think even up to $400,000—bonus after he won. So we can’t imagine this.

        You know, some people think Tom Steyer is wealthy? Tom Steyer is a peasant compared to Michael Bloomberg. Forbes just upgraded his evaluation—

        MATT TAIBBI: $60 billion, right?

        LEE FANG: But, just a month ago, I saw stories saying he was worth $55 billion. Now it’s $60 billion? It’s a rounding error to him? This type of money has not been seen in American politics before.

        [my transcript, lightly edited, links added]

          1. Jeff W

            You’re welcome!

            I thought Aumua (and other readers) might find it helpful, and I know you tend to prefer transcripts. (I don’t mind listening to the audio but sometimes the concreteness of the text helps drive the point(s) home for me, as it did here.)

        1. Lambert Strether

          > He’s one of the biggest funders of climate and clean energy groups in the country, definitely the biggest funder of gun safety groups. When he unveiled his African-American outreach program in Tulsa just last month, if you actually watch the press conference, it’s speaker after speaker thanking him for the various grants that he’s planted in Tulsa over the years.

          So you’re saying that, given where we are as a country, personal charity is almost completely ineffective, and so Bloomberg must have donated the money for some other purpose?

          /s — but not entirely, not nearly entirely.

  7. Livius Drusus

    Re: Part of America Is Still Forgotten, Now Under Trump.

    To put it simply, things like declining labor force participation, increasing health problems (including mental health), rising suicide rates and an epidemic of drug and alcohol abuse do not reflect the great times we are constantly told about in much of the media. Many people have simply given up since they seen no hope for the future.

    Even those Americans who are doing relatively well within the current system are extremely stressed out and unhappy. I know people on both sides of the class divide and while affluent people are generally doing better even they seem to be unhappy. Even among the affluent there is widespread cynicism about America, its institutions and life in general.

    The United States is undergoing a kind of internal decay as portions of the population have been left to rot and die. Whole communities have been completely destroyed. Many of these areas were formerly prosperous industrial centers. The pattern is similar in other portions of the West that were negatively impacted by changes in politics, economics and technology. Unsurprisingly, these areas are also hotbeds of populism.

    1. Pelham

      Relatedly, I recently heard from a high school senior with a very fancy education who’s applying to the Ivies that he is disgusted at what he says is a widespread apathy and/or anger at our political processes among his fellow students. They’re now eligible to vote but planning to sit out the election this year.

      This is, of course, anecdotal, but I was surprised nonetheless. I wonder whether this jibes with the supposedly low turnout in Iowa. (If Sanders is correct, the turnout supporting him among those 29 years old or younger was actually higher, So I don’t know.) Has anyone else encountered what I heard from this senior?

      1. HotFlash

        My only contact in that age group is a young man I volunteer with who graduated last year, a Catholic highschool (tax-supported here in Canada, so no tuition), not intending to go on to college, currently taking a community college course in bylaws with the intention of becoming a parking control officer.

        Nice kid, but he has no knowledge of nor interest in politics. He told me that neither civics nor history were required courses, as in my day. Me, I had a full schedule of science-y stuff in high school, so I had to pick up both World and US History in summer school in order to graduate. At this point, I can only blame the schools, and following that up the line, to the province, which sets the curriculum.

      2. Tom Doak

        You’re surprised that they’re angry? They watched the adults in the room elect a game show host as President three years ago, and they have all been taught all through school that the world is [family blogged] due to climate change, but they see that no one is doing anything about it.

        Anger does not always result in voting. Many have given up on the system.

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          Was thinking about how we managed to throw a crook president out, stop the Vietnam war, and completely change the society, all before Twitter, Instagram, email, or even text messages. How did we get the message?

          A big answer was: in the music. You really had the majority of the mainstream musicians, Dylan to the Beatles, CSNY to The Who, lighting the way.

          Makes me really sad to watch today, all I seem to hear and see are either trans fat-addled twerking buttocks or a glittering neo-world of limos and guys with guns and gold jewelry.

          Yep I’m an old fart now. Just haven’t heard many clarion calls I’d feel like following recently:

          1. Amfortas the hippie

            i reckon disco was the Machine’s first real foray into absorbing the Music….then the 80’s pop…even with people like the Communards out there.
            frelling Hair Bands!
            then, in late 90’s, they got around to “country”—GAC(“Gack” is what wife calls it)…anodyne and soulless as a boyband, straight outta disney.
            MTV and all it’s faux revolutionary rhetoric…
            and at the heart of it all: corporate control…hydraulic despotism, like in everything else.
            last few years, i’ve noted the sort of renaissance happening on youtube, etc…mobile studios that follow the festivals(i had no idea there were so many festivals!)…musicians self-producing and making their $ fom ticket sales at non-sony venues…
            like the Phish/Dave Mathews Model finally got legs.
            i expect it to be short lived, of course…because, as you say, music is a powerful medium, and can quickly supplant the Official narrative.
            if the machine can help it, it’ll never let the sixties happen again.
            too much education, too much freedom, too much material wellbeing.
            lesson learned.

            1. The Rev Kev

              Someone made the comment yesterday that before there was an internet, the protest movement got their message out through music in the 1960s. And now there is some company based in Scandinavia that uses algorithms to pump out the next hit to different media companies which is why so many songs sound the same.

              I suspect that the music industry was targeted by the early neoliberals in the same was education and the courts were as being strategic nodes. That message medium had to be neutered. The healthcare industry, however, was probably just for the gravy.

      3. Mark Gisleson

        University counties in Iowa had higher turnout, not lower. Bernie crushed the student precincts (the proof of this is that the media never talked about any colleges other than Drake and Grinnell, two HIGH-tuition private schools, but I also looked at the tables for Story and Johnson counties and both appeared to up from 2016 when they also had better numbers than other counties).

        In the Midwest college students are ready to start setting buildings on fire. No clue about other parts of the country.

  8. Carolinian

    Taibbi on fire

    Biden performed surprisingly well all year in polls, but he headed into Iowa like a passenger jet trying to land with one burning engine, hitting trees, cows, cars, sides of mountains, everything.


    Biden in this race has, on multiple occasions, looked close to grabbing prospective voters by the ears and speed-eating their faces off to thwart questions.

    Taibbi is the perfect journalist for Krazytown. Perhaps Bernie should take the cue and adopt a campaign slogan reflecting his greatest virtue: “Not nuts.”

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      That passenger jet sentence is hilarious.

      I started watching the Taibbi “Useful Idiots” podcast or whatever it is that contained the Fang interview. I must say that Taibbi on paper is a whole lot more impressive than Taibbi at the mic, at least in the segment linked above.

      What in the world is that button they keep slamming on supposed to be about? I kept expecting a duck on a string with a sign in its mouth to drop down from above. (Self-inflicted OK,Boomer reference????)

      1. Darius

        I only hear the podcast. I’m assuming your talking about the “woke” button, a running gag about being “woke.”

    2. Ed Miller

      Regarding “Biden performed surprisingly well all year in polls…” I propose that the polls were/are rigged. I have thought that ever since Biden first announced his run when he instantly was declared the front runner. Just another way of discouraging people of considering Sanders as a legitimate alternative to the mainstream cesspool.

      1. lordkoos

        I agree, I have never understood that. I don’t know anyone who is excited about Joe Biden. I have the same feeling when I see polls claiming the popularity of Pete Buttigieg.

      2. HotFlash

        Presidential elections are high stakes, both power and dollar-wise. It is much easier and, um, less criminal, to rig a poll, ‘foaming the runway’ for a rigged election. Elections are rigged, viz Podesta and Wasserman-Schultz emails, Karl Rove’s consternation at the 2008 results. Therefore, I expect it to occur as the rule.

        1. Geo

          Agreed. Considering this was the first Iowa primary after the instigation of new transparency rules, and we all got to see just how riddled with “errors” it was, makes you wonder how bad it was before we had any transparency. The problem was always there, we just got to see it this time.

          1. lordkoos

            The counting process in Iowa since the DNC took it over certainly hasn’t been my idea of transparent.

  9. Wukchumni

    Dave McCoy, a towering pioneer of the California ski industry, who with vision, hard work and a knack for the mechanical transformed a remote Sierra peak into the storied Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, has died. He was 104.

    The mountain, about 300 miles north of Los Angeles, off Highway 395, was the hub of McCoy’s life for more than six decades. In his hands, it grew from a downhill depot for friends to a profitable, debt-free operation of 3,000 workers and 4,000 acres of ski trails and lifts at Mammoth and June mountains, a haven for generations of skiers and boarders.

    In 1937, McCoy parked his Ford Model A on a slope where snow fell early and hard on Mammoth Mountain. He jacked up the rear of the car and lashed one end of a rope to the back wheel and the other to a tree.

    Dave was the real McCoy, a legend’s legend. Rest in piste.

    1. Susan the other

      Friends from LA used to tell me how convenient it was to have a view of the Sierras bec. they could decide if there was enough snow for the drive up. On a clear day?

      1. Wukchumni

        Well, not really, The San Gabriels & Santa Monica mountain ranges are what Angelenos see as a view. The Sierra Nevada starts around Tehachapi, quite aways off.

        Just reading Ignacio’s report of a British family contracting Coronavirus @ a ski resort is a bit harrowing, as i’m headed to Mammoth for 4 days on the slopes where the conditions are described as ‘firm, some obstacles’ which is ski-ese for telling us it’s icy and not much snow cover in spots, in our winter of missed content, so far.

        What a difference an annum makes, there must’ve been 25 feet of snow near the ridgeline this time last year, a ridiculous amount.

  10. Brooklin Bridge

    A member of the commentriat quite recently questioned the spread of Coronavirus as reported by China and mapped out specific numbers for the next few days based on info released by China as a way of suggesting that they may be covering up a much higher rate (possibly 10x) of infection as well as mortality. Does anyone remember which post that was in?

          1. MLTPB

            The discussion from Friday had two prediction models (from Reddit, and one by Wisdom seeker).

            Both refer to WHO numbers, I believe.

            If ther are being manipulated, the WHO numbers, being funny, would suggest involvement on it’s part, perhaps.

            If only Beijing is doing the massaging, the focus should be on the numbers from the Chinese National Health Commission. I have been looking at these. Late Friday, I commented the confirmed cases had been decelerating 3 days in a row. It turned out the final number showed acceleration the 3rd day. After yesterday’s number, it shows deceleration 3 out of the last 4 days.

            This is not a prediction, but merely an observation, be it about one data point or 4 data points.

            As for models, remember correlation is no causation. Are they fake numbers? Who, when, where?

          2. Brooklin Bridge

            As I understood it, it suggests that the Chinese are (possibly WAY) under-reporting the actual number of new cases and deaths. The argument that @campbeln makes, and that he supports by links, is that these numbers reported by the Chinese (and picked up by the John Hopkins web page and the WHO) follow way too closely a quadratic equation which is highly unlikely (way too smooth) given the way viruses usually spread in reality and particularly in this case given the the recent quarantines. The quarantines should have disrupted the all too steady rise of mortality rates but they haven’t, at least according to the numbers being published. This is very suspicious and suggests, if anything, that the numbers are higher.

            Just my understanding, so strongly recommend reading @campbeln’s comment for better accuracy.

            1. Brooklin Bridge

              In brief, the more @campbeln’s projected numbers (based on a quadratic equation) get the daily published numbers correctly, the more likely the latter are fake and, so far, @campbeln’s projected numbers are spot on.

              1. MLTPB

                Given the differences between the WHO numbers from wisdomseeker and those in Wikipedia, attributed to CNHC, and the slight daily increase in the difference (wisdomseekers quoted number minus the Wiki number, adjusted for one day lag), I believe the WHO numbers are the sum of Chinese numbers – reported by China, we can say this – plus total from the rest of the world (reported by various sources).

                I see only projected numbers by Campbelln, so I can say based on that whether only the Chineses numbers were looked at, or worldwide numbers. Perhaps it’s referenced in the original reddit link. I dont read that.

                1. Brooklin Bridge

                  Look at the link (originally from Lambert) I provided above (I repeat it below) to the John Hopkins site which posts the official information every day (you can see their sources on the site). I copied a few of Campbelln’s numbers (mortality projections) and they matched the John Hopkins data day by day. And that latter, I think, is based on the Chinese official sources among others. Then today, I forgot the post Campbelln’s comment appeared in and had not copied all his projections (and for some crazy reason looked in every post but the one @katiebird helped me with) which is why I asked.


                  1. MLTPB

                    They are Chinese numbers plus the rest of the world (‘among others’)?

                    I think it’s more focused to look at the Chinese numbers alone, if the suspicion is Beijing managing them.

                2. Brooklin Bridge

                  Also, when I say matched, I mean within two or three. Also, the John Hopkins site takes the data from multiple sources, but the mortalities attributed to China are most likely taken directly from official Chinese sources.

                  1. MLTPB

                    The numbers about China presumably are from China alone.

                    If the suspicion is about the Chinese source, and not other sources, let’s focus on the Chinese numbers alone.

                    1. Brooklin Bridge

                      The link on the GIS Dashbord (John Hopkins) to their source usage explains:

                      GIS Dashboard

                      In response to this ongoing public health emergency, we developed an online dashboard (static snapshot shown below) to visualize and track the reported cases on a daily timescale; the complete set of data is downloadable as a google sheet. The case data visualized is collected from various sources, including WHO, U.S. CDC, ECDC China CDC (CCDC), NHC and DXY. DXY is a Chinese website that aggregates NHC and local CCDC situation reports in near real-time, providing more current regional case estimates than the national level reporting organizations are capable of, and is thus used [DXY] for all the mainland China cases reported in our dashboard (confirmed, suspected, recovered, deaths).

                      As of today, there are only two deaths outside of mainland China. So the number from Chinese sources is 812 or 4 off from 808. I have been reasonably careful to use terms like “suggested” and “likely” to qualify my description as well as to suggest reading @campbeln’s comment directly. All data is at best heuristic at this point. Nevertheless, short of splitting hairs, the mortality rates that @campbeln projected are hewing closely to the data Chinese officials are giving for Mainland Chinese deaths.

                    2. MLTPB

                      Ita better to look at cases in China, when looking for funny stuff there.

                      I have only looked at confirmed cases, not death. It appears the death model works better than confimed case model, so far.

                      Not sure why the divergence.

                      In any case, we will see how the models work going forward, though still not sure if that or the thus-far predictions mean anything*, and if similar models exist for other epidemics, SARS, for example.

                      *correlation is not causation.

                    3. MLTPB

                      (Ran out of time on the last comment.)

                      The predictions from reddit that Campbelln quoted are WHO’s worldwide numbers, and for confirmed cases, the difference btw that and Chinese total shows more fluctuation.

                      To me, if they want to check for funny stuff, they should focus on the Chinese numbers alone.

      1. HotFlash

        Dear Mr/Ms Bridge. A good way to narrow your search is to type in some unique-ish phrase and specify the site, eg

        “quadratic model” site:nakedcapitalism.comsay

    1. John k

      I don’t think China has at any time been truthful re the severity of Cv.
      One indication I saw was under reporting by 6x, granted better than 10x.
      Certainly telling 400 million not to leave home is a response to something that now has their attention.

  11. ChiGal in Carolina

    that bird is utterly magnificent: if it isn’t the national bird of some country it oughta be

    1. Brooklin Bridge

      Agreed, magnificent! Quite the stare also or so it looks at least. Wouldn’t want to be a mouse on the same continent.

    2. smoker

      I don’t know, I think I’d rather not see a raptor [predatory bird] – one can tell by the beak and shredding talons, for one immediate indication, I’ll bet on the eyes for another – be the symbol of a country anymore.

  12. The Rev Kev

    “Biden Faces an Uncertain Fate in New Hampshire”

    Saw a Biden ad on the news where he was tearing into Buttigieg. Until recently, he was the establishment’s favoured son but as it became clear that he was operating on fumes, the establishment has shifted their support to Mayor Pete instead. Biden’s attack on Pete may be a reflection of his anger at being sidelined this early in the race by a guy who Biden probably thinks of a punk, novice kid. The whole thing is malarky he says, malarky!

    1. Brooklin Bridge

      Perhaps he didn’t get the note, “Pack your bags Joe, you’ve been a great place holder and I’m pleased to let you know you’ve truly earned a good rest. Take it Joe, don’t break it.” – TP

    2. jrs

      The establishment doesn’t support mayor Pete, come now the NYT didn’t endorse him, Obama doesn’t endorse him. I mean they aren’t necessarily opposing him for the same reason they oppose Sanders nor as loudly, maybe they just oppose him because he’s unqualified and the establishment like their qualifications, and where they heck did Pete even come from, but he’s not their candidate. Silicon valley’s candidate maybe. A candidate they could live with probably.

      1. chuckster

        Pete is a Useful Idiot until Bloomberg’s name starts to appear on the ballot. Biden crashed too soon. They figured he was good until SC. They underestimated how awful Joe is so they asked a CIA agent to step in until early March.

        1. Ignacio

          Do you really think the establishment would like a democrat oligarch confronting a republican oligarch? Buttigieg should be the dems stablishment’s choice.

          1. EGrise

            I wonder if we aren’t seeing factionalism at play here: Pete is backed by the Military-Intelligence-Law Enforcement faction (empty suit with polished resume who does what we want) and Mike by the DNC grifters (because he will ladle out plenty of $ to their various failson and daughter orgs).

          2. Brooklin Bridge

            Exactly. I think the DNC would have corrected Buttigieg’s hollow victory claim were he not either THE CHOSEN one (of the day perhaps), or at the very least, an acceptable stand in for the Poker who was, and is, clearly on his way out.

            I commented in an earlier post about not having met ANY Biden supporters even though my age bracket and network of acquaintances puts me right smack in that demographic. Wheeze, sputter, wipe chin. And lo, and behold, wonderous air hissing from the Poker being the one concrete thing coming out of the Iowa FlusterCluck would also seem too strong a support for happenstance. So how does that work with all the polls putting the Poker* ahead of God (or at least the Great Pumpkin)?

            *In the early stages of my grandfather’s dementia, he could be aggressive like Biden when someone got into his personal space – too close.

            1. lambert strether

              Buttigieg IMNHSO is simply the latest “caltrop” tossed out by the Democrat establishment to impede Sanders, the only candidate completely unacceptable to them. It’s a given SC will be Buttigieg’s firewall, so he will shortly sputter, if not choke. Buttigieg was the most opportunistic candidate to take advantage of the DN chaos in Iowa, hence his victory claim stuck (like Bill Clinton’s “comeback kid” in NH, even though IIRC he did not actually win).


          3. inode_buddha

            I think it doesn’t matter to them as long as the canidate is friendly to their donor class. In other words, they want anyone but Sanders.

            1. Lambert Strether


              I think we assume that because liberal Democrat operatives are stupid and greedy, they are stupid and greedy in the aggregate. I don’t think that’s true. The Democrat “hive mind,” as it were, is very smart and adaptive when it comes to retaining money and power (although wholly unprincipled, not smart about winning, terrible on policy, connected to the electorate it is connected too wholly through a “team sports” concept, etc. etc.).

          4. HotFlash

            Agreed, the Dem establishment is far from monolithic, but look, Steve Bannon is right, Bloomberg is likely doing a hostile takeover of the DNC. 60 billion can buy a *lot* of billionaires.

          5. Tom Doak

            If it’s billionaire vs billionaire, the odds of electing a guy who sees things from the billionaires’ perspective are 100%.

          6. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            Ignacio it matters not a whit what the establishment wants, any more than it mattered what the CEO of Cadbury’s thought about Kraft’s hostile takeover. 190 years of Cadbury’s proud history disappeared in the blink of an eye.

            Bloomberg is purchasing the Dem Party, maybe a higher bidder will emerge but it’s not likely. He can rename it Mikey’s Little Fun Zionist War Club if he likes. Ellen and Oprah and Rachel can tell us how cool and progressive it really is. Since Bloomberg L.P. is privately held there’s no chance to amass enough shares and gain control.


  13. The Rev Kev

    “Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey headline arena like rock stars”

    I can just hear a phone call between the two of them now:

    ‘Hi Michelle, Oprah here. Would you like to go for a coffee in the Hamptons?’

    ‘Got a better idea. Why don’t we meet up on stage and get paid big money for it.’

    ‘Brilliant! The usual platitudes as well?’

    ‘Sure. I’ll chuck in a few anecdotes about Barry. They’ll eat it up. I’ll call marketing.’

    ‘Of course we could both use our wealth and privilege to go out and fight for social justice and the average American.’

    ‘Sure, in the same way that the Congressional Black Caucus fights for our fellow blacks.’

    (Together) Hahahahahahahah!

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        Maybe Michele and John Bolton can go on a shared book tour, Ellen and war criminal G.Bush can hold hands and applaud from the front row. One-click Buy on Amazon and the world’s richest man can get a little more dough to buy off the CIA while his multi-billion nation-state company figures out new ways to pay *no* government around the world *any* taxes whatsoever.

        Qu’ils mangeant de la brioche, pendant qu’ils marchent a la guillotine”

  14. Craig H.

    > Military preparing quarantine centers for coronavirus patients in US, Pentagon says

    I live close enough to Travis that I am thinking about driving by there and taking a look around. On Friday I observed my first face masks. Two. In Walmart in the pharmacy section; they were walmart employees. They were out where they have the band aids and the aspirin and astroglide and what not. I don’t know what the pharmacists looked like because the pharmacy wasn’t open yet. Not Chinese.

    1. Charger01

      Out here in rural eastern WA I’ve observed a half dozen. Could be medical folks or military out of uniform, but the fear is real.
      I’ll be gloving up and wearing a mask in a month for business travel. Quick stops in Missouri and Georgia/Alabama. International travel is starting to be perceived as risky.
      Time to reread “The Hit Zone” and “Demon in the Freezer”.

      1. Montanamaven

        I heard a Doc said that gloves make it easier to spread germs around. Buy those individual hand wipes and use them a lot. The masks aren’t really all that helpful but they do prevent you from touching your face. A nurse told me, “don’t touch your face and wash your hands a lot.”. I bought an aromatherapy oil called Medieval Mix that you dilute in water and put in a spray bottle. It might be annoying to other passengers, but you can spray it around you or on your scarf or mask. Supposedly kills germs in the air. And keep your nose moist. Airplane air dries the nose. Dry noses are more susceptible to germs and viruses. So take along a nose spray and drink tea and let the vapors go up your nose. And happy travels!

        1. MLTPB

          I was going to ask others here about essential oils.

          Is incense antiviral?

          I think with a mask on, when you sneeze, you spread fewer droplets into the air. It may be more about helping others, and less about oneself.

          Speaking of masks, Bloomberg has an article about whether Hong
          Kong is a failed state. Nothing in it about whether it is still illegal to cover one’s in public there.

    2. lordkoos

      They are preparing a quarantine center here near the town of North Bend WA, in what was formerly used as training center for firemen, out in the woods. Seems an odd choice to me, it is somewhat isolated, but there isn’t a lot of infrastructure there.

      1. MLTPB

        The biggest problem in Wuhan, I understand, at least initially, if not still present, was not lacking insurance or not being able to afford cash payment (read one sad story, before Beijing waived the money problem), but not enough beds.

        And I think that is the same challenge for all other nations, Canada, The UK, US – enough beds, ventilators, medicine, etc.

    3. Wukchumni

      Keep those reports coming on mask wearers in your community, it’s not whether they work or not, its more of an excellent gauge of fear and/or trepidation.

        1. Brooklin Bridge

          West of Boston: There has been a run on face masks (a local paint supply store told me their vendors had sold out), but I havn’t seen any yet though I don’t get out much. I suspect a small number of people wearing them will provoke a chain reaction.

          Gloves will come sooner.

            1. Brooklin Bridge

              Yes, that link (read it the other day) should be required reading. FWIW, I was describing what I think will happen rather than should. The run on face masks strongly suggests it.

              That said, and this is NOT advice, I wonder if usage of masks and gloves might be beneficial in some cases.

  15. marym

    Re: Nevada Democrats Canceled Their Caucus App.

    The Nevada Independent

    Nevada Democrats are planning to use a new caucus tool that will be preloaded onto iPads and distributed to precinct chairs to help facilitate the Caucus Day process, according to multiple volunteers and a video recording of a volunteer training session on Saturday.

    The new tool will help precinct chairs fold in the results from people in their precinct who chose to caucus early with the preferences of in-person attendees on Caucus Day by calculating the viability threshold and carrying out the two alignments in the caucus process, according to the volunteers and the video recording.

    Asked by a volunteer whether results would be transmitted from one place to another, the staffer demurred.

    “Those are all excellent questions, and we’re still working out some of the details…

    There’s more in the article about training and staffing issues, and this link to a CBS report.

    1. lyman alpha blob

      So they’ve cancelled the “app” and will be using a “tool” instead, which according to the article is definitely not an “app”, and they won’t tell anyone where it came from. And with the caucus coming right up they’re still working out the details of how it’s all going to work.

      Sounds legit. Semantic changes are always so satisfying.

      1. Bird

        The Nevada Independent was started by Jon Ralston, the guy who started the chair throwing smear against Bernie in 2016. Take what they say with a grain of salt. The ‘tool’ is definitely an ‘app’

        1. marym

          Thanks for that. I should have done more checking who they were! Can’t find anything not sourced to either them or CBS (which sources to “Multiple campaigns told CBS News on Saturday…), so we’ll see what else emerges.

      2. Synoia

        And it is not tested.


        Those are all excellent questions, and we’re still working out some of the details…

        Nice, so coding has yet to start? Testing is in the distant future?

        Dear DNC:

        Nine women in one month cannot a baby make.

    2. lyman alpha blob

      Mary, both of your links go to the same CBS report. I’d like to read the other one too, if you have it. And thanks for the good info!

    3. steve

      This must have been in development long before the cancellation of the Shadow app, which begs the question, was the announcement that Shadow was to be used in Nevada a lie from the beginning?
      Was Nevada included in the Shadow rollout only to lend legitimacy to “good intentions” in Iowa?

      The only reason to introduce software/firmware in the voting process, other than enriching those selling it, is to provide a covert means of manipulation of the data.

      1. marym

        Sorry not to have included the right link (see update @12:34 pm). According to the article Shadow had developed a different app (or 2 – confusing singular/plural wording) for Nevada that they decided not to use after Iowa.

      2. HotFlash

        I have been studying all info I can get on this, esp interviews with Lee Fang on Useful Idiots and Nomiki Konst with a journo who has been following the DNC for some time. My conclusion is that the Shadow app was a huge failure of the Theranos variety. Big hype, smooth talking, confident (and cute) young CEO, money enriching cronies and favourites, but product no worky. Maybe the intent was skullduggery, maybe just honest calculation and counting, but either way, the thing didn’t do whatever it was supposed to do. Nomiki noted that there were calls for Tom Perez’ resignation from several quarters including some ‘unexpected’ ones.

        I am also convinced that if there *was* ‘Russian’ interference, it was Boris and Natasha, “Where is boom?”

        1. Lambert Strether

          Sanders is slow to react (which makes sense, considering the snakes he’s dealing with; he always takes time to filter out gaslighting and scams).

          However, that makes it hard for him to deal rapidly with an eruption of chaos (as happened with Iowa). But Occam’s Razor, all you need to explain the outcome of Iowa is chaos + opportunism (by Buttigieg, but as long as it’s Anybody But Sanders, fine). Did McGowan know the app would fail? Possibly not, since she’s so stupid and greedy. Did the Buttigieg and Warren operatives hired by Shadow know, did the Clintonite head of the IDP know? If they did not know that fielding an untested app was a recipe for chaos, they certainly should have; the failure of Romney’s Orca app on election eve 2012 is surely well known to them all.

          In a way, it’s a lot like Disaster Capitalism (Disaster Electoralism?): Create chaos, take advantage of the opportunities.

  16. Ignacio


    This kind of reading may be more interesting for an outsider like me than for US nationals. I interpreted it as a fairly good and short analysis on the state of the dem primaries play. This gives good explanations on how Biden and Warren’s campaigns look doomed. Biden because Biden and Warren offering nothing but Warren’s wisedom as a product which does not look electorally wise. Accusing Sanders for being a ‘socialist’ looks to be the looser strategy that the democratic establishment has bought. It will be interesting to see if Buttigieg’s campaign falls into it or not. It would be clever for him to try other strategies, he should not want to be seen as complying too much with the establishment competing with Sanders. For Sanders it is so easy to counterattack! You call me socialist? well let me be clear: I am obviously NOT a socialist for the 1%, not a socialist for Wall Street, and these want you to vote for that kind of socialism. That is why they are so worried.

    And down the links another good example of well focused AOC critic on this pervasive “socialism for the rich”.

    1. HotFlash

      Sports geek summarizes the possible outcomes of DNC offensive:

      1.) Sanders supporters are galvanized, fight and organize like hell, and the nomination goes to Sanders in a *route*.
      2.) Sanders supporters are demoralized and let the DNC have their way.
      3.) Sanders supporters fight but lose to superior DNC, um, tactics anyway.

      So, which side are you on?

        1. Mo's Bike Shop

          #4a Bernie goes back to his Senate seat and starts pushing primary challenges to get in more AOCs, et al.

          Since he’s doing well on donations, I’m holding off my first donation for him having to pivot to ‘Not this election, Our future.’ Or once he has the nomination :)

          Overturning the ancien regime within five years of hitting the ground may be optimistic. I wonder how Twitter would react?

      1. Brooklin Bridge

        No 3 is too equivical.

        Perez style, be bold:
        4.) Sanders wins every state hands down and so let’s give a great round of applause for Michael Bloomberg who will be the nominee!

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          …and the “angry” masses, instead of gathering by the thousands outside the Milwaukee Convention Center and bashing their way into the headlines and demanding change, stay home and tweet their unhappiness in between World of Warcraft sessions and UberEats deliveries

          1. MillenialSocialist

            Hide and watch.

            People over 50 wildly underestimate the anger that exists in under 30s.

            Especially democrats over 50.

      2. MillenialSocialist

        4. They think it’ll just be 1968 blowback if they fix it again but they get 1917 instead.

        People are angrier than I’ve ever seen. Tuesday is an important day…for the safety of certain elements of our society.

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          So do I hope you are correct.

          A little solid resistance and organizing would be a start, Hong Kongers are doing it in the face of a gargantuan militarized totalitarian 100% surveillance state…surely Gen ??? can muster a protest once in a while?

          They already stole it from your man in Iowa in 2016, then again in 2020, and the response is ?

          Read up on how we ended the Vietnam War, it wasn’t because it was a losing proposition or because it was cripplingly expensive or because too many kids were coming home in body bags. It was because Washington feared the masses in the streets, period.

          1. neo-realist

            I’m wondering if we can really generate those courageous masses in the streets that we did in 1968 when so many people are used to expressing their politics through facebook, twitter, blogs? Plus there was a draft, so every kid that didn’t have rich and or politically connected parents knew their lives were at stake, so there was a desperation the youth had back then that today’s youth with our volunteer army, not to mention video game and Marvel Movie distractions, doesn’t have.

            1. Lambert Strether

              > I’m wondering if we can really generate those courageous masses in the streets that we did in 1968

              Courageous masses in the street do not equal institutional power. I am so sick of people genuflecting to “the street.” “The street” didn’t stop Iraq, and has at this point degenerated into performativity (Women’s March, etc.).

              Occupy occupied. It wasn’t about “the street” (except for ego-driven/agent provocateur black bloc types who like the smash things up).

  17. timbers

    I think Nancy Pelosi should and the DNC should be required to hire Vladmir Putin to do consulting work on how to conduct and administer fair elections.

    What ever the result, if likely would be galaxies better than what Dems did in Iowa.

    And it would just crow eating for Team Blue including Nance.

    Hillary and Bob Mueller should be required to work side by side with Putin and his team.

    If either of them object, they can be reminded that the judge presided over the case of the 13 Russians has told Bob he will be sited in contempt of her court, if he publicly says Russia interfered in the 2016 election, because she reviewed his evidence and it shows no link to Russia.

    1. Lambert Strether

      > I think Nancy Pelosi should and the DNC should be required to hire Vladmir Putin to do consulting work on how to conduct and administer fair elections.

      They should also hire the Internet Research Agency for media strategy. Why pay $1.4 billion when you can pay $50K?

  18. lyman alpha blob

    RE: Trump impeachment trial: Is US politics beyond the point of repair?

    Hard to argue with much in the article, but with all the problems in the UK right now, coming from the BBC it feels a little like being lectured on table manners by Jeffrey Dahmer.

  19. Ignacio

    RE: WHO cautions that transmission of the new coronavirus outside of China could increase Stat

    Thank you for this link. My interpretation is: “WHO says all we can do is try to slow it down”. A very good instance: an English family of 5 skiing in the Alps, where they met another compatriot coming, not from China but from Singapur, all them got infected. Another UK national from the ski resort is now in Spain (Balearic Islands) infected and quarantined (though, in good shape as most infected). This virus is unstoppable and it is so because it is generally mild. If someone believe that this contagion chain is clean in the sense there aren’t others here and there that could be infected and cannot be easily traced I have a bridge in Vigo I would like to sell. Let’s for instance talk about 40 cases confirmed in Singapore and how far has this chain has gone in a short time. Don’t you believe there must be some many more infected? How many more branches might have this focus?

    1. Ignacio

      Of course in Spanish media this is sparkling all kind of comments about those pesky brexiteers leaving their viruses behind (kidding, should I say).

      1. ambrit

        I dunno Ignacio. This could be a godsend for nationalist Spanish politicos. Imagine “quaranteeing” Gibralter, entire!

          1. ambrit

            Oh the irony! Imagine a Royal Gibralter Regiment sergeant standing in the customs shed crying out; “No pasaran!” If the ferry to Cueta was interdicted as well…
            But then, the “geniuses” in whitehall would feel compelled to begin arming the more extreme Catalans. (If there are no ‘extreme’ Catalans, some will have to be ‘created.’ “El Frente Provenzal” anyone?)

    2. MLTPB

      Back to mass tourism and air travel.

      It is eye opening, for me at least, to read last week or maybe earlier, about suspected or perhaps confirmed case or cases in the Canary Islands, and now the Balearic Islands.

      The velocity and seeming pervasiveness.

    3. PlutoniumKun

      Yes, I think we’ll see all sorts of random outbreaks in unexpected places. It won’t follow a neat pattern.

      I keep hearing reports that there are far more deaths than reported in China – its apparently widely reported in the news in Asian countries (not in China of course). Impossible of course for now to be able to distinguish the usual garbled stories from fact.

      1. Ignacio

        While there are almost certainly far more infected that confirmed (may be a long order of magnitude) I don’t believe the same difference applies to deaths. If there are, for instance, 270.000 infected in Wuhan today, compared with 27.000 confirmed, and assume a 2% mortality rate we could expect 5.400 deaths, but not today, let’s say those could be cumulative deaths until next Sunday or so. Some many more than those 1.400 reported now but not that large discrepancy as in the number of infected. My conclusion is that there are almost certainly more 2019n-CoV associated deaths than reported, partly because you cannot assign to the virus what you haven’t analysed post-mortem, and partly hidden not to alarm, but I wouldn’t assume something exceeding 2-4 times the reported numbers.

      2. MLTPB

        Just read that Shenzhen has been in some sort of partial lockdown, per SCMP, since one or two days ago.

        Guangdong (the province, and Guangzhou, the city) as well.

        Some say Chengdu and Tianjin too, though I haven’t been able to confirm.

    4. Anon

      The location of the virus transmission, the Alps, matches the epidemiologists belief that this coronavirus is a cold weather character. This could be important to tropical and sub-tropical locations, where transmission may be slower. It does appear that the Chinese population is more susceptible to serious symptoms of the disease.

      1. Lambert Strether

        > The location of the virus transmission, the Alps, matches the epidemiologists belief that this coronavirus is a cold weather character.

        Hmm. Current temperature in Wuhan is 51°F. That doesn’t seem very wintry to me.

    5. Typing Chimp

      This from the same organization that argued against Chinese travel bans less than a week ago:

      As for the Chinese lying about the numbers–no kidding they are lying about them! And now that the Chinese ambassador to the UK is going on BBC and trying to spin this as the results of incompetent local government actions and not the infallible central government, you can probably guess that they are likely lying by at least an order of magnitude and finally shi!tting their pants over this.

      Following all this ass covering will be fun, though.

      In the meantime, I guess this means that the US trade deficit is going to to hit even more obscene levels going forward.

      1. MLTPB

        The US travel bans went to effect a week ago, last Sunday. We were among the earlier countries.

        We also started evacuating sooner than many others. I think Canada started a few days ago, for comparison.

        Empathetically, I can understand Americans trapped a cruise ship asking the government to evacuated them. Nothing Exceptional here, unless being early like above is exceptional.

        If the government can get Americans out of Wuhan, why not those on a quarantined cruise boat, sick or not.

        If people of other nations dont ask, perhaps they expect less from their own.

    6. Aumua

      Same as the other thread a couple days ago. Lots of doomish foreboding, lots of I read this or I heard that, and little to nothing in the way of concrete evidence. Once again, I wouldn’t put it past the various PTB to cover up this or that, but if we’re honest with ourselves this is all speculation.

      1. MLTPB

        I am always skeptical, so coverup is possible.

        Just no sure it’s all from a simple quadratic equation, for each stat.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      Yup, the election has been one hell of a shock to the establishment.

      They are still counting, but so far we know that:

      1. Sinn Fein (left wing, radical, nationalist) have done spectacularly well.
      2. FG (centre right, govt), have done badly, but not as badly as they feared – Varadkar will survive.
      3. FF (centre right, opposition) have not done as well as they hoped.
      4. Greens have done very well, but not enough for a real breakthrough, but they will be government players.
      5. Labour Party (pseudo left quislings) – pretty much wiped out.
      6. PPP-Solidarity – Trot left – Not doing well but may have enough seats to be troublemakers.

      FF are already rowing back on their ‘pledge’ not to form a coalition with SF. But SF is so big they will demand to be an equal partner – hard to see many FF’ers stomaching that.

      Most likely outcome I think – FF/SF/Green coalition – i.e. the first government in the countries history with a stronger left than right flavour, and one openly nationalistic.

      The most striking thing is I think not the vote results, but the exit poll breakdowns. FF and FG and Labour have been entirely abandoned by the under 35’s, their votes are all old folks. Housing and healthcare by far the biggest issue. The good economy and Brexit (and climate change) hardly figured.

      1. Eustache de Saint Pierre

        Pretty extraordinary IMO – Housing & health apparently being the biggest issues, which I suppose comes as no surprise.

        1. PlutoniumKun

          Varadkar made a huge mistake in not running in November. I found that decision baffling at the time – it was the perfect moment to ride the Brexit wave to his advantage.

          I think the housing issue is the reason so many young have gone to SF. The main parties are too influenced by older voters who already have their homes. It’s ironic that its sensible policies – restricting mortgages and personal loans – which has essentially cut a generation out of home ownership. The main parties have been hoisted on their own petard of pandering to property owners all the time. FG will be quietly furious with the Central Bank for having done their job properly this time.

          Both FF and FG were always successful historically by keeping their ears to the ground. I think they’ve lost that – the parties are dominated by older people and don’t have much of a representation from younger people and the increasing number of ‘new Irish’ who can vote. They are listening to too many pollsters and not enough local activists. FG seemed convinced that the booming economy was all that was needed. FF didn’t differentiate themselves enough – especially on healthcare.

          1. Ignacio

            It seems that even summing FG and FF seats they won’t reach 80 necessary for absolute majority. So far the results match what you told us could occur. Good job!

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      Damn! I hate articles like this. They scare the shit out of you with terms like “retrospective denial” and statements like “Prior authorizations may now include a line or two saying something like: “This is not a guarantee of payment,” and then tell “consumers” to “remain vigilant” without one concrete iota of advice as to what that even means.

      And I’m certainly no apologist for insurance companies, but statements like “Markley said she never would have had the [$34,000 worth of] tests done if she had known insurance was not going to pay for them” are not helpful. A statement like that just gives credence to those who claim that people will over-utilize “healthcare” as long as someone else is paying. The case for medical necessity will still need to be made with M4A, maybe even more than it is now.

      But here’s my real problem with this controversy. How do “providers” who famously claim to be unable to provide ANY cost estimate prior to treatment even purport to prepare an accurate “prior authorization?” For insurance companies looking for any reason not to pay, squeezing in one extra $27 band-aid or $10 Tylenol could be enough to queer the whole deal.

      1. HotFlash

        I live in Canada, we have health care here. My BFF went into the hospital last summer, was there for 10 days, had 4-5 Xrays, 4 CT’s, blood tests, hot-and-cold-running specialists incl a gerontologist. It was far from perfect, but the idea of death panels or any form of rationed care is completely wrong, at least here. When it became clear that they couldn’t find anything treatable and she just *hated* being there, they still wanted to keep her anyway, for more tests (a lung biopsy and who knows what else). I finally had to sign a DNR order to spring her. So, death panels, forget it — our hospital folks just want to figure out what is wrong and fix it, if they can.

        Once we got her home, we were inundated with phone calls from the local health initiative, a visit-in-home network of doctors, and a group that wanted to set us up with home care workers, caretaker relief programmes, and/or relevant therapists, whether occupational, physio, nutritional, or others, I forget which. All of these services are free at point of use*, included in our Ontario Health Insurance Programme. We did get a bill, listing all the services she got and everything was covered by OHIP *except* ambulance — cost us a huge $55.

        * Bernie’s plan is better than what we have. Ours never had ambulance, eyeglasses, hearing aids, dental, or prescriptions (except in hospital or visiting practitioner setting); home health workers are subsidized but not free, family/friend caregivers are not compensated, and even vision testing by ophthalmologists** and chiropractic*** has been cut back. Mental health is covered *if* provided by a psychiatrist (ie, a MD who specializes in psych) but not by a psychologist or psychotherapists (ie, not an MD). I’d go for Bernie’s plan in a heartbeart.

        Re paying for it, dunno how 4% would do so, if only looking at personal income taxes. I don’t see how it would come up to the $ required, even with negotiation for hospital and drug prices reduced the $$ spent to a Canadian-ish rate. Corps would have to be taxed more biggly, personal income would have to have a *MUCH* more aggressive rate, there would have to be estate and wealth taxes, which, along with capital gains, should be taxed as much or more than wages. A transaction tax on stock trades or some such would also be totally fine with me.

        We live in interesting times.

        ** OHIP used to cover MD ophthalmic specialists, although not optometrists, even without an MD gnl practioner referral. A conservative govt cut it to under 16 and over 65, and of course, Liberals never gave it back when they were in power. Ratchets, they only work one way.

        *** Was never fully covered, but OHIP paid $25 per visit. Lost under a conservative govt, see above re ratchets.

    2. JCC

      Another trick, I’ve had direct experience with, is to have a list of in-network physicians on web sites that are not kept up-to-date. I recently decided to get the full and thorough physical recommended by all, including my Insurance Company, for those htting the mid-60’s.

      My Insurance Company had, at the top of their list, an in-network GP. Not knowing any Dr.s in my area, I just signed up with the guy at the top. The whole episode turned out to be a disaster in every way. First, they completely lost my blood samples due to mis-spelling my name. But they did have the results, they told me, of my urinalysis… except I never gave them any urine. Then, while reviewing my “chart”: I was asked if I was still on a prescription for some drug I never heard of (my name was spelled correctly there, I looked).

      So I called the Insurance Company to tell them what happened and to please give me the name of a better Dr. and Clinic in-network. I was informed that the one I went to was not in-network.


      “Yeah”, he said, “The company does not keep the web site updated, that clinic and Dr. were dropped 6 months ago, at least.”

      I am not looking forward to fighting that bill.

      1. HotFlash

        First, they completely lost my blood samples due to mis-spelling my name.

        Holy moly, how hard is it to spell JCC??? Although, I have had similar experience, even in better-than-y’alls Canada. Many yrs ago, a routine blood test from my checkup came back positive for thalassemia. I was devastated. Looking at a life of blood transfusions, medications, bone marrow transplants, possible spleen removal. Very uncheery prospect at 20 yrs old.

        My next door neighbour said to get a second opinion and recommended her GP, “He won’t just prescribe a bucket of pills.” OK, I went to that guy, he referred me to another guy, who turned out to be the number one blood specialist in Canada. Who said to me, “You mean, someone diagnosed a non-Mediterranean with thalassemia, and *didn’t tell me* ????” Um, uuuuuunnnnnhhhhh! He had me retested, I came out clean, looks like the samples were mixed up in the lab. Mistakes were made.

  20. HotFlash

    from Otis B Driftwood
    February 9, 2020 at 9:37 am

    If Sanders prevails against the corrupt DNC, then addressing the practical benefits of M4A should be a top priority of his media organization.

    Sanders already has some help on that, and we can help her help him. Nomiki Konst has excellent, deep in the weeds, interviews dealing with the mechanics of the DNC and how progressives can take it over from within. People interested in helping her and Bernie do that will find this fascinating. You can find her on youtube here: If you are a Dem party member who would like to get more involved, you really need to know this stuff. If wading in is more than you are up for at the moment, then consider sending her some bucks to help the cause.

    Let us leave aside for the moment the question of whether it is better reform the Democratic Party or build a third party. I say we pursue both avenues vigorously and build organizations for both strategies. If one of them works it will most likely be down to people with a plan seizing a lucky break, which cannot be foretold.

    Appropriate ancient adage: Fortune favours the prepared.

  21. Susan the other

    Jerri Lynn, thank you for the link on recycling. Extended Producer Responsibility, EPR, is new. How very nice to see Congress doing something. Looking at a national recycling strategy. And the NYRB on fashion, the book review of Dana Thomas’ book Fashionopolis is the best thing I’ve read in a very long time. A take off on the monster created in Metropolis no doubt. The writer, Cintra Wilson, is a keeper. She went through a volume of issues as she reviewed Wilson’s book without one single boring sentence. It was fabulous dahling. The snippet describing a runway model dressed in long strings of beads coming down across her face from her crazy-assed hairdo as “dressed like a car wash” made me spit my coffee. I’d just like to make a constructive comment about clothing here: Clothing should start with cloth. Strong fibers, easily grown anywhere; (ahem …hemp) – properly woven into a fabric than can literally last forever and be reused and remade over the years; the better it is woven the more beautiful it is and it can be made into clothing of simple design that is elegant without much nonsense. Let’s bring back the textile industry for a new age.

      1. Eureka Springs

        Fashion changed my life. The day I, a young newly hired entirely without experience clerk in the best vintage clothing store in Haight Ashbury turned a lovely young woman into the most beautiful in the entire world. It was a midnight blue, nearly weightless full length silk velvet cut on the bias 1930’s gown by Irene.

        My heart still sings when thinking of it as it did both the instant I recognized the art, and a moment later, the instant I watched her see herself in the mirror that way for the first time.

        For the next fifteen years I immersed myself in the history of fashion. Traveled the world both high and low brow feeling every fiber I could. At some point I realized I could still be a master in the craft even if I went blind. Like learning a new language to the point you dream fluently in it. Ended up with my own stores down the street and in other states, speaking by invitation and trading with museums, dressing stars, stylist for entire movies and a great many music videos. Turning the uninitiated onto the art of fashion was always my favorite angle.

        Almost as quickly as I discovered the art, I let it go, rarely looking back.

        But the woman in the Irene will forever intoxicate and inspire. Now that I think of it, that moment is in the seemingly unrelated work I did today.

        I do hope hemp can put us back in natural fibers. Damn the Duponts.

        1. Kurt Sperry

          Legal limits on cannabinoids in hemp will likely cut development of new and better fiber varieties off at the knees. It leaves out most of the species gene pool for development. The Japanese did amazing breeding for ultra high-quality fiber hemp in centuries past, but they have since been completely infected with Occidental 20th century cannabiphobia, so are probably out of the game today.

    1. Alfred

      Yes, indeed, an incredibly fine review — hilarious and sobering all at once — of what seems to be a genuinely important book. The book of the year? Might Ms. Wilson be a candidate for the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism? Thanks, Susan the other, for highlighting this link.

  22. Calvin

    Bumblebee decline;

    Among N.C. readers, there are probably many thousands of acres of land that could be made more hospitable to not just bumblebees, by other wildlife and plants.

    Those piles of dirt left by gophers, don’t tamp them down and fill them, bumblebees use them and need them. Except for fire and safety reasons, wild land should be left alone. You are not going to improve on nature. Plus, you don’t have buy anything, fret about what to do, or waste your energy.

  23. Calvin

    “After cleaning houses, I would go lay concrete in parking lots,” she said.”

    Thus leading to the crapification of construction quality, taking a concrete job away from a citizen, who would be paid far more and who would pay much more in taxes.

    There is no limit to the number of children that illegals can deduct from their taxes, whether they exist or not, here or in Latin America.

    Immigrants, legal and illegal and citizens spend money locally. It circulates and recirculates locally through the multiplier effect. Eight times is the agreed upon number.

    But, there’s the money stripped from our communities by remittances to foreign countries.

    148 Billion X 8 is 1,184 TRILLION removed from our local economies.
    There are no simple answers in economics.

    1. Rod

      this is the link you are commenting on, contained in the AOC screenshot.

      everyone should have a read to get a glimpse of how it works–the headline is as disingenuous trope as saying ‘undocumented’ pay no taxes.

      Between the W-2 and the 1099–I’m pretty sure it’s the 1099 that left her indebted to the IRS

      her attitude is pure pragmatism–she got good pass along advice from her community– and a conversation I have had a hundred times with those doing the same

      People I know random-ize their remittances nowadays for safety–random dates and random locations. Saying word gets around on when the money arrives( y’know, with some limits on direct deposits in CA countries and all).

      1. Calvin

        Thanks for the original. Also in it there’s no distinction between the half that have taxes withheld and those who work for cash. That is, much larger amounts may go to cash paid contractors, than say retail clerks who get withholding and pay taxes.

        Also, there’s no mention of social service, medical and school expenses vs taxes paid to arrive at a “net profit” from illegals.

        i.e. Illegals get Medi-Cal in California and San Francisco taxpayer health.

    2. Jeremy Grimm

      If Corporations don’t have to pay taxes why should we care what ‘illegals’ pay in taxes? I wasn’t aware their incomes were anywhere near the incomes of our Corporations … even when summed together … or summed over 100 years and more.

      Have you ever wondered just how bad things could be in Latin American that so many Latinos go to such extremes to steal jobs only the most desperate native Americans would work at? Have you ever wondered how or why conditions became so bad in Latin America?

      [second comment attempt … sorry if I repeat myself … ]

      And did you ever wonder what happened to the concerns about over population — concerns that died sometime before this new Millennium? The world’s population grew from ~2.5 billion souls when I was young … and the population bomb was a hot rock … to today’s almost 8 billion souls. In this country the economic squeeze cut the birth rates — but elsewhere high birthrates continued. Given a choice I suspect most women ‘elsewhere’ would have had fewer children. How would birthrates have differed if the women … and the men … had been provided the means to slow the rate that their families … or … responsibilities grew?

  24. Plenue


    Syrian army is sweeping up the M5 highway and has almost reached Aleppo.

    No idea what Turkey thinks it’s doing, but it must have moved at least a thousand military vehicles into the country over the last few days. Either this is some desperate show of force or they’re preparing to openly engage the Syrians.

    1. Synoia

      Turkey (Sultan Erdogan) is establishing Ottoman v 2.

      China as One Empire on the Silk Road, and Turkey on the other, with the Persians as middlemen.

      And Donald Trump is no Tamerlane.

    2. The Rev Kev

      Erdogan has told the Syrians that they have to give up all their gains and retreat back to their lines of departure by the end of this month. All those vehicles are a threat saying that we will make you. For the Syrians, that would mean accepting Idlib’s borders as permanent with Turkish de-facto control via al-Qaeda. And that would mean that the Jihadists would be free to launch constant attacks against places like Aleppo and the Russian air base by the coast. Yeah, not gunna happen. The Syrians are bypassing Turkish units and observation points and unless the Turks are willing to open fire, there is nothing that they can do to protect the Jihadists except for what they are doing at the moment – supplying arms, ammunition, supplies, ATGMs and information.

  25. boots

    From No Tech Magazine:

    The GNU Free project shut down in 2002, following their assessment of the technical infeasibility of secure internet voting. Their 18-year-old statement (old enough to vote!) reads:

    “From my experience of designing and developing GNU.FREE over the past three years it has become clear that creating an Internet Voting system sufficiently secure, reliable and anonymous is extremely difficult, if not impossible. As Bruce Schneier points out “a secure Internet voting system is theoretically possible, but it would be the first secure networked application ever created in the history of computers.””

    1. boots

      bad form to reply to my own comment, but just realized the real money quotation is:

      we’d advocate very strongly against the use of software in voting procedures, there are huge problems with auditing, authenticating and verifying electronic votes which have implications for trust, legitimacy and privacy. Please don’t accept the cajoling words from technologists with vested interests, especially those gleaming with the delight of their own creations. Software is very complicated and nobody truly understands how any large piece of software interacts with itself and other software. Pen and paper work, they are auditable and easy for voters to understand. Please, please, please focus your energies elsewhere than technologising the voting process. There are so many other places where technology really could help. This isn’t one of them.

      1. lambert strether

        The unique selling proposition of digital election technology is election fraud. Period. That’s why both parties like it.

  26. John k

    Trump carried Iowa by 10%. It is a deep red Ag state with few minorities.
    This state is perfect for a dem that is a rep lite such as Buttigieg, particularly as his policies have not favored minorities.
    He will do ok in N.H., another very low minority state, but presumably Bernie will win there. This is Buttigieg high water mark bc next are heavy minority states. Nevada, which favors Bernie, and then SC, which previously favored Biden, but he’s crashing, will be seen as a loser by then. Bernie wins.
    So Bernie might win, or at least tie for first, all of the first four primaries, followed immediately by super tue. Besides the elites, the half of the dem party that doesn’t like Bernie all that much hate trump, and are looking for a winner.
    Polls show Bernie already leading in CA, and who could beat him in Hispanic TX? Certainly not Buttigieg. And I find it hard to believe Bloomberg can win with his ads. This scenario is what has been terrifying dnc for some time.
    Anyway, maybe it’s over on March 3.
    Bernie needs good protection. No more walking down the street eating ice cream cones.

    1. HotFlash

      Trump carried Iowa by 10%. It is a deep red Ag state with few minorities.
      This state is perfect for a dem that is a rep lite such as Buttigieg, particularly as his policies have not favored minorities.

      I am originally from MI, which voted for Bernie in the 2016 primary but for Trump in the general. Hillary was not only ‘Rep lite’ but FLOATING (floating, floating, weightless…). MI is agricultural, it has more different crops than any state but CA, has lost the auto industry, not just the Big Three but all the little feeder industries, unions are killed there, too. Perhaps a real progressive might be the answer? It would work in Iowa. Iowa is not just Ag, but BIG Ag. How many votes do you think that Cargill, AMD, Agristar, Bayer/Monsanto and Tyson Foods have? They only have dollars, and that’s not enough.

      Iowa farmers were foundational for The Grange and the Cooperative movement The situation is not so different now as then. Family farms will fight as fiercely as Afghanis and Iranians and the Vietnamese ‘montagnard’. Ah, Mr Jefferson, what you sayin’?

    2. Plenue

      “He will do ok in N.H.”

      Anecdotally I’ve seen people from NH say he has zero game there. Everyone who might have gone to him is already committed to another of the candidates.

      Also it seems like many people have an instinctual revolution to the little rat, which bolsters the case that he’s literally a psychopath.

  27. inode_buddha

    “Top corporations routinely pay no federal income taxes. In 2018, 60 of America’s top corporations paid $0”

    And yet those companies almost certainly made use of Government services at all levels. This is what I call “socialism for the rich” via tax abatements.

    Republicans and Conservatives call this “success”.

    I call it “hypocrisy writ large”.

    This is the number one reason why I refuse to buy anything new. That and global labor arbitrage. Toss the biggest wrench you can, into the gears of their “economy”.

    1. Calvin

      To buy and sell used, or get or give for free:
      Next Door Neighbor.
      and your local thrift shop.
      Call a nearby church if there are none in your neighborhood.
      They sometimes have one in-house.

      If you throw out anything large that could be repaired, or used by someone else, put a “Free” sign on it, detailing what’s wrong with it, if anything.
      Put it out a couple days before garbage pickup.
      You’d be amazed at what people will take and make do with.

      Inode, does your name have anything to do with welding?

      1. inode_buddha

        No, it’s my old slashdot name, has to do with being able to directly edit the data on hard drives. I was into linux back then, nowdays FreeBSD UNIX.

        Funny you should mention welding — I did that for ~25 years. It doesn’t even pay the bills. My former girlfriend was making more working at Wegman’s. (grocery store).

        1. Jeremy Grimm

          I am curious — what drew you to FreeBSD UNIX? I have loaded it in the past on work platforms to use the latest and most sophisticated Internet protocols and protocol tools … but have always used linux on my home systems. What draws you to FreeBSD? I would load a dual boot if I had good reasons.

          1. inode_buddha

            The relative stability of the platform drew me in, and also the lack of developer politics. I had used Linux since 1996, joining slashdot at about that time. You could fit a working base system on a floppy back then. I also participated daily on groklaw, helping to transcribe court documents and offering technical details.

            Linux became too chaotic and some moves really turned me off, such as systemd and RH rolling up all the patches. I still prefer the GPL however. Or CC.

            1. Jeremy Grimm

              Thanks! I am tied to Linux applications like GIMP and Blender. How does BSD work with those applications?

              I am far outside Linux politics. I will watch for them though. I may end up going with a roll-my-own Minux if worst comes to worst — just to stay in the game.

              1. inode_buddha

                You wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between BSD and linux as far as desktop apps go. I actually saved my entire old /home dir on a DVD and just dumped it into the BSD install. Some minor tweaks and I was up and running.

                Learning the base system is another matter though — it is just different enough to require some study. Much less room for error also. BSD tends to be much more anal about keeping the filesystem “clean” and not leaving stubs and empty dirs all over the place.

    2. Jeremy Grimm

      Just to be a picky bastard … don’t toss the biggest wrench you can! … be more specific more adroit … toss the wrench with the biggest effect into the gears of their economy. Smaller wrenches and wooden shoes, most carefully designed, are better at sliding into the gears and disappearing into the most crucial portions of the Machine.

      [… and beware … we are not talking only among ourselves. I never suggested sabotage was a good idea! I am just an old efficiency ‘expert’ suggesting how to best go about an action. I have never, never, condoned, suggested, or implied approval for any actions not approved by, as certified in writing, our best of all possible governments. I will go to tend my garden now.]

    3. HotFlash

      And yet those companies almost certainly made use of Government services at all levels. This is what I call “socialism for the rich” via tax abatements.

      “And the government subsidies are *enormous*!!!” Channeling Mrs. Micawber.

    4. Big Tap

      “Top corporations routinely pay no federal income taxes. In 2018, 60 of America’s top corporations paid $0”.
      THIS is the socialism that Bernie Sanders needs to throw back in the faces of people accusing him of being socialist. We have been a socialist country for a long time. Problem is it only goes primarily to the well connected – corporations and the well off (top10%). The rest of us want a piece of that pie. Also beware of socialism code words like subsidies, bailouts, and tax breaks. These are people trying to hide their ‘free stuff’ from scrutiny.

  28. ewmayer

    o Why sushi could be the solution to a sea urchin invasion | Guardian — If ya can’t beat ’em, eat ’em!

    o Now starring in Democratic campaign ads: Barack Obama | Politico — “And what rough beast, the hour for its soaring rhetoric™ come round at last, Slouches towards Milwaukee to be born?” [Apologies to Yeats]

    o A Bloomberg Presidency Would Have Trump-Size Conflicts of Interest | TruthOut — And without the entertainment value!

    1. Henry Moon Pie

      All these videos of Buttigieg trying to look like a cool kid praising socialism and his initial leftier policy positions were back when Butti was trying to cut into Sanders’s youth support. The young folks laughed at him, so they’re now trying to market him as the candidate of ladies my age who drive Subarus.

      The Butti push on MSDNC this afternoon was funny. They had two small town NH mayors on who had endorsed Butti. As MSDNC is pushing a Bernie/Butti dead heat in the bottom scroller, one mayor, when asked how he thought the candidates would finish, started making excuses about Bernie’s advantages in the state, then said he thought “two through five are fluid.” I took that to mean that even Butti’s own surrogates are not claiming a shot at first and are not that sure about second. He’s dropped significantly in that Suffolk U. poll’s dailies yesterday as evidenced by a four-point drop. That was the only poll showing him close to Bernie.

      1. HotFlash

        so they’re now trying to market him as the candidate of ladies my age who drive Subarus.

        Mercy me! Isn’t that what Elizabeth Warren is for?

  29. Richard H Caldwell

    RE:. Three Extraordinary Journalists

    Why not give Mint Press the link? Why Consortium News?

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      I did not check the link you are referring to …

      I believe it might be best to select carefully from among the many sources that repeat a link. [I follow science related links most often.] Stories show up repeated at many web-sources. Ours is an important site which might through its judicious selection of affiliates maintain the web-ecology of dissidence a little longer than it might otherwise survive. [I assume Yves et al. know this and act accordingly — though with occasional human error.]

      With the loss of youtube to Google and the efforts to purchase the ‘org’ web domain … the web is as threatened as the shrimp next to a refinery exhaust in the Gulf.

    1. Ignacio

      Excellent interview IMO. I am obviously not from LA but when I visited the city in 2015 or so I noticed that at least beach public WC and showers were obviously used by homeless.

      Homelessness is quite a taboo theme!

    2. HotFlash

      Thank you, dcblogger, this is a problem here on Toronto as well. Nithya says, “The root cost is housing policies”, and I say, “Whoa, yeah!” Gentrification is literally killing my neighbours here. Please make time to listen to Abby Martin and Nithya Rama. We need to be better.

  30. drumlin woodchuckles

    Before I begin reading any comments, I will guess that today’s birdidote is one of the hawk-eagles. But which one? I don’t know.

  31. marym

    WSJ 2/9/2020 – Trump to Propose $4.8 Trillion Budget With Big Safety-Net Cuts

    White House boosts funds for military, veterans and aims to reduce deficits by $4.6 trillion over a decade, in part through curbs on Medicare, Medicaid

    The plan would increase military spending 0.3%, to $740.5 billion for fiscal year 2021, which begins Oct. 1, according to a senior administration official. The proposal would cut nondefense spending by 5%, to $590 billion, below the level Congress and the president agreed to in a two-year budget deal last summer.

    Pete Buttigieg calls for deficit reduction, swiping at Bernie Sanders

    The Democratic presidential candidate vowed to focus on the debt even though he says it’s “not fashionable in progressive circles.”

    “I think the time has come for my party to get a lot more comfortable owning this issue, because I see what’s happening under this president — a $1 trillion deficit — and his allies in Congress do not care. So we have to do something about it…

    1. Daryl

      > Pete Buttigieg calls for deficit reduction, swiping at Bernie Sanders

      Man on fire calls for gasoline.

      1. Lambert Strether

        Horseshow Theory indeed.

        The problem with the people is fundamentally opposed values and interests within the people. Conservatives and the left see those contradictions differently. You can make the argument, for example, that true liberty requires #MedicareForAll. I don’t know how many conservatives would be persauded by that.

        (I’m talking about “voices,” ideologues, not individual random voters. Plenty of conservative voters, for example, find Sanders attractive just because he’s not a bullshit artist.

  32. JCC

    The Columbia Journalism Review’s article, The Post’s masthead will have to accept that it is not God, was OK as far as it goes (and the Headline is great), but it was pretty obvious within a paragraph or two that all they were going to talk about was IdPol and nothing more.

    There are far worse things wrong with our Mainstream News Sources than worrying about what social group is being treated fairly and equally. (the list is long)

    Few journalists will touch this, as well as the schools that train them.

  33. Synoia

    Anger as Lagos residents protest against motorcycle ban

    It was bad in the ’50s, especially around Tinabu Square. It got so bad we’d tak a speedboat across the harbor from Apapa.

    Better to ban private cars, and force people to take taxis.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Good catch that, Grant. Someone on that thread archived her Linkedin page. She once did online organizing for Obama-

      At this stage of the game, they are not even trying to hide it. It is now all in your face.

      Voters – ‘At least the Ohio Caucus is behind us. God, that was bad!’

      Nevada State Democratic Party – ‘Hold my beer and watch this!’

  34. Jason Boxman

    Almost 400 comments. A true beacon of sanity and reasoned discussion. Thank you. It’s been a long road since I first started reading in 2008.

    I wish everyone a productive and happy week!

  35. HotFlash

    HI y’all, heading for bed now and saying my prayers. (Ahem) Thank you, Ms Yves and also Lambert, for this wonderful and special space, for this content, and particularly the commentariat you have attracted and maintain. Thanks also to Jerri-Lynn for her links, without which I would be (even more) clueless WRT Asia, but perhaps especially, to Jules and the NC moderators for keeping the space civil. Goddess bless us, everyone. G’night.

  36. ObjectiveFunction

    The “Clinton machine” piece is a must read/listen, imho.

    Covers a great deal more ground than simply “Clinton” machinations. Scheer and Max Blumenthal also don’t flinch in facing some very harsh ‘third rail’ issues …. which is probably why ZH also saw fit to reprint the whole transcript.

  37. Jonathan

    Re: Lagos Ban Motorcycles Al Jazeera;
    I’m in Lagos and this fake news. In the sense that this protest is widely overblown.

    In fact I’m on the whatsapp group of the protestors and there’s less 100 talk less of the people who showed up who were probably no more than a dozen.

    P. S There were much more women than men at the protest don’t know why Al Jazeera take doesn’t not reflect this

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