2:00PM Water Cooler 3/10/2020

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Politics

“But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature?” –James Madison, Federalist 51

“They had one weapon left and both knew it: treachery.” –Frank Herbert, Dune

“They had learned nothing, and forgotten nothing.” –Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord

Key dates coming fast now, so I added some counters:

Some of the next primaries. (I picked the major dates; here is a complete calendar.)

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2020

We encourage readers to play around with the polling charts; they are dynamic, and there are a lot of settings, more than I can usefully show here. Here is a link to alert reader dk’s project. You can also file bug reports or feature requests using the same contact process as for Plants, below. Thanks — but no promises!

Today we have one national poll from Ipsos, and polls from MI, MO, and WA, as of 3/10/2020, 12:00 PM EDT. The empire strikes back:

(Note the miserably small sample size.) And the numbers:

From Michigan, with the usual caveat that state polls are irregular, bad, and have small sample sizes:

MI numbers:

Sanders badly needs the Michigan polls to be wrong (as they were in 2016). Certainly, he’s pulled out all the stops.

MO:

MO numbers:

WA:

WA numbers:

Sanders could have a shot.

* * *

Bloomberg (D)(1): “Bloomberg aides cut loose despite yearlong employment promise” [Politico]. “Mike Bloomberg’s shuttered presidential campaign is dismissing staffers across the country and inviting them to reapply for jobs on his new independent committee — despite extending guarantees of being paid through the November election when they were hired. The consolation prize: They get to keep their Bloomberg-issued iPhones and MacBooks.” • Grifters gotta grift.

Biden (D)(1): “Joe Biden tells factory worker ‘you’re full of s—‘ during a tense argument over guns” [CNBC]. “‘Don’t be such a horse’s a–,’ Biden added as the exchange grew more heated.” • Not The Onion!

Biden (D)(2): A vivid fantasy life?

Biden (D)(3): Biden’s viral tweet on #MedicareForAll:

Biden (D)(2): Neera Tanden, enforcer, steps in:

(What’s especially nice about “disinformation” is that conjures up Russia, the intelligence community, etc.)

UPDATE (D)(4): Here is a transcript:

Biden (D)(5): An expert on collapsing empires and revolutions renders judgement.

Biden (D)(6): “The new Biden: Shorter speeches (and less time for gaffes)” [WaPo]. “Biden’s event in St. Louis, framed by the Gateway Arch, clocked in at around seven minutes Saturday. A short time later, at a windswept event in Kansas City, people were streaming for their cars after Biden wrapped up in 12 minutes. His longest speech of the weekend, in the gym of Tougaloo College in Jackson, Miss., didn’t quite make 15 minutes. It is a seismic shift for Biden, 77, who in five decades of political office and three White House runs has never had a reputation for breviloquence… The Biden campaign declined to talk about the greater strategy behind the candidate’s briefer speeches, and also declined to say if this is the Biden voters will see for the rest of the primary contest and, if he makes it, the general-election race against President Trump.”

Biden (D)(7): “James Biden’s health care ventures face a growing legal morass” [Politico]. “The Federal Bureau of Investigation raided a health care business linked to Joe Biden’s brother in late January, seizing boxes of documents…. [R]ecent filings in ongoing legal proceedings, along with new accounts provided to POLITICO by former executives of Americore and others, point to potential pitfalls for the former vice president, painting the fullest picture to date of James Biden’s health care dealings and the ways in which they allegedly related to his older brother. In 2017 and 2018, James Biden was embarking on a foray into health care investing, telling potential partners, including at Americore, that his last name could open doors and that Joe Biden was excited about the public policy implications of their business models.” • Which Medicare for All would make go away, #JustSaying.

Biden (D)(8): “Democrats and Their Media Allies Impugned Biden’s Cognitive Fitness. Now They Feign Outrage.” [The Intercept]. “[T]he very attacks [on Obama] that Democrats with virtual unanimity today vilify as disgusting, racist smears [like Birtherism] were ones that emanated from their own party — either from the Clinton campaign itself (maliciously spreading the photo of Obama in Kenya in traditional Somalian clothing and suggesting he is Muslim) or from various Clinton supporters (falsely claiming he was not eligible to run for office). And now they are doing the exact same thing when it comes to plainly valid questions concerning Joe Biden’s cognitive fitness: expressing revulsion and scorn at the mere mention of these questions and declaring the topic off-limits to all decent people even though establishment Democrats were the ones who first spread insinuations and even explicit accusations about Biden’s cognitive decline when they thought doing so could help them defeat him and/or because it genuinely concerned them regarding his ability to defeat Trump.”

Klobuchar (D)(1): “Vindictive Amy Klobuchar Elected Mayor Of South Bend, Indiana” [The Onion]. “‘South Bend has taken a step into a bright new day by finally electing a leader it deserves, and I’m here to help heal this broken city,’ said the newly elected Mayor Klobuchar, relishing the crowd’s applause as confetti rained down over her shoulders.”

Sanders (D)(1): “Time to Debate: How Bernie Could Destroy Biden in 120 Minutes Or Less” [Common Dreams]. “Provided Michigan hasn’t been a blow-out against you, the debate next Sunday will be your last and best chance to regain the upper hand. You can do this if you disavow your natural tendency to be kind to Joe Biden and his ilk, and remember what brought you to the movement in the first place, and exactly what kind of mortal threat Biden alone now poses to everything you hold dear. To go soft on Biden is to give a free pass to a segregationist, misogynist, anti-worker grandstander who embodies a lifetime of active collusion in the economy of war and exploitation that you abhor. If you don’t overcome your ingrained repulsion toward personal conflict, your followers will feel betrayed for a lost opportunity to take down the establishment at its weakest.” • Possibly Sanders really does believe Biden is his friend, as he believed Warren was his friend. If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog.

UPDATE Sanders (D)(2): “Sanders responds to Clinton criticism: ‘Unlike Secretary Clinton, I don’t want to relive 2016′” [The Hill]. “She added: “He was a career politician. He had — he did not work until he was like 41 and then he got elected to something. It was all just baloney and I feel so bad that, you know, people got sucked into it.’ To her criticism, Sanders responded: ‘Unlike Secretary Clinton, I don’t want to relive 2016. We’re in 2020 now.'” • I think it would have been more effective for Sanders to have pointed out, as a glance at Wikipedia shows, that he worked as a Head Start teacher, psychiatric aide, carpenter, filmmaker, and writer. So it’s very interesting to see what Clinton, and her class, think is “work” and what is not work. I’m sure that anybody whose been a Head Start teacher knows it’s work.

UPDATE Sanders (D)(3): “There is hard data that shows “Bernie Bros” are a myth” [Salon]. “The evidence that Sanders supporters are uniquely cruel online, compared to any other candidates’ supporters, is scant; much of the discourse around Bernie Bros seems to rely on skewed anecdotes that don’t stand up to scrutiny. Many Sanders supporters suspect that the stereotype is perpetuated in bad faith to help torpedo his candidacy… Jeff Winchell, a computational social scientist and graduate student at Harvard University, crunched the numbers on tweet data and found that Sanders’ supporters online behave the same as everyone else. Winchell used what is called a sentiment analysis, a technique used both in the digital humanities and in e-commerce, to gauge emotional intent from social media data. ‘Bernie followers act pretty much the same on Twitter as any other follower,’ Winchell says of his results. ‘There is one key difference that Twitter users and media don’t seem to be aware of…. Bernie has a lot more Twitter followers than Twitter followers of other Democrat’s campaigns.'” • Of course, “Bernie Bro” is really just an othering technique; those who use it are conveying the sentiment that Sanders supporters have no place in the party. One potential outcome of 2020 might be that Sanders supporters will take them at their word.

* * *

More problems at the ballot box in MO (after IA, TX, CA, and MI):

The Mayor wasn’t on the voter rolls!

* * *

“Exit Poll Versus Reported Vote Count” [TDMS Research]. “The combined discrepancies between the exit poll and the vote count for candidates Sanders and Biden currently totals 7.7%; more than double the 3.1% margin of error for the exit poll difference between the two. Warren’s and Biden’s discrepancies totals 5.6%, double the 2.5% margin of error. All margin of errors calculated at 95% confidence interval (CI). See table note 5. Values greater than the margin of error are considered statistically significant. The discrepancies in favor of Biden in California as in many of the other states to date, substantially exceed the margin of error at 99% (CI)…. The discrepancies between the exit polls’ projections of each candidate’s vote share and the vote shares derived from unobservable computer counts have a considerable impact on the apportionment of delegates to each candidate…. The United States remains one of the few major democracies in the world that continue to allow computerized vote counting—not observable by the public—to determine the results of its elections.[ii] Countries such as Germany,[iii] Norway, Netherlands, France,[iv] Canada,[v] United Kingdom, Ireland, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Denmark, Sweden, Finland and many other countries protect the integrity and trust of their elections with publicly observable hand-counting of paper ballots.” • Let’s check with the international observers. Oh, wait…..

“How LA’s Election Innovation Fell Short” [Pew Trusts]. “Los Angeles County is the first jurisdiction to own and design its own voting system. Officials ditched paper ballots for hybrid paper-electronic machines built for accessibility, while also allowing voters to cast their ballots in any vote center, the county’s term for a location where people can vote or drop off a ballot. With more voters than 42 states, the county could provide a template for other jurisdictions looking to develop an accessible voting system that doesn’t skimp on security. This week’s botched rollout could complicate that prospect.” • You say “waited for more than three hours to cast their ballots” like it’s a bad thing. In fact, it’s a time-honored tactic of voter suppression.

UPDATE “The media is blowing its chance to head off an Election Day debacle” [Margaret Sullivan, WaPo]. “If Election Day 2020 turns into a full-blown disaster, no one can say there weren’t plenty of warning signs. There were the Iowa caucuses, when glitches with an untested new app delayed the state’s election results for havoc-filled days that turned into weeks. Or the Texas Democratic primary, where some Super Tuesday voters waited in line to vote for more than six hours while others simply gave up. Or the California primary that same day, when faulty new touch-screen voting equipment triggered hours-long waits in Los Angeles County. If comparable disaster in November robs well-intentioned voters of their chance to be heard — or worse, gives bad-faith partisans an excuse to undermine the credibility of the vote — then the news media will bear a share of the blame.” • Oddly, Sullivan doesn’t give a shout-out to Jennifer Cohn, who’s all over this issue. However, I don’t think only “bad faith partisans” “undermine the credibility of the vote.” It’s the parties that control the ballot box who do that. As we have known since Florida 2000 — [lambert breaks out calculator] — nineteen years ago.

Realignment and Legitimacy

“The Democrats’ Cult of Pragmatism” [The New Republic]. “The Democrats’ Cult of Pragmatism” [The New Republic]. “There is a reason why politicians use the language of realism rather than argue the merits of any specific issue; it’s why Clinton uses ‘the moon’—or, as she did in her 2017 memoir, ‘a pony’—to describe Sanders’s ambitious programs. What seems to irk these pragmatists is not strictly that promises like Medicare for All are, in their minds, impossible to enact, but that they are popular enough to force these pragmatists to come clean about why they oppose them. …[M]oderates who speak out against proposing grand plans should be wary of a tendency in their own politics: They often claim to have delivered on their promises when, in reality, they didn’t. If you claim, for example, that you have given voters ‘tuition-free’ public college, as Cuomo has been doing since 2017, people will eventually notice that SUNY and CUNY still charge tuition. … Even the realists in this presidential race are making promises they can’t keep. In the days leading up to Super Tuesday, Joe Biden sounded familiar themes. ‘Bernie doesn’t have a very good track record of getting things done,’ he told CNN. ‘Much of what he’s proposing is very much pie in the sky.’ In a victorious speech on the night of Super Tuesday, the former vice president pledged, if elected, ‘to find, and I promise you, cures for cancer, Alzheimer’s, and diabetes.'” • Good debate gotcha, there.

“Evangelicals Downplay Religious Expression When Working With Secular Groups” [EconIntersect]. “Findings from this study indicate that white evangelicals are more likely to participate in coalitions that display minimal religious expression. For example, our analysis finds that among the participating white evangelical congregations, they are twice as likely to join a coalition that does not open or close its meetings with prayer. We had not expected to find this preference, given how much evangelicals emphasize prayer. This finding is consistent with a multifaith coalition we observed in Los Angeles that addressed issues regarding underemployment, immigrant rights and environmental justice, among others. When that group met, it did not begin its meetings with a prayer or spiritual reflection, nor did it frame its social justice goals in religious terms. Other research cites a growing number of evangelicals approaching public engagement in a similar way. For example, the edited volume “The New Evangelical Social Engagement,” compiled by scholars Brian Steensland and Philip Goff, provides several examples of evangelicals working with secular groups to address politically progressive issues. Similarly, scholar Marcia Pally describes in her book “America’s New Evangelicals” a movement of evangelicals collaborating across religious-secular divides to advance the common good. American evangelicals, in other words, are not monolithic. Their priorities and approach to public life and politics vary substantially.” • Interesting.

Stats Watch

At reader request, I added some business stats back in. Please give Econintersect click-throughs; they’re a good, old-school blog that covers more than stats. If anybody knows of other aggregators, please contact me at the email address below.

Surveys taken before #COVID-19 really hit:

Small Business Optimism: “February 2020 Small Business Optimism Up Marginally” [Econintersect]. “Small business owners expressed slightly higher levels of optimism in February with the NFIB Optimism Index moving up 0.2 points to 104.5, a reading among the top 10 percent in the 46-year history of the survey.”

Consumer Expectations: “February 2020 Consumer Expectations Little Changed” [Econintersect]. “The February survey shows a small increase in medium-term inflation expectations. Expectations about household income growth moderated somewhat, while spending growth and home price change expectations both ticked up.”

Debt: “December 2019 Loan Performance: U.S. Overall Delinquency Rate Lowest for a December in at Least 20 Years” [Econintersect]. “The Loan Performance Insights Report shows that nationally, 3.7% of mortgages were in some stage of delinquency (30 days or more past due, including those in foreclosure) in December 2019, representing a 0.4 percentage point decline in the overall delinquency rate compared with December 2018, when it was 4.1%. This was the lowest for a December in more than 20 years.”

* * *

Commodities: “The rush for protective masks as the novel coronavirus spreads is stoking demand for nonwoven polypropylene. The oil-derived textile is a key component of the sophisticated face masks that shield medical workers from the virus, and manufacturers are ramping up production as potential customers dangle hefty markups and even vacations in hopes of getting their orders filled” [Wall Street Journal]. “[S]pecialized supplier Monadnock Non-Wovens LLC is adding more machines and staff, and hopes to triple its output of the textile to around 30 tons a week. Some buyers are paying extra to ship supplies by air as canceled trans-Pacific sailings crimp ocean freight capacity….. ‘Everyone thinks there is this magic factory somewhere. You can’t call up and order a million. It’s not how it works,’ [said] HPK Industries President Michael Liberatore, on surging demand for protective masks.” • No, the only “magic factory” is in finance…

https://maritime-executive.com/article/sea-trials-begin-for-artificial-intelligence-captain

Tech: “Multiple nation-state groups are hacking Microsoft Exchange servers” [ZDNet]. “All Microsoft Exchange servers are considered vulnerable, even versions that have gone end-of-life (EoL). For EoL versions, organizations should look into updating to a newer Exchange version. If updating the Exchange server is not an option, companies are advised to force a password reset for all Exchange accounts. Taking over email servers is the Holy Grail of APT attacks, as this allows nation-state groups to intercept and read a company’s email communications.”

Tech: “Sea Trials Begin for Artificial Intelligence ‘Captain'” [Maritime Executive]. “IBM and marine research organization Promare have announced that a new artificial intelligence captain (AI Captain) will enable the Mayflower autonomous ship to self-navigate across the Atlantic later this year. With the three hulls of the trimaran Mayflower currently reaching the final phase of construction in Gdansk, Poland, a prototype of the AI Captain will first take to the water on a manned vessel — the Plymouth Quest — a research ship owned and operated by the Plymouth Marine Laboratory in the U.K. The trials starting this month will evaluate how the AI Captain uses cameras, artificial intelligence and edge computing systems to safely navigate around ships, buoys and other ocean hazards that the Mayflower is expected to meet during her transatlantic voyage in September 2020. She will sail from Plymouth, to Plymouth, Massachusetts, with no onboard crew, tracing the route of the original 1620 Mayflower to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the famous voyage. ”

* * *

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 4 Extreme Fear (previous close: 3 Extreme Fear) [CNN]. One week ago: 10 (Extreme Fear). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Mar 10 at 12:23pm.

Health Care

“Telling”:

UPDATE “How the drug industry got its way on the coronavirus” [Politico]. “Industry lobbyists successfully blocked attempts this week to include language in the $8.3 billion emergency coronavirus spending bill that would have threatened intellectual property rights for any vaccines and treatments the government decides are priced unfairly…. The bill specifies that any products purchased must meet federal acquisition guidance “on fair and reasonable pricing.” It also empowers the HHS secretary to ensure that vaccines, drugs or diagnostic tests developed with the emergency funding “will be affordable in the commercial market,” without specifying how the government would determine a fair price.'” • Oh, right, it’s only the testing that’s free, not the vaccine. “Access to testing,” lol. These people.

“Checkup for $30, Teeth Cleaning $25: Walmart Gets Into Health Care” [Bloomberg]. “The main drag of Calhoun, Ga., a town of about 16,000 an hour’s drive north of Atlanta, is dotted with pawnshops, liquor stores, and fast-food joints. Here, as in thousands of other communities across America, the local Walmart fulfills most everyday needs—groceries, car repairs, money transfers, even hair styling. But now visitors to the Calhoun Walmart can also get a $30 medical checkup or a $25 teeth cleaning, or talk about their anxieties with a counselor for $1 a minute.” • Love billing by the minute!

Screening Room

“The Forgotten Neoliberal Man of Parasite” [Ask a Korean]. “Parasite is a story of three families. But if you tried to guess the plotline by reading thinkpieces and analyses about the movie without having watched the movie, you would never know it involved the third family.” • Full of spoilers, with a spoiler of its own. Worth reading for film mavens, and anybody who’s seen Parasite.

Groves of Academe

“‘How do we rebuild trust?’ A year after admissions scandal, presidents say college must change” [USA Today]. “As shocking as the Varsity Blues college admissions scandal seemed to everyday Americans, with its accusations of bribes, faked athletic credentials and falsified test scores, it came as even more of a surprise to college presidents. Beyond the sheer scale of the fraud — millions of dollars allegedly funneled to athletics staffers, coaches and test proctors — was what it said about their institutions. Colleges, especially elite ones, have long viewed themselves as places open to anyone, where promising students from any background can find support to learn, grow and prepare for successful careers. What if none of that was true?” • Interviews with six college Presidents. I am not encouraged.

Class Warfare

“Amazon won’t dock warehouse workers for missing shifts during coronavirus crisis” [CNBC]. “The company informed employees Sunday that it will not count any unpaid time (UPT) off should they need to take it during the month of March. Amazon made the change to ensure there are no repercussions for needing to stay home due to illness, the company told CNBC. The change of policy applies to any employee whose job requires them to “work from an office, store, fulfillment center, delivery station or sort center,” according to a document obtained by CNBC. Amazon also told employees it will not assign attendance points if they’re unable to come to work. The company uses a point system to track employee infractions in a given period of time.”

“Deceit, Disrepair and Death Inside a Southern California Rental Empire” [LAist]. “Virtually unknown to his tenants or the public, [Mike Nijjar] is one of the biggest landlords in the state. Companies he is connected to make up a vast rental empire centered in some of the poorest parts of Southern California. Nijjar himself lives in a Los Angeles suburb that Forbes Magazine once called ‘America’s Most Expensive ZIP Code.’ His 12,000-square-foot hillside mansion, dubbed ‘Villa Bellefontaine,’ sits in a gated community and boasts six bedrooms, nine bathrooms, a waterfall, a tennis court, a reflecting pool, a screening room and a vineyard. Many of Nijjar’s tenants live in starkly different conditions, fighting off roaches, rats, bedbugs, bees, maggots and mold, all while struggling to get even minor issues fixed….. At a Pomona trailer park owned by a Nijjar entity since 2005, typhus broke out in 2015. The medieval, flea-borne disease can kill if left untreated. Public health officials came in, trapping feral cats and opossums. On one opossum, they counted 1,087 fleas. It was L.A. County’s first typhus outbreak since 2009.” • Sounds ideal for COVID-19 clusters….

“The CIA Reads French Theory: On The Intellectual Labor Of Dismantling The Cultural Left” [Los Angeles Review of Books]. “[I]n an intriguing research paper written in 1985, and recently released with minor redactions through the Freedom of Information Act, the CIA reveals that its operatives have been studying the complex, international trend-setting French theory affiliated with the names of Michel Foucault, Jacques Lacan and Roland Barthes…. What lessons might we draw from this report, particularly in the current political environment with its ongoing assault on the critical intelligentsia? First of all, it should be a cogent reminder that if some presume that intellectuals are powerless, and that our political orientations do not matter, the organization that has been one of the most potent power brokers in contemporary world politics does not agree. The Central Intelligence Agency, as its name ironically suggests, believes in the power of intelligence and theory, and we should take this very seriously.” • So every Humanities Department ruined by PoMo has the CIA to tank? Now do intersectionality….

News of the Wired

“This Is How Science Happens” [Hillel Wayne]. “There’s a lot of entertaining background here. Even better, the drama shows us much about how research happens, the pitfalls people face, and how scientists might not be the best at gracefully receiving criticism. And, ultimately, just how much the process of science is embedded in a social institution, just like everything else we do.” • Insanely detailed blow-by-blow of an academic controversy. (There is actually a paper titled “Replication Rebuttal Rebuttal.”)

“Bringing Just Walk Out shopping to your stores” [Amazon]. “In Just Walk Out-enabled stores, shoppers enter the store using a credit card. They don’t need to download an app or create an Amazon account. Our Just Walk Out technology detects what products shoppers take from or return to the shelves and keeps track of them in a virtual cart. When done shopping, they can just walk out and their credit card will be charged for the items in their virtual cart. If shoppers need a receipt, they can visit a kiosk in the store and enter their email address. A receipt will be emailed to them for this trip. If they use the same credit card to enter this or any other Just Walk Out-enabled store in the future, a receipt will be emailed to them automatically.” And: “We only collect the data needed to provide shoppers with an accurate receipt. Shoppers can think of this as similar to typical security camera footage.” • Oh.

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Readers, feel free to contact me at lambert [UNDERSCORE] strether [DOT] corrente [AT] yahoo [DOT] com, with (a) links, and even better (b) sources I should curate regularly, (c) how to send me a check if you are allergic to PayPal, and (d) to find out how to send me images of plants. Vegetables are fine! Fungi and coral are deemed to be honorary plants! If you want your handle to appear as a credit, please place it at the start of your mail in parentheses: (thus). Otherwise, I will anonymize by using your initials. See the previous Water Cooler (with plant) here. Today’s plant (AG):

AG writes: “This photo is a native bulb, wavy–leaf Soaproot. Both coming along nicely, despite the snow. The Soaproot will eventually throw a flower stalk six or more feet high, from a bulb that may weigh up to 5 lbs! They bloom end of June or so.” Something to look forward to. Plants are amazing!

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About Lambert Strether

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

362 comments

  1. Youngblood

    Lambert — What state or territory is “MP” that participates on March 17? I think Mississippi (MI) is voting today.

    Your link for the complete calendar doesn’t suggest anything that could match.

    Reply
    1. ambrit

      Traditionally, ‘MP’ is ‘shorthand’ for Military Police. Thus, since I saw a uniformed policeman while I voted this morning, in Mississippi of all places, (he was really voting himself in the middle of his shift,) I could think that this will soon be a standard procedure in all voting here in America.
      “We look over your shoulder to keep you safe from Foreign Interference sir! No, not that one. He’s linked to Russia. That one! She’s a Champion of Liberty! See. Wasn’t that easy? Thank you for exercising your g– given right to vote. Next!”

      Reply
    2. BobW

      One of my pet peeves – the two-letter state abbreviation is a relic of 60s computer limitations. Way past time to get rid of them, and again make Michigan “MIch,” Mississippi “Miss.” Poor Missouri remains “Mo” but looses one capital letter. I avoid using the two-letter abbreviations unless required for postal reasons, or when filling out a pre-formatted online form.

      Reply
  2. mistah charley, ph.d.

    “If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog.” In DC or elsewhere, you have to be an above-average human being to be a better friend than an average dog.

    Reply
    1. potted frog

      …or elsewhere? Too wide a scribe, I think.

      But I suppose it depends on the definition of friend: symbiotic or parasitic.

      Reply
  3. petal

    In August at Dartmouth, if I remember correctly, Biden’s speaking time+question&answer time came to a total of about 45ish minutes. There were pauses and rambling, even then. If he is now at a showtime of about 5-15 minutes, it seems?, he’s really gone downhill fast since the summer? His people must really be protecting him. Maybe Sanders won’t need the full 120 minutes. Will be easy enough to (nicely, politely) tie him up in knots, or once the tv audience sees the pauses and stuff, it’ll truly be out there. Then what?

    Reply
      1. petal

        The jokes write themselves.
        The LMIAL house still doesn’t have any signs up to replace the Amy for America ones. Empty yard.

        Reply
        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Biden’s support for the Hyde amendment? Its anecdotal, but Tim Kaine’s support for the Hyde amendment didn’t sit well with the more out to lunch bougie types even when they could overlook HRC’s own less than stellar position on choice or lack of choice.

          At least that’s my guess for the lack of a new sign at this house you have described. Its too obvious a transgression to hide.

          Reply
    1. JohnnySacks

      The Biden fluffers over at DailyKos will be raging against Sanders, undisputed king of the ‘Bernie Bros’. But the ‘then what’ will be non-stop Biden puff pieces on MSNBC, 9 more months of cheer-leading and ‘vote blue no matter who’. And if Biden doesn’t get across the finish line, I’m sure everyone will be so polite and civil towards the perpetual token scapegoat.

      Reply
    2. Bill Carson

      If I were a betting man, I’d bet that there will not be a debate on Sunday. Team Biden and the DNC will announce that Biden has effectively won the primary, and they’ll act concerned about COVID-19, and they’ll cancel it.

      Reply
    3. deplorado

      From what Ive observed with close ones, dementia develops quite rapidly. From 1st clear symptoms to hallucinations about 18 months and soon life-threatening disorientation with fewer and fewer episodes of clarity. What Petal said hints that Biden may be on that kind of trajectory.

      So if he makes into the White House, chances are within mere months he is likely to become completely non-functional even in daily life, let alone at his job.

      Reply
    4. Mo's Bike Shop

      Letting Biden be Biden has always seemed a more productive route to me than attempting to break through the programming. I wonder what they say about Anita Hill over at DKos now. ‘You can’t reason someone out of a belief if they haven’t been reasoned into it.’

      Biden’s really swinging there with the ‘Don’t you dare ask for anything when we get to the store” shtick. If the Ruskies don’t interfere, that should really win ’em over.

      Reply
  4. David Carl Grimes

    I’m getting discouraged by the polls. Nothing seems to bring Biden’s numbers down. I think his numbers will only go down if Biden takes his pants off on national TV and starts waving them over his head. But I bet even after that some hardcore Corporate Democrats will still prefer him over Sanders. They just hate him that much.

    Reply
      1. voteforno6

        I’m not so sure…Trump has forked up the coronavirus response quite a bit – and the U.S. hasn’t even felt the full impact of it yet.

        Reply
        1. CGKen

          I’m starting to think Biden squeaks it out this year because of coronavirus.

          The next four years are a repeat (but worse) of the last four years of the Obama presidency, which paves the way for a right-wing populist in 2024 like a Hawley/Carlson ticket – economic populism with a heavy dose of racism.

          Reply
          1. Michael Fiorillo

            Indeed, unhinged liberals simply cannot be convinced that anyone/anything could be worse than Trump, when it could be argued that we lucked out by getting such an undisciplined, mostly incompetent and largely non-ideological authoritarian.

            Trump 2.0 will be much worse, and a Biden victory helps bring it about.

            Reply
            1. jrs

              It’s not unhinged, they just have different priorities than you, even though their priorities may be plenty “liberal”, like hard to argue Trump isn’t pretty bad on the environment for instance (don’t give me “but Obama”, yea Obama sucks, not as extreme as Trump there, and more importantly hasn’t been president for some 3 years now, and yes Biden will suck pretty badly).

              It can always be worse. In fact it is always getting objectively worse in the U..S. political system it seems. If someone was ranting about W and his unnecessary wars would you say “you know it could be worse”. Because if a person said that they would be right of course as it can always be worse. What impact they actually expect that to have on anyone say opposing wars on principle and because of the horror of it, I don’t know but …

              Reply
          2. Lambert Strether Post author

            > The next four years are a repeat (but worse) of the last four years of the Obama presidency

            It could be argued that a Trump administration would spending most of its time crushing the liberals, while a Biden administration would spend most of its time crushing the left (and with the help of the intelligence community. Remember propornot?) Clinton, whose afterlife as a politician has been fabulously destructive, teed this up with RussiaGate.

            So, if you want every DSA member to go to jail, vote for Biden. If you want very DNC member to go to jail, vote for Trump. Decisions, decisions.

            Reply
        2. jsn

          The Democrats bought the electronic voting machines, Republicans made them.

          Who s back door do you figure is really in back?

          Reply
          1. Procopius

            The Help America Vote Act was a bipartisan effort in 2002. It must be repealed, but I don’t think the Democrats will allow it.

            Reply
    1. Bill Carson

      Yep. Bernie needs to stop raging against the billionaires, and start trying to connect to the voters in a very personal way. I’m not sure he’s capable. He presents like a legislative minority-leader who believes he will never be in the majority.

      And when given the slow pitch over the plate like he was yesterday when asked about Biden’s capacity, he should answer that Biden is his friend and that HE IS VERY CONCERNED about him. That won’t go over very well, BUT HE CANNOT CONTINUE TO BE A PARTY TO THE “EMPEROR HAS NO CLOTHES” CHARADE that we’ve been privy to.

      Reply
      1. Monty

        Time to forget about the election and start thinking about where you can store any more of these 96 roll packs of Charmin!

        Reply
        1. Carolinian

          In a way it’s a hoot that the first thing the hoarders head for is the toilet paper. You wonder how our caveman ancestors managed.

          Reply
              1. Wukchumni

                Kinda fits into ‘Self-Actualization’ @ the top of the pyramid, but most would go with the bottom tier-‘Physiological’.

                Reply
                1. ambrit

                  Forgive me for the following offense against both linguistics and economics, but the TP Crisis qualifies as a coronavirus “tail risk.”

                  Reply
          1. Monty

            I went to order some disinfecting Clorox wipes for my mum on Amazon UK and found that a pack of 30 now casts about $50!

            Reply
            1. katiebird

              Aldi has disinfecting wipes for a very reasonable price. Plenty available at the store I went to this morning. Tp too

              Reply
            2. JeffC

              You’d think they’d contain a bit of Chlorox bleach, right? Read the ingredients: benzalkonium chloride, per the CDC the officially inferior disinfectant. (Link was on this site within the past couple of days.)

              Reply
          2. Mo's Bike Shop

            You wonder how our caveman ancestors managed.

            Even now I remember how the bidet scene in Crocodile Dundee fell flat for me because my first thought was that this is supposed to be a guy who washes his backside in the river all the time.

            Thinking further about this important subject, my first guess is that given diet and exercise, they probably pooped liked deer. There’s probably fascinating anthropology on this that I’m not going to look up.

            Now, back to wondering if iron lungs make a comeback.

            Reply
      2. HotFlash

        Bernie needs to stop raging against the billionaires, and start trying to connect to the voters in a very personal way. I’m not sure he’s capable.

        Absolutely! I know, he could talk about concrete material benefits, like Medicare for all, cancellation of medical and student debt, $15/hour minimum wage, and *FREE CHOCOLATE MILK*!! Whaddaya think?

        Reply
      1. Tvc15

        Yep, I’m still not buying the narrative about Biden’s resurgence due to a so called silent majority. Unless we have paper ballots hand counted in public then we don’t have election integrity. I hate Trump and chose to use that adjective, but will seriously consider voting for him if the DNC selects Biden for us. I’ve voted Democrat or 3rd party my entire life. Burn it down.

        Reply
        1. jsn

          Most of the major pollsters have made tells at one point or another in the lead up and sample sizes strike me as unusually low this year, but maybe I’m projecting my priors.

          Small samples selected to legitimate the delta that will inevitably show up between results in electronic voting states and exit polls there (these being much harder to target).

          Please bring in the UN monitors, hell, even the OAS, but I’m afraid we’re too far gone on this cycle. I find myself slipping and sliding on scales that appear to have fallen from somewhere…

          Reply
        2. Lambert Strether Post author

          > Yep, I’m still not buying the narrative about Biden’s resurgence due to a so called silent majority

          I think a number of factors combine. There is such a thing as party loyalty, and if you believe that a large portion of the Democrat “base” are authoritarian followers, then a scenario where they were just waiting to be told who to vote for is plausible.

          That said, there’s too much chicanery going on for the Democrat Establishment not to be depressing turnout, at the very least. And the pattern where states that Sanders won are disproportionately the victims of counting delays is extremely concerning. (For example, VSAP suppressed turnout in Latin East Los Angeles and for universities, universities were suppressed in Michigan, ballots on thumb drives — !!!!!!!!!!!!! — were discovered in Texas, and on and on and one. And then of course the Iowa debacle, which gave Buttigieg a ton of earned media — I still can’t believe that slippery little scut declared victory with zero percent (0%) of the votes counted — and blunted Sanders pre-NH momentum.) It’s one thing to say the Democrat Establishment is incompetent. Wen the incompetence seems to keep running in one direction, you really have to wonder.

          Reply
    2. allan

      Two additional points:

      1. The college vote might be depressed by all the colleges that are stopping in-person classes and
      in some cases saying that students have to leave their dorms now or not come back after spring break.

      2. COVID-19-vulnerable people might not want to stand in line, possibly for hours, with lots of other people.

      Unless local voting officials show some flexibility, both of those groups might be underrepresented in the voting, maybe not today but going forward. Here is a video about this from Morgan Harper, who is challenging a centrist incumbent in OH-3 near Ohio State, which just announced it’s going to remote classes.

      Reply
    3. Another Scott

      I think the problem from Sanders is that the calendar is too condensed. This is what allowed the favorable press coverage out of South Carolina to drive the Super Tuesday results. In turn, Super Tuesday led to high polls for Biden nationally and in today’s primaries. These number would normally come down, especially given the numerous comments made by Biden (like the bizarre comments about re-electing Trump over the weekend and today’s confrontation with an auto-worker). But there likely isn’t sufficient time for this to happen between a peak that was likely late last week and today’s elections.

      Reply
      1. Louis Fyne

        In hindsight Iowa was the big kneecap. Iowa is when casual voters start watching politics.

        And all the media oxygen was consumed by the debacle, Trump’s reaction, and Pete B

        Reply
      2. Lambert Strether Post author

        > I think the problem from Sanders is that the calendar is too condensed.

        One might ask who ri– wrote the calendar. (Personally, I think they moved California up to help Harris, which was a debacle for them.)

        Reply
  5. Carolinian

    Perhaps the virus will work to Biden’s favor. He can stop giving speeches and claim it’s for public health reasons.

    Every crisis an opportunity.

    Eventually once elected he can be replaced as in the movie Dave. They just need to find a lookalike.

    Reply
    1. Geo

      “talk about their anxieties with a counselor for $1 a minute.”

      Seems like a counterproductive way to address anxieties. Especially if those anxieties are money related. Watching the tab go up every minute is its own anxiety.

      Reply
  6. Hepativore

    Again, I really do not see what is in it for Sanders to keep pulling his punches for Biden and the rest of the establishment. I know that he does not want to burn bridges, but the fact is, he is in a total war and he needs to put more effort into explaining Biden’s shortcomings because the average low-information Democratic voter really has no idea as to how bad Biden really is. The fact of the matter is, if he wants to unify people, he can do that after the race. However, when your political opponents are coming after you with everything they have, and smearing you constantly you are doing yourself no favors by preemptively disarming yourself.

    Also, I know that he does not want Trump to win, but how much of a chance does Sanders think that Biden has against Trump? We have hardly ever seen hide nor hair of Biden in these past three weeks except for a sit-down, pre-recorded interview with Maddow. He needs to be clear, a vote for Biden is a vote for Trump. Biden is hardly presidential material, especially now. He could point out and ask, “Where is Joe?” or “Why is Joe hiding? You would think that somebody who wants to lead the country would do us the service of meeting with us.” Finally, the cognitive decline issue needs to also be brought out to the open. I know that Sanders does not want to make the race “personal” but if you have somebody who is obviously in mental decline then it would seem that it would be a major issue of concern in terms of your suitability for office.

    Perhaps Sanders is hesitating to go after Biden directly as he does not want to be blamed if he loses to Biden and then Biden loses to Trump. However the DNC is going to fire the blame cannons at Sanders regardless of what he did or did not do, should Trump get reelected. Nobody is asking Sanders to run a smear campaign, but it is not a smear if what you are accusing your political opponents of is factual, and Biden has done many misdeeds.

    Reply
    1. curlydan

      The Washington polls above are really depressing. If he can’t win there, it’s a bad sign. The West coast should be a Bernie stronghold.

      He’s got to ace the next debate, and Biden’s dementia has got to be highlighted.

      Reply
      1. jashley

        If these polls are close to what happens, then the next debate , if there is one , will not matter.
        Bernie is already toast in the South.

        Goodnight.

        I am getting a bad vibe that Bernie is just grifting this one all the way.
        He was going to run no matter what.
        Obvious ego trip, but his friends don’t play that game.

        Oh and if you want a friend in DC you kill THEIR dog first.

        Reply
        1. Geo

          Just curious what about Bernie and his years in office make you feel this is an ego-trip and a grift for him?

          Reply
      2. Titus

        Wrong. You want that. My grandma doesn’t. Biden will expose himself, he doesn’t need anyone else’s help. As my grandma sometimes forgets stuff, having Sanders point out Biden is ‘not at home’ is going to backfire. I’d suggest it would to help to think that not everyone thinks about things the same way. And here’s the real reality, Sanders level of support is 35% and that’s it. He will never have the enough support of the Dem party to run agaisnt trump. This is not my opinion, this my conclusion after talking to a lot of people who make up the party or influence it. Clinton’s people, Obama’s people, others really, really, do not like the guy. I know these people they mean it. I’m, not sure who is going to run agaisnt trump, but it won’t be Sanders.

        Reply
        1. curlydan

          you are correct on the dementia. I meant supporters/surrogates probably need to highlight or question it more, but I didn’t say it well. The best evidence of dementia will be Biden’s own performances if he can get in a few long debates.

          Reply
          1. John Wright

            In Northern California we had a local state senator, Pat Wiggins, with apparent dementia.

            From approximately August 2009.

            “The loss of short-term memory, the inappropriate outbursts at committee hearings, the inability to respond to simple questions at community events.”

            “Her staff has handled and protected her — and shielded her from reporters — for too long, and now they appear on the brink of letting her run for re-election which, in my mind, would be the cruelest move of all.”

            https://www.petaluma360.com/news/2264509-181/gullixson-the-uncomfortable-truth-about

            The above quote mentions about the staff “they appear on the brink of letting her run for re-election which, in my mind, would be the cruelest move of all.”

            She retired in 2010 and died in 2015.

            Reply
        2. sines

          As a Sanders supporter, I will do my part so that if Biden or another DNC shill is the nominee then I will get voters I know to support Trump. Biden will never have the enough support of the American people to run agaisnt trump. This is not my opinion, this my conclusion after talking to a lot of people who make up the country. I know these people they mean it.

          Reply
        3. Lambert Strether Post author

          > This is not my opinion, this my conclusion after talking to a lot of people who make up the party or influence it. Clinton’s people, Obama’s people, others really, really, do not like the guy. I know these people they mean it.

          As Harry Reid says, Sanders is no fool. Anybody who’s been paying attention could tell this would happen (although the precision of the Establishment strike was pretty amazing). I think the real issue is that sadly, the Sanders theory of change did not pan out. Probably takes more than one eleection.

          Reply
      3. Zar

        Washington’s by-mail voting started on Feb. 21 — practically ancient history, at this point — and Sanders seemed to have a decent advantage over Biden before the field collapsed in early March. But the polls are worrying regardless, and the media narrative holds that WA is the least of Sanders’s worries.

        Reply
        1. John

          OK; vote by mail but count those paper ballots in public. I suppose the parties prefer the machines because rigging elections is so much easier that way. Yes, I have lost faith that elections are even sort of honest.

          Reply
      4. drumlin woodchuckles

        But there has to be a “nice” way to do that. It has to look respectful, caring and solicitous while actually undermining the target.

        Sort of like my earlier suggestion that if Sanders is given a hardball question requiring vast mastery of historical detail, that Sanders pretend to show respect to ” my good friend Senator Biden” by stating that Biden was a Senatorial expert master on the subject and that it is only fair to let Biden answer that question. ” Go ahead, Joe”.

        And let the audience see what happens.

        Reply
    2. CallMeTeach

      “…it is not a smear if what you are accusing your political opponents of is factual, and Biden has done many misdeeds.”

      Only in a sane society, which clearly we are not. I’ve seen people on social media claiming that saying the emperor has no clothes makes you a Trump lover/Russian bot/mean Bernie Bro. The cognitive dissonance and hypocrisy is terrifying.

      Reply
    3. WJ

      A couple possibilities:

      1. Going hard at Biden will be taken by many as (and may at times actually involve) going hard at Obama. But Obama remains popular oddly. And so this risks backfiring.

      2. Sanders is fighting w one arm behind his back because, at some level, he is resigned to losing and wants to be able to move his supporters to vote for the eventual nominee, which will probably be Biden. Going too hard against Biden now would make it harder for him to shepherd his supporters into voting for Biden in the fall.

      Reply
      1. ewmayer

        To your [1]: Most of Biden’s long an dismal record predates his VP-ship, so that should not be an especial concern. And “risk backfiring” – by ending up with Sanders not getting the nomination? That outcome seems guaranteed right now, if he refrains from going after Biden hard, with the ugly truth.

        To your [2]: “shepherding” was a bust in 2016 – Bernie supporters stayed home en masse, voted 3rd party, or voted for Trump simply out of Schadenfreude – there is no reason for anyone with a clue to beieve it would hae any better success this time around.

        Reply
        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          As for accusations of shepherding, didn’t Hillary lose? Even if Bernie was a full blown collie, it didn’t do HRC much good.

          Reply
    4. a different chris

      It’s risky though. If Sanders rails on about cognitive decline and they somehow inject some miracle medicine in Joe at appropriate points, then everything Sanders has ever done goes down the drain.

      “Joe does sometimes have a bit of a round-about with words, but Sanders trying to paint him as in cognitive decline? Where is Bernie’s medical degree, btw?”

      So I don’t blame Sanders for trying to stay on point, and not make this “personal” even if this is once case where “personal” is arguably quite important. It’s just really, really hard to attack somebody this way. We’ll see if it backfires on Trump, it might.

      Again, I think we should have an age limit on everybody and this is one really good reason. It would knockout Sanders too, – hey and the Trump era may either have never happened or happened earlier as a Dem – but we’d be living in a different world now anyway if the Founders had freaking done that for us.

      Reply
      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > If Sanders rails on about cognitive decline

        I don’t think Sanders should say “cognitive decline,” but allow him to show it.

        But giving Biden complex issues to handle simultaneously might overload his circuits….

        Reply
    5. Donald

      Biden could win if people blame Trump for the pandemic and possible recession. Sanders people keep saying Biden can’t win, but I have no idea why anyone has any confidence in election predictions.

      And that’s assuming the elections are fair. If the elections are fraudulent, then you have to predict which party contains the more effective election thieves. This is all well beyond my pay grade.

      Reply
      1. Geo

        The reason(s) why Biden won’t win are easy:
        Hillary
        Kerry
        Gore
        Dukakis

        Obama was “Change”
        Bill was a “New Democrat”
        GWB was a “Compassionate Conservative” & “anti-interventionist”
        Reagan was “Morning in America”

        Status quo has only won once in decades: With Bush Sr. He’s also the only incumbent to lose since Carter.

        The deck is stacked in Trump’s favor because he can still claim “outsider” status due to media sustain for him and Dems/NeverTrumpers. Biden is as establishment as it gets.

        Biden will lose. It’s about as close to a guarantee as anything in politics can be.

        Reply
        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          Running against an incumbent when unemployment is 3% is pretty tough but The Whatever Blob That Is Biden can do it if they can paint Corona and the economic effects as all Trump’s fault.

          They have the two unelected branches of the government with them (FBI/CIA and The Media) plus they can marshal the awesome power of the Surveillance Capitalism State (FB, GOOG, et al).

          Reply
          1. Big River Bandido

            Running against an incumbent when you have nothing at all to run on, is a waste of everyone’s time.

            If nominated, Biden will finish worse than HRC.

            Reply
            1. Michael Fiorillo

              True, but it’s all good, since the #McResistance TM makes bank whether Biden wins or loses; the only potential threat to their gravy train is from Sanders.

              Reply
      2. Matthew

        I think the scenario you lay out above is what the party leadership is counting on. Hence floating Dimon and Bloomberg for the cabinet. Counting on another disaster that they get to mismanage their way out of. This says something about the Democratic Party’s ambitions/abilities, but not something I can repeat here.

        Reply
      3. NotTimothyGeithner

        I think this would work in most cases, but the impeachment circus wasn’t about corruption as much as a desperate attempt to connect Trump to “OMG Russia.”

        Trump in the mean time worked on trade deals and “standing up” to China. Why is everything manufactured in China? Oh that’s right, the bipartisan consensus in DC out to get Trump. Its easy to write. 59 million people voted for McCain/Palin. The GOP id is basically dedicated to annoying people who believe Democrats moving to the right will get Republicans to be nice to them.

        When you consider a potential Democratic coalition is heavily dependent on renters, you have to recognize MSDNC voters are never going to do any of the work to make sure this gets done. There is a reason Democrats have blown lay up elections to loathsome people, and its basically this. They aren’t running candidates who are going to over come this obstacle.

        Reply
        1. Code Name D

          A very valid point. Trump has always railed again China trade. Corona could play into this because virtually all of our ability to fight such a pandemic… is made in china. The first wall to fall when the pandemic hit. Trump could say he was proven correct. And you know what… he wouldn’t be completely wrong on that one point.

          Reply
      4. Lambert Strether Post author

        > Biden could win if people blame Trump for the pandemic and possible recession

        Possibly. Who among us can read the mind of Trump, but: I think Trump thinks #COVID-19 will die in the heat, say by May — six months from November is plenty of time for people to forget and new propaganda to be deployed.

        I think the real issue is recession. If the real economy is badly impacted by the collapse of the supply chain, then Trump will be punished. Hence his focus on cutting withholding etc.

        Reply
  7. Lee

    Low Income People Expected to Be Hardest Hit by Effects of Coronavirus Crisis

    Only after you’ve drained every bit of goodness out of today’s Water Cooler do I recommend you link to some radio worth listening to.

    This was today’s KQED Forum broadcast from our local San Francisco bay area NPR station. It’s good to hear these rather dire and harrowing critiques of our inadequate, raggedy ass system along with listeners such as Uber drivers and other members of the precariat calling in.

    Reply
    1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      So instructive to hear all of the Dem punditocracy insisting of course we should have free corona care, five seconds after saying they support anti M4A Fried Egg Sloppy Joe

      Reply
  8. curlydan

    I think LA County made a classic roll-out error with its voting machines. Generally, you want to (1) pilot, (2) test, and (3) rolllout.

    A pilot would be 5-10 voting locations with the new machines, a test could be 10%-15% of locations, then a rollout is for all locations.

    From what I could tell in the article, the company “tested” the machines possibly internally, but I did not see or read any evidence of pilots or testing. If true, seems dumb, but LA County also may have wanted to get it rolled out fully before November. Greed for publicity nixes security and good design?

    Reply
    1. jrs

      Yes it’s a very curious coincidence we had the old system for decades even after many other places had gone fully electronic (mind you even the old system was electronically counted scantron type) and we only had to be made to go fully electronic when the CA primaries were moved up in time to actually being relevant FOR ONCE. Pure coincidence and nothing more no doubt.

      Reply
    2. Mo's Bike Shop

      This is how turn-key software purchases always go, in my experience. Failure is such a downer to bring up at the meetings.

      Reply
  9. Potted Frog

    “Neera Tanden, enforcer, steps in”

    Threads “Darkness at Noon”. No surprise.

    The DP Establishment is nothing if not the Politburo reincarnate.

    Reply
  10. Glen

    We have a stock market crash and a pandemic and the Democratic party is really going to nominate the guy that would cut Social Security and Medicare? Would not sign M4A if it showed up on his desk as President?

    Wow, if you made this stuff up, nobody would believe it. We really are THAT STUPID.

    Reply
    1. Bill Carson

      And the danger of SS and Medicare cute really does come from the Democrats and not the Republicans. (Seriously.) It took Nixon to go to China, it took Bill Clinton to “reform” welfare and criminal justice.

      Reply
      1. flora

        +1. If Biden is the nominee then I see T as the safer vote to protect SS – not because T wants to defend SS, but because the Rs need a Dem pres to go along with them and sign the legislation, and Biden is just their man. The Rs tried it when W was pres and failed. Biden’s bragged on the Senate floor he tried to cut SS four times.

        Reply
        1. Felix_47

          I am 100% behind Bernie. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for a third party. Biden is weak. Trump is weak. Bernie has his own money and if he raises hell he can raise more. He needs to run as a Green. He could win. Why should he give my money and support to a corrupt empire run by PACs? Unfortunately he does not seem to have the courage and conviction to do it…….too bad.

          Reply
      2. jrs

        Of course Trump HAS proposed Social Security cuts in his most recent budget (social security disability specifically). So is the claim here that those proposals won’t be passed? Because either a Dem House or a Republican Senate will fight it? That could be, the House is the more likely scenario. I really can’t see the R Senate going to the mat to protect SSDI.

        Of course at this point, corona could derail all plans even if both chambers and Trump had wanted to pass it, events are taking over.

        Reply
        1. Bill Carson

          Trump proposes cuts to SS and Medicare but it is unlikely the Republicans will actually carry out those threats because, frankly, a big portion of GOP voters receive SS and Medicare. It would be dangerous politically for them to actually DO IT, but it helps them to rail against entitlements.

          Whereas, the GOP would be glad to let a centrist (read: deficit-minded) Democrat cut those entitlements, then they can have their cake and eat it, too—-the GOP can simultaneously blame Dems for increasing the deficit and for cutting entitlements. It’s out of Alice.

          Reply
        2. Code Name D

          Because Trump knows its not going to be an issue in the election if Joe gets the nomination. Because he also wants to cut SS and says so when aloud to by his handlers. But keep in mind Trump’s base WANTS cuts in “entitlements.” Trump doesn’t say he wants to cut SS, he wants to cut entitlements and does so because “its the only way to balance the budget.”

          Joe can’t make that argument. So he will not bring it up at all. But I assure you Trump sure will.

          It’s a bit counter intuitive. But those on the right WILL vote for a liberal/progressive… IF they have strong convictions. They respect that, even if they do not agree with the platform itself. And yes, they will vote for Bernie for that very reason? That he is a socialist doesn’t mater as much as the fact he strongly believes in it. As oppose to saying something because that is what the focus groups say that is what one should say.

          Its one of the many reasons why Trump will beat Biden in the general. Biden is not only 100% focus group… but one that is 10 years out of date.

          Reply
      3. Jason Boxman

        Exactly. That’s been my concern. Obama almost got it done, but we were saved by the House Freedom Caucus because the cuts weren’t deep enough!

        Reply
        1. Matthew

          I thought that they balked at the tax hikes that were the other half of the Grand Bargain.

          Either way, let us be thankful for the smooth brains in the Freedom Caucus.

          Reply
        2. John

          Why is everyone so hot to cut social security and medicare while adding more dollars to the inflated defense budget?

          Reply
            1. Bill Carson

              Because Rugged Individualism.

              Because if you have to rely on the government to save for retirement and provide healthcare for retirement, then you are guilty of bad choices. See Rule #2.

              Reply
    2. Massinissa

      The Great Depression happened during Hoovers first year in office.

      I was hoping Trump might be Hoover 2.0, but that role might be played by Biden instead… Sigh… It would certainly fit the rough timeline better.

      4 years of Joe doing absolutely nothing to stop the crisis except austerity a la Hoover, then whatever Republican in 2024 promises to fix the economy most aggressively wins. Only this time we might get someone to Trump’s right rather than getting an FDR.

      Reply
      1. John Wright

        After watching some clips of Biden, I believe the focus needs to be on who will really be in charge.

        Will it be the VP?, Biden’s wife? or maybe whoever is in charge of the teleprompter content?

        Who will be Biden’s Cheney?

        Reply
        1. Massinissa

          I’m pretty sure whoever will be ‘in charge’ of the Biden white house will be a Neoliberal who wants to cut things. I don’t care which specific Neoliberal it is because they all have the same agenda.

          So yeah, I figure a Biden presidency will be pretty similar to a Hoover one regardless of what sort of Dick Chaney is pulling all the strings.

          Reply
    3. Geo

      To be fair: Biden admitted today that he doesn’t work for us so at least he’s honest about that.

      “You’re working for me, man,” the worker told him.

      “I’m not working for you, gimme a break, man. Don’t be such a horse’s a—,” Biden responded.

      (Is calling voters a “horse’s a—“ the Lunchbucket Joe version of “deplorables”?)

      Reply
  11. antidlc

    https://www.politico.com/news/2020/03/10/sanders-knocks-biden-over-speech-length-124886

    ‘I can’t do it in seven minutes’: Sanders knocks Biden over short speeches

    But the Vermont senator avoided “personal attacks” on the former vice president’s mental capacity.

    Bernie Sanders on Monday evening confronted head-on questions regarding Joe Biden’s fitness for the presidency — declining to directly attack his rival’s stamina, but suggesting that brief speeches last week by Biden on the campaign trail were insufficient to address the nation’s problems.

    The remarks from the Vermont senator targeting the former vice president came at a Fox News town hall for Sanders, where a participant charged that Biden’s answers “don’t make sense” and asked Sanders whether it was “acceptable” for a White House hopeful to answer questions “like Joe Biden does.”

    Reply
    1. ewmayer

      But the Vermont senator avoided “personal attacks” on the former vice president’s mental capacity. — Well, how about some “impersonal attacks” on Biden’s horrific legislative record, then? I know … can’t do that because it would risk hurting his pal Joey B’s precious fee-fees. Because the country is absolutely, desperately in need of progressive change, but only if it can be brought about without hurting the feelings of the Joe Bidens of this world. You know, my sister never forgave Bernie for supporting Hillary after Team HRC cheated him out of the nomination in 2016, and I’m starting to think she was right about his being a lost cause.

      Reply
    1. Massinissa

      I checked Wikipedia and it looked normal, talked about 20% death rate. Might have just been one person trying to mess it up. Its the same as always right now.

      Reply
      1. sthub

        I find the article to be correct, with the CFR now listed as 2-3%, where the wayback machine shows 20-30%.

        Fascinating to watch the mighty wurlitzer work like this. Thanks for the link JTMcPhee.

        Reply
        1. The Rev Kev

          I have also seen an article or two saying that the present flu pandemic is nothing like the 1919 flu pandemic. Somebody is really trying to cut any link between the two events for their own reasons and drop it again down the memory hole.

          Reply
  12. Synoia

    I perceive

    1) Trump’s Hotels and Golf Courses are not doing significantly less businessl
    2) Trump’s business carries significant debt, and debt service
    3) Trump is now lambasting the Fed, and wants a interest rate cut.

    Quelle Surprise. No self interest with Trump, no none at all.

    Reply
    1. Glen

      I don’t really see how Trump can complain too much about the Fed. It has dumped $29T into Wall St since 2008, with $6.6T of that in the last couple of months.

      But if Trump really wants to lock in a win in the general, all he has to do is get left of Biden on any number of topics: war, healthcare, jobs. He may lie about it, but I don’t think that matters. Bidens record is a disaster, and Biden seems to think doubling down on his record is a winning move.

      Reply
  13. Bill Carson

    I think part of the disappointment that I feel in seeing Sanders’ lackluster poll numbers is the realization that Sanders did so well four years ago not because the voters loved his neo-New Deal policies, but because voters really did hate Hillary that much. in 2016 Bernie won Iowa and New Hampshire by wide margins and went on to win Michigan simply because he was the Anti-Clinton candidate.

    [But on the other hand, we’ve talked about the lingering effects of sexism in this election, but is there a chance that Antisemitism is also involved? Could it be that at their meeting last year that Bernie confided that he didn’t feel that a woman or a Jew could defeat Trump?]

    Reply
    1. urblintz

      What you are seeing is an illusion (polls) that will be turned into fact by technological prestidigitation (un-auditable electronic voting). It’s far more powerful than a lackluster candidate who the voters find unappealing (Clinton) they just hadn’t worked out the bugs in time for 2016 – because Donald Trump was nevah evah going to be president.

      They don’t have to worry about that this time. It’s in the bag. And if Biden falls apart completely it will be as if Bernie does not even exist when they choose whoever it is to be crushed in November.

      Reply
      1. Watt4Bob

        I wonder how much the republicans are charging the dims for the use of their un-auditable electronic voting systems?

        I always wondered why the dims were so quiet when ‘W’ was helped over the line by Ohio, now I see they understood that someday they might need the same sort of help.

        It’s really a bi-partisan system.

        Reply
      2. HotFlash

        My dear Ms/Mr Urblintz,

        That is my gut reaction, also. I have never seen public opinion sway so fast. So far? Yeah, but so fast? Not likely, IMO. They didn’t even do that for St Hilllary.

        Lemme see, faking election numbers has been done in various ways, but it is illegal and the penalties, if enforced, are significant. Well, here is HAVA and all those opaque machines, of course, but it is not clear how will that will work. Perhaps we will find out. Someday. Ahem.

        Polls, on the other hand, are (IMHO) much more subject to finagling ( or what do we say, “shenanigans”? “malarkey”? “meddling”?) than ()acctual) elections are to ballot fraud, and with much less legal penalty. So, as a ‘rational actor’, I would expect
        extensive *poll* manipulation to prepare for/cover for/foam the runway for, ballot fraud.

        YMMV

        Reply
    2. Grant

      I think that is off. There were other options, if it was just the other, why not Webb? Has Bernie not inspired lots of people to run? There are many factors at play here, so it doesn’t make sense to just place this on Bernie or any one individual. I have no doubt that if AOC ran instead, if she could, she would have gotten the same rough treatment, although she may have benefited from being a woman of color with the identity crowd. Things such as the DNC rigging things, low information voters voting in ways that defy logic (watch Status Coup’s recent interviews with Biden supporters. Most know little to nothing of his actual record, lies, corruption), Bernie getting killed with older voters, younger voters not turning up and being turned off by the Democratic Party, and Bernie not going after Biden, even now, like he should on his horrible record and corruption. Bernie is still very popular, as are his policies, I just think that most Democrats are frankly utterly lost, scared and aren’t paying tons of attention. And the older voters that have turned out in large numbers are massively backing Biden and they get their information from MSNBC, Fox News and CNN. People I talk to feel resigned, deflated, and know what is coming for us. Here we have an election at a pivotal time in this country’s history, we have a very short amount of time to radically change things, and we are marching towards a freaking Biden versus Trump election? I mean, people look at Biden and they think HE is the person to go against Trump? The left really does have to look at whether or not it can actually operate in the Democratic Party. It will not win a national election in that party if it is blatantly rigging things, has elections with hackable machines and no transparency, and when those running the party are corrupt and benefit from things as they are, and have an incentive to cheat him. I mean, Cuellar has an atrocious record, and what did Pelosi do? She went to Texas and made sure he won, over a progressive challenger, in an area very likely to go to that party either way. Same is going on with the DCCC and far right Democrats like Lipinski in Illinois. Is it at all possible to remake that party, given how utterly corrupt it is, given how lost most Democrats are and given the class composition of that party now?

      Bernie was doing really well, on the way to winning despite all that was stacked against him, and then the entirety of that party aligned, as did the large donors, the media, the think tank crowd, and the low information and authoritarian voters went with what their betters were telling them. There is no pretense of a fair election, and most rank and file Democrats really don’t care. I said above that the Democrats support Bernie’s policies, but that is just on paper to me. It is virtue signaling. They never show it with the candidates they support. How many people right now say they support single payer and are set to support someone that just said he would even veto a single payer bill if it came to his desk? So, do they actually support single payer, or are they virtue signaling?

      This would all be darkly comedic if the stakes weren’t so high. To think that the Democrats are going with Biden at this point in time, given his record, corruption and clear mental decline says far more about that party, its leaders and its voters than Bernie. That Biden is even possible is shocking, and reflects poorly on the entirety of that party. The young haven’t voted, and they’re screwed. They are also very radical, and the radicalization will intensify as the climate crisis hits. From where I stand, what is likely to happen if things don’t radical changes is that they will seek change outside of the political system, and it could get ugly. Cause the Democratic Party is not the home of the left in any way, it is in fact the key in this system in beating back the left. That is about all it does well these days, beat back the left and provide access to power that those running it and large donors can profit off of. There isn’t much of a point to that party beyond that at this point. What they have done to the voters to in actively misleading them is downright immoral. The intellectuals, if you want to call them that, feel no responsibility to the less fortunate people that exist in their society, or society at large, and people have had Thatcher’s TINA comment beaten into their heads. I haven’t a clue about how to change that, other than to pin my hopes on the young. Hopefully they actually have a society to inherit, because on this trajectory there is no long-term.

      Reply
      1. Acacia

        The left really does have to look at whether or not it can actually operate in the Democratic Party.

        Hasn’t it been fairly obvious for years now that the Democratic Party is NOT politically left and will sabotage any efforts to change course? Have people learned nothing from 2016? All the skullduggery against Sanders was perfectly predictable. We didn’t know exactly when and how, but we knew it would happen.

        Seriously, this isn’t complicated.

        Reply
        1. Grant

          To you and I. Not to many on the left though. It isn’t just the party itself undermining the left, it is the rank and file being fine with the party doing it. I don’t like to voter shame, and I do regard many of them as victims of propaganda. But, I don’t have faith that the rank and file, regardless as to the reason, can see obvious things at this point in regards to how problematic people like Biden are. I think that they have bought into there being no alternative, they are committed to continue on with what got us here even if it clearly doesn’t work and have been trained to not even consider alternatives that radically depart from the present. It isn’t just older voters too. Many of those I went to undergraduate and graduate school with, nice people, seem to broadly care about issues I do, but many of them are indifferent as to whether or not Bernie or Biden wins. They’re privileged economically, don’t have major illnesses, many aren’t weighed down in debt. You can show them this or that statistic on a paper, this healthcare system kills this many people every year. And they know they have to say how horrible that is. But, do they support anyone that will actually do anything about it? No. It is basically a series of virtue signals, and little else. I support this is a broad concept, but it will happen sometime in the future. Today, we have to beat Trump. The context that produced him? Tomorrow, we will get to that tomorrow. It is always tomorrow. That is the majority of that party. Working people that don’t follow the candidates too closely and go to sources for information that actively mislead them, consultants and lobbyists that profit off the party and system as is, and upper middle class professionals that just want to pretend that Trump was an aberration. The people in that party that are working or middle class, ideologically on the left and have a strong class consciousness are the extreme minority when it all comes down to it. Many of the working and middle class people that may agree with the left on policy will never go in another direction because, again, they have been trained to fear going down a different path, to reject alternatives outright. They are possibly set to run a far right Democrat with a horrible record, openly corrupt and clearly cognitively declining. We cannot be more ill equipped to deal with the environmental crisis. The only chance Biden would have is if something outside of his control like the coronavirus spreading harms his administration. Biden is a much worse candidate than Clinton even was. Maybe if that party, instead of screaming about Putin and Russia for the last few years, looked inward and were self-critical, they would be on a better path.

          Reply
          1. Acacia

            Yes, unfortunately I also know people who think pretty much along the lines you describe. Highly educated. PMC. Basically good people, though frothing over IdPol, mostly. But they are not “the left” — they are liberals. They may describe themselves as “left” but that’s some kind of self-delusion. They support a party that is no longer politically left and has abandoned all those working for wages.

            They hate Trump but they don’t want to support candidates who would actually change the status quo, nor will they hold the party accountable for maintaining the status quo. The contradiction is obvious. There is no alternative because they lack the political imagination. Not so surprising, as they keep pushing their faces into piles of groupthink dogsh*t like the NYT and WaPo.

            My response now is that they cannot complain about Trump, because they are enabling the conditions that put him there and will keep him there in the next election.

            Reply
      2. Rostale

        I don’t think they are going to go with Biden, as soon as Bernie is out of the way the media will suddenly notice Biden’s vascular dementia, he’ll drop out for health reasons and the establishment will put their handpicked candidate in the slot.

        Reply
      3. Expat2Uruguay

        Having the young inherit the world sounds really good in the United States. But I’m not so sure about Uruguay. The old people here remember the dictatorship, and they are very cautious about turning over control of government. The young may be much more naive. There are many old people here in Uruguay, and so far the country is not taking the threat of coronavirus very seriously. It remains to be seen what will happen, and I hope to be in the world to witness it. It is the height of irony to think that that I may return to the US in 10 years because it becomes more leftist than Uruguay.

        Reply
    3. Matthew

      I thought of this as well. I imagine that Sanders and his base taking four years of blame for Hillary’s incompetence plays a part as well. He really does seem to be popular with the country, but not with the pile of rancid garbage that is his adopted party.

      Reply
      1. Dan

        Sanders is more popular than the mainstream media make him out to be, yet less popular than his ardent supporters think he is.

        Reply
        1. Grant

          As of a few weeks ago, he led among independents versus Trump by 18 points. He has to operate in a corrupt, internally undemocratic and right wing party, filled with self-serving careerists and low-information voters. What type of party has more faith in Biden than someone like Bernie, given their records, Biden’s obvious corruption, etc.? There are logical problems with trying to figure out a person’s popularity with the public by looking at how they do in a train wreck of a party that only about 30% of the country identifies with, when a small portion of that party even bothers to vote. Even if Bernie did realize a large spike in new voters, it would still be, what, 10% of the voting age population choosing the nominee in that party?

          If we want to critique how this has all turned out, it makes little logical sense to focus on Bernie. Coming off Nevada, things looked pretty damn good, didn’t they? Especially for a self-identified socialist, who ran on small money donations. The problems in the Democratic Party are massive, I see no reason to think it can be reformed, and so I start and end my analysis with the rotten party he has to run in. He had his flaws, I don’t think anyone in his rough ideological area would fare tons better. They don’t actually, do they? The DCCC preferred candidates, the candidates with the most money, win most elections. AOC was a big story more than anything because of how rare it was for someone like her to win. Who feels good about the future with what is coming for us, with these two parties at the helm?

          Reply
  14. Cuibono

    Tracking cases and deaths shows something really stunning so far:
    Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong all with low mortality. Given the amount of travel from China this is stunning.
    Either their health systems and ability to clamp down is critical or the weather does matter imo. Or maybe both.
    I am dismayed that virtually everyone I know in public health here in the US says: “we are a free and open society so we cant do what they have done”

    Reply
    1. MLTPB

      Taiwan might have been helped by the Italian travel restrictions on China, which the Italians put Taiwan under. Taipei protested, around Feb 3 or so, to try to get them to rescind.

      Seeing many European and US cases traceable to people returning from Italy, that might have been a blessing in disguise for Taiwan.

      The same with (You are China) Hong Kong, and also China itself (minimizing the second strain), avoiding making things worse there.

      The main lesson then, in the initial containment phase, is that no nations have done enough restricting travel, except some that, perhaps, lucked out (certainly not voluntarily restricting themselves, see Taiwan proresting), ironically.

      Reply
    2. Massinissa

      Theres also the possibility that there are two different strains of the virus, with a second more virulent strain evolving in Iran and spreading to Italy, which may be why the death rates are so much higher in those places.

      However, this is only a theory floating around the internet, I can’t find much proof for it. Mentioning it more for completeness than anything else.

      Reply
    1. urblintz

      I wrote a long winded comment this morning in links but your comment prompts a shorter version.

      What happens when Trump becomes a hero because the doomsday scenario never materialized? If he has thrown money at people (fiscal stimulus) and saved the markets (q.e.) many voters might find themselves happier than they thought they’d be, and in today’s world that comes close to elation.

      I am not sanguine about covid19 and think the above is unlikely but if the unlikely should materialize?…

      Reply
      1. Carolinian

        You are thinking Trump is not likely to win in any case? Honestly I think we should all hope that Trump does the right thing regardless of the politics. If Biden did win the country might be just as messed up as a result (or worse). If Bernie became president gridlock the likely result unless he won by a landslide.

        Reply
        1. urblintz

          That’s the part of my long comment that I left out. Of course I want Trump to do the right thing whatever that is, but I sense a macabre, never stated, desire from a lot of partisan pundits on TV that covid19 brings down Trump. It’s almost as if the “establishment” is prepared to destroy itself if it brings about the end of the Trump.

          BERNIE 2020!

          Reply
      2. Code Name D

        This is the sum of Democratic strategy for the past 3 decades – sit on your lorals and wait for the Republicans to fade away. How has that been working for you?

        Reply
      1. ambrit

        Yep. And quinine, if I remember correctly, does not ‘cure’ malaria so much as keeps it manageable.
        So, the comment also states that the substance is being tested for the management of the pneumonia itself. Basically, treating the symptom in lieu of the cause.
        It’s early days yet for this pathogen. I have seen no authoritative values for R0, Case Fatality rates, reinfection rates, etc.
        We have a long road ahead of us in dealing with this pathogen. So far, ‘olde fashioned’ methods, like social distancing and personal hygiene seem to have been the most efficacious. No “magic bullet” looming on the horizon yet, just Chimerae.

        Reply
  15. flora

    re: Exit Polls vs reported vote count.

    Ah, the electron ‘red shift’ (or ‘more conservative candidate shift’) in electronic vote counting.

    https://whowhatwhy.org/2016/02/10/fighting-for-election-transparency-with-science/

    And the graph.
    https://whowhatwhy.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/3-6.jpg

    Biden is the most conservative dem candidate running in the dem primary.

    Private electronic voting machine manufacturers looking out for their own economic interests? who knows. Pretty sure it doesn’t involve Boris and Natasha. ;)

    Reply
    1. William Beyer

      The Collier brothers’ (Jim and Ken) 1992 book, Votescam, has some good info on exit polling, and on Florida, which apparently hasn’t had a clean election since before 1970. Daughter Victoria Collier is continuing to point out election fraud as much more widespread than we’re being led to believe.

      Reply
  16. Elim Garak

    “The Forgotten Neoliberal Man of Parasite”

    This is a must read for anyone who has seen the film. I also would love to see a consistent “Screening Room” section to Water Cooler if there was enough content flow to support it. I feel like there are too few venues available for intellectual film analysis, at least to my knowledge.

    Reply
    1. Carolinian

      I think our hosts will tell you that this is a finance blog. There are tons of film sites a DuckDuckGo away.

      We do get to indulge our movie opinions of course. I thought Parasite was amusing–didn’t lose my mind over it.

      Reply
    2. lambert strether

      I ran the review partly because I like the Ask a Korean! account, partly because it fell into a political economy frame and a media critique frame.

      I would welcome more film criticism like that (games, too). This is a water cooler after all!

      Reply
    1. a different chris

      Yeah, I really like Nathan Robinson but here’s where he goes way wrong, right off the top:

      Because you are a Democrat, I assume you believe in things. You deplore racism, sexism, and inequality. You believe that people shouldn’t die because they can’t afford healthcare, you are disturbed by needless destructive wars, you think climate change is real and urgent, and you think Democratic social programs like Medicare and Social Security are vital for keeping seniors comfortable in old age.

      Yeah pretty much none of that is something you can assume. If the Dem party is of the 10% then there goes inequality as a concern, let alone something “deplored”. Racism is deplored loudly but a bit off key when coming out of gated communities. If they really cared about affordable healthcare we’d have had M4A a long time ago. Wars, well no draft so Timmy isn’t in danger so like Racism, well sound and fury signifying nothing.

      Medicare and SS not a real concern of the 10% either that I can see. Maybe Medicare for the oldster part of that group.

      Reply
  17. montanamaven

    I feel very much like Alice down that rabbit hole with no idea of when I might find a way out. Biden has always been a rather awful human being. A gladhander and a serial liar. He lied about being tops in his class when he was at the bottom. He stole Neil Kinnock’s speech and hence his story to run for president in 1988. He was not kind to Anita Hill. He thinks all young people are punks. His son and brother have had sweetheart deals based on who they are. But by far his worse sins are the bankruptcy bill, the Iraq War vote and his attack on Social Security and Medicare. And C’mon man! He’s just not very bright. But that’s OK. The Dem elites tell us that they will find a Cheney to run things like what happened with the Bush years. Suck it up!
    Nope, not gonna do it. And Bernie although a decent human being and brighter than Joe, pulls his punches. Sadly, I think he’s content to give rabble rousing speeches, but doesn’t have the killer instinct to be King of the Mountain.
    Now back to chasing that rabbit with the hand sanitizer!

    Reply
      1. RMO

        “The Dem elites tell us that they will find a Cheney to run things like what happened with the Bush years.”

        Why not Cheney himself for VP? Biden is on record as saying he’s considered giving a Republican the spot AND he’s on record as saying he likes Cheney, that he’s a great guy and that he heartily approves of Cheney’s character, ethics, morals and judgement. It’s the pragmatic thing to do and the reach across the aisle bipartisanship is exactly what grown-up Americans want in an administration!

        Oh, /s. Because at this point the tag is absolutely necessary. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see the rubbish I’ve written above appear in an earnest (and long winded form) in a mainstream media op-ed in the near future.

        Reply
  18. Cuibono

    “As TPM Reader AK reminded us this morning in his report from Shanghai, even outside of Wuhan the level of clampdown was and remains intense and likely way beyond anything that is possible in the U.S. or other industrial democracies, either from a state capacity or legal-constitutional perspective.”

    Anyone care to cmment on the accuracy of this: Don’t emergency powers allow Governors and Federal Officials to do a LOT?

    Reply
  19. Wyoming

    So we have an industry which has never made money and in fact has burned hundreds of billions of dollars just for the fun of it. It is now pretty much laying face down on the guillotine waiting for its just desserts – fracking of course.

    And then Trump comes to the rescue with your hard earned tax dollars. I can only imagine how many phone calls he got last night while eating his Big Mac in bed. Nothing like throwing good money after bad – it is what we do after all.

    https://www.nationalreview.com/news/white-house-considers-providing-federal-aid-to-oil-companies-in-face-of-financial-crisis/

    White House likely to pursue federal aid for shale companies

    http://www.washingtonpost.com › business › 2020/03/10 › trump-oil-bailout

    Reply
  20. bassmule

    Smith is probably doing the right thing. But if this goes on past June, the school may last, but I’m not sure many local businesses will.

    Important Message Regarding COVID-19, March 10, 2020

    “There are many unknowns about the COVID-19 disease, but two things are clear. The first is that social distancing is one of the best protections against the spread of the virus. The second is that the virus has the potential to spread rapidly in communities. Both of these pose challenges for each and every college campus, including Smith.

    You may be wondering why we are making this decision now, given that there are no known cases on our campus and few cases in Massachusetts. We believe that spring recess travel presents a potential threat to Smith. Because so many members of our community are planning to leave, their return, from many places, could present a significantly increased risk of exposure to the virus.”

    Reply
    1. ambrit

      Smith could “focus their minds” for them and give them a stark decision to make. Either stay on campus over the spring break and return to the functional parts of the groves of academe afterwards, or go off to spring break and be forced to tele-learn from home for the duration of the pandemic.
      If America ends up as bad as Italy is seeming to be, then strict quarantine will be imposed; either from above or locally.
      During the Plague outbreaks in Europe during the Middle Ages, many towns and communes imposed local quarantines. As ‘gunned up’ as America is, I can see that happening “organically” and enforced locally. That would appear to be a ‘natural’ outcome of the intersection of pandemic and neo-liberalism.
      I hope I’m wrong.

      Reply
    2. MLTPB

      No known cases?

      Here, even with no data points, with or without testing, social distancing, in various forms, in different degrees, can overcome that lacking of testing.

      My intuition is social distancing is more critical than, if that should the case, insufficient testing, or where there are no known cases.

      You can still act.

      Reply
  21. mle detroit

    Lambert: “Of course, “Bernie Bro” is really just an othering technique; those who use it are conveying the sentiment that Sanders supporters have no place in the party. One potential outcome of 2020 might be that Sanders supporters will take them at their word.”

    You betcha, especially after the last ten days. That’s what Nina Turner’s Our Revolution is for, if it lasts longer than Obama’s Organizing for America did.

    https://www.ourrevolution.com/ badly needs more transparency and a name more appealing to the less convinced. I’d suggest Umair Haqu’s Betterness, but that would succumb too fast to the word-twisters. Any other ideas?

    Reply
    1. Michael Fiorillo

      Letting a budding movement die on the vine predates Obama: Jesse Jackson inexcusably did the same with The Rainbow Coalition, after it showed potential promise in 1988, especially in reaching out to displaced workers of all races.

      A path tragically not followed…

      Reply
    1. Massinissa

      He was right when he said that autoworker was full of sh*t because that autoworker was accusing him of wanting to gut the 2nd amendment, which I highly doubt is on Bidens playlist.

      He would find gutting that autoworker’s social security and medicare to be far more important ;)

      Reply
      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        Biden announced that he would put Beto in charge of gun policy and Beto has said many times he would confiscate guns by force if necessary.

        So the autoworker was absolutely correct by stating that Joe would come to his house and take his deer rifle away.

        Reply
        1. urblintz

          yup… but that Bernie, he wants everyone to buy a gun now and use it against innocent civilians, doncha know?!

          Reply
        2. Massinissa

          Honestly, I’m pretty sure Biden won’t ACTUALLY put Beto in charge. That was just something he said because it sounded good at the time.

          Reply
  22. Pelham

    Re Biden and M4A: Wasn’t it just last fall when nearly every one of the Dems running were in favor of M4A in one implementation scenario or another and the pundits were marveling at how Sanders had transformed the party.

    Now here we are with only Sanders on board with M4A, and the Dem front runner saying that it’s a loopy fantasy that, were it to become reality, he’d probably veto.

    What a turnabout, eh? As so many malodorous events this campaign cycle, it speaks volumes about the Democrat Party.

    Reply
    1. a different chris

      It says in bold at the top of the article, (my bold here) “People who wore masks on the bus were not infected, the study found”

      Before I “flame” :) — Did you mistype? I don’t remember your previous posts on the subject so gonna give you the benefit of the doubt.

      Reply
  23. Cuibono

    “Contact tracing right now is no longer feasible in terms of being a tool to contain. We’re past the point of containment, and continuing to focus on containment is diverting a finite pool of public health resources on the wrong mission. We should shift the mission. Now, there is still virtue in trying to do some contact tracing, so you can identify clusters and focus testing, especially since you have limited testing. But you’re not doing it with the purpose of trying to contain the outbreak. We’re past the point of believing that we can prevent epidemic spread. Now the goal is to have a limited epidemic and reduce the scope and severity of it, and that’s still possible.”
    Gottleib. Obviously he and Aylward disagree. One of them knows something about Profit. THe other about Public Health. Who you going to trust here?

    Reply
    1. MLTPB

      In China’s case, containment, long after Wuhan, paid off when the second strain returned via Iran, and maybe Italy (not sure about this latter).

      To be conservative, or safe, keep containment until it is completely and finally over.

      A third or fourth strain? We can’t be sure. One traveled around the world in 80 some days, in 1918. A day or two, in the 21st century.

      Reply
        1. MLTPB

          In China, for example, even in their situation, should look at containng travelers from Qom, Italy, or Daegu.

          There is also some containment.

          Reply
        2. cuibono

          it is not all or nothing IMO.
          China wasnt and arguably they did contain. So too Korea. egos get in the way of doing the right thing here.

          Reply
          1. MLTPB

            Many recent cases in Europe, here and elsewhere (Africa, etc) trace back to Italy, and they estimated its origin from China around mid Jan, before the Wuhan lockdown around the 23rd of Jan.

            So many countries…I don’t know if it’s egos getting the way (only) here. A critical opportunity was missed.

            I think I have been the only one here asking if further travel restrictions on Italy, even approaching those on China, should be on the table. That’s part of containment, I would think. Sorry if I miss anyone asking the same.

            Neither of the two campaign has said anything about this, as far as I know.

            Reply
  24. martell

    Not really a surprise to find the CIA applauding the work of Derrida, Foucault, and the like. I was in grad school when that stuff was all the rage, sharing an office with a Derridean who claimed that Derrida was “the most politically radical guy out there.” When asked to explain how so, he couldn’t. So, I read Derrida myself: the Husserl book, the Marx book. Couldn’t make heads or tails of much of it at the time. Later on, when I was familiar with the books about which Derrida was writing, I realized that part of the problem was that Derrida misinterpreted those books. But I still don’t understand his appeal, especially to individuals who liked to present themselves as radicals.

    Foucault, by contrast, was at least intelligible. But, as a friend pointed out way back when, Foucault, like Derrida, mainly wrote about books. Take his discussion of the Panopticon, for instance. It’s a prison design proposed by Jeremy Bentham. To the best of my knowledge, it was never used and has little or nothing to do with the design or functioning of most contemporary prisons. But it’s nonetheless supposed to reveal how the real world works: prisons, hospitals, armies, factories, schools. It’s sort of a Foucauldian version of the Allegory of the Cave. This allegory is, moreover, a counsel of despair, since in Foucault’s view there is no escape. Any seemingly emancipatory acts, individual or collective, are really just more instances of subjection to power in its modern form. All you can do is resist, whatever that means.

    In retrospect, reading such people was a tremendous waste of time. Should’ve been reading good 20th century philosophy (of which, thankfully, there is very little), structuralist Marxists (who, for all their failings were at least on the right track), and heterodox economists. For starters, anyway.

    Reply
    1. Off The Street

      Reading the work of Derrida, Foucault, and the like qualifies as building negative knowledge, along with wasting time that could be better spent on virtually any other author, IMHO.

      Reply
    2. David

      Few modern writers have been more catastrophically misunderstood and misrepresented than Foucault. He was a self-proclaimed historian of ideas, and all of his best writing is about how ways of thinking and writing about important issues changed over the centuries. He asks why, for example, the theory and procedures for the care of the insane are so utterly different in the nineteenth century compared to the seventeenth. This isn’t just a development or a refinement, it’s a completely different way of looking at the same problem. How did that happen, asks Foucault? How did the certainties of one age give way to the totally different certainties of another? The same is true of prisons: how did the idea of punishment give way to the idea of reform ? How was it that Bentham could write about the Panopticon at all? These seem to me to be interesting questions.
      The problem is that Foucault was only partly, and often poorly, translated, and he was taken far too solemnly, rather than as an intellectual gadfly, using irony and exaggeration to make his point (as did Derrida it must be said). In addition, “pouvoir” the word usually translated as “power” has a much wider range of meanings than “power” in English. Its basic meaning is the ability to do something, and that’s essentially what Foucault was writing about. How do things actually work? How do organisations actually function? Indeed, he was clear that, far from being some kind of anarchist, he regarded all the micro relationships he described as being essential if society was to function at all.
      The problem is not Foucault to be honest, it’s all the people who once went to a lecture by somebody who once went to a lecture by somebody who once read a translation of one of Foucault’s writings and became needlessly excited.

      Reply
      1. martell

        Yes, my comment was one-sided. He asks interesting questions. I’ll grant him that. But I didn’t find his answers convincing. It’s been a long time since reading Discipline and Punish (in translation) but does he ever link the change in ideas about proper treatment of criminals to economic changes? Markets don’t function very well without certain legal provisions, including those that make for legal equality of parties to exchange and freedom to make contracts. Surely it is no coincidence that ideas about innate individual rights, dignity, and such gain currency at pretty much the same time that markets become increasingly prominent in Western European societies. And wouldn’t such ideas have implications for how law-breakers should be treated? But Foucault, to the best of my recollection, didn’t want to talk about economics. Much too Marxist.

        And, while I’m inclined to agree with your characterization of many of his followers, I did come away from reading the translations with the distinct impression that a game was being played by the man himself. Foucault would seem to be criticizing something: a set of ideas, an institution, practices. The criticism would seem to be normative (that is, he’d strongly suggest that whatever was up for discussion at that point is bad, unjust, oppressive, etc.). But he also presented himself as simply portraying the way things are. Heidegger, whom I believe had considerable influence on Foucault, plays this same game in Being and Time. I think intelligent readers can be forgiven, then, if they conclude that the fellow was an idealist of sorts (failing to relate the history of ideas to changing material conditions), and a conservative to boot (supposedly, we live in a fallen world, and ever shall).

        Reply
    3. Craig H.

      If you have not read the drawing and quartering escapade that kicks off Discipline and Punish you have missed something very great. It’s only a few paragraphs long.

      Reply
  25. David Carl Grimes

    What happens if Biden has a complete and perfectly obvious mental breakdown (proving that he is totally unelectable) after he gets the nomination but before the election? Can the DNC just replace him with anyone? Or will it default to Sanders?

    Reply
    1. Daryl

      I don’t think we can assume anything about what will happen. They make the rules and are happily bending them to the breaking point already.

      There’d certainly be an uproar if they subbed in someone who suspended their campaign due to being non-competitive, or someone who hadn’t run at all (Hi HillDawg!).

      If this happens after the nomination, it may be a bit late. Run their preferred choice as VP and then Sleepy Joe signs his abdication, I mean resignation after taking office?

      Reply
    2. John

      I believe the DNC or the RNC for that matter could replace a candidate, but I do not know under what circumstances. McGovern requested that Eagleton drop out and the DNC replaced him with Shriver.

      Somewhere in the rules there must be a mechanism.

      Reply
    3. ambrit

      “Mental breakdown” does not automatically guarantee ‘unelectability.’ I keep remembering Reagan the Senile being re-elected in 1984.

      Reply
  26. Michael Fiorillo

    The Biden family is quite a phenomenon.

    There’s Diamond Joe himself, who’s always been a piece of work. There’s his troubled/coddled scion, Hunter, and as mentioned in today’s Water Cooler, there’s James and his health care boodling.

    And let’s not leave out Joe’s youngest brother, Frank, who grifted on behalf of for-profit charter schools in Florida during the darkest years of corporate education reform, as reported at the time by Valerie Strauss of the Washington Post.

    At the exact same time Obama was not pursuing the criminal malfeasance that led to the financial crisis, he and his factotums were attacking the public schools and a key component of the Democratic Party, and calling it “the Civil Rights movement of our time.” Predictably, a Biden could be found rooting around somewhere, snout deep in the slop…

    Reply
  27. skk

    Thanks for linking to “This Is How Science Happens” [Hillel Wayne]. This is where they do a “A Large Scale Study of Programming Languages and Code Quality in Github”. The technique they use for bug counts is to look at the comments made when checking in code to see if that was a fix or something else.

    Its hilarious. The link is definitely worth a read – especially for people who code. And those who do data science.

    Reply
  28. Bill Carson

    BOOM! Bernie and Biden both cancel campaign rallies in Cleveland tonight based upon CoronaVirus.

    Yep, there’s not going to be a debate on Sunday. And if there is, it will be on a closed set.

    Reply
  29. urblintz

    Anderson Cooper asked Andrew Cuomo why China did such a better job than we are doing. But he wouldn’t go there. Neither of them would. They wouldn’t say that the reason China is doing a better job is because

    wait for it…

    they’re

    wait…

    COMMIES!

    snark off – I would never trade the few freedoms remaining for an authoritarian regime like China… still, we may see the authoritarian measures here that they employed there so there’s already little difference between us. it’s a puzzlement that inspires confused thinking like mine…

    Reply
    1. MLTPB

      I think New York’s 1 mile radius measure is a step in Taleb’s…not sure the exact words quoted here very recently… overreacting precautionary panic (something to the effect) direction.

      Ohio rallies cancelled, both campaigns.

      That’s prudent.

      Reply
      1. nv

        The one mile radius in Westchester is not an over-reaction, since it is only a ‘containment area’ around the site of the synagogue where most of the at-risk community interacted with the afflicted dentist. The closures are only for locations where large groups of people congregate (e.g., places of worship, schools). In the containment area, people are free to come and go as they please. Small businesses (including delis and food stores) are allowed to stay open.
        I am following this information closely because I live about 4 miles outside the containment area. IMO, this is a prudent course of action that should have been taken several days ago.

        Reply
    2. Massinissa

      Liberals have been whining for years about the Trump presidency being some kind of authoritarian dictatorship where Trump gets to do whatever he wants, whenever he wants.

      Would be nice if he could have defied the will of the almighty markets for once and closed travel with China like a proper authoritarian jackboot would have. Nah, apparently hes an authoritarian who can only get away with what Mr Market lets him do. Some scary authoritarianism, that.

      Reply
  30. Synoia

    I lived in a fascist (authoritarian) state. The beer and parties were excellent.

    The end was also extant, so I emigrated before the rush to the exit.

    Reply
      1. Massinissa

        According to Boris Johnson, if a country takes the Coronavirus on the nose, they can go back to a normal economic situation.

        By that logic, now is a good time to move to Iran. /sarc

        Reply
  31. David Carl Grimes

    If Congress comes down with Covid-19, will they get first dibs on the ICUs and ventilators? Or will they have special facilities like at Walter Reed or NIH?

    Reply
    1. MLTPB

      Once you bring in FEMA, they can set up mobile hospitals, I have read that recently.

      Not sure how many though. Presumably can be set up fairly quickly, maybe faster than that new Wuhan hospital.

      Reply
    2. Big River Bandido

      All but 4 or 5 House members and all but one Senator could come down with it, for all I care. They can have first dibs on everything as long as they die quickly. At this point that’s the only thing that might save this country.

      Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        The 1st brand name celebrity or politician to die from Coronavirus, will greatly ramp up awareness and further fear.

        Reply
        1. ambrit

          I wonder who ‘they’ “hire” for the job? Oprah? Dr. Oz? George Clooney? Pelosi??? Being a complete cynic at this point, I’ll suggest either Sanders or Biden.
          A replay of the Harrison Administration would ensue. Biden kicks the bucket after a few weeks as President and Vice President Clinton takes over. Plus, for added irony points, Harrison ran as a Whig! How droll.

          Reply
          1. fajensen

            Awww. Then we will miss the good part of the movie, which is where Hillary claws her way through Biden’s back and burst out of his chest and cackles.

            PG-13 sucks.

            Reply
  32. Lee Christmas

    Can anyone comment on past Democratic presidential primary/debate schedules?

    For instance, in this episode, we had one debate EACH for the first four contests (IA, NH, NV, SC), and then we let more than 20 primaries pass without a single debate, with a much larger delegate haul at stake.

    Does anyone know if this setup was/is common for the Democratic presidential primary?

    In hindsight, this schedule makes it really ripe for the narrative that did emerge, to emerge:

    Candidate consolidation >> Defibrillation >> Weekend at Bernie’s Campaign

    Though I could see the consolidation happening around any other candidate that could have gathered steam sans Bernie. Brb, I left my metal hat in the other room.

    Reply
  33. Rhondda

    I went and voted– for Bernie, even though I don’t agree all of his positions (open borders, for example) — in the primary here in KC this afternoon. Thankfully, unlike our new Mayor, I was “on the rolls” and was able to vote. It seemed rather quiet but I did go at a little before 3pm, intentionally seeking a less busy time, so perhaps that’s why. Everyone I saw was 50+ except for 2 younger guys in their late 20s.

    The election volunteers are always nice, but you could not sign in on their little iPad things without using your finger, naked. I tried to sign with my latex-gloved finger — didn’t work. Tried a stylus, didn’t work. So I had to take off my glove and touch the screen. Eew!

    FWIW, I looked at the video of Biden here in KC. I know well the place where he appeared and gave his little speech– the WW1 memorial. Let me tell you friends, the videographer earned his/her money with those super tight super close shots and repeated views of the same attendees from different angles. That’s a big space and there was hardly anyone there. Maybe 100 people? Matching shirts and matching signs indicates astroturfed turnout. KCStar had a hideous, puke inducing anti-Bernie op-ed. “Good KC people are sick and tired of Bernie! He hates women and he insults voters!” Aaargh. The Star used to be a good paper. They are a neoliberal PE-owned a$$wipe these days.

    Reply
      1. John

        He supports giving millions of illegals here citizenship.

        He won’t come out against ending the millions of legal immigrantswho come here every year on H-1B visas, H-2B visas, Greencards and on and on and on.

        I would say he supports open borders.

        Reply
          1. John

            I’ve talked to his office about it.

            He is not against the millions coming here every year on visas and Greencards.

            He is not against giving millions of illegals citizenship.

            And they go nuts in his office when you say that is putting foreigners before Americans.

            Reply
            1. jrsq

              There is kind of no realistic alternative to give millions who are already here citizenship (amnesty). well there is the status quo, let them live here but work illegally. Which is actually businesses preferred solution.

              Reply
        1. BlakeFelix

          You would be wrong. Open borders means open borders. Regulated immigration with a path to citizenship for our current huge population of undocumented immigrants isn’t the same thing.

          Reply
      2. Rhondda

        Wow. Thank you for the correction, Grebo. I was not just misinformed, I was really, really utterly misinformed. How did I not get this? Mentalpause, I guess.

        From a highly critical Vox piece by Dylan Mathews entitled “Bernie Sanders’s fear of immigrant labor is ugly — and wrongheaded”

        I was disappointed, if not surprised, at the visceral horror with which Bernie Sanders reacted to the idea when interviewed by my colleague Ezra Klein. “Open borders?” he interjected. “No, that’s a Koch brothers proposal.” The idea, he argued, is a right-wing scheme meant to flood the US with cheap labor and depress wages for native-born workers. “I think from a moral responsibility, we’ve got to work with the rest of the industrialized world to address the problems of international poverty,” he conceded, “but you don’t do that by making people in this country even poorer.”

        I agree with what Bernie says here. I am glad to know it.

        Reply
        1. John

          He’s doesn’t hold that position anymore.

          Please stop linking to articles from 2015.

          He is firmly in the camp now of not criticizing flooding this country with immigrants.

          Do you even watch the debates or listen to his rallies?

          Reply
          1. Big Tap

            Sanders is now for eliminating ICE and CPB
            Decriminalizing crossing the border to only a civil offence
            He would pause deportations except for violent criminals (most stay in U.S.)
            Sanders no long considers immigrants to be American workers competition

            He may not be for “open borders” but he much closer toward that then in 2016.

            https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2020/2/25/21143931/bernie-sanders-immigration-record-explained

            https://theintercept.com/2019/11/07/sanders-immigration-plan-ice-cbp/

            Reply
  34. Daryl

    So, how’s the primaries looking? Looks like we don’t have any Biden victories pre-declared yet. Michigan results not expected until Wednesday?

    Reply
  35. Jack White

    Information Intensivist (ICU doctor) front line Seattle

    * we have 21 pts and 11 deaths since 2/28.
    * we are seeing pts who are young (20s), fit, no comorbidities, critically ill. It does happen.
    * US has been past containment since January
    * Currently, all of ICU is for critically ill COVIDs, all of floor medsurg for stable COVIDs and EOL care, half of PCU, half of ER. New resp-sx pts Pulmonary Clinic offshoot is open
    * CDC is no longer imposing home quarantine on providers who were wearing only droplet iso PPE when intubating, suctioning, bronching, and in one case doing bloody neurosurgery. Expect when it comes to your place you may initially have staff home-quarantined. Plan for this NOW. Consider wearing airborne iso PPE for aerosol-generating procedures in ANY pt in whom you suspect COVID, just to prevent the mass quarantines.

    * we ran out of N95s (thanks, Costco hoarders) and are bleaching and re-using PAPRs, which is not the manufacturer’s recommendation. Not surprised on N95s as we use mostly CAPRs anyway, but still.

    *terminal cleans (inc UV light) for ER COVID rooms are taking forever, Enviro Services is overwhelmed. Bad as pts are stuck coughing in the waiting room. Rec planning now for Enviro upstaffing, or having a plan for sick pts to wait in their cars (that is not legal here, sadly).

    * CLINICAL INFO based on our cases and info from CDC conf call today with other COVID providers in US:
    * the Chinese data on 80% mildly ill, 14% hospital-ill, 6-8% critically ill are generally on the mark. Data very skewed by late and very limited testing, and the number of our elderly pts going to comfort care. – being young & healthy (zero medical problems) does not rule out becoming vented or dead – probably the time course to developing significant lower resp sx is about a week or longer (which also fits with timing of sick cases we started seeing here, after we all assumed it was endemic as of late Jan/early Feb). – based on our hospitalized cases (including the not formally diagnosed ones who are obviously COVID – it is quite clinically unique) about 1/3 have mild lower resp sx, need 1-5L NC. 1/3 are sicker, FM or NRB. 1/3 tubed with ARDS. Thus far, everyone is seeing: – nl WBC. Almost always lymphopenic, occasionally poly-predominant but with nl total WBC. Doesn’t change, even 10days in. – BAL lymphocytic despite blood lymphopenic (try not to bronch these pts; this data is from pre-testing time when we had several idiopathic ARDS cases) – fevers, often high, may be intermittent; persistently febrile, often for >10d. It isn’t the dexmed, it’s the SARS2. – low ProCalc; may be useful to check initially for later trending if later concern for VAP etc. – up AST/ALT, sometimes alk phos. Usually in 70-100 range. No fulminant hepatitis. Notably, in our small sample, higher transaminitis at admit (150-200) correlates with clinical deterioration and progression to ARDS. LFTs typically begin to bump in 2nd week of clinical course. – mild AKI (Cr NPPV. Next 12-24hrs -> vent/proned/Flolan. – interestingly, despite some needing Flolan, the hypoxia is not as refractory as with H1N1. Quite different, and quite unique. Odd enough that you’d notice and say hmmm. – thus far many are dying of cardiac arrest rather than inability to ventilate/oxygenate. – given the inevitable rapid progression to ETT once resp decompensation begins, we and other hosps, including Wuhan, are doing early intubation. Facemask is fine, but if needing HFNC or NPPV just tube them. They definitely will need a tube anyway, & no point risking the aerosols. – no MOSF. There’s the mild AST/ALT elevation, maybe a small Cr bump, but no florid failure. except cardiomyopathy. – multiple pts here have had nl EF on formal Echo or POCUS at time of admit (or in a couple of cases EF 40ish, chronically). Also nl Tpn from ED. Then they get the horrible resp failure, sans sepsis or shock. Then they turn the corner, off Flolan, supined, vent weaning, looking good, never any pressor requirement. Then over 12hrs, newly cold, clamped, multiple-pressor shock that looks cardiogenic, EF 10% or less, then either VT->VF-> dead or PEA-> asystole in less than a day. Needless to say this is awful for families who had started to have hope. – We have actually had more asystole than VT, other facilities report more VT/VF, but same time course, a few days or a week after admit, around the time they’re turning the corner. This occurs on med-surg pts too; one today who is elderly and chronically ill but baseline EF preserved, newly hypoTN overnight, EF5d. It might cause LFT bump, but interestingly seem to bump (200s-ish) for a day or 2 after starting then rapidly back to normal – suggests not a primary toxic hepatitis.
    *unfortunately, the Gilead compassionate use and trial programs require AST/ALT 30, which is fine. CDC is working with Gilead to get LFT reqs changed now that we know this is a mild viral hepatitis.
    -currently the Gilead trial is wrapping up, NIH trial still enrolling, some new trial soon to begin can’t remember where.

    *steroids are up in the air. In China usual clinical practice for all ARDS is high dose methylpred. Thus, ALL of their pts have had high dose methylpred. Some question whether this practice increases mortality.
    *it is likely that it increases seconday VAP/HAP. China has had a high rate of drug resistant GNR HAP/VAP and fungal pna in these pts, with resulting increases mortality. We have seen none, even in the earlier pts who were vented for >10d before being bronched (prior to test availability, again it is not a great idea to bronch these pts now).
    – unclear whether VAP-prevention strategies are also different, but wouldn’t think so?
    – Hong Kong is currently running an uncontrolled trial of HC 100IV Q8.
    – general consensus here (in US among docs who have cared for COVID pts) is that steroids will do more harm than good, unless needed for other indications.
    – many of our pts have COPD on ICS. Current consensus at Evergreen, after some observation & some clinical judgment, is to stop ICS if able, based on known data with other viral pneumonias and increased susceptibility to HAP. Thus far pts are tolerating that, no major issues with ventilating them that can’t be managed with vent changes. We also have quite a few on AE-COPD/asthma doses of methylpred, so will be interesting to see how they do.

    Plz share info but preferably with no direct attribution as I need to remain employed

    Reply
    1. katiebird

      Thank you for this info. Some is hard to understand but the major points are clear enough to me.

      I just now got off the phone from the daughter of my Mom’s best friend. She has been put on Hospice and is in a nursing home in Overland Park, KS. I am a little nervous but will visit tomorrow. I think The Virus isn’t widespread hear yet. She told me they are starting COVIS-19 protocols for visitors.

      Reply
      1. ambrit

        Yes. Let us know how these people are handling it. Around here, it is an uphill slog to get even the “Healthcare Professionals” to take it seriously.
        Good luck to Mom! (And you too, natch.)

        Reply
        1. judy2shoes

          it is an uphill slog to get even the “Healthcare Professionals” to take it seriously.

          Ambrit, aren’t you in Hattiesburg? If so, do you have some sense of what’s going on in the assisted living homes there? I have an 91-year-old uncle living in one, and he told me the other day that many residents had given key fobs to relatives who come and go at will. Your statement has me even more nervous.

          Thanks

          Reply
          1. ambrit

            Some of the “Assisted Living” places here are almost mini-apartment complexes with 24 hour “help” supplied. Also, some of these places hereabouts have their own half sized buses. (Not big vans but short versions of real buses, with dedicated drivers.) The idea seems to be to supply as much ‘freedom’ and ‘mobility’ to the ‘clients’ as is desired.
            Remember that Hattiesburg is trying to live in a dream of the fifties.
            Don’t be afraid. Call the place up and hold their feet to the fire. Ask specific questions. Don’t give them any wiggle room. Also see if your uncle is up to advocating for himself. You’d be surprised at what a little challenge will call out in a supposedly quiescent individual.
            There is a State level watchdog commission that oversees these places.
            See: https://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/_static/30,0,83.html
            I’ll post more as I discover the information.

            Reply
            1. judy2shoes

              Thank you so much, Ambrit! I appreciate your input and the contact resource. I’ll check in with my uncle. When he mentioned the key fob issue, he did sound as if he were having cognitive dissonance about the whole thing.

              Reply
        2. katiebird

          Hi Ambrit, Visit would be to my Mom’s best friend. Mom died last May (and my dad the May before) … I really don’t know if it is wise to go. I wish I knew.

          Reply
    2. MLTPB

      US past containment since Jan…

      Without Italy and S Korea, both saw big increases in Feb., there would have been a lot less cases, in ,any countries. And not a lot of nations have imposed on Italy anything close to what they have done with China.

      Reply
      1. Bill Carson

        It seems to me that thusfar COVID has been a PMC disease—-people who can afford to travel internationally, either for business or pleasure. But heaven help us when it hits the homeless population, and it will. It’s just a matter of time.

        Reply
  36. Richard_J

    I’m concerned that Bernie may be too nice to win, especially against the combined forces of the Dem party, biased media, corporations and other big contributors, all desperate for him to lose. He is being attacked from all sides.

    He needs (among other things) a running mate ASAP, to serve as the designated attack dog. A potential VP can get away with saying things that the candidate cannot. I have no suggestions as to who it should be. But a female might be a good idea. My fear is that, if nominated, Biden will pick Hillary, or she will be picked for him. Win or lose, that would be a disaster.

    Bernie also needs to stop holding big rallies, before the corona virus takes him out of the campaign for good.

    Reply
  37. ewmayer

    Re. disinfecting hard surfaces – I have found a simple solution of 20:1-diluted bleach soaked into a folded-up paper towel square to work well – yah, the bleachy smell is a bit annoying but at that dilution it’s tolerable and doesn’t irritate my skin, either. Just finished wiping down the cases and keyboards of my old Mac Classic – it hasn’t looked so white since I bought it – and my 15-y.o. candybar cellphone. A few minutes later, can’t even smell it on my hands anymore. Also great for countertops, doorknobs, etc, and very cheap.

    That of course assumes one has bleach in the house, or one’s local store still has some – but even a small bottle goes a long way, used thusly.

    Reply
  38. Wukchumni

    Doesn’t the payroll tax fearless leader wants to cut, put money into the Social Security coffers?

    …a Win-Lose deal

    Reply
    1. Wukchumni

      LA Times headline:

      “Sanders camp is pulled in different directions as defeat inches closer.”

      Translation: Sanders is incapable of making up his mind, loser!

      Reply
    1. ambrit

      How could we tell?
      The main method of identification, other than gene testing, is an x-ray showing “bilateral, interstitial pneumonia.” Not having an x-ray machine. I wouyld also think that many people would keep such information private, if only for self-preservation purposes. The Panic, when it comes, could turn into a classic “angry pitchfork waving mob of townspeople.”

      Reply
    2. anon in so cal

      Maybe we all do:

      “When researchers have used statistical and genetic techniques to estimate the true size of the outbreak, they have concluded that thousands of Americans may have already been infected by the beginning of the month….

      ….The sluggish rollout of the tests has become a debilitating weakness in America’s response to the spread of the coronavirus. By this point in its outbreak, South Korea had tested more than 100,000 people for the disease, and it was testing roughly 15,000 people every day. The United Kingdom, where three people have died of COVID-19, has already tested more than 24,900 people…”

      Only 4,384 tested to date in the US.

      Criminal

      https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2020/03/coronavirus-testing-numbers/607714/

      Reply
    3. ewmayer

      I have been experiencing an unusually strong hankering for a light Mexican “pisswater lager” (to use the favored pejorative of a friend), but I figured it was probably just the anomalously warm weather we’re currently having in NorCal. :)

      More seriously, had annual checkup with my doctor at the local community clinic yesterday afternoon – very blue-collar clientele, mostly Latino|a, but well-funded, well-run and highly competent staff – they are clearly acutely attuned to the danger but apparently no suspect cases yet. I wished them all well, “y’all are on the front lines of this”-style … as Richard_J notes, this could simply be the calm before the storm. (I dearly hope not.)

      Reply
    4. kareninca

      I know someone whose wife died on Jan. 19th here in Silicon valley. She was 49 y.o. and had recently been in China (she was from China originally). From what I understand she had been healthy before this. She had respiratory problems and then suddenly died of a heart attack.

      Reply
    5. fajensen

      We don’t know. Wife and I had a flu for the last two weeks. Fever, headache, non-dry coughing. It went Away. I have a very slight cough now that I take as the remnants of the flu.

      I can see, however, measure on my fitness tracker that on Thursday and Friday my ‘lowest heart rate of the night’ were back to the usual 47 bpm, then Sunday – Wednesday, it is now back up in 58-59 bpm, meaning that Something is Going On Again. I don’t feel anything in particular though.

      Whenever I read about the breathing difficulties and intubation, I feel an ever so slight deficiency in breathing – the lungs kinda feels a bit rough – which could be paranoia or maybe something else.

      Which then feeds paranoia about ‘how much breathing difficulty, exactly’ should one be concerned about and ‘is this the thin edge of the wedge, the Corona virus silently building up fresh strength and new toxins to get the job done properly on a second attempt’!

      We just don’t know.

      But I do increasingly question the wisdom in going to work since now it can actually kill me and I don’t really enjoy it that much. I have one meeting tomorrow in Copenhagen, I am 50/50 on not going because Covid-19 is kicking off in Denmark. I am certainly not going to any conferences at all for 2020. I don’t want to be stuck there and I don’t really want to find out if I am the lucky 80% or not (unless, I already did so I would really like when a cheap DIY-test becomes available).

      At least I always hated shopping centres and crowds, now my wife finally sees ‘my side of things’ :).


      There is a coughing-virus here also. I got that from Sep-Nov 2019. Grandkids have been coughing for pretty much all of 2019 and seems set to continue for 2020. Nobody knows what that is, except ‘A Virus’, which is slightly unhelpful these days :).

      The child-care is like a collection- and incubation- facility for Every pathogen that possibly can exist!

      When Denmark finally gets serious about limiting contagion, they will close the childcare down for 8 weeks.

      This draconian measure will probably only happen *after* they run out of ICU-treatment slots!

      I do hope it will be found that they have not flogged off all of those old Cold-War facilities and equipment because the ‘next move’ must be that all Covid-19 patients goes directly to field hospitals to prevent them from degrading the regular hospitals – so people then die of everything else besides Covid-19, like Italy.

      Reply
    1. ambrit

      “America will never be a Populist Socialist country.” Nothing said about an Oligarchial Socialist country. Indeed, one of the basic tenets of Neo-Liberalism is that Socialism is a system of wealth extraction that favours the elites.
      Phun Wif Wourdz 101

      Reply
    2. meeps

      Yes. My other half works almost entirely with conservatives and has grown VERY impatient lately with the Sanders jokes and insults he’s subjected to in work meetings. His retort has been to point out how much they love to cherry-pick their socialism and give examples. It hasn’t been well received and I wonder how long this arrangement will last.

      I also wonder how much of the heightened conflict, which I witnessed as his accompaniment at recent company events, is organic office politics vs. instigated by constant conservative media barrage? It is far worse now than at any time in his more than 20 years working with this bunch.

      Didn’t change his vote (for whatever that’s worth) but right-wing intimidation could be flying under the radar as we’ve had so much attention on countering the intimidation from right-wing Democrats. Good times.

      Reply
  39. Chris

    So is there any hope for Bernie? Politico is report that can’t stand for anything Joe is already winning two states.

    Are we really going to see our country through a week where we have public health crisis that requires M4A and where the President and Congress are considering fiscal stimulus to help people impacted by said crisis, and yet the only candidate with a significant number of delegates who is proposing policies to address both is not going to get any primary wins tonight? What the family blogging family blog is going on??

    Reply
    1. Daryl

      Dark day.

      I won’t say that Trump is going to win. Coronavirus is certainly a wildcard. But I’m not going to waste any additional time on the D party, since my bandwidth is better spent on trying to figure out how to survive a warming planet with little to no infrastructure.

      Reply
    2. Joe Well

      I hate to admit that Bernie running as a Democrat rather than independent or third party increasingly seems like a mistake. The Democratic power structure really is much more cohesive than it seems at first glance.

      Reply
      1. Chris

        He had to because of ballot access issues.

        But if he gets bounced like it seems is likely tonight, then he has no choice. He can’t support Team Blue No Matter Who and have a prayer of being involved anymore in the movement he started.

        Reply
        1. ambrit

          Too true. There is a limit to even the most altruistic of philosophies.
          If Sanders is defeated this time, it will be the sign of the ‘Time To Burn It All Down.’

          Reply
        2. Joe Well

          What ballot access issues?

          With the amount of grassroots support he has, wouldn’t it have been a simple thing to get on the ballot for November in all states?

          Reply
    3. allan

      Miles Parks @MilesParks

      Rep. Clyburn on NPR just now: “I think when the night is over, Joe Biden will be the prohibitive favorite to win the Democratic nomination… If the night ends the way it has begun” it’s time to “shut this primary down,” meaning the DNC should “step in” and cancel future debates.
      8:32 PM · Mar 10, 2020·Twitter Web App

      The misleadership class is strong in this one.
      Someone needs to ask him on the morning of Nov. 4 whether he wants to revise and extend his remarks.

      Reply
      1. Bill Carson

        Having picked their horse, they would be crazy to allow anyone to look in it’s mouth now. A debate would only expose weakness. Yes, you and I and everybody else know the weakness is there, but we aren’t in charge.

        Reply
    4. Jason Boxman

      I’d been giving it some thought this past week, and I’d say it isn’t true the Democrats hate their base. The _left_ isn’t the Democrat’s base at all. The people all-in for Biden are. I think the Democrats actually love their base, because they really don’t need to deliver any concrete materials benefits at all and can still win against what constitutes the Left in this country. And that’s the true purpose of the Democrat Party, as Lambert frequently points out.

      Reply
      1. anon in so cal

        Glenn Greenwald’s take (somewhat similar to the one Lambert proposed several days ago):

        “Democrats adore their leaders and they’re all lined up behind Biden.

        The Democratic electorate has become far more “moderate”/conservative as a result of #Resistance politics and the integration of neocons and security state agents into their TV shows, leading them to Biden.”

        https://twitter.com/ggreenwald/status/1237345346176659456?s=20

        Reply
        1. Daryl

          True. The Democratic base has imbibed another four years of increasingly deranged agitprop. And whereas before the media was pretending to be “centrist” it is now 24/7 conspiracy theories about Russia/Trump/etc.

          Reply
          1. Jason Boxman

            Well, I’m going to finish my beer and go for a walk. It’s nice outside. And unseasonably warm, but that’s going to be the status quo for the rest of my life. Neither party takes that seriously, proclaimed belief in science or not.

            Reply
            1. NotTimothyGeithner

              It won’t be the status quo. Effectively, the election will be between two climate change denialists.

              Reply
      2. Oregoncharles

        Don’t forget that the Democrats are less than 30% – Republicans about the same (precise relation varies). Everybody else are close to a majority, certainly a very solid plurality over 40%.

        Reply
    1. Chris

      Well that’s just great. I’m so happy to see Biden winning in Michigan. I look forward to hearing how he’s going to support policies that will give them jobs and clean water. Or more appropriately, I can’t wait to see how Biden is kicked to the curb once his inability to stand and deliver complete sentences is exposed to the world.

      Reply
        1. Daryl

          > The thought of Biden or Trump for the next 4 years makes me sick.

          The apocryphal curse of “may you get everything you wish for” certainly seems to be in play for D party centrists right now.

          Reply
        2. Chris

          There’s no way Team Blue No Matter Who runs Biden. This has to be a bait and switch. He can’t possibly be the nominee with his problems.

          Reply
          1. John

            It’s completely crazy.

            But it’s pretty much a certainty the DNC elite (top 10%) all benefited from Trump’s tax cuts so who knows.

            Reply
      1. Elizabeth

        Count me in on not voting for Biden. The DNC will pull him out before the general citing “concern for his health.” Ambrit, your scenario of Hillary parachuting in seem too real now. Just wondering, were any of the states that voted today open primaries?

        Reply
        1. John Anthony La Pietra

          In Michigan, anyone registered can vote in either the D or the R primary. (Gary Johnson’s 2016 vote total got the Libertarians into the primaries for 2018 — but their top-ticket candidate that year couldn’t keep them in the primary for this year.)

          Used to was, you got one ballot and could choose either side of it, but a few years back (after one try was scotched by a lawsuit Greens were part of) the duopolists got together and said voters had to pick one party’s primary ballot to vote on — and got themselves a free ride to the lists of who picked which.

          Reply
    1. David Carl Grimes

      I wish Bernie had just started another party. That way he wouldn’t have subjected himself to DNCs shenanigans. Plus he might have real leverage over everyone to get what he wants. It might have been difficult but with the money he has raised so far, he could have built something up by now.

      The Democrats deserve to die. The Republican Party will transform itself into a working class party before the Democrats do.

      Reply
    2. Massinissa

      Meh. Now I need to figure out if I’m voting Green for the third cycle in a row (I wasn’t able to vote before that) or if I should hold my nose and vote for Trump.

      Probably Green, but who knows. Not that it really matters anyway.

      Reply
      1. Sam

        I won’t be voting for Biden (or his replacement) because I don’t intend to play the elites’ good cop/ bad cop game. I’ll vote for the bad cop in the hope that he will accelerate the demise of this evil system. Where can I can I get a Trump sticker to paste over Bernie 2020?

        Reply
        1. Jason Boxman

          You’re not alone in your thinking on this.

          What I respect about Republicans and Conservatives in general is that, they’re honest about their intentions, however repugnant. You certainly won’t see a Republican claim to support health care as a human right, while working behind the scenes to sabotage any movement in that direction. Democrats couldn’t countenance even a “public option”!

          They (Republicans) reject regulation, civil society, civil service, civil servants. And there’s no ambiguity about it.

          I respect it.

          Liberals, on the other hand. That’s a true creature of loathing. How can you contort yourself into claiming to care about the middle class, the environment, and human rights, and then conduct oneself as these people do.

          Boggles the mind.

          At least my conscience is clear in all of this.

          Reply
        2. David Carl Grimes

          I thin Bernie relishes being an outsider/fringe candidate in Congress. He does not have what it takes to win. No killer instinct.

          Reply
            1. FluffytheObeseCat

              “So according to Bernie Sanders we aren’t allowed to talk about…..”

              No Tucker, dear. There is no ‘royal we’; you are not Queen Victoria, despite the obvious resemblance. Sanders did not disallow my right to ‘talk’ about Joe Biden’s obvious incapacity. Sanders merely would not countenance doing so himself. It’s called honor.

              It’s not a thing that a FOX media cabin boy could ever allow himself to understand, however the rest of us know what it is.

              I will vote for the great orange wankstain before I’ll vote for Biden in the general. Not a third party wastevote. Oh, no. I will vote for Trump in November. Irrespective of who is nominated in Milwaukee in July, unless by some miracle they nominate Bernard Sanders. A vote is a small weapon, but it is a sharp one.

              Reply
              1. jrs

                Well I might consider writing in Corona Virus for Prez with Economic Collapse as VP. See unlike Trump, who isn’t, that is an ACTUAL weapon that could bring down this lousy system. Beyond anyone’s control at this point.

                p.s. I don’t actually seek to spread corona virus, like most I will do my part to contain it, I am just saying although odds are it won’t, it actually could burn it all down, bring down the death system that is destroying the world (aka growth driven capitalism). Trump can’t. Trump can just add layers of corruption to existing corruption and won’t cause the Dems to change their ways.

                Reply
        3. jrs

          Vote for the guy bailing out the shale companies. And people wonder why noone takes them seriously as actually being on the left AT ALL.

          Look vote Green, vote other left party (Peace and Freedom or whatever you have), don’t vote, but noone takes seriously purported “leftists” voting for shale oil bailouts (but Obama might have bailed out them too – sure and so what, who particularly defends him?). The shale oil bailout horrifies me equally to the Dem party manipulations. How about that.

          Reply
          1. a different chris

            Thanks. I have no idea what they think voting Trump proves unless these people have a way out of America and plan to stick their tongues out at us from some foreign shore.

            Reply
      2. Sailor Bud

        This was it for me. Done. I don’t believe these results at all, and it’s time to work out how to get rid of all my stuff and leave this trash-hole of a country and its cruel, rakish leadership & loathsome citizenry for good, but the planet is looking awfully small these days. Starting to get the distinct feeling that most places are nevertheless better than any future in the belly of this beast, and it’s time to live in a place whose history at least precedes the Industrial Revolution, because it is nouveau trash here from end to end.

        Reply
    3. Jeremy Grimm

      I will write-in Bernie in the final election for President if he does not win the democratic party nomination.

      Reply
    4. pretzelattack

      there’s no way im voting for a right wing democrat, for president or any other office. and he has dementia on top of it.

      Reply
  40. RMO

    I hope someone sets up some sort of contest where people can submit what they think will prove to be Biden’s “Dukakis Rides A Tank” moment in this campaign. We’re spoiled for choice already so I figure it will only be looking back from 2021 or so that we will be sure which was the true crowning moment of suck.

    Reply
  41. roadrider

    That Biden is now in such a commanding position is mostly due to winning huge by huge margins in states that the Democrats have little hope of carrying in the general election. And Biden’s support from African-Americans has to be almost exclusively because of his association with Obama, otherwise how could any African-American of any age even give Biden a second look based on his record? Obama continues to family-blog us even in retirement.

    Clyburn’s call to end the primaries and cancel any future debates just illustrates how brazen the Democrat establishment is about what they’re doing. Bernie deserves some blame for his tactical and strategic errors in this campaign but come on, he never had a chance. Biden wins going away in states he’s barely shown up in and has little organization in? How does that happen without the DNC having a heavy thumb on the scale?

    Well, I guess the Democrats will never learn. We’ll get 4 more years of Trump and they’ll still blame Bernie or third-rate Russian internet trolls instead of the glaring deficiencies of their hand-picked candidate. I hope there’s a younger version of Bernie who’s willing to start a new party and go after the Dems without playing footsie with them in order to gain favor in the vain hope of “”reforming” a corrupt, hypocritical, spineless (unless the game is totally rigged in their favor) excuse for a “party of the people”.

    Reply
    1. curlydan

      yeah, just think what might have happened had not Klobuchar and Buttigieg not dropped out (no doubt on orders). Sanders then would win MN, TX, MA, and ME. It’s a whole different dynamic. But once Biden won SC, the DNC, Obama, and others got everyone aligned behind Biden. Blech.

      Reply
  42. tongorad

    Would a vote for Trump be the right thing if you want to protect Social Security?
    Is Joe the one who finally brings home Obummer’s Grand Bargain?

    Joe Biden for Prez, what a revolting, disgusting development.

    Where do we go from here? Are voters really rejecting material, concrete benefits?

    Reply
    1. sines

      I think that saying the voters are rejecting material, concrete benefits is the wrong interpretation. I speculate that the voters supporting Biden believe they are voting in their own best interests — the comfortable 10% do not want a revolution. I think for the younger within the 10%, it is a mistake because the power brokers are working to push many of the 10% into precarity. Meaning, the same program that was enacted against the working class and middle class is now being implemented for the comfortable 10%.

      Reply
    1. ambrit

      If the coronavirus follows the epidemiological path that past flu epidemics have, there will be a second and much stronger and destructive “peak” in October in North America. This should put paid to any semblance of a “free and fair” election this November. I’m beginning to suspect that “the usual suspects” will embrace the “never let a disaster go to waste” dictum and do something like postpone the election somehow. Perhaps a “State of Emergency” can be invoked by Presidential Decree. Now there is an idea for the ages. Donald Trump ruling by decree.
      “Desperate times demand desperate measures!” Etc. etc. etc.

      Reply
      1. fajensen

        Why would Donald Trump bother?

        He will easily stomp Biden into the ground during the campaigning and he is ruling by decree anyway because Congress thought it such a smart idea to put pretty much everything they couldn’t be arsed to agree on before doing (or didn’t dare put their name on), into the scope of the president.

        What is more likely is that They can use the disaster to shut up dissidents and getting rid of unwanted people, like the homeless. Just put them into isolation camps created for preventing the spread of Covid-19 and keep them there until they die from the infection. ICE managed to ‘misplace’ a bunch of kids, they still haven’t found them and returned them to their parents, nobody cares very much and it will be the same with the ‘unwanted’.

        Reply
  43. marym

    I voted for Stein in 2012 and Sanders (primary) and Stein in 2016. In Illinois a Stein vote wasn’t going to change the electoral outcome, just a (futile) way to say no to the Dems.

    For 2020, if Sanders didn’t get the nomination, I thought I’d still vote for the Dem nominee, to say no to Trump and somehow stand with his most vulnerable targets and victims. I assumed the DNC and their following would find a candidate who offered a reason or two to assuage the conscience for voting for some mostly war-mongering, authoritarian, corporate tool.

    Instead they’re insisting on a candidate who’s been wrong on every important issue for his whole career, even the ones Dems pretend to care about; has family grift, girl-touching, and mental capacity issues as questionable as Trump’s supposedly horrific transgressions; and doesn’t even check an idpol box.

    Clyburn (NPR) and Carville (MSNBC) saying now the process should be shut down, no more debates. They’re already not bothering to pretend he’s a candidate fit to be seen in public.

    This is truly horrible.

    Reply
    1. Daryl

      > Clyburn (NPR) and Carville (MSNBC) saying now the process should be shut down, no more debates. They’re already not bothering to pretend he’s a candidate fit to be seen in public.

      Wonder what their plan is for ducking debates with Trump. I’m sure that “he’s mean” is probably a valid enough reason for the Dem base, but maybe not for the rest of the country.

      Reply
      1. flora

        T will make hay from this if the DNC cancels the last debate, the debate where Biden has to speak for an extended period to try and make the case that he’s ‘the most electable’ Dem candidate. I can image the T ads already.

        Reply
    2. jrs

      Yea true if one looked hard enough and a bit askew one could maybe find good in some of the other candidates, though it was getting increasingly hard as the election went on. But yep.

      OTOH Trumps going to bail out fracking and shale oil. This is horrific. It’s purely about saying no here too, who I hate more, purely symbolic.

      Reply
      1. fwe’zy

        PoMo is diametrically opposed to dialectical materialism, the approach used by “Stalinists” or “tankies,” and the very system that the CIA used PoMo to subvert. If you mean authoritarianism, that can be applied to achieve egalitarian goals in service of social well-being (tankies) or fascist ones in service of private capital accumulation (CIA).

        Reply
  44. VietnamVet

    The Establishment’s response to the appearance of two black swans, the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic and the crash in supply and demand are astonishing. Denial and magical thinking abound. In Italy the chance for the 80% infected 70-year-olds being hospitalized is 20% and there is a 8% risk that they will die. Italian doctors are forced to triage patients. Only today were public election rallies cancelled in Cleveland. A containment zone has been established only around New Rochelle NY. Without the implementing the draconian measures undertaken by China, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea, right now, the flood of 70 and 80-year-olds into ICUs will crash the US health care system. All that is being done is local and inadequate.

    This is on the Trump Administration. To date it is responsible for the deadly string of SNAFUs, “everything is great” messaging, not fast-tracking ventilators and protective equipment or preparing more ICU beds. Not believing in science in the first place makes magical thinking possible.

    It is the national interest to dampen and extend the epidemic to avoid the existential threat of the break down in the American health care system and the needless deaths of American elders. The lack of action is frightening. Panic by senior citizens is understandable.

    Reply
    1. Bill Carson

      Should Trump bear 100% of the political responsibility? Yes, of course. Too bad we don’t practice Seppuku in the United States.

      But in reality, we didn’t have any more n95 masks during Obama’s 8 years or Biden’s vice presidency.

      Reply
    2. Chris

      Neither of these events are “black swans.” Don’t yield to the “who coulda known” attitude being propagated by our willfully blind elite.

      Supply chain issues and shortages of key ingredients are a natural and easily foreseeable consequence of our reliance on other countries that are so far away. The world used to have to deal with supply side shortages much more often than we have in the past 60 years. Assuming that McWorld was true and that “the world is flat” because we’re living in the “end of history” is a laughably stupid thing MBAs tell themselves while they cash their bonus checks for never saying build when they can buy from China.

      As for the virus, we have known for a long time this was coming. We have known for years that the most likely source of the next pandemic was a zoonotic virus. Pretending this is a surprise is political and public health malpractice.

      Don’t give these fools the cover they’re asking for. Vote them out.

      Reply
      1. pretzelattack

        i’m not sure we can vote them out anymore, i have no faith in our rigged electoral system to give us that option. the manipulation is usually below the surface, for the most part. i’m still reeling at the effectiveness of the dnc in executing a 180 degree turn in the race in a few days. the “competing” candidates suddenly all revealed themselves to be marionettes–i’ve never seen rigging this blatant.

        Reply
    1. jrs

      Talk about a technocrat. Why this horror? MATH. A boot stamping on a human face forever. MATH. Dark satanic mills. MATH. Why this torture on the iron maiden? MATH. The Iraq war and thousands dead. MATH. Mass graves and bodies moldering in the streets? MATH. But they aim to kill us all. MATH. Human extinction? MATH.

      There’s no Ying in your Yang.

      Never mind the actual math doesn’t even add up, when you have enough delegates not to have a contested convention then they add up.

      Reply
      1. jrs

        And yes I think instead of “because markets” one could start saying “because math”

        (which might be legit were the math about something real but it’s not)

        Reply
  45. Acacia

    Biden to Michigan Workers: “You’re Full of Sh*t!”

    Michigan Dems vote for Biden. 52% with 99% of precincts reporting.

    Sanders trails with 36.5%

    (Trump gloats, rubbing hands together furiously.)

    *shrug*

    Reply

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