2:00PM Water Cooler 3/17/2020

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.


“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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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 no state polls, as of 3/17/2020, 11:00 AM EDT. The empire strikes back:

And the numbers:

Pretty much the same story everywhere. Earlier in the year, we often had occasion to comment on the mysterious strength of the Biden Juggernaut, on display here; but it’s also true that Biden’s ups and downs have been of much greater amplitude than other candidates. <-- What did I say? To be fair, the IPSOS sample size is not large, and it's a B- poll. Nevertheless...

* * *

Biden (D)(1):

I haven’t seen an annotated list of Biden’s lies during the debate; readers flagged then in real-time in comments, but it would be nice to see a consolidated list (not from the campaign). I can’t find one with a cursory search.

Sanders (D)(1): “Bernie Sanders Wants to Fight On. He Has His Reasons.” [Sidney Ember, New York Times]. “Yet even as his path to the nomination looks increasingly bleak, with Mr. Biden favored in three more primaries on Tuesday, some allies are publicly urging Mr. Sanders to remain in the race, eager for him to continue to pitch voters on a liberal agenda that he has promoted for decades.” • Oh, Sidney. Sanders is not a liberal! Holy Lord.

Obama Legacy

The Norms Fairy now permits open lying:

“If we could’ve passed a larger stimulus then, we would have.” (1) Axelrove had the House, the Senate, the greatest orator of our time in the White House, and a mandate for “hope and change.” Coulda/would/shoulda is is an obvious and open falsehood. (2) See the Larry Summers/Christina Romer episode; if the Democrats could not, it’s because they crippled themselves, not because of some mysterious outside force. Now that Biden (and his advisors, including Harvey Weinstein-adjacent lawyer Anita Dunn) has set the tone, Establishment Democrats are going to say whatever they want, true or false.


“Free The Trolls: The Justice Department Moves To Drop Major Mueller Case Against Russian-Linked Companies” [Jonathan Turley]. “It appears that trolls are enjoying St. Patrick’s Day as much as Leprechauns. The Justice Department shocked many by dropping the matinee case of former Special Counsel Robert Mueller against two Russian companies accused of funding the “troll farms” in the 2016 election. Many critics have charged that the trolling operation was laughingly ineffective and clumsy. Moreover, the evidence against the companies, including Concord Management and Consulting LLC and Concord Catering, was questioned. The prosecutors, while defending the original charges, moved to dismiss the case because they viewed the trial as threatening national security secrets. That claim seemed like more of a spin in a case that never seemed to materialize into hard evidence to support these charges. Update: The company has announced that it will sue the U.S. government for billions in damages — a move that will once again raise this same information for trial.” • If Putin is the Machiavellian genius Democrat RussiaGate assets think he is, those billions were his goal all along. That would be funny!

Realignment and Legitimacy

Here’s a chart showing concern about #COVID-19:

But note the scale on the left.

FL: “Light turnout expected in Florida amid coronavirus fears” [The Hill]. “The Sunshine State is the most populous state holding a primary and it also has the most confirmed cases of the virus, known as COVID-19, of the three states. Five people have died from the disease.”



“Bernie Sanders is raising the prospect of postponing all primaries” [Chris Cilizza, CNN]. “Asked by CNN’s Anderson Cooper whether the primaries scheduled for Tuesday should be postponed, Sanders responded this way: ‘That is a very good question, and as you know Louisiana, and Georgia, and Puerto Rico have delayed their elections. Postponed them, they’ve got dates in the future. Look, election dates are very very important we don’t want to be getting into the habit of messing around with them. But you remember, and I just researched this, 9/11, you know there was a primary in New York City? Do you remember that?…. ‘….There was a primary. And it was canceled for obvious reasons in New York City and it was rescheduled two weeks later. I would hope that governors listen to the public health experts, and what they are saying as you just indicated, we don’t want gatherings of more than 50 people. I’m thinking about some of the elderly people sitting behind the desks, registering people, doing all that stuff. Does that make a lot of sense? I’m not sure that it does.'” • Given the givens, the political calculation that Sanders, who is behind, can’t call for the primaries to be postponed without being accused of speaking in bad faith, but I don’t think Sanders’ caution is warranted. That said–

Lambert here: I don’t see who elections conducted under these circumstances can possibly be regarded as legitimate. What kind of sociopathic political system asks its voters to cast their ballots while endangering them with a plague? It’s like a poll tax but a million times worse.

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.

Retail: “Headline Retail Sales Declined in February 2020” [EconIntersect]. “Retail sales declined according to US Census headline data. The three-month rolling average improved…. There was an upward adjustment to last month’s data. The real test of strength is the rolling averages which improved. Overall, this report is considered better than last month – but this coming month is affected by the coronavirus and will suck.”

Manufacturing: “February 2020 Headline Industrial Production Improved” [Econintersect]. “The headlines say seasonally adjusted Industrial Production (IP) improved month-over-month – but no shows no growth year-over-year. Our analysis shows the three-month rolling average improved…. Note that manufacturing is in contraction year-over-year – and capacity utilization remained in expansion year-over-year. Consider this report marginally better than last month.”

* * *

Retail: “A virtual shutdown of a large swath of the U.S. economy is triggering high demand at Amazon.com Inc. The online behemoth plans to hire an additional 100,000 employees in the U.S…. and will raise pay for workers as households turn to online deliveries at a breakneck pace to help contain the spread of the new coronavirus” [Wall Street Journal]. “Amazon accounts for 39% of all online orders in the U.S., and the new surge in business is part of a larger move toward digital services as people hunker down in their homes. That’s fed enormous demand on operators like meal-order delivery companies and entertainment streaming services, and tested the limits of online fulfillment and inventory management. Amazon like other companies is coping with the impact of the pandemic on its operations and its finances, and recently added part-time warehouse workers to its sick-leave policy.” • That’s nice. A fine example of disaster capitalism. Once again, social distancing reinforces our worst, least sustainable and most monopolistic tendencies.

Retail: “The retail world’s response to the coronavirus is rapidly transforming the sector’s supply chains. U.S. clothing and mall retailers from J. Crew Group Inc. to Nike Inc. are closing thousands of stores across the country for two weeks… in unprecedented moves to stem the growth of the pandemic” [Wall Street Journal]. “Many stores say they are directing consumers to their websites, where their capacity to fulfill orders is now being tested. Analysts say e-commerce sales are unlikely to fill the void in any case, since many retailers get 75% of their revenue from their stores.”

Shipping: “Crude-tanker stocks plunge as rates hit record highs” [Freight Waves]. “It is the best of times; it is the worst of times. Just as spot freight rates for supertankers have reached epic new heights, crude-tanker stocks are plummeting…. Some analysts believe publicly listed VLCC owners are an ideal hedge and safe haven during the coronavirus-induced stock-market crash. Alas, they were not a haven Monday, at the very time record-setting VLCC employment contracts were finalized.”

Tech: “Will COVID-19 be a tipping point for telehealth in the U.S.?” [MarketWatch]. “That said, telehealth is a little used tool in the U.S., generating less than 1% of U.S. medical claims in 2018, according to a 2019 FAIR Health white paper. It is unclear how comfortable Americans, who are largely still loyal to the idea of in-person interactions with physicians, or the doctors who trained in an era without virtual care, are with using telehealth on such a large scale. However, as some states and cities in the U.S. have moved toward some form of a lockdown to mitigate the impact of the virus and as the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths continues to rise, some clinicians say the pandemic may serve as a tipping point for telehealth in America.” • Go long social distancing (which again unfortunately reinforces all the atomization and alienation that neoliberalism also promotes).

Tech: “Working From Home? Zoom Tells Your Boss If You’re Not Paying Attention” [Vice]. “During the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of Americans will be forced to work, play, and learn from home for the foreseeable future. Such a massive shift will lean not only on shaky and expensive U.S. broadband networks, but popular teleconferencing programs that often don’t quite work as advertised. Zoom in particular has seen a flood of new users, and the company’s stock has jumped roughly 20 percent since the COVID-19 outbreak began. But as new users flock to the platform for work, they should be aware of a few things: namely, the company’s data collection, its shaky privacy policy, and the fact your boss knows when you’re not giving them your undivided attention. Zoom offers users a feature called ‘attention tracking.’ According to the Zoom website the feature—which can be disabled if the chat administrator allows it—will track if participants have clicked away from the active Zoom window for more than half a minute.” • Optional accessorty: Head-clamp to keep participants compliant.

Mr. Market: “‘We may get to a point where we shorten’ stock-market trading hours, says Treasury Secretary Mnuchin” [MarketWatch]. “Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Tuesday midday said that he believed it was crucial to keep the markets open during the COVID-19 outbreak that has infected more than 180,000 people and had far-reaching effects in disrupting business and personal live. “We absolutely believe in keeping the markets open,” Mnuchin said during a news conference in Washington, D.C., with President Donald Trump to update the public on the efforts to combat the pandemic and limit the damage to the U.S. economy. He also said ‘we may get to a point where we shorten the hours,” presumably referring to regular trading hours for stocks which runs from 9:30 p.m. Eastern Time to 4 p.m. The treasury secretary’s comments come amid chatter of a two-week trading holiday that advocates say might help to quell volatility in markets that have rocked a number of assets and driven major equity indexes into bear-market territory, commonly defined as a decline from a record high of at least 20%.” • Never believe anything until it’s been officially denied?

* * *

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 4 Extreme Fear (previous close: 3 Extreme Fear) [CNN]. One week ago: 6 (Extreme Fear). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Mar 17 at 11:56am. Haven’t ever seen the needle pinned at zero. I wonder if the formula permits that.

The Biosphere

“As nations bicker, a greener future evolves in finance” [Agence France Presse]. “Regardless of the politics of climate change, there is real money to be made today in the exploding market for bonds and other instruments invested in environmentally sustainable projects…. Hard-nosed US investors in fields such as solar panels are not necessarily driven by anxiety about global warming, Climate Bonds Initiative chief executive Sean Kidney said. ‘Most of them are Republicans for god’s sake,’ he said at a conference on climate finance organised by the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in London. ‘They care only about price,’ he added, predicting the transition to a low-carbon future would generate $90 trillion investment by 2050 in areas including low-energy cooling, urban farming and greener transport.”

“Air pollution likely to increase coronavirus death rate, warn experts” [The Guardian]. “The health damage inflicted on people by long-standing air pollution in cities is likely to increase the death rate from coronavirus infections, experts have said. Dirty air is known to cause lung and heart damage and is responsible for at least 8m early deaths a year. This underlying health damage means respiratory infections, such as coronavirus, may well have a more serious impact on city dwellers and those exposed to toxic fumes, than on others. However, strict confinement measures in China, where the coronavirus outbreak began, and in Italy, Europe’s most affected nation, have led to falls in air pollution as fewer vehicles are driven and industrial emissions fall. A preliminary calculation by a US expert suggests that tens of thousands of premature deaths from air pollution may have been avoided by the cleaner air in China, far higher than the 3,208 coronavirus deaths. The experts stressed, however, that no one is claiming the pandemic can be seen as good for health and it is too early for conclusive studies to have been done. In particular, they said, other indirect health impacts of the coronavirus, via lost income and lack of treatment for other illnesses, will also be large.” ”

“No, the coronavirus is not good for the climate” [The Correspondent]. “Wishing for a disaster to make the large-scale changes that scientists say are necessary to prevent a planetary collapse is counterproductive. Remember, we’re doing this to *save* lives. Cheering on the coronavirus because of climate change isn’t progress, it’s eco-fascism. It’s the same logic that eugenicists use to argue for population control, or racists use to preach ethnic nationalism and anti-immigration policies in an era of climate emergency. Discrimination and death are not the way to reduce emissions. Ending the climate emergency is not just about reducing emissions. It’s about treating each other better. And, it’s very likely that the ultimate climate legacy of the coronavirus will be a setback to global efforts to transition to a zero-carbon society. Due to the sudden drop in aerosols, temperatures could actually rise this year

Read more about the effects of air pollution on global warming.in regions where factories are shuttered. Time and money governments spend fighting sudden wars and recessions and outbreaks — and propping up the economy in the meantime — have historically not been kind to the concerns of those on the margins of society.”

“The World’s Biggest Emitter of Greenhouse Gases” [Bloomberg]. “At 56.5 million tons of greenhouse gases a year, Secunda’s emissions exceed the individual totals of more than 100 countries, including Norway and Portugal, according to the Global Carbon Atlas.”

“Deserted oil wells haunt Los Angeles with toxic fumes and enormous cleanup costs” [Los Angeles Times]. “But after more than a century of aggressive drilling by fossil fuel companies, most of Los Angeles’ profitable oil is gone. What remains is a costly legacy: nearly 1,000 wells across the city, in rich and poor neighborhoods, deserted by their owners and left to the state to clean, according to a first-of-its-kind analysis of state records by the Los Angeles Times and the Center for Public Integrity. Few U.S. cities are punctured with such a concentration of old drilling sites, with tens of thousands of residents living nearby, from Ladera Heights to Echo Park. If not plugged and cleaned up, many of these orphaned wells will continue to expose people to toxic gases, complicate redevelopment and pose rare but serious threats of explosions. If the state were to tackle the cleanup, it would cost tens of millions of dollars.”

For planning your garden (though I would imagine these figures vary somewhat by the zone):

Health Care

“Coronavirus: Apple Tells Iphone, Ipad And Mac Owners How To Safely Clean Their Devices” [Independent]. “‘Using a 70 percent isopropyl alcohol wipe or Clorox Disinfecting Wipes, you may gently wipe the hard, nonporous surfaces of your Apple product, such as the display, keyboard, or other exterior surfaces,’ [Apple’s] note reads. ‘Don’t use bleach. Avoid getting moisture in any opening, and don’t submerge your Apple product in any cleaning agents.'” • This seems to be a change, FWIW; the pre-2020 Internet is full of warnings not to use pre-moistened lens cleaning wipes, because they contain alchohol.

Feral Hog Watch

Ferality is a spectrum:

“Burning calories: pig starts farm fire by excreting pedometer” [Guardian]. “Firefighters in North Yorkshire have tackled a blaze that broke out after a pig swallowed a pedometer which then combusted in its pen after excretion…. The North Yorkshire fire and rescue service said the fire was caused by ‘nature taking its course’ and copper from the pedometer battery reacting with dry hay and the pigpen’s contents. The pedometer was being used to prove the animal was free range and had been taken off one of its fellow pigs.” • Free range, but in a pen? Am I missing something here?

Guillotine Watch

Will no-one think of the executive bonuses:

Or we could nationalize them, keep the scientists, and throw away the managers, executives, and owners.

Class Warfare

Everything new is old again:

Yeah, it’s like all the leaders who got us into Iraq still were still well-respected in public life, and held powerful positions. Oh, wait…

* * *

“What is Political Power?” [ViewPoint]. “The first is that as they have emerged in actual history, rights are the rights of the self-interested individuals of the marketplace, individuals who are separated from each other and the community. The formal and abstract equality of these individuals masks the real inequality generated by the market — a society in which everyone has freedom of speech, but only a select few own Fox News and MSNBC, and are able to effectively control who speaks and who is heard. In this individualistic society, the only way that people experience community is in the state, but in the realm of the state people’s social powers are also separated from them and dominate them like an alien force. So rights can only be at best the foundation of a partial emancipation. Real emancipation would mean overcoming the individualistic separation of the market, and reabsorbing the separate powers of the state into the human community.”

News of the Wired

“The artist who co-authored a paper and expanded my professional network” [Nature]. “But [French artist Karine Bonneval] asked one question that no soil ecologist would ever pose: ‘What sounds do fungi make as they grow through soil?’ At first I dismissed her query as a silly one, but I couldn’t stop thinking and reading about it. In the end, a new research question was born, which resulted in a paper listing Karine as a co-author. The paper explores the role of sound or vibrations as a source of information in soil — a medium that we think of as dark and quiet, and that houses organisms that communicate through chemistry.” • From the abstract of the article: “Sound, if firmly established as a mode of information exchange in soil, could be useful in an ‘acoustics-based’ precision agriculture as a means of assessing aspects of soil biodiversity, and the topic of sound pollution could move into focus for soil biota and processes.”

Don’t be evil:

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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 (PS):

I can almost hear the snow creak under my boots.

Bonus project trial balloon (MR):

MR comments: “Anyone staying home who has some fabric and a sewing machine could be doing this if they need something to do and feel useful. supplies could be ordered, maybe via Etsy, where a lot of craft supplies are sold, or Michaels online.” Note that some of the masks have colorful prints. They are fashion-forward, as I suggested (!). Here is a manual, complete with patterns. If you make some masks, please send photos! Big hat tip to MR for this.

NOTE This is not a competition!!!!!!

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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.


    1. Youngblood

      I would not assume that Jill Stein would completely stand aside….maybe Sanders/Stein?

        1. Youngblood

          Thanks! Sorry for being uninformed on this year’s Green Party ticket….so….Sanders/Hawkins?

          1. urblintz

            as I understand it, the Greens offered Bernie the top spot but he declined… may be wrong about that…

            1. John Anthony La Pietra

              Jill Stein may have done that last time, when she was the nominee-presumptive.

              Howie Hawkins is currently the candidate with the most delegates, but does not have the nomination cinched. Here is a page from the Green Party of the US Website with news of and from three candidates “recognized” by GPUS and five the party labels as “declared”:


              And here is my own list — developed for use at a statewide membership meeting in Michigan the weekend before last — with contact information for the same eight candidates, plus a link to another page where you can access their answers to the GPUS candidate questionnaire.

              Personally, I think it’s quite possible that the early salvo of “don’t spoil Blue no matter who” this cycle might have already spoiled the chance of Greens rushing to embrace any Democrat to be their standard-bearer. (I wouldn’t even be too surprised if that was part of the idea.) OTOH, we have to come together — very close to right now — over SOMEbody. . . .

            2. Oregoncharles

              In 2016, and also, less publicly, several cycles before, when he was a Representative. He wasn’t interested. And he’s promised to support the nominee.

              To repeat: judging by his actions, his mission is to save the Democratic Party from itself – not that they appreciate it.

        1. Massinissa

          I mean… In this case its sort of true. I like Gabbard but she’s too controversial to be on a major ticket with Sanders or anyone else honestly. Sanders is well liked in most major opinion polls, but not so much for Gabbard. I like Gabbard just fine but its sort of tiring seeing her mentioned constantly, often by the same few people over and over.

          1. clarky90

            “One of the same few people (clarky90)” sounding off again…..

            Tulsi Gabbard
            U.S. Representative, Hawaii

            “She flouted the DNC in 2016 and backed up Sanders. (How dare her!) Her approach to foreign policy, including a visit with Syrian President Bashar Assad, put her outside many in the Democratic mainstream……”


            Tulsi Gabbard’s views on
            Election Security

            Mandate paper ballots……….

            controversy after controversy! When will it ever end?

            and there is more ……..

      1. integer

        Bless your, and everyone-else-who-doesn’t-like-Gabbard’s, implicitly pro-war heart(s). Everyone hates her, she’s such a loser!

        In response to Massinissa, why is it, exactly, is Gabbard too controversial? Because she’s been relentlessly smeared by the MSM? Because she quit her position at the DNC to endorse Sanders in 2016? Maybe she’s just unelectable, like a certain Senator from Vermont. Best go with Biden (in which case I will win the bet I placed last October).

        1. Chris

          Yup. Considering what’s likely to happen to the world order when we come out the other side of this mess I’d much rather Gabbard be CIC than anyone else.

          1. Carey

            Actually, Gabbard’s “CiC” verbiage was pretty wearing, to me.

            Odd that an eternal-war framing is acceptable to so many.

        2. Massinissa

          Look, its more that I don’t see what she adds to a Sanders ticket or an anyone else ticket. She doesn’t have a lot of name recognition (which Bernie has), doesn’t do well in opinion polls (which Bernie does), and honestly, she doesn’t even seem to be as authentically anti-war as her supporters make her out to be. Yes, shes against regime change wars, and that’s great, but she seems ok with using drone strikes to combat ‘terrorists’, which strikes me as both counterproductive and at odds with some of her other positions. Let me quote her at length from an Intercept interview from 2018:

          ““With these terror cells, for example, yes, I still believe that the right approach to take is these quick-strike forces, surgical strikes in and out, very quickly, no long-term deployment, no long-term occupation, to get rid of the threat that exists and then get out and the very limited use of drones in those situations where our military is not able to get in without creating an unacceptable level of risk”

          How about we NOT do those things? As far as I’m concerned drone striking funerals and whatever is just as counter productive as having boots on the ground. I have seen no evidence that the Obama and Trump policy of endless drone strikes does anything but further the irritation of the people in targeted countries and make them become more sympathetic to supporting said terror groups when these ‘limited anti-terror drone strikes’ inevitably kill more innocent civilians than actual ‘terrorists’, which are not a real threat to this country in the first place.

          Look, I LIKE Tulsi, for the most part. But that doesn’t mean I trust her. Hell, I don’t even trust Bernie, but I trust him far more than I trust Tulsi. Bernie is much more a known quantity for me compared to Tulsi. I like Tulsi just fine, and I’m willing to give her the benefit of the doubt on other things. I just don’t think she would be the ideal Bernie VP the way some people believe.

          Even with my misgivings of her aside, she just doesn’t have the public profile that Bernie would need on his ticket. She’s virtually unknown outside of Hawaii, and among other things, despite her great foreign policy and the fact that she does specifically endorse some good individual economic policies, she isn’t exactly a proven socialist. Her voting record is at best a mixed bag, compared to Bernie’s, which is about as close as one can reasonably get to flawless (Unfortunately, Bernie has other flaws, but this conversation isn’t about him).

          Sorry if this was too long.

        3. Jonhoops

          Lol… for a few good laughs go back before 2016, before Tulsi came out for Bernie,and see how the same establishment pundits and MSM we’re writing glowing reviews of her. She was a rising star hitting all the id-pol boxes and then some.

          Amazing how well propaganda and smear campaigns work. Not to mention the virtual erasing of the only woman of color left in the race.

      2. Carey

        Plenty of people on both the populist left *and* right paying attention to Gabbard,
        despite the corporate media blackout of her campaign.

        A left-right populist alliance that truly benefits the 90% is the only way forward.
        Our Dems™ have seen to that..

  1. Bill Carson

    “If we could’ve passed a larger stimulus then, we would have.”

    This makes me want to vote for Trump.

    It’s one of life’s mysteries; a great paradox—the Democrats who say they want to expand government spending are actually more likely to impost austerity, which Democrats who say they want balanced budgets and smaller government are usually the ones who increase spending and deficits (which we need right now).

    1. Samuel Conner

      IMO, it is looking like Sanders’ policies are mode likely to be enacted under a DJT than a JB presidency.

      But the most infuriating thing is that the elites of both parties refuse to contemplate broadly beneficial interventions until they have become necessary to preserve the elites’ own exalted status — not unlike the situation FDR faced.

      The guillotine memes are highly apposite.

      1. Bill Carson

        I really screwed up that post, didn’t I?

        I meant that Democrats are more likely to impose austerity, while Republicans who promise austerity are more likely to increase spending and deficits.

        1. nippersmom

          I don’t know; considering establishment Democrats have become Republicans in the essentials, I thought it was an appropriate slip.

        2. JTMcPhee

          In either case, money goes to war, domestic spying, banksters and BigCorps in Pharma, medicine, etc. You can pick your poison, but any flavor is deadly to mopes and deplorables.

          #despicables — the category that embraces the 10 plus 0.01%.

        3. Bsoder

          Bill Carson, if I may Republicans do not spend money for the benefit of human beings. Unless ‘prisons’ have some new meaning I’m unaware of. The Dems – extend and pretend (not all, but most) to care. I’d rather neither party existed.

      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        Its been said by Republican operatives over the years that the GOP with a strong leader would inevitably do something on the level of Single Payer as a means to grab power for a generation by sacrificing one industry. They know how disconnected Team Blue is from their base. Their philosophy on one hand holds them back, but if it was a means to power, they might try something.

        I think Jeb! and others like him tried immigration reform expecting to play to conservative catholics and seize an issue from the Dems without upsetting too much. This has never played well.

      3. Carey

        >But the most infuriating thing is that the elites of both parties refuse to contemplate broadly beneficial interventions

        They’re sending quite a clear message, and it’ll take a solidarity-based message in return to get their attention. They haven’t been building this police state for
        the last thirty-plus years for nothing..

    2. Watt4Bob

      If Trump had any brilliant strategists around him they’d figure out that enacting Bernie’s agenda would sink the dims for a couple generations.

      Imagine if Trump enacted M4A, and a debt jubilee, including forgivng student loan debt, saving not only the economy, but his own sorry political a**.

      I wonder if he still answers Steve Bannon’s calls?

      1. 1 Kings

        So he’s gonna rescind his tax cut he gave himself..And the Bush tax cuts that Obama poured into concrete?

  2. Jen

    “Note that some of the masks have colorful prints. They are fashion-forward, as I suggested (!). Here is a manual, complete with patterns. If you make some masks, please send photos! Big hat tip to MR for this.

    NOTE This is not a competition!!!!!!”

    Ha! Game on, people.

    1. Darius

      I’m trying to shout this out wherever I can. Almost everyone in Japan wears a mask in public. Japan has mysteriously low coronavirus transmission rates. They don’t have a robust testing program. The one variable is the masks. Life in Japan is close to normal. People are not confined to their homes. I don’t know if they have closed schools, or are limiting large gatherings. But you see photos of people out and about conducting business. Everyone is wearing a mask.

      This should be a worldwide practice. The biggest transmitters are asymptomatic people who aren’t aware they are sick. Masks prevent those who sneeze of cough from rocketing it into the air to be inhaled by those nearby. You wear it to protect others, not yourself.

      Universal mask wearing combined with robust testing, tracking, quarantining of the ill and exposed, and social distancing would bring this under control quickly.

      1. MLTPB

        There are many seniors in Japan

        Many over 100.

        Probably fewer obesity or diabetes cases, not sure there.

        1. clarky90

          Obesity is believed to be a comorbidity for covid 19

          “There is consensus among experts that both coronary artery disease and heart failure (HF) patients are at increased risk of acute events or exacerbations from viral respiratory infections, with other comorbidities (diabetes, obesity, hypertension, COPD, kidney disease) further increasing risk….”


          1. Donna

            Joe Rogan has a comprehensive interview with Michael Osterholm. He is an infectious disease specialist who consults internationally. In 2017 Osterholm released a book that predicted this precise situation. It was a warning that went unheeded. It’s a 90 minute interview which I watched while baking. Well worth a listen. All your questions about Covid19 answered. Rogan just like NC was on this weeks ago and reached out to this expert. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E3URhJx0NSw

      2. Pelham

        Hmm. What I’ve read here and elsewhere is that masks such as you see in Asia are no good unless the wearer is a disease carrier. In that case, they greatly reduce the chances of transmission to others. Of course, with coronavirus, many carriers may not know they have the virus, so this could be a good thing in that respect. (The masks also speak well of Asian societies, in which people appear to regard the health of others as at least somewhat important.)

        But as for a healthy person, I’ve heard, the typical mask is useless or worse, creating an ideal environment near the face within which the virus could thrive. But is this true? One alternative is a mask rated N95, but these are nearly impossible to breathe through if fitted correctly, which is another complication.

        So what to do, if anything, in regard to masks? Maybe make mask wearing mandatory for anyone who’s out and about, so clueless carriers keep the virus to themselves? As for self protection, how about those clear face shields you see healthcare workers in hazmat suits wearing? Obviously, they don’t block airflow but they could prevent close-proximity droplets from sneezing and coughing from reaching one’s face. And they could discourage facial touching.

        1. c_heale

          I’m in Korea and I would say masks are useful. Not surgical masks but the facemasks they have here. Anything that keeps the virus off your face will be better than nothing.

        2. Darius

          You don’t wear a mask to protect yourself. You wear it to protect others, since a decent probability exists that a given individual has been exposed. It only works if almost everyone wears them.

          It’s a strong American tendency to think, “what’s in it for me?” The answer is that strength comes from solidarity. You wear a mask as part of a mass effort to slow the spread, not to protect yourself as an individual.

          1. Anarcissie

            Panic buying and hoarding cleared most stores of masks and gloves almost instantaneously. Same as food, toilet paper, paper towels, and so on. At the moment I have no idea where I could get any of these things. A sensible society would deliver them free to all, but I don’t live in a sensible society.

            Currently, our great leaders are restarting panic buying almost daily by predicting lockdowns (‘shelter in place’).

      3. Acacia

        Don’t worry, Japan will catch up. Unfortunately, quite a few Japanese are in fact not wearing masks in public. Schools and many offices are closed, but social distancing is NOT in effect. Worth reading:

        Coronavirus: Why Japan chose to test fewer people

        At this point, the number of CV cases is low because people aren’t being tested, and people aren’t being tested because the Japanese leadership appears to be in denial of what is happening elsewhere in the world. The “Japan is special” mentality prevails. And the Abe govt has been, as usual, bullying anybody who questions their policies, and Abe now wants power to declare a state of emergency that includes authority to clamp down and censor media that don’t toe the line. More details here:

        “Dictator” Prime Minister Abe Will Be Able to Control the Press and Suppress Criticism by Declaring a “State of Emergency”

        1. Darius

          Abe’s response has been as bad as Trump’s in many ways. He’s not addressing the situation. He’s exploiting it. Nevertheless, Japanese hospitals are not being overwhelmed. Deaths are not piling up. Things will get worse, but not, apparently, at the pace they’re falling apart in the U.S. Society is functioning. I think you can attribute that, to a significant degree, to widespread practice of wearing face masks.

          1. Acacia

            Agree with you and @c_heale, above.

            Now, if only face masks weren’t so difficult to obtain. Evidently sold out for weeks, everywhere in Japan. It seems a lot of (most?) production was previously off-shored to China, with predictable results. :/

            1. Darius

              You can get outdoor athletic dust masks on eBay or, I presume, Amazon. Cheap. Reusable. More than good enough for this purpose.

      4. clarky90

        “How Singapore avoided a major COVID-19 outbreak” ABC News (Australia)


        “While many countries are looking at more restrictive measures to control the coronavirus, Singapore has avoided a major outbreak of the illness.

        Dr Jeremy Lim is co-director of the Leadership Institute for Global Health Transformation at the National University of Singapore”.

        1. ObjectiveFunction

          Via relentless and, what by American standards would be considered terrifyingly intrusive, investigation of past movements of all new cases. This is made ridiculously easy in our era of spyphones and surveillance cams. If you lie, or simply forget, it’s all right, they know where you’ve been…

          a. to try to establish transmission chains and b. to preemptively quarantine those who may have been exposed to the subject, breaking the chain. And if you don’t stay home, they know it too.

  3. cybrestrike

    Voted in the early afternoon in Maitland, a bedroom community just 10 minutes north of Orlando, Florida. Besides myself voting, there was an elderly couple (in their 80’s if I had to guess). The poll workers told me that it was slow all morning, even during rush hour (though rush hour has been kind of invisible lately).

    The workers had hand sanitizer and gloves.

    1. hemeantwell

      Tallahassee. We’d planned to vote by mail but decided not to after reading stories in the Miami Herald from 2018 about ballots being discarded due to signature match failures. We went in with our n95 masks on (I occasionally do wordworking and went over the top trying to escape sawdust). No line at 9:45. The election workers ranged from mid-20s to early 60s. They were not wearing gloves. The only contact was with the pen, ballot folder, and ballot. Sanitizer bottle at the end.

      So it all seems fine for those who are only transiently exposed. But for the election workers sitting there for hours talking with people who might be asymptomatic? The damage to the turnout will be relatively easy to calculate — and it won’t be — compared to the damage to public health incurred by this foolishness. It will just be one more avoidable exposure out of many.

    2. philman

      I voted in Winter Park, FL around 2 this afternoon. Same story as cybrestrike– really slow and stinking of disinfectant.

  4. WJ

    “Lambert here: I don’t see who elections conducted under these circumstances can possibly be regarded as legitimate. What kind of sociopathic political system asks its voters to cast their ballots while endangering them with a plague?”

    Can’t TPTB just simulate a “likely” election outcome with just one 24-hr news cycle and some fancy electronic voting machines? That way we could enjoy the theater of democracy without having to participate in the production.

  5. fresno dan

    As people begin to work from home more, one of the most serious impedances to this as an effective work around will arise.
    Its affect upon GDP will be substantial. But not every problem has a solution…

    fresno dan postulate – there is a direct positive correlation between the criticality of a computer generated work product and the tenacity of your cat lying on your keyboard

    1. Jen

      I’ve actually started turning on my camera during zoom meetings for the sole purpose of allowing my cat to photo bomb the meeting. Sometimes my dog gets in on the act. We can all use a little levity right now.

      1. ambrit

        “Levity!” That is not taught at MBA schools. It has no ‘corporate’ value. I’ll bet you hear back sooner or later from some self important middle manager about hewing to the “style lexicon” “at work.”

    2. Samuel Conner

      Perhaps give the cat his own keyboard? I recall the story of the cat that would always walk through the family’s Monopoly game, but if given a few properties to manage, would placidly sit, paws on cards, observing the rest of the game.

    3. Clark

      Lordie. I’ve tried my first day of “teleworking” and my damn cat is more of a hinderance than I expected. Just trying to figure out how to use the keyboard on my never-used work laptop — I turn my head and this critter has pressed some button. So productivity is low. But cat is happy — productive day according to him!

      1. OIFVet

        The key for y’all is to realize that your feline overlords are being benevolent and trying to enforce a better work/life balance!

  6. a different chris

    Lambert: What kind of sociopathic political system asks its voters to cast their ballots while endangering them with a plague?

    The U.S.: Hold my beer!

    1. MLTPB

      I think census workers will be out visiting households.

      Will they, with the current situation?

      1. Charlie

        I am supposed to begin training for enumerater 1st week of April. I called local office and they said it’s still on. I’m 69. I expect changes before then. I hope they will just have us call people from home.

          1. ambrit

            Expect those places to ‘outsource’ the eviction process.
            I am seriously expecting the return of “Equal Opportunity Night Riders” to combat the Elites.

        1. Sharron

          Your official census ID badge must be worn at all times and I would imagine your face must be visible for ID purposes when working.

  7. Drake

    “Yeah, it’s like all the leaders who got us into Iraq still were still well-respected in public life, and held powerful positions. Oh, wait…”

    I had the unfortunate experience of seeing an interview by Christiane Amanpour of Yuval Noah Harari over the weekend while flipping channels. I tried to post it yesterday but every time I post a link my post disappears into moderation limbo and eventually disappears altogether, so if you want to find the video or transcript go to the CNN website. This was what I tuned into:

    Harari: “This is basically the payday for what we have been seeing in the last few years with the epidemic of fake news and with the deterioration of international relations. If you compare this, for example, to the 2008 financial crisis, which is, of course, a crisis of a different kind, but there are similarities, in 2008 you had responsible adults in the world which took a leadership position, rallied the world behind them and prevented the worst outcomes.”

    No recognition at all that the ‘worst outcomes’ were avoided only for a select few; that the ‘responsible adults’ engineered a transfer of wealth from poorest to richest; that they never really fixed the last crisis except through monetary expansion, mountains of debt and the low interest rates needed to sustain the debt; that they merely put off the reckoning until the next crisis (now); or that it was the public’s rejection of the ‘reponsible adults’ and their works that caused Trump and brethren to be elected in the first place. This is an intellectual.

      1. Drake

        I have no doubt he’ll be reassured by Biden’s cabinet picks. Responsible adults one and all, like the great Joe himself, who represented the great corporation of Delaware so ably.

  8. fresno dand

    “Free The Trolls: The Justice Department Moves To Drop Major Mueller Case Against Russian-Linked Companies” [Jonathan Turley]. “

    if you didn’t see this in the morning posting, its new to you
    fresno dan
    March 17, 2020 at 11:34 am
    New Cold War Aaron Mate

    Just a little non corona virus stuff for variety.
    Here is the actual link to the opinion

    For many of the reasons already discussed—in particular, the lack of any evidence of bad
    faith—the Court will refrain from imposing any punitive sanction at this time and, consistent
    with other courts, will instead adopt a policy of “progressive discipline.”
    Although it is nice that the reality that this indictment was ridiculous FINALLY comes out, the legal/prosecutor complex that prevents any actual sanction against incompetence or WORSE continues on. To believe the original indicment was minor, understandable, and not in bad faith is exactly what the problem is. To find a “lack of evidence of bad faith” is ASTOUNDING.
    Trump is loathsome – but to have the legal system manipulated in what really is a FLAGRANT abuse of prosecution is extremely disheartening. It is a system DESIGNED to prevent getting to the bottom of things…and preventing accountability.
    With regard tothe ruling.
    I was gonna say something about about the ruling being similar to concluding a certain mustachioed guy, who during WWII, led a certain European country, and coming to the conclusion that there is no (written) evidence that he was involved in a war crime – but that would get my comment deleted.
    So, I would say the judge coming to the conclusion that there is no evidence government attorneys DID NOT act in bad faith is like that chapter in Moby Dick where in extensive detail Melville puts forth the reasons why a whale is not a fish…And than he concludes that a whale is a fish…

    1. nippersmom

      I keep hearing about what an effective legislator Nancy is. I have yet to see it. I realize her goals are not the same as mine,
      but she seems to be caught with egg on her face pretty regularly.

      1. Daryl

        I am convinced that “effective legislator” and “wonk” are applied as positive labels to substitute for…actually having done things.

    2. Glen

      Trump is going to go to the LEFT of the Dementiacratic party quicker than it takes Biden to blow out an eye! All he has to do is send out some crummy checks, and run ads of Biden bragging about trying to cut Social Security and Medicare.

      Biden is TOAST. What’s he going to do run on his lies while the Republicans point to the truth, and actually do a half a$$ed bailout?

      Heck, it’s probably time to approach Trump, and see if he will back Medicare for All. He can call it TrumpCare. He would get my vote.

      Nancy could have brought up M4A anytime in the last two years but ….

      1. urblintz

        The Dems are TOAST.

        Trump is soooooo gonna be re-elected.

        How does Tom Perez spell W-H-I-G?

        1. flora

          That’s ‘Tom angel-of-death Perez’. /please stand in long, crowded lines to vote in the primary during this corona pandemic

          1. Tvc15

            His twitter bio says, “…fighting for the little guy”. Between Biden’s bald face lying on Sunday and this nonsense from Perez, we truly live in Orwell’s dystopian society now. I get my two minutes of hate when I see Trump, Pelosi, Biden, Nunez…the list is endless.

            1. Procopius

              Actually, IIRC he had an excellent record as Secretary of Labor. I recall a couple of puff pieces that made me think I could bring myself to vote for him when he (inevitably) ran for President. In fact he was compared with Keith Ellison as a progressive. Seems the mask slipped, or else he changed.

    1. Big Top

      Tom Perez is also the guy that said nothing about attacks from other Democrats for over a year of Tulsi Gabbard. You think someone in his position would say it’s not appropriate to criticize a sitting Democratic Congresswoman particularly to the SJW crowd of a POC woman. Of course they don’t like her politics.

      With the current primaries today Perez wants people to vote and no delays. The sooner the nomination is resolved and any future primaries don’t matter the better. They can put Biden in a Cone of Silence. When Biden campaigns and talks he gets into trouble.

        1. Massinissa

          I’d like to believe that, but I’m honestly not sure. We are living in STRANGE times…

          1. RMO

            Yes, of the “Biden could die, or Trump could die, or the horse may learn to sing” kind of strangeness. I would not bet with confidence on the eventual shape of and outcome of the next US election. “The horse may learn to sing” unlikely possibility is that this may be such a shakeup that things will genuinely change for the better in the coming years.

    2. Darius

      You truly have Obama to thank for Tom Perez. The DNC was all set to elect Keith Ellison when Obama dropped from the sky and rounded up DNC members to vote for Perez. If Perez is wretchedly corrupt, it just reflects his patron.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Though Perez shouldn’t have the dignity of resigning, even though he is retiring. He should be boycotted. Any organization that might hire him should be identified and boycotted.

        1. Massinissa

          I read that as “Greasy Pickle” for a moment, though I don’t know what that would have meant.

  9. smoker

    For those living there, here’s the full text of California’s [Silicon Valley™] Santa Clara County Shelter in Place Order

    See Section 10 for Definitions and Exemptions, see 10(f) for the definition of Essential Businesses.

    Santa Clara County currently has the highest number of California cases at 138,and the highest number of California deaths, 4 out of11, which is highly disproportionate to the Los Angeles and San Francisco County figures (after taking the populations of all 3 counties into account). I consider this, in major part, a consequence of not screening Santa Clara County’s Mineta International Airport as was done at both San Francisco and Los Angeles International Airports. The fact that Santa Clara County is a major US hotspot for unsheltered homeless make this sickening beyond belief.

    Neither of the above links require scripting, for those, like myself, who are having increasing internet access issues which scripting compounds exponentially.

      1. flora

        It applies to the bay area’s 6 counties populations. All 6 counties health directors are on board with shelter in place to stop the spread of corona virus. The bay area has seen a rapid rise in confirmed cases in the past week. The 6 counties’ health directors are taking the prudent course of action, imo.

      2. smoker

        I’m well aware of that population difference, I highlighted it in my comment: …highly disproportionate to the Los Angeles and San Francisco County figures (after taking the populations of all 3 counties into account).

        San Francisco County had 43 cases when I commented, as opposed to 138 in Santa Clara (see the L.A. Times link I provided), 138/43 is 3.2. More precisely – per the latest Census Bureau Quick Facts estimated populations (July 2018 estimates) – San Francisco County (883,305 estimated population) has 0.455882884 the estimated population of Santa Clara County (1,937,570), that percentage of 138 is 62.9,well over (≈46% over) 43.

        (It’s getting very close to the comment number where I’ll be unable to nest a comment, so if I don’t respond to something, that will be why.)

  10. HarrisonBergeron

    Am I the only one who has been looking at the melt down in the interbank markets? If this keeps up we’re looking at the nightmare from 2008 where they nearly started turning ships around. If the shortage of dollars in the world isn’t fixed it could be “Katy bar the door”

      1. HarrisonBergeron

        Yeah, this is what got me thinking about this. One of the little discussed parts of the 08 crisis is that if these short term markets freeze trade will stop with it. The supply line breaks that China had a temporary issue with will rock the US and perhaps many other countries. If they can’t fix this we’re looking at a bank holiday or worse. One of the things that stuck in my head I’m not even sure if true, is that Chicago only has enough chlorine to treat the city water on hand for a week or so and the purchase of it is financed on a short term basis. Would the supplier deliver the first week without payment, probably but would they or anyone be able to buy diesel to truck it there by a second week? I don’t know. I can’t imagine any city is just sitting on months worth of supply for this type of thing.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          The disruption to state and local budgets will be catastrophic. The denizens of capital hill really have no idea what is about to happen.

        1. Bsoder

          Yes, the second strain as well is age agnostic which is to say young, old it doesn’t matter. It’s the third mutation occur now to really worry about.

        1. divadab

          This is similar to the early stages of the pandemic in China, Over time, the “recovered” category goes to higher and higher multiples of the “died” category. IMHO this is due to most confirmed early cases being fully engaged and more likely to die. As testing expands, the :tested” population widens to contain more and more symptom-free and low symptom infected people. The overall death rate percentage will always be too high due to the large number of symptom free and untested people.

          1. Bsoder

            Sorry to disagree, it really doesn’t work that way, the death rate is likely to low as many will die of co-morbidity and be classified as something. Others will die and just be of ‘natural causes’. And delayed deaths. C-19 is a complex thing.

  11. Tim

    Bernie, for the sake of winning, should actually advocate to keep the primaries open. All the old people are scared and stay home. Only the young show up and Bernie wins.

    1. MLTPB

      There will legitimacy issues, either way.

      An election is always about a particular moment in time. Any postponement, especiall when not by a day or two, will leave room for dispute.

      Without postponing, it is also arguable that we dont get the true picture.

      The third option is to go with those results from when the virus was not distorting votes, ie the totals as of yesterday.

    2. Noone from Nowheresville

      At this point, given the circumstances, I’m thinking seriously that 3rd party may be the way to go. Sanders brings out voters who don’t generally vote. Could he pull enough from both Dems & Reps in a crisis like this?

      This crisis will most likely experience a new surge in the fall. The response right now is to save the financial world and bailout industry. Even those industries like casinos which have no productive value to the crisis at hand. Same old policies just implemented more cruelly. People will be seriously hurting in the fall.

      The questions would be how would he get ballot access? how would he get election coverage? Gabbard’s been basically blacked out and erased from media so we know her way made no difference.

      Would Sanders consider such a move? And how does he get around the national corporate media? Yes, the internet & twitter. But Sanders would need something that got into the national discussion if he ran 3rd party or ballot access. Even if he didn’t win (I want a win), could he find or create a way for a future candidate that couldn’t be shut down?

  12. Off The Street

    Russiagate: The Concord suit is likely only the next such for the DOJ to withdraw or otherwise try to nudge toward the Memory Hole. Reading through the malign Keystone Kops incompetencies on display through articles, FOIA filing results and attorney comments makes one yearn for a house-cleaning and restructuring to restore some semblance of the Rule of Law.

    The current ‘system’ doesn’t work and has lost credibility due to numerous reasons. Count on foot-dragging and other maneuvers like purported national security (National Security!) claims to hide the reckonings from view. That is a reasonable place to start prior to revisiting weaponization of departments like Lois Lerner’s IRS, State and others.

    Next up very likely to be withdrawn will be the General Flynn case, also a study in opacity and miscarriage. The fallout won’t be pretty but the heightened scrutiny on the Judiciary, and on Congressional minders, should result in tighter oversight and a return, if one could call it that, to a more responsible and objective process.

    None of the above excuses bad behavior by anyone. If they transgressed, they should be held to account, properly.

    1. The Rev Kev

      What happens when those Russian companies and General Flynn go after the Justice Department and use the process of discovery to find out why they were charged – the real reasons? Or will the DOJ claim that all such information is “classified on the grounds of national security?”

      1. Off The Street

        Counting on that discovery to flush out those [family bloggers]. A cleansing of sorts. Some disinfecting sunlight.

    2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      New Church Commission. Followed by a new Pecora Commission. When will it happen? The first of never.

    1. nippersmom

      Lovely story. I’m glad Lambeth House is finding ways to help people like your grandparents maintain their connection.

    2. Stillfeelinthebern

      Thank you for sharing this Jonathan. Wishing all the best to your grandparents and the rest of your family. Same for others here experiencing separation and waiting for testing of family and friends.

  13. Jason Boxman

    I hadn’t known this, but once Woodrow Wilson brought us into the Great War, his administration created a police state. We had our own Stasi, the American Protective League. He was actually the president of the American Red Cross, and the full force of women in every community was brought to bear, tasked with among other things, producing a quota of clothing for soldiers. And his administration essentially nationalized public and private universities and used them to train an officer corps for the Army.

    This from chapter 9 of “The Great Influenza”.

    Relatedly, it’s not clear what all the fuss is about Trump; Wilson was clearly more of an authoritarian, and a ruthlessly effective one, than Trump can dream of being. I guess only in the minds of liberal Democrats.

      1. montanamaven

        I wrote a piece about Montana and the Sedition Act back in 2010 and then reposted in 2015. Called “Montana’s Inquisition” Wilson was the worst president ever.

        At the  beginning of WW I, Woodrow Wilson formed a National Council of Defense and asked each state and each county in the state to help with war propaganda, helping in recruitment of troops, and getting people to buy Liberty Bonds.  The Montana Council of Defense went whole hog into this endeavor and was especially keen on finding “slackers” and “draft dodgers”.  The Governor of Montana, Sam Stewart called a special session of the legislature in part to make the Montana Council of Defense a legal body with funding by the state.  The legislature also passed the Sedition Act and the Criminal Syndicalism Act, which the federal government would use as a model for the federal Sedition Act which was an amendment to the Espionage Act of 1917. This act was probably one of the harshest anti-speech laws ever passed in the United States.

        Eventually 76 men and 3 women would be convicted in Montana in the war years  and 41 of them sentenced from 10 t0 20 years in prison. In 2006, Governor Schweitzer pardoned all of them; the culmination of efforts by law students at the U of Montana to seek the pardons.

      2. The Rev Kev

        And don’t forget that he brought back segregation into the public service. Had to keep those ‘inferiors’ from getting ahead. That guy was a real piece of work and I call him America’s first neoliberal President. Under the laws he brought in, people were prosecuted for talking about the effects of the flu in public as an example and his laws are being use to this day to go after whistle-blowers.

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          So many wonderful rabbit holes to explore, W Wilson and the KKK, Palmerston and the U.S. Civil War, Prescott Bush and the Nazis, the Roman Catholic Church and the Lincoln assassination.

          (Stop me before I get to JFK and 9/11…)

    1. ObjectiveFunction

      Plentiful CTs aside, and it’s been a long time since I read Hofstadter, but wasn’t it ‘Colonel’ House and Edith Wilson largely running the show by that point? as WW’s health and cognition declined sharply after the 1916 reelection. The progressive agenda rapidly went under the bus, followed by any pretenses of neutrality, and then House himself, and finally the League of Nations. Talk about “a distant mirror!”

      1. Swamp Yankee

        I don’t think this is the case, ObjectiveFunction; his decline follows his stroke in the autumn of 1919, desperately campaigning across the country for the League of Nations. Clemenceau was no shrinking violet and found him on his game at Versailles. Mrs. Wilson dominates after that (she and House don’t get along).

        Yes, House is kind of like a Viceroy in Europe a lot of the time, but Wilson is still in the game before October, 1919; after, not so much.

        Wilson was lousy in some respects, but there were good things about his presidency, like the elevation of Louis Brandeis, and the determination to go beyond just taming trusts, but into destroying them.

        He may have been our most arrogant president, but I don’t think he was worst — that I reserve for Buchanan. But this is a separate question, I think.

        1. Swamp Yankee

          I do want to add, the Espionage Act and the Sedition Act and the civil liberties bonfire at home during WWI were pretty horrible.

    2. Procopius

      If you want some horrific reminders of how bad the “land of the free” has been, go to the archive of the site Whatever It Is I’m Against It.. Go to the entries for 1917, then find April and start going forward day by day. The entries are excerpts from newspapers 100 years ago that day. One I recall, from sometime in 1918, a law was passed (I suppose a state law) making it a felony to buy a drink for a soldier. People were lynched for having a German name. America has always been a worse place than we remember. There was a healthy reaction back in the ’50s, against McCarthy and later against the John Birch Society, but we returned to normal when people who opposed the Iraq War were called traitors.

  14. Duck1

    Visit to supermarket just north of Portland about 1 hr ago: bread pretty wiped out, paper goods wiped out, pasta, dried beans wiped out, chicken, ground beef wiped out, overall inventory quite low on many items. Not sure if this is daily now, or unable to restock from the weekend.

    1. Patrick Morrison

      Essentially the same shelf report from a grocery store in Raleigh, NC. I went for yeast (no shortage), and indulged myself with Braunschweiger (no run on that!) They were out of pumpernickel, and the manager said it would be some time before it was back in.

      1. Krystyn Walentka

        I have such an odd diet that so many things I eat are still on the shelves. I was glad to see how much canned salmon, oysters, and sardines are sitting on the shelves in Chapel Hill, NC. That and rye bread. I am set for three weeks easy.

      2. Amfortas the hippie

        Mason, Texas has been out of bread, flour, tortilla mix(!), oil,TP, etc for 2 days.
        so has fredericksburg(my report) and Llano(others) and brady(others)
        so no bread for forty miles in any direction.
        or anything else resembling a “staple”.
        plenty of beer, so far.

        weed has totally dried up.

        mother in law is a hub of the local rumor mill(which some might remember me talking about before…it’s a social support network in addition to its usual PITA-ness)
        she says the grocery/store owners and workers are telling her that the trucks aren’t running.
        and the various motherships/corporate offices aren’t promising anything as to when those trucks might start running again.
        cousins going on a night run to forage at walmart, liquor store, etc in brady..and to see what’s happening(gloved and masked and freaked enough to be careful of exposure(!))
        wife had her first panic attack today, due to Eldest going to town with a simple, nonexposure list of things to get from her empty classroom in the empty school…ends up with his on again/off again girl, licking and such.
        i told him he could sleep in his truck if that’s how seriously he’s gonna take all this, lol.
        i went to the dump (to clear out the trash storage for us and mom’s) and came out with orders of magnitude more(pound for pound) of stuff than i went in with(R-Panel, steel pipe, etc)…and feed store, due to chicks soon to arrive.
        radios everywhere had DJ’s,etc talking about how it’s all a librul chinese hoaxweapon meant to bring down Amurca!…and how only librul chinese loving fools take any kind of precautions.
        this is even on the local station.
        but school keeps extending spring break, and local government folks seem to be on the ball.
        as well as local healthcare people.
        nurses that come out here to see stepdad every day are visibly shaken, and obviously exhausted, already.
        I sure as hell hope that there’s a silver lining in all this.
        if that ends up being a GOP New Deal, so be it.

          1. Amfortas the hippie

            thats north of Llano…near Cherokee…no?
            prolly 45 miles, crow’s way.
            take me an hour and a half if i take a bunch of dirt roads…more by highway.
            i stopped there once, due to the name, and now can’t remember what the sign said about it.
            like so many places around here, definitely has a ‘beyond the edge of the map’ feel to it.

            1. WobblyTelomeres

              Was over that way a few years ago to ride the three sisters (336, 337, and 338 if memory serves). On the way back, I passed the sign for the cemetery and was struck dumb, declaring that Texas wins the weirdness war. And it’s not even close.

    2. MLTPB

      Reading the shelter in place order, it seems ordering food for delivery is allowed.

      More expensive, but an option, in case.

    3. Phillip Allen

      Which Portland, please?

      Two days ago the manager of a local (Connecticut) Stop & Shop explained to a group of customers that there are significant and growing disruptions in the supply chain. They place orders and may get half of what they needed. Delivery schedules have been thrown into chaos, and sometimes a truck simply doesn’t show up at all. From what I know about how food distribution is organized, I expect these problems are national – and pretty much guaranteed to get worse.

      1. Jen

        Heard the same when I went over to King Arthur Flour’s retail store to pick up some flour – they said they just got a delivery this morning, and were getting calls from people as far as 2 hours away because local stores were out. Swung by my local co-op after – they still had flour, but the bulk bins for dried beans were all out. Crazy.

      2. pricklyone

        From IL:
        Yesterday I needed a loaf of rye bread. I had purchased a corned beef a week ago, and will make meals of it for week or so. Bread at all stores I chcked was gone. Today Aldi, and local chain both have signs up limiting amounts. But some bread is back, and Milk/Eggs. These were not in place yesterday. (May have been at Aldi, but they changed their hours to close at 5pm and I was late.) Have not been back to the larger regional chain, got what I needed today. Dollar General was swamped yesterday, with people trying to get what the supermarket was unable to provide. All was calm here until the weekend, and then it wet crazy. (Other than hand sanitizer-etc as that was the first wave of panic.) I put a couple of loaves of white in the freezer. I have Spam. Maybe I’ll be able to find Peanut Butter.
        I have no money to stock up, so I didn’t. I start getting Social Security (early @62) in April, been literally years since I had any income.
        If they were to do some kind of UBI thing related to the virus, they would only bump me off of Medicaid and into that “Pain City” Lambert likes to reference.
        Well and truly ****ed, we are…

      3. Copeland

        Wait, what? There are actually supply chain problems? Any word on why that is?

        Up until your comment I thought the empty shelves were due to:

        1) Hoarding or over-buying
        2) People who almost always eat out now have to eat at home

        1. Carey

          Are you contending that there are no supply chain problems, and/or no
          reason for there to be? Interesting. Seeing them in my region (SLO County, CA), despite only three confirmed CV cases here, so far.

    4. Peter from Georgia

      My old firm represented most of the poultry processors and egg growers east of the Mississippi. There are both an enormous amount of capacity within the system to ramp up production as well as something on the order of 100,000 tons (IIRC) of processed chicken sitting in the deep freezers of the major processors at any given time.

      What there is not is a system in place to distribute the processed chicken quickly (still needs to be packaged) or one that can ramp up production of chicks to chickens to chicken thighs in short order.

      1. Old Jake

        Unless the current transportation system breaks down, the flow rate through the distribution system should not change. That initial surge of people looking to stock up (only to have perishables rot on their countertops) has depleted what is in the last stage, but the resupply rate should be sufficient to keep everyone fed as well has they have been up to now.

        The challenge, and I don’t see it as being insurmountable, is the last mile when people take seriously the social distance principle. I understand Amazon is looking for people and I would guess that there will be a lot more jobs for delivery people soon. Bring back the egg person, the milk person and the bread person. Can the Fuller Brush person be far behind?

        1. Bsoder

          CDC (still with it’s 90 day track record of lying) has stated: stock up to 14 days supply of food. So best not to buy something that will rot on your counter. The less then 10 people gatherings and this could last to 9/2020, is all fair warning. If one can buy fresh or revolve own’s stock one should, but carefully.

    5. rd

      The grocery stores in upstate NY the same. Basically the grocery stores sold Thanksgiving and Christmas volume stuff without the prep work they do in their supply chain for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Also, the stuff bought was more like hurricane-prep stuff than holiday.

      So their supply chains are structured to deliver a certain volume of paper goods, cleaning supplies, fresh produce, pasta, etc. a week based on normal conditions. And then the highly abnormal hits….

      Most of the stuff they ran out of is made in the US, so it is being made and trucked daily, just not in the volume that panicking consumers are demanding. Basically, they have been maintaining the swimming pool level using a garden hose and then somebody pulled the plug on the pool. Once people realize they have a 6-month supply of everything, the plug will slowly get put back in and the pool will refill.

    6. The Historian

      I went to my favorite local grocery store in Boise today at 8 AM. Most of the shoppers were over 60 like me. I thought I had bought some dishwasher pods but this morning I couldn’t find them so I had to get some more. I’ve been doing a lot more cooking lately – probably out of boredom.

      Lots of empty shelves but they had just gotten in a truckload of stuff so everyone, including the cashiers, were trying to stock.
      They had plenty of meat and fresh vegetables and fruit, but no hot dogs or sausages. No cookies or crackers but I did see that they had boxes of crackers in the aisles. The only soup left on the shelves was tomato soup. No toilet paper – they were telling people that they were hoping they would get some in this afternoon – but they had just gotten in some boxes of paper towels and people were taking them out of the boxes in the aisles. They had about half the milk they usually carry. The butter they had was in bulk loaves wrapped in wax paper – something I’d never seen there before. Very little dish soap or laundry soap on the shelves. The baking aisle was pretty much empty. Dog and cat food seemed well stocked though so I picked up some more cans of my fur babies’ favorite foods. I didn’t go down all the aisles because I just got a few things and left.

      I couldn’t talk to anyone because they were so busy and were being pestered by people asking if they got in any of this or that.

      1. divadab

        Wow you have tomato soup my local walmart was all out. They had plenty of cream of mushroom…

    7. martell

      I’m in Portland OR. Local grocery store just got restocked with eggs, a superfood. They have plenty of butter, frozen fish, yogurt, nuts, bacon, cheese, raisins, and so forth and so on. No shortage of coffee or beer either, thank the gods Yes, they are still out of toilet paper. Good thing coronavirus doesn’t make everyone lose their actual sh#t – just their metaphorical sh#t.

      And the local chain, Fred Meyer’s, is hiring people to stock groceries. They presently have too few of the former to get everything on the shelves.

  15. BobW

    I’m all good now, got an email for miracle virus oil. For some reason it was mistakenly put in the spam folder.

    1. OIFVet

      I got several robocalls offering me health insurance in this moment of great need. And a car dealer I visited years ago called, concerned about my need to have reliable transportation. I was polite to the latter, just a guy who’s trying to put food on the table. The former make me boil with anger. Shut off the phone after 10am, I’m good on siding, roofing, term life, and pretend-Chase offers. Just worried I may miss the one call that would make today great: the chance to claim the lottery win I forgot all about, or some such.

      1. urblintz

        ultimately, my text reply to the multitude of inquiries as to whether I “still” need health insurance was: hahahahahahahahaha f^*# off a^*hole your industry just died

        1. Oh

          It looks like banks and stock brokerages are sending out e-mail virtue signalling as to the steps they’ve taken about Covid-19. Do I really care?

          1. Geo

            Step one: Pocket all the money.

            Step two: Scream for help and threaten to take everyone down with you.

            Step three: Get bailout.

            Step four: Pocket all the money.

      2. Arizona Slim

        Got two spam phone messages today. (I don’t answer unless I recognize the number.)

        First one was one of those Google listing scams. The second was some real estate agent. Probably trolling for listings. Tucson’s house prices are way up there right now. Methinks this pandemic may have a depressive effect on them.

  16. foghorn longhorn

    Second financial meltdown of his life, hell, it’s the third one of the 2000’s.
    2000, 2008, 2020
    Not to mention the meltdown of the mid 80’s and the infamous gas lines of the 70’s.
    It almost seems like a feature, not a bug.

    The proles around here are freaking the eff out, stores look like a group of locusts have moved thru.
    Good luck to all.

    1. MLTPB

      Read local farmers markets have been closed.

      It hurts, the farmers, and shoppers.

      Maybe go directly to the farms?

      1. mrsyk

        Our farmers market in Bennington VT is doing preorder and pick up this weekend. A couple of the specialty food vendors are doing preorder and pick up as well. Now would be a good time to sign up for a CSA with your local farmer. Buy local. Support local production.

  17. Michael

    “If we could’ve passed a larger stimulus then, we would have.” (1) Axelrove had the House, the Senate, the greatest orator of our time in the White House, and a mandate for “hope and change.”

    “Axelrove”, he-he-he

  18. bwilli123

    Some analysis of Coronavirus Fatality Data from Italy

    …”Lombardy was probably the epicenter of the initial contagion. Hence, the quick rise. Yet, Veneto (which experienced its first death the same day as Lombardy) seems to have a growth of infected people much slower than the other main Northern regions.
    In particular, the absolute and relative level of deaths in Veneto is inferior to those in Emilia and Piemonte, in spite of the fact that these two regions experienced their first deaths several days after Veneto.
    The Veneto Model
    There is an important difference between Veneto and the other three Northern regions. From the beginning, Veneto applied the strategy of mass testing applied in South Korea. As a result, Veneto has been able to isolate infected people even when they were asymptomatic. In Vo’, this strategy worked wonderfully….
    Implications for the United States
    The Italian experience suggests that mass testing is a necessary component of a successful strategy against COVID-19. You have to test early and you have to test as many people as possible to isolate the infected. That is the opposite of the US strategy….”


    1. Darius

      What US strategy? It’s almost like they’re planning to fail. I’m expecting troops in the streets in a month or so. Keep people in hysteria. A lot of social engineering can be accomplished. The actual overthrow of our hollowed out democracy.

  19. skk

    There maybe several IT folk here in NC who are “working from home”. I got this email from kaggle.com a few minutes ago, a new ( with prizes, but not very large though ) competition – if you don’t know data science this may be good way of learning the text mining domain and who knows – fresh eyes not blinded by “same old same old” may see something. Also if your corporate laptops are locked down, kaggle.com provides free computing power – the GPU and TPU usage has a weekly quota though – one needs to check if CPU cores and usage are limited too. Here is the email text:

    In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the White House and a coalition of leading research groups have prepared the COVID-19 Open Research Dataset (CORD-19). This dataset is a resource of over 29,000 scholarly articles, including over 13,000 with full text, about COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, and related coronaviruses.

    Today we, along with the White House and global health organizations, are asking for your help to develop text and data mining tools that can help the medical community develop answers to high priority scientific questions. Click the button at the bottom of this email to get started.

    About the challenge
    In this challenge, you’ll be using Kaggle’s Tasks product. Take a look at the tasks listing on the dataset. Submit a notebook under any task by scrolling to the bottom of the task. You may make submissions to as many tasks as you wish. Share your notebook publicly and accept the competition’s rules to be eligible for prizes.

    1. notabanker

      They have blood on their hands and at some point kharma kicks in. It is all going to end very badly for them. The political posturing over dead bodies is not going to go down well in a country loaded with automatic weapons.

  20. antidlc

    Just a question…

    These coronavirus aid packages…

    Is anyone asking how will we pay for them?


    1. Samuel Conner

      “Pay for” may be the wrong question. Treasury could create money without need for Congressional authorization (the famous “Mint the Coin”). From an MMT perspective, whether Treasury issues new money (zero interest bearer bonds, if printed as paper) or new interest-bearing debt instruments is a relatively minor question. From a “functional finance” perspective, the choice would depend on whether one wanted the non-government sector to have more interest income or not.

      Thankfully, at the moment we don’t have capacity shortages for essentials such as food and fuel.

      1. John

        The price of money creation is inflation eventually. Keep an eye on what MUST be paid for and without breaking a sweat you see that only those things of which the speaker disapproves or are of no political benefit to him. Suppose this $1,000 check to whatever slice of the population theoretically gets it becomes a fact. Have you heard any, “how are you going to pay for it blather.” They really think we re all morons.

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          Instead of Benjamins (that will just sit in many peoples’ bank accounts) why don’t the feds go to the major loyalty rewards platforms and issue vouchers for essential goods and services

  21. Krystyn Walentka


    New coronavirus stable for hours on surfaces

    New research finds that the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is stable for several hours to days in aerosols and on surfaces. Scientists found that severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) was detectable in aerosols for up to three hours, up to four hours on copper, up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to two to three days on plastic and stainless steel.

    So now I think smartphones may be playing a larger role in the spread. Think about how much you touch something and them immediately grab your phone. And think about all the infected people talking on their phones splattering it with viral droplets and then rubbing it with their fingers and then touching the touchscreen checkout tablets…

  22. martell

    Thanks for “What is political power?” It’s a thought provoking article. Too many thoughts to recount here and now, so I’ll just note a few.

    I think it best to conceive of Marxist theories as contributions to a revisable social scientific research program. Initiated by Marx, this program was carried forward throughout the late 19th and 20th centuries by numerous other figures, reaching a highpoint in the early 1970s with the so called structuralist Marxists: Althusser, Balibar, Poulantzas, and Godelier, among others. After that period, Marxism as a research program went into sharp decline, but was continued by a number of heterodox economists, Sraffians for the most part, Ernesto Screpanti chief among them. Anyone who is serious about Marxism should, I think, at least come to an understanding of the works of these people. Those works represent the state of the art.

    In fact, this is the advice I’d offer to the author of the linked article. The author seems, for instance, to be mixing up the young and the “mature” Marx in the passage quoted above. But Althusser was right about this much: as far as theory goes, those are two different people. Also, Nicos Poulantzas spent the better part of his too brief career summarizing and critically evaluating various Marxist theories of the state (e.g., state as committee for the organization of the affairs of the bourgeoisie, or state as neutral tool of class conflict) on the way to developing his own view, while also weighing the merits of various political strategies (within or outside existing political institutions). Marxists should make use of Poulantzas’ work, at least for purposes of getting clear on their options.

    And there’s a great deal of talk in this article about democracy. But what is that? Turns out that upon close analysis it proves to have been many quite different things. Athenian demokratia (first known as isocracy) is much, much different from what we now call democracy. The ancients, for instance, didn’t have representatives, rarely made laws, and selected individuals for office by lottery. Now, we probably don’t want to reinstitute democracy in that sense. But what we presently call democracy isn’t working very well any more and is pretty clearly bound up in both form and content with the capitalist economic institutions which Marxism as a political movement seeks to replace. So, it seems safe to say that the democracy for which contemporary Marxists wish is something that has yet to exist. What should it look like? At this point, I’d recommend going outside the Marxist tradition (which has always been better at tearing down existing institutions than building up genuinely different ones) by having a look at the works of the civic republicans: Machiavelli, Montesquieu, Arendt for starters. There’s a great deal to be learned here about power, the many different forms it can take, and institutional arrangements favoring one form or another.

    1. curious euro

      How to develop future democracy: if you actually want democracy then the demos must actually rule.
      We now have the technological development and resources to easily hold plebiscites far more often than before.
      Back when the modern form of democracy started, the bourgeois democracy, shortly before 1800, we didn’t. That’s one of the reasons why we have delegates who supposedly vote in proxy for us: if you have to travel hundreds or thousands of miles in horse and buggy to tell your government what they should do, then direct democracy is a non-starter. Of course this was immediately, even before codified into law, subverted by all those who didn’t want to give the plebs any power. Another aristocracy under another name.
      Only the swiss sorta evaded this trap.

      Plebiscites have one big advantage: everyone can understand how it actually works, it’s simple. And if the people actually want a Biden or Trump: youcan’t force them to make good decisions. There will be many bad ones, but at least the people only can blame themselves instead of “I voted for Obama and now look what he did with my vote”.

      1. John

        I do not think the political class in particular really want democracy. How do you keep control in a democracy? Hence, the squeeze the vote operations in each party, but we love democracy when OUR voters get to vote; we love democracy when we get to set the district. boundaries. We love democracy when we have the majority. We love democracy, but we think the Patriot Act is just peachy. I could go on and on, but I think most career politicians are fascists at heart never mind what labels they may use or their rhetoric.

        1. curious euro

          I don’t really know of any substantial gerrymandering in Europe. We also have mostly proportional voting instead of FPTP and we have typical turnout of 70-80%. Yes it went down several decades now, but still fairly high at least for national elections. We don’t even have big donors compared to the US and certainly no PACs.

          We still have the same oligarch rule, the same politicians who never listen to their base but instead listen to various lobbies by corporations.

    1. MLTPB

      Only fly Chinese or Russian airlines in the future?

      Remember Autarky.

      No mass tourism, globally.

    2. Monty

      This situation is different to 2008, unlike Boeing’s self p0wnage, there was no malice or fraud at the airlines. No non nation state had the power to stop or prepare for this. These companies just need way to take time out until the danger passes. Unprecedented times.

      1. Geo

        No malice from the airlines? Have you flown in the last decade? Being a passager on most airlines is like an S&M dungeon without the fun stuff. :)

  23. Polar Donkey

    The restaurant i work at closed today. Over 100 employees and their families affected. Pick up/Delivery not viable. Every other restaurant in city trying that. Consumers just spent a fortune buying 14 to 28 days of food. I tried to warn people this was coming for weeks. Two people listened and prepared as best he could. Everyone else caught flat footed. I expect a nation wide lockdown Thursday. People will just not listen and social distance/stay home. It is hopeless aside from a nation wide lockdown to get a handle on this. Followed by a depression.

    1. mrsyk

      Sorry to hear that. i would venture yours is a common story these days. I aged out of bar tending years ago (it really is a young person’s profession). My younger son was until yesterday keeping bar at a BBQ in Chinatown. He is currently unemployed, of course.

    2. Krystyn Walentka

      People out in NC are headed to the Outer Banks for a “CoronaVacation”. They are getting turned away though thank god. Idiots.

        1. MLTPB

          Argentina announced paid worker leave for those over 60. Many headed straight to their Atlantic beach resorts, as an extension of summer holidays, even as the government imposed full lockdown.

          One mayor on the coast: we don’t want you here…there is an international situation.

          (From Guardian live coverage, today).

        2. ambrit

          Awesome! South “Sodom by The Sea” gets closed down! I remember cruising all around South Beach when it was just a mini ghetto for semi-poor retired Northeasters. Then it became a “Sink of Sin and Depravity.” (No, really, it did.) Now we’re waiting for a rain of fire and brimstone.
          Interesting times.

  24. Krystyn Walentka

    It’s amazing that I can spend all day trying to find out what homeless people should be doing to socially themselves and all I get is “The beds are full” (How is putting people in a shelter social distancing anyway?) or their offices are closed.

    Meanwhile there are two hotels in downtown Carrboro with over 100 empty rooms (I know because I called them pretending like I needed to book 50 rooms and they were excited to direct me to sales so I can get a discount).

    Liberal town my ass…

    1. mrsyk

      Been wondering how it’s going for you. How exactly does someone without a residence “shelter in place”? I haven’t heard any of our esteemed leaders touch on this subject.

      1. Krystyn Walentka

        Thanks for thinking of me. The stress was getting too much so yesterday I found an AirBnB to rent for a week which was more than the money I have allocated per day. I am hoping I can convince the host to rent to me off the books for a reduced rate for another week.

        I am comparatively lucky.

        1. The Rev Kev

          Lots of people here thinking of you Krystyn, even if we do not always say so in comments. Keep well.

        2. Copeland

          Definitely thinking of you Krystyn. Weren’t you in WA before going south for the winter? I’m in WA and I suffer from a constellation of autoimmune disorders, so I find your comments interesting.

          You and all other homeless are an inspiration, actually…incredible will to survive no matter what.

          1. Krystyn Walentka

            Yes, I was up in Port Townsend. (Just spoke to a friend there, 4 cases in a town of 9000. Yikes.)

            And thanks both.

    1. pricklyone

      I voted downstate early PM. I was one of 2 voters (Ipassed another coming in) and 8 polling workers.
      Everyone, including me, at least 60 years young.
      I voted Bernie, and left the rest blank. There is noone on this ballot to VOTE FOR.Not gonna do LOTE any more…

      1. Monty

        Surely Bernie is going to get 100%, who would risk their life to vote for what Joe is peddling?

    1. Bsoder

      No China is doing the pissing, America the taking thereof. China’s got 5 thousand years of culture behind it, us not so much. America offers what? Money management?

      1. MLTPB

        Beijing rejected those 5,000 years of culture, thus the Cultural Revolution.

        It has held her back, not the least from traditional medicine using bats.

  25. Pelham

    Anyone remember the trillion-dollar coin? If Paul Krugman and others could propose that the Treasury mint the coin to overcome GOP refusal to raise the debt limit a few years ago (an utterly stupid situation), why not mint a few trillion-dollar coins now to counter Dem objections that a temporary UBI would be too costly?

    1. Samuel Conner

      “Mint the Coin” has been on my mind lately. By itself, though, it may not be enough. To actually spend the money may require Congressional authorization. I suspect that some kinds of asset swaps could be undertaken by Treasury without Congress’ say-so. Most of what the President seems to want to do looks to me like it requires Congressional authorization for the expenditure, whether or not Congress also authorizes the means to “fund” the expenditure.

      1. John

        There is surely some sleight-of-hand that would satisfy the most ardent deficit hawk if it won the approval of voters and he could boast of it. Print the damn money and find a way.

        1. JTMcPhee

          A better way to sell these ideas might be to use the phrase “authorize the expenditures…” Works just fine every time the Pentagram asks for another trillion and Congress “authorizes it into existence…” without significant comment or protest…

  26. montanamaven

    On a lighter note. If you have access to HBO Go or can sign up for a free trial, watch Armando Iannucci’s comedy “Avenue 5” starring Hugh Laurie. Hang in there thru the first 3 episodes as it gets progressively more hilarious and reminiscent of what’s going on right now. It’s a about a huge space cruise ship in the near future when the ship goes off course (happens right off the bat so I’m not giving much away) and where everybody in charge is incompetent.

    1. Massinissa

      I’m going to take you up on your suggestion. I wanted something that happens in a space ship or station to watch anyway, I have that light scifi itch, so this should be as good as anything.

      1. Monty

        I gave up after the first 5 minutes when it came out. Is hanging in with it helpful, or is it OK to skip ahead?

        1. Massinissa

          No idea. Only seen first episode. Definitely not something I can binge, but I think I will watch a few more episodes. To be fair the first episode does get better towards the end, but you could probably skip it without missing any major plot developments. Though having only seen the first episode I couldn’t say whether or not the rest of the show would be worth it.

      2. Massinissa

        First episode wasn’t bad. Definitely got some laughs out of it, and I expect it to only get better. The captain and his crew have no idea what they are doing, but sadly I almost feel they are more clued in than our elites are at this point.

  27. MarkSparky

    Seattle psychiatrist here. A PRIMARY reason that telehealth is such a small piece of the medical pie is that most insurors have strict criteria and limits on covering a telehealth visit. I’ve received no new guidance from the big 3 in our area regarding telemedicine coverage. The technology for telemedicine has not been an expensive or cumbersome bar to its use for a while now.

    1. Copeland

      Amen MarkSparky.

      My wife the therapist has been trying to get the insurance companies to confirm whether they will cover Telehealth, to no avail!

    2. ChiGal in Carolina

      most insurance cos are changing their rules and allowing telehealth, including BCBS, United Health, Medicare (!), Aetna, Cigna (but you have to use their platform), and Humana. at my practice we have been scrambling to get the info.

      Some are even allowing telephone therapy if the client lacks other tech at home. Medicare is makng it retroactively effective to 3/6 but some others don’t kick in until 3/21 or even 4/5. Some are waiving the existing patient requirement so people don’t have to leave home even for initial assessment (90791). Some are waiving all copayments.

      things are moving fast; today only one brave soul showed up in person

      1. ambrit

        It reminds me of the therapy “program” Sigfrid von Shrink in Frederick Pohl’s book “Gateway.” The protagonist ‘interacts’ with an “artificial intelligence” psychologist. One story arc in the three book series is about the differences between “artificial” and “organic” personality.

    3. Carey

      Seems to me that what many if not most humans are needing in a healthcare “interaction”
      is some care from a real, *live* human; eg, not a hologram. Works wonders, IME.

  28. Samuel Conner

    The executive branch could fund the large programs proposed today without Congressional authorization (“Mint the Coin”)

    I’m curious the degree of latitude that the executive has about “extraordinary circumstance” expenditure. This might be a case where the proposal that every citizen have an account with the Fed could come in handy — automatic “loans” to citizens, to be later forgiven with Congressional authorization.

    1. Jason Boxman

      What a clarifying crisis, to be sure! I suppose if you’re a fervent believer in the meritocracy, it seems sensible that you’d want strict means testing.

      1. hunkerdown

        I think it’s fair to say that we don’t want the political class, or in particular, the political wing of the leisure class.

        When you have futility and you stop giving an f to it, what’s left?

    2. JBird4049

      We’re only facing a pandemic, having a problematic primary, and are probably already sliding into the Second Great Recession/Depression. That is not a good enough reasoning for letting anyone succeed at mooching some free money; standards of morality and ethics must be maintained. If that means some sacrifices…

      (I feel really unclean writing this little bit of satire. It explains much.)

    1. cripes


      Yup. Me too.

      Talk of armies garrisoned in cities and navy ships didn’t turn down my spidey sense either.
      Wondering if time is coming to wish everyone at NC godspeed before I miss the chance.

      1. Chris

        Yeah, me too.

        We’re out in the semi rural well to do area that’s pretty far from a city. Doesn’t mean some people might get it into their heads to do something dangerous that affects me.

        But until I have reason to do otherwise I’m being charitable and helping my neighbors.

        1. Carey

          ..and then there’s the now-pervasive images of the virus itself permeating the internets (including my county’s own public health™ page).
          How (or whom) might that help?


  29. chuck roast

    You guys are doing it again:

    That Charles Franklin Poll has no Y axis. I am pretty sadistics averse, but I get extremely annoyed when I see charts that are unsourced or that hang out in the ether. Please don’t let the “twitterverse” undermine a great blog.

    1. Angie Neer

      Chuck, did you click on the graphic to expand it to full size? When I did that just now the Y-axis was visible.

        1. Angie Neer

          Ha, I’m old enough to get that joke. Well the Y axis goes from 0 to 50%, 5% per division.

  30. The Rev Kev

    I’m about ready to start punching walls here. Have been listen to Scotty from Marketing in Oz give a press conference about new measures against the Coronavirus and in cahoots with the chief medical office. Will have to wait for a published story to have all the measures listed but two or three things that stick out-

    Schools must stay open and kids must keep going to school. If parents think they are getting sick then they should keep them home. But then shortly after mentions that they can spread the virus without showing symptoms. Dares to mention that Singapore kept the schools open without mentioning all else they did. Offhandedly mentions that the real reason for this is that it would disrupt the economy too much closing the school. He will sacrifice tens of thousands of Aussies dead to keep his economy going. Arrgghhhhh!

    The real kicker is that he absolutely will refuse to lock down the country. Says it is not possible and is backed up by that medical officer. Says that you cannot shut the country down as it will do no good at all. Close the country down for a month and the virus will just start up again. Also tells everybody that he reckons that this will go on for six months but tells people not to stockpile. Wasn’t panicking before but now I am. Find myself using much un-Christian language to my TV. I think that the sob wants to go for the herd-immunity idea and see kids as a great vector for spreading it. F***! It is gunna be sauve qui peut Down Under.

    Before I go, in answering questions he is now lying his face off like Joe Biden was at that debate.

    1. curlydan

      The governor of Kansas just closed all Kansas schools for the remainder of the academic year. Alice Cooper’s new song: “School’s out-for-the-winter!… and spring!… and summer!” There will be distance learning :)

    2. carl

      Omg. And I thought the US was bad. Just a different version of the now-rejected UK strategy. Meanwhile, Colombia has banned foreign entry and ordered all schools closed. There is a nighttime curfew to prevent congretating/partying.

    3. Bsoder

      C-19, sadly mutations are sadly trending to flu like versions in that no ‘herd immunity’ will or can ever be achieved. Yearly vaccinations maybe the best we can hope for with morbidity and morality rates far higher than the flu. To add as various aspects of climate change cause disasters that require mass mobilizations – really everything goes to hell. I’m at a loss, things must change if we are to continue.

      1. FluffytheObeseCat

        Not complete ‘herd immunity’ no, possibly not. However, if we were totally lacking in some baseline ability to fend off various influenza strains we would regularly die en masse like Native American communities did post 1492 C.E. It’s possible those of us who are over 50 today may never really be safe from COVID-19. However, younger generations seem to be comparatively robust in the face of it (yes, even in Europe). Given these data, and the possibility of vaccines, I do not think your level of depression is warranted, at least not for the population as a whole. The olds of this era may find ourselves in autumn years like older people c. 1870, and face a swifter end once enfeebled.

        Humanity did actually have a few great civilizations during that time period I’ve been told. And happy, vibrant creative young people. And great ideas and inventions, i.e. vaccination and the germ theory of disease. The people I have spoken with about this disease who are the least long term terrified – despite their immediate danger – are medical professionals. I keep this in mind a lot.

        1. The Rev Kev

          ‘Fraid it is not that simple. Plenty of young people who have no case history turning up in intensive care. The legend that it attacks older people and people with case histories but the numbers are saying that young people are not immune.

          Western governments are going with the herd immunity idea as in get it over and done with before the next wave. But if it mutates before then, then that herd immunity will be worth zip and in fact, may make it worse for people who had it before.

          1. integer

            Plenty of young people who have no case history turning up in intensive care.

            How many is plenty? Links?

              1. skippy

                Hay Rev Kev … fellow Brissy lab rat …

                Yeah …. Scatty is just playing last man at the economic door with goat on his shoulder thingy.

                Gotta keep the numbers game rolling and for goats sack him and his might have to breach contract with doctrinaire orthodox social mores and then where would we – all – be. Just imagine the horror of having to use MMT for social reasons or do something deviant like some socialist [tm] looking policy.

                All after the deed was done on Malcolm and they got the brass ring finally, heck even the Brethren can come out now.

                Obviously this is a test of faith[!!!!!].

                Anywho … whilst driving to my site in Red Hill the other day I saw a bunch of ADF TOC vehicles on the move from their base. In other news it looks like I might be getting into the disinfectant line of work on the side.

                1. The Rev Kev

                  Getting into the disinfectant line? Be careful there. Just pretend that you are doing asbestos with the full rig.

                  1. skippy

                    Remember I’m ex military with NBC background, top that off with years of working with all manner of protective coatings and the work to prep substrates.

                    Its not like something that a drop of on skin will kill you on the spot regardless of any other consideration. Not that I have asbestos experience, remember the whole L.A. program.

                    Lol its not like I’m in Costa Rica and the provenance is shut down because the President is leaving office without fulfilling his promises, before leaving, and here I am running for a few hours to get back to base camp to secure gear after getting local approval to pass the check point. Kit consisted of a six pack for impromptu meet and greets and a smuggled in .22 semi auto pistol.

                    Best bit is I was only a few hundred meters away from the site when the gang showed up the UTE, seems the President acceded to the demands and the blockaded was lifted.

                    At least the youngest daughter that was working at sunshine in Banff is coming home now.

                    BTW ping me if you need anything … and I mean anything.

    4. JBird4049

      I commented yesterday something like about how bad various leaders (Macron, Johnson, Trump, the Germans) were but that Prime Morrison is something special.

      Even a short quarantine of only a few months could be really helpful, I think. It is about reducing, not eliminating, transmission, but not doing anything like even a partial shutdown now means a full pandemic and much, much greater economic damage later. It’s verrry basic epidemiology, economics, and even history.

      He cannot be completely stupid and even Trump(Kinda), Johnson, and Macron have gotten serious. Is marketing the thing? Put on enough lipstick and eventually it will turn out all right. Just keep adding more makeup on that feral boar?

  31. Jason Boxman

    So S.O.S. (Message in a Bottle) (Tom Novy remix) by Filterfunk is playing and it seems wholly appropriate.

  32. chuck roast

    The Correspondent tells us “No, the coronavirus is not good for the climate.”

    It no longer seems fashionable, but in a less edgy time we would have called this piece a bit of “conventional wisdom.” We would call it that because the fellow that wrote it appeared to display all the intellectual power of a puddle on a runway. Broad and shallow. Yet another demonstration that the demise of the Corona typewriter was simply another step down in civilizations long decline.

    Now that we can all have blogs and commentariats we can all put our ignorance on display…for the world wide web no less. Allow me to display mine and vehemently disagree with this nimrod. I say that the coronavirus could be very good for the climate if it promotes a play-stoppage and a calm and rational discussion on the desirability of hitting the power reset button. For example should we promote the construction of more trains and ocean liners and consign airplanes to the ash-bin of history? Should we promote the use of more suburban and rural busses? Should we ban automobiles from center cities? And like that.

    1. Bsoder

      Are you saying, that the deaths of maybe millions is an acceptable way to deal with climate change?

      1. hunkerdown

        Faits accompli are not concerned with pathos, except insofar as they can use the crying to propagate to the next host.

      2. Late Introvert

        @BS Odor

        Are you saying that the *UNAVOIDABLE* deaths of maybe millions should not be a wake-up call for how we deal with climate change?

  33. Kfish

    Re: free-range pigs and pedometers. ‘Free range’, at least here in Australia, is a regulated term. Because land is one of the biggest expenses for farmers, most free range animals spend some of their time in a giant shed and some outdoors to reduce the required land area. There is usually a minimum outdoor space per animal required for a producer to be able to call their product ‘free range’. Possibly the pedometer was being used to collect data to prove how much outside time the pig was getting?

  34. chuck roast

    Apologies to all for being chatty Cathy today. It must be the isolation. It’s easier going off on my small craft in the summer and seeing only a few fishermen for days. That is sufficiently calming.

    I’m going for a walk. I have a bazillion channels and there is nothing on. Geez, Newton Minnow had an inkling but really, he had no idea. Naill Ferguson the historian masquerading as a political economist is coming on…this time apparently as a social commentator. I wish you folks in the Isles would begin speaking like Americans. You keep sending us these knuckleheads who are geniuses merely because they once fell in the River Cam.

    Anyway, Tucker Carlson is coming on too. Maybe I should watch in real time. Here at NC we always seem to be checking him out in past-time. I remember when he was a little twit with a bow-tie who knew it all and had a TV spot because he was clean cut, had a connected old man, was totally reactionary and avoided the use of “uh” in his narrative. Then Jon Stewart politely tore him a new one on national TV…it was a scream. He stopped wearing his bow-tie sometime after that and appears to have grown up.


    1. Massinissa

      If they want to save Capitalism so badly, which I am not even sure is a good idea, instead of pumping money into banks, how about we just… Pump the money into the economy making… Something. Anything. Anything that isn’t a bank. Make environmentally friendly children’s toys for all it matters. Goosing asset prices will. not. work. this time.

      1. Carey

        Class class class

        Those class distinctions must be maintained, that’s why. They *already know* that what you mention would work.

      2. JBird4049

        No, no, no. That is not how they see it. Giving money to the “Job Creators” is more important than giving money to people who will actually spend it. Somehow any form of Keynesianism is equated with the evils of communism even though it is what got us through the Great Depression and prevented the United States from going going full fascist, communist, or into a dictatorship.

  35. Chris

    Amazon limiting deliveries somehow made this all very much more real. It’s one thing to eschew that convenience. It’s another thing entirely to see something so many of my friends and neighbors rely on start to change drastically.

    So I’m taking some time this week to teach my kids some fun and older skills. We made a bonfire tonight using technique and flint to get the fire started and kept it going by building it properly. We’re cooking cobbler in a dutch oven over the fire now.

    What skills and things are y’all working on now that we have time and (gulp) perhaps need? I know we have a lot of gardeners on here. Anything else?

    1. Bsoder

      Flint? The world isn’t running out of things to start a fire with. Just saying. Using a crossbow and knowing how to fish provide food a good way quicker than growing it. Get hunting & gathering down first. Gardening later.

      1. Chris

        Eh, magnesium striker? Not sure what to call it. But suffice to say starting a fire and getting familiar with cooking in ways that don’t rely on easy fuel options.

  36. marym

    Sanders: Emergency response plan
    Very detailed sections for health care, economic crisis, and fighting profiteering. Also 1hr video of tonight’s address.

    Includes $2K per month per person


    1. MLTPB

      UBI, for the duration of this emergency.

      Someone the House draft it, and another in the Senate.

      We need it now, not next year.

    2. John

      Who’s going to stand up and say the landlords in this country need to take a cut?

      Who’s going to stand up and demand what needs to happen to keep millions of people housed who are not going to have the money to pay rent?

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Organize through single issue efforts and prepare for 2022. The best case scenario for Biden is to limp over the finish line and hold a slim lead in the House. Because the 2018 pick up was due to higher than usual turnout among Democratic voters getting Presidential only voters to “resist” by actually bothering to vote not expanding the electorate, an important distinction, many of those House seats will be under siege as very little work was done to actually organize (the 50 state strategy was shut down 11 years ago and ACORN was closed 10 years ago). There is a good chance the GOP could win the House if Team Blue doesn’t expand the electorate. If Biden wins, the chance to take the Senate in 2022 is lost as Biden bungles about DC, completely unable to actually deal with any problems. Running on “the GOP is the Party of No” doesn’t play well in the long run as the implicit promise is Team Blue can’t function.

      Biden won’t have the same funding as HRC as one Trump is the incumbent and Biden isn’t in a coronation service. Money will be tighter, much tighter. Shoring up slipping House races will basically be impossible.

    2. Samuel Conner

      perhaps, as part of a spectrum of agendas, citizen-initiated referenda at State level for “hand marked paper ballots, hand-counted in public”, to reduce the ability of the Parties to control election outcomes.

    3. integer

      Begin laying the groundwork for a new party, all the while thinking about how much progress would’ve been made on that front in the last 4 years had Sanders denounced the D party at the 2016 convention and urged his numerous and passionate (i.e. angry) supporters to begin the (admittedly difficult) process of forming a new party and gaining ballot access in all states.

  37. Jason Boxman

    Who knows. People will get what they’ve asked for; If they aren’t actually aware of what that is, that’s a shame for them.

  38. ambrit

    Figure out some way to make the “average” voter truly ‘average.’ Say, make not voting a thousand dollar fine? Or, tie it to some sort of UBI scheme. Make some of the UBI dependent on voting. Proof can be easy in today’s digitized world. Make voting days holidays for the areas affected.
    Oh, there are lots of feasible methods to increase voter turnout. I fear though, the Elites do not want big voter turnouts. Manage to control who gets to vote and the rest is easy.

  39. cripes

    I voted the full Bernie slate, including 8 delegates to a convention we may not see.
    I collected signatures to get him on the ballot.
    It wasn’t enough.

    I’m trying to understand this:
    Old Floridians and others with some assets they believe will carry them through this unprecedented crisis vote for “the guy” who thinks we don’t need to do anything different instead of the guy who demands public health and financial supports to carry everyone through the crisis. Link above.

    Let’s see, abandon families, friends and neighbors to hunger, eviction and death or mobilize a WWII-size effort to support them with medical care, financial support, food and shelter. Hard to decide?

    They choose millions of desperate, sick and homeless neighbors and think they will be safe?

    1. Massinissa

      They don’t understand what’s happening. Most of them were not old enough to experience the great depression. They’ve never experienced a global crisis before and can’t imagine there would be one now. Its the same way people were before WW1 and 2. The impossible couldn’t happen until it did.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        For this crowd, I think they picked Biden because he wasn’t the object of criticism for eight years when he was exiled to the Naval Observatory. They expect the good feelings of the October 2008 campaign to come back. Since Biden was just a joke on Parks and Rec instead of a real person for eight years (I assume they knew next nothing about Biden prior to his intro as that Baraka…the black guy’s running mate…these are voters are like).

    2. waterfarer

      As a Bernie vote-by-mail voter in Florida, I know at least 5 potential Bernie voters (under age 45) who avoided the polls today due to fear over long lines and viral exposure.

      My social circle in Florida is small. I know many in the NC commentariat poke fun at Florida, but I and many in my circle are recent transplants from more progressive areas who are part of the turning tide in this state.

      How many others made last-minute decisions not to turn out for Bernie today? Based on the poll numbers, I’m guessing a lot.

    3. David B Harrison

      Good assessment of what’s going on.In a nation ran by sociopathic hustlers sociopathy trickles down.(In response to crimes March 17 2020 10:16PM

  40. allan

    A sliver of good news out of today’s Illinois primary:
    Progressive Marie Newman appears to be defeating one of the most conservative Dems in the House,
    Blue Dog Dan Lipinski, in the safely blue IL-03.

    This is what Jessica Cisneros would have done to Henry Cuellar in TX-28 if Pelosi hadn’t put
    the full weight of the party behind Cuellar.

  41. OIFVet

    Well, on a bright note, one of the bluest of Blue Dogs lost today. Dan Lipinski lost the primary to Marie Newman in the IL 3rd. He will be sorely missed by Nancy Pelosi and serious people in DC, and no one else.

    1. allan

      At some cost:

      Abshir Omar @AbshirDSM
      Scene from the polling location at Truman College after polls officially closed. This doesn’t look like it’s up to CDC standards. #IllinoisPrimary #COVID19

      [Image of non-social distanced would-be voters waiting in horrendous line]

      8:19 PM · Mar 17, 2020 from Truman Administration Building

      Pritzker lied, thousands died.

    2. Carey

      Maybe that’ll be a good thing, and I hope so; but my impression is that the Partys like to
      let a quasi-pwogwessive slip though here and there, for obvious reasons.


  42. Donna

    I am advocating for a mass exodus to the Green Party. Howie Hawkins the expected Green presidential candidate authored the original Green New Deal. They have a system in place to get on the ballot and are working towards all 50 in 2020. Have we all been propagandized to see them as ineffective? I would say just maintaining ballot access over the past 20 years should give them some credibility. Bernie says not me us. Well us should all go support the Green candidate. In a 3 way race, the Green candidate could win (well maybe with a lot of luck). Also the Greens have no problems challenging shenanigans at the polls. We don’t have to form a new party. They are there waiting with open arms. I have never voted Green in my life and I’m 70. No time like the present. Always voted D (truly brainwashed) until Hillary and then it was Trump all the way.

    1. Daryl

      I personally voted for Jill Stein in the last election and will probably be voting Green. I don’t expect much out of it, but I cannot reward lesser evilism (particularly when, with the Republicans actually talking about giving people money directly, Democrats may not even be able to claim that anymore), nor vote for a man who clearly has dementia to hold office.

      1. Carey

        I mcVoted for Stein/Baraka in 2016 as well. Who mcCounted the votes, though?
        The claim is that they got 1.03% of the tally, despite the two legacy-party candidates
        being (arguably) the worst in history.. I say that vote count was bunk.

  43. albrt

    Democrats had one job if they wanted to beat the corrupt, demented war criminal in the oval office: nominate somebody who is not a corrupt, demented war criminal.

    The Democrats failed, as usual.

    1. Carey

      >The Democrats failed, as usual.

      Depends on one’s definition of “failed”, I think. “LIKE IT, PROLES! 2020”

  44. Googoogajoob

    I’m not even American and I was incredibly upset seeing the news come out of the States – from the Democrats trying to means test a backstop for citizens and piling corpses to get Biden over the hump. I am stunned to watch the Democrats effectively ignite themselves and find more oil barrels to crash into.

    Given how blatent they’ve been with pressing their thumb on the scale, I feel that their young base and left will be definitively once bitten, twice shy from this outcome. They were blamed for the defeat in 2016, may as well live up to the expectation this time around.

    1. Carey

      Why are you stunned? These are Our Dems, and this is what they do. For them #losing is winning, and that can’t be said enough.

      Emma Goldman and Huey Newton were so, so right.

  45. JBird4049

    Oh, Sidney. Sanders is not a liberal! Holy Lord.

    You could say that the “post-truth era” started a few decades ago.

    1. Carey

      ’78 mid-term elections were a watershed, I think. Even at nineteen I could see what was coming, though at the time I thought the widening rhetoric-reality gap would become a
      problem for the Few.. silly boy, I was.


  46. Carey

    “..Right now a bill is making its way through Congress that most legislators, have admittedly, not read but are ready to approve. And perhaps the most glaring action is the $5 trillion financial bail out that took place over the weekend. This is by far, the biggest financial industry bailout ever to take place, at least on this planet. Most Americans have no idea a bailout is taking place and those that do will never come to know that the bailout began in early September. On September 2nd, the Fed began its second epic “bank bailout”. That is, it has nothing to do with the virus..”


    YMMV, but this sure feels to me like 11 September, and the Patriot™ Act.

  47. lupemax

    does everyone really believe Biden won all those primaries” The whole thing is, has been, rigged for a while now in order to keep the status quo of everything with BIDEN as puppet candidate. Either Biden or Trump is OK for the people/corporations/’elected’ reps in charge. IMHO. Forgive me if I’m repeating what everyone knows?

    why can’t they bring back paper ballots? Because they work for the people. Why did they end exit voting reporting for the most part? because they were too accurate and interfered with the interference with electronic voting (owned by corporations?)


    1. JBird4049

      Honestly, I believe that at least some states had their results adjusted. Joe Biden did not even campaign in some of the states that he won and the number of “problems” are just about impossible unless the Democratic Party is either completely incompetent at something it has been doing for 192 years or they are rigging the elections.

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