2:00PM Water Cooler 3/2/2020

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

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

Super Tuesday:

Super Tuesday states: AL, AR, CA, CO, ME, MA, MN, NC, OK, TN, TX, UT, VT, and VA.

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We encourage readers to play around with the 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! UPDATE DK notes: “I’m completely removing the YouGov polls that were making that weird spike. Sorry for the inconsistency, I think it’s for the best. I can put them back in if it’s a problem for readers.”

Today we have a new national polls IDPP/TIPP. We also have three new polls for SC. As of 3/2/2020, 11:00 AM EST (summary % for day):

The numbers for IDPP/TIPP:

I left Buttigieg in throughout, because he was in the race at the time the polling was done. I used the daily percentage, not the three-day average, to show a big drop for Sanders, post-SC. If indeed that number pans out (the outlier for SC did), I would say it gives a good approximation of the portion of Democrat voters who purely “just want to beat Trump,” and so go with the winner. Note that the Sanders votes shifted to Undecided, however, not to Biden.

And now to states, with the caveat that they are all small samples, irregular, and bad. I did some Super Tuesday states, but not all. You are welcome to play around with the dk’s project for your own state (pick from the States dropdown at top right). CA:

CA numbers:

Hard to see how Buttigieg affects delegates, here. Sanders, Biden, Warren, and Bloomberg are all far above viability, and the rest far below.


TX numbers:

Biden is within the margin of error. But I have to pinch myself when I see that Sanders is leading in TX; must be the Latin vote.


NC numbers:

Pinching myself here, too. Why is NC not more like SC? Reverend Barber?


VA numbers:

I flat out don’t believe this. Surely the Northern Virginia suburbs (people who “work for the government“) outweigh the rest of the state, and they can’t possibly be voting for Sanders?


MA numbers:

The race shouldn’t be close for Warren in her home state; this is like Al Gore losing Tennessee, and with it, the Presidency in 2000.

CAVEAT I think we have to track the polls because so much of the horse-race coverage is generated by them; and at least with these charts we’re insulating ourselves against getting excited about any one poll. That said, we should remember that the polling in 2016, as it turned out, was more about narrative than about sampling, and that this year is, if anything, even more so. In fact, one is entitled to ask, with the latest I boomlet (bubble? (bezzle?)) which came first: The narrative, or the poll? One hears of push polling, to be sure, but not of collective push polling by herding pollsters. We should also worry about state polls with very small sample sizes and big gaps in coverage. And that’s before we get to the issues with cellphones (as well as whether voters in very small, very early states game their answers). So we are indeed following a horse-race, but the horses don’t stay in their lanes, some of the horses are not in it to win but to interfere with the others, the track is very muddy, and the mud has splattered our binoculars, such that it’s very hard to see what’s going on from the stands. Also, the track owners are crooked and the stewards are on the take. Everything’s fine.

* * *

Biden (D)(1): “Joe Biden bundlers see surge of pledges from new big money donors after he wins South Carolina” [CNBC]. “Bundlers backing the former vice president’s campaign told CNBC that they are seeing a surge in big money commitments in the wake of Saturday’s apparent blowout victory in the Palmetto State. Fundraisers looking to help Biden secure resources for Tuesday, when 14 states hold primaries, got what they were looking for in the buildup to South Carolina and throughout Saturday. According to people with direct knowledge of the matter, Biden’s bundlers lured donors who had been backing Sen. Amy Klobuchar and former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg. They also grabbed support from donors who had been uncommitted, these people added. These wealthy donors are now willing to give up to the max amount of $2,800 to Biden’s campaign, which has struggled at times to raise cash.” • Assuming the bundlers are telling the truth, an air war, even a good one, takes more than two days.

UPDATE Biden (D)(2):

And a lot of Democrats will be fine with that.

Bloomberg (D)(1): “Mike Bloomberg addresses US in TV ad on coronavirus and Trump response” [Guardian]. • I had thought this was an actual address, not just a three-minute paid ad. Oops.

Bloomberg (D)(2): “A Field Guide for Bloomberg-Campaign Deputy Digital Organizers” [The New Yorker]. “If you belong to multiple disenfranchised minorities, that’s amazing! Please let the campaign know if you’re willing to appear behind Mike on camera at an upcoming rally. You will not be able to meet or speak to Mike.”

Bloomberg (D)(3): “Nevertheless, He Persists The ego and the altruism of Mike Bloomberg.” [New York Magazine]. “Then Bloomberg just starts to talk. “I was up in Maine and Vermont recently — look at the foliage and that kind of thing,” he says. “They have a diner we go to. The food was really good. I said, ‘We should have those diners in New York.’ We’ve had a lot of diners close. It’s partially tastes have changed, but we’ve had four restaurants in my neighborhood close in the past six months. Each one was in a townhouse. They’re ripping them down and putting up these thin slivers of buildings. There’s one two doors away from me. I had the developer and his wife over for dinner. He said they’re getting $3,000 a square foot for 4,000 square feet — one floor, 12 million bucks! He took the top floor for himself, and he thinks he’s going to move in.'” • Yeah, I wonder if there was somebody in New York — say, a Mayor — who could have done something about that.

UPDATE Bloomberg (D)(4): “They Like Mike: Women for Bloomberg Shrug Off NDA Mess” [Daily Beast]. “Just days after Elizabeth Warren had, very publicly and in front of millions of viewers, urged Michael Bloomberg to release multiple women from the non-disclosure agreements they signed over gender-related disputes at his businesses, he introduced himself to women who started lining up before 8 a.m. in an affluent Virginia suburb to hear him speak. But before that happened, something else entirely filled the room that was somehow booming with energy on a chilly Saturday morning. A rapid succession of women started rattling off, one by one, the exact amount of time they have known the former New York City mayor. “I’ve worked with Mike for 18 years!” one woman said enthusiastically before the billionaire Democrat took the stage. … Then, Fatima Shama, Bloomberg’s director of constituency outreach who introduced him on stage nearly an hour after he was scheduled to appear, asked rhetorically: “Do you want a country where being female is fabulous?”….. The whole thing could have been a cringeworthy bust. But the fact that it wasn’t broadly perceived that way, and was instead, according to interviews with nearly a dozen female voters who showed up to the McLean event, by all accounts a resounding success, illustrates the complexity of Bloomberg’s last-ditch effort for the 2020 Democratic nomination.” • Unsurprising. It’s always OK with liberal Democrats when their guy does it.

UPDATE Bloomberg (D)(5):

“True equality means that wealth in this country should have no relation to race or ethnicity.” So gender discrimination is OK, lol. Even on his own terms, Bloomberg fails.

UPDATE Buttigieg (D)(1):

Bye, Pete, we hardly knew ye. Oh, wait…

UPDATE Buttigieg (D)(2):


UPDATE Buttigieg (D)(3):


Klobuchar (D)(1): “Amy Klobuchar will end 2020 presidential campaign and endorse Joe Biden” [CNN]. “Sen. Amy Klobuchar will end her presidential bid on Monday and endorse Joe Biden, a campaign aide tells CNN. The Klobuchar campaign confirmed that the senator is flying to Dallas to join the former vice president at his rally, where she will suspend her campaign and give her endorsement on the eve of Super Tuesday. Klobuchar’s path to the nomination all but closed after she posted sixth-place finishes in Nevada and South Carolina, a sign that the Minnesota senator’s surprising showing in New Hampshire would not be nearly enough to propel her toward the nomination.

A Democratic official told CNN that the Klobuchar campaign was worried that the senator would lose her home state of Minnesota on Tuesday. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, the race’s front-runner, is holding a rally in the state on Monday night.” • So they pump enough blood into Joe Biden’s ambulatory body that he wins a state he was absolutely going to win, and all of a sudden the Democrat field clears, the weekend before Super Tuesday? With all the ballots printed? Something is faintly odiferous. (And I respected Klobuchar for her viciousness; that she’d just endorse Biden right away…. That’s very disappointing. Maybe she was just waiting for Buttigieg to drop out?)

UPDATE Klobuchar (D)(2):

(I am enjoying the “RIchard Nixon” account very much. There were giants in those days….)

Sanders (D)(1): “With Bernie, Trump May Regret What He Started” [The American Conservative]. “n ancient Hebrew rabbinical text, sometimes called The Apocalypse of Abraham, tells the story of Abraham’s father, Terah, who manufactured statuette idols, considered gods by the local population. A young Abraham noticed that the head of one of these idols had fallen off during transport. He had a revelation: these were false gods made by humans; they had no spiritual or existential power. The true God then called on Abraham to leave his father’s idolatrous house, which was promptly destroyed by fire from heaven. For many Americans, the idols whose heads have fallen off are the members of the Republican and Democratic establishments. The emergence of Trump and Sanders as the leaders of their respective parties indicates that they’ve concluded that our traditional political gods are phony, so let’s burn the whole thing to the ground. The political class appears to them to be filled with empty vessels, not only lacking in morality but rigging the game for themselves. The rise of Bernie Sanders, coming on the heels of Donald Trump’s remarkable presidency, is a sign that our nation has reached an epoch, a distinctive historical period representing a profound break from past authority. A growing number of Americans no longer recognize the traditional political establishment as their rightful rulers.”

Sanders (D)(2): “Bernie’s Boring Path to Victory” [The New Republic]. “Although the year is young, the 2020 race looks less like a revolution than a conventional election. But Sanders is moving ahead anyway, in completely ordinary fashion—a steady accretion of delegates by plurality that began with simple, statistically boring performances in Iowa and New Hampshire. This is how the nomination is often won. But the expectation that Sanders would win overwhelmingly if he were to win at all has made it difficult for pundits to see his unremarkable but very real rise coming and is now fueling concerns that other candidates in his statistical position—both within the primary and in the early general election polling—likely wouldn’t face. Sanders’s true challenge now is securing the majority of delegates needed to grant him the nomination without a fuss at the convention. But even if Sanders were to come to Milwaukee with a mere plurality, delegates would face a significant amount of pressure to hand him the nomination anyway, given that Sanders is already doing well—and is poised to do even better once other candidates drop out—with ordinary Democrats who don’t consider themselves revolutionaries but like him about as much or more than the other candidates. If Sanders does secure the nomination, we could well see a similarly boring but still ultimately successful general election campaign that accomplishes exactly what any other Democratic candidate would work to accomplish—trying to win over some Obama-Trump voters in key swing states and bumping up minority turnout a bit.”

Warren (D)(1): “Elizabeth Warren Announces Plan For Swift Federal Action On Coronavirus” [HuffPo]. “The proposed initiative, which Warren’s presidential campaign shared with HuffPost on Sunday evening, is not another item on Warren’s agenda for what she would do if she becomes president. It is, instead, a list of steps that she would like to see Congress and President Donald Trump take right now, in order to contain the outbreak, to help those affected by it, and to stop the economy from falling into a recession. Key actions would include making tests and treatments free to anybody who needs them, providing paid leave to people who must miss work or care for relatives, and propping up the economy with about $400 billion in new government spending. Many of the moves Warren has in mind would mirror actions the federal government has taken to address past outbreaks and pandemic scares, including H1N1 in 2009 and SARS in 2003.”

Warren (D)(2): “No, Elizabeth Warren – taking Super Pac money is not girl power” [Guardian]. “Who are the donors behind the $14m of pro-Warren Super Pac spending? Nobody really knows. Because the Persist Pac was formed so late it is legally able to keep its donors secret until 20 March, by which time a majority of delegates will be allocated. Warren’s campaign hasn’t responded to requests for comment about whether the Super Pac should make its donors known earlier. Once again, I can understand why she would feel forced to accept Super Pac support. However, it is beyond the pale that she won’t disavow a group that refuses to disclose its donors until after much of the primary voting has already taken place. The fact that the “men” running may embrace big money and eschew transparency is no excuse. Warren has asked other candidates to put their money where their mouth is. Being a woman doesn’t exempt her from doing the same.”

Warren (D)(3): “Why Elizabeth Warren thinks she can still win the nomination” [Politico]. “The team is also more openly discussing what it has been talking about internally for weeks. Warren’s path to victory is likely at a contested convention and not by outright winning a majority of pledged delegates, which they believe no other candidate will achieve, either.”

Warren (D)(4): Yikes:

(The complete video, from “2019 London Critical Theory Summer School – Friday Debate”). Feminist scholar Drucilla Cornell: “There is no more relentless, ruthless a nihilist that I have ever met in my entire life than Elizabeth Warren.” They were colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania….

Warren (D)(4): “The Two-Income Trap Stuff Is Clearly Incorrect” [Matt Bruenig, Public Policy Project]. From 2019, still germane: “In footnote 9 of chapter 2, she explains that, by “inflation adjusted,” what she means is that she took the nominal dollar amounts from the 1970s consumption and income survey she used and adjusted them up by plugging them into the BLS inflation calculator. There are two problems with doing this. First, the BLS online inflation calculator uses the CPI-U index. But she should be using the CPI-U-RS index. … Second, everything else about Warren’s analysis is technically mistaken. She takes each category of expenditure and adjusts it by the overall CPI-U instead of the CPI-U for that particular category of expenditure. So the home mortgage column is adjusted by overall inflation rather than housing inflation. The same is true for health insurance and cars: they are adjusted for overall inflation rather than health care and car inflation.” • Yikes.

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“Coronavirus may turn the 2020 presidential campaign upside down” [CNBC]. “Presidential campaigns have shown no signs of adjusting their event schedules even as the coronavirus outbreak prompts several companies to cancel or postpone events…. When contacted by CNBC, none of the spokespeople for Biden, Warren, former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Sanders said there would be change to upcoming campaign behavior. That includes their dedication to continuing the old-fashioned tradition of campaign handshakes and a new one in selfies.”

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“Texas closes hundreds of polling sites, making it harder for minorities to vote” [Guardian]. “Ongoing research by University of Houston political scientists Jeronimo Cortina and Brandon Rottinghaus indicates that people are less likely to vote if they have to travel farther to do so, and the effect is disproportionately greater for some groups of voters, such as Latinxs.” • “Latinxs,” sigh.

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“Turnout in South Carolina makes Biden’s win even more impressive” [WaPo]. “Around 528,000 South Carolinians turned out in the 2020 Democratic primary, a remarkable show of voter engagement compared to four years ago. Former vice president Joe Biden ran up his totals in black communities but also won areas dominated by groups he has struggled to connect with, notably white and higher income voters. These areas showed some of the largest turnout increases in the state.” • Nobody ever said forces of reaction couldn’t drive GOTV too.

Our Famously Free Press

“Aaron Sorkin on how he would write the Democratic primary for ‘The West Wing.'” [New York Times]. This is an extremely long interview. This is the best part:

Given your inclination toward politics and idealism, is there a Democratic presidential candidate who’s connecting with you? No. It’s funny. I was emailing with a friend about this topic. There are grand gestures out there to be had, and no one is going for them. We’re drowning in timidity. I’m sure you have thoughts about what those grand gestures could be. Mm-hmm. As long as we’re crystal clear that I understand the difference between the real world and “The West Wing”? T.B.D., but go on. Fair enough, T.B.D. Here’s what would happen on “The West Wing.” Joe Biden would say: “You know what? If it’ll get John Bolton testifying to the Senate under oath, swear me in too. I’ll answer any questions you’ve got.” Suddenly all the attention would be on him. It’s a “Mr. Smith” moment. He gets to sit in front of hostile Republican senators and show us how well he can handle them. If he did it right, if he was performing a “West Wing” script where I got to decide what everybody else says too, it propels him right to winning.

“Grand gestures.” I can’t even.

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 leave links in comments.

Manufacturing: “February 2020 ISM and Markit Manufacturing Surveys Are In Expansion But Marginally Declined” [Econintersect]. “Based on these surveys and the district Federal Reserve Surveys, one would expect the Fed’s Industrial Production index growth rate to be little changed. Overall, surveys do not have a high correlation to the movement of industrial production (manufacturing) since the Great Recession.”

Construction: “January 2020 Construction Spending Continues to Improve” [Econintersect]. “Construction spending is trending upward. The inflation-adjusted data is no longer in contraction. Private construction had been fueling construction growth – but currently, public construction is fueling the growth.”

* * *

Intellectual Property: “Musicians Algorithmically Generate Every Possible Melody, Release Them to Public Domain” [Vice]. “Two programmer-musicians wrote every possible MIDI melody in existence to a hard drive, copyrighted the whole thing, and then released it all to the public in an attempt to stop musicians from getting sued.”

Tech: “Report: Facebook’s privacy tools are riddled with missing data” [Input]. “The obvious holes in Facebook’s privacy data exports paint a picture of a company that aims to placate users’ concerns without actually doing anything to change its practices…. The most pressing issue with Facebook’s downloadable privacy data is that it’s incomplete. Privacy International’s investigation tested the “Ads and Business” section on Facebook’s “Download Your Information” page, which purports to tell users which advertisers have been targeting them with ads. The investigation found that the list of advertisers actually changes over time, seemingly at random. This essentially makes it impossible for users to develop a full understanding of which advertisers are using their data. In this sense, Facebook’s claims of transparency are inaccurate and misleading.” • And much more like this.

Tech: “‘It’s not just AI, this is a change in the entire computing industry,’ says SambaNova CEO” [ZDNet]. “Today’s chips execute instructions in an instruction ‘pipeline’ that is fixed, he observed, ‘whereas in this reconfigurable data-flow architecture, it’s not instructions that are flowing down the pipeline, it’s data that’s flowing down the pipeline, and the instructions are the configuration of the hardware that exists in place, kind of like an assembly line: Here come the cars, and then at every station, something happens.'” • So, the future is self-modifying code?

Mr. Market: “Wall Street’s coronavirus panic means little for Americans without wealth to invest” [USA Today]. “‘Journalists are obsessed with the stock market,’ says Jacob Hacker, director of the Institution for Social and Policy Studies at Yale University. ‘But for most Americans, it’s a side show in their economic lives. What really matters to them is the security of their jobs and health care, and the amount they have to pay for big-ticket items like housing and education.’ Real wages for the typical American worker have risen by a mere 5% during the past decade and, in fact, are only about 11% higher than they were in 1979, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.”

Honey for the Bears: “March 2020 Economic Forecast Index Returns To Expansion – Barely” [Econintersect]. Econintersect’s Economic Index forecast: “Looking forward, we are concerned about the economic knock-on effects of the coronavirus in China. Simply, Chinese components are widely used across the goods production sector in the U.S. and most other countries in the world. One smart person said, “you cannot ship goods which are not 100 % complete”. If the coronavirus’ effects abates quickly, the disruption will be minor. If it goes on for longer than a few months, a goods shortage will develop in the U.S…. We are concerned about rail transport growth has remained in negative territory since the beginning of 2019 – a usual flag for a slowing economy… One positive indicator for the Main Street economy is that new home sales continue to have the best growth since 2007. Even existing home sales are now on an improving trend line.”

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Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 11 Extreme Fear (previous close: 10 Extreme Fear) [CNN]. One week ago: 29 (Fear). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Mar 2 at 12:30pm.

Rapture Index: Closes down 1 on Oil Supply/Price. “Slowing global growth has put downward pressure on oil prices” [Rapture Ready]. Record High, October 10, 2016: 189. Current: 181. Remember that bringing on the rapture is a good thing. Finally, the Corona Virus shows up, but under Interest Rates, not Plagues. And then, under Plagues, no mention of an actual Plague of Locusts. What is this, end-time regulatory capture?

The Biosphere

“California’s super-dry February raises specter of early fires and drawn-down reservoirs” [KTLA]. “California is set to conclude one of its driest Februaries in recorded history, elevating fears the state’s always-unpredictable fire season could arrive early this year — if March doesn’t provide some wet relief.”

“Scientists are trying to make crops love salt” [The Counter]. “The gradual, upward creep of soil salinity is a quiet phenomenon—one that doesn’t get as much attention as, say, historic levels of flooding or incurable plant diseases. The factors that drive salinization, as it is officially known, are manifold. The use of certain high-salt fertilizers can increase salinity; as can saltwater intrusion—a problem that occurs in coastal regions where seawater from the ocean seeps into groundwater reserves. Even everyday, non-agricultural practices, such as the use of road salt, can play a role. But perhaps the most significant contributor to salinization is something that appears far less menacing: Irrigation, the ubiquitous, millennia-old technique of human-controlled watering.”

“Ohio to Cap Total Daily Phosphorus Load Into Lake Erie” [AgWeb]. “Ohio is developing a total maximum daily load (TMDL) for phosphorus to try to improve the health of the lake. It’ll take about two to three years to develop the TMDL, according to Ohio EPA in its draft 2020 Integrated Report…. ‘The goal is to limit the formation of harmful algal blooms in nine years out of 10,’ the report states. They don’t have a specific daily number to announce yet, instead providing the yearly goal.” • Hmm. I’d say “the goal” is to deny Lake Erie personhood.

Health Care

“Facing Widespread Criticism, Trump Administration To Launch ‘Radical Expansion’ Of Coronavirus Testing” [Kaiser Health News]. • A news wrap-up.

How the First World does it:

“Salone del Mobile Postponed Following Rise in Number of COVID-19 Cases in Italy” [Architect (NippersMom)]. •  Until June 16. Just one data point, although it would be interesting to see conference postponements like this aggregated.

* * *

“Why Are Nonprofit Hospitals So Highly Profitable?” [New York Times]. “The average chief executive’s package at nonprofit hospitals is worth $3.5 million annually. (According to I.R.S. regulations, “No part of their net earnings is allowed to inure to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual.”) From 2005 to 2015, average chief executive compensation in nonprofit hospitals increased by 93 percent. Over that same period, pediatricians saw a 15 percent salary increase. Nurses got 3 percent. A number of communities that think nonprofit hospitals take more than they give back have started to sue.”

“Piled Bodies, Overflowing Morgues: Inside America’s Autopsy Crisis” [New York Times]. • No matter the ultimate epidemiology, the virus is remorselessly exposing weakness in the political economies it variously assaults.

The 420

“Marijuana use is rising sharply among seniors over 65, study says, and there are serious risks” [CNN]. “The numbers of American seniors over age 65 who now smoke marijuana or use edibles increased two-fold between 2015 and 2018, according to research published Monday in JAMA. In 2006, only 0.4% of seniors over 65 reported using marijuana products in the past year, they said. The newly published study found that by 2015, the number had doubled to 2.4%. By 2018, it had doubled again, with 4.2% of seniors over 65 using weed.”

Black Injustice Tipping Point

“The lost congressman: What happened to Jeremiah Haralson?” [Montgomery Advertiser]. “Jeremiah Haralson listened as the ex-Confederate accused him of forgery. It was Feb. 13, 1877, and Haralson, a congressman from Selma, had testified to a U.S. Senate subcommittee about the violence and fraud that cost him his re-election to Congress from Alabama’s Black Belt. Malcolm Graham, on hand to represent the state Democratic Party, dismissed Haralson’s descriptions of racial terror with a cynical languor. Local Democratic leaders told him no such intimidation occurred, and these cursory denials satisfied the former Confederate congressman. So Graham tried to make Haralson the criminal. During questioning, Graham asked Haralson about the testimony of another witness who claimed that Haralson had forged an election ticket to get votes in Lowndes County.” • Control over the ballot…

Groves of Academe

“UC Santa Cruz fires 54 graduate students participating in months-long strike” [Guardian]. “The University of California, Santa Cruz, issued termination letters on Friday to 54 graduate students who have been waging a months-long strike for a cost-of-living-adjustment amid soaring rents. The firings came as graduate students at the University of California, Davis, and University of California, Santa Barbara, began their own cost-of-living strikes in solidarity. One of their demands is that all UC Santa Cruz graduate workers who participated in strike activities be restored to full employment status. The 54 UC Santa Cruz graduate students who received termination letters on Friday are just a fraction of the 233 graduate student instructors and teaching assistants who have refused to submit nearly 12,000 grades from the fall quarter since December. This month, the students’ grading strike expanded, as teaching assistants refused all teaching duties and research assistants refused additional work. Some classes and office hours have been canceled because of the strike.”

Guillotine Watch

“New York State’s Pro-Tenant Law Snarls Hamptons Mansion Rentals” [Bloomberg]. “New York State’s sweeping tenant-protection law is causing headaches for Hamptons mansion owners who lease out their beachside spreads for the summer. The new rules prohibit landlords from collecting more than a month’s rent upfront. That’s a problem in the Long Island resort towns, where homeowners rely on three-month rental contracts in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, paid in full ahead of the season. The law — aimed at keeping apartments affordable — took effect in June, but Hamptons homeowners are only now catching up with its provisions as the peak leasing season gets under way. Landlords, faced with the notion of collecting rent from partying tenants every 30 days, are considering doing away with full summer leases, or hiking monthly asking prices to cover maintenance costs on their lavish estates, brokers say.”

Class Warfare

“Avoiding Coronavirus May Be a Luxury Some Workers Can’t Afford” [Claire Cain Miller, Sarah Kliff, and Margot Sanger-Katz, New York Times]. ‘Stay home from work if you get sick. See a doctor. Use a separate bathroom from the people you live with. Prepare for schools to close, and to work from home.’ These are measures the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended to slow a coronavirus outbreak in the United States. Yet these are much easier to do for certain people — in particular, high-earning professionals. Service industry workers, like those in restaurants, retail, child care and the gig economy, are much less likely to have paid sick days, the ability to work remotely or employer-provided health insurance. The disparity could make the new coronavirus, which causes a respiratory illness known as Covid-19, harder to contain in the United States than in other rich countries that have universal benefits like health care and sick leave, experts say. A large segment of workers are not able to stay home, and many of them work in jobs that include high contact with other people. It could also mean that low-income workers are hit harder by the virus.” • That’s not a bug. It’s a feature. See “Neoliberalism Expressed as Simple Rules.”

“The Problem With Telling Sick Workers to Stay Home” [The Atlantic]. “The culture of the American workplace puts everyone’s health at unnecessary risk. For all but the independently wealthy in America, the best-case scenario for getting sick is being a person with good health insurance, paid time off, and a reasonable boss who won’t penalize you for taking a few sick days or working from home. For millions of the country’s workers, such a scenario is a nearly inconceivable luxury. ‘With more than a third of Americans in jobs that offer no sick leave at all, many unfortunately cannot afford to take any days off when they are feeling sick,’ Robyn Gershon, an epidemiology professor at the NYU School of Global Public Health, wrote in an email. ‘People who do not (or cannot) stay home when ill do present a risk to others.’ On this count, the United States is a global anomaly, one of only a handful of countries that doesn’t guarantee its workers paid leave of any kind. These jobs are also the kind least likely to supply workers with health insurance, making it difficult for millions of people to get medical proof that they can’t go to work. They’re also concentrated in the service industry or gig economy, in which workers have contact, directly or indirectly, with large numbers of people. These are the workers who are stocking the shelves of America’s stores, preparing and serving food in its restaurants, driving its Ubers, and manning its checkout counters.” • And now, on the 10-year anniversary of the ACA, we can see that liberal Democrats constructed a health care system that isn’t resilient against pandemics, and put the working class at risk (but not themselves). I’m shocked.

* * *

“How Hard Will the Robots Make Us Work?” [The Verge]. “n automation crisis has already arrived. The robots are here, they’re working in management, and they’re grinding workers into the ground. The robots are watching over hotel housekeepers, telling them which room to clean and tracking how quickly they do it. They’re managing software developers, monitoring their clicks and scrolls and docking their pay if they work too slowly. They’re listening to call center workers, telling them what to say, how to say it, and keeping them constantly, maximally busy. While we’ve been watching the horizon for the self-driving trucks, perpetually five years away, the robots arrived in the form of the supervisor, the foreman, the middle manager. These automated systems can detect inefficiencies that a human manager never would — a moment’s downtime between calls, a habit of lingering at the coffee machine after finishing a task, a new route that, if all goes perfectly, could get a few more packages delivered in a day. But for workers, what look like inefficiencies to an algorithm were their last reserves of respite and autonomy, and as these little breaks and minor freedoms get optimized out, their jobs are becoming more intense, stressful, and dangerous.”

News of the Wired

“Travelling with 24″ monitors” [My Blog]. ” I don’t really need to be close to my friends or be in a place that I know but I need my computer setup to be efficient, and my computer setup is a big issue, as I have three 24 inches monitors an external GPU and an ergonomic keyboard… . had to find a way to travel with monitors. How can I carry abroad 3 screens?” * Step 1: Remove the cases…

“To Build Truly Intelligent Machines, Teach Them Cause and Effect” [Quanta]. “As [Judea Pearl] sees it, the state of the art in artificial intelligence today is merely a souped-up version of what machines could already do a generation ago: find hidden regularities in a large set of data. ‘All the impressive achievements of deep learning amount to just curve fitting,’ he said recently.”

“Reader letters: Fighting like cats and dogs over emotional support animals on planes” (letters to the editor) [Los Angeles Times]. “The last flight I was on, I counted at least 15 animals in the cabin.” • Is that remotely plausible?

* * *

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 (TH):

TH writes: “It’s too soon since the last picture of this flower, I reckon, but thanks for telling me the name!” I think it could be time for a little sun. And Black-Eyed Susans are one of my favorite flowers, not least because they’re invasive! I recall driving past entire fields of them in the Midwest when I was growing up.

Black-eyed Susans

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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. Scotland

    Civil Disobedience: cross over voting 2020 open primaries

    In 2016 out of 4 names on the SC primary ballot Clinton 73.44% (272,379 votes) 44 delegates Sanders 26.2% (96,498 votes)14 delegates, the other 2 didn’t receive 1%. In 2020 with 7 candidates receiving more than 1% of votes Sanders numbers still increased by 8,486. If we compare Clinton to Biden as the favorite going into the primary the number dropped by 17,059. Participation in 2020 yielded a 527,057 vote total, 2016 shows a 370,904 vote total showing a 156,153 rise in voter numbers. A much different election to be sure.

    How many? of the increase , judged by affinity and perhaps participation in 2016 is the real question to be asked about voter turn out.. Is SC any closer to swing state status. Don’t we wish.

    After some admittedly partisan math 101,892 is the approximate number we should look at if we’re to understand the increase in voter turnout. The best case scenario is that solid D party voters turned out, the worst is a false positive result caused by cross-over votes possible in an open primary. OMGosh

    It’s way to easy to fall into the trap of being a Useful Idiot.

    Whence cometh the 101,892 figure, please? you might ask.

    Apparently I added up the vote totals of all candidates except Sen. Biden considering them to be for the most part solid Dem voters.

    Subtracted them from the overall total vote number then subtracted the voter increase from that number.

    As I said it is partisan math, putting the burden against Sen Bidens total.

    My justifications are 1. An almost 50% voter increase should be studied. 2. When the partisan divide is so contentious and on the brink of borderline warfare we can’t dismiss broad trends in cross-over voting. What better thing to do on a day off than take a shot at the opposition and fulfill your civic duty at the same time. With no important ballot choices top to bottom, cross voting against a “commie” or for a tiny blip on the competition radar might appeal to a sub set of voters with nothing better to do. 3. I’m Sander’s biased but note, his numbers increased over 2016, while the establishment front runner’s numbers decreased. 4. Subtracting the total increase from Biden assumes the increase was 100% cross-over voting, which is what I’m trying to estimate and use as a base line.

    The 101,892 figure is simply one of many leaping off places to revaluate the increased results.

    If Sander’s total 105,068 which already includes his close to 12% increase is compared to Bidens 100% cross over total (adjusted for an over all 12% increase) he comes in at 107,430 additionally if we give Biden 50% of the voter increase his total would be 185,506 votes.

    Questions? yes it’s an election and assumptions don’t explicitly state facts.

    However, analytically one might wonder why the voter increase didn’t fall more evenly between those 2 candidates. I think it would trend to, which is my point.

    Anyhow I’m done with this thought experiment. I do live in a Red State so my vote in primaries is the one that counts. It’s an open primary and the thought of spite voting grates on my sense of fairness and representation.

    I thought this posturing might give you a chuckle and a caveat as well. It’s a black box. Cross-over voting is a form of civil disobedience, unethical yes, illegal no. It’s one that to be effective would have to come out of a play book of street level tactics, similar to those in public protest. Instances of it acknowledged publicly are rare to non existent. Still, Rush Limbaugh’s “Operation Chaos” was seeded into the far right voting habit play book a good number of years ago

    1. leculdesac

      I have a very right-wing cousin in South Carolina with whom I kindly spar on Facebook. He just told me that they all get one ballot and that Republican candidates and Democratic candidates (and presumably Libertarian?) are all on one ballot, so it’s easier to crossover. He’s a noxious racist and Democrat-hater, but was voting for Amy, since he can’t stand Trump. I wonder how many Republicans voted for Biden because he was a protest vote for Trump, or because they wanted him to win the primary and lose in November.

    1. lb

      It’s a silver lining in that we don’t want children to suffer or die. However, what happens if children fare so well symptomatically (while still carrying the virus) that this runs contrary to a socially-valuable school closure? What if children at schools and day-care become a major vector of uncontrolled contagion for society broadly?

      I imagine this “good” is a local good for children, but possibly a global ill for containment.

      1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

        Indeed. I was first introduced to Mr James Lipton in a Saturday Night Live skit wit ya boy Will Ferrell.


    1. Jason Boxman

      Oh, missed this, posted before refresh.

      It’s going to come down to Biden, Bloomberg, Sanders, and Warren. Sounds like Warren is going for broke on a contested convention. So will voters consolidate behind one of the neoliberals or Sanders? I guess we’ll know in a few days.

          1. nippersmom

            I thought “right” the vote was very apt, since they will definitely skew it to the right.

          2. ambrit

            “…right the vote.” is the better word play. Keep it. As in: “The right to vote, Right.”
            Hilarity, and some street protests, ensue.

      1. dearieme

        Bloomberg could easily afford to make the other three rich for life. A hundred million bucks each.

        Would there be anything illegal in that?

        Come to think of it, he could afford to make Trump rich for life too.

      2. Brooklin Bridge

        According to Krystal Ball, Warren can’t get the nomination; Biden will, if it’s brokered. Warren is staying in purely to keep votes/delegates from going to Sanders thus helping to ensure a brokered convention. What she will get in return is another matter. But at this point, Biden will be chosen if brokered and Warren knows it.

        What a snake.

    2. Daryl

      Well, it looks like the Democrats have picked which sinking ship they want to everybody to board. Tomorrow will be critical.

      1. chuckster

        Wake me when Bernie withdraws and endorses Biden. We all know it’s coming.

        I wonder what would have happened if Bernie had started a third party back in 2016?

        1. Darius

          Bernie is going to the convention, probably with the most delegates. He will fight to the finish. He has no reason not to.

        2. inode_buddha

          If Bernie had gone third party he would have spent the last four years just trying to get on the ballot, just to be in the race at all. Going third party would have effectively locked him out. I would love to see him go third party After Winning the presidency… Just to make the Establishments head explode…

        3. drumlin woodchuckles

          He would have wandered off into whatever quicksand swamp tarpit the Green Party wandered off into.

    3. Pelham

      As a Sanders backer, I hate to see this. But in broad brush terms, I suppose it’s fair.

      Sanders does need to show he can forge ahead against the entire moderate blob. Which, in terms of voters, really isn’t a blob, since Bernie is likely to pick up a good portion of those who previously backed others. I just sent the campaign another $27.

      If I had been a Pete supporter, however, I’d be ticked. And Amy appears to have feared losing her home state, undermining her image as a tough little streetfighter. What a coward. And she’s not even backing her fellow NYT endorsee.

      1. Dan

        i hope there are more debates ahead that allow Bernie to speak and not drowned out by Amy and Pete. It will give Bernie a chance to distinguish himself from Mike, and maybe Joe will just fall asleep….

  2. Carolinian

    Sorkin–gad. In Mr. Smith Goes to Washington Biden would be the Claude Rains villain. But then Sorkin does say he knows the difference between Sorkin world and the real world. Doesn’t that make him even worse as a screenwriter? Is he simply selling a fairy tale for money?

      1. Carolinian

        Not the ones that pretend to be incisive social commentators–if they’re any good. Sorkin is the poet laureate of the ten percent, Democrat division.

  3. Doncoyote

    “Texas closes hundreds of polling sites”

    A big problem. Was in Arizona when they did that four years ago and they are still talking about it,
    However, they do have over a week of early voting for the primary at *any polling place* (I voted last week and it was fairly crowded), and I know the early voting has been higher than in 2016.

    The setup I got (San Antonio) produces a human readable list, but choices are still conveyed to the machine by code (not QR, but still only machine readable). OTOH, I got VUID (Voter Unique ID that Texas uses) so I am hoping to be able to look up my results online using that.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        Assuming the various DemNom seekers got the same 1-day notice about this that we got right here in this blog, is there anything the Friends of Sanders can do about it?

        Is there still time to organize some sort of all hands on deck and all cars in motion plan to get many SanderVoters driven to many further-away primary polling places?

        1. pretzelattack

          chuck rocha has seemed very well organized and adaptive. i trust him to deal with this as well as it can be dealt with. i’m apprehensive.

            1. aletheia33

              i have seen him in a video without it. i think he was in his car, where it doesn’t fit. but texans are so into their hats, and besides being one, he is interacting with other texans a lot building a shocker win for bernie. not that i’m excusing him or anything, but there are plenty of states that have people who do godawful hokey things as a matter of course that are very embarrassing to the rest of us.

            2. divadab

              Your fashion neurosis is showing. A cowboy hat is sensible when it’s 90 and sunny outdoors. It protects your face AND your neck from the sun and if you soak it in water, the evaporation will cool your head. I used to be mocked by the insecure for wearing galoshes to work on the 32nd floor. But my feet were dry and their fashionable Italian kid dancing slippers were wet. My policeman oxfords were dry and shiny.

    1. jrs

      But who is going to early vote ever again in the future after watching candidates drop like flies a couple days before super tuesday? If we had ranked choice voting then such a circumstance would be covered but …

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > But who is going to early vote ever again in the future after watching candidates drop like flies a couple days before super tuesday?

        I’ve been saying for some time that early voting was a terrible idea, but I didn’t expect to be proved right in such a dramatic fashion, and by the Democrat Establishment, too.

  4. marym

    Intercept post today by R. Grim and A. Chavez:

    Before 1995, drug companies were required to sell drugs funded with public money at a reasonable price. Under the Clinton administration, that changed.

    …in April 1995, the Clinton administration capitulated to pharmaceutical industry pressure and rescinded the longstanding “reasonable pricing” rule.

    Then in 2000, Sanders authored and passed a bipartisan amendment in the House to reimpose the “reasonable pricing” rule. In the Senate, a similar measure was pushed by the late Paul Wellstone of Minnesota.

    Then-Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware voted to table Wellstone’s amendment, and it was defeated 56-39.

    Ryan Grim twitter thread and David Sirota unthreaded tweets on the topic.


        1. OIFVet

          Sanders and his pesky facts. I have it on good authority that EW will respond by promising every American the opportunity to advance in life by promising to provide universal access to free genetic testing. My source told me that she supported her idea by pointing out how well it worked to advance her own career.

          1. Jonathan Holland Becnel


            I’ve been watching all of Bernie’s rallies since last year, and I’ve gotta tell y’all that they are so much better lately mainly with addition of World Class Artists. It’s like watching concert s for free on YouTube. Nathaniel Rateliff and the Nightsweats are jamming rn on my screen. We started with Jack White and the White Stripes and had the Strokes, Public Enemy, etc.

            Turning these rallies into defacto music festivals is Mirabile Vide!

            1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

              As a matter of fact one could collect all the hits from the rallies and release it on Vinyl.

              Call it Revolution2020 or something

  5. Wukchumni

    “California’s super-dry February raises specter of early fires and drawn-down reservoirs” [KTLA]. “California is set to conclude one of its driest Februaries in recorded history, elevating fears the state’s always-unpredictable fire season could arrive early this year — if March doesn’t provide some wet relief.”
    Aside from yesterday when it got a bit chill and threatened participation in precipitation, there was nothing in it except for a few drops, we’re looking at temps this week in the high 70’s in the winter that wasn’t.

    I was gyrating under the 14 foot pole saw, paring off dead members-some with just a flick and a grind, other widths required more of the old back and forth movement, a 5 inch limb on high 17 feet up might take 5 minutes worth.

    I blew through 5 wheelbarrows worth in little wildfires on my terms in the guise of 5 burn piles that each reached a crescendo of around 8 feet and went from a 2 foot cube to ashes in 10 minutes.

    Today is also a burn day, better get at it.

    1. JBird4049

      The the three month rainy season can start as late as March, but the weather here doesn’t feel like it is going to be wet anytime soon. What would make it worse would be an abbreviated season of few weeks. That would only create more brush to burn while not really increasing the moisture in the plants or water in the reservoirs.

  6. PhilK

    CDC: “Stay home from work if you get sick. See a doctor. Use a separate bathroom from the people you live with. Prepare for schools to close, and to work from home.”

    Marie Antoinette: “Eat cake.”

    1. Dita

      Well, while the overlords are at home boning up on Bocaccio, perhaps the plebs can once again work from their garrets doing piecework. Onshore those jobs bebeh!

    2. Phacops

      It would have been a reasonable response to mandate employer paid sick leave for the duration of the epidemic. Of course this is anathema to America’s anti- science rugged individualism of working ’til you die.

      1. Mel

        There’s an additional side to the problem: what do people spend their money on if the employees at the stores and factories are out of work? Yesterday I read a blog that recommended Covid-19 Quantitative Easing. There were two problems:
        1) QE only smooths the way for bankers to trust each others’ collateral
        2) This problem.

    3. jrs

      Even for those for whom some of these might be possible, how many people could hit 4 out of 4? Like winning a lottery.

    4. clarky90

      Re; “……They’re also concentrated in the service industry or gig economy, in which workers have contact, directly or indirectly, with large numbers of people. These are the workers who are stocking the shelves of America’s stores, preparing and serving food in its restaurants, driving its Ubers, and manning its checkout counters….”, “…and put the working class at risk……… (but not themselves).”

      Au contraire, this lousy USAian Health Care and Social Welfare System puts the 1% at extreme risk. Unless, of course they can do EVERYTHING for themselves, (unlikely, imo).

    5. aletheia33


      as in, “maybe the people in the apartment next door will let me use their bathroom . . .”

    6. MLTPB

      I think both Business Insider and USA Today say to call your doctor first before showing up.

      That is not exactly the same as ‘see a doctor.’

      Perhaps a call is less contagious, and more people might do it.

    7. HotFlash

      Use a separate bathroom from the people you live with.

      Mmm, ok, re-skill the unemployed as plumbers (or plumbers helpers) and tilers, go long American Standard. Do I even need a snark tag?

      1. ambrit

        Hah! As a recovering Plumber, I applaud your sentiment. However, this reminds me of a story my Mom would tell about their honeymoon in France. They were young back then in the 1950s, and cheaped it out, essentially backpacking around central and southern France. She vividly remembers some of the “public accommodations” out back of the more rural pubs and such as being a wall with a dividing wall half way along it, for visual privacy. One side had a sign painted on it saying “Hommes” and the other side said “Femmes.” Bring your own paper products. Then I came along and ruined everything.

  7. urblintz

    re: turnout in SC. The rumors that Republicans were being encouraged to vote seems possible and frankly, if I were a wealthy Republican I’d be voting for Biden, which might explain his “strength” outside the black community… just a guess. I also think the the GOP is clever enough to know that they’d rather run against Biden so to me the talk of cross-over primary votes for Bernie as the preferred opponent is highly suspect.

    1. Carolinian

      Pure anecdote but there were two voters in my precinct when I voted Saturday morning and I was one of them. I live in a very Republican area.

    2. Scotland

      I had assumed and agree with your points. though forgot to consider the so named white businessman vote. The piece was not to be a hit piece but look at the issue under the shadow of SC results which had a form that could be studied. I’ve read cross-voting as it stands can dramatically alter more localized outcomes but generally haven’t altered the final outcome of anything on the national scope enough to panic over.

    3. PKMKII

      Your comment spurred me to see if there was any exit polling data on that, and discovered something, as Lambert puts it, odiferous. The exit polls show that about 5% of the turnout was registered Republicans, which would equal 26,436 total votes. Yet said polls don’t give a breakdown for how those Republicans voted, all saying there wasn’t enough data to produce a breakdown. Now mind you, whites under 30 constituted only 4% of the vote, but they’ve got a breakdown for them. This stinks of someone trying to bury a potential undermining of a candidate that would make them look like the choice of those trying to throw a wrench in the works.

  8. Woodchuck

    CA numbers have everyone far above viability because the totals add up to 33%. Something’s just wrong with the graph.

    Klobuchar and Buttigieg dropping out and going for Biden is likely ensuring that he will be above threshold everywhere.

    What’s left to be seen is what happens with Warren after (or even before) Super Tuesday and how she will keep splitting the progressive vote or not. But Sanders is definitely in for a long and hard fight if he’s to ever get the nomination

    1. anon

      So very disappointed in Warren. I expected this from Sneaky Pete and Klobuchar, but most progressives really wanted to see a Sanders and Warren dream team.

    2. chuckster

      I’m not so sure that Warren dropping out helps Bernie. The progressives who backed her all left the station after her M4A debacle.

      I’m pretty sure that Warren backers are merely the leftover Clintonistas who want a woman president before they die. These are more likely Female, PMC high wage-earners. Not exactly Bernie’s wheelhouse.

      1. Matthew

        You wouldn’t think so, but he’s apparently still the second choice of a plurality of her supporters.

    1. Savedbyirony

      Loved the early days of The Actors Studio. The interview he did with Robin Williams is probably the funniest 2 hrs of tv I have ever experienced. James Lipton was one of those rare interviewers who asked an interesting question and generally let the guest answer in full without interjecting. He had plenty of good stories himself to share, like talking about his time in Paris and encountering Barbara Walters and his days writing for the soaps. RIP, and thanks for all the “what’s your favorite word, etc.” over the years.

  9. Seth Miller

    Why is NC different from SC?

    I’m a Yankee, so this may sound presumptuous. But here goes. As this map shows (https://www.reddit.com/r/MapPorn/comments/1ba6n3/distribution_of_slaves_in_1860_compared_to_black/), NC is far more Appalachian, and far less Black Belt, than SC. Also, the Research Triangle is, demographically and culturally, a large population of PMC and highly educated young people in precarious situations, a region that has little or no SC equivalent.

    1. Toshiro_Mifune

      NC has also had a large influx of northerners over the past 10-15 years fleeing from rising costs of the North East.

      1. Seth Miller

        Exactly. This also explains Virginia’s Bernie numbers. Where the PMCs from the North go, the young educated precariat, Bernie’s base, follow.

        1. Chris

          This is one of those cases I’ll need to see good data before I believe it. I live around NoVA. I worked in NoVA for a while. I can believe, and can personally vouch for friends and families and students I know who say they’re voting for Bloomberg or Warren. I don’t know anyone in the PMC set who is excited about Bernie in NoVA. That could mean my crowd is different from the general population in some significant ways. But I doubt it.

          I guess we’ll see soon enough! (Nail biting over here)

          1. Andrew Breeden

            I’m in Richmond and at Sander’s rally here the other day there was a pretty good turnout (several thousand people; mostly 20s-30s but some older folks as well.) He’s probably also pulling decent numbers in college towns like Charlottesville and Blacksburg. I also remember hearing somewhere that he was doing well amongst the military rank-and-file which would certainly help in Hampton Roads but I don’t have anything to back that up.

      2. Carolinian

        We have an influx as well but you are right–much greater in NC including the mtns of that Appalachian area. That said, the rural voters are probably as least as conservative as in SC. When the Klan showed up at the Confederate flag protests in Columbia, SC they came from NC. And that research triangle balanced by Charlotte which is full of Republican bankers.

    2. leculdesac

      You’re right….also, we’ve got even more quasi-metro areas with active university cultures, beyond RTP/Triangle, like the Triad and Asheville. We have a longer history of organized protest going back to the Revolutionary era, and some efforts (though most have failed) of black civil rights/white alliances (my great great grandfather’s brother led the 1898 Wilmington coup, which upended post-Reconstruction white/black populism and inflicted Jim Crow for a few more generations). Dad taught at an HBCU during the G’boro riots, and Gboro/Triad has a strong Jewish activist population. Reverend Barber is a big deal in building alliances with white progressives, particularly in the Triangle, and Durham has an awesome multi-racial coalition fighting for economic and social justice. I just don’t see this in SC quite as much.

      Another point is that the Yankee transplants who move to South Carolina do so to avoid sales tax and without much concern about being in a heavy arts/active area, so they tend to be more conservative to begin with. While yes there are plenty of conservative Yankees in NC, it’s nowhere near what finds its way to Myrtle Beach and other pine-scrubby retirement centers (bleech).

      As I wrote elsewhere, I think Biden’s support was that they have one ballot in SC with both parties on it, and many right wing Repubs voted in our primary.

    3. JerryDenim

      “Why is NC different from SC?“

      As someone who hails from one, and has lived in the other I second the above remarks especially concerning the PMC and the Research Triangle.
      A glance at census numbers suggests North Carolina is slightly younger, slightly less black, more Latino and more ethnically diverse than S.C.

      And yes, even 25 years ago people joked “Cary” as in the Raleigh burb which is effectively Raleigh proper now stood for “ Containment Area for Relocated Yankees”. There’s been a northern invasion for 30 years or more now.

      I don’t have exact numbers but it certainly looks like North Carolina has a radically higher percentage of college students than S.C. North Carolina has roughly double the population of S.C. (10 million vs. 5) but the enrollment of the UNC system is almost five times higher than the USC system, 240,000 vs. 52,000. The western part of the state (NC Appalachia) seems like it has the highest concentration of jam-band loving, young white people anywhere outside of the Pacific Northwest. These areas performed better for Bernie Sanders than anywhere in the south during the 2016 primaries. Buncombe county, home of Asheville and UNC Asheville broke for Bernie over Clinton by almost 30 points. It’s also a complete dead-ringer for a southern Burlington Vermont. Watugua county, home of the much larger Appalachian State University in Boone, voted 68.5% for Sanders in 2016. I have no reason to believe Sanders has lost support in these unique strongholds. Now these counties aren’t dense and they are outliers, but I reckon they have to move the needle a little bit. There is no geographic or demographic analog in South Carolina. Clinton won every single county in South Carolina during the 2016 primary. North Carolina really is more of a purple state these days. Parts of N.C. are indistinguishable from Northern Virginia, other parts are indistinguishable from South Carolina, but South Carolina is South Carolina, top to bottom and east to west.

      Sanders has gained a following among young blacks since 2016, so I wouldn’t be surprised if that demographic exercises an outsized influence on smaller counties that are home to larger HBCU’s. Very curious to see how my old home state votes in this primary.

      1. Carolinian

        Thanks for the detailed comment. I would just add that the two states have always been quite different which is why it rankles–just a little bit–when we get lumped together as “Carolina.” I got this a lot when I lived in NYC.

        And I’d also add that purple is still half red and NC is still the state that gave us Jesse Helms and more recently a very rightwing state government. The generational divide will probably apply there as much as here.

        1. JerryDenim

          Of course fellow Carolinian! And yes, true all concerning deep red bits and that vile stain Helms. But I’m still confused- are you of the Northern or Southern persuasion?

      2. Rod

        Well, you have made some good observations of two states that sort of define themselves by their differences.

        Senators Tillis and Burr surely make y’all as proud as do Graham and Scott do us.

        And Sanders did finish 2/7 in the Great State.

        And we pay our coaches more ; )

  10. Toshiro_Mifune

    Travelling with 24″ monitors – Im currently using 3 27″ monitors for work and really need a 4th. Since most of my work is CLI Linux (putty, putty, putty) 4k doesn’t always help.
    The most I’ve ever had was 12 monitors back when 14″-15″ displays were standard.
    Even then, 10+ years ago, I realized that this was stupid and that the windowed GUI was a broken work flow/space for someone like me. I have no idea what the solution is but something new is badly needed. I have Outlook, ITRS/Monitoring, 2 different chat programs, ticketing system all of which really want to be full screen and then all the putty sessions out to various machines. After a while just adding visual real estate doesn’t help and starts to make things even worse.
    I know I’m not the only one and lots of app developers and sys admins are in a similar situation.

    1. Daryl

      > I realized that this was stupid and that the windowed GUI was a broken work flow/space for someone like me. I have no idea what the solution is but something new is badly needed

      Tiling window managers. The only problem is once you get used to them it’s hard to go back to using a normal person’s computer. I use one monitor only or just the laptop screen when travelling.

      1. Toshiro_Mifune

        Thanks. I’ve tried one a while ago (can’t remember which one though) without much success. Let me try Aquasnap though. Maybe it will help

    2. JCC

      I use two 25″ monitors at work as a Sys Admin, but I also use Linux on my desktop. This gives me the advantage of multiple virtual windows/workspaces with 2 or 3 virtual terminals on each virtual window/workspace (some running tmux into clusters), saving one monitor for the single instance of Firefox with tabs for http interfaces into Scanning Servers, Backup Servers, ticket system, Nagios, McAfee ePO, OWA email, etc. It saves a ton of desktop real estate.

      Whenever I find myself working on a MS system, I get extremely frustrated with all those tabs on that lower bar, constantly raising and dropping windowed applications. If my working desktop was a MS Windows system, I have no doubt that I would probably need at least 3 separate, large, monitors. Four would be better. I find MS to be a huge waste of money because of all the peripherals needed. For sure I would need a much bigger desk, too :-)

  11. Darthbobber

    “why is north carolina not more like south carolina?”
    1. Research triangle.
    2. Blue ridge mountains
    And some others.

  12. JeffC

    Lambert, re your question about NC vs SC, I live in NC and have a daughter in SC, and there are two key differences: (1) SC has a huge African-American population that dominates the Dem party, and NC does not. (2) SC has a Jim Clyburn and NC does not.

    OK, one more: NC has progressive haven Asheville, and SC has nothing comparable.

  13. dcblogger

    The best thing that could happen tomorrow is for Nancy Pelosi to be forced into a run off. That would shift the debate on Medicare for All, the Green New Deal, and the brokered convention.

      1. Zar

        Hope springs eternal. I’m sure that Shahid Buttar, the progressive challenger of choice, wouldn’t mind some last-minute donations. (Hint hint.) Odds are pretty good that he’ll make it out of the Top 2 primary.

      2. MichaelSF

        I’ll be doing my part tomorrow by voting for Shahid Buttar instead of Pelosi. I’d be happy to see the last of her, and she can take DiFi (and a host of others) with her. But I expect the seat is hers as long as she wants it.

  14. Scotland

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

    I took 2 levels of poli-sci while working on a degree in music ed. studying at the University of Missouri Kansas City. Harris G. Murkin taught the 2nd level and chose Madison’s statement to center his course around. Not your typical suit and tie guy, he waxed on hitchhiking trips where he’d make up a different persona for each ride he got, had us read Marge Piercy’s Woman on the Edge of Time, Melville’s Billy Budd and Bartleby the Scrivener. He was particularly interested in our opinions and reactions to the Reagan revolution and current events. He turned out to be more radical than I imagined while still remaining an academic. He was defacto censored by the Missouri State Gov. Oh well, Human Nature, it’s a blessing and a curse. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harris_G._Mirkin

  15. pretzelattack

    re robots, stopped by closest branch of my megabank, used to be 2 or even 3 tellers, and one or two bankers (lately one)–now there is one large atm, and one person explaining the new order to customers who wander in. thanks capitalism!
    also, i stop by the whole foods coffee shop allegro a couple of times a week, there used to be a dedicated barista, now there’s one person covering the coffee shop, the smoothy bar, and sometimes the floral shop. efficiency!

    1. Acacia

      When my bank replaced tellers with ATMs (already years ago), I heard that in the retail bank industry the phrase for customers who resisted this change was… “teller hogs”.

    2. Alfred

      Back in the late 1980s I read that this approach to management was termed “management by stress.” A quick Google search yields 123,000 hits. It was obviously no flash in the pan. My understanding is that it had/has a robust theoretical foundation. Some alleged back in the day that TQM was its euphemism. I think that in the 1990s it started to be called “lean.” Nowadays it seems to be ubiquitous, to the point that nobody bothers to name it any more.

  16. Darius

    The gambit is that Amy and Pete’s votes put Biden over the top tomorrow. And Warren in Massachusetts. I think it is even money it will work.

    I think Warren’s fantasy is that she has the influence over the new administration she thought she would have over Hillary’s. This would explain her tenacity and bizarre mendacity in attacking Bernie. She doesn’t want power. She wants to be adjacent to power.

    1. jefemt

      Covid-19 may bolster Bernie’s arguments for robust healthcare reform.
      He has got to change his elevator speech to de-fang the inane attacks.

      Warren will go to the convention, stripping Bernie votes along the way.

      Biden, without any effort, based on recent withdrawal by Steyr, Mayo Pete, and now Amy, may somehow get a nostril above the chop. Burisma, Hunter Biden, will be a tiresome but perhaps killer taint on Biden going forward.

      The blood letting and anaema after the convention still may hand things to Trump.

      As a social progressive, I never thought I’d see the Dims deal dirt like they did on Bernie in 2016.
      Well, fool me twice, shame on me…

      Having lived in Canada and experiencing first hand, paying through higher income taxes, a successful universal single payor system at work, I realize I will never see it in my life in Amerika, the Homeland.

      OH, my wife mentioned that Bloomberg, with his calm, Woke old white rich guy reformed-repug appeal, might bring centrist independents, and even Trump-no-more repugs over to anyone-but-Trump.

      Scenarios are De press ing

      1. Jack Parsons

        Nah, Bloomberg is short. This is the kiss of death to Presidential aspirations.

        You notice Warren is tall and The Klob is not short. Harris and Gabbard are average female height.

        Pete got really far for a short guy!

  17. Zar


    Your California polling numbers are inflated today, which makes them a bit misleading. Biden, Warren, and Bloomberg were all hugging the 15% barrier before Buttigieg’s and Klob’s departure; only Biden looked somewhat likely to exceed it. Now, all three are likely to make the cut.

      1. Woodchuck

        It’s not just that though, the first 4 alone are already above 100%. Something is just off, total goes up to 133%.

    1. Samuel Conner

      With ballots printed, what likelihood is there that there will still be “bleeding” into the 3 dropped-out candidates?

      The early votes are already cast. Do early votes cast for dropped-out candidates count for the purpose of calculation of the denominator, total votes, for “cutoff” assessments?

      1. ronnie mitchell

        Aka ‘Bush’s torture Czar’ and advisor to Obama on ‘Terror Tuesdays’ in Obama’s star chamber . There they went thru a deck of cards with the bios of potential targets (people & all nearby) where they selected which people would get the thumbs up or thumbs down.
        None of the people had been charged for committing a crime, and they were on the other side of the world but that was no problem for Drone Ranger Obama.

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          And that Paragon of Virtue, our Mellifluous Melanoderm, was quoted to have said in one Tuesday session while leafing through the catalog of summary execution candidates “Gee, she looks awfully young”.

          But that particular bloodthirsty war criminal was really handsome and, you know, a brother who went on Oprah, so that’s cool.

          (Sorry, I’m just a guy who thinks that kind of stuff matters, you know, whether our government can just kill anyone they want anytime they want. Little stuff like that).

          1. ambrit

            Absolutely right to be worried. History shows that tactics used overseas against foreign foes eventually end up being imported back into the Homeland for use against domestic malcontents.
            Just look at how militarized the domestic police forces are becoming. My go to example is the Mexican Federal Police. As the late Frank Herbert once mentioned, in describing his experiences during the filming of the movie adaptation of his book “Dune” in Mexico, the Federales were the largest criminal gang in the country.

            1. JBird4049

              And then the police become neither good police officers or soldiers. The clearance rate for murder has been going down at the same time the murder rate has too. Policing for profit and plebe control is their mandate now.

          2. judy2shoes

            Paragon of Virtue, our Mellifluous Melanoderm

            Perfect description. I’m amazed at the number of people who don’t know what I’m talking about when I mention Terror Tuesdays.

            Do you remember when he made a joke about predator drones? Saying that if any boys had designs on his daughters, he had two words for them: predator drone. People actually thought it was funny. I wanted to throw up.

            I also remember his drinking (or pretending to) the water in Flint, MI. The citizens were horrified on so many levels, and I’m pretty sure that’s when many of them woke up to the fact that they had been conned. He is cold as a snake, and that’s the best I can say about him.

    1. anon in so cal

      Brennan was the architect of the CIA’s Timber Sycamore (billions to jihadis in Syria) and arguably the principal initiator of the Russiagate psy ops. The CIA loves Biden, who participated in the Obama Nuland McCain putsch in Ukraine that deposed its democratically-elected president.

  18. Chris

    First, the buddy road trip comedy of my dreams can now become a reality! Working title, “Amy and Pete’s Angry Ride, or how we slipped in some Mayo on the way to the nomination.” I think netflix or hulu could pick it up.

    Second, what is the DNC seeing that we here don’t? There are multiple articles describing the urgency of moderate candidates to unite behind Biden. Biden??? I don’t believe it.

    What are the odds the goal is to get Biden close to majority of votes and then dump him for someone else at the convention?

    Or perhaps more likely, given the prior examples of planning we’ve seen, the DNC hasn’t thought one step beyond stopping Bernie.

    1. Samuel Conner

      It has been suggested that losing to DJT with a proud, lifelong “third way” Democrat is preferable to winning with a dubiously politically-affiliated lifelong advocate of policies that, while immensely successful in the past and currently highly popular, were enacted under the leadership of some obscure politician years before any of the current candidates were even born.

      1. Chris

        Oh, I absolutely believe that Team Blue would rather lose to Trump than win with Bernie. What I don’t understand is why you would pick Biden as the sacrificial lamb in that operation. Making him the nominee automatically burns all the progressives in the house. It doesn’t get you the holy grail of crossover Republicans either. And you know the poor debate performances and the gaffes will keep coming. So why stand him up against Trump?

        1. Jason Boxman

          I think discouraging political engagement from the masses is, if not a primary goal, certainly a peripheral one.

        2. NotTimothyGeithner

          With Biden, he was VP for a long time where he was treated with kids’ gloves as he didn’t have a job where he would be held accountable or expected to be President. In a way, he was portrayed as the Onion Biden.

          For other people, they will be questioned more or have to prove their worth. See Pete. He could go all out to come in second a couple of times.

          Like Hillary, he’s the best candidate for the nihilists in the 3rd Way. Instead of arguing for free trade, Biden will ramble on about “getting things done” or make up stories.

        3. Phacops

          For entertainment value alone I would love to see any debate where Trump tears Biden a new one. Trump’s instincts and low cunning would show Biden, or Bloomberg for that matter, as the witless fools they are.

    2. HotFlash

      First, the buddy road trip comedy of my dreams can now become a reality! Working title, “Amy and Pete’s Angry Ride, or how we slipped in some Mayo on the way to the nomination.”

      Hmm, I sort of like it. Does it end like “Thelma and Louise”?

      1. ObjectiveFunction

        I vote for an ending more like this.

        Goodbye Rosa Klebb(uchar)!

        Amy should have taken some poison spike shoe lessons from Tulsi, although the latter kills more in the la Femme Nikita style. Call in the Cleaner….

  19. BlueMoose

    It would be cute if the Dems announced we don’t have any candidates to run for the election. Sanders will not be allowed to run.

    1. Wukchumni


      This web weaved expands

      There’s a great photo in your link of a comparison of March 2019 and March 2020 Tokyo Marathon entrants @ the start, yikes!

      Tens of thousands versus say 200

  20. John k

    So bloom and Biden will be viable everywhere given the dropouts and ignoring the early voting.
    Warren probably not hurting Bernie that much since her second choice votes only go 30% to Bernie.
    Bernie goes to conv with plurality but not majority and with Biden close… if that’s so, supers give it to biden.
    Bernie needs young and latins to turnout really big, Tx suppression not good.
    I’m a worried optimist.
    Past time for Bernie to point out we need m4a to fight virus.

    1. Samuel Conner

      > Past time for Bernie to point out we need m4a to fight virus.

      Larry David made this point, to applause, in a recent SNL “cold open”. Alas, it was spoiled with a subsequent reference to J Stalin being good at hand-washing.

      1. ambrit

        There was some cat from antiquity named Pilate famous for his hand washing too. Look how that turned out.
        SNL is so lame, I would bet against it in a race with my unipedal wife.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          That same cat’s boss (and his boss was a dude name Tiberius) worked in Damascus, so I bet the boss man was happy he didn’t have an uprising.

          1. ambrit

            A few centuries later, the man all the hand washing was about finally became the “boss” under the Imperial motto: “In hoc signo vinces,” with a cross for a logo. Today, the Neo-Imperial motto is now, “In hock, sign here, vinces,” and the logo is this, ‘$’.

  21. drumlin woodchuckles

    If Biden gets the nomination, he could make Bloombooger his VP running-mate. And presto! there’s your Republican Vice President.

    1. John k

      Unlimited funding. But that hasn’t helped bloom so far.
      Biden would need a recession… which he might get.

  22. katiebird

    I am alternating between freaking out over Super Tuesday and freaking out over The Virus.

    Half my siblings live in the PNW. My brother is a bus driver in King county. A sister in law has a preschool a couple of miles from where the person in Portland died of The Virus. They seem calm. Why am I so scared for them?

    1. pretzelattack

      it’s hard to know how to assess the risk, for me, that makes it more stressful, on both clusters of issues.

      1. Geof

        Panic can be adaptive:

        When people initially become aware of a risk, they . . . have a temporary short-term overreaction. People pause what they’re doing, become hyper-vigilant, check out the environment more carefully than they normally would and—this is perhaps the most important characteristic of the adjustment reaction—they take precautions that may be excessive, may be inappropriate, and are certainly premature. . . . The knee-jerk reaction of overreacting early to a potential crisis is extremely useful. Like other knee-jerk reflexes, it protects us. People who have gone through it come out on the other side calmer and better able to cope. People become able to cope with a crisis by going through an adjustment reaction, either in mid-crisis, in which case they’re late in coping, or they do that in advance of the crisis, in which case they are ready to cope.

        We want people to have this reaction early rather than late, and the way to accomplish that is to guide the adjustment reaction, rather than trashing it, as it seems officials often do and journalists sometimes do.

        The problem isn’t panic. The problem is denial. . . . We need conscious effort on the part of both the sources and on the part of journalists to protect people from denial by seducing them out of denial.

        As to kaitebird’s concern, I think that at this moment the risk is probably still extremely low. However, I have seen a number of experts who basically predict that over the next year or so most of the people in the world will contract the virus. The rate of complications is fairly high (15-20%), so we should take measures to slow the spread to prevent the health system from being overwhelmed. We particularly need to shield older people and people with existing conditions. There may also be shortages of some things, particularly medications, so it’s worth ensuring an adequate supply.

        I am not impressed with the response of governments. Even here in British Columbia I think that the communication from my regional health authority is downplaying the threat, and that this is likely to result in panic down the road. They say that they have chosen not to test contacts with infected individuals unless those contacts show symptoms. Regardless of whether that’s all that they can reasonably do, I think the result will be undetected spread. I am rather horrified (though not entirely surprised) at the inadequate U.S. response.

        For almost almost all of human history, right up until living memory, our ancestors have had to face the everyday risk of diseases worse than this, from smallpox to TB. Life has its tragedies, yet they were able to accept, to live and to thrive. We can be thankful that by historical standards, even in the face of this threat, we have been very fortunate.

    2. Jack Parsons

      Are they old? Do they smoke? Did they smoke in the past? These seem to be the risk factors for hospital-level treatment or death.

      1. katiebird

        We’re all within 5 years (either side) of 60. Some have diabetes some prediabetes. Some with asthma. But all good walkers so fairly healthy in spite of all.

        I’m probably more stressed about the primaries. I have wanted universal healthcare my entire adult life. And the Sanders campaign this year is the closest I’ve ever seen to having a chance.

      2. Yves Smith

        You are missing diabetes. Big factor in flu complications.

        This would be way less prevalent in China than here.

        I keep warning about generalizing from China.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      Thank you, fixed.

      Because the gd-ed Twitter “copy code” button takes a very heavy touch.

      I just thought we should say goodbye to Buttigieg properly.

      1. Hank Linderman

        Love it! I re-read them multiple times thinking I wasn’t able to find the subtle difference between them. Btw, I’m that candidate for Congress in Ky’s 2nd District, no primary this time so I’m the nominee again. Would you be willing to take a phone call? I think you have my email address. 270-925-9498

  23. Lambert Strether Post author

    Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar Endorse Joe Biden In 2020 Presidential Race: Reports HuffPo

    And they will appear at the same rally in Dallas:

    “Harry Reid endorses Biden.” [New York Times].

    What Larry Sabato said:

    I guess the Democrat Establishment was waiting to see that if Biden’s campaign pumped enough blood into him, he’d be ambulatory. This is all wonderfully clarifying. No doubt Warren will continue to play the spoiler role, precisely because 40% of her base has Sanders as a second choice.

    Adding, perhaps they think CA is a lost cause (amazing in itself) and so are attempting to shore up TX.

    1. Deschain

      So we know who all the people who [family blogged] up the country over the last 20/30/40 years like. Clarifying!

    2. Darius

      Matt Stoller now thinks Biden would win. Anyone would win. Because Coronavirus would damage the economy in any case, but Trump is so unsuited to responding effectively, it will be a meltdown.

      He said Biden would be a horrifically bad president with catastrophic consequences. Can’t argue with that.

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        Gaming that. Maybe Bernie would lose because people would think mid-crisis would not be the time for big changes. If they keep the same cocktail of meds pumping into Biden as they have recently, where he is able to (mostly) finish sentences, Biden just might do it. Dog help us

      2. Yves Smith

        I see zero little awareness of the coronvirus here, and the gym I go to has 20-25% doctors as its members. No shit Sherlock, I am the ONLY person engaging in more precautions and I hate looking like a nutcase (relentless about either spraying things I will handle like dumbbells with 70% alcohol or using paper towels as a barrier when touching things). I don’t even see anyone using the hand sanitizers on the floor (even though those aren’t effective, they are Purell, and the FDA even told them to quit advertising that they killed germs). And attendance isn’t down either.

        So if the pandemic behaves nicely, doesn’t kill too many people, and abates by June (to come back in Oct-Nov), Trump may yet again be lucky.

        1. The Rev Kev

          With your unaware gym, I can see a new motto for it-

          Be the only person in your gym to take Coronavirus precautions. Then, in no time at all, be the only person in your gym.’

    3. Seth Miller

      Bears repeating: Bernie is the frontrunner, so he is entitled to call on Warren to drop out. I don’t see the downside of doing so.

      1. ambrit

        The ‘optics’ of that would be bad without a clear lead for Sanders already “in the bag.”
        Sander’s better strategy would be to “suggest” saving the Democrat Party funds and ‘strengths’ for the fight against Trump. Finesse the opposition.
        I’d love to hear Sanders proclaim: “I am the unity candidate who will beat Trump.”

        1. polecat

          Better yet: “I’m the ‘unitary’ executive candidate the Democrats are looking for.

          Put the onus on them to deny it !

    4. Oh

      Looks like this was the DNC’s plan all along; marginalize Sanders and get Biden more votes so he can be look competitive and become the chosen one at the convention. I’m disgusted with these shananigans and am expecting them to deny Sanders. He’d better run on the Green Party ticket and if they call him the spoiler, we know who the spoiler is already.

  24. Samuel Conner

    It will be fascinating, and perhaps really useful, to keep an eye on the cases and outcomes statistics comparisons between US and Canada. I don’t know the relative quality of the federal public health systems, but I feel confident that Canadians will be less chary than many USians about seeking treatment if they think they might be infected. Earlier identification of infections should aid mitigation efforts.

    1. MLTPB

      Vancouver is right next to Seattle.

      What you see in the latter will likely show up in the former. Are they testing up there?

        1. MLTPB

          I read that this has been in the community up there for weeks.

          One would expect to see cases in Vancouver.

          If as some have said, we in the US don’t see more cases because we are not testing (more often), is that the case for Vancouver too?

          But you say, they are testing. Just not the number of cases we in Seattle.

        2. Monty

          Canada has been terrible so far. They never even stopped the flights from China because they didn’t want to offend anyone.

          The only screening tool is a self-reported “have you been to Wuhan/Hebei in last 14 days?” on entry questionnaire. There is no active quarantine measure for people returning from China in place in Canada.

          Students who visited China are getting back to their US schools via a 14 day layover/vacation in Vancouver (anecdotes of them touring/eating out, rather than self-quarantining).

          1. MLTPB

            I dont think they are flaunting their universal health coverage.

            They should think about not getting their system overwhelmed.

    2. Crestwing

      We do have Medicare-for-All here in Canada, so people that are sick will not fear going to the doctor, but we also have the same nasty employment culture here as you do in the US.

      I have a full-time, retail job with somewhat adequate medical benefits (meaning I have short and long-term disability pay, 12 paid sick days a year and some coverage for vision and dental work)

      However, most of my co-workers are part-time. They have very poor, if any medical benefits. They get no paid sick days. They are protected against firing for being ill.

      But they also won’t get paid, if they don’t come to work. So how many of them will be forced to come to work sick? Sick or well, you still have to pay the rent.

      Precarious livelihoods are as much a threat to our shared health as the cost of healthcare itself is.

      1. divadab

        Ya but at least when they go to the doctor it doesn’t cost anything to get tested. Or for the office visit. Or for hospitalization if it’s required. Their peers in the US of A, even with insurance, would be paying their $50 copays and deductible – which for most is in the $5,000 range.

        Yes retail is precarious employment – anywhere in North America – but let’s not understate the major benefit of universal single payer healthcare.

    3. Matthew

      I’m in Seattle with flulike symptoms that started today, and I absolutely cannot afford to seek care. So that’s one piece of anecdata for you.

      1. Shonde

        Hoping it is just the “normal” winter flu and you get better rapidly. Fingers crossed.

  25. Arizona Slim

    Was anyone at Bernie’s CA rally yesterday? The one that featured Public Enemy as the concluding musical act?

    Looked like a pretty big crowd.

    1. polecat

      So, Public Enemy is to Bernie … what Fleetwood Mac* was to Hill-n-Bill.

      I can’t help thinking that the original F M .. back in the peter green days, before the band morphed into merciless ‘p0p’ .. would’ve thrown in with someone of Sanders caliber.

  26. clarky90

    Re; “With Bernie, Trump May Regret What He Started” [The American Conservative]. “In ancient Hebrew rabbinical text, sometimes called The Apocalypse of Abraham…..”

    IMO, it is incorrect to conflate Bernie Sanders with an “ancient Hebrew rabbinical text”. Bernie does not belong to/or attend a Jewish Synagogue, Temple or congregation. By all accounts, he is an atheist. Fine, but please do not invoke A Higher Power just because it may suit your argument. nuts

    None of us can have it both ways, imo. If a person is godless, be unashamedly godless, and be done with it.

  27. Eureka Springs

    Visiting with three friends over the ridge this morning, all in their mid 30’s, hard working, very smart, I mentioned the virus because I noticed a nearly empty old box of masks in the workshop. Not one of them had heard a thing about it. In semi-disbelief I rattled off some details and what shortages of things around them are already happening. After a pause someone says, is it in the US?

    I kind of miss being that disconnected and am slightly sorry I mentioned it at all.

    1. Scotland

      You’re right about off the grid dwellers having the world to themselves so to speak. On my last trip to Harrison AR using provided hand towels to clean a shopping cart was responded to with some cheerful teasing by a couple behind me. The gist of it being “you must be scared of the big bad virus”, I just said I do it year round. Their heads tilted a bit and they said that’s prolly a good idea. Putting on a brave face…mask perhaps.

      1. Eureka Springs

        Harrison has come a long, long ways. Seems not that long ago (when this whole state was pure blue) the Harrison rednecks used to get whiskey drunk on Fridays and ride over to Eureka to beat up hippies and gays for fun. Now there is actually black people living in Harrison and attending a college. And most of the white folk clean up purty good.

        1. Scotland

          I’m down from there in Newton Co. I’m not sure what it is about this part of the country. An over abundance of tenacity in the general belief dept. is perhaps the kindest explanation. I’ve been in the area close to 25 years and remember the streets being rolled up at 7 pm., which is sub-text if you know what I mean. I had a good run and fun with the community theater performing in Oliver, Secret Garden, Wait Until Dark and the controversial Finnian’s Rainbow. Met some progressive judges and decent cops. It was also the home of Sen. JP Hammerschmidt who would be thought of in hindsight a RINO. Though I don’t go in much for the Christmas parade or the fact that there’s no longer a decent coffee shop it’s friendly enough. The big city life and it’s cross cultural streams are still not really existent, Chicago,Twin Cites, KC all have been home and I have a genuine appreciation of that in it’s absence.

  28. Tom Doak

    Re: the letter to the editor about service animals on planes, I suppose anything is possible in Los Angeles but it sounds like an exaggeration. I boarded a plane at LAX this morning and saw four animals – some were using their animals as an excuse to jump the line for early boarding, as if they had children. I fly a lot, and I’ve never seen more than 5-6 animals on board – but it only takes one dog who’s fearful of other dogs to make things edgy.

      1. Lost in OR

        I have a service tom cat that helps me with social distancing. He’s less co-dependent though.

      2. Massinissa

        *silently prepares ‘Snakes on a Plane’ joke for when AS tries to board a plane with said service animal*

    1. Phacops

      And, having animals on flights myself I noticed that none, so far, were trained service animals. I have volunteered for Ski For Light, guiding blind skiiers in Nordic races, and have seen their owner’s dogs during social times. Those animals are truly amazing and when with their owners are always “on duty” with an intensity of focus that is amazing.

      After these experiences I feel that people and their thinly disguised service animals are truly selfish and denigrates the true service animals I have experienced.

      1. Angie Neer

        I have a good friend who uses a seeing-eye dog, and agree, the real ones are amazing. In contrast, a casual acquaintance mentioned to me how great it was that he could now take his irritating, undisciplined, family-blogging little dog everywhere, thanks to the bogus service-animal certificate he ordered off the web. He really expected me to agree about how great that is. Some people just don’t get it.

    2. Yves Smith

      Delta used to allow only 2 animals per cabin, and you had to pay $50 each and be able to put them in a carrier that would fit under the seat.

  29. aj

    RE: Wall Street’s coronavirus panic means little for Americans without wealth to invest.

    It means very little even to those of us with investments, as long as those investments are longer term. The “correction” experienced last week merely put us back to Sept 2019 levels of the S&P 500, so not even 6 months ago. The Trump era has been very solid for capital gains (no surprise there). This “correction” was more about profit taking–that is freeing up cash at record high market levels. Those with money to invest will now buy in at the lower prices and I predict we will see stocks back up to where they were within the next few months. Those who are playing the game full-time will stand to make double digit returns twice over.

    1. Monty

      You may be right about it being just a spot of profit taking, or maybe people were crapping their pants about a virus induced global recession?

      Who knows, but a move down of that speed and magnitude had only been seen at the start of four very serious declines before now.

      S&P 500 has only been down 10% in a week four other times since WWII; October 1987, April 2000, September 2001, and October 2008.

  30. divadab

    Re: The 420 – JAMA article on over-65 cannabis consumption

    Dang this stuff seems pretty serious – JAMA is concerned that seniors will get too high to open their pharmaceutical prescriptions, or maybe have a drink too and fall over. !!! Put away that joint before you hurt yourself, grandpa!

    In most societies that incorporate cannabis into their culture, cannabis use is highest among the oldsters. For obvious reasons – not as much work to do, pain and discomfort an increasing factor, as well as depression – I have a great medicine for all these – cannabis! Is JAMA really in the business of selling patented pharmaceuticals and demonizing any natural alternative? It seems so…..

    1. Phacops

      I still see a lot of this article as part of the moral panic by conservative puritans who detest that somebody, somewhere, is feeling good.

      Of course any intoxicant can be abused. I enjoy it about three times a week. Yes, the material now is not the stuff I smoked in college, but I enjoy budder as I can easily titrate the dose for a relaxing high. Haven’t found a good smoking formulation yet, but when the arthritis in my thumbs gets bad a 1:1 ratio of CBD:THC in an edible seems to work well.

      1. divadab

        A couple of high CBD varieties for you to try:

        Pennywise – equal CBD/THC @ ~12%
        Charlotte’s Web

        I prefer the 12-15% thc varieties as I am a daily user and I find the high thc varieties to be too much. And yes overall potency is higher than in the 70’s but mostly because no one sells ditchweed or low grade mexican anymore. Thai stick or Acapulco gold from the seventies were potent as all heck.

        1. ambrit

          I vaguely remember some Nepalese Temple Ball hash.
          That and some Nigerian black weed supposedly grown up the slopes of a central african volcano. (No lie, that was the origin story.)
          Curious are the ways of fate dept. A youngish woman I know and speak with recently complained about having severe asthma attacks. I mentioned the medicinal history of cannabis in relation to asthma. She looked it up, (no fool she, trust but verify,) and partook. she says the asthma ‘calmed down’ and let her function ‘normally’ for the first time in weeks. I was secretly flabberghasted. Something I had suggested had actually worked!

    2. chuck roast

      Yeah, but the part about geezers getting dizzy and falling was spot on. Smoking dope lowers your blood pressure and could cause “benign fainting syndrome”. It hit me once. When the doctor described it as benign fainting syndrome, I said, “So, what’s so benign about it? I thought I was gonna die!”

  31. Romancing The Loan

    Coronavirus panic datapoint: My local Whole Foods in the Boston Metrowest area had some empty shelves today – rice/dried beans, frozen foods, and cleaning products/paper goods all looked picked over, especially the large sizes. I asked the cashier and he said they had some people bulk buying over the weekend, but was surprised they weren’t fully restocked yet. The bagger noted that he didn’t think the virus was a big deal as “twice as many people have recovered as died from it.” The cashier and I agreed that was not a reassuring statistic.

  32. David Carl Grimes

    Why are Mayo Pete and Klobuchar endorsing Biden? Bloomberg hasn’t been on the ballot yet in the first four states. I also thought that Bloomie would be the first to bribe Mayo Pete and Klobuchar with financial and political concessions for endorsing him. If I were Mayo Pete, I would be endorsing Bloomberg, not Biden.

    Biden is very weak mentally. He won’t stand a chance against Trump. At least Bloomberg has some air of competence in that he’s not obviously suffering from early-onset dementia.

    1. Arizona Slim

      Biden reminds me a little too much of the dementia-afflicted people I’ve known.

        1. flora

          The candidate is only a figurehead for the party’s larger ideology. Thus, Reagan. And, also, why the Dem estab is terrified by Bernie, imo.

    2. divadab

      It’s all they could come up with. They’ve been doing their corrupt sclerotic unimaginative best and so far all they’ve got is Biden. These people are seriously deserving of Mdme Lafarge’s helper’s attentions.

      1. Shonde

        O’Rourke endorsed Biden today also. Who’s next, Obama, Carter?

        Why am I thinking Biden will be worse for us than Trump? TPP?

        1. jrs

          Obama would be a bit of a surprise, he didn’t want Biden to run, but maybe at this point.

          He won’t be worse than Trump, but he’ll be bad enough. I don’t think the TPP is worse than the complete destruction of government agencies, courts, regulations etc. we got with Trump. But the TPP could be used for that. Sure. But with Trump it all came in the front door.

    3. Woodchuck

      They probably think with what they saw from Bloomberg in debates and the huge amount of baggage he comes with that he’s not going to be viable. And they’re desperate to make a splash before Super Tuesday, and the Super Friends uniting together the night before could have an impact.

      I also do not see how they can see Biden as viable though, because he clearly can’t keep it straight for very long anymore. The guy would be a disaster in a debate against Trump (I honestly believe Trump would find a way to weasel out of any debate with Sanders, but that he would dream of debating Biden because he can hurt him on soooo many aspects).

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Even if Biden could stay upright, his record and the success rate of the Democratic Party under the Great Orator would probably lead to another 2016 at best.

    4. John Anthony La Pietra

      Well, that does kind of presume Bloomberg wants to win — actively — rather than have Biden as a front man for keeping Sanders from winning.

      The next debate isn’t until the 15th — after not only Super Tuesday tomorrow but another six more primaries and a caucus next Tuesday the 10th, and even the Northern Marianas Primary on the 14th. See here.

      Maybe someone’s thinking/hoping Biden can do well enough on his own campaign trail, without the distraction of other candidates pointing out his slips, to get ahead of Sanders. If he does, and with the trickle of pledged delegates to others (even a few to Bloomberg himself; who knows?), it may become that much harder for Sanders supporters to claim he was robbed again.

      And if Biden flub his lines too much even for “centrists” to overlook? Well, there’s still Bloomberg himself. . . .

    5. Copeland

      It’s been done: (Reagan, Dubya) just get a guy to sit in the chair, a puppet, with horrible handlers all around him, pulling strings and ruining everything, this time social security & medicare.

      Doesn’t matter who, or how demented, an advantage actually! Compliant is what matters, and if he doesn’t even understand what hes signing, even better!

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Team Blue types have heavily invested in the idea they are vaguely coherent and performative actions. Clinton the Rhodes Scholar. Obama’s 853rd dimensional chess. Hillary, most qualified evah! Even Pete’s whole schtick was he knows phrases in this many languages. Warren has so many plans, like there are plans for plans. I mean she’s like 50 planning committees.

        Republicans on the other hand tend towards more of a “gut” instinct and have dismissed science for years.

        Trying the act with Biden would be something else.

        1. divadab

          He’d lose to Trump. Trump will eat Biden alive. The Dems do want to lose rather than have President Sanders. SO enlightening, this rigged process. What a bunch of cockroaches.

  33. Tertium Squid

    Re Klobuchar and Buttigieg and Steyer dropping out, I just voted in Utah and their names were all still on there. If they really wanted to do it effectively, they’d have to pull out before the ballots were certified. Now any votes for them are just discarded.

    I’m tempted to think if this is about also hurting Bloomberg’s changes and not just Sanders…

    1. Massinissa

      I dunno, I did early voting in Georgia today and people like Michael Bennet were still on the ballot. He dropped out at least 3 weeks ago. I assume the ballots in most states are prepared well in advance.

    2. jrs

      Oh the ballots were certified months and months ago. Really. CA ballot had Booker, Castro, Yang, etc. etc. It had 20 or 30 names. And Castro dropped out forever ago, and yet there he is on the ballot. So no it’s not practical before the ballots are certified. But they should drop out before early voting in super Tues starts.

      1. Tertium Squid

        At my polling place each booth had a list warning of candidates whose names were on the ballot, but had dropped out of the race. Buttigieg and Klobuchar’s names were not on that list.

  34. Dan

    New Sanders campaign video. The gloves are off:


    It’s hard to see Joe Biden doing well in a debate when more attention is focused on him. His bad memory and strange meanderings will be much more apparent. Someone mentioned he’s even starting to stutter again at times.

    I wonder if they’ll give him some sort of upper, like an amphetamine, or even a steroid, to get him going.

    1. WobblyTelomeres

      If it comes down to Bernie vs Biden (say if Bloomborg washes out tomorrow), will the DNC cancel the remaining (2?) debates? Would be their smartest move.

      1. MLTPB

        Lead by example.

        Max social distancing – mail in debates.

        Kind of like take home exams.

        Protect the audience (and potential votes).

    2. John Anthony La Pietra

      Well, they’ve got almost two weeks to test the dosage — next debate is the 15th.

  35. WobblyTelomeres

    Holy sh*t. 4:53pm central and a Klobuchar ad just ran. Good (for Bernie) confusion for tomorrow?

    Edit: now a Steyer ad. Weird.

  36. a different chris

    Two excerpts that really caught my eye – the first, are they this stupid or do they think we are:

    >The fact that the “men” running may embrace big money

    The men are Biden, Bloomberg, and Sanders. Which of these ones are not like the others wrt the quote above, and how does that affect the plural of “men” used?

    The second was more interesting, like maybe a Freudian slip (or not a mistake at all):

    >trying to win over some Obama-Trump voters

    Wouldn’t that be “trying to win back some”? Apparently they just can’t conceive of Sanders as a Democrat.

  37. Chris

    Latest updates from TWIV give some details on what social distance means in the context of the novel coronavirus – 6 ft (2m). Droplets and aerosols and other body projectiles have a maximum typical radius of less than 6 ft.

  38. j84ustin

    Lambert: ““Latinxs,” sigh.”

    Why the sigh? It’s gender neutral. It’s not a big deal.

      1. John Anthony La Pietra

        The article’s text points out that the top choice in the poll, “Hispanic”, was introduced by the Census Bureau in 1980 and defined to include only speakers of Spanish (including those actually from Spain). In 2000 the Bureau’s preferred word was “Latino”, which the article says the Bureau used
        to “refer[] to all people of Latin American origin, whatever language they speak, whether it be Spanish, Portugese, or an indigenous language.” A narrow but clear distinction.

        But there’s a problem: “Latino” doesn’t refer to ALL such people, or there would be no such word as “Latina”.

        And yet, the second choice in the poll is “Latino/Latina”.

        Conclusion: “Latino” is not a gender-neutral term.

        (See also “Chicano/Chicana” just above “Latinx” in the poll results.)

        “Latinx” is one attempt at a gender-neutral alternative to Latino/Latina; “Latin@” is another I’ve seen once or twice. It may make sense to some extent that “Latinx” feels right more to non-binary folks, especially those born in the US (since it avoids both native Spanish/Latin endings, masculine and feminine, while “Latin@” is a cute typographical trick to incorporate both). And, as the article also hints at, there could be more acceptance of individuals calling themselves “Latinx” than of the word being imposed on them from outside.

        As with the battles over Native American-“honoring” sports team nicknames, it’s the people (and peoples) being talked about who should get the last word on whether a term is appropriate or not. “Latinx” may not be a term that ultimately endures . . . but if not this, then something else probably will.

    1. Massinissa

      Its a gender neutral word… Selected by people who themselves are mostly not latino and not capable of speaking for all latinos.

    2. Chris

      I just think Latinx is sloppy language because Hispanic and Latino are specific and useful words. But since I’m not the demographic who cares I just shrug my shoulders and go with what ever the company I keep prefers.

  39. a different chris

    Man, I assume this guy just expresses himself badly, not an unusual problem for hardcore left-brained engineers, but:

    >”You say, hey, I want to take this graph of operations and map it in hardware, and then I’m going to flow the data through the graph, and then every cycle, I am going to get a new result.”

    You don’t want a “new” result! You want the same result! That’s the point of a machine! And humans too generally, not always (yes everybody tell me about their divorce) follow this rule. Same data, same output.

    Like I said, he’s may well have something here but he needs somebody else to explain it for sure.

  40. chuck roast

    So, this feminist theorist says of her former colleague, “There is no more relentless, ruthless a nihilist that I have ever met in my entire life than Elizabeth Warren.” Yikes!!! “…ruthless nihilist…” Tell us what you think. Academia is justly famous for it’s low stakes and long knives, but man, this is way over the top. These ex-Republicans eventually get their due.

    1. Yves Smith

      Search on “nihilist” to find Jeff W’s transcription of the entire text.

      This was not a low-stakes personal grudge.

      Warren played a major, and apparently leading role in converting the formerly very progressive UPenn law dept. hard right. This is what Law and Economics followers are indoctrinated to do. I have part of a chapter on this in ECONNED.

  41. Dan

    This is a must-read:

    Frozen in Anxiety: How Democratic Leaders Struggled to Confront Bernie Sanders

    Late last year a group of first-term House Democrats, anxious over the party’s fractious presidential race, convened a series of discussions intended to spur unity. Led by Representatives Colin Allred of Texas and Haley Stevens of Michigan, they considered issuing a collective endorsement of one moderate candidate.

    The group held phone calls with Joseph R. Biden Jr., Amy Klobuchar and Pete Buttigieg. But the lawmakers could not agree: Some were torn between the options, and others worried about alienating voters at home who backed other contenders, like Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. A few issued solo endorsements of Mr. Biden, but the grander plan disintegrated.

    “There was not time to reach consensus over one candidate,” said Ms. Stevens, who eventually endorsed Michael R. Bloomberg, recalling the “fast-moving” blur of the lead-up to Iowa.

    That effort was just one in a series of abandoned or ineffective plans to rally the moderate wing of the Democratic Party, and the leaders and institutions of the political establishment, behind a single formidable contender who could stop the ascent of Mr. Sanders, a democratic socialist promising a revolution in government.


    1. Grant

      When you think about all of the massive societal issues that we have, when you think of what is coming for us in regards to the environmental crisis, when you think about how broken and dysfunctional this healthcare system is as we confront a plague, their actions are nothing short of sociopathic. So they maybe hold onto power for some more time, and then what? To what end? None of them have a vision, they’re almost proud of that fact, none of them propose any alternatives, have no solutions to anything, and they are paid to change nothing. So, all of this to stop a person that supports social democratic policies just because he threatens their access to power and how that allows themselves to enrich and empower themselves. It is absolutely deplorable. If Bernie doesn’t win, we are going to look back at this soon as a collective stupidity that is almost unmatched, and that says a lot. What a giant missed opportunity this will be for our society that we could have elected Bernie, if he doesn’t win, and we went with a corrupt, right wing Democrat that struggles to put together coherent thoughts.

      The worst thing about this though isn’t just that those in power are doing this. The worst thing is that the rank and file see this, do nothing, and then when people on the left speak up and get frustrated and angry, the zombie Democrats focus their anger on them and provide cover for things in their party they should have long ago been challenging. They provide cover for people with actual power that are making everything worse, and focus their anger on people with no power that are trying to wake people up. There are always crooks wanting power, but a large chunk of the base in that party is okay with this and are largely unaware of how utterly destructive the behavior is. My friends on the left thought I was stupid for thinking the Democratic Party would allow the left to maybe win an election. I thought there was a chance because the need for change is as obvious as fire = hot. But, apparently Democratic voters are too (functionally at least) stupid to realize fire = hot. The collective stupidity of that party is staggering.

      1. Chris

        But it’s not hot for home owners in the PMC. It’s not hot for Wall Street. It’s not hot for K Street. It’s not hot for the elusive suburban Republican moderates who are so desired by the DNC instead of the working class. It’s probably why the DNC and their consultant class brethren are so enamored of averages. If your head is in an oven, and your feet are in a freezer, on average, you’re comfortable. So when you say it’s hot outside, maybe we should do something different, these people aren’t even uncomfortable yet.

  42. Vichy Chicago

    For the Less Super Tuesday, March 17 (IL, FL, OH, AZ) I voted early today in Chicago for Bernie and all his delegates.

    Then came seemingly 19 pages of judicial election/retention races. Surreptitiously pulled up the Sun-Times judicial endorsements on my phone and plowed through.

    I wish there had been a boa around to give me a hug.

  43. Fern

    The Youtube version of Prof. Cornell’s account of Elizabeth Warren at the University of Pennsylvania is easier to pull up than the version Lambert posted. 

    This is the first time I’ve seen a description of the effects of Warren’s involvement in Henry Manne’s right-wing, Reaganomics Law and Economics program.  One of the goals of Manne’s program was to coach young professors about how to engineer right-wing takeovers of their academic departments.  He liked to have at least 2 faculty members from a department in attendance so that they could work together to engineer the takeover.  

    I knew that Warren had attended the program and that she wrote right-wing Reaganomics papers parroting the language and the arguments of the Law and Economics movement and that she corresponded frequently with Manne subsequently, but I didn’t know she actually worked to implement the program’s goal of a right-wing takeover of an academic department.  

    Prof. Cornell gives a first-hand description of Warren’s extreme right-wing Reaganomics beliefs and describes how she gutted  the progressive courses at U. Penn. 


    1. Jeff W

      Here’s a transcript of Prof. Cornell’s remarks, which might be easier to read than listening to the audio:

      I knew Elizabeth Warren when I was a professor at the University of Pennsylvania. She was a right-wing Reaganite. And the University of Pennsylvania had the most progressive law school curriculum in the country. And this is Elizabeth Warren.

      And I taught a first year class called Income Security. Elizabeth Warren said “there is no more ridiculous idea than national healthcare.” That’s the Elizabeth Warren I knew. She was in her 30s at this time. She was the henchwoman of the right-wing takeover to destroy the left-wing curriculum. I taught Worker’s Rights, I taught the National Labor Rights Act, which doesn’t exist anymore, for the most part, it’s not taught in any law school in the United States, I taught Income Security, and I taught Jurisprudence. Elizabeth was against all those things. I don’t really know Elizabeth Warren personally, I just know her as a right-wing Republican.

      And somehow or another, God came out of the heavens and turned her into a Democrat, probably at the very moment that Derrick Bell stepped down from Harvard because he would not work anymore until they hired an African-American woman. Now she couldn’t pretend she was black, so she pretended she was African—she was Native American. That’s not what we call people who are Native Americans, because they’re First Nations people. Apaches and Cherokees were nations. There’s no such thing as a Native American. Elizabeth checked that box just when Derrick Bell was stepping down. She goes to Massachusetts and she becomes a Democrat. There is no more [of a] relentless, ruthless, nihilist that I have ever met in my entire life than Elizabeth Warren. She’s right up there with Donald Trump. So I can’t really support her. She did succeed in destroying that progressive curriculum. And that progressive curriculum is, you know, it’s one of those life things that you hold onto, right?

      So I don’t trust Elizabeth Warren as far as I can throw her. She has no policy, she doesn’t understand imperialism, and she has said that she’s a capitalist. What she really is is a technocrat who clawed her way to Harvard. I mean, that’s where you want to end up, right? If you’re a law professor, you want to be at Harvard. OK, she did that. She succeeded. But as President of the United States, I [sic] wouldn’t even dream of supporting her. Because Bernie Sanders, whatever you think of him, like me, was chaining himself to schools to [de]segregate them. Was protesting against the Vietnam war. There are people who have held onto values for a lifetime, and those, Slavoj, are the people I trust.

      Slavoj refers to Slavoj Žižek, Slovenian philosopher and International Director of the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities of the University of London where Prof. Cornell was speaking.

      1. WobblyTelomeres

        Thank you. I confess I had a Sanders/Warren bumper sticker on my pickup in 2016. Never again.

        1. RMO

          Well, I gave Obama the benefit of the doubt… all the way to a year into the second term yet! It wasn’t until I saw her actions as Secretary of State that it came home to me how bad Hillary is, and my eyes weren’t opened on Warren until this primary campaign so at least you’re better at not being fooled than I am:-)

          1. WobblyTelomeres

            I doubt that. This (NC) community is one of the most literate and well-informed that I have found (users Clive, pk, ambit, amfortas, etc., rarely fail to remind me of how little I know, and I know they are not trying to do so, it just is). As a admittedly obtuse left-brained nerd, I am grateful that y’all pay any attention at all to me.

            Relative to Obama, I , too, bought into the act until, until he used the phrase “clean coal”. Growing up in a coal town, that was it for me.

    1. OIFVet

      Dude, the way he disappeared during the commercial break, I would be looking for any mysterious airplanes headed toward known Siberian gulags.

        1. OIFVet

          Nope, judging by Steve Kornacki’s reaction, Matthews was supposed to finish the show. No doubt the brass at MSDNC gave him the opportunity to try to make a graceful exit, and Matthews apparently ran away during the break. I am sort of having fun with this, I sent a picture of a winking Putin to my now former friend who called me a Russian asset, and told him I have it on good authority that Putin has begun to take out his biggest threats. Might as well mock these sheep.

    2. ambrit

      Now where in Central Park would be a good spot for the guillotines? We’ll need lots of space for the spectators, and a decent sized holding area for the ‘performers.’ Plus a good view for the ‘performers’ to contemplate as they do their bits. (Some gentility would be a fitting touch.)

    3. flora

      His Chris-ness discovers neoliberalism – markets uber alles. I almost, almost, feel sorry for the guy since he always toed the line his masters set, and then discovered the line they set could change on a moment’s notice, or no notice, or on no notice at all for an *old employee*. He did his best to promote his employer’s ideological line, but that was of no value when the employer decided a different line was needed to keep ratings and market share. Welcome to the fight, Chris. /not a snark

  44. JTMcPhee

    So someone here says the CDC says that a “safe distance” from an infected person is six feet. Maybe not, according to a bit of “gross science” reported by CBS in 2018: “ Strong Sneeze Can Spread Flu Germs Further Than Previously Thought, Experts Say ,” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yUY0Lpoa5L4

    So up to 30 feet, and there’s a bit of an FAA video that shows how pathogens spread from an person in an air liner too. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZlH60lm3mz0

    1. Chris

      Nope, CDC is pretty confident with the 6 ft estimate.

      As summarized here.

      This coronavirus doesn’t appear to hang around in the air or spread through the air easily. It’s mainly via aerosols. But we’ll find out more as this thing progresses through the world I guess.

      1. Monty

        Lindsey Graham said Trump, “probably knows more about medicine and specifically viruses than any of the so-called scientists at the NIH and CDC. If anyone is going to eradicate this plague it’ll be the President.”

        Doesn’t this mean the CDC is no longer a reputable source?

        1. WobblyTelomeres

          It means Lindsey realizes his political career depends upon him performing a daily, personal, eyes-up inspection of Trump’s descending colon.

      2. Yves Smith

        Surfaces appear to be the big risk since the virus can live on them up to 9 days.

        That is why relentless hand hygiene is such a big deal.

      1. OIFVet

        Don Trump will have a blast invoking Pocahontas. I am moving permanently out of the US during the first week of May, and should the Democrat party deny Sanders the nomination through a brokered convention, me and some pro-Bernie expats in Sofia will be protesting at the embassy. I love this country despite leaving it, and will keep fighting for it.

        1. Carolinian

          That could be a dangerous part of the world if Trump gets his war with Iran going. So far he, like Erdogan, appears to be mostly bluffing.

          Bernie’s not perfect but I’ve seen him give one of his talks–seems pretty level headed. Some sanity at the top would be a refreshing change.

          1. OIFVet

            Heck, it is a dangerous geographical location in the best of times, and these are hardly the best of times, with Sultan Erdogan trying to poke the bear and dreaming of a restored Ottoman Empire with a Bulgaristani vilayet. But we endure, always :) I look forward to a fresh start and some exciting opportunities. And staying in touch with all of you at NC, no better place to be to truly learn and be challenged to think.

        2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          It’s a big move to decide to leave your home country, I know because I did it myself after Bush was reappointed the second time. Best thing I ever did but prepare to feel very “depayse” as they say in French (out of your country). Best of luck

          1. OIFVet

            I was born in Bulgaria, but I have lived most of my life here in the US. So it will be a transition, to be sure, but at least I have the language (accented and stuck in the early 90s but still) and a support group of friends to help me make the transition. It’s time to make a move, I have truly reached the end of the line in the US. America will always be my country as well though, and I will continue to be engaged with what’s going on here, both because I truly like Americans and I believe that they deserve better, and because what happens here always has an effect upon the rest of the world.

            1. ObjectiveFunction

              This fellow expat salutes you, and wishes you well. Please keep writing in.

              I notice that Europeans of quite modest means can still live a stable, comfortable and culturally rich life. Doctors and plumbers still mainly drink in the same cafes.

              The globalization toothpaste is not going back into the tube, but I also believe the next wave is going to be a lot less rapacious and totalizing than the last, assuming it isn’t punctuated by WWZ. Climate change is already baked in and all we can do is cope. Our institutions may go extinct; we won’t.

              This next phase will present good opportunities for alert, adaptible people willing to defer gratification and avoid the shackles of debt, and our own expectations. Meanwhile, life is indeed what happens while you’re making plans. Cheers!

      2. Jeff W

        “Will he be replaced by establishment Trojan Horse Liz? Greenwald buys into that theory.”

        No, Glenn Greenwald is saying that that’s what he thinks Elizabeth Warren’s play is. The most that Greenwald is saying is that the Democratic Party is “fully prepared…to rely on a brokered convention to alter the will of the voters and impose the result they and their corporate donors and corporatist, militarist superdelegates want.”

        And a candidate who hasn’t won a single state—not even, as it appears may be likely, her home state—will have a tough time making the case that she should be the nominee. (But, really, no choice that nullifies millions of votes will be ideal.)

    1. HotFlash

      Holy moly. My stroked-out BFF talks like that. After 50 yrs knowing her I can decipher, “I had a nightmare. That bad guy, with the hat, coming down, the other guy finds out he’s his father.”

      I think for a bit. “Oh, you mean Darth Vader.”


      She is a wonderful person still, and I love her dearly, but President of the US? No, I don’t think so.

      1. John

        If Biden is the nominee the debate should be something.

        Have you heard Trump’s slurring lately?

  45. Monty

    “The neuroinvasive potential of SARS‐CoV2 may be at least partially responsible for the respiratory failure of COVID‐19 patients”
    Academic paper from China talking about how other Corona viruses can get into the brain stem and cause respitory failure. AKA You forget how to breathe! They are suggesting this could be why Covid19 is causing so many to end up in intensive care on life support.

    Just a flu, bro!

  46. Bill Carson

    Grocery Store Report for Monday, Colorado Springs Edition.

    Sam’s Club—there is still a lot of inventory on the upper shelves. They still have bottled water, but not nearly as much. The meat department is sparse, but there’s still some hamburger meat, roasts, and chicken breast. They still have milk, bread, paper towels, toilet paper, alcohol swabs (but no isopropyl alcohol). They are out of dried pinto beans and low on rice.

    1. Daryl

      In Houston, TX. Still no noticeable shortages of any kind other than sanitizing supplies. I bought an entire row of steaks and the guy behind the counter did a double take.

      I found some hand sanitizer listed in stock at Walmart, so I ordered it as a pickup item, then it was cancelled as out of stock with no restock date known (not surprising).

    2. Oregoncharles

      From the Co-op, upper Willamette Valley: nothing much missing – keep running out of tortillas, for some reason. But the staff are breathing hard from the effort of keeping up.

      I just loaded up on a few items, mostly on sale, but we normally keep a stock of staples (as I’ve explained before).

      One case at OSU (lots of foreign students), and we’re all in quarantine.

  47. FreeMarketApologist

    No part of their net earnings is allowed to inure to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual.

    Net earnings, that is, after expenses, and in a general accounting sense, ‘retained earnings’, which increases the value of shareholders equity.

    Nothing in the IRS regulations says you can’t pay the CEO millions. His pay (as is every other employees’) is an expense of the organization. The IRS only says that income in excess of expenses cannot be paid out as dividends or otherwise leave the company via the corporate ownership structure. So the CEO cannot be an equity owner of the organization (or partner, etc.).

    (Highly simplified, but that’s the way all non-profits work: there are no equity owners, therefore income in excess of expenses cannot be returned to the owners, and can only be spent on the purposes of the organization.)

  48. Chris

    According to friends in the MD/NoVa area, local Costcos are now out of masks, alcohol wipes, and a lot of other items.

  49. OIFVet

    From a friend:

    P rovider networks?
    A uthorization requirements?
    N on-covered charges?
    D eductibles?
    E R fees?
    M edicare for all has never seemed so relevant.
    I nsurance companies should not profit on this.
    C apitalism does not belong in healthcare!

  50. Oregoncharles

    “A growing number of Americans no longer recognize the traditional political establishment as their rightful rulers.”

    That’s why Bernie is running as a Democrat – and Bloomberg, too.

  51. flora

    re: “Most of you know politics and I trust you understand what this is.

    — Richard M. Nixon”

    Dry, very dry. ;)

  52. bun

    Here in BC, Canada there is a phone number anyone can call to speak with a nurse

    its 8-1-1. https://www.healthlinkbc.ca/services-and-resources/about-8-1-1

    used it many times myself. on one occasion my son had a reaction to a peanut cracker, and the nurse told me firmly “sir, you need to get off the phone and take your son to emergency”. and another, called when i suspected my son had an appendix issue (at only 8?), and the nurse put a GP on the line to talk me through tests. took him to the hospital where it burst there and he went straight to surgery

    both times we weren’t sure that anything really bad was happening, and both times 811 prevented something really bad from happening.

    worth its weight in my taxes AFAIAC

    BTW is offered in 4 languages

  53. Jessica

    SC vs. NC: Going back to the early days of the 13 colonies, North Carolina was more like Maryland/Virginia, meaning an economy that used a large number of enslaved people but also had many white people (including many term-limited white slaves (indentured servants), but South Carolina was pretty much nothing but slave plantations.
    Slavery in the West Indies was even worse than in the 13 colonies and South Carolina was intermediate between the other of the 13 colonies and the West Indies.
    (The Deep South (Mississippi/Alabama) didn’t even start until the 1820s/1830s after the Louisiana Purchase and the ethnic cleansing of the Native Americans. Up to the Civil War, it was a frontier and extremely brutal. Not just Roots brutal, but Schindler’s List brutal.)
    Saying this as an outsider willing to be corrected by locals/folks with more knowledge.

  54. Oregoncharles

    Just to avoid confusion: the leaves around the Black-eyed Susan flowers belong to a different plant, something in the pea family, maybe vetch.

  55. Matthew

    I wonder how much the women speaking up for Bloomberg is bourgeois feminism, and how much is just due to Warren’s anti-talent for making people like anyone she attacks.

    1. Yves Smith

      These are women who made a lot of money working for him or worked for him as Mayor and he made sure they got a good job later.

      There is a certain type of NYC woman (I’m one of them) who has trained themselves to look past boss bad behavior as long as you get paid not that much worse than the boys.

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