2:00PM Water Cooler 3/31/2020

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

#COVID-19

At reader request, I’ve added this daily chart:

The data is the John Hopkins CSSE data. Here is the site. I am using a linear, not a logarithmic scale, because the linear scale conveys the alarming quality of the multiplication better (don’t @ me, math nerds). I did not adjust for population, because it seems to me that the epidemics spread through a population in a fractal matter; within reasonable limits, the shape of the curve will be the same. Show me I’m wrong!

Politics

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

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

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

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

* * *

2020

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

We have a new national poll from HarrisX, as of 3/31/2020, 11:00 AM EDT. The sample size is miserably small:

The numbers:

It does seem that the strategy of keeping Biden out of the public eye pays off. Earlier in the year, we often had occasion to comment on the mysterious strength of the Biden Juggernaut, on display here; but it’s also true that Biden’s ups and downs have been of much greater amplitude than other candidates.

* * *

Biden (D)(1): Joe Biden steps on another rake:

Biden (D)(2): “Poll: Biden leads Trump by 10 points as economic pessimism grows” [The HIll]. “The latest Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll finds Biden getting 55 percent support, versus 45 percent for Trump. Biden has 96 percent support from Democrats, while Trump has 89 percent support from Republicans. Independents break for Biden by a 54 to 46 percent margin…. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who has yet to drop out of the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, also leads Trump, winning 53 percent to Trump’s 47 percent.” • So, Democrats can pick a second FDR, or somebody Obama-adjacent. They’re picking somebody Obama-adjacent. The irony is that, in 2008, many — including non-delusional people like Thomas Frank — thought Obama was a second FDR. The most successful con in American political history…

UPDATE Biden (D)(3): “Wall Street Donors Sit Tight Just When Biden Needs Cash the Most” [Bloomberg]. “With stocks falling, businesses shrinking and unemployment soaring, donors of all sizes are feeling the effects. Billionaires counted on to fuel super PAC spending have seen their net worth plummet by anywhere from 10% to as much as 75%.” • That’s a damn shame. I wonder if that’s one reason the donor class is consolidating (see below).

UPDATE Biden (D)(5): “Joe Biden has a #MeToo problem” [The Week]. “As a practical matter, though, it behooves Democrats to make a rigorous investigation — inasmuch as it is possible — of Reade’s accusation. Trump and his allies will almost certainly use the story against him. In 2016, when the notorious Access Hollywood tape surfaced, Trump responded by bringing Bill Clinton’s accusers to his next debate with Hillary Clinton. The president won’t hesitate to utilize similar tactics against Biden. If only for the sake of winning the election, Democrats have to make a real effort to resolve this allegation — and do it in a way that doesn’t drag Reade’s name through the mud. If her story is found to have merit, Biden should be forced out of the race. Truthfully, that seems unlikely to happen. Too much time has passed to arrive at a definitive answer. But the party of ‘believe women’ will lose all credibility if it simply brushes off Reade and makes no effort at all to ascertain the truth” • I think the Democrat Establishment “lost all credibility” a long time ago. The loyalists who gave Biden his 30% pop won’t care about this, any more than the same loyalists cared about the Big Dog’s unsavory and well-documented history; “It’s OK if our guy does it.” I think the damage will come from Sanders supporters who’ll find getting on board the Biden bandwagon something they just don’t have the stomach for. It also gives Sanders a reason, if he is looking for one, to rethink his commitment to the Democrat nominee.

UPDATE Cuomo (D)(1): “Cuomo Helped Get New York Into This Mess” [The Nation]. “The same Cuomo who is racing to expand New York’s hospital capacity and crying out for more federal resources is quietly trying to slash Medicaid funding in the state, enraging doctors and nurses, and elected officials of his own party. The same Cuomo who holds press briefings at a major New York City convention center, now the home of a temporary 1,000-bed hospital, presided over a decade of hospital closures and consolidations, prioritizing cost savings over keeping popular health care institutions open….What’s striking to [Sean Petty, a pediatric nurse at a public hospital in the Bronx and a high-ranking member of the state’s politically active nurses’ union] and other health care experts is how Cuomo has not backed off his plan to cut Medicaid, despite the horrific Covid-19 outbreak. Earlier this year, Cuomo empaneled what is called a Medicaid Redesign Team to slash Medicaid spending in New York after a $6 billion budget shortfall, driven largely by rising Medicaid costs, became evident in late 2019. Medicaid enrollment has been growing about 13 percent a year and is now a $70 billion program in the state. More than 6 million New Yorkers are on Medicaid, which has meant just 4.7 percent of the state is uninsured, a historic low. The Affordable Care Act has boosted Medicaid enrollment in New York. Though Medicaid is a federal program that provides low-cost, comprehensive health care to the poor, the state still picks up almost half the costs, with county governments also bearing a small share. Some of the budgetary abyss has been the Cuomo administration’s own making: postponing Medicaid payments and failing in the past to iron out inefficiencies like the state’s paying Medicaid costs for relatively wealthy, private hospitals that don’t need the aid in the first place. Despite his reputation as a big-government progressive, Cuomo has held to a self-imposed caps on state spending and property tax increases, putting additional strains on local governments trying to fund municipal services.” • That’s our Democrats….

UPDATE Sanders (D)(1): “One Big Reason Bernie Sanders Must Stay in the Race” [Larry Cohen, In These Times]. “But Bernie should remain in the race for at least one important reason. All the rules changes that resulted from the 2016 movement to make the Democratic Party more democratic have been written into the rules for the 2020 convention but not for those conventions in 2024 and beyond. If delegates at this year’s convention fail to make these reforms permanent, we could be back to business as usual—on superdelegates, caucus and primary voting rules, party registration and much more…. Without action by the DNC convention rules committee (of which I am a member) the changes we implemented this on the recommendation of the Unity Reform Commission (of which I was vice chair) will, following the convention, be left to the sole discretion of the regular party Rules Committee.” • And Perez purged all Sanders supporters from the RBC.

UPDATE Sanders (D)(2): Good individual effort:

* * *

Grifters gotta grift:

American Bridge, for those who came in late, is sleaze merchant David Brock’s outfit. Unite the Country is a Biden SuperPAC. Axios comments:

This partnership is another example of the consolidation of Democratic groups in 2020 to try to concentrate power. Earlier this month, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced he will donate $18 million to the Democratic National Committee instead of creating his own PAC.

But imagine thinking Trump could be defeated with oppo…

UPDATE “Congress eyes avoiding Washington for at least a month” [Politico]. • Shows you who’s essential, I guess…

RussiaGate

I’m shocked (MR):

Many Biden voters being big believers in that liberal Pantheon, no doubt.

Realignment and Legitimacy

“Pelosi Floats New Stimulus Plan: Rolling Back SALT Cap” [New York Times]. “Speaker Nancy Pelosi suggested the next package include a retroactive rollback of a tax change that hurt high earners in states like New York and California. A full rollback of the limit on the state and local tax deduction, or SALT, would provide a quick cash infusion in the form of increased tax rebates to an estimated 13 million American households — nearly all of which earn at least $100,000 a year.” • Nice to see Pelosi focusing on property owners, not wage workers. Clarifying about where she sees her base.

“The Coronavirus Killed the Progressive Left” [Tyler Cowen, Bloomberg]. “The egalitarianism of the progressive left also will seem like a faint memory. Elites are most likely to support wealth redistribution when they feel comfortable themselves, and indeed well-off coastal elites in California and the Northeast are a backbone of the progressive movement. But when these people feel threatened in their lives or occupations, or when the futures of their children suddenly seem less secure, redistribution will not be such a compelling ideal.” • Coastal elites — globalizers — are not the backbone of the Sanders campaign. Pehaps libertarian Cowen is so confused he things liberals and the left are the same, and that’s why he falls back on weird formulations like the “progressive left” (the reactionary left?).

“What Happens in November if One Side Doesn’t Accept the Election Results? [Salon]. “Vote by mail is an important step in ensuring that even if the virus keeps people away from physical polling places, millions of Americans will have a means of avoiding disenfranchisement. But it is not perfect. Vote-by-mail ballots are more likely to be rejected than other ballots because of problems like signature mismatches. We also know that rejection rates for signature mismatches can disproportionately affect minority voters. Some states do not alert a voter whose ballot has been rejected about the rejection, failing to give the voter a chance to cure something like a purported signature mismatch. Signature matching is also a notoriously subjective endeavor. Even before the coronavirus pandemic, the issue has led to litigation over whether those voters are being unconstitutionally denied their right to vote.” • I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: The only voting technology either party will accept must enable election fraud. That is the fundamental requirement, and that is why hand-marked paper ballots, hand-counted in public, are anathema to them. For example, here’s how you’d work fraud with mail-in ballots and signature matching:

Stats Watch

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

Consumer Confidence: “March 2020 Conference Board Consumer Confidence Declines Sharply Due To Coronavirus” [Econintersect]. “Consumer confidence had been on a multi-year upswing, the upswing paused in 2019 – but the coronavirus killed the upswing.”

Manufacturing: “March 2020 Chicago Purchasing Managers Barometer Remains In Contraction” [Econintersect]. “The Fed manufacturing surveys were mostly in contraction this month because of the coronavirus impacts.”

Housing: “S and P CoreLogic Case-Shiller 20 City Home Price Index January 2020 Year-over-Year Growth Now 3.1%” [Econintersect]. “All home price indices are continuing to show home price growth is accelerating year-over-year. It will be interesting to watch the effect of the coronavirus on home prices.”

* * *

Commodities: “There’s no shortage of demand around the world for farming’s staple grains, but getting it to the right places is proving a problem. Consumers are loading up on pasta, rice and bread, and the WSJ’s Jacob Bunge and Jesse Newman report the stockpiling is pressuring broader grain markets and pushing some countries to restrict agriculture exports. Industry analysts say there is plenty of wheat around the world, but disrupted supply lines are driving up wheat and rice prices, bucking a coronavirus-induced downturn that has hurt commodity markets” [Wall Street Journal]. “Difficulties moving grain, coupled with frenzied consumer buying, could exacerbate the impact of the pandemic on food markets. Quarantine measures have made it difficult to transport grain in countries such as France, where truck transport is in short supply and truckers are raising rates to carry farm goods to ports because there is little to carry back inland”

Commodities: “The Oil Glut Is Filling Up the World’s Supertankers Fast” [Bloomberg]. “The world’s oil tankers are being filled with crude at a record pace as the options to store a glut on land rapidly diminish, one of the industry’s largest owners said. A combination of surging production from key producers worldwide and capitulating demand in the face of the coronavirus outbreak means that land storage is being overwhelmed, said Robert Hvide Macleod, Chief Executive Officer of Frontline Management AS. The world is likely overproducing by about 20 million barrels a day, or 20% of normal consumption, he said, echoing wider industry views.”

Shipping: “Urgent Demand for Medical Equipment Is Making Air Cargo Fees ‘Absolutely Crazy'” [Bloomberg]. “‘Chartered prices have been pushed up from less than $300,000 four to six weeks back to $600,000 to $800,000 in the last few days,’ Anthony Lau, chairman and founder of logistics company Pacific Air (HK) Ltd., said in an interview Friday. ‘It is absolutely crazy.'”

Tech: “Nextdoor, the network for neighbors, grows in age of social distancing” [Agence France Presse]. “Daily usage of the network — an ad-supported privately held start-up which touts itself as a a local alternative to Facebook — soared 80 percent in March as people looked to connect more with neighbors…. Nextdoor is free. The only caveat is that users must verify who they are and live in the real-world location that comports with the boundaries of the online neighborhood network they wish to join…. Launched in late 2011 as a variation on town squares where people could get to know neighbors and catch up on local news, San Francisco-based Nextdoor now boasts 260,000 neighborhoods across 11 countries including Australia, Britain, France, Italy, Spain, and the US.”

Manufacturing: “There is little overlap between making cars and the labor-intensive job of building ventilators. But car companies are being called on because they typically work with thousands of parts suppliers and are accustomed to manufacturing at a large scale” [Wall Street Journal]. • Oh:

Honey for the Bears: “Goldman Sachs Sees 34% Plunge in U.S. GDP and 15% Unemployment” [Bloomberg]. “The world’s largest economy will shrink an annualized 34% in the second quarter, compared with an earlier estimate of 24%, economists led by Jan Hatzius wrote in a report. Unemployment will soar to 15% by mid-year, up from a previous forecast of 9%, they wrote. The economists, however, now expect a stronger recovery in the third quarter, with gross domestic product expanding 19%.”

* * *

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 26 Fear (previous close: 25 Extreme Fear) [CNN]. One week ago: 13 (Extreme Fear). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Mar 31 at 12:30pm. Finally, the transition to mere fear.

The Biosphere

“Coronavirus lockdowns have changed the way Earth moves” [Nature]. “The coronavirus pandemic has brought chaos to lives and economies around the world. But efforts to curb the spread of the virus might mean that the planet itself is moving a little less. Researchers who study Earth’s movement are reporting a drop in seismic noise — the hum of vibrations in the planet’s crust — that could be the result of transport networks and other human activities being shut down. They say this could allow detectors to spot smaller earthquakes and boost efforts to monitor volcanic activity and other seismic events… Data from a seismometer at the observatory show that measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 in Brussels caused human-induced seismic noise to fall by about one-third, says Lecocq. The measures included closing schools, restaurants and other public venues from 14 March, and banning all non-essential travel from 18 March (see ‘Seismic noise’).” • Another proxy for successful social distancing (although not for remote stations, of course).

“Lead pollution in ancient ice cores may track the rise and fall of medieval kings” [Science]. “800 years ago, the wild moors and wooded gorges were “covered in toxic lead pollution,” says archaeologist Chris Loveluck of the University of Nottingham. ‘The royal hunting forest near the castle was an industrial landscape.’ Here, farmers mined and smelted so much lead that it left toxic traces in their bodies—and winds blew lead dust onto a glacier 1500 kilometers away in the Swiss Alps. Loveluck and his colleagues say the glacier preserves a detailed record of medieval lead production, especially when analyzed with a new method that can track deposition over a few weeks or even days…. Lead tracks silver production because it is often found in the same ore, and the team found that the far-flung lead pollution was a sensitive barometer of the medieval English economy. As they report in a study published this week in Antiquity, lead spiked when kings took power, minted silver coins, and built cathedrals and castles. Levels plunged when plagues, wars, or other crises slowed mining and the air cleared. “This is extraordinary—lead levels correlate with the transition of kings,” says historian Joanna Story of the University of Leicester, who was not part of the study…. For example, when Mayewski showed on a graph that lead pollution plummeted in 1170, Loveluck and Harvard historian Michael McCormick immediately knew why: ‘1170 was the year that Henry the II’s assassins killed the archbishop of Canterbury [Thomas Becket] and Henry was excommunicated,’ Loveluck says. ‘Nobody paid any taxes.’ Mining stopped.” •

“Stuck inside? Tips for indoor gardening to bring green to your space while quarantined” [USA Today]. • Lots of good tips, like remembering to dust leaves (which I never did; perhaps that’s why I never had good luck with houseplants). And from this article–

“Gardening Promotes Neuroendocrine and Affective Restoration from Stress” [Journal of Health Psychology]. I don’t know the number of study participants, because only the abstract is available: “Thirty allotment gardeners performed a stressful Stroop task and were then randomly assigned to 30 minutes of outdoor gardening or indoor reading on their own allotment plot. Salivary cortisol levels and self-reported mood were repeatedly measured. Gardening and reading each led to decreases in cortisol during the recovery period, but decreases were significantly stronger in the gardening group. Positive mood was fully restored after gardening, but further deteriorated during reading. These findings provide the first experimental evidence that gardening can promote relief from acute stress.”

Health Care

If you need any incentive to wear your mask and wash your hands:

Darwin Award (1):

Darwin Award (2):

Darwin Award (3):

Yes, Manhattan flocks to Pier 90 to see the Hospital Ship come to treat victims of #SARS-COV-2, sans masks, sans social distancing, sans everything…. Many of them, no doubt, having snickered at the rubes from Lynchburg in that morning’s Times.

Our Famously Free Press

“Gannett Announces Pay Cuts and Furloughs Across Entire Media Company” [Daily Beast]. “In an email to staff, obtained by The Daily Beast, Gannett CEO Paul Bascobert said that the company will ask staff to make a ‘collective sacrifice’ to keep the mass-media holding company intact amid the crisis by cutting pay ‘as soon as this week.’ … According to Monday’s memo, many staffers will be furloughed for five days a month through June. The CEO also told workers that he will not take an annual salary until the furloughs and reductions had been reversed, and that other Gannett executives will take a 25-percent pay reduction.” • Just when we need reporting most….

Podcasters, too:

Guillotine Watch

“New York Quickly Builds Thousands Of Emergency Hamptons Mansions To Shelter Wealthy” [The Onion (RH)]. • They got you, didn’t they?

Class Warfare

“‘Seize It’: Progressives Urge Philadelphia City Govt. to Take Hahnemann Hospital After Owner Demands $1 Million a Month in Rent” [Common Dreams]. “Sen. Bernie Sanders on Monday joined a rising chorus of progressives demanding the city of Philadelphia seize the shuttered 500-bed Hahnemann hospital from its owner, investment banker Joel Freedman, and reopen the facility to handle the coming peak infections of the coronavirus in the city.” • Isn’t this why we have eminent doman? Pennsylvania seems unlucky in its rentiers:

UPDATE “Opinion: If you’re ‘essential’ enough to work through a pandemic, you’re essential enough to be paid a living wage” [Los Angeles Times]. “‘You guys deserve a serious raise,’ I told the worker who bagged my groceries. ‘Did you get one?’ She didn’t look up. ‘We got a onetime bonus,’ she eventually answered, her eyes still lowered. ‘It was a couple of hundred bucks.’ A couple of hundred bucks to put her life on the line to prevent mass upheaval and panic.” • “Her eyes still lowered.” Third World stuff….

News of the Wired

Yeast we forget–yeast we forget:

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

JU writes: “Arctic Snow White nectarine tree, with Fiddleneck flowers behind.”

Here is another reader project “while on lock-down (SS):

SS writes:

This site* said that vacuum cleaner bags are good filter material.

So I worked up a plan to make masks out of shop vac filter bags. You
can use a sewing machine but I think sewing machine and hot melt glue
is fastest. I’m really bad at sewing, but it works anyway.

Once I knew I could make my own, I gave my factory models to the local hospital.

SS went the extra mile and wrote up directions; here is a PDF you can download.

mask_making

* I know there’s discussion about the Smart Air Filters site, but I think since SS gave the factory masks he had to hospital personnel, that plus his own masks net out positive. In any case, an imperfect mask will still catch droplets from your coughing or sneezing, protecting others.

* * *

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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.

200 comments

  1. Jason Boxman

    I was just thinking about that hospital. The city should just take it. It’s not clear what the guy can do in the immediate sense. Chain himself to the doors? Ha.

    I’ve not read much about anyone stepping up and doing what seems obviously necessary, like doing testing without federal authority when it mattered most. But maybe I’m not looking in the right places? From the spate of recent stories, it is clear many labs knew that testing was essential, but no one was willing to risk sanctions and ask for forgiveness. Except that lab in WA, which did finally find a creative way to do testing eventually.

    If enough labs did it, well, if everyone does it then it must be okay; It worked for Wall Street in 2008!

    Reply
    1. Keith

      In a litigious society, CYA is the norm, even in extraordinary times.

      With friends and family, that rule may change, but to strangers in society? Not worth it.

      Reply
    2. D. Fuller

      Easton Hospital has long been known as the hospital you DON’T want to go to, even before 2001. They did take good care of a relative of mine though. Her government insurance paid for a rare complication. I must say that the workers are underpaid and really dedicated.

      As for stepping up and doing testing on their own? Reagents to process the test kits are the problem. As noted in a story here on NC, the CDC test kits failed in part due to reagent contamination or substitution that rendered the tests results… inaccurate. CDC refuses to name the private contractor who provided them with the faulty chemicals. A person who is given faulty results? Has legal recourse as noted by Keith.

      Good news. The private nursing home that was trying to hide a Covid-19 case from authorities and reporting? Well, the case has been leaked as of two days ago. The REIT-owned nursing home previously cited adverse negative publicity and adverse financial consequences as the reasoning behind their decision to hide the case from reporting.

      Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        My to the right of right politically brother in law was in love with his REIT investments, I wonder how bad the slaughter was?

        Reply
        1. D. Fuller

          Ask Pelosi and Trump how the REIT slaughter was with that nice real estate tax break they gave themselves.

          Pelosi? Hmmmm…

          Paul Francis Pelosi Sr. is an American businessman who owns and operates Financial Leasing Services, Inc., a San Francisco-based real estate and venture capital investment and consulting firm.

          How coincidental that both benefitted… and other Congress Members with ties and investments in real estate. /sarcasm

          Congress Members and Administration figures took care of themselves and their Big Money donors. Left Main Street to pray (and for many to die). It is hard to argue against that appearance.

          “Wealth preservation/Minimization of financial losses” (to TBTF billionaires and corporations) is the name of the game after the losses. Being flush with all that taxpayer cash? Further consolidation of economic wealth into even fewer hands.

          REITS will be just fine afterwards, provided they survive the cannibalization (eating each other) that financial institutions are engaged in. The more politically and financially connected? The better the odds of not being eaten.

          Reply
    3. Tom Stone

      Jason, even pre “Kelo” using condemnation law (Eminent Domain) to take over Hahneman Hospital would have been entirely appropriate.
      My late father was both an appraiser and an expert witness who specialized in condemnation law, I had the pleasure of watching him testify before the California Supreme Court.

      Reply
      1. HotFlash

        My dear Tom Stone, I have no details, but I think perhaps I should be thanking your father for his service and mourning his loss. Do you have more info? I would love to know…

        Reply
        1. Jokerstein

          Kelo vs. New London, before SCOTUS (2004?). Make sure to read O’Connor’s dissent – a blistering indictment on a venal and corrupt bench.

          Reply
          1. Democracy Working

            A book I enjoyed on Kelo v New London & was The Little Pink House by Jeff Benedict (2008). I see it is widely available used online at Abe Books.

            This decision allowed private firms to benefit from the previously exclusively public power of eminent domain. Here in PA, pipeline builders routinely threaten landowners into signing right-of-way agreements by threatening to invoke eminent domain, so it is very much a part of the corporate toolbox.

            Reply
    4. AllTogetherNowPeople

      This is really bugging me too. But obedience to authority doesn’t break down even when your obedience leads to people dying as we know. The first thing to teach your children is not to follow the pack, and instead to listen carefully to their heart and their body, and the rest really follows.

      Reply
  2. zagonostra

    >Putin Pandemic Help

    How long will it take Rachael Maddows to pounce on this as proof of Trump being a Putin Puppet?

    A cargo plane loaded with medical supplies and protection equipment may depart for the US by the end of the day Tuesday, the Kremlin said after a phone call between US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

    The issue of protective gear was raised in the telephone conversation between the two leaders on Monday, with Putin asking if the US needed help and Trump accepting, spokesman for the president Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Tuesday

    https://www.rt.com/news/484623-russia-coronavirus-aid-us/

    Reply
      1. MLTPB

        Is it an attempt to draw down Russia’s stockpile?

        Fans of China’s Romance of Three Kingdoms might recognize an episode from the Battle of Red Cliff called Borrowing Arrows with Straw Boats.

        Reply
          1. MLTPB

            Was it ‘all sales final,’ or were the supplies satisfactory and we got a nice ‘Thank you’ note from Beijing?

            Reply
              1. MLTPB

                Thanks.

                With reports of Spain and the Netherlands having quality issues with Chinese test kits and masks, I hope ours worked satisfactorily.

                Whether they want to thank us or not, it’s up to them.

                Reply
      2. JTMcPhee

        US Military is asking retired medical personnel to report for duty to keep the military running (for all purposes including response to unrest or insurrection, presumably.)

        “ The Army Asked Retirees in Medical Fields to Come Back. The Response Was Overwhelming”. https://www.military.com/daily-news/2020/03/27/army-asked-retirees-medical-fields-come-back-response-was-overwhelming.html

        Related:

        Sailors Do Not Need to Die’: Carrier Captain Pleads for Help
        Capt. Brett Croziergives remarks during an all-hands call on the ship’s flight deck.

        Capt. Brett Crozier, commanding officer of the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), gives remarks during an all-hands call on the ship’s flight deck Dec. 15, 2019. (U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Alexander Williams)
        31 Mar 2020
        Military.com | By Gina Harkins
        The commanding officer of an aircraft carrier sidelined in Guam says there are more than 100 positive cases of the illness caused by the coronavirus among its crew and is calling on Navy leadership to do more to protect the lives of his sailors.

        Navy Capt. Brett Crozier, commanding officer of the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt, wrote a four-page letter to his superiors, pleading with them to take action to help stem the spread of COVID-19 cases on his ship. The San Francisco Chronicle obtained a copy of Crozier’s letter and broke the story of his stunningly candid request that Navy leaders fix what he says is an ineffective strategy that will only slow the spread on the carrier — not stop it.

        “We are not at war. Sailors do not need to die,” the captain wrote. “If we do not act now, we are failing to properly take care of our most trusted asset — our Sailors.”

        Between 150 and 200 crew members on the carrier have tested positive for COVID-19, the Chronicle reported. The ship is pierside in Guam, but much of the crew remains on the ship.” https://www.military.com/daily-news/2020/03/31/sailors-do-not-need-die-carrier-captain-pleads-help-virus-cases-surge.html

        Not surprising, the disease is all over the Imperial military:

        “ Pentagon Orders Bases to Stop Reporting Coronavirus Numbers as Cases Surge” https://www.military.com/daily-news/2020/03/31/pentagon-orders-bases-stop-reporting-coronavirus-numbers-cases-surge.html

        Did the Roman military have to face a plague?

        Reply
          1. epynonymous

            Easy. They’re never really used! They are *not* on constant patrol, going around the world.

            Of course, they’re always needed somewhere, but they are a literal political showboat.

            Since they’re so terrible as far as hosting infected patients and are designed for wartime trauma, they will be replacing regular NY hospitals capacity for trauma, surgery etc.

            Somewhere on Facebook, I saw instagram pictures of a hundred or more people idling around the fence by the ship (instagram tag port 90, I believe, forgot the source. could be here as usual!)

            The inside of the central park ‘hospital’ was depressing as well. Only one tent seemed to have the real stuff with 10 ventilators fresh out of crates.

            Reply
        1. MLTPB

          For the longest time, as a non professional in that field, I thought passengers should not be on those cruise ships.

          I think some commented then, about no new infections after initial testing and along with some measures to keep them in their cabins.

          Looking back, we all see earliest evacuations would have been a good strategy.

          I hope the best for our sailors.

          2 questions.

          What is the current strategy that will only slow it down?

          What is the strategy that will stop it?

          Reply
        2. a different chris

          >Did the Roman military have to face a plague?

          Hmmm, I believe they actually did????

          Anyway, I thought the “Herd Immunity” thing would be right up the MIC’s alley? Guess not.

          Reply
        3. curious euro

          Rome had to face a plague brought home by its soldiers from the middle east:
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antonine_Plague
          Our current one seems to be mainly spread by tourists: chinese guest workers for the garment industry in northern Italy who went home on holiday for chinese new year brought it to northern Italy, and ski tourists on holidays in sout tyrol brought it then to their home countries across northern Europe.

          A later plague seems to have no definite source:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plague_of_Cyprian

          What is interesting is how long these plagues lasted: more than ten years!

          Reply
          1. Jessica

            IIRC, there was a point in the first half of the 400s when the Roman legions were undermanned in part due to epidemics, but when the Huns got far enough south in Italy, they sickened too and had to withdraw.

            Reply
    1. D. Fuller

      Well… to add to that…

      U.S. Shipped Tons Of COVID-19 Supplies To China As Trump Dismissed Threat Here
      Now desperate, the U.S. is accepting face masks, gowns and gloves airlifted from China.
      https://www.huffpost.com/entry/trump-china-coronavirus-shortage-governors_n_5e8179c6c5b66149226a0ff8

      The U.S. State Department shipped 17.8 tons of donated coronavirus medical supplies to China seven weeks ago, when health experts and some American lawmakers were already seeking federal action to prepare the country for the disease.

      *Not a fan of HuffPo.

      Reply
      1. MLTPB

        I am not sure if he dismisses threat here.

        We shipped 17.8 tons, in an act of generosity (to me it seems, more so if we only learned of it the last few days, because, and if I have the date as Feb 7, 2020, correctly, cases in Wuhan were growing fast then).

        Recall the travel restrictions on Feb 1, 2020. (And we were actually ahead of other nations in that.) The whole world was watching China then.

        Daegu first made global news around Feb 18 or there about. So, we were all watching Wuhan.

        What were the papers occupied themselves with, around Feb 7, 2020?

        Well, they dismissed the corona threat themselves to focus, instead, on

        1. Impeachment vote on Feb 5, 3020.

        That seems like it happened last century.

        2 the Feb 7 debate before New Hampshire in which this threat was not issue number 1.

        Reply
    1. Keith

      We’re all dutifully working from home today. It must have been that link you posted a little while back about managers buying monitoring software to watch their employees at home!

      Reply
        1. Keith

          Easier to hide at home for me at least. Presently, we are tracked by our Skype status, so as long as that mouse moves, we are good. They are moving towards better monitoring, but are not their yet (plus they are easily distracted by appropriation funding and the flavor of the month type stuff). So the poor middle managers can only judge us on our production/final projects and not how we spend our time. God bless the inefficiencies in the system! :)

          Reply
    2. Katiebird

      Bill paying day (Actually every Tuesday is Family Business Day) and Get Ready for Trash Day … Everything is set back an hour or two.

      Reply
    3. BoyDownTheLane

      Everyone is practicing Internet distancing…. Those new VPN’s do not include for coronavirus filtration.

      Reply
      1. MLTPB

        Remember seeing a documentary about brewing ancient Egyptian beer.

        They collected yeast from modern-day air of Cairo, pr something like that.

        Reply
    4. Carolinian

      How about this–people in my sidewalk heavy neighborhood have started chalking messages on the footway. Sample: “Stay Sane”

      Reply
      1. edmondo

        I’m not sure why everyone is so concerned about all this newly found free time. Why not just pack the kiddies in a car and head out to see the county’s natural wonders. I understand that the Grand Canyon is not only open but free entry as a bonus. Use those lemons to make some lemonade.

        https://tucson.com/news/local/grand-canyon-other-parks-kept-open-as-calls-for-coronavirus-closure-echo/article_d2fdc85e-acbb-5cc8-af6c-befdefb4f65b.html#tracking-source=home-the-latest

        Reply
        1. Wukchumni

          Most people that venture to Grand Canyon NP end up @ the always crowded southern rim, looking over the edge into the abyss of contracting Coronavirus from the person next to you on either side.

          Curiously, it seems the only NP’s open now, are in red states, hmmmm?

          Reply
      1. Amfortas the hippie

        aye. I got high and painted the new north wall of the new goat barn.
        and watered everything.
        and pulled weeds.
        and organised my salvage piles.
        (actually, i made the boys do that while i watched and pointed)
        and thought about how my cousin being a nightowl might be a good thing, should i feel the need to set a watch…him at night, me in the early(i usually get up at 4 or so). this is how we keep the fires going in winter.
        waited for two days for the propane guy…people are panic buying that, too, apparently.
        he said he’d never been so busy.

        and! I related the other day that the birds had returned after 3 years absence(coinciding with the 3 year grasshopper plague). well, we have some new ones, too…a sort of blackbird that makes a sound like a large stone dropped in a pool. I’ve seen them in San Antonio, 130 miles south, but never here. My hypothesis is that, with the lockdown, there’s a lot fewer tater chip crumbs and such in the parking lots down there, so they came here looking for greener pastures.
        I’ve been tossing scratch grains in neighbor’s pasture to give them something to do besides eating the seeds i direct sow.

        Reply
          1. Amfortas the hippie

            sadly, yes.
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brown-headed_cowbird#Brood_parasitism

            we don’t have any of the host species listed there…save for lots of mockingbirds,which are fiercely territorial(all our car and truck side mirrors are marred from the males fighting with themselves)
            so long as they don’t pester the quail, swallows and scissortails(also fierce, often chasing crows thrice their size)….and so long as they eat bugs…
            lol.

            Reply
            1. Lee

              In days of yore, in what now is a paved over part part of Silicon Valley, where some few open fields and wetlands once were, mocking birds used to dive at us little ones on our way to school. Alas, the fiesty feathered foe swoops there no more.

              Reply
    5. polecat

      Freakin-out over what to pay, how to pay it .. and what to leave in arrears !

      Oh, and ‘to wear a mask, or not to wear a mask’ — at the grocery store …. Will I be praised if I don’t .. or ridiculed if I do ?

      Reply
        1. Copeland

          My wife says, if you have a mask, you should really give it to the medical staff. If you found a place to buy one and can afford it ($$$!), buy it and give it to the medical staff. Same for making your own masks…until there there are no mask shortages.

          Reply
    6. Nealser

      I’ve been busy trying to get a health insurance subsidy from CoveredCalifornia. I lost my income and the monthly premium is $1550 for two people. I made an error in the online application so that my declared 2020 income was too low. They automatically sent my application to the county level health authority to evaluate my case for Medi-Cal. I called them and they are closed for the COVID-19 emergency until god knows when.
      I won’t get the $1200 Federal government payment because my income was too high in 2018. But my income is gone in 2020!

      Reply
      1. Milton

        I guess Ms. (means testing) Pelosi never thought of this being an issue for (slightly) higher earners-that they may in fact have no jobs by the time the moneys are disbursed.

        Reply
    7. richard

      I am silently trying to process Joe Biden as Sideshow Bob
      re rakes
      would that make Obama Krusty the Clown?

      Reply
    8. D. Fuller

      Covid-19 overload?

      It is important that people be reminded about safety measures and kept up to date on the latest information.

      Desensitization sets in after awhile. Especially when you see how (“almost”)-criminally negligent that Congress and The Administration have been regarding Covid-19 response. They are playing politics while people die, feathering their own nests and the nests of their Big Money donors (that is the appearance and it is hard to believe otherwise). With the full realization that not much is going to be done after Congress and The Administration sold out public safety in the name of billionaire and corporate wealth.

      Until the majority of voters reject the criminally incompetent politicians? It is depressing. Perhaps some human interest stories about how the poor are helping each other out while our corporate owners sell out?

      Friend of mine lost his job the other day. I’m making his car payment. He’s got OCD and ADHD and has worked practically every day of his life. His nervousness set in. He said the best thing today: “I’ve never had anyone have my back like your family has.”

      Reply
      1. Joe Renter

        Thank you for helping your friend. My Son has ADHD in a bad way. A real tough nut to crack as an adult in a mean world.
        Keep the faith and your kindness as well.

        Reply
    1. flora

      Yes. Beautiful tree. The tiny yellow flowers with their bright green stems are a perfect match. Thanks.

      Also, thanks to SS for making masks and for the pattern.

      Reply
  3. Burns

    Regarding the story and twitter thread on Egyptian bread, I absolutely love those kinda of “living history” stories. Really makes you wonder if today’s modern world really constitutes progress, and maybe that our ancestors already mostly had it all figured out (ex. Michael Hudson’s continuing series on debt in antiquity).

    There’s a youtube channel called “Primitive Technology” where an Australian guy researches and implements ancient technological processes. Everything from making primitive tools like stone axes to smelting trace amounts of ore from clay deposits. Fun stuff:

    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCAL3JXZSzSm8AlZyD3nQdBA

    Reply
    1. MLTPB

      Leavening cultures sampled from ancient baking vessels.

      How does it work here, exactly?

      Would love to know the details. Be most informative, at least for me, if not others.

      Reply
          1. Amfortas the hippie

            no ancient vessels needed. just do it on your balcony, or under a tree somewhere. wilder the better.
            i covered mine with cheese cloth to keep the bugs out, but let the lactobacilli, etc in.
            same general process can be used for trappist ale(although this is tricky, and you can easily end up with dank stanky beer like liquid that will make you ill,lol), and even for starting a vinegar mother(she’s present in the grapes)
            even cheese making started with wild yeast…with parmesan, someone thousands of years ago got a toe in the milk.

            one thing about a new sourdough starter: it must be allowed to mature. longer you use it, the better it gets, and the better the bread gets, as far as structure, etc.
            it’s a neat thing to do. my customers were amazed.

            Reply
              1. Kurtismayfield

                Yes, they are desiccated and can sporificate if they get stressed.. so they dry out and all you need to do is regrow them.

                Reply
            1. MLTPB

              By the way, I read that yeast is floating in the air all the time.

              Does it mean when we need to add yeast, we simply expose to air, no other special preparations required?

              Thanks.

              Reply
              1. Amfortas the hippie

                yes. it’s in the air…it “surrounds and penetrates us…”.
                you’re covered in yeast(and a whole bunch of other things, like the little lobsters that live in your eyelashes)
                the trick, like the adjacent twitter thing i linked above, is to capture a bunch of that stuff, and help the couple of species you want to thrive and outcompete the ones you don’t…by adding flour and water, and tossing half each day….until it smells like something you’d eat.
                with the current lack of baking products, now is the perfect time,lol.
                you really need a whole wheat flour to start it, though….bleached white doesn’t have the nutrients(!)

                Reply
            2. Oregoncharles

              I once started a mother sour from (raw) apple cider dregs. Could swear the bread still tasted of apple, many changes later.

              Reply
        1. mrsyk

          I just got a starter going. I’m going to try making pancakes with it this week.
          We had quite a storm come through the day before yesterday, been cleaning up blowdowns. The upside is an early start on getting next year’s firewood in.
          I’m putting a garden on the roof this spring, basically glorified planters. The last couple summers have been to cold for hot peppers and eggplant. I’m hoping the heat from the roofing tile will compensate.

          Reply
    2. a different chris

      It’s funny how it looks…. just like bread.

      Well how bread again looks, as the WonderBread era is hopefully over.

      Reply
    3. Oregoncharles

      “Primitive Technology” is wonderful. Besides inspiring, it’s oddly soothing, because he never says a word, just demonstrates. Plus the special pleasure of watching someone else work. Some of those techniques might even come in handy, push comes to shove. Huge number of viewers, too.

      Reply
  4. MLTPB

    Lockdowns and the earth moving.

    Is the quote, man’s trouble is he can’t sit quietly in a room alone?

    What or who said that? Corona did.

    Reply
    1. zagonsotra

      Pascal – “All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.”

      Reply
  5. MLTPB

    GS: 34% drop in US GDP, 2nd QT.

    For comparison, what can Italy, China, Russia, Singapore etc look forward to?

    Reply
    1. D. Fuller

      With all this talk about how changes coming to America – and not for the better?

      How did we ever survive the Spanish Flu with our government and (what passed for) liberties back then? Oh, the horror!

      Granted that the Roaring 20’s occured afterwards, where speculation was the name of the game. Which led to the 1929 crash and The Great Depression.

      Reply
    2. Ranger Rick

      Wikipedia pegs the Great Depression’s impact on global GDP at 15%.

      That isn’t a cliff you’re looking at, but an abyss.

      Reply
  6. clarky90

    The Christian Roots of the Rabbinic faith – Dr. Golan Brosh

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0HjThkWSQic

    “In this podcast we’ll be interviewing authors and professors from the land of Israel on a variety of interesting topics. In this weeks’ episode Dr Golan Brosh dives into the origin of the Rabbinic faith and it’s early Messianic roots.”

    This is #1 in a series of 8 podcasts. I have found it fascinating, and enlightening. This turns accepted “wisdom” inside out, and then, on it’s head! A treasure trove for NC culture geeks.

    Reply
    1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      OK I’ll pop in here.

      The scale and brazenness of the theft is breathtaking, I did not think I would see the arrival of national socialism in my lifetime. Certainly not so swiftly.

      Here’s how the sale of America is constructed. You and I provide the money, to the tune of $450B. That money serves as the collateral. It’s the “equity” in the deal so it’s “first-loss”.

      That collateral enables The Fed – The U.S. Federal Reserve Bank – to leverage up 10X to $4.4 trillion and they lend the money to businesses.

      (Maybe someone can enlighten me as to what the Fed knows about underwriting business risk. Answer = nothing. And maybe someone can tell me when we amended The Federal Reserve Act to allow the Fed to make loans to businesses).

      The answer is that they have set up essentially a giant hedge fund, a Special Purpose Vehicle. Running that fund will be the lovely patriots at Blackrock. We do not know how that fund will be governed or even what it is to be called. I’ll suggest a name: Faustus II.

      To be sure we do not know and cannot see how Faustus II funds are disbursed, how they select which companies receive them, or how they evaluate and price collateral, included in the bill (96-0 in the Senate) is a suspension of the “Sunshine Provisions” that currently provide a glimpse of transparency into The Fed’s operations. To wit:

      …the Board may conduct meetings without regard to the requirements of section 552b of title 5, United States Code, during the period beginning on the date of enactment of this Act and ending on the earlier of— (1) the date on which the national emergency concerning the novel coronavirus disease (COVID–19) outbreak declared by the President on March 13, 2020 under the National Emergencies Act (50 20 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.) terminates; or (2) December 31, 2020.

      This fund can operate until The Fed has nationalized everything. One site summed it up like this: So congratulations America, you were just bought by a group of anonymous bankers with your own elected politicians making it possible. The price? $1,200 per person for a month or two.

      But what infuriates me is that they were so close to something infinitely better: instead of The Fed having any hand in things, take the same functions over to Treasury. That’s where The Constitution says they belong.

      And going forward anyone using the words “U.S. Economy” and “Capitalism” in the same sentence must be laughed and shamed out of the room.

      Reply
      1. martell

        That depends on what you mean by ‘capitalism.’ Do you mean an economic system consisting of a self-regulating market on which non-monopolistic, price-taking firms compete for profitable returns on productive investments with little or no assistance from the state beyond protection of private property rights? Then, no, we don’t have capitalism. Not sure we ever did. Or do you mean an economic system such that some people have to rent themselves out to others, with the latter working the former long and hard enough to ensure that value added by labor is greater than the value of wages? In that case, yes, we still have capitalism, and CARES is just about a perfect example of what can be expected of the political system when one of the principal classes in a capitalist society (roughly, the class of those who own for a living) has been winning a very one-sided conflict with the other (roughly, the class of those who work for a living) for something like forty-five years.

        Reply
        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          I suppose I’m talking about the capital C Capitalism the rentier class always trots out to simultaneously obscure and legitimize their inverted totalitarian, and now fully national socialist system.

          If I’m going to submit all my rights to Father State then at least I want a nice brown uniform. And doesn’t that crowd say it’s my duty to procreate with as many female menschen as possible? There must be some upside in here somewhere.

          Reply
          1. drumlin woodchuckles

            What if we invented the word “crapitalism”? Or capital C Crapitalism? Would it have any spreading power?

            Reply
      2. tegnost

        I’m disturbed that they’re not even trying to hide it this time.
        Hunker down I guess.
        I expect more supply chain issues re foodstuffs.

        Reply
  7. curlydan

    Doesn’t that chart on podcasts say that the weekly audience is still up 10% from the beginning of the year? It’s not the 25% gain from mid-February, but overall, I’d take 10% in this economy.

    Reply
  8. MLTPB

    Tyler Cowen’s piece, his mixing up the left and liberals notwithstanding, is worth watching, to see if people in general become more defensive, more risk averse or more conservative.

    Reply
    1. FluffytheObeseCat

      Cowen made a few other self-soothing predictions in his piece that aren’t likely to hold up well.

      “…. In a similar fashion, the forces of NIMBY will become stronger, relative to those of YIMBY, because people secure in their isolated suburban homes will feel less stressed than those in densely packed urban apartment buildings.”

      Cowen is extrapolating the present into the near future based on his fond hopes and extreme biases, not cold reason. His happy prediction that exurbanites will be ‘less stressed’ over the long haul seems… self-congratulatory at best. Exurban PMC paper pushers often live in isolation from kinship and friend support networks. They are older than the population at large and devoid of practical life skills. These deficits do not make for happy campers going forward c. 6 months.

      “The climate change movement is likely to be another victim. How much have you heard about Greta Thunberg lately? Concern over the climate will seem like another luxury from safer and more normal times.”

      Thunberg was in the news late last week with a mild case of coronavirus. Given her age and sex she will most likely be in the news in c. 3 weeks for having recovered. And in another 2 weeks for donating plasma. She is more likely to survive to promote her views than the decidedly middle aged, male Mr. Cowen. She is far more likely to see the year 2030 than the aged elites who provide Mr. Cowen with op-ed venues. So…… Cowen is de facto, whistling past the graveyard. His predictions are understandable in this context but not something I’d make bets on.

      Neither he, nor most other Lords of the Inside Track, have a clue as to what will shake out over the next 5-10 years. The only gay-run-tea I have now is that it’s way better to be young, female, & living in the east Asian littoral than anything else. There are no indications that will change anytime soon. Right-leaning, well-connected, middle-aged American punditocrats (& their most favored subgoups) seem comparatively ill-positioned, all things considered.

      Reply
      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        Is Tyler Cowen the pro-inequality economist whose shtick is basically “let them eat beans” ?

        Reply
    2. JBird4049

      “The Coronavirus Killed the Progressive Left”

      Okay, there. I think the propaganda spewed out by the establishment has mindscrewed Cowen real good. The multi-decade campaign to gradual equate everything left of center as communism has been very, very effective, which explains Cowen’s problem; there must be a left, but not all leftists are communist of course, but if everything to the left of the center is communism, it follows that leftist and liberals are synonymous and the center is the left.

      This neatly eliminates everyone and their ideas from Richard Nixon on the left because they must be communist.

      Reply
    3. The Rev Kev

      Was that article written from some hide-away on the Hamptons? I mean, seriously

      ‘Elites are most likely to support wealth redistribution when they feel comfortable themselves, and indeed well-off coastal elites in California and the Northeast are a backbone of the progressive movement.’

      I am reading that to say that when each of the elites are fabulously wealthy then, and only then, will they maybe, possibly, conceivably condescend to throwing a few crumbs to the peasants – in spite of all observed behaviour saying the exact opposite.

      As for being the backbone of the progressive movement, yeah, they are. But only progressives that can be counted on, when it comes to a vote, be guaranteed to vote along any measures that only favours corporate America over average Americans. And from what I hear, every single progressive voted for that bail-out and did not kick up a fuss over how one-sided it all was. The betrayal will be obvious over the coming months.

      Reply
      1. michael99

        I guess the elites were feeling really comfy in the 1930s then, after the stock market crash and onset of the Great Depression. Otherwise how could FDR have gotten the New Deal: Social Security, Glass-Steagall, the SEC, the CCC, the WPA, the Fair Labor Standards Act, and so on? Or was it that the elites of that time actually went along with progressive reforms out of fear of what might happen if they didn’t?

        Reply
        1. Oregoncharles

          I haven’t heard of any brokers jumping out of windows lately, though there was a rash of that after 2008. Maybe the windows don’t open these days. Anyway, I’d look sharp if walking on Wall St.

          Reply
          1. drumlin woodchuckles

            What if pranksters began painting targets on the sidewalks below all the relevant windows?

            Reply
  9. Louis Fyne

    Re. US manufacturing

    The US can’t even make its own condoms despite all the petrochemical plants on the Gulf.

    Add condoms to the list of things that exploit global labor arbitrage.

    Reply
    1. Martin Oline

      I heard we used to. I worked with a mold maker who claimed, maybe back in the 1970’s, they had a huge order from the Soviet Union for condoms that had to accommodate a 12 inch user. After much discussion, they set up a second operation that stamped ‘Medium’ on each one.

      Reply
    2. wilroncanada

      Louis Fyne
      Maybe it’s because so many US manufacturers make most of their money from financial markets, instead of actually manufacturing. In other words, in terms of manufacturing, American firms don’t do dick.

      Reply
  10. Noone from Nowheresville

    Sure there is. CARES is about little people vs. corporations. The Democrats would not be crass enough to put direct comparison of one group of people’s “stimulus” to another in the same bill.

    Think about the numbers $290 billion for one time stimulus checks vs. potentially $77 billion ($40 billion for those making more than a million) for 2019 Federal tax savings plus whatever the savings amount would be for 2019 State tax. Then add similar “refund” amounts for 2018 Federal plus State tax. Then elimination of this “new as of 2017 tax code rewrite/overhaul” moving forward. Adjust state budgets and federal accounting accordingly.

    When all is said and done I suspect revoking SALT will exceed the $290 billion one time stimulus checks.

    I think we should throw away means testing. Put the two pots of money together and then divide equally to ALL residents and citizens.Wonder how close we’d end up on that $1,200 per adult piece.

    Reply
    1. JTMcPhee

      I’m an older guy, make it one big pot of gold and at least let us go all naked ape and fight over it. I’d go up against Jamie Dimon even in my decrepit condition. Seems maybe fairer than this mugging that was just committed.

      There’s a special place in Hell for Pelosi and Obama? Does it look like the Hamptons or Big Sur?

      Reply
      1. Noone from Nowheresville

        Come on now, Dimon just had surgery to get a heart. Life changing event it could happen. Really it could while shaking head.

        I am down with the naked free for all.

        I think the Hamptons. Fewer escape routes. Not defensible. More seasonal like minded crammed into a smaller landscape. Lots of room to fill up the lawns with tents or Vegas style painted social distancing boxes. As long as we clear out the residents first.

        Reply
    2. hunkerdown

      > I think we should throw away means testing.

      Of course we should, but moral dispensation is one of the allowable occupations of a leisure class (cf. Piketty’s “Brahmin left”), which according to Veblen must be counter-productive or at least futile, in order to preserve their in-group distinction.

      Reply
  11. zagonostra

    >Pandemic Pandemonium: The Tides of Globalization and Financialization Reverse

    A very nice(disheartening) summary of our current “State” of disrepair.

    The pandemic has done nothing but knock down the brightly painted facade, revealing the decayed, rotted shack of reality. Globalization and financialization always served one goal: maximizing the profits of the few, by any means available, at the expense of the many…..[t]he low-hanging fruit had long been picked, and Wall Street’s relentless arbitrage of labor costs, environmental laxity and corrupt governance had long since stripped the globalization tree not just of fruit but of bark and foliage.

    Now that the collateral is gone and the tree of globalization has been stripped bare, there’s nothing left to exploit except the unlimited largesse of predatory finance’s best buddies, central banks.

    https://www.oftwominds.com/blog.html

    Reply
    1. notabanktoadie

      Sorry, but there is no free lunch. Every dollar of the Fed’s freshly printed trillions will eventually be taken out of the purchasing power or collateral of the holders of Federal Reserve currency. Charles Hugh Smith

      Every dollar?

      Sorry but this guy doesn’t understand banking since the economy runs off bank deposits, not on fiat.

      And yes there are “free lunches” – those that would accrue risk-free to money hoarders if all fiat creation ceased.

      This is not to defend the current bailout of the rich but rather that fiat creation is good and could be used to liberate us from banks.

      Reply
      1. John k

        We previously gave fiat creation to banks. It’s just a matter of taking it back. But the power we gave them allows them to buy all branches of gov, so taking it back is tricky.

        Reply
  12. JTMcPhee

    I offer this for the edification of “herd immunity“ proponents and the disconcertion of the rest of us, from an ER doctor in New Orleans:

    Repost. Read this.

    “I am an ER MD in New Orleans. Class of 98. Every one of my colleagues have now seen several hundred Covid 19 patients and this is what I think I know.

    Clinical course is predictable.
    2-11 days after exposure (day 5 on average) flu like symptoms start. Common are fever, headache, dry cough, myalgias(back pain), nausea without vomiting, abdominal discomfort with some diarrhea, loss of smell, anorexia, fatigue.

    Day 5 of symptoms- increased SOB, and bilateral viral pneumonia from direct viral damage to lung parenchyma.

    Day 10- Cytokine storm leading to acute ARDS and multiorgan failure. You can literally watch it happen in a matter of hours.

    81% mild symptoms, 14% severe symptoms requiring hospitalization, 5% critical.

    Patient presentation is varied. Patients are coming in hypoxic (even 75%) without dyspnea. I have seen Covid patients present with encephalopathy, renal failure from dehydration, DKA.[diabetic ketoacidosis] I have seen the bilateral interstitial pneumonia on the xray of the asymptomatic shoulder dislocation or on the CT’s of the (respiratory) asymptomatic polytrauma patient. Essentially if they are in my ER, they have it. Seen three positive flu swabs in 2 weeks and all three had Covid 19 as well. Somehow this ***** has told all other disease processes to get out of town.

    China reported 15% cardiac involvement. I have seen covid 19 patients present with myocarditis, pericarditis, new onset CHF and new onset atrial fibrillation. I still order a troponin, but no cardiologist will treat no matter what the number in a suspected Covid 19 patient. Even our non covid 19 STEMIs at all of our facilities are getting TPA in the ED and rescue PCI at 60 minutes only if TPA fails.

    Diagnostic
    CXR- bilateral interstitial pneumonia (anecdotally starts most often in the RLL so bilateral on CXR is not required). The hypoxia does not correlate with the CXR findings. Their lungs do not sound bad. Keep your stethoscope in your pocket and evaluate with your eyes and pulse ox.

    Labs- WBC low, Lymphocytes low, platelets lower then their normal, Procalcitonin normal in 95%
    CRP and Ferritin elevated most often. CPK, D-Dimer, LDH, Alk Phos/AST/ALT commonly elevated.
    Notice D-Dimer- I would be very careful about CT PE these patients for their hypoxia. The patients receiving IV contrast are going into renal failure and on the vent sooner.

    Basically, if you have a bilateral pneumonia with normal to low WBC, lymphopenia, normal procalcitonin, elevated CRP and ferritin- you have covid-19 and do not need a nasal swab to tell you that.

    A ratio of absolute neutrophil count to absolute lymphocyte count greater than 3.5 may be the highest predictor of poor outcome. the UK is automatically intubating these patients for expected outcomes regardless of their clinical presentation.

    An elevated Interleukin-6 (IL6) is an indicator of their cytokine storm. If this is elevated watch these patients closely with both eyes.

    Other factors that appear to be predictive of poor outcomes are thrombocytopenia and LFTs 5x upper limit of normal.

    Disposition
    I had never discharged multifocal pneumonia before. Now I personally do it 12-15 times a shift. 2 weeks ago we were admitting anyone who needed supplemental oxygen. Now we are discharging with oxygen if the patient is comfortable and oxygenating above 92% on nasal cannula. We have contracted with a company that sends a paramedic to their home twice daily to check on them and record a pulse ox. We know many of these patients will bounce back but if it saves a bed for a day we have accomplished something. Obviously we are fearful some won’t make it back.

    We are a small community hospital. Our 22 bed ICU and now a 4 bed Endoscopy suite are all Covid 19. All of these patients are intubated except one. 75% of our floor beds have been cohorted into covid 19 wards and are full. We are averaging 4 rescue intubations a day on the floor. We now have 9 vented patients in our ER transferred down from the floor after intubation.

    Luckily we are part of a larger hospital group. Our main teaching hospital repurposed space to open 50 new Covid 19 ICU beds this past Sunday so these numbers are with significant decompression. Today those 50 beds are full. They are opening 30 more by Friday. But even with the “lockdown”, our AI models are expecting a 200-400% increase in covid 19 patients by 4/4/2020.

    Treatment
    Supportive

    worldwide 86% of covid 19 patients that go on a vent die. Seattle reporting 70%. Our hospital has had 5 deaths and one patient who was extubated. Extubation happens on day 10 per the Chinese and day 11 per Seattle.

    Plaquenil which has weak ACE2 blockade doesn’t appear to be a savior of any kind in our patient population. Theoretically, it may have some prophylactic properties but so far it is difficult to see the benefit to our hospitalized patients, but we are using it and the studies will tell. With Plaquenil’s potential QT prolongation and liver toxic effects (both particularly problematic in covid 19 patients), I am not longer selectively prescribing this medication as I stated on a previous post.

    We are also using Azithromycin, but are intermittently running out of IV.

    Do not give these patient’s standard sepsis fluid resuscitation. Be very judicious with the fluids as it hastens their respiratory decompensation. Outside the DKA and renal failure dehydration, leave them dry.

    Proning vented patients significantly helps oxygenation. Even self proning the ones on nasal cannula helps.

    Vent settings- Usual ARDS stuff, low volume, permissive hypercapnia, etc. Except for Peep of 5 will not do. Start at 14 and you may go up to 25 if needed.

    Do not use Bipap- it does not work well and is a significant exposure risk with high levels of aerosolized virus to you and your staff. Even after a cough or sneeze this virus can aerosolize up to 3 hours.

    The same goes for nebulizer treatments. Use MDI. you can give 8-10 puffs at one time of an albuterol MDI. Use only if wheezing which isn’t often with covid 19. If you have to give a nebulizer must be in a negative pressure room; and if you can, instruct the patient on how to start it after you leave the room.

    Do not use steroids, it makes this worse. Push out to your urgent cares to stop their usual practice of steroid shots for their URI/bronchitis.

    We are currently out of Versed, Fentanyl, and intermittently Propofol. Get the dosing of Precedex and Nimbex back in your heads.

    One of my colleagues who is a 31 yo old female who graduated residency last may with no health problems and normal BMI is out with the symptoms and an SaO2 of 92%. She will be the first of many.

    I PPE best I have. I do wear a MaxAir PAPR the entire shift. I do not take it off to eat or drink during the shift. I undress in the garage and go straight to the shower. My wife and kids fled to her parents outside Hattiesburg. The stress and exposure at work coupled with the isolation at home is trying. But everyone is going through something right now. Everyone is scared; patients and employees. But we are the leaders of that emergency room. Be nice to your nurses and staff. Show by example how to tackle this crisis head on. Good luck to us all.”

    I don’t think this is any kind of hoax.

    Reply
    1. Louis Fyne

      As I’m a stickler for citations….this is from a forum at the texas a and alumni website

      Read it last week

      Reply
      1. anon y'mouse

        could anyone knowledgeable translate the medico-acryonym jargon for us rubes? much of it beyond the initial paragraphs on symptoms is indecipherable to us.

        thank you!

        Reply
        1. Amfortas the hippie

          I speak Doctor a little.
          translation: “Bad”
          That’s one of the scariest things i’ve read in the last 2 weeks, which is saying something.
          the part about steroids(like prednisone) being counterproductive is particularly jarring. That’s the first thing our regular doctor reaches for with upper respiratory things, including our perennial sinusitis.
          (again, Texas hill Country, where “allergies” are terrible, and the price one pays for the view)
          the gist is that the critical cases essentially drown from the inside.
          horrible.

          Reply
          1. CoryP

            “One of the scariest things I’ve read in the last two weeks”

            No f—- ing kidding. And I’ve been wallowing in fear porn.

            I’ll translate some jargon later tonight if I have free time at work.

            Reply
        2. CuriosityConcern

          Here we go:
          Patient presentation is varied. Patients are coming in hypoxic (even 75%) without dyspnea.
          Hypoxic – not enough oxygen in blood, 75% means o2 sat.
          I have seen Covid patients present with encephalopathy, renal failure from dehydration, DKA.[diabetic ketoacidosis]
          Present means arrive at er, enceph-swollen brain, renal=kidney.
          I have seen the bilateral interstitial pneumonia on the xray of the asymptomatic shoulder dislocation or on the CT’s of the (respiratory) asymptomatic polytrauma patient.
          Er doc was looking at x ray expecting to see shoulder damage from accident but saw pneumonia in lungs as well, in a patient who theretofore wasn’t expected to have it.
          Essentially if they are in my ER, they have it. Seen three positive flu swabs in 2 weeks and all three had Covid 19 as well. Somehow this ***** has told all other disease processes to get out of town.
          He had three people with influenza flu and covid, scary. Everyone going through his er has covid.

          China reported 15% cardiac involvement. I have seen covid 19 patients present with myocarditis, pericarditis, new onset CHF and new onset atrial fibrillation. I still order a troponin, but no cardiologist will treat no matter what the number in a suspected Covid 19 patient.
          No cardiac Cath lab procedural intervention for covid+ heart attack patients.

          Even our non covid 19 STEMIs at all of our facilities are getting TPA in the ED and rescue PCI at 60 minutes only if TPA fails.
          Card Cath lab treatment withheld until chemotherapy fails.

          Diagnostic
          CXR- bilateral interstitial pneumonia (anecdotally starts most often in the RLL so bilateral on CXR is not required).
          If they see pneumonia on a chest x ray in the right lower lobe then they are currently assuming it’s covid and will affect the other lung soon

          The hypoxia does not correlate with the CXR findings. Their lungs do not sound bad. Keep your stethoscope in your pocket and evaluate with your eyes and pulse ox.
          People whose lungs look ok on x ray and sound good via stethoscope might still be under oxygenated, so use a pulse oximeter to measure their o2 sat.

          Labs- WBC low, Lymphocytes low, platelets lower then their normal,
          Blood counts will be lower

          Procalcitonin normal in 95%
          CRP and Ferritin elevated most often. CPK, D-Dimer, LDH, Alk Phos/AST/ALT commonly elevated.
          Notice D-Dimer- I would be very careful about CT PE these patients for their hypoxia. The patients receiving IV contrast are going into renal failure and on the vent sooner.

          Patients who had a ct scan with contrast are seeming to require ventilation sooner, so don’t do that

          Basically, if you have a bilateral pneumonia with normal to low WBC, lymphopenia, normal procalcitonin, elevated CRP and ferritin- you have covid-19 and do not need a nasal swab to tell you that.

          A ratio of absolute neutrophil count to absolute lymphocyte count greater than 3.5 may be the highest predictor of poor outcome. the UK is automatically intubating these patients for expected outcomes regardless of their clinical presentation.

          An elevated Interleukin-6 (IL6) is an indicator of their cytokine storm. If this is elevated watch these patients closely with both eyes.

          Other factors that appear to be predictive of poor outcomes are thrombocytopenia and LFTs 5x upper limit of normal.
          I _think_ LFTs are a test of liver, but not sure and could be wrong

          Disposition
          I had never discharged multifocal pneumonia before. Now I personally do it 12-15 times a shift.
          If a patient came to their hospital with pneumonia before covid, they were admitted. Now he is sending home 12 to 15 people with pn

          2 weeks ago we were admitting anyone who needed supplemental oxygen. Now we are discharging with oxygen if the patient is comfortable and oxygenating above 92% on nasal cannula. We have contracted with a company that sends a paramedic to their home twice daily to check on them and record a pulse ox. We know many of these patients will bounce back but if it saves a bed for a day we have accomplished something. Obviously we are fearful some won’t make it back.

          We are a small community hospital. Our 22 bed ICU and now a 4 bed Endoscopy suite are all Covid 19. All of these patients are intubated except one. 75% of our floor beds have been cohorted into covid 19 wards and are full. We are averaging 4 rescue intubations a day on the floor. We now have 9 vented patients in our ER transferred down from the floor after intubation.

          Luckily we are part of a larger hospital group. Our main teaching hospital repurposed space to open 50 new Covid 19 ICU beds this past Sunday so these numbers are with significant decompression. Today those 50 beds are full. They are opening 30 more by Friday. But even with the “lockdown”, our AI models are expecting a 200-400% increase in covid 19 patients by 4/4/2020.

          Treatment
          Supportive

          worldwide 86% of covid 19 patients that go on a vent die. Seattle reporting 70%. Our hospital has had 5 deaths and one patient who was extubated. Extubation happens on day 10 per the Chinese and day 11 per Seattle.

          Plaquenil which has weak ACE2 blockade doesn’t appear to be a savior of any kind in our patient population. Theoretically, it may have some prophylactic properties but so far it is difficult to see the benefit to our hospitalized patients, but we are using it and the studies will tell. With Plaquenil’s potential QT prolongation and liver toxic effects (both particularly problematic in covid 19 patients), I am not longer selectively prescribing this medication as I stated on a previous post.

          We are also using Azithromycin, but are intermittently running out of IV.
          Azith is an antibiotic I think, not sure why they use it. I think they are running out of the iv formulation of azith and not the actual tubing.

          Do not give these patient’s standard sepsis fluid resuscitation. Be very judicious with the fluids as it hastens their respiratory decompensation. Outside the DKA and renal failure dehydration, leave them dry.
          If they give you iv fluids, it will make your lungs worse.

          Proning vented patients significantly helps oxygenation. Even self proning the ones on nasal cannula helps.

          Vent settings- Usual ARDS stuff, low volume, permissive hypercapnia, etc. Except for Peep of 5 will not do. Start at 14 and you may go up to 25 if needed.

          Do not use Bipap- it does not work well and is a significant exposure risk with high levels of aerosolized virus to you and your staff. Even after a cough or sneeze this virus can aerosolize up to 3 hours.

          The same goes for nebulizer treatments. Use MDI. you can give 8-10 puffs at one time of an albuterol MDI. Use only if wheezing which isn’t often with covid 19. If you have to give a nebulizer must be in a negative pressure room; and if you can, instruct the patient on how to start it after you leave the room.

          Do not use steroids, it makes this worse. Push out to your urgent cares to stop their usual practice of steroid shots for their URI/bronchitis.

          We are currently out of Versed, Fentanyl, and intermittently Propofol. Get the dosing of Precedex and Nimbex back in your heads.
          Out of pain meds that can help ventilated patients stay ventilated.

          One of my colleagues who is a 31 yo old female who graduated residency last may with no health problems and normal BMI is out with the symptoms and an SaO2 of 92%. She will be the first of many.

          Reply
          1. Yves Smith

            Wowsers, thanks for this.

            I can add only one tidbit.

            Azithromycin is an antibiotic, brand name Zithromax. I know it’s used in HIV-positive patients to treat pneumonia. Also used with chloroquinine to treat latent tuberculosis (Covid-19 symptoms, particularly the way fluid fill the lungs and creates “ground glass” images on X-rays, is very much like when latent tuberculosis cases kick into active).

            Reply
          2. 10leggedshadow

            I recall in one of Dr. John Campbell’s videos that he was saying the virus when it spreads into the lungs also allows for opportunistic bacteria to invade as well. Hence the need for antibiotics.

            Reply
    2. Larry Y

      From a friend who’s a critical care pulmonologist in Westchester County, NY. Along with Seattle, one of the first hot spots in the US (https://www.facebook.com/richbwu/posts/10157088696103201):

      I’ve posted this before on another group but this shit is real and I feel like I should continue to spread the word. We are way past the point of quarantining specific areas of the US. It’s already in your state and growing. What we need is universal and rapid testing and that’s the only way to properly quarantine. Until we have that, the only way to stop this virus is a national lockdown and for everyone to stay the F home. It will be painful and I’m sure a lot of fights and babies will come from this but this is the only way. The economy is strong if we can get past this. I am a critical care physician in NY, we had 2 cases 10 days ago and today I would say at least 80% of the patients in the hospital are positive with the virus and a lot of them are sick as fuck. Our ICUs are full, opened up the ASU and PACU for vented patients and will be overflowing into the ORs soon. Running out of equipment/ventilators is a real thing, just ask anyone working in the hospitals. But yet, even here I still see assholes walking around outside, hanging out like nothing is wrong. Yes, the majority of you will be fine even if you get it but think of those who won’t.

      Please see what’s happening in NY because this is your future if we don’t take this seriously. We all just need to stay home and let the life cycle of the virus take its course. For those who know me and don’t recognize this outburst, I didn’t believe it either until I saw it with my own eyes.

      So much love and appreciation to the hard working, brave nurses and CNAs on the front line. Let’s also recognize other vital staff like our respiratory therapists, radiology techs, physical therapists, phlebotomists, dieticians, housekeeping, social workers, ward clerks who are also there keeping the hospitals running. We can do this, we have to.

      I haven’t seen my kids in 3 weeks and I miss them.

      Reply
      1. Robert Hahl

        If almost everyone on a ventilator dies, it suggests to me that supplemental oxygen is not really beneficial; perhaps it’s even detrimental.

        A medical researcher I know told me about a study which showed that common-cold-type corona viruses respond to Zinc, 25mg/2hours, taken after the fever starts; no need to take it prophetically.

        Reply
        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          It may just suggest that the COVIDized lungs remain so totally full of body-water that no oxygen can get through, no matter how pure and how high the pressure.

          Reply
    3. The Rev Kev

      That is brutal stuff that – and our reality in whichever country you live in. I’m glad that you posted it in comments here. Yeah – ‘It’s just the flu’ – like hell it is.

      Reply
  13. Noone from Nowheresville

    Pelosi aims to move fast on next rescue package
    https://www.politico.com/news/2020/03/30/pelosi-move-fast-rescue-package-155920

    It’s an article that keeps giving.

    “Our first bills were about addressing the emergency. The third bill was about mitigation. The fourth bill would be about recovery. Emergency, mitigation, recovery,” Pelosi said on a conference call. “I think our country is united in not only wanting to address our immediate needs — emergency, mitigation, and the assault on our lives and livelihoods — but also, how we recover in a very positive way.”

    and

    Pelosi said she hopes the next bill will also ultimately be bipartisan in the end: “As I said, all three of our bills have been bipartisan. We would want this one to be so as well.”

    and

    Senate Republicans are also wary of getting forced to pass another House spending package that they had little input on. While the Senate passed the “Phase 2” package overwhelmingly, McConnell had to urge his caucus to “gag and go for it” because of concerns over its paid sick leave provisions.

    Reply
    1. Billy

      Isn’t that what a General Strike of Dispossessed American Workers on May 1st would be about?

      If keyboard money created by the Fed was good enough for bankers in ’08, was good enough for Wall Street then, for Billionaires tax breaks recently, for $4 Trillion of corporate bailouts a few days ago, then wouldn’t *sufficient amounts* of keyboard money be good enough to persuade millions of essential American workers to return to work right after the bills were written and signed into law?

      Reply
  14. Wukchumni

    Where do you think the first food riots will be in the USA?

    I’m going with the Big Apple, but don’t count out Detroit.

    Reply
    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      Detroit has some urban farming to turn to first. Maybe between urban farming and shipping food in from farmland which is way closer to Detroit than any farmland is to New York City, Detroit and surroundings will buy enough time for the anti-farming majority within Detroit to become converted to pro-urban-farming as a better choice than death by starvation.

      New York City is a potential death trap for millions and a monument to the future’s Dead Past.
      Detroit has the possibility of becoming the first semiburban New Peasant City of the Future.

      Reply
  15. fresno dan

    https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/30/coronavirus-job-losses-could-total-47-million-unemployment-rate-of-32percent-fed-says.html
    Economists at the Fed’s St. Louis district project total employment reductions of 47 million, which would translate to a 32.1% unemployment rate, according to a recent analysis of how bad things could get.
    …..
    There are a couple of important caveats to what Faria-e-Castro calls “back-of-the-envelope” calculations: They don’t account for workers who may drop out of the labor force, thus bringing down the headline unemployment rate, and they do not estimate the impact of recently passed government stimulus, which will extend unemployment benefits and subsidize companies for not cutting staff.
    ====================================
    Already with the baloney that unemployment isn’t so bad because people are voluntarily unemployeed….
    I’m not going to reiterate my problems with the contrived unemplyment rate – it is FAR more likely that it will undercount the amount of people who lost their jobs.
    I think things will not come back very quickly.

    https://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2020/03/tsa-checkpoint-travel-numbers.html
    That graph has to be seen. When one thinks about all the retail workers now at airports…

    Reply
    1. Jeremy Grimm

      I wonder how many restaurants and bars will reopen and how many of the jobs working at restaurants and bars will come back after corona. And I guess I shouldn’t forget retail sales. A lot of brick-and-mortar retail was already in trouble.

      Reply
    1. richard

      Nice that Canova shoehorned Trump’s approval of the idea in there, and made it look like the petition was coming from him, to appeal to millions of “conservatives” who believe in free elections. I’m not being sarcastic at all. Our boy Tim is wising up.
      anyway, thanks for that Don Coyote

      Reply
  16. Wukchumni

    Twenty-twenty-twenty four hours to go
    I wanna be intubated
    Nothing to do nowhere to go-o-oh
    I wanna be intubated

    Just get me to the hospital, don’t put me on a plane
    Hurry, hurry, hurry before I go insane
    I can’t control my lungs, I can’t control the pain
    Oh no-o-o-o-o

    Twenty-twenty-twenty four hours to go
    I wanna be intubated
    Nothing to do nowhere to go-o-oh
    I wanna be intubated

    Just put me to the wheelchair, get me my cane
    Hurry, hurry, hurry before I go insane
    I can’t control my lungs, I can’t control my pain
    Oh no-o-o-o-o

    Twenty-twenty-twenty four hours to go
    I wanna be intubated
    Nothing to do nowhere to go-o-oh
    I wanna be intubated

    Just put me in a wheelchair, get me to the show
    Hurry, hurry, hurry before I go loco
    I can’t control my lungs, I can’t smell or taste, yo
    Oh no-o-o-o-o

    Twenty-twenty-twenty four hours to go
    I wanna be intubated
    Nothing to do nowhere to go-o-oh
    I wanna be intubated

    Just put me in a wheelchair, get me to the show
    Hurry, hurry, hurry before I go loco
    I can’t control my lungs, I can’t smell or taste, yo
    Oh no-o-o-o-o

    Ba ba baba, baba ba baba, I wanna be intubated
    Ba ba baba, baba ba baba, I wanna be intubated
    Ba ba baba, baba ba baba, I wanna be intubated
    Ba ba baba, baba ba baba, I wanna be intubated

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bm51ihfi1p4

    Reply
  17. flora

    re: Cuomo, (D) (1)

    Though Medicaid is a federal program that provides low-cost, comprehensive health care to the poor, the state still picks up almost half the costs, with county governments also bearing a small share. Some of the budgetary abyss has been the Cuomo administration’s own making: postponing Medicaid payments and failing in the past to iron out inefficiencies like the state’s paying Medicaid costs for relatively wealthy, private hospitals that don’t need the aid in the first place.

    Private Hospitals and Medicaid. PE owned private hospitals and private PE owned emergency room doctors’ groups. They drive up medical costs for everyone, including the State and Feds, and especially when states privatized their Medicaid services, outsourcing Medicaid to predatory insurance companies. So, let PE take over hospitals and doctors groups, driving up costs for everyone with no better and often worse outcomes for patients. (Bankruptcy is certainly a bad outcome.) Complain medicaid costs for the state are too high and increasing too fast. Instead of reining in PE, kicking PE out of any connection with healthcare, or regulating it, or asking the wealthiest to pay more to cover the costs of letting PE (moochers) run wild, instead of doing any of those things, Cuomo wants to slash Medicaid spending by taking funds away from public hospitals, cities, and patients, not just restricting payments to PE owned hospitals and doctors groups with outrageous pricing compared to public hospitals. right…. Cuomo must care more about PE companies’ profits and stock price than about public hospitals and public health… or the state being PE price gouged with no govt restraint.

    I was going to repeat comments I made earlier, but instead encourage everyone to read today’s earlier post by Yves.

    “Firing of Whistleblowing Emergency Room Doctor Ming Lin By Blackstone-Owned TeamHealth Demonstrates Outsized Role of Private Equity in Hospital Staffing”

    Reply
  18. lyman alpha blob

    RE: “What Happens in November if One Side Doesn’t Accept the Election Results? [Salon]

    Seriously?!? I mean don’t we already know the answer to this one? Maybe for a little variety this time the loser can blame it on China instead of Russia.

    They’ll blame it on anything except the fact that we don’t have hand marked paper ballots, hand counted in public. Because a little fraud between friends is really no big deal as long as the “winner” is rich!

    Reply
  19. Krystyn Podgajski

    RE: “Gardening Promotes Neuroendocrine and Affective Restoration from Stress”

    I don’t know about studies like this.

    A total of 30 healthy plot holders (eight men, 22 women), with a
    mean age of 57.6 years (range 38–79) volunteered.

    After performing a stressful task, participants were randomly assigned to 30 minutes of either out-door gardening activities or indoor reading.

    In the gardening condition, partici-pants carried out light activities such as pruning of plants and bushes, weeding and the removal of dead flowers, sowing or planting on their own plots. Heavy activities, such as cutting of large branches or digging were not allowed. In the reading condi-tion, participants read popular magazines that were screened for the absence of visual or verbal contents related to nature. Participants were seated in a com- fortable location in their own allotment home that did not provide a view of nature. During the task, participants were not allowed to talk in person or by phone to other persons.

    30 people, mostly women, way small.

    And I wonder if they would get the same results if they tested people reading in a garden versus reading in the house. It might just be that being outside releases stress.

    Reply
  20. fresno dan

    Glenn Greenwald
    The Brave Men and Women Who Keep Us Safe™ — who still work in a building named after J. Edgar Hoover — sure do seem to abuse their power and ignore the law quite a bit, don’t they?
    =============================================
    I would point out, that although the star chamber known as the FISA process apparently violates the rights of US citizens with out regard to race, creed, or religion, that does not preclude there actually being a FBI conspiracy to spy on and undermine Trump. Again, I abhor Trump but if your an intellectually honest civil libertarian, it took the Trump election, whether Trump intended for it or not, to reveal the pretense and day to day operations of our “primiere” law enforcement agency.

    Who will be prosecuted and serve jail time? After all, it the CONSTITUTION the most important law in the land???
    OUCH!!! I hurt myself laughing

    Reply
    1. flora

      re: OUCH! Glad it was from laughing, not from slippers’ bunny ears
      antennae sparking electrical jacobs ladder at news. ;)

      Reply
  21. Louis Fyne

    Re. PPE and US mfg.

    There’s plenty of hospital-grade masks for sale. Just looked some up $50 for 10. Cheaper for bulk orders.

    Problem, they’re all in China or Korea. Delivery takes 2 weeks via air mail.

    Reply
    1. PlutoniumKun

      I’d suggest trying local Chinese owned shops if you have any in your area. I got a box from a small local Chinese store – they were advertised only in Chinese, a mandarin speaking friend called them and made sure that as a white person I wasn’t overcharged (still very expensive). I’m not 100% sure they are genuine, but they seem reasonably well made.

      Reply
  22. AndrewJ

    I’m glad to see more people getting on the mask train!
    Those New Yorkers gawking at the hospital ship aren’t wearing masks because they can’t get any, last I checked.
    I’m finally in production mode, with my cheap coffee table turned in to an ironing and cutting table with the aid of a moving blanket and stapler. A friend is taking my design and turning it in to a PDF. Funny to think of how much time it takes to go from prototype to small-scale mass production. And I have found it odd that that Smart Air Filters site is the only source of that image.
    What is the best Creative Commons license to discourage taking this design and profiting off it? I really want it to be free and distributed.

    Reply
  23. Grizziz

    I can only wish that the MSNBC reporter @YasminV had asked Turn On The Tears Joe how people are supposed to pay for their Covid-19 treatment. How many insured people are going to run up to their insurance deductible? Where is the extra Medicaid money coming from? How much of the additional $600wk unemployment insurance in the recently passed CARES act will go directly back to the insurers due to people forced into making COBRA payments? Then ask if Medicare for All wouldn’t mitigate this financila disaster.

    Reply
  24. cocomaan

    The CDC is revisiting its guidelines for the public wearing masks.

    The piss poor CDC guidance on this will probably be responsible for many deaths. How in the world is blocking your mouth a bad idea during the outbreak of a respiratory virus that takes root on your lung cell receptors?

    Saying that people shouldn’t wear masks because most people are not infected and out in public is like saying you shouldn’t use a condom because most people don’t have STDs.

    For the love of all that’s good, cover your mouth.

    Reply
  25. Noone from Nowheresville

    Bailing Out the Bailout by Matt Taibbi
    It will take years to sort through the details, but Trump’s $2 trillion COVID-19 response looks like a double-down on the last disaster

    Well worth the read in full.

    https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/political-commentary/coronavirus-fed-bank-bailout-disaster-976086/

    The problem? A lot of these markets were already overinflated thanks to post-2008 bailouts and interventions like Quantitative Easing. We’re about to find out that the American economy has been living off dying, dysfunctional, or hyper-leveraged markets for over a decade. The Trump administration just bought this undead economy at retail prices and committed the Fed and the Treasury to sustaining it.

    and

    It’s been estimated, for instance, that as many as 16% of American companies are “zombie companies,” i.e. they don’t have enough revenue to even pay interest on their debt. As Kelleher points out, many of these firms might not have survived even a mild economic downturn. Propping up this freak show, even if indirectly, is now going to become part of the War on the Virus.

    Reply
    1. notabanker

      “Trump’s 2T COVID Response”?

      “Congress needed a year of intense infighting to approve a $4.7 trillion budget, but just a single week to draft this $2 trillion deal.”

      Taibbi is better than this. This isn’t about Trump. It’s about a thoroughly corrupt US Government that is now completely bought and paid for with 21T in money that they started printing in 2008. 2020 is just cleaning up the scraps.

      Reply
  26. HotFlash

    I am sorry if this is a trivial observation, but hey…

    enraging doctors and nurses, and elected officials of his own party

    is an absolutely perfect example of the Oxford comma properly used.

    Reply
    1. Tom Bradford

      But “enraging doctors, nurses and elected officials of his own party” is shorter, more elegant and correcter.

      Reply
      1. campbeln

        correcter

        I believe the proper term is “more betterer” (and, sincerely, thank you for the laugh!)

        Reply
  27. HotFlash

    14/ Another scary hack is the automated signature verification equipment. It can be set to require varying levels of exactness. (Easy to filter/hack by party or zip code, etc). Not nearly enough controls on such systems.

    I live in Canada (smartest thing I ever did was move here) and we have really, really good electronic banking here. I can deposit a cheque (up to 30, they say, no envelope or anything required), the machine reads the amounts and totals my deposit. If I want, I can get a printed receipt with an image of the cheque(s) on it. They will credit me immediately for some portion of the deposit (I think it depends on my credit card limit or some such) so if anything bounces they can ding me later. I do not have to endorse the cheques. The system works pretty well fine, this is dealing with *real* people and *real* money, so if anything is off, we will scream bloody murder. So, IOW, I trust that their system works. Besides, if it didn’t, I would know. My point being, that they *already know how* to verify signatures, and they *already know how* to verify results in a timely and auditiable way. So, if your locality’s voting system can’t do that, it is most likely in order to facilitate fraud. Ahem.

    I realize that the requirements are not the same for banking and voting, merely that if verifiable, auditable methods can be found for banking, then verifiable, auditable methods can be found for voting, including for signature verification. If they cannot be found, then I can only conclude that that is the outcome desired by Them.

    BTE, here in Canada we use hand-marked paper ballots hand-counted in public for federal elections. Some municipalities use optical scanners for the counting, but many of us are pushing back on that.

    Reply
  28. The Historian

    Ye Gods! If it isn’t Covid-19 – it’s an earthquake!

    We just had a 6.5 earthquake in Challis, Idaho – about 70 miles north of Sun Valley. Felt like a 4.0 here in Boise. Now we are just waiting for the aftershocks.

    This is going to be a spring to remember.

    Reply
    1. Skip Intro

      Salt Lake City had a pretty 5.7 earthquake last week. It was big enough to knock the clarion horn out of the hand of the angel Moroni atop the temple.

      Reply
  29. Amfortas the hippie

    https://newrepublic.com/article/157088/supermarket-shelves-farmers-coronavirus

    FTA:”According to the American Farm Bureau Federation, Americans typically spend the majority of their food income outside the home at restaurants, not on groceries. And for many farmers, it’s not easy to find new buyers at supermarket chains. One outlet still open to local farmers is farmers markets, which states like California have deemed essential. Hayden, along with others, is working to make that a unified designation across all 50 states.

    “If somebody had asked me a month ago if there was going to be a glitch in our food system, I would have never guessed it. But something like this has put a huge spotlight that we have to rely on our roadside farmers,” she said. “What’s the fastest way to fill shelves? Local farms.””

    mom is attempting to make a second seed order.
    we’ll see how that goes….the chicks she ordered before all this started won’t be here til maybe may, if at all.

    Reply
    1. Henry Moon Pie

      No problem with that counting. CNN will inform us within five minutes of the polls closing that Biden has won in a landslide despite exit polls showing Bernie winning.

      Reply
    1. edmondo

      Sitting here waiting for my $1200. By the time it gets here I should be able to buy one share of stock of all the solvent companies on the stock exchange.

      Reply
  30. edmondo

    According to Monday’s memo, many staffers will be furloughed for five days a month through June.

    And since none of the staffers are officially laid off, NONE are eligible for unemployment benefits (which saves the company money since their unemployment benefits contribution doesn’t go up).

    Reply
  31. Louis Fyne

    Chicago company makes face masks for hospital workers. Literally can’t give it away to a state agency.

    https://chicago.suntimes.com/business/2020/3/31/21202036/company-seeks-buyers-face-shields-masks-health-care-fight-coronavirus-covid-19

    “About a week after Gov. J.B. Pritzker issued a stay-at-home order, Eric Zuckerman and his workers retooled a small plant on the Northwest Side to make face shields needed by health care workers and others with prolonged exposure to the public….

    But there’s a problem. Zuckerman said Tuesday he can’t get through to any state or city agency to coordinate a sale. And he said he’s got 1,000 shields in inventory ready to go…..

    Zuckerman said he’s charging $8.98 per mask, more than double what they might cost imported from China. But he said it’s what he needs to cover costs ….“This is not meant to be a moneymaker so we could go on vacation. This is to keep everyone working.””

    Reply
  32. Feelinthebern

    Bad news from Wisconsin. Our Presidential primary is a week away.

    Milwaukee Cuts In-Person Voting Locations From 180 To Less Than 12. Can’t even begin to understand how this can be legal. It’s happening all across the state. There is a shortage of 6,900 poll workers. 111 jusrisdictions do not have even one poll worker.

    https://www.wuwm.com/post/coronavirus-milwaukee-cuts-person-voting-locations-180-less-12#

    https://www.politico.com/news/2020/03/31/coronavirus-crashes-wisconsin-primary-157722

    It’s a giant swirling cyclone of trouble

    Reply
    1. richard

      How is that even legal? I say for about the 100th time in response to criminal dem behavior;
      then I remember lambert’s comparison to drug gangs and streetcorners

      Reply
  33. VietnamVet

    The USS Theodore Roosevelt docked in Guam with a coronavirus epidemic onboard is a replay of “Chernobyl”. The Navy must keep essential sailors aboard to maintain the nuclear reactor, fight fires, guard aircraft and weapons (nuclear). Ditto the USS Ronald Regan. Sailors left onboard will get infected. Some will die. Will the Boomer Submarines replay the “Voyage of Terror” and be forced to surface if infection incapacitates personnel?

    Coronavirus has stripped the facade off the Western Empire. It is rotten. Meritocracy is fake. The Hamptons are just as sick as NY city. We are into of the second month of the implosion similar to the Soviet Union’s. The for-profit corporate state is unable to defend itself from plagues. It is as dysfunctional as the private equity run PeaceHealth St. Joseph ER in Bellingham WA. It kills people to make money.

    Will enough citizens surmount denial and recognize what is really happening? The only way out is restoring democracy and the Constitution. Joe Biden and Donald Trump will do neither. November 2020 election will take place in a time when pandemic casualties are projected to be at Civil War levels. Deaths will be over a million in America, if nationwide, the healthcare system collapses. If food logistics fail, renters evicted, debtors jailed; civil unrest is certain. Only a functioning national government with the well-being of its citizens as the first priority can fight the pandemic and turn things around.

    Reply
    1. The Rev Kev

      I was just reading how US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said that they won’t evacuate that carrier. You would think that at the very least they would evacuate anyone to do with the aerial mission to the shore to thin out the numbers affected. Do they really need all 5,000 men and women aboard if they aren’t going anywhere?

      https://sputniknews.com/military/202003311078782870-us-defense-secretary-covid-19-consumed-navy-carrier-will-not-be-evacuated/

      Reply
      1. VietnamVet

        The Empire and the Trump White House also really don’t get it. With no quarantine, 80% (4,000) of the sailors on the USS Theodore Roosevelt will get infected. 20% (800) will need hospitalization. If hospital beds and ventilators are available around 7 sailors will die. If Guam’s around 200 intensive care hospital beds are overwhelmed, 80 sailors could die. This kind of arrogance invites mutiny. It can happen. I was a witness to a quiet one half a century ago.

        Reply
      2. Oregoncharles

        Where would they put the sailors, without inflicting the pandemic on Guam? Even worse dilemma than a cruise ship, on a similar scale (5,000 people?)

        Reply
  34. WheresOurTeddy

    “The Coronavirus Killed the Progressive Left” [Tyler Cowen, Bloomberg]. “The egalitarianism of the progressive left also will seem like a faint memory. Elites are most likely to support wealth redistribution when they feel comfortable themselves,

    citation desperately needed for that claim

    Reply

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