2:00PM Water Cooler 3/4/2020

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.


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

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

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

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

* * *


I’m not doing any polls today either, because, this being Wednesday, I don’t think anyone will have had time to digest the Super Tuesday results.

* * *

Super Tuesday: The Empire Strikes Back.

Lambert here: I’ll put in more 2020 snippets in a bit. First, let me just repeat a Water Cooler entry from back in January:

Biden (D)(4): Biden’s appeal, right here:

Even my stone-cold heart is touched.

I caught a little flak for this at the time, but that’s South Carolina, right there. Many, including me, are unable to see Biden’s appeal. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

All that said, I don’t think Biden had a lot of agency here. I’m not a boxing fan, so I can’t get this metaphor right, it feels to me like Sanders was throwing an enormously powerful but slow-moving outside punch (his ground game) against the Establishment, which counterpunched first with a quick inside punch, and rocked him. Both boxers are still on their feet, regardless of what their partisans in the stands are screaming.

What to me is remarkable is the sudden, two-digit swing in Biden’s favor in the polling over a weekend (!), and then the voting booth (Biden got the great majority of last-minute deciders). This is quite remarkable, and I can’t think of another example of it happening. To me, it looks like authoritarian followers waiting for a signal of who to vote for, which the Establishment unambiguously sent over the weekend, with the obviously coordinated Buttigieg and Klobuchar endorsements, and then a flood of other endorsements by Democrat, er, luminaries. It feels to me like party loyalty on this order is a lot like an asset class (RussiaGate is another such class.) Biden didn’t need to campaign in the early states, because the Democrat Establishment could deploy that asset whenever they wished.

UPDATE A second remarkable thing is the crack-up of the so-called “coalition of the ascendant.” Propagated by CAP Democrat strategist Ruy Teixeira starting with his book, The Emerging Democratic Majority (2002), the theory was always, shall we say, fluid, but involved sintering together youth, the Black vote, the Latin vote, and (often) women; the advantage of the theory was that demographics would do the Democrats work for them, so they would not need to change as a party. The Clinton campaign, while still paying lip service to the Teixeira’s concept, began to focus on suburban voters, especially professionals, often women, no doubt because that’s where the money was (Chuck Schumer: “For every blue-collar Democrat we lose in western Pennsylvania, we will pick up two moderate Republicans in the suburbs in Philadelphia, and you can repeat that in Ohio and Illinois and Wisconsin.”) Well, Sanders stole the Latin vote, stole the young Black vote, stole the youth vote generally, and stole working women. So the coalition of the ascendant is no longer a thing. That’s pretty remarkable. The Democrat Establishment’s response was to move further right, making their new base conservative Blacks in the South, and moderate (that is, reactionary and restorationist) subunanites, these demographic factions sintered together with party loyalty and (with the PMCs) an unshakeable conviction of their right to rule and moral/intellectual superiority (“smart”). It’s gonna get ugly, folks.

Finally, the race has clarified: Biden v. Sanders. Wasn’t that always going to happen?

* * *

Super Tuesday voter suppression:

“Administrative resources.” That’s a keeper.

“The Democratic Party Wasn’t Ripe for a Takeover” [Peter Beinart, The Atlantic]. “Why did embracing his party’s establishment work for Biden but not for Bush? Because Democrats like their establishment more. Although progressive activists criticize Obama, his approval rating among Democrats as a whole—according to Real Clear Politics’ polling average—is almost 87 percent. That makes Biden’s association with him an almost unmitigated political strength.” • I think Beinart has the agency 180° wrong. It’s not the Biden embraced the establishment; it’s the establishment that embraced Biden. The situation reminds me of the French Foreign Legion film Beau Geste, where the evil Sergeant Markoff (the Establishment), trapped in a fort (the Democrat Party) under attack by hordes of Algerian tribesmen (the Bernie Bros) props up one corpse (Biden) after another at each of their posts to create the impression that the fort is still defended.

* * *

Biden (D)(1): I believe this is the perjurer, not the torturer:

UPDATE Biden (D)(2): “Nasty women”:

Alcindor and Rucker should get a room….

UPDATE Biden (D)(3): Can anyone make head or tail of this?

I’ve seen Trump in the flesh and heard him speak. The above video is nothing like Trump.

UPDATE Biden (D)(4): I hate armchair diagnosis, but some are not so reluctant:

UPDATE Biden (D)(5): And some God-level Twitter accounts are really not reluctant:

UPDATE Biden (D)(6): Hawley 2024:

Bloomberg (D)(1): Beyond parody. Seventeen hours ago:

Of course, Bloomberg has delegates, so he’s in on the convention floor. Wish I’d been one of the seven staffers he sent out there!

Bloomberg (D)(2): But four hours ago:

On the bright side, $500 million helped a lot of Democratic strategists sent their kids to college on Bloomberg’s largesse. So there’s that.

Gabbard (D)(1): “DNC Scrambles To Change Debate Threshold After Gabbard Qualifies” [Caitlin Johnstone]. “[I]t’s unsurprising that the DNC felt comfortable striding forward and openly announcing a change in the debate threshold literally the very moment Gabbard crossed it. These people understand narrative control, and they know full well that they have secured enough of it on the Tulsi Problem that they’ll be able to brazenly rig her right off the stage without suffering any meaningful consequences. The establishment narrative warfare against Gabbard’s campaign dwarfs anything we’ve seen against Sanders, and the loathing and dismissal they’ve been able to generate have severely hamstrung her run. It turns out that a presidential candidate can get away with talking about economic justice and plutocracy when it comes to domestic policy, and some light dissent on matters of foreign policy will be tolerated, but aggressively attacking the heart of the actual bipartisan foreign policy consensus will get you shut down, smeared and shunned like nothing else. This is partly because US presidents have a lot more authority over foreign affairs than domestic, and it’s also because endless war is the glue which holds the empire together.

Sanders (D)(1): Talking points to cheer the Sanders supporter:

Again, I disagree with #4, and I’ve seen a ton of anecdotes on #8, but no aggregated numbers. (Yes, the TX voter suppression was done by Republicans, and CA by the Democrat Establishment, but that’s just the duopoly at work. If expanding the electorate were a Democrat priority, it would be a core party function with a budget. It isn’t, and it’s not.

Sanders (D)(2): Attack ad on Biden:

Hard to see why this wasn’t done before, but the Sanders campaign should consider doing this a lot more.

Sanders (D)(3): Everybody’s got an Obama clip: Biden, Bloomberg, now Sanders:

Stoller must have spit up his coffee when he saw this. Again, I don’t see what this ad wasn’t run before. But I think it also blurs Sanders’ message; at some point, Sanders has got to take on Obama’s miserable inaequency as a President, and this ad is not the way. The only possible reason I can think of for running it is to head off an open (as opposed to tacit) Obama endorsement by Biden.

UPDATE Warren (D)(0): “‘We fell well short’: Warren team considers ending campaign” [Politico]. “As results from Super Tuesday states rolled in Tuesday evening, the mood inside the Warren team turned grim, with two staffers even sniping at each other on Twitter. Others began referring to the campaign and her team in the past tense, with one talking about little girls one day carrying ‘the torch that Elizabeth Warren lit.'” • Cracks in the discipline…

Warren (D)(1): This is an easy hot take, but I’m not sure it’s correct:

Certainly some Warren voters would go to Sanders, were she to drop out, but not all. Yes, there is “second choice” polling, but I’m not sure real voters rank candidates like that. That said, for the Sanders campaign, every delegate counts, and those “some” Warren delegates could be important.

Warren (D)(2): Everybody’s got a plan ’til they get punched at the polls:

Warren (D)(3):

Hard to imagine anything more intersectional than Warren claiming First Nation’s identity on her professional credentials.

* * *

CA: “Pelosi to Receive First Real Left-Wing Challenge in 30 Years” [The Intercept] “On Tuesday, Pelosi took 72.5 percent of the vote in California’s 12th Congressional District. Under the state’s unique primary system — where the top-two vote-getters in the primary make it to the general election, even if they belong to the same party — Buttar’s 12.7 percent was enough to get him on the November ballot. Buttar is a constitutional lawyer who has dedicated his career on reining in American militarism and advancing causes relating to social justice. As a part-time DJ, Buttar may appear at face value as just another reflexive left-wing activist, but he is well-credentialed with a track record in advocacy and community organizing. A graduate of Stanford Law School, Buttar worked on court cases litigating marriage equality and defending the civil liberties of Muslims facing FBI surveillance, and has challenged the constitutionality of the USA PATRIOT Act. Currently on leave from the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Buttar has waged an insurgent effort… ” • I can’t find the podcast where I heard Buttar; here’s another one. He was impressive.

SC: “SC Democrats prepare to pitch earlier primary spot after 2020 success, Iowa failure” [Post and Courier]. “Fresh off a successful 2020 primary, some South Carolina Democrats are already eyeing the possibility of taking on an even more prominent role in future races… Early proponents of the idea include South Carolina’s longtime U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn, the third highest-ranking member of the U.S. House and highest-ranking African American elected official in the country, as well as multiple Democratic National Committee members from the state. Precise ideas about what should happen vary. Clyburn’s preference is to pair off the four early states, holding New Hampshire and South Carolina’s primaries on the same day and Iowa and Nevada’s on another, thereby adding more diversity to each contest day.” • Just what we need; reinforcing Democrat reaction.

* * *

2016 Post Mortem

“‘Just Baloney;: Clinton Attacks Sanders In Latest Barrage” [Jonathan Turley]. “Hillary Clinton continues to attack Bernie Sanders while seemingly mocking ‘authenticity’ that is often cited as Sanders’ strength. Clinton called Sanders’ entire campaign as ‘just baloney’ and then derisively added ‘That was my authentic opinion then; it’s my authentic opinion now.’ … In an upcoming four-part docuseries ‘Hillary’ Clinton slams Sanders and states ‘He was a career politician. It’s all just baloney and I feel so bad that people got sucked into it.'” • She seems nice.

Realignment and Legitimacy

“Millions voted early — and some wasted their ballots on candidates who quit” [NBC]. • I’ve been saying for some time that early voting is a horrid idea. Of course, we live in a horrid system, and Election Day should be a national holiday.

Stats Watch

At reader request, I added some business stats back in. Please give Econintersect click-throughs; they’re a good, old-school blog that covers more than stats. If anybody knows of other aggregators, please leave links in comments.

Employment Situation: “February 2020 ADP Job Growth Is 183,000” [Econintersect]. “Last month’s employment gain was cut by nearly 1/3. The year-over-year growth rate is now 1.4 % with downward adjustment of the data beginning on November 2019 also shows 1.4 % year-over-year gain (it originally was 1.6% for the previous months). ADP employment has not been a good predictor of BLS non-farm private job growth.”

* * *

Shipping: “China cargo flows rapidly return to pre-coronavirus levels” [American Shipper]. “CargoMetrics has just released updated indices showing that both import and export cargo flows (measured in terms of the mass transferred on and off ships) have reverted to historical norms. ‘The bottom for Chinese imports and exports across pretty much all shipping sectors was on Feb. 15,’ said Dan Brutlag, Cargometrics’ head of trading signal and data products, in an interview with FreightWaves on Tuesday….. ‘Data tracking Chinese port calls shows a remarkable recovery over the last week. This could be due to reductions to port congestion and further data is needed to see if this trend is sustainable, or if there is a second dip once the initial backlogs are cleared,’ [said Frode Mørkedal, managing director of research at Clarksons Platou Securities]. On the negative side, Clarksons data does not yet show a recovery in VLCC (very large crude carrier) contracts to China.” • V-shaped, then? Or clearing backlog? We need more of that China air pollution data to know if manufacturing has returned…. But–

Shipping: “The coronavirus epidemic is slamming U.S. maritime gateways as Chinese factories struggle to ramp up production. Cargo volumes at many U.S. ports are forecast to plunge by 20% or more this quarter…. a slide that could ripple through domestic logistics networks. Container-ship operators are scaling back trans-Pacific service because there aren’t enough goods to fill ships” [Wall Street Journal]. “Analysts expect the dip to hurt business through April for rail and trucking operators already grappling with a tough freight market. ‘Carriers are going to have to hang in there a couple of months,’ Jeff Tucker of freight broker Tucker Company Worldwide Inc. says.”

Manufacturing: “The coronavirus cloud over Apple’s supplier Foxconn Technology Group may be lifting. The iPhone assembler expects its mainland China plants to return to normal production levels later this month… though output now is at about 50% of its seasonally required capacity” [Wall Street Journal].

* * *

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 12 Extreme Fear (previous close: 10 Extreme Fear) [CNN]. One week ago: 21 (Extreme Fear). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Mar 4 at 12:06pm.

The Biosphere

There are far too few oil rigs here:

Terrific photos, though!

“Judge voids oil and gas leases on almost 1 million acres of public lands” [The Hill]. “A federal judge on Thursday voided five oil and gas leases on public lands that amounted to nearly a million acres, arguing that the Trump administration wrongly excluded public input. The Western Watersheds Project and the Center for Biological Diversity argued in court that a 2018 Trump administration policy for handling oil and gas leasing on land where sage grouse can be found unlawfully restricted public participation. Federal Judge Ronald E. Bush ruled in their favor. Bush voided the five lease sales and required that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) change its procedures for oil and gas lease sales that are wholly or partially within sage grouse habitat management areas.”

“California gas prices might rise due to Carson oil refinery fire” [Los Angeles Times]. “The Marathon refinery is the largest on the West Coast, able to process 350,000 barrels a day. It’s one of the refineries that produces the gasoline blend required by the California Air Resources Board to reduce pollution. The fire was extinguished Wednesday morning. A portion of the refinery was shut down in response to the fire, Marathon said in a statement. It did not provide details on the extent of the damage.” • This is from last week, but haven’t we had rather a lot of oil industry fires and explosions lately? Philly, I am sure of, and some debacles in Houston as well.

“Down on the Farm That Harvests Metal From Plants” [New York Times]. “On a plot of land rented from a rural village on the Malaysian side of the island of Borneo, the group has proved it at small scale. Every six to 12 months, a farmer shaves off one foot of growth from these nickel-hyper-accumulating plants and either burns or squeezes the metal out. After a short purification, farmers could hold in their hands roughly 500 pounds of nickel citrate, potentially worth thousands of dollars on international markets. Now, as the team scales up to the world’s largest trial at nearly 50 acres, their target audience is industry. In a decade, the researchers hope that a sizable portion of insatiable consumer demand for base metals and rare minerals could be filled by the same kind of farming that produces the world’s coconuts and coffee.”

“China’s groundbreaking lunar rover found nearly 40 feet of dust on the far side of the moon” [Business Insider]. “The first rover ever to visit the far side of the moon has discovered a layer of lunar dust up to 12 meters (39 feet) deep… Lunar dust, also called regolith, is a talc-like substance of pulverized rock and dust that settled after asteroids bombarded the moon’s surface billions of years ago. The Chang’e 4 findings confirm that this dust also coats the far side of the moon, in a layer that the scientists described as ‘quite thick.'”

“SETI@home Search for Alien Life Project Shuts Down After 21 Years” [Bleeping Computer]. “SETI@home has announced that they will no longer be distributing new work to clients starting on March 31st as they have enough data and want to focus on completing their back-end analysis of the data. SETI@home is a distributed computing project where volunteers contribute their CPU resources to analyze radio data from the Arecibo radio telescope in Puerto Rico and the Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia for signs of extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI). “It’s a lot of work for us to manage the distributed processing of data. We need to focus on completing the back-end analysis of the results we already have, and writing this up in a scientific journal paper,” their news announcement stated.” • A fine example of citizen science.

Health Care

“Public Health and Law Experts Issue Guidelines for U.S. Response to Coronavirus Transmission” [Yale Law School] (open letter). “‘This is a test of our society’s basic principles of fairness. It will be a disgrace if social status and income determine whether a person can get care or follow public health guidelines,’ said Scott Burris, the Director of Temple Law School’s Center for Public Health Law Research.” • Welcome to our planet, Scott! Here’s some reading for you. Thread:

And I know of other stories just like this one, or worse.

“FDA official expects 1M coronavirus tests to be available by week’s end” [The Hill]. “The U.S. will have the capacity by the end of the week to perform nearly 1 million coronavirus tests, public health officials said Monday. That would mark a significant increase in the number of people able to be tested for the coronavirus in the U.S. after issues with a test developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) led to delays in diagnosing new cases. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Stephen Hahn told reporters at the White House that new regulatory guidance will allow academic centers and private companies to more quickly develop and verify their own tests for public use.” •

“As Coronavirus Numbers Rise, C.D.C. Testing Comes Under Fire” [New York Times]. “[E]xperts, although supportive of the agency, were mystified that federal officials could have committed so many missteps. “The incompetence has really exceeded what anyone would expect with the C.D.C.,” said Dr. Michael Mina, an epidemiologist at Harvard University. ‘This is not a difficult problem to solve in the world of viruses.’ Soon after the virus surfaced in China, the C.D.C. got to work on its own test. ‘Generally, C.D.C. provides these tests for the world,’ said Dr. Frieden. But German researchers were devising their own test, which was quickly adopted by the World Health Organization for distribution around the world. After the C.D.C.’s version turned out to be flawed, the agency continued to pursue it, despite the fact that another diagnostic test was already in wide use.” • Turns out the CDC was using the same programming team that worked on MCAS…

* * *

“Health insurers are abruptly terminating anesthesiology contracts” [PNHP]. “Physician anesthesiologists are being forced out of network as insurance companies terminate their contracts, often with little or no notice, according to a new national survey from the American Society of Anesthesiologists. Initial results find 42% of respondents had contracts terminated in the last six months, while 43% of respondents experienced dramatic payment cuts from insurers — both mid-contract and at renewal — in some cases by as much as 60%. Some of the impacted contracts were signed less than six months ago. The informal, non-scientific survey, which was distributed earlier this month, received responses from 76 practice groups in 33 states. It confirms anecdotal complaints that proposed surprise medical bill legislation has coincided with a significant number of insurance contract terminations and unilateral lower payment adjustments by health insurance companies.”

Guillotine Watch

“Can We Get a Vaccine Early? How the Rich Are Preparing for Coronavirus” [Bloomberg]. “But the rich can afford to prepare for a pandemic with perquisites, like private plane rides out of town, calls with world-leading experts and access to luxurious medical care. ‘It’s been a full-on war-room situation over here,’ said Jordan Shlain, an internist and managing partner of Private Medical, a high-end concierge service. The company is procuring hundreds of full-body coverings for work that includes visits in San Francisco, Silicon Valley, Los Angeles and New York. ‘We have to beg, borrow or steal. Well, not steal — beg, borrow and pay.'” • No, Shlain would know somebody who steals.

News of the Wired

“Libraries Could Preserve Ebooks Forever, But Greedy Publishers Won’t Let Them” [Gizmodo]. “But why can only one person borrow one copy of an ebook at a time? Why are the waits so damn interminable? Well, it might not surprise you at all to learn that ebook lending is controversial in certain circles: circles of people who like to make money selling ebooks. Publishers impose rules on libraries that limit how many people can check out an ebook, and for how long a library can even offer that ebook on its shelves, because free, easily available ebooks could potentially damage their bottom lines. Libraries are handcuffed by two-year ebook licenses that cost way more than you and I pay to own an ebook outright forever.”

“Connectivity at the origins of domain specificity in the cortical face and place networks” [PNAS]. “It is well established that the adult brain contains a mosaic of domain-specific networks. But how do these domain-specific networks develop? Here we tested the hypothesis that the brain comes prewired with connections that precede the development of domain-specific function. Using resting-state fMRI in the youngest sample of newborn humans tested to date, we indeed found that cortical networks that will later develop strong face selectivity (including the “proto” occipital face area and fusiform face area) and scene selectivity (including the “proto” parahippocampal place area and retrosplenial complex) by adulthood, already show domain-specific patterns of functional connectivity as early as 27 d of age (beginning as early as 6 d of age).” • I think the PNAS article is more clear than the Scientific American popularization. (In particular, I reject the idea that the brain is “pre-wired” or “wired” at all.)


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About Lambert Strether

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


    1. clarky90

      We are looking for a caring, kind, “home away from home,” style of Aged Care Facility, for our dear old Uncle Joe. Can anybody help us? It would need to be in the Washington DC area, because he will have constant visitations from his “extended family”. Joe’s privacy is paramount, so of course, we ask for your absolute discretion vis-à-vis, this, our humanitarian quest. Uncle Joe can be “feisty” at times, but is totally lovable once one becomes familiar. Please reply, here at NC comments with suggestions and testimonials. signed “Joe’s Family”.

      We send our heartfelt thank yous, in advance, for your loving assistance.

      1. fresno dan

        March 4, 2020 at 3:04 pm

        Do I REALLY believe that after Biden gets the nomination, that the democratic establishment will be: SHOCKED, SHOCKED to discover that Biden is too decrepit to campaign, and therefore only Clinton, TAN, RESTED, and READY is the best democratic standard bearer????

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          I think that if DemCon 2020 nominates the Dead Cabbage Walking to be their nominee . . . . that they will make Hillary his running mate. She can be the ” brains behind the empty skull”.

          She can be the “President Wilson’s wife” to Biden’s stroke-ridden “President Wilson”.

          And maybe she could get President Dead Cabbage Walking ” Article 25ed” and become President THAT way.

          But that only works if Biden/Clinton can get elected.

        2. JBird4049

          Well, yes the PMC probably believes that having a bait-and-twitch would go fiiine. Me? Between my summer classes, I would be having beer and and popcorn watching the 1968 Chicago 2020 Milwaukee Riots.

          1. Lambert Strether Post author

            > 2020 Milwaukee Riots.

            On a purely tactical level, I don’t think there are enough hotel rooms, and the convention hall will be heavily defended, as it was in Philly. And an ineffectual scuffle would be worse than doing nothing. No doubt there are some smart people thinking about this, assuming they aren’t infiltrated by cops, but the prospect looks daunting to me.

  1. Alternate Delegate

    Would like to send Bloomburg a t-shirt, size M:

    “I spent half a billion dollars, and all I got was American Samoa.”

    If he had been the kind of person who was capable of putting on that t-shirt, he might have had a chance.

    1. Glen

      If anything, this just shows that a Bloomberg can do what he wants. He could spend $1M a day for over 150 years. So this was like spending for a year and a half. Really no big deal, probably about what he makes in a year or less.

      We should encourage him to waste more money. He could have spent it destroying US public education like Gates did. So, in the big picture, this was ok.

        1. ambrit

          Poor Mike.
          Imagine his chagrin when he finally realized that the “Noble Savages” he was searching for are really in the District of Colombia!

  2. Tim

    “DNC Scrambles To Change Debate Threshold After Gabbard Qualifies”
    Are they really trying to goad her into running 3rd party?

  3. adams

    Link doesn’t work to Caitlin Johnstone story on DNC changing the debate qual rules after Gabbard qualifies. Also can’t access with direct search on innertubes. Just a coincidence. The snip quoted is dead on, however. But still she persists. Nobody puts Tulsi in the corner.

    1. Anymouse

      “The establishment narrative warfare against Gabbard’s campaign dwarfs anything we’ve seen against Sanders, and the loathing and dismissal they’ve been able to generate have severely hamstrung her run.”

      Exactly why Bernie should name her his V.P. or at least, Defense choice.
      Go for broke man!

      Consensus in the Anymouse house:
      In November we will vote for
      Bernie, Trump or the Green Party.

      No way in hell for Senile Joe, The War Monger, Senator from MBNA, Bankers Pal, NAFTA- signing, Chinese Communist coddling choice of oligarchs everywhere.

          1. Wukchumni

            Wink Martindale (game show host) got my vote in 16′, and he’s even more rested now.

          2. foghorn longhorn

            Bernie wants to slay a pig (mainstream politics), but doesn’t want to get in the ditch and cut its’ throat.
            Not gonna happen.
            Nice run tho.

            1. cripes


              Yes, I’ve been thinking exactly that.
              Voters also take a candidate with that instinct (Trump) more seriously even when they lack policy or character, which Bernie has.

              I remember from the 80’s in the last rounds of Hearns-Leonard match, Hearns had him halfway down on one knee reeling from a barrage of hits from Hearns longer reach.
              At the moment he could have finished it, Hearns pulls back and waits for him to recover before going on to lose or, maybe, tie the bout.
              Sugar Ray never gave a faltering opponent a chance, closing in fast for the kill.

              Like Bernie, Thomas Hearns was a gentleman.
              A real defect in boxing and politics.

              1. foghorn longhorn

                There were some great fights back then indeed.

                I love bernie, and have never said that in my 60+year old lifetime about any politician or public figure.
                He just doesn’t seem ‘mean enough’ to accomplish this task.
                Too many years in the esteemed house of the senate.

                Trump broke the mold, hillary showed him how dirty the fight is, and here we are with ‘his good friend slojo’ sticking it to him again.
                Glad my job doesn’t depend on this crap.

                1. chuck roast

                  Bernie has to put the gloves on and fight like Carmen Basilio. Win or lose, I’m good with that.

                  1. pretzelattack

                    all those guys bent the rules a bit, some much more so than others. bernie is trying to live up to some ideal, and that just doesn’t work in politics.

              2. carl

                Kinda prefer the Hearns-Hagler thing. An amazing couple of minutes from my two favorite fighters of the 80s.

            2. WJ

              This is what Trump did to the Republican Party. It is what Sanders will need to do to the Democratic Party if he has any *chance* of succeeding. At some point in time, Sanders’ “prudence” in not totally alienating “my friend Joe” and the democratic establishment must be reassessed as his *unwillingness* to do so. I am not sure that this unwillingness is in the end virtuous.

            3. Lambert Strether Post author

              > Bernie wants to slay a pig (mainstream politics), but doesn’t want to get in the ditch and cut its’ throat.

              That’s what worries me. Now we have a two-person race, and “which side are you on” is crystal clear. Sanders needs to put Biden away, in debate, just as Gabbard did to Harris, or Warren did to Bloomberg. The campaign has the skills and the staff to set this up, but I don’t know if Sanders has the killer instinct. Although there are an awful lot of bodies on the field:

              * Michael Bennet (D), a U.S. senator from Colorado
              * Bill de Blasio (D), the mayor of New York City
              * Michael Bloomberg (D), the former mayor of New York City
              * Cory Booker (D), a U.S. senator from New Jersey
              * Steve Bullock (D), the governor of Montana
              * Pete Buttigieg (D), a former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, suspended his campaign on March 1, 2020.[4]
              * Julián Castro (D), a former secretary of housing and urban development
              * John Delaney (D), a former U.S. representative from Maryland
              * Kirsten Gillibrand (D), a U.S. senator from New York
              * Mike Gravel (D), a former U.S. senator from Alaska
              * Kamala Harris (D), a U.S. senator from California
              * John Hickenlooper (D), the former governor of Colorado
              * Jay Inslee (D), the governor of Washington
              * Amy Klobuchar (D), a U.S. senator from Minnesota
              * Wayne Messam (D), the mayor of Miramar, Florida
              * Seth Moulton (D), a U.S. representative from Massachusetts
              * Richard Ojeda (D), a state senator from West Virginia
              * Beto O’Rourke (D), a former U.S. representative from Texas
              * Deval Patrick (D), the former governor of Massachusetts
              * Tim Ryan (D), a U.S. representative from Ohio
              * Joe Sestak (D), a former U.S. representative from Pennsylvania
              * Eric Swalwell (D), a U.S. representative from California
              * Tom Steyer (D), an investor and philanthropoist
              * Marianne Williamson (D), an author and spiritual adviser
              * Andrew Yang (D), an entrepreneur

              Maybe too many bodies for Sanders to have had nothing to do with it, eh? Even sailing serenely above the fray as he does…

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      The URL is correct, but yields an Error 503, “The 503 Service Unavailable error is an HTTP status code that means the website’s server is simply not available right now. Most of the time, it occurs because the server is too busy or because there’s maintenance being performed on it.”

      Too busy because of a DDOS attack?

    3. Shonde

      Just read the Caitlan Johnstone store re Gabbard so just keep trying and it will come up.

      I’ve been doing monthly contributions to Tulsi since she is the only candidate saying what needs to be said regarding foreign policy. She is one very gutsy women and needs to be supported. If Biden is the nominee, I may write in Tulsi.
      P.S. I also contribute twice a month or more to Bernie. No beer money sadly left in my budget after these donations.

      1. Oh

        The DNC Crowd is so fearful of Tulsi after she destroyed a couple of their favorite candidates! Go Tulsi!

  4. Tim

    For the States where Warren didn’t get to 15% and the votes she kept from Sanders was enough for Biden to beat Sanders, then Biden already has those delegates.

    I’m beginning to wonder if Warren has done so much damage to her reputation in this primary election that she may not win her Senate seat back in the next election.

    1. Big River Bandido

      She just came in 3rd in a primary in her home state. What does THAT tell you?

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > She just came in 3rd in a primary in her home state. What does THAT tell you?

        That she has terrible political judgment and is a lousy politician. (The whole “Pocahontas” thing has been out there since 2012 (completely justifiably) and she hasn’t been able to deal with it in eight years. What does that tell you? (And no, it doesn’t tell you Republicans are mean. It tells you she can’t beat them.)

    2. hunkerdown

      So she goes back to a sinecure professorating to future yuppie scum the coalition of the ascendant. Oh well. The machine takes care of its own.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > “the coalition of the ascendant”

        It’s no longer a thing; the Democrat Establishment started moving away with it, and then Sanders smashed it.

        Professorating to “aspirational, diverse voices” is something she might do. But the “coalition of the ascendant is dead, dead, dead. It had a seventeen-year run, which is good for a (false) theory of change (back in the day, when Democrats thought a theory of change was necessary).

        1. ambrit

          She has a fabulous career path ahead of her in Hollywood “professorating” to the “Coalition of the Resplendent.”
          Now, much to our collective dismay and despair, the “Coalition of the Ascendant” is giving way to an old and rapacious philosophy, the “Divine Right.”

    3. WheresOurTeddy

      She’s going to get primaried from the left, and after the last 9 weeks, she’ll deserve it.

        1. ambrit

          Watch to see if Chelsea (TM) changes her place of residence to Massachusetts. Better yet, if Hillary does so. That would be Professional Level Irony.

  5. Ionesco

    Bernie is almost buried but he needs to approach this like Game 5 of the World Series and he’s down 3-1.

    The clip needs to be emptied with anti-Biden ad buys in the states for next Tuesday. Lord knows there’s hundreds of clips to choose from. Then at the end, say unlike Biden, Bernie doesn’t want to cut social security. Unlike Biden, Bernie wants universal healthcare, not insurance companies deciding if you can afford to be treated for coronavirus. Unlike Biden who made sure you could not discharge student debt in bankruptcy, Bernie wants to provide debt relief.

    Policy alone isn’t good enough. He must expose a massive number of upcoming voters to how much of a joke Biden is. We live in a country where people say healthcare is their biggest concern and then pull the Biden lever. Bernie must go hard, there needs to be blood in the streets.

    Concomitantly, Bernie must prep his supporters for a massive time and financial commitment that lasts one week, maybe two (some of the ad buys should be for 3/17 I guess, but he needs to crush 3/10 first). Instead of sending BS texts like the one I just got that says “we are on the path to nomination,” he needs to tell it like it is, ask everyone to ramp up the time investment and donations for the next week and tell us he is going to blast the war chest at the airwaves of the 3/10 states. Then ask us to be ready next Tuesday, if things go well, to make an even bigger investment so we can do it all again in Game 6 (3/17). But right now, the next game is everything. It’s a must win and it’s not looking good.

    If it looks bad on 3/17, that’s it, no more. But until then, please, empty the clip.

    1. Arizona Slim

      Last night, I got a Bernie text about victories in Vermont and Colorado. Come on, Bernie, is that all ya got?

      1. Stillfeelinthebern

        I’m surprised you got a text. I’ve been trying to text for Bernie for weeks. Every time I go on there are no lists available. There are always more people wanting to text than available texts. I did get some to send one day. But after I sent them, I couldn’t get back in to check for replies. It was hours later that I got them.

        I signed on yesterday hoping to spend the day texting. After waiting and waiting, I got on and sent a batch, but then couldn’t get back in. Got an error message. Everyone else was getting it too. Eventually it came back and I got to do responses, but then no lists available again. I’ve texted for other organizations, this system (spoke) sucks.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          That’s not good. I know this is hard to believe, but the Clinton campaign of 2008, after the February debacle, retooled and — hard to believe, but true — focused on a working class base, and the communication tool they used was text. (I saw one volunteer doing it!)

          Why is text the tool to use to communicate with* the working class? Because TEXT IS ASYNCHRONOUS and that means it works with people have complicated schedules because they’re working three jobs, etc.

          If the Sanders team is too effing woke and too extremely online to get this, that’s a very bad sign.

          * That is, do relational organizing

          1. Arizona Slim

            I also had problems with the Bernie Dialer.

            Last fall, I signed up to phonebank. Had one heckuva time with that dialer. After nearly 16 minutes of no bells that would prompt me to begin speaking to someone who actually answered my call, I got disconnected.

            Made three attempts to log back in with my computer, and no luck. And, yes, I did enter the PIN correctly.

            As far as I was concerned, that was enough. I’m still on the Bernie Slack, and from what I’ve read, the Dialer still has problems.

            Me? I know this campaign is big on phonebanking, but who in the heck is actually answering the calls? Methinks that most people aren’t, and we can thank caller ID for that.

    2. Dita

      1+ He needs to make a meal of Biden’s support of cutting SS and Medicare and of the 2005 bankruptcy law

    3. Wj

      The good of the country requires Sanders to go hard and negative against Biden. If Sanders is not willing to do that, then it tells us something about his priorities. If he is not willing to do this, loses the nomination, and then tells us all to vote for Biden, it tells us something further. There has always been a minority segment of left thought that considered Sanders a sheep-dog for the Democratic Party rather than a real challenge to it. (Black Agenda Report, among others.) The legitimacy of that view will in my opinion be definitively confirmed or disproved over the next six months.

      1. Dan

        If it’s not in his nature to do that, he’s not going to do it. It doesn’t matter how much a Margaret Kimberly or a Paul Street bombasts. There is no evidence that Bernie has ever done politics that way. He will yell to no end about horrible policy but he’s not going to in any way impugn the character of his opponent. The one exception to this is Donald Trump.

        If Bernie attempts to act in a way that goes against his basic nature he’ll come off looking like a fool. Turn it around, and it’s just another example of the utter depravity of the political class. Meaning, if Joe Biden or some other establishment politician had to tell their constituents the truth and act in the public interest as opposed to their own self-interest, they’d be incapable of doing so. They’re only capable of taking money from powerful interests and lying to their constituents on behalf of said interests. If they tried to be honest, they’d look silly. And no one would believe them.

        1. inode_buddha

          Sanders needs to start understanding that the horrible policies that he rails against are the result of horrible characters.

        2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          If it’s not in his nature to do that then it’s not in my nature to vote for him. I do not want a leader who is looking to make friends, or keeps “friends” like Joe F*cking Biden. Health care, financial precarity, opioids, and war are life-and-death issues. I do not want a glad-handing idealistic ideologue, I want an absolute street fighter.

          How much mercy and respect and forbearance and civility did Trump show Jeb Bush, the scion and heir apparent of the Republican Party?

            1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

              Bernie says he will not attack Creepy/Sleepy Joe personally. How then does he propose to oppose him? C/S Joe has not taken any policy positions and has not said anything he wants to do. Bernie can point to what he’s done in the past and all C/S Joe needs to say is “I’m gonna do something different now” and people will be told to believe him.

              This part of the death of American politics is particularly disgusting to watch.

          1. Oh

            Yes, It’s time for Bernie to take the gloves off. No more “my dear friend” nonsense. He’s got to play to win. The American electorate is more used to punches rather than jabs. They have been conditioned to expect it.

    4. Big River Bandido

      Sorry, all, but you’re off the mark with this.

      Just like the Reagan-era trope that a Democrat can only win if they “move to the middle”…the idea that a politician must play dirty in order to win is one of the toxic behaviors epitomized by the Clintons. They pissed off so many of their potential allies that once they get into power they were powerless to do anything. If you’re a Clinton or a Biden or a typical Democrat, that’s fine — they don’t care about governing anyway.

      1. hunkerdown

        False. They were perfectly able as DLC allies to do what the DLC wanted done. Thus, the Contract on America. Also ahistorical, machine politics has always been dirty and that’s why it reliably wins.

        1. Oregoncharles

          Bill Clinton was a very effective president – for Republican policies. It was only the progressive ideas he wishy-washed away.

          About halfway through his first term, I realized he was really a Republican and that he was remaking the party in his own image – again, very effectively. I joined the Green Party and I haven’t looked back, except to wonder when everybody else will catch on.

      2. foghorn longhorn

        Would you care to extrapolate on this theory and show when ‘playing nice’ with your opponents has worked out.

        We are basically entering ronald rayguns 40th year of governance bud.

        Enough is enough.

        May they all perish of some man-made virus or something.

        1. Big River Bandido

          Please point out where I said anything about playing nice. You either did not read my comment or you jumped to your own conclusion.

          I was referring to the conventional wisdom about “going negative” which is usually always wrong because it is personal rather than policy based, and often phony. (Think of all the smears we heard from Hillary and the establishment candidates this year.) And even when you point out an opponents weakness on policy, this must be done with extreme care so that it does not seem *personal*. This is a well established turnoff to voters.

          This is especially true when you are a populist reform candidate dependent upon high turnout to get elected. To be perceived as “going negative” is always a surefire way to depress turnout and lose votes. This is where Sanders theory of *governance* becomes intertwined with politics. The Clintons approached those two like there was a Chinese wall between them. And then they and their supporters wonder why so many Democrats gleefully trounced on Hillary’s “healthcare reform effort”.

      3. curious euro

        Even if this were true: how do you explain Obama. The friendly boy next door who was loved by anyone when starting his office. What did the manage to accomplish with all this love from everyone around him?

        Clinton managed to do NAFTA, reform welfare, do some wag-the-dog wars, etc.

        1. pretzelattack

          well obama didn’t actually want to accomplish a lot for his base. for the elites he worked out well.
          for all his charm, he was “pretty good at killing folks”.

        2. Michael Fiorillo

          Obama was hired by the Overclass for one job and one job only: to make sure that New Deal 2.0 and the political energies behind it were derailed.

          Mission Accomplished.

    5. Lambert Strether Post author

      > Right now, the next game is everything. It’s a must win

      The deliberate build-up worked in California, and nearly worked in Texas, but we are no longer in a war of position. We are in a war of maneuver.

      1. ambrit

        It is also become a “War of Attrition.”
        If Bloomberg can rack up some delegates strictly by ad buys, which is really money talking, then we are back to Trench Warfare, Political Style. For the nomination, it really is a war of numbers; number of delegates.

    6. Felix_47

      Apparently 1 in 8 eligible voters under 30 voted and 3 in 10 of those over 40 voted. Sanders has enough money but somehow he has to mobilize his supporters to maybe physically bring others to the polls or send their votes in by mail. With a week or so left I suspect it is way too late. That participation ratio is fatal. The kids go to the rallies but apparently don’t vote…..and I realize that voting requires planning, effort and peristence……and you can’t do it on the spur of the moment. They make it hard for a reason…..read about how they closed polling places in areas that were likely to vote for a non establishment candidate. I made my kids photograph their ballots and email them to me to be sure they voted and I sent them mine……for Bernie……a futile gesture it seems. Interestingly, Trump might save our democracy……since the democrats seem to be quite adept at eliminating voter choice and are masters at mind control. Trump is inept and amateur enough that we can still see through the BS.

  6. Chris

    I think Krystal Ball has it right. Bernie scared the establishment after Nevada and didn’t show them any signs he was willing to play ball. And he wasn’t acting aggressive enough for his base either. So the net result was a ton of people showed up voting for unity and the establishment and because they weren’t sure about Bernie. He got his theory of change half right. A whole bunch more voters came out. But not enough were for him :/

    It remains to be seen what Sanders does now. I hope he realizes the gloves are off and he attacks Biden and the Establishment and tells them that he won’t support the Team Blue nominee and he’s had enough of Russia Russia Russia. But I won’t hold my breath.

    1. KLG

      Yes. What Bernie needs to understand, right now, is that he has to hit Biden hard with the truth, and when Pokey Joe goes down for the count, he must NOT retreat to a neutral corner. Instead, just step on his neck until he stops wriggling (metaphorically, of course!). Politics at this level is a full contact sport, in word and deed. Bernie, you have been steadfast for 40 years. Back. It. Up. The time is now. Or never.

    2. The Rev Kev

      ‘I hope he realizes the gloves are off’

      The time to realize that was after the Iowa Caucus. He had fair warning then. He should hammer Biden on a few simple themes like Biden-wants-to-take-your-Social-security-away. Have ads showing Biden in his own words. He should also get ahead of the Coronavirus threat to America because that is what a leader is supposed to do. Not much threat about being marginalized here as the news in the next few moths will confirm his stance.

    3. Lambert Strether Post author

      > willing to play ball.

      Reminds me of this passage from Richard Morgan’s Broken Angels:

      What signal, exactly, would Sanders send to tell them he was going to “play ball”? (“Yes, I know #MedicareForAll is a bridge too far. I hear the Heritage Foundation has a nice little white paper…”).

    1. Michael Fiorillo

      Jimmy Dore also had him on his show after attacking him for supporting the Zombie Son of Russiagate Impeachment Show. I guess he’s a pretty impressive guy, although his arguments in support of impeachment didn’t inspire a lot of confidence about his political judgement.

  7. a different chris

    >We need candidate who cares about all Americans and will restore decency, dignity to the office.

    Ok and there is something not decent or dignified or caring about Sanders? And that makes it doubly weird that right after than he refers to our erstwhile candidate with a very friendly “Bernie”. I guess with friends like that…

    Ah well Comey is an idiot and that is probably explanation enough.

    1. walter

      if Warren endorses Biden before March 10 vote (ID,MI,MO,MS,ND,WA), Obama endorses Biden before the March 17 vote (AZ,FL,IL,OH)….

    2. Arizona Slim

      My predictions:

      1. The campaign will end tomorrow
      2. She’ll endorse Biden
      3. Who will lose to Trump the way McGovern lost to Nixon in 1972

      1. Kurtismayfield

        If she was smart she would pitch it to Biden like this:

        “Give me the VP nod and I give the coup de grace to Bernie and it’s over when I back you. Otherwise I back Bernie and keep this a race.”

        She may be venal enough to do this.

      2. jrs

        She doesn’t have to endorse anyone, most candidates didn’t. And I fully expect she endorses noone.

      3. curlydan

        #3 is too pessimistic IMO. Frankly, the electoral college will look somewhat close because the Dems could nominate a lamp shade and still will the west coast, NY, MA, IL, and a few others. So I don’t see a 1972 or 1984 wipeout.

        And the Dems will do great in Scranton, PA!! :)

    3. flora

      And so, her role in knee-capping Sanders is complete. She now awaits the gratitude of the Dem establishment. May it be a very, very long wait.

    4. .Tom

      Why wouldn’t she keep spoiling it for Sanders? She’s got plenty of superpac money. And isn’t that the DNC’s roel for her in this process?

  8. Deschain

    > Warren (D)(1): This is an easy hot take, but I’m not sure it’s correct:

    I think if Warren had simply exited, or never been in the race to begin with, it’s less clear how those states would have went. A full throated endorsement of Bernie by Warren on Sunday or Monday, however, and I do think he would have won those states (and TX). Certainly AK’s and PB’s endorsements appear to have had quite high pass-through vote rates.

      1. randomworker

        Wait. Isn’t she a former Republican corporatist shill who endorsed (I forget who) in 2016? So why would her supporters go to Bernie, of all people?

        1. Michael Fiorillo

          Yes, she’s the “former republican corporatist shill” who became a member of the First Nations and a Democrat just before moving to Massachusetts.

          Opportunist much, Liz?

    1. danpaco

      With this race now looking like a horse race between Sanders and Biden where neither of them get a majority of delegates, Warrens role has changed. Her strategy now seems to be king maker, she won’t go anywhere. If she manages to siphon off 8-10% of the delegates before the convention she can leverage that into real power for herself.

      1. ChiGal in Carolina

        as of this writing, Biden has 566 delegates and Sanders has 501. Warren has 61, enough to put them at a virtual tie at some point. She is a snake, but Bernie needs her.

        And she needs him: Biden is a doddering fool who stands no chance of beating Trump, Sanders can offer her a real shot at something that will satisfy her overweening ambition. And he hasn’t survived in DC so long without learning to build instead of burn bridges.

        I know, I know, wishful thinking…

          1. hunkerdown

            How does that help Sanders deliver his signature initiatives? I don’t see that it does. To the contrary, she believes in trickle-down capitalism of mass destitution down to not just her bones but the skin and bones of the 90%. Unless Sanders can restrain her properly, it seems to defeat the whole theme of Sanders’ movement, of proving that public provision of public goods and services can work, because she won’t let it, possibly excepting a few show trials where some people dangerous to the bipartisan machine get perp-walked.

      2. Yves Smith

        Stop repeating the current count. CA delegates not fully allocated. Sanders should be a bit ahead when that is done. But the MSM is playing up him looking behind and CA may further oblige by dragging out count till next round of primaries.

  9. rd

    Our 28 year old range finally had enough issues that it became time to replace it earlier this year. We researched them and ended up replacing it with a $550 one. It has a convection oven big enough to hold a big turkey and four burners with a fifth warming burner. consumer reports gave the brand a good reliability rating. Some functions have dials while others are touchscreens. If I have to replace a $400 part, I will just buy a new range.

    When I looked into the various products, it seems like most of the extra money is spent for gee whiz things that have little to do with actual cooking. I know several people who have expensive ones, and they seem to require expensive repairs every few years. I have found that buying cheaper products with fewer features means there are fewer things to go wrong. In the end, a range is just heating surfaces, a washing machine is just a motor and a pump, and a refrigerator is just a motor and chilling coils in an insulated box. Overthinking these things is where the manufacturers make a ton of money on small features with little manufacturing cost while the actual working components are generally the same regardless if it is a $500 or $1,500 product.

    I don’t like the buy-replace cycle instead of buy-repair, but the market has gotten to the point where it makes financial sense to do it. With a $550 range, it is almost disposable at this point. If I had spent $5k on one, I would feel obligated to pony up for a $1k repair bill.

    1. Jason Boxman

      The maintenance person in my building told me a story of an expensive stove at another rental building; the techs didn’t want to work on it. The final solution was to completely disassemble it, because the fuse needing replacement is located at the backend of the cooking surface, rather than at the very front where it’s actually serviceable.

      Fun times.

    2. curlydan

      When I saw that photo on the Internet of [bleep], I yelled “that’s my oven!” I’ve got the same keypad. Funny thing is that we bought our current oven on Craigslist because our previous oven’s vent died and we desperately need a vent, so just because of that one part dying, we ditched the old one and bought a used one on Craigslist. I expect to cycle through this again soon.

    3. TMoney

      Jenn-Air POS. Downdraft model, no kitchen extractor fan, so it was bought for a reason. Alas 4 Key pads later. I (Family Blog) hate it.

      HATE HATE HATE it.

      Did I mention how much I hate it ?

      1. HotFlash

        Former Jenn-Air owner here, I truly feel your pain. My local scrappers liked the cast-iron grates, though.

    4. carl

      I’m lucky enough (for just this one instance, I think) to live in Texas where there are a lot of country folk who believe in hanging on to their old appliances. As such, I’ve had the benefit of several vintage appliances in my kitchen for the last five years. The showpiece is a 1952 Chambers gas stove, which I purchased from Craigslist for the princely sum of $400. It came with the original warranty paperwork of 25 years, and it has a simplicity and a cooking power that has to be experienced. Also, it’s a major piece of kitchen art; simply beautiful. I’ve seen similar ones advertised locally for as little as $200, since people in general 1. don’t value old things, and 2. are afraid of gas. If you’re lucky enough to live in a similar place, give this option a consideration instead of the modern crap.

      1. foghorn longhorn

        The Chambers stove rocks!
        It is too big and heavy for my joint, but in a future world would definitely design and build my kitchen around one.
        You lucky soul.

    5. eg

      We had a 21 year old gas stove that the control panel failed on and no replacement was available. The burners were still fine, but the oven was rendered useless. So we had to replace the whole thing.
      I have no illusions that our new stove will last half as long.
      The whole thing is just terribly wasteful.

    6. HotFlash

      I ditched my POS (highly recommended, very expensive) Jennair years ago, after multiple failures. Not the main deal, ie, burners and stuff functioned, but peripheral stuff — ‘grill’ didn’t heat sufficiently from day one, piezo lighters failed and I had to use a BBQ lighter, knobs stopped turning and eventually broke. Replaced it with 2 Kuradori induction hotplates (set into my home-made kitchen counter) and augmented with 2 m’waves, a large convection toaster-oven, and a herd or crockpots. Plan was for a couple of single gas hobs as well, but have been decidedly down on natural gas of late (Enbridge), and have found I can do everything I want to, from lemon curd to turkey, with what I have. I certainly don’t need a ‘range’, which is space-guzzling contraption that is a high-tech copy of a woodstove, including its footprint. Simple is just better.

      It’s like having a desk-top computer (scion of a typewriter) when all you need is a tablet.

  10. grayslady

    Regarding the PNHP article, it is about time we eliminated outside anesthesiologist groups. All anesthesiologists should be on staff at hospitals, since that’s the only place they can practice their trade, anyway. Anesthesiologists are the main source of surprise billing for individuals with insurance, but they also represent a problem for individuals who rely on hospitals or hospital systems for financial aid, since financial aid only covers practitioners who are in-system. A very good hospital near me doesn’t have a single anesthesiologist on staff.

    1. fnx

      It’s not the only place they can practice their trade. Many anesthesiologists have a thriving practice in pain clinics, which are about the only places many patients with the many pain diseases can go these days since they’re the only ones who can prescribe opioids without the overwhelming scrutiny of the feds.

    1. CallMeTeach

      I was thinking about this. Many kids are at college, often far from home. They don’t get the day to drive home and vote, if they are close enough to do so, and some states, like my own, make absentee voting very difficult to accomplish. I’m not so sure it’s fair to lambaste these kids when there system is set to make it tough for them to vote.

      1. David Carl Grimes

        Or the kids got complacent. They heard that Bernie had an insurmountable lead and thought it was a done deal and stayed away.

        1. Left in Wisconsin

          College kids don’t hear horse race commentary. They have a hard time remembering when election day is.

        2. Monty

          Maybe they didn’t want to stand in line and touch filthy screens with a dangerous and highly contagious virus on the loose?

    2. HotFlash

      Where are the young people? They turn up at rallies but fail to show up at the voting booth. Maybe they think rallies are music concerts?

      I really cannot imagine that young people who would spend hours (amounting to hundreds, thousands, hundreds of thousands of hours?) to go to rallies, attend volunteer training sessions, knock on doors, register voters, phone bank, text bank, yada, would not turn out to vote? Maybe someone offered them free pizza to stay home? Something is seriously wrong with this picture. Could it be that we are being lied to, by someone, somewhere?

      1. Yves Smith

        Young people are way more subject to Shit Happening during their day than older people by virtue of usually being less senior in the workplace. This is also true of low income people, Sanders’ other core demographic.

        Note that in TX and probably other places, polling stations were removed in lower income areas to create long wait time and confusion.

        1. HotFlash

          Perhaps that is so these days. Back in my day (half a century ago — how’d that happen?) I would have hopped in my elderly, used VW bug (age spoiler!!!) and tooled on down to the polls! Well, maybe. In fact, I moved to Canada and have been here ever since. I suppose shit happened, but it was a different shit back then.

          I do have many (all) my relatives back in the US, back in the US, back in the USSR. My father refused treatment for his lung cancer in order to make sure that my baby sister and her family got his house free and clear. My baby sister, who has a MA in history, is 57 years old and has 5 kids, some of whom can’t find jobs locally that will pay their rent, works at a McDonalds, as does her youngest daughter. My sister is a(the?) supervisor, she works a split shift, opening for breakfast McMuffins and closing at day’s end. I asked her about ‘Fight for 15″, she just laughed. “In my dreams!” When my dad was sick with his final illness, she and her immed family swarmed shifts around him to keep him cared for, companied, martinied, and morphined (I am many, many miles away).

          So, yeah, shit happening. I live in Canada. I cannot imagine how, or more importantly, *why* you USians put up with this. Bernie says: “enough is enough.”

      2. Oregoncharles

        Besides what Yves said, we’re talking about two different sets of young people. The ones who actively campaigned doubtless voted (there are pictures of college kids still in line at 1:00 – AM); but you need more than that, lots more. Those are the ones who didn’t show.

        Why not? Why do only half of potential voters, in general, show up? One reason is that voting makes little difference; another is that they don’t see anyone to vote for.

        1. pretzelattack

          just saw on jimmy dore that texas closed roughly 550 polling places between 2012 and 2020. they’ve been planning this a long time.

  11. Hoppy

    I keep thinking of Warren’s play. Besides staying in through super Tuesday to take votes away from Sanders in key states.

    Some people keep thinking she’ll drop out and throw her support to Sanders, to save her progressive bona fides.
    What has she done that even makes that a realistic possibility?

    Think about John Kerry. Call him a war hero or not, he served, and swift boating him was a direct attack on one of the greatest strengths of his credentials.

    Did Warren not swift boat Sanders with the ‘woman President’ attack? A direct attack on one of his greatest strengths. It was blown off as a failure. But was it?

    She solidified the only support she had left with a blatantly false attack on Sanders. So Rovian if you think about it..

    1. Hoppy

      Thank god. See critical Iowa and Robinhood app failures with absolutely perfect timing.

      I know you were joking :)

    2. mle detroit

      @DC Grimes. No, but there’s probably a website for requesting an absentee ballot from home if you’re a college student. And being a canvasser would look good on a resume.

  12. JTMcPhee

    Re the sketchy lady twitter account of how things are going there:

    What the fxxx are Bill effing Gates and the other effing Seattle Squilliinaires doing about any of this? other than covering their own sorry a@@es?

    Hey Bloomberg, here’s a chance to shine!

  13. antidlc

    Lambert: “What to me is remarkable is the sudden, two-digit swing in Biden’s favor in the polling over a weekend, and then the voting booth (Biden got the great majority of last-minute deciders). This is quite remarkable, and I can’t think of another example of it happening. To me, it looks like authoritarian followers waiting for a signal of who to vote for, which the Establishment unambiguously sent over the weekend, with the Buttigieg and Klobuchar endorsements, and then a flood of other endorsements by Democrat, er, luminaries.”

    Oh, Lambert. I think you hit the nail on the head!

    Also, the Biden elevator video…
    I mentioned on several threads about Texans voting for Biden. I don’t think people fully understand the optics of Beto inviting Biden to What a Burger and then the photo of the two of them together with their burgers and fries. If you don’t live in Texas, you probably don’t understand the obsession with What a Burger here. That photo, I am sure, scored MAJOR RELATABILITY points. (Not sure “relatability” is a word, but you get the gist.)

    A couple that had been quarantined for coronavirus was interviewed after their quarantine was up. They couldn’t wait to go to What A Burger. (Maybe a paid endorsement, I don’t know, but the Texas obsession with their burgers gets mentioned a lot in their ads.)

    1. Toshiro_Mifune

      I’m sorry. But if this; I don’t think people fully understand the optics of Beto inviting Biden to What a Burger was really a deciding factor then I’m fully willing to raze Texas since the only good thing to come from the state as far as I can tell was Gibby Haynes and MDC.

        1. Toshiro_Mifune

          Hmmm, you’re right Kinky Friedman is spared and so is the Rev Horton Heat now that I think about it.

                  1. ambrit

                    ‘Asleep At The Wheel’
                    And Kinky Friedman’s backing band,(you can’t make this s–t up,) “The Texas Jewboys.”

      1. Toshiro_Mifune

        Apologies to decent people in TX who took time to make an informed choice. I may have been a bit brusque in my previous assessment about razing the state. We can spare some of you. Qualifications will be based, as they should, on the merits of your CD/Vinyl/MP3 collection.

        1. carl

          No need to apologize. There’s many reasons to consider razing Texas. We’re pretty bad at a lot of things, mostly taking care of people.

        2. Anonymous Coward

          In such a scenario, my hope would be the Alice Donut in my collection could buy me a reprieve from the musically inclined death squads … or for that matter anything on the Alternative Tentacles label.

          The band’s fifth album, The Untidy Suicides of Your Degenerate Children, was released in September 1992; It was described by CD Review as “a peculiar mixture of ornate and wicked little bits about suicide, strippers, and a disgruntled ex-postal worker”.

      2. antidlc

        Not saying it was the deciding factor, but it scored major “relatability” points. I mentioned this because of Lambert’s video of Biden in the elevator.

        1. Duck1

          I remember driving across the Panhandle and the place looked like it already had been razed.

          1. carl

            The entire western half of the state resembles the surface of the moon, excepting the Big Bend area.

    2. Carla

      So, does nobody else think it was weird that the polls closed in VA, and it was IMMEDIATELY announced that Biden had won there — and exactly the same thing happened in NC?

      Does nobody else think it’s possible that machines were rigged?

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        I would like to see all the horse-race coverage abolished and the money put into decent exit polling.

        Then everybody could sedately do some real reporting the next morning.

        1. Watt4Bob

          In order for wholesale electronic vote rigging to work, it was necessary to convince the public that exit polling is unreliable.

          This was far too easy.

          Now that people question the reliability of exit polling, the PTB have very close to absolute freedom to hack election results.

          1. lyman alpha blob

            I haven’t heard a peep about exit polling. I get that some of Buttigieg and Klobuchar’s supporters would back Biden but such a huge swing in such a short time is hard to take at face value.

            1. Oregoncharles

              Oregon does: paper ballots, marked by the voter, counted in public – with machines, in my county, but the ballots are kept for 5 years, so recounts are genuine here.

      2. Youngblood

        A thumb on the scale is certainly possible. Lambert has pointed out how some states are using voting processes that are not auditable. I would assume that they would fear to swing an election by more than, say, 20 points. I imagine that is why Bernie still wins wherever a blowout Bernie victory was predicted, albeit by a smaller than expected margin.

      3. Tvc15

        Yes, 100%. Given all of the other known cheating by the DNC, why do we assume the electronic voting machines are accurate? I certainly don’t. Biden was polling at 9% in MA and Sanders at 25% on 2/26. He wins MA at 34%, nothing to see here. I realize I’m probably in the minority with this opinion, but I’m not buying the narrative they are selling for Biden’s unprecedented resurgence. I think the cheating includes rigging the machines.

        One of Lambert’s mantras seems appropriate, paper ballots counted in public.

        1. WJ

          In point of fact, we have no good reason to believe that the stated outcome of any election is true absent paper ballots counted by hand in public. The point of this procedure is after all to prevent election fraud, which would not be necessary except on the assumption that, absent such a guard, election fraud is likely to occur. There is probably a reason why we do not now and will likely never use paper ballots counted by hand in public.

        2. Lambert Strether Post author

          > One of Lambert’s mantras seems appropriate, paper ballots counted in public.

          Hand-marked paper ballots, counted in public.

          Digital needs to be removed from the equation. The despicable and corrupt voting machine manufactures have urged that ballot marking devices that give a paper receipt are OK. They are not.

      4. HotFlash

        I definitely do think it was weird. And that the polls changed overnight. And that the voters *all* responded, as if on a dime. Including in states in which Bernied had polled well and in which Sen. Biden had not campaigned *at all*. I support hand marked paper ballots, counted in public. And, as a precaution (eg in Maine), totals conveyed to the Secretary of State physically.

    3. Pat

      Hey I grew up in the Southwest (NM not Texas). I might jones for In ‘N Out more often (visiting CA a lot over a few years my addiction grew), but there are days when I really really wish there was a What a Burger around here.

      That said, the thing that got me was people deciding that a guy who has spent little or no time on health care during his time in the Senate or his multiple runs for President is the person to guide this nation in a pandemic.

      (At a time when Cuomo is making more rhetorical sense than our nation Democratic leaders on the subject, I’m not sure that any of the usual political leaders are really interested in confronting the problems facing the country, but sure as hell know Biden isn’t. Everything is being said without that agency Lambert looks for, I’m thinking they believe that complaining about each other is going to be a donation windfall with no blowback.)

      1. Hoppy

        Haha, occasional In ‘N Out AND What-a-Burger jones. Me too! Throw in a ‘5 Guys’ and you have more national support than either party.

        Although I have no clue what they like in Minnesota and South Bend!

        1. Carla

          Wait, have you had Popeye’s fried chicken sandwich?

          I wish I had never tasted it. That’s how good it is.

    4. Grant

      “That photo, I am sure, scored MAJOR RELATABILITY points”

      This perfectly sums up this political system and the absurdity of this whole thing. What in the hell will some picture of two people eating a burger and fries do to address the climate crisis? Will it make it so that Flint’s water isn’t poisoned? Will less people die because of this healthcare system? Biden spent the entire campaign raising money from rich people and assuring them that nothing will change if he wins, then takes a picture eating a burger and people said, “That’s my guy”? Great, put that picture on your wall, and as things continue to get worse, touch it and pray. Magic will happen. People vote for absurd reasons and barely pay attention, and if they do, they go to sources that actively mislead them.

      Look, Bernie did make strategic errors. The biggest of which was his nonsense “My friend Joe” stuff. It was stupid, as was him not supporting Teachout when she spoke the truth about Biden. That was the time to build on that narrative, and Bernie didn’t. That, to me, in hindsight, was a turning point in the campaign, not super Tuesday. But, Bernie has fought the media, the corporations and the rich, their think tanks, those controlling the Democratic Party, every other person that ran against him and colluded to bring him down, and he is (after California) going to be right there with Biden. It is not over, but very difficult moving forward. But, there is no other person that could take on all those interests and be in the position he is in. If Biden wasn’t propped up by all of that, if he was treated as Bernie was, he would have been ground into dust. Those in power don’t care about Bernie as a person, they oppose him because of his policies, and what they would do to those in power. If it is AOC next or someone else, they will get the same exact treatment. The left, in my mind, needs to focus on building power at the local level. It is a lot easier to run a Socialist Alternative type of bid than to run as a Green for senator. So, focus a ton on parts of the country where turnout is low, build up grassroots power and start running a bunch of people from those movements. And if I was the DSA, I would have a policy of running in the Democratic primaries, but then running third party bids if the DCCC or the equivalent does its thing. If the DSA loses in free and open elections, it is what it is. If it loses because that rotten, dying party throws its weight and money against it time and time again, it should make it pay time and time again.

      But, Bernie better come out swinging and he shouldn’t worry about Trump and hurting Biden too much. There is so much that is going to be thrown at Biden and he is simply not capable of defending any of it. So, there is no harm in trying to demonstrate how absolutely horrible Biden is as a candidate. Cause Democrats can stick their heads in the sand now, there will be no place to hide if he is the nominee.

        1. Hoppy

          Haha, Lambert you are sneaky!! Just realized you set the hook with your boxing analogies. lol

      1. John Anthony La Pietra

        Greens do run locally — once they’ve qualified their state party for the ballot with huge petition drives, and stayed on by clearing similarly high hurdles in vote percentages for top-of-the-ticket statewide candidates. . . .

        Come and help us, and see.

        1. mle detroit

          Honest question: In how many states is the Green Party on the presidential ballot?
          It has seemed to me for some time that, when the Greens hold their national convention here in Detroit this June, they’d be smart to nominate the guy with the best Green New Deal position, i.e., Bernie Sanders.

          1. Oregoncharles

            That is not the Green GND – for example, it doesn’t advocate paying for it out o fthe military.

            Jill Stein was on 45 state ballots, including all the large ones; enough to win the Electoral College, if everything else fell into place.

            Hard to say about this year; it’s an every-four-years struggle.

            And about that: Dr. Jill offered to back Bernie for the Green nomination, 4 years ago; he refused. Apparently he’d rather try to save the Democratic Party. I think that’s a problem, and maybe the root problem.

      2. lyman alpha blob

        My feeling is that Bernie played nice so far not knowing which of the right wing candidates would eventually come out on top. He let them beat each other up and hoped to pick up some voters as others inevitably dropped out.

        It’s a two person race now and no need to hold back. Time to throw Drowny Joe an anvil. Hopefully Sanders has it in him.

    5. ambrit

      Oh good g-d! The existing quarantine period is too short for this pathogen. Two weeks! China has shown that this bug can take up to three weeks, and maybe longer, to show symptoms after being contracted. This pathogen also exhibits asymptomatic transmissibility, which means that one can spread the disease without showing symptoms.
      I’ll lay odds on this epidemic in Texas soon showing up as clusters of cases related to WhatABurger visits.
      How is the San Antonio City attempt to extend the quarantine period in their metropolis doing? (If the Feds assert authority over local public health measures, then the CT Brigade will be out in force.)
      And now, the Chinese say that the coronavirus-19 has split into two varieties. We live in increasingly interesting times!

      1. Daryl

        > How is the San Antonio City attempt to extend the quarantine period in their metropolis doing?

        It isn’t, a judge rejected their request to keep the individuals quarantined.

        Expect major Texas cities to have coronavirus outbreaks, I mean flu-like symptoms outbreaks in the next few weeks.

    6. John

      9 of 14 Super Tuesday states are open primaries.

      The Right Wing has been telling their followers to vote to mess things up.

      I think Trump is more scared of Sanders that Biden. And Biden was the one they were told to vote for.

      1. Grant

        In the south, what exactly is the difference really? Biden largely did well in states his party won’t win. He may do well in swing states in the midwest, but if his record matters he shouldn’t. Democrats largely are utterly lost, but it will matter in the general election. And Trump will clober him on trade. He will have no good response, there isn’t one and even if there was, he couldn’t articulate one well.

      2. HotFlash

        The Right Wing has been telling their followers to vote to mess things up.

        I have wondered much about that. Would you have any links? Eg, righty-wing cable or blogs, Facebook posts, twitter, other social media, even ‘dark’? I am dying to know. As I would like to know how the “Vote Biden” message got around so freaking *fast* to Dems? Social media, I assume, but how? details? anyone? Anecdotes are fine for this purpose!

  14. Wukchumni

    Los Angeles County declared a local health emergency Wednesday, as officials confirmed six new cases of coronavirus. (WaPo)

    The tendrils are trending closer…

    1. clarky90

      I just read this wise comment in the comments section below the article….It is already tomorrow morning (Thursday) here.


      IMO, we are largely On Our Own, so inexpensive, practical work-arounds are the way forward for most of us.

      “by Foyle | 5th Mar 20, 9:21am

      NZ has 10’s of thousands of campervans and caravans or even tents to string out along quiet roadsides where they can be serviced from buses without any contact. Dig long-drops and string out power and water supplies to each. Vehicles can be sterilized easily by throwing a tent over them and heating to 60°C We can provide meals and laundry services without contact. It doesn’t strain medical system at all to do this. This can work if done ASAP, but not in a month or two after it is everywhere”.

      1. Tom Bradford

        That’s true, but we’re in autumn now and apart perhaps from the ‘winterless’ North I wouldn’t want to spend winter in a tent anywhere south of Auckland. Mind you I’m of an age when I wouldn’t want to spend a day in a tent under any conditions.

        Of course when the tourists stop/are stopped we’ll have plenty of empty motels to serve as quarantine stations.

        Ps. Last week our NZ portfolio lost 5.5%. This week it’s already back up 4%.

  15. roadrider

    Tulsi could be a useful attack dog for Bernie against Uncle Joe if she can get in the debates.

    Bernie’s has a lot more support among independents who may or may not be able to vote in Dem primaries. Most Dem insiders think they can revive the Obama years by selecting Biden but 1) Obama was terrible and 2) Biden would be even worse.

    1. Arizona Slim

      I’m one of those independents. In order to vote for Bernie in AZ, I had to re-register with the Democrat Party.

      The day after Arizona’s March 17 primary, I’m going to do the same thing I did in 2016. I’m going to switch my registration back to independent.

    2. HotFlash

      Tulsi could be a useful attack dog for Bernie against Uncle Joe if she can get in the debates.

      And she would do this why, exactly?

      1. Matthew

        Presumably because she disagrees pretty strongly with Biden’s foreign policy ideas.

  16. MLTPB

    New York primary on April 28, 2020, about 55 days or so away.

    Six confirmed cases, including one community spread in NY, per CNN.

    How will it look like then?

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      Note also that WA is in the next tranche of primaries. Sanders needs to pivot to this, fast, and #MedicareForAll is not the answer, because it doesn’t solve an immediate problem.

      1. Daryl

        I would expect Washington’s voting by mail makes it less susceptible to swings like the establishment closing ranks over the last few days, or things that happen over the next few days, although I could be wrong about that. It would be interesting to know when most ballots are filled out and mailed in there.

      2. Kurt Sperry

        Bernie’s been running a pretty solid cycle of TV ad buys here in WA State, his and Warren’s ads are only ones I can remember seeing here. I don’t usually watch much TV, but the primary horserace has had me looking through the bent back tulips more. I saw a Bernie ad yesterday where he laid into Biden on cutting SS using his own recorded words. Powerful, and pretty much what people have been calling for his team to do here.

        The silence since Bloomberg pulled the plug is like being at a party and the sound system all of the sudden goes quiet. You can hear stuff again. I mailed in my ballot last week, no regrets. I like the option of early voting, I know how I am voting weeks in advance 99% of the time. It’s not for wafflers and fence sitters though.

    2. chuck roast

      I was in Manhattan yesterday. Business as usual.
      Ordinary people doing their usual.
      Never saw so little vehicle traffic though.
      “Coronavirus? We ain’t got no stinking’ coronavirus!”

      If you ain’t got no testing…you ain’t got no virus. Bah-da-bing!

      1. Yves Smith

        Nouriel Roubini, who lives there, says not, restaurants and theaters notably underpopulated. Most people still go to work, and March is not tourist season, so you would not see it at the street level.

        Have also seen pix on Twitter showing empty Manhattan restaurants.

      1. MLTPB

        I hope not.

        I think in Italy, it started in a concenteated region in the north, whereas tin the US, the cases, except Seattle, and maybe the cases around a family in NY, are scattered over the country.

        Also, in Italy, those 75 and over are asked to stay home.

        Were that to happen here, two candidates, 77 and 78 yrs old, would not be able to campaign much, nor attend the party convention. The 73 year old opposing them would be ok.

  17. dk

    From this twitter thread: https://twitter.com/mugrimm/status/1235222381435772928

    This is ALL anecdotal right now, but what I’m hearing is that Sanders brought all these new voters into the party for the first time ever, and while the younger ones are ride or die, the older ones paradoxically whipped themselves into a fear of Trump once they paid attention.

    It wouldn’t be hard for another campaign to target newly registered voters because they appear on the latest county+state rolls.

  18. landline

    Sanders is toast. The delusion that positive social change depends on the ballot box dies early in this cycle, unfortunately likely to resurface soon. To the streets!!!

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      “The streets” [genuflects] is such a vacuous concept. Now, “to the supply chain!” might do the trick, but then one would have to connect with actual workers.

      1. Wukchumni

        …aux bar codes!

        I could see Bastille situations coming up visa vis the supply chain when the Car Go Cult lays siege to unbeknownst to them, almost completely empty Wal*Marts, a typical store having 7 spatulas and that’s it.

        In a fit of desperation and dare I say, a fine example of a group really working well together, nearly 479 people got together and made a fairly good facsimile of a cargo ship next to one of the stores, and from a distance it was pretty convincing, turn those machines back on in China, they would chant, in between cries of either anguish or joy, hard to say.

      2. Oso

        with all respect, it isn’t among black and brown people. there are existing frameworks for organizing in the hood, filling the gaps where govt agencies are unresponsive. being in the streets is literal for us, arguably for others it’s figurative as in ‘being in the trenches’

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          > being in the streets is literal for us

          Fair enough. If the permanent residents of DC wanted to play the sans culottes role, or example, they could bring the entire Federal government to a halt. But that would take some organizing, especially to make sure it wasn’t a Warsaw Ghetto uprising-type thing.

          When I hear “to the streets” I do not hear “Ferguson.” I hear either (a) pink pussy hats (blah) or (b) black bloc weenises smashing ATMs (ick).

          Fine, you are in the street, making sentimental or romantic gestures. What then?

          1. Oso

            Lambert Strether, thank you for the response, as far as “When I hear “to the streets” I do not hear “Ferguson.” I hear either (a) pink pussy hats (blah) or (b) black bloc weenises smashing ATMs (ick” I 100% agree.
            what i am referring to is putting in work in your own neighborhoods/cities so the community recognizes you are there for them. here in Oakland we hold community forums on gentrification, police, immigration, black responses to certain events and issues to give people a voice, try to get progressive people on city council, bart board, police commission, school board. we give rides to folks at old folks homes, registered voters at homeless camps. we supported Moms4Housing. local work can bring in large amounts of community support, and you can teach people.
            we had a forum for the young people when trump got elected, especially reaching out to young people of color and muslims, all of whom were frightened. speakers told of deportations, police violence, slashing of education and social services – then we said and this was done under obama. we told them it is the system.
            there’s so much we can do if we’re willing to set aside our rage and despair, so much locally.
            again, thank you for the response.

    2. Lou Anton

      He is toast. Golden brown, sourdough, with perfectly proportioned butter to the edges. His competition is now down to just Wonder Bread.

      God I’m hungry.

      1. Massinissa

        Wait, so in your analysis being ‘toast’ is actually superior to being bread? I kind of like that analogy.

      2. Kurt Sperry

        The same weaknesses and vulnerabilities that make Biden a high risk challenger to face off against Trump are there all the way to Milwaukee. Biden is always one unguarded senior moment away from the precipice. All the lights will be on him now, he’ll face new scrutiny, have to make appearances and do interviews and all the flattering lighting the media can conjure won’t be soft enough if he stumbles off the edge. Thank goodness there’s FOX News (something I never thought I’d say) to keep the media somewhat honest. When Joe has his crippling gaffe moment, the D blob media won’t be able to just ignore it and cover it up. Without FOX, they probably could/would.

        1. Matthew

          Yeah, if Bernie can’t beat what’s left of Joe Biden then he frankly doesn’t deserve to be president.

  19. antidlc

    I posted this before and I will post it again.

    The Sanders campaign needs to do a better job explaining to seniors who currently are on Medicare what Medicare for All will do for them. Lambert pointed me to a recording of the Nevada culinary union where Bernie talked about Medicare for All. Yes, he mentioned eyeglasses, hearing aids, dental. What Bernie’s campaign has failed, imo, to point out is that the current Medicare system is confusing and you have to dodge a lot of landmines so you don’t end up making the wrong (i.e, very expensive) choice.

    The current Medicare consists of the government part (parts A and B), the insurance company part (Medigap, Medicare Advantage, part D). Parts A and B (the government parts) are EXTREMELY easy to sign up for. Pretty much a no brainer. You logon to medicare.gov and say you want part A, which doesn’t cost you anything assuming you qualify. Part B is fairly straightforward as well and you can sign up online unless you work past age 65, keep your employer insurance, and then go to part B once you actually retire. Even then, it’s just two forms you need that you either mail in or drop off at the local Social Security office.

    The problems (and landmines) come in with the INSURANCE part of Medicare. Just take a look at all of the different Medigap plans there are to choose from:

    You have to decide if you want Medigap or Medicare Advantage (which oftentimes includes Part D prescription.) Once you choose Medicare Advantage, it is not easy to switch back to Medigap. You probably will have to go underwriting. (So much for “choice”, eh?) Some people get snookered into Medicare Advantage because of low premiums and then find out the deductibles are high or doctors aren’t in network. They want to switch back to Medigap and find it’s not easy.

    Then you have part D (prescription) where you have to look at whether your drugs are in the formulary and what tier they are. Drugs can shift to different tiers (even in the middle of a plan year, I believe, after you made your choice.) You have to evaluate part D EACH AND EVERY YEAR to see what is in the formulary and what tier your drugs are in.

    The whole thing is a convoluted mess (on purpose) to confuse you and trick you into buying the wrong thing. There are differences by state as well.

    With Medicare for All, all of this nonsense GOES AWAY. You have ONE COMPREHENSIVE PLAN, no risk of choosing unwisely. I don’t think seniors really understand this.

    I don’t know how you condense this into a simple ad or soundbite, but imo the Sanders campaign needs to do a better job explaining the benefits of Medicare for All for people who are already on Medicare. Maybe something like ONE PLAN, EVERYBODY IN.

    My two cents.

    1. inode_buddha

      Then you get the people who wonder how will we pay for it because the government can’t possibly do all that without compromising something… never mind 2008.

      I just tell them that I hope and pray they double my medicare taxes, because I’ll save at least 10 grand a year that way. Then let them start asking questions.

    2. Hoppy

      Yep! I get messaging and consistency but there is a little too much consistency/repetition to his speeches for me recently. His brilliance is in explaining things to people. And this is definitely an area where his skills could be used to greater affect on a demographic that is obviously not listening.

      I love this interaction


      I just don’t know how you can make people see this at scale.

      1. Dwight

        I’ve been wanting Sanders to explain that we have a mixed private/public economy and he just wants to change the balance slightly toward the public.

    3. Deschain

      Seniors don’t understand it because they don’t want to understand it. I literally laid this all out for my mom. ‘I don’t want to lose my insurance.’ ‘You won’t need insurance mom, there will be no out of pocket costs anymore, ever.’ ‘Well I just don’t believe it will work that way.’ ‘Why not?’ ‘I just don’t.’ [Throw up hands and change subject.]

      I got Bernie Bro’d today because a friend-ish who is a Warren fan came into my Twitter feed trolling me yesterday about Warren’s candidacy when I was trying to have a reasoned discussion with him. That evening I sarcastically congratulated him on his favored candidate finishing third in her home state. He then went completely ad hominem and said ‘how typical of a Bernie supporter’. I was like dude . . . if you’re not willing to have a discussion in good faith don’t act all offended when I throw shade your way. Particularly not when people’s lives are at stake.

      Back to the main point – it’s not the messaging. It’s that people aren’t ready to hear the message.

      1. hunkerdown

        Is mum PMC or adjacent? I wonder if investment/sunk cost/class interest has anything to do with her faith that it won’t work out.

      2. inode_buddha

        I go through the same thing regularly with my “Silent Generation” Dad who spent his life fighting the Cold War working for defense contractors. He’s 83 now, and there’s no point trying with an 83 year old guy. As far as he’s concerned, the Democrats are of the devil because they promote Socialism, which is the first step on the road to Communism, where they take away all your freedoms *and* your money.

        I don’t even bother any more. I tried pointing out how the current system is screwing just about everyone and he blamed it on the Democrats. Never mind that it was right-wing policies that they enacted.

          1. Felix_47

            That hit it on the head. Who do you think the Biden supporters are in South Carolina? They are not working on farms……Latinos do that and the whites won’t hire them. The blacks are living off jobs working for the MIC at Fort Jackson, Charleston AFB, the Naval Weapons station, Parris Island and many more. They are living off their retirements which kicked in after 20 years while they were in their mid 40s plus the retirements of their next government job. With Tricare health care is not an issue for them. The military is the only route to the middle class for this demographic in South Carolina and North Carolina as well. And once they get their DD214 and honorable discharge and VA disability pension they don’t need a social safety net.

    1. Big River Bandido

      Lambert, the Sanders ad hitting Biden on Social security also ran in Iowa, to devastating effect. It’s not a new ad, which is why they were able to get it on air so quickly for the March 10 primaries.

  20. dearieme

    Can Bernie beat the Husk of Joe Biden?

    Bah! It shouldn’t matter. Tulsi should have been your girl all along. Serves you right if Donald LH Trump wins again.

    1. Carolinian

      Agreed! (not the serves you right part). She was never going to get past the DNC.

      But it doesn’t help to pretend that being young and pretty and articulate is not a thing and being old and a bit crotchety isn’t either. Since long before Nixon and his five o’clock shadow American politics have been somewhat superficial–particularly when it comes to press coverage. The press was more than happy to go along when Jackie declared Jack’s era had been Camelot. The narrative thing isn’t new. Tulsi has been the opportunity missed.

    2. jrs

      If only she almost ever even talked about domestic issues, her campaign might have had a chance to go somewhere.

      But no just talk wonky foreign policy all the time, and expect to win when we’re not even in a shooting war (yea U.S. military involved in many conflicts, I know, it doesn’t make the news).

      And I’ve taken foreign policy into consideration in my voting before, but I have never seen ANY evidence the populace at large does. The exception might have been many really and justly hated W’s full scale wars, but then W was reelected – so so much for that.

  21. Pat

    Recently explained to someone that people who were spending so much on premiums and then had a several thousand dollar deductible were not going to go to the doctor for a fever and a cough until it became urgent. And said it would get worse if you find out that the drug companies and/or the hospitals were gouging patients (the news that that was happening didn’t hit until the next day). Their first response was ‘that’s not good’, their second “we’re screwed’.

    Of course our system probably cannot handle the shock of people getting tested on any real level. So just as well that it puts the financial impediment in people’s way.

    1. Matthew

      The woman in Seattle whose tweet is linked above said there were stringent criteria for who could be tested beyond just having the symptoms. Basically, if you couldn’t confirm contact with a known carrier, you’re out of luck. Don’t know if that’s the case everywhere though.

      1. Kurtismayfield

        It seems the CDC is taking the stance of “If you don’t test for an outbreak, it doesn’t exist.” I am thinking there imight be a spike in flu and pnuemonia related deaths this year.

  22. Rosario

    The pivot to Biden was gamed out in my head, but the reality is surreal.

    Here’s my current problem short list, very lethal:

    1) Climate Change
    2) Coronavirus

    At this point I don’t even see the point in bothering throwing up the brutality of poverty and inequality because it looks like a whole lot of primary voters don’t get it or don’t care, even if they are directly affected, but I digress.

    Markets have shown they can not, and will not, deal with the short list above, and the “smartest-people-in-the-room” are telling us the best and brightest to save us all is Joe “Stay the Course” Biden. No policy, no positions, nothing. He is an empty f****** husk with a cognitive state that is somehow worse than Trump.

    I don’t get it. He will get shredded in the inevitable vetting between the coronation and November, and short a market crash or worse Trump will win. Let’s assume a catastrophe edges the electorate in favor of Biden. I’m imagining Biden going into a burning skyscraper to put out the flames with a bucket team. There are absolutely no good outcomes to this. Trump’s incompetence on one hand, and Biden’s (I’m being generous) complete unwillingness to acknowledge the problems for what they are. If he is even aware of the problems given his mental state.

    God help us if the remaining primary voters can’t manage to get Bernie elected (myself included). All I can say to Bernie supporters is keep going hard for his nomination. The stakes are incredibly high.

  23. turtle

    This is just mind-boggling: in Alabama, Biden got 63% of the vote, Sanders got 17%, approximately. Yet, 51% of respondents of the WP exit poll said that they support “replacing all private health insurance with a single government plan for everyone”. A FULL 50% of those saying that they support single-payer voted for Biden, and only 27% for Sanders. 12% for Bloomberg, 9% for Warren.

    Source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/elections/election-results/alabama-democratic-primary-live-results/

    Lopsided support in Virginia too, and Biden over-performed among single-payer supporters in many of the other states. Mind-bending levels of cognitive-dissonance? Just plain old stupidity? People just don’t even pay cursory attention to candidates top policy proposals? The vaunted [scary voice] electability [/scary voice] factor? What gives? I really need to know so I can stop smacking my head against the wall.

    1. PKMKII

      There was an article a week or so back in Jacobin about how low-effort democratic primary voters don’t see a giant ideological gap between Sanders and the rest of the field because the DNC has spent so many years projected an image of itself as being Sanders-esque that those voters don’t see him as a radical departure, but rather just an embodiment of the projected party standard. Thus the high approval rating of Sanders, him doing well in the early states, and Sanders being the preferred second choice of Biden voters.

      Problem is, that sword cuts both ways. If those primary voters see them as different flavors of the fundamentally same product, and the centrist have been using wishy-washy language that implies universal coverage, then they assume both want to deliver universal, guaranteed healthcare. So at that point the name recognition/association with Obama/”electability” factors kick in and voila, Biden victory.

      1. turtle

        A very plausible explanation. Thank you. I can probably stop beating my head against the wall now.

        It’s hard sometimes to not feel pretty negatively about these folks. A tweet response I read yesterday (that I can’t find now) went along the lines of “now before I contribute money to your gofundme when you get cancer, I’m first going to ask who you voted for.” I wouldn’t actually do that, but I recognize the sentiment.

      1. Arizona Slim

        ISTR that the same thing happened four years ago. Clinton didn’t win any of those states during the general election.

    2. cripes


      Or, its more bullshit, fraud and tampering.
      Or both.
      Whatever works. (copyright©2020dnc)

      1. turtle

        Thanks, I thought that might be it. But what changed at the last minute to swing the polls so wildly?

        1. John

          The MSM been HARD at work painting Sanders as un-electable for at least the last month in this country.

      2. jonboinAR

        Yep. The MSM and political leader-types have been, for some time, quietly putting it out as though settled that Bernie has to be set aside as nominee because he’s “not electable”. That is, the country certainly won’t elect a socialist. The regular voting folk have been quietly convinced, maybe. This has been a really well orchestrated basically anti-Bernie campaign, coordinated, seemingly anyway, between the media and the Party. My tin-foil hat has just been shooting arcs all around the room since last night, although is was getting buzzy before that.

    3. WJ

      It is possible that the apparent inconsistency between issue-focused exit polling and election results is the result of misinformed and/or irrational voters. It is also possible that it is the result of simple election fraud. Which is the simpler explanation? I do not think the answer to this question is obvious.

    4. Carolinian

      Just a memo to those who think SC is the reddest of red states: you really meant Alabama.

      1. inode_buddha

        You mean that place where they filmed Deliverance? For the longest time I thought that was a documentary.

          1. Carolinian

            The Chattooga River actually forms part of the Northwest border between South Carolina and Georgia. Tallulah Gorge–where John Voight scaled to the top of the cliff–is all in Georgia. Author James Dickey was undoubtedly thinking of north Georgia since he once worked for an advertising agency in Atlanta. Upper South Carolina is more about foothills (and these days car factories) than mountains and mountain folk. Dickey appears in the film as the sheriff.

    5. turtle

      For everyone who mentioned the possibility of vote rigging: as much as I believe that that is a very real possibility, it doesn’t explain the discrepancy in the exit poll itself. A significant number of people, on the same exit poll, said that a) they support single payer, AND b) they voted for Biden. According to the poll I linked, 50%(!!!) of the people who said they support single-payer ALSO said they had voted for Biden! 12% voted for Bloomberg! Only 27% of the admitted single-payer supporters said they voted for Bernie, and 9% for Warren.

      Bandaging my forehead now.

      1. jonboinAR

        When some of the founding fathers wanted to limit the franchise to educated people, were they on to something?

  24. Matthew

    Maybe Bernie was going easy on Biden because he figured Biden would be an easy opponent in a two-person race. Or maybe he didn’t want to have to go in on someone he considers a friend before it was necessary.

    And yes, Stoller was apoplectic about the Sanders/Biden ad.

  25. smoker

    Re: “But the rich can afford to prepare for a pandemic with perquisites, like private plane rides out of town…”

    Speaking of flights out of town and Silicon Valley/Santa Clara County, I’m still outraged that Silicon Valley’s Santa Clara County [San Jose] Mineta International Airport – where the first Santa Clara County case arrived from China on January 24th (when San Francisco Airport had already been announced as screening on January 17th), his case being announced on January 31st – has yet to announce the screening of passengers for health symptoms.

    Washington State’s Governor called for it on January 29th (after the first known US case, in Snohomish County, Washington, flew through SEA-TAC and was announced on January 21st) Travelers at Sea-Tac Airport take precautions amid coronavirus concerns – Gov. Inslee is marshaling state resources and calling on the CDC to expand screening protocols at Sea-Tac Airport amid the coronavirus outbreak in China.

    Despite Santa Clara County currently having the second highest county case rate in the US, which include community spread cases (Washington’s King County being number one after the awful Nursing Facility outbreak and fatalities,) Newsom hasn’t made a squeak about Mineta’s lack of screening, nor have Santa Clara County Officials and Politicians, or the Local Newspapers.

    (And yes, the State of Nursing Facilities in the US is generally a disaster which could explode the coronavirus cases, since many of the Health Care contractors, employees, transport and law/security services at these facilities work at multiple facilities. That’s not to even mention the visitors, one just became North Carolina’s first case, having visited a relative at the Kirkland, WA Nursing Facility. California has a particularly nasty Nursing Facility record with it’s many Billionaire owned facilities; aided and abetted by a scandalous California Department of Public Health, and a history of utterly uninterested, millionaire California Governors and Legislators (I’ve witnessed this firsthand). Don’t have the energy right now to provide the links, but there are abundant links to that notorious record; I’ve had to study them myself, having had firsthand ghastly experiences on the behalf of loved ones in California, and one out of state. If the patient is on MediCal, or has any Mental Health Disabilities, it’s even more horrid.)

    1. Anthony G Stegman

      In Santa Clara county NOTHING can be allowed to get in the way of corporate profits. A mere whiff of coronavirus will cause panic and lost profits (as well as taxes that fund lavish public employee pay and benefits). Bad news will always be covered up in the county.

      1. smoker

        Indeed it can’t be. There are tons of suicidal teens from wealthy communities (Palo Alto, Sunnyvale and Morgan Hill had the highest California suicide attempt rates, the last I recently looked), there are also vulnerable, impoverished elders who rent, or are trapped in a for profit Nursing Facility, and for some inexplicable reason, for over a decade, Santa Clara County’s ‘Elders’ are not protected by the California Department of Aging (have done countless searches attempting to get to the core of that decision, with no resolution), instead they fall under a privatized entity, Sourcewise™. Additionally, the Santa Clara County Ombudspersons Office™ – regarding complaints as to Nursing Facilities and Senior Residential Living (but not California Seniors in Hospitals)- is also brutally worthless (thanks Jerry Jesuit Brown and Gavin Pukesom [Getty] Newsom, et al.)

        As to:

        Yes, apparently the only ones who can afford to live here anymore include Billionaire/Millionaire’s Property Protector (but not Life Protector) Cops, VIP Public Employees (e.g. City/County Hopping Mercenary City Manager, Deanna Santana: San Jose>Oakland>Sunnyvale> City of Santa Clara) and Millionaire State and Federal Legislators.

        In other, horrid [Silicon Valley] Santa Clara County news, yet another as yet to be identified trespasser™ took their lives around 9:30 AM Sunday, March 1st, at Sunnyvale’s Lawrence Caltrain Station (not at all the first Sunnyvale track trespasser™), and a UPS worker reportedly had plans to shoot up Sunnyvale’s UPS facility on that same day, in stunningly wealth infested Congressional District 17. I was petrified about the Caltrain fatality (identifying details weren’t – and have yet to be – released, not even gender) I have a loved one living in totally unregulated and undeserved renter’s misery in god awful Sunnyvale.

  26. barrisj

    Very depressing to read the Comments sections on Political Wire, LG&M, the WaPo, Kos, et al, and the raw exultation expressed by the large majority of readers at the rebirth of zombie Biden, and the (apparent) demise of Sen. Warren and what is taken as the “slap-down” of the Sanders movement. How in god’s name can these people truly believe that this senior, with all his speaking difficulties, his baggage, and especially the huge “Ukraine/Burisma” target stenciled on the back of his suit, can prevail over the tRump machine? Honestly, put a blond wig on Joe, dress him in a pants-suit, and it’s déja vu all over again – and I fear with the same results as in 2016.
    But, Mr Market showed its approval with a huge bounce-back on the Biden “comeback”…hosannah!

      1. OIFVet

        Good. Because I will do everything that I can to ensure Biden’s defeat, should he be the nominee. Being blamed falsely is one thing, doing something to actually earn the “blame” is better. It will finally show them that we are not willing to be taken for granted any longer.

    1. Tom Bradford

      Despite being a foreign investor liable to catch a cold if America sneezes I would have been prepared to suffer that cold if it meant a Sanders’ Presidency and a USA up to taking the necessary lead in facing up to the world’s problems. If Sanders loses and what rough beast, its hour come round at last, slouches towards Bethlehem to be born – or to the White House to be enthroned – I can only hope it will be the best at goosing the stock-market in the interim so that I can eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow….

  27. Steve

    So does a Bernie group do something with Samantha Bee and the “Audacity of Grope” or does a Trump dark money group do something with it in September ? Trump could just come out and say, hey, The Daily Show went only went after me for eating pizza with a fork.

  28. Deschain

    (Lambert – I’d be happy to edit this into a longer piece for the site, if you’re interested.)

    OK – so the last couple days I posted some analysis around the establishment’s ‘southern firewall’, comprised mainly of African Americans, and posited the reason they are so confident in that firewall is that AA legislators mainly come from poorer districts, have fewer grassroots fundraising opportunities, and thus must rely more on PAC domations for campaign finance, which in turn makes them heavily dependent on the Establishment for job security.

    So far, I just had anecdotes. Today, I have data. This is based on the current Dem House membership, using mostly 2018 fundraising data (had to use 2020 for freshman members). CBC = Congressional Black Caucus. Without further ado:

    Non-CBC members (182)
    Average district per capita income: $37.5K
    Average money raised in election cycle: $1.82M
    Average % raised from PACs: 42.1%
    Average % raised from donations > $200: 46.8%
    Average % raised from donations over $200: 32.6%
    Average % raised from donations under $200: 8.8%

    CBC members (50)
    PCI: $31.1K
    $ raised: $1.20M
    PACs: 58.7%
    Over $200: 32.6%
    Under $200: 7.3%

    Some pretty significant differences there. However, the CBC numbers are pretty heavily skewed by the class of 2020, which includes Pressley, Omar, and Delgado, all of whom got less than 10% of their financing from PACs:

    CBC members, non-2020 (41)
    PCI: $29.0K
    $ raised: $1.04M
    PACs: 67.2% (!)
    Over $200: 27.5%
    Under $200: 4.5%

    CBC members, 2020 (9)
    PCI: $40.7K
    $ raised: $1.95M
    PACs: 19.9%
    Over $200: 56.0%
    Under $200: 20.2%

    So you can see the CBC class of 2020 members came from vastly more affluent districts than the existing CBC members, and had much less reliance on PACs (less even than the average non-CBC member).

    The real eyepopper was that if you rank all Dem House members by the % of campaign financing they get from PACs, all of the top 13 are from the CBC! That gives some context to this article:


    So, as much as Joe Biden was charming in that elevator, I think that had very, very little to do with why Clyburn endorsed him and why so many African Americans voted for him. It comes down to how CBC members fund their elections. Again, not making any judgments here, but I think it's important for progressive to understand that outreach efforts are unlikely to prove terribly fruitful unless/until the financing model changes.

    1. Deschain

      In that first set non-CBC of numbers, the “Average % raised from donations over $200: 32.6%” is an error, disregard.

    2. hunkerdown

      Sounds plausible. That’s textbook machine politics. Trust in the organization and the organization will trust in you. Aside from the traitors to the revolution who made the “electability” vote, or maybe even including them, the Biden “comeback” shows only the strength of the party machine, which includes that of its mirror image who is happy to play the heel and close down unfavorable polling sites to keep the bipartisan racket on the rails.

  29. Another Scott

    Re: Biden and dementia.
    This is a very important question as it is very dangerous to everyone inside and outside the United States if the president is suffering from a degenerative disease that affects his cognitive functions. Biden, Trump, and Sanders are all at the biological age when we need to consider if they suffer from dementia; and Biden’s gaffes and mental lapses make speculation about him easier than Sanders. I am now seeing many people (both media and in real life) say that we shouldn’t be asking these questions. But I wonder where these people were when mainstream media outlets, including CNN, were speculating about Trump’s mental health.

    1. Yves Smith

      With Biden and dementia, I agree, but the press is covering for him as it did for Reagan. Unless he has multiple bloopers in the next debate, it is hard to see how this gets out.

      By contrast, Sanders has regularly kept a punishing schedule, (like doing red eyes and having a full day of speeches the day he lands) with no sign of missing a beat, cognitively or physically. And his having a stent at his age is a sign of BETTER heart than someone who had to have one earlier, like the President of Mexico, who had one in his 50s.

      On Trump, have you not been paying attention? There have been tons of articles by people who’ve asserted Trump has dementia. Lambert, who has watched quite a few of his speeches, is not convinced. He thinks Trump has a highly stylized manner of speaking (one might say very much dumbed down and evocative/provocative) which is at a very low used vocabulary level. Trump is also regularly cherry picked, so you need to look at the actual full clip to see if he actually said what he is depicted as having said.

        1. Yves Smith

          That makes TONS more sense to me than the dementia theory. There was one time he stumbled off a plane on an international trip and said something pretty garbled. That looked to me like he had overdone on the sleep meds (or was using Valium as a sleep med) and got up with his brain still fogged by them (I’ve seen others in this state).

      1. Another Scott

        I don’t think it’s the same people who asking about Biden and Trump’s mental faculties. It seems to me that many of the people who are saying that we shouldn’t talk about Biden and dementia are the same people who were freely speculating about Trump. Given how the media helped coverup Reagan’s dementia, I think it’s mostly about holding Trump to a different standard than every other politician.

          1. voteforno6

            Maybe we should make this a bipartisan exercise, and ask whether they are both suffering from dementia.

            1. Phacops

              Why complain? Mentally deficient presidenta are what the democrat rank and file want by making Trump possible by supporting Hillary or voting for Biden in this primary.

      2. Hepativore

        One thing that might work in Sanders favor in up and coming debates is to keep coming at him relentlessly in terms of his shoddy stances on things and voting record. Ruthlessly point out EVERYTHING.

        Biden has shown on multiple occasions that he cannot handle pressure or direct questions and his responses are slow and jumbled. If Sanders could trigger one of Biden’s moments of confused stammering on the debate stage, then everybody can see just how ill-suited Biden would be for the strain of Trump or the presidency.

        1. sleepingdogmatist

          Part of the argument I’m seeing from some folks for Warren staying in the race, even if you want Bernie to win, is that she’s willing to do this, whereas Bernie is too soft on others for it. If Warren gave Biden the Bloomberg/”first year law” treatment, just held him to some question and forced him to give an answer about something really toxically embarrassing, or drove home that he doesn’t seem to know what planet he’s on, that could really help. (To be fair to Bernie, he’s of course held to ridiculous standards about “collegiality” and being a “team player” for various reasons, one of which is the symbolism-obsessed graduate-degreed cohort’s dogma re his “toxic masculinity.” Warren doesn’t have to worry about that, although there are of course the considerations about aggressive women, but clearly most of Warren’s appeal to the people she’s ever going to appeal to is in precisely that sort of aggression. Then again, I wonder how things look when Bernie is just going at another old white dude, rather than say Klobuchar or Warren?) I actually find that halfway (quarterway…) convincing, especially given everything that’s been pointed out about how Warren’s base doesn’t automatically port over to Bernie, and may be peeling more support off of Biden.

          1. pretzelattack

            i think she is more likely to tear down bernie if she stays in the race. i guess if biden looks like the frontrunner, assuming she is really in this to win, she might be willing to. i’m not at all sure that she is still looking to win the nomination, though. if she’s looking for some other payoff, that will be from the dnc. and we know how they do like to coordinate things against bernie.

          2. HotFlash

            Agree w Pretzelattack. Frau Doktorin Professorin Warren is the sheepdog of this race, and when she is finally forced to exit will endorse Biden or whomever the DNC’s Anointed One is at the time.

    2. The Rev Kev

      Biden and dementia? If Biden becomes President, then that would be seen as a plus – by the establishment. That would mean that they could run the government the way that they want to while snowing down good old Joe with make-work and the like. Maybe a cup of warm milk before he goes to bed at 7.

      If anything goes wrong with their policies, such as maybe a shooting war between Americans and Russians in Syria, then they can pin the whole thing on Joe and blame his failing mental capacity. In the meantime, whether it is cutting healthcare to Americans or privatizing Social Security to Wall Street, then old Joe will give the nod even if he is nodding off to sleep.

      1. JTMcPhee

        Sundowning? https://www.healthline.com/health/dementia-sundowning

        Tips there for how to “manage” the person. No doubt all will be applied. Or the Disney folks will come up with an autonomous Animatronic Joe. Or some whiz will finally figure out how to produce convincing 3D life-sized holographic projections.

        Hey, if the latter, and given how much Clockwork Orange Juice is in the political economy, I would be very careful about stepping into what appears to be an elevator…

      2. polecat

        Who be his VP .. ?

        Now, that IS a question, eh ?

        Were Biden to win the nom, and by a miracle beat Trump …. I see him resigning rather soon after, thus allowing #2 to reign ! What Devil’s Imp do his handlers have in mind ??

  30. cripes

    NPR’s delegate count has”

    Biden 91
    Bernie 72

    Bernie 155
    Biden 93

    Biden 566
    Bernie 501

    I project:

    Biden 666 (hmm)
    Bernie 640

    Plus, Colorado (28) and Utah (17) have 45 uncounted which will favor Bernie
    Well, its a squeaker, but I don’t believe the counts, the technology, the lines, the 3000 missing voting places or the lying DNC and media, so there’s that.

    1. John

      I already had Kushner as the anti-Christ with his 666 5th Ave building.

      Then Trump with his 666 billion in deficit for 2017.

      Now it’s Biden?

  31. judy2shoes

    A report from Eastern Washington State:

    I recently went to Costco about a week and half ago (on a Friday) to stock up on some staples – just in case. The parking lot was fairly full, but the area I usually go to park was still pretty empty. Store was crowded but not much more than normal. People were looking for gloves, etc., but that’s about all I noticed because I wanted to get out as fast as possible (social distancing).

    On Monday, a neighbor went to Costco, and the parking lot was so packed that she bagged it. Today she went back, and she texted me that Costco was completely out of Kirkland brand TP and paper towels. Then she texted me that a friend of hers had gone to the dentist, who had to work on her without a protective mask because he was having trouble getting them. I don’t know where the TP and paper towels are made, but I do know that we are having supply chain problems with the medical supplies. The following link may have been posted before, so apologies in advance:


    As for voting, we vote by mail here in WA state, and I sent mine in a week ago. I’m not concerned about voting early, because I would never have changed my mind to vote for someone other than Bernie.

  32. grayslady

    Paul Newell, NYC Democratic Committeeman and pledged Warren delegate, has withdrawn his support and is now supporting Bernie. He explains:
    “As a delegate candidate, I literally signed a pledge to support Warren. But I can’t in good conscience support an unrealistic, undemocratic plan to win a brokered convention w/o a significant bloc of delegates.”
    He asks fellow Warren supporters to join him in supporting Bernie. This is the kind of support Bernie needs to compete with Biden endorsements.

    1. inode_buddha

      This is big, if true. NYC is the biggest chunk of blue voters in a blue state, and it has got to say something about what they think of Bloomberg.

  33. Jason Boxman

    Based on the delegate count and the fact that the Democrat establishment won’t allow Sanders the nomination if he has a mere plurality of delegates, aren’t we essentially done at this point?

    With climate change and more of the same on the horizon, it seems as a species, we’re finished.

    Enjoy your Wednesday, everyone.

    1. cripes

      Jason Boxman:

      “aren’t we essentially done at this point?”

      No, its a dead heat and Bernie may have a slight edge once Cali, Utah and Colorado delegates are included.

      Biden got his free bump with 7 southern Trump states, he wont get that gift again, so its an actual contest, not the stage managed farce we just witnessed. Dirty tricks will ensue, like always or more.

      Please read more thoroughly before saying things like this, or go somewhere people don’t care about facts.

      1. FluffytheObeseCat

        Thank you. Too many histrionic and math-challenged comment posts have popped up today. Do some basic arithmetic folks. It’s a dead heat. There’s plenty of time for you to gnash teeth, rend garments, and wail piteously……….. after the primaries are over.

    2. ambrit

      I’d say, as a civilization, we face bad times ahead. As a species, we have a peculiar ability to adapt, and that’s the evolutionary name of the game.

  34. Brooklin Bridge

    It’s very hard to grasp, truly grasp, the enormity of what’s going on with the corona virus in this country, never mind world wide and it’s equally difficult to grasp the extent of the malevolence directed at Sanders, just as it’s difficult to wrap your mind around how closely the two are related.

    1. Monty

      It’s quite possible that a chunk of Biden’s elderly base isn’t going to make it to November.

      When H1N1 hit in 2009, the virus was a descendant of earlier flu strains, including the dreaded Spanish Flu. Many of the older cohort had a natural immunity, having suffered similar strains over the years. This time is different, they have no immunity to this new virus, and it seems like the plan in the US is to just let it run it’s course. Call or hug your parents if you are lucky enough to have any. Plan accordingly.

  35. Anthony G Stegman

    Sanders is way too soft to go after Biden and the DNC. When Sleepy Joe gets the nomination you can be sure that Sanders will endorse him, just as he endorsed Clinton in 2016. Trump will make mincemeat of Biden, but for the DNC that matters little. Protecting their donor class profits is of paramount importance.

      1. pando

        After the HRC endorsement by Bernie in 2016, I unsubscribed from all of Sanders’s email lists. Bernie just stopped at some point in the primaries and endorsed HRC, when he had previously said he would campaign all the way to the convention. I was particularly upset about HRC reneging on the agreed upon debate in Brooklyn and that she paid no immediate price for that. I am afraid Bernie is going to do a repeat of this with Biden.

      2. WobblyTelomeres

        Bernie has fought a long lonely fight for a long time with little but continuous scorn and derision as his reward.

        One must imagine Bernie happy.

    1. Jen

      What say we finish the primary before declaring the game over. Yeah, I would have loved it if yesterday was a blowout, but Bernie is still in the hunt, and it’s basically down to Bernie and Biden at this point.

      This afternoon, Bernie made a point of thanking Obama for remaining “neutral” in the primary. Sure, the dude made some calls, but if we’re down to Bernie and Biden, Obama, famous tender of his legacy, can either strap himself onto the hot mess that will be the Biden campaign, endorse Bernie (not a chance in hell) or sit on the sidelines and harrumph. Obama, of all people, knows what Biden is. And I suspect Bernie knows what Obama is.

      1. JTMcPhee

        Obama is not attached to Biden. Obama is one of the eminences grise in the Private Club called Dem. He does not give a sh!t about his “legacy,” any more than he did about the traditional Party of FDR “base” in setting up the Catfood Commission, murdering people by drone, and the rest of his “legacy.” He could give a rat’s a## if Trump uprooted all the poisonous weeds that Obama planted, to replace them with even more toxic species.

        Saint Obama (r) remains “above the fray” with sh!tloads of money coming his way and a big army of sick-o-phants to tell him how special he is.

        He’s starting to look more and more like the cartoon villain, Skeletor: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Ek2ArdQM4c

    1. voteforno6

      Don’t be so sure. Two types of events that really scramble a society are wars and epidemics. I don’t think anyone knows how this will play out. Will people really blame Obama if they see overflowing hospitals, a lot of deaths, and the knock-on economic effects? The Trump die-hards, sure. Everyone else? Who knows. We’re going to be entering uncharted waters over the next several months.

  36. petal

    The LMIAL house has removed its Warren sign. Nothing new up in its place yet. Stay tuned.

      1. petal

        Yep. One of their homemade signs(now gone) was “Get out of the way Joe, Bernie, and billionaires”, ….well, now what? Oops.

    1. polecat

      Who knows, the next time you past by, it might have collapsed from all the falling dominos.

  37. Roland

    Calm and informative column on Syrian War over at RT:


    Key quote:

    “To proceed with its offensive, the Syria army would have to pause for two or three weeks in order to restore its combat capabilities, replenishing its ranks, weapons and military hardware. Syrian forces need to stock up on material, particularly munitions, that have been used up. For that reason, they would no longer be able to liberate the territories that run along the M4 highway by March 5.”

    I regard any pause in operations as a nice chance to “jaw-jaw.”

    1. Roland

      Sorry to double post on this topic, but I came across a minor news item about an aid deal between China and Syria:



      Two things about this caught my attention. First, the timing. Second, the PRC ambassador “expressed his country’s readiness to provide more support and help to the Syrian people, hoping that Syria will liberate every inch of its territories.”

      i.e. a subtle signal from PRC that they are interesting themselves in the situation.

      1. OIFVet

        Gotta love the Chinese. Coming in after the hard work has been done by others, looking to profit. Still, that message is bound to resonate strongly in Ankara, good.

  38. drumlin woodchuckles

    So , libraries are handcuffed from being able to lend out ebooks? That could be a blessing in disguise.
    When the internet goes dark and stays dark, the ebooks will all get bricked one way or another.

    But real books will still work.

    1. Carolinian

      There are many thousands of ebooks available without a library or without the internet even–those whose copyright has expired. There was a time when you could fit the entire Project Gutenberg on a single DVD-R.

      The article doesn’t do a very good job of explaining that ebooks are digital media and therefore not subject to the “first sale doctrine” that has always applied to print books and libraries. If the publisher terms are unreasonable then the libraries do have the option of not carrying ebooks at all. And indeed you wonder what the libraries get out of it since e lending doesn’t promote door traffic or physical facilities or all the other functions that libraries serve. If the library were to become little more than a website then we would have no need for libraries at all. The current system–where ebooks are available at libraries but much less conveniently than the print versions (because of the wait) serves as a kind of compromise. Doubtless publisher terms should be regulated since copyright itself is a creature of government. But the article’s complaint strikes me as a bit whiny.

  39. drumlin woodchuckles

    About Internet of Shit and the oven touchpad . . . I say again that there will emerge a strong market for thingfixers who know how to strip the digital cooties out of appliances which could be analog if all the digital cooties were stripped out and all the digital cootie wires and connections were bypassed.

    So it would void the warranty? What good is a warranty for a should-be analog appliance which is infested and infected with digital cooties?

    MOAA. Make Ovens Analog Again.

    1. pricklyone

      Really, I think the analog/digital meme is overused.
      The real problem here is the 400 dollar price for a 25 dollar item. (5 bucks at cost).
      An analog clock, plus an analog thermostat, with an indicator light, and no temp display is still quite the expensive proposition. I can deal with electronic controls OK, and analog electronics would not cure this. A person could jury rig up a thermostat for about 10 bucks, and keep a bunch of spares, as they cost about 8-10 dollars (less for the aliIbaba cheapies). I bought bimetal thermostat controls for (burner controls) on my old range, and the cost was “silly season”, and they still are complete crap.
      MPU based controllers SHOULD be cheap, and they were, for the MFG.
      Of course, MPU stuff in a warm environment like a range, will fail faster, I know, but replacements should cost in line with original cost.
      Do you think that a couple ANALOG opamps/comaparators and a potentiometer would fare better than the MPU multifunction panel, or is it really just electromechanical vs. electronic controls.
      This is NOT the same as analog vs. digital, and I know you are aware of this difference, “digital cooties” is a misnomer.
      I diagnosed a dishwasher for a friend, and the failed component was an analog 30 cent component, not even a board-level item, which was exposed to steam from the vents. He needed it up and running quick, so we called the repair guy for the part, instead of Digikey. $60 part only!

      1. TMoney

        The panel is a piece of Aluminium and a touchpad and a ribbon cable. The electronics are not replaced. $375 for my last one. $15 more for the heat tape to try to prevent a 5th panel.

  40. t hardy

    while “good ole Joe” may have dementia – he is most certainly a consistent bare two faced liar – from the war in Iraq to NAFTA, and from trying hard to cut Social Security and Medicare – the list goes on – as well as being a shill for credit card companies and dark money in his state – what I wonder is how Jim Clyburn can with a straight face sell his constituents “down the river” and to what real purpose

    1. urblintz

      I hesitate to mention it because it is so distasteful but I wonder when Trump will start tweeting that Biden likes to touch little girls? Not saying it’s true, just saying it’s out there…

  41. John

    This article I’m reading about delegates says that if they drop out of the race, their delegates will be redistributed to the others winners in that state in June.

    What happens to candidates’ delegates when they drop out?

    “Putnam’s interpretation of the rules is that by suspending their campaigns, as opposed to dropping out, Buttigieg and Klobuchar can protect their delegates from being reallocated. The Democratic National Committee, however, disagrees: They’re out of the race. In June, Iowa’s delegates will be resorted to those candidates who are still in — Sanders, if he is.”

  42. dcrane

    Turnout for Trump seems to have been very good for an essentially uncontested election.


    In Vermont and Minnesota, Trump’s vote totals beat every past incumbent’s total in the last four decades. In Maine, the president’s vote total bested every primary candidate’s total since before President Ronald Reagan. In Massachusetts, the story was similar, with Trump aggregating a higher vote total than past incumbent Republicans since before Reagan.

  43. polecat

    If Sanders was, uh .. ‘smart’ ( yes, That word, I know..) ……….. he’d choose Gabbard as his runningman mate ! She’s got the name recognition, and she’s definately NOT a condescending creep, which really is what the other ‘contestants’ are all about. I think they would be an unstoppable duo. I do think many of Trump’s base would be down with it. I would venture to say that many who voted for him are not happy that he hasn’t stuck by many of his campaign promises .. especially his ersatz and haphazard foreign policies, and thus would gladly switch parties, knowing that Tulsi is on as Sanders VP. choice. Sweetening the new new deal as it were …

    1. Yves Smith

      No, Gabbard has polled at 1-2% and is from a state in the middle of nowhere.

      She is also a one-trick pony and has the wrong position on M4A.

      Please get over her. Her position on opposing horrible US foreign policy is very important, but she isn’t VP material She could be very powerful Cabinet member.

    2. kimsarah

      Krystal Ball is saying Bernie should offer Warren the VP in order to rally suburban voters. I guess we’ll find out soon enough.

      1. Yves Smith

        Kill me now. That is a terrible idea. Unless the point is to try to sideline her.

        She’s not trustworthy. And she’s try to run the campaign and Presidency from her subordinate position when her instincts have been demonstrated to be no good.

        She’s too old.

        She should be Treasury Sec but the way to punish Warren while appearing to reward her is to make her the chairman of the SEC, the most fucked up agency in her wheelhouse.

        1. Basil Pesto

          She should be Treasury Sec but the way to punish Warren while appearing to reward her is to make her the chairman of the SEC, the most fucked up agency in her wheelhouse.

          i ahh, love this

          fully agree about Gabbard as well. That Sanders/Gabbard chestnut floats up here every now and then like people are playing Progressive Fantasy Football.

        2. skippy

          “She should be Treasury Sec but the way to punish Warren while appearing to reward her is to make her the chairman of the SEC, the most fucked up agency in her wheelhouse.”

          I love you in so many ways … seriously I would have enjoyed working – under – you back in the day. You could have deployed me as the moniker gifted me as the human or holy hand grenade in some misadventures … sigh …

  44. EMtz

    Reading this… I feel blessed to be in a close to Third World country, México. The government here is strongly focused on screening people coming in from at-risk countries like Italy, the sources so far of all cases of this virus here. And carefully tracking those associated with the people who turn positive from these countries. Stage One. They know if it gets loose here it will be a disaster. I give them an A+ so far. And frankly, given the forthrightness of the Méxican government, I feel much safer here than I would in the politicized US.

  45. skippy

    File under you can’t make this up ….


    Wellie first thing to pop out is this virus is “foreign” and the Trump administration has been the most aggressive in modernity …

    But it gets worse if such was possible ….

    Truck full of toilet paper catches fire on Brisbane bridge, as coronavirus-inspired toilet paper shortage continues.

    “A truck containing a load of precious toilet paper burst into flames on Brisbane’s Gateway Bridge last night, leading to the destruction of many rolls of the increasingly scarce commodity.

    The incident comes in the midst of a nationwide toilet paper shortage, caused by consumers panic-buying the item due to fears about the coronavirus crisis potentially necessitating periods of isolation or self-quarantine.” – snip


    1. The Rev Kev

      Oh the humanity! I don’t know if it is true or not but I heard a story that a lot of that toilet paper is actually being sold overseas to places where there is a shortage.

      1. skippy

        Oh you don’t even want to look on say gumtree and see what some on a lark are doing …

    2. pretzelattack

      could be a war between toilet paper smuggling gangs. or a plot by big tp to drive up prices.

  46. Oso

    from a native woman Morning Star one of the california co-chairs of Sanders 2020

    Tuesday takeaways:

    ? 1,004,815 California voters is no loss, it’s people power ??

    ?I am AMAZED at the Shasta co. Support for California For Bernie Sanders 2020. You all did an incredible job! Now we need to work on Lassen — the last county I lived and voted in where the nearest polling place was 14 miles away.

    ?I was receiving calls and messages at midnight before the primary, from native sisters telling me how excited they were to vote for Bernie Sanders ?

    ?The biggest trollers I had to deal w were native men & non native wives of native men. They went as far to say shut up and blocked me when I asked them to stop trolling my page ?

    ? The real work is now beginning. I don’t know any Bernie Bros. I don’t work with any Bernie bro’s. All the fieldworkers I’ve met, worked alongside and know are genuinely kind, caring, and are putting the good work in. I’m inviting you all to move forward with us, especially in rural CA communities, we have our work cut out for us. ?

  47. HippoDave


    I’ve been saying for some time that early voting is a horrid idea. Of course, we live in a horrid system, and Election Day should be a national holiday.

    And for some time I’ve been baffled at your despising early voting. A few points:

    1. Yes, we do live in a horrid system, and until that changes, early voting in such a system is better than no early voting in such a system. Agreed? *

    2. If such a holiday existed it would be an improvement, and it’s ridiculous that it doesn’t exist. That would still suppress turnout (if early voting were banned) for those suffering from serious mobility problems, serious anxiety/agoraphobia issues/employers who would still :wink-wink: fire them if they declined to work instead/vacation day; And those who’d like to vote, but would have to hire a nanny, or take the kids to the voting place (and keep them in the car for…hours? Is there a day-care included?) And who would take care of the kids–someone else who might want to vote, but instead is taking care of the kids, so can’t?

    *3. Again, systemic: No more early voting, so millions more in Texas and Cali would be forced to vote the day-of. How long would the lines be then–20 hours? 150 hours? 10 miles long?

    4. No early voting means no mail voting, means every single person who wants to vote has 24 hours to do so [aside from people in line who random local places deign to allow in past 12 midnight.] You’re aware of this?

    5. Your stance on this seems privileged, myopic and hasn’t worked out a lot of logistics, such as child-care and many others.

    “Doctor, this surgery will take 10 hours to relieve the bleeding, or the patient will die”.

    “Well sorry, since no early-voting was available, I’m going to have to leave the OR so I can go vote. Despite this problem being obvious, someone’s idea of banning early-voting succeeded. Give my condolences to the family”

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