2:00PM Water Cooler 3/5/2020

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.


“But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflectaions 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.)

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

I don’t think there’s any point in doing a national poll, since it’s only the states in the next tranche of primaries on March 10 that matter: ID, MI, MS, MO, and ND. These are state polls, and so they are all small samples, irregular, and bad. I did some Super Tuesday states, but not all. You are welcome to play around with the dk’s project for your own state (pick from the States dropdown at top right). There are also no polls (here or at RCP) for ID or ND. SO–


MI numbers:


MO numbers:


WA numbers:

Reader reports from the ground on ID, MI, MS, MO, and ND welcome!

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Biden (D)(1): I know Clyburn is trying to help….

Biden (D)(2): “The Democratic Party’s risky bet on Biden” [Vox]. “The Democratic elite has unified around Biden largely on the grounds of electability, that he’s more likely than chief rival Bernie Sanders to beat Trump in the general election. But Johnson’s comments underscore that Biden might not be nearly as safe on that front as either Democratic officials or voters think. They’re risking setting themselves up for a fall campaign mired in scandal and innuendo — a 2020 version of “Her Emails” that plays right into Trump’s “drain the swamp” narrative.” • It was never “her emails.” It was always “her server.” Clinton’s email server was indeed a real scandal; a Constitutional officer privatized her public communications and then erased half of the server they were kept on before turning them over to the FBI ffs! Though granted the Republicans butchered their case. Similarly, how is Hunter Biden — who I would totally vote for over, say, Pete Buttigieg; at least Hunter has lived! — getting fifty large for a no-show job in an industry he knew nothing about not a scandal?

Biden (D)(3): “The anybody-but-Bernie comeback” [Ryan Cooper, The Week]. “[L]et’s be frank: Biden is clearly suffering some kind of cognitive decline. He performed horribly in almost all of the debates, frequently rambling off on bizarre tangents. He opened his speech Tuesday night by mixing up his wife and his sister. He also has a habit of making up fake stories — like that he was involved in civil rights protests, or that a general asked him to honor a brave soldier, or most recently, he was arrested in South Africa trying to visit Nelson Mandela. None of these things happened.” • I linked to this article below, but this is a good prose compiilation.

Gabbard (D)(1): “Does the DNC Have It out for 2020 Candidate Tulsi Gabbard?” [The National Interest (RH)]. “One of the new rules the DNC added in February was that a candidate with even a single convention delegate would qualify for the debate stage, no other perquisites required…. Tulsi Gabbard supporters were ebullient yesterday evening when, in the caucus in American Samoa, Gabbard qualified for either one or two DNC delegates. She came in second place, which equaled only 103 votes in the tiny territory. Gabbard was born in American Samoa and is partially descended from Pacific Islanders. But it did not take long for the DNC to starve the fire among her supporters. “We have two more debates—of course the threshold will go up,” tweeted Xochitl Hinojosa, Communications Director for the DNC in the minutes after the announcement of Gabbard’s delegates.” • Throwing a flag on the Betteridge’s Law violation; ever-shifting election rules emitted by opaque processes are a hallmark of Third World regimes.

Trump (R)(1): “Trump calls WHO’s global death rate from coronavirus ‘a false number'” [Guardian]. “Donald Trump declared live on television on Wednesday night that he did not believe the World Health Organization’s assessment of the global death rate from coronavirus of 3.4%. ‘I think the 3.4% is really a false number,’ he told Sean Hannity, one of his favorite conservative Fox News hosts, in a phone interview broadcast live. ‘Now, this is just my hunch,’ Trump began, before continuing that ‘based on a lot of conversations with a lot of people that do this, because a lot of people will have this, and it’s very mild – they’ll get better very rapidly, they don’t even see a doctor, they don’t even call a doctor.’ He went on: ‘You never hear about those people, so you can’t put them down in the category of the overall population, in terms of this corona flu, and/or virus. So you just can’t do that.'” • Yikes. If nothing else, insanely risky politics that puts Trump’s 2020 election in jeopardy.

Warren (D)(1): “Elizabeth Warren ends her presidential campaign, holds off on endorsement” [USA Today]. “Warren told reporters outside her Cambridge, Massachusetts, home that she would not endorse a candidate yet. ‘Not today,’ she said when asked about an endorsement. ‘I need some space around this and a little time to think a little more.’ … An official with Biden’s campaign confirms that Biden spoke with Warren by phone yesterday. The official would not comment on Warren’s political plans, including an endorsement.”

Warren (D)(2): Biden’s twitter account weighs in:

“We need her continued work in the Senate.” In other words, Warren will not be rewarded with a position in a Biden administration. (As I’ve been saying for some time, the political class regards Warren as an unreliable counter-party; they can’t have a private meeting with her without her version showing up in the media a year later when it serves her purpose. This primary has cruelly exposed weakness, and it is about to be cruel to Biden.)

Warren (D)(3): “I campaigned hard for Elizabeth Warren. Don’t tell me to ‘just get over’ my grief now she’s dropped out the race” [Independent]. “Elizabeth Warren has suspended her campaign and her ardent supporters are grieving. In addition to the deep grief that we’re feeling, we’re also despondent over the sexism that guided swaths of voters — even though they loved her, found her brilliant, the most qualified, the most able — to cast their chips in on someone else instead, in the name of “electability”.” • I agree that the electability narrative is appalling; the political class has managed to turn a good portion of the electorate into the most vile of creatures, the Democratic Strategist. And election is not a Keynesian beauty contest!

* * *

Super Tuesday: The Empire Strikes Back:

MA: “MASSACHUSETTS 2020 DEMOCRATIC PARTY PRIMARY Exit Poll Versus Reported Vote Count” [Theodore de Macedo Soares, TDMS|Research]. “The 2020 Massachusetts Democratic Party presidential primary was held on March 3, 2020. Election results from the computerized vote counts differed significantly from the results projected by the exit poll conducted by Edison Research and published by CNN at poll’s closing. As in the 2016 Massachusetts primary between candidates Sanders and Clinton, disparities greatly exceed the exit poll’s margin of error. Sanders won Massachusetts in the exit poll and lost it in the computer count. The discrepancies between the exit poll and the vote count for Sanders and Biden totaled 8.2%— double the 4.0% exit poll margin of error. Warren’s and Biden’s discrepancies totaled 8.0%, also double the margin of error. These discrepancies replicate the total discrepancy of 8.0% favoring Clinton in the 2016 Massachusetts Democratic Party primary between her and Sanders. This time two progressive candidates exhibit the same discrepancies now favoring Biden representing the establishment’s choice. Presidential candidates Biden’s and Bloomberg’s vote counts exhibited the largest disparity from their exit poll projections. Biden’s unobservable computer-generated vote totals represented a 15.7% increase of his projected exit poll share…. Bloomberg increased his vote share by 28.2%.” • Interesting, particularly the comparison to 2016. (A cursory search on Theodore de Macedo Soares yields this LinkedIn and this corporate profile. Can some helpful reader with a LinkedIn account post details on Soares’s profile? Thanks.)

ME: “Maine saw massive turnout in Tuesday’s election. Here’s how it broke down.” [Bangor Daily News]. “Turnout for the presidential primary on Tuesday was four times greater than the 2016 caucuses. The state had estimated that between 15 percent and 20 percent of registered voters would make it to the polls. Instead, about 45 percent of registered voters turned out for the vaccine referendum, while about 200,000 voters participated in the Democratic presidential primary, compared with 48,000 who partook in the 2016 caucuses…. The turnout reflects what proponents of a presidential primary had hoped for when the Legislature switched from party-run caucuses to a state run primary last year. In 2016, just 15 percent of Democrats and 7 percent of Republicans turned out for their parties’ respective caucuses, which were characterized by long lines at Democratic-run caucuses and long drive times to Republican events.” • Maine really is leading the nation; first, with RCV, and now with taking primaries out of the hands of the parties (who have obvious incentives for election fraud).

“A wild Super Tuesday boosts Biden and brings new challenges for Sanders” [Dan Balz, WaPo]. “The rapid consolidation around Biden’s candidacy has given him what Sanders’s money and ground game could not produce, and the results Tuesday put the former vice president in position to compete on at least an even basis with the senator from Vermont for supremacy in the contest to become the party’s nominee…. South Carolina provided a shot in the arm for Biden’s candidacy that no one could have predicted, shifting the terrain overnight. The results prompted Klobuchar and former South Bend., Ind., mayor Pete Buttigieg to end their campaigns, and their immediate endorsements of Biden accelerated the consolidation. There were other elected and former elected officials who joined the Biden team at the same time. Collectively, they sent a signal to the many voters who had decided not to support Sanders but were uncertain where to put their allegiance. Establishment Democrats who a week ago were worrying about how quickly the field might shrink rushed to embrace Biden.” • The Establishment circled the wagons round Biden, and Dem loyalists responded. Simple as that. That Biden was the only one they could circle the wagons around is a sign of terrible weakness, not strength. Obama managed to decapitate the party, along with everything else!

“The anybody-but-Bernie comeback” [Ryan Cooper, The Week]. “For decades, the cliché about American political parties has gone that ‘Republicans fall in line, while Democrats fall in love.’ But for a significant portion of today’s Democratic electorate, that is not the case. Joe Biden’s campaign came back from the brink of death on Super Tuesday, on the winds of a sudden burst of coordinated support from the Democratic establishment.” • Authoritarian followers, as I said. With RussiaGate, we knew it; with Biden, we really know it. What’s really frightening is that the Democrat base is anchored in the PMC; the professional managerial class, which is granted its privileged position at least partly because of an ability to exercise independent judgement and apply critical thinking skills. I mean, otherwise, that Yale degree is just a piece of paper from a trade school, right?

“Thoughts On Super Tuesday” [Daniel Larison, The American Conservative]. “One thing that everyone can rejoice in is the complete failure of the Bloomberg campaign. Mike Bloomberg made an extremely costly bet of more than $500 million that he could buy his way into this nominating contest, and when all is said and done he will have only a very small number of delegates and no wins outside of Samoa. As I said when he jumped into the race, Bloomberg had no constituency among Democratic voters, and he proved to be an even more abysmal candidate than I thought he would be. Most Democratic voters turned their noses up at the arrogant authoritarian oligarch, and that is a very good and healthy thing for the future of our political system.” • Yep.

“What We Learned on Super Tuesday” [Amy Walter, Cook Political Report]. “[I]n the end, Biden had the more powerful GOTV operation: Donald J. Trump. Democrats want to beat Trump. Biden is the guy who is most likely to do it. The end…. In the next hours and days, we’ll have a better sense of the final delegate count, but at this point, the once unthinkable has happened: Biden will end Super Tuesday with more delegates than Sanders.” • Of course, the polls say that Sanders can beat Trump, too — and the Democrats wouldn’t have to eat their seed corn — the Sanders vote — to do it. So perhaps there are other factors here than those considered by Walters (who leaves the donor class out of the equation, and attributes agency to Biden). Then again:

I don’t want to confuse GOTV with expanding the electorate; achieving that is the goal of the Sanders campaign; preventing it, the goal of the Democrat Establishment. However, GOTV wasn’t supposed to work against Sanders; I have to question whether there aren’t issues with “relational organizing.” Are the relationships being built out into the working class who are non-voters? (That’s why hearing that the Sanders text operation has issues could be concerning: Text is asynchronous, unlike voice, so reaches those with the kind of schedule that comes from having three shit jobs.

Yes, this would be handy. Odd that we’re not doing it:

“Super Tuesday: Mystery dark money group spends almost $1m on anti-Bernie Sanders ads across 10 states” [Independent]. “Almost $1m has been spent on political adverts attacking Bernie Sanders by a group not legally required to reveal its donors, it has been reported. In a development that will be of intense concern to the 78-year-old Vermont senator and his supporters, it was reported that the so-called political action committee Big Tent Project Fund, had spent $868,000 on digital ads. This follows previous expenditures on adverts attacking the progressive former mayor of Burlington. The group had previously spent almost $5m in adverts attacking the senator during the caucus in Nevada and the primary in South Carolina. Politico said the the nonprofit organisation — commonly known as a dark money group because it is not legally required to disclose its donors — said in a filing with the Federal Election Commission on Tuesday that it spent just the money in 10 states, all of which were voting today on Super Tuesday. ‘Now who is funding these ads? Why are they funding these ads? Well, because we have a corrupt political system,’ Mr Sanders said about the group at a news conference on Monday.” • Film at 11.

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Does anybody know if the Acela is disinfected after its run?

Realignment and Legitimacy

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.

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Shipping: “China’s biggest shipyard is selling “coronavirus bonds” to help shore up its finances. China State Shipbuilding Corp. has raised $718.2 million by selling bonds that devote a portion of their proceeds to epidemic prevention and control efforts…. a tactic other Chinese shipping players and state-owned enterprises are increasingly employing as impacts from the virus siphon off working capital” [Wall Street Journal]. “The debt is underwritten by state-owned banks at preferential interest rates, in what amounts to a back-door subsidy for Chinese companies.”

Shipping: “Chinese truckers are stuck in park as measures to control the coronavirus epidemic bottle up freight flows. Quarantines and travel restrictions have sidelined about half of China’s truck drivers… crimping supply lines and slowing deliveries of everything from farm produce to auto parts as the Chinese economy struggles to get back on track” [Wall Street Journal]. “About 73% of China’s goods move by road, and the scarcity of available trucks has sent shipping costs soaring. The knock-on effects of the transportation shutdown extend beyond domestic logistics networks, leaving containers stranded at seaports and factories challenged to ship out finished goods to the thousands of businesses around the world that source directly from China.” • The only proxy I trust on whether there’s a Chinese manufacturing data is air pollution data from space, and I can’t find current data (this looks dodgy). We do have this report from Bloomberg:

Rising Chinese pollution levels measured from space are showing a gradual but uneven industrial pickup after the economic slowdown caused by the nation’s fight to contain the deadly novel coronavirus. Though the measure of nitrogen dioxide in China’s atmosphere has risen nearly 50% from Feb. 17, it’s still roughly 20% below the equivalent period last year, according an analysis from the Helsinki-based Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air, which used satellite data from NASA.

The post also includes useful provincial data, though I’d like to see the actual NASA shots.

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Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 9 Extreme Fear (previous close: 15 Extreme Fear) [CNN]. One week ago: 13 (Extreme Fear). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Mar 5 at 1:08pm. Single digits now.

The Biosphere

Health Care

“New Hampshire Coronavirus Patient Breaks Quarantine to Attend Dartmouth Event” [Time]. “New Hampshire hospital employee diagnosed with coronavirus broke quarantine to attend an event on Feb. 28, “despite having been directed to self-isolate” the state’s Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has confirmed in a press release. The DHHS has since issued an official order of isolation for the man. The unidentified man — who had traveled to Italy, according to state epidemiologist Dr. Benjamin Chan — went to an invite-only social event at Dartmouth Business School in White River Junction, Vermont on Friday.” • Can’t turn down an invitation from the Business School!

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Feral Hog Watch

“Once A Rural Problem, Feral Hogs Are Now Encroaching On Houston’s Suburbs” [Houston Public Media]. “Feral hogs have long been a problem in rural parts of Texas. But now, researchers say they’re increasingly entering urban areas across the state — including Houston’s suburbs — damaging property and raising public health concerns. ‘We have let pigs grow to such a number that they are living in urban spaces and we’re seeing them regularly,’ said Texas A&M wildlife specialist John Tomecek. … ‘Pigs are one of the most reproductively successful large mammals on the planet,’ [Tomecek] said. ‘And because they can eat just about anything, and live just about anywhere, there’s no reason to suspect that the problem is ever going to slow down. It will just get worse.”

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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. Tom Doak

    If someone in New Hampshire is going to break quarantine, doing so at the Dartmouth Business School is an excellent choice of venue for putting the coronavirus front and center on our leaders’ minds.

    1. Jen

      Indeed. A Tuck (as the B-School is known) student who attended the event called in today with flu-like symptoms and classes were cancelled out of an abundance of caution. If said student turns out to have COVID-19, our local experts are going to have to seriously rethink their definition of limited risk.

      And if you want to see a full blown elite COVID-19 panic, wait ’til it hits the undergrad dorms.

      1. cnchal

        > . . . wait ’til it hits the undergrad dorms.

        You are kidding, right? Young people read and hear it kills old people, so assume they are immune.

        When will elite panic set in? When the cretins of Congress get it and a few of them die.

        Still flying = Total Fail

        1. Jen

          The campus is made up of more than just young people in dorms. There are faculty. There are staff, and the entire campus is tightly interwoven with the (very affluent) town. People here are already really, really angry at the guy who broke quarantine. If this hits the undergrads, full freak out will commence rapidly.

          1. MLTPB

            I see Fox News is reporting a Washingtion state county is recommending all 2.2 million residents to work from home, with those 65 and over ti stay indoors.

            I dont know if one can drive a taxi from home.

        2. chuck roast

          Let me tell you how this works from experience. The military keeps sending guys to Vietnam. Congress doesn’t care. More and more guys get their a** shot off. Congress doesn’t care. More and more kids are subject to the draft. Congress goes, “My kid?” Congress now cares.

        3. dcblogger

          the food service workers in the Senate and Congressional cafeteria are paid minimum wage, and have no healthcare. They are covered by DC’s paid sick leave. I suspect there is an excellent chance of Senators and/or Congressmen catching it from the cafeteria.

          1. Jen

            Or from some dumb sh*t in their social circle who thinks attending a private party is more important than keeping their contagion at home. In my neck of the woods, for the moment, this is a disease propagated by the elite and elite adjacent, which will, unfortunately, spill over into the unwashed masses who service them, not the other way ’round.

        4. Jay Money

          I hate to say this, but I kinda hope it does affect our decrepit in Washington.

          A. As a natural-law enforcement of term limits when human wisdom about such has failed.

          B. As pointed retribution for their non-concern and non-intervention while the proles spread it amongst each other and die.

          Of course, I hope Bernie’s aura of humanity and goodness will shield him from such a fate.

      1. MLTPB

        State of Washingtin is ordering insurance companies to waive copays and deductibles.

        Restoring my faith there is a lot government can do, e en if it hadn’t done them before.

      2. John k

        You’re covered if your doctor orders test, your carrier later bills Medicare.
        But no coverage no money, no doctor. Certainly same if illegal.

    2. The Rev Kev

      The North Koreans had someone like this guy. He had to go to China on a mission but it seemed he shared one of those large hot pools with a bunch of Chinese while there. When he returned, the Norks got wind of that, arrested him and then shot him almost straight away. It sent a strong message.

      This NH guy may have thought that he was entitled too. A century ago during that Flu pandemic, you would have military bases under lock-down as it was running rife there. But then you would hear of how groups of officers would be given special permission to leave to go to other bases, where they duly got sick and infected that base full of soldiers. Same idea at work of entitlement.

  2. jo6pac

    warren will indorse biden. The elite might be afraid of her but they’ll send to her money to keep the seat in the senate. The super pac wins again.

    1. WobblyTelomeres

      Perhaps there is a clue about HRH HRC here. Consider that if the central committee wants someone other than Joe Biden, meaning they want a brokered convention, then Warren won’t endorse Biden. Can’t have him winning the thing on the first ballot.

      1. dearieme

        Out of a show of solidarity with her fellow part-indigenous Woman of Colour she should endorse Tulsi.

  3. BT14

    Bernie is being too nice. Biden’s ability to communicate is a sharp decline from four years ago. That is going to be a centerpiece of the trump campaign and it’s going to be extremely clear when the cameras are on Biden full time. It’s going to wreck Biden’s “cool head behind the wheel argument”. But Bernie won’t bring it up because he’s not into dirty politics even though it might be the strongest argument for “moderates” afraid of Trump. If this was Obama v Hillary you know that shit would get used. This kids glove politics in a primary weakens us in the general.

    These voters are sleepwalking into their own worst nightmare ( & the media is supplying the ambien).

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        Can somebody please play the ads Saint Obomba ran against Hilary for Bernie.

        Bernie’s entire program is in imminent danger of sinking beneath the waves without a trace.

        Bernie: on policy 99%, on tactics 85%, on strategy 0%.

        Maybe it’s just Bernie’s muscle memory after 40 years. Take the right position, then watch from the sidelines as the neo-lib policy gets enacted. Amend with a few scraps.

        1. Oh

          I still like Bernie but I didn’t appreciate his change of position on ObombaCare where he got a few worhtless scraps (some kind of clinics IIRC) for backing it. He says he’s independent but he falls in line with the DimRats each time.

          I’ll be voting Green party as usual.

          1. ronnnie mitchell

            Those “worthless scraps” that Bernie held back is vote for were Billions of dollars to community health clinics across the Country,and a lot of lives have depended upon them existing.
            I know I have depended upon the clinic in this area for health care on a range of issues,along with dental care, and more for years.

            I’m covered under Medicare but anyone can get treatment based on a ‘sliding scale’ and people I know that have no coverage at all that got dental work done were not only surprised how cheap, high quality work was and they could also make small monthly payments.

            These places are a gift to people living all over the Country, particularly in rural areas.
            I’m thankful Bernie held back his vote on a bill that was gonna pass, with or without his vote,in order to squeeze out something for the American people.

            1. Procopius

              They give dental care? I didn’t know that. That in itself is enough to make me vote for Bernie, even if I wasn’t already going to. And, by the way, I don’t remember the circumstances, but I’ll bet that bill wasn’t going to pass without his vote. Filibuster! The Democrats only had 58 Senators. They were utterly dependent on the two Independent Senators. Everybody seems to forget. Maybe I remember because I resent Weepin’ Joe Lieberman so much. And then after Ted Kennedy died they only had 57 and couldn’t overcome the filibuster any more, so had to use reconciliation, which meant no amendment in the conference committee.

      2. washpark

        Just a point of clarification on the Clyburn endorsement – part of South Carolina’s fight for an early spot in the primary season was a pledge by Clyburn to not endorse. Clyburn broke that pledge.

        The Kamala people complained earlier in the race about Clyburn tacitly endorsing Biden and breaking his pledge. https://www.greenvilleonline.com/story/news/2019/06/18/sc-bakari-sellers-jim-clyburn-breaks-pledge-endorsing-biden-2020-sc-democratic-presidential-primary/1486316001/

        If Sanders had requested the endorsement, Sanders would have been crucified for jeopardizing SC’s status as an early primary. There was no winning on that front.

        1. washpark

          Some earlier history on Clyburn breaking his pledge to not endorse before the SC primary:

          In November, before MSNBC’s Democratic forum, a reporter asked the longtime congressman whether he would endorse in the race. Clyburn detailed why he wanted to stay out of it:

          I think that most South Carolinians know that when we were in the battle to try and get South Carolina to be one of the four states in the primary window, we were opposed — we were in competition with Mississippi, Alabama and Michigan. And one of the arguments that was being made against South Carolina was that Jim Clyburn would get active in the campaign, would ruin the validity of the effort, and people will not be prone to come to this state if he takes sides. And I was asked, ‘could I stay out of the primary? Could I refuse or resist endorsing anybody before the primary?’ I promised them that I would. In 2008, I never endorsed anyone until after the primary was over … in 2016 I’m not going to endorse until after the primary is over.

        2. The Rev Kev

          That Clyburn was saying that Joe was too touchy and you can say that again. I wondered how he would have felt if he had daughters that had to be near him. So I checked Wikipedia and it turns out that he has three daughters. Then I read further to find that “their eldest daughter, Mignon Clyburn, was appointed to the Federal Communications Commission by President Obama.” Very clarifying that. Nice to know where his bread is buttered.

      3. Aumua

        I’d rather not have someone with that kind of killer instinct. Sanders will just have to keep killing it in other ways.

        1. Jeremy Grimm

          I agree with that! We have too much killer instinct in our Culture, Society, Politics, and Economy.

        2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          Nice guys finish last.

          They have gone after *everything* you have: your money, your job, your health, your civil liberties, your privacy, your right to be represented.

          And your answer is to ask politely “Please sir, may I have some more?”.

          OK then, let’s all just go gently into that good night.

          The best lack all conviction, and the worst are full of a passionate intensity

          1. David Carl Grimes

            If Bernie doesn’t have a killer instinct, then he doesn’t deserve to be President. Trump has a killer instinct. So does Hillary, Warren, Tulsi, and AOC. Even Biden and Obama.

            It means he can’t take it to the next level. How is he going to twist the arms of Congress to get them to do his bidding?

            If Bernie had a killer instinct, he could have eliminated Hillary very early on with the email issue on national TV. He could have finished off Biden and forced him into retirement. He could have threatened to take his followers with him and form a new party.

            In retrospect, he would have been better off forming a new party in 2016. That way he’d have leverage and play the spoiler.

            1. Dr. John Carpenter

              This a Million times. Specifically, for whatever reason, Bernie just won’t go in for the kill if we are talking about a Dem. I’ve long wondered how President Sanders expects to accomplish anything when he seems more concerned about hurting the feelings of “my good friend” who also happens to be working against his goals. It’s maddening! I think aside from the cheating, it cost him 2016 and we’re seeing the same thing now.

            2. JohnnySacks

              Damned if he does, damned if he doesn’t. So he should go for it. The second Biden gets the nomination, the media will be in 100% 24/7 on the narrative about how the token scapegoat is ruining the Biden candidacy. Then when he loses, was the cause of ruining Biden’s candidacy. The next phases of the Bernie Bro narrative.

    1. clarky90

      IMO, Tulsi Gabbard is the most electable of all the Democrat candidates, by a mile. Many left leaning Republicans and independents would vote for her in the Presidential Election. Liberal and progressive Democrats would vote for her because….what else could they do? I guess go Green?

      I don’t support Tulsi personally. But, a Trump vs Gabbard election season would be a riveting and enlightening, contest!

      The Dems are too dull (or greedy) to see the obvious…

      1. clarky90

        Nobody, except, perhaps the “vile Democrat PTB”, hate Tulsi. I imagine that Sanders, Warren, Yang, Kobucher, Biden……supporters, would by and large, rally around a Gabbard candidacy. Of course, there would be few spoil-sports who would boycott the election because “their” candidate was not selected.

        She is young, a soldier, fit, a woman, polynesian, vegetarian, articulate, dynamic……

        1. HotFlash

          I imagine that Sanders, Warren, Yang, Kobucher, Biden……supporters, would by and large, rally around a Gabbard candidacy.

          You have a very good imagination.

      2. John

        Dull? Maybe. Fixated on their comfy slots in public office, brib… lobbying shops, etc. Unable to see any obvious but theirs? Absolutely.

        Tulsi is a breath of fresh air, hell she’s a gale of fresh air, and that is clearly toxic to the DNC, probably the RNC.

        I am finding less and less reason to vote, not just for president but for anyone running for national office.

      3. dcblogger

        If you can’t get 0.5% in any primary you are certainly NOT electable, she is crumbling in her own state.

    2. Knifecatcher

      Been thinking about this a lot. If Bernie doesn’t go cutthroat on Biden’s obvious cognitive decline he’s not going to win – but he has to do it in a way that isn’t as obviously cruel as Trump et. al. on the Republican side.

      So let’s say Bernie releases a set of additional medical records and calls on Biden to release an equivalent set of records. For all the kerfuffle about Bernie’s records Biden has released even less – a letter from his doctor that doesn’t include a single word about his mental fitness.

      In these new records Bernie would need to include several clinical diagnostic tests demonstrating that he’s still sharp as a tack, with no evidence of age related mental decline.

      That would leave Joe between a rock and a hard place – if he takes those same tests he’s almost certain to fail, but if he doesn’t then the narrative becomes “why won’t Joe release HIS medical records if he doesn’t have dementia?”

      I don’t know whether or not it would work but at this point Sanders needs to take a risk or his campaign is basically over.

      1. sierra7

        The DNC leadership would endorse a raving, demented lunatic before “swallowing” a Sanders candidacy!

        1. Drake

          I think Biden’s only purpose is to starve out Bernie. There will be a brokered convention and the superdelegates will pick their preferred candidate, which won’t be Biden. God only knows what horror it will be. Michelle Obama, Hillary, Kamala Harris? But Biden is clearly a no-go. He needs to be trundled off to the nursing home.

        2. Tom Bradford

          The average American voter would elect a raving, demented lunatic before “swallowing” a vaguely socialist presidency!

      2. russell1200

        Sanders is toast in the General if he goes super negative on Biden. He has to hope that Biden torpedoes himself.

        Likewise, I would say Biden needs to be a bit careful with Bernie.

        There are enough policy issues they can beat each other up on in any case.

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          You mean like Obomba was toast in the general after absolutely eviscerating Hilary. Uh huh.

          1. russell1200

            Sanders isn’t Obama and Joe isn’t Hillary – stating the obvious.

            The democrats are not going to be putting out a young dynamic candidate with a nice hopey-changey message this time. The best hope is that hatred of Trump will overide all. The huge turnout in the Virginia and North Carolina primaries indicates at least someone is excited. I can’t see it being the Republicans, they didn’t have much to vote for in NC.

      3. elkern

        At the next Debate, Bernie can just challenge Biden to a game of Chess; or perhaps, to be “fair”, Tic-Tac-Toe?

        1. WobblyTelomeres

          Doubt there will be another debate. DNC will cancel because of the pandemic, wagging their corrupt fingers at Trump. Saving Joe.

          1. John

            A debate does not need a live audience or lots of red, white and blue, or commercials or four or five ‘moderators. I listened to the Kennedy-Nixon debate on radio… you remember radio… I thought Nixon had the better of it.

            It does not have to be a show unless you are not interested in a serious discussion. If that is your goal, strike up the band.

            1. WobblyTelomeres

              I do know a debate doesn’t need an audience, even a curated studio audience. Was just predicting their announced reason. They’re not interested in a serious discussion, they would prefer NO discussion to Joe getting unmasked. And, strangely, it’s in their power to make it so.

            2. pretzelattack

              joe remembers radio, and record players. it’s hard to have an extended serious discussion with someone afflicted with dementia.

      4. Jeremy Grimm

        If Biden’s cognitive decline isn’t so obvious to the public or if they ignore it and vote for him anyway — where does that leave our democracy?

          1. RWood

            S. G. Tallentyre:

            ‘I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it,’

      5. Yves Smith

        Sorry, this is terrible advice. There is no diagnosis. This will be depicted as Trumpian making shit up.

        And it isn’t impossible that Biden is having bad med interactions, as opposed to cognitive issues, or did that not occur to you either?

        By contrast, Sanders had a stent put in. All this does is open him up to a counterattack on TWO fronts.

        He needs to hit Biden enough in the remaining debates that Biden goes on tilt more than once. The botched URL alone didn’t do it, but that also came in the closing remarks which most people tune out.

        1. Deschain

          Agree. My advice would be to try to engage Biden directly during the debate (like how Warren did to Bloomberg). Put questions to him that he wouldn’t expect to get from the moderators, make him think on his feet.

      6. Felix_47

        As a surgeon at age 70 many institutions require a full two day battery of neuropsychological tests. Not the joke screening test Trump gave us last elections. If you have any cognitive decline your surgical career is over. If you try to go somewhere else to practice you can’t because of the national databank. And going into the ER at 3 AM to deal with the aftermath of a car crash is not an old man’s sport. So despite the experience and judgement a surgeon might have at 70 many of them are playing golf involuntarily. It is true for airline pilots as well. Not so with family practice. Would anyone want Joe Biden opening up their belly? Bernie seems pretty sharp. He should undergo a full battery and then challenge Biden to do the same. I suspect Biden would not pass.

    1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      7 hours in line in Texas, then they close the voting. When can we get some UN observers in?

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        Would those trapped-in-a-forever-line wannabe voters join an effort to get Sanders’s name placed on the ballot for President in a no-party manner if such an effort existed? Or comes into existence?

    2. GramSci

      You don’t need AI to figure this out, though: just restrict voting in poor areas. The technical challenge has been mostly in complexifying the process enough to hide the ballot jiggering.

  4. Deschain

    If Liz doesn’t endorse by end of day, she won’t be endorsing period. Probably wants to keep her options open for 2024 or 2028 runs. (Memo to Liz: you are now radioactive). I’m not sure it matters anyway, the time to endorse was Monday, the damage has been done. Now we get to see see if the Bidenburg can avoid crashing into the mooring mast for a couple more months.

    1. urblintz

      pssst – his real name is Boris Bidenov and he’s a RUSSIAN AGENT!!! Quick spread the word…. our democracy is at stake!!!

    2. Jason Boxman

      Bidenburg is perfect. I gotta borrow that one for the rest of the season.

      Thank you!

    3. anon

      The majority of progressives who once backed Warren had already moved over to Sanders weeks ago. The rest of her supporters went to Biden on Super Tuesday. She tried to come across as a unity candidate, but could not hold onto either wings of the Democratic Party. Biden and Bernie are very different candidates, but they are consistent in their beliefs. Bernie being progressive and Biden being a DINO conservative. This situation places her in the uncomfortable position of finally deciding what she actually stands for. Is she the progressive she claims to be or will she betray her progressive values by endorsing Biden. We’ll find out this week.

      1. deplorado

        Someone who knows where they stand does not need time to think about who to endorse.

        This tells you that she is not about where she stands. She is about triangulation and career (not even power, just career – with the nice perks and attention). And she just lost because enough people can see through it, including those who she wanted to please with her anti-Sanders opportunistic moves. That is, she cheapened herself and now no one is even interested in buying her.

        1. pretzelattack

          she’s been thinking about whether to endorse sanders since 2015 or so. now she’s gotta think about it some more? if she had principles it would be instantly clear, but thinking about how to play the angles could take some time. she’s known her campaign was on life support since early on, she should already have gamed this. i think this is just some play she’s making, whether in order to negotiate, or to time her biden endorsement with something else the dnc is plotting.

        2. skookum red

          I got her email and responded that I hoped she would endorse Bernie. And I would be watching, and if she endorsed Biden, I would contact AOC about supporting someone to “primary” her. Just so Warren knows I’m a fighter, just like Warren is.

      1. Bugs Bunny

        If she got VP offers from both she’d go Biden in a NY minute.

        Coronavirus in India update. I heard this morning that there are a couple indigenous cases here now so I start to doubt the “winter ailments” theory. The Indians I spoke with today are very afraid of a quick spread from the crowded slums to the middle class and the entire country.

  5. Hepativore

    In addition to stop hesitating on hitting Biden HARD on his voting record and his stances on issues, the coronavirus issue could also be something that the Sanders campaign team should take a look at.

    Since the US healthcare system is completely broken there is now talk about how any vaccine that is developed will likely not be available for all as it will be sold at a profit in my country. This will leave large pools of people who are ill and cannot afford the vaccine and it will continue to spread unchecked. Contrast this to the polio epidemic in which the vaccine was given out freely as a matter of public health to try and contain the spread of the disease and eventually eradicate it.

    Sanders should point out how a program like Medicare-For-All would go a long way towards helping to curb the spread of outbreaks like this one as people would be able to get the medical treatment they need at any time, and how our privatized medical system makes controlling pandemics almost impossible. Sanders should pull out all of the stops on this one to try and make people realize how not having a decent medical system like that found in almost every other country on Earth could lead to future outbreaks of diseases rivaling that of the bubonic plague in terms of their impact or lethality. Biden would do some ineffectual half-measures about an outbreak and Trump will either do nothing or scale back the agencies that are meant to respond to the problem.

    Hopefully the suburban wine moms and Whole Foods shoppers will realize that this is an issue that just does not affect the great masses of the unwashed as they drive to their yoga classes.

  6. WJ

    “how is Hunter Biden — who I would totally vote for over, say, Pete Buttigieg; at least Hunter has lived! — getting fifty large for a no-show job in an industry he knew nothing about not a scandal?”

    In the Church, a scandal involves a public sin that, as perceived by the congregation, affronts and weakens their faith. If the congregation is not scandalized by such a sin–i.e. have become so accustomed to its occurrence that it is no longer perceived as corrupting of their faith–then it is not, technically, a scandal. Even though it is still a gross public sin.

    Maybe Hunter Biden’s employment is not a scandal because the political-media class have become so accustomed to such arrangements that they no longer see anything especially surprising or noteworthy about them.

    1. meadows

      That’s right, corruption right in our faces, a feature of oligarchy…. our helplessness is assumed…

    2. fresno dan

      March 5, 2020 at 2:26 pm


      Joe Manchin’s daughter Heather was looking for a job. The now-senator and one-time governor of West Virginia was only a state level rep when he ran into Milan Pushkar—the head of Mylan Inc., a Fortune 500 pharmaceuticals company—at a West Virginia University basketball game. Heather was hired for an entry-level position at the company soon after. Records show Mylan benefitted from millions of dollars worth of corporate tax breaks in the state during Manchin’s gubernatorial tenure. And these days, after stints as Mylan’s director of government relations and strategic development, Heather Bresch (née Manchin) is the company’s CEO, one of Fortune’s 50 Most Powerful Women in Business.
      I imagine it would be simpler and more concise to have all the politicians who DON’T use connections to enrich themselves and their families.
      Of course, this would be at the nano scale…

    3. Brooklin Bridge

      Maybe Hunter Biden’s employment is not a scandal because the political-media class have become so accustomed to such arrangements that they no longer see anything especially surprising or noteworthy about them.

      Exactly, except for the word, Maybe.

      1. RWood

        Another aspect of this:

        Arun Gupta: But what we have is a media that is both overly legalistic, where you can’t say anything unless it arises to a judicial level of proof.
        And where reality is determined by who holds the most social power. If you can harangue the media enough, criticize the media enough, they will adopt the language that you use. And it’s especially the right that has gamed this system almost perfectly.
        CounterSpin interview with Arun Gupta on immigration abuses
        JULY 17, 2019
        ‘Journalism Is Helping to Normalize the Concentration Camps’

  7. .Tom

    Oh Vox! “The Democratic elite has unified around Biden largely on the grounds of electability, that he’s more likely than chief rival Bernie Sanders to beat Trump in the general election.”

    No, they unified around Biden by a process of elimination and because blocking Sander’s populist economic agenda is more important to them than winning the election.

    1. Aumua

      Yeah these stories and headlines all tread a fine line of not actually saying outright that Biden IS more electable than Sanders (which they know is not necessarily true), but just that the Democrats believe that he is more electable. Which is the real Big Lie of course, the elephant in the room: That the establishment wants to stop Sanders because of electability, when that’s not why they want to stop him at all.

  8. turtle

    I hope that every single worker out there who doesn’t get paid sick days or health insurance from their job will insist on frequently shaking hands, hugging, and kissing their bosses and the business owners whenever they feel sick. Time to reward their employers for their generosity.

  9. allan

    Trump administration expands reach of EPA secret science proposal [E&E News]

    EPA yesterday evening released a controversial proposal to limit the scientific research used in the federal rulemaking process.

    Greens have already vowed to sue the agency.

    The draft “Strengthening Transparency in Regulatory Science” [George Orwell approves of this message]
    is part of the agency’s persistent effort to rework the foundation on which public health and environmental rules are crafted.

    The draft released yesterday builds on a 2018 proposal issued by then-EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, who at the time declared that “the era of secret science at EPA is coming to an end.” Now his successor, Andrew Wheeler, has sought to shore up shortcomings in the initial proposal while expanding the scope to cover all the agency’s scientific information — not just what’s used in rulemaking. …

    EPA set a public comment period of 30 days. Critics say that short timeline for a sweeping proposal indicates the agency intends to finalize the rule as soon as possible. …

    If the agency rushes to finalize the rule, the effort could have lasting impacts on policymaking even if President Trump loses reelection in November.

    Observers note the agency hopes to finalize the rule by May to avoid the possibility that a Democratic-controlled Congress and a Democratic president could overturn the rule using the Congressional Review Act [because of being finalized more than 6 months earlier.](Climatewire, March 4).

    Playing for keeps, instead of governing performatively.

    1. Duck1

      This approach to executive dept. rule making was completely over the head of a recent two term blue team prez. Of course even if the blue team was in a position to reverse some of Donnie’s rules, they would be too incompetent to do it.

  10. dk

    “Once A Rural Problem, Feral Hogs Are Now Encroaching On Houston’s Suburbs”

    Is this how we repatriate pork production back from China?

    1. foghorn longhorn

      The feral hog problem is very real in rural tejas and they are now moving onto the manicured lawns of the cityfolk.
      Our local gated community is having their golf course dug up on a regular basis.
      Hell they even had a ten foot gator (since trapped and removed) move into their fishing lake.
      They are in the process of rooting up my immediate neighbors pasture and would be over here if I hadn’t installed a hot wire to keep em out.
      People make a living out here either trapping or shooting them.
      Not sure what the solution is, but it is becoming a real issue.

      1. Kurt Sperry

        Shoot ’em, sell ’em, and eat em’! Boar is delicious when prepared properly. Don’t tell me there aren’t enough Texans with rifles who want to make a nice, quick buck. That would destroy all my Texas preconceptions— and I used to live there.

        It can be made into divine prosciutto crudo and could be sold around the world.

        1. foghorn longhorn

          Various diseases of wild hogs include pseudorabies, swine brucellosis, tuberculosis, bubonic plague, tularemia, hog cholera, foot and mouth disease, and anthrax. Internal parasites include kidney worms, stomach worms, round worms and whipworms. Liver flukes and trichinosis are also found in hogs.


          Most out here shoot em, stack em and let the vultures, coyotes and others have em.
          Pretty sure if they were marketable, that option would have been exploited.

          1. Kurt Sperry

            I’ll bet you could say the same or similar about any game meat. I’ve had wild boar in various forms and it’s truly delicious. I guess Texans are just too lazy and uncurious to learn to prepare it properly. Find and import some Italians! It could be a whole new industry.

            1. foghorn longhorn

              We’ve imported half of Mexico and they don’t want anything to do with the bast*rds either.
              Maybe you ought to move back and show us lazy effers the way.

            2. BillS

              Caccia ai cinghiali!

              I can attest that they are a plague in much of Italy and they very tasty as well. If you shoot one, legally the animal must undergo testing for diseases and a post-mortem examination by a veterinarian before eating/selling for consumption.

              I can recommend these recipes:
              1) Spezzatino al cinghiale
              2) Tagliatelle al cinghiale
              3) Polenta al cinghiale con funghi porcini
              4) Cinghiale in umido
              5) Cinghiale alla brace (classic barbeque!)

          2. jonboinAR

            I’ve had it from a smoker a couple of times. It was interesting but preettty gamy! There’s probably better ways to prepare it. I know of several men who trap them to get rid of them. I think they “throw them away” somehow, bury them? I don’t know.

          3. diptherio

            From your link:

            Is the meat good to eat?

            Yes, meat from feral hogs is extremely tasty and much leaner than penraised pork. The meat from older boars may be tougher and rank tasting if not prepared adequately. As with all pork, care should be taken and the meat well cooked. Otherwise, it should be prepared just like market hogs. The slower the meat is cooked, the more tender and tasty it becomes.

        2. Xihuitl

          Agreed! But in Texas if you want to sell ’em, you have to trap ’em live and take them to a certified abattoir.

          And in fact Texas wild boar or feral hog meat IS sold around the world. And there was, may still be, a program to donate the meat to local food banks.

          Local wild boar is sold at farmers’ markets and in fancy supermarkets, as sausages, ground meat, roasts, chops, etc. A wild boar chop goes for something like $40 at at least one well-known Houston restaurant.

          This is fine food running around, and plenty of it.

          1. Xihuitl

            And I forgot to mention the increasingly popular wild boar bolognese on the menu at Houston restaurants. One of my favorites.

          2. Michael Hudson

            The system is the same in Germany
            A few months ago I was driving south of Dresden, and a wild hog ran right in front of the car. The driver explained that if caught or shot, they had to be brought to a certified abattoir.

          3. bob

            ‘Local wild boar is sold at farmers’ markets and in fancy supermarkets, as sausages, ground meat, roasts, chops, etc. A wild boar chop goes for something like $40 at at least one well-known Houston restaurant.”

            I believe this. I’ve seen large property owners who have fenced in ‘wild’ animals and then let people shoot them and call it hunting.

            The meat out of those seems to move through the local food banks. I’m not sure exactly how it works, and it seems to be very DL.. In most states you can’t ‘sell’ wild meat.

            My weak understanding is that they can ‘donate’ meat to the foodbank and get credit for that. A lot of credit ($40 a pound?) . I think the values you quote are used as justification for tax receipts/credits. The food bank then takes the ‘wild meat’ and sells it to another person in the food business for a lot of money, and they bring the money back to buy a whole lot more food. The food banks seem to be a back door into the food chain.

            It’s just another way we’re turning into feudalism again. The land owner generally can claim the property is worthless too, so they don’t pay much in property taxes at all.

            I’d like to see a lot more about this, but I bet it’s all very localized.

      2. lyman alpha blob

        Maybe set up a corral with a couple inches of dry rub on the ground, bring in some of those Pablo Escobar hippos from Columbia, have them fight it out with the feral hogs, and have a BBQ with the remains. That should go over big in Texas.

  11. dcrane

    “Thoughts On Super Tuesday” [Daniel Larison, The American Conservative]. “One thing that everyone can rejoice in is the complete failure of the Bloomberg campaign. Mike Bloomberg made an extremely costly bet of more than $500 million that he could buy his way into this nominating contest, and when all is said and done he will have only a very small number of delegates and no wins outside of Samoa.

    I’m glad he didn’t get any farther too. But does anyone know how much of Bloomberg’s media campaign was targeted at Sanders? I tend to think that as long as Sanders is prevented from gaining a delegate majority, Bloomberg may view the situation as “Mission: Accomplished”.

    Even aside from the ads, his massive bellyflop into the primary created a massive media distraction.

  12. funemployed

    “the professional managerial class, which is granted its privileged position at least partly because of an ability to exercise independent judgement and apply critical thinking skills” lol no. Maybe a couple generations ago it was.

    Today, it’s “earned” through 1) family either connections and money or the ability to culturally blend in with the upper classes as a meritocratic token, 2) eagerness to make your “career” the single most important thing in your life, 3) the ability to complete the tasks assigned by your betters (particularly in educational institutions and the workplace) in the way they find most pleasing, 4) following one of the “correct” career paths without deviation or raising suspicion as to your ultimate loyalty to the hegemonic order, and oft forgotten 5) the ability to at least convincingly project a near religious awe for the wealthy, famous, and powerful within your particular silo.

    Independent judgement and critical thinking are only permitted insofar as they make you better at #3 than the next person. Exercise them outside of that domain (e.g. “I think it’s only fair that I only work as many hours as I’m contracted for”), and you will be quickly denied access from nice things.

    Alas, I would be leading a much happier life right now if I hadn’t spent the bulk of my adult life learning this the hard way.

      1. Henry Moon Pie

        But don’t forget Mickey’s addendum: you should always wash the fork before you use it. Same goes for knives.

        1. Oh

          If it’s a samurai katana you use silk to wipe it clean before you put it back for the next use.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      Professional managerial class — and independent judgement — those categories are mutually exclusive.

    2. Winston S

      Thanks for putting so succinctly, what I have been feeling but not able to put down in words.

  13. marym

    Sanders op-ed today:

    Steps government should be taking, need for universal healthcare including:

    The Trump administration must make clear that, until we pass universal health care, as every major country on earth has done, all Americans right now should be able to receive the medical care they need, without worrying about the cost.

    vaccine should be free, need for paid leave.


  14. dcblogger

    Not going to defend the DNC’s treatment of Gabbard, but I don’t have much use for vanity campaigns. Her zombie campaign will continue, she will lose her House race and fade into well earned obscurity. She had a horrible voting record in the Hawaiian state legislature and the H of R. Howie at DownWithTyranny has the details. Gabbard is like Jim Webb, holier than thou and its all about ME.

    1. Monty

      “Howie at DownWithTyranny has the details”

      Wow! Really? Must be true then, i guess?

      1. ronnie mitchell

        I bookmarked that site and followed it for several years,at least until it turned into Russiagate Central. The same goes for ’emptywheel’, and both became as bad as Russia Maddow’s farce show.

        1. pretzelattack

          when a site pushes russiagate i automatically consider it’s credibility as very low. doesn’t mean they cant sometimes be right about something, but i’ve seen no other evidence that gabbard is running a vanity campaign. otoh gabbard doesn’t subscibe to russia gate theories, which would give them a reason to smear her.

          1. RMO

            TomDispatch has gone down the Russia paranoia rabbit hole with some of the writers. Today’s post was enough to make me decide to give it up. evichThe writers I find worth reading there (e.g. Bacevich) all have their articles turn up on sites that haven’t gone down that hole.

            1. carl

              That’s sad. I used to read Tom a lot about 10 years ago. Sure, Rebecca Solnit is insufferable, but Tom’s anti-war stance was and is, let’s say, unusual in this warlike country.

              1. RMO

                It is sad… I don’t think Tom himself has gone full-Maddow or anything (and he is certainly anti-war and imperialism, AND continued to be critical of those things after Bush was history) but the number of times in the last six months I have gone to the site and found an article (by a guest writer) that lays out the “Russia hacked the election” assertion as proven fact has been discouraging. I find it depressing and I can only handle so much depressing news now so I find myself avoiding it.

    2. Mel

      Not a vanity campaign. It’s an issue campaign. The news that U.S. foreign policy is, to put it my way, a perpetual war against everybody, would never have appeared in public except for Tulsi.

      1. WhoaMolly

        One of Gabbard’s jobs during her Afghanistan deployment was to read the casualty lists every morning. That would tend to generate a lot of passion to end the wars and the carnage. She strikes me as being in this to ‘do the right thing’.

        If I had to guess I would say that most of the people criticizing her have never served, nor had anyone in their families on the front lines.

        1. dcblogger

          fine, peachy, but she has not voted to end endless wars. also she voted to fund the baby prisons.

          1. Peter VE

            @dcblogger: Gabbard voted against the latest Defense Authorization Act. Her attempts to add amendments against the continuing wars were only supported by 50 colleagues. I would appreciate a link substantiating “voted to fund the baby prisons”.

    3. Carolinian

      Yes how dare she stick around to oppose our murderous foreign policy–so very vain of her. If she would just step aside that issue could be taken up by…oh wait, nobody.

      One does wonder whether Tulsi hate is really about her supposed past transgressions and not more about suppressing her message. The Blob will not be challenged. This is basically Caitlin’s point in yesterday’s linked column.

    4. urblintz

      She’s no longer running for Congress. She pulled out. She has more important things to do then run for the ridiculous familyblog-show that IS the H of R especially when controlled by Nancy Pelosi.

    5. paintedjaguar

      Tulsi announced some time ago that she wouldn’t be running for the House again. No mention of what her long term plans might be.

      It’s getting very hard to find non right wing blogs that haven’t been infected with Trump Derangement. Do none of these people remember how bad Reagan and George W. Bush were (and Clinton for that matter)? Some of them are old enough that they should. And if you lived through our Iraq invasions you should be able to recognize a coordinated propaganda campaign.

      1. inode_buddha

        If there is one then let us pray it happens right after they nominate Biden. Oh, and permit me a moment of schadenfreude for the Right: I thought the Market could regulate itself, then why would it crash?

    1. Glen

      The Fed is basically doing a TARP bailout of the market about every two weeks or so. The Fed has dumped $29T into the market since 2008 and that excludes the 2008 bailouts. This was the big “feature” of Dodd-Frank. They never have to come hat in hand to John Q Public, and ask for a bailout again. They just do the bailout. Realistically, I don’t know why people worry about socialism, we already have it. We just keep bailing out the same Wall St banks and elites, over and over. There is no capitalism left.

  15. Eureka Springs

    Has anyone coined the term – progressive misleadership class? I think E. Warren and Nancy Pelosi should share mug shot space on that three dollar bill.

  16. Grant

    “What We Learned on Super Tuesday” [Amy Walter, Cook Political Report]. “[I]n the end, Biden had the more powerful GOTV operation: Donald J. Trump. Democrats want to beat Trump. Biden is the guy who is most likely to do it. The end…. In the next hours and days, we’ll have a better sense of the final delegate count, but at this point, the once unthinkable has happened: Biden will end Super Tuesday with more delegates than Sanders.”

    I love how people in the corporate media analyze what happened as if all of the media working against Bernie, all of the other candidates coordinating to stop Bernie, all the large donors, the DNC and major party figures aligning entirely against him aren’t the major factor in all of this. It would make logical sense if there was a free and open process, no favoritism, no propaganda, but that wasn’t the case. Sanders has made mistakes, and has been too kind to his “friend” Joe. The young haven’t shown up like he needed them to, and they will pay for that. But, Biden and his zombie campaign is in this position because of everyone else dragging him across the finish line. Yes, voters that vote for who they are told to vote did so in large numbers, but there was no logical reason why Biden winning a state he was always supposed to win should have meant tons by itself. It was made to be far more than it should have been because a clear campaign that included the media itself. And everyone knows this. Articles that don’t focus tons on that aren’t really being serious. Beyond that, I do not trust that there was no tampering. In places like SC, it wasn’t the difference, I have no doubt that vote totals were inflation for Biden and Bloomberg and deflated for Bernie and Warren. And I agree also that them having to settle on Biden shows how desperate they are. If Bernie doesn’t win, we are going to see this as a giant missed opportunity, and there will be massive societal consequences no matter which of the two major candidates wins. Democrats have not, since this all began, really appreciated what is coming for us. There is no way for the left to work within that party either. It cannot be reformed, more than anything because the rank and file are largely okay with the party as is. Some of my grad school associates are planning to vote Warren even though she isn’t in the race anymore, which is an indifference towards the past and future victims of Biden’s polices that is utterly deplorable.

    1. EGrise

      I learned today that I have acquaintances who plan to vote for Warren no matter what, partly because she’s an educated PMC like them, but mostly because she has two X chromosomes. Utterly craven.

      1. Massinissa

        I mean, SOMEBODY had to vote for Maggie Thatcher, and now we know! I doubt this kind of myopic voting is really anything new. And it will likely be even more destructive this time than it was with Maggie. We are simply running out of time at this point, on dozens of global fronts.

        EDIT: Also maybe you could point out there still technically is a woman in the race and she came in 2nd in a US territory they can’t locate on the map, for shits and giggles.

    2. fresno dan

      March 5, 2020 at 3:18 pm

      Many have mentioned this, but a cynical person might wonder why in an electoral college system red states will have such an influence on the blue party. Must we have two republican parties???

      1. jsn

        “The United States is also a one-party state but, with typical American extravagence, they have two of them” Julius Nyerere, First President of Tanzania, one of my favorite quotes.

        1. Massinissa

          I’m wondering if I’m at the point if I wouldn’t care if Trump just decided having the Democratic party around was too ‘extravagant’ for modern America. If the Dems are just going to offer up fake republicans like Joe Biden anyway I don’t think I would protest much if they were made illegal.

    3. jsn

      It’s not over until it’s over, and it isn’t yet.

      From my aspiring geriatric perspective, this is the best electoral result I’ve seen since I began voting in 1980. It’s still not great, but it’s closer to okay than any election in my lifetime (I just missed Kennedy’s). I suspect Sander’s turn out has been much better than reported and that our elections are a lot less honest than we like to believe (mother’s family grew up physically near LBJ and experienced both electoral fraud and rural electrification, so it’s always a mixed bag).

      The political soil is liquifying under multiple seismic strains, I try not to get my hopes up too high, but a lot can still happen in the coming months.

        1. MLTPB

          The Siberian divisions saved Moscow a few months earlier. Without it, Stalingrad likely didn’t happen.

          The Nationalists of today must keep the Imperial Japanese Army busy.

      1. onomatopeon

        I’d have to agree. I’d take 1 v 1 against Bidenburg on stage any day.
        It’s much too early to give up.
        If anyone is near the north suburbs of Chicago and wants to drink a beer over this just say so.
        And another Covid case here – with people in my office possibly in contact with the carrier

      2. Grant

        It isn’t over but it is not a good sign for this country, that party and our democracy that Biden has anywhere near this much support. Even if Bernie can pull it out, it is jarring how utterly screwed up it all is. If you told me in 2016 that Biden of all people would have won super Tuesday and could possibly win the nomination, I would have thought you were nuts. Instead of reflecting on what happened, the Democrats blamed Russia and everything else for 2016, did no critical self reflection and didn’t change those running the party. To this day, most of them just want to beat Trump. What about the context that produced him? What about the trajectory of the country? The environmental crisis? Okay, they beat Trump, and then? The Democrats continue to get progressively worse as a result.

        1. jsn

          “Our democracy”, that’s the trick: getting one!

          What’s out there now sure as stercus ain’t ours!

          Team D just talks about all the things we want, the only thing they really want is their position and they don’t really mind if we die for that.

        2. Matthew

          There are lots of people who believe the Democrats are a force for good and/or the best that can be done. And every time the Dems lurch rightward, the Republicans can do their part by nominating someone that Democrats find even more monstrous.

          I think we need to keep going because it’s the only thing we can do to create a world thatis even marginally acceptable. But I think we’re a lot further away than I let myself hope we were.

    4. Tom Bradford

      “The young haven’t shown up like he needed them to, and they will pay for that.”

      The young usually have more interesting things to do than stand in a queue to vote. One can hope that the much bruited certainty the Super Tuesday was going to be a walk-over for Sanders offered them individually the excuse to do that something else, and that the result will focus the minds of the young in the votes to come.

      1. Grant

        Oh, you missed the lead in to super Tuesday. Let me catch you up. Bernie was doing really well, and then after Nevada the establishment freaked out and went full bore against him. Clyburn went back on his pledge and endorsed someone, then the media went into high gear, Obama called around, donors poured massive amounts of money into the races, candidates coordinated and dropped out, a slew of endorsements followed and things quickly changed. Were you under the impression that things just happened? Who thought it would be easy? People felt good because things were looking good. Let’s not analyze this as if it was a fair and open race. They took Biden’s zombie campaign and carried it forward, despite him. But, thinking the young are going to love them some Biden is interesting. I am guessing no, but I think they would have fun watching Biden versus Trump. Bernie has done well with young voters that showed up, but those in power sure as hell have done anything to give them an incentive to want to take part in the system. Many have already been radicalized, that will continue in the coming years if Bernie doesn’t win, because things are going to continue to get worse.

  17. xformbykr

    Theodore de Macedo Soares: LinkedIn lists him as “Owner, Science Monitor Inc.” without other information. “duckduckgo” search for “Science Monitor Inc.” likewise turned a page, but without much information (no mission statement,

  18. flora

    From Jacobin magazine:

    In other words, the coronavirus is exposing a major foundational myth at the heart of Chicago School thinking: that efficiency, maximalist free trade policy, and the consumer welfare standard are stable systems. All lead to short term profits and long term risk. We should replace those with a more diverse and stable set of economic values: redundancy in supply chains, diversity in production locations, productive capacity, and universal programs.


    The Chicago School myth exposed in real time.

    1. shinola

      Thanks for the link flora. (Zephyr Teachout interviews Matt Stoller.) Well worth a read.

    2. MLTPB

      A couple of people have referred to this as once in a century event.

      Dams are designed and built similarly…one hundred year flood, or quake.

  19. genric

    I feel like my brain stops working reading that Exit poll piece. Isn’t the MoE on the result for one candidate? If you have two people in the race and one gets + the MoE the difference obviously has to be twice, the votes have to come from your opponent. Is this not how the MoE works in polls?

    1. genric

      I was half right in that my brain did stop working. Since the numbers are not independent the MOE is not on a single number, sorry.

      1. Jessica

        Always good to see one of us thinking critically rather than swallowing things unquestioningly, even material that we want to agree with. And if we stumble once in a while, that’s not a problem.

  20. Titus

    “I mean, otherwise, that Yale degree is just a piece of paper from a trade school, right?” – 1/2 right. I learned one night at a company open house, the following: “Ah, Jim, you Frank (me), and I (Alan), have one thing in common- we all went to Harvard.” Jim, the CEO of the company and I true enough were Harvard undergrads. But Alan? “No”, says Jim, “Frank and I went to Harvard, you went to the trade school (meaning his MBA)”. I coughed whatever I was drinking through my nose. Alan turned red. Guess he thought that MBA was high status. Nope. Never thought about it that way, but have since. Not saying that in telling any part of that story that it reflects well on me, at least back 30 years ago. In fact I had moved to Michigan to get away from exactly that mindset. But still, a wonderful statement of fact. As far as I know nothing I do makes me part of the PMC.

      1. RMO

        My time at trade school (for aircraft maintenance) wasn’t the most wonderful academic experience of my life and didn’t result in a job but I still think it’s an insult to the B.C.I.T. aviation campus to compare it to the Harvard MBA program. They didn’t teach us to intentionally sabotage aircraft and kill people and how to personally profit from it for example. I’m pretty sure that the Harvard MBA people would do that if they branched out into teaching aircraft mechanics.

        1. inode_buddha

          Ditto. As an actual tradesperson (machinist/fabricator) who has wasted most of his life working for MBA’s, I take profound offense at the comparison.

  21. Dale


    “How’s that Chicago School,
    Market Based Healthcare system
    working for you now?

    1. MLTPB

      The state of Washington steps in this time.

      Q13 Fox reports the insurance commissioner there orders insurance companies to not charge copays or deductibles for required testing…good till May 4.

      Why May 4?

        1. MLTPB

          Santa Clara calls for cancellation of large events.

          Two days after the election. Fortunately or a bit too late?

          The same county cautions those over 50, with medical conditions, to avoid large gatherings. How large? My mom has 2 health related appointments next month.

          1. MLTPB

            Would include San Jose Sharks NFL games.

            That’s bold.

            But not the airport.

            Also say people should try to avoid hospitals. (All from SJ Mercury News).

        2. Massinissa

          At this point, we’re going to need the force to save us, or maybe local governments, because the federal government is next to inactive on this issue. Its criminal.

          1. MLTPB

            Options vary, and opinions range from

            1. No flying (still flying = total fail ).
            2. Quarantine a city, or a state (italian or Chinese example).
            3. Close border to Korea, Italy, etc. (Precedent: by Russia to China).
            4. Keep people at home (like Wuhan, or recommended by one Washington county of 2.2 million residents).
            5. Cancel large gatherings, or the parliament/Congress (Europe parliamentary session set for tomorrow postponed I believe).

            Plus others that may have been suggested by various posters.

            1. The Rev Kev

              The US may find itself emptying out all those prisons as they do not want to take care of millions of sick prisoners serving time for virtually nothing. Iran did it already. The prisons could serve as Coronavirus treatment centers as they already have beds in them.

              1. MLTPB

                Too many comments to respond too. Sorry to have to add this now.

                You have a point about prisons, and all nations should think about that. What plans do they have? Even POW camps run by Syria, Turkey, or Russia (POW or otherwise).

            2. MLTPB

              Just read Korea reacting strongly to Japan asking 2 week quarantine for visitors from the Hermit kingdom.

              I notice (is it just me, and am I not recalling correctly), but many cases (in the US and many other nations) are people coming back from Italy.

              Should we consider 2 week quarantine? Have we already? Has any one outside the government suggesting that?

              To win votes, it helps to be seen tackling the most immediate problem, and not necessarily what you will do next year.

        1. aletheia33

          nurses should get whatever they ask for!

          i can see the movie. massive nurses’ strike, coinciding with blood on the floor in milwaukee. craven political airheads on their knees trembling in fear and pleading for their lives. only the old white-haired senator from the tiny state with the big heart may know what to do to prevent civil war. ;)

        2. meeps

          From the nurse’s full statement:

          “They claim they prioritize running samples by illness severity and that there are only so many to give out each day.”

          That sounds like the rationing of care that defenders of privatized health insurance plans warned against under a national plan like Medicare For All.

          Thanks, flora. I hope the nurse recovers.

  22. Wukchumni

    I was talking to one of the bravest men I know yesterday, and he told me this week, there have been 4 to 5 students absent and it’s usually 1 or 2 in his largely Mexican-American 7th grade science class, where for him at least, teenagers never grow older. His 27th year.

    …any other teachers with tales of Coronavirus truancy?

  23. Hoppy

    Profiles in courage. Warren could pull a Romney and tell the public the truth about Biden’s mental state on Friday. That’s a checkmate move if there ever was one.

  24. fresno dan

    “The anybody-but-Bernie comeback” [Ryan Cooper, The Week].
    To me, the recent democratic party is most analogous to religion in the middle ages. An institution premised on the thesis that it was the moral exempler, served the interests of the weakest and poorest, the lambs of God, when in fact it was a bastion of corruption, santimony, self promotion and hypocrisy – pretty much the exact opposite of its supposed ideals. Its a great niche – if you don’t do a good job of representating the poor, the hopeless, and the helpless, who are they gonna turn to???

    The Pope as personality cult and attendant organization is startling similar to Friends of Bill and Obamabots – the total worship based on position and power, and refusal to assess these individuals on what they actually do – or more accurately, only assessing them on how they advance the interests of the rich and powerful WHILE mouthing the platitudes religiously, fervently, and incessantly. And always, ALWAYS, the scribes and noviates rebut and refute any apparent contradictions between the proclamations of virtue and the evident realities.
    And the better life is always somewhere in the vague future…

  25. Noone from Nowheresville

    I disagree on the Bloomberg spend. I think he spent his money very wisely. It will grow and he will harvest some interesting crops. If you want the tinfoil hat, then he has already harvested his indirect investment in Warren. She got to beat him up and regain her fighting street cred. She netted $29 million in fundraising, garnered a SuperPac then proceeded to go after the Sanders policies before Super Tuesday. The feeling is that she’s not trustworthy to the establishment but I don’t know. I guess it depends on whose plan she’s been implementing. I’ve come to view her candidacy and support of programs like Medicare for All as a Trojan Horse from the very beginning.

    1. Noone from Nowheresville

      As far as the whole Sanders v. Biden debates are concerned. Sanders needs a narrative strategy, not a debate strategy. I think there will only be one more debate. Knocking out Biden shouldn’t be the point. Impossible anyway if the Mondale vs. cognitively impaired Reagan debates are our standard.

      It’s up to Sanders to change the political narrative from Sanders v. Biden. That’s not where the battle lies. Now is the time because if Sanders doesn’t win the nomination then the megaphone is lost. He has about 4 months to magnify his narrative. If he wins, the nomination he gets more time. Embrace the policies of “us” v. policies for the status quo argument and give it hell. Biden will have to respond and think on his feet if Sanders comes up with the right hooks. (ha ha boxing)

      1. Noone from Nowheresville

        Make the case for an all encompassing healthcare system for medical, dental, eyes, ears, etc. We don’t need statistics. We need narrative here. How this crisis will impact all of “us” poor and well off alike. Introduce a lefty’s wet dream of legislation. Do NOT get into how to pay for it. It’s a straw man argument, especially at the beginning of a crisis when we have no idea what happens next and how we’ll have to respond. Lives are the most important thing. If a novel corona virus isn’t the time for this, then there will never be a time for this.

        Tie it into sick pay, wages, income inequality, etc. Talk about what the possible impacts could be to working families from their housing situation to getting supplies, basic health care, everything that makes sense here. Again everyone rich and poor will be touched by this. If this goes pear-shaped, it could profoundly reshape society in unexpected ways.

        Then talk about how monopolies and outsourcing have made our country weaker, especially in a crisis. Basic required medicines may not be available because we’ve allowed drug production and ingredient sourcing to move almost entirely overseas. We’ve done a similar thing in other industries. Key components for our critical machines aren’t made here anymore. etc. e.g., fragile supply lines and just in time inventory.

        How we will not bail out Wall Street or foam the runways for the banks this time like we did after the 2008 crisis. We will save Main Street, the working class, the small business owners, homeowners and renters from eviction rather than allowing private equity to dramatically increase their property holding and rentier wealth.

        1. Noone from Nowheresville

          Freaking invoke FDR already and how he dealt with the depression and getting ready for the possibility of war. People know these stories. The narrative is already built in. If they don’t know, they can find out fast. A potential pandemic requires that we get ready now.

          Talk about all the programs FDR implemented and how we benefited from what FDR seeded for 30 plus years until purposeful policy changes at first made small cuts then bigger and bigger cuts until now we’re told we can’t afford it. (Personally I’d avoid using the cost framing since it’s neoliberalism framing.)

          If the whole pay for it thing comes out, say something we’re reversing the tax cuts to the wealthy that have been given over the last 70 years and created x number of billionaire in the US alone. They paid it before and managed just fine without complaint and our country was better for it. After all income and inheritance tax was originally meant for the wealthy so they wouldn’t create an aristocracy and hold all the power.

          Now we have a single multi-billionaire who gained most of his wealth after 9/11, about doubled it after the 2008 crisis. He can drop half a billion dollars on a short campaign without noticing he spent the money. Compare it with some social public goods that everyone can understand. How much of an immediate difference half a billionaire dollars could make to citizens of the US in this one specific area. Imagine what else we could do if our policies reflected the will of our citizens?

          Someone much better versed than I am can weave together a better, more simplified narrative.

          My nickel. Thanks.

      2. Felix_47

        Four months? It looks like four days does it not? Michigan? Like many readers here I am all in for Sanders and gave the limit. But every time I heard him open his speeches with ‘the most important thing is to beat Donald Trump, the most dangerous president in history’ I would twitch. I thought HRC was far more of a war monger. At least Trump took only four years to get us out of AFG in contrast to Obama who spent 8 years not getting us out. But if Sanders believes Trump is the biggest danger to the US and his candidacy is secondary I suppose he deserves to lose because neoliberalism and campaign finance abuse are the biggest threats to the republic. Not even climate change is as big a threat because if we cannot take charge of our government and manage it rationally we cannot respond to any challenge. For example, fossil fuel. What percentage of out big money center banks are owned by Saudi Arabia, for example. And Biden will be the front man for Wall Street just like Obama.

        1. Yves Smith

          He has to say that to run as a Democrat.

          And it is separately true that with Trump as President we will go in the wrong direction on climate change, and other reforms will not be possible either.

          As for Afghanistan, the way Trump has escalated with Iran and enabled Netanyahu is a serious offset to the sensible moves he’s made. And look at his defense budget.

          1. vlade

            IMO Trump is a biased random walk. Which may be slightly better than aim-for-them HRC would be, but still not really great, because his bias is so obvious (Trump!), tha he can be steered by some.

  26. PlutoniumKun

    Re: China.

    Michael Pettis has tweeted links to a paywalled article indicating that local governments around China are lying to Beijing about local industrial production. The Provinces that are allegedly clear of the virus are supposed to be entirely back to work, but its proving far more difficult than they expected. its not clear why this is the case – probably supply and labour problems. But it seems its been dealt with in the usual way – fudging the figures.

  27. Grachguy

    Regarding the exit polling discrepancy and electronic vote rigging:
    Some on the interwebs have probably come across this source before, but this article is a goldmine on how and when the DNC rigged the election in 2016. https://caucus99percent.com/content/election-fraud-study-authors-respond-critics

    As Ben Norton points out in the following, we are seeing the same patterns repeat in this election: https://twitter.com/BenjaminNorton/status/1235578625027698691?s=20

    Finally, we also are aware of an exact mechanism with which this type of rigging is performed using fractional vote changing:

    This is all out there in the open for anyone to find. Most of the work discovering and analyzing this stuff hasn’t even been done by left wing activists but rather by normie scientists and statisticians (the first link pertains to a Stanford study!) That’s how brash our overlords are, but they’ve manufactured our consent. We don’t even have the semblance of a democratic system, folks; Augustus is already here.

  28. Mikel

    Looks like negative interest rates are around the corner. Fed announcing another one coming this month.
    Grab your overinflated asset of choice today!

    Will people be paying more attention to the total price of things?

  29. tempestteacup

    I would love to be proved wrong but this is over for Bernie, isn’t it?

    The drip-drip of endorsements continue to percolate through congenial media outlets. Joe Biden’s manifest weaknesses – his record, his policy vacuity, his cognitive deterioration – are ignored. The sense that it is all a ‘done deal’ becomes the mood music of every article, every broadcast.

    And in the meantime, we are having what Lambert might call a ‘clarifying moment’. All those semi/pseudo progressive/left NGOs, unions, organisations, are sitting on the fence or studying their nails while Biden fronts a now-unified right-wing Democratic performance of unity. They are absolutely no better than the choreographed applause that book-ended the speeches of dead-on-their-feet Soviet panjandrums congratulating themselves on pig-iron production as their social system fell to pieces (how ironic for such dedicated Russophobes that they should in practice emulate the behaviours of Soviet-era sinecurists and apparatchiks!)

    I’m not sure what exactly Bernie, his campaign, surrogates or supporters can do. Others here and elsewhere have talked about the need to be bolder and more aggressive. Yes – that is true. But if I’m right, and what we are seeing is a truer split of voters where his base represents a solid 30% against an ideologically disparate (or ideologically neglible) 70% of other Democratic voters, more aggression – however justified – would not attract the voters he needs to take a lead over Joe Biden.

    As with Corbyn in the UK, I have the haunting feeling that this is the right movement at the necessary time being tragically destroyed by immovable forces. Intractable generational differences, the reactionary reality of identity politics, the rightwards drift of the PMC. As the climate crisis reaches, or passes, a point of no return, it is a final kick in the teeth to see slim hopes going down simply because fidelity to the collapsing system remains in just enough breasts to ensure nothing is done for jsut long enough to ensure that there will, in the end, be nothing to be done.


    1. urblintz

      I sympathize with your distress. It’s true that Bernie might not win. But I hope you don’t think that Biden will ever be president. That’s not going to happen.

      If Trump wins again there may be a real victory hiding in the ashes of the Democratic Party.

      1. tempestteacup

        If you look at what is happening right now in the UK – the country of my birth – and the Labour Party, it makes one much less optimistic.

        The endless capitulations and compromises Corbyn/his movement (e.g. Momentum) offered the dominant right-wing faction of the party over issues like mandatory reselection, Israel, nuclear rearmament etc., besides the general culture of emollience over confrontation, left his supporters unprepared for their electoral defeat. They were, in effect, already demobilised and conditioned for discouragement. And so, when it came, they weren’t galvanised for long-term struggle after being schooled in the realities of ruling class power but instead bitterly disappointed after being sold the pup that you could enact radical reforms in the unchanged confined of bourgeois political reality.

        I worry that this is what is about to happen – if it not happening already – in America. And it will be all the more bitter because Bernie is a much more skilled political operator than Jeremy Corbyn, and he has had the chance for a ‘do-over’ after the Clinton-patented skullduggery of 2016!

    2. tempestteacup

      It seems absurd but I can’t help reminding myself that Joe Biden is in fact clearly suffering from cognitive decline – whether he is suffering from dementia or not I can’t say, but the evidence is far too extensive to deny it as a factor. Absurd because it seems so to pin one’s hopes on the fact that right-wing Democrats have cruelly and/or desperately decided to stake it all on an elderly man who should be enjoying the twilight of his life with his family instead of being force-fed modafinil in order to remember which state he is in that afternoon.

      But there we are. In terms of aggression, it is imperative that Bernie trains the spotlight in Biden’s mental deterioration. He can do this without being cruel. He just needs to be sharp, accurate, quick-witted and dogged on the issues. Biden will, in that case, likely undo himself.

      That is should come to this is, itself, tragicomic. I can’t help also being slightly annoyed with the echo chamber of Bernie-boosting that has developed in or around groups like the DSA or Jacobin Magazine. Endless “Bernie is crushing it – here’s why” articles have done precisely nothing to help readers understand the depth or nature of ruling class power. And now when the inevitable fightback bites, there is widespread disillusionment. I hope it isn’t terminal. We will see.

      1. JBird4049

        I loathe Joe Biden, but the enablers and users setting Mr. Biden up for public humiliation are just slime. However, Biden will be publicly destroyed while those set it will walk away with clean hands.

    3. turtle

      I’m not giving up yet. Two things to consider: first, there are still many unallocated delegates, all(?) in states where Sanders won (what a coincidence, huh?). This means that Sanders is likely at least tied with Biden, if not ahead in delegates right now. Not a bad place to be in after super Tuesday.

      Second, we have one on one debates coming. As much as the MSM will try to help Biden, if Sanders goes hard after his record (no personal attacks needed – Sanders tries to avoid that) and Biden completely bumbles trying to defend it (as he will), it will be hard to keep up the illusion of Biden being electable. Anyone with any imagination will be able to picture Trump completely obliterating Biden. Although perhaps I give the electorate too much credit.

      1. tempestteacup

        I agree that the debate(s) provide an opportunity – if Bernie is willing not just to advocate forcefully for his policies but to press hard on Biden’s lifelong allegiance to the ruling class as a glib representative of the Democratic Party’s right wing.

        Like many, I am sick of Bernie’s “my friend Joe” stylings. You don’t have to be an a–hole to hold someone accountable. There is a difference between discussing the personal record of an opponent and its relevance to their candidacy, and casting aspersions on their character or personality. Biden has worked hand-in-glove with some of the corporate actors who have been most influential in attacking the living standards and lives of Americans over the last 40 years He has been at the forefront of Democrats carrying water for the military and intelligence agencies, part of the rightwards lurch of the party in line with the right-wing ideological ascendancy that has blighted American life. To say so, and to force it into the open, is not to be mean or unethical.

        Bernie is right to state, over and over, the primacy of movements not individual politicians. But the entire framework of American presidential politics focuses everything, ultimately, on leaders. Win that and you can bring your movement into play. That means taking off the gloves. As others have said, this is a pivotal moment. Bernie has been accused of sheepdogging for the Democratic Party. I have my own fears that by promising it is even possible to change one of American capitalism’s 2 politicial institutions he is selling his supporters a fiction. Now is the time to prove otherwise – and I really, really hope he does!

        1. Lou Anton

          If you were told last year that it’d be Sanders against Biden tied after Super Tuesday, how would you have felt? I would’ve been ecstatic! I would think Bernie mops the floor with him in the next 2 debates.

          I admit I don’t feel ecstatic by any means now, but there’s still rounds left in this fight.

          And if Biden does win the nomination, I’d expect Bernie to start handing over the keys to AOC and anyone else who wants to pick up the baton.

          1. ChrisPacific

            Exactly. The Empire has struck back, but Biden is no Emperor Palpatine, or Darth Vader for that matter. Let’s see how things progress from here.

        2. Felix_47

          I hope he stops saying the most important job is to stop Donald Trump. Trump is a side show.
          Campaign finance is the real threat. His most important job is to win the nomination. I gave the limit but I am in the 1% so it is petty cash to me but what irks me are the millions of low paid workers who gave 5 and 10 dollars with the assurance that they were helping to build a new era. Bernie owes them big time and doing a ‘my good friend Joe Biden’ is not very respectful to their struggles and hopes. One hopes that out of the ashes a third party could arise. I don’t know who the Greens are running but they get my vote after this fiasco. Vote for anyone….as long as they are not blue is looking more and more like reality.

    4. Tmoney

      Bernie needs to keep going and make it a contested convention. Even if it is a lost battle, it needs to be fought, so the powers that be know we won’t stop until we win. It’s Bernie’s last go anyway, go down swinging. You can’t cry “Remember the Alamo” without an Alamo. A contested convention forces the establishment to use their last resort weapon. Besides, Biden might go down from ill health before the convention, it will be hard for other players to come back in and win under those circumstances.

    5. Yves Smith

      Please shut up.

      Bernie will be ahead in the delegate count once CA is official. He is still the frontrunner.

      He should do better in the Rust Belt than Biden. This was the exact same point Tom Neuberger (then writing as Gaius Publius) made when Sanders was running v. Hillary: his prospects are much better once you get past the early Southern primaries.

      1. Deschain

        Bernie’s gonna get wiped out in FL based on recent polling. Biden picks up a net 100 delegates there, at least. And remember, Bernie has to get to 50.1% to win, otherwise Biden wins on second ballot. Finally the polls are continuing to move in Biden’s favor, Joementum is real.

        Unless Biden blows himself up in the next debate, he’s the nominee.

        1. hamstak

          To your last point, this is why “they” must prevent Gabbard from participating in the next debate now that Warren has pressed the eject button. Tulsi would dismember that lyin’ dog-faced pony soldier.

          Maybe I will start calling “them” The Thing…

          1. Dan

            Tulsi would have no qualms going right after his dementia as he is unfit to be commander in chief. She’d tell us calmly and confidently what the job entails as it relates to the military. And then she’d turn to Joe, look him in the eye, and say “You clearly aren’t mentally fit to be commander in chief and I think you owe it to the American public to drop out of this race now. This is a matter of national security.”

            At this point who knows what Joe would do. If he somehow managed to make it through the night, the liberal media message going forward would be something along the lines of “Hey, Ronald Reagan had some mental deficiencies too, but he was a decent guy and everything worked out alright.”


      2. TMoney

        I hope your right, I really do. There were a lot of deflated people around me (in a blue bit of Ohio) on Wednesday. I notice the delegate counts are awfully slow to be assigned where Bernie has done well (save Vermont), increasing the perception of Biden as “winning”

      3. integer

        I first learned of the Iron Law of Institutions at NC, and I can’t see any reason why it won’t apply here. The D establishment will almost certainly be willing to take a big hit to the party’s credibility, and viability in the general election, to stop Sanders. Especially seeing as he has a decent chance of beating Trump. FWIW, bookies and bettors are now heavily favoring Biden to win the D nomination; Biden’s odds are currently at -833 or thereabouts, while Sanders is a +550 underdog. I’m not sure whether it means much, but that’s a huge discrepancy.

  30. RWood

    A bonus to a WTF party:

    “We’re just one day away from the premiere of the new documentary covering Hillary’s life from her early years through the 2016 election, and we want to know: Will you be watching “Hillary”?

    “The four-part documentary will be available to stream on Hulu beginning this Friday, March 6th. With behind-the-scenes footage from the 2016 campaign and brand-new interviews from Hillary and her friends and family, you won’t want to miss out.

    “Let us know that you’re planning a watch party — no matter how big or small! — and Hillary could call in to say hello and answer a few questions”

  31. antidlc

    Did Elizabeth Warren just give a non-endorsement (anti-endorsement?) to Biden?

    Sen. Elizabeth Warren on Joe Biden: “No matter how many Washington insiders tell you to support him, nominating their fellow Washington insider will not meet this moment. Nominating a man who says we do not need any fundamental change in this country will not meet this moment.”

      1. antidlc

        I”d like to hear the whole speech.

        Isn’t a non-endorsement of Biden an implicit endorsement of Bernie?

        1. urblintz

          She was aiming for both Biden and Sanders “nominating a man” and although it’s also true that Sanders is a “Washington insider” his brand as an outsider playing on the inside focuses her charge mostly on Biden, imho.

          It helps Bernie. He’s being attacked as an outsider and can point out that: “Elizabeth Warren is right, of course. A Washington insider running to sustain the current system will not meet this moment.”


        2. Dan

          This is from March 3.
          Warren was still in the race.
          Today is March 5.
          Warren is no longer in the race.
          The statement is no longer applicable.
          Liz needs some time to think.
          Tomorrow she’ll say something else.
          The Cherokees are waiting patiently for her words of wisdom.

    1. judy2shoes

      That tweet from the Hill was on Super Tuesday. In the speech clip, EW congratulates Biden for his SC win, so it may have been made during her concession speech. I don’t know if the speech was before or after the insider “group hug” of Biden. Will take a bit of sleuthing of the time frame.

  32. Mikel

    Every mention of the election is a waste. Energy may be better spent operating as if that is happening in another universe while the alternative to the Dems is developed.

    1. Massinissa

      I’m sort of tired of people saying this, because this isn’t Europe. There’s basically no way for an ‘alternative’ to emerge without the Dems imploding first. That’s why at least taking this fight to the convention, to at least deny Biden a 50% majority, is so important. The more the Dems bite and claw at Bernie, the more corrupt they will appear, and the closer we will get to a potential Dem implosion. They aren’t going to implode like the whigs if nothing is done to pressure them. The Whigs didn’t just die without first suffering from massive internal contradictions over their positions on slavery.

      1. Jonathan Holland Becnel


        Lot of insight to be gleaned comparing our present day Establishment to the Whigs.

  33. chuck roast

    Various kinds of hysteria in the pink paper today. I’d link to it, but what’s the point…it’s paywalled. Two articles on shaky monster corporate debt including one by Mohamed El-Erian. Difficulty rolling over debt, fallen angels, huge B-minus borderline debt. Go read Wolf for free. When El-Erain gets talky the genius-boys talk notice.

    Couple articles on the Fed interest rate drop and an eye on the Euro bank and Lagarde’s total lack of ammo. These guys are even mentioning (gulp) the efficacy of fiscal policy. What…pushing on the string no longer works? Now that they have for over 40 years, brain washed the political class on the horror of deficit spending this will be a difficult sell. Doubtless we will see follow-up articles on how to fashion fiscal policy so that most of the bennies go to the financial and industrial elites. We all know that the regular schmos are perfectly happy with austerity.

    Coming soon from the Fed…the official adoption of Say’s law. Congress yawns…

  34. kimsarah

    Bernie might offer VP to Warren. Watch Joe pick Hillary as VP. Biden already said he will serve one term only. That sets up Hillary nicely.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      I agree with your notion though holding back one exception. If you support a candidate still in the race — notice when and if they need more funds to continue and send a check if you can. Otherwise ignore the election and vote your conscience when the time comes.

    2. John k

      He should be able to buy her for less, maybe much less. Treasury would work, certainly a higher price than bidens donors would pay.
      Not sure her endorsement would help much.

    3. Yves Smith

      He’s a moron if he does that.

      Her endorsement is a wasting asset.

      This is what I said yesterday:

      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.

  35. Matthew

    Two links. First, a take from Glen Ford on the reason for Sanders’ inability to find traction among older black voters. The gist from what I read is that for these voters, the Democratic party represents an indispensable shield against Republican depredations. The threat of Bernie voters breaking the party if he achieved a plurality of delegates led them to come out in force against him.


    The second is a tweet of poll results from Reuters that I wasn’t able to quickly source, but it’s depressing, and if true it goes a long way toward validating Lambert’s impression of authoritarian followers causing the swing in the race as a whole.


    1. Carolinian

      Thanks for the link.

      The screechingly raucous, out-of-control Democratic debate in Charleston just days before the South Carolina primary appears to have scared the hell out of Black voters – and lots of white ones, too — who perceived “their” party coming apart at the seams and blamed the mayhem on Bernie Sanders.

      BAR is saying that the older black voters see the Dem party as their haven and shield against the thing they really fear–which is the Republicans–and therefore they don’t want a “revolution” or to damage the party.

      1. inode_buddha

        … in other words they haven’t updated their politics since about 1974 or so…

      2. Matthew

        And this is a reasonable fear, and one the campaign needed to have addressed already, though it may be impossible. Not at least reaching out to Clyburn, even if the overtures were rejected, is starting to look really bad.

  36. Dwight

    “[New York City] is now asking all New Yorkers who have returned from at-risk countries — China, Iran, Italy, South Korea and Japan — to quarantine themselves for 14 days.”


    This is prudent, but late. And what about hotspots in the U.S., beginning with Washington State, or at least western Washington State?

    According to Trevor Bedford’s study, Washington State already has about 600 undetected cases.


    Even without domestic containment, self-quarantine of travelers from these countries will slow spread of the virus and ease impact on healthcare resources, and other states and cities should do this.

    However, without domestic containment measures, the effect of international containment on spread in the U.S. will be limited. The domestic/international distinction, driven in some part by lack of testing in the U.S., is becoming increasingly arbitrary and ineffective.

      1. MLTPB

        Do they do that every week or so?

        Any negative today can catch it potentially tomorrow.

  37. Monty

    Three Scottsdale firefighters and a two-person ambulance crew are currently placed under isolation protocol after treating a patient that later tested positive for the coronavirus.


    “Once the positive coronavirus test was received, the four-person fire crew and two-person ambulance crew were excluded from work as a precautionary measure and will follow social distancing guidelines for 12-14 days per direction from Maricopa County Public Health.”

    I hope we can spare 5 emergency workers for every sick person!

      1. Monty

        Yeah, i noticed that. For some unspecified reason, they excused one of them from the isolation.

        1. MLTPB

          It’s been warm here in Socsl, though it might rain next Wed.

          Hoping this weather helps to contain this thing a bit.

  38. Roland

    Good news: Turks and Russians agree on ceasefire in Syria.



    Ceasefire to be in current positions, with a new buffer zone to be arranged. It looks like the world catches a break this time. Of course the war in Syria remains fundamentally dangerous to world peace.

    At SANA there is the transcript of a long and wide-ranging interview between Bashar al-Assad and Yevgeny Primakov (grandson of the former Russian PM). Assad answers most of the questions head-on. He shows some awareness that the prewar economic liberalization programme exacerbated social tensions. His remarks on European countries’ foreign policies are biting, and apt. He makes a veiled threat of starting guerrilla operations in foreign-occupied parts of Syria.


    1. The Rev Kev

      That agreement says that the militants/Turks have to give up the M4 highway which is going to hurt them as they have to pull back their forces north to do so. It won’t last as the militants will still not stop launching attacks on the Syrians and the Russians.

      1. jsn

        Russians will be in joint patrols with Turks on the A4.

        We’ll see if the Turks are any more commitment capable than the US.

  39. The Rev Kev

    “I campaigned hard for Elizabeth Warren. Don’t tell me to ‘just get over’ my grief now she’s dropped out the race”

    Something tells me that this Kathi Valeii was a Hillary supporter back in 2016 and would have been devastated after she lost. At the time there were videos of Hillary supporters who were utterly devastated at her loss and they were crying and screaming outside the center while celebrities were going online to share their pain. I am always wary about people who tie up so much of their emotional well-being into a mere political candidate. That way lies madness.

    1. judy2shoes

      I am always wary about people who tie up so much of their emotional well-being into a mere political candidate. That way lies madness.

      Especially THAT political candidate, which indicates they may well have been mad to begin with.

    2. Deschain

      Klobuchar and Buttigieg didn’t have any issues telling their supporters to get over it.

    3. cm

      Luckily she can still support the female contender Gabbard.

      Or maybe, if gender is so important, she can write in Sarah Palin.

  40. Cuibono

    Has there been any good anaysis of voting results from Super Tuesday other than Mass to suggest “aberrations ” in the electronic voting machines?

  41. freedomny

    The fear index is 9 ?!! When was the last time it was that high?

    On another note, and only because I know there are some enthusiastic gardeners here….

    This summer I’m going to have my own garden (not a balcony etc) for the first time in my life! I’m in growing zone 5a. Looking for some fruit suggestions and if anyone knows some really good online nurseries in the northeast I can order from (buying from Home Depot has always been disappointing to me in the past). Don’t get tons of light….patches here and there. I’m basically surrounded by a forest so I suspect mushroom learning will be in my future :) Also I am definitely getting rid of the lawn thing. No way am I mowing or paying for it. I think I will do my front almost entirely in moss with some “invisible” edibles (I have an HOA) along with flowering perennials. I would Love suggestions and thanks in advance!

  42. The Rev Kev

    Don’t you hate it when even Donald Trump gets it?

    Donald J. Trump


    Elizabeth “Pocahontas” Warren, who was going nowhere except into Mini Mike’s head, just dropped out of the Democrat Primary…THREE DAYS TOO LATE. She cost Crazy Bernie, at least, Massachusetts, Minnesota and Texas. Probably cost him the nomination! Came in third in Mass.
    2:10 AM – Mar 6, 2020

    1. Deschain

      There’s a reason he’s in the WH and not Clinton or Bush or Cruz or etc. His political calculus is quite good.

  43. urblintz

    Question for the NC community. Does anyone know if a butterfly chrysalis can be moved and if so how? Pretty sure it’s a monarch! There’s one attached to my front tire and I don’t want to drive until I can move it. It’s so beautiful!

    1. inode_buddha

      Did it when I was a kid, find a leafy tree branch in a grove somewhere near sunlight and attach it there somehow.

        1. inode_buddha

          remember they live on milkweed, so if you can relocate it near a patch it would be good for it

    2. ChetG

      A monarch chrysalis can be safely moved.
      Tie a thread around the connecting link at the top. Once you have it secure, snip the connecting link above the thread (while holding the thread ends so that it doesn’t fall). Then tie it to somewhere safe.
      (I’ve just begun a page series about raising monarchs and had to move a chrysalis or two. All I have at present is an introductory page.
      Good luck!

      1. urblintz

        Thanks so much! Your description matches the process shown in the video. Now I just have to find the courage to try. I really don’t want to damage it!

        Your intro page is gorgeous and I’ll bookmark you to see how it develops. And with the picture of the caterpillar I am certain that I have monarchs. Cheers!

        1. ChetG

          The first time I relocated a chrysalis I was quite nervous, but the process is straightforward, and the next time I did so it was surprisingly easy.
          Let us know how it goes, please.

  44. Anonymous

    Soares has a mostly blank LinkedIn profile, but it says he’s owner of Science Monitor, Inc., in the Burlington, Vermont area. Obviously Sanders critics could go to town with that fact.

  45. Monty

    Global confirmed infections (ex china) are doubling every 6 days. This time next week they should hit 50k. At that rate, by 4th July everybody in the world would have been infected.

      1. John k

        Yeah, those are the countries that test suspected people.
        Imagine our numbers when testing gets going.

        1. MLTPB

          Germany, Spain, France and Sweden are all seeing increasing numbers, but the total is still dominated by 3.

          Each, or Australia, or the US, is about 1/10 of Iran or Korea.

          If California takes in that cruise ship, we will see eeven more.

          1. Monty

            Imagine when Africa and India get going.


            On the bright side, everyone not dead by Christmas will have hopefully picked up immunity, and that will be the end of it.

            1. MLTPB

              True, unfortunately.

              With India’s population close to China’s, their numbers, in that case, at the same stage, would dominate.

            2. kareninca

              What makes you think that having had this confers immunity?
              I thought that one of the few things that had been established was that getting it did not confer immunity.
              Do you have some extra info here?

          2. The Rev Kev

            It doesn’t matter. That guy at Peak prosperity was talking about this point just in today’s video. A country gets a case, then it gets another case, then another, then there is a cluster of cases and then boom – you get that hockey stick of increased numbers.

            An example of it is Italy that had two cases a the end of January and four weeks later it had skyrocket to about 677 I think. Countries like Australia and the US have not hit that hockey stick curve yet, that is all.

            So rememeber – it is case, case, case, cluster, boom!

            1. MLTPB

              Your point reflects further down the line, when more populous nations are hit, and their numbers will come to dominate, for the same percentage.

              Right now, it is 3 nations.

              1. The Rev Kev

                Right now, ‘further down the line’ may be as early as the end of the month. That is why the panic buying at the moment – people are making their own conclusions as to how soon this is coming.

                My own guess is that in the United States alone, there must be thousands of infected people if not tens of thousands walking around. They just have presented with symptoms – yet.

                1. MLTPB

                  Maybe it’s next month.

                  LoopHope not.

                  But no one can tell.

                  Even China is still seeing daily new ases, and it only takes one case* to restart a new chain, especially in a populous country with many, many cities and towns.

                  Plus, the thing has gone around the world and is back there, in the form of a new strain, possibly.

                  *or a person evading self isolation.

  46. lyman alpha blob

    Apologies in advance for being repetitive, but I posted a comment in links today right before water cooler came out, and after seeing more links here about exit poll anomalies I’m more than a little hot under the collar and wanted to give another update in case anyone is interested.

    From earlier today:

    Front page of Maine’s biggest paper today –


    You may hit a paywall so here’s the subhead from the article –

    Voting results defied conventional geographic and demographic divisions among the state’s Democrats, who reacted to a winnowing of the field in recent days.

    And from the article itself –

    The moderate [Biden] also dominated blue-collar mill towns like Millinocket, Rumford, Jay and Madawaska despite Sanders’ long-standing and vocal opposition to international trade deals that many say contributed to declines in Maine’s manufacturing industry.


    Andrew Rudalevige, chairman of Bowdoin College’s Department of Government and Legal Studies, said it is unusual to see such a rapid coalescing around one candidate in Maine and nationally. The former vice president wasn’t even above the 15 percent threshold to receive delegates in Maine just a few weeks ago, when Colby College conducted a poll of voters.

    Biden ‘won’ by about 3000 votes. As I mentioned Tuesday night many towns including my own ran out of ballots because the SecState didn’t have enough printed, and they were feeding photocopied ballots into the scan machines, with many being rejected. After raising a stink about it, our city clerk instructed the election clerks to stop feeding the photocopied ballots into the machines and count them by hand, but that was just in our city and it didn’t happen until probably at least 6:30, hours after they ran out of official ballots. Who knows if the machines counted the photocopied ballots correctly – I don’t believe the machines were designed to accurately count ad hoc ballots like this.

    So my educated guess would be that the state relied on the scanners to count many thousands of photocopied ballots that the scanners weren’t designed for. Sanders crushed Clinton in Maine in 2016 by 64% to 35%. This time the mainstream candidate gets a slim victory. Is the situation really that different from 4 years ago? IIRC the media was making the same anti-Sanders claims then as they are now.

    Something really stinks about this.

    Some more details and PO’ed opinions –

    I was informed by our city clerk that in my precinct, there were about 100 photocopied ballots along with 1000 regular ballots inside the scanner. The other photocopied ballots were counted by hand. The clerk said there were only about a half dozen undervotes (or blank ballots, can’t remember the term she used) from the machine so all the ballots were counted. Counted yes, but were they counted correctly? We can only know if all the ballots were counted by hand and then compared to the machine tally, and from what I’ve been told, they were not. My estimate above of several thousand photocopied ballots statewide being fed into the scanners is probably about right based on the info from my precinct, which is one of the larger ones in the state. I’ve been after the city for years now about how our votes are counted and it’s extremely frustrating to be met with blank stares when you try to tell people the machines aren’t reliable and everybody’s vote deserves to be counted. I’ve participated in a manual recount of the scanned votes before and we proved that the machines had not counted all the ballots, and that was when there were no photocopied ones. Our city clerk does a great job and is extremely competent, but she doesn’t set the rules and has to rely on directions from the SecState. I’m not sure we could even do a hand count if we wanted to.

    The Bangor Daily News link mentions that Maine switched from a caucus in 2016 to a primary this year and they hoped for and expected a much larger turn out because of it, and yet the SecState still didn’t have enough ballots printed. This is a travesty. Why not simply print a ballot for each registered voter and recycle any that don’t get used? It isn’t like this and every other state doesn’t flush money down the toilet on far less important things. Why no set procedure ahead of time for what to do if ballots run out, and why no hand recount considering that they did?

    We’ve also been hearing a lot from the MSM that young people didn’t get out to vote for Bernie. There weren’t many younger people at my precinct, but Maine is the oldest state in the nation so not a very good example here. They seem to have all kinds of data about how many voted in each age group, whom people who feared coronavirus preferred, and any other number of preferences, but no mention at all from MSM sources about exit polling. And now we are seeing that the results were once again skewed compared to exit polling, and as always, in the same direction – 180 degrees away from the lefty candidate. That makes it extremely difficult to but this ‘young people didn’t show’ narrative as a justification for Biden’s extremely surprising performance.

    Bernie needs to bring this issue up. Exit polls were the gold standard – this idea that conservatives lie en masse on exit polls just to throw wrench in the works is nuts. Why would they just start this in the last couple decades? And exit polls do have a margin of error to take anomalies into account.

    If we are left with a choice between Biden and Trump in the general it may be the last time I go to the polls, just to get in one last spiteful vote for the Donald. Because really why bother if nobody cares enough to make sure the votes will be counted accurately.

    Bernie or burn it down.

  47. Samuel Conner

    I’m wondering if there is any prospect of using the state referendum process to impose “hand marked paper ballots, hand-counted in public” by citizen action.

    1. swangeese

      Why yes, yes he did.

      From the NYT:

      Biden Admits Errors and Criticizes Latest Report
      By E. J. Dionne Jr., Special To the New York Times
      Sept. 22, 1987

      Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr. issued a formal statement today acknowledging that he had misstated several facts about his past last April in a campaign appearance in New Hampshire.

      But the Delaware Democrat insisted today, as he had Sunday night in an interview with The New York Times, that some of the disputed statements were true and that his misstatements were the product of a faulty memory and the fact that he lost his temper.


      As for receiving three degrees, Mr. Biden said: ”I graduated from the University of Delaware with a double major in history and political science. My reference to degrees at the Claremont event was intended to refer to these majors – I said ‘three’ and should have said ‘two.’ ” Mr. Biden received a single B.A. in history and political science.


      ”I exaggerate when I’m angry,” Mr. Biden said, ”but I’ve never gone around telling people things that aren’t true about me.” Mr. Biden’s questioner had made the query in a mild tone, but provoked an explosive response from Mr. Biden.


      Another stable genius.

      If you can’t access the article, try using the Ublock Origin extension.

  48. VietnamVet

    Things are converging. It is a two old white male Democratic race. Like 2016 it will be Bernie Sanders against the Establishment. The really huge change from last time is that the election will be fought in a time of contagion. Governor Larry Hogan “The state’s Public Health Laboratory in Baltimore has confirmed the first three positive cases of novel coronavirus in Maryland.” The Wuhan Coronavirus is next door to Washington DC where AIPAC attendees are being tested for infection. This signals that I am sheltering in place until I have to go out to resupply – weeks or a month or longer? Just thinking about it gives me Cabin Fever. The abysmal failure of the US government to track, locate or isolate the epidemic has to be the greatest failure since the start of the Civil War. Bernie Sanders must attack the creators of this catastrophe; otherwise, if I survive to see October 2020, the campaign will be about who is the most incompetent senile candidate not about the accelerating collapse of society.

    1. turtle

      Good lord… NPR is just familyblogging enraging nowadays. I can’t believe that I used to listen to it religiously. Good grief. This section:

      For example, in October Facebook announced that it had suspended dozens of Instagram accounts originating in Russia but targeted at an American audience, with apparent links to the Internet Research Agency.

      Facebook shared its data with Graphika, a social media analytics firm, which said that four of the suspended accounts had a focus on praising Sanders.

      So, out of dozens of accounts suspended, they chose to discuss only the four that praised Sanders. What about the other dozens? I think this blown way past Hanlon’s Razor, as it can no longer be adequately explained by incompetence. Hence, it’s malice.

  49. The Rev Kev

    Newsflash: Coronavirus has just lead to more equipment efficiency in the US armed forces-

    “Coronavirus fears have stopped F-35 lines in Japan, Italy, Pentagon says”


    In other news, the Pentagon is starting to cancel more and more military exercises with foreign countries and probably training programs as well. Pretty soon they won’t be able to even leave their bases, even in the US.

  50. David Carl Grimes

    That TDMS report on exit polls was written by a guy from Vermont? Any connection to Bernie? If the discrepancies between exit polls are 2 times the margin of error, that means the probability of that deviation is like 5% or even less.

    1. MLTPB

      How do you work out those numbers?

      How is margin of error established? How to arrive at that 5% probability for a difference 2 times the margin of error?

      Curious to learn.


  51. Bill Carson

    I’m thinking of calling my broker tomorrow and selling out of my mutual funds, and holding it all in cash accounts for awhile.

    What do you guys think?

    1. David Carl Grimes

      Leave it in and ride it out. If the market goes up, it might be psychologically difficult to get back in and you’ll miss the upside. If you want downside protection, buy puts but those are probably expensive now and very difficult to time.

  52. dcrane

    Tried to log into twitter (been on it since September, was posting as of earlier today) and was given a captcha challenge to prove I’m not a robot. Bad enough, but Google (!) also requires that I allow access to data, and to “verify my phone number”, which I have never given them, of course.

    So that’s the end of that account, afaic. Since I was quite obviously a Bernie Bro in my posts naturally I wonder if this is a convenient way to reduce our numbers at this rather important time. I have been extremely careful with the account, never to do anything to precipitate a ban, in part to see if this sort of thing could happen anyway.

    Of course AI can tell that that account wasn’t a bot.

      1. Daryl

        I remember at the time the criticism of Elysium was that it was too over-the-top, the villains too evil…

        It seemed pretty on the money to me at the time, and is looking more and more prescient.

    1. Matthew

      You probably said something that some lib didn’t like but that wasn’t obviously abusive.

      1. dcrane

        About the harshest word I ever used was “dumb”, and have been careful since putting people down goes nowhere even if they seem to deserve it. But I was once blocked by Matt Stoller (the only meaningful account ever to do so) after having respectfully (I thought) and plainly suggested Elizabeth Warren was going to have a trust problem with Sanders progressives. So I guess it doesn’t take much.

        If it’s not random, then perhaps it’s because the accounts I follow weigh heavily toward the likes of max blumenthal, greenwald, craigmurray, assange-support, anti-Syria-war, anti-Russiagate, etc.

        1. CoryP

          I follow a very similar group of accounts and have been obnoxious enough to get myself a twelve hour ban. (I told a corporation to k*ll itself. LOL Corporate personhood, you see)

          That said I can’t be absolutely sure I didn’t do a CAPTCHA without thinking since I have no OpSec…. I’ve been too promiscuous with my info on Facebook in the past anyway.

          [If I in the future wanted to engage in serious “dissent” I would likely start from scratch with new phone, online identities, protonmail, VPN, Tails etc. I hope that time comes but it isn’t now]

          As an amusing aside I saw a thread of people asking who was “attempting to commit [REDACTED] by cop” in Milwaukee.

  53. Ranger Rick

    Re: China air pollution satellite data, you can get the NASA data in near realtime. It’s a pretty slick setup they’ve got there. (You can’t go directly to the NO2 overlay in Earthview because they don’t have a link to it specifically: you have to select it from the Add Layers -> Air Quality section.)

  54. hunkerdown

    Enjoy a double shot of fresh depresso, full state roast.

    Did Millennials Kill Art Van Furniture? (Metro Times) — Local furniture store bites the dust, blaming millennials for spending less than half as much on furniture as “boomers” do, implying millennials aren’t holding up their end of the economy I am sure.

    Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer endorses Biden, joining campaign as a national co-chair (MLive) — Yet another Michigan girl-power machine hack sponsored in part by Blue Cross Blue Shield Michigan, whose campaign was built on simple, strong values like fixing the damn roads!, lines up with the Biden machine and their gravy train against the people. We’re reaching clarity levels that shouldn’t even be possible.

  55. antidlc


    Donald Trump attacked Joe Biden’s cognitive abilities on Thursday night during an event in the former-vice president’s hometown that could set the tone for an ugly general election.

    Appearing at a Fox News town hall in Scranton, Pennsylvania, Trump – who has faced repeated scrutiny over his own mental acuity – said there was “something going on” with Biden, in what may prove a rehearsal for Republican attacks during the presidential election.

    My apologies if this has been posted.

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