Links 3/11/2020

Farewell to Fluffy An Englishman in Texas (Tam L). Please read this.

Cat Reacts Accordingly to Tin Foil Used to Keep It Off the Counter Time (David L)

How the moon formed – new research The Conversation (Kevin W)

Plastivores: Remarkable waxworms devour plastic waste in BU study Brandon University (Kevin W)

New Species of Chlamydia Bacteria Found in the Arctic Ocean Interesting Engineering (resilc)

Meet the spider, Fargo’s flood-fighting, sandbag-filling monster MPR (Chuck L)

Second Person Cured of HIV Is Still Free of Active Virus Two Years On CNN

Machine Learning Takes On Antibiotic Resistance Quanta (David L)


Global stock rebound founders as coronavirus fears return Financial Times. Hardly surprising. Huge drops followed by large but still partial reversals is typical for crises, and this crisis is far from over. Plus investors still reacting as if this is primarily a financial crisis, not a real world catastrophe. WSJ is cheerier: Global Markets Calmer After Two Hectic Days

WSJ a little too cheery: Dow futures point to an opening loss of more than 700 points after Tuesday’s surge CNBC

Software and Genetic Sequencing Track the Coronavirus’s Path Spectrum IEEE (David L)

Italy is in a nationwide lockdown over the coronavirus. Here are the rules all 60 million citizens now have to follow. Business Insider (Kevin W)

Payments on mortgages to be suspended across Italy after coronavirus outbreak Reuters (martha r). Never in America….

Coronavirus latest: Japan reports biggest one-day spike DW

Why are Korea’s Covid-19 death rates so low? Asia Times. That may be on the wane:

Coronavirus latest: South Korea reports first large outbreak in Seoul Financial Times

Health minister Nadine Dorries tests POSITIVE for coronavirus after a week of meeting people in Parliament and attending a reception with Boris Johnson – as UK cases rise by 61 in a day to 382 Daily Mail

When coronavirus is growing exponentially, everything looks fine until it doesn’t Washington Post (Dr. Kevin)

Will COVID-19 Kill Globalization? CounterPunch (resilc)

Coronanomics 101 Barry Eichengreen, Project Syndicate (David L)

U.S. Treasury Likely to Push Back April 15 Tax Filing Deadline, Sources Say Wall Street Journal. Silly and shows how little the Administration is prepared to do.

‘Stealth Attack on Social Security’: Trump Condemned for Exploiting Coronavirus Crisis to Push Payroll Tax Cut Common Dreams. Likely you worked that out already, but it might be easier to circulate this piece than ‘splain it to people you know.

Coronavirus: New York Creates ‘Containment Area’ Around Cluster In New Rochelle NPR

Coronavirus: Troops sent to New York ‘containment zone’ BBC

Harvard tells students not to return from spring break MIT Technology Review

CDC Director Redfield Testifies on Coronavirus C-SPAN (Kevin C)

The Lasting Effects of the 1918 Influenza Pandemic Marginal Revolution (resilc). A friend who has a pregnant daughter in law is freaking out.

Coronavirus: New York Won’t Close Schools Because Homeless Kids Have Nowhere Else to Go Mint Press (Chuck L)

Engineer Who Attended RSA Cybersecurity Event Contracts Coronavirus Bloomberg. Read details. It isn’t only old people who are at risk. 45 year old guy not only hospitalized, but in a medically-induced coma on a ventilator.

Matt Gaetz Wore a Gas Mask to Mock Coronavirus Concerns. Now He’s in Quarantine. Mother Jones (resilc)


Canada to Huawei: do an IPO with us South China Morning Post (resilc)

The Peace Corps Breaks Ties with China New Yorker

Huawei Expects 20 Percent Drop In Android Smartphone Sales, Thanks To Lack of Google Apps 9to5Google


US Marines Arrive on Yemen’s Island of Socotra to Back UAE

Imperial Collapse Watch

US Navy Secretary: We May Not Buy Any More Ford-Class Aircraft Carriers Sputnik (Kevin W)

An Illustrated Guide to Mean Things People Say About National Parks – Atlas Obscura (Dr. Kevin)

Trump Transition

Court: House entitled to Mueller probe grand jury testimony Associated Press (David L)

Judge: Amazon ‘Likely To Succeed’ on Key Issue in Pentagon Lawsuit The Hill


Democrats scrap live audience for Arizona debate The Hill. Thank goodness, no stacked audience.

Republican Michigan mayor endorses Biden instead of ‘deranged’ Trump Guardian

Joe Biden’s Strategy to Limit Gaffes: Talk Less Vanity Fair (resilc). When you are losing Vanity Fair…

Angry Joe Biden Tells Detroit Worker ‘You’re Full Of Sh**’ WWJ Newsradio 950. NBC Evening News had a short and very much sanitized version.

Democrats, You Really Do Not Want To Nominate Joe Biden Current Affairs (resilc)

Joe Biden, Not Bernie Sanders, Is the True Scandinavian New York Times. Kevin W: “From the Mustache of Understanding.”

Biden Opens an All-But-Insurmountable Lead Over Sanders Bloomberg. tons of party and media pressure for Sanders to resign before the March 15 debate in Phoenix.

#LoseWithBiden is now top trending on Twitter. For instance:

More important, #DemExit has been top trending all day. For instance:

Bernie Sanders is all but done Politico. Lead story.

CNN’s Coverage of Sanders Was 3X More Negative Than Biden Following Their Big Primary Wins In These Times

Sanders’ Commitment to Peace and Diplomacy American Conservative. Resilc: “The DNC has Russia on the brain 24/7/365.”

What We Learned From Bloomberg’s Online Campaign Lawfare (David L)

Federal Court Order a Win for CalSavers California State Treasurer (Glenn F)

U.S. Shale Collapse Will Lead To Higher Oil Prices

Class Warfare

How Your Airbnb Host Is Feeling the Pain of the Coronavirus New York Times (Kevin W). While I know a few readers really are just renting out a spare bedroom, the majority of AirBnB lessors are distorting housing markets by buying or renting properties solely for the purpose of evading regs and hotel taxes (which support YOUR community). Time these profiteers take a hit.

Uber Resumes Autonomous Car Testing in San Francisco VentureBeat

Antidote du jour (Cliff V):

And a bonus from Dan K:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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    1. JohnnySacks

      If you’ve never owned a lovable mook you’re missing something. Trust me, I was never a cat person, until.
      Reading that brought back memories of the ones we’ve lost.

    2. Stephen V

      This grieving over the loss of a beloved animal cuts across all philosophical lines, from materialist to mystic. For a long time I couldn’t say that I grieved harder for animals than people.
      Now if we could bring some of this consciousness into the meat industry which treats animals and grower / worker peeps like machines…

      1. Phacops

        Well, I wonder how much of it starts with people thinking meat is something that comes from a supermarket? Out of sight, out of mind.

        From the venison in my freezer to the meat lockers displaying 4H ribbons at my local butchers for the stock that fills their meat locker during “fair” season, I remain grateful to the animals who gave their lives for my sustenance. Sometimes I think part of that is from growing up in an ethnic neighborhood that had many independent butchers where, from chickens to quarted animals hanging in the windows, it was pretty obvious where meat came from.

    3. The Rev Kev

      Wonderful pen portrait of Fluffy that. You could almost see him in your mind’s eye.

    4. JCC

      My Fluffy (known as K-K) died a little over two years ago. Reading this brought it all back. All cats have unique, interesting personalities whether people that do not live with cats know it or not. And all who have known and lived with a good cat have had the opportunity to live with the best cat in the world.

    5. JTMcPhee

      Let’s not forget dog friends. Testimonies like this reawaken both the dear memories of dog friends departed, and the pain of loss. And ought to remind us humans of all our important, living connections, now especially in this time of plague, when random adverse selection will be hitting home for many of us humans. Made worse for lots of us as the bulk of us do not seem likely to learn important lessons about living in Gaia, despite the obvious wrongfulness of so much of what we selfishly and destructively do.

      That said, I’ll say another personal farewell to Abigail, my dearly beloved Tabby — died January 1980.

      1. Susan the other

        I told myself 10 years ago that I really could not, in good conscience, have another pet because I was 65 and all my pets both dogs and cats had lived to be around 20. I adore dogs and cats. wise, calm, accepting life forms… interesting things they are.

        1. Wukchumni

          Been a little cold, and twas a 4-cat night on top of the bedspread, Gulliver (me) pinned down by a cadre of Lilliputians, ha!

          Cats give so much and ask so little…

    6. Culp Creek Curmudgeon

      Two Sunday’s ago, I was facilitating a class at my church for newcomers (I’m a Unitarian Universalist, if that matters). The subject for the class was Ask the Minister, and our young, empathetic Ministerial Intern Sarah was to answer the questions brought up by the ten or so attendees. After we went around the circle introducing ourselves, Sarah noticed that one of the participants seemed sad and asked her why. The woman told us that she had just had to put down her cat that had been with her for nearly twenty years. Sarah realized the pain the woman was in, and spoke about how the real grief we have for the death of our pets is seldom acknowledged. We spent the remainder of the sessions going around the circle as everyone, including myself, spoke of the grief they had at the passing of animal they had loved as a member of their family. Each story was incredibly touching for each person had had real attachments to their pets. There were many tears and a profound sense of relief at being able to share these feelings with a group of people who were supportive and understanding. It allowed us to be fully human with a group of fellow humans.

  1. pretzelattack

    from caitlin johnstone, today;

    But that’s just it: the electoral politics in this empire are not designed to benefit humanity, they’re designed to give us the illusion of control while the people with actual power run things. Elections are like the unplugged video game controller you hand your little brother so you don’t let him have a turn playing.

    1. CanCyn

      This! I keep a list of quotes that are worthy of being printed on TShirts, I am adding this one. Length is not an issue, it is about truth and this is some big truth if you ask me.

      Signed, grieving for what might have been, bye-bye Bernie

  2. a different chris

    >U.S. Shale Collapse Will Lead To Higher Oil Prices

    Ok maybe it’s just me but I swear I read the article twice and it simply doesn’t say that. I mean, it doesn’t say higher or lower, it talks about prices Russia and OPEC might wind up at (which are quite low), but it makes no real commitment at all on predicting anything. So who wrote the headline and why did they write it?

    Anyway it’s funny that “we have to have oil, oil is everything that makes the modern world what it is, there will be great suffering if we leave it in the ground…” &etc. Thus you would think the cheaper it is the better, but oh no.

    So are we actually beneficiaries or are we just addicts?

  3. Livius Drusus

    Re: Democrats wanting young voters to vote for Biden.

    Well, I hate to say it but young people didn’t really come out for Sanders, at least not in the numbers he needed. Social media posts are not votes. Anytime I see or hear “OK, Boomer” comments I will remind young people that they had their chance to get their favored nominee but they didn’t come out and vote in the numbers needed to help Bernie win.


    Blaming everything on Democratic Party corruption is not going to cut it. There needs to be some thinking about why supposedly popular left-wing candidates like Sanders and Corbyn cannot pull off the big wins. From what I can see the main problems are:

    1. Relying on the notoriously unreliable youth vote.

    2. Thinking that unrepresentative online platforms like Twitter and Reddit are accurate barometers of which candidates people support. Bernie supporters would have been better served talking to people at the local bar than looking at Twitter feeds.

    3. Failing to realize that a sizable chunk of the center-left doesn’t support democratic socialist policies.

    4. Overestimating the importance of policy platforms and underestimating things like image, identity and institutional loyalty.

    Many people do not read policy platforms but they knew that Joe Biden was Obama’s VP and that was enough to get them to vote for Biden. That is not a sneer at “low-information voters” it is just how most people operate. Most people are not politics junkies so they make their voting decisions based on things like personality, perceived connection to a certain community, name recognition, perceived electability and endorsements by trusted politicians. This is not just true for African-Americans but also for rural and working-class whites, another group Biden is performing better than expected with.

    I don’t think Biden will be a good president but I have long said that people underestimated his potential appeal to many different kinds of voters based on his connections with Obama (who is still popular among many people), his support among the Democratic establishment and his charisma. Yes, I actually think Biden is charismatic in a certain way. The Cool Uncle Joe thing is real even if it is silly. Biden was always going to be the toughest opponent for Sanders.

    1. Acacia

      Points taken, though if Joe makes it to the debates (i.e., if the DNC can find drugs to keep his brain from collapsing in on itself before then), Trump will hit him and his family like a heat seeking missile, leaving nothing but a flaming slag heap.

      1. pretzelattack

        the next move for the dnc is cancelling any more debates, and “moving forward” by declaring biden the winner.
        sanders couldn’t pull off a big win because the entire apparatus of the political machine was stacked against him. that’s reason #1. i don’t know how reliable the youth vote is, because there was so much voter suppression; i do know i saw long, long lines of young people waiting to vote.

        1. Stephen Gardner

          They can pull as many shenanigans as they want inside the party. How does that prevent Trump from eviscerating Biden in the fall? Frankly I don’t see the end game here unless they suddenly reveal his growing dementia just before the convention and pull a switcheroo. But whom would the choose? Hillary? That’s a proven strategy Haha.

          1. pretzelattack

            i think beating bernie was the end game. if they beat trump, that’s just excess gravy. beating bernie temporarily saved the machine. ive never seen the dnc engineer anything like this before, in a general or primaries. this was an impressive, orchestrated example of their control over the process.

            1. ahimsa

              this was an impressive, orchestrated example of their control over the process.

              You said it.

            2. jsn

              Yes, I’m waiting for Furgeson’s report.

              The Dems have been building this capability for a long time, I think they’ve had a bigger success than is currently apparent in suppressing the youth vote and in rigging the outcomes in electronic voting districts.

              It’ll take some time to sort out, but external signs of collapse are growing: now is the time for a real third party movement, the next 4 years are already set for disaster so we need to be planning for what’s next.

            3. Mike

              So the question arises – why did Sanders fall for the bait and run in this party yet again??? He knew what happened in 2016, and had advisors galore who could outline what the party would do in 2020 (ya think they didn’t improve the process?), so other than sheep dogging, why did he do it? The DNC had 4 years to perfect this steal, and Bernie had 4 years to build something else. That would’ve shown independents and doubtful Democrats he really meant business.

              Learn from this, fellow believers. To co-opt an Apple meme of yesteryear, think differently.

              1. jsn

                To get people to pick up the torch from him, he has now proven the Democratic Party is actively hostile to the interests of the New Deal constituency.

                Until that reality sinks in, the ballot duopoly the Republicrats have is inviolable: Sanders current effort has proven this and I have a pretty high confidence interval that post mortems will show the theft to have been pretty bald and large.

                This is the end of the beginning of real change. Everything that needs to happen will now be criminalized, as striking has been in all the Red states where the teachers strikes were most effecitve, and collective action wil require real solidarity, which organically arises where the hate machine can’t reach. Until now, only the politically focused have been able to see this clearly enough to believe it through the fog of hate machine propaganda. Sheep dogging my eye, there’s no way Bernie’s constituents are going to drag slopy Joe over the hump, and a Dollery Clump campaign will play just as it did 4 years ago.

              2. Buckeye

                Actually, Bernie (and the whole “left”) has had DECADES to create a new political party, not just 4 years. But he’s an old throwback to the 60’s radical idea of the “one man band” type activist.

                To be a political force you have to build from the precinct captain up to the county party level, up to the state central committee and up to the national committee.

                All of that requires an outside organization to pool money and talent and strategy. You BUILD from the bottom up, but you ORGANIZE from the top down.

                “Think Differently” is right on. But to do that you first have to “get it”; that is, understand how politics and power structures really work, not how you “wish” they would work.

                1. MJ

                  Maybe Bernie should have followed Trump’s example.

                  Trump, a neophyte politician successfully took over the Republican Party and is now in firm control.

                  Who could do the same with the Democratic Party?

                  1. jsn

                    PMC isn’t as complaicent as the Oligarchy that is the coure constituency of the Republican Party.

                    Narrative control by the PMC has prevented a similar hostile take over, which I belive was the Sanders intent this time.

                    The Iron Law of Institutions has, I’m afraid, doomed the Democrats.

              3. Diuretical

                In Canada, political change often comes from a party apparatus being eaten from the inside by another party. The brand name remains, but the policies change. Witness the neoliberal / social conservative takeover of the Conservative party in the 2000s. The waaaay right Reform / Canadian Alliance party moved in after the Conservative party was broke, hollowed out, and politically destitute, chewed up and spat out whatever small c-conservative, red Tory sensibilities remained, and ultimately bought themselves a decade of Stephen Harper’s rule.

                Should Bernie build a new tent, or try to destroy the party from the inside? The dems are broke, which works to his advantage. I would try to destroy the dems as they exist now. The rot is deep and they are tenaciously resourced through the donor class and the corporate media. Still, a smaller battle than bringing a third party into play in an established duopoly.

                1. Amfortas the hippie

                  the From Within has the advantage of taking over the ballot and other electioning nuts and bolts.
                  but the Demparty is a Private Club(per the lawsuit).
                  the GOP seems to have a lot more internally functioning democracy than the demparty does…which really gets my goat.
                  so how to take something like that over?
                  a third party/New Party can be easily excluded from the ballot and other machinery…and that is gonna require a lawsuit…with big bucks behind it.
                  seems like a pretty simple case to make(if we had an independent media): why is our democracy run by two private clubs?
                  why do we do it thataway, and is it even legal?
                  shouldn’t at least the state governments be doing that instead?
                  make working the polls like jury duty, instead of a wholly owned operation of the duopoly.

                  1. Mike

                    And… here’s my reply to all the above: The Dems have proven many times over to be the graveyard of the Left. To challenge this duopoly, this criminal political Mafia, is to take one’s life and put it in jeopardy – the elites are that prepared, that closely functioning as proto-fascist. We must be prepared to fight it as Chileans, Argentinians, Spanish, Portuguese, and other assorted nations have- to reach beyond the nation, to pull together an unpaid, committed organization able to look beyond the fee, beyond the immediate grasp, to organize locally AND nationally AND internationally- otherwise, failure and more of the same. It will take self-sacrifice unlike any American has imagined.

                    Nation-states are proving themselves limited and deadly when their elites are challenged. Only when they are scared witless (and not just witless as now) will any social, not just socialist, movement get anywhere.

              4. Procopius

                The states have enacted laws that make it difficult, if not impossible, for someone to get on the ballot. If they are nominated by one of the existing parties those difficulties go away. Bernie had no choice but to run as either a Democrat or Republican.

            4. jonboinAR

              Yves pointed this out on Super Tuesday. A week(?) later it remains true. (IOW, I agree.)

          2. Eduardo

            The end game is that Trump wins. That is the Democratic establishment plan. Victory over Bernie, once again! Democrats continue to #Resist while getting policy their owners want but they can fund raise against it. Win-win-win!

        2. nycTerrierist

          yes, important points: the entire political apparatus is stacked against Bernie,
          with a 24/7 wall of corporate media giving Biden free support and Bernie shade

          hearing about the long long lines of young people and the difficulty
          for college students to vote in some areas — it’s hard to take it at face
          value when we are told ‘young people are not coming out for Bernie’

      2. voteforno6

        Too many people in 2016 viewed that election through the lens of previous elections, which is why they were so wrong about Trump. Similarly, I think too many people are looking at 2020 with 2016 still on their brains. A lot has changed in the past four years (heck, the past three months). Come November, what will people think about Trump, with the manifestly incompetent way that he has handled the Coronavirus and the economic impact? The worst hasn’t even hit the U.S. yet – and the economic shocks will come, too. By that point, Biden could walk out on the debate stage without his pants on, drool all over the moderators, and he might still win.

          1. a different chris

            Well “referendum on the incumbent” is what voteforno6’s “might still” is covering, methinks.

            Trump can’t really play the outsider, here. Cause he ain’t. If Biden does keep his pants on and doesn’t drool, Trump is in a heap of trouble.

            Not having a “long reply” to a Sander’s clear recitation on a subject is one thing. But Trump isn’t going to declaim positions like Sanders, so Joe won’t have to speak for very long either. Gonna be 12 minute debates, with very confused moderators (“what was that? what did that have to do with my question?”) maybe to the relief of us all.

            1. Big River Bandido

              Incumbents face a 2-part test from the voters:

              1) Does the incumbent deserve to win?

              If “yes”, the incumbent wins. If “no”, go to Question 2.

              2) Does this challenger deserve the job?

              If “no”, the incumbent wins. That’s what will happen this year.

              1. neo-realist

                If the incumbent screws up big time (Trump on Coronovirus, and possibly the economy), the challenger wins.

                In 1976, Incumbent Gerald Ford coming off a pardon of Nixon (arguable screwup) lost to a southern peanut farmer challenger with a smile and a line “I’ll never lie to you”.

            2. CanCyn

              “Trump can’t really play the outsider, here. Cause he ain’t. If Biden does keep his pants on and doesn’t drool, Trump is in a heap of trouble.” … and if Biden wins, so are the rest of us in a lot of trouble. We’re back to lesser of two evils voting. It just makes me sad.

              1. MJ

                “We’re back to lesser of two evils voting.”

                Why should this election be any different?

                I am always amazed that out of a population of over 300 million we can never find a better person than what we seem to get every time.

        1. CBBB

          I think this is right. Trump is not going to look good come November – hell I even think he’s weak already. Had he really implemented the populist platform he ran on he’d be unstoppable but he decided to be more-or-less a standard issue Republican. I think many of his 2016 voters are disappointed.

          This makes me mad about people voting for Biden because he’s “electable” – we could elect Bernie instead!

          1. JTMcPhee

            I think Trump is big into self-preservation. It’s pretty clear that “people talked to him” about the limits of presidential power when it comes to doing populist stuff, even the limited bits of faux populism he made campaign mouth noises about. Let’s remember the realities of life in the Imperial bubble. Not only the alphabet agencies with their own massive power bases and black budgets and deadly anti-democracy activities around the world, but a Congress packed by all the corruption that money can buy. McConnell and Pelosi and the rest would never let any true progressive, populist legislative initiatives take even the first breath before strangling them in the crib.

          2. Katniss Everdeen

            I wouldn’t count Trump out just yet. All of these predictions of gloom and doom are based on tremendously limited “knowledge” of what’s going to happen.

            One way or the other, Trump will “handle” this situation, and if these dire predictions do not come to pass, he will be able to claim credit–rightly or wrongly. What if warmer weather really does cause the virus to abate like he said it would?

            Already companies like amazon and walmart have announced policies for paid sick leave for employees who need to stay home and previously had no such benefit. Did Trump do it? Probably not, but that won’t stop him from saying that he influenced their decisions. And btw, that is something the DEMOCRATS never got done.

            Just now on cnbc, an anchor suggested that a good “stimulus” would be forgiveness of up to $50,000 in student loan debt with a $50,000 tax credit for those who have already paid off their loans, and the feds getting out of the student loan business permanently. Sounds almost Bernie-esque. Those younger voters might just notice.

            On cnbc they are also discussing a federal bailout for boeing. Saving boeing is saving the state of Washington, and something tells me the people of Washington would be quite loathe to criticize.

            And just one more–if shortages of chinese-made goods do develop, who was it that said we needed to MAGA by forcing production back onshore? Hint–not the nafta, wto, tpp democrats like “o’biden-bama.” Trump wins again.

            There’s aways to go here, and counting chickens before they’re hatched has never been a particularly good idea.

            1. JTMcPhee

              “Saving Boeing is saving the state of Washington”? Microsoft, Amazon, and a bunch of other Big Takers might disagree, and I wonder how all the people living east of the Cascades would react to that statement.

        2. Donald

          I think that is correct. The virus and recession could rob Trump of his thin lead in crucial states.

          We don’t know the future and while not everything is possible, a victory by an incompetent horrible person is a near certainty in November, unless Bernie gets the nomination. Sanders supporters keep saying Biden can’t win, but just a couple happy weeks back Biden’s campaign was a joke. I don’t know how much of his comeback might be from voter fraud, but with or without that he has far more support from non PMC types than he should.

          Electability arguments for or against a candidate are the worst arguments people can make, no matter who makes them. Electability is not some fixed property that can’t be changed. It is almost the opposite of that. You would think Trump’s own election would have taught people that.

    2. Phillip Allen

      I think that until the extent and depth of rigging in the primaries is revealed, it is way too soon to say who did or didn’t “turn out” for Sanders. There is no rational basis to trust any of the primary results to date, nor is there any basis to trust polling.


    3. Krystyn Walentka

      There will be not be a progressive politician nominated until more people are suffering during the primary. And I mean like Great Recession suffering. While people might be struggling they are not losing their housing. It is not about messaging or having the right politician. So tired of that argument.

      My only hope nope is that Biden’s face melts off like that Nazi soldier in “Raiders of the Lost Ark” at the debate on Sunday. Great there will be no “audience” that will be able to boo Sander’s

      1. jo6pac

        Great there will be no “audience” that will be able to boo Sander’s

        They use a sound track for sure;-)

      2. neo-realist

        That next great progressive politician may have to come from groups like the Our Revolution operation and the AOC political training organization where I believe the bench building to get one may occur. But for those people to get the experience to move up the ladder to assume power, this will be a long term undertaking – a decade or two – it won’t be a short term successful program. We middle aged people probably won’t benefit from it, but maybe the young folks, if they (can) vote and aren’t neutralized by climate change, might benefit.

    4. urblintz

      uh… did you see the post about youth votes suppressed?

      the exit polls say you’re wrong about “democratic socialist” ideas too

      blaming everything on Democratic Party corruption may not “cut it” but it would be true.

      depending on identity, image and institutional loyalty over policy is precisely what gave us President Trump

      And Joe Biden will not be a “good president” because he will never be president…

      in my humble opinion (ahem)

      1. WheresOurTeddy

        Bernie Sanders promised young people and the working poor a better future
        The old/comfortable/both turned out to murder them

    5. PlutoniumKun

      Sadly I think you are right – I think its quite clear that in most developed countries there is a ceiling of around a third of the voters willing to support a moderately radical left wing alternative, and this can only be breached under extraordinary circumstances. The reality is that most people are either comfortable, or they are struggling, but are afraid of losing what little they have. And there are sufficient numbers of people who are disgruntled, but will throw their vote towards false prophets like Trump or the far right instead of politicians that acrually represent their interests. There is a huge level of inertia within democracies that favours ‘mainstream’ establishment interests.

      I really wish I had an answer to this. Sanders I think is by far the best messenger the progressive left in the US could have – there is nobody else remotely close to his ability to connect with a wide range of regular voters and his political skills at winning elections on minimal resources. I find it hard to hide my despair this morning at what seems like his impending failure. The prospect of Trump vs Biden makes a dose of Covid-19 almost look inviting.

      1. pretzelattack

        i don’t think biden will be the nominee, but i shudder to think what rough beast is going to get it. somebody that obama and clinton approve of. i’m bracing myself for 4 more years of trump, and 4 more years of the dnc pulling the strings.

        1. CBBB

          Trump won’t win re-election. Biden or whoever other corporate Dem that comes out of Milwaukee will be terrible and further the decline of the party. But Trump is toast. People forget he won by razor-thin margins mostly because

          1. Hillary was personally super unpopular
          2. The Dems arrogantly took the Midwest for granted and she didn’t even campaign in Michigan

          Biden is personally likable and the Dems won’t make the same mistake regarding the Midwest twice. The Democratic electorate is super pumped to vote out Trump, where as the coming economic downturn is going to hurt him.
          I can’t realistically see Trump winning re-election no matter how shitty Biden is as a candidate.

          1. pando

            I think all the people saying Biden will win easily, because there is a recession on the horizon and because of the coronavirus, are engaging in simplistic thinking. Trump had a stronger electoral college results than GWB did in his two presidential elections. If Biden is the nominee, Trump will still be the only person saying that America needs major changes as a nation while Biden will be saying everything is fine and we just need minor changes. Even though Trump is the incumbent he will still be able to run as an outsider — pointing to the impeachment and even push back from within his own party regarding healthcare legislation. He will make the claim that everything was going great in the economy until the coronavirus and that if the situation becomes bad will say nothing could be done to make it better and point to China and Italy and wherever else the situation with the coronavirus becomes bad. That claim will resonate with many. Furthermore, he has been very succesful in certain domains — the courts being arguably the area of his biggest success. He will pull many votes for those success along with extra motivation given the advanced age of the current justices. It is always hard to predict what will happen in the future, but to think that Biden would easily win the presidential election is simplistic.

            1. carl

              All of that, and I’m having trouble imagining Bernie being able to sheepdog his supporters into voting for someone who is so far to the right that he’s a Republican in everything but name. Some of these younger folks may swear off the Democrat party for a long time, if not forever.

              1. Massinissa

                I’m personally getting ready to vote Green. AGAIN.

                I’ll do democrat down ticket, but not at the top. No vote for Joe for me. Honestly if I had to do one or the other I would do Trump, but… I don’t think I could vote trump without first being heavily inebriated, so Green it is.

            2. jrs

              I could see mass deaths from corona virus and Trump being reelected. His base is just that yea. Add the electoral college and well good chance Trump loses the popular vote and maybe even more than before but still wins. Trump can not credibly run on needing major changes as he has delivered none that were good. But we are post-truth so reality just doesn’t rate for much.

            1. Objectivefunction

              Yeah, even before his brains went to mush, Joe was the poster child for the smirking (groping), superficial and self-satisfied know-it-all kiss-my-ring career DC politician, with a safe seat in a rotten borough. And now we can add: visibly and grossly corrupt.

              This is not a nice man.

                1. Anthony G Stegman

                  Someone said words to the effect that the average American is stupid. This means that a big chunk are really stupid, with another chunk plain dumb. It is these folks that like Joe Biden (and before him Barrack Obama).

          2. Chromex

            Well here’s Michigan again. I lived in Michigan in 2016. I supported neither major party candidate and would today lilely be upset HAD Hillary won BUT people keep talking about Michigan. Michigan’s electoral votes were nor decided until AFTER Trump had declared victory AND Hillary had conceded. In isolation, Michigan’s electoral votes were irrelevant.

          3. sj

            Biden is personally likeable

            Repetition does not make it true. I’ve watched him for over 30 years and I’ve always found him …icky. I will grant that his colleagues like him. Or seem to. But a great many of them are also icky.

        2. Scott D

          If Biden does win, it will essentially be a government-in-exile for Obama. Supposedly Biden’s cabinet has already been chosen (Citibank, maybe?)

      2. The Rev Kev

        I think that you nailed it here. The numbers were just not there to make possible a change. And who to have in charge of America’s fight against Coronavirus – Trump or Biden (shudder). You know what the worst thing is? How will the 2024 Presidential election go? Sanders will be too old or no longer with us by then and there appears to be nobody in the pipeline to replace him. Coronavirus will change American society in ways that we cannot predict so who knows how that will effect American voters by then. Too many unknowns.

        1. Ignacio

          Also, Coronavirus is a distraction that may push people to vote conservatively. Bad for Sanders candidacy since he promotes change.

          1. Brooklin Bridge

            Also, Coronavirus is a distraction that may push people to vote conservatively.

            Yes, I think this is a real possibility. Coronaviurs, much suffering many deaths – everyone will at least know someone who knows someone who died from COVID-19, economic melt down – more horror stories such as wiping out mom and pop business vestiges, a lot to live through.

        2. CBBB

          If Biden (or other corporate Dem replacement) wins this year I think the Republicans win again in 2024 – maybe with some even worse authoritarian candidate.
          Biden’s ascendancy signals that the only person keeping the Democrats afloat anymore is Donald Trump. Once he is gone the Dems won’t have anything positive to rally for.

        3. PlutoniumKun

          This to me is the most shocking thing – and a reflection of the huge success of the Dems in crushing an entire generation of Progressives. I can’t think of anyone of the right age (say, mid 40’s to early 60’s) and experience who could immediately replace Sanders. Obviously the likes of AOC and Nina Turner have enormous potential, but they are 2 decades or so too young and inexperienced to be able to convince an electorate that they have what it takes to be leaders.

          1. Lost in OR

            Come November, I suspect we will be in the death grip of the CV and ensuing economic collapse. Trump will have shown himself to be a bombastic incompetent failure. Biden’s rapid cognitive decline will have become impossible to hide. And just when we most need a leader with a vision, a plan, and the cojones to get ‘er done, both parties and both candidates will be stuck in the 20th century paradigm.

            If ever there was a time to start a third party, this is it.

            1. Monty

              As bad as it could get, with the high r0 and penchant for targeting the elderly, rather than kids, I could for see this having trouble finding new hosts by July/August. It will be everywhere, but loads of recovered cases will no longer be spreaders. Once its flushed through, and wreaked its havoc on us, that should be the end of it, then we just need to clean up the mess, right?

              1. Procopius

                … loads of recovered cases will no longer be spreaders.

                Are you sure we know that? I’ve read they have identified at least one “super-spreader” in The States, and I suppose by this time they’ve found more. I read somewhere yesterday that the current biggest problem is the lack of what are called “DNA Extraction Kits,” which are needed as the initial step is testing the virus. If you don’t have the kit to extract and prepare the DNA from the sample, you can’t use the testing kit. From the news, apparently South Korea has what they need for widespread testing. It’s too bad America is a third world country.

            2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

              A “bombastic incompetent failure” who “gave us” 3% unemployment, correctly identified and acted against our disease-producing existential enemy (China) and “ended” the war in Afghanistan. Who stood up to a relentless 3-year attack for being a “Russian asset”, which fully 1% of people said was their top issue. Who turned the idea of “fake news” from conspiracy theory to conspiracy fact that now even the “left” understands.

              I think Sloppy Joe or his stand-in can do it but I think it will be harder than people think, especially if Trump has some kind of October Surprise, which would be easy.

              1. Lost in OR

                Thanks Hal. Please be assured, I do not suffer from TDS. This was not an indictment of the Trump administration. It was an indictment of the Trump administrations response to CV and the upcoming economic fallout. Granted, I’m jumping the gun on the economic part of that (Ye of little faith).

                With Trump or Biden… We’re F’d. We gotta find another way.

          2. Tom Doak

            Yes, and you can be sure that if Biden wins, his Administration will do nothing to promote any of those potential young leaders, but instead attempt to marginalize them and make them fall in line.

        4. HotFlash

          Also, Coronavirus may push people to vote for Medicare for All. Good for Sanders candidacy since he promotes change.

        5. Sailor Bud

          Not having anyone to replace Sanders in 2024 won’t matter. Clearly, this game has only one outcome, and were there even a more personable candidate to replace him, you can now expect and predict the ways in which that candidate is denied. The US is owned, in every sense of the word.

          For the younger people among us, my suggestion is to quit the country before you acquire enough stuff to feel tethered to it. Mass emigration may be the one thing that makes people take notice. Third parties will be ignored, as will future challengers with lesser name recognition who try to effect change through the “Democratic” party (see: Gabbard). My only hope beyond that is that younger generations bury the television.

        6. xkeyscored

          By 2024, the USA may have as much influence and impact on the rest of the world as one of the little countries like Yemen or Grenada it so loves to bully and bomb. So perhaps many of us won’t pay it any attention any more.

          1. Massinissa

            Those countries don’t have nukes, aircraft carriers or fleets of predator drones.

            The US might not be able to win hearts and minds anymore, but it sure as hell can create more scorched earth and engage in imperial bullying.

            1. Brooklin Bridge

              If you take away the United State’s economic relevance, the military and it’s weapons will will wither. The military is already getting to the point where corruption is endemic. It goes through unsustainable sums of money for boondoggles such as the f35. On top of that, it’s riddled with eye poppingly expensive kick-back outsourcing.

              However it is probably true that the collapse will take time, right up until it doesn’t. COVID-19 is going to help out with that process quite a bit.

        7. Bugs Bunny

          There are people out there. Who even thought about the Mayo Pete run back in early 2016? Not that he’s a progressive alternative but he came out of (literally) nowhere. Sanders has put an imprint on a young generation the same way someone like Debbs did 100 years ago. But within the Democratic party.

      3. New Wafer Army

        When it came to the crunch, even in the midst of a dangerous virus outbreak, Americans chose barbarism over civilization, consciously denying their fellow citizens healthcare. Reading this blog provides daily confirmation of Morris Berman’s conclusion that the US is finished as an experiment. Hopefully that decline is managed in such a way as to avoid dragging the rest of the world down with it.

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          I’ve been getting the feeling, here on NC and elsewhere, that I’m a member of an increasingly obscure, dying cult. We’re children of The Enlightenment and believe in science, logic, and reason. We’re humanists, who understand the pain of other homo sapiens crowding the planet who are less fortunate, and we think we have a moral duty to help them, but also a moral duty not to hurt them. We think it’s possible to Work Together and Do Things that can make this a Better Place. Where Wrong exists it can be noticed and the rules we make in order to live together in relative peace can be used to Right It, or at least Discourage It Somewhat. That the question: Cui Bono? should be answered by: All Men and not just One Man.

          I suppose as believers we need to do what obscure cult believers always tell themselves to do in difficult times: keep the faith. Like the Zoroastrian fire that has been assiduously kept burning for more than 1,500 years, we should hunker down and keep the flame lit at all costs so it can be there when the world needs it again in the future, whenever that might be:

          “Good Thoughts, Good Words, Good Deeds”

      4. Lee

        Pardon me for nitpicking but including the U.S. in the category of “developed countries” is a stretch. Developed countries already have universal healthcare and more adequate social safety nets.

      5. wilroncanada

        I think you’re right, PlutoniumKun. I can’t put my finger on specific research, but I’ve frequently read that people in a wide swath of relative desperation will gravitate to the authoritarian right. There is security within concentration camps at the extreme, as long as you obey. I certainly rue the results, from my outsider position, but I don’t believe that Sanders deserves the brickbats thrown at him from sore losers. Sanders always said he was beginning a movement. Instead of flipping to the authoritarian right, to Trumpublicans, in a fit of pique, you owe it to him and to yourselves to keep the movement going.

    6. JohnnyGL

      These are decent points, overall. However, i think you have item #3 wrong. The exit polls are showing very strong support for single payer health care.

      The real tragedy is that sanders is winning the argument, while losing the election, all at the same time.

      1. michael99

        While I respect your views and think the exit polls are encouraging, after looking through the slides in this deck I think supporters of single payer healthcare are still well short of a majority.

        Figure 4 shows 44% of Dem voters say they strongly favor Medicare for all, and 30% somewhat favor. Figure 12 tells a different story though: more Dems favor building on the existing ACA (55%) than replacing it with M4A (40%). If the latter slide is accurate, M4A supporters are 15% short of a majority in the Dem party, give or take. See the other slides for more details.

        While some of the polling seems to show a large majority of Dems supporting M4A, other polling and election results show otherwise. My opinion is that candidates who support M4A (and other progressive policies) need to get better at speaking to the doubts and concerns of these moderate/centrist voters, who are propagandized heavily in the mainstream media that M4A, GND, etc. are impractical, unaffordable, ‘pie in the sky’ proposals. Maybe that would work, but as PK said above, it may take extraordinary circumstances for them to change their minds, due to their conformity to mainstream views, fear and inertia.

        1. Brooklin Bridge

          Without something being done about the main stream media and the DNC, the handicap remains near insurmountable except by surprise in a few isolated cases.

      1. voteforno6

        That’s some murky Constitutional waters there…there is some wiggle room in the wording of the 22nd amendment, but I’m not sure that I’d want to go there.

        1. a different chris

          Oh my. I didn’t even think of Ms Obama being VP. We’ll see but I bet we will hear a *lot* about that from the Dem cognoscenti.

        2. tegnost

          Sadly I am coming around to ambrits prediction of hillary after joe gets the nom, but then fesses up to some life altering disease so hands it off to Hillary!, who will then choose between michelle and warren!!!! Soooo exciting!/s
          Incidentally i have also been dreading the day I have to ask a biden supporter what his position is on any topic, as the answer will ever and always be “trump!”. This because I’m trying to recall some policy position put forward by joe’s campaign…
          “No We Can’t! Think Small!”

    7. Arizona Slim

      Slim checking in from Tucson. Our primary won’t happen until next Tuesday, but I’ve already noticed some things around here:

      1. Compared to 2015-16, the on-the-ground enthusiasm for Sanders is minimal. I’m not seeing yard signs and bumper stickers the way I did the first time around.

      2. The turnout at home-hosted Sanders events? If my own experience is any indication, that’s way down too. I hosted three events and greeted a total of four people. My last event? No one showed up.

      3. People remember what happened in 2016. I think that a lot of our local Bernie stalwarts decided that one corporate Democratic candidate cave-in was enough. They’re not involved in the campaign this time, and I can understand why. Last time, they probably held their noses and voted for Hillary. Or they stayed home. In Arizona, that 2016 candidate named Did Not Vote won by a landslide.

        1. Arizona Slim

          I hosted my first event last September. Well before the virus became a thing. Total attendance: Three people, including me.

          1. Bill Carson

            I’m coming to the realization that people didn’t really like Bernie in 2016 as much as we thought they did. They just REALLY hated Hillary.

            1. Brooklin Bridge

              I don’t know. right now it’s almost overt rigging by the DNC with COVID-19 on top. We forget the blood bath the MSM laid out for Bernie even before SC. And SC was rigged as was ST- I have absolutely no doubt about that. They were/are desperate. Sander’s made it by his decency and lost by it, but both in the face of naked cheating.

      1. Stillfeelinthebern

        Slim, I completely agree. Here in Wisconsin, the enthusiasm is nil. We had a really large pop up group, even opened a local office that we all funded! Last time, it activated many people who were not part of the standard political scene. After June of 2016, the vast majority of them lost interest. They have disappeared back into the population and are not coming back out this year.

        I also have to admit, for the first time, I am feeling that it is time to burn the system down. Accepting Joe is on par with the coronation of HRC and probably worse. How anyone can accept that universal healthcare is impossible in the US is beyond comprehension. MIT, HARVARD, whatever other big schools you want to put in here where the powerful meet and form our future (I’m sorry you can’t call it education anymore when it is mostly about the connections you make) are all on my sh*t list.

      2. Ping

        Our political system consistently elevates the worst elements of human nature and principled trailblazers like Bernie are crushed by it.
        If the public cannot take time peer beyond campaign slogans and happy talk to check voting records and give thought to how a healthy society should function then there we are…. Perhaps an overburdened population was by design, so people simply don’t have time to look under the hood. Which came first chicken or egg? Probably a combination of both. Personally, I’m almost relieved Bernie will not have the delegates and having to witness a crucifixion from all sides. But what he has championed has now entered the main stream never more obvious. Be careful what you wish for Joe Biden and DNC.

        “The masses have never thirsted after truth. Whoever can supply them with illusions is easily their master; whoever attempts to destroy their illusions is always their victim.” — Gustave Le Bon, The Crowd, 1895

      3. Oh

        Since it looks like the primary “contest” is almost over, the enthusiasm is naturally fading. Like many of us, Sanders’ supporters are very disappointed. Besides it’s really disconcerting when Sanders keeps saying that he will support Biden if he’s nominated. That one thing is enough to deflate supporters.

    8. CBBB

      I’m sure the kind of young people posting on social media about Sanders did vote. It’s that in general many young people (and people generally) aren’t interested in politics and just don’t pay attention. You are right, and I’ve known this from the beginning, relying on the youth vote spells doom.

      The policies themselves seemed to be broadly supported at least according to the polls – despite this people STILL voted Biden even if they said they supported M4A. The reality is the Democrats have a long history of voting based on what they believe the general populace will want and it almost always turns out to be an old white guy with bland policies.
      A big chunk of Democrats just want to try to go back to 2012 and Biden is just running as one big comfy sweater for these people.
      Biden was the default candidate – people know who he is better than Sanders, the media strongly supports him because they hate Sanders, he got the establishment blessing.

      The Democratic Primary voters have picked him for a lot of the reasons you mention, but I think history tells us that the Democratic Primary voters make a routine habit of picking a loser.

    9. GooGooGaJoob

      Not sure how you ignore what appears to be blatant voter suppression with the very limited amounts of polling stations and waiting lines but still go on to to say the youth didn’t show up – they still have lives to attend to.

      If anything, the limited admission from the pundits seeing how said youth vote is skewed so heavily towards Sanders is making them sweat as far as the implications go for the general.

      It’s a fairly simple calculus – for Biden voters they’d still hold their nose for Sanders. The flip side of this is that Sanders voters will more likely want to stay home because materially they may not feel there is a difference between Trump and Biden. That is a bleak prospect.

      And with Biden having made statements about how millenials dont have it bad, how he’d veto M4A himself if it made it through congress / senate, nothing will fundamentally change etc.. I kinda fear the DNC is winning the battle but will lose the war

      1. Matthew

        It’s more than thinking there’s no difference between Biden and Trump. If the Democrats win after defenestrating their left wing, running an austerity candidate, then that will be the end of leftward political movement in the party for decades. They will have no reason to offer any concessions. I’m not ratifying that with my vote.

        1. jrs

          There is no such leftward movement in that party to begin with and there will be no concessions regardless. A handful of candidates that probably won’t last long is all.

    10. JTMcPhee

      It also helps that the “System” is rigged against any hope of real change, by a very few SuperDemocrats and their REAL base in the plotokleptocracy, and a pretty tightly constructed Stalingrad defense — media owned, the covert institutions in government manipulating the narrative, electoral fraud on a big scale, billionaires funding “friendlies,” a private club that somehow is allowed to control “legitimacy” by controlling the public function of elections to maintain more of the same. Leading in many cases to people just not “bothering” to vote, because they grok that the game is rigged.

      And Biden is never going to be president. It’s not even a given that he will be the Dem candidate, even if the private club manages to collect a majority of delegates under his name. “Anyone but Bernie,” but has to be more than a detestable “Cool Uncle walking.” The gap between exit polling and reported election results indicates major questions about legitimacy. To the extent that US national elections are anything more than show and go and kayfabe…

      It’s interesting that the Narrative includes lots of demands to do away with the Electoral College as a poison that kills the supposed purity of popular elections, yet the Democratic candidate selection process is at least as corrupt and unrepresentative as the detested Electoral College that failed to give the Dems their Chosen Female President last time around.

      Waiting to see what our great “democracy” produces in the reactions to and advantage-taking as a result of the growing impacts of COVID-19. National Guard going to do what, in NYC, again? And there are off-the-shelf plans laid out already by the military on how to lock down the population. It’s obvious that the takers and looters are already moving to Shock Doctrine activities, like further deregulating the “stock market…”

      1. flora

        The system IS going to change, whether or not the parties see it coming.
        Matt Stoller has an important essay in American Affairs Journal.

        The War within Corporate America

        American history offers three basic ideological frameworks around corporate power. The first is libertarianism, in which private finan­ciers manage resources. The second is liberal corporatism, pioneered by Teddy Roosevelt, in which financiers are disempowered but corporate managers and the state fuse together through regulated monopoly. The third is regulated competition, in which the state disempowers financiers and keeps corporate managers relatively powerless by forcing competition in markets through antitrust while regulating business and labor practices.

        After 35 years of libertarianism, the US can’t even supply itself with needed medical equipment. Efficient, long brittle supply chains looking for the world’s cheapest labor in the sole name of profit has reduced the US to an importer nation. The coronavirus pandemic makes that painfully obvious. The age of libertarian capitalism is over.

        But in 2008, the financial crisis destroyed the credibility of financiers as apolitical technocrats allocating resources efficiently. Jack Welch, who was seen as the father of the shareholder model of capitalism, soon called it “the dumbest idea in the world.” Over the next decade, political and economic shocks destroyed the legitimacy of the liber­tarian finance-led order.

        Meanwhile, the increasing economic power of China ended the post–Cold War order centered on America as the sole superpower.

        The Dem estab is still enthrall to libertarian capitalism, the capital system whose legitimacy with the voters in the US has been destroyed. It’s almost fitting the Dem estab is pushing a guy in early dementia, who remembers things from 10 years ago but has trouble with more recent events, to be the candidate. imo.

        Read the whole article. It’s not about politics directly; in the US politics is always about business, however.

        1. mpalomar

          “American history offers three basic ideological frameworks around corporate power. “

          Here’s George Kennan, one of the seminal cold war architects expounding on the underlying vision of the post war world, arranged conveniently for corporate America to plunder. Note the lack of even a pretence of ideology; capitalism’s philosopher kings can always concoct a rationale for plunder which first begins at home and then extends to the world at large.

          As the totalitarian nature of this corporate civic governance becomes blatantly obvious the hegemonic powers are stressed and respond with ever greater undisguised manipulative force to contain the social democratic narrative that a Sanders or Corbyn raise through political movements grounded in societal needs and resource sharing.

          “[The US has] 50 percent of the world’s wealth but only 6.3 percent of its population. In this situation, our real job in the coming period…is to maintain this position of disparity. To do so, we have to dispense with all sentimentality…we should cease thinking about human rights, the raising of living standards and democratisation.”

          1. flora

            I can only imagine Kennan rolling in eyes at libertarian capitalism outsourcing the US’s manufacturing productive capacity to communist China (or any other country) in the name of greatest profits for shareholders above all other national considerations (including national security, speaking of the old cold war.)

            Such a development was unimaginable when Kennan wrote the above quoted paragraph in 1948.

            1. mpalomar

              I wonder what he would have thought about it all? He lived to nearly a hundred I think and must have had some thoughts, one would hope regrets, about the destruction and savagery of the regional hot wars his cold war posture for America as primary world power resulted in.

              One can’t help but think that his underlying sentiment about hegemonic global resource capture while eschewing niceties like democracy, human rights and living standards has perhaps culminated in the neoliberal gloss that pays lip service to democracy and living standards not only abroad but back in the USA.

      2. Oh

        They practiced their lock down tactics in Boston several years and it went off well for TPTB.

        Many progressives aren’t even concerned about the primary shenanigans pulled by the DNC. sEarlier some of them already walked around saying “Bernie will not be elected”.

      1. urblintz

        Bingo… and a lot of those “cohorts” were Republicans who will vote for Trump in November no matter what. By declaring that Bernie was his preferred opponent, Trump basically held up a sign to Republicans in open primary states that read: “I will crush Biden, not so sure about Bernie, Vote for Joe”

        The map guy on CNN started talking about “wealthy suburban voters” and “Reagan Democrats” and at one point he even said, quickly and barely audibly “those votes might not remain blue” then when off on a diatribe against Bernie’s “anti-establishment” “socialist” policies (the ones that had just led the exit polls, btw).

    11. Grant

      Some of that may be true, but what of actually solving society’s problems? Okay, people don’t vote based on policy, so they give power to people without thinking about what they will do with that power. They largely don’t analyze what Biden HAS done with the power given to him, which is to make society worse on many levels. So, what of the environmental crisis? What about the pandemic, which will utterly destroy us because of how we have designed our society and the healthcare system? What about giving power to the very people who have had actual power as things have gotten progressively worse? Trump loses, and then the context that produced him? What the left then has to accept is that people really aren’t going to focus on solving our largest problems. If this mass stupidity (and that is what it is) was in place in decades past, we would never have had Social Security, Medicare, or most anything else people take for granted. Imagine today proposing that the state manage pensions for the elderly on a national level. Would never get off the ground now. Those programs existed in the minds of people before they existed. Neoliberalism has destroyed the capacity to imagine another world, so programs that are needed to meet today’s challenges will not be solved.

      Decades ago Thatcher claimed that there was no alternative. There was, there still is, and this system is not sustainable. If things don’t radically change, we are toast. There are limits to growth in regards to throughput, no limits to growth in regards to the financial and monetary parts of the economy, and the environmental crisis at root is caused by the market economy itself. Most environmental impacts lack market values, and those things we don’t price are of increasing importance. We cannot monetize most of these impacts, and even if we could doing so would set in motion pretty radical changes. So, if we don’t vote largely based on policy, and if the center-left is largely opposed to democratic socialism, do we just enjoy our moment in the sun and slowly die off? Yes, basically.

      The fact is that the older voters voted in massive numbers for Biden. The young support Bernie overwhelmingly but didn’t show up enough for him to win. And they are utterly screwed. They’re screwed because they didn’t show up when they needed to and they are screwed because the society that will be handed over to them will be in an advanced state of decay. Since policy is not the reason people will vote, we will be powerless and will then rely on those at the top to make decisions on our behalf that people assume will benefit society broadly speaking and not those at the top. It’s a fully fledged idiocracy.

      This whole charade was to be beat Bernie. I don’t think they care tons about anything beyond that. They are sociopathic people, but they aren’t stupid, and they know that pushing for Biden is beyond risky. They simply don’t care. That party cannot be reformed.

    12. David B Harrison

      So your saying that it’s OK to not have any critical thinking skills whatsoever?I am a Sanders supporter(not worshipper)and find that Trump supporters are easier to talk to than centrist Democrats(most Trump supporters like Bernie even if they disagree with his policies).What does that say about centrist Democrats?The centrist Democrats crawled in bed with the Deep State in the 70s so that they could foist neoliberalism on the working class that they hated so much(apparently they hate the younger generations and many people in their own demographic just as much) .And so here we are.Centrist Democrats make fun of conservative voters because they don’t vote for their own best interest and here your saying that it’s OK for centrist Democrats to do the same(“it is how most people operate”).Biden is a moldering corpse.The Democrat party is over and a party that supports the working class needs to be born.

    13. Geo

      Dems voted to lose to Trump. The “safe” candidate is the losing candidate. Has been in nearly every election in my lifetime. Imagine the “Swift Boating” of Kerry turned on Biden.

      Granted, turbulent times as we are rapidly running into will have unpredictable results (the crash of ‘08 and McCain’s terrible response – and Bush’s already tarnished presidency – lead to a rise in Obama’s polls).

      But, Dems choosing “safe” establishment candidates doesn’t have a track record of working (Hillary, Kerry, Gore, Dukakis).

      “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”

    14. jonboinAR

      I think Bernie blew it this time in the same way he blew it last election. He failed to find a way to court the black vote. It looks from way outside where I sit that his organization never tried very hard. I guess that black voters are vaguely, maybe, put off by Bernie Bros. I fear that the BB’s basically, for their part, ignored the black constituency. Perhaps they studiously ignored each other, but that may have proven fatal for Bernie and his bros. I dunno, this hypothesis is all just complete speculation on my part, but I have been alarmed both primary seasons to have heard little or nothing of Bernie’s campaign reaching out to the black constituency.

      1. Democrita

        I have black friends and black in-laws. This was not the problem.

        Some of Bernie’s best surrogates are black–Nina Turner, Killa Mike, Cornel West, etc. and stumped for him hard.

        It’s age. Bernie gets the younger generation in every color. And by “younger” I mean under 35, even under 40, not the teenagers.

        My son is really pissed off at his grandparents and grandaunties.

          1. Aumua

            Well then here’s another correction: You managed to fit the terms Bernie Bros, BB’s and Bernie and his bros in your short post. Those terms are not accurate, and they are damaging. So maybe consider expanding your vocabulary on that front in the future.

    15. Yves Smith Post author

      First, there was active suppression of youth vote and votes in poor areas via not having enough polling stations, forcing extremely long waits at many of the ones that were open. This was notable in Texas and Mich.

      In Maine, there were reports of polling stations running of ballots. It was clear the improvised methods would not result in allowable votes. Running out of ballots would tend to favor the older, since my impression is younger people tend to show up later in the day.

      Second, young and lower income people are more subject to “shit happens” during the day that can wreck plans to get to the polls, unlike professionals, high salaried people, and retirees, who have more control over their time.

    16. jrs

      But Obama is also Not popular among many people as well. Some for the wrong reasons. But also people actually LIVED THOUGH the Great Recession, some sailed through, but many suffered. Selling a return to that past, is not such a sure sell and some think.

      And no, I absolutely don’t think present policies are good, I’m just pointing out what you are going to miss if one thinks it’s a sure thing to sell past “glory days” that weren’t even glory days.

  4. JohnnySacks

    On a ventilator in a medically induced coma.

    Wow, I can’t help but think that private insurance actuaries haven’t baked this situation into their numbers and we’re going to see insurance bankruptcies. That form we all sign at point of service says we’re 100% responsible for any fees not paid by insurance and those fees are certainly not going to be the insurance negotiated rates.

    A critical juncture:
    Do we let the patients drown or default?
    Do we bail out the patient by forcing the provider to accept the medicare rate?
    Do we bail out the insurance company and let the money filter down through a chain of grifter parasites?

    Biden has a good record, he’ll do the right thing?

    1. Chris

      If recent experience from natural disasters is any example, the insurance companies won’t pay and will wait until they’re forced to do something by an authority. We should all expect some enhanced underwriting procedures next renewal season. I would think Trump and others will float the idea of people with serious comorbidities be placed in a higher risk pool to save insurance companies the trouble.

      I would not expect any aid to be directly given to citizens from this outbreak unless some extraordinary changes in our government occur over the next few months.

    2. HotFlash

      From a cost-benefit point of view, allowing (cheap) basic treatment but denying (cheap) life-saving treatment is the way to go. Life insurance payouts are, after all, limited.

  5. Wukchumni

    How Your Airbnb Host Is Feeling the Pain of the Coronavirus New York Times
    We have monthly town hall meetings, a boring one will have a couple dozen people in attendance, but when a town hall meeting was regarding short term vacation rentals, everybody came, by my count there was 239 people there, of which about 231 were not happy with how it was going, anonymity replacing neighbors, tourons doing stupid stuff, or just not respecting our community by leaving every gawdamned outside light on @ night, or partying till the wee hours, or what have you.

    We voted to tax property owners a few years back to enable much needed new infrastructure in our K-8 school, and guess what, a mom I know told me the kindergartner class went from 20 to 12, as Bob & Betty Bitchin’ and their progeny from Burbank who are renting a 3/2 SFH for the weekend that really ought to have had a local family in it, doesn’t.

    The shakeout here will be devastating to would-be Hiltons that for the first time, could discern a living in a place where if you weren’t working for the NPS, a good job paid around $10 an hour, if you could find one.

    Adios entrepreneurs!

    1. The Rev Kev

      @ Wukchumni

      Who do you think will eventually move into all those soon to be ex-rentals? Locals getting back into the market or people from the cities looking for a quieter place to live? And do you think that prices will go down for those places?

      1. Wukchumni

        Probably 1/3rd of the AirBnB rentals are 2nd homes that somebody in LA/SF bought 10-20 years ago, thinking they’d retire here, so those will stay static more than likely.

        Its more ‘the LA investor’ who bought 14 houses, all strictly to use as vacation rentals, where the shakeout comes.

        Some of them will turn into longer rentals with year leases, while most of the rest will mostly sit, that is unless Covid-19 turns especially bad, and you don’t want to be in a Big Smoke surrounded by potential carriers.

        I personally couldn’t imagine being in a big city during the crisis to come, so who knows how it plays out?

        There was a price point in the short term rental game, in that generally everything had to be under $300k (these same ‘starter’ homes fetched $200k 5 years ago, and hardly sold) to make it work.

        1. The Rev Kev

          Thanks Wuk. You have talked about this problem in your area a coupla times so got curious how it will all play out now.

    2. Eureka Springs

      I love airbnb. That said it sure would be nice if there was a return of roadside motels, with a little space, ground floor entry, a patio – outside your door seating area, and or pool. Real food or at least a way to prepare basic real food from something more than circle k, and windows that open rather than these sealed sardine cans we have today.

      Service economy, my a**.

  6. The Rev Kev

    “What We Learned From Bloomberg’s Online Campaign”

    That it was a mile wide but only an inch deep?

  7. Krystyn Walentka

    New study on COVID-19 estimates 5.1 days for incubation period

    An analysis of publicly available data on infections from the new coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, that causes the respiratory illness COVID-19 yielded an estimate of 5.1 days for the median disease incubation period, according to a new study led by researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. This median time from exposure to onset of symptoms suggests that the 14-day quarantine period used by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for individuals with likely exposure to the coronavirus is reasonable.

    1. Nonna B

      Not very computer savvy and don’t know how to link things here but I just watched a ted program called Bill Gates: The next outbreak? We’re not ready.” He was discussing the Ebola Virus situation and explained what we needed to do to prevent an even bigger catastrophe. And he described exactly what we have now: a virus that allowed people to walk around infectious but not ill.

    2. ewmayer

      The question is, is there an appreciable fraction of statistical outliers among infectees who remain asymptomatic longer than the mean value? With a highly contagious disease, all it takes is one asymptomatic Typhoid Mary to infect hundreds of others.

  8. PlutoniumKun

    U.S. Shale Collapse Will Lead To Higher Oil Prices

    The article doesn’t say anything more than the headline, but this is something that plenty of market theorists have been arguing – that reductions in oil demand can cause wild fluctuations in prices as the market struggles to match supply and demand. It looks nearly certain that we’ll have rock bottom oil prices for a year or so now unless something (like a war) shuts off supply. But if shale oil collapses, there could likewise be an uncontrolled reduction in supply in some markets, leading to big price spikes. Its very hard to call. But certainly very low prices is the only visible good economic news for importers like Europe, China, India and Japan.

    1. thoughtful person

      I have an industry analysis contact who said frackers can shut down and wait.

      I guess only as long as fracker bankers will tolerate missed payments…

      1. Trent

        zerohedge had an article a few years ago when frackers were having problems, stating that the Dallas Fed had told banks not to call their loans. I believe it.

      2. PlutoniumKun

        Theoretically, you can frack and cap a well, to wait until the market is there for the oil (or gas), or you can establish the viability of a geology, and get your licenses and wait. But the reality is that this doesn’t work for a whole series of reasons (as the gas situation proves). Those companies are sitting on huge loans, and they need to be serviced. Because the marginal cost of pumping an fracked well is minimal (i.e. nearly all the cost is in drilling the well), they need to generate oil and sell, even at a loss, because they need cashflow. If anything, they tend to increase output during times of low prices because of the desparation for cash in hand.

        Essentially, in a market like this, everyone is pumping like crazy in the hope that they can stay afloat and the the last man standing. Its the classic example of a market that doesn’t work they way Econ1 textbooks tell us they should work. This is one reason why oil is likely to keep going down, even lower than the cost of production in all but the very cheapest and most productive wells.

        1. JTMcPhee

          Pumping like crazy, and letting methane spew and sending who knows what kind of witches’ brew of chemicals into the ground, and dumping produced water all over the place. No consequences for shed externalities, which if booked as an intelligent species ought to, would have killed fracking before it got into the ground.

          Who’s going to pay for cleanup of pump-and-run operations? The US has had a bad enough time just dealing with leaking underground storage tanks at tens of thousands of gasoline vending places… Of course, the oil and gas lobby says that even trying to clean up the contamination from such tanks exceeds what they identify as the “benefits.” Same “logic” will be applied to “orphan frack wells” and other “legacy” petroleum messes. Worth remembering that the petro interests lobbied successfully to exclude petroleum and petroleum products from the list of hazardous SUVs stances subject in to cleanup liability under the federal Superfund legislation.

          So hard to deal with stupid, plus corrupt…

          1. wilroncanada

            The right-wing government of Alberta said recently with confidence that they are going to provide jobs for Albertans, because the pipelines they “need” but are not willing to pay for themselves, have been stalled. They are going to accomplish it by cleaning up 1000 old abandoned oil/gas wells. It is estimated by more mature folks with eyes open, that there are somewhere between 40 and 90 thousand wells, all basically abandoned.

  9. Felix_47

    If Bernie really believes his rhetoric he needs to run as a third party (Green?) candidate. The issues are that important. He might not get anything done in Washington but he will have opened up a third way. Both Trump and Biden are very weak candidates that are going to get weaker. This might be a real opportunity for a third party. What irks me is that he probably will back Biden and give my money to the Biden campaign. The democrats said he was not a democrat and did not deserve the nomination. So… as an independent or Green. We contributed to Bernie…..not the democrats and getting rid of Trump is definitely not on my agenda……..Replacing Mnuchin with Jamie Dimon? Like it matters? In fact the issues with Russia and Ukraine could get really hot with Biden in office under the control of the Hillary holdovers.

    1. pretzelattack

      can he even get on the ballot if he wanted to do this? my impression is that the 2 parties have rigged that process like they’ve rigged everything else. i don’t know how write in votes are treated, and would be happy to learn that write in votes would be counted. do you even have that option on most voting machines?

      1. aleric

        Greens were on the presidential ballot in 48 states in 2016. I doubt that Bernie will join the Greens, but if there is ever a viable third party challenge it will be built on the decades of work and legal challenges from Greens.

      2. Oregoncharles

        Again, in response to your question: even the most prohibitive ballot access laws mostly depend on requiring unreasonable numbers of signatures in very short times. The Green Party challenged one of these laws in Georgia and got it declared unconstitutional, so that’s one route. More to the point, Bernie’s machine could get those signatures in those times – probably just from its own ranks. He also has plenty of money, could hire petitioners.

        Perot got on all the ballots; money helps a lot. But numbers are more important. Of course, all that depends on Bernie himself playing along.

        And again: in a three-way race, someone can win with 34% – even less, with the Libertarians and others in the field. There might be chaos at the Electoral College; depends on how evenly the votes are distributed. A failure at the EC throws it into the House – controlled by the Dems.

        Whether write-ins are counted depends on state law. One feature of electronic machines is that they make write-ins almost impossible. In some states the candidate has to file papers for them to be counted.

        What I’ve been expecting for years is a deeply chaotic election season. It might be shaping up this year; at this point, I think it depends on Bernie’s movement. “Not me; Us.” We’ll see if he really meant that.

    2. John

      most of which issues are in the fever dreams, the delusions, of those same “Hillary holdovers”.

    3. Geo

      1. Bernie has dedicated most of his life to the issues so please don’t denigrate his proven track record of commitment to justice by saying “if he”. He does and he’s done it mostly alone until just recently.

      2. Start a Third Party? He’s been an independent for decades. Where were we that whole time? We (the voters) didn’t join him so he came to where we were and joined the Dems. If we want a viable third party that’s on us, not him.

      3. Have you seen how much he’s attacked as a spoiler just from his mere effort to reform the party from the inside? He already gets treated like he’s a Ralph Nader for simply running in primaries as a Dem. Few even remember Nader for any of the truly good things he’s done. What impact does Nader have on modern politics anymore? None. Sanders is trying to straddle creating a movement and not totally alienating it from the levers of power. You might disagree but the difference between the national dialogue four years ago and today proves he has been effective.

      4. The solution isn’t Sanders starting a third party. It’s said (and is endlessly debatable if this is true) that MLK was effective because Malcolm X made him seem like a reasonable compromise by comparison. We (the Left) didn’t give Bernie that compromise leverage. After 2016 we should have had a radical third party rising up but we didn’t. Even a “Tea Party” like insurgency would have been better than what we did. The closest we got were “Justice Dems” and DSA. But those didn’t get near the support needed to spark any real fear in the establishment.

      5. Bernie isn’t a failed savior. He is doing his best but if the people don’t show up what can he do? He worked inside the system because it’s what he thought would be most effective. It’s on everyone inspired by his legacy to decide which way to go from here.

      So, don’t ask Sanders to start a third party. Leave the Dems and give a new leader a third party movement to lead. Sanders was one of my inspirations to turn independent back around 2002-03 when he was one of the only sane voices against the wars. What will it take for enough others to do the same?

      1. hunkerdown

        > We (the Left) didn’t give Bernie that compromise leverage

        We did but they called us mean and we toned it down.

      2. Oregoncharles

        “the national dialogue” – but not policies. Those are still moving to the Right, under both flavors of government.

    4. Lil’D

      I believe that he believes his rhetoric
      But he has had 40 years of working in the system…

      Radical change is hard. Machiavelli has words to that effect as do the classical scholars. Entrenched interests strongly fight the change. Beneficiaries are generally uncertain enough of potential gains and worry about getting on the wrong side of the powerful, thus do not have incentives to fight for change

      The (oppressed, working class, poor, weak…) can only get the system to change by coordinated radical efforts. Third party faces huge headwinds from current monopolization of ballot access and mass media / propaganda

      Now is not the time

      But if not now, probably never

  10. The Rev Kev

    “Joe Biden’s Strategy to Limit Gaffes: Talk Less”

    Voters: “With Trump standing for the Presidency, you would have to search far and wide for a Democrat that would be so awful and hideous a candidate that they would lose to him.”

    DNC: Challenge accepted!”


    Voters: “At this stage, all you would need for a Democratic candidate would be someone who would have the coherence & wit that God promised a pumpkin. Surely they could not screw that up, could they?”

    DNC: “Challenge accepted!”

    And don’t you like how the DNC celebrated International Women’s Day? By excluding the only woman in the race by an under-handed, last-minute rule change?

    1. cm

      This morning the NPR narrative is that Sander’s voters are misogynistic, instead of just hating on Clinton.

      I live in Washington State, and voted for Gabbard.

      1. Bill Carson

        Thank you for reminding me to call and cancel my $10/mo donation to the local NPR affiliate.

  11. timbers

    U.S. Treasury Likely to Push Back April 15 Tax Filing Deadline, Sources Say

    Yes, but at least Trump does know what is really needed to do to cure the virus: tax cuts for corporations, bailouts for energy tycoons hurt by Russia/Saudi Arabia, Fed rate cuts and QE.

    And tax credits for people who buy stock. Because the stock market is the whole entire economy, upon which his Presidency will be judged as are all Presidencies.

    1. John

      Trump is a one-trick pony. You cannot insult a virus or give it a catchy nickname or be mean and ugly to it on Twitter thus on to the last page in the play-book, throw money at it.

    2. Bill Carson

      The silliest thing about this proposal is that there is filers are already entitled to an AUTOMATIC SIX-MONTH EXTENSION.

    3. Tom Bradford

      I thank the stars I’m not American, but while a Sanders Presidency might not have done much if anything for the stock portfolio use to pad my adequate State Pension with a few luxuries, I would have taken the hit as I believe America – and the world – needs him and his ideas.

      But if the Americans themselves choose to reject it they deserve what they get – and I’ll happily take the resulting benefits to my portfolio as I’m too old and too sour to believe you can save people from their own stupidity.

  12. Joey

    Is it my imagination, or is the johns Hopkins covid 19 tracker no longer tracking at local levels?

  13. Ignacio

    RE: Engineer Who Attended RSA Cybersecurity Event Contracts Coronavirus Bloomberg. Read details. It isn’t only old people who are at risk. 45 year old guy not only hospitalized, but in a medically-induced coma on a ventilator.

    I don’t think anybody says that only the elder are at risk, but it is true that the elder are at higher risk. Everybody must think of mitigation by personal measures, even the youngest. There were cases of whole families dying in China from the younger to the elder. So what? Simply try to avoid high viral loads that could cause a fast and dangerous disease development before you have an effective immune response. Hygiene, ventilation, do not enclose for too long and with many people. AVOID HOSPITALS, WHICH ARE HOTTEST CONTAGION SPOTS unless it is the case you are severely ill. There is not cure except your immune system. Hospitals provide relief only to the most severe developments.

    1. Phemfrog

      Reading the post, one thing stood out to me. That guy has underlying risk for pneumonia due to a heart condition. So not a “healthy” 45 y.o.

    2. Randy G

      Thank you, Ignacio, the advice makes great sense.

      Currently trying to make arrangements to leave my 2 dogs with people in California in case something happens to me. Don’t want to think about them going to a shelter if I spiral down the drain out here in the Wild West.

      1. Shonde

        Randy, you may want to consider a back up to the California people in case your chosen people aren’t able to care for your dogs if they become ill.
        I have people who have stated they would make sure my dogs are cared for but what if they too succumb to the virus. My plan currently is to isolate until some people I would trust with my dogs have, hopefully, immunity to the virus. Since I am 73 years old I have that option.

        1. Titus

          Only problem is that nearly everyone is going to be exposed to the virus eventually. “Only” 20% get sick enough to the hospital, and only “3-4”, die. The idea of social distancing is to avoid everyone getting sick at once and overloading the hospitals.

  14. John A

    Moustache of understanding states

    “I would like to make one thing clear, Denmark is far from a socialist planned economy. Denmark is a market economy. The Nordic model is an expanded welfare state, which provides a high level of security for its citizens, but it is also a successful market economy with much freedom to pursue your dreams and live your life as you wish.”

    Then goes on to strawman Bernie as this being not what Bernie wants because, drum roll, Bernie is a red in tooth and claw socialist who hates capitalism. But amazingly Friedman then seems to think the Denmark as described above is what Biden wants. Are NYT readers that easy to have the wool pulled over their eyes?

    1. urblintz

      they begin with their eyes closed… no wool required.

      that way they can claim blind ignorance instead of the willful variety.

      1. John

        I read the Herald Tribune because we had a subscription when I was young and switched to the NY Times when the Trib folded. I read the Times for many years until the deterioration of their news pages became too much to bear. The editorial pages have been too precious for a generation or more. Some of the op-ed writers are good and some are otherwise. I read the Times occasionally now, but I get most of my news from online sources both domestic and foreign. Does this make me closed eyed or willfully blind?

        Your comments are annoying.

    2. Stephen Gardner

      In a word, yes. The moustache of understanding has a job there for a reason. His brand of neoliberal agitprop works.

    3. Donald

      Based on a lot of comment reading over there, NYT reading liberals are depressingly stupid. I was going to try to make a joke of it, but I am serious and it isn’t funny, because I think they are a pretty fair sample of what the PMC is like. This is why we have a lying war criminal who favors austerity as our liberal champion.

      There are exceptions, of course. But not very many..

    1. Lee

      It seems that cuteness was being selected for deep in the evolutionary past. “Who’s the good birdie?”

  15. bassmule

    And as if coronavirus isn’t enough…

    The Danger In Our Salad Bowls

    “The FDA is further hamstrung by what Gottlieb called the agency’s culture of caution, a fear that putting out a false alarm about an E. coli outbreak could damage public trust in the FDA — and needlessly alarm consumers. They want to be absolutely sure they have found the correct source before going public. But this cautiousness has a price.”

  16. Lee Too

    #DemExit trending? Good.

    But now I am hearing the Russians are influencing my opinion. Who knew?

    If I were personally contacted by a Russian bot suggesting that I consider withholding my vote I would say: “Way ahead of ya fella!”

    The best response to all the RussiaRussia noise — in fact the best analysis — is to say that, given the present circumstances, any attempt by Russia to “sow disunity” would be redundant. Then it simply falls out of the discussion.

    1. Arizona Slim

      Oh, that reminds me of something. Hmmm, let’s see.

      Next Wednesday will be the day after Arizona’s primary. Perfect day to log on to:

      I’m going to change my voter status back to independent. Buh-bye, Democrat Party!

      And, #DemExit, let me help you trend some more.

      1. The Rev Kev

        A question here, Slim. From what you are seeing on the ground, what do you think will happen in November? Will Sanders voters not bother voting, voting for the Greens or some other party, or just go ahead and vote for Trump?

        1. Arizona Slim

          Hard to say, Reverend.

          But I can say that I haven’t seen a local outpouring of support for Biden. Matter of fact, I have only seen one vehicle with a Biden bumper sticker.

          I’ll keep everyone posted.

          1. JacobiteInTraining

            In my case, assuming its Biden vs Trump…I’ll write in Sanders….and pick out the most energetic 3rd Party I can find to start supporting for its local/state/national candidates going forward.

            I’ll not ‘play the game’ of the lesser of two evils anymore – just as I didn’t in 2016. Both D/R parties are my mortal enemy and no apparatchik is gonna stuff me back into the Stockholm Syndrome dungeon.

            Time to build fresh….and in one sense, the chaos and destruction of neo/liberal/conservative ‘norms’ that is now inevitable over the next few years no matter WHAT braying/senile fool survives the elections (and the virus) …will be fertile ground for the new ideas and leaders to finally emerge.

            1. Lil’D

              Which sandwich do you want?

              Merde d’baguette, or
              scheisswurst ?

              I’m afraid we are out of the organic greens

              1. John Anthony La Pietra

                The greens can still grow, if more people choose to help tend the garden. . . .

        2. HotFlash

          Will Sanders voters not bother voting

          Not bother, no sir, no way! I will most emphatically not vote!

          1. Geo

            Vote for “other” but do vote. Vote to replace every single DNC approved crook. Vote like you’re a white blood cell fighting off a virus.

      2. jrs

        Don’t do that until they actually count the votes, which some places seem to be months, if ever.

    2. Chris

      I still don’t understand how people can see that a well coordinated and well funded Bloomberg campaign failed to get a significant number of votes but an indirect and poorly funded campaign by “Russians” is supposedly changing hearts and minds everywhere. If that is really the case, let’s just hire the Russians to fight all the other propaganda and be done with it.

      1. HotFlash

        Ding-y ding ding ding! And Biden got support => overwhelming votes from nowhere and on a dime. One wonders. A lot.

        I also do not understand how all those peeps who gave $$ (even/ESP small $$) to Bernie couldn’t be bothered to toddle down to the polling place come the day? Not buying that. BTW — MI absentee ballot requested over a month ago never arrived. Interesting?

  17. Jessica

    Bernie was down 29 points in the last poll in Michigan but lost by 17 points, a 12-point swing. Could it be that as people actually look at Biden and hear from Bernie, things are swinging back in his direction?

    1. carl

      Well, he is a staggeringly weak candidate, and the establishment’s attempts to put lipstick on this pig are pretty obvious, perhaps so obvious as to be visible to more than the left side of the Democrat party. Trump is actually helping this by attacking Biden, and quite effectively too.

      1. Monty

        My take is that deep down, even though we hope for the best, we know this virus is going to be something of an emperors new clothes moment for the US government and health system. Since (whats left of) the voters are going to want to throw the bums out, it is vital that only new bums be on the ballot.

        1. Bill Carson

          Let us all hope and pray that we don’t see more changes of the variety that took shape after 9/11.

  18. The Rev Kev

    “Coronavirus: New York Creates ‘Containment Area’ Around Cluster In New Rochelle”

    Just like the airports – it is all security theater. And with the National Guard serving as props in place of TSA employees. Sure containment was successful. They did not allow one single solitary building to leave that zone – not even that synagogue. But the people could come and go as they pleased and I would not be surprised if the end result was some Guardsmen being infected and either carrying that virus back to their bases or back to their civilian homes.

    1. Mel

      But it’s also New Rochelle, just north of Manhattan. One of the richest towns around. Average household income around $200thou. These are solid 10% people getting sick. Not throwaway people at all.

      1. Bill Carson

        Ironic thing is that 10% is presently the most-likely to be infected in America—-those who can afford to travel to Italy or China on holiday, or who do so for business on a regular basis.

        Heaven help us all when the virus migrates through the homeless camps.

  19. Ignim Brites

    “Harvard tells students not to return from spring break”. Given that the measures against coronavirus are similiarly effective against flu, would not be enightened for Harvard to think about permanently cancel winter term?

    1. Monty

      I was reading about some colleges moving classes online only because of the virus. Wouldn’t it be nice if that was always available. So much cheaper than having a room size limit the distribution of the lesson. You could host any number of students, who could replay the lesson over and over again to get the most out of it. I have seen lecture halls with large numbers of kids recording the lecture, whilst they look at their phones or even leaving the room with their recording equipment running.

      1. MLTPB

        When I was in college, I had small and large classes. Students could ask questions, even have discussions in smaller classes, but only lectures in really large classes.

        What kind of online classes are we talking about here? Taped lectures?

        1. The Rev Kev

          I saw a story on TV showing how they did it in China. You have a lecturer teaching his lesson live using a computer display board for the lessons and he was facing a monitor that had dozens of students faces that were watching his lessons. They probably have a system in place where he can see which students have questions and how that teacher can respond to them.

      2. paros

        I am at a University of California campus, and they moved classes to online only. There is a secret story here that is not getting much attention. Something like 40% (I am not sure of the exact number but it is fairly high) of the teaching occurs by graduate student teaching assistants, and these students have recently either been striking or just voted to strike starting next week (depending on the campus). There is a belief amongst many of the university faculty that the move to online teaching is an effort by university administrators to break the strike, and that the coronavirus provided a convenient cover to do so. There is also a concern that university administrators are using this as a dry run to then argue that more instruction should go from in-person to online only. Many faculty are upset because the decision to move to online instruction was ostensibly made without faculty input or approval, whereas generally in the past at University of California campuses there has to be approval by the faculty before such decisions were made.

        1. Bill Carson

          Higher education had the opportunity to innovate fifteen years ago and they resisted and failed to do it. We could have legitimately democratized university and made it a resource in the same category as public libraries, but millionaire college presidents and football coaches wouldn’t have it. As a result, recent graduates and non-graduates are indentured to the tune of $1.7 trillion. No sympathy from me. Burn it all down.

        2. Rod

          I am a retired Educator–who has taught online. Initially excited to have my Content augmented by Online Classwork then moving to full Online Instruction.
          When I discovered how Minimum and Condensed the Instructional Blocs had to be constructed–for Instructor Feedback and Evaluation–for simple Instructor Time Management needs, I reevaluated and chose NOT to endorse Online Education.
          Students pay for College Classes expecting a busload of Information–imo–Online Instruction ends up selling a Chassis with four wheels.
          Try explaining your Grading Matrix to an Online student(online) who doesn’t get the Online explanation. You will be time constrained–believe me–and that means content delivery constrained likewise.

          imo–Most Instructional Content is assembled over much time and keyed to enhance Instructional Points and Discussions prompted, and much cannot be conveniently included in the Format of Online Delivery by sheer bulk.

          One of my intrinsic motivators as an Educator was the “AHAA” moments that occurred with both individuals, and classes of individuals, thru group interactions. And yes, they can be orchestrated by an adept Educator.
          I had more than 25 years of them in person–and NONE as an Online Instructor.

          1. jrs

            What do you say to older (aka “mature” or “nontraditional”) students who need a degree (for the credential in many cases, sometimes in fields they have already worked in for years) but can’t attend in person classes because of job and life responsibilities? They need their paychecks, they may have a spouse, kids etc..

            Should online options exist for them or should they just give up on getting a degree having missed their chance when they were younger? And just take all the economic disadvantages that come with not having a degree?

              1. Geo

                Agreed. We’ve confused education with trade schools.

                I’ve heard of ancient times when employers would train new hires and education was about expanding the mind and bettering the human. Now, education is merely a commodity that is expected to have a verifiable ROI.

                1. Rod

                  Education and Training really are two different things with different approaches to Outcome Mastery.

                  Lots of the Public sees them interchangeably.

                  Lots of mis-Educators use them sloppily.

                2. Titus

                  Meaning what? If you get into a carpentry program at a trade school you will learn carpentry or be bounced out. I have been educated in philosophy as well, but the same except I could move on to higher levels if I didn’t do well at lower levels. Most of those I’ve met with credentials deserved them. Regarding college degrees, having one may or may not demonstrate something either knowledge or ability to think critically. Does this lock people out of jobs without a degree? Yes. Is that right – no. Is there an easy way to fix this – no. On the other hand so many of those college degree required jobs are truly awful.

                  1. Rod

                    Meaning the methodology you implement to get to the Educational Outcomes you require for a Carpenter or a Philosopher.

            1. Rod

              Sure online should exist–just realize that you are learning the minimum–what only is allowable within the Instructors ability to time manage the student load with the tools limited to unambiguous evaluation.

              ??Do you get more, quicker, looking at a picture–or listening to someone describe that picture without looking at it?? This is the essential dilemma because of how we humans are processors.

              Your reasoning was what excited me about online learning initially–although those type of students–imo–bring real enhancements to the class setting with them and are often the most inquisitive and “get to the useable point” types in the class. Lots of cross learning and modeling that occurs.

              Industry Certification for Knowledge and Application is one of those areas that Online works quite well and testing for mastery is more constrained in scope.

              1. Kurt Sperry

                Online ed cannot replace a 25 student classroom experience. Can it replace a 200+ student lecture hall? You bet it can.

    2. allan

      Civil unrest and police response near the University of Dayton
      last night after the university announces that its dorms will close today
      because of COVID-19.

      As I said in a comment last night, these college closings will suppress youth turnout
      in the primaries going forward, not just at the presidential level
      but downballot in House and local races where progressives
      are challenging incumbents. Ohio’s primary is next Tuesday.

      1. Bill Carson

        The problem was that they announced at 7pm that the student housing had to be vacated by 8am the next morning. Students were right to be a little upset. The response by the police force was unnecessary and provocative.

        1. Geo

          Can we replace the police slogan of “To serve and protect” with your words: “Unnecessary and provocative”?

  20. timbers

    ‘Stealth Attack on Social Security’: Trump Condemned for Exploiting Coronavirus Crisis to Push Payroll Tax Cut

    I have a better idea. Let’s raid the Pentagon’s reported “slush fund” to pay for any stimulus package to counter economic impact of the virus. If anyone says it doesn’t exist, don’t get bogged down in the details and he-said she-said or if necessary call them useful Russian tools…and just say it does and raid the Pentagon anyway.

    1. ewmayer

      Oddly, I don’t seem to recall any “Obama condemned for Exploiting Financial Crisis to Push Wall Street Bailouts and Legal Immunization” headlines from 2009, but perhaps my failing memory fails me, or something.

  21. The Rev Kev

    “In a call between the two foreign ministers, China agreed to supply Italy with 1,000 ventillators and 2 million masks. Additionally, they are donating (!) them 100k respirators, 20k protective suits, and 50k test kits as part of “massive aid” package.”

    One day, when this is all over, Italy is going to remember who came to their aid in their time of need and who stood by protecting their own bailiwick. If China is the first nation to recover, then they will still have the capacity to turn out torrents of medical gear in place which means they could start shipping it overseas to other nations. This will earn them a lot of goodwill down the track which I am sure will be repaid.

    1. xkeyscored

      And make other nations, such as those in the EU, think twice about hitching their wagon to the USA. They’ve shown their manifest inability to make a safe plane with the Boeing MAX, now the world sees they can’t make masks or WURS test kits. The Belt and Road Initiative must be looking like a better and better idea with every passing day.

    2. ewmayer

      Given that the novel pathogenic strain of Coronavirus is itself a Chinese export product, this move seems only fitting, no?

  22. QuarterBack

    Re “ U.S. Shale Collapse Will Lead To Higher Oil Prices“, the article does not put forth a single argument or fact to support its headline. It only speaks to how the price drop is killing shale.

    IMO shale (ecological impacts aside) has always been a losing investment. Shale’s survival as an ongoing concern has always been existentially tied to cheap and prejudicially available credit. It has been a risky investment that all too often loses, and when does have profits, they are so meager that they are not competitive against other investment vehicles. Has there ever been anyone who has been “killing it” in shale? I doubt it, but if there were any, I would bet it is only because they took advantage of some loan or tax gimmick to offset costs, which would mean the the fundamental business itself, was not profitable. The price of shale crude is not the price of shale crude. It relies on hidden subsidies, which in a macroeconomic sense, have to be drawn from somewhere. Who’s paying for this?

  23. katiebird

    I think Sanders’ ads are almost terrible. The seem to be addressed to people who already know who he is.

    What we needed were a series of ads that introduced him (and maybe Jane) AND his ideas. Maybe have them sitting at a table talking about a specific issue in simple language and how it could change lives. Making these issues personal to the viewer and manageable.

    Is there still time in the states to come?

    Also, I have gotten a couple of fundraising messages but I can’t make myself respond. I have given so many candidates donations hoping to encourage them to stay in. Only to have them drop within hours of their ask and my donation. (Wish I could do it though)

    1. katiebird

      Adding. Local KCMO morning news guy, summarizing the race gave delegate totals. Then said The Big Question is, Can Biden stay in. Is he up to it? Biden talks for 7 minutes, Bernie for 45-60 minutes. Biden’s staff stays close to keep gaffs down.

      Might not matter. But this guy Mark Alford is known for speaking his mind and saying what a lot of other people think.

      1. Shonde

        Zero requests for donations from Bernie today. Very strange since before today I was getting about one every two hours.

        1. jrs

          It’s what a candidate does when they are going to drop out. Just saying. I’ve seen it.

          However another factor, are you in one of the states that just voted though? Because I also suspect they may stop asking for donations from states that have already voted (regardless of how they voted). Donations they might need much less than votes at this time and donations at this point are just a proxy for commitment, which mostly matters in states that still have voting ahead of them, not those that have already gone.

          1. Shonde

            Minnesota so Super Tuesday. There was no fall off in donation requests after the Minnesota primary. So it is very noticeable today.

            Gotta feeling the “establishment” got to him. Probably no debate either.

            If I do get a request later today, I will update.

            I did try to move to Canada two years ago when I was leaving California but sadly I am not wealthy enough to qualify and too old. I feel stuck here.

        2. Bill Carson

          I went online to the Bernie store last night and bought over $200 worth of swag. I figure that this will be my last chance. They will shut the whole thing down very soon. I hope they will at least fulfill outstanding orders before sacking the workers.

    2. ewmayer

      Except for some late-breaking weak tea about Social Security, he also failed to hammer home the myriad of very good reasons why anyone desiring change for the better does not want Joe Biden anywhere near the Oval Office. His vehement crtitiques were all along the lines of “we must get rid of Trump” – well, absent any real (and really well-deserved) hard, consistent criticism of his BFF Joe Biden that is tantamount to saying “anyone would be be better than Trump … including Joe Biden.”

      He professes to believe so strongly in the need for progressive ‘revolutionary’ change, but he’s unwilling to break any colleagues’ precious rice bowls to help bring it about. Does anyone think Trump could’ve smashed a similalrly-hostile-to-him GOP corruptocracy in 2016 with “look, Jeb! Bush is a friend of mine…” and effectively going into the fight with one hand tied – by himself – behind his back? So disappointing – a non sequitur “polite revolution”. Whoever wins in November, there will be no progressive agenda to be had.

  24. The Rev Kev

    “Matt Gaetz Wore a Gas Mask to Mock Coronavirus Concerns. Now He’s in Quarantine.”

    I have seen mention of this guy in the news before and was not impressed. But when he said he voted for the Coronavirus legislation but didn’t feel good about it because there was no offsets for that $8 billion I realized that he was, in fact, a total idiot. He obviously has not thought through the financial consequences of this pandemic and has not worked out that there will be a need for Pentagon-level amounts of money to fight Coronavirus. Blind Freddy could tell him that. Maybe they should have used a different headline to this article. Something like ‘Florida man not worried about Coronavirus – until he catches it.’

    Fun fact – Gaetz grew up in a house that was used in The Truman Show, a film about a man who is always on television.

    1. WobblyTelomeres

      I want a televised cage match between Gaetz and Gohmert. An apt circus for the quarantine.

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          Pray Gohmert dies fast enough to infect the fewest possible people before he dies.

  25. MLTPB

    The mask/ventilator deal between China and Italy is not China will ‘supply’ but more specifically, will sell to Italy.

    Products or services can be supplied, at various costs, inluding free of cost. I suppose they can be sold for nothing as well.

    In any case, I think Iran needs them even more urgently.

    1. The Rev Kev

      I read that bit but at this point, Italy would be willing to pay for them in gold bars as they are so desperately needed. Countries like India are already putting heavy restrictions on what medical gear can be sold overseas as they know that they will be needing it themselves. Everybody will be looking for supplies to their own country first.

      I concur that Iran also needs medical equipment desperately but if China tried to send that medical gear there, Trump would hit them with sanctions for violating the US embargo on most stuff going there, even of medical equipment & drugs. Iran has just pleaded to have medical gear allowed into there but I do not think that Trump would allow it.

      1. xkeyscored

        I caught an interview on BBC this evening with some Iranian health worker – twice.
        The first time round, she mentioned US sanctions, while Yalda Hakim interrupted and talked over her.
        The second time round, that bit’s gone – no mention of sanctions, just the question of whether the Iranian government is incompetent or covering up.

        1. xkeyscored

          I think I read that technically China isn’t breaking US sanctions, as the oil’s going into storage. Which wouldn’t be much use with masks and stuff, which are needed now.

  26. orlbucfan

    Matt Gaetz is a classic example of the Far Right Fringe Republican. He’s just as stupid, too. I live in the state that hatched his political career: Florida. Unfortunately, his political type has plenty of company, both at the state and national levels. It’s a shame he didn’t contract the virus. Would have been divine justice.

  27. Martine


    I’m frustrated by the coverage by the titular Left media since the planted candidates threw their constituencies to Biden. But I’m downright flabbergasted by the discussion that has ensued. Especially here at NC.

    1. The DNC was never going to allow Sanders the nomination. Never. (Furthermore, Adolph Reed got it right back in November when he said that they’d kill him if he won. 7:14)

    2. Warren was never going to endorse Sanders. Never.

    3. Sanders will not run as a third party candidate. He will throw his support to Biden.

    4. Trump wins a second term.

    There is no tidy solution to the disaster we have courted by tolerating/supporting neoliberalism. Chris Hedges may be a little too in love with his own prose, but he’s also right.

    We can have democratic control of the country when we pry it from their cold, dead fingers.

  28. KLG

    From Ryan Grim in The Intercept. This is the moment Bernie Sanders fatally lost the plot and caused many of his supporters to lose heart:

    And, perhaps most importantly, he could have attacked Biden’s record. Biden’s collapse in January coincided with a sustained assault by Sanders’s staff, eventually joined by Sanders himself, on Biden’s abysmal record on Social Security. Biden historically has not responded to political assaults well, and didn’t do so in January, repeatedly stepping back into a fight he would have been better off avoiding. He even lashed out at a CBS News reporter, shouting, “Why why why why why?” in a way that made him look unhinged. Sanders, instead, defended Biden as a friend, even going so far as to apologize for a surrogate’s critical column, declaring, “It is absolutely not my view that Joe is corrupt in any way.”

    Joe Biden is as corrupt as they come, and Trump will hammer him. Yes, Trump is just as bad, but so what? Everyone knows it already. Last time I looked (pre-pandemic meltdown) his approval rating was nearly 50%. It is a little hop from that to winning.

    And whether Joe Biden is Bernie’s friend (highly doubtful in any case) is completely irrelevant.

    Coronavirus and a recession might carry Biden over the line, yes. But Trump has the Power of the Presidency on his side, and he will use it unashamedly.

  29. dearieme

    If Biden becomes the Dem candidate then Sanders’ duty to his country is to run as a third party candidate.

    If the virus claims both then the Dems should run Tulsi. But they wouldn’t, would they?

    Ah, if only Americans had had the sense to re-elect Bush the Elder. Then no Slick Willie and therefore no Hellary; quite possibly no W/Cheney, no O/Biden, and no Trumpster.

    Of course who you got instead might have been just as bad, but at least you’d have had an adult in office for an extra four years and one who might have handled the whole USSR/Russia business infinitely better.

    1. Louis Fyne

      everything post-1992: Glass-Steagall, 9/11, Trump, Nafta—-blame Ross Perot as William Jeff won 1992 with a plurality, just like Trump in 2016.

      I’m only half-sarcastic :)

      hypothetical alternative histories can get so fascinating

    2. FluffytheObeseCat

      “If Biden becomes the Dem candidate then Sanders’ duty to his country is to run as a third party candidate.”

      Most states in the U.S. have “sore loser” laws or regs that impede running as a 3rd party candidate after losing the nomination in one of the 2 mainstream parties. It is essentially impossible to do, especially this close to the general.

    1. MLTPB

      That is unfortunate, and ironically so, for many well to do travellers brought it back from China, and seemingly more from Italy.

      But really, it is the fact that it could show up in any neighborhood, rich or poor, (though they are to be hit harder), but especially urban ones, where most live, that gives it an immediacy, and it should have been emphasized in the debate before New Hampshire at the beginning of Feb.

      That roundtable discussion a couple of days ago seemed a month too late, though better than never. The same with cancelling large gatherings that are rallies. They continued through Feb, until the announcements very recently.

      In the meantime, the government put in travel restrictins on China effective Feb 1, with little reaction, except maybe Beijing accusing the US of scaremongering.

      Then came the outbreaks in S Korea and, more consequentially, N Italy.

      We didn’t, not many countries did, put in similar travel restrictions on them like we did with China. No one talked about this, except maybe one person, or more that I regrettably am not aware. And now we are seeing many cases traceable to Italy.

      I say this again here, because going forward travel restrictions, between nations, or between provinces or states, etc, will still be critical.

      With or without sufficient testing, and what is adequate may be debated (everyone, 300 a day, 10,000 a day, X number per day, depending on various factors, like current number of cases, number of potential encounters, etc), restrictions have shown to delay and work (Wuhan, families shut in their apartments, online postings asking to be tested… then thest days, to reports of dwindling cases there).

    2. xkeyscored

      Those working in the food industry may come through it OK on the whole, if they’re reasonably young and healthy. It does usually reserve its worst for the elderly and unwell.
      But what of their customers? Food is one thing you don’t want to squirt sanitiser on.

  30. xkeyscored

    US Marines Arrive on Yemen’s Island of Socotra to Back UAE

    ” If Congress wasn’t supportive of a war there, they’ll certainly not endorse an open-ended US presence, even on the island.”
    Really? Even if they succeed in turning Socotra into another Diego Garcia? They’ve basically been told to give that back to the Chagos Islanders who were there before and kicked out to make way for it; fat lot of good that did. I’d expect a new US terrorist – sorry, military – base to be touted as justification for the slaughter they’re causing in Yemen. Cheered on by most of Congress.

  31. xkeyscored

    Canada to Huawei: do an IPO with us South China Morning Post

    I fail to understand this. I thought all the fuss about Huawei was supposedly over who gets to spy on us, Five Eyes or China. How will handing Canada a slice of the IPO cash have any bearing on backdoors in the hardware or software, imaginary or not? Why will the US be happier knowing Canada’s ‘betraying’ them? And how will China react to the implicit deal – Meng Wanzhou in exchange for Canada making money out of Huawei?
    Still, international diplomacy is often a murky business, so maybe something’ll come of it.

  32. Bill Carson

    Re: US Navy May Not Buy More Ford-class Carriers.

    The U.S. Navy should not buy ANY more carriers. They are obsolete, sitting ducks in the event of a war.

    The only possible justification for buying more of these ships is as a jobs program for the shipbuilder, and there are more efficient and constructive ways to provide jobs. Let’s build infrastructure. Let’s build hospitals. Let’s build anything but aircraft carriers.

  33. Mark Gisleson

    My new thing is:


    Not because it will happen, but because I want the pundits and consultants to explain to me why we can’t have the strongest possible ticket to beat Trump.

    The fact that Biden’s cognitive decline would force him to resign early in his term never once crossed my mind….

  34. Louis Fyne

    —Engineer Who Attended RSA Cybersecurity Event Contracts Coronavirus—

    One anecdote, not data. and being in a medically induced coma is a prudent thing as per the article “The individual is predisposed for pneumonia due to an underlying heart condition”.
    just saying.

    No one is saying that people under-50 are immune. But the data from China—which can be easily verified by the data from Korea, EU—-says that the mortality skews heavily towards those over-65 and those w/pre-existing health issues.

    With the over-80 cohort at a 15% mortality rate versus a 0.4% rate for those under-50. The common flu is about ~0.1% for all ages, with a skew negatively affecting seniors as well.

    Personally, it would be unconscionable for me (under 50) to have a cache of supplies until all the seniors (and anyone w/a compromised immunity) in my family were taken care of. I’m trying to get all the seniors in my extended family to soft-isolate themselves to limit contact w/strangers. Some are easier to convince than others.

    1. MLTPB

      WHO declared pandemic hours ago.

      There was a discussion here on its monetary consequences, as a possible reason for hesitancy, if i recall correctly.

      1. xkeyscored

        In 2017 the World Bank issued a pandemic bond designed to help fund the response to any widespread outbreak of a number of diseases, including coronavirus. The $320 million bond was part of a bigger $425 million risk transfer that included a concurrent $105 million swap with six reinsurance counterparties. Should it already be paying out? As of March 10, the answer was no, principally because the required time period has not yet elapsed since the start of the outbreak, which is 12 weeks. The World Bank confirmed to Euromoney on March 5 that the official start of the outbreak has been set at December 31, 2019, meaning that the first day following the 12-week period will be March 24.

        Full article:

        1. MLTPB


          The counties you listed in a post below include Nepal, 1 case, and Cambodia, 2 cases, Senegal, 1, and Nigeria, also 1 (subject to update, of course).

          How do they split the money, how much will be retained for the future?

            1. MLTPB

              Counting the country of origin is a bit confusing to me.

              It seems to me that if a Britain got it in Italy, and is securely isolated in London, it should be counted as an Italian case, if we want to gauge the extent of the contagion, and not a British case..

              I dont know if that is how its counted, though..

              1. xkeyscored

                Counting your way, we’ve got one confirmed case so far, a guy in Siem Reap who caught it from a Japanese who travels a lot for business (‘recruitment’, I think). And apart from that, no known spread within country.
                Which does perhaps give more northerly parts of the northern hemisphere some hope that warmer weather will dampen it down. Today’s maximum here 40C, currently (2 am) 30.

                1. MLTPB

                  The catching part occurred in Siem Reap, assigning to Cambodia adds an alert data point, though the travelling recruiter, if he himself caught it in Japan should be counted in the Japanese total, and not be let put abroad. But if he also caught it in Cambidia, it helps to gauge their local situation by counting it as their case.

                  I think that is more helpful.

                    1. MLTPB

                      It seems the whole world was watching those huge numbers out of China, undercounted or not, and then S Korea and N Italy came along…

      1. jrs

        which kinda has to be a disappointment to him. I mean if you aspire to Ted talks which have intellectual pretensions, and yet you only get CNN which doesn’t even pretend to be anything other than a network of transparent and really stupid propaganda. Ha.

  35. Wukchumni

    How much whiplash can Dow Jonestown take?

    Up a thousand points one day, down a grandido the next trading session.

    I’ve felt for a long time, most everything was gamed, have they lost their touch in keeping the market on a somewhat even keel?

  36. rd

    The difference between governments that believe they are supposed to function effectively and governments that are just there for show.

    Some Canadian communities are starting to send paramedics to homes to do swab tests for coronavirus so the people don’t physically enter doctor or hospital facilities:

    It’s irrelevant in the US, because the US is still struggling to test at all.

  37. .Tom

    1. The Democratic Party hates economic populism more than it hates Trump.

    2. Sanders is a greater threat to their personal job security than a second Trump term.

    3. They are all doing fine in opposition.

    So there’s no need for the candidate to be competitive again Trump.

  38. Noone from Nowheresville

    Tried to pull this together. Not all of it is part of a regimented plan. But it’s also not just random noise. Players gotta play. All hail the machine!

    Russia Gate Mueller “ending.” Trump temporary vindication. Trump unnecessary phone call to Ukraine. He didn’t need to dig up dirt to go after Biden. Already publicly known. Sept. First debate between Warren and Biden. Not a glove. If Warren had taken Biden out, would impeachment circus happen? People did start talking about Sanders policies including M4A on the national media. Sept 24th Impeachment proceedings announced. Oct 2nd Sanders heart attack. Oct 17th Clinton goes after Gabbard hard and Sanders soft.

    No more real M4A media conversation until Warren’s November releases her pay-for-it plan for the PMC. Warren’s wonky plan doesn’t work. She wouldn’t even “fight for it” M4A until maybe year 3. Maybe never. Not practical or pragmatic. If Warren can’t make it work, then who can?

    Syria chemical weapons report coverup leaked. Afghanistan fubar report revealed. Ridiculous hearsay and bureaucratic expert testimony. Bureaucrats rule! Bloomberg enters the race. The 600 page report tacitly laying out a treason argument. Lawfare precedent in writing to be used at a later date. The House vote. Then budget: space force, wall, killing medical surprise billing, increased military spending. Rules for gutting disability and limiting food stamps local exemption power proposed. etc.

    Assassination. Big political show to bring Articles of impeachment to Senate. Witnesses, we must have witnesses even though we just sat on this for a few weeks. Rules of order: Senators must remain in Washington during Impeachment show. Campaign after hours. Shiv’d by a “friend” in the Clinton manner. Iowa debate. Followed by a Clinton attack. Bolton he’ll save us if only PR. More senate deliberations. Superbowl!!!!! Iowa caucus. Fubar with the voting app. Pete’s the winner! SOU address. Senate Impeachment vote. Trump fires some people. Walks others back to the Pentagon. Installs cronies. Look at all the Repub corruption! See See! Just like Trump.

    New Hampshire. Klobuchar’s the winner by momentum! Bloomberg heavy heavy ad rotation. Leaked documents telling others to drop out to stop Sanders. Anti-Bloomberg horrible record discussions / articles. Over 100 local and state officials (some superdelegates) endorse. He’s trying to buy our elections. (brilliant, brilliant use of money / resources).

    Bloomberg buys way onto the debate stage. Feb19th Whoa Molly. Let’s get the Billionaire. Although we never bothered with Steyer (not on the stage 1st MB debate). Biden juiced. Amy Pete go round 2. Lots and lots of energy. Twitter loved it. Pundits loved it. AIPAC supposedly rejected by multiple candidates.

    Feb 19th Leaked Trump offered Assange a pardon if he said Russia didn’t do hack the DNC. Feb 21 Leaked Putin / Russia helping Sanders. Feb 22nd Sanders win. Unstoppable. Look at the Sanders Nazi coalition. Feb 24th Assange trial starts. 25th Next debate. Pete talks over everyone like Rosen did to Turner. It’s part of the media toolkit now. MB calls Sanders a Russian communist! I mean socialist. The Russia thing left a bigger mark than you’d think. How could it not after 4 years of seeding. Even if people don’t believe Sanders is an agent, they’ll believe Trump will use the communist, I mean socialist label, against Sanders.

    Resurgent Warren. Fundraising masterpiece. SuperPac. Clyburn endorsement. Bloomberg offices attacked. Bernie Bros. Pete / Amy suspend & endorse. Beto endorses. Many many other D heavyweight endorsements. SuperTuesday. Clinton Hulu mini-series drops. More Clinton in media. More Bernie Bros. Warren drops out. Goes on victimization tour. More more Bernie Bros.

    Biden Biden Biden. Booker & Harris endorsement. Biden Biden Biden. Big Tuesday. Erase all over other candidates voter results and show how Bernie’s got creamed by Biden on Super Tuesday b4 Big Tuesday results come in. Now Yang endorsement.

    Wasn’t that a great reality tv show? Those non-“actors” and media pros / pundits really hit their marks once they’ve been told their roles and broad strokes script.

    Just think we can blame Sanders for not throwing a punch, the unreliable youth vote and not connecting with African American votes. Things like closing pole places, voting irregularities, they just get swallowed up.

    As does China’s new power on the world stage. Once America wakes up from this virus, assuming we do, we’ll find that the world has dramatically shifted. Never let a crisis go to waste. Should be interesting.

    All hail the machine!

  39. Wukchumni

    White House asks Silicon Valley for help on coronavirus (WaPo)

    I can see it now, Silicon Valley rushes out virtual n95 masks and other much needed medical equipment, yeah, that’s the ticket!

  40. xkeyscored

    WHO declares pandemic. (around one hour ago)

    I guess some of the moneybags who gambled on pandemic bonds’ll be losing out!
    “… investors in Tranche B should lose all their money while Tranche A investors lose a maximum 16.7 per cent, for a total payout of $132.5m. According to DBRS Morningstar, proceeds could go to Pakistan, Nigeria, Cambodia, Senegal, Nepal and Afghanistan: countries that have suffered coronavirus casualties and are also eligible for funding from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the World Bank’s lending arm, or the IDA.”

    “Critics take aim at ‘failure’ of bond designed to fight disease” [published before this latest WHO designation]

    1. MLTPB

      Just read an NPR article on that, and it seems, practically, as far as responding to this, it changes nothing.

      So, perhaps, even as containment at the national level is breached, we still have containment at other levels, so that we are always in containment (outside of hot spots, and delay and mitigation inside).

      1. allan

        Just as 9/11 changed everything, so will COVID-19:

        White House told federal health agency to classify coronavirus deliberations – sources [Reuters]

        The White House has ordered federal health officials to treat top-level coronavirus meetings as classified, an unusual step that has restricted information and hampered the U.S. government’s response to the contagion, according to four Trump administration officials.

        The officials said that dozens of classified discussions about such topics as the scope of infections, quarantines and travel restrictions have been held since mid-January in a high-security meeting room at the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS), a key player in the fight against the coronavirus.

        Staffers without security clearances, including government experts, were excluded from the interagency meetings, which included video conference calls, the sources said. …

        I feel safer already.

        This will surely end well.

        1. MLTPB

          Restricting travel is key, and however they arrive at a plan, it is the plan that will be made public, for it to be enacted.

        2. xkeyscored

          At least it’s not a ‘cover up’. Only evil nations like China and Iran do that. This is in the interests of US national security, of that I am surs.

          1. MLTPB

            Its important participants keep a health distance from each other.

            Being this secretive, the media can’t help them there.

            ‘You are only 4 ft away from that very excited talker. Move back.!!!’

      2. xkeyscored

        If they don’t shell out, it’s going to be that much harder to maintain the fiction that the World Bank and international high finance are benevolent forces in the world.

        1. MLTPB

          Money is still important in this fight.

          It’s not the only thing, to be sure.

          And when the government appropriates additional funding, it’s a step in the right, or perhaps helpful is a better word than right, direction, in the same sense that in some cases, its better to over react, to be conservative, though safe is a better word than conservative.

          1. xkeyscored

            “PHNOM PENH —
            Prime Minister Hun Sen on Tuesday said the government had allocated between $800 million to $2 billion to address the economic impacts of the novel coronavirus outbreak, which had affected upwards of 80 countries and infected more than 100,000 people.”

            2017 GDP : 22.16 billion USD

              1. xkeyscored

                One can but hope that the country’s bureaucrats are washing their hands regularly, resulting in less sticky fingers than usual.

  41. Kurt Sperry

    I think the “rigged primary” narrative is a pretty fitting left analog of center-right’s Russia!Russia!Russia!, a broad insinuation with just enough anecdotal evidence to make it plausible to people predisposed to believe it. I approach it the same way as I approach Russiagate: show me hard, incontrovertible factual evidence or wait until you have some to show. Insinuation and allegations lacking proof aren’t impressing me any more than Russiagate hyperbole. I’m no more interested in the Sanders base’s suspicions of election fiddling than I am of the DNC’s suspicions of election fiddling last cycle. Show me the proof, and if you can’t, shut up until you can, or it comes across as sour grapes. Just like Hillary and the DNC moping and pointing fingers after Trump beat them. I’m not saying the DNC weren’t favoring Biden, just that it doesn’t explain the hugely lopsided numbers or prove it was determinative.

    I voted in WA State for Sanders in the mail-in primary here and I doubt there were any shenanigans here applied to the voting and Sanders support just cratered vs. four years ago. I think the lack of votes for Sanders here is real and it may be indicative of a broader actual lack of support rather than being the result of some deranged Maddowesque conspiracy.

    Flame away!

    1. urblintz

      you have made very clear what you believe… and I believe that RussiaRussiaRussia was not only designed specifically by the Clintons and the Dem establishment to stop Bernie and the left as much as Trump but also the Democrats answer to birtherism and agree it was beyond foolish… it was pernicious…

      and it worked

    2. Daryl

      No real need to flame. I disagree, but the outcome isn’t different either way, and my personal beliefs on how voting should be conducted (paper ballots hand counted in public) don’t change either way.

    3. Martine

      Define proof. Most convictions are secured with circumstantial evidence.

      What’s been documented so far in terms of exit poll v. vote-count totals, closed polling places, late-opening polling places, hours-long waits to vote, thumb drives of uncounted votes, ghost votes due to choreographed primary withdrawals surely meet the test when taken as a whole.

      Whether that means that those are solely responsible for the outcomes, they are of grave concern and should be broadcast widely. That you think we should all shut up about it shows a cynical disregard for democracy and the systems and processes that make it possible. Especially when based solely on your totally unsubstantiated “doubt there were any shenanigans” in your locale. Good grief.

      1. Kurt Sperry

        We use auditable hand-marked ballots, large scale fraud would hugely risk being exposed. Lacking any hard, factual evidence at all to believe the WA State primary process was compromised, I don’t think it’s reasonable or logical to expect me to “substantiate” the absence of that evidence.

        Oh yeah, the DNC tries to put its thumb on the scales whenever and wherever they can, I’m not discounting that. And there are of course disturbing questions without answers remaining like the exit-poll disparities vs. the published results. And I await hard evidence to prove any and all of those suspicions to come to light. We knew who they were going in, our job was to overwhelm the system, make the job of fiddling the results too large to get away with. We didn’t, and we let them off the hook.

        1. pretzelattack

          it took years to get hard evidence for cheating in florida in 2000, and even then it was widely ignored. there is always a lag. the iowa app fiasco should have tipped you to watch for further cheating.

          1. Kurt Sperry

            Can’t you just hear Maddow going on about how we can’t wait for the hard evidence to come to light to draw the obvious conclusion? The smoking gun will be a mushroom cloud? Please don’t be like them.

        2. John Anthony La Pietra

          What are Washington State’s laws and rules on

          [1] when there must be an automatic recount (e.g, how close in vote count %age); and

          [2] when which candidate(s) may request a recount.

          I ask this because, as long as there are such laws and rules limiting recounts, it’s possible that big enough election-administrator vote fraud could make itself undetectable by recount.

          (A somewhat related example from Michigan law, and dating back a couple decades before Brian Kemp: precincts use a ballot box or bag to store ballots after an election — and there are laws and rules about how they must be sealed. If there is a request for a recount, the seal is removed and the bag/box is opened so the ballots can be recounted. Sounds good so far? If a bag/box down in the records (by seal number) as holding the ballots from one precinct is part of a recount request — but there is no seal found — then the ballots can’t be recounted, because there’s no guarantee the ballots haven’t been tampered with. Still sounds okay? Maybe . . . EXCEPT — what if the election to be recounted involves the person in charge of administering that election? . . .

    4. pretzelattack

      you are comparing an obvious fraud like russia cubed to election fixing in the u.s., something for which there is a lot of evidence for decades. this is not apples to apples.

  42. MLTPB

    Washington governor Inslee to ban gatherings over 250 in the Seattle metro area.

    Seems like an overdue local or state decision. Other counties have already done so, or similarly (1000, vs 250).

  43. KFritz

    Re: Socotra

    The island is a UNESCO World Heritage site, home to unique flora and fauna. It has minimal modern infrastructure. Bringing the war to Socotra will be an ecological disaster.

  44. Savita

    anyone like me who regularly checks the Uber share price to engage in some schadenfreude? The price is almost at its lowest – healthy for the planet.

  45. Wukchumni

    President is reading somebody else’s words from the teleprompter @ the presser, in regards to the crisis.

    He looks a bit haggard…

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