Links 3/12/2020

The dual status of cats as both predator and companion requires a new ecology Anthropocene

Pint-sized bird may be smallest dinosaur yet Straits Times

New Weather Patterns Are Turning Water Into a Weapon Bloomberg

U.S. Recession a Coin Toss as Chances Climb to 53% Within Year Bloomberg

Investors pull $41.7bn from emerging markets since start of outbreak FT

If Muddy Waters Is Shocked, You’ve Really Been Bad Bloomberg. FTSE 100-listed healthcare company NMC Health Plc. Health care, eh?

Boeing moves to preserve cash and draws down $13.8bn loan FT

U.S. ‘looking at’ CalPERS holdings in Chinese defense firms: top White House official Reuters



Don’t Panic: The comprehensive Ars Technica guide to the coronavirus [Updated 3/11] Ars Technica. Well worth a read.

Coronavirus: Why You Must Act Now Tomas Pueyo, Medium. A thoughtful post full of good information. For example:

South Korea cases have exploded, but have you wondered why Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, Thailand or Hong Kong haven’t? All of them were hit by SARS in 2003, and all of them learned from it. They learned how viral and lethal it could be, so they knew to take it seriously. That’s why all of their graphs, despite starting to grow much earlier, still don’t look like exponentials.

Public health interventions and epidemic intensity during the 1918 influenza pandemic PNAS

Why is the Italian coronavirus death rate so high? Experts warn country’s population is older than average and say thousands of mild cases could have been missed Daily Mail. Hate to use the Daily Mail, but often their compilations are just fine. Stoller comments:

* * *

Material conditions:

As Coronavirus Testing Increases, Some Labs Fear a Shortage of Other Supplies NYT

Face masks in national stockpile have not been substantially replenished since 2009 WaPo. “The limitations of the stockpile — valued at $7 billion — reflect challenges in what many experts say is an underfunded public health system that leans toward smaller inventories to hold down costs and looks to fast-moving private supply chain when crises emerge.” Lol.

A Virus Cure Depends on Rare Lab Mice, But There Aren’t Enough Bloomberg

* * *

Social Distancing:

Social Distancing, Lockdown And Quarantine And Policy Responses Credit Writedowns

Low-risk individuals should practice social distancing, too (MR):

MR comments: “This is why my partner and I (in Northern New England) are self-isolating without being sick, starting yesterday. To protect ourselves (age 65 and 87) but also help protect everyone in our community. As commenters on nc have also reported they are doing. I am seeing daily more widely this is being suggested for the sake of all, not just oneself.”

Americans snap to attention on virus as big events canceled AP

Coronavirus could delay Tokyo Olympics by up to two years, Japanese official suggests, but IOC says Games preparations continue ABC Australia but Tokyo 2020 chief insists Games are on track despite coronavirus outbreak Guardian. Perhaps our Japan experts can sort this.

His Holy Show’s Rolling On … Amid Coronavirus Pandemic TMZ. Joel Osteen’s megachurch.

Carry on (dk):

* * *

Testing in the Third World:


* * *

The Beltway:

How you gonna pay for it:


Enabling free testing (so you know you’re sick) while denying free treatment (so you don’t necessarily get cured) is about the most sociopathic approach to a pandemic I can imagine. Big ups to the Democrat Establishment for their consistent follow-through on this.

FAA Waives Rules That Led Airlines to Fly Empty Planes During Virus Outbreak Time. Maybe that will give the airlines the capacity to thoroughly clean the planes that do fly, but I would imagine the MBAs will try lay everybody off, including cleaners.

Six million low-income earners to receive $750 cash under Coalition’s coronavirus stimulus Guardian

Imagining a Resolution of Venezuela’s Crisis International Crisis Group


The US is blaming China for the coronavirus just as Beijing wants everyone to forget where it emerged CNN

Hong Kong learned from SARS. Can the United States learn from Hong Kong? WaPo. Not “could.” “Can.”

The Koreas

South Korea Press Conference Summary 030920 Hannah Nam (MR).


Democrats should get Mueller evidence, judges rule Politico

New Cold War

How to Measure Prejudice – Dutch Judge Hendrik Steenhuis Demonstrates in the Mh17 Show Trial John Helmer

Trump Transition

Read Trump’s coronavirus Oval Office address (transcript) Politico (video).

Donald Trump’s troubling coronavirus address FT

Trump’s Coronavirus Speech Reaction The American Conservative

Analysis: Facing virus outbreak, Trump’s tactics fall short AP

* * *

Court strikes down immigration hurdles for foreign tech workers protocol


The Curse Of Eugene Debs: Sanders Loses On The 100th Anniversary Of Socialist’s Demise Jonathan Turley

The Corporations and Their Media Strangled Bernie, and Older Black Voters Tied the Knot Black Agenda Report

Shut It Down! Clyburn And Carville Say Dem Primary Is Over Talking Points Memo

Obviously, a system of universal coverage free at the point of care would never have helped in a pandemic. That’s why we need proven leadership like Joe Biden in the White House:

Joe Biden Can’t Hide for Much Longer Jacobin

Big Brother Is Watching You Watch

Chelsea Manning recovering after attempted jail suicide USA Today

Rights body turns its sights on UK over Assange The Law Society Gazette

Guillotine Watch

Super-rich jet off to disaster bunkers amid coronavirus outbreak Guardian. Jackpot! But:

Presumably a competent family office will have taken care of any geolocation issues.

There should be an app:

Alcoholics Anonymous vs. Other Approaches: The Evidence Is Now In NYT. Keep coming back.

Antidote du Jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. CBBB

    They will hide Biden for the rest of this primary process. He will either:

    1. Be replaced at the convention or at some other point once Bernie is officially out
    2. They will hide Biden during the general as well and plan on Trump sinking himself
    with the corona crisis

    1. Shonde

      “Biden to hold virtual campaign events

      Joe Biden is drastically modifying his campaign schedule in the coming days in response to mounting anxieties about the coronavirus, trading traditional get-out-the-vote-style gatherings for “virtual events,” his campaign announced. A Friday event in Chicago and a Monday stop in Miami will be turned into “virtual events,” the former vice president’s team said.”


    2. Pat

      No 2 is not possible in the general. The mainstream media is not united except about Sanders and FDR Democratic types and their solutions. Those they all agree on. Once it is a race between those who will not upset the gravy train, they can and will split between the allowed meaningless differences. Even as the more “liberal” outlets continue the Biden protection, the “neutral” and “conservative” outlets will have Joe falling apart front and center.

      No Joe will collapse soon after the convention. They will blame it on Sanders vicious attacks wearing him down. And they will announce the candidate replacement.

      1. L

        Interestingly they have tried a candidate replacement once before in 72 when it was discovered that McGovern’s VP choice Senator Eagleton was, in the words of Hunter S. Thompson “A serious boozer with a history of mental breakdowns.” By the time that had happened however the campaign was so compromised that McGovern lost to Nixon.

        Ever since that time McGovern has been used by the Dem establishment as proof that you cannot elect a liberal so we shouldn’t try. The sort of horror stories that old campaign consultants tell their grandchildren so they will go into advertising.

        On a serious note though I doubt they would replace Joe but more likely they will try the same stunt that McCain’s team did and try to pick someone young enough and edgy enough that they can be the public face and rally younger voters. Since that worked so well for them…

        1. Wukchumni

          One fascinating aspect in regards to McGovern, was he was a B-24 pilot in WW2 with many accolades, versus Tricky Dick, who was a REMF that honed his poker skills in the South Pacific, and the timing was all wrong, as the Vietnam War was in the public’s mind, and our military as unpopular as it was ever going to be.

          He volunteered for the U.S. Army Air Forces upon the country’s entry into World War II and as a B-24 Liberator pilot flew 35 missions over German-occupied Europe from a base in Italy. Among the medals bestowed upon him was a Distinguished Flying Cross for making a hazardous emergency landing of his badly damaged plane and saving his crew. (Wiki)

    3. The Rev Kev

      Couldn’t they just hire a double like Churchill used in WW2? I saw a guy in town today that looked like he could of been Biden’s brother, such was the resemblance. If that is not possible, they do great work in creating realistic mechanical dinosaurs in exhibits that look so realistic. They could bring the people that built these things in to do the same for Biden who is, after all, just another type of dinosaur.

      1. Samuel Conner

        If the rallies are going to be virtual, they can simply make a virtual JB. It might be compute intensive, but with the current deep-fake capabilities, I imagine it’s within the reach of skilled media techs. Perhaps more difficult would be to credibly reproduce his spontaneous style of speech while presenting inspiring policy proposals.

        lying dog-faced phony politicians

            1. Duck1

              Perhaps just use Kukla. This would also reassure the OK Boomers as they sundown during the performance.

                1. RMO

                  Biden did give me a kind of “Filmed In SUPERMARIONATION” vibe right from the start… and now it’s like the electronics and mechanicals are malfunctioning and occasionally the voice circuit is picking up a cursing trucker on the CB.

      2. Phacops

        I can just see it now; the animatronic Biden in the Hall of Presidents at Dizzyworld looking far more natural than the shambling mess Biden has become.

        1. Wukchumni

          Disneyland has been packed as of late, and they must be wrestling with profits versus an outbreak @ the Happiest Place on Earth® happening.

          1. Matthew

            Disneyland was explicitly left out of the CA shutdown of large gatherings. I guess they’re running with it.

            1. MLTPB

              Per MSN, theaters, casinos, Disneyland are exempt.

              Universal Studios fine with that?

              I think the county and the city can still add their own restrictions.

            2. wilroncanada

              No. As of this afternoon, Disneyland and Disney World are closed.
              Sorry. I’m not scooping. I’m a late day reader from the west coast.

      3. derechos

        I think it was over a year ago on this blog I mentioned my favorite movie, “Dave”, which has a plot just like this.

      4. ambrit

        Just call in the team that built the Robo Reagan back after Hinckley killed the real one in 1981.
        I believe that model was built by Disney Animatronics. Now, with all the advances available to Robot builders with the skills of Industrial Light and Magic added, who needs a meat candidate?

    4. divadab

      I’m part of the largest group of US citizens – an independent, not a member of either filthy rotten corrupt party. I support Bernie Sanders for his policy of Medicare for all, which I consider a bare minimum for a civilized society.

      No Effing way will I vote for Joe Biden, nor did I vote for Hillary, and clearly the Dems don;t care, they would rather lose with their shitty corrupt demented candidate than win with Sanders. I guess I’ll vote Green again so it will be my fault when Biden loses.

      I say a pox on the whole bunch – one beneficial of coronavirus is it may clear out some of the demented oldsters infesting the halls of power who are too arrogant and narcissistic to retire.

      What a way to run a country. It’s sick and, dare I say, demented.

      1. TomDority

        I don’t wish ill or worse on anybody.
        That being said.
        I can not fathom having a clothespin large enough to prevent the stench from making me wretch when at the voting both voting for Joe Biden so….. I will NOT vote for Joe Biden – whom has no apparent stance on anything and seems not able to recall it himself.

        1. tegnost

          “whom has no apparent stance on anything”
          I too have noticed this. A total absence of policy. Apparently they are private positions.

          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            Simply a validation of the “conspiracy theory” that America only has one party, with two right wings.

            I’m reminded of the old Soviet era saying “we pretend to work and you pretend to pay us”.

            We pretend to be enfranchised citizens and you pretend to be a legitimate government.

        2. OwenFinn

          In Japan illusion is everything and the Olympics must go on no matter what – so the oyajis in charge are doing everything in their power to keep the Coronavirus numbers low – by not testing anyone.

      2. nycTerrierist

        same here

        if I can’t write in Bernie, I’m voting Green

        or anything but the two evils

      3. Demetrius

        Tulsi Gabbard is on your ballot. Had Bernie committed to her being his V.P., he would have alienated some in the Democratic Party but would have harvested even more among her hardcore voters, plus he would have attracted many Trump voters in the primary.

        Americans need to unite, not be further divided. Sanders had his chance with M4A, SDR and [Student Debt Relief], be he alienated too many whites with all his focused blather about blacks and women of color, i.e. ‘colored women’, which BTW, pisses off black men who feel slighted and ignored, per my conversations with them, plus all the identity issues.

        If this election has not put a stake through the heart of the iPol and broken woken movement, I don’t know what has.

        1. lordkoos

          If fighting for universal health care “alienated” voters then the American electorate fully deserves what they are about to get. Sanders actually has the biggest and most diverse tent in the race.

    5. QuarterBack

      The natural social distancing response to coronavirus will weigh heavily on a key strength strength of both Trump and Sanders, which is the influential power of crowds, and the interaction and observation of other living, breathing, citizens.

      During the 2016, I did a fair amount of multi-state travel by car, which meant I ended up having casual interactions with a dispersed sample of the then to be electorate. What struck me almost viscerally was the distribution of presidential campaign signs. There was a dominance of Trump signs with Sanders coming in a distant second, and very close to zero signs for Hillary. Even when I would pass crops of Democrat candidate signs for a all levels of House, Senate, state, and local offices, there were damn near ZERO Hillary signs. That was very convincing to me that the MSM and polling narratives were false on Hillary v. Trump and Hillary v. Sanders. I also overheard conversations of common people discussing candidates and the energy was markedly higher for Trump and Sanders reflective of the signage. People were not speaking full throated about Hillary and many had a resigned tone or were often qualified when speaking positively of her. The types of people not interested in Hillary and their topics were much more diverse that the “deplorables” that were described. This was much more impactful on my political conclusions than MSM and polling data.

      In 2020, I can’t help but notice a similar dynamic. Trump and Sanders have consistently been drawing much larger crowds than the other candidates, and the energy levels of these crowds are significantly greater than the others. Whereas Biden crowds are noticeably smaller and more passive, but the MSM, polls, and primaries are painting a much stronger Biden following than can be seen, or felt, on the ground; just like Hillary. Crowds have power, people to people interactions have power, and their transferrals of energy can be described as “viral”.

      Social distancing, while necessary as a CORVID-19 precaution, will have the effect of radically reducing the “wisdom of crowds” and their political energies. Biden will get sorely needed protection from exposure to crowds, spontaneous interactions with him, and more importantly, from the stranger to stranger reinforcements of sentiment. This will leave citizens with only MSM, polling data, carefully polished campaign ads and speeches, and social medial, which brings many strengths of the DNC into play.

      1. Dr. John Carpenter

        FWIW, in Indianapolis and surrounding areas, I’ve seen a bunch of Trump, some Bernie, the odd Warren or Mayo Pete, a solitary Bloomberg, and that’s it. I look for these things, because I agree, they mean something.

      2. Skip Intro

        OTOH, while the rallies and even door-knocking will probably be reduced/eliminated, the power of phonebanks should increase, as people trapped in their homes will be able and even willing to answer. Telephone calls with live, committed volunteers will become a top campaign technique, and I think Bernie has a wide advantage in this realm.
        I agree with the comment here that Bernie should begin holding fireside chats. He is arguably the most trusted leader in the country, and he could have a huge impact on the health of the country, not to mention his own campaign.

      3. Wukchumni

        In 2016, I must have drove down to SoCal half a dozen times and never saw a Hillary bumper sticker, and had a similar inkling that her goose was cooked.

        Eventually saw my first one here on the rear echelon of a jalopy on election day @ my voting precinct

      4. Tom Doak

        Crowds are going to be declared illegal in the next 10 days, as a temporary protective measure (for preserving the status quo).

      5. Oregoncharles

        You leave us with no reason to think the count is honest.

        At the least, an awfully lot of people are holding their nose.

    6. Phacops

      Trump’s tweets will write themselves:
      – hidin’ Biden
      – Biden, the Dementiacrat candidate
      – Biden, our own grandpa Simpson

        1. David Carl Grimes

          Trump and Sanders have the highest risk of getting Covid, Both are gladhanders while Biden is somewhat more insulated

  2. TheMog

    Something bugged me about the protocol article re H-1B visas so I decide to do a little “Google research”. Took about 10 seconds to validate what I had vaguely remembered, namely that the big tech companies listed in the article aren’t the big users of H-1B visas any longer.

    There have been several statistics that show that the largest users these days (OK, 2017) were outsourcing companies by a rather large margin:

    I can’t tell how reliable the Axios stats are but they mirror what I’ve seen in other places as well.

    1. Jesper

      Yep, that article might not have had outright falsehoods but it was written in such a way that incorrect conclusions might easily be drawn. Whether or not it was intentional is something only to be guessed.

      The listed companies in the article do not appear so poor that they cannot afford to poach the skilled people already in the US but I seem to remember that they agreed not to do so? Maybe ban the companies who were convicted (or was it a settlement?) from using H1Bs?
      Easy way to track actual shortage would be to track the salaries, if salaries go up then the shortage might be real.

      1. Jesper

        Is there any way of verifying the actual salaries paid?
        In Sweden the work-visa applicant shows a contract (which of course includes salary) when applying, it is not unheard of that the contract is terminated upon arrival to Sweden and a new contract is signed with a new (lower) salary actually being paid. The bargaining power of the visa-holder isn’t great.

        1. John

          That site did. That was years ago. (I was following because of H-1B visa people staying in their jobs and many Americans being laid off most quarters) I’ve never been able to find a similar site.

          There are sites that advertise the jobs and the salaries. But not the actual hired H-1B visa worker that lists what company, with the title of the job they filled and what they are making.

          1. Jesper

            I am not sure it did. From the site:

            If the employer did not fulfill the attestations and pay, the complaints should be filed to the Wage and Hour Division.

            It might be that the site reported the contracted salary at application for the H1B and then relied at complaints to verify that the contracted salary and paid salary were the same. If no complaints then the contracted and paid might be assumed to be the same. Hopefully I am overly cynical and overly suspicious.
            The above was under the section: “U.S. Worker Protection”, I did not see the section for protection of the H1B holder.

            1. John

              I have worked with H-1B visa workers for years.
              None of them where in any way special that an America couldn’t do the job. And in a number of cases they actually could not perform as well as an American as their English wasn’t very good.

              I watched for years as corporations I worked for laid off Americans quarterly or at least every six months to meet the numbers so the C-suite would get their bonuses while these lower paid visa workers remained in their jobs.

              So I view every one of them as taking a job from an American.

              That is without a doubt the truth when corporate America lays off people over 50 and refuses to hire them no matter how well qualified they are.

              1. John

                Rereading I see some grammar mistakes. Trying to pay attention to something else as I type. Oops.

    2. roadrider

      Yes, it is true that Indian-owned outsourcing and off-shoring firms have had the largest share of H1-B visas. They use them to get American companies to outsource work to H1-B workers living the US (often in overcrowded group homes) and then after those workers are trained on the systems they will work on by the displaced Americans hey are rotated back to India thus off-shoring the work permanently.

      Contrary to popular opinion and the claims made by supporters of the H1-B program the vast majority of H1-B visa holders in the tech sector are not “highly skilled”. While a small percentage ma be exceptional or have rare, niche skill sets most of them are, at best, of average ability and no more skilled or experienced (sometimes less skilled and experienced) than the American workers they displace.

      I have been in the position of trying to hire software developers for the past year (I am a senior developer not a business owner or manager) and have been singularly unimpressed by the quality of the vast majority of the candidates from the Indian-owned contracting firms my company forced me to use. In almost every case the resumes listed more tools and technologies than anyone of their experience level could possibly master. Yet the candidates typically struggled to answer simple questions about any of the tools I asked them about. My manager, who is an Indian-born US citizen, warned me about the scams used by these candidates and the firms that employ them including using ringers for interviews.

      In short, the claim that the tech industry needs an army of “highly-skilled” H1-B workers is false. The number of uniquely talented visa holders is small compared to the overwhelming majority of average to mediocre foot soldiers whose major qualifications are that they are cheap and expendable. The fact is that most of these H1-Bs are used to displace American citizens from jobs that they are equally or vetter qualified to hold as their replacements.

    1. Wukchumni

      The whole thing has been mystifying to me in that Bitcoin et all cybercurrencies are essentially limited edition collectibles, and not to disparage them, but I bought a limited edition Snickers bar a month ago or so, and truly it was-once I devoured it.

    2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      There was a serious quasi-religious belief in the crypto community that Bitcoin was “digital gold” and a “safe haven asset” that people and institutions would flee to when the chips were down.

      Atomic element #79, whose total supply on Earth was fixed in an asteroid fall 4 billion years ago, is holding up fine so far. I expect near-term price weakness (as in 2009) because gold has extremely liquid and deep markets. Holders sell in the short run to shore up their losses elsewhere. After that nobody should be surprised by $3000 or even $5000 gold.

      (Put differently, gold stays the same, an ounce is always an ounce. But it takes more and more paper assets like stocks, bonds and currencies to get your hot little hands on it).

      Some say it’s a pet rock that only has value because of people’s emotions. They seem to forget the part that the price of a share of stock or a USD is also based on emotion. Sovereign balance sheets are about to take a major hit. Again: gold stays the same, you can’t print it.

      1. I'mSorryDaveICan'tDoThat

        “(Put differently, gold stays the same, an ounce is always an ounce. But it takes more and more paper assets like stocks, bonds and currencies to get your hot little hands on it).”

        …until you actually look at the prices. It takes you less money to buy an ounce of gold now that it did 8 years ago. Even with the recent dip, the DOW is almost double what it was then.

    3. lordkoos

      I have friends who are totally sold on crypto currencies. I like to ask them where their money is when the power goes out. Of course I could ask the same question of anyone who doesn’t keep a little cash around.

  3. The Rev Kev

    “Coronavirus could delay Tokyo Olympics by up to two years, Japanese official suggests, but IOC says Games preparations continue”

    I would guess that there are a lot of corporations that have collectively spent billions of dollars in advertising and the like for the Tokyo Games. Unless there is insurance to cover the cancellation of this event, they may be taking a bath very soon. Capitalism therefore dictates that the Games must go ahead in order for them to get their money out but reality keeps nixing their plans.

    I would bet that the Japanese are only a few short weeks from duplicating the Italian experience in an explosion of cases and, like Italy, they too have a lot of elderly citizens. Nobody is going to want to go there and they will probably shut down their borders in any case. There is only one solution. They have to get the new Japanese Emperor to go online and say-

    ‘the Coronavirus situation has developed not necessarily to Japan’s advantage, while the general trends of the world have all turned against her interest….’

    1. PlutoniumKun

      I don’t think its in the nature of the Japanese political system to cancel something like the Olympics. The Japanese bureacracy is like a super tanker, once it sets course, its almost impossible to stop.

      It is inevitable I think that it will be postponed, but it will have to be the IOC to make the decision, and of course the IOC rivals FIFA for incompetence, greed, corruption and stupidity, so we can be sure they’ll make the right decision.

      1. Don Cafferty

        “…. it will have to be the IOC to make the decision …”, yes but in finality it will be each country deciding whether or not they will send their teams. While on a considerably much smaller scale, this is already happening in professional cycling. For some race events, some teams are attending while others choose not to.

      2. David

        I agree. In a Confucian society, the government is “responsible” for everything that happens and cancellation would be a humiliating blow, even if the government has no choice. The most likely outcome is that the IOC “asks” the Japanese government to delay/cancel the Games, and the government “agrees” to do so. But there will still probably be a few resignations.

      1. epynonymous

        IDK, I think you’re underestimating them.

        The Japanese are still very different, but the Americanization runs deep in their culture these days.

        Also, the as of March 1rst they’re already cancelling major sporting events.

        (Note: Sumo is rigged, just like everything else)

        The place to watch for Olympics reporting is NBC, they will know first of the Americans, because they have the broadcasting license.

        Now, to diverge, let’s take Fukushima as a comparable case (I know!) while the *reporting* was delusional and un-deservedly calm, the response was all hands on deck.

        Internal and External groupings are an important consideration there.

        1. paul

          They got rid of sabinsky too soon.
          Get rid of socially organised childcare,cash out the bank of mumanddad & release property.
          It’s not a double bubble, it’s a triple.

        2. Harvey

          My reading of this is that countries including the UK, US and Australia, and some European countries have done a risk analysis of the impacts of the virus.
          They have weighed up the costs, including costs to businesses and government, of testing like South Korea and quarantining like China, vs the costs of doing not much and letting it run.

          Compare the west to South Korea and China and you can see that the west has made the decision. Let. It. Run.
          Take some actions but do as little as you can get away with. Only test travelers and discourage/ignore testing of non-travelers. The personal stories of med staff and others from the UK, the US and Australia talk about how community testing has been throttled, even for med staff.

          Let. It. Run; Because.
          1. Kids
          * kids will be ok so no blowback from voters re dying kids

          2. Workforce
          * the bulk of the workforce between 20 and 50 years will be ok, they will just get a mild or moderate dose of flu symptoms.
          * off work for a week or two but no biggie, businesses will be ok, tax collections will be ok

          3. Over 65s
          * the over 65s are the ones at higher risk of death, increasing with age
          * the over 65s are not in the workforce so their illness/death does not impact businesses, tax
          * the over 65s are the major drains on government budgets (pensions, health etc)
          * voters know that older 65s are more likely to die of all sorts of things so won’t be so outraged.

          They are softening us up. Boris says you will probably lose family members (ie old people). Trump is ignoring the community spread problem. Chief MD in Australia telling non-travelers not to waste resources by asking for testing – ie ignore community spread.
          Over 65s are just about to be thrown under a bus, healthy or not. They are already under the bus in Italy.

      1. vlade

        oh, and there’s no evidence so far that exposure to the virus provides a significant (i.e. lasting) immunity, while there are cases of re-infection confirmed I believe.

        So, if they mean culling the population w/o the genetic immunity to the CV (like some people who have a genetic HIV immunity), the proper term is “eugenics”, not “herd immunity”.

        1. xkeyscored

          There was some mention of it being more dangerous the second time round, though that may have been discounted by now.

      2. Samuel Conner

        IIRC, in “The Speech” last night, DJT explicitly excluded UK from the Europe travel ban.

        So the one country in that part of the world whose senior leadership seems to want wide spread of the disease is the one we preserve travel links to.

        A unique form of herding behavior

      3. Ford Prefect

        Its going to be a two-fer.

        The population gets her immunity (like chicken pox parties for little kids) while pensions become more solvent because there are fewer people age 70 and older they have to pay them to. Once Trump figures that out…..

      4. skk

        I”ll bet Boris mangled the science.
        Still, herd immunity, via large numbers being infected and recovering or by the yet-to-be-found vaccine, is the eventual path to resolving this virus.
        I’ve wondered about formulating the min-max optimisation problem – reduce the rate of spread so as not to overwhelm the medical services but only that much so that it continues to spread so that eventually we have a 7x% population gaining immunity by recovering from the infection. Then the the virus turns into just an annual LOW rate seasonal background disease agent.

        As a toy-model, its not hard to construct such a model and perhaps even a numerical solution, given certain data. Its an useful exercise, suitable for an undergrad in data science.

        But in real life, with the ifs, buts, what-ifs that are far too numerous to note here, nope it would require some real thinking and analysis – perhaps taking as long as the time it takes for getting to 70% infected rate “naturally” !

        But if Boris is just casually floating it as if its a actual solution, instead of something that’s just going to happen anyway. he’s yet another bloody lazy sod.

        1. xkeyscored

          He probably thinks herd immunity means he’ll be immune from the herd.

          Ha! “A minister in Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government has tested positive for the novel coronavirus. Nadine Dorries, the minister for mental health, on Tuesday confirmed the COVID-19 diagnosis. Dorries had reportedly met with members of Parliament and Johnson over the past week.”

          1. skk

            RE: He probably thinks herd immunity means he’ll be immune from the herd. !

            Nice ! thanks for the laugh.

        2. rtah100

          Herd immunity is not needed to extinguish the coronavirus. Social distancing will do it:

          – Wuhan has cut R0 to 0.3. That means the transmission chains will dwindle away beyond three serial intervals (i.e. three rounds of infection).
          – South Korea has also stemmed the increase: if you look at the logarithmic plot of total cases, it is now flat.
          – Italy is still showing exponential growth (a straight line on a log graph) but it is just starting to bend flat, the daily new cases have halved and in the original towns of the Italian quarantine, no new cases are being reported.

          These are really important points: this is a CONTROLLABLE pandemic, as WHO announced.

          Besides, there is no scientific evidence that immunity to the Coronavirus lasts any time. There may be no such thing as herd immunity. Most coronaviruses have such shifting genomes that we do not develop lifelong immunity, for example the common cold. There is a modelling paper on pandemic coronavirus recurrence in the USA which explicitly model for periods of 0, 9m, 24m and permanent immunity.

          More viscerally, this was Boris’s Churchill moment and he choked. He will go down as the Chamberlain of Coronavirus.

          His decision to do nothing is the end of him in the next few weeks: he signed the death warrants today of many healthy elderly and younger sick people and he has also signed his own political suicide note. Every day of phoney normality he conjures now means an extra day of medical catastrophe later. The NHS will collapse and, like Italy, people will get to ICU only if they are under 70 *and* not medically frail. Lombardy has more ECMO centres than the whole of England!

          The scientific and medical advisers who stood alongside him should be ashamed. There was no scientific argument or internal consistency in their support of this policy:
          – a specious mention of herd immunity (see above)
          – a reference to “behavioural science”, which is a mumbo-jumbo of un-replicable studies
          – a view that “people wouldn’t like it so it won’t work”
          – a nonsensical claim that large events don’t spread disease because it is spread in close confines and the average transmission is to 2 or 3 people: have they ever been to a football match, in the crush in the tube or the turnstiles or among drunken, spittle-flecked shouting fans? A large crowd is a composition of smaller crowds and the average transmission is known to be overdistributed and some people spread it much more (up to 72x). Banning large crowds is a key measure to prevent super-spreading events from arising.
          – a fatuous claim that if they wait until the outbreak is more advanced, the measures will be more effective (it may be true strictu sensu but only because the outbreak is worse, not because the outcome is better! – you don’t take preventative measures after the event!)
          – a refusal to give even a range for the death toll or a cost (cash and quality adjusted life years) resulting from their policy

          Even the BBC had the insight to make “self-isolate with symptoms” the lead article but to with a picture of Boris at his shiftiest and sandwiched between his own quote, “The greatest public health crisis in a generation” and above two articles detailing “Ireland closes schools” and “Italy says lockdown works and will soon be out of epidemic”.

          The Tories have spent more effort on the Budget than on public health measures. The BoE cut interest rates because the government knows nothing beyond the cargo cult of finance.
          Next they will suggest that we can cure pneumonia with quantitative breathing.

          I have never felt so outraged by my government.

    1. AdamK

      I cannot stress how frustrating her situation is and how little coverage her story gets. This is pure cruelty. breaks my heart.

    2. Jane

      Yes. She did the world an enormous service and consigned herself to a living hell. Heartbreaking.

        1. John Anthony La Pietra

          Here’s one story on that. Mixed blessing . . . she still faces $256,000 in fines; the judge wouldn’t let them go.

          If she, Julian, and Edward win the Nobel Peace Prize, her share of the cash award — after taxes — would just about cover that, I think. . . .

  4. Tom Stone

    It’s hard to think of a more blunt “Fuck You” to the US public and the world than pushing Joe Biden’s candidacy.
    This is the quality of leadership we can expect…
    Neera Tanden, Joe Biden and god help us, Donald Trump.

    It won’t be boring.

    1. The Rev Kev

      You should skip through Rob Reiner’s twitter account. He thinks old Joe is great for America. Here is an example-

      ‘A vote for Joe Biden is a vote for Science, Compassion, Decency, The Rule of Law & Democracy. A vote for Joe Biden is a vote for Sanity.’

      And speaking of Neera Tanden, she said on her twitter account-

      ‘If there’s something Hillary would have excelled at, it is handling a national public health crisis.’

        1. Matthew

          Neera was writing Twitter fanfic yesterday about an alternate world where Hillary was president.

      1. Phacops

        I hate the gaslighting and wonder how he can state that with a straight face and disregard 48 years of his hisory?

      2. a different chris

        Tanden’s an idiot so it wasn’t deliberate but I like the phrasing:

        “If there *is* something Hillary would have excelled at…”

        But we all know that beyond grifting there is not really anything.

        1. David Carl Grimes

          She says that on Earth 2, President Hillary Clinton would have already instituted mass testing. How so when she didn’t want to change anything about Obamacare?

        2. Matthew

          In response to that message someone linked a passage from Brad DeLong saying that Hillary was incompetent in health care matters and should be kept far away from the White House :D

          1. John Anthony La Pietra

            Well, there was that time when the family encountered two burglars (Cleavon Little and Demond Wilson) — and, after some arguing between Archie and Mike, one of them concluded: “What we got here is a hundred-percent biGOT, and a hundred percent lib-er-AL!” . . . and what saves the day is right in the episode title: Edith Sings a Song. . . .

    2. Tvc15

      Exactly Tom. They hate us and tell us we can’t pay for universal healthcare. I enjoyed Lambert’s comment to that nasty lying sociopath Neera Tandem’s tweet. Coronavirus is obviously a perfect illustration why we need universal healthcare. Too bad she’s given a platform to shill for the ruling class and spread disinformation.

  5. Richard H Caldwell

    Definitely all citizens, including the young and the well, should self-isolate and minimize non-essential social contact until further notice. We have got to break the cycle of infection, since our federal government has decided to dither instead of lead.

    It’s hard to get over being dead.; def. a black swan event to be avoided.

    The stock market will recover…

    1. Kurtismayfield

      And when the eviction notice comes because you cannot pay the rent or mortgage, then what? You advice is only useful for people with the means to self isolate.

      1. bob

        I just saw that people want NY to put a 30 day moratorium on evictions. It’s just unreal that 30 days is what ‘progressives™’ think is a good. Worse than trump’s response.

        1. Kurtismayfield

          And people will still owe money. The only way to do this successfully is for all the banks to push back payments and charge no interest. Good luck with that!

      2. QuarterBack

        A good percentage of the workforce are labors that lay hands on tools, product, and their workspace. Janitors, construction workers, grocers, dock workers, and many others cannot telework. Also those Amazon packages of face masks and antibacterial soaps don’t de-ship, pick, sort, pack, and deliver themselves.

        1. MLTPB

          There is work guarantee.

          Then there is telework guarantee. But as you said, not all work is like that.

        1. tegnost

          one might assume that a JG job would have UI so laid off workers would still be paid, so no, and there’s plenty of stuff that needs doing

          1. MLTPB

            Is a trip to an office needed to get UI, or is it possible to do it online?

            Is the answer state or county dependent?

              1. MLTPB


                It is no good if there are more than 250 people, staff included there.

                Even 50 or 100 is too numerous

          2. jrs

            There is SOME stuff that needs doing, however almost none of which overlaps with what is currently being done. Shut down the airlines permanently. Climate change demands it.

            1. periol

              100%. Cruises too. Shipping in general.
              Imagine if all the navies came home.

              Of course the reality is the virus will only increase the use of private jets by the wealthy, while the airline industry gets bailed out to one degree or another.

                1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

                  Trump talking about bailing out airlines, cruise lines, and frackers. It’s amazing to see in action how much the Uni-Party actually hates and fears capitalism. I’m sad to see that Bernie will not have the chance to debate the Capitalism vs Socialism issue and watch peoples’ heads explode as they realize that in reality we do not have any of the former. (Unless of course you’re struggling to pay your medical bills so they take your house).

                  1. jrs

                    All industries destroying the world and any chance of having a future, fracking especially. Dark days these are in too many ways to count. I would protest but … social distancing.

                    At best we may get sick leave, but i’m certainly not holding my breath on that.

                    Anyone who still believes in some fairy tale of free market capitalism where the government doesn’t interfere after 2008, was just not paying any attention.

      3. witters

        “You [sic] advice is only useful for people with the means to self isolate.” Well, obviously. It is still good advice.

        1. cripes


          Actually no, it isn’t good advice, its useless worse, insulting, which you seem not to understand.

          Check back with us after a man comes to your house with a gun and gives you this ultimatum:
          “Go to work without protective measures, or health care if you get sick or self quarantine and lose your home, your income, and your family.

          Your decision. Its a free country.

    2. a different chris

      Actually being dead someday is the whitest of white swans but appreciate what you meant. :)

  6. Carolinian

    Re the super rich head to New Zealand–there’s an old movie called On the Beach about survivors in Australia after a nuclear war (nobody bothers to nuke Oz). All bunkers should stock a copy.

    However it may be too late in this instance since Australia has the disease and Tom Hanks and his wife are there and have announced that they have tested positive.

    1. MLTPB

      In Joe versus the volcano, Tom went to a South Pacific island.

      An isolated island sounds pretty good right now.

      1. xkeyscored

        “Vivos has converted a a cold war bunker in Indiana into accommodation for 80 people, and is offering space in 575 concrete bunkers in an abandoned second world war ordnance depot in South Dakota.”

        Voluntary mass graves?

      2. The Rev Kev

        Tom went to a South Pacific Island. It’s called Australia. Unfortunately he took the Coronavirus with him.

    2. Wukchumni

      Unless NZ has really changed with the money grubbing that accompanied their amazing housing bubble, those billionaires are going to run smack dab into the Tall Poppy Syndrome when they eventually emerge from their dank cellars.

      The tall poppy syndrome describes the cultural phenomenon of mocking people who think highly of themselves, cutting down the tall poppy. Common in Australia and New Zealand, it is seen by many as self-deprecating.

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        One of the best things about living here, the Prime Minister goes to a pub and the patrons simply treat him as a social equal. Ridicule, banter, joking, and he better pay for a round when it’s his turn.

  7. Widowson

    Re: hand-marked ballots hand-counted in public, has anyone considered taking a smart phone picture of your ballot and license as possible proof of your voting intentions? Could that not serve as evidence if magic-voting-box chicanery is suggested by exit polling that diverges from the vote tally? I took a picture of my ballot and license during the NH primary, and I’m wondering if– going forward– that could be leveraged for recounts?

      1. Harold

        You are not allowed to take pictures of the voting place (because privacy of other people) but you are allowed to take a picture of your ballot in the privacy of the voting booth, was my understanding.

  8. tegnost

    I’m trying to come to grips with the fact that the economy has come to a screeching halt. I hope my college student doesn’t get booted from the dorms cause I have nowhere for her to go. For the time being I’m still working as my customer base hasn’t felt the hit yet (remodeling the vacation home cuts cut out of the budget pretty quick, as I learned in 2001 and 2008, and this looks spectacularly worse)

    thankfully(?) I was a bit light on typical savings in the fall so didn’t go anywhere this winter and just kept plugging away and am ok for now. We’ll see whether we want to or not…luckily I read NC so am ahead of the curve but it’s up in the air how much that is going to help. Incidentally, I don’t know what other rural dwellers situation is, but our little island filled up last weekend with seattle remote workers, and some homes that I have never seen the residents of are now populated, one in particular is an international airline pilot, so exposure is us, nowhere to hide…

    1. bob

      “I hope my college student doesn’t get booted from the dorms cause I have nowhere for her to go.”

      I’ve been looking around and I haven’t seen any mention of colleges refunding room and board after they kick the kids out. How can they charge for something they aren’t letting people use?

      That’s before getting into tuition….

      1. CallMeTeach

        In my kid’s case, the dorms and food halls are still open for those who wish to stay on campus, but all classes will be online. While that’s a good thing for kids who have nowhere to go, it’ll probably be used as an excuse not to prorate dorm and food costs.

    2. Aileen

      @tegnost, ugh. I too live on a little island in the Seattle exurbs and this is exactly what I am worried about: mainlanders ‘bugging out’ to someplace they think is safer than the city. Too many people here are complacent, are used to thinking of living in a safe little bubble far from Amerika (notwithstanding the six ferries a day to and fro).

      People hare are the demographic that are addicted to international travel. Recent trips to China, Italy, Japan… you name it. We’re ripe for a breakout and we’ll be in big trouble if we get one, our little rural clinic can barely handle a busy flu season.

      We have not yet reached peak crazy, not by a long shot.

  9. Toshiro_Mifune

    2 schools in the Bronx closed and St Pats parade postponed.
    1 case in my home town in NJ2

  10. allan

    SNAP eligibility rules will tighten despite coronavirus outbreak [The Fern]

    At the same time he raised the possibility of pandemic benefits, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said on Tuesday that stricter SNAP time limits will take effect, as scheduled, on April 1 for able-bodied adults. House Democrats have suggested higher benefits and broader SNAP availability to carry low-income workers through quarantines and economic disruptions …

    One of those items for which it’s hard to think of a polite comment.

  11. tegnost

    Hello Neera, what about all the people who don’t get sick leave or qualify for UI? We’re a pretty significant piece of the economic puzzle and you consistently ignore us. the mean spiritedness of the US and particularly it’s economic elite is being exposed for the self interested snobs that they are. Imagine the Harvard educated lawyer who calls harvard and says he’ll sue if the precious progeny (which it goes without saying is more valuable than any deplorable progeny) gets the CV. But yeah Joe’s got this, he’s stripping down for the fight and we can see what a real american is, frail, pasty, and vindictive. /s

  12. The Rev Kev

    “Six million low-income earners to receive $750 cash under Coalition’s coronavirus stimulus”

    This is more significant than you might think. Scotty from Marketing and his Coalition giving $750 to the plebs instead of demanding austerity which is their usual idea of a solution? That is like the Pope converting to Islam and going to Mecca to pray. The Labour government did similar to fight the 2008 financial crisis and the Coalition screamed blue murder at the time. They wanted to do austerity like all the other countries were doing because we all know how well that worked out.

    Unfortunately the response is till more about saving the economy than people’s lives which will consequently undercut the economy in the long run. Can’t have a working economy if all your workers are sick after all. And they are still acting re-actively instead of proactively. As an example, it was only after the Italians closed their borders that Scotty announced a ban of people coming from Italy. In short we are going to cop a flogging. And $750 will buy you only so much toilet paper. The right way would be to respond in the same way that the South Koreans, Taiwanese and Singaporeans did but I am sure that he would rather give birth to broken glass first.

    1. kiwi

      Saving the economy is saving lives.

      Really, how can people be so obtuse and not understand the connection, especially after our most recent depression?

      Trump is working out liquidity issues, trying to loosen credit, trying to lower taxes on lower income people, trying to get paid leave for those who contract the illness, etc.

      Trump knows the US simply can’t have another depression so soon after the last one – which needn’t have been so wide and deep had austerity not ruled. The last depression was tragic and need not have been so bad but for the crappy Obama policies.

      1. Trent

        the last one didn’t end kiwi, in fact i’d argue we’ve been in one since the jobless recovery of the early 2000’s.

        1. kiwi

          I was talking about the crash in 2006 (it was 2006, wasn’t it)?

          This isn’t to deny that the employee situation hasn’t been bad since the ’70s or ’80s when jobs were first being shipped overseas…..and unions became so weak….and so on.

      2. jrs

        No continuing THIS economy is killing people, via other means sure, but also via climate change, it’s coming and it will be worse than corona. So it’s death in the short term (via recession) or death in the slightly longer term that might not really be that long term (via climate change) … OR we could try eco-socialism. An economy run for people and human survival on earth rather than profit. Because nothing else is actually going to cut it.

      3. Massinissa

        “trying to lower taxes on lower income people,”

        You mean with the Payroll Tax? That’s a stealth-attack on social security though. Also doesn’t ‘loosening credit’ mostly help the banks?

        The paid sick leave is good though. I don’t *think* it has any strings attached.

        1. jrs

          Where does Trump actually propose paid sick leave? See I don’t think he has. It wasn’t in his address.

          The catch to look for is they would make it temporary, only for corona, not permanent policy which is what we need. Oh gee, the bills proposed seem to be just temporary and only for corona. SHOOT ME NOW. This is horrible.

            1. kiwi

              A senate republican blocked it. One.

              This blockage by one senator is allowed for this type of Senate action.

              The government does need to agree to help subsidize those companies somehow, at least the ones who really need the assistance.

              1. Hoppy

                Why is the government not funding this paid sick leave?

                No fan of Lamar but small/medium businesses are about to be devastated by this economy.

                Seems like the wrong time to hit them with this additional cost.

                In the long run I would love to see paid sick leave required by all companies.

                But pushing more businesses into bankruptcy now seems shortsighted.

          1. kiwi

            Well, that is how the math works when you are dealing with different amounts and percentages.

            Anyone who can do math knows that a larger amount times some percentage is greater than a smaller amount times the same percentage, so the person paying the greater amount will benefit more.

            This mathematical fact doesn’t reduce the usefulness of this tool to goose liquidity.

        2. kiwi

          The immediate need is for liquidity (I’m not leaving out the medical side, but just talking money here) just to keep things going.

          The payroll tax reduction is a quick way to pump the economy.

          Loosening credit does not necessarily help the banks, especially for high risk credit – which it likely will be. Normally, lending would freeze up when businesses freezes up. Hopefully, Trump can use a big stick to get the banks to help out – especially since they have been so profitable.

          The money must keep flowing, or we’ll have another 2006, where people lost so much.

          I wouldn’t be surprised if the government decided to pick up the paid leave – maybe reimburse all of the business owners for the cost….which would be another liquidity goose from the government.

      4. marym

        It’s possible to have both economic policies and public health policies that “save lives.” I leave it to experts at NC to assess lives saved or lost due to initiatives for “working out liquidity issues, trying to loosen credit” during the Obama and Trump years. Keeping the numbers low by not testing, tax breaks, corporate bailouts, cutting back funding or staffing for public health resource funding, rejecting WHO test kits with no alternative in place aren’t life-saving public health policies.

          1. marym

            I usually provide links to non-obscure sources so people can evaluate the content and the source. I didn’t think this particular comment referenced anything that hasn’t been widely discussed.


            In 2018, the Trump administration fired the government’s entire pandemic response chain of command, including the White House management infrastructure.

            …other White House efforts included reducing $15 billion in national health spending and cutting the global disease-fighting operational budgets of the CDC, NSC, DHS, and HHS. And the government’s $30 million Complex Crises Fund was eliminated.


            On Monday, the White House asked Congress for $2.5 billion in emergency funds to handle coronavirus in the United States. (To compare to a recent health crisis, the Obama administration requested $6 billion in emergency funding for the 2014 Ebola outbreak and eventually received $5.4 billion.) Though Democrats in Congress have pushed the administration to call for emergency coronavirus funding since early February, Politico states that “White House officials have been hesitant to press Congress for additional funding, with some hoping that the virus would burn itself out by the summer.”

            From your link:

            President Donald Trump signed an emergency supplemental spending bill Friday [03/06] to aid the US’s response to the novel coronavirus outbreak.

            The spending package will make available $8.3 billion in federal assistance to government health officials and to support research and development of a vaccine. Trump initially sought only $2 billion to fight the virus, but Congress quadrupling that amount in its version of the bill.

            “We’ve signed the 8.3 billion,” Trump told reporters Friday. “I asked for two and a half and I got 8.3 and I’ll take it.”

            As for the WHO test kits I don’t find information from the administration as to why other countries have them but the US doesn’t, so unless there’s additional info out there “rejected” may or may not be accurate.

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          Q: is the CDC budget lower or higher under Trump than it was under Obama? A: Higher.

          The length and breadth of the Fifth Branch of Government MSM is agitprop so read accordingly.

          1. marym

            To evaluate an administration’s commitment to public health, there are more issues to consider than total annual funding of the CDC. How does the funding allocated by Congress compare against what Trump requested in his budget? How are funds and people allocated across varying public health functions? Are positions filled with people with expertise or with cronies? And of course, the more difficult evaluation of outcomes. Would more money, different people, different priorities have had a better outcome in any given situation

            My comment above has some input on the subject.

            1. marym


              …all of Trump’s budget proposals have called for cuts to CDC funding, but Congress has intervened each time by passing spending bills with year-over-year increases for the CDC that Trump then signed into law.

              His HHS secretary (former pharmaceutical lobbyist and drug company executive) says it’s “just the jumping-off point” in dealing with a “profligate Congress.”


    2. a different chris

      >“Six million low-income earners to receive $750 cash under Coalition’s coronavirus stimulus”

      God multiply that out – wouldn’t change Bloomberg’s life at all if he paid for it in entirety, wouldn’t even be more than a weekly stock market wiggle (circa 2019, anyway) on Bezo’s wealth.

    3. MLTPB

      1 Singapore

      It lucked out that attendees took the contagion with them back to their home contries.

      2. Taiwan

      Italy treated Taiwan, and HK, as parts of China, when it restricted travel around the beginning of Feb.

      It has turned out to be a blessing in disguise, though ironically, Taipei was so unhappy that they refused Italian pork.

      (Jamon Iberico is better than prosciutto anyway. Buy from Spain.)

      3 S Korea.

      They are busy with their on containment/mitigation. Ongoing, I might add.

  13. bob

    Alcoholics Anonymous vs. Other Approaches: The Evidence Is Now In NYT.

    The spilled wine! Que Horror! Such perfect art for the Times. They know their audience

    1. Tvc15

      Neera, how in the world will we pay for it? We can’t afford pie in the sky ideas like universal healthcare. We only have trillions of dollars for wars not for silly ideas like allowing the proles to have healthcare.

      1. MLTPB

        Per capradio dot org, 6 days ago, Californians can get testing for free.

        And CA could soon process 5000 tests a day, per capital public radio. Comparing with the number of cases in CA with that of S Korea, when they increased to 10, 000 a day (they did not get there instantly), though I dont have the exact numbers, my guess is we are close, using the current CA total cases of about 150, which S Korea had around Feb 21, 2020, 3 weeks ago.

    2. MLTPB

      No mention of bringing FEMA last night?

      Not sure, but I think they can set up mobile hospitals, probably treat as many as they can. I don’t know if they ask for insurance…at first.

        1. Shonde

          Jayapal, Gabbard, Khanna,OC, Omar all voted Nay in my cursory review of the votes. I was shocked to see two very conservative Minnesota Republicans also voted Nay, two strong supporters of Trump. Anyone know if FISA had any amendments?

          1. John

            Why are you shocked?

            Trump and the extreme Right Wingers like Rand Paul, (who I swear is terrified of being “unmasked” for something) have been fighting the renewal of FISA tooth and nail.

            1. kiwi

              The ignorance is astounding.

              By this time, not knowing that FISA is under attack from repubs, especially since it was abused in the impeachment of Trump, is like not knowing that Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham (and a number of repubs) don’t support forever wars.

              At this point, it has to be a deliberate, self-imposed ignorance.

              1. Aumua

                You could dial back the rudeness a notch too. It’s not really called for. Just a suggestion.

    3. Katniss Everdeen

      Ha! You should have heard jim cramer on cnbc this morning, advocating for all manner of government “guarantees” and bailouts.

      And he did it in the most modulated voice I have ever heard him use. Evidently it’s time that we all put aside “political” differences and “come together” to ensure that the “economy” emerges from this crisis intact. Apparently only the federal government and the federal reserve have the cash to effect this essential outcome.

      “Paradoxically,” he did not call for credit reporting agencies to suspend reporting late / incomplete payments by individuals, or for a suspension of interest and late fees by the myriad of lenders involved in keeping the american consumer “robust.”

      1. periol

        Didn’t they get a phone call while on the air saying the White House was in a meeting considering Cramer’s proposals?

        That alone is a sure sign we are screwed. I’ve only known Cramer to be good at one thing, and that’s being wrong. He’s really good at that though!

      2. a different chris

        >to ensure that the “economy” emerges from this crisis intact.

        Yes with the overlords as firmly in place as ever. Not only that but their trajectory of continually gaining more of the pie unaffected. Like 2008 all over again.

        History, when it is actually allowed to be written, will not treat Obama kindly.

      3. flora

        What? No mention of increasing funding to public health agencies and the CDC, to bring them back up, in current dollars, to the funding level where they were years ago, to prevent this sort of unchecked medical catastrophe in the future? No mention of re-shoring vital equipment and pharma manufacturing to prevent future events unfolding like this in the US? (No med catastrophe today, no market melt down caused by catastrophe today.) Short term thinking for sure.

      4. Anthony G Stegman

        Jim Cramer is a complete idiot. It is best to ignore him. Buffoon barely begins to describe him.

    4. jrs

      I’m trying to get this through my state reps on the state level as I don’t think it ever ever ever passes through an R Senate. State Reps are not likely either but eh they aren’t Republicans is all.

      1. jrs

        But the fed level you want me to lift one finger to fight an utterly doomed cause for the sole purpose of Dems having something to pose about.

  14. Zarate

    Well 32 years after Lockerbie the west is finally admitting the legal case was a farce. 2052 we should finally find that the current MH17 case is a farce.

    Question? As it seems we are all likely to get Covid 19, should we be catching cheap flights to Wuhan where the hospitals are now empty and they have the worlds most experienced Corona medics?

    Idly wondering if this the Moment of the 2nd American revolution when the US population finds itself dying in large numbers while the Billionaire class ride out the storm in in the safety of their private clinics. Might just finally make universal health care a hot political issue.

    1. xkeyscored

      Given that the billionaires travel more than the plebs, we may get to witness their demise while awaiting our own. Move over Netflix.

  15. The Rev Kev


    I just suddenly realized what a solution would be to all this as suggested by an economist-

    “Assume hospital beds, ICUs, doctors, medical equipment and vaccine R&D….”

    1. MLTPB

      The virus is anti green in the sense people might avoid public transportation.

      At the same time, it is green in that air travel is down and people are staying home.

      For sure it is non partisan, completely disregarding party membership.

      1. a different chris

        Good points.

        What it is really doing is totally ignoring the economic profession’s most cherished models of how the world works.

  16. antidlc

    Shut It Down! Clyburn And Carville Say Dem Primary Is Over

    From TALKING POINTS memo.

    Gee, who’s talking points?

    And if it were reversed and Bernie had the delegate lead, would they be calling for Sleepy Joe to shut it down?

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      From the BAR link “The Corporations and Their Media Strangled Bernie, and Older Black Voters Tied the Knot”:

      There is no Black “strategy,” and young Blacks know it. There is only fear — plus the desire of Black elites to preserve and serve the Democratic Party structures that have provided their grasping little class with a degree of status and some limited authority to help manage their own people’s oppression.

      It appears that clyburn, an august elder of that “grasping little class,” is letting his ability to deliver 300,000 votes in south carolina, the all-important electoral votes of which he is powerless to deliver, go to his head.

      clyburn’s been a reliable utility player but he’s getting a little long in the tooth, and he may be enjoying his day in the sun a little too much. Maybe he should try turning his own backyard reliably blue before inflicting his meager political chops on the rest of this really big country.

        1. Oh

          He’ll take everything he can and not help his constituents as usual but will give great speeches (BS) to them. He’s Slyburn.

        2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          LOL and when Biden blocks wage hikes, actual health care and makes SS cuts the esteemed Clyburn can say “Yes massa Thank you massa”

          Black Agenda Report suitably scathing, Stockholm Syndrome, who knew that old black voters would love their slave owners so much

    2. kiwi

      The irony of it all….dems whining since day one about Trump ‘destroying’ democracy, and here is a dem calling for the primaries to be shut down.

  17. Wukchumni

    It’s too funny, i’ve been wrestling with coming up with some cockamamie injury as a way out of going skiing with friends next week amidst the 10%’ers & foreigners, and then last night one of them called expressing the same concern as I had-being way too close to way too many people, and she told in no uncertain terms, she was a no go, stealing my faux injury thunder and allowing me to meekly go along in the scheme of not going.

    1. The Rev Kev

      We’ve all come a long way in the past month. We are all of us making decisions and making calculations that would have appeared ridiculous until recently.

      1. WhoaMolly

        ” making decisions and making calculations that would have appeared ridiculous until recently”

        Yes. The family has insisted we become self isolating. (We are in the mid 70’s) For us that means things like: no grand kid visits, shopping very early in the day, and only going to gym at the slowest part of the day. We have cancelled a planned trip to visit family in the Seattle area.

        Long walks in the sunlight now replace cancelled Pilates and yoga classes. But the book club remains.

        The pantry which is now 3 weeks deep, instead of 1 week. Yesterday I added a couple extra bottles of OTC cold medicines. The clerk at the drug store gave me stink eye when I bought the extra bottle. Worst case, I’m pre-spending my grocery budget.

        We have each chosen projects for the next 90 days. The Mrs. is upgrading the garden. I am finishing a long-delayed book, and finally getting around to mastering a specialized yoga technique.

      2. barefoot charley

        Last week we sent out 250 invites to my dad’s memorial at the end of March. This week we’re sending out 250 cancellations. That was fast.

      3. fresno dan

        March 12, 2020 at 10:37 am

        I’ve reduced my pub, barroom, and saloon drinking by 10%, but increased the proof 90% to make up for it…

    2. Carolinian

      Nobody will blame you. It’s no time for bravado.

      We’ll probably know in a couple of weeks just how bad this is going to get. So far my state has less than a dozen known cases and i read that six states still report none including Alabama. Still it doesn’t hurt to be cautious if you have that luxury.

      1. WobblyTelomeres

        Read of a case in Hattiesburg just this morning. All around us here in Alabama. Gots to be here.

        Only person I have heard being tested is a corrupt sheriff whose trial was about to start suddenly became Ill. Third time.

        1. ambrit

          Local Hattiesburg media say that the case is positive for the initial test and a second test is being done, in a State lab. (Take that CDC!)
          The “person of interest” seems to have acquired it while in Florida recently and is “self quarantining” at home.
          The local big hospital was quick off of the mark to say that the “person of interest” did not use their facilities. (I was over there today and saw lots of people with masks and some with gloves. A lot of signage relating to coronavirus prevention up in the usual spots.)
          For an example of “Elite Disconnect,” nothing from the local school systems or Universities yet.

            1. ambrit

              Thanks. I thought of a good title for an e-book for now: “101 Recipes For Beans and Rice.”

    3. Winston Smith

      From the Boston area….my wife’s office is closing for up to two weeks (telecommuting now) and a job contact of mine in biotech said they were also closing temporally…there is a whiff of urgency and quasi panic in the air now, probably due to the president’s performance last and the second DOW circuit breaker triggering. social distancing is the only thing that will “flatten the curve” now. That is the only essential individual action you can take now, with copious and frequent hand washing-like the senate

  18. Alex Morfesis

    Eloquent Ignorance and the klownkar geniuses running the world. Can’t speak for the rest of the world, but the USA has over one million rv’s that at any moment sit idle, we have tens of thousands of trained and licensed Asbestos and Lead Paint removal workers. The negative air machines needed in hospitals are more or less the same machines used for doing remediation work. We have tens of millions of square feet of dying retail and rust belt industrial buildings. We can have hundreds of thousands of MASH type isolation rooms quick set ups across the country in a matter of weeks. Yet…all we get are deer in the headlights talking heads gurgling some nonsense and causing everyone and their grandmother to panic.

    Yes, we are going to have some deaths…I might be one of them (no signs but this thing does not care) even with my relative age and good health.

    The sad or interesting part of the panic is the absolute failure of any faith in the klowns that be proclaiming themselves keepers and protectors of the commonweal.

    Hopefully this will lead to calls for the return of hygiene in our world, with the health departments returning to testing restaurant employees and with less cutting corners in respects to cleanliness and over all health issues; which over the long term will hopefully lead to better lifestyle choices each regular flu season, leading to eventual saved lives down the road.

    Cities used to have street sweepers and keep the common areas kept. Not sure if Paris still does it, but my first trip there was a shock seeing the cleaning of the sidewalks with power washers on a scheduled basis.

    We have the resources to set up isolation spaces across the nation…but don’t hear anyone talking about going to a nuclear war footing and just pulling these simple resources together.

    We do not have to do XiVirus theater. Forgive me if the notion the same red army krewe who lied to us about this in the beginning can be trusted to their stalinist “proclamations” the worst is over, now back to the coal mines…

    But financial gearing is not what is in order. Simple work with the resources at hand by getting ahead of the issue and quickly build out a few hundred thousand negative air isolation units in the next few weeks will probably calm down folks reading there are only purportedly tens of thousands such available units in hospitals across the country.

    We are sadly led by idiots. It is time for them to grow some brains.

    1. Rod

      Lots of stop -gap solutions at hand as you have pointed out.
      Lack of imagination, or Lack of Conviction, in a Crises?
      Think global, act local.
      Think big, work small.
      Think of this as practice for the Climate Crises

    2. WhoaMolly

      Huh? Empty big-box stores and malls turned into temporary hospitals?

      Sounds like a great idea. They have giant parking lots, big loading docks, and are near main highways. They were built to accommodate large numbers of people.

    3. mle detroit

      Alex, that’s brilliant, connecting rv’s, malls, negative air. Please communicate it to your state’s top public health official…no point bothering with swamp critters in DC.

      1. xkeyscored

        Yes, definitely.
        And it’s about time we started seeing ‘the economy’ as how we allocate our resources, not as some demon we have no control over that demands our unquestioning obedience to its whims.

    4. Jeremy Grimm

      I especially like your idea of commandeering the use of the negative air machines used for doing remediation work. I suppose there may be other sources of similar machines. I don’t know how many glass lampworkers there are around — I knew at least one guy who had several oxygen concentration machines to support his torch. Drive shops must have some source for oxygen too. What about the floor air purifiers with HEPA filters — even if they only reduce the airborne virus contaminants.

      After this pandemic flu runs its course perhaps something should be done to add enhanced air filtration systems to public buildings.

  19. Koldmilk

    China responded by giving equipment to Italy, the EU didn’t respond to Italy, and the US banned travel from Italy.

    I often encounter favorable views of the US among Europeans because they remember stories of their grandparents or great-grandparents being liberated by US troops in WW2. I can easily imagine future generations viewing China similarly.

    The other thought I had is that none of the other EU states or the US can actually match this deed simply because they neither have any spare equipment nor the ability to make more.

    Austerity and outsourcing are the new horsemen.

    1. MLTPB

      I read yesterday ther were selling, not giving.

      I could be wrong, that was yesterday. Maybe revision when story was updated

        1. MLTPB


          Depending on the markup of the machines, Xi could still make good money from the deal.

    2. L

      Not to diminish China sharing, it is good.

      But left unstated in this story is that a lot of the people at the epicenter of the outbreak in Italy are Chinese. Italy is a “first level” member of the One Belt One Road initiative and the area in and around Milan has a very strong connection with businesses in China many of them headquartered around Hubei province. Large numbers of businesspeople travel back and forth between the two countries every year to manage businesses but also to work in factories (see here). Since the outbreak began right after Spring Festival many of these people had been home in Hubei or even Wuhan proper before it began then went back to Italy for work. That is in part why the bloom in Italy is so large and so sudden.

      1. MLTPB

        The Wuhan lockdown on Jan 23, 2020 or there about was mainly to buy time for the rest of China.

        Some say it bought the world time.

        Yet, they in Italy or some there believed the first case there occurred around the middle of Jan..before the lockdown. If that is the case, the lockdown did not come soon enough to buy the world much time.

        There’s a March 9 Bloomberg article titled Seatlle’s Patient Zero Spread… in it, it says the patient arrived on Jan. 19, 2020 from China. That is also before the Wuhan lockdown. Previously, I had thought the first patient there travelled from S Korea.

        Right now, many nations in the world are too busy fighting this to think too much about the heroes, wet markets or mass tourism.

        Reverse globalism we are experiencing now – will it be temporary, or longer lasting?

        As for the US ba*ning Italy…let’s recall Italy ba*ned Taiwan, when they did the same to China. Taipei complained about that.

        1. L

          There is some evidence that it was actually around a lot earlier. Some researchers have argued that China was censoring stories about the virus weeks earlier with censorship beginning at the end of December (credit the HK Foreign Post).

          If that is true then there was time for patient zero to be a whole lot earlier if you consider that it would take time for someone to get the censorship started by triggering the bureucracy.

          As to banning yes. Chinese media has been complaining about the bans but they were equally quick on bans when MERS and SARS arose.

  20. antidlc

    Friend of mine is a university professor.

    Gets an email today at university email address advertising online learning software.

    1. Samuel Conner

      online learning griftware?

      Lots of devs working from home; hopefully some good stuff will emerge.

    2. WhoaMolly

      I just finished an online class from Stanford.

      The prof used Zoom for scheduling, teaching, and collecting feedback. I was surprised at how well it worked. Have recommended it to all the teachers I know.

      It’s free for classes with up to 100 participants, and for personal 1 to 1 meetings. Again, highly recommended.

      1. Oh

        While you’re on zoom the surveillance artists will be scooping your personal info. I wonder if it’s possible to encrypt your connection?

  21. CBBB

    The emerging Democratic coalition being assembled by Biden is built on sand. Older black voters in the south coupled with older, mostly affluent White voters many of whom would vote Republican if not for Trump. This has a durability of ONE election cycle. Once Trump is out of Office this “coalition” completely falls apart as it has nothing to stand on other than “Orange Man BAD!!!!!”.
    A Biden win bodes ill for the future of the Democratic Party.

    1. edmondo

      I figure the Dems lose 100 House seats in 2022 and Speaker McCarthy immediately impeaches Biden.

    2. L

      I’m not even sure it is as durable as all that. If Trump merely controls himself between now and election day, if bad daddy promises to behave himself, or if the panic causes people to rally round the flag more and if the crisis makes his continued repetition about border controls sound logical, then Biden’s proud coalition of scared soccer moms may not last through the summer.

    3. Pat

      Corona actually makes a Biden win possible. But not certain.

      IOW it might not even make one election.

      Things are more fluid than they have been for awhile. Fear does that. Without Corona Biden was likely to be toast in November. Orangeman bad but don’t expect me to change anything has already proven to be a loser.

    4. Eureka Springs

      I don’t know. That old DLC/Third way maneuver has been working well for establishment Dems a long time now. Win or lose.

    5. xkeyscored

      Either Biden or Trump will be bad for the world, most of which couldn’t care two hoots about the future of the US Democratic Party.

  22. antidlc

    He talks about how the establishment all got in line to support Biden and the phone calls that were made to get everyone in line.

    At 28:45 mark he talks about how he got a phone call on behalf of the Biden campaign to give up on Bernie and come on over to Joe’s side.

    Later on he said he was on a show and asked someone in the studio (he originally said host of the show but then changed it to someone in the studio) about Joe’s cognitive decline. The person who worked for the studio said yes, it’s real. Michael asked about whether something should be said about it and the answer was that Biden would just pick a smart strong woman as VP who would handle everything.

    I thought the whole thing was worth a listen.

    1. a different chris

      I keep saying Amy Klobuchar. Ticks the woman button of idPol. She is popular with everybody in the Midwest that doesn’t actually have to work for her.

      He will no doubt do an idPol pick*, but instead of Ms. Klobuchar it will be a stupid one, cough Kamela Harris cough. Like anybody from California is going to help win Wisconsin. But that’s how they think.

      *by “he” I actually mean Biden’s campaign, I doubt it will even occur to them to ask Joe himself who he wants.

      1. Arizona Slim

        Need a cough drop, Chris?

        Truth be told, Kamala for VP would make *my* cough and sneeze reflexes go ballistic.

  23. The Rev Kev

    “How to Measure Prejudice – Dutch Judge Hendrik Steenhuis Demonstrates in the Mh17 Show Trial”

    Been watching this on the news and you can see that the whole thing is just what the Germans call Theaterspiel. All sorts of accusations and charges against four people that were never near the scene of th crime. It is also being used to air all sorts of stories and the latest one is that when the missile was fired off, there was an agent of the Russian Federal Security Service present. No word if his name was Boris Badanov though. I think that shortly the Netherlands government, who sponsored this rubbish, will have bigger fish to fry. And who wants to be packed in a court room trail at the moment anyway at the moment if they could avoid it?

    1. xkeyscored

      And for some strange reason, still no mention of the conclusive satellite surveillance evidence, seen personally by John Kerry among others, that definitively pinned it on Vlad the Bad and his henchmen.


      He announced on July 20 and August 12, 2014, that he had seen US satellite imagery of the attack on the MH17 flight – the launch of a ground-based missile, its flight, and then detonation beside the civilian aircraft in flight. “We picked up the imagery of this launch,” Kerry announced on NBC television just three days after the crash. “We know the trajectory. We know where it came from. We know the timing….And it was exactly at the time that this aircraft [MH17] disappeared from the radar.”

  24. antidlc


    previous post said: “Michael asked about whether something should be said about it and the answer was that Biden would just pick a smart strong woman as VP who would handle everything.”

    I re-listened to it and (paraphrasing): He will pick a smart woman and people will be satisfied with that as long as he doesn’t do anything too crazy.

  25. Wukchumni

    His Holy Show’s Rolling On … Amid Coronavirus Pandemic TMZ. Joel Osteen’s megachurch.

    I have faith that the end of evang megachurches (and their stolidly right of right political stance) is near, but only if they observe rapture rules of conduct which include lots of hugs.

    1. MLTPB

      I wonder about meetings at the NY UN buildings.

      Even the beautiful entrance area of large high rise office buildings can see many people at the same time at least twice a day.

    2. Matthew

      It’s ironic as, at least according to what I’ve read, early Christianity gained a foothold in part because Christians cared for one another during a plague while pagans ran for the hills.

  26. Dita

    That Wendell Potter thread left me feeling some kind way. After a career spent doing his part to crapify healthcare in the U.S. he seeks, what – to make amends on Twitter by letting the plebs know how it works? Just go away.

    1. Zar

      And now he’s a single-payer advocate. Converts make the best evangelists, or so they say.

      According to his bio, he left the industry 11 years ago by turning whistleblower and testifying in front of Congress. As acts of contrition go, not so bad, though it might take a lot of work to undo 20 years at Cigna.

    2. Dita

      @Zar @antidic Thanks for providing background. While normally his act of contrition has merit and one can also point out that if he didn’t make his career in the field someone else would have, I’m not in the mood for it today. Make a pile of dough for 20+ years then late career enlightenment, when he was probably being pushed out anyway. So, thanks I guess?
      gosh I’m feeling angry today.

  27. dearieme

    The Bloomberg article left out a point the absence of which might by some sensitive souls be deemed to be misleading.

    “NMC Health is a healthcare chain and distribution business in the United Arab Emirates. The company is headquartered in Abu Dhabi and has branch offices in Dubai, Ajman, Al Ain and Northern Emirates.”

    What can it mean?

    1. kiwi

      THe FDIC has buyouts here and there – even had them in the ’90s.

      At least a buyout is better than an unpaid rif.

  28. TXGramma

    Could mail be contaminated with COVID-19? Has anybody figured out a way to deal with it? Most of our bills are online, but we have a couple that the companies will only send by US mail.

    1. MLTPB

      That’s a good question.

      Another one is if it can be spread through food. The CDC website has information in both, I think, under frequently asked questions and answers.

      Another question is about clothes. I think NHS dot uk says if you dont wash your clothes properly, they can spread germs.

      1. TXGramma

        I looked at their FAQ page. The only thing I found was that packages coming from China would probably not have the virus still surviving on them after “days or weeks” of shipping.

        Of course mail within the US doesn’t usually take more than 2-3 days. Maybe I’ll keep it in a cardboard box or plastic tub for some days before opening anything.

  29. smoker

    Why name the virus after the Crow and Jay family, it should have been named Capitalism Zero. At the end of the day it will pull back the veil on all of the horrors caused by Capitalism and Free Markets™. (Note, this is not an endorsement of Communism and real tired of having to note that.)

    Speaking of which, in a prosperous nation so cruel as to never mandate that all employees have sick leave, will our feckless Congress Critters be finally be allowing those on Unemployment to have sick days amidst this crisis? As I recollect, and I believe it’s nationwide, if one was sick in any given week they weren’t allowed benefits for that week (in many cases stunningly paltry benefits, as was the case in California for decades, and likely still is)?

  30. ultrapope

    Forgive me if I missed this discussion from some other post, but can anyone shed some light on whether the internet infrastructure in the US is capable of handling the massive amount of web traffic resulting from large amount of people working/schooling from home? I ask because the university where I’m at is asking professors to hold class via Zoom (video conferencing software) and I believe the large state university down the street is going to announce the same thing in the next few hours. I can imagine that a massive influx of live video traffic could put significant strain on the internet infrastructure here in the US, but at the same time I’m no expert in web traffic, infrastructure, etc.

    1. Dr. John Carpenter

      The bigger question is, what happens when people run up against the data caps so many ISPs have snuck on to services.

      1. rtah100

        I saw an article tonight saying thatiIn Italy, the cap have been lifted to enable students to study online etc.

        Also, Pornhub has made Premium services free and is donating profits to coronavirus efforts. :-)

  31. Wukchumni

    Its funny, we’ve been living through Atlas Shrugged in a way with many Republican politicians rapt up in it, and now the emphasis is to go find a Galt’s Gulch to hide out in.

    Does anybody know how long Coronavirus can last on the surface of Reardon Metal?

  32. Monty

    New business idea. Employment agency for people who have had Covid-19 and recovered (and hopefully have antibodies) to go and work in vital public facing positions.

  33. Wukchumni

    I get the feeling that the USA is going to be hunkering down soon, and what happens to the just in time public that didn’t prepare for something wicked this way comes, and they run out of food?

    Statistically every American has about 1.2 guns…

    1. xkeyscored

      I think those guns are going to prove a significant factor in the USA’s response to all this. Exactly how I don’t know, but I guess it won’t be pretty.

  34. Fastball

    Our cats are only ever let out onto our balcony and only outside elsewhere when going to the vet. This way the animals stay healthy and nothing else has to die.

  35. Wukchumni

    I wonder what kind of pressure is on MLB to call the season off?

    Players are generally not draped over one another, as you are likely to see in the NBA…

  36. Wukchumni

    Fed is injecting $1.5 Trillion into lending markets, as experts agree that free money is the best kind.

    1. jrs

      As MMT will always be short of a revolution (and if we had that it would be a footnote), for them and not for us.

      1. Wukchumni

        We’re finding out that throwing money at a problem is resulting in just the opposite of what we hoped would happen, but if we just keep throwing more money at it!

      1. John

        It’s half of the 3 trillion Washington stole from Social Security.

        They are such criminals.

  37. xkeyscored

    I haven’t noticed any mention of the World Bank’s ‘Pandemic Bonds’ today. Have they decided they still aren’t shelling out, even now the WHO has used the p-word?

  38. Ignim Brites

    “Americans snap to attention on virus as big events canceled”. Achtung. Sieg Heil!

  39. Tomonthebeach

    I had to chuckle (and squirm) at Bloomberg’s assertion that we “might” be approaching a recession. When will economists wake up that the world is moving faster than 100 years ago, and that TIME is no longer as relevant a coefficient when applied to definitions of “depression” and “recession.” If I was piloting a fighter jet along the current DOW curve, I would quickly conclude that a fatal crash was imminent and bailout.

    A) We are experiencing a global pandemic which has depressed the entire world economy

    B) We are caught in a global trade war that we started but the Arabs and the Russians now winning – clobbering the US economy

    1. John

      Funny how Kushner’s and Trump’s “friends” have no problem clobbering the US economy.

      1. Tomonthebeach

        My working hypothesis is that Trump loathes America – the government that put him into bankruptcy 3 times for unethical, often unlawful, and frequently bad business decisions. He wants to get even by destroying it – doing a great job as best I can see.

        He is not hugging the flag at those rallies – he is humping it.

  40. Tomonthebeach

    Imagining a Resolution of Venezuela’s Crisis Very long document. It read like CIA propaganda. Wanna fix Venezuela? 1) end the USA embargo, 2) wait several months. Problem solved.

  41. eg

    In Ontario (the province which orbits Toronto) all public schools have been closed by government mandate from March 14 through April 5th. This extends the usual “March Break” that starts on Monday by an additional two weeks.

  42. John

    What’s the big deal about paying for worker’s sick leave?

    The Pentagon’s budget is 2 BILLION A DAY.

    Take a a few weeks of that wasted money.

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