Links 3/2/2020

Police find 25-year-old alligator in basement of Ohio home NBC

Urban gardens in Mexico fight hummingbirds’ extinction Yucatan Times

Hawaiian Birds Are Losing Their Songs The Atlantic

Russian Arctic shipping up 430 percent in three years Barents Observer

Energy’s stranded assets are a cause of financial stability concern FT

Scottish Power accused of ‘cruel’ harassment of householders over debts they don’t owe Guardian

Lessons for the Green New Deal from the Economic Mobilization for World War Two (PDF deck) Josh Mason

The technology of retail central bank digital currency (PDF) Bank of International Settlements Quarterly Review


A dire phase of the coronavirus outbreak? ‘Boom’ of US cases ‘should be expected’ as global death toll tops 3,000 USA Today. As the test results start to roll in

A second person in U.S. — and King County — dies of novel coronavirus; more cases likely Seattle Times. Oopsie. A good thread on how we came to miss community transmission:

To play devil’s advocate: I think this somewhat overstates options possessed by Federal government, and by this administration. Not that I love Trump, but health policy is handled at the State and local levels, and ultimately by Mr. Market. The Feds imposed a travel ban, because that was easy and possible. And the CDC has butchered testing (see yesterday’s links on the test kits), but that’s at least partially the outcome of a slow systemic, Boeing-like collapse, not easy to see until after the fact. Now, it would have been and is possible, I suppose, for the Federal Government to commandeer and reallocate whatever resources it needs. I doubt that liberal Democrats would like that any more than conservatives. The thread concludes: “And all that is why competent governance is actually pretty important.” Correct in the abstract. If we think back to the launch of the ObamaCare website — and the system architecture of ObamaCare itself — one might question whether competent governance is an operational capability that the United States possesses (regardless of what PMCs at the top of the tree may think). For example, does distributing test kits matter all that much if it costs $2000 to the un- or under-insured to take one? Fortunately, we have good old 19-century hygiene to fall back on, Plus the fact that we are a very large country….

Another thread on the six weeks of “cryptic transmission” in WA, based on genetic sequencing:

Worth reading in full to see some science brought to bear.

2 US grad students who were on the Diamond Princess cruise share harrowing details and photos from their quarantine and ‘zombie movie’ evacuation Business Insider (KW). The video may not work in your location.

* * *

Coronavirus in N.Y.: Panic Shopping for Masks, but Brunch Is Packed NYT. Darwin Awards…..

How Will New York City Respond to the Coronavirus? New York Magazine. Anecdotes from your area, particularly with regard to social distancing?

* * *

CDC hasn’t revealed information to doctors that would help coronavirus patients CNN

Scoop: Lab for coronavirus test kits may have been contaminated Axios.

Pence says 15,000 additional testing kits in the mail for coronavirus CNN

* * *

Coronavirus: A definitive guide to buying and using face masks, by a viral immunologist Hong Kong Free Press. Excellent, by a mask maven.

* * *

How to Save Lives in a COVID-19 Pandemic Think Global Health

Medicare should cover cost of coronavirus vaccine, Schumer says New York Daily News. It should be free to everyone, universally, not just over-65s, on medical grounds alone, never mind equity. What is it with liberals and their insane attachment to eligility requirements?


China’s Push to Jump-Start Economy Revives Fake Data Worries Bloomberg

Chinese frog breeders call for help as wildlife trade ban shuts down business South China Morning Post

People in China are walking through these giant disinfectant machines to ward off the coronavirus — but experts don’t think it works Business Insider. Disinfectant theatre?

China Uighurs ‘moved into factory forced labour’ for foreign brands BBC

The Koreas

Seoul city government files homicide complaint against religious group’s leaders CNN


How India has largely remained immune to coronavirus Live Mint (J-LS).

Family politics and the supernatural Africa is a Country


Fear, distrust and disinfectant in the air amid Iran’s coronavirus outbreak. Reuters

‘No fear’: Pilgrims in Saudi defy coronavirus risks Jordan Times

Turkey confirms military operation against Syrian regime Agence France Presse

Erdogan is using refugees and immigrants to blackmail EU, EU is letting Greece face the crisis alone Defend Democracy Press

Netanyahu: Annexation has started, PA and Jordan threats don’t matter Middle East Monitor

Netanyahu aide in leaked recording: ‘Hate is what unites our camp’ Times of Israel


Let battle commence: Britain and EU hunker down for talks FT

Uruguay presidential inauguration sees Latin ‘pink tide’ recede further Reuters

Venezuela suffers major power outage knocking out internet connectivity Netblocks. Here we go again.


Buttigieg ends historic presidential campaign, urges unity AP. Odd:

Buttigieg did better than Klobuchar or Warren. Yet he is out, and they are in.

Obama Called Biden to Congratulate Him on South Carolina Win Bloomberg. That’s nice.

Wall Street weighs up Bernie Sanders’ financial plans FT (DL).

Bernie Sanders Meets His Biggest Threat The Atlantic. Other Democrats.

Trump Transition

Trump tightens his grip on intelligence Politico. Salutary lesson….

Health Care

The ACA At 10: Health Care Revolution Ezekiel J. Emanuel and Abbe R. Gluck, Health Affairs. Overview for a forthcoming series. Oddly, there’s no mention of single payer at all.

Imperial Collapse Watch

Delays on $161 Billion Virginia-Class Subs Reaches 15 Months Bloomberg. Speaking of operational capability… .

Big Brother Is Watching You Watch

The Costs of Spying The Atlantic

Class Warfare

What’s Really Holding Women Back? Harvard Business Review (dk).

Life, Death, Chance, and Freeman Dyson Brain Pickings (CL).

Top Economists Study What Happens When You Stop Using Facebook Cal Newport

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. chuck roast

      Well, fellow travelers, I am casting off the fear, loathing and assorted agita of the zeitgeist and boarding the 95 train for Penn Station tomorrow. Yep, I’m on my way to the City to pick-up my Darwin Award. I’ll be the guy amongst the great unwashed with the yellow DEVO hazmat suit and the red flower pot hat. There is a showing at a Manhattan auction gallery of a few prints by the great Rockwell Kent…not to be missed…even upon the pain of a slow and agonizing death. Kent was what my folks would have called a “man’s man” in addition to being the greatest American illustrator of his time and a life-long commie. He summered on Monhegan with his various wives and girlfriends…that is, on the rare occasion when he could be pinned down. I once saw a beautiful Christmas card that he drew, colored and sent to friend of a babushka hauling a Christmas tree with a red star on top. The cognitive dissonance produced by the price was simply too much. Anyway, I shall be a better man when I return…displaying serious symptoms of the Kent virus at the very least.

      1. Wukchumni

        I love that era of American art, Maxfield Parrish & Thomas Hart Benton are favorites, and when LACMA had a show of the latter’s work 25 years ago, I was blown away seeing it in person.

        1. neighbor7

          I worked in the publications department of LACMA then, and that show blew me away too.

      2. mle detroit

        Keep going north: SUNY-Plattsburgh has a permanent exhibit dedicated to Kent…gorgeous.

        1. roast

          Thanks for that. I’ll keep it in mind the next time I head for Montreal. If they are still running that ferry across Champlain to Burlington it would make for a fun trip. I think Kent spent some of his last years up Ausable River way. His kid had a farm up there.

      3. Trick Shroadé

        Good for you! I’m saddened that even my favorite alt-news sites are now fully consumed with virus hysteria as if up-to-the-second notifications on the latest case in do anyone any good.

        Wash your hands and go on about your life.

      4. Yves Smith

        Haha, I own some Rockwell Kent prints…his Apocalypse series.

        You neglected to mentions he didn’t do well as an artist relative to his talent because he was a socialist and that was held against him.

  1. The Rev Kev

    “Scottish Power accused of ‘cruel’ harassment of householders over debts they don’t owe”

    There could be a quick way to encourage firms like Scottish Power to get their databases fixed. Pass a law that says that if a customer, or more importantly a non-customer, is billed incorrectly then that person receives that sum of money in compensation. Thus that pensioner that was twice wrongfully harassed for £7,000 when she was never a customer, would be entitled to £7,000 compensation from Scottish Power. In addition, the Government would be entitled to compensation for any legal action initiated by Scottish Power that has cost them time, money and resources. Doing that enough times would soon attract the attention of any company, even one with Scottish Power’s bad history and especially that of their owners in Bilbao, Spain-

    1. Jesper

      That happened to me. I reported the ones who kept calling me about debts I had nothing to do with to the Data Protection Commissioner and to Comreg – I never gave them consent to be contacted on my mobile & by providing me with a name and claiming that the person didn’t pay their bills they gave me personal information which I had no right nor wish to have. If I had been a customer then yes, then my consent would have been in the contract and also implied. I was not so their calls to my mobile were (as far as I know) illegal. No idea how it works in UK, would the calls have been illegal if seen as marketing calls?

    2. Lee

      Reminds me of when I was being harassed and threatened with foreclosure when the bank kept failing to credit my full and timely mortgage payments. I had made the mistake of applying for a mortgage modification under HAMP (thanks Obama) and for months after that my payments got disappeared. Had to get my local congressman involved to straighten it out. Adding insult to injury they outsourced the collection. Nothing like being yelled at and having one’s character impugned in grammatically butchered, heavily accented, barely understandable English.

      1. John Beech

        Did you actually get free money, or were you complaining about being harassed by foreign collection-employees merely due to an obvious clerical error after applying? I can sense your irritation – but it seems a small price to pay if your mortgage was modified via a HARP loan modification.

        Moreover, anyone that accepted the money ‘should’ thank President Obama because had I been president nobody would have received squat because it’s my view . . . if you’re a big boy and sign a contract, then you’re a big boy and take the consequence.

        Me? Like everybody else, of course, I qualified for a HARP loan modification – but – I was too proud to take help (meaning we sucked it up and paid off our loan the old fashioned way). Importantly, this meant never risking being scolded by someone with an Indian or Pakistani accent. Too funny!

        1. The Rev Kev

          ‘if you’re a big boy and sign a contract, then you’re a big boy and take the consequence.’

          So you are OK with the fact that tens if trillions of dollars were pumped out by the US government to save the banks and the rest of the financial sector because they did not want to face up to the responsibilities of their actions? The least the banks could have done John was to send you a thank you card for you at least paying your loans, unlike them. True, it did wreck the US economy and made it far more fragile which led to the election of Donald Trump but that was a small price to pay to save the bankers from owning up to their bad decisions, right?

          Me? I would have thrown them in the slammer like happened after the S&L scandal.

  2. PlutoniumKun

    Lessons for the Green New Deal from the Economic Mobilization for World War Two (PDF deck) Josh Mason

    Very pithy, some very good facts and figures there for those on the left (yes, they exist), who question whether a GND is good for the poor.

    But the basics of how to pay and organise this was set out very clearly 70 years ago by JM Keynes in his book ‘How to Pay for the War’. He was right then, and he is still right.

    1. John Wright

      The USA WW Two mobilization was accompanied by a large expenditure of burned hydrocarbons to accomplish its goals (in construction, running of the factories and in the development of nuclear energy)

      In my opinion, the Green New Deal, somehow, needs to be accomplished without adding a large amount of incremental CO2 to the atmosphere.

      But the implication of this paper is that one can have both the GND and maintain/improve USA citizen’s lifestyles.

    2. drumlin woodchuckles

      A country needs a Pearl Harbor event in order to be mass-publicly prepared for a Pearl Harbor mobilization. So far we have not had a Pearl Harbor weather event so totally attributable to man made global heating that even Senator Inhofe would call for “something to be done”. And without a Pearl Harbor weather event to mobilize Senator Inhofe, you won’t get the rest of the country mobilized-as-one for a Pearl Harbor mobilization.

      And what would it take to supply that Pearl Harbor weather event? I think nothing less than a trimultaneous combination of Category 6 or 7 hurricanes over Houston and large long-lasting slow-moving clusters of F6 and F7 tornadoes over Dallas and Oklahoma City. If these storms could produce a million or more dead over 2 or so days, then you might get a Pearl Harbor mobilization. Or maybe not.

      Marginally more likely, and devoutly to be wished, would be 2 unbroken weeks of Death Valley Heat Wave over Phoenix and several cities in the Permian Basin and the Eagle Ford area. Temperatures of 140degrees F by day and 125 degrees F by night for 2 unbroken weeks would be the minimum necessary to get Red State society’s attention. And these temperatures would have to happen in big Red State cities. And the power would have to go blackout on the second or third day so that the next 12-13 days were endured with zero air conditioning, including zero air conditioning in cooling centers.

      It seems cruel to wish for such events, but if you wish for a Pearl Harbor mobilization, you have to wish for a Pearl Harbor weather event to prepare the society to want such a mobilization. And anything less than a one-million-deaths event in Red Country won’t be enough to get such a mobilization under way.

      Sorry about that.

  3. PlutoniumKun

    How India has largely remained immune to coronavirus Live Mint (J-LS).

    “The first is that once alerted, India immediately began large scale screening at all it’s international airports. Patients were tested for coronavirus using thermal scanners and those who were suspected of symptoms were immediately isolated and quarantined,” Nangia said.

    Monitoring and restricting the mobility of passengers travelling from highly affected areas has also helped.

    its interesting that they are attributing their success to doing pretty much the opposite to what WHO is recommending.

      1. cnchal

        > . . . all Indians returning home are being quarantined for 10-15 days at . . .

        As cruel as it is, that is the least cruel of all. Travel is the spreader, so unless travel is restricted to freeze this thing out, it will wreak havoc forever. The longer it takes to make that decision, and eventually it is going to be yes, the harder it becomes to get rid of it.

        This is just getting going in the US. Presumably there are people that unknown to themselves are infected and spreading it as I type. If they get on a plane, there is the airport, plane and destination as ripe targets for spreading. Presumably though, were they to land in India, a quaranteen awaits.

        Still doing air travel = Total Fail

        1. Wukchumni

          My wife and I kind of gave up on domestic air travel after 9/11, with just 2 flights since then, very Rip Van Winkle of us.

          Not like we’d miss it, and if the airlines don’t get bailed out again, they’re toast.

        2. ChristopherJ

          I have a friend who ‘cleans’ aircraft, so I know what goes on during the ten minutes they have to prepare the cabin for the next lot of passengers. Hence, IMO, there is zero chance that the arm rests, buttons, seat fabrics etc. don’t contain traces of the people who have recently sat there. No way I’m flying till the world is safer.

          1. Yves Smith

            You don’t need to worry about the seats unless you put your hands on them and they are something smooth. You need to worry about where your hands go, and flat surfaces. Fabrics aren’t a great medium for transporting viruses. Flat leather and fake leather and plastic and wood and metal are.

            And I would worry a lot more about those TSA bins. Those are known to be filthy.

            The ugly truth is no place is properly cleaned. 10% bleach takes 3 hours to kill a virus. The only thing that works pretty quickly is 60-70% alcohol and that takes >10 seconds.

            I am taking a spray bottle of alcohol on the plane with an MD note. Will tell you how that goes.

    1. Expat2Uruguay

      I thought quarantining arrivals from infected places was within who guidelines. The part that is not within who guidelines is closing borders. The thing I don’t understand about India’s case is that there should be coronavirus cases among the quarantined. Whenever a country reports the zero new cases like Thailand and Vietnam are doing now , I get very suspicious.

    2. xkeyscored

      How much might India’s climate have to do with it? Hotter countries do seem, on the whole, to be escaping the worst of it. But that could change; we’ll soon see.

    3. paul

      I remember turning up at bombay airport,when the avian flu was going around, and if you coughed or had a runny nose, you were yanked.
      They seemed quite prepared, which I have to say, is unusual for India.

  4. Lee

    South Carolina

    I was looking for consolation and reassurance and I found it.

    According to South Carolina ranks 46th as being racially representative of the U.S. Democrat electorate as a whole. Plus, and you can’t say this in some quarters without being severely scolded, SC has not voted for a Democrat for president since Carter in 1976.

    1. TMoney

      New Primary Plan – the primary order changes every year, the closer the result to a coin flip, the earlier your primary. Michigan and Florida would be very early, California and Alabama would be at the end.
      Electoral College Safe Democratic States and Electoral College Safe Republican States are bad for selecting a Winning candidate. NH and IA are actually not that safe, IA is a bit “redder” that you would like so early. It is only voters in these flippable states that can change the Electoral college maths.

      What States does Bernie win that Hillary loses against Trump ?
      What States did Hillary win that Sanders loses against Trump ?

      What States does Bernie win that Biden loses against Trump ?
      What States does Biden win that Sanders loses against Trump ?

      Biden can win if he could carry PA and FL.
      Sanders can win with WI, MI, AZ and 1 seat in Nebraska ! Can Sanders win PA ?

      What about OH ? Sherrod Brown could carry OH – which has been tracking more Republican. He is my VP choice because he could (and would need to) flip a Red state. I understand the appeal of Stacey Abrams, and the question I have, is, can a Representative (not a Senator) carry a whole state ? Flipping GA to blue seems a tall order to me.

      Al Gore, Bill Clinton managed to carry Red States, making their path to 270 easier. Hillary carried IL and NY – meh – they are already blue, Tim Kaine from VA also blue, it didn’t change the calculation.

      1. Carla

        Life-long Ohioan here. Those who think Sherrod Brown is some sort of leftist are completely wrong. He is good on unions, union pensions, and the crime of off-shoring jobs. That’s it. Sherrod has never supported single-payer or anything like the Green New Deal. He is a centrist Democrat and detests Bernie Sanders. Personally, I doubt there’s any way Bernie can win Ohio in either the primary or the general. Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania: let’s hope.

        1. TMoney

          I don’t think Sherrod is a leftist, but, picked him as a possible VP on the basis he could carry Ohio, the way Al Gore carried Tennessee, and I live in the same state as you – but only for 3/5’s of my life. If you don’t think he can carry Ohio, pick a different VP. Flipping a Red state Blue with your VP pick makes getting to 270 a lot easier.

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            Partisan politics have changed. Split tickets and swing voters are significantly down since 1992. After all, Gore’s 2000 strategy was based on winning Tennessee.

      2. Deschain

        I posted something exactly like this about a month ago. Have 5 states every week for 10 weeks. It’s the most sensible system. Which is why the party won’t adopt it while the corp dems are in charge.

        1. TMoney

          Perhaps not since the swing states do vary, but they may not break decisively for a single candidate because they are swing states, which would allow more partisan states to choose later on.

          Someone will always be “disenfranchised” unless we have a national primary. The proposal is to make the parties select candidates with the broadest appeal, by allowing swing states to give “momentum”

          But it also means you can’t win the nomination for the Red team by running up the score in Blue States and vice-versa – which is what HRC did with the southern states – States that would never turn blue in the general election.

        2. a different chris

          Not arguing with you, but everybody in a “big blue” state is already about as disenfranchised as they can get.

          True for a full-on red state too. However, the blue states pay for everything* so that makes it a bit more painful.

          So sad that we vote for the “leader of our country” in such a stupid way.

          *OK hyperbolic exaggeration but not exactly wrong either

          1. drumlin woodchuckles

            I wonder how many of the natural resources and raw materials which are “monetized” in the blue zones come from the red zones to begin with. To just that extent, the red zones pay for the blue zones’ existence by shipping out underpriced and extraction-damage-unpayed-for resources to the blue zones for “monetization”. The blue zones then send some of that natural-resource-underwritten “money” back to the red zones whose extracted natural resources made imputing any value whatsoever to the “money” possible to begin with.

            Perhaps the vicious circle could be broken in part by forcibly raising the price to the red zones for red zone natural resources. But that can only happen in a Zero Free Trade environment.

      3. Darthbobber

        Only question I know something about. Yes, I’m pretty confident we can carry PA for Sanders if nominated.

        As things stand.

        And anybody who thinks they know how things will stand by November deludes themself. Which makes some of the convoluted wargaming being employed on all sides at the moment pretty much beside the point.

    2. Carolinian

      Perhaps someone around here more expert could weigh in, but I believe the order of the primaries is mostly up to the states in cooperation with the two national parties. Since elections cost money it’s preferred that both parties primary on the same day. Therefore an inappropriate early state for the Dems might be highly appropriate for the Repubs. It’s more complicated than having one of the parties simply make up its own schedule. Here’s a somewhat useful backgrounder.

      As for SC, these days the Democrats seem to ignore us except when it comes primary season. You can’t win if you don’t play.

      1. TMoney

        That’s the great thing about the proposal, it’s good for Republicans as well, they can only win by flipping blue states. A republican who can win FL, MI, WI (ahem Donald !) is the way to the presidency. You don’t win by running up the score in safe states like CA, NY (Hillary) you can win the popular vote that way but that doesn’t get you to the White House.The swing states are the same for Democrats and Republicans.

        * Not an expert though

    3. WheresOurTeddy

      South Carolina is the most irrelevant state in the union regarding picking a democratic candidate who can/will win the general.

      Over 50% of the electorate was over 45. That is a huge variance from other states. It’s also more religious and more conservative than almost any other democratic state electorate. Its place in the top 4 states only serves to ensure that no one person will ever win all 4, and whoever comes out of the top 4 states as the frontrunner won’t be too progressive (whoops NV didn’t get the message LOL). The eventual nominee either must win over or render irrelevant all the aging black baptists. Bernie won black people under 40. The future is progressive, even in SC.

      As someone raised religious, I can assure you that religious bigotry absolutely played a part in 2016 and 2020 results. Biden is a Catholic, which is at least Jesus-adjacent to southern religious folks.

      Sanders is a Jew, which is a non-starter for many of these people, though it will obviously never show up in polling. Add this to the fact that SC has gone (D) once in the last 56 years (Carter, ’76) and one wonders why they’re not last in line. The GOP doesn’t give a damn about moderate republicans in California or New York; those states are enemy territory. Democrats should be more strategic.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        The GOP cares enough to win House seats. If Dreier wasn’t gay or that played better with the GOP, they probably would have run him. He was like the third ranking republican at one point without a sex scandal. Peter King held Long Island for years despite being a terrorist. The GOP is a regional rump party, but they play to win.

      2. Carolinian

        Oh I wouldn’t disagree that religion is a big thing in my state–particularly among older voters and GOP voters. But would you concede that Sanders ethnicity might also play a role for those who do support him (I have no idea if he is religious) or for those who once opposed Jimmy Carter for his religion? Factors of personality and background simply play a big role in politics, go figure. Arguably Obama becoming president was more a matter of typecasting (appealing to both white liberals and black voters) than any of his previous accomplishments. Then there’s Hillary’s “vote for me I’m a woman” campaign.

      3. drumlin woodchuckles

        The post-McGovern re-engineering of the Democrats’s primary process made SC and then Super Tuesday state early because they are so conservative. The plan is that the ConservaCratic voters in those states would vote down another McGovern-figure early enough in the process that such a figure would never arise to get the nomination.

        So keeping that goal in mind, making South Carolina an early-voting “important” state is absolutely key and crucial to the Catfood Democrats’ advancing their REAL agenda, which is to forbid any non-catfood Democrat from getting the nomination. Never Ever.

    4. mle detroit

      Wasn’t SC an open Democratic primary in which the GOP was encouraging Republicans to vote? Did Trump get the result he wanted? Any data?

      1. chuckster

        That was just a backup bullsh^t story the Dems had in case Biden collapsed in SC and Bernie won.

        1. Andrew Thomas

          And now that the Ambassador from Israel has personally insulted Bernie, at length, I am looking SO forward to the OUTRAGE at CNN and MSNBC and the entire non-Trumpites corporate media at this UNTHINKABLE MEDDLING in the sacred political process in the USA.

  5. GramSci

    re CV management Lambert wrote: “… one might question whether competent governance is an operational capability that the United States possesses…”

    Apropos yesterday’s comments, sabotage is an elite strategy. It’s a tragedy they’re idiots.

    1. flora

      The US possessed competent govt once, and could do again. The rise of neoliberal’ Markets not govts solve problems’ guiding philosophy, combined with outsourcing govt responsibilities to the private sector – the Markets , combined with disaster capitalism, have all come back to bite even the elites. A pandemic is here, and the govt agency CDC outsourced test manufacturing to a private (because markets, because budget cuts) contractor. The testing kits were faulty. ( We know how profit motive drives cost cutting in the private market sector.)

      following quoted from: ‘Scoop: Lab for coronavirus test kits may have been contaminated’ – Axios.

      The official said that the CDC engaged with a third party contractor on Feb. 20 to help manufacture the testing kits. The official added that the FDA regulator, Stenzel, visited the Atlanta laboratory on Feb. 22.

      The sheltered politicians in DC must wonder if they could catch the virus and no test would properly find it or their local doctors would not know how to treat it. Must alarm them to realize they at the same risk as everyone else. Because tax cuts and budget cuts. Because markets. So now they, or the FDA, ok state public health labs creating test kits.

      The FDA announced yesterday that public health labs can create their own diagnostic test. Scott Becker, the CEO of the Association of Public Health Laboratories, told Science that he expects that public health labs will be able to do 10,000 tests a day by the end of the week.

      The story ‘ “CDC hasn’t revealed information to doctors that would help coronavirus patients” – CNN’ enters the realm of malpractice or crazyland, imo.

      Milton Friedman’s “govt is the problem, markets are the solution” mantra is false, untrue, neoliberal wishful thinking.

      1. flora

        Shorter: The neoliberals managed to ‘shrink the government’ to this point: it’s unable to perform basic governmental functions for everyone’s health and safety. Our current HHS secretary, formerly a pharma manufacturing head, made the point with this:

        Health Secretary Alex Azar Refuses To Guarantee Coronavirus Vaccine Would Be Affordable For All

        Questioning him was Representative Jan Schakowsky (D–Ill.), who asked: “You’re saying that [a vaccine] will, for sure, be affordable for anyone who needs it?”

        Azar replied: “We would want to ensure that we work to make it affordable, but we can’t control that price because we need the private sector to invest. . . . Price controls won’t get us there.”

        “Because markets, go die.” has reached its limit.

        When I was a kid, all the grade schoolers were lined up in the gym, by age, and given a free sugar cube or shot of the anti-polio vaccine. Nobody said ‘your money or your kid’s health.’ The govt used to be able to do big important things for public health with the tax dollars we sent it. Now? I guess it’s more important to give tax breaks and business to billionaires than to protect the public health. grrrr.

        1. KLG

          Indeed. c1962: All students and their parents walked through a line in my elementary school cafeteria and were given a sugar cube with a little purple(?) spot on it containing the Sabin vaccine. Tasted pretty good to a 7-year-old. Everyone got the vaccine. No money changed hands. IIRC that is how we all got our smallpox vaccination, too. Still have the scar to prove that one.

          Made the argument with a friend last week that outright nationalization of Big Pharma is the only hope for development of adequate public health interventions…You just keep thinkin’ Azar, that’s what you’re good at.

            1. flora

              Not sure the point you’re trying to make.
              If your point is ” there are unknown dangers in every vaccine” then make that point.
              If your point is “only private market pharma entities can eliminate these unknown dangers, no matter the cost to the individual “, then make that point.
              Again, I’m not sure what point you’re trying to make.

              My point is that, with parental consent forms signed, all the kids in my grade school got the polio vaccine (paid for by the US govt), and no one in my age cohort later got polio. I’m going on several decades of HS graduation. I know 3 people older than me who did get polio in childhood,before there was a vaccine, one spent time in a breathing machine,m an artificial lung. Now, in age, they’re suffering from late age post-polio difficulties. But this is only anecdote.

              Again, please make your argument.

        2. Jeff W

          “Health Secretary Alex Azar Refuses To Guarantee Coronavirus Vaccine Would Be Affordable For All”

          The next Oprah show (if there ever is one): “You get a vaccine! And you get a vaccine! And you!”

        1. xkeyscored

          It goes with GramSci‘s March 2, 2020 at 7:58 am comment.

          Yes, it does sound like Foucault on acid, but I’m finding the article it links to fascinating. It integrates an energy and resource based view of economics, which attracts me on sort of logical and scientific grounds, with a view of social development as the struggle of the powerful to maintain power, which one way or another’s always been my gut instinct.

          1. paul

            You might have noticed this websites title.
            It is not just your instincts,or just your insights.

  6. divadab

    Re: Buttigieg – I wonder what Biden (and/or the DNC) offered him to drop out? Cabinet position? Chauffeur for the Officers’ Club?

    What an irritating entity this composite created personality is.

    1. Lee

      OTOH and FWIW,

      According to the most recent Morning Consult poll of more than 13,000 Democratic primary voters, 21% of Buttigieg supporters say Sen. Bernie Sanders is their second choice. That’s followed by former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Elizabeth Warren with 19% each, then former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg with 17%. So, all of the top remaining candidates are likely to see some help from Buttigieg supporters.

      Maybe they all chipped in together to buy him off simply out of mutual irritation with the guy.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Buttigieg has been mocked as the most likely to remind teacher when they forgot about the test or to collect homework. Besides not being viable, I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s simply taking his toys and going home. He made no inroads among young voters and became a joke. There are those good wishes of how he will be back, and he simply won’t. His base will be four years deader.

        He chose not to lead on an issue, and he doesn’t have the strength of character or charisma to lead on an issue such as EC reform. He might try to do a podcast, but the Obama twerps do a vaguely entertaining version of whatever Pete might say. Look at Castro and where he went, and he did it from a cabinet position. If Pete doesn’t register on Tuesday while running, Iowa and NH will be seen as flukes.

        1. chuckster

          Buttigieg wanted to head the DNC in 2017. Maybe Joe made his wish come true. It gets him out of Indiana and into the DC sphere. Makes it easier to report to Langley when necessary too.

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            Pete wants to be President. He isn’t going anywhere in Indiana without a major organizing effort that doesn’t simply materialize but requires a multicycle effort and sacrificial lambs. Pete doesn’t want to be the lamb. I don’t know about the potential for House seats, but AOC exists. Even if he won a House seat, he would be a joke.

            The DNC spot was a stepping stone to a run, nothing more. Heck, Tim Kaine became a Senator after running the place into the ground.

          1. Plenue

            I read it (it wasn’t long). It’s exactly what you would expect it to be: about how Buttigieg is gay.

            The sole mention of actual policy is this paragraph:

            “Buttigieg also endorsed the Green New Deal and a bold idea to increase the supreme court to 15 members, with a new method of selection designed to make the court less political. All of which meant he would not only be the first gay president – he would also be by far the most progressive candidate ever elected to the White House.”

            ‘By far’. Jesus.

    2. JohnnyGL

      I think donors might have told him to get out because there was a real fear that sanders was going to win CA. But, in doing so, was going to hold everyone else below 15%, which would have netted him and extra 100-200 delegates. That would have put sanders in a dominating position post-super tues.

      Steve kornacki from nbc was gaming this out on twitter, as was one of kamala harris’s former top staffers.

      They want to keep warren, because without her, bernie picks up a big chunk of her voters. Klobouchar doesn’t have enough to matter.

      1. nippersdad

        Klobuchar doesn’t have enough delegates to matter, but with her still in the race she may be able to deny Sanders a win in Minnesota.

          1. a different chris

            Haha we need to talk her into hiring a lot more Minnesotans!

            Since apparently the one group that doesn’t vote for Klobuchar are the ones that have/had to work for her.

          1. Shonde

            I forgot to mention that Minnesota has had early voting for over a month now. As of February 25th, those who voted for Buttigieg can no longer change their votes. This might also help Sanders since the Buttigieg votes might have gone to Klob.

        1. Mark Gisleson

          Looking forward to voting for Bernie tomorrow here in Minnesota because it’s also a vote against Amy Klobuchar.

          She is not MN’s darling so much as the DFL and MN news media’s darling. Big rally in St Louis Park last night disrupted by Black Lives Matter protesters.

          This is a state that elected Jesse Ventura the one time they had a real third party choice.

        2. JeffC

          “Buttigieg did better than Klobuchar or Warren. Yet he is out, and they are in.”

          My instinct: They are running for vice president, a position irrelevant to Pete compared to “saving the country” by pushing more moderates above 15% in the super-Tuesday states, just as so many others here suppose.

          1. WheresOurTeddy

            Warren’s been running for VP-with-veneer-of-progressivism-to-placate-the-BernieBros-when-we-steal-it-from-them for several weeks now

            1. DaveOTN

              I think Warren is aiming for a brokered convention as the “compromise” candidate that has supported Medicare for All (kind of) but is also loved by centrist PMCs. The Bernie supporters who would stay home for a Biden or (shudder) Bloomberg candidacy will hold their noses and vote for Warren, and the same thing with the never-Bernie centrist wing.

              Whether this works or not is up in the air – and if she fails to appear at least somewhat competent in the primaries it won’t work – but I think this is her best case scenario now.

              1. John Anthony La Pietra

                I would expect there will be fewer willing nose-holders among the Sanders supporters after the bad blood spilled on the campaign trail (if you’ll excuse the mixed-body-part metaphor). She might have better luck with the oh-so-pragmatic “centrist” wing if they think they can trust her (or maybe make that “if they think they can control or steer her enough to trust her”).

                1. Matthew

                  Well, apparently most of Warren’s declining support came from those centrists turning on her, so they already seem to have seen something they didn’t like.

                  And yes, thinking Warren would be an acceptable compromise at this point is delusional.

          2. Darthbobber

            Warren is still able to raise money and has a few states tomorrow from which she can harvest some delegates. Pete’s prospects didn’t look good anywhere on the map.

            Plus, his donors are investors who now see no potential return.

            I think Warren’s people are probably looking seriously at versions of the compromise candidate scenario. Another road closed to Pete.

      2. Dr. John Carpenter

        This seems likely to me. I’m guessing Pete was getting too close to being a spoiler for Biden and they offered him something to get out. Otherwise, his dropping out when he’s doing better than Warren and Kolb makes no sense.
        I also don’t think they actually want Warren to win (which is going to be an unpleasant shock to her) but they need her in as a spoiler for Berne. It’s interesting that she’s being so blatant about that part and I wonder if that will effect any of her support.

        1. TMoney

          I agree about EW being a spoiler, but what’s interesting is that even as a spoiler she is out raising Biden. Biden’s fund raising suggests the 1% prefer Donnie.

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            Hillary the inevitable isn’t out there anymore. “Centrists” have gone from “the most qualified candidate in the history of ever” to backing a barely coherent sexual predator. The permanent democratic majority isn’t simply going to show up, and once that was realized money isn’t simply going to materialize after Trump has largely been a normative republican. Logistical concerns and lack of low hanging fruit have kept foreign policy in check.

            The expectations fundraising would continue at the pace in 2014 and 2016 through two losses was always absurd.

            1. chuckster

              … backing a barely coherent sexual predator.

              Yeah but vote for the barely coherent sexual predator with a “D” after his name. Because we’re Democrats and we have standards

                1. NotTimothyGeithner

                  Oh I was referring to Biden, but with the state of NBC news, it’s easy to see how one might be confused.

            2. ObjectiveFunction

              Hillary the inevitable isn’t out there anymore. “Centrists” have gone from “the most qualified candidate in the history of ever” to backing a barely coherent sexual predator. The permanent democratic majority isn’t simply going to show up, and once that was realized money isn’t simply going to materialize after Trump has largely been a normative republican. Logistical concerns and lack of low hanging fruit have kept foreign policy in check.

              This! Every last effin’ word!

            3. Matthew

              The sheer cravenness is pretty astounding. I can remember being younger and thinking that one of the differences between the parties is that Democrats didn’t pretend that anything they said or did more than five minutes ago didn’t happen. But here we are, and the mass cognitive dissonance could power a small city.

      3. mrsyk

        Mmmmm. Maybe a day late and a dollar short. More than a few Californians woke up this morning with the Early Voting Blues.

        1. jrs

          Yes they were screwed, when in person early voting has been going on FOR A WEEK. That is since the 22nd. And by mail voting even longer. And if people wait till now to mail a by mail vote, well it still has to be counted (so mail it or go to the polls and submit it there!) but it’s never going to matter in results on election day.

          Now these were mostly people with very bad choice in candidates that got screwed of course (Steyer was okish).

          Klobi never even campaigned in Cali, she wrote off the state, her midwestern schtick doesn’t sell here (nor apparently almost anywhere!!!) but Steyer and Pete did some I believe and people even cast Yang ballots weeks ago.

          CA moved up it’s primary to super Tuesday in order to matter.

      4. Big River Bandido

        “Donors probably told him to get out”…by not giving to his campaign. It has been known for days (weeks?) that Buttigieg had not spent a cent in any Super Tuesday state.

        1. CBBB

          This too. Just like Scott Walker in 2016, Buttigieg is extremely beholden to his donors. Being a small-town mayor he has no base of political support that wasn’t astroturfed for him by his donors so he has to do exactly what he’s told.

        2. NotTimothyGeithner

          Outside of superpacs which more or less can only run ads, not having a wide donor base and maxing out is a problem. Sanders can keep going to his large donor base. He added 350,000 this past weekend.

          Bundlers promise to raise money, and they work their rolodex and host an event. A billionaire can only give $2800 once, and if you can’t bring that particular donation, the campaign can’t operate outside of personal funds. Legal services, flyers, utilities, field organizers, and so forth can’t be paid.

          I made this point about Hillary the Inevitable, but she raised money from Republicans who were concerned Trump was erratic (a different erratic, they love President Trump). I suspect bundles are finding they can’t get donations from their Republican friends so easily anymore.

          1. Deschain

            This is an important point that seems to be lost on a lot of the talking heads. Saturday I heard a lot of them say ‘Bloomberg should get out and put all his money behind Biden’. Ummmm – $2800 of it anyway? The whole point of him running himself is that he can use his whole fortune. Yes Bloomberg could throw a lot of money at pro-Biden/anti-Sanders super PACs but that’s not the same thing as actually putting money in Biden’s campaign.

      5. kramshaw

        +1 this analysis!

        I was a bit baffled by the 15% viability threshold and the large field, because it seemed to provide the #NeverBernie DNC with a very narrow path to walk. In a head-to-head contest state, where only Bernie and one blobclone make viability, having the 15% viability threshold would moderately increase Bernie’s delegate count. In a state where the blobclones are fighting and none reach viability, the threshold tremendously increases Bernie’s delegates.

        But now I think I see a possible plan: the blob team can selectively abandon campaigns, trying to maximize the occurrence of 3-way matches, which make it way harder for anyone to get >50% delegates. Then they can sweep it up in a brokered / contested / finagled convention.

        The beauty is, the reasoning about the timing around when campaigns dissolve is very hazy–and the media about Pete is full of speculation, hagiography, and dunking. An operation like this would have a lot of plausible deniability.

        On the other hand, during the storm I read a tweet that said Pete ended his campaign because he didn’t want to be the reason Sanders was elected. And this was essentially validated as a strategy by the headlines on fivethirtyeight. So maybe deniability (at least individually) isn’t an important feature.

        This primary is yet more proof that elites are fundamentally acting in bad faith and would have to be purged or otherwise disenfranchised in order to have a reasonable democratic process. It’s very hard to compromise with a scorpion. Best to just shoo it out of the tent.

        1. Deschain

          This. Worst case for Bernie is that Biden, Bloomberg, and Warren stay in, others out. We are pretty close to that now. All the polls I’ve seen say Bernie beats Biden H2H. But if they can keep Bernie below 50%, they can broker the convention.

          1. JBird4049

            Actually that would be worse case for the Democratic Party itself. If an obviously rigged convention is used to hand Trump a second term, I am not sanguine about the party lasting long enough for the 2024 elections. Just how much of a base would it left?

            1. jrs

              And then the base would be white with a few blacks and like 80 years old. I mean abandon millennials (and much of Gen X not that Gen X is big enough to matter), abandon Hispanics, heck abandon the preferences of states that actually might vote blue in the general even (if all Biden carries is Southern states). Abandon the future of their own party almost.

            2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

              Maybe something similar to what happened here in Australia, in the last election we had the Labor candidate lose to an unknown neo-lib corporo-fascist. Labor reacted by concluding they weren’t fascist enough and declared they would now be a “constructive opposition”, getting on board with the coal industry and generally cheerleading the fascisti in power instead of presenting any kind of alternative. Clarifying, I guess, of the actual one-party system

            3. Matthew

              I think when younger people make sweeping statements about Boomer selfishness, the Dem establishment are the people they have in mind. If they’re going down they’re taking the party and possibly the country (and planet for that matter) with them.

      6. lyman alpha blob

        The weird thing about Warren though is I’d read she was almost out of money. Has that changed recently? Maybe things are looking up now that she broke a promise and starting taking SuperPac money?

        1. Wukchumni

          She’ll be ok until Super Tuesday, and then the fiat lady will sing, and she’ll tell of all the selfies she took and be gone after betraying trust by accepting those 30 pieces of silver from a PAC

          Similar to the other 10 little indians, we won’t talk of her much anymore.

    3. CBBB

      Buttigieg dropped out because he’s smart and wants to try again another year. He knows he can’t win now and wants to bow out relatively gracefully and not totally embarrass himself by getting destroyed on Super Tuesday. Elizabeth Warren on the other hand seems to have developed some kind of Messiah complex and thinks she is somehow going to pull off a win even though her campaign keeps tanking.

      1. nippersdad

        The timeline looks odd, though. He went to Palm Beach for fundraisers and then promptly came down with a cold. He then flew to Texas and, somewhere on the way, decided to drop out and turned the plane to go back to South Bend for the formal suspension of his campaign.

        What happened in Palm Beach and what calls did he receive on his flight to Texas?

        I suspect, just a guess, that Bloomberg got to his donors in both Florida and Texas, and the Biden supporting MSNBC offered him a job a’ la Yang. I wouldn’t be in the least surprised to hear him playing the manager on cable rather than just calling them on the campaign trail.

        1. John k

          remember bloom wants people to drop out, and is willing to pay big to get it. I’ve been thinking bloom would reach out to Buttigieg… maybe 10-20 mil plus more if bloom wins? Easy to do a book deal for cover.
          And maybe Klobuchar looking at offers on wed if results match the polls. Bloom might want warren to stay in for a while…

      2. WheresOurTeddy

        Buttigieg is young enough that he could run in 2060 as a 78 year old centrist trying to overthrow the New New Deal instituded by Presidents Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez.

        Methinks his Obama impression won’t age so well though.

        1. chuckster

          He needs a job. The pension from being mayor of South Bend isn’t going to buy him a condo in South Beach. Look to see where he ends up and you know who got to him. Follow the Benjamins.

          1. Monty

            Not a problem, South Beach will be a ghost town and knee deep in Atlantic by the time he retires. All the condos will be around the Great Lakes.

            1. aletheia33

              great lakes are experiencing major problems that as of this year have been officially recognized as climate change related. flooding every year if you live in a home on the water on lake ontario (like my source, a relative) is looking like the new normal. ny state providing funding to homeowners for them to have same major remedies redone every year, lots of fighting among local, state, public and private entities, big fights over shipping interests controlling lake levels, etc. my source feels totally f*cked, cannot leave because home not sellable, cannot buy flood insurance for reasonable amount and high-priced alternative is not worth what it costs, will have to continue dealing with floods every year with attendant hassles of grant applications, dealing with untrustworthy contractors, pumping out basements, replacing appliances, and so on. a bit of flooding every spring has been the norm, but residents feel it is getting out of hand now. they are scared. also mainly are trump voters, in upstate ny.

              as the great lakes taken together are the largest body of freshwater (and one-fifth of surface freshwater) on the planet, i recommend paying attention to what’s going on there now as indicators of how other coastal communities will react as their situations get more and more dicey. also keeping in mind that among the players are powerful corporate shipping interests and two countries.

              in case anyone is thinking of buying a condo on the great lakes . . .

              1. Monty

                Wow, thanks for the warning!

                Most of the States are unappealing at the best of times, even before you add in these kind of issues.

                I can relate to the legions of conmen around there in the construction industry, because a lot of them come to AZ when they get run out of their home town. My neighbor explained that American contractors DGAF because they know they can ding everyone in town once.

          2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            The nice part about the prototype Buttgig Model A-1000i is its modular construction, the individual components can be detached and reassembled into other configurations. The legs can be instructed to walk anywhere, the torso can be repurposed for any “diversity” task, and you can retune the animatronic head to deliver content from any intelligence agency or pool of dark capital you like.

            1. The Rev Kev

              Good description that. Looks like somebody managed to shut him down by remote. I always thought that he had this Pinocchio quality to him but without the nasal handicap.

    4. Kasia

      Rumor has it that the National Enquirer got their hands on a recently made sex tape that shows Pete in bed with a woman…

    5. Expat2Uruguay

      Six members of my family in California are voting for Bernie, except for my brother who said Bernie was his second choice but he wanted to vote for Mayo Pete. I asked him what he’s going to do now, and of course he doesn’t know. Bernie was good enough for second choice, but not good enough for his first-choice apparently. I sent him some comments about electability and the people who remain in the race. I dogged on Bloomberg and Biden and reminded him that Bernie has a movement. I recommended that he go and view a little bit of the last debate to get a sense of who can take on Trump. I bet he votes for Warren, just because he seems so Bernie averse.

      I want to remind California voters who live in the eastern part of Sacramento County that they can vote for a progressive Republican that’s running against Ami Bera and supports Bernie Sanders for president. His name is Ivy

  7. Winston Smith

    Covid-19: In analogy to the Spanish flu of 1918, some experts are predicting a wave of US cases in March/April with a calm summer followed by a massive spike in cases this fall-potentially more virulent.
    Is there a knowledgeable soul who can comment on this?

    1. PlutoniumKun

      From a non-specialist perspective, my reading of the various research is that, essentially, nobody knows. It does seem clear that Covid-19 is not behaving in a nice predictable manner (lets not forget that SARS-1 is still a bit of a mystery, nobody is quite sure why it faded away so rapidly), and there are numerous ‘unknowns’ making modelling it very difficult.

      The idea that it will slow down in hotter weather, then returning, possibly in a more virulent form in the autumn is I suspect just an educated guess based on a very incomplete picture. Its just one of several reasonable hypotheses out there.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        The problem is younger, healthier people keep it going during the summer while not displaying symptoms or too many symptoms to stay out of work (Uber cars that aren’t in operation aren’t causing depreciation), and they keep it going into cold and flu season when the population is under much more stress. If everyone gets it over the summer, this is probably for the best in the absence of a functioning government and a vaccine (even one for seniors as that likely means younger people will still be in bad shape and spread other diseases).

        Then of course the cold and flu season for the southern hemisphere is coming up.

        1. Lee

          The problem is younger, healthier people keep it going during the summer while not displaying symptoms or too many symptoms to stay out of work…

          Kids these days…

          Sorry. Fear makes me giddy.

            1. Lil’D

              Plugged the strat into the twin , scooped out the mids & jammed along. Good warmup for tomorrow’s gig

              Trivia answer: Ventures
              The question: US group with most albums on the charts in Japan

        2. MLTPB

          Younger people…

          It has been repeated that those over 60 are most vulnerable.

          If an argument is put forth that Medicare, as it is now, covers most of those over 60, the most vulnerable to this thing, what would our counter to that be, if we want those in the 20s to be also covered? (As far as this infection is concerned, it seems to do not much to those in their 20s.)

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            The young people who are filling the roles of caregivers and making food. Covid-19 should weaken a person enough to give other diseases room to thrive. Flu vaccines are just guesses of what is going around. Then there are bacterial infections too. The waiter coughing on your food has more than Covid-19. It’s just at small levels we can handle it. If they don’t have to deal with Covid-19, they are more likely to fight off other diseases and not spread them.

              1. Redlife2017

                It’s the OK Boomer Flu, which seems to have been created by some very fracked off Millennials.

                But I like the Logan’s Run reference (+1000). Much more class!

          2. jrs

            Well it doesn’t even cover 60-65, so it doesn’t even cover half of your 60s (nor can one afford anything else at that age). So much for that.

      1. Winston Smith

        Sure. I should have done that in the first place-apologies. There is a 32min video embedded in this twitter link. The author/presenter is Dr Dena Grayson (MD PhD). She has a definite political bend (to say the least) but I don’t think this disqualifies her comments on this topic. I think PK’s comment on the subject (see above) is correct. The danger with the Spanish flu scenario i.e. this will be much worse in the fall after a calm summer-is that the administration will relax and take its eye off the ball and not prepare for what may happen. The upcoming election will not help that.

      2. Winston Smith

        Sorry Lee, I posted the link and comment you requested but it seems to be stuck in moderation(?)

    2. Wyoming

      What is happening in Washington state and other areas of the world like Iran is that we are finding out that the infection was running while we were not looking. It is certain that this is occurring all over the place.

      On a personal note I seriously wonder if my wife and I have Covid-19. We live in a heavily retired community which is quite affluent with large numbers of people taking cruises and vacations all over the world all the time. And we work out at a very busy gym almost every day where everyone meets and talks about all that and sweats all over each other as you can imagine. A month or so ago my wife comes home and complains about a guy on the machine next to her who was coughing and very sick. A week or 10 days later she gets sick and then really sick and I follow her about the same time later. All of our symptoms are exactly what are described for Covid-19. We are just riding it out as there does not seem to be much of anything else to do and there does not seem to be testing of any kind available – and would it matter anyway. But we are still shopping for groceries (and yes we have stockpiled supplies – but we replace as needed until entering crisis mode) and doing basic daily tasks in public. There are undoubtedly thousands or tens of thousands of Americans just like us out there who ‘probably’ just have a really bad cold/respiratory infection and expect it to go away eventually. That is probably all it is for us but for some it is going to be covid-19.

      I am really tired of sleeping sitting on the couch so the goop in my lungs does not make me hack so bad I can’t sleep.

      1. Lee

        I and a number of people I know caught colds in January with respiratory symptoms you describe that lingered for weeks. No fever however. I called my doctor’s advice nurse and she assured me that this lingering cold was quite common this year and would eventually pass. You might want to check in with your doctor by phone if nothing else. I assume there is a local public health service somewhere in your area and you might also want to give them a call.

        1. Wyoming

          Thanks for the advice and we will go to the doctor if we get to the point we think the hospital might be in our future. But the wife is improving now and I am not currently getting worse.

          But we do have all the symptoms. I have had fever spikes followed by chills at least 20 times over the last 5 days, shortness of breath, lung congestion, painful coughing that doubles one over towards the ground, headaches, stiff neck (which could be from the hacking of course), waves of fatigue. It is a pita for sure. I went for a short walk to get some air this morning with the wife. It was about 30 degrees and I was cold in the house before I went outside all bundled up in a winter parka, fuzzy hat and gloves. When we got back I was covered in sweat and had the coat unzipped hood off and the gloves off. Worst thing of all ….coffee does not taste good right now… there may be no point in going on..

          1. Ignacio

            Yup. It could be a severe flu (If you didn’t pass it in the last two years, the latest flu version has been quite awful) but it could be something else. Yes, it is good to sleep with the head above as you do to favour de-congestion. Ask your physician about deep breathing exercises. Drink lots of water. Take care.

          2. kareninca

            Could you call your doctor and ask if you can take Mucinex? It is over-the-counter. That could at least reduce the congestion in your lungs.

            “Mucinex and Mucinex DM both contain the drug guaifenesin. This is an expectorant. It helps loosen mucus from your lungs so that your coughs are more productive. A productive cough brings up the mucus that causes chest congestion. This helps you breathe better. It also makes it easier for you to get rid of germs that may be trapped in the mucus that you cough up.
            Mucinex DM contains an additional drug called dextromethorphan. This drug helps control your cough. It works by affecting signals in your brain that trigger your cough reflex. This lessens your coughing. You might find this ingredient’s action particularly helpful if long bouts of coughing have made your throat sore and made it harder for you to sleep.”(

          3. The Rev Kev

            Hope that you and your wife get better soon. Sounds like you are both doing the hard yards at the moment but whatever it is, try to take care of yourselves. When you both get better, you may have to give up the gym and start self-isolating if you live in such a vulnerable area when Coronavirus really gets going and stick to talking to people by phone or computer. Keep us posted how you are going. Take care.

    3. rd

      Flu bugs tend to like colder conditions for survival outside the human body and therefore transmission is best in the colder seasons. They don’t know yet if the COVID-19 has the same tendency. If it does, it would likely fade away in the summer and return in October. If it doesn’t mind warm weather, then it would probably just keep chugging along.

    4. Expat2Uruguay

      While it is true that when it comes back in the fall it could be more virulent, it is likelier to be less so. Germs that cause mild sickness and don’t incapacitate their host are more likely to be passed on and are there for more likely to become the dominant strain.

      1. xkeyscored

        I’m not an epidemiologist or virologist, but I don’t think it’s that straightforward. What about something – let’s call it SARS-CoV-2 – that gives many people mild symptoms, enabling them to continue with their lives while spreading it, but a few people severe symptoms, including death?

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          Just a quick local report, I was in the grocery store in a near suburb of Sydney yesterday, pretty high Chinese population. There was *no* cooking oil, flour, bottled water, TP. Sense of panic among hoarders. Grocery stores in whiter suburbs still OK

        2. paul

          but a few people severe symptoms, including death?

          Then it’s just pretty normal, after all.

  8. PlutoniumKun

    Turkey confirms military operation against Syrian regime Agence France Presse

    Elijiah Magnier has a long form post on this – he thinks Putin made a major error in agreeing a ceasefire, leaving Syrian government forces very vulnerable to a drone attack mounted by the Turks. It seems they inflicted a very serious blow to the Syrians.

    It was now clear that Russia, Iran and its allies had misunderstood President Erdogan: Turkey is in the battle of Idlib to defend what Erdogan considers Turkish territory (Idlib). That is the meaning of the Turkish message, based on the behaviour and deployment of the Turkish Army along with the jihadists. Damascus and its allies consider that Russia made a mistake in not preventing the Turkish drones from attacking Syrian-controlled territory in Idlib. Moreover, Russia made another grave mistake in not warning its allies that the political leadership in Moscow had declared a one-sided ceasefire, exposing partners in the battlefield and denying them air cover.

    It seems likely that the Syrians will mount a major counter attack in the next week or so, Putin will have to make a decision as to whether to go all in and risk a major conflict with Erdogan (which he has been avoiding so far), or leave the Syrians on their own there.

    1. Paradan

      The counter-attack is going on right now. Syrians have already re-taken the lost ground. We’ll see if they hold it.

    2. xkeyscored

      NATO has shown absolutely no enthusiasm so far for coming to Turkey’s rescue. And it’s hard to imagine Russia giving up its bases in Syria (Tartus is the Russian Navy’s only overseas base), or letting its reputation go the same way as the USA’s – we’ll back you today and drop you tomorrow. I know that’s sort of what they’ve just done, but probably only temporarily, and I fully expect them to hang in there, at the same time as trying to avoid outright confrontation with either Turkey or the west.

      1. PlutoniumKun

        There is no way NATO will throw anything but supportive words to Erdogan and the Russians know that.

        The only real question is whether Putin will calculate that its not in his interest now to push things in the region, especially if Trump is looking for a distraction from the virus. Putin certainly does not want to be the dog wagged by the tail (Assad) and he does not want to be pulled into a hot war over a fairly insignificant chunk of Syrian territory.

        It seems the Turks are hammering the Syrian forces from inside Turkey. The big decision both the Syrians and Russians will have to make is whether they keep things inside Turkey, or knock out the Turkish artillary within Turkeys border. The Syrians may just try to take the casualties, I doubt if the Russians will support strikes into Turkey. But its possible the Russians will simply tire of being nice to Erdogan and decide to finish everything once and for all.

        1. xkeyscored

          That fairly insignificant chunk of Syrian territory is effectively a giant al-Qaeda base, not far from the Caucasus and with many links to that region and the Stans. Still, I agree, Russia does not want a hot war. That seems to be what inflamed this latest flare-up, the Russians turning off air defences to placate Turkey.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      I think if there is one lesson for sure from this outbreak, it is that absolute openness and honesty is the only correct approach to infectious diseases. I suspect the Iranians were too worried about its impact on the election, and now they are paying the price. What is happening in Iran right now looks very deeply ominous for that country – I think they are facing a potential catastrophy over the next few weeks and months.

      1. The Rev Kev

        I don’t think that it was just the elections that worried them. For context, consider how they have had Trump threatening to attack them the past few years with the aid of countries like the UK & France and all the sanctions being employed against them. Probably there was a military aspect in their secrecy in that they did not want to reveal the massive problems that they had until those countries threatening them also experienced the same problems and could no longer threaten them. Hard for the US military to attack a country when you have carriers becoming hospital ships and have some of the biggest bases in the word locked down through infection.

        1. MLTPB

          Going forward, this will impact the whole region, including migrants from Syria heading for Greece, and nations with ties to Iran, not just official, but religious, social or economic, such the Azerbajian (into Russia), Syria, Lebabnon, etc.

      2. xkeyscored

        absolute openness and honesty is the only correct approach to infectious diseases

        I know this is not exactly what you were getting at, but it’s sort of relevant, maybe.
        From a February 4 editorial in Nature, Calling all coronavirus researchers: keep sharing, stay open – As the new coronavirus continues its deadly spread, researchers must ensure that their work on this outbreak is shared rapidly and openly.

        Nature and its publisher Springer Nature have now signed a joint statement with other publishers, funders and scientific societies to ensure the rapid sharing of research data and findings relevant to the coronavirus. In the statement, we commit to working together to help ensure that:
        • Research findings are made available via preprint servers before journal publication, or via platforms that make papers openly accessible before peer review, with clear statements regarding the availability of underlying data.
        • Researchers share interim and final research data relating to the outbreak, together with protocols and standards used to collect the data, as rapidly and widely as possible — including with public health and research communities and the WHO.

        They’ve since had to rethink those aspects a bit, due to the (relatively) large number of dodgy findings making their way onto these servers and into the research community.

        Honesty’s a good policy, but best based on facts, which are nearly as scarce in some respects as functioning CDC test kits.

        1. wilroncanada

          Latest news:
          Now 102 cases and 12 deaths in the US.
          So much for openness from the beginning. New cases now on the East Coast. Florida declares state of emergency.

          On the other hand: there seems to be a spike n cases among members of the Chinese rowing team. They have declared it a sampandemic.

  9. Joe Salimando

    I have no claim to expertise on health matters, but I have a recommendation for NC:

    1. Start a website or subsite just about the virus.

    2. Put all links about the thing on that site.

    3. Provide a link to that site/URL twice a day, with a count of updates.

    It’s not that I don’t want to read about the progress of this thing. But: It would be nice to go back to the “regular” NC.

    Also, it’s my opinion (which could be very wrong) that there is going to be A LOT MORE on this subject coming to all of us, before there is less.

    1. Chris

      I disagree. I appreciate reality being interrogated by the minds here. I look to NC to find my way through the corporate narrative that’s offered in some media and shoved down my throat in others. I think this virus and the related effects from it will be a very important thing for a variety of reasons. No need to limit Yves, Lambert, and others as they search through the jetsam to find us the good the flotsam :)

      1. Wukchumni

        Yes, it is the first thing to come down the pike in quite awhile where the ramifications can’t be hidden or finagled with dollops of deceit, as has been the custom.

        I don’t need or want to know how Covid-19 works, my interest is in how it effects us going forward, and thanks to our month+ delay in doing anything, every day the virus finds new hosts here, not that we’d know.

        Ideally we’d want everybody to practice social distancing, as if that’s gonna happen though?

        Imagine every business that has direct contact with people-shuttered, and the internet?

        Once the doodads made in China run out, sellers will be peddling from an empty cart.

        1. kareninca

          I can’t even get my religious organization in Silicon Valley to consider reducing services. May I add that it is the most LIBERAL of all religious organizations. I know that you love to say how stupid the Evangelicals are, and how anti-science, and how they would never stop services – well, these are ultra, total, complete “liberals.” Not a Trump voter in the lot. But they are so used to being “friendly” and “welcoming” that they are still suggesting that people go to large political rallies and musical events with political themes.

          This is the best non-partisan, down to earth piece I have found about social distancing (for lay people): I don’t think it has been in the links yet; it is extremely good. I sent it to some church members; no response.

          I am probably being unfair. They will likely catch on pretty soon. But in any case, I am not presently seeing a superiority on their part to the much maligned Evangelicals.

          1. Tom Bradford

            I would draw a distinction between the religiously stupid – those who believe either that God will protect the righteous, or that whether or not they get the virus is God’s unavoidable judgment – and groups who are faced with the agonisingly difficult balancing-act of risking infection as the downside of community solidarity and support.

            I would take the former to be any community that castigates and condemns a member who chooses to stay away, as demonstrating a lack of ‘faith’. A community that says, we will gather for friendship as we don’t yet think it’s time to panic, but if you feel differently we will respect that, I think is doing the right thing. In fact I have just received notice of a meeting in a fortnight of a group I belong to. I could simply send my apologies without losing any credit, or I could attend. As at the moment I don’t thing ‘things’ are bad enough that I’ll duck out, but that could change.

            1. kareninca

              Ah, yes, the “religiously stupid,” who think that God will decide. As opposed to the highly intelligent, what can simply see that they themselves have free will and are in control of their own (PMC) destinies. Even though a hefty percentage of scientists and philosophers hold otherwise.

              Really, I look at how many deaths are caused or prevented. How you describe your behavior to yourself doesn’t count for much. Presently Evangelicals and liberal religionists are a wash, from what I’m seeing. Calling the former “religiously stupid” just looks like snobbery.

              1. kareninca

                Update: a local Evangelical church just invited my liberal church to a coronavirus safety webinar.

          2. The Rev Kev

            Tried to send my brother a heads-up about Coronavirus and he and his wife dismissed it as nothing special and said that they were more worried about getting Ross River fever from the mosquitoes as they played golf.

            This morning they sent me a Coronavirus joke email showing a guy wearing an anti-virus DVD as a mask. Sent back an email with facts showing the possibilities of them getting a hospital bed if they got sick – zip – so will see what they send back.

            They both apparently listen/watch a lot of Fox and probably think that Coronavirus is some sort of ‘lefty’ plot so they will not be prepared for what is coming. Can’t even get my own family to watch what is going on and prepare. Sigh!

      2. carl

        +100. NC is the best site for finding out what’s really going on, not just this subject but a myriad of others.

    2. MLTPB

      1. The staff at the Louvres voted to close yesterday. Do workers in China feel similarly when we read about businesses attempting to restart? Maybe they dont want to go back to those mega factories? Are leaders all over the world falling behind how people are feeling on this?

      2. If so, this is the key issue going forward for this election.

      3. People want assurance…now… and we have to fight this battle with the current system that is in place, not policies next year after the election. Timing is not of our choosing. Winning leaders have to propose ideas that are actionable now. To say, we will enact this or that January does nothing for what is happening rapidly now.

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        Only 20% of Chinese truck drivers have showed up for work after Spring Festival in January. So even if you get an empty container into Shanghai, get it out to the factory, fill it with the cheap Chinese sh*t we eviscerated the American middle class to get our hands on, there’s nobody to drive it back to the port.

    3. xkeyscored

      “Fearless commentary on finance, economics, politics and power”

      It looks to me like WURS is having major, major impacts on all four of those worldwide, and these impacts look like worsening pretty dramatically before they fade, if they do any time soon.
      That said, I too miss what you call the “regular” NC, with the virus quarantined on its own subsite. The comments are getting harder and harder to navigate if you’re chasing a (so far) non-WURS story like Syria, for example.

  10. TiPs

    Saw the panel on Saturday (Eastern Econ Assoc) where Mason presented his paper on GND and WWII. I would recommend finding and posting the work that Bob Pollin (also on the panel) and his research group (PERI) at UMass are doing on the transition to a GND, specifically estimating the job losses and costs of transitioning fossil fuel related jobs.

  11. CH

    “What is it with liberals and their insane attachment to eligibility requirements?”

    Neoliberalism is an even more effective virus than COVID-19. Possible even more deadly…

    1. fajensen

      The Gatekeeper Class must have toll-gates for themselves and their 2.4 misbegotten children?

  12. The Rev Kev

    “What’s Really Holding Women Back?”

    ‘Women made remarkable progress accessing positions of power and authority in the 1970s and 1980s, but that progress slowed considerably in the 1990s and has stalled completely in this century.’

    My eyes rolled back so hard reading this article they nearly stuck there. Look, you had second-wave feminism that started in the early 60s and continue for about twenty years. It was broad-based and went after rights such as ‘sexuality, family, the workplace, reproductive rights, de facto inequalities, and official legal inequalities’. This appealed to nearly all women because it effected them personally.

    Then in the 90s you had the rise of third-wave feminism and from what I have seen over the past few decades, have abandoned their poorer and darker sisters and concentrated on wealthier women and their battles with the infamous ‘glass ceiling’. Women like Hillary have been using this stance to effect. Others may differ on their interpretation of the past half-century of feminism but mine tallies with that sentence I quoted from that article in its effects.

    And that is what this article is all about. Problems that these so-called third wave feminists have with their working lives in high-level executive positions. I suspect that if second-wave feminism had continued their work, then the effects of this would have pushed these women to the top in “a rising tide lifts all boats” movement rather than the “trickle-down” approach of modern feminism.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        The recruitment of Republican women into high levels of Team Blue are at play. A Goldwater girl and former Republican who gave speeches to the Federalist Society won’t be able to build a winning coalition without a collapse or no challengers.

      2. Shonde

        “the pre-occupation is with glass ceilings instead of factory floors”

        A now deceased friend was on the national board of NOW back in the early 1970’s. Even then she constantly complained that the board’s emphasis was upper middle class white women’s rights. She was a lonely voice for “the factory floors”.

        1. JTMcPhee

          The Lily Ledbetter Act is always highlighted as a signature achievement, part of the “Obama Legacy” flagged in emails flooding my in-box wanting money to “protect President Obama’s Legacy from Trump” (along with Obamacare).

          Fool me twice…

    1. nippersdad

      Good point. Nothing could have been more indicative of the new class based feminism than the Lily Ledbetter Act. For all the hoopla about it, what did it do for anyone that couldn’t afford to hire decent lawyers to begin with?

      1. meadows

        My mother, who died at 80 in 2008, was a college prof, teacher her whole life, and an “early wave feminist.” As a young man (now 68) I was introduced to some of the most famous of these feminists. My impression in the late 60’s through the 70’s was that it was an ivory tower movement w/scraps thrown to the working class, hence the understandable disdain of many working women toward the feminist movement.

        This analogy of glass ceiling vs factory floor is accurate.

        1. Off The Street

          College admission trends showing ratios in the range of 60/40 Female to Male do not bode well for those seeking to avoid the specter of that factory floor. Oh, the shame of dating beneath one’s station.

          Something’s gotta give, otherwise we’ll hear more of the following:

          O tempora, oh where is my reservation at Spago?

    2. JTMcPhee

      One aspect of whatever wave of feminism we’re on is the push to get women into combat roles in the Imperial Army. I guess the anti-war sentiment of a lot of women I knew in the ‘60s and early ‘70s was maybe just a temporary phenomenon. No doubt many were sincere in singing “Ain’t gonna study war no more,” but like so much else in the zeitgeist, the espousal was pretty shallow and seemed to dry up with the drawdown in Vietnam.

      So now we hear cheers for the first woman to graduate from the Green Beret qualifications course, And what’s to cheer about, that women, in addition to other “gains” in the drive at the upper bound to have the same “opportunities” to kill Wogs and destabilize governments and Fight The War On Terror as men have? Not sure about the original intent of the Equal Rights Amendment, but was that all there is? Equal chance to be an Imperial Trooper or CEO of a petroleum behemoth? The NYT speaks of the fact that the War Department has opened all combat positions to women as of 2016. Progress!

      Ah, yes, the expansion (for those who can afford to participate) of “individual rights and opportunities.” Maybe this massive forced restructuring of the human presence and impact on Mother Earth might lead to clarifying thoughts about responsibilities and duties that go along with privileges and rights, for males, females and now all the interstitial categories within that duality…

    3. Nancy Boyd

      Data in the UK indicate that the wage gap is actually a maternity gap. I’d imagine that’s even more true in the US. We just don’t have enough societal support for working mothers and in my opinion we have LESS now than we did in the 80s, when at least some major corporations were experimenting with on-site daycare.

      Today, the big tech companies provide benefits to women to help them freeze their gametes, so they can ostensibly defer having children, though I don’t think the implantation figures are all that rosy as one would think.

      But they don’t provide any kind of on-site childcare.

      Parenting holds mothers back in a way it doesn’t hold fathers, and that’s the conversation we need to have. Single mothers are REALLY in a jam.

      Elite and academic feminism now doesn’t even talk about motherhood and maternity. The preoccupation in elite and academic feminism is with trans rights, sex-work as empowerment, and postmodernist assertions of subjective identity, consumerist corporate branding of selfhood, and “queering” all boundaries under the notion that boundaries in and of themselves constitute a form of supremacy.

      None of that has anything to do with the status of working women.

      1. xkeyscored

        Many working class and ‘lumpenproletarian’ women of my acquaintance have noted the positive and at times virulent disdain shown them by elite and academic feminists. Not using correct pronouns disqualifies them from speaking; sex workers calling themselves ‘girls’ proves their ignorance of their own oppression; and the lack of rights that come with lack of money is all too often seen as a side issue or a plain non-issue, a fact of nature that can’t be challenged even if they wanted to, which they don’t.

        1. flora

          And about that maternity gap: in my enlightened, liberal (/s) workplace a generation ago – 20 and 30 years ago – the women who took off time for children, childcare, were later all laid off (but not the women who didn’t have children or take time off for childcare) because they ‘weren’t making enough progress in their work, or they weren’t dedicated enough to the workplace’ compared to employees without direct childcare responsibilities. (men) The old adage that you should hire women because they’ll just leave to get married and have children is still with us in new disguise. Maybe things are better for young women in the workplace now, but I doubt it. (Freeze their gametes?!!! )

      2. flora

        This is one reason Sanders is proposing free, universal childcare.

        Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Monday rolled out a plan under which the federal government would make child care and pre-kindergarten available to all American families, with no tuition or fees. -HuffPost

    4. hemeantwell

      My eyes rolled back so hard reading this article they nearly stuck there. Look, you had second-wave feminism that started in the early 60s and continue for about twenty years. It was broad-based and went after rights such as ‘sexuality, family, the workplace, reproductive rights, de facto inequalities, and official legal inequalities’. This appealed to nearly all women because it effected them personally

      I know both researchers. Padavic has written quite a few papers on the subjects you fear may be overlooked and her orientation is not “trickle down.” And it also should be noted that the paper gives emphasis to the problem of overwork and the distortion of personal relationships that comes with it. There is a lament over women not being able to rise in organizations, but also one over men and women suffering from pointless exhaustion as their managers put the squeeze on them.

      1. flora

        … over men and women suffering from pointless exhaustion as their managers put the squeeze on them.


      2. ObjectiveFunction

        I agree. I found this piece useful, understanding its limitations. It’s as really about the Stakhanovite culture of the corporate pyramid, and not yet more The Oligarchy Is Fine So Long As There Are Some Brown People And Women In The PR Photo finger wagging.

        I too wish it had gone deeper, but the writers noted, to their credit, that they were consultants and were being paid to deliver Actionable Bullet Point Panaceas, not unearth inconvenient truths (FUDs – Fear Uncertainty Doubt – bad for groaf and share price)

        1. One organizational effect that occurred to me is that setting aside ‘mommy track’ internal roles for high performers (or to retain ‘reliable’ visible minorities) who are at child rearing age (age 30-40) comes at the expense of more experienced older employees (50+, like me) who might:

        (a) appreciate the less intensive workload, as opposed to resenting it as a ‘step down’

        (b) be better placed to support and advise their successors, as they understand the sharp end of the business

        (So NeoLibIdPol once again pits one demographic group against another, for the win)

        The above is how seniority used to work, both in management and shop floor roles.

        2. But of course in our move-fast-and-break-things-neoliberal-hamster-wheel-world, too much experience is actually a negative: old folks finding reasons not to do things better faster cheaper.

        And as for coddling tired oldsters with their feet up on the desk telling war stories: what are we running here, a charity? Rightsize, merge, offshore and get lean again! (using a new shiny crop of consultants named Ranjit) then lather rinse and repeat in a few years.

        3. Also, the Corporate Credential Cult (e.g. only specialists with a PhD in HR can lead HR) militates against this kind of cross-functional shift.

        Anyway, apologies for the shotgun comments, and a lot to unpack, but this is an important topic that isn’t going away, plague or crash notwithstanding, and deserves broader treatment.

        1. ObjectiveFunction

          EDIT: abject apologies about the Ranjit thing, I had deleted it as inappropriate but didn’t save the edit in time. But since I’m likely going to get slammed for it anyway, I would note that the South Asian diaspora has grasped the new Global Order with both hands, vaulting to the top of pretty much all sectors: credentialed, entrepreneur and gov in less than 2 generations.

    1. chuckster

      Maybe Joe can repay all those African-American voters in SC by naming Amy his Attorney General.

  13. The Rev Kev

    “China Uighurs ‘moved into factory forced labour’ for foreign brands”

    Something tells me that as people come to understand that all their Nike shoes and other stuff like maybe Victoria’s Secrets are manufactured there, that all these protest about Uighur rights will just dry up. Colour me cynical.

  14. rd

    Re: Hummingbird gardens

    Hummingbirds need nectar but they eat far more insects than nectar. So while it is fun to plant the flowering plants they like (I have several lonicera sempervirens and campsis radicans that they love), it is just as important to plant foliage plants native to your area to establish solid insect populations for them to munch on.

    Lonicera sempervirens:

    Campsis radicans (can be invasive, so hack back etc as needed):

    Both of these are native vines that you can grow up a native tree or a trellis, providing flowers for hummingbirds and foliage for the insects. In our area, lonicera sempervirens flowers from May-October while campsis radicans flowers August-October.

    1. Wukchumni

      Our neighbors have 8 hummingbird feeders around the periphery of their home that go through about half a gallon of nectar each in a week, and it’s very common to have as many as 25-30 of them feeding @ one location with 3 or 4 varieties represented, and you know what it sounds like?

      …a Theremin

      1. Rod

        rd–two great effective choices recommended and have multiples of both planted at the woods edge.
        Yes, mind after the Trumpet without remorse.
        I also identify the Native Honeysuckle as “Lonicera” if asked about it–so as not to lose credibility for actually ‘planting honeysuckle’ around here.

  15. The Rev Kev

    “How Will New York City Respond to the Coronavirus?”

    Did anybody else see that bit about using prisoners from Rikkers Island to dig graves on Hart Island if they run out of space? That place already has a million people buried there and it is only about a mile long and one-third of a mile wide. They will have to dig through a lot of bones for new graves.

    I did think of one possible good side effect of New York shutting down, maybe the only one, and that is weirdly enough for indie filmmakers. No, seriously. They will have an opportunity to film central parts of New York that will be virtually deserted, including maybe Times Square, for free. They could get a lot of footage from different angles and incorporate it into later films by digitally adding characters depending how they use that footage.

  16. Roland

    The Syrian War is no longer a civil war.

    From RT:

    “The Syrian Army has allegedly lost over 2,500 troops as well as dozens of tanks and armored vehicles in numerous Turkish strikes, but this is ‘just the beginning,’ as Turkey hasn’t yet shown its ‘true strength,’ Erdogan warned. ‘We are just beginning to show our true strength to those who see our sensitivity as [the unwillingness] to shed blood, to hurt or [make someone] suffer, or as weakness and timidity,’ the Turkish president told members of his AK Party on Monday. ‘The human and equipment losses of the [Syrian] regime are just the beginning,’ Erdogan said.”

    From Hurriyet:

    “Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar has said Turkey has neutralized a total of 2,577 elements and soldiers of the Syrian regime in the northwestern Idlib province as part of its newly launched ‘Operation Spring Shield.’ ‘As it is known, the Operation Spring Shield has been launched after the heinous attack of Feb. 27. The operation has been successfully going as planned. The [Turkish Armed Forces] TSK has been intensely retaliating against all attacks, without hesitation,’ Akar said on March 2.”

    Let no one say that Turkey failed to give clear or timely warning of their intention to go to war against Syria. Their threats were cooly expressed, stark, and specific.

    Now the Syrian Civil has become a conventional international war. The question is whether it becomes a major war between alliances. The next escalation choice lies with RF. Turkey is directly challenging Russia, just as Syria had directly challenged Turkey. Now will Russia directly challenge NATO?

    If you ever wondered what a major war would be like, you might be about to find out. I already find it fascinating how the exceptionally acute and diverse NC commentariat have been slow to appreciate the gravity of this crisis, as if somehow they cannot really believe that a major war is about to erupt in their own era.

    Meanwhile, after joint exercises with France, Canada, and Denmark, a US carrier group enters the Mediterranean:

    I hope that everybody here will mock Roland as Mr. Rooster R. Little for a long time to come. But I’ve been studying human conflict in all its aspects for forty years, and this Syrian War frightens me. It disturbs me, too, that many of the experts whom I respect seem preoccupied with the intermediate-level choices and consequences of the various actors, when at this sort of time one’s concern must be given to the highest-order implications.

    1. anon in so cal

      NeoCons are salivating on social media. They see this as an opportunity to finally implement the Clinton Brennan agenda: toppling Assad, hot war with Russia, takfiris triumphant.

      Plus, in 17 days, 7,000 U.S. troops will participate in an anti Russia NATO exercise on Russia’s doorstep:

      Operation Cold Response2020: 7,500 U.S. troops will join 1000s of NATO troops in massive mock battle w/ Russia.

      1. Plenue

        Not just neocons. Louis Proyect is currently expressing his approval of events over on his blog. What a sad sight; a guy who claims to be a staunch anti-fascist effectively siding with a Turkish government that is itself authoritarian and closely aligned with fascists.

    2. xkeyscored

      It’s highly debatable that it ever was a civil war, what with the billions pumped into it by various actors from even before the word go. It is, as you observe, hotting up a bit now, in a way that could see more direct confrontation between the participants.

    3. Plenue

      That 2,500+ figure is almost certainly nonsense (it’s also unclear how much hardware was destroyed. Turkey seems to have inflated their kill reels with video game footage). The Syrian army isn’t behaving like a force that took that heavy a blow. They reeled for a while but then quickly launched into a counter attack that has already retaken the key town of Saraqib. They are still being pushed back in southern Idlib however, but seem to be taking back some villages on that front as well.

    4. steelyman

      War doesn’t follow a strictly linear narrative. There are ups and downs, back and forth. The SAA suffered some setbacks after some significant successes. The losses being proclaimed by the Turkish side are themselves – how shall I put it – hyperbolic.

      As of today, the SAA has regrouped and is on a counter offensive with full Russian air support and the jihadis and their Ottomani henchmen are retreating as their drones are destroyed over Syrian airspace. Russian MPs are now patrolling the city of Saraqib (retaken on Monday) and the Russian military has stationed some of it’s most powerful missile carrying naval assets off the Syrian coast. We have no idea how many Russian attack submarines are now also deployed in the vicinity.

      Here’s the latest posting by TTG from Pat Lang’s site (and please note the later paras describing how the jihadis forces were deceived into a major ambush in South Idlib:

      And the final proof of the weakness of the Turkish pudding: Erdogan’s flying to Moscow on Wednesday to accept whatever face saving bones Putin will throw his way.

  17. fresno dan

    ChiGal in Carolina
    February 29, 2020 at 4:48 pm
    Dan the Man—is it really you?? we have wondered about you in comments more than once this last year or so. where ya been? didn’t you notice your bunny ears tingling?
    My bunny ears are worn to a NUB – no bigger than mouse ears! For the past year, my bunny slippers have been crackling with commands from Putin….
    Do you really think all this Kaos in the democratic party is due to honest political differences? Its Putin, PUTIN, PUTIN!!! and through me, sowing dissension, disunity, disease. With my failure to keep Buttigieg in, it looks like Siberia, or worse yet, Bakersfield for me. Klobuchar quits, and I’ll probably be shot….the only thing that can save me is if Biden is the nominee…

  18. Cpm

    In re COVID-19, I have found a series of interviews with experts from Imperial College, London to be helpful in understanding at a high level where we’re at and likely heading.

    I like listening to Prof. Neil Ferguson. He’s very calm yet sobering. He’s good on describing what’s going on in China which I can’t understand by listening to WHO and other official sources and comparing that to the horror show you can see on the tubes.

    Here’s the latest (2/28):

  19. Expat2Uruguay

    From the linked article about how to save lives in a global pandemic by Think Global Health, there is this:

    A worst-case scenario with a more transmissible and severe coronavirus would affect 10 percent of the global population with a case fatality ratio of 1 percent, causing millions of deaths.

    A worst-case scenario that affects 10% of the global population is markedly different from estimates I’ve read elsewhere (40-70% infected this year again from a Harvard epidemiologist).

    this is exactly the kind of information differences that bring about confusion and distrust of information sources. It would seem the best course of action is to take the worst prediction from a trusted source. I really like CIDRAP- Center for in Texas disease research and policy out of University of Minnesota. At least so far that’s who is at the top of my believability list.

  20. Stephanie

    LOOK at that little chunky puppy with his huge paws!!!!

    #notadogperson #butdamnthatpuppyiscute

  21. Expat2Uruguay

    On Sunday I observed the inaugural parade for the new president here in Uruguay. I was surprised to see how few people showed up to support the new government, I estimate only 1-3% percent of the capital City’s population. I have seen 20% of the population fill the streets when it’s Carnival, the International Day of the woman, or the diversity day parade, so I had expected a lot more. I asked a local about this and she said that the number of people attending and observing this parade had been 10 times as many previously. I think she voted for the new center right coalition party, but all she would admit to was that she had voted twice before for the left Coalition of Frente Amplio and that they had failed to improve the situation of her, her family and poor people in general. I pointed out that they had actually made quite a bit of success early on, and she admitted to that, but then she spoke about the Uruguay version of welfare Queens, people who get free money from the government for years and years without transitioning to jobs. I imagine this is true, as it is very difficult to find work in Uruguay. At any rate, my friend Rosa was not triumphant in her demeanor, but of course the 1500 landowners riding horses on the street below were.
    It looked to me like all the people who were supporting this inaugural parade event were supporters of the National Party, aka the Blancos. In order for them to win they had formed a coalition with other parties and I don’t think those others came out in support of the inaugural parade and that’s why there was such a small showing relative to the majority of votes that were required to put this Coalition in power. Based on what I saw yesterday, I predict they will have trouble governing together.

    1. Wukchumni

      Thanks for the vivid glimpse, in my wildest technicolor dreams, I could never imagine 1,500 people riding horses past me, i’m not sure you could round up 1,500 in the state.

      1. xkeyscored

        What? I thought wealthy Californians all had horses, or at least ponies. Is that rubbish, or just old hat, the ponies having been replaced by sports cars?

  22. Expat2uruguay

    On Sunday I observed the inaugural parade for the new president here in Uruguay. I was surprised to see how few people showed up to support the new government, I estimate only 1-3% percent of the capital City’s population. I have seen 20% of the population fill the streets when it’s Carnival, the International Day of the woman, or the diversity day parade, so I had expected a lot more. I asked a local about this and she said that the number of people attending and observing this parade had been 10 times as many previously. I think she voted for the new center right coalition party, but all she would admit to was that she had voted twice before for the left Coalition of Frente Amplio and that they had failed to improve the situation of her, her family and poor people in general. I pointed out that they had actually made quite a bit of success early on, and she admitted to that, but then she spoke about the Uruguay version of welfare Queens, people who get free money from the government for years and years without transitioning to jobs. I imagine this is true, as it is very difficult to find work in Uruguay. At any rate, my friend Rosa was not triumphant in her demeanor, but of course the 1500 landowners riding horses on the street below were.
    It looked to me like all the people who were supporting this inaugural parade event were supporters of the National Party, aka the Blancos. In order for them to win they had formed a coalition with other parties and I don’t think those others came out in support of the inaugural parade and that’s why there was such a small showing relative to the majority of votes that were required to put this Coalition in power. Based on what I saw yesterday, I predict they will have trouble governing together.

    My apologies if this is a double post, it disappeared the first time I tried to put it up.

  23. Richard H Caldwell

    Got to wonder what Mike offered Pete, dontcha think?

    Kind of like negotiating with Lucifer…

    1. John Anthony La Pietra

      Coming soon to a political multiplex near you . . . “The Devil’s Landlord”!

    1. xkeyscored

      I wouldn’t call it pessimism at all.
      People like Chomsky have been saying for years that the two party thing is a sham, and that both parties unwaveringly support climate change, endless war and financial enslavement for the benefit of the elites, etc. Yet still we, understandably and maybe even rightly, say the Democratic Party is our only hope.
      If Bernie is seen to have ‘won’ but is nonetheless excluded again by the leadership, giving the world four more years of the same (but worse thanks to WURS), ordinary folks’ loathing and disgust for the entire charade is likely to become universal and overwhelming.
      If the Dems give up any pretence of being for the people by openly and unmistakably giving them the middle finger, ideas of class warfare, sustained protest, open, nonviolent revolt against the oligarchic state and going to jail will be the only options open, and will be seen to be so by all. No more time wasted trying to play the blob at its own game. They hold all the cards, which is exactly what’s wrong in the first place.

      1. pretzelattack

        they hold the cards, they make the rules, and they take the rake. and it’s the only game in town till it’s not.

  24. Mark hodgson

    “Not that I love Trump, but health policy is handled at the State and local levels, and ultimately by Mr. Market. The Feds imposed a travel ban, because that was easy and possible.”

    Yes But….

    Whilst States and even Counties have significant responsibility for implementation of public health policy at a local level they still take significant guidance from the Feds, specifically CDC, NIH and NIOSH. Specifically when looking at “Case Definition” and hence who gets tested with our limited availability faulty test kit that comes from the CDC, if you don’t meet the criteria of the case definition then you don’t get tested. The first identified person to person transmission from a non-China source was hospitalized for a week before some one was eventually allowed to test for COVID 19, why the delay? “Case definition”. I have seen a symptomatic airline pilot and family members not tested because they did not meet teh case definition, he had not flown to China… IN part this is driven by a shortage of test kists and cost considerations but it is also driven by incompetence.

    The decision to keep passengers on the Diamond Princess was made “In Consultation with” the CDC, if you have an airborne virus and you want to transmit to as many people as possible I would design something that looked like a cruise ship and keep people there for a protracted period of time. The repatriation efforts when they did happen were a fundamental cluster F, no one was in charge and no one seemed to think through how to handle people who were potentially shedding virus, and bad decisions were made.

    These are all functions of central government, these are all functions that highly competent public health organizations should handle. We have degraded those functions to the point where they simply no longer do what is needed. Do remember that in almost every State department of health is an EIT from the CDC to liaise and coordinate…..

    1. flora

      Your last para: exactly. Disaster capitalism is ready to say ‘hand these responsibilities and funding to the private sector’. The correct response, imo, is regenerating the competence, strength, and sufficient funding in govt agencies charged with important public functions. (Keep the funding too low, then the salaries in govt agencies become too low to higher or keep the best qualifies candidates, e.g.)

  25. xkeyscored

    Wall Street weighs up Bernie Sanders’ financial plans FT (DL).

    A surprisingly positive appraisal of Sanders’ plans, given it’s the FT. Just for example (there’s more in similar vein),
    Mr Sanders has pledged to wipe out $1.6tn in student loan debt, paid for by the proposed financial transactions tax. While it is still a long shot that such a plan would win backing in Washington, it could remove a financial burden from millions of Americans.
    Doing so could also improve the value and performance of other forms of consumer debt, according to Todd Baker, a senior fellow at the Center for Business, Law and Public Policy at Columbia University. “If you eliminate $1.6tn in consumer debt, those consumers have a significant windfall, and their overall balance sheet and cash flow is improved,” he said.

    And with a touch of realism,
    Even if he wins the Democratic nomination, and eventually the White House, Mr Sanders could encounter substantial hurdles in Congress to enacting his most sweeping reforms.
    I’d expect hurdles hurled at him from all directions within and without Congress or Washington, but at least the FT is identifying the ‘problems’ with Sanders’ policies. It’s not that they’re ‘economically unfeasible’; it’s that various groups and factions will be out to kill them (- if not, I’d add, maybe him).

    1. a different chris

      Oh my this would be a great attack position for Sanders. Free up the college-educated of student debt and all that money goes into “real” consumption. These aren’t hopeless Deplorables (per the view of financial East Coasters) but actual people that went to college and would be expected to, without the debt thing, to start building households. How many empty houses are in the US again?

      Simple slogan: “You wanna get the middle-class housing market really working again? Get rid of student debt.”

      Splits Wall Street between the financiers and the manufacturers, or at least what passes for manufacturers (importers and bolt-togetherers) in the US.

  26. Synoia

    Corona virus has killed 3,000 people world wide – Pandemic and Government Action

    Automobile accidents killed 32,999 in the US last year and maimed an ungodly number. Corona virus killed under 12 in the US this year to date, and does not appear to maim.

    And our emphasis, and news cycle, is on what?

    Do I perceive some misplaced emphasis?

    1. Monty

      Are car accidents likely to rise exponentially, with a rapid doubling period, from here?

      I think we know a lot more about car accidents than we do about the impacts of this virus.

      1. RMO

        You can also try working out that number in terms of fatality rates to those exposed (which in North America includes nearly all of us, all of the time)… and consider that the number has been on a downward trend overall across the years… and that there’s a lot of effort devoted to improving automobile safety… and that if you put your seatbelt on, don’t drive drunk and put your phone away you can enormously reduce your own chances of dying. That kind of puts it in perspective.

    2. John k

      Now imagine 3 bil get it with 2% mortality. That’s 60 mil.
      And maybe China, after all out effort, has given up, thinking that result is not as bad as just letting it rip… granted, not all Chinese appear to be on board with that.

    3. xkeyscored

      If this thing becomes endemic, returning every autumn with the falling of the leaves, it may just become just one more ghastly aspect of our environment that few people give much thought to.

      1. Synoia

        It depends on the mortality rate. If mortality can be cut significantly, then the disease becomes another flu, which is currently unpleasant, but not so lethal.

    4. The Rev Kev

      Ummmm. How many automobile accidents caused deaths within the first year of their introduction? Was it more or less than 32,999? We are only a few months of the Coronavirus pandemic so inquiring minds want to know.

  27. John Anthony La Pietra

    Medicare should cover cost of coronavirus vaccine, Schumer says (New York Daily News). It should be free to everyone, universally, not just over-65s, on medical grounds alone, never mind equity. What is it with liberals and their insane attachment to eligility requirements?

    Well, to be fair, there is still some evidence the virus is worse for those old enough to be on Medicare, so a court might find a rational basis for the idea. OTOH, we could have a new President by the time there is a vaccine — maybe Schumer’s considering that, and trying to close one path from coronavirus to Medicare for All?

    1. Daryl

      Seems like a good thing for someone to introduce into Congress: Medicare covers any coronavirus vaccine for the population of the US. Perhaps when people discover how much their GREAT INSURANCE intends to charge them for it, they will realize how much they are getting screwed over on everything else.

  28. Mike Allen

    Larry Summers desperately clutching his rice bowl on NPR this morning = priceless. # Anyone but Bernie.

    1. Off The Street

      Discomfort by Summers is long overdue given his record at Harvard, which see also Russia, and his treatment of Brooksley Born. What a guy, why can’t he just slink away and take Bob Rubin with him!

  29. antidlc

    So now Klobuchar drops out and will endorse Biden.

    Wow! The elites really are nervous about Bernie, aren’t they?

    So what was she promised? What pressure did they put on her?

    1. Deschain

      VP Klobuchar, I’m guessing. They’ll want to pick a woman. I actually think for Biden she’d be a pretty good pick (not that I like her). She knows how to throw elbows around.

      If Warren is still in the race at week’s end then it is proof beyond a reasonable doubt that the fix is in and she’s part of it.

        1. Deschain

          If she thinks a brokered convention would pick her she’s either delusional or a bad judge of the character of the people who are telling her it’s actually possible.

          1. pretzelattack

            i’m guessing she wants vp but she’s getting kind of old for that if she wants to be president.

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        Don’t think so. I suspect that spot has already been promised to a black woman in return for the clyburn-enabled Hail Mary in South Carolina. kamala is the name floating around.

    2. jrs

      Other than to deprive Sanders of Minnesota, what use could she serve in the race, she had no chance at the nomination, less than Warren. And might face the embarrassment of losing in her state (or not she might have won that, but winning one state and coming in 4th and 5th everywhere else ..). And she should continue the fight to the death for what? For “nothing can change, we can’t afford it even if it’s cheaper, I lose every state but one, but I’m super electable, vote for me”? Who fights to the death for that? They are narcissists but even so …

      1. Aumua

        Maybe she’s just that petty, and spiteful. She failed to step up in 2016 at the crucial moment and endorse Sanders, and she is showing every sign of refusing to give him even a little bump in 2020. She is the only who Bernie could really benefit from dropping out, and she is making every motion of chugging on until the bitter end. I am so not impressed by this ostensibly progressive woman.

    1. Shonde

      Especially since Minnesota has been early voting for over a month now. None of those Klob and Buttigieg early votes can now go to Biden or Warren or Mayor Mike.

  30. Woodchuck

    “What is it with liberals and their insane attachment to eligility requirements?”

    This isn’t only true in the US, it’s also true in other countries. Won’t talk about those I don’t know well enough, but in Canada there’s a lot of that eligibility requirement attached to many programs/subsidies/etc and in many cases I think it’s just a wrong way to look at things.

    I think it comes from an interest of being the most “fair” to poorer people and redistribute the money, but all it does in the end is:

    1) Adds up significant administrative costs/delays to everything
    2) Risks denying access to people that would benefit
    3) Alienate rich people who usually end up paying for a majority of these programs (since they are taxed the most) but do not benefit from them, so they end up leaning more to the right and for “less government” because for them all the government seems to do is take. And since by definition the 1-10% represents, well, 1-10% of the population, it’s not like it would be a drastic cost increase to those programs if it benefitted them also.

    I think the approach in general of having simple programs/services that apply to everybody, even if it ends up being slightly costier, would benefit society as a whole a lot more. I understand eligibility for programs DESIGNED to help a specific population, but things like vaccination for the COV19 is obviously something that targets everyone.

  31. antidlc

    I must say that despite a rather depressing outlook for everything, I am enjoying finally watching the Dem establishment squirm. I’ll enjoy it while I can. :-)

    1. Off The Street

      Hillary is the gift that keeps on giving. Announcement today that she has been called to be deposed in federal court about her damn emails and Benghazi. The judge thought that her prior testimony left more questions than answers. Imagine that, maybe her dreams of a brokered convention turn will be dashed. May need some Coronas, or any beverage, on ice for the occasion.

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        I saw a meme today: Man with Corona disease seeks woman with Lyme disease

  32. xkeyscored

    Can someone please clarify something for an ignorant outsider?

    Do the Democratic Party leadership and staff continue to receive salaries and other benefits whether Dems are in power anywhere or not?

    1. Oregoncharles


      However, a new regime might sweep some of them out of power and salary.

      1. xkeyscored

        My question was asked in all seriousness.
        Like I say, I’m an outsider, and I don’t know or understand the structure of the Dem Party.
        I gather lots of extra staff are taken on in the run-up to elections, but I guess the higher ups are more permanent. If they can rely on oligarchs and corporations for their funding, what reason do they have for caring who’s president etc.? Sure, some of them might have personal political convictions, preferring a dem over a rep or this dem over that dem, but if it’s a job, won’t many of them be at least as interested in their job security? And the oligarchs and corporations who fund them might not care who wins, seeing – or claiming to see – their philanthropic benevolence as benefitting the democratic process or something.

        1. pretzelattack

          my impression is it is a political machine, and that yeah they get paid either way, and that’s what is behind this maginot line policy against bernie.

  33. Oregoncharles

    “Scottish Power accused of ‘cruel’ harassment of householders over debts they don’t owe Guardian”

    Depressing and infuriating – esp. if you’re in the US and can’t do anything about it.

    It also reflects very badly on the British, and perhaps specifically Scottish, legal system. The recourse in the US would be a class-action lawsuit – although finding all the potential participants might be difficult; Scottish Power doesn’t know who they are. Even for individuals, I’d be thinking “Ooo, big juicy lawsuit.” Is that not an option there?

    I also wonder how a company that incompetent can stay in business. Maybe it’s the lack of lawsuits.

  34. Oregoncharles

    “Coronavirus in N.Y.: Panic Shopping for Masks, but Brunch Is Packed”

    Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow you…

  35. Oregoncharles

    “Erdogan is using refugees and immigrants to blackmail EU, EU is letting Greece face the crisis alone ”

    Yes, that’s what the EU does, at least to Greece.

    I figure the sacrifice of Greece was a factor in the Brexit vote – who wants to belong to something like that?
    Even with serious economic consequences, you could be safer long term out of their clutches. At least that’s a gut reaction, the sort of thing people vote on.

  36. John Beech

    Nothing whatsoever odd about Mayor Pete dropping out. Smart politician. Klobuchar is smarter that Warren who seems dumb as a rock. Then again, Warren will be in her 80s next goaround while Klobuchar has tested the waters and shown herself so she has a future in 4-years unless a Democrat wins in which case it’ll probably be 8-years. Thus, there’s a net time for the Amy also. As for Warren, honestly, I think this is her last hurrah just due to age but like Clinton she’ll continue to have her say. Meanwhile, Buttigiege is a young man well aligned for another run in 4 or 8 years. Progress . . . I didn’t even have to check the spelling this time!

  37. Eustache de Saint Pierre

    ” The Cost-of-Thriving Index “: Reeavalulating the prosperity of the American family.

    ” In 1985 the COTI stood at 30 – it would require 30 weeks at the median weekly wage to afford a 3 bedroomed house at the 40th percentile of a local market’s prices, a family health insurance premium, a semester of public college & the operation of a vehicle. By 2018 the COTI had increased to 53 – a full time job was insufficient to afford these items, let alone the others a household needs “.

    From Oren Cass of the Manhattan Institute in a criticism of official statistics & a way to look at it differently to give a clearer picture. PDF included & a long read perhaps better analysed by some more knowledgeable than myself.

    Apology at the ready if this has already been featured during my weekly absence. I imagine that if the report is valid it would apply with some adjustments to pretty much everywhere in the West.

    I have to head off now.

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