Links 3/23/2020

Much as we love links at NC, given the volume of material we are now getting, it would be really really helpful to the moderators, and would also improve comment quality, if well-intentioned readers didn’t simply dump links, but explained the qualifications of the source, and ideally gave a quote. This goes double for YouTubes and videos generally. Think of it as informational hygiene.


Christian Siriano and Dov Charney Are Making Masks and Medical Supplies Now NYT (bob k, pq)

Coronavirus pandemic: What’s ‘normal’ now? What’s next? An interview with Michael Osterholm. Minneapolis Star-Tribune (Shonde)

Liberty And The Coronavirus: Not An Either/Or Proposition American Conservative

Trump says US will make decision on further coronavirus action after 15 days NY Post

‘Trump Must Act Now’: Bernie Sanders, Others Call on President to Use Powers to Manufacture Equipment for Coronavirus Response Common Dreams

Fatal Coronavirus Outbreak at Assisted Living Center Is Grim Reminder That Both Residents and Staff Are at Risk ProPublica

Fort Worth Hospital Sees Spike in Severe Child Abuse Cases Over Last Week NBC Dallas Ft Worth (Dr. Kevin)

Harvey Weinstein Tests Positive For Coronavirus In NY State Prison; Convicted Producer In Isolation Deadline. re Silc: “i have friends whose kids are new MDs and they cant get tested and they work in hospitals.”

21 Inmates, 17 Employees Test Positive for COVID-19 on Rikers Island: Officials NBC New York

Coronavirus Transforming Jails Across the Country Marshall Project

A serological assay to detect SARS-CoV-2 seroconversion in humans medRxiv


Strength and Weakness James Howard Kunstler He sometimes falls off the rails, but I never miss him; this is one of his better efforts.

Penn stole our senior year over the common cold University of Pennsylvania Statesman. As a former university newspaper editor in chief, I have close firsthand experience of the pitfalls of student journalism. Nonetheless, this is astonishing.

Katie Porter is Tired Too Atlantic (UserFriendly)

Israeli doctor in Italy: We no longer help those over 60 Jerusalem Post

Useful Idiots: Noam Chomsky on the Primary, Media Criticism, and COVID-19 Useful Idiots. Posting this b/c it’s Matt Taibbi and Noam Chomsky, and based on their summer; haven’t had the chance to listen to this podcast.

Uber is doing 70 percent fewer trips in cities hit hard by coronavirus The Verge (david l)

Germany Bans Groups of More Than 2 to Stop Coronavirus as Merkel Self-Isolates NYT (re Silc)

Coronavirus: Hong Kong to ban overseas tourists and alcohol sales at bars and restaurants SCMP

Gangs of New Zealand: explosion of violence prompts fears police have lost control New Zealand

Sensex crashes 3,900 points: What’s behind market meltdown Economic Times

COVID-19’s Economic Blow will be Unprecedented. India Must Rise to the Challenge. The Wire

Explainer: Battling coronavirus will take more than just buying ventilators for India’s hospitals Scroll

UK calls in army and warns people to stay home or face lockdown Reuters

Coronavirus Drives the U.S. and China Deeper Into Global Power Struggle NYT

Pharma company halts emergency access to experimental antiviral drug WaPo

Don’t Panic: The comprehensive Ars Technica guide to the coronavirus [Updated 3/22] Ars Technica

‘Extraordinary change’: How coronavirus is rewiring the Republican and Democratic parties Politico

Democrats block McConnell from holding Monday morning vote on coronavirus bill The Hill

The Kids Are Home From College. And Parents Are Trying to Cope. WSJ

The coronavirus pandemic is a game changer for mental health care MIT Technology Review

Philippines isolates hundreds of health workers as coronavirus cases rise in south-east Asia Guardian

Coronavirus Outbreaks Could Become Seasonal Woe, Some Researchers Find WSJ


Chinese banks pump money into consumer loans FT

Force global banks to suspend bonuses and payouts FT. Sheila Bair

Coronavirus: China braced for second economic shock wave as Covid-19 controls kill demand SCMP (PD)

Fed will make up to $4 trillion in loans to businesses to rescue the U.S. economy, Mnuchin says MarketWatch

Medicare for All

Medicare for All is a Great Automatic Fiscal Stabilizer Nathan Tankus

Police State  Watch

The Long Dark Night of the Soul Craig Murray


Bernie Has an Impeccable History With the National Organization for Women. Biden Does Not. Jacobin

Joe Biden: Survival of the Unfittest Counterpunch

Tokyo Olympics

Canadian athletes will not compete at Tokyo 2020 Games due to risks of COVID-19 CBC

Pressure grows on Japan and IOC to cancel Olympics BBC

What Americans Don’t Know About Military Families (The Rev Kev)


Democrats sound the alarm on Joe Biden’s young voter problem NBC News. UserFriendly: “They are braindead.”

Antidote du Jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Martin Oline

    The 2020 Joe Biden – young people link seems to be pointing to the wrong place (Microsquish).

    1. Painted Shut

      While I don’t agree with the Penn student editorial in its entirety, I do think it highlights a disparity in the treatment of younger generations relative to GG and Boomers, and I get the resentment that the author portrays. These young people are not as at risk as the older generations, but they are being asked to take one for the team in this whole scheme of things. And in exchange for their sacrifices, the older generations give them… Joe Biden.

      Older generations are voting for Biden in landslide fashion, and hey, why not? Who needs Medicare for All when you’re already on Medicare? Who cares about climate change when you won’t be here to see its effects? Older generations didn’t have universal health coverage, and because Boomers, can’t allow the young folks to have nice things they didn’t have.

      But oh, please young folks, look out for them. Hose the economy, lose your job and house so that older generations don’t get sick (never mind that THEY could have just stayed home and are not doing so).

      Maybe stop aiming the blame cannons at the young folks and realize that they are sacrificing and will get nothing in return for their efforts.

      1. Elizabeth Burton

        In point of fact, young people are just as susceptible to COVID-19 as anyone else, and it can be severe and even deadly for those who vape. The idea one age group or other is less likely to contract the disease is the direct result of the corporate media’s irresponsible coverage, designed to maintain ratings rather than provide real information.

        1. periol

          deadly for those who vape

          Do you have a source for this? I have seen none that go beyond speculation.

      2. oliverks

        I agree there is a certain irony about the Boomers being worked up about the younguns. Boomers seem really concerned now, but not when stuff hurts millennials.

        However the article is total crap. As one commentator said, perhaps some remedial math courses are in order for the author. Couldn’t agree more.

    2. edmondo

      Seriously, is there anyone more ill-prepared to be president during a societial, medical and financial crisis than FKN Joe Biden? It’s like it’s 1932 and instead of nominating FDR the Democrats gave us John Nance Garner.

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          My read right now is that Trump would not mind at all handing the poisoned baton to Sleepy Joe and the band of divisive, self- and citizen-haters that passes for “the Democratic Party” these days.

          Trump is nothing if not a braggart, and was looking forward to bragging his way to re-election based on “the Trump economy” and “the Trump stock market”. That is now gone.

          No other president in history has faced the unified, monolithic hatred of the MSM since even before inauguration. In the past people might have said “hey I oppose the guy and what he stands for but he won the election so we may as well give him a little respect and a chance to do well, after all he is the president of my country”. Nope. Zero.

          Zero acknowledgement that hey maybe he was right about China. Maybe he was right about a trade war with the country who wrested control of our supply chains. Maybe he was right to try and control the borders.

          Instead all he he got was ridiculous maneuvering and incessant face slaps about imaginary Russian skulduggery. Peeing prostitutes. And then an impeachment circus about a 5-minute phone call with a one-bit country nobody can find.

          In the past when a deal went sour Trump would simply file bankruptcy and throw the mess over to the creditors. That never seemed to bruise his ego. Now in the best case even if we return to a form of normalcy by August or October the face slapping and second-guessing will just continue unabated. Why the hell would he sign up for four more years of that.

          So congratulations to everybody who demonized the guy and the office he holds because his Tweets made them feel icky. You want an administration whose cabinet members are vetted by a teenage trans schoolgirl? Headed by a man with his brain oozing out of his ears? With the choice of A. Hilary, B. Kamala, or C. Amy K. as V.P. ? To fully own a landscape of economic devastation they and their policies so expertly wrought over decades? You just might get what you wished for.

          1. deplorado

            Well said. Just look at the insanity crescendo: a dummy (W), a dolt (Trump), and now a dotard (Biden).

            The Dummy, the Dolt, and the Dotard. Playing now for a record 20th season. Smooth talking jester entertains the guests in the intermission. Get your front row tickets now.

          2. drumlin woodchuckles

            If Trump is secretly hoping to lose and turn it all over to Biden or Clinton or whomever, Trump is going to be severely disappointed.

            Trump is going to win bigly whether he wants to or not. The Catfood Democrat Party has already decided to throw the election as the acceptable collateral damage for preventing the nomination of Sanders.

            1. Edr

              That’s what I’ve been thinking. They rather throw the election than risk Bernie or Warren actually putting some breaks on the corporate thievery.

            2. drumlin woodchuckles

              It further occurs to me that the Catfood Democrat leadership may well want Trump to have another term for this following reason: that they hope a Trump Term Two will coincide with conditions becoming so bad in America that the electorate will beg for the Catfood Democrats to save them from any more Trumpery. The Catfood Democrats are imagining that a Trump Term Two will usher in a New Dawn of Catfood in 2024.

              Such is the level of DemParty strategery. Their tacktickery is effective, however. You see how they have already secured the nomination of Sloppy Dead-Cabbage-Walking Joe for President . . . . or whatever other Can of Catfood they plan to put into Sloppy Joe’s place.

  2. mrsyk

    Re: Democrats block McConnell from holding Monday morning vote on coronavirus bill
    Another content free article from The Hill. Would it be asking too much to know what exactly it is that Democrats are “blocking”?

    1. S.D.

      “You’ve got to pass the bill to find out what’s in it.” Nancy Pelosi

      Nothing worse than laws made in the dead of night. In a fake emergency.

      1. cnchal

        > . . . In a fake emergency

        Can you explain what is fake and not fake?

        Yes, it’s an assignment. Back up your assertion.

      2. bassmule

        I just listened to an NPR reporter argue with Elizabeth Warren: “So if you don’t get the bill you want, are you going to let the country go up in flames?” To which she responded “That’s a false choice,” to which he responded “But it is!” After which I turned the radio off. This is not FOX, by the way. It’s “liberal” NPR.

        1. D. Fuller

          If it is a bad bill that would do nothing and the country still would go up in flames?

          There is no difference between the two. Before the bill, country goes up in flames. Pass the bill, is equivalent to handing out candy while the country goes up in flames.

          A key provision in the bill is handing control of $500 billion in taxpayer dollars to Steven Mnuchin – unless that provision has changed – to hand out, with little to no oversight or accountability, to whomever he is pleased to hand the taxpayer money out to.

          How is that going to prevent the country from going up in flames? It IS NOT.

          1. urblintz

            Someone needs to write another article about Mnuchin’s criminal role in the 2008 crisis and plaster it across every blog out there, all day every day until it sticks.

        2. Jules

          Im so disgusted by NPR. A couple of days after trump admin imposed even more sanctions on iran, iran had just lost a citizen every ten minutes over a 24hr period. So naturally, NPr dedicates time for a hit piece on Iran the next morning. With everything happening around the world they dedicated time that morning to interview an author about his novel coming out soon. They talked about the brutality of the Iranian police state and the torture meted out to dissenters.
          Do u think nPr mentioned the sanctions or the number of people died in iran in previous 24 hr period. Not that i heard. Im sure they did at another time , but not that morning. iran can end up losing hundreds of thousands of people if not millions, yet this the kind of crap they pull. Gotta manufacture that consent baby. Nothing new, just digusting.

          1. Susan the other

            I could not agree more. I can count the times NPR has provided good information in the past 6 months (I’d just estimate that to be once that I noticed and it was not very important). I can’t stand even the sound of their officious fast-paced voices spewing out the most vacuous shit I ever heard in a long lifetime of hearing crap… etc.

          2. workingclasshero

            People have known for years npr went stealth neo-con,but apparently old habits die hard.dump npr for christ sake!!

  3. Jonathan Holland Becnel

    Where in the World is Joe Biden?!!!

    Also, Portland, Oregon #RentStrike might actually become a thing!

      1. Bill Carson

        I don’t know how a person is supposed to sound authoritative when they have no actual authority. This is why Andrew Cuomo is such a joy to watch—he has authority and he is dealing with real problems in real time, not just second-guessing.

        1. bob

          “This is why Andrew Cuomo is such a joy to watch—he has authority and he is dealing with real problems in real time”

          This is misinformation. Cuomo sat on his hands for a few weeks. He is also never a joy to watch. He’s just one of the least worst folks in some position of authority now who is in a very public feud with one of the few people who are worse.

      2. JohnnySacks

        Yes, once he get’s that whole gosh darned webcam thing figured out. Apparently his ceilings are low and the lighting not good is the excuse, maybe ask his ‘good friend’ Sanders for some pointers on how it’s done?

        And the party is concerned about the youth vote, this effort is so ridiculous. Another lost decade.

        1. Samuel Conner

          I wonder whether the next hurdle to overcome, after resolution of the low-ceiling obstacle, might be the difficulty of determining the right shade of green with which to paint the walls.

        2. campbeln

          Considering his performance at the debate (which almost seemed cogent) methinks whatever they had to put him on to get that effect has had one hell of a come-down.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      Gosh! If only Biden would wear a red and white striped stocking cap “Where in the World is Joe Biden?!!!” might make a good children’s picture book to entertain stay-at-home children and their parents.

      1. Samuel Conner

        I don’t think that would be particularly challenging; just look for the part of the picture where there is an altercation.

      2. edmondo

        It would be easy to find Joe. He’s in the middle of the billionaires’ section asking them what they want done.

      3. Balakirev

        The last he was seen, Joe Biden had gone to Appomattox to celebrate his victory over Robert. E. Lee.

        Lest we consider Biden a joke, remember the DNC’s secret weapon: taxidermy.

  4. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Joe Biden: Survival of the Unfittest Counterpunch

    “America, we present to you another doddering, red-baiting crypto-fascist with word soup all over his bib”.

    The whole article is one great big “Ouch.”

    As an aside, there are evidently some people who have missed uncle joe and wondered where he’s wandered off to during this time of dire national crisis. According to this Current Affairs tweet, his manse in Delaware has “low ceilings” and lighting for video is a “challenge” that his campaign is trying to solve. Good to know. The comments on this tweet are priceless.

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        Love, love, LOVED this response on “lighting biden”:

        Karthik Purushothaman
        Yeah, but can you light the inside of somebody’s head? Because that’s likely the limitation here

    1. nippersmom

      Those comments are terrific. I wonder who the genius in camp Biden was who came up with that patently feeble excuse.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        My guess is cash isn’t rolling in the way they suspected, and there is a divide between people who know Biden is a collapse over the finish line type, Hillary is my abuela strategists, Biden and his cronies, and absentee supporters in the Democratic leadership. Biden simply offered continuity, and since a return to normalcy is off the table, they haven’t been able to agree on much.

        Biden unlike Hillary isn’t deemed a slam dunk. There are no Neeras who are assured the chief of staff position. Even in the article about the lack of youth support, the Team Blue types forgot to blame Putin for 2016. My guess is the divide and the lack of cohesion out of Biden is so great they would not let Biden in front of cameras for a week.

        Theread is the possibility Biden knows so little that he can’t say anything without revealing this and a major mystery is better than finding out Biden simply doesn’t know anything.

        1. Skip Intro

          Biden just released a video that included an apparent teleprompter fail, some not as off-cam as he thought hand gestures, and an incoherent stumble mumble mentioning Trump.

      2. Olga

        Particularly love this one:
        “Rose, Goody Weaver Cavorting With The Devil, Rose@goodyweaver

        My 76 year old not particularly radical mom right now: “Bernie should just declare himself interim president and tell us where to show up to overthrow the government – we can take my car.”

        1. judy2shoes

          My 76 year old not particularly radical mom right now: “Bernie should just declare himself interim president and tell us where to show up to overthrow the government – we can take my car.”

          LOL! I’m with HER!

        2. AbateMagicThinking But Not Money

          “We can take my car.”

          One of the funniest things I’ve read on NC. Make sure she stuffs a multi-star general in back (for added legitimacy) when she goes.


    2. montanamaven

      In the “Useful Idiots” podcast of Katie Halper and Matt Taibbi, the first half is on the history of Joe Biden’s lying from his 1980’s lies about how he was top in his college class (oops, he was 76th out of 85) to saying he didn’t support the Bankruptcy bill or the Iraq War in the latest debate with Bernie. The guy has always been slime. I lost my political virginity in 2005 when I realized that my Democratic leaders paid zero attention to our pleas to vote against the Bankruptcy bill. Now I look at my Dem friends who support a Biden/Abrams ticket (flooding my in box and all over their Facebook pages) and wonder when will they wake up? Perhaps they cynically know Joe is a dud and are OK with keeping him in the basement, but doesn’t make it right or smart. Who is this Stacy Abrams?

      1. dbk

        I watched that episode yesterday and there was one thing that really struck me about Taibbi: despite being a pretty cynical political reporter (also savvy and experienced), he had this expression of utter disbelief on his face – as in “Is this really happening?” when he spoke about Biden qua serial liar.

        He also made a good point, I think: Biden’s lying, which Trump will exploit and expose to the fullest, will be seen as hypocritical; Trump’s lying, on the other hand, is not hypocritical, it’s part of the persona.

        What an utter, utter debacle.

      2. Jason Boxman

        Ha. I lost my political virginity when the Democrat Party won back the house in 2006 and Pelosi wouldn’t end the war.

    3. Tomonthebeach

      Perhaps a more important question we should be asking is why DNC had engineered Biden’s dominance (probably using chicanery). They cannot be blind to his obvious frailty and moments of senior dementia? It would seem that Joe is a place-keeper. Coronavirus, stroke, heart attack, or worsening dementia will eventually cause him to abandon his candidacy so DNC can spring on party members who the “real’ candidate will be (too late to change). Jezziz, not HRC again. How ’bout Seth Meyers?

      1. lordkoos

        Either he’s a place keeper, or he’s the Democrat’s Reagan – a genial space cadet who can be easily managed and told what to do.

        1. thoughtful person

          A win-win scenario
          But that didn’t work out in 2016…or maybe it did. Considering the alternative, from DNC / pmc perspective

      2. Matthew

        Well, for all that they’re seemingly delusional, I don’t think that the Democratic leadership has failed to make the connection between Obama’s handling of the last crisis response and the party’s catastrophic fortunes since. Given that, I’m wondering if they don’t want to just hand the ball back to the Republicans and let them field this one.

        I’m assuming here that the other option — taking power and doing what is necessary to help ordinary people through the crisis — was the first thing they ruled out.

      3. albrt

        The Democrats and their consultants want to lose because Trump is great for fund raising.

        It’s really not much more complicated than that.

  5. The Rev Kev

    “21 Inmates, 17 Employees Test Positive for COVID-19 on Rikers Island: Officials”

    Soooo, that idea of using Riker Island inmates to dig Coronavirus victims graves on that other island is no longer viable anymore?

    1. griffen

      That’s straight from an X-Files episode, either in season 1 or season 2. Mulder and Scully visit a far flung medium security prison, and capers will follow.

  6. Karen

    A couple days ago I saw a link (think it was here at NC) on the concept of “stopping economic time” in order to address the domino effects of missed rent and mortgage payments, layoffs, declining spending, etc. Denmark just adopted that concept, as well as El Salvador. I was able to find the Denmark story (Atlantic) but not the original concept piece or the El Salvador story. Can NC readers help please?

    1. Max

      How is your Spanish?

      I don’t like that I have to keep giving Larry Summers credit for it, but I believe it was he who said (paraphrasing) that economic time has already largely stopped, while financial time keeps soldiering on.

      It’s financial time we need to stop, or else only whatever section of the creditor world gets bailed out by the Fed is likely to survive this in one piece.

      1. Karen

        I do speak Spanish, thank you very much! I found a reference to the Summer quote at Quora, do you have another source?

        Much appreciated–

    2. Jeremy Grimm

      I am growing surprised so little has been said or done about “stopping economic time”. If something like that isn’t done and done very soon the possible/probable consequences are very dark.

  7. Katiebird

    I don’t get how anyone thinks a one-time check of however much would make any difference as this goes on. If Dems are fighting for this, why aren’t they going on TV shouting about this issue?

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Because Team Blue jumped on the Biden broken wagon. As the presumed nominee and front runner, its Biden’s job to do this, but his ceilings are too low. Its the job he wants. He’s not inheriting a problem. Pelosi and Schumer also don’t know how to lead, so the simple answer is there is a dearth of leadership. Its why people are agog over Cuomo and Trump’s numbers are up. As bad as they are, they are at least showing up and hold media attention. As for Obama and the Clintons, they were never leaders either. I imagine they would do more performative actions than Biden, but they would be out of their depth too. Obama is retweeting a phrenologist.

      The MSM is going to give Sanders et al about as much coverage as they did during the campaign.

      Biden’s camp is making noises about maybe responding to Trump. If they do anything other than one or two appearances this week where they say anything other than rambling about “decency”, “c’mon” and Trump it will be shocking.

    2. MLTPB

      It would seem one time check is not enough, for the length of time we are expected to flatten this thing.

      Perhaps, this will be reviewed in another time, 15 days to 6 weeks later.

      15 days …perhaps the incubation.

      6 weeks…perhaps looking at other countries.

      Maybe sooner.

      In any case, if needed, I hope it will looked at again.

    3. Keith

      I forgot where I read this, but it seems like Trump was thinking two $1000 (or $1200), one for April and then the other in May. If true, this could be the blueprint for basic minimum income, or the Freedom Dividend, if you like. This may be causing the Dems alarm, as these payments would be no strings attached, and be a consolidation of several programs that could go away, like food stamps, welfare, etc. That means less benefits that the Dems can offer their constituents. Also, with no strings attached, penalties for attaining income by losing benefits would disappear, thereby losing a potential captive voter.

    4. Eureka Springs

      Not doing so, right now, today, is tantamount to being a shooter in a mass firing squad.

  8. Amfortas the hippie

    something about Libertarians and foxholes….
    “The scale of our national debt is already so monstrous that penny-pinching pandemic relief aid will accomplish nothing good.”

    I still like the idea of giving everyone a Fed Account…which i first saw in the American Conservative.
    in my town forays, i haven’t been able to keep up my usual eavesdropping/Fieldwork….few are talking politics, now….save for the dwindling cohort that still spouts off in public about how it’s a hoax/overblown(thanks, Rush Limberger, et alia)
    instead, they’re talking about toilet paper, and bread.
    the Little Vulcan in my head ruminates:”man, i wish i had a bunch of copies of Kropotkin to hand out”(

    (or perhaps Boethius’, “the Consolation of Philosophy”– )

    cousin and his son are Capitalists…so i talk about a billy and 3 nannies for milking….and he finds a jersey cow 300 miles away for $3K that is promised to produce 9 gallons a day: maximise it!
    but i walk him back…how are we to handle all that milk? can we obtain enough stainless steel containers? refrigeration? we’d need a dedicated milker…removing that person from all the other things that need doing.
    and what about sufficient grass, etc for the cow?
    in other words, this isn’t a turn key operation that can be just ramped up overnight.
    milk a couple of goats, first,lol.
    then get back to me.

    it’s a significant phase-change for them.
    just like habitually maintaining their (admittedly small) private store of food.
    we’re communists, now, man…all 8 of us, in this together.
    pooled resources and capabilities.
    just like the first farming villages in the Neolithic.

    They’re living in my Library…but it’s so chaotic over there, from being used as ad hoc storage during wife and I’s already long emergency, that they haven’t really perused the stacks.
    so i went and rummaged for Foxfire….

    and laid a bunch of practical wisdom of that sort before them…to get the wheels turning.
    it occurs to me that this is still Fieldwork….just on a much smaller scale.
    I’ll watch the evolution carefully.

    1. Bill Carson

      I really expected this to be Ron Paul’s COVID-19 relief proposal: Send every family in America copies of Foxfire and the U.S. Army Survival Manual and bid them good luck.

      1. Massinissa

        That would require the government buying copies of the US Army Survival Manual, so it would be too much government intervention into the economy.


        1. Bill Carson

          Maybe the government could offer a brochure entitled “Surviving the Coronavirus.” Just one of the publications listed in the Consumer Information Catalog, more than half of which are free! For your free copy of the catalog, write Consumer Catalog, Pueblo, Colorado 81009.

          The Consumer Information Catalog (PSA, 1978)

    1. cnchal

      If I package up my cat’s coughed up hairball and label it “all good” will the FED send me a million bucks as a fair exchange? It’s only an accounting trick, so should be good to go, yes?

          1. Dr. John Carpenter

            I can’t offer you three mil, but I’d gladly take those off your hands. :) (I’m trying to rebuild my collection.)

      1. Lil’D

        If you pool it with the hair balls from your neighbor’s cats S&P will rate the upper tranche AAA

    2. Samuel Conner

      If the Fed props up the equities markets enough through direct purchases, maybe there will be less need for bailout monies to public corporations to be used for that purpose. /snark

        1. bob

          This is while the ‘buy the roomer’ is in effect. The dump after the bailout ‘fact’ would seem to be in the offing

  9. zagonostra

    What are those people who lost their healthcare when they got laid off/furloughed thinking now about voting for Biden over Sanders in the Dem Primary?

    Would it be too much for someone in the Media to ask Biden what the additional millions of uninsured are supposed to do? Or, maybe someone can invite those pundits who were railing against a government take over of our healthcare system to come back on the air and give us some guidance on what the unemployed are supposed to do. Or how those people who “love” their current health insurance are doing now that they don’t have a job and have to pony up the employer’s portion or go on COBRA.

    If this crisis does not convince people of the need for M4A then nothing will.

    1. Samuel Conner

      I suspect that Biden has insulated himself from that one — “my plan calls for free virus-related medical care as a temporary response to the crisis. … You ask about non-virus related care for those who have lost their employer-funded coverage? … You’re a fat stupid lying dog-faced socialist! Don’t you read the news?! There isn’t any non-virus related care during this emergency; we’re only treating people with the virus!”

      That’s more or less what has happened in northern Italy, I think.

    2. Pelham

      Yes, it would be actually be too much for anyone in the media to ask Biden an even semi-tough question. There’s nothing like working in major media, as I did for 30 years, to strip away even the faintest trace of respect for the profession as a whole.

  10. The Rev Kev

    “Trump says US will make decision on further coronavirus action after 15 days”

    I think that this is going to be infamous down the track. He really thinks that he can wait 15 days before making any decisions? That is almost quaint that. My own guesstimate is that in a fifteen days the number of infected Americans will be in the low millions. The government in Oz is having to – reluctantly – react with new laws and restrictions on a daily basis. There is no9 way that they could put off decisions for 15 days.

    1. Lemmy Caution

      >He really thinks that he can wait 15 days before making any decisions?

      That is a misrepresentation of what the article says that.

      The 15-day period in question started on March 16, when Trump announced his Coronavirus Guidelines. The plan intends to slow the spread of the virus and includes steps such as working at home if possible, postponing unnecessary travel and limiting social gatherings to 10 people or less.

      The contention that Trump is going to wait 15 days before making any decisions is ludicrous. Just yesterday the administration issued an emergency declaration for New York — a move that unleashes a whole slew of funding, resources and support for the state. Just hours ago Trump issued an emergency declaration for California.

      If you listen to the daily press briefing you’ll also hear a myriad of other steps the administration is taking to increase production of essential goods and services including masks, ventilators, test kits and so on. Is a lot of it bluster and B.S.? Of course. But a lot of decisions are being made that will herald some meaningful results.

      I’m no fan of this adminstration’s response to the pandemic, but the notion that Trump isn’t going to make any decisions for 15 days isn’t supported by the facts.

      1. MLTPB


        My first reaction reading the headline, my initial guess, was that the 15 day period referred to movement restrictions, and it was somehow related to the 2 wk incubation period, and did not imply inaction on the part of the government on the crisis for the next 15 days.

        I thought, thinking of the 2 wk period, that had some logical basis…to review, to see what effects after 2 weeks, or 15 days. As it seemed reasonable, not that it would be so, either in fact, or would be described as so in the article itself, it was not something I would look into immediately, but perhaps later.

      2. rd

        Trump has elected not to use the powers of the Defense Production Act to direct industry to provide needed supplies. He is relying on entrepreneurial spirit.

        the last time, the lone US mask maker geared up for the Swine flu mask shortage, he almost went bankrupt because the demand suddenly dried up after he had invested a lot of money and four months of time gearing up:

        I have asked my Congresspeople to use the DPA, give zero interest loans to businesses to gear up, and then provide guaranteed 3-5 year production orders which can go into storage if they are not needed at that time.

    2. marym

      The all caps late-night 15 days tweet is about ending social distancing restrictions in 15 days. See his subsequent retweets.

      Note that he’s not retweeting public health experts, just random twitter supporters. He’s promoting a potential worsening of the public health crisis by exposing more people, at the same time as any other measures his administration has taken continue to be inadequate. He’s demonizing a public health measure into a political issue to “own the libs” regardless of the cost in lives.

      1. rd

        The red states are just going to be ramping up cases over the next week. The timing would be a perfect disaster.

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          It could be a Darwinian comparison experiment between the Blue and Red state approaches.

          The Blue States could do Lockdowns and the Red States could do Freedom!

          Blue State people could avoid visiting Red States in case they start seething with virus.

  11. Brooklin Bridge

    Strength and Weakness -James Howard Kunstler

    Great depiction of befuddled Joe, but I don’t see the father figure in Trump. At. All. We will know more based on the bailout package and if it in any way helps those who actually need help, and MOST OF ALL if it keeps on helping them until isolation and quarantine are no longer needed and time has been generously given for the economy to restart. I get the feeling we the people are being really really screwed in the US where life and death issues meet real, hard, concrete, and that Trump’s input so far has been utterly marginal, if not exclusively optic, where people and desperately needed resources are concerned, and pure corporate oriented grift on an unimaginable scale where his real efforts are focused yet are, of course, intentionally less visible.

    1. a different chris

      Yes it’s weird. All the Trump supporters see Biden’s weaknesses and all the Biden supporters see Trump’s weaknesses.

      I see both and it makes me want to hide under the covers. These are NOT the best even America in its degraded state can offer. Can we drop the “natural born citizen” clause before it’s too late?

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        But Trump’s weaknesses play well with the GOP base. Annoying “liberals” by defying “norms” as determined by Aaron Sorkin is Trump’s appeal.

        Biden’s weakness is he stupid, coming off the Hillary disaster, and has a campaign built around expecting cash to flow to his campaign. Virtually every race in 2008 except Franken/Coleman was determined during the height of the 2008 crisis.

        The basic problem Biden has is he won’t produce the kind of enthusiasm necessary to make sure GOTV is done. HRC had the same problem. Much was made about her not visiting Wisconsin, but outside of safe states, she did worse than Kerry and flipped nothing with her 2nd most votes evah!.

      2. Olga

        “These are NOT the best…”
        The scary part is that – what if – these are, in fact, the best this deeply dysfunctional system (DDS) allows? Better ones may exist, but the point is that DDS won’t let them through the gates.
        And… do we all remember how, in the twilight of the Roman Empire, progressively worse and worse emperors rose up? Kinda reminds me of today… (so, perhaps in time, we’ll get a real donkey or elephant to rule over us).

        1. Paradan

          One of these days I’m gonna have to do a big post on The Roman Empire. The more I learn about it, the more I realize that the common narrative is, of course, heavily biased to support the status quo.

    2. Tom Doak

      Be honest. A lot of Americans were born into dysfunctional families, and their relationship with their father is as messy as the public’s relationship with Trump.

      Or Biden, for that matter! How many here can relate to a parent who goes quiet and emotionally distant when the SHTF?

  12. The Historian

    I’m just wondering if all the Klobuchar’s supporters in the Nevada Culinary Union are still loving their union fought for insurance policies.

    1. pretzelattack

      iirc those supporters were mostly in the union leadership, but it was a century or so ago in subjective time so it’s hard to be sure.

      1. judy2shoes

        You are correct. The rank and file members went against the propaganda put forth by their union misleadership and voted for Bernie. Many were quoted as saying they wanted everyone to have insurance (M4A) like they already have through their union benefit packages.

        1. Carla

          Isn’t that amazing? Americans want their children, their grandchildren, their neighbors and neighbors’ children, their friends, and even people they may not personally know, to be have health care. Many Americans may even understand that their own health, and that of their loved ones, depends on Public Health, and we will never have a functioning Public Health system without M4A.

          1. judy2shoes

            Great comment, Carla. Those kinds of altruistic thoughts/actions on the part of Americans, who wish the best for everyone, give me a spark of hope that all is not lost..

      2. Samuel Conner

        > a century or so ago in subjective time

        It is a little astonishing to me that it is just 2 weeks ago that I was watching the live-stream of Biden’s GOTV rally in Michigan.

        The days seem like weeks, and the weeks like years.

        Am curious how many others are experiencing this.

          1. divadab

            Dude times have been mythical for a while, IMHO. All kinds of archetypes revealing themselves, portents and augurs, it’s truly weird. Halloween every day, man.

        1. Jason Boxman

          The campaign ended for me when Sanders got destroyed at the beginning of the month; I’d been expecting a pandemic and the world didn’t disappoint, as it took center stage not even 7 days later with ballooning cases in the US.

          I stopped caring; I know who gets my vote if we have elections in November. Either way, without any action on climate we’re all screwed anyway.

        2. Rod

          I’ve been logging the basic numbers into my dayminder since my states first confirmed 13 days ago–just so I have a point of reference in my own life–I felt myself descending into the unhealthy “Same sh*t different day, or is it a different day with the same sh*t”. mindset.
          I find it helpful in the same way punctuation clarifies a complicated sentence.

    2. The Rev Kev

      I reflect on those tens of millions of smug people that have solid-gold insurance plans with the best companies who are only now realizing that in a pandemic, that that plan will be worth zilch. That if needed, those plans cannot get them an ICU bed or a ventilator since not enough exist in the first place.

      1. a different chris

        The greatest (sarc) thing was, and this is one of the very few things the Affordable Care Act fixed (and of course it just fixed it for the middle class and up) is we used to only have the option of COBRA.

        Which didn’t allow any selection. So if you had a gold-plated insurance then you either started paying for it in full or you had no insurance. Great for a CEO with a golden parachute, not so much for the rest of us.

      2. jefemt

        Not sure if any of you have had the employer health ‘benefit’ of COBRA for an additional 18 months after employment relationship ceased. My experience was the premium– solely borne by me, no longer subsidized by employer— my premium went up 1/3rd
        -I was looking for work, so that 33% increase was punishingly vexing

        If unemployment/layoffs are going to be as deep as we all speculate, COBRA is a non starter. Heck, 1/3 of workforce is un or under-insured.

        For many reasons, we need single payor universal health care. This might bubble up.

        Funny how there was NO MSM coverage of Bernie’s 1.5 hour roundtable on health care. You can view it on his web-site, give Netflix a break.

        Now, as to Neil Cash-carry on sixty minutes, the implications are mind blowing. We may have crossed the rubicon, if people stop and think, that political will will justify a bailout of whatever we deem worthy.

        Beyond JP Morgan Chase and Citi and their derivative exposure (see recent Wall Street on Parade- Russ/Pam Martens), airlines, cruise ships and whatever other cronies congress chooses, maybe we push to get Social Security on sound footing, Universal Health Care for all citizens, and the few other essential monopoly/utility ‘needs’ in our lives. ?

      3. xkeyscored

        I’m not sure that’s entirely true. For the tens of millions who only have solid-gold, maybe. But the super-platinum brigade have this ‘concierge’ stuff, which apparently enables them to get things like tests, and presumably beds, doctors, equipment and treatments. Money Talks – “very loudly”: J J Cale

        NEW YORK (Reuters) – As U.S. authorities scrambled to ramp up the nation’s capacity to test for coronavirus last week, at least 100 executives and other New Yorkers of means had easy access to testing, according to two sources familiar with the activities of a little-known medical service catering to the affluent.
        Sollis Health has locations in the Upper East Side and Tribeca neighborhoods of Manhattan. “At the ER, you’ll wait 5 hours. Our doctors can handle most medical issues immediately,” it says on its website. “It can take weeks to see the best specialists. We get you in right away.”

        1. The Rev Kev

          I read that article and yes, these tests are being imported from overseas for wealthy people in New York. But will they be able to buy themselves an ICU bed when necessary when potentially there will be many other wealthy people having the same problem? Even exclusive medical professionals still need equipment to work with.

          You would think that they would be self-isolating but a story in Links showed many going to the Hamptons and attending parties together. What I have not heard is stories of wealthy people getting together to ramp up production of things such as ICU beds and the like. You would think that they would be in their own self-interest but am hearing nothing on this.

          1. xkeyscored

            I seiously doubt they are ramping up production, but they’ve probably managed to reserve or corner a few beds, ventilators, staff and so on. It does seem to be exactly what these ‘concierge’ services specialise in, and if they are doing so, I’d expect them to keep it under the radar for as long as possible. When they’re overwhelmed with requests from super-wealthy Hamptonites, they’ll just jack up the prices I expect.

          2. Jason Boxman

            This is the only reason I can fathom the NYTimes editorial board suddenly found a conscience; Someone realized that, without medical equipment, even they’re at risk.

            1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

              Bernie/Yang policies had a decade-long wait until the last 10% started to feel financial and health precarity, now in 3 weeks a sh*tty little bug has changed that. Watching them scurry for lifeboats is hilarious: join the club. At some point steerage class fights with 1st class, maybe Mike Pence can lead a heavenly choir singing “Nearer My God To Thee” as the ship of state sinks beneath the waves. Oh look, the watertight compartments weren’t secure and there weren’t enough lifeboats to go around, who wouldaknowed

  13. Retaj

    The NBC News article on Democrats sounding the alarm on young voters is the dog catching the car. “Now what?”

    1. Samuel Conner

      As the demographic distribution of US coronavirus mortality is documented in coming weeks, one might see a distinct turn in the age distribution of turnout in future primaries.

      Add to that the glacial pace at which subjective “experienced” time is proceeding, with each day feeling like a week.

      Cuomo is looking presidential; JB as public leader is completely dwarfed.

      Sanders is hammering on the consequences of US for-profit healthcare and for-corporations national governance. He may get through to enough people to influence the balance of the primary.

      I’m not sure that Bernie is yet down for the count.

  14. Mikerw0

    This is a real opportunity for Bernie to score a double, if not triple, win.

    Win 1: mobilize his supporters openly and aggressively to stop the congress critters from a massive wealth transfer to the elites.

    Win 2: by doing one, which implies blocking the current crap, he gains real power going into whatever the convention is in shaping the agenda

    Win 3: The walking zombie known as Biden might realize he needs support beyond the Dem elites to win — I know, I know, but one can only hope. If so, we might be able to bend the agenda towards the people.

    Or maybe we just all get sick and die.

      1. ambrit

        Many of us have that hope. (It is morally questionable a stance, but, there is a shadenfreude aspect to this.)
        Maximum Snark Alert/
        Also, the Establishment has a long track record of ‘manufacturing’ “Zombie Politicos.”
        Ronald Reagan was killed by Hinkley in 1981? A Disney Animatronic robot played the part for years after.
        HRH HRC is now a cyborg, held up by an exoskeleton.
        The fun CT about Biden that I favour is that, by restricting his “appearances” to televised addresses, we have the possibility that the ‘New’ Biden will be a “deep fake” video artifact.
        Interesting times.

        1. tegnost

          Maybe it’s less of a hope, and more of the fulfillment of conditions to carry out the introduction of the hillary/michelle ticket you so presciently hypothesized oh so many months ago? I really haven’t thought biden was “the one”, but rather just a pawn in the game who just needed to derail bernie. Unrelated, but i’ve been busy with spring gardening, a.)I wonder how much distressed student debt is in bloomies portfolio…and b.) how could I be in the same party as gates, bezos and bloomberg? Where’s the overlap in interests? The whole shebang is surreal to me.

          1. Hepativore

            I am hoping for Biden to succumb to some sort of medical emergency which will remove him from the race. I am not wishing anything fatal on him, nor specifically COVID 19, but maybe something like a stroke or a heart attack, not necessarily terminal, mind you, but enough to incapacitate him for the 2020 election.

            While Biden is indeed a slime ball, I think that it would be best for everybody, including himself with his failing mental capacities if he was forced to withdraw from the race with something like that.

            The question is, if something like that happened, who would get all of his delegates?

              1. NotTimothyGeithner

                If you recall the DNC from 2016, the most progressive platform evah! was the result of the Sanders and rank and file Clinton delegates voting against the wishes of the Clinton campaign aparatiks. Emotion is a major element. Also, following the perceived “leader” is important. Biden as the former VP holds sway with these people, but on their own, they might do something very differently.

        2. judy2shoes

          It is morally questionable a stance

          And that is what my conscience grapples with, interspersed with somewhat-related dark thoughts that people (including friends and family) may now get first-hand experience in what it’s like to have all the rugs pulled out from under one, like I did, as a direct result of 2008 financial crisis. The effects on me, and millions like me, have been ongoing and unrelenting for 12 years. When I bring my experience up as an example of what has happened and what will happen again without a Bernie Sanders- type plan, I can practically hear the thoughts in the listeners’ heads: “Why is she clinging to this tired, old story? Can’t she just move on and appreciate the good things in her life?” {hangs head} I will now shut up and go into my corner.

            1. judy2shoes

              Thank you, Ambrit and hrefnam. It’s uplifting to know that at least somewhere, I’ve been heard…and understood.

              I’ll add, my heart goes out to anyone who has had the experience I did. And, this whole debacle with Congress and the Senate putting corporations first, just like last time, has led to some PTSD.

        3. Matthew

          Mark Ames brought up Yeltsin in this connection, who apparently won the 1996 election despite being essentially dead from a heart attack.

          And as to the morality of your hopes, I think it’s different when someone has so much power to help or (much more likely) to harm you. This country needs better leadership. Almost no one who currently has the job is qualified for it. Very few of them would or should be missed.

      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        After his performance “this morning”, I’m coming around to the idea there is a different problem, not Covid-19 or dementia.

        Remember the requests for Sanders “long form” EKG. There is no way Biden isn’t being seen by a physician. I wouldn’t be surprised if they found an issue after the debate when they were checking on how whatever they drugged him with was going.

    1. ambrit

      What is weird about your Truthdig link is that it does not have an obvious sublink to a comments section, and that it refused to let me go. I had to close my browser to exit the site. Any others have this experience?

      1. jo6pac

        Sorry they must have closed comments but they were running 100% against the ceo. I like Truthout and do hope something good happens.

        1. wilroncanada

          Let’s stop and clarify. Is it Truthdig or Truthout? I know Truthout has been pleading desperately for donations for the past couple of weeks.

      2. Olga

        Just double-click the “back” arrow – gets one right out. And yes, it is sad… another one bites the dust (after TRNN). Someone or something is after the progressive sites. Where propornot did not succeed, other tactics may. (In its heyday, TRNN was perhaps the best – not just the viewpoint, but also the breadth of topics covered.)

        1. ambrit

          I did try that. It did not work. I did a “Windows Defender” full scan, (which took an hour to fulfill,) and nothing ‘surfaced.’
          I agree about TRNN.
          The “War Against Non-compliance” is being ramped up. Here’s hoping the Present Emergency isn’t used as a cover for a “Full Internet Dominance” campaign.

      3. Elizabeth

        I had the same experience – no comments, and it took several tries to get back to NC.

  15. The Rev Kev

    “Coronavirus Transforming Jails Across the Country”

    I wonder if a side effect of the Coronavirus pandemic may be more justice. No, really. For example, debtor’s prisons are illegal in the US but we all know that the law lets companies get away with it anyway which makes those courts an accessory to a crime. And how many people are sent to prison for BS charges like being caught with marijuana? (no, not a user) And what about all those people picked up for petty crimes that are held in jail because the courts set ridiculously high bail amounts on them?

    No country imprisons its own citizens on the scale like the US does and so many of them should not be there in the first place. Remember when Kamala Harris tried to keep people from being released because her State wanted to keep the cheap labour? And look how many companies and even the government relies on the cheap labour of prisoners that puts out of work hundreds of thousand of ordinary workers. Latest example is those NY prisoners making sanitizer liquids that they are not allowed to use themselves. So yeah, you get rid of all that and you might just get a more just justice system.

    1. divadab

      Well it appears that Harvey Weinstein has been infected with covid-19 in prison. SO – not all bad, I guess.

  16. Charles D Myers

    Gangs of New Zealand.

    Unemployment workers are sheltering at home. Takes six weeks anyway. The clocks ticking.

    Money should have already been sent to the most vulnerable.

    Our representives have no clue about the lower middle class.

    1. jefemt

      Indeed. Nor do any of the talking heads of the Fourth Estate, nor the Lobbyists or their paymasters. And they just don’t care. We are cannon fodder, tax mule consumers. With bailouts, they don’t need us.

      My wife, daughter of an MD, mother of an LPN who works in our town, is convinced that due to family connections, we will get special treatment and access to care. I am helpless to protect any of us, and disabuse her of her delusion.

      Becoming The Other

  17. montanamaven

    What about state banks acting like the original commonwealth banks during the Colonial years? The model is the Bank of North Dakota. Alaska divides up it’s oil income to its citizens. In Montana, we have a

    North Dakotans were frustrated and attempts to legislate fairer business practices failed. A.C. Townley, a politician who was fired from the Socialist Party, organized the Non-Partisan League with the intent of creating a farm organization that protected the social and economic position of the farmer.

    The Non-Partisan League gained control of the Governor’s office and the legislature in 1918. Their platform included state ownership and control of marketing and credit agencies. In 1919, the state legislature established Bank of North Dakota (BND) and the North Dakota Mill and Elevator Association. BND opened July 28, 1919, with $2 million of capital.

    Use the money in the bank for relief for farmers, tenants, etc? Use “interest” for the good of the people. I don’t know why we aren’t talking about getting rid of the Fed. Why should the US pay interest to some private bank? Can somebody help me?

  18. David

    I thought the AC article was, well let’s say unhelpful, in spite of its consensual headline. The idea that “raw emotions” are behind the measures taken to isolate people and control their movements is simply ridiculous, and actually positively dangerous. Likewise, the idea that Italy Spain and France are under martial law “in all but name” is positively surreal. The Britannica definition of martial law is:
    “temporary rule by military authorities of a designated area in time of emergency when the civil authorities are deemed unable to function. The legal effects of a declaration of martial law differ in various jurisdictions, but they generally involve a suspension of normal civil rights and the extension to the civilian population of summary military justice or of military law.” We are nowhere near that, nor is it likely that we ever will be.
    If you are interested in what the military are actually doing in Europe, this article from Le Monde (largely in photos) shows a military Field Hospital being erected in the grounds of a hospital in Mulhouse in the hard-hit East of the country. It will provide skilled medical staff and another 30 ICU beds. The Air Force, meanwhile, has been ferrying severe cases out of the region to other hospitals in specially equipped aircraft.
    Of course, confining people to their houses and controlling their movements limits their rights. This just has to be accepted, I’m afraid. On the other hand, the Conseil d’État in France has today partially upheld a petition by a medical trades union to introduce a much more rigorous system of total isolation. The unions argued that if the government did not adopt such draconian measures they would be prejudicing the Right to Life of the population. The Conseil didn’t go that far, but did ask the government to think about tightening up some measures, including perhaps closing markets. So this Rights business can work both ways.

  19. Carolinian

    Re Kunstler on BIden–I’ll get yelled at for saying this but perhaps the left wing of the Democratic party also erred by putting forth a candidate who was almost 80 years old. It’s all well and good to cite hypothetical polls that say that Sanders would beat Trump, but here’s suggesting that one reason Biden seems headed for the nomination is that the body of the Dem primary voters had trouble seeing Bernie as a potential president. Image and political skills may be superficial qualities but they are a big part of what the president does.

    And now that we are in this current crisis a backlash against the elderly–who after all already have their medicare and are often financially secure–may soon be a thing. If the current economic shutdown continues for very long then the young will be punished with financial disaster largely to protect the old who are the real targets of the disease. It could be time for all those 80 somethings who still cling to power in the business world (and therefore the political world) to step aside and let the young people have control over the world they will live in. An earlier generation rebelled against the old because they were sending many of the young to die in a needless war. Now that generation may soon face a rebellion against a gerontocracy that is threatening the future with global warming and much else.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Who would be the alternative candidate? Merkley? Inslee? Warren demonstrated her value.

      A freshman congress critter? The damage the New Democrats have wrought isn’t simply undone.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          For President? As a crank outsider campaign? Sure, why not? She’s never held federal office or been a governor. Her widely read book, she hasn’t written and…I mean…

          Without Sanders, 95% of Nina Turner fans wouldn’t have a clue who she was. Her credibility as a running mate candidate extends from her moral leadership, but it required Sanders to give her a platform and a dearth of credible alternatives.

          1. Carla

            I live in Ohio, where about 5 percent of the electorate might remember that Nina Turner ran for Secretary of State a few years back. 100 percent of Nina Turner’s credibility comes from Bernie, who calls her by the misleading moniker “Senator” Turner because she was in the Ohio Senate for a few years.

      1. Carolinian

        Saying Bernie should be the candidate by the process of elimination isn’t a very compelling argument for making him the nominee. In any event perhaps Biden really is the appropriate choice for a party whose leadership–Pelosi, Schumer, Hoyer, Clyburn–are all relics. Meanwhile behind the scenes strings are pulled by those relics the Clintons and their supporters.

        And why is Pelosi still around? Because she is very good at raising money from her fellow relics in the business world. My larger point is that we live in a world where the old have far too much power and the young not nearly enough. This is unnatural in the most literal sense and it can’t continue. This is not an attack on Bernie as a person or on his sincerity or dedication. But isn’t it true that the youth turnout for Bernie in the recent primaries was disappointing? Perhaps he’s the right message but the wrong messenger.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Bringing up the youth vote without acknowledging restrictions on voting is an absurdity. Who is this fictional youth candidate?

          There are obstacles to voting which are well known and documented.

          You challenged the left to produce a younger candidate, so who is it? I don’t have a clue. I’m asking you.

          1. Carolinian

            Please admit that the only way Bernie was going to get the nomination was by dominating the field, not by outlasting it. For awhile after Nevada it looked like that was what he was going to do. But the close contest with Pete in Iowa was probably a more telling portent.

            As for the system being rigged, I couldn’t agree more. Which is yet another reason why the left needs a candidate so popular that he/she can’t be sunk by dirty tricks. Your complaint about no such candidate being available just speaks to the weakness of the left in this country and that’s not subject to a quick fix. Bernie is certainly right that it’s about a movement. The problem is that movement isn’t nearly enough in evidence. Doubtless the coming year will focus many more on what’s at stake.

            1. NotTimothyGeithner

              Okay sure, but what does that have to do with anything? I’ve never said that wasn’t the case.

              Again, who is this mythical leftist of national stature younger than Bernie? I don’t know this person, and yet, you put words in my mouth instead of producing a name.

              1. Carolinian

                Sorry if I don’t have a solution to a problem that the Sanders supporters don’t seem to have had a solution to either. But I will point out that the center/right Dems found their younger champion in Obama and, just as this relatively inexperienced and unknown candidate was able to pull it off, a more genuine left unknown than Obama could do so as well.

                But, as I’ve always opined here, political change in the US at least will need the impact of “events” and those seem to be knocking at the door. My comments on Bernie are just an attempt to understand what has happened in this primary. To truly change the country the Dem party may need to be replaced with something completely different and better even if still under the same name.

                1. NotTimothyGeithner

                  You accused the left which skews younger of erring by investing in an 80 year old without producing an alternative solution.

                  Obama had four years of free media. Hillary was woefully unprepared in 2008. She learned numerous lessons and her 2016 campaign reflected that.

                  Obama was also a Senator from Illinois which includes Chicago and the subsequent media apparatus. He really was a lucky stroke. This can’t be denied.

                  If there is a better alternative, I would be happy to hear it. But in 2020, there wasn’t.

                2. John k

                  Liberals didn’t pick biden bc he’s younger than Bernie, they picked him bc of his long held policies favoring the rich and fire sector. And many seniors favor biden bc they have a comfortable retirement with Medicare and are fearful an expansion of benefits will raise their taxes.
                  The young are supporting Bernie do so bc of his policies favoring the working class, which are what the young will be for decades.
                  Msm and political elites strongly support status quo, so are opposed by the young that want change. Bernie’s views are as rare as hens teeth among senators and governors, those high enough to command attention mostly got where they are now by servicing donors.
                  Certainly Bernie is older than is ideal… you go to war with the army you’ve got, not the army you want.

    2. judy2shoes

      I would posit two more reasons: Biden’s close association with Obama and the perception that he’s the more moderate candidate. One of my sisters who is in her seventies told me that she prefers a more “moderate” candidate.

      1. Carolinian

        I don’t think you read my comment or at least got my point which is that both Bernie and Biden are inappropriate candidates by reason of age. Since I’m no spring chicken myself this is not “ageism.”

        Of course if Bernie had been able to pull it off we would all be glad to see the Dems take on a new direction. But that doesn’t seem to have happened.

        1. John k

          But the seniors that went for biden didn’t do so bc biden is younger… they went for him bc they don’t want change… no matter they voted for hope and change in 2008.
          Bernie is losing bc most dems like things as they are… though some are beginning to think maybe m4a is a good thing until the present emergency is over.
          Bernie should do fireside chats weekly.

        2. Brooklin Bridge

          Still, there is no proof at all that someone younger that was equally progressive as Bernie and wildly wildly popular would have or could have succeeded against the DNC and their heavy heavy thumbs at the polls and their amazingly powerful media control.

          What we do have evidence for is that the DNC gets what it wants.

        3. Matthew

          It looked like you said that the body of the Democratic electorate could not see Bernie Sanders as a potential president because of his age, so they settled on…Joe Biden. If true, this doesn’t speak highly of their judgement.

          1. Carolinian

            I think I’m saying that Sanders had a different challenge than Biden and that was to bring in enough young voters and new voters to overwhelm the establishment vote that made Biden call SC his “firewall.” And for that the insurgents probably needed a younger candidate to take on the indeed too old Biden. I’m not saying that Sanders failed in his goal, if he indeed has failed, only because of his age–just that it didn’t help.

            1. drumlin woodchuckles

              Well, no one else stepped up to try. No one else even existed or exists to even be ABLE to step up and try. That’s how rotten and vacant the Catfood Democrats have been able to make the Democratic Democratic bench.

              So your point is a pointless point.

    3. lordkoos

      Backlash against the elderly? I doubt it since they will be doing most of the dying.

      Democrats did not put Sanders forward, he decided to run knowing the DNC was against him. I don’t know how many people are watching Bernie’s town hall videos, but he is coming off as much more ‘presidential’ than either Trump or Biden.

      1. Carolinian

        Get back to me in six months if things are the same as they are now and we are in a depression with gigantic unemployment.

        Not that I think the lockdown can last anywhere close to that long. But the “cure worse than the disease?” question may need to be revisited and probably already is being revisited.

        1. John k

          If you let it rip, 80% get it, 20% of these need hospitalization, say 50 million. If you don’t get ventilator you probably don’t make it. Alternative is lockdown plus uni testing and sending out money would seem a better option to many. Not that we can do uni testing any time soon.
          Granted it solves the housing crisis.

    4. Ionesco

      There’s literally nobody else. Only a combination of accidental circumstances in 2016 with the DNC anointing HRC and the decades of Sanders’ personal integrity allowed this. There is no bench.

  20. The Rev Kev

    “Penn stole our senior year over the common cold”

    So I was thinking how this entitled young man’s great grandfather would have felt having his senior year stolen over the common cold of the 1918 Flu Pandemic when I remembered. Oh yeah, he would have been too busy fighting in WW1 to worry about stuff like that.

    1. Geo

      Wait until this kid graduates and realizes his future has been stolen too. Maybe his parents are rich so he’ll be fine, but entering the workforce in 2020 is going to be a nightmare and being known as “that guy” who wrote “that article!?” Isn’t going to be a great resume.

      1. jonhoops

        I’m sure he’ll find himself well compensated employment toadying for billionaires at some right wing think tank or a gig on Fox. Or perhaps he is the next Stephen Miller and will have a choice spot in Trumps next administration.

    2. Darthbobber

      FWIW the Statesman is not the student newspaper. It is a remarkably well funded student doctrinaire conservative rag, one of several that sprang up suddenly like mushrooms at several if the ivies in just the past 3 or 4 years.

      Production quality better and print quantity higher than you’d normally see from an independent student pub.

    1. The Rev Kev

      The numbers do not look good. He talks about herd immunity but to achieve that, you would need to have about 80% of the population be infected. As he says that there are 20 million people living in the New York Metropolitan area, that would mean that to have herd immunity, that 16 million New Yorkers would need to be infected. As he says too that 15-20% of people with this virus need hospitalization, then that would work out to be about 2.4 to 3.2 million people all needing hospital beds. New York is going to need a nation-wide help but the nation will have their own problems while this is happening. Let us hope that when New York asks for help from Trump, that Trump does not give the same answer that Gerald Ford was once supposed to have told that city.

      1. Synoia

        Herd Immunity’s underlying Math is queuing theory, and it starts to be effective when 50% are immune or already sick (NOT 80%). The greater the immune and sick percentage the better the head immunity, less “servers” in the system.

        Hence: Flattening the curve of infection is the remedy for a high infection rate pandemic. The number of available infectees is managed (reduced), and the disease infection rate become manageable.

        That’s also the reason the elderly are under stricter social distancing, and their numbers and infection rate can swamp the number of available beds, coupled with their relative usefulness to society.

        The technical subject is “Queuing Theory, Network Capacity and Bandwidth”. I believe it was Shannon who contributed much to this discipline.

        1. John k

          I think I saw that 55% of those needing ventilators are under50. So the driver for beds isn’t coming from the oldies, though they have worse outcomes, explaining why in Italy you don’t get a bed if you’re over 60.
          This will likely be seen here soon enough.

      1. rjs

        most of the Oil Drum writers are still going, although as you can see from Stuart’s blog, often irregularly…scroll down on Euan’s sidebar here for a list of links to 13 “Oil Drummers”:

          1. xkeyscored

            Thanks. I only knew about the first flight.
            Next, they could designate all un-infected Italian health workers a terrorist threat, kidnap them and ship them off to the USA, where the need is obviously greater.

  21. Lemmy Caution

    Coronavirus impairs readiness of police, firefighters, EMS and other first responders. After reading about Covid-19 infections sidelining officers in the Detroit Police Department, I looked around and noticed an ominous trend among first reponders in major cities as Covid-19 infections and quarantines are on the rise.
    Detroit police may ask Michigan State Police for help after more than 200 officers quarantined
    2 Jersey City police officers in serious condition,16 officers are quarantined; 42 officers are off work
    NYPD’s COVID-19 cases near 100, as hundreds more cops call out sick
    7 DC firefighters test positive; 138 firefighters in self-quarantine

    1. Geo

      Did you read the article? It listed: “gangs carrying baseball bats and sharpened metal weapons,” and “a shotgun” where a “pellet lodged into a car seat in the man’s vehicle, narrowly missing his infant daughter.”

      So, one near-collateral victim from a gun. How many would there potentially have been if they’d had semi-automatic guns?

      Your statement has nothing to do with the reality and the article is proof their ban is effective. Ridding humans of violence is not what gun bans are about, it’s about the scale of that violence.

  22. xkeyscored

    Losing your sense of smell is (probably) a COVID-19 symptom – sometimes the only one.
    From two prominent UK ear, nose and throat specialists*, with input from US, France, Iran, South Korea, Germany, China and Italy.

    “There is already good evidence from South Korea, China and Italy that significant numbers of patients with proven COVID-19 infection have developed anosmia/hyposmia. In Germany it is reported that more than 2 in 3 confirmed cases have anosmia. In South Korea, where testing has been more widespread, 30% of patients testing positive have had anosmia as their major presenting symptom in otherwise mild cases.

    There is potential that if any adult with anosmia but no other symptoms was asked to self-isolate for seven days, in addition to the current symptom criteria used to trigger quarantine, we might be able to reduce the number of otherwise asymptomatic individuals who continue to act as vectors, not realising the need to self-isolate. It will also be an important trigger for healthcare personnel to employ full PPE and help to counter the higher rates of infection found amongst ENT surgeons compared to other healthcare workers.”

    *President of the British Rhinological Society & President of ENT UK

      1. xkeyscored

        Not too sure from reading it all. Either I missed it or it’s not mentioned.

        But definitely something to look out for in yourself and your kids.

        A more readable version:

        “Anyone experiencing a sudden loss of smell could be a “hidden carrier” of the coronavirus, even if they have no other symptoms, according to evidence compiled by leading rhinologists in the UK.”

        PS This is neither, to my knowledge, peer-reviewed nor WHO policy – yet. But please note the two authors of the entuk article; hardly amateurs.

        1. Brooklin Bridge

          Hard to say how valuable this is since a lot of elderly loose some or a significant part of their sense of smell as they age.

          1. xkeyscored

            Anyone experiencing a sudden loss of smell

            As for how valuable it is, it’s simple, and it will help protect us all.

            Unless it gets retracted or refuted or whatever, but I’ve just checked, and on the contrary, all sorts of media like The Independent and NYT are reporting the same thing.

            And this, from The American Academy of Otolaryngology …

            March 22, 2020 – 2:19pm

            Anecdotal evidence is rapidly accumulating from sites around the world that anosmia and dysgeusia are significant symptoms associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Anosmia, in particular, has been seen in patients ultimately testing positive for the coronavirus with no other symptoms. We propose that these symptoms be added to the list of screening tools for possible COVID-19 infection. Anosmia, hyposmia, and dysgeusia in the absence of other respiratory disease such as allergic rhinitis, acute rhinosinusitis, or chronic rhinosinusitis should alert physicians to the possibility of COVID-19 infection and warrant serious consideration for self-isolation and testing of these individuals.

            1. Brooklin Bridge

              I don’t mean to be argumentative and I’m not at all nay saying the findings, but I know for me there was a long period, several years at least, where I was not in the least aware that I had lost a significant part of my smell. So if I had taken a test and found that I had a sharply reduced or no sense of smell, it would have appeared sudden, exactly as you say. Perhaps I’m wrong, perhaps ‘sudden loss’ has some feature I’m not aware of that could be determined.

              1. Brooklin Bridge

                Adding, a few false positives might not matter anyway, since they are working possibilities and the outcome would not put one in greater danger, but rather simply under greater isolation and monitoring, if I’ve understood correctly.

                1. xkeyscored

                  If I suddenly lose my sense of smell, I’m moving from social distancing to self isolation, unless I hear this is all fake news or something.

      2. Neil Carey

        I lost my sense of smell and taste during a bout of the ‘flu in the the mid-1970s for a period of about four weeks. Seven years ago I again got ‘flu and lost the two senses again. The sense of taste gradually returned over a five year period. My sense of smell is still affected, not being able to smell the perfume of some flowers. Only recently have I been able to smell some really pungent odours found in the countryside, slurry (liquid manure), – in fact any faecal matter, silage and wood-smoke. And I’m not really able to distinguish which is which.

  23. OIFVet

    Seen on Twitter: the best way for the average American to find out if they have Covid-19 is to cough in a rich person’s face and wait for their test results.

    Normally it would be funny because it’s true. Now, to me, it’s infuriating because it’s true.

  24. stefan

    Informed summary of medical considerations:

    What doctors call the “natural history” of Covid-19 can be envisioned as four stages; most people’s individual cases will stop at the first or, at most, the second stage, while an unlucky minority will experience the third, or all four. First, there is either an asymptomatic or a mildly symptomatic, nonspecifically “flu-like” illness. In Guangzhou province in China, researchers found that the median incubation period is about four days before symptoms, if any, set in. A portion of those with symptomatic, positive disease then experience a second stage: viral pneumonia, often visible on chest X-rays and CT scans by the varying degrees of inflammation of the lung’s interstitium, the connecting and supportive tissues that line the small airways and blood vessels where oxygen and carbon dioxide are exchanged between blood and air with each breath and heartbeat.

    The third stage is a process called acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), a rapid and overwhelming inflammatory response that the body mounts against a perceived foreign invader. ARDS is rare but not specific to Covid-19, and can happen in cases as disparate as near-drownings, blunt trauma, overdoses, and infections of any kind, including sometimes the most innocuous-seeming pathogens. (I once saw a patient die of ARDS after catching a fairly standard case of “mono” in college.) Based on data from China and Italy, about 15–20 percent of Covid-19-positive patients who are sick enough to need the hospital will need intensive care unit-level care for severe interstitial pneumonia or full-blown ARDS.

    The fourth, rarest, and most frightening stage of Covid-19 is rapid heart failure and cardiac arrest, often after the pneumonia or ARDS has nearly resolved. While we need more organized research to avoid cognitive biases (which can occur by our fixating on particularly memorable but atypical cases), early reports from front-line providers in disease hotspots suggest that these last cases happen to two broad categories of people: relatively healthy adults of about thirty to fifty years of age, and older patients with cardiovascular disease.

    1. Jeremy Grimm


      The rest of the link you provided includes a lot of tracking information. Look for the first ‘?’ in the text of your link and delete the ‘?’ and the text that follows. Be sure to test the trimmed link in a new window.

  25. Lemmy Caution

    After reading about Covid-19 infections sidelining officers in the Detroit Police Department, I looked around and noticed an ominous trend among first reponders in major cities as Covid-19 infections and quarantines are on the rise.
    Detroit police may ask Michigan State Police for help after more than 200 officers quarantined
    2 Jersey City police officers in serious condition,16 officers are quarantined; 42 officers are off work
    NYPD’s COVID-19 cases near 100, as hundreds more cops call out sick
    Last Week One NYC Paramedic Was Infected. Now Over 150 Are in Quarantine.
    7 DC firefighters test positive; 138 firefighters in self-quarantine
    Third LAPD officer tests positive for COVID-19

  26. zagonostra

    >Glen Ford – BAR

    As usual trenchant comments that you won’t find in many places…

    Poor Bernie Sanders. Had the epidemic struck a month earlier, it would have provided a ghastly mass education on the non-existent state of the U.S. public health system, presumably resulting in landslide support for the Medicare-for-All advocate. But then, maybe not. When U.S. realities are filtered through a monopoly corporate media lens, truth becomes as scarce as the hospital beds, ventilators and protective gear that is missing from the public health sphere. The Black political (misleadership) class, which is wholly answerable to one of the corporate parties responsible for systematically destroying public health care, would still have endorsed the oligarchs’ champion, Joe Biden, as instructed – and then blamed the epidemic on Trump

    The capitalist “crisis of legitimacy” may have passed the point of no-return, as the Corporate State proves daily that it cannot perform the basic function of protecting the lives of its citizens. And those citizens have become aware that the oligarchs – their rulers — are the vectors of mass insecurity, sickness and death. President Trump, through his Department of Housing and Urban Development, has suspended all evictions and foreclosures until the end of April — a move that candidate and president Barack Obama refused to make, at the height of the 2007-08 crisis. If even “the worst president in history” takes such a step, the Democratic “opposition” will find it difficult to resist much more comprehensive demands from its “base” – with or without an active Sanders “movement.” The austerity “Race to the Bottom” regime may become a casualty of the coronavirus.

  27. rjs

    here’s what happened to oil prices last week:

    oil prices ended down nearly 30% this week, despite rising nearly 24% on Thursday in the largest single day price jump in history, as the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic and the Saudi-Russian oil price war continued to destabilize pricing…after falling 23% to $31.73 a barrel for the same reasons last week, the contract price of US light sweet crude for April delivery opened more than 6% higher at $33.75 a barrel Monday morning in an initial response to the Fed’s emergency interest rate cut to 0% on Sunday, but those gains quickly evaporated as traders interpreted the Fed move as panicked and desperate while the Saudis continued to flood global markets with $25 oil, driving US prices down more than 10% to a session low of $28.03 per barrel before recovering to close at $28.70 a barrel, a loss of $3.03 on the day…oil prices continued falling Tuesday as Goldman Sachs slashed its oil forecast to $22 and others forecast oil prices in the teens, with US crude closing $1.75 lower at a 4 year low of $26.95 a barrel, as recession fears and the Saudi price war continued to weigh on markets…oil prices steadied early on Wednesday after the API had reported a drop in U.S. inventories of crude, gasoline and distillates, but then plunged as governments worldwide accelerated lockdowns to counter the coronavirus pandemic, prompting fears of a global economic collapse, with U.S. crude futures falling $6.58, or 24.4%, to settle at $20.37 a barrel, the 3rd largest price drop on record and the lowest oil price in more than 18 years….however, the entirety of that price drop was reversed in the first 4 and a half hours of trading on Thursday, as oil prices briefly spiked 36% to $27.71 a barrel after remarks by Trump that he might intervene in the Saudi-Russian price war on the way to an increase of $4.85, or 23.8%, the biggest one day price jump on record, with US crude settling at $25.22 a barrel, as traders absorbed news of a plethora of central bank and government interventions to combat the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic and as Russia indicated it would like to see higher prices…Thursday’s rally continued into early Friday, with US crude reaching $27.89 a barrel in the early hours, but by 11:00 AM, it had sunk back to $25.02 a barrel on the way to a $19.46 a barrel nadir, before recovering to rise 15% from there to close at $22.43 a barrel, down $2.79 or 11.1% to $22.43 a barrel on the day, even as the world’s richest nations poured unprecedented aid into their economies to stop a coronavirus-driven global recession…prices thus finished the week more than 29.3% lower than the prior week, the largest one week percentage drop since 1991, as some traders saw oil demand shrinking as much as 10 to 20 million barrels a day (10-20%) as drivers stay home and flights are grounded across the world…

    i’ve got links supporting every line in the above, along with a 20 year graph, here:

    posting it because i’ve never seen anything like it, nor has anyone else..

    1. PlutoniumKun

      Its astonishing whats happening, I’ve even seen predictions of $5 a barrel.

      If the price is maintained and I see no possibility of recovery for 2020, then it will be devastating for many countries – obviously Iran, Iraq, the Gulf States (the latter also hit by the aviation crash and no tourism), but also Venezuela and Nigeria. I think it will likely be mirrored by a major crash in other commodities which will hit everyone from Australia to Brazil very hard. But obviously Russia thinks it can end up the winner. The Saudi’s may think so too, but I really do wonder.

      And of course its not just countries – its hard to see how any of the oil majors can survive long with those prices and a collapse in demand.

      The only good news in this is that it makes the notion that a huge fiscal boost will be inflationary even more unlikely.

      1. rd

        I think people have guessed Saudi’s marginal pricing is around $10/barrel. My suspicion is that the Saudis would cut back on production in the teens. By then other producers will be sucking wind.

        1. Paradan

          I thought they needed 80$/barrel to support their country, and that since 2014, they have been living off savings/wall street/etc..

        2. Paradan

          I had heard that they needed 80$/barrel to support their state, and that since 2014 have been dipping into their vast savings to survive.

  28. Vihuela aka Carey

    Chris Floyd contrasts the Presumptive Nominee’s disappearance with Sanders’s plunging in to help:The Invisible Man: Joe Biden’s Deadly Abdication

    “Joe Biden’s disappearance from public view during an extreme national crisis is one of the most astounding, jaw-dropping abdications of responsibility I have ever seen in a public official — especially one who might well be the next president. The excuse his aides offer about “struggling to set up the technology” so he can communicate to the public is ludicrous, and insulting in its transparent falsehood. If he is isolating because he might have the disease, he should tell us. If he is simply overwhelmed by the crisis and doesn’t know what to do – or even worse, is waiting for his rich donors to tell him what to do – then he should end his campaign now and go into a very comfortable retirement..”

    1. divadab

      Never was around the corner – it’s a mirage. Short the stock of any company that is investing in it.

  29. Cynthia

    According to the LA Times ( see link below), current and former Pentagon officials warn that the military is very limited in its ability to fight COVID-19. To some extent, the military can play a “supportive role” in the fight against COVID-19, but it can’t at all play a “direct, front-line role” in this fight against COVID-19. They say that their troops and medics are trained to treat battle-related injures, but they aren’t trained to treat anything infectious-related.

    Well, I guess this means that if one of their battle victims gets some sort of infection, especially if it is highly contagious like the coronavirus is, they are either left to die or shipped to a civilian facility in order to receive treatment. This may explain the overall mindset of military when Charles Dunlap, a former Army major general and military lawyer, said “a significant military mobilization” to fight the coronavirus is a “bad idea.” He goes on to say that “ the military must remain focused on its most important job — waging war.”

    Hopefully, this ex-military general either misspoke or the L A Times misquoted him. Or, perhaps he was being perfectly honest, which is more likely the case, IMO. The military truly is in the business of “waging wars.” Their business is to wage wars, not merely fight them. What’s worse, they aren’t even trying to hide that ugly and sinister fact. And given the fact that the vast majority of wars they are waging are against imaginary or made-up enemies around the globe, they aren’t merely waging wars, they are creating wars, and unnecessarily so. They have no interest in fighting real threats or enemies, (microscopic or otherwise), because that would mean that they might have to put themselves on the frontlines to fight against something that is likely to be much bigger, stronger and more powerful than themselves. No doubt that military types like former Army major general Charles Dunlap, (and I’m sure there are plenty more of them in the Pentagon), are showing their true colors: they are showing that they are nothing but a bunch of chickenhawks who roll up in a tight, closed-up little ball whenever a true threat comes their way.

    Needless to say, there are a couple of other flaws in his argument about how the military must play nothing more than a “supportive role” in the fight against the coronavirus. First of all, if the military can’t be anything more than “supportive” in the fight against the coronavirus, then the decision must be made to shift vast sums of the military budgets to HHS and the CDC. We are at war, and a very real one at that, and if the military doesn’t want to fight it, then give the money and the means to HHS and the CDC to fight it. Secondly, it is a total cop-out to claim that military medical personnel can’t be put on the frontlines to fight the coronavirus because they have not been given the proper training to do so. Medical personnel in the civilian population, (believe me I know as a civilian nurse doing direct care work on the frontlines), got at the very most 5 minutes of training on how to care for patients who have or are likely to have the coronavirus. If military medics can’t learn to do what their civilian counterparts can learn to do in no more than 5 minutes, then this is enough to justify shifting a sizable share of the military budget, including its personnel, to the civilian side of thing, which mainly includes HHS and the CDC.

    1. The Rev Kev

      I find this all hard to believe. Hasn’t the military been training for decades in how to deal with a biological attack? Well here is a real biological attack so it should be time for the military to show off all their training by upping the ante. If not, then as you say, they should cash their chips in and let somebody in who can do this work. A trillion dollar military and the first time they have a national challenge of this scale they want to step back. Unbelievable.

        1. OIFVet

          I will vent a peeve that is in no way aimed at you marym. The NYT is seriously getting on my last nerve with their insistence that I provide contact info in order to access their “free” coverage. Again, I apologize for venting under your post.

          1. marym

            I try not to post links to paywalled sites, but, having seen somewhere that at least one MSM giant (NYT?WaPo?) was removing the paywall for this topic, I tried the link and got in with no further prompts. Maybe they set some number of solicitation-free posts, and then the solicitation. I’ll be mindful in any further linking. Anyway, I appreciate your comments on all topics, no need to apologize.

            1. OIFVet

              No, please don’t limit your posting of links. The NYT pried away my Google account info already ?

        2. xkeyscored

          A few snippets:

          Yet despite promises of a “whole of government” effort, key agencies — like the Army Corps of Engineers, other parts of the Defense Department, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Department of Veterans Affairs — had not been asked to play much of a role.

          Much of that capacity is untapped. Hospital ships are at port. The Department of Veterans Affairs, legally designated as the backup health care system in national emergencies, awaits requests for help. The veterans department has a surplus of beds in many of its 172 hospital centers and a robust number of special rooms for patients with breathing disorders.

          The sprawling system of emergency doctors and nurses ready to be deployed by the Department of Health and Human Services — known as the National Disaster Medical System — is also still waiting for orders, other than to staff locations where passengers offloaded from cruise ships are being quarantined.

          Part of the challenge is the unusual role Mr. Trump has assigned to FEMA, which traditionally is designated as the lead federal agency during major disasters to take requests from individual states and then assign other federal players to deliver on the pleas for help. In this case, Mr. Trump has left the Department of Health and Human Services in charge.

          “FEMA is the only agency that has the full breadth of the federal government at its disposal,” said Daniel J. Kaniewski, who in January left FEMA, after serving since the start of the Trump administration as one of the agency’s top officials.

          Oregon sent a letter to Vice President Mike Pence on March 3 asking for 400,000 N95 masks. For days, it got no response, and only by March 14 received its first shipment, of 36,800 masks. But there was a problem. Most of the equipment they got was well past the expiration date and so “wouldn’t be suitable for surgical settings,” the state said.

          “We are working closely and getting FEMA involved,” Mr. Trump said.” They have been involved but we are getting them involved to a different level.”

          1. OIFVet

            The VA might be gearing up to accept patients, as it has cancelled all of my appointments over the next several weeks. I go to the Jesse Brown VA medical center in Chicago. They called me again this morning, to notify me of another cancelled appointment, and I did ask the question, obliquely, whether they are getting ready for an influx of both veteran and civilian patients. The answer was, “we are playing it safe.” I can understand that, but as a veteran, I sure hope that they will be thrown into the mix. The medical professionals there are amazing, and they are indeed highly experienced by virtue of treating a population that is more challenging in terms of variety of health issues, than the US average.

            1. Shonde

              Knowing someone who in 1999 required ventilation in the Mpls. VA hospital intensive care unit with pneumonia from the flu that year, I learned that, at least in 1999, the VA was considered the top hospital in the nation for treatment of flu related complications.
              Someone recently posted here at NC that tents that may be field hospitals have been erected at the San Diego VA hospital. Elective surgeries were cancelled a week ago.
              I agree that the VA does amazing work that too few appreciate.

          2. rd

            The hospital ships are undergoing repairs and do not have medical contingents. They won’t be ready for a bit. Clearly nobody thought this was going to be a thing.

            FYI. In WW II, USS Yorktown was severely damaged during the Battle of the Coral Sea on May 2, 1942. The damage was so bad, the Japanese thought she was sunk. The Yorktwon was able to limp back into Pearl Harbor on May 27 and after emergency repairs was able to leave Pearl Harbor on May 30 for the decisive battle of Midway which commenced on June 4.

            This is a stark difference between WW II and today. When they needed something done then, they did it and worked in a frenzy 24 hrs a day. The leadership made things happen and made hard decisions. Now we can’t get two un-bombed hospital ships to leave port for weeks. it is just pusillanimous blame-shifting with little action. Our front line medical workers are going to pay a massive price for the inaction over the past two months.

      1. OIFVet

        We did train for how to deal with NBCR (nuclear, biological, chemical, radiological) attacks. It’s all about trying to put on your PPE on in 45 seconds or less, survive the initial contact. If your buddy hasn’t fared as well, inject him with the atropine and morphine auto injectors. IOW, keep the heart going but let him expire in relative peace, and that’s mostly for the benefit of the others in the unit, seeing someone thrash around (or do the funky chicken as our trainers used to put it) in agony is bad for morale, the primary mission is to maintain fighting capacity. If tou survive the agent and the fighting, head for the nearest decontamination point that has hopefully been set up by chemical units.

        That’s about all the army can do, support civilian efforts by setting up decon sites. Perhaps military police if civilian authorities begin to break down and lose ability to maintain order. Sorry I don’t have better news.

        1. David

          That’s true of all of the militaries I’m familiar with – you’re talking battlefield medicine here. Atropine, for example, normally administered with a so-called “pen” is an instant treatment for victims of CW attack with nerve agents such as Sarin and later. Military decontamination facilities wouldn’t help here. The protective suits should be proof against BW agents in the air, but that’s about it.
          Biological warfare (and hence infectious diseases, which are a subset) is an entirely different thing: insidious, slow-acting but almost useless on the battlefield and only of questionable value as a strategic weapon. Even in the Cold War, as far as I know, they were not expected to be used very much. Soviet doctrine called for the use of poisons and fast-acting agents such as Anthrax in eg attacks on enemy HQs and the like by Special Forces but that’s about it. It is known that the last wave of Soviet ICBMs fired against the West would’ve had bubonic plague warheads – targeting a country’s strategic recovery capability after nuclear attack.
          But that’s about it, which is to say that most militaries have very little capability to fight threats like this. The French do, because their military has deployed for many years to parts of Africa where contagious disease are endemic. As I linked to above, Le Monde today has pictures of them setting up a Field Hospital for ICU patients. But beyond that, of course, the military can help with transport, provision of emergency services, transport of dead bodies (somebody will have to do it) distribution of food and so on. That said, my experience of the US military is that they really hate doing such things, and have to be ordered to, because it goes against the “warrior” image they cultivate.

          1. OIFVet

            “But beyond that, of course, the military can help with transport, provision of emergency services, transport of dead bodies (somebody will have to do it) distribution of food and so on.”

            Agreed, I just hope that it does not come to that here or anywhere (and I know it has, in Italy). I am not so sure the warrior image of the US military will get in the way on US soil, after all it will be about doing something for their friends and families, literally. The reason I am saying that is because most of the units that have the capacity to do these things are reserve units, and they are inherently locally staffed and based. Active duty military, well, I would want to keep them cowboys on base as much as possible.

            An anecdote from my wartime experiences: we were distributed humanitarian rations (HUMRATs) to give to Iraqis as we saw fit. We ended up eating most of the HUMRATs supplied ourselves, they were way better and tastier than our MREs.

            Stay safe in France, David.

      2. Wyoming

        The evening after I finished NBC training we were at the NCO club and I got to talking to one of my instructors. I asked something along the lines of: given all the training and knowing how to use the equipment what would you do in the face of someone using a bio weapon or say a nerve agent against you. He looked at me and said you have 2 choices. Run or die. He had zero faith in being able to avoid eventual infection and in the case of nerve agents you can give yourself 2 shots of atropine but if you need a 3rd the injection will kill you anyway. I don’t think anyone really intends to survive this stuff as they are WMD’s and are sort of like nukes in that they are useful as deterrents only and if we resort to their use it is the end. So there is not really a medical expertise to draw on here.

        1. OIFVet

          Ft. Lost in the Woods or Ft. McClellan? Did CDTF in FLW in 2000 with live nerve agents. Scared is very mild description for what I felt during my two hours inside.

  30. paul

    RE: The Long Dark Night of the Soul Craig Murray

    Alex Salmond acquitted on all charges.

    So at least some of Craig’s agonies will be relieved.

    SNP HQ will be shitting themselves.

    1. pretzelattack

      excellent news. chelsea manning is out, and apparently has been relieved of the crushing fine, now this.

    2. PlutoniumKun

      I really wonder what the fall out from this will be. Its not something I’ve been following, but clearly if Salmond decides to go public on why he thinks the accusations are made (assuming he will continue to maintain his innocence), this could get interesting. Murray seems absolutely convinced that this was a set up by the establishement (Edinburgh and/or London).

      1. urblintz

        His show on RT gets more eyeballs than the establishment, which isn’t the problem… the problem is RT doncha know?!


      2. paul

        Hopefully a better SNP and one committed to independence.
        One without the Murrell’s court.

  31. Carey

    Why this Nobel laureate predicts a quicker coronavirus recovery: ‘We’re going to be fine’:

    “Michael Levitt, a Nobel laureate and Stanford biophysicist, began analyzing the number of COVID-19 cases worldwide in January and correctly calculated that China would get through the worst of its coronavirus outbreak long before many health experts had predicted. Now he foresees a similar outcome in the United States and the rest of the world. While many epidemiologists are warning of months, or even years, of massive social disruption and millions of deaths, Levitt says the data simply don’t support such a dire scenario — especially in areas where reasonable social distancing measures are in place. “What we need is to control the panic,” he said. In the grand scheme, “we’re going to be fine.”

    We’ll see, I guess.

    1. clarky90

      Jennifer Zeng 曾錚
      Latest figures released by China Mobile show that they have lost 8.116 million users in Jan and Feb…..

    2. Massinissa

      He thinks the USA will be like China… Despite doing absolutely nothing that China did. Maddening.

    3. Kurt Sperry

      This is interesting. And it is hopeful and potentially important, assuming people actually follow the social distancing rules. I hit a LA Times paywall trying to read this, but the salient text can be viewed, if somewhat awkwardly, by right clicking on the page and selecting “view source” in your browser. This works on almost every page I’ve tried it on that doesn’t do a redirect.

    1. Mel

      Field hospitals and logistics, I hope. But yeah, that’s not what the U.S. military has been looking like for the past little while. I tried to disagree with Caitlin Johnstone this morning, and I couldn’t.

      1. Shonde

        In Minnesota, the National Guard was activated to do the distribution of PPE that allegedly is coming from the federal emergency supply. Guess the Governor wanted to make sure it wasn’t all diverted to the Minnesota Hamptons.

    2. Wyoming

      They can help load and unload trucks if there are bottlenecks at loading facilities due to worker shortages. They can help the police enforce the bans on groups congregating in large numbers. They can help with the movement issues as you said. They can provide logistics support in actually moving supplies – they have trucks and planes. There are large numbers of first responders getting sick and there are going to be lots of low level needs to be serviced – they can help fire and rescue for instance. They could help distribute food or even stock shelves. The possibilities are endless.

  32. Noone from Nowheresville

    Stoller Twitter thread re: talking about the hollowing out of competence and the ability for the US to turn on dime in a wartime pandemic.

    1. I’m listening to billionaires on CNBC like David Tepper and Ken Langone saying we’ll curve the epidemic like they did in S. Korea. And demanding we restart the arsenal of democracy to roll ventilators off the assembly line. “Get it done.”

    These people are f’ing DELUSIONAL.

  33. Pelham

    Re the musing on how to persuade a conservative Supreme Court to sign on to the taking of property under universal health insurance: Let us note that there is nothing in the Constitution that says the court’s rulings should have any material weight. The justices are charged only with ruling whether the matters they consider are constitutional or not. And the rest of us, duly informed and chastened or not, may then do as we wish.

  34. marym


    Mark Mazzetti @MarkMazzettiNYT
    “If it were possible to wave a magic wand and make all Americans freeze in place for 14 days while sitting six feet apart, epidemiologists say, the whole epidemic would sputter to a halt.”

    (If you’re not a subscriber you may be prompted for an email address to read the NYT post.)

    US Ghouls:

  35. Chris

    Updated information from the doctors on TWIV, Covid-19 presents as loose stools/diarrhea often. You may experience symptoms other than cough and such before you know you have it. In other words, it’s a virus. So if you recognize that you have viral symptoms, act according.

  36. urblintz

    looks like the Dems in the Senate grew a spine and have refused to advance the scam relief bill

    1. Lambert Strether

      We’ll know for sure only when the sausage is finally made. For example, the payments to workers need to be monthly at the very least (not the one-time “bridge”) and universal. And the slush fund needs to be “tranparent.” Warren, IIRC, did a good job on TARP, itself an abomination; that should at least be a baseline.

      I do love how “Give capitalists more money” is so very much the pure essence of the Republican proposal. It’s so clarifying that all the Democrat Establiment can only tinker round the edges of that. Never let a crisis go to waste cuts both ways….

  37. Jim Thomson

    I read in “1491”, by Charles Mann ( excellent), that the Incas would mummify revered deceased leaders and carry them around and consult them, through interpreters. They would be present in leadership meetings.
    So, nothing new here with Joe.

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