Links 3/7/2020

30 Reasons You Should Never Let Your Dog Play In The Mud Bored Panda

Fruit fly study suggests neither nature nor nurture is responsible for individuality PhysOrg (Robert M)

Why Our Seas Are Suddenly Swimming With Drug-Running Narcosubs Popular Mechanics (resilc)

Mass grave reveals how Black Death impacted rural England ars technica

Nihilism aeon


The best, and the worst, of the Coronavirus dashboards MIT Technology Review (David L)

China’s coronavirus recovery is ‘all fake,’ whistleblowers and residents claim The Week (David L)

As tonnes of used masks pile up, China struggles to cope with medical waste South China Morning Post (Ian P)

Seoul furious as Tokyo quarantines Korean visitors Asia Times. Kevin W: “Sending this as at the bottom of this article it gives dates and numbers of infected people in South Korea which is interesting. They have been doing great work identifying infected people so those numbers are a lot more trustworthy than something coming from China for example.”

How Taiwan managed to avoid a coronavirus outbreak ZME Science (Dr. Kevin)

Coronavirus in Germany: Health care system under pressure DW

Woolworth’s is one of the two big Australian grocers. I’m told toilet paper has sold out in many (most?) places in California, consistent with Coronavirus fears spark toilet paper panic buying around the world YouTube.

This tweetstorm (hat tip guurst) is today’s must read. Unless infection rates slow down due to the weather getting warm and/or a LOT of social distancing, the US will be out of hospital beds and masks in May. The big qualifier is this won’t be evenly distributed. Cities where the disease hits first will have much faster spread, while small cities in states that haven’t had any cases yet will reach the crunch point a bit later. Oh, and since non-seniors who have health insurance are almost entirely in HMOs and PPOs, it’s not as if they have much in the way of choices as to where they go:

Two colleges close, another cancels classes and others brace for coronavirus impact on campus Washington Post. Now Stanford too.

Why is customs STILL NOT screening passengers from coronavirus hot-spots Italy, Iran and South Korea who arrive at major airports, including JFK, LAX, Atlanta and Chicago’s O’Hare? Daily Mail (J-LS)

21 coronavirus cases confirmed aboard cruise ship docked off California as Trump mulls whether to let passengers disembark RT. Kevin W: “If Trump does not land these people and isolate them in some facility, he is going to have his own personal SS Plague Princess -right of America’s coastline.”

Y Combinator, Silicon Valley’s Premiere Startup Factory, Moves Its Pitch Event Online Citing Coronavirus Concern TechCrunch and SXSW Canceled Due To Coronavirus After Austin Declares ‘Local Disaster’ CNBC

From a reader in area code 408 (San Jose): “Late today at work email sent to all employees: every day take laptops and work phones home so you can work from home in case there is a quarantine.”

Coronavirus in NY: WeWork member self-quarantined for possible exposure New York Post. Going to a WeWork space does not seem like a shrewd move these days, but it turns out his employer, TIAA, dispatched him there during an office reno.

Uber and Lyft Drivers Weigh Risk of Safety Against Paycheck Bloomberg. See above. The fall in travel will cut into Uber and Lyft bookings. Add to that school closures (parents not commuting or commuting less) and businesses separately telling employees who can to stay away.

eBay Bans Sales of Face Masks, Hand Sanitizer Amid Coronavirus Price Gouging CNET

One slide in a leaked presentation for US hospitals reveals that they’re preparing for millions of hospitalizations as the outbreak unfolds Business Insider. Important. Grim numbers.

Mind you, Mass Gen is one of the premier hospitals in the US. They should lose their not-for-profit status over crap like this. They have an obligation to see anyone who shows up in the ER:

Exclusive: The Strongest Evidence Yet That America Is Botching Coronavirus Testing Atlantic (Dan K)

The emperor has no clue: Trump’s conviction that the coronavirus threat will vanish has warped the government response Press Watchers (Chuck L)

Coronavirus outbreak threatens record stretch of job growth The Hill. Ya think?

Clinical trials for a new coronavirus vaccine approved at a Seattle research institute Seattle Times (furzy). Don’t get your hopes up. Three phases to a clinical trial process. No way would anything be ready this year. Even next year would be super accelerated.

From Dan K. Note this is from an early 2018 paper. I am skeptical because one would have expected a lot of discussion of this to encourage commercialization if it were a viable large scale approach. Readers who use UV in lab settings for sterilization report it takes high intensities and reasonable durations of exposure to do the job. Even though the argument is that the high absorption of the far wavelength UV means you need way less in the way of an energy punch to do the job, this has the feel of “too good to be true”. Apparently the topic is complex; Dan K explained long-form that this tech seemed best suited for limited use like counters and food cabinets, and for air filtering/disinfection. Readers?

Refugees told ‘Europe is closed’ as tensions rise at Greece-Turkey border Guardian (Kevin W)


Brexit Fishing Row Escalates as UK Royal Navy Announces Patrols to ‘Prevent French Blockade’ Fort Russ (Kevin W)


Reports say Saudis arrest 2 princes for allegedly plotting coup PBS (David L)

EU refuses to stump up further cash for Turkey migration deal Financial Times

Ankara Will Have to Accept the Status Quo and Prepare to Lose Idlib Elijah J. Magnier, American Herald Tribune

Trump Transition

Trump names Mark Meadows as new chief of staff The Hill

Justice Department Rejects Judge’s Criticism of How Barr Handled Mueller Report Wall Street Journal

EPA Updates Plans to Limit Use of Science in Decision-Making EcoWatch (furzy)


Bernie Sanders Needs to Attack Joe Biden to WIn. Why Won’t He? Rolling Stone v. Sanders goes after Biden following Super Tuesday losses Yahoo (furzy)

‘Bailey’ vs. ‘blood and teeth’: The inside story of Elizabeth Warren’s collapse Politico

Elizabeth Warren’s Women Stare Into a 2020 Void New Republic. Headline in the e-mailed version: “For the general, if it is Biden v. Trump, I will write in Anita Hill.”

Elizabeth Warren Should Endorse Bernie Sanders — Not for Him, but for Herself and Her Mission Intercept

How Tulsi Gabbard Became the Last Woman Standing in the 2020 Presidential Race Vogue (furzy)

Our Famously Free Press

How an Espionage Act reform bill would improve protections for national security reporting Reporters Committee (Kevin C)

JPMorgan Chief Executive Jamie Dimon Has Emergency Heart Surgery New York Times. Odds of returning to work only 50/50; 20% who have this operation die in a month or less.

Hachette cancels plan to publish Woody Allen memoir Guardian. BC:

Wowsers. Serious allegations, but I feel uneasy about the growing trend of public convictions and sentences sans trials (or in this case, sans formal charges). If the public gets conditioned to accept allegations instead of proven facts, social media and will complete their weaponization process. This goes well beyond #MeToo, there are a lot of media-convicted “Putin Puppets” out there right now.

Oil Prices Nose-Dive as OPEC and Russia Fail to Reach a Deal New York Times (Kevin W)

Boeing’s 737 MAX ‘design failures’ and FAA’s ‘grossly insufficient’ review slammed Seattle Times

Boeing hit with 61 safety fixes for astronaut capsule PhysOrg

Class Warfare

Revisiting Economic Assimilation of Mexican and Central American Immigrants in the United States SSRN (resilc)

Michigan Job Loss During the NAFTA-WTO Period Public Citizen

Technology for All Dani Rodrik, Project Syndicate (David L). An important argument but misses a key point: good technology should be easy. We’ve all been conditioned to accept and be forced to learn to master crappy tools.

The Republicans as the Party of the New Deal? Matt Stoller. Aargh. The political equation is fascinating, but money is not what makes new businesses go. It’s customers.

Antidote du jour (furzy):

And a bonus (Barry R):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  1. John A

    Hachette cancels plan to publish Woody Allen memoir

    Wow. I confess I am a huge fan of most of Woody Allen’s movies but have no idea about his personal life. However he has consistently denied the allegations against him and his now wife, whom he is alleged to have groomed, has stayed by his side. Mia Farrow comes across as the epitome of hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. I have no idea who is telling the truth, but in the absence of evidence, let alone a conviction, it is outrageous that Allen is being treated this way. it appears to be bullying by media.

    1. Jane

      I don’t understand why it’s so important that there be a conviction. Guess no fraud happened in 08 cause no bankers went to jail, no torture happened cause no CIA went to jail, etc. Criminal convictions only scratch the surface of all crime that happens, only capturing the poorest, dumbest, and/or most unlucky.

      1. urblintz

        weak tea – the wall street fraud and the torture are provable facts with or without convictions. How does that compare with unverified and unverifiable accusations of sex crimes that have been dismissed in court? You do know that Allen’s other adopted son, a clinical psychologist i believe, has defended his father and called his siblings obsessed and crazy. Who can know the truth? Believing is an entirely different process…

    2. PlutoniumKun

      I have no particular axe to grind in this, but I know a few people who have worked in child care, and they think the Allen case has all the hallmarks of recovered memory syndrome – the allegations just don’t add up, and the timing (with a bad divorce) is more than a little suspicious. However, its extremely difficult to be sure, even for the experts, as abusers can be very cunning in how they can spread uncertainty and undermine accusers.

      Unfortunately, in cases of recovered memory syndrome, both sides, the alleged victim and the alleged abuser, are equally sure they are telling the truth.

      I’d also note the number of publications that like to conflate Allens obvious fondness for teenaged girls with paedophilia. His taste in ‘barely legal’ girls may be a little distasteful, but there is no relationship between the two.

      1. Carolinian

        Recovered memory of a story that Dylan’s mother told her as a small child? The recovered memory thing is controversial to say the least.

        We’ve gone over all this before here and opinions about what happened are unlikely to change. However I’d say Hachette should be condemned. Amazon Studios did the same thing when they dropped an already filmed Allen movie. Personally I wish Allen would just stop making movies because the recent ones aren’t very good and I have no interest in reading his memoir either. His celebrity sale by date has long expired imo. But censorship and trial by publicity are not good social trends.

      1. Olivier

        Harrowing testimony and a must-read. Honestly I must say that in my opinion Mia Farrow always presented as a harpy. Even in the halcyon days of her relationship with Woody Allen, e.g., at the time of the movie Alice: a kind of shrine to her, there was something dangerous about her that put me ill at ease.

    3. Joe Well

      Conviction in the media on such slim evidence is wrong. But no one can deny that Allen married his son’s sister, which is Greek-tragedy horrible, a betrayal of basic parental responsibility, and a form of child abuse. For that reason alone, I don’t want to give him a penny of my money.

      1. Carolinian

        She lived across Central Park with Mia and was of course adopted and not biologically related to either of them (or said brother). She was also of legal age when they got involved.

          1. Dita

            It’s remarkable in the same way as Vilii Fualaau marrying his groomer, Mary letourneau and they were so “happy”. It’s remarkable she’s been with one man in her life, and his kids are also adopted girls. Some are skeptical of Farrow, I am skeptical Allen is a poor innocent.

            1. pretzelattack

              if moses farrow’s article is true, there is excellent reason to be skeptical of farrow, starting with abusing disabled children in her care.

    4. Geo

      I feel like a lot of the “social media justice” is an expression of the frustration with the lack of real Justice from our two tiered judicial system where so many of the rich and powerful go about committing crimes in the open with no real consequence while us serfs get the full force of the law dumped on us if we merely have a tail light out or make an error on a tax form.

      That with the grand ol’ tradition of mob justice is an ugly future for sure. We see it in the claims of Sanders being a creepy misogynist because he once wrote a cringy sexual story (are all authors to be criminalized for the depraved acts they write about?) and the neo-Red Scare going around the media and social media for all who question establishment narratives.

      Is Allen a creep? Probably. It would be great to have a functioning justice system that could sort it out. But considering the war criminals and financial predators still running amok on our TVs and in positions of power it feels like an empty “victory” that a book won’t be published by an overpriced publisher.

      1. Carolinian

        If anyone is being let off it could be the Farrow clan who continue to make assertions about something that was brought before the courts and dismissed at the time. They know that Allen won’t sue his former children.

        The rest of us have to make our judgments based on the known facts which don’t favor a guilty verdict. But the media have been just as lazy with this as with RussiaRussiaRussia. There’s nothing they like so much as a get out of jail free card when it comes to spreading rumors. As Caitlin Johnstone says, these days everything is narrative and narratives need villains.

      2. Calypso Facto

        Great comment. Agreed that a lot of the fixation on social justice topics of this nature are a stand-in for the collapse of actual rule of law for working people in this country.

  2. Henry Moon Pie

    Have we ever been closer to having some guy with lots of ribbons on his chest coming on the TV and announcing, “I am in charge here?” If the hospitals are overflowing and surrounded by armed guards in another 4 or 5 weeks, we’ll be ripe for “Seven Days in May” given Trump’s complete incompetence.

    I would like to see Bernie institute a nightly fireside chat. The nation is close to panic (probably beyond it in some places), and we’re not going to get any meaningful reassurance from the likes of Trump, Pelosi or Biden. The MSM would ignore it, but Bernie has the means to get around them through YouTube and alternative media. I’m not advocating it for the sake of some political gain. Instead, the country really needs some calming leadership buttressed by calm supporters. We need to believe there’s hope for a better world on the other side of this coming ugliness.

    1. lordkoos

      I’m also hoping Bernie gets out in front of this. It is of course, an excellent argument for universal health care. I hope this will be where the Trump administration’s apparently hatred of science is fully discredited, he will be remembered for this botched response and lack of preparedness. Many of his supporters seem to think COVID-19 is a hoax, but they will soon find out differently.

      1. MLTPB

        I think first, assemble a team of public health experts.

        Second, focus on what to do now, not M4A next yeat.

        Current issues:

        Will cities or states be locked down? (Looking at China, people will ask).

        Will air travel not be allowed?

        Will schools nationwide closed, and under what conditions? (Looking at Italy etc, Americans will ask)

        Will elections be postponed? (Possible in the UK, under discussion).

        Will large gatherings be not allowed? What about the UN in NY? The Capitol building?

        Will people coming from or via Italy etc not be allowed?

        1. dearieme

          assemble a team of public health experts.

          Aren’t they called the CDC? They’ve proved Third World incompetent so far.

            1. campbeln

              I disagree.

              The discussion here relates to actual leadership presenting itself in our political discourse.

              1. MLTPB

                Maybe. People are free to add to a discussion.

                For me, I was adding to lorkoos hoping Sanders to get out in front.

                To which I suggested assembling a team.

                Dearieme wanted to use the CDC, for the Sanders campaign, if I read it correctly.

                I thought campaigns couldn’t do have CDC staff.

        2. Oregoncharles

          “Will cities or states be locked down?” – almost certainly, and should be.

          And I think any organization planning a large gathering should be prepared to have it remotely.

          1. JBird4049

            How does one lock down Los Angeles, San Jose, or even San Francisco? Never mind a state of forty million people?

            I can see why people would want to do so, but realistically? Or what about the crops that California grow for the rest of the country?

    2. kiwi

      Dream on.

      Again, some posters here write like Trump controls every single move of every single health agency and provider across the US, along with every single person who doesn’t know if they are infected, every single person that suspects they have an infection but doesn’t self-quarantine or take extra measures to protect others, and all the masses of people who simply can’t take care of themselves appropriately. These masses of people alone would overwhelm any system.

      Did you read the linked article above about hospitals preparing for huge numbers? Anybody dealing in health issues and the public in anyway are already working on plans or implementing the plans they already have in place for such conditions.

      Of course we won’t get anything “reassuring” from Pelosi or Biden. First, their entire political game is to create hysteria, the more, the better. The dems are well-primed for mass hysteria by their hysterical response to Trump’s election and anything he does. Every time you turn around, some dem is proclaiming doom! doom! doom! because of Trump, and they have been doing this even before Trump was sworn in. How would dems be able to use this situation to their political advantage if they tried to calm people down? Neither political side trusts the other side’s info anyway.

      Someone needs to develop a virus against social-caused hysteria.

      1. lordkoos

        In a national and international health crisis the buck has to stop somewhere. One side believes in science, the other apparently does not. It’s not about opinions.

        1. MLTPB

          In the Papal state, common sense and 19th Century hygiene are evident.

          I read in Greece, the Greek Orthodox church is not considering cancelling church services. Not sure about the Russian Orthidox church.

          The Pope is staying home, and they urge frequent hand washing.

          Hopefully, science and religion can coexist.

          1. Henry Moon Pie

            The Greeks use intinction which then requires placing in the mouth, something that’s tough to do without touching lips, tongue, etc. Then there are those Roman Catholic and Protestant parishes that use common cup. Some regard it as a test of faith.
            I’m sure they’ll wipe the rim with a cloth before each communicant, right?

            1. nippersmom

              My Archdiocese has suspended reception of the Eucharist in the form of wine for the foreseeable future. Shaking hands at the Sign of Peace has also been suspended; parishioners are encouraged to nod to each other instead. We have all also been reminded that if we are feeling ill or have reason to believe we have been exposed to any easily communicable disease we should stay home. I am sure other Dioceses and Archdioceses have received similar instructions.

              1. Arcadia Mommy

                I haven’t heard a thing about this type of prevention at my kiddos catholic school. But some emails will be lit up tomorrow. We don’t go to Sunday mass but the kids go once a week and with Easter coming up lots of chances for contact.

        2. kiwi

          Please just stop with the bs.

          If you think your OPINION that “One side believes in science, the other apparently does not.” is a fact, then you’re the one with the inability to distinguish the two.

          Riddle me this – why is Trump a germaphobe if he doesn’t believe in the science about germs and communicable deseases? He can’t stand to have sick people around him coughing and sneezing.

      2. CarlH

        One of the unfortunate outcomes of the false hysteria the media has indulged in in recent decades is that when an event of truly existential danger hits, people are primed to think it is just another boy crying wolf. This Coronavirus is setting up to be the perfect family blog storm for us here in the U.S. A bit of low grade, informed, and controlled “panic” might be in order soon.

      3. rd

        I have a relative who works in a hospital. The area that she works in is being used to temporarily stage kidney dialysis machines in case they are needed. As she puts it, hospitals have lots of plans for many eventualities and they are now in the process of implementing one of them as they pull equipment and supplies out of storage.

      1. mle detroit

        Yes. Every damn night, from now till the general, even if he’s not the nominee. Bernie’s issues page has more than enough material. Show and tell what government for the people can do.

  3. timbers

    Sanders? Biden?

    Let Liz be Liz so she can do what her inner self really wants: Endorse Hillary. Now.

    IMO Biden is going to implode even if he does get nominated and Bernie continues to refrain from attacking him.

    Liz might even get some TV appearance out of it, if the powers that be at DNC ok the corporate media doing that in before Biden implodes.

    She won’t get any jobs in the next Administration, unless Trump is so grateful to her for helping him face Hillary again…but she probably doesn’t know that.

    1. Monty

      I heard the convention is going to brokered into a Clooney / Obama or Obama / Clooney unity ticket. Would you vote for that?

      1. Olga

        What if the conventions get cancelled? Everything to be done remotely, apps and some such means?
        Democracy to die in the dark(ness) apps? Talk about suspense!

        1. Monty

          I think that come the convention, the Democrats will be pretty far down on our list of worries.

      1. ChrisPacific

        He needs to play the ball, not the man. If he comes out and says that Biden is stupid and evil and anybody who would consider voting for him is stupid and evil as well (as so many here seem to dearly wish for him to do) he will be repeating the mistakes of the DNC’s ‘strategy’ against Donald Trump.

        In the end, it’s up to the voters. Bernie can, and should, highlight Biden’s record to the extent that people have a realistic picture of who he is politically, and it does look like he intends to do that. It should be quite feasible for him to do this, because Biden is not nearly as adept as Obama or HRC were at disguising his political instincts behind a veneer of good intentions. If voters see Biden clearly with all his flaws, and vote for him anyway – well, we might not like it, but that’s democracy.

        Ultimately what Bernie is trying to do is change societal values in America. That does not happen overnight, but it’s required for any kind of lasting change. Political victories based on a single charismatic individual or clever short term tactics might give the appearance of progress, but it tends to be temporary and is often rolled back after the next election, as we saw with Obama and Trump.

        1. urblintz

          The knives I was referring to are facts re Biden’s voting to let state overturn roe v wade, his overt racisms, his plagiarizing, his bankruptcy bill…. its a long and devastating list and Bernie is starting to use it. That’s all. But I am less sanguine about the change you describe being possible through civil discussion. Civility has long been used to censure truths that need to be outed.

        2. urblintz

          The knives I was referring to are sheathed in Biden’s voting record, like voting to allow states to overturn roe v wade, his racist statements, his bankruptcy bill to impoverish the unwealthy… it’s a long a devastating list. Today Bernie started to attack Biden’s record on abortion. That is playing the ball not the man.

          Why did Klobuchar endorse him, one wonders…. why would any woman endorse him? Isn’t he famous for being too-handsy with women? But Bernie would never use that against Biden, that would be playing the man. Bernie knows this better than anyone.

    2. lordkoos

      Have people heard about Hillary’s new TV show? Looks to me like she is buffing up her image prior to the Democratic convention. Perhaps she expects to be finally coronated in July. A brokered convention, Biden and Sanders in a near tie for delegates with neither having enough to win, then the DNC chooses Clinton as the “compromise” candidate.

      Note the critics scoring of the show vs the people:

      1. curious euro

        I haven’t seen this Clinton-hagiography, but my guess is, it could be the best from Game of Thrones, the Sopranos, The Wire and Breaking Bad all in one show and it would still have negative reviews simply due to the subject matter or the leading actress.

        The Clintons are just to polarized, toxicity wherever you look.

        1. urblintz

          mine is not an unbiased review as mere mention of the Clinton name gives me a rash and because it’s only from the clips seen (and you couldn’t pay me to watch it entirely) but…

          they both look and sound awful. aiming for sympathy, they attain bathos.

          I smell a backfire.

  4. The Rev Kev

    “When your usual grocery shopping @woolworths turns into a toilet paper fight in the supermarket aisle.”

    Yesterday Monty was asking what a “Bogan Nuffy” was. Well, here are three examples out in the wild of this species. The wife was told today that a family had gone to the local supermarket today and cleaned out all the top lines of toilet paper. Seriously, WTF? Still, some people are taking the mickey out of all this. A prankster in South Australia stuffed toilet rolls in several of those skill tester machines-

    Meanwhile, a woman who thought that she was ordering 48 rolls of toilet paper accidentally order 48 boxes of 48 rolls toilet paper that came on two pallet loads-

    1. Arizona Slim

      I like those “Who Gives A Crap” toilet paper boxes. Very un-PC. And in a good way.

      1. Monty

        AZ report: I went into Walmart to survey the TP isle. Stripped bare and no hand sanitizer either. Target a mile away had TP, but no hand sanitizer.
        Does this mean more bogan nuffies shop at Walmart? I have always suspected as much.

            1. wilroncanada

              While most people have been toilet trained, it seems that millions have never been toilet paper trained. they never learned that you’re supposed to unroll the paper and use it flat. Thus every time they “go”, they use the whole roll.

              1. MLTPB

                Disclaimer on the California video:

                We are all capable of that, potentially.

                Yes, even between two progressive men, and not just the teo ladies in it.

                Moreover, no one should think the two ladies are this or that candidate’s voters. Again. They could be any of us.

                1. xkeyscored

                  Which way they vote didn’t cross my mind.
                  What did occur to me is what it’ll be like if and when USians start fighting over the real essentials with guns.

                  1. MLTPB

                    In a pinch, anything will do.

                    If the other guy has nothing, a thick and heavy hardcover War And Peace can help secure that prized tissue paper roll.

        1. Lee

          For hand sanitizer 70% rubbing alcohol by itself does the same thing as does a mixture of 1 part aloe vera gel mixed with 2 parts 90% rubbing alcohol.

            1. Lee

              1 part bleach to 20 parts water is said to work. For more options see:

              EPA’s Registered Antimicrobial Products for Use Against Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, the Cause of COVID-19

              1. HotFlash

                The bleach/water combo, we use 1 to 10, is known as Hygeol in the hospitals around here (Britishism?). Used for general sanitizing, it evaporates leaving no toxic residue. Or so I was taught.

                1. neo-realist

                  Working with mammalian cell culture many years ago, we used to clean our hoods with a 10% beach solution.

            2. katiebird

              I bought 2 jugs of grain alcohol yesterday. I don’t expect to need it for hand washing but I plan to have spray bottles next to doors and counters filled with it.

          1. Eureka Springs

            Too late. Nothing but bare shelves in that section around here.

            Probably time for uncle scam to take the ethanol out of gasoline for a while and put it to better use?

            1. RMO

              Go to an electronics supply store and get 99% Isopropyl Alcohol – used for cleaning electronics. Close enough.

              I canceled my upcoming trip to San Fransisco to see friends. Either the virus burns itself out and we go later this year or it turns into Left For Dead 2 in real reality… but without Ellis’s stories… and we stay put for quite a while.

              1. MLTPB

                I’m impressed by fans going sports games, or concerts.

                And here, different countries, regions, counties, cities respond different.

                Santa Clara says no Sharks games. The team disagrees, I read.

                Up the peninsula, they still have NBA games. The City must feel differently.

                And in Italy, or maybe just N Italy, either no futbol games, or games in empty stadiums.

                I think in Germany and or the UK, it is different.

              2. rtah100

                You need to dilute that to 70% for maximum efficacy. The mixtures disrupts the viral lipid membrane better and destroys it as it dries off.

                1. RMO

                  Yes, I should have specified that it is a substitute for the rubbing alcohol or 90% Isopropyl in a home-brewed mix. It’s just an alternative source that many people may not think of so it may be available when the drugstore runs out.

                  1. inode_buddha

                    Hardware store or home center has denatured alcohol (un-drinkable) by the gallon, cheaply. Look in the paint stripper section.

                    1. Brooklin Bridge

                      but the alcohol content may not high be high enough according to their safety data sheet (on the web)

                      Klean Denatured Alchol, for instance, is between 30% and 50% Ethyl alcohol and 40% – 60% Methanol

          2. lordkoos

            The aloe mixture is an excellent idea, hands will suffer from repeated applications of alcohol or bleach.

    2. carl

      Just to note: a cheap $40 bidet will alleviate the need for a lot of toilet paper. And you won’t have to fight with your neighbors at Costco for it.

        1. JTMcPhee

          And grandkids, encountering one for the first time, can have a lot of fun washing down the bathroom walls. Don’t ask me how I know.

      1. Expat2Uruguay

        I don’t know about that. I tried a bidet here in Uruguay and I was left with a very wet bottom that then required a great deal of toilet paper to get it dry.

      2. jrs

        or just use a hand towel for #1, TP is not necessary. #2 yea if you don’t have a bidet (and what is most landlords policy on installing those?) then TP.

        1. HotFlash

          The hand-helds just connect with a T-joint betw the incoming water line and the connection to your toilet. Most bldg codes require a shut-off there anyway. Installs in 2 minutes, ditto uninstall when you move.

        2. mcrogerm

          Did no one here ever read King Rat? About the prisoners of war at Changi? You can use a bottle of water. Recommended to only use left hand, too.

      3. jef

        Even cheaper and easier to use, just get a 1 gallon pump sprayer and keep it by the loo. You can heat up the wand a bit and bend it for more accurate aim.

        1. HotFlash

          Cheaper still is a recycled spray bottle. If you take out the straw it will spray upside down.

          Re drying: I ripped an old flannelette sheet into squares abt 8″, perfect for drying (regular TP wads and shreds) . Used flannelies go into a step on can, get washed w/bleach and reused for years. When my originals finally wore out, I bought a couple yards of cotton flannelette, it was from France! Woo! I do keep a roll of the regular stuff on the wall so as not to terrify guests.

          1. Arcadia Mommy

            My mom cut the soft baby washcloths in half and put a seam on them so they wouldn’t unravel to clean baby bottoms. Threw them in the sanitize wash cycle with the diapers. I guess I should have saved the diaper dekor.

      1. Off The Street

        In the Depression, many found out. They turned to the old reliable Sears catalogs. Here is a WC wall ditty from the era.

        If everybody’s paper hogs
        We’ll have to go back to catalogs

        In our wonderful modern era, sans newspapers and only having junk mail as a fall-back position, what are we to do? One response is notable:

        I am in the smallest room in the house.
        Your campaign literature is in front of me.
        Soon it will be behind me.

        1. Eclair

          “We’ll have to go back to catalogs.”

          Or, in my case, two week’s worth of Mike Bloomberg (Mike Can Get It Done!) brochures, one arriving each day like clockwork. A bit slippery, though.

      2. allan

        Important things have already begun to run out:

        Seattle health care providers scramble to ration medical supplies as coronavirus cases climb

        [Seattle Times]

        …Now, as global supply chains have been disrupted and the number of cases climbs, health authorities are hunting for medical supplies and have called on employees to ration.

        “Limit mask use to on the patient only,” read a Wednesday email from a Valley Medical Center (VMC) staffer to nurses, referring to surgical masks. “Staff will no longer wear masks, unless providing a care procedure requiring removal of the patient’s mask.” …

        About an hour after the message went out, staff objected and it was retracted, according to Liz Nolan, a VMC spokeswoman, and the hospital found other ways to conserve and nurses were allotted one mask per shift.

        Several Seattle-area medical centers have lowered the protocol for levels of precaution health workers take with personal protective gear when treating confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients. …

        This will not end well.

    3. Tom Stone

      I returned from my monthly in Hospital Chemo treatment yesterday evening ( I feel like a pincushion run over by an 18 wheeler) and can report that the nurses are taking Covid-19 seriously.
      They know there’s no way to prepare for what’s coming and the attitude of most is “This is what we signed up for when we became Nurses”.
      To help the sick and the dying at the risk of their own lives without hesititation or regret.
      Cold courage.

      1. MLTPB

        Best wishes, Tom.

        I believe that treatment is too important to postpone. Do you consider delaying your consultation or doing it over the phone with your doctor?

      2. ChristopherJ

        Stay home, Tom, been there 2019 and I know how weak and shit you must be feeling. And yes, those nurses are the best, eh?

    4. Lee

      Our local Costco is rationing toilet paper and bottled water. Two cases of each per customer.

  5. none

    Biden’s mind is mush and he and everyone else knows it. He can’t run in the general election and if he does, and somehow beats Trump, he can’t serve as president. The plan has to be to a) nominate him and have him drop out so his running mate becomes the nominee, or b) elect him so his VP becomes president as soon as it becomes obvious that Joe isn’t up for the job, or else c) have him drop out at the convention or just before it, so the DNC puts in the nominee of their choice.

    a) and b) explain why Warren won’t endorse Bernie: she is pipped to be Biden’s running mate and likely eventual president (they foolishly imagine either of them can beat Trump). For c) it won’t surprise me if the DNC picks Hillary.

    Did everyone see the video of Drucilla Cornell calling out Warren as an opportunist Republican?

    1. Carla

      @none– since reading/watching the Caitlin Johnstone piece yesterday, I’ve been thinking the way you’re thinking. I didn’t realize quite how bad it was, but the contrast between the Biden of 4 years ago, and Biden today, nailed it. I couldn’t stand Biden; now I just feel sorry for him, and angry that his wife is enabling this to be done to him. Pathetic and tragic for that family — and even more so, for the country.

      1. JTMcPhee

        I don’t feel sorry for him. He’s a bad person, and has been for decades. Why does he get a pass on past sins because he is on the steep part of the downward arc? Move his sorry avatar self out of the limelight, into a comfortable and secure environment — he denies that kind of decent decline to millions of the rest of us.

        In other news, “Big Banks Call For Wall Street Deregulation to “Fight Coronavirus.” Straight shock doctrine — Yep, never let a crisis go to waste. Who’s in line to replace Jamie Dimon, if the numbers catch up with him and his better-than-you-and-I get health care situation?

        1. Oh

          I’d like to see him recite the words to the National Anthem. We need more village idiots in the WHite House. Bush and Trump are not enough.

        2. Ping

          Zero Hedge link is compilation of Biden’s display of dementia. (I had a horrifying premonition that Hillary would be named running mate. Her desperation to remain in the public eye is suspicious)

          If Biden is the best the democratic party can offer, someone who boasts about being able to compromise with racist southern repubs , routinely votes against the public best interest (bankruptcy bill, bad trade deals, war, etc), family has profiteered from his influence for decades (not just Burisma) and now rampant dementia– I’m not voting

          Democratic party’s abandonment of public interest, abdication from defending the commons is why we have Trump.

          1. Yves Smith Post author

            It’s poor form to link to a repost rather than the original, which it at Caitlin Johnstone’s site. And Lambert linked to it yesterday at Johnstone’s site. Carla even mentioned it two comments above. Give credit where credit is due, and links to the original author.

        3. Olga

          Maybe if the 50-year-old Biden could see himself today, he’d take his sad self out of the race. But the irony is that he likely cannot comprehend the extent of the decline.
          What I don’t get is Jill. She must know best of all how he has changed. Why does she allow it to go on? Money? Surely, they’ve plenty already. So what is it?

          1. kiwi

            Well, the conjecture in Fox-world is that establishment dems want a weak candidate that they can control easily.

            Makes sense, when you consider the “horror” of Trump’s ascent in the repub party.

    2. xkeyscored

      Are you so sure Biden knows it himself? One symptom of losing his marbles might well be not being aware of it.

      1. Carla

        I don’t see what difference it makes. When people can no longer take care of themselves, someone else has to do it, usually a spouse or a child, sometimes the state.

        In this case, as in the pandemic scenario, it appears that our country can’t take care of itself.

        1. JTMcPhee

          Or, in the Neoliberal Paradise that Biden did so much to foster, “Just Die.” Maybe in a “shelter” made of cardboard, under the freeway viaduct or in some as yet undeveloped scrub land…

        2. xkeyscored

          I don’t see what real difference it makes either, I was being idly curious about none‘s comment, “Biden’s mind is mush and he and everyone else knows it.” It’s sad to see whichever, but also sadly fitting for a fast failing empire.

          Perhaps every Dem with a not too mushy mind fears Sanders too much? We can but hope.

    3. The Historian

      I think you need to stop with this – it’s starting to sound a lot like Bernie-Bro crap – and Bernie-Bro crap is off-putting to say the least and harms Sanders more than it helps. And it doesn’t work. It’s OLD and people know it for what it is. This tactic has been tried on Clinton and Trump to no avail. Why would you think it would work now?

      Biden has said nothing as ridiculous as the stuff that comes out of Trump’s mouth every day, and yet, no one is accusing Trump of being senile. I can remember a speech Trump gave in Montana where he couldn’t string two coherent sentences together, and yet when people tried to point that out, they were shot down immediately.

      It just sounds like an act of desperation on the part of Bernie supporters. I see absolutely NO need to get that desperate right now. Sanders is actually doing pretty well – or did you think this was going to be a cakewalk for him?

      1. Carla

        @Historian–Have you actually watched the video of Biden talking to a small gathering in Iowa, and then the one from the CNN interview of 2016 (both in the Caitlin Johnstone piece)? If you have watched them, and can still make the statement above, then… I don’t know what to make of your remarks.

        1. pretzelattack

          i havent seen a major political figure act like biden that i can recall; the closest was reagan, of course but he was heavily protected.

        2. The Historian

          1. Caitlin Johnstone is not my personal god. Sometimes I agree with her – this time I do not.

          2. You can’t go by just one or two speeches. Sometimes candidates get very tired, or they aren’t well prepared, or maybe they are just sick. As a person who had to give a lot of speeches, but not nearly as many as a politician has to do or on as many subjects, for my job, I understand how hard it is to be “up” every day. The totality of Biden’s speeches shows he is still in command of his mind.

          3. Apparently you haven’t listened to many of Trump’s speeches – they are consistently much worse than Biden’s few flubs. And I can remember some very bad speeches by Hillary when she was ill. People were throwing around the word Alzheimer’s at the time. Have you forgotten that already?

          4. Perhaps YOU should get out of your bubble to see how tactics like this are affecting the general public. It isn’t good.

          5. You want to make comments like this in your own person echo chamber, fine, but don’t expect them to get Sanders what he needs most – votes.

          1. Monty

            Imagine getting fired up and getting online to act as a Biden apologist. That is impossible for me to comprehend.

          2. Olga

            Neither CJ, nor mr./mrs god, has anything to do with this. Seeing the videos can hardly lead to a conclusion different than that Biden is on a downhill slide, when it comes to cognitive capacity. A sad fact, not ideology. (Also, nothing to do with DT.)

          3. Yves Smith Post author

            This is not a matter of her being a god or not. This is not one or two speeches. This is a dozen incidents spread over time, including not recognizing who is his wife was, and twice getting the name of the state he was in wrong, in addition to the full two minutes of incoherence that Lambert flagged,

            I have no idea how much time you spend with elderly people. This is way way way worse than anyone over 80 I have met. Admittedly, the ones in my acquaintance have not been institutionalized.

          4. Jonathan Holland Becnel

            Have to respectfully disagree with you, comrade.

            We must stop the Establishment at all costs.

          5. kiwi

            I’ve watched Trump’s speeches at his rallies a lot. I’ve watched a few speeches outside of the rallies, too. At rallies, he is conversational with the audience – which is why he connects with them so well. Conversation is not perfectly formed scripted sentences and paragraphs, like Obama used to deliver – or like politicians in general like to deliver. He also tends to be conversational for other speeches he delivers. His very formal speeches are fine, too.

            There is no bumbling that remotely resembles Biden’s confusion. I have a dad with dementia and have had relatives with dementia. At charitable best, one could try to excuse Biden because of the strain of the campaign trail. At worst, one can realize that at this point in Biden’s life, after years of speechifying, that this “or they aren’t well prepared,” is a piss poor reason to cite. All of his speeches should be rolling off his tongue, even if he is fatigued.

        3. flora

          I think something’s going on with Biden. There’s a marked mental/verbal decline from 2 years ago. There are good days and bad days, it seems. He gave CNN an interview last month explaining why he was electable and he sounded fairly on-point ( but frail ) most of the time. In another recent interview with his wife beside him, however, he started to ramble incoherently, and his wife immediately jumped in to save him and reset the discussion.
          Depending on whether he’s having a good day or a bad day, or how many distractions there are, he could sound more together than one might expect during the next debate.
          Also, the debate moderators might shephard him through his answers, quickly switching to the next question if he starts to ramble too much, or ask him only softball questions that should be easy for him to answer. He sounded in the CNN interview like he’s got the ‘why I’m more electable’ answer memorized. So, it’s possible a lot of people who aren’t paying much attention would conclude all the talk about his mental decline is nonsense.

          Shorter: Biden’s cognitive decline isn’t the thing that will tip most people to Bernie, imo. It’s possible Biden could be having a bad day during the next debate that even the moderators won’t be able to disguise, but I don’t count on that happening.

          The Dem estab would rather lose to T than win with Bernie.

          1. The Historian

            No, there is not a mental and verbal decline. Biden has always been known for a long time for sometimes giving goofy speeches. Have you forgotten already the times the Obama Campaign had to reign him in?

            1. Wyoming

              Well we all live in our own little bubbles. Biden, to a large number of us, clearly demonstrates cognitive decline across a wide range of behaviors. This is in addition to his life long inability to sound educated. So you are in your bubble and most of the rest of us are in ours.

              And you are also mistaken about no one bringing up Trumps mental deficiencies. I do it everyday along with thousands of others.

              We are just blessed with a selection of geriatrics. My sincere hope is that Covid 19 visits one or both of them in the next few weeks…that would be entertaining.

            2. pretzelattack

              i’ve never seen him confuse his wife with his sister before, or forget obama’s name, or forget the term for “god” before. i don’t recall any gaffes like this from his previous presidential campaigns. he’s lied and exaggerated his role in the civil rights movement before, true, but then he was forced to walk it back; now it seems like he has forgotten he had to retract it.

            3. Oxley Creek Boy

              I don’t understand how anyone can compare and contrast the public speaking of Biden 5-10 years ago and Biden today and not see massive decline. Whether or not he made frequent gaffes, the Biden of the past was a fluid and coherent speaker. The Biden of today is Grandpa Simpson.

              1. flora

                It’s either that, or he’s been putting on a good ‘failing health’ act to win sympathy and to get reporters and moderators to go easy on him while the field of 20 narrowed down. (Too scheming a ploy for Biden and the dnc?)

            4. none

              “My name is Joe Biden. I’m a Democratic candidate for the United States Senate. Look me over. If you like what you see help me out. If not, vote for the other Biden.” I mean really.

              Is it nearly as well known as Bernie’s heart stent, that Biden had two brain aneurysms removed in the 1980s? That can lead to cognitive decline and memory loss, and maybe explains what we see now.


              Per Matt Stoller, “Democratic insiders know Biden has cognitive decline issues. They joke about it. They don’t care.” That’s where I got “everyone knows it” from.

              1. dearieme

                I’m at a loss to see how people can criticise Trump’s mind and yet not be aghast at Biden’s.

                Unless the dnc has a sudden fit of sanity and adopts Tulsi it’ll have to be the commie geezer with the dodgy ticker. Because Biden or Hellary would be worse.

                Of course by November Hellary, Biden, and Sanders could all be Norwegian Blues.

              2. Henry Moon Pie

                Matt Taibbi has been talking like Stoller since Taibbi went out to Iowa pre-caucus. His beef is that all the reporters know it and talk about it but keep away from the topic on air or in print.

            5. Jeff W

              “Biden has always been known for a long time for sometimes giving goofy speeches.”

              I think not being able to complete the phrase “All men are created ______” is in a very different category than giving goofy speeches.

              Aside from Matt Stoller’s tweet about Democratic insiders knowing and joking about Biden’s cognitive decline issues, David Dayen said this: “I’ll say it. I saw Biden yesterday. He walked into the room like he had stumbled out of his hospital bed in a nightgown. He’s declining and it’s sad.”

              lambert yesterday referred to a video that, he said, “shows Biden dysfunctional at the sentence, phrase, and paragraph level. For two whole minutes. This is no stutter.” Nor, I’d say, a goofy speech.

              People can draw different conclusions about cognitive capacity, and Joe Biden’s in particular, but there’s nothing wrong with making a fair assessment. I’d say, in choosing a nominee to run for the presidency of the United States, it’s downright necessary.

            6. Daryl

              I’m not a doctor, and I’m not going to diagnose someone with dementia based on TV clips.

              However, I can say that I definitely wouldn’t get in a car driven by Joe Biden, or let him look after pets or small children. I can’t imagine why those two things would be true and yet he would be an acceptable choice for President.

            7. John Wright

              >No, there is not a mental and verbal decline

              Even if this is true, the Joe Biden of years ago, functioning as US Senator, did not produce good results for the USA (crucial Iraq War support, college loan no bankruptcy, Clarence Thomas, prison industrial complex support, financial industry support).

              As you mention “Obama Campaign had to reign him in”.

              As President, who will do this?

              Addled or not, Biden is a poor choice.

            8. kiwi

              His “gaffes” of the past aren’t comparable to the present.

              Maybe you can get the dem party to sequester him so his interactions with the public are limited, like HRC did in 2016.

          2. Carla

            “The Dem estab would rather lose to T than win with Bernie.” This is very true, but I don’t think even the feckless Dem establishment will be able to prop up this shell of Joe Biden through the rigors of a presidential campaign. That’s why I’m thinking they have a plan “B,” and that does not stand for “Biden.”

            1. Librarian Guy

              I think you are right. Bernie was solidly in the lead after Nevada and they had to congeal around a temporary choice.

              It’s partly (their) bad luck that the best they could do was poor Biden, who is clearly out-to-lunch most of the time . . . they had to stop Sanders ASAP and it was a desperate move . . . I don’t know who the Corporate Great White Savior would be, but I imagine the inner core group around Obama is gaming out the options.

              That’s why I agree with many here, I don’t think Warren will endorse Bernie. To whomever passed along the audio of Warren’s old colleague spelling out her character in the thread above, thank you, it explains a lot.

              The odds of a Trump 2nd (& 3rd, & dynasty) term are now very high, given the self-destructive antics of the Dem Establishment to make their sinking party even more irrelevant than it has become. At least the myth of ‘Murican “Exceptionalism” can now be killed off now and forever, amen.

      2. Otis B Driftwood

        Deny this all you want, but Biden is manifestly unfit for office.

        Sanders has focused on the other reasons Biden shouldn’t be elected – his record in the Senate and as Obama’s VP.

        Let them debate one-on-one, without interference or rescue from moderators, and you may see the former for yourself as Biden will be unable to defend his record on substance or in formulation.

        1. pretzelattack

          i think whoever the moderator is will protect biden to the best of their ability. the dnc has already proactively moved to do that by changing the rules to exclude gabbard.

        2. The Historian

          Biden is politically unfit for office. There is nothing to show that he is medically unfit. Keep the two separate in your mind.

          1. chuck roast

            I am of two minds about this. Biden surely does have a long history of political malfeasance. All this has led him precisely to where he is today. My other mind tells me that the fellow clearly has cognitive issues. He is also snappish and confrontational displaying extremely bad social judgement.

            This is not simple arithmetic. His very bad political judgement is magnified by mental and behavioral blunders. My two minds lead me to one conclusion: Biden is the perfect DNC/Media/Blob candidate.

          2. Drake

            I agree completely. An unwavering focus on Biden’s mental capacities will probably work out in his favor. It will be a distraction like RussiaGate. The focus should be on his ghastly political record while he had his faculties, and it should be unsparing. Just shouting “Anita Hill” over and over would be better than “look, he flubbed another line”. Or “crime bill”, or any of the many other greatest hits in his catalog.

          3. mpalomar

            There’s plenty to show, just no substantive medical evaluation. I’ve been watching Biden since before the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings and I do see decline, hence my opinion.

          4. ShamanicFallout

            To The Historian: OMG. Here is transcript of the speech mentioned by Lambert as showing major issues at all levels of speaking. Please read it and give us your comments. If you can seriously defend this and say that there is no issue with Biden’s mental state then I urge my fellow NCers to stay very far away from your narrative cloud. Here it is:

            “And so I was saying that, and what they turned around and said, Joe Biden said, in effect, they said, that Joe Biden said that what he was told, that what, that what the white supremacists argue, that we have no problem, that our, our, our basic English jurisprudential system is not the problem. The problem is those countries like Africa and Asia and those places, they’re the reason why we have all these problems. So they turn it around to make it sound like that, and by the way, the title of the article is, was, is the Washington Post ‘The Deceptively (indecipherable) of Joe Biden Singles, Signals What Is Coming’ and that is that’s a whole bunch of lies. The generic point I’m making here is that, what has happened is that, I know we’re going to get in to, whomever the nominee is of the Democratic Party, is going to have a plethora of lies told about him or her, and misrepresentations and this went on the internet, this edited article, it got retweeted by some press people and then they realized it was edited to make it look like something not… white supremacists, see, Biden’s acknowledging that the problem here is that that all those folks, all those minority folks are the problem. And so, in essence. And so they corrected, they corrected. You’re going to see a lot more of it. You’re going to see a lot more of not only my statements being taken out of context, and lied about, or altered, you’re going to see whomever the Democratic nominee is because that’s how this guy operates. Now. Whether or not I can win?”

        3. KLG

          The Historian makes a good point.

          If Biden is so unfit mentally, let it become clear as Bernie pulls out all the stops in the fight to Milwaukee. Otherwise, this stuff is perilously close to Senator Bill “HCA” Frist, MD, of Princeton and Harvard Medical School, diagnosing Terri Schiavo from a short video: “I question it (diagnosis of persistent vegetative state) based on a review of the video footage which I spent an hour or so looking at last night in my office” (I’m assuming this quote from wiki is valid, so caveat emptor).

          Anyway, how has Trump Derangement Syndrome, which is largely motivated by the notion that The Donald is mentally unfit, worked out for the past three years? Donald Trump is not stupid or demented. Outrageous, unread, and crude, perhaps, though all that means is that he lacks the indoor voice possessed of by Pelosi Schumer Clinton & Obama LLC and most national Republicans. He is, however, as feral as a house cat who has survived for 10 years in a forest full of coyotes, bobcats, and rattlesnakes. Continue to underestimate at your peril.

          1. chuckster

            TDS has worked out well for the Democrats. The reason we have Biden is that he’s the “only one” who can beat the Orange Man. It will not end well. It’s possible they can carry Biden over the finish line but the Dems will lose 100 seats in the House in 2022 and Speaker McCarthy will impeach him for “mental instability.” Win-Win

            1. Monty

              Joe will be OK because the Biden version, “BDS” is currently illegal in many states.

          2. onomatopeon

            yeah, I think that capitalism has given us entertainment instead of concrete material benefits so it’s no surprise, after 60 years or so of it, that “we” elected an entertainer again to lead us. if that’s remotely the case then perhaps warren was a documentary, sanders is a crime noir thing, the bidenburg is a tom hanks movie and, unfortunately , for his followers, trump is utterly cinematic. it probably doesn’t even matter what the topic of trumps flick is.

      3. Pat

        You mean the public finds the BS story of the Bernie Bros off putting? No it works and hasn’t harmed Biden or Warren. The repeated lie, like the equally Bull hockey story that Sanders didn’t support Clinton and helped cost her the election soldiers on. If that is not what you are saying, well politics is hard ball. None of the questions raised from Sanders supporters or the few non corporate press has approached the cat 5 hurricane the DNC and Biden faces in the general.

        Meanwhile no one here is supporting Trump or his mental health. Yet we’re supposed to support the Democratic nominee regardless. Many of us are saying flat out Biden is not acceptable even if his entire political history wasn’t a despicable record of selling out the American people, but because we who have been watching can clearly see his physical inability to handle the rigors of campaign much less the presidency.

        Am I to guess you are fine with putting the Democratic Donald Trump or yes Ronald Reagan in office? I am not.

        1. The Historian

          Are you kidding me? Because I won’t suck down all the Kool-Aid out there, that means I am for Donald Trump or Ronald Reagan? That is just the kind of Bernie-Bro crap I find so offensive.

          1. Pat

            You might want to reread what I said.
            I said the DEMOCRATIC Trump or Reagan, as in Team Blue’s candidate with clear issues. Seriously dude if he can’t handle a partial campaign schedule how can he handle a presidency?

            I also don’t get spooked by people essentially yelling “I have no answer to what you are saying so stop being mean to me!” You might want to look at the coordinated Democratic pile on of Sanders and his supporters to see what bullying really is. I suggest you start with today’s instructive tweet from AOC.

          2. GERMO

            There’s no such thing as “Bernie Bro crap.” It isn’t a thing. You’ve heard that it is a thing because people lie who want to stay rich by taking down Sanders.
            The end.

            1. Skip Intro

              Bernie Bro is David Brock’s 2016 retread of Team Clinton’s Obama Boys smear in 2008. It is a fabrication supported by paid online agents provocateurs posing as Bernie supporters. It is straight from the Karl Rove playbook of attacking your opponent’s strength.

          3. orlbucfan

            No, are you kidding me? My beloved mother died of dementia. Biden has it or something similar physical-brain-wise. BTW, I am a Sanders supporter and 2X campaign volunteer. I am not a “Bro”; I am a woman.

          4. Darius

            Bernie bro’s were mean to me online so I’m ok with people having to ration insulin. This isn’t about politics. It’s about my own narcissistic feelings about some supposed Bernie bros. Educated white liberals must be catered to above all else.

            I’m a liberal. If you want me to care about poor people you better be nice to me.

      4. Pelham

        I’ll disagree, although I think it’s possible to make the same points in a more measured way. However, let’s consider Biden’s probable mental decline in conjunction with AOC’s comment, noting that Sanders supporters are being badgered into supporting whoever the eventual nominee is while Biden supporters openly refuse to pledge the same if Sanders gets the nod.

        Taking into account Biden’s shaky mental status, the consistent awfulness of his legislative record and personal corruption as well as the disloyalty of Biden backers in the event of a Sanders candidacy, I would say it’s now time for major Sanders supporters to publicly vow not to vote for nominee Biden. Sanders himself is criticized for not getting tough on Biden’s record. Fair enough. But now his supporters need to get tough, too, and an open refusal to support a Biden ticket may be just the way to do it.

        Granted, they’d catch flak over this. But it would be consistent with the mantra that getting Trump out of office is far from enough. Perhaps obviously, I haven’t gamed this out very far. So I’d sincerely welcome further thoughts.

        1. flora

          Your suggesting Sanders supporters might as well be hanged for a sheep as for a lamb? I admit that has some appeal.

      5. urblintz

        Politics is dirty. After her pitiful loss to Trump, through her own arrogance, ugly persona and NOTHING ELSE the Clinton’s designed Russiagate specifically to take down Sanders and the left. It is the most cynical, pernicious political maneuvering I’ve seen since Bill, our “first black president” stopped his POTUS campaign to dog-whistle his overseeing the state sanctioned murder of Ricky Rector, aiming for the racist vote. Then he canceled welfare, amassed a fortune with his wall street cronies… and the American people LOVED him for it.

        The MSM have been pummeling Sanders with lie after lie after lie which are certain to defeat him and you are worried about manners? You’d choose who to vote for because someone else is angry and expresses it in a way that you find personally offensive? Get over it. Biden is slime and if he is elected we are screwed. It’s time to bring out the big guns, use them and own the results even if it means 4 more years of Donald Trump.

      6. lordkoos

        This is actual Joe Biden, from earlier this week:

        “And so I was saying that, and what they turned around and said, Joe Biden said, in effect, they said, that Joe Biden said that what he was told, that what, that what the white supremacists argue, that we have no problem, that our, our, our basic English jurisprudential system is not the problem. The problem is those countries like Africa and Asia and those places, they’re the reason why we have all these problems. So they turn it around to make it sound like that, and by the way, the title of the article is, was, is the Washington Post ‘The Deceptively (indecipherable) of Joe Biden Singles, Signals What Is Coming’ and that is that’s a whole bunch of lies. The generic point I’m making here is that, what has happened is that, I know we’re going to get in to, whomever the nominee is of the Democratic Party, is going to have a plethora of lies told about him or her, and misrepresentations and this went on the internet, this edited article, it got retweeted by some press people and then they realized it was edited to make it look like something not… white supremacists, see, Biden’s acknowledging that the problem here is that that all those folks, all those minority folks are the problem. And so, in essence. And so they corrected, they corrected. You’re going to see a lot more of it. You’re going to see a lot more of not only my statements being taken out of context, and lied about, or altered, you’re going to see whomever the Democratic nominee is because that’s how this guy operates. Now. Whether or not I can win?”

        1. o4amuse

          Can anyone offer an where/when/what context for this juicy alleged Biden quote?

          and does it remind anyone else of ee cummings?

          “next to of course god america i”

          next to of course god america i
          love you land of the pilgrims’ and so forth oh
          say can you see by the dawn’s early my
          country ’tis of centuries come and go
          and are no more what of it we should worry
          in every language even deafanddumb
          thy sons acclaim your glorious name by gorry
          by jingo by gee by gosh by gum
          why talk of beauty what could be more beaut-
          iful than these heroic happy dead
          who rushed like lions to the roaring slaughter
          they did not stop to think they died instead
          then shall the voice of liberty be mute?
          He spoke. And drank rapidly a glass of water

          By: E.E. Cummings

          1. pretzelattack

            it was at a town hall, the video was posted on twitter. it’s part of the compilation by caitlin johnstone recently in her article “stop calling it a stutter”.

          2. flora

            That’s interesting. Biden has, for his whole career, seemed to speechify in a ‘musical hum and rhythm’ style, putting in words and examples or anecdotes where they’ll fit his point, keeping up the hum and rhythm as he talks.
            The problem now is he still has the musical hum and tempo, but too many of the words are missing, and it take longer and longer for him to make his points.

            In stylistic contrast, Sanders has, for his whole career, seemed to speechify in the ‘thundering orator’ style pushing facts and logic to make his point. There’s little ‘music’ in Sanders’ style, imo. He still has the facts and logic at his command to make his point.

      7. Aumua

        I kind of do agree that regardless of whether Biden’s mind is turning to mush or not, it is probably better not to focus on that too much, and focus instead on how the policies he wants to promote are mush.

        1. chuckster

          Those policies are pretty popular in the Democratic party. Losing to Trump again terrifies them. I hope it happens.

          1. flora

            I doubt losing to T terrifies them. After all, they’ve passed almost every spending bill, tax cut, etc he’s asked for since they re-won the House. The ‘impeachment’ kayfab was pointless in terms of hurting T’s approval ratings. No, I think they’re fine with T. They’re terrified of looking like they’re fine with T, imo.

              1. thoughtful person

                Also, there’s the Democrat party elites, friends with (or paid employees of) billionaires, and then the are the everyday rank and file people who just registrered when getting a drivers license. Of course the two groups are different. I assume we are talking elites here.

      8. Oregoncharles

        Hopefully this comes at the end of the queue.

        This whole discussion illustrates perfectly why staying in the 2-Party is a trap.

        1. kiwi

          Yes. Hopefully, the dem party will die after the convention, so that something better will arise.

          Bernie’s biggest miscalculation was not running third party. He had the means to do so, and he could have taken working class voters from Trump.

          Shoulda, coulda, woulda…

    4. curious euro

      If Biden wins in november (not sure what this would say about the electorate…) then he can easily serve as president.
      Reagan could, Jelzin could. As long as one has a pulse, one can be a head of state. Easy.

      The actual governing will be done by others of course. I’m sure the usual suspects there already are salivating at the prospect.

      1. pretzelattack

        reagan could, and none too well, only by dint of people around him disguising his condition. nobody voted for al haig, or nancy to govern the country.

      2. Yves Smith Post author

        The Republican party then had elder statesmen like Jim Baker and Nicholas Brady who could pull levers. There’s no one comparable in the Democratic party.

        1. kiwi

          Well, there is Obama and HRC, waiting in the wings, oh so desperate for relevance and attention. I’m sure dems would love either of them taking Biden’s ear.

    5. Louis Fyne

      my long shot #tinfoilhat theory is that Biden is going to get taken to the woodshed in June and then replaced by a “unity candidate”—(presumably) all of Biden’s skeleton’s (smelling women’s hair, Burisma, etc.) are known but haven’t gone viral to normies due to sympathetic coverage from the main media outlets.

      1. Jeff W

        “Biden is going to get taken to the woodshed in June and then replaced by a ‘unity candidate’”

        That’s my theory, too, more or less—Joe Biden’s cognitive decline is the wild card the Establishment Democrats can play at any time, which is why they’re not concerned about it. They’re probably happy strategizing about it, in fact.

        Assuming Biden has a plurality of the delegates, they either drag Biden to the finish line in November, knowing—or maybe not caring if—he’ll lose to President Trump or, if they can’t credibly do that, they do the “statesmanlike thing” at the convention (whether they couch it in terms of “cognitive decline” or not, everyone will understand the subtext) and pick someone else—anybody but Bernie Sanders, of course, no matter how electable he is or how many delegates he has (which was the real underlying imperative in this entire primary process). I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s framed in some inane “kindergarten morality” kind of way—“Well, if Biden supporters can’t have their candidate, then Sanders supporters can’t have their candidate, either.”

      2. Ford Prefect

        All leading presidential candidates on both sides are in the mid to late 70s. That is moving into the age group with much higher probability of serious sickness and death from COVID-19. I don’t think they have been smokers etc. or have too serious underlying conditions, but if COVID-19 turns into a raging epidemic the probability of at least one of the Trump, Biden, and Sanders ending up with a serious case would be quite high.

        Given the age of Congressional leaders, it could upend leadership in Congress as well.

  6. Toshiro_Mifune

    Late today at work email sent to all employees: every day take laptops and work phones home so you can work from home in case there is a quarantine

    I’m the operations manager for an IT firm that manages market data systems in about 20 data centers around the globe. Once news broke out about COVID around Chinese New Year I told everyone in our NYC office to work from home. What surprised me was that our other offices in Hong Kong, Singapore and London hadn’t really considered it until I brought it up. Understand that HK is a bit different and many people there don’t really have the option to work from home.
    This week we started to see a lot of other NY Ops teams given the work from home order. RBC is, GS is, the Refinitiv hasn’t announced anything official but are empty, etc.
    So, yes, lots of people in the IT world being told there’s no need to come in to the office.
    What will be interesting is if this moment has longer term impacts. That is, if a notable number of people work from home with no real negative impact on productivity does that then give companies license to start letting people work from home permanently and closing office space. GS already started this as a goal about 3 years ago but since I’m not there anymore I don’t know how far along they are.
    Shorter version; Will COVID become the inflection point to allow large numbers of employees to work from home and scaling back on office space. If it does what the longer term impact on real estate pricing is also comes into question.

    1. Arizona Slim

      Yup. And the WeWork link really bopped me over the head.

      As mentioned here before, I rented desk space in a now-defunct coworking space in Downtown Tucson. I was one of the few people who actually went to work there every day.

      There were quite a number of offices and desks with business name tags on them, but they were seldom used. Some of them were never used.

      Oh, and spreading things around the office? Jeez Louise. That happened. I can remember falling ill with a real nasty back in 2016. I wasn’t the only one.

      Since I left that place, which, BTW, is still for lease, I have been working from home. So far, so good. No illnesses.

      1. The Rev Kev

        When I saw that WeWork link, I straight away thought you Slim and of the bullet dodge that you had leaving there. And it sounds like Toshiro_Mifune was working ahead of the curve in calling the NYC to work from home. I wonder how many managers will insist that their workers show up at the office still. That is, until they start to fall ill.

        1. carl

          I’m sure it’s been mentioned here, but in the US, it’s the service folks who are going to be hit the hardest. They don’t get paid if they don’t work, and they don’t make a lot anyway. At least the people who work in offices sometimes have the option of working from home.

        2. JTMcPhee

          Which “they” start to fall ill, the implacable managers-by-intimidation or the hapless gig-working stiffs?

        3. Daryl

          The response from tech companies in SF/Seattle has been mixed based on my anecdotal reports (not news, contacts on the west coast). Some went full mandatory WFH more or less immediately, others are allowing anyone to WFH, no permission from your manager needed, others are still in strong denial.

          Of course, if an industry where working remotely is done all the time can’t get a grip on this, you can imagine the response elsewhere is very poor.

    2. PlutoniumKun

      A number of very large companies I know of have been doing experimental ‘everyone work at home’ days this week in order to test their systems. Its a sensible thing to do, it makes one wonder why its not as regular a feature of office life as fire drills or safety talks.

      I’ve been banging the drum in my organisation on this topic since January, to entirely deaf ears (or to be precise ‘we’ll set up a working group and consult head office – the next scheduled meeting is in April, we’ll raise it then).’ But now its suddenly dawning on them that they may have no choice in the matter if there is a nearby case. Fortunately, a high proportion of the work we do can be comfortably done at home, and in fact we’ve spent a fortune over the past few years on a system which supposedly allows everyone access to all documents, everywhere. But bureaucratic inertia is a hell of a powerful force (not to mention personal resentments from those who for one reason or another can’t work from home).

      But I do think you are right, this could result in a significant alteration to how companies run themselves. Mind you, I’m sure some MBA somewhere is working out how it can be used to undermine employee rights or benefits.

    3. Ignacio

      The office of 60 where my wife has worked for years in Madrid is now closed. Everybody trying to do the work at home (Mutual fund management not that easy to coordinate everything from home). Two confirmed with SARS CoV2. One of them is not in good shape (though not seriously ill).

    4. ShamanicFallout

      Oh my- so many of the jobs that are actually necessary for us to actually function as a society require people to, you know, actually be there. Food and grocery? Warehousing, deliveries and drivers? Hospital work? Service work? School teachers? Most people CANNOT work from home. And they will of course be the first ones to suffer loss of wages. This could get brutal

      1. skippy

        What and miss out on Rwandan like opportunities to settle some scores in the mist of the Melee ….

        1. Ignacio

          I think that the easiest, less costly, and more sensible way to avoid HC overwhelming and reduce the fatality rate is to focus in protecting those who are the most susceptible to develop a serious illness. I believe that we are reacting in panic mode without thinking very much on what we already know about this disease.

          1. Brian (another one they call)

            I for one “wish” that this were possible. Reality means young people taking care of elderly. The young can get and hide the virus as they work, but their charges cannot escape. There are no firewalls if the party needs care. Self Quarantine is about the only option the world has left, and that isn’t going to work because it can’t go to work where the body is required to perform something that can’t be done behind a desk.
            Is now the time to put a large percentage of our population out of work so that we can begin protecting and caring for the health of the whole? The insurance lobby is destroying our nation in their attempt to induce health care slavery to give them a good living on the backs of the poor. I feel bad that those of you that chose to work for insurance companies to make ends meet. You will have to lose your jobs before we can progress. We can’t afford to carry you any longer.

            1. notabanktoadie

              You will have to lose your jobs before we can progress. We can’t afford to carry you any longer.

              That’s where a Citizen’s Dividend and land reform comes in – an income without spending one’s time, no rent and land to live, work and grow food on.

      2. Oh

        Thanks for the link. Other countries are quite aware of how the US along with the IMF and World bank manipulate the currency market to keep the USD supreme. A TV drama series in South Korea called “The Money Game” uses this as the theme. You can stream this and it’s subtitled in English.

      3. dearieme

        US should have led an international, coordinated response to the crisis.

        Led by the country that couldn’t come up with a working test?

  7. Lee

    Coronavirus disease 2019: Cases in Singapore
    A timeline of the confirmed cases in Singapore
    Published on 05 Mar 2020

    Perhaps through comparison with other nations’ more capable and robust responses to Covid-19 our elites could refrain from non-consensual murine intercourse long enough to get their phking act together. Always the optimist, me.

    1. Cuibono

      This is what good public health looks like. Also look at Hong Kong. They lives through Sars and seem to know the drill.

      We do not have any spare manpower in our public health systems… What is the possibility of fixing that in a few weeks??

        1. Procopius

          As Churchill put it, “America will always do the right thing, after they do everything else first.”

        1. Brooklin Bridge

          This is from Feb 28. How time flies. The author states 60 (admitted to) cases of covid-19 and zero (0) deaths. one week later and we have over 460 cases and at least 19 deaths. And because Trump wants to be re-elected, this info is almost certainly way under reported, meaning the figures a certainly higher. The author’s thesis, that we have better things to worry about, is stale, and his “measured” reassurance as well.

          The article could be better expressed in three words, “keep your heads.” That will remain good advice, but “don’t panic” rings hollow.

  8. The Rev Kev

    “Trump names Mark Meadows as new chief of staff”

    Mark Meadows? I thought that it was going to be Bill Lumbergh as the new Chief of Staff. I heard that he even made a speech to the press-

    “Uhhh, yeah….Hello, what’s happening? Listen, are you gonna have those press reports for us this afternoon? That would be great. We’re gonna need to go ahead and move you downstairs into the basement. Trump wants to turn the Press Room back into the swimming pool that it was back in Roosevelt’s day and we need all the space we can get. So if you could go ahead and pack up your stuff and move it down there, that would be terrific, mmmK? And it would be really great if you could take care of the cockroach problem that we have been having here too. Thanks! That would be great. Oh, and next Friday is Hawaiian shirt day. So, you know, if you want to you can go ahead and wear a Hawaiian shirt and jeans.

  9. JacobiteInTraining

    Probably a bit of wishful thinking on my part – but in the ‘what does it take to get the trumpalo cultists to see their emperor has no clothes’ category, can events – such as coronavirus – that suddenly can have a *direct* impact on their (and loved ones) health and safety do the job?

    Was having an unexpected talk with the 20-something ‘honorary step-daughter’ about a conversation she had with her mom not 10 minutes earlier, that she said surprised the heck out of her because usually it is her mom talking to her, and not letting words get in edgewise.

    This time, her mom let her talk, and mainly just asked probing/questing questions about politics, and current events. For reference, the daughter is a Union member and very leftist – Bernie Or Bust.

    What stood out to her was her moms obvious uncomfortableness with positions she previously has been strident about – Trump, Republicans, health care, even a little about religion. Why is this significant? The mom (mid 40’s) comes from a deeply religious evangelical clan, and whose grandparents are living (sadly) squarely in the trumpalo koolaid cult. The Mom has previously tended to let her parents do the thinking for her, and just take on opinions/talking points they spout….much as the grandparents take on and spout their own opinions based on what Fox News tells them.

    I haven’t had the chance to to talk to the grandparents yet to feel them out on how this may be causing them to reevaluate their own opinions, but am *really* fascinated to see eventually. Going to wait until Las Vegas starts doing things like closing schools so they have that same ‘local impact’ slapping them in the face first.

    Data point of just one, but I think the patently obvious poo the orange sh**gibbon is flinging about his cage in response to the virus has a very real chance of putting the literal fear of God into a lot of people who may otherwise have worshiped at the altar of Caesar. We shall see, I guess.

    Now, if only I could get them all to vote for Bernie. I will continue my efforts on that front. :)

    1. Watt4Bob

      Considering your comment, I hope you take the time to read the Nihilism link above.

      And considering the possible sh**storm/s that covid19, and our election season promise to deliver, I’m glad to have received a bit of education right now about the danger inherent in thinking.

      Thinking too much, not enough, and thinking under pressure.

      I never really had a firm grip on the meaning of nihilism, and now I fear that may have been a blessing.

      1. JacobiteInTraining

        I read the nihilism article, and though interesting in an intellectually complex way…that type of analytical complexity is not something I personally enjoy. Instead, I dug around for something more my style. This is what I came up with:

        “…The Zen master Hakuin was praised by his neighbors as one living a pure life. A beautiful Japanese girl whose parents owned a food store lived near him. Suddenly, without any warning, her parents discovered she was with child.

        This made her parents angry. She would not confess who the man was, but after much harassment at last named Hakuin. In great anger the parents went to the master. “Is that so?” was all he would say.

        After the child was born it was brought to Hakuin. By this time he had lost his reputation, which did not trouble him, but he took very good care of the child. He obtained milk from his neighbors and everything else the little one needed.

        A year later the girl-mother could stand it no longer. She told her parents the truth-that the real father of the child was a young man who worked in the fishmarket. The mother and father of the girl at once went to Haikun to ask his forgiveness, to apologize at length, and to get the child back again.

        Haikun was willing. In yielding the child, all he said was: “Is that so?”…”

        1. WobblyTelomeres

          Simpler, for me, is “Not Why, but Is.” For example, my dog lives in the land of Is and, when I throw his toy across the yard, is quite happy.

          The abyss is the end of Why. Close your eyes and take one more step, a leap perhaps, and you’ll find yourself in the land of Is, where you’ll find yourself at a fork. One way is We, the other Me, We being to the left. :)

          If you sit still for a while, you may discern a third path, a middle way. Here is where this aging gasbag steps aside and asks MLTPB to take over.

        2. Watt4Bob

          I read the nihilism article, and though interesting in an intellectually complex way…that type of analytical complexity is not something I personally enjoy.

          Funny, I was thinking that for all the discomfort I have felt in trying to understand the bits of philosophy I’ve read, for the same reason you sight, that article, though pretty long winded and thick still gave me some definitions I can finally accept/understand.

          My take-away is to consider the danger of ending up trapped in a spiritual culdesac of some sort by getting too obsessed with following some particular thread of ‘meaning‘.

          IOW, avoid closure, the goal is not to come to a conclusion, the goal is not to convince the ‘opposition’, or ourselves for that matter.

          If there is a goal, maybe it’s to understand the ‘cultists’ enough to have some compassion, that’s been a mighty challenge for me, and I’ve been amazed to find that over time, I more easily feel compassion for the Trumpists than the Clintonites.

          1. JacobiteInTraining

            My koan response and attitude is certainly less to do with the actual worth of the nihilism article to others, and more to do with my own knee-jerk aversion regarding (what I perceive as) over-analysis. i.e., one can dig down to the subatomic level if one wants, but no matter how deep you care to go…the little one still needs milk, and a good home. :)

            In phrasing the value of the article in the way you just did, you are going to prompt me to go re-read the nihilism article again…and this time with a tad more effort. As they say – good job, you are prompting deeper thoughts then my lazy Saturday morning first allowed…


            1. WobblyTelomeres

              I found that paying a little less attention to Nietzsche’s lounge act or Mathieu Delarue’s fascination with mumblety-peg and a little more attention to an amiable little Scot with a thing for turbans was a better use of my time.

              If you still want to get to nuts and bolts, Merleau-Ponty goes there.

              1. Watt4Bob

                I’ve always had the same experience when chasing the nuts and bolts, think “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance”, at least once I get to the French guys.

                The post above is the first time I felt some sense being made of nihilism, and it makes me a bit more comfortable with the subject.

                But I’m mostly happy to agree with you, they seem to have lost their way a hundred years or so ago.

                1. Procopius

                  It’s a long time since I read it. Maybe I should read it again, but there are so many other things I need (want?) to read. My takeaway was that the author is in need of a therapist, and completely misunderstands the difference between “truth” and “science.” Heck, he completely misunderstands what “science” is.

            2. Watt4Bob

              Thanks for your reply.

              I’m also more satisfied with what I consider the more practical, and user-friendly basics of eastern philosophy.

              1. MLTPB

                Chan is practical.

                ‘Chan is just chopping wood, and carrying water.’

                One needs both to make tea.

                As Zhaozhou, or Joshu in Japanese, answered , ‘have a bowl of cha,’ when asked, what is the Way?

        3. Oh

          It was too complex for me too and I didn’t get to the Zen Master part. His attitude is true zen.

        4. Monty

          Speaking if nihilism. What’s your take on Hume’s Guillotine (The Is Ought Problem)? Have you ever seen it surmounted to your satisfaction?

            1. Monty

              You’re saying the reason he OUGHT not to be rude is because he IS rude. There a hidden assumption in the premise: IF you believe, ‘it is wrong to be rude’ THEN you OUGHT not be rude.

              So the OUGHT comes from something subjective IF, rather than the objective IS.

          1. WobblyTelomeres

            I think I hinted at the two ways past it.

            First, Why (in my simplistic posting) is Ought, and Persig’s search for quality is the same rabbit hole. As was Bertrand Russell’s Principia (jmo, please don’t shoot me, I have children). Schopenhauer describes a leap of faith. This appears everywhere. For example, in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, when he steps into the chasm and discovers a camouflaged bridge.

            He stands on a precipice, the abyss confronts him, and steps anyway. I find this unsatisfactory as it implies that there is another world of meaning, of Why, if we could only see it clearly, only have faith. Blame it on Plato’s cave. I have read that all western philosophy is just footnotes to Plato and in this framing, that is an apt observation.

            The other way is to declare the entire framing false. That there is no Why, no self, no soul, no meaning, just Is. One imagines Nietzsche imperiously declaring in front of a drawing room of high society women, “God is dead!” and having them draw back gasping in titillated shock. I read that he was quite the draw. Making the leap, different from the Platonic formulation, from the world of reason to the world without reason (for existence) is difficult, probably the hardest thing one can do. The Buddhists refer to the things that keep you from making this leap/reframing as fetters, or attachments.

            Aside, these, too, appear in Western literature. Consider Bellow’s Eugene Henderson, for example.

            I always found their belief in trans migration, sansara, etc., to be unsatisfactory, too. In that, it is a fetter as well (though they are loathe to have that discussion, at least the one’s I have met). I imagine buddha discussing the quest to obtain enlightenment with some followers and having them ask, “But what if I don’t achieve enlightenment before I die?” Perhaps, buddha replied, knowing he faced a sea of wavering Hindi, brightly, “Well, you get to try again!”. Lesson one in how to piss off a Buddhist.

            Hume had some encounters with Eastern philosophy (no-self) which explains his penchant for turbans and why i find him fascinating.

            I like JacobiteInTraining’s story, above, and consider it illuminating. Is, followed by We.

            Aside, you find people hawking Why everywhere. Rick Warren is particularly annoying, in getting rich off his book, The Purpose Driven Life. I keep responding, when this arises in conversation, that I’m striving for a purposeless life, tyvm. Blank stares.

            Don’t know if you’ll ever see this reply, but if you do, as noted above, I think MLTPB is better equipped to have this discussion.

    2. Lemmy Caution

      I just heard Trump defending the administration’s response to the Covid-19 threat in an NPR story. In response to a question about the CDC’s recall of defective test kits and the ongoing shortage of viable test kits, Trump said something like, “the new test kits are perfect … just like the call was perfect … the transcript was perfect.”

      I realized at this point two things: the man truly is an utter buffoon, and, the Covid-19 virus is going to destroy Trump’s re-election bid.

      As the ever-widening scope of the disaster engulfs more and more people, businesses and institutions, it won’t be long before nearly every person is infected or knows someone who is.

      When the lack of test kits persists, healthcare workers run out of protective gear, hospitals beds are full to overflowing and the death rate grows exponentially, people are going to be scared and angry. I think Trump and his glib B.S. are finally going to run up against something he can’t bully and bluster his way through. The test kits are perfect, indeed.

      1. dearieme

        the man truly is an utter buffoon Yes, and still it was for the best that he beat Hellary.

        the Covid-19 virus is going to destroy Trump’s re-election bid Very possibly, but might it not depend a little bit on who his opponent is?

        1. Lemmy Caution

          If this thing gets away from us, like it looks like it might, then it may not matter who runs against him. On top of the devastating health impacts, the crippling of the global supply network may cause the economy to enter free fall. Here in Michigan there is already talk of shutting down auto plants because of the parts shortages. How many other industries depend on a steady stream of cheap imported materials, parts and supplies to stay afloat? And cheap consumer goods? Forget about it. If it escalates to food riots and quarantined cities, even Joe Biden might be able to stumble into the Oval office.

      2. Carla

        “the Covid-19 virus is going to destroy Trump’s re-election bid.” — Or cancel the election altogether, making DJT Dear Leader for life.

        The only silver lining is that Covid-19 looks quite likely to slow climate change.

        1. Monty

          Unless some Deus Ex Machina appears, the worst of the virus will be on the wane by July. A 6 day doubling means everyone in the world would have caught it by June. As long as reinfection is impossible, the survivors will be able to build on the smouldering ruins of what remains with herd immunity (till the next one).

    3. puttch

      It is a puzzlement…. how to take down Trump without ending up with Biden knowing that the success or failure to do either still leaves us with an obviously demented crazy person who somehow has managed to become POTUS.

    4. kiwi


      What does it take for TDS carriers and spreaders to realize that action has and is being taken?

      I recall people complaining when Trump restricted travel. Were you one of those people?

      Maybe you should go to D.C. and handle it yourself.

    1. xkeyscored

      ” in the face of obvious cognitive decline” – didn’t I see those exact words here not so long ago? Or were they borrowed from elsewhere?

      1. Arizona Slim

        Key point from the article:

        This year’s election will be a landslide victory for Trump. These record-breaking crowds he’s attracting are no fluke, and they’ll only get larger once the DNC chooses a nominee. I’m guessing; since 2016, the President has already stolen a substantial chunk of former Sanders voters who, while they want healthcare and higher pay, aren’t willing to kowtow to snobby coastal elites, give up their guns, or completely open the southern border to get them.

        1. Dirk77

          Yet, if cov-19 is big in the US and Trump botches the gov response, people say he’s doomed. Two doomed candidates means an opening for a third. A month ago, I had thought it would be Trump v Bloomberg and then Sanders winning as a third party. But now?

          1. kiwi

            Haven’t you read that Trump has already completely botched the gov response?

            It’s too late for Trump!!!!

            All those people who keep showing up for his primaries, in numbers that typically exceed the entire vote count for all dem candidates in their primaries, need to go home and forget it.

        2. MillenialSocialist

          Still waiting in vain for someone to provide a link to which Democrats favor “open borders”.

          Until I get one I, along with other people people who think for ourselves, will just assume it’s a straw man.

          1. FluffytheObeseCat

            It is a straw man. That’s not the point. “Open borders” is one of the more potent slander against Sanders circulating in the Fox/Sinclair News alternative information world. Large numbers of Americans hear it repeated a few time a week. They also hear that he’s in favor of free health care for illegal immigrants……. without mention that it would be a side effect of free health care for everyone, as a human right. Sanders could speak out about it, but it’s probably too late to counter the lie this late in the game. Way too many weak-minded saps now “know” that Sanders sides with foreigners taking their jobs, homes, and communities.

            Another issue is his pro-gun rights history. The NRA and similar have been downplaying and lying about his actual record for quite some time now. NRA leadership has an extreme right wing bias and recognized him as a threat long before his presidential runs. A pro-gun rights social democrat is their nightmare. The little guys they grift their $1 million per annum salaries off of just might like Sanders if they got to see him for real.

            Trump is able to go easy on Sanders in large part because the right wing propaganda ecosystem has been tearing into him for years now. In most of the U.S. other info sources are so little respected and have so little penetration that Trump could probably run against Sanders in the general without overtly attacking him. Trump will let the right wing system attack on his behalf, while making endless cutesy comments about “crazy Bernie”.

            1. kiwi

              You just aren’t paying attention. Fox news people have attended a number of Sanders’ town halls, where they engage with him.

              Bernie and Tulsi have the guts to do this with Fox news.

          2. Beniamino

            How many of the Democratic presidential candidates have endorsed expelling illegal immigrants who commit crimes in the U.S.? Maybe expulsion would be a little bit harsh for a misdemeanor, how about for a felony? You know for something kind of egregious like rape or murder? That doesn’t seem like it should be too controversial. Anyone? Bueller? Biden suggested that he was amenable to expelling undocumented aliens with criminal records, got crucified in the press for his inhumanity, and walked it back a few days later IIRC.

            How about restrictions on asylum seekers? Can the Democrat standard-bearers conceive of anyone to whom we should deny asylum? Should we perhaps, for example, withhold asylum from economic migrants until we figure out how to provide housing / jobs / treatment for our 500,000+ homeless people? Have any of the Democrat presidential candidates acknowledged any kind of circumstance where they would ever be willing to deny entry to anybody? Or are immigrants, always and invariably, our strength (hat tip to the Klob)?

            We can play semantic games, and admittedly none of the Democrat contenders this election cycle have TTBOMK openly embraced “open borders” as a policy goal, but if you’re not willing to expel any illegal immigrants and you’re not willing to deny anybody asylum you are in effect, in the barbaric uncomprehending minds of the unwashed masses, endorsing “open borders.”

            1. John Wright

              Neither party has advocated for the simple enforcement of existing fines for employing non-citizen workers.

              If the Democrats advocated for strong enforcement of fines (via sting operations) against the upper-middle class Americans and businesses who hired non-citizen domestics, landscape workers, fast food workers and construction workers, they’d probably pick up a lot of Trump supporters.

              But neither party will enforce employer fines, because labor consumers (the upper class), rather than labor suppliers (working class), rule BOTH political parties.

              Trump probably likes low wages for the workers he employs on his properties, hence the ineffective Potemkin Wall that the Democrats can rally against.

              1. kiwi

                Sure the parties have advocated and passed enforcement actions like raids and fines. Employers have been raided and fined. Possibly not enough, but they have faced consequences here and there.

        3. Lemmy Caution

          Trump is more likely to be buried by a landslide than win by one. He failed to deliver on almost every campaign pledge he ran on.

          1. Librarian Guy

            I wish I could agree with you– I do agree he has delivered next to NONE of his promises, other than–

            a) being openly White Nationalist
            b) making noises about the negative economic effects of Globalism (his NAFTA II is clearly a tiny improvement, if any)
            c) Not starting a war like both Parties like– so far (but let him get desperate & we’ll see!)

            He really hasn’t delivered any meaningful improvements viz health care, infrastructure, etc. He does enforce the ReThug orthodoxy that women’s wombs need control & gays are icky, but he didn’t much foreground that in his ’16 run . . .

            He wins with the followers because they are nearly all Losers who are entertained and identify with his cruelty and faux “strength” & illusion of wealth. (Yes, I exclude the top 0.1% who will usually reliably vote ReThug regardless of the fact that the Dems cater to them nearly as much)

            They will still support him to victory thru the EC (even the odious HRC could win raw votes, not that it matters), & he will kick the shit out of Dementia Joe, or any Dem other than Sanders.

          2. inode_buddha

            … and yet *every* right winger that I know, insists that Trump is the guy because he “gets things done” and no amount of anything will change their opinion.

        4. Roland

          I think that “M4A plus 2A” would be a winning formula. “America, keep your AR’s and get rid of your HMO’s.”

    2. KLG

      This (emphasis added):
      “Trump knew not to let his enemies in the media and his own party dictate the talking points, and he never validated their criticisms in any way. Bernie doesn’t even seem to know these people are his enemy a lot of the time.

      “Bad faith actors in the DNC and television punditry spent months framing the Senator’s supporters as uniquely aggressive and insulting, turning his greatest strength into a liability, and he let them.

      “Sanders has also gone way too easy on his opponents and the Democratic Party. Do you know why the Republicans weren’t able to screw Donald around like this? He told them during the very first primary debate that if they tried playing games with him, he couldn’t rule out a third-party candidacy down the road.” And I would point out that The Donald is much less of a Republican than Bernie has been a Democrat for his entire time in the House and the Senate.

      And while finishing this comment I get this in my inbox from the Boston Globe:
      “The intractable Bernie Bros and what they might mean for the Sanders campaign”

      Anyway, my stock reply to the Bernie emails and texts has become “show a little evidence of effective seriousness of purpose, and I’ll donate again, but not until.” I figure someone at Bernie Central might read one, one of these days. Probably in October.

        1. Norge

          “So the real problem with Bernie is simply that he is not Donald Trump?”

          No, the problem with Bernie is that he is passively allowing the DNC and the media to control the narrative.

            1. Jeff W

              “last i checked they own the medium. Including twitter. Not a small advantage that.”

              But it’s not everything either. Bernie Sanders has, for example, changed the entire narrative around single payer, even with the DNC and the media trying desperately to control it. Standard issue Democratic consultant Andrew Feldman says, “Every [Super Tuesday[ state with exit poll results shows majority support for replacing private insurance; it’s winning by huge margins in a few.”

              Simply put, Sanders doesn’t have to own the media narrative frame even as the media foists it upon him. Here’s what Krystal Ball says about the “Bernie Bro” brouhaha:

              I do want to say I’ve been disappointed with the way that Bernie Sanders has handled this thing. That he’s given it lift and life and sort of validated the narrative, I think, is really the wrong approach because it just allows—it feeds this whole thing, rather than just saying “Look, people say what they say online”—exactly what we’re saying—“They deserve to have a voice and I’m not going to shut them down. People have freedom of speech.” Like, say that.

              Not to mention that some, if not a lot, of the “mean tweets” of the so-called “Bernie Bros” could instead be construed as people effectively and “actually seiz[ing] control of important dominant narratives.”

              We don’t have to agree on any particular ways of disowning and rebutting the media narratives. It’s enough to say that Sanders could disown and rebut some of them in ways that he hasn’t.

              1. Cuibono

                I do not disagree. But it is a huge uphill battle to fight on a battlefield owned and designed by your enemies

      1. fresno dan

        March 7, 2020 at 9:28 am
        Most excellent points KLG!

        Years ago, Reagan was critiqued with having John Birchers as supporters, and his reply was to the effect that if they (John Birchers) vote for Reagan, they are supporting Reagan policies – it doesn’t mean that Reagan is supporting John Birchers. Any politician with even a snowball’s chance in heck of being elected is going to have some screwball/evil person/organization support them. Indeed, taken to its logical end, the Klan could veto any democrat simply by feigning support for them.

        But it does show that most “news” is agendasized moral preening – although the moral gatekeepers of the media have a keen eye for “class warfare” and would never allow the deaths of all the poor people to be used to make a moral argument for universal health care.
        David Sirota

        In 13 out of 16 states, CNN exit polls show @BernieSanders won independent voters who often swing national elections

        It’s weird that this hasn’t been mentioned by anyone on cable TV in the the 24-7 coverage of “electability”
        NO, it is not weird at all, if one realizes that media is not an objective search for truth from dispassionate objective individuals who don’t have an agenda.
        Every subject covered is taken with a stance of preconceived assumptions and heavily laddled with insufferable moral preening – basically every question asked is essentially, “have you stopped beating your wife”? and every follow up question to a denial of spousal abuse by the supppsed perpetrator AND HIS WIFE is: “Isn’t it true that most abused spouses exhibit Stockholm syndrome”?

    3. TroyIA

      Excellent recommendation farmboy. All of the ink spilled, talking heads on tv and general obsession about the election can be succinctly summed up in 2 sentences.

      Democrats can either get rid of Bernie Sanders or Donald Trump this election year – not both. It appears they’ve made up their minds.

    4. lyman alpha blob

      That guy understands that Trump is an entertainer, something the Democrat party has failed to comprehend at all. They’re playing politics while he is playing a much more entertaining game of “Apprentice”.

      I don’t think Sanders believes the Russia nonsense or the Bernie Bros idiocy at all, but he does pay lip service to it before quickly moving on to more important topics, whereas Trump just smacks it down and kicks the establishment in the groin.

        1. Olga

          The longer I live, the more it seems that any system, where a struggle for power is involved, attracts mainly psychopaths (there are exceptions). So this basically means all systems of governing we’ve had up to now.
          (While most people would probably like having more power, those who actively seek it are few – seems to me.)
          I think what we should do instead is devise a system of governing akin to a jury duty. Every person, after a certain age, would have to serve some amount of time on a panel – let’s call them – governors. No elections, just rotating panels, with age, gender, and geographic representation.
          Details of decision-making, responsibility, continuity, appeals, etc. could be worked out.

          1. inode_buddha

            That’s exactly what the Dutch did back in the 1600’s. The US would never pass something like that because most people think they already have the best system. I greatly wish the US could seriously look at and consider the features of other nations.

    5. fresno dan

      March 7, 2020 at 8:14 am

      Thanks for that farmboy – the whole thing is great, but so, so many great nuggets I can’t resist reiterating!
      It also helps that for however talented Trump is at moving a specific portion of the American electorate, the Democrats are equally inept. The DNC has torn itself in half and sold its soul to the most regressive, ineffective wing of the party: the affluent, coastal “woke” elite.

      Bernie Sanders’s diverse grassroots movement has the size, enthusiasm, and organization on the ground to, at least, challenge Trump in the states he flipped red in 2016. Bernie’s Congressional voting record, history of fighting for social security, and resistance to damaging economic legislation and trade deals will make him a tough matchup for the incumbent.
      The affluent liberal core of the party knows they’re throwing away their one chance to remove the President from office – you know, that goal they’ve been hysterically pursuing since November 2015?

      Why would the affluent moderates and older voters who already enjoy the benefits of socialized medicine* sign up to pay more taxes and help lift the struggling working-class (beyond the fact that they’re often pretending to be holier than thou)? By actively sabotaging Bernie’s campaign at every stage of the race, prominent Democrats are admitting they’d rather take four more years of Trump over significantly challenging the status quo.
      * People on medicare get tremendous benefit from the PRICE CONTROLS of medicare. If older people TRULY knew how much it would cost to get medical insurance, IF IT WAS AVAILABLE to them as all at ANY PRICE, the ABSURD debate about people “loving their health insurance” would end in a nanosecond, and the unconscionable injustice of leaving people to the healthcare market would end.

      1. Procopius

        The affluent liberal core of the party knows they’re throwing away their one chance to remove the President from office – you know, that goal they’ve been hysterically pursuing since November 2015?

        I’ve long held the opinion that it’s all a marketing scam to bring in money. The reason they don’t want to defeat Trump (as proven by the decision to choose Biden) is because Trump is bringing a lot of donations to the DNC and DCCC. They don’t have any wish to break their own rice bowl.

    6. Dirk77

      As xkeyscored implied, the Cormier article pretty much summarizes the drift of thoughts on NC lately. Though, I would still like some thoughts about why the Dem establishment chose Biden over Bloomberg. I can see in a way that Bloomberg was a threat to their power, the Dem model seeming to be power => money, yet…

      1. HotFlash

        Just musing here, but several decades ago, when the the M&A mania struck, I was associated with a medium-sized, very prestigious accounting firm in a large city. The senior partners, they guys with their names on the door, were all keen to sell to a world-wide firm, the juniors and articling accountants were terrified, and one of the partner’s wives told me, “I really don’t know why he wants to do this, it makes no sense.”

        The partners went ahead with the deal, they got well compensated but turfed out. Patti later told me later that partner Sid hadn’t seen that coming. The junior partners got turfed, along with everybody over a certain pay grade, actually, the choice was pay cut or ???. The articling accountants got to keep their jobs, a few took pay cuts, but *all* remaining staff got much reduced career trajectories. Management was brought in from the parent firm, it was a far less pleasant place to work, and far different for clients as well (I worked with a couple of their clients, so that’s how I know).

        So, DNC selling out to Bloomberg machine, think it might go like that? In that case, expect the DNC to fight MikeyB as hard as they do Bernie.

        1. Oh

          IMNSHO, the DNC elites will gladly take Mini Mike’s money (as they did already) and kowtie to him. They’ll protitute themselves and trip over each other to please him to make Bloomito’s management team. Bloombito has already spent half a billion $$$$ to capture the party. I don’t think he was running to be President as much as having the power over the future President.

          1. Dirk77

            The conjectures of hotflash and you have weight. But perhaps we’ll never be sure unless someone spills from the DNC meeting about this with Clinton, Obama and Keyser Soze.

    7. Big Tap

      Excellent article. It mentions why Bernie is in such trouble this election. He is not running with the same campaign ideas he ran in 2016 on and it costing him voters.

  10. xkeyscored

    As tonnes of used masks pile up, China struggles to cope with medical waste South China Morning Post

    I can’t help wondering how well prepared other countries are for this aspect of the virus.

    Huge piles of masks and other discarded protective equipment have been seen at hospitals across Wuhan, with news portal The Paper saying that three tonnes of it piled up at Puren Hospital in just four days.
    Garbage collectors were quoted as saying they were overwhelmed and that the city “is simply not equipped to incinerate the massive amount of waste”.
    … Du Huanzheng, director of the Recycling Economy Institute at Tongji University in Shanghai, also expressed concerns over the widening supply-demand gap in medical waste treatment, but said a large number of new facilities were being built or planned.
    “The disposal of medical waste is a major part of the battle against the outbreak, which is a wake-up call for the government to speed up the construction of new facilities and research into waste treatment technologies,” he said.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      Disposing of waste is rarely a problem in China as the regulations (and their application) is notoriously lax. But thanks to the widespread use of unregulated landfills, the country lacks many waste incinerators (or waste to energy plants as the industry likes to call them) as they are not economically competitive. I’m no fan of incineration, but its probably the best quick fix in most countries for this waste if they have these plants (in most countries, there is a legal distinction between clinical waste and municipal/commercial waste, so it may require license changes).

      But in reality, these masks and other protective materials are not a long term hazard – the virus doesn’t survive more than a few days unless its within some sort of protective tissue (such as with diapers used for incontinent patients). Ironically, the best way sterilising the masks in a ‘quick and dirty’ way would be to leave them out in the open air, such as spreading them under nets on a landfill before burying them.

      1. JTMcPhee

        I’d love to see some actual science on how long the virus can survive in a pile of humid used masks and other PPE, and how long laying the stuff out to dry and exposing it to sunlight takes to reduce the pathogen to no risk. Who’s going to handle and turn and spread those masks, hmmm? We’re talking about the people who operate and work at and, in many cases, forage for usable stuff and food and actually live in landfills. Like this: “ Life in a Cambodian rubbish dump
        Workers at the Anlong Pi landfill near Siem Reap live and breathe toxic chemicals on a daily basis.“

        That’s the “away” where stuff goes when we “throw it away.” Another decimation of the Commons…

        I suspect Chinese landfill practices are not much better than those, which are typical around most of the world.

    2. Expat2Uruguay

      What I don’t understand about this is why you can’t just set a mask down for 10 days and then all the virus is dead and it can be used again. Obviously in a hospital environment where there might be blood it’s a different issue. But for myself, it seems logical that I could have 10 masks that I rotate each day and there would be no need to throw them out. I would appreciate some informed comment on this.

      1. mraymondtorres

        I dunno, man. Sounds too simple to me. Everybody knows smart solutions are complex.

      2. xkeyscored

        Uruguay 30 million masks. USA 3 billion. And there’s a shortage, with countries banning their export.

        Plus I think they kind of clog up with everything else that’s in the air and your breath and become less and less usable, maybe less effective.

      3. Oregoncharles

        Do they disintegrate in water? Drop them in bleach solution, let them dry. Or spray them, if they’re fragile.

        Would still clog up over time. It’s a filter, after all.

      4. PlutoniumKun

        ‘sunlight is the best disinfectant’. Its not ideal, but yes, I think just leaving any potentially contaminated material (not just masks) out in the open is a reasonable approach (in the absence of the ‘ideal’) to keeping things sterile.

  11. floyd

    Mass General is one of the ELITE hospitals in the country. What I find more striking is who they are blocking: Biogen, one of Boston’s darling biotech firms. It’s not like they’re employees from a Marshalls in Revere. Guess even those making $200K+ are not considered important enough to receive testing. You never know when Seth Klarman might need access. A real slap in the face to the PMCs who might have to go to City Hospital with the Marshall employees from Revere.

    1. anon in so cal

      Not sure of the details re: Mass General. But the advice I’ve read is call ahead before seeking ER care or testing because otherwise one is exposing everyone in the ER to the virus.

    2. Duck1

      My guess is the required tests don’t exist. Welcome to the cargo cult pandemic in America.

      1. Kurtismayfield

        That is my thought as well.. the bill just got passed to pay for the test kits.. I am guessing the hospitals are in such short supply that they need to make sure they are only using them on death cases or severely ill patients that have symptoms.

      2. Oregoncharles

        My assumption, too. And it’s a good point that entering the ER could infect everyone.

    3. HotFlash

      A real slap in the face to the PMCs who might have to go to City Hospital

      I was thinking about that. Perhaps things might change if the PMC started feeling more precarious?

    4. bob

      The entire Longfellow Bridge filled with people from Cambridge seeking help ACROSS THE RIVER in Boston!

      Que Horror!

    5. thoughtful person

      Even at 200k they are working for a living, not collecting interest and dividends on multi million bank and stock accounts.

      Plus no one has many tests for anyone until late next week…

  12. The Rev Kev

    “One slide in a leaked presentation for US hospitals reveals that they’re preparing for millions of hospitalizations as the outbreak unfolds”

    Using only kitchen mathematics here but those numbers seem screwy. So here are those estimates-

    4.8 million hospitalizations associated with the novel coronavirus
    96 million cases overall in the US
    480,000 deaths

    So by cheating and rounding up some of those numbers, out of 100 million cases they are expecting only 5 million hospitalizations. Really? That is about 5% and that is only a fraction from what I am hearing.

    But more important, he is estimating that there will be 500,000 deaths out of 100 million cases. That works out to be a death rate of 0.5% of all those cases. I am guessing that with the US healthcare system in place, that the number would be about 10 times that.

    Finally, the slide points out that hospitals should prepare for an impact to the system that’s 10 times a severe flu season. During a normal flu season the number of people hospitalized is about 0.1% so if they are planing on not that great an increase, they are going to be slammed.

    1. Steve H.

      The Rev Kev, what I’m coming away with is that there is a narrow, hard line of hospital and ICU capacity, and once that is crossed the complexities blow through the predictions in the new system state. The Sprecht twitter thread is clear, concern about timing is undercutting response time, given the very high probability of the threshold being breached.

      Jayapal is working on getting a million people to Milwaukee to prevent the Democratic establishment from stealing the election. That may be enough to keep the superdelegates from their private planes. But then vector the epidemiological probabilities out from that nexus as a single pulse. With targeted ideology as the frosting on the cake.

    2. Monty

      I agree. The only thing shocking about those projections were how low they were.

      Apparently American Exceptionalism even extends to their immune response! Übermensch!

      1. Brian (another one they call)

        I hate making predictions but with this one I think I am still underestimating the spread of the virus. In China; currently 50 million infected. In the US, 20-50,000. China lies about the data, and so does the US. When China lies, it is because they have done some rough counting in real numbers and they give a false total. When the US lies, it is due to absolute ignorance of the facts because the people counting have been muzzled by an inept administration, a castrated CDC, homeland insecurity, and the insurance lobby screaming “how we gonna pay for this”
        I have the sick feeling that we will be the worst nation on the planet when it comes to doing anything to protect the people. Of course my prediction on that is easy after seeing the initial reponse. Since no one in the Trump administration believes in science, it will hamper every attempt that doesn’t mention jesus as a cure. It has already begun.

        1. jrs

          Some states are wavering all payments for testing (CA, NY, WA all have taken some action in this regard), but I’m not sure this applies in all cases to the entirely uninsured. And another catch is these are all blue states. We have no idea what policy deep red states will adopt.

        2. Monty

          I doubt those numbers you posit are correct, but what do I know.

          I think China has had some success by shutting the place down for over a month. My understanding is it is important to slow the spread and make it less likely that large numbers of the vulnerable population all get hit with it once. Then you can treat the people who are sick properly, and they have a better chance to survive.

            1. MLTPB

              I think with Singapore, being a transportation hub and choice for conferences, is not just about the cases there.

              Other nations have been on the receiving end of ‘It.’

          1. MLTPB

            I believe shutting it down, even as we hear about people in Wuhan not being tested, has been the key factor in slowing it down.

            Is so, that can be a useful lesson for the rest of the world.

            Will we learn?

            On our options, we have FEMA, which can set up mobile hospitals.

            I dont if China has an equivalent. I know they built one permanent hospital. Then nothing, but converting schools etc. I haven’t read about setting up mobile hospitals there.

        3. thoughtful person

          We in the usa will have a faith based response. Go pray at home. Good luck!

    3. MT_Bill

      So with a little bit of Googling the best number I could find for total hospital beds in the United States is under 1 million. Apparently the number of hospital beds available has been decreasing steadily since the seventies as the US Health profit industry has switched to more and more outpatient services.

      Maybe that 4.8 Million number isn’t an estimate of infected needing medical treatment, but just an upper cap on the maximum amount of space for sick people possible in a hospital setting.

      1. johnf

        What I suspect will be critical are the number of ICU beds. Germany, I have read, has 28 000 of which 80% are usually in use. Figuring four weeks to clear a severe infection, five percent of the 83 million population falling ill over four weeks and two percent of those needing an ICU bed, I could believe that 80 000 may die in a single month from lack of facilities.

        I ran the numbers a week ago and do not understand why the authorities are still not doing everything in their power to reduce and spread out an epidemic. That same Friday, the local Fischwrapper ran a front page story quoting a Berlin virologist, who said that things will not be so bad if an epidemic does not hit Germany for another two years. The dysfunction is radiant.

        1. MT_Bill

          My mother-in-law is a pharmacist pharmacist in southern Germany. She called us this morning to give us an update of what the coronavirus issue is looking like there. She also gave us a list of over the counter medicine she wants us to stock up on because she thinks supplies will run out because that’s what they are seeing in Germany.

            1. ambrit

              Seconded. A list from someone cognizant of the situation and practiced in the arcana of pharmacology is always good.

              1. MT_Bill

                The most important one was guafesin, which is an expectorant. My understanding is that its prescription only in Germany and supplies are low. Available as a cough syrup or tablet in a bunch of OTC forms. Clearing the lungs can help prevent pulmonary fibrosis (?) Which is leading to the severe cases.

                1. ambrit

                  Thank you. That’s now on my shopping list for this evening. The shelves around here, Down South, are still well stocked.

    4. Pat

      Another perspective on this is that deBlasio has stated there are 1600 hospital beds in NYC. NYC has over 8 million people. And that says nothing about ICU or respirator capacity except it is less.

      We do however have numerous “urgent care” facilities that cannot actually provide that.

      Our for profit medical system is woefully unprepared for a mild epidemic much less one on this possible scale.

      1. Pat

        I realized I didn’t say available, and went to check. Should have done it before it is 1200 available beds for the virus patients.

        Apologies my bad.

    5. VietnamVet

      The Diamond Princess is now a broken petri-dish. In a population of 3700 there were 696 confirmed cases, 410 were patients with no symptoms, and 7 deaths so far. This is an 18% infection rate in an attempted quarantine and a 0.19% death rate. There is another petri-dish sailing off the coast of California. WaPo reported that the fatality rate of the Wuhan coronavirus is similar to seasonal flu.

      “Coronavirus: Expert’s worst-case scenario is 96 million infected in US with up to 500,000 dead”:

      My back of the envelope calculation is it will be twice as bad as this. I woke up a decade ago ventilated in the ICU. I will do what I can to avoid that again. I’m also ancient, a year younger than Joe Biden. I’ve got skin in the game.

      The apt description of the Wuhan Coronavirus is the “Killer Cold”. There were twice as many asymptomatic, spreading the virus throughout the ship, as those who got ill. The real problem for Americans is the destruction of the federal public health system to give tax cuts to the wealthy. Each State is on its own. The response to date has been a series of deadly SNAFUs. Hotspots are popping up across the country. Assisted care homes are vulnerable. Maryland’s cases are due to infected passengers from a Nile River Cruise ship. There is no idea of the numbers or extent of the contagion.

      What you think will happen next is based on training, ideology and available data. The real problem is the exponential explosion of death bed cases in hot spots that overwhelm for-profit hospitals in April and May. All the President offers is denial. The only way avoid the disaster of lack of medical care for other illnesses and injuries and the resulting huge spike in the deaths of Americans is to declare a national emergency now. Contain the hot stops. Provide free testing and medical treatment of victims of the pandemic. Prepare more hospital beds. Only federal and state governments together can do this. Corporations can’t and won’t cut into their quarterly profits even in the face of death.

      1. cnchal

        > . . . declare a national emergency now.

        That should have been done at least a month go. A month was wasted by Trump sucking his thumb trying to figure out how to make himself look good and be the center of attention while this disaster grew exponentially, to the point that Santelli of bubblevision, with his “give everone the virus” so the royal we can get back to profits, is a prophet.

        Too late now. The country is on fire, and Trump is rummaging around the cooler looking for hotdogs to cook. What a shit show, in real time.

        Still flying = Total Fail

  13. Jesper

    About: Technology for All
    A quote from it

    As a matter of logic, the gap between skills and technology can be closed in one of two ways: either by increasing education to match the demands of new technologies, or by redirecting innovation to match the skills of the current (and prospective) labor force.

    Compare the compilers of code from 30 years ago with the ones from today. Or compare the early Linux-distributions with the more recent ones. So yes, it is possible to make technology more accessible and easier to use.
    It is said that knowledge is power and I suspect that is why some things are not made easier to use. People with the power of knowledge are in a strong negotiating position and can use that power to obtain more money. Make something easier to learn and then the power of the knowledge is reduced.

    This quote from the article explains it a lot better than I can:

    A fundamental reason why society under-invests in innovations that benefit ordinary people has to do with the distribution of power. Science and technology are designed to provide answers and solve problems. But which questions are asked and whose problems are solved depends on whose voice gets the upper hand.

    1. Watt4Bob

      I’d say that the reason there is an under-investment in innovations that benefit ordinary people, is that our society is organized, almost exclusively, to provide support for those whose sole intent is to make money.

      The exclusive focus of those in power being to make money results in every other motivation being discounted.

      No amount of education will make the masses competitive in a system whose only object is to make money.

      It is said that knowledge is power and I suspect that is why some things are not made easier to use. People with the power of knowledge are in a strong negotiating position and can use that power to obtain more money.

      While true in a limited sense, this situation is always under pressure from the bosses who do everything in their power to limit the power gained by knowledge workers, requiring highly skilled IT workers to train their lower-paid replacement workers imported through the H1B visa system for instance.

      The bosses are truly insulted by the price they have to pay for skilled labor, they see high wages as a surplus that they must put back in their own pocket.

      Bosses everywhere are engaged in de-skilling their workforces so as to the easy replacement of employees as if they were pieces of Lego.

      In the end, the reason ‘society’ under-invests in innovations that benefit ordinary people, is that ‘society’ doesn’t make the decisions about what is being invested in, rather, a very small group of wealthy, powerful people make the decisions, and what they decide to invest in is making more money for themselves.

      Is all of this greed foolish, and ultimately counter-productive?

      Yes it is, but try and find a ‘successful’ CEO who will have that conversation.

    2. Geof

      I think that the article is very close to promoting the exact wrong approach, the direction that I’m afraid Yves has gone in with her suggestion that “good technology should be easy.” In a word, easy technology entails deskilling. Easy technology allows skilled workers with experience and depth in their craft to be replaced by anyone at all, driving wages down – but also concentrating decision-making and innovation at the top.

      Look at Apple or Google products. Their ease of use is made possible by complexity under the surface. That complexity is owned and controlled by technology giants whose advantage is so great that they face virtually no competition. Take voice control, for example. As a user, it is easier to talk to a device than it is to type a cryptic Unix command. In order to provide this transparent interface, Google uses proprietary software running on server farms to analyze the volumes of language data at its command. Someone lacking the technology or data cannot compete on simplicity unless they establish a subordinate relationship with a company like Google that can supply it.

      Contrast with Douglas Engelbart’s concept for the NLS (oNLine System). He imagined a complex (to use) system that required weeks or months of training for workers. Secretaries trained this way would be anything but interchangeable: they would develop valuable skills. Technology that we must engage with in depth, instead of concealing those depths under an easy-to-use facade, makes its users more important, not less.

      Nor is this just complexity for complexity’s sake. Easy technology almost invariably makes simple things easy, and complex things impossible. That cryptic Unix command may be painful for ordinary tasks, but if you know how to use it, you can do things that simply aren’t possible otherwise. Compare vim to a word processor, for example, which is able to delete or replace an entire sentence with three keystrokes (and no mouse). Compare the power of a script to rename or concatenate many files with the chore of doing this through the simplicity of a GUI.

      Deep worker skill carries a risk: it creates dependency. If your value is your skill with Microsoft Excel, you are forever tied to Microsoft. So the second requirement to empower workers is open standards and open technologies. Adobe can charge more for Photoshop because all that training creates dependence on them. The technology is like land that we farm, but do not own; the real owner can extract rent from our labour. Something like vim or (for all its reputed flaws) gimp creates no such dependency.

      Maybe this isn’t obvious in the world of bits and bytes, but in the physical world we know this intuitively. Skills like sewing, knitting, auto repair or cooking are not easy: but they have real depth that enriches the person who learns them. They are skills that last a lifetime, from which no corporation can extract rent, and which executive decision can take away. (You may notice the exception: contemporary cars are easy – no need even to turn a key – but at the cost that our cars are never ours to control.) When we replace user-serviceable parts with circuit boards, we lose control. The easy-but-insane Internet of Things is the height of this phenomenon.

      We are sold easy-of-use on the ground that it is simple, when in fact easy technology is the most complex of all. We are told that ease-of-use gives us power: on the contrary, it makes us interchangeable and transfers power upwards. Point-of-sale terminals are easy to use, but cashiers are not powerful. We pay a very high price for ease-of-use. If we really want emancipation, we should demand technology that is not owned, that does not hide it capabilities from us, that costs us time and effort to engage with but that repairs us in kind.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        The “good technology should be easy” came from the CIO of the Wall Street firm that was widely acknowledged as having the best IT and in house developers (as in cutting edge for the entire private sector) and at the time was running the biggest network in the world ex Darpanet. They had tons of tech companies coming to them to see what they were up to because my client was ahead of them.

        We’ve come to accept God awful software. Excel is an abortion (Improv of the mid 1990s was light years better). Word is an abortion (WordPress circa 1994 was better). We tolerate feature bloat so the companies can create no value added obsolescence.

        What you are arguing for in arguing for in difficult tech is for lousy tools.

        1. Socal Rhino

          One of my long held views is that it is easy to take complex problems and make them look complicated. The mark of good analysis or design is how simple it looks in retrospect. Getting from complicated to complicated is dictation, the innovation is in getting to the simplicity.

          1. ShamanicFallout

            “Feature bloat”. I’ve never heard it called that but that’s exactly what it is. Beautiful. So much software, OSs, cars, appliances get worse and worse. And you’re more than likely locked into ‘subscription based’ situations rather than actually owning something outright.

      2. Mel

        An example: if good computer technology is easy, then sewers, knitters, gardeners can use computers while concentrating on sewing, knitting, gardening. C. Northcote Parkinson wrote an essay against the Income Tax — which he claimed was evil because everybody who was required to file for income tax would have to become an accountant just to survive, and whatever else they wanted to do, other than accounting, they would have to drop.

    3. Procopius

      The “inequality is due to education” and “people make more because they have necessary skills” are BS. As said in The Wolf of Wall Street, it’s fugazi. The top 1% are paid so much because of connections and their ability to bullshit. Look at the Israeli guy who started WeWork. How does he differ from Bernie Madoff? Well, OK, he didn’t directly go persuade little old ladies to give him their life savings, the people who gave him money did that part of it. Hell, how did Epstein get so rich?

  14. Stephen V

    If you’re tired of the Bernie Bidenberg disaster, here is journalist Whitney Webb on the questions Bloomie was not asked.
    And much much more. She gives a history of kompromat, trafficking–all kinds–and the coziness of Intelligence –US and Israeli — with organized crime. Tinfoil not needed, just a strong stomach. Here she is interviewed by Shaun Attwood :

    1. Hepativore

      After reading your comment, I pictured that infamous image of the Hindenberg on fire with Biden’s face superimposed on the side.

      Somebody should make that a meme. It would perfectly describe the suitability of his candidacy for president and cognitive decline.

        1. Pat

          Could Jill?

          It isn’t as if we haven’t historical precedent of the First Lady handling some of their husbands duties. See both Wilson and Reagan. We have already seen her shepherding his appearances.

        2. Off The Street

          Visualizing an image of Creepy Ol’ Joe creepin’ up behind some unsuspecting person to sniff their hair, which triggers a butt dial. Maybe he’ll wake up Woody and they can chat. /s

          1. David Carl Grimes

            Have there been videos of Biden’s speeches where he is clear and lucid? I can’t seem to find any. I floated the idea of Biden’s dementia on social media and got attacked by my PMC friends.

            1. The Rev Kev

              Maybe you should ask your PMC friends to send links of Biden where he is giving a clear, articulated speech that he has made in the past six months.

    2. Jim Thomson

      I think the reason this gets no attention is that on this issue almost everyone is involved to some degree. No one dares mention it. It is the next level up layer of despicable corruption behind the public face. Whitney Webb’s articles on this have been incredible.
      It is amazing the silence on this issue.

  15. allan

    Ryan Grim of The Intercept has an impressive bi-partisan collection of politicians’ Twitter postings
    from AIPAC 2020 in his timeline. Also too visits to their offices by AIPAC attendees.
    It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

  16. Krystyn Walentka

    Have some insight from friends on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State. They Live in Port Townsend, a very small, very elderly town. The median age is 55 years old.

    A 60 year old man who was wandering around Port Townsend has now tested positive. Looks like he picked it up in Kirkland and brought it back with him.

    He had spent time in Jefferson and Clallam counties during the early stages of his illness, Locke said, adding that potential contacts are being notified and advised about what precautions they should take.

    The supermarket shelves are empty now, as are the local shops. Note that the town is 80% economically dependent on tourism. It will be interesting to watch developments here. It is a very liberal town as well with plenty of anti-vaxxers and people who thing that all illness only arises from negative thinking.

    1. lordkoos

      I’m familiar with Port Townsend, that sounds like an accurate description of the place. It’s a lovely town, I wish them luck. Most residents are old enough that the anti-vaxxers are probably a small minority.

      1. Calypso Facto

        I lived on Vashon in 2015-2016 and have never been happier to have left such a beautiful yet absolutely fragile ferry-access only island full of anti-vaxxers. I was stuck there for an ice storm that took out the power for a few days and wondered if it was possible to actually die of exposure still able to see the lights of Tacoma and Seattle. I have no doubt it is very easy after a week being cut off. Not a praying lady but I sure wish I was sometimes.

  17. The Rev Kev

    “Elizabeth Warren’s Women Stare Into a 2020 Void”

    Those women sound a lot like Hillary supporters from back in 2016. It is like “A Woman President or Bust!” but you know what? If you could gather all those women from that article into one room and say to them:

    “Hey, if you want a woman President so much, how about supporting Tulsi Gabbard then as she needs your support and is still running!” it would be


    1. pretzelattack

      have any former warren staffers criticised the dnc for excluding tulsi from the debate?

      1. montanamaven

        Good question! Finally a really qualified woman runs in a main stream party and she gets no support from women in that party. They pretend she’s not even there. But I’ve been done with this dead donkey for awhile. Some people think the donkey is just sleeping. Nope, it’s dead! But nobody wants to let on. Well, Chris Hedges calls it “a zombie party”. Yup, it’s dead, but still stinking up the joint.

    2. human

      “There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other.” ~ Madeleine Albright

      1. Rostale

        I thought about that when I heard about Nancy Pelosi traveling to Texas to make sure progressive Jessica Cisneros lost her primary bid against Henry Cuellar.

    3. Pat

      Reeled off a list of Warren goofs yesterday and got told NO she failed because of her gender and sexism, none of it had to do with her actions. No mention of Klobuchar or Gabbard.

      Sexism exists, no question, but frankly I am tired of it being used as an excuse. Gabbard isn’t being denied a place on the debate stage because of her gender. But all of those screaming about sexism who aren’t supporting her right to be there are exposing how empty their claims are, just as the double standard regarding support of the final nominee is merely a cudgel against the left.

  18. h2odragon

    China has millions of used masks to dispose of… Americans in panic want to buy masks amid short supply… It’s an opportunity for recycling!

    There’s folks out there bloviating in public about how fortunate the coming economic depression and millions of deaths will be, in the long run, because of the positive impacts on the environment and Social Security. Watching the CDC makes me wonder how many of those people work in health care.

    1. Oh

      Don’t put it past our greedy middlemen who’ll import them. You think the customs is going to open those boxes?

      1. The Rev Kev

        Do you think that western countries will cram medical waste into containers and try to ship them off to Asia and Africa they way they have tried to do with plastic waste?

  19. Krystyn Walentka

    RE: Fruit fly study suggests neither nature nor nurture is responsible for individuality

    Wow, the way some scientist think really pisses me off. “Well, there is a change in behavior, we do not know why it happened, so let’s just call it noise and say oh well, roll of the dice!”

    Not only do they think they can control every variable but they also think they KNOW every variable that might affect the fly’s brain development.

    1. shtove

      My beef was the article didn’t specify what it meant by noise. It literally could have been Gill from lab station 7 playing clap-handies as the flies were released.

    2. dcrane

      Indeed. Noise just means environmental causes you haven’t specifically identified yet. Thus, nurture. But I guess I should read the original article.

  20. The Rev Kev

    “Mass grave reveals how Black Death impacted rural England”

    I have a coupla books on that event and man, it was brutal. Far, far worse than the 1919 Flu Pandemic. To translate those numbers, if you had such an event in America now but without the drugs to treat it, then you would be talking about 100 to 150 million dead people with some towns entirely wiped out and maybe some States mostly depopulated. We are, all of us, descended from people that survived this time of horror.

    1. Phacops

      What is important to recognize is that the Black Death was almost exclusively Pneumonic Plague. It did not require vector transmission (fleas) but was spread by person to person contact. It was devastating.

    2. MLTPB

      How does that compare with the experience of the Aztec people post Cortez, or the indigenous people in Austarlia?

  21. ptb

    Re: Liz Specht tweetstorm…

    well that’s exponential growth for you.

    To dial the scale back a bit, the 2009 (?) flu, one of the most virulent on record, supposedly infected 60mm in the US over the course of they season. COV, in contrast, probably less infectious, more severe. Say peak of 10mm infections including the many non severe, with 500k requiring medical care. That is a tractable figure if hospital capacity is 300k.

    One would first persuade people to stay home (that part relatively easy, no point ordering it just allow some panic to naturally occur), to stretch out the doubling time. Eventually one would prepare a crude triage policy – for example by age. (COV hospital facilities admit only ages 50 and up or in poor health)

    1. Monty

      2009 H1N1 was bad, but luckily the elderly had natural immunity because they had suffered similar strains in the past. The virus was a descendant of 1918 Spanish flu and various versions had been going around ever since.

      This time nobody is immune.

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      Stop making stuff up. The coronavirus is more virulent than any seasonal flu has been.

      What was distinctive about the 2009 flu was how lethal it was for a seasonal flu, and in particular, that it was dangerous to young people.

      The NIH found in this paper that its R0 was in the 1.4-1.6 range, which is on par with normal seasonal flus:

      The R0 value calculated for influenza viruses varies: in the case of the viral strain responsible for the pandemic in 1918-1919, for instance, it was about 2 (ranging from 1.4 to 2.8), while for a strain responsible for a seasonal influenza epidemic it is 1.3 (ranging from 0.9 to 2.1). These values do not differ greatly from the R0 value calculated for the A/(H1N1)pdm09 virus, which was 1.4-1.6.

      Here are some estimates of the R0 of the coronavirus:

      The early outbreak data largely follows the exponential growth. We estimated that the mean R0 ranges from 2.24 (95%CI: 1.96-2.55) to 3.58 (95%CI: 2.89-4.39) associated with 8-fold to 2-fold increase in the reporting rate.

      A preliminary R0 estimate of 1.4–2.5 was presented in WHO’s statement regarding the outbreak of 2019-nCoV, 23 Jan 2020 [1]. S. Zhao et al. estimated the mean R0 for 2019-nCoV in the early phase of the outbreak ranging from 3.3 to 5.5 (likely to be below 5 but above 3 with rising report rate)

      At some point early in the outbreak, some cases generated human-to-human transmission chains that seeded the subsequent community outbreak…The dynamics likely approximated mass action and radiated from Wuhan to other parts of Hubei provinceand China,which explains a relatively high R0 of 2-2.5.

  22. The Rev Kev

    “How Taiwan managed to avoid a coronavirus outbreak”

    I much prefer the Taiwanese and South Korean methods of dealing with Coronavirus instead of the Mushroom Treatment that we in the west get.

    1. MLTPB

      Since we of the world are not entirely out if it, I hope this doesn’t jinx anyone.

      Its not over until its over.

    2. carycat

      What the article does not mention is that Taiwan has a M4A type public health care system as a result of their 1994 National Health Insurance Act. If the health care system is expected to deliver health care instead of delivering profits to those who can game the system, how it responds will be different.

      1. KFritz

        A primary mover of the Taiwanese healthcare system, as it is today, was Uwe Reinhardt of Princeton, the premier US health care economist (d. 2017). In 1989 he adivsed the island nation to model its system on Canada and Germany, and NOT the US–which advice they followed. In 2014 he was awarded Taiwan’s Presidential Prize for his contributions. In the US, he was the proverbial prophet without honor in his own nation.

        1. The Rev Kev

          That Uwe Reinhardt had a sharp wit. From Wikipedia-

          In July 2015 Reinhardt’s 2013 syllabus and first lecture for a class titled “Introductory Korean Drama” received attention from several bloggers. By way of explanation, Reinhardt introduced the class by stating

          After the near‐collapse of the world’s financial system has shown that we economists really do not know how the world works, I am much too embarrassed to teach economics anymore, which I have done for many years. I will teach Modern Korean Drama instead. Although I have never been to Korea, I have watched Korean drama on a daily basis for over six years now. Therefore I can justly consider myself an expert in that subject.

          It was not clear whether Reinhardt actually intended to teach the course.

    3. Daryl

      Honestly I’ve half a mind to get on a plane to one of these places where it’s being successfully contained and people are behaving rationally instead of staying here where I know it won’t be.

      1. MLTPB

        Taiwan can’t take everyone from Italy, Germany, South Korea, or other large countries.

        Maybe the entire population of the Vatican.

      2. carl

        I’ll settle for a place with a well-run universal health care service. A number of places in Europe come to mind. Oh, and by the way, Liguria is implementing a 500 euro payment to parents who have children staying home from school to offset child care costs. This is how a civilized country behaves.

  23. John

    Sanders would win in a landslide if he would openly put Americans first for jobs instead of defending foreigners.

    In years past he seemed very much against, at least illegal, immigration. But he got on the Democrats’ bandwagon of championing citizenship for millions of illegals who he knows suppresses wages for American workers.

    So even though Republican elites LOVE H-1B, H-2B workers (and all the legal visa alphabet of workers) and love the millions of illegal workers they use to keep wages for Americans down, they successfully use the Left’s defense of them to bash Democrats. Pretending for their base that they are opposed to them. And it works. One of the main reasons Trump won in 2016.

    Even though we know Trump’s hired illegals for decades. Even though we know Trump’s trying to increase H-1B visas by a at least a hundred thousand a year if not more. His base doesn’t know that because it’s never reported on FOX news, Breitbart and Right wing radio. They all lie and keep reporting that Trump’s opposed to that.

    Also, Trump and the Right have been using Sander’s stance on healthcare for illegals to bludgeon him. That has since died down now that they are pretty certain the DNC has made sure he’s not getting the nomination.

    2015 Bernie Sanders criticizes ‘open borders’ at Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

    It is a grave policy error on Sanders’ part in my opinion.

    1. petal

      I read Breitbart daily, and they do regularly report on the Trump/GOP increase of H1B, H2B, etc. People are mad and feel let down, and question if they will vote for him again. I am also disappointed in Sanders for the immigration switch between 2015 and now. I went to his rally this Fall and heard it straight from his mouth. It felt like a betrayal. It’s like he forgot about or ditched the US citizens of the working class/people that have to compete with immigration and jumped on the Dems immigration/IdPol bandwagon. I’d have voted for the 2015 Sanders again, but would really have to hold my nose to vote for the 2020 one, if at all.

      Also, I agree with MGH(*ducks head*). They cannot risk their ED becoming contaminated by a highly infectious virus, not to mention everyone that is in the ED at the time when the potentially infected person comes in just for a swab. It would cause their very busy ED to have to be shut down for decontamination. Would be really bad. Up here, we have a van that parked at the local airport and the potentially infected drove up, got swabbed, and drove away. No risk of contaminating the ED(saved and kept open for real emergencies), no one wandering around the parking garage or hospital possibly shedding virus, etc. Containment instead of more spreading.

      1. John

        I read the articles on Breitbart too about the H-1B visas.

        But the commenters on the whole excuse Trump like it’s not his policy. And mostly comment that if he only knew about it he would stop it. Spoiler to them. It’s his policy. In fact in the Fire and Fury book there’s a whole bit about Trump telling Murdoch he’s going to increase the H-1B visa numbers tremendously for American corporations. Murdoch calls him an idiot in private as it’s clear Trump’s base would be strongly opposed to it.

        And you don’t find articles on Breitbart about Trump hiring illegals for decades at his casinos, hotels and golf courses.

      2. floyd

        Oh okay, everything would be hunky dory if Mass General put out a press release saying we don’t consider cornavirus a “real emergency”. For those who didn’t “contain” themselves properly we’ve heard there is a van down by the river. LOL – no risk of transmission. Yikes.

    2. PewPew

      I think this would be a huge winner for Sanders as well – but only in the general. He would have already been destroyed by concern trolling from the centrists of this world if he took this stance in the primary.

      The media would simply put up images of Trumps detainment camps non stop and decry Sanders for supporting this inhumanity.

      (That the centrists wish to exploit those immigrants in jobs with no minimum wage or labor standards will of course be passed over in silence, as would be the fate of those who are thereby displaced.)

      1. hunkerdown

        The centrist concern trolls can be answered with the conventional wisdom that the Democratic Presidential candidate must move to the right in the general or he won’t be able to pick up the R-r-republicans of whom they cower in fear.

        They’d just be butthurt it’s not their flavor of “right”.

  24. Phacops

    AOC’s thread is interesting. I understand that she needs to work with other dems in the house. I however, need not consider that in my voting decision.

    Respondents in that thread, with their Trump derangement syndrome, seem to be mutating the lesser of two evils argument where right wing dems were previously telling us progressives that we have nobody else to vote for otherwise the plagues of Egypt would descend upon us. I’m not eating that dogfood and see it as preemptive victim shaming to promote another horrible candidate.

    Knowing that there is not one iota of difference between a Trump administration and one of Biden’s that will be infested by clintonites and neoliberals, I am inclined to withold all support for Biden and any sitting dem who endorses him rather than keeping their heads down and making a case for their own reelection. However, how I will ultimately vote depends on how witless the dem moral panic becomes as I am already fully pissed off at the dem establishment that I would rather see fail.

    1. Pelham

      Excellent points! I’m with you 100%. A vote for Biden is a vote for the thoroughly rotten Dem establishment, which can only metastasize. But I’ll have to admit that a second Trump term could turn out badly in this way as well, allowing the Dems to spend another four years doing nothing other than pursuing Trumpian scandals. In brief, I fear we’re sunk either way as long as there’s no new party on the horizon.

    2. skippy

      I think what AOC is saying – is – voting for the DNC without a Sanders like candidate is only to preserve the system architecture, because its the only vehicle to deliver a Sanders like candidate and agenda.

      Never ever going to get anything like it from the GOP – ever …

      Third party’s are too weak at onset and can be squashed with just a little bad press, let alone deploy the big guns.

      As noted on NC by YS and others – it takes yonks to build up institutional capacity, hence the need to reform the DNC party within, something that is arduous and sadly time consuming. Yet considering how things have changed since the last election and the advent of covid-19 messing with crafting of narratives, contra to reality on the ground, the playing field is much more level as it forces many to reconsider past or currant views about the nation.

  25. Anthony K Wikrent

    Re: Technology for All, Dani Rodrik,

    Rodrik misses what is happening in reality – the corporate fetish for cutting costs has led to the development of patchwork back office software systems, with newer Windows based systems designed to be accessed through legacy COBOL and other systems, while at the same time destroying the internal staffs needed to act as mediators between new and old software systems. This is, I believe, one major reason why customer service by large corporations has collapsed.

    I saw this firsthand when I trained as a CSR for a large cell phone company I will call “Run.” The CSR training basically consisted of learning which of four different software systems to access according to the customer’s problem. And the job paid only $9.00 an hour – not worth the stress and aggravation of being given only six minutes – scrupulously timed by supervisory software – to resolve a customer’s problem, make the necessary changes in the correct software system, and enter notes in the customer’s account record. After six weeks of training, I quit after only two days “in production”, i.e., actually taking calls in the call center.

    Judging from the number of new CSRs being trained at the time, with the number of CSRs in the call center, I estimate that the entire CSR staff turned over EVERY MONTH! Ie, people would get paid for the six weeks of training, then work for only four weeks, before finding better, less stressful, jobs.

    Clearly, management of this company, with revenues of tens of billions of dollars, was unwilling to invest in either developing completely new software to entirely replace legacy software that was easily 2 or 3 decades old, or in paying enough to retain trained and qualified staff. For example, the lady who was the trainer for the class I attended had been with this company for less than 3 years, had obviously mastered the complexities of the various software programs, but had been given a minimal and laughable raise, and was leaving “Run” to begin training as a CSR for a large regional bank.

    Economists would no doubt benefit from being forced to work entry level jobs for half a year or so. It would hopefully give them a much clearer view of reality.

    In the case of eBay, customer service has been entirely destroyed by eBay’s decision to offshore call centers to some country in South Asia, and by what I guess is an unwillingness to spend the money to identify and fix the bugs in the back office software. For example, it is impossible for a seller to actually combine postage for a customer who buys more than one item in separate auctions from the same seller. This has been an issue since at least 1998, when I began selling on eBay. Only if a buyer requests a transaction total before paying can a seller actually change an invoice to reflect combined postage.

    Occasionally, eBay software sneezes and a glitch afflicts sellers or buyers for whatever period of time it takes for eBay programmers to become aware of the problem, track down the cause, and fix it. Currently, I am waiting for eBay to fix its latest glitch, which has caused the USA state code, ie, NC for North Carolina, to be transposed to the country field, ie, New Caledonia, making it impossible to generate a mailing label with the correct domestic postage.

    This can be filed under “crappification.” Or, why we have a service economy without the service.

    1. Eureka Springs

      I would say 95 percent of the time I actually get a human being on a phone for whatever reason. And believe you me I avoid dialing a phone as much as possible. I end up encouraging them to get another job rather than work for a company that wants to treat customers, fellow human beings this way.

      1. RMO

        The six minute limit is the sort of thing that has been the killer for the people I know who have worked positions like this. They have all eventually become sick and tired of being required to get the call ended as quickly as possible rather than actually fixing the customers problem. The main reason I’ve stuck with the phone/internet/cable supplier I have for so long is that they have excellent customer support where the staff seems to be able to spend whatever time needed to get things working again when there’s a problem.

    2. Procopius

      I think it is not still the case that an MBA candidate has to have at least two years business experience before being accepted. In any case, I believe every MBA candidate should be required to work six months in an entry level job before being granted her diploma.

  26. Synoia

    Biden as the D candidate.

    Biden looses to Trump, and the D Party celebrates as it has yet again defeated Bernie, escaped responsibility, all while gathering record contributions.

    Biden take home a huge contribution surplus and fades comfortably into retirement.

    1. anon in so cal

      Not at the rate things are going w/ the Coronavirus pandemic. Trump and the CDC have bungled this badly and the Dems are in massive take-down mode.

      1. David Carl Grimes

        But the dems still won’t push for Medicare For All even though it’s a major solution to the problem. Bernies not harping on this hard enough. I don’t see ads or statements linking Medicare4All to Coronavirus

        1. lordkoos

          I agree, Sanders needs to get out there and lead the narrative about M4A and the coronavirus.

          Both he and Biden are at high risk themselves from COVID-19 due to their age.

    2. Oh

      All the DImRat consultants and Elites cheer. Now they can go after more political contributions bribes blaming Trump for everything. Horray for the Blue team! Red team must be defeated!

  27. antidlc

    I missed this one.

    Cory Booker Questions Biden’s State of Mind: There Are Moments Where You Listen to Him and ‘Just Wonder…’

    Booker was asked about this on CNN tonight and said, “I think we are at a tough point right now, because there’s a lot of people concerned about Joe Biden’s ability to carry the ball all the way across the end line without fumbling. And I think that Castro had really legitimate concerns about can he be someone in a long grueling campaign… and has every right to call out.”

    At one point, as he was being asked about Biden’s debate performance, Booker remarked, “There are definitely moments where you listen to Joe Biden and you just wonder.”

    Over the years, Booker said, he’s listened to Biden speak and “often felt like there were times he is going on or meandering in his speech.”

    Was Booker really questioning Biden’s “state of mind” (per the headline) or just saying the Biden has a tendency to ramble on?

  28. xkeyscored

    21 coronavirus cases confirmed aboard cruise ship docked off California as Trump mulls whether to let passengers disembark RT.

    Kevin W: “If Trump does not land these people and isolate them in some facility, he is going to have his own personal SS Plague Princess -right of America’s coastline.”

    That appears to be right where Trump wants it. Maybe RT did this story before The Don spoke forth, but according to The Guardian (with video),
    The US president has said he would rather have people remain onboard a cruise ship, which was denied entry to San Francisco over coronavirus concerns.
    Trump conceded on Friday that he would let others decide whether to allow the passengers to leave the Grand Princess, where 35 people have reported flu-like symptoms. Trump appeared to explicitly acknowledge his political concerns about the outbreak, saying: ‘I don’t need to have the numbers double because of one ship that wasn’t our fault.’

    1. polecat

      It is my understanding that Gov. Newsome will not let those passengers ‘disembark’ onto California’s golden docks.
      just sayin ….

      1. MLTPB

        If he is letting others decide, perhaps the governor, or to some agency, he can say stuff like that.

        Maybe it will even force the decision maker to go the other way, so as not to appear they are avoiding blame.

    2. Eclair

      What struck me about the 21 confirmed Covid19 cases aboard the Grand Princess, is that 19 of these cases are crew members. The Guardian published an interview, earlier this week, with crew members from the Diamond Princess, similarly afflicted. The crew were required to continue serving quarantined passengers, without protective equipment until after a week. Crew shared quarters and ate in a communal dining room. Crew members interviewed were not identified by their real names, for fear of reprisal by Princess Cruises or their recruitment agency. Shameful treatment of crew.

        1. Monty

          They should abide by the Disneyland overcrowding principle, “We’ve already got their money. WTF are they going to do about it.”

        2. MLTPB

          One thing I’ve noticed is that the passengers are well to so northern Asians, Americans, or Europeans, while the the crew members are poor South Asians.

          In one ship, the passengers were mostly from Europe, and the contrast was sharper.

    3. MLTPB

      I hope they are evacuated, and respectively countries take their citizens home, if able, as we did with Princess Diamond.

      I had hoped the same very early on, with the latter ship, when one or some Americans aboard asked. I thought it was not flaunting American Exceptionalism to bring them home.

    4. CG

      Lead story in The Hill sometime last night said passengers were to be taken off but not the crew. I didn’t click into the story, but it was gone an hour later when I looked again after not seeing the story elsewhere.

  29. Drake

    Oil Prices Nose-Dive as OPEC and Russia Fail to Reach a Deal New York Times (Kevin W)

    While I know it’s not as seductive as Woody, Liz, Biden, Bernie, et al, I would vote for this as the actually important news of the day. Oil prices have already nose-dived over the last few weeks, and judging from this they’re nowhere close to bottom yet. I’ve been amazed at the factitious longevity of the shale industry — this is what could finally kill it and bring the economy across large parts of the country down with it.

    1. Lemmy Caution

      Out and about yesterday here in Michigan I saw unleaded regular posted at $2.09 to $2.25.

      1. Drake

        If it lasts for any significant length of time, production will decrease and exploration will stop. The next time demand picks up gasoline will be back over $5. It’s a glut/crash industry. And Russia is apparently enough of a low-cost producer to tell OPEC to stick it. That’s a pretty huge deal in itself.

          1. Olga

            All oil is environmentally costly. A little late for that spilled milk… In 1912, 50% of cars on the US roads were electric. But we kinda missed that boat.

      2. ambrit

        Yesterday I tanked up the family vehicle at the local “low cost” petrol outlet. $1.87.9 USD the American gallon.
        What fun! Plenty of cheap gas and nowhere to safely go!
        (Phyl and I have been playing lot’s of word games and board games lately. Actually quite ‘cosy.’)

        1. JBird4049

          Here in the Bay Area I am happy to have just paid $2.99 per gallon at my local low cost gas station. I haven’t paid less than $1.99 in something like a decade.

    2. Socal Rhino

      Here in Cal, drops in global oil prices seem to somehow routinely cause fires at local refineries.

  30. chuck roast

    Panic in needle park this weekend…

    By Monday mid-day I expect the Fed to announce that they are buying barge-loads of corporate junk bonds to “support the economy” in the face of a swan-diving stock market. By 2:00 pm EST the Dow et. al. post their biggest collective gains since The Oracle of Delphi was peering into the mist. Scores and scores of talking heads in $2K suits opine that this is one of the greatest genius moves in history to restore equilibrium in the market and stability to The American Way.

    By 3:00, roast is on the phone to the Fed to ask if they would please have the courtesy to pay his rent this month because he is in quarantine and can’t go to work and sneeze on people. The phone keeps ringing…

      1. RMO

        People are animals and (in my opinion) animals are people… but I know what you mean. Our non-human comrades are a source of great joy to me.

    1. cnchal

      Carl T. Bergstrom
      New epidemiological study of 25,000 #COVID19 cases reveals that infection control measures in Wuhan reduced infections by over 90%, reducing R0 to roughly 0.3. Remarkable and cause for hope that aggressive measures in the US can make a huge difference.

      Hope is not a strategy.

      > China’s coronavirus recovery is ‘all fake,’ whistleblowers and residents claim The Week (David L)

      But civil servants tell Caixan that businesses are actually faking these numbers. Beijing had started checking Zhejiang businesses’ electricity consumption levels, so district officials ordered the companies to start leaving their lights and machinery on all day to drive the numbers up, one civil servant said. Businesses have reportedly falsified staff attendance logs as well — they “would rather waste a small amount of money on power than irritate local officials,” Caixan writes.

      As soon as the factories fire up for real, within a few weeks, all will be shut down again and not just Wuhan either.

      Still flying = Total Fail

        1. inode_buddha

          Somebody needs to show me why you need a certain very specific percentage of a certain kind of alcohol to kill a bug. With reproducible proof. Frankly I think everyone here is fear-mongering.

    1. Pat

      Couldn’t happen to a nicer group of people.

      I think they all should shelter at home for a couple of weeks just to be sure they aren’t Ill or contagious.

      Meanwhile Sanders can soldier on.

      ( I really wish this would clarify things for them on items like a functional healthcare system and a social safety net for those who don’t have their advantages but it won’t.)

    2. John

      Don’t worry about them.

      They will all get tested and treated to the finest health care on our dime.

    3. xkeyscored

      “Attendees and speakers at the conference included Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., former 2020 Democratic candidate Mike Bloomberg, former candidate Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., and several other lawmakers on both sides of the political aisle.”

      I wonder if they’ll have to wait in vain for crappified CDC tests?

      1. MLTPB

        Unfortunately, those whom the attendees met subsequently were also exposed, potentially.

        I think Bloomberg was at a debate recently. Was it before or after the conference?

  31. EoH

    Regarding the Emperor has no clue, I doubt that it is Trump’s “conviction” which is warping his government’s response to the current pandemic. He has no convictions.

    His government’s response is warped because he puts his ego and re-election above public health. He demands that those who work for him do the same. That’s a different and more reprehensible kind of agency. All his policies and staffing choices reflect the same priority.

  32. fresno dan

    All in all, a triumphal week for Biden, who racked up 11 state primary victories. Before last Saturday, he had not won a single primary in THREE presidential campaigns.
    But if earlier reports of the demise of Joe Biden were premature, so, too, are today’s confident predictions of a Biden sweep this November, marching over the political corpse of Trump and bringing in a Democratic Senate and Democratic House.

    As Yogi Berra said, “It ain’t over till it’s over.”

    He (Biden) may be hailed by a fickle media as a conquering hero today. But after the cheering stops, Biden is going to be, for the next eight months, the same candidate he has been for the last eight months. Here is a description of that candidate by The New York Times the day after his Super Tuesday triumph:

    “Any suggestion that Mr. Biden is now a risk-free option would appear to contradict the available evidence. He is no safer with a microphone, no likelier to complete a thought without exaggeration or bewildering detour.

    “He has not, as a 77-year-old man proudly set in his ways, acquired new powers of persuasion or management in the 72 hours since the first primary state victory of his three presidential campaigns.
    I predict at some point references to a 4/9 democratic version of Harold Stassen

    1. ambrit

      I wonder who Erik Prince’s “Nemesis” is? Trying to stay true to form, Prince as Moriarty, then who is Holmes?

  33. Cuibono

    Can anyone tell me: is there any move afoot to commandeer the production of PPE ?
    Without adequate supplies of PPE we are toast here. Health care workers need reassurance that they will be protected as best possible

    1. Monty

      I expect many of our pampered prince millionaire doctors to be sunning it up in an undisclosed caribbean location until this all blows over.

      1. Cuibono

        Some few. Not most. I am one of them. Nurses too and medical assistants and a lot of other folks putting their lives on the line here.

    2. Ford Prefect

      There won’t be any substantial ramp-up of production in the US per this interview. The equipment to make this stuff is expensive and takes several months to build. The firm that makes N95 masks in the US ramped up for increased production with swine flu and it almost bankrupted them when swine flu didn’t materialize as a major event and orders plunged.

      We will need to make do with people working additional OT.

      The Federal government would need to actually commit funds to purchase supplies to provide the market. Pigs will fly before that happens.

  34. Cuibono

    The CDC got this right with H1N1 and Zika, and produced huge quantities of test kits that went around the country,” Thomas Frieden, the director of the CDC from 2009 to 2017, told us. “I don’t know what went wrong this time.”

    I do. It is called regulatory capture. He was a big part of it.
    You can be sure that this was a good part of the mess up. The downsizing didnt help of course. but the agency has been highly politicized for far too long, predating Trump.

  35. xkeyscored

    – My guess is there won’t be any snafus with this, unlike the CDC WURS tests.

    It is highly revealing that the Trump administration and federal law enforcement agencies have been working intensely over the past two months on the development of a mass DNA collection operation while doing absolutely nothing to prepare for the coronavirus outbreak that has been spreading internationally since its first appearance in Wuhan, China in December.

    The US Department of Justice (DOJ) issued its final rule on Friday for moving forward with collecting DNA from all immigrants in the custody of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The genetic sampling program—scheduled to begin in April—will obtain a cheek swab of potentially hundreds of thousands of migrants who are detained by federal immigration authorities each year.

    The DOJ press announcement says that the infrastructure for obtaining the cheek swabs and entering the DNA profiles into CODIS has already been set up, stating, “The FBI’s laboratory has the capacity to handle the increased input from DHS, and its capabilities can be scaled up to meet additional capacity. The FBI will provide DHS with the DNA collection kits, analyze the samples, and ensure that law enforcement agencies use the results in accordance with the FBI’s stringent CODIS privacy requirements.”

  36. Vikas Saini

    The purported MGH email is a bit weird. The phrase “Hospital Police Department” sounds like some amateur script writer’s idea of health care jargon. Never seen anyone use anything other than “hospital security”.

    That said, the idea of avoiding the ER is solid, and the Brigham’s idea to test in a tent facility outside the hospital’s ER is also solid.

    Of course the idea of calling hospital security (if this email is real) for this problem is a reflection of the ongoing deterioration of hospital social responsibility in the neoliberal era.

    1. ambrit

      I have not looked too closely at the signage for the local hospital’s “Security Force,” (some of which do carry guns,) but the local State University has a campus police force which is clearly signed as ‘Police.’ This group is almost indistinguishable from the City cops. Change the shoulder patches and vehicle signs and the two groups could swap roles.
      Avoiding the hospital now is a very good idea.
      For what it’s worth, we went in to the amputating surgeon’s office yesterday for a final evaluation of the “stump.” while there, we discovered that the surgeon, who is one of the best medical practitioners we have encountered over the last decade, had a Gulf cruise booked for this weekend. We tried to dissuade him from taking that cruise. He was genuinely conflicted. All of his information about the virus seemed to come from the CDC and “official” sources. We gave him the ‘location’ information for the two Youtube sites mentioned here in the comments section several times. At least, we left him questioning the situation.

  37. Daryl

    > SXSW Canceled Due To Coronavirus After Austin Declares ‘Local Disaster’ CNBC

    Good news, if those people need some entertainment they can hop 3 hours over to Houston, where the rodeo is still in full swing and we also have 8 people diagnosed with coronavirus (so probably hundreds infected already).

    1. pretzelattack

      according to the latest email from city council person, no confirmed cases in dallas yet. for whatever that’s worth. but if it’s in houston, it’s in dallas.

      1. Daryl

        With diagnoses in SA and Houston, I feel confident in saying that it is in all major Texas cities now. Worth noting that the approach here as elsewhere in the US is still denial, lack of testing. There were reports as early as last week of coronavirus in Houston which were actively denied before being confirmed.

        Time to start social distancing.

    1. lordkoos

      I don’t know how effective the UV LEDs might be. We use a large wand that has an 8″ UV bulb in it, and I can tell you that it works very well, and quickly.

    2. dk

      I’m pretty sure 207m is a typo for 270m.

      The article below reports a recent (2019) case study where HEPA filters were combined with UV-C irradiation in an ventilation air duct.

      Airborne bacterial numbers were significantly lower in the barn equipped with the UVC module compared to the reference barn. On average a reduction to 37% of reference values could be achieved for bacteria, whereas the amount of total dust was reduced to a much lesser extent (i.e. to 78% of reference values). Measures taken in front of and behind the UVC module revealed a reduction of 99.4% for airborne bacteria and 95.0% for total dust.

  38. Susan the other

    nobody’s gonna read this way down here but I’ll say it anyway because it could be important to virology: The top link is amazing re. a fruit fly study which provides evidence that individual behavior is neither nurture or nature – it is frequency. Vibes, noise, buzz during brain development. “Personality differences” are just another variation of color. Non-heritable in fact. (just wondering which noises?) Noise during brain development produces differences that seem (to me) to be a direct reversion to the mean. In that flies that had more asymmetric wiring walked straight to the goal whereas flies that had more coherent sound meandered. Makes me think it is very important that neurological dissonance needs to be overcome quickly in the real world. So we can translate our vibrations, buzzes and vibes into smells, colors, sensory cognition. So we can make decisions. So, just thinking, what noise, vibration, frequency disorients viruses? Where’s that research?

  39. Cripes

    “There is nothing to show that he is medically unfit.”
    Oh well that settles it then, since you’re a historian.

    Perhaps you missed the video of him standing in front of black school kids talking about how children rub the blond hair on his legs and sit on his lap. I’ll dig it up later when I go home for everyone’s enjoyment.

  40. ambrit

    Something for Lambert.
    The Acela Nonstop will stop running this Tuesday and stay stopped until May 26.
    Curiously enough, or perhaps not so curiously, this bit of information is not listed in the first few pages of a Google search of the term, “Acela to stop running.”
    Google is so captured…..
    The entire Amtrak press release is worth reading for a sense of the underlying mood in the PMC regarding C-19.

    1. skippy

      Yes action will occur when the elites can’t run away from it and starts putting a cramp in their life style [tm] E.g. no staff – no service …

      Why do I have a memory of an old The Awful Truth show episode, a test to change a up right vacuum bag on some sidewalk in Manhattan ….

      But this is probably more relevant at the moment …

      From Michael Moore’s the awful TRUTH: ‘Funeral at an HMO’

      Opening statements align with Lambert’s because markets = die …

    2. The Rev Kev

      Forget the Amtrak, what about the international lifestyle of our international elites? Flying on private jets to all those must-go locations around the world. All those visits to the Bahamas, Bali, Paris, London – all of that will have to come to a stop. No networking with all those fabulous people except over the net? Can’t see that working now. No fashion parades either except over the net either, no parties at the Hamptons. It’s gunna be hard for them.

  41. Oregoncharles

    “When Mass General behaves like this, you know America’s healthcare system has been stretched to its limit.”

    Maybe, but it looks to me more like Mass Gen exhibiting extreme and scofflaw arrogance.

    Non-arrogant behavior would be “We’re sorry, we’ve run out of test kits.” and maybe: ” please leave so you don’t infect anyone else.”

    1. Daryl

      Honestly Biden should drop out for the good of himself. He’s clearly not got the mental or physical stamina for the next 6 months, not to mention 4 to 8 years.

  42. The Rev Kev

    Some people still do not get it. NBA star LeBron James told reporters, when told the NBA were thinking of the possibility of playing in empty arenas, said-

    “We play games without the fans? Nah, it’s impossible. […] I play for the fans. That’s what it’s all about. If I show up to an arena and there are no fans in there, I ain’t playing. They can do what they want to do”.

    Sounds reasonable. But how does his healthcare options stack up to those of his fans?

    1. ambrit

      The man obviously did not think of the “live streaming” of sports.
      Business idea: A cable channel dedicated to sports broadcast in 3-D VR mode. Every seat can be a courtside one.

    2. cnchal

      I heard that too, and it is proof to me that the game means nothing to him. It is a means to an end, which is being on the receiving end of exactly what narcissists strive for. The absurd pay day is a bonus.

      Most people don’t get it, not just idiotic sports stars.

      Everyone is caught between a rock and a hard place now. The next few weeks will be horrific.

      Also in the news, an Uber driver in NYC has it, and as usual in China the disasters are epic, with a five story hotel holding about 80 people with the virus in quaranteen, collapsing suddenly. The kicker, the building was built in 2018, just two years old.

      Hmmm, 2018, what was going on then? Oh yeah, wasn’t steel rebar a speculative investment for Chinese gamblers? I wonder where all that rusty metal ended up. Expect moar sudden collapses.

      Still flying = Total Fail

    3. Pat

      I also think Mr James may find he not only loses his outsized paycheck, he might actually face a breach of contract lawsuit. I am pretty sure there is no get out of playing because of low attendance clause there.

  43. Jon Cloke

    As I pointed out elsewhere ( for those who might wish to read it) the one business that did extremely well out of Bill’s NAFTA is the drugs business..

    Not only did the crushing of the eijidos flood the market with agriculturally-knowledgeable folk who knew how to grow, process and package stuff, NAFTA created a flood of millions of people and hundreds of thousands of trucks, all heading North, into which drugs could be packed.

    The set-up of cheap processing and distribution points in the maquila zone couldn’t have been better designed to help the narcotics trade if the people who wrote NAFTA had themselves been narcotraffickers.

    It would be tempting to add that the collapse of the job market in the US added to the number of depressed job seekers turning to drugs for solace, but I couldn’t possibly comment on that…

Comments are closed.