Links 3/9/2020

Jerri-Lynn here: Mr. Market has gotten in the way of Yves’ other plans, but she still intends to launch her McKinsey post this week.

Happy Holi! Today in Bengal, tomorrow in the rest of India.

Oil prices crash 30%, sending global stocks tumbling FT. Yves has posted separately on the market meltdown, so I have not focused on that issue in today’s Links. Interested readers can read her post, and share their comments there.

The Second Career of Michael Riegels Granta

Study: building a better super-capacitor out of super-stinky durian fruit Ars Technica (chuck l)

How J. Edgar Hoover Used the Power of Libraries for Evil Literary Hub (UserFriendly):

We shouldn’t have to pay for Jack Dorsey’s $40m estate when it crumbles into the sea Guardian (david l)

Put down that veggie burger. These farmers say their cows can solve the climate crisis CNN (furzy)

Burning calories: pig starts farm fire by excreting pedometer Guardian (re Silc)

Lebanon to default on debt for first time amid financial crisis Guardian. BC: “Lebanese contagion to the Euro?”

7 countries to invade now that we’re leaving Afghanistan Duffelblog (The Rev Kev)

Alabama bill may lift yoga ban in public schools but prohibit ‘namaste’ greeting Guardian. And this at a time when Prime Minister Narendra Modi is exhorting Indians to eschew handshakes and revert to the traditional namaste as a way to reduce coronavirus risk.


chuck l:

How Long Will It Take to Develop a Coronavirus Vaccine? New Yorker

Airlines are burning thousands of gallons of fuel flying empty ‘ghost’ planes so they can keep their flight slots during the coronavirus outbreak Business Insider (The Rev Kev)

Testimony of a surgeon working in Bergamo, in the heart of Italy’s coronavirus outbreak Reddit. Italian Original: Coronavirus a Bergamo, medico Humanitas su Facebook: «Situazione drammatica, altro che normale influenza».

martha r:

The U.S. Isn’t Ready for What’s About to Happen Atlantic (re Silc)

The coronavirus is bringing a painful but much-needed end to an era of economic excess SCMP (Dr. Kevin)

Scientists may have found a way to prevent coronavirus spread News Medical Life Sciences (david l)Headline way overstates article.

NCAA tournament game in Baltimore held in empty gym for Covid-19 Guardian (re Silc)

Coronavirus in N.Y.: Cuomo Attacks C.D.C. Over Delays in Testing NYT

Coronavirus Update: Cases Skyrocket In Germany, Prompting Economic Concerns International Business Times

Women more likely to survive coronavirus in China, studies find SCMP

Doctor who had coronavirus demands apology from Victorian health minister over ‘inaccuracies’ Guardian (dd)

Coronavirus Hits America Where It’s Weakest With Big Health Gaps Bloomberg

dan k:

Updates on treatment protocol from China. TLDR bad cases are really bad “Mainly lung and immune system damage” w/broad organic impacts, threat to pregnancy. Good news is an identified antibody response (IgM +3-5 days after onset) may be used to confirm/eliminate mild cases.

Gates-funded program will soon offer home-testing kits for new coronavirus Seattle Times (furzy)

Amazon Flex drivers won’t be paid if they have to stay home due to coronavirus, but Uber’s will The Verge

Canada’s SARS Experience Helps Rapid Testing Response to Coronavirus WSJ. I was in Canada during the SARS crisis – one of the winters I was a ski bum in Whistler during the day, and writer during the night.

Class Warfare

Thomas Piketty Turns Marx on His Head NYT (david l)

“Oh My God, It’s Milton Friedman for Kids” Slate (UserFriendly)

Julian Assange

Julian Assange Hearing – Your Help Wanted Craig Murray

Big Brother IS Watching You Watch

Avondale Man Sues After Google Data Leads to Wrongful Arrest for Murder Phoenix New Times (Dr. Kevin)

The Rev Kev:


Climate change could put 4.5% of India’s GDP at risk: Study Times of India


Can US-Japan avoid train wreck on defense costs? Asia Times (The Rev Kev)


Rev. Jesse Jackson endorses Bernie Sanders for president Chicago Tribune (UserFriendly)

Democrats’ hunt for Trump slayer may lead to Hillary Clinton comeback: Goodwin NY Post (jo6pac). Hoisted from yesterday’s comments.

Trump campaign attacks Biden on trade, health care and fitness for office The Hill (UserFriendly)

Older people who feel unsafe seek the familiar. That’s why they’re flocking to Biden  Guardian (re Silc). Yves: “I can’t stand these stereotypes. My 92 year old mother, a lifelong registered R who has only voted for Rs, not only VOTED for Sanders, she gave money to him, had the yardman put up a sign for him and is mad she can’t get a Bernie sweatshirt (campaign site is sold out).”

Tom Steyer: What I Learned While Running for President NYT (re Silc)

Media Malfunction as Sanders Notes Positive Aspects of Latin American Socialism FAIR

Dear America, Please Stop This Nonsense Immediately. Love, The Rest Of The World. Caitlin Johnstone (The Rev Kev)

Bernie Sanders asks Elizabeth Warren and her supporters for backing Guardian (UserFriendly)

‘Outrageous,’ Says Bernie Sanders as Filings Show Top Healthcare CEOs Raked in Combined $300 Million in 2019 Common Dreams

Pete Buttigieg’s Favorite Author Despises People Like Him Jacobin (UserFriendly)

To Rebound and Win, Bernie Sanders Needs to Leave His Comfort Zone Rolling Stone (david l). Matt Taibbi.

Antidote du Jour (TH):

Mr. and Mrs. Great-tailed Grackle invited themselves to lunch.

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. none

    The Met Police set up live facial recognition cameras in east London. One passerby who didn’t want to have his face scanned and so covered up his face was issued a £90 fine.#bbctbq

    One upside of coronavirus is making it cool to wear a face mask in public. It doesn’t really help block the virus, but it does help block the cameras.

    1. lyman alpha blob

      Not to give the [family blog]ers any ideas, but why do they keep using such large cameras for surveillance? When people eventually get ticked off enough, which cant be that far off, the first things to go are going to be those easy-to-spot cameras. People are going to go Office Space on those things – bigly.

      1. xkeyscored

        I’m not so sure they do. Aren’t the big ones there to remind you you’re being watched? While eyes in the sky, other people’s phone cameras, and tiny hidden things do the ‘real’ surveillance?

    2. Oh

      We need larger masks that only show the eyes. That’d be perfect for these face recognition software. Or we can all wear Biden masks.

          1. hoki haya

            Luxury is panic. For those in most of the rest of the world, who subsist on next-to-nothing, well, it makes most of the comments from the peanut gallery here hurtful. you think you’re revolutionary, but are peons who aim to assist the status quo, in most cases.
            Somebody queue the Minutemen, “Double Nickles on the Dime”.

    3. Oregoncharles

      Ticket was for “disorderly conduct.” I’d challenge it in court, in his place, but I don’t know how British “justice” works.

      “Disorderly conduct”, like “resisting arrest,” is a charge police consistently abuse – from my observation here, “resisting arrest” charges are ALWAYS abusive. All these mean is giving th epolice a hard time. Those charges should be abolished.

      1. Wukchumni

        My mom, one of a coterie of a couple lefties in her assisted living place, also voted for Bernie.

        1. Dikaios Logos

          As someone who clearly heard Yves’s voice in the pushback against stereotypes, I’d really like to hear more. I’m afraid that many (a vast majority of) older folks seem to value protecting decades-long conceits over addressing the problems of future generations. But I’d love to be dissuaded, though anecdote/anecdata is a weak response.

          1. John

            I am 83 and I support Sanders as I did in 2016. I am more concerned about my grandchildren than I am about me. Look at the mess we are leaving them. It is shameful how greedy the present generations have been.

          2. Phacops

            I see that here in N Michigan a lot. Retirees huddle in homeowner associations, usually on lakefront property which would otherwise have recreational value, and are resentful of taxes going toward public investment. I don’t get it: must be that I’m dense that way.

            We made a deliberate decision to live in the country among people working for a living. The land was degraded by grazing, but it is sorta fun workinh little by little to bring it back. An added bonus is with closest neighbors being a quarter mile away, social distancing is easy at this time.

          3. cm

            Polling surveys tell a very clear story of age differentiation. Not sure why the pushback on this obvious fact.

            Also, would have been nice if Jessie Jackson had endorsed Sanders *BEFORE* Super Tuesday…

            1. EGrise

              At the risk of speaking for Yves, I think the problem stems from looking at those numbers and explaining it as older Americans supporting Biden because they “seek the familiar.” Her point is that such explanations are horse***t and then provides a counterpoint.

              Instead, we should expect the media to do their jobs find out why those particular older Americans are polling for Biden, rather than use some discredited assumption in order to construct a narrative.

            2. Louis

              If there is anything guaranteed to suppress any political project dependent on radical enthusiam it is Plague. Fear kills Hope. Every time. The SC and susequent primaries proved it once again.

          4. jonboinAR

            The oldsters are from the Cold War era. I was a child, then, so I might be in an intermediate zone, late baby boomer. Anyway, at that time, for us in the USA, socialism was exemplified by a at least somewhat disfunctional Soviet Union. Probably well beyond its real problems, the USSR was demonized heavily by US propaganda. Their system was the undeclared enemy of ours, and vice versa. So, if one who came of age in that era is somewhat typical of voters in general, that is, doesn’t quite take the time to gather very complete information about any of the candidates, that one may naturally tend to find Bernie’s socialist leanings off-putting. -Just a thought.

            1. D. Fuller

              I was born just after the Baby Boomer era. I still remember all the Cold War propaganda. What made the difference for me was having a girlfriend in high school from Chile whose parents had to flee Chile after Allende was toppled by the CIA backed coup.

              I read an interesting – yet simple – book she had showing how Duck Tales was imperialist propaganda full of stereotypes. The book was quite accurate. For instance, Duck McScrooge was always adventuring to foreign lands to show the natives how to live. She was the best going for me in high school when I met her.

              Iran-Contra certainly had an affect on me. Reagan’s tepid non-response to AIDS epidemic was also telling. As for religion? I realized my Southern Baptist minister was not all there when he declared he talked to God the night before and said that anyone who saw The Last Temptation of Christ was d*mned eternally to Hell – the movie was not even out yet. I watched a couple of years later and saw no big deal in it.

            2. Tom Bradford

              I was an early Baby Boomer so I took the full brunt of the US anti-communist hysteria and, having no counterweight, took fully on-board the USSR = The Great Satan meme at least until it became unsupportable in the late ’80s.

              Yet in the UK I never equated communism with
              socialism, and was a socialist from the time I became politically aware in the mid-’60s, so how the US generally came to see anything vaguely to the left as communism red in tooth and claw baffles me.

              1. JBird4049

                In the United States there was, and still is, a deliberate campaign of disinformation to collapse anything that has moderates, liberals, leftists, socialists, and communists into a undifferentiated mass of evil Reds.

              2. Procopius

                I was in high school during The McCarthy Years, and to this day I don’t understand who supported him or why the “old people” believed him or believed that socialism was so bad (well, OK, I trusted people who told me it wasn’t working in the Soviet Union). My parents and all the teachers in my high school despised Tailgunner Joe, and so did all the media. The only people who claimed to believe him were the rich people who joined the pinhead John Birch Society (spoiler alert: John Birch really was an American spy). I finally decided they suffered from guilt; they knew they were guilty of all the sins the Communists accused them of and they were terrified that Trotsky was right and revolution was exportable.

                Another thing I don’t understand is why the current policy makers are so intent on starting a nuclear war. I can understand that people born after about 1985 missed all the Cold War propaganda. Maybe they just don’t know what nuclear weapons would do to America. It would only take three or four.

          5. HotFlash

            70, 71 this spring, Bernie or bust. Partly it’s the Medicare for All (which you need, I am in Canada), and the unions, and the student loan and medical debt forgiveness, and $15 an hour. My 57 yr old sister, MA in history, is a shift supervisor at an MI McDonald’s lo these many years. I asked her if she’s making $15 an hour after all this time, she just laughed, but tole me her boss, the owner (of the 3 MickeyD’s in their tiny town, IIRC) drives a Corvette convertible in nice weather. Dunno what he drives in the rain.

            But the real sticking point, why I say never Obama, never Clinton (either of them), never Biden, is that I won’t *ever* vote for a war criminal. that would make me an accessory, right? They’re not gonna make me do that.

    1. katiebird

      My parents (97 and 94) would have been so happy to vote for Sanders. They followed his career for close to decades. Dad was so into his campaign in 2016, he bought. Bernie coffee cup. I wish they were here to vote for him in the Kansas primary.

      1. Brooklin Bridge

        So sorry to hear that, I hope there was minimal suffering. It’s hard to loose your parents no matter the age. But wow, 97 and 94? That’s great! Also, it looks now like Bernie may get shafted and I doubt they would have wanted to see that.

    2. nycTerrierist

      Right on. Woman of a certain age here just ordered a Bernie T-shirt to represent.

      The sign went up in my window the day he announced.

      nb: on my dogwalks I’ve noticed more Bernie signs in my ‘hood than any other
      candidate by far. Zero Biden.

      1. coboarts

        That’s the problem with this generational bs. My father worked with the Jesse Jackson for president campaign, the rainbow coalition. He came to the US after WWII, a French/Italian having been born and raised in Egypt and taught political/cultural geography and the middle east at San Diego State. He helped me read Marcuse and got the “Limits to Growth” into my hands my senior year in high school, 1973. He passed a little over twenty years ago. This idea that ‘all’ old people are greedy conservatives is just generational warfare bs. It’s like how now every baby boomer claims to have once been a hippie, yeah, right. I make it a point NOT to virtue signal, as I have been thoroughly multicultural and environmentally aware my whole life – have you?

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          Yes but your Dad was educated where civics, politics, and history are considered *mandatory* elements of getting a citizen prepared to understand, express and defend his/her rights.

          (The exact reasons that those items we’re airbrushed from American curriculi)

        2. HotFlash

          .It’s like how now every baby boomer claims to have once been a hippie, yeah, right.

          Seems I am unequivocally a boomer, born in 1949. And I really, really was a hippie and I can prove it: we didn’t call ourselves hippies (that was the media), we called ourselves freaks. Does anyone know about the Port Huron Statement anymore?

          But this is not really the point of this discussion. I am not sure what the point is, but as skeptical as I am of people telling me what to think, I am even more skeptical of people who tell other people what I thought.

          OK, I will come out and say it. Super Tuesday smells rigged to me.

          1. Brooklin Bridge

            OK, I will come out and say it. Super Tuesday smells rigged to me.

            You are not alone.

    3. skk

      WhyoWhy don’t the writers include words like “few”, “some”, “many”, “nearly all” in their sentences as in that sentence by Robert Reich : ‘Amid the coronavirus outbreak and financial crisis, [ disproportionately] older voters are backing Biden’

      I’ve long puzzled over this – I think its due the prevalence of “stylized facts” in social studies and economics – this

      is a simplified presentation of an empirical finding.[1] A stylized fact is often a broad generalization that summarizes data, which although essentially true may have inaccuracies in the detail.”

      So in the sentence, inserting the phrase “broadly speaking” would have also worked. Ahhhhhh but once you introduce some sense of quantity you can get challenged so if you are going to be diligent you have to find the source of your data and state it Which can be quite onerous and in turns introduces quite some fuzziness into the category. Which is what reality is of course but better to just skate over it.
      A lazy lazy lot.

    4. Tomonthebeach

      In fairness to the article, it is an hypothesis to explain the overnight tsunami of Biden. I think it is a fair characterization. Yes, there are exceptions like Yves’ mom (and 73-year-old me), but the demographics support the notion. If I was going to vote for a neolib WS-friendly candidate, and I had to choose between a billionaire like Trump or Jolted Joe…. and I really had ignored Sanders, it makes sense that the elderly would go with the flow vs hit the internet and get educated. It is now up to Sanders to reach his fellow geriatrics before Biden’s teeth fall out again.

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        I like SKK’s:”… include words like “few”, “some”, “many”, “nearly all” …”
        because there is such a thing as generational differences…they just can’t be generalised willy nilly.
        lots of fuzzyness.
        anecdotally, “most” of the boomer age folks i know personally…including mere acquaintances…are decidedly on the “conservative” side of the fence…and are either trumpers, never trumper R’s, or Mainstream Biden Dems(now that the clown car has emptied). and again, the more comfortable they are, the more to the Right they lean….and the more politically involved they are.
        TV news seems to be a big thing with this cohort…much more than with my age group(50)…and i think that likely plays into the political stance. They aren’t searching the internet to get at all sides of a given issue…instead, going with the bobble head they trust for whatever reason(Maddow, because of her Bush2 Era performance, etc)

        but what about all those boomer age grandmothers i see working at walmart and mcdonalds? they sure didn’t cause the neoliberal infection,and are rather victims of it.
        my ad-hoc and informal polling and eavesdropping, across a 130 mile swath of central texas, indicates apoliticality…they pay no mind to politics….no time/space in the brain for all that nonsense.

        1. Eustache de Saint Pierre

          IKO when the oldies of which I would include myself at 62 were young, there was some merit to the belief that if you worked hard you would do well & I didn’t for quite some time & still did well enough until of late. I am positive that if I was young now I probably would not & if I did it would be at the cost of a lot of fun.

          Most people also become set in their ways which would include the media they follow & have set ideas as with the Right is better for business assumption, never mind the Socialist thing. My Dad was an anarchist atheist who if anything got more passionate before he died just before which he insisted on no crows ( clergymen ) or religion at his funeral & thanks to him i was never christened , although I would not call myself either an atheist or anarchist.

          1. Amfortas the hippie

            i don’t think its crazy at all to say that a certain set of broadly shared experiences…WW2, Depression…Later Post War Boom/VietNam…or 9-11 for a generation after me…has an effect on a broad cohort at a certain point in their lives at that given time.
            My boys(14 & 18) have had things like trump and the tail end of obama’s malaise to inform and effect their coming of age…and their view of the world.
            However, i reckon it’s the use of these broad similarities as universal weapons is what gets us into trouble.
            saying “all boomers….ruined the world, ” or whatever…sounds only slightly better than such classics as “all Jews…”, “all black people…” or “all men…”

    5. Shirley Ende-Saxe

      Good for your Mom! At the ancient age of 71 I will be voting Bernie again (canvassed for him in 2016). But the really amazing news is both my parents, 92 and 93 will also vote for him in the primaries. Or, at least they say they will.

  2. The Rev Kev

    “Democrats’ hunt for Trump slayer may lead to Hillary Clinton comeback: Goodwin”

    Just what America needs. Another Presidential candidate that is rich, white and in their 70s.

    Anybody know if Grandpa Simpson is busy these days or is available? He would fit right in.

    1. urblintz

      8 years of Trump is Obama’s one lasting legacy

      1. John

        Did not vote for her in 2016, nor did I vote for anyone else. This was not a stance of principle since I live in New York and one vote more or less changed nothing. What exactly has changed to induce me to change my position? Trump is awful in his way. Hillary in hers.

        1. Phacops

          Living in Michigan at least my vote can have an impact. With Biden the decision will be to use my vote in a manner that will hurt the democrats the most. Corruption, damage to our public institutions, and a race to the bottom will continue with Biden or Trump, and witholding my vote or third-party voting, I think, is only a weak protest.

          1. a different chris

            But giving us another 4 years of Trump, which will be read as a signal from the PTB, will… will then do what exactly?

            I cannot follow this line of “reasoning” at all. “If morale doesn’t improve the beatings will continue.” You aren’t signalling anything useful at all by voting for Trump, unless you really want what Trump is offering more than anybody else. Which I would actually respect. His foreign policy is less horrible than the Dems, for instance.

            Weak tea or not, third party voting is the ONLY protest possible. Anything else the recipient will read as support, as well they should.

            1. Tom Bradford

              As I’m not an American I care little about what your antiquated, convoluted, corrupt electoral system inflicts on the US. We’ve problems enough of our own to deal with.

              However as a citizen of the rest of the world I ask myself how Trump would respond to a Cuban Missile Crisis – or even to a global pandemic, come to that – in which case what your antiquated, convoluted corrupt electoral system inflicts upon the rest of the world concerns me greatly and potentially directly.

              Yes, chipping away at the feet of the juggernaut by voting third party might eventually bring it down but we don’t have the luxury of time.

              So you might well have the nauseous task of voting for whoever you deem the lesser of two evils, but if avoiding doing so gives rein to the greater evil don’t try ducking responsibility for the damage it causes to those of us who didn’t get a say.

    2. Chris Smith

      Remember the first time the Congress Party in India ran Rahul Gandhi against Modi? Rahul got beat. So what did Congress do in the next election? They ran Rahul Gandhi again against Modi and lost by a much larger margin. Maybe the Democrats should take note before running Clinton again?

    3. xkeyscored

      “Democrats’ hunt for Sanders slayer may lead to Hillary Clinton” would make a better title. She successfully pulled it off last time round.

      1. Tom Doak

        But she couldn’t have this time, which is why she is hoping to end-run the whole “voter” thing.

        1. xkeyscored

          If she becomes the Dem’s presidential candidate this time, she’ll have slain Sanders, won’t she? (Unless Sanders goes 3rd party or something, but I don’t understand the US electoral system, and he didn’t do that last time.)

          1. Amfortas the hippie

            Hopefully, there’s enough who have wandered/been dragged out of the Cave by now, that it would be seen as obvious evidence that the current paradigm, and associated Power Structure, is utterly corrupt and criminal.
            what will Herself,whichever “counterpart” in the “other party”, et alia, do then?
            IOW, if this is a real, boneyfied Crisis of Legitimacy, caused and chaoticised by all the other Crises of Legitimacy….which is sure as hell what it looks like from down here….what are the Proverbial “They” gonna do next?
            we should be hyperaware for any Post-911 Style power grabs in the next few months.

    4. Rostale

      I had read articles earlier that talked about pushing Sherrod Brown, a progressive senator from Ohio, as a compromise candidate if Bernie got a plurality but not a majority. It seems that would be a much better approach if they actually wanted to win. But with coronavirus the democrats may decide they can get away with telling the progressive wing of the party to go to hell, since that would be the real message of selecting HRH Hillary Clinton

    5. Bugs Bunny

      I’d vote Communist if the choice were on the ballot, but it isn’t.

      If Bernie and his campaign can’t get it back together tomorrow, looks like I’ll be voting Green again. And my vote is in a swing state that the Dems must absolutely win.

      Hope I make it to November. Sort of worrying because I’ve had respiratory issues off and on my whole life and my colds always migrate to my lungs.

  3. zagonostra


    But this version of the Democratic Party that now has Biden as its face wants to bury him. They’ve smeared him as a racist, sexist dupe for Putin, an amateur and back-bencher who doesn’t understand power and can’t “get things done.”

    And…half the population who hears the word “socialism” or “communism” automatically goes into full Pavlovian mode. If you spend time with Trump supporters, those who are directly and negatively impacted by his policies, you become pessimistic. Bernie does not seem to have what it takes to upend the establishment, he doesn’t have that Trumpian ability to use the seething anger “deplorables” have for the PMC’s and the media nor how to deflect and channel that anger.

    I’ll vote for 3’d party if Bernie doesn’t get the Dem Nomination. But I’ve reached a point where talking to those who support Biden or Trump is just too damaging to personal relationships. I listen, take mental notes, and keep my remarks as low-keyed as possible – which is damn hard knowing the little bit of political history I do and being a regular reader of NC.

    1. Dan

      I am having a hard time continuing to pony up money for Bernie if he doesn’t start coming out punching. More and more, if he really believes in what he is fighting for, it becomes the only choice. Otherwise, ‘small dollar’ donations are just a waste.

      Cripes, the way Biden is going, he won’t remember who Bernie is soon enough anyway.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Sadly, this is Bernie’s last chance (I think) to be President and make the changes that he has set his heart on. In 2024 he will be 83 years old and I am afraid that that is just too old for such a job against such entrenched foes. This is it for Bernie. He has to go full bore and climb that greasy pole or else before long, he will be on a podium saying “Joe is a friend of mine and I support his run for President against Trump.” There is no point saving anything for the swim back-

      2. deplorado

        Same feelings here. I think if he doesnt start punching hard and loses most states on the 10th and 17th, donations will drop steeply and truly sadly, and tragically for the country, he will be done.

        To endorse Biden, he will ask for commitments to maybe free college, like he did with Clinton – but that would be an extremely bad deal that will lead to nothing anyway but him looking like betraying his followers. He should go independent if he can’t make it as Dem – what does he has to lose but the chains of the working and the middle class??

        1. Oh

          Unfortunately, the DimRat machine has rigged the primary elections and buried Bernie. I’m hoping that the Green Party will adopt most if not all of Bernie’s platform and pick up the baton using a chrismatic nominee. That’s my fervent hope.

      1. Felix_47

        With a brain aneurysm brain tissue is lost. You can’t get to where you need to be without sacrificing some brain tissue. When the aneurysm starts to leak blood pressure and fluid pressure destroys some tissue. Patients recover but they do that when other parts of the brain take over but overall there is less reserve. When age related cortical loss progresses and there is less reserve clinical cortical function is impaired. This is likely the situation with Biden. Bernie had a wealth of old TV footage of Biden and his plagiaristic lying ways as well with plenty of comments by the MSM of the time as well. Even Dukakis crushed him. So with dementia and a history of bad judgement and backing the Iraq war Bernie should be crushing him. I have contributed the limit but what hurts is that he owes the millions who skipped meals or walked home to be able to send him a few bucks….the first time they believed in a candidate…..a victory that should have been. He will have alienated a generation of voters. Bernie should go third party. His contributors are his. Defeating Trump might have been the most important thing for the suave PMC attorney rent seeking class but Bernie’s job was to get elected and this was an unbelievable good opportunity. He could win as a third party. Trump and Biden are so weak. Worst case….Trump wins….so what….we might get out of Ukraine, Estonia, Poland, Georgia, and all the countries on Russia’s border. I will be so disappointed if he backs Biden a candidate clinically incapable of doing anything other than being a cover for his PMC masters.

    2. xkeyscored

      talking to those who support Biden or Trump is just too damaging to personal relationships

      Absolutely no offence intended towards zagonostra; I tend to do much the same.
      But isn’t this what made socialism and communism such dirty words in the USA? If we keep quiet now, before long they’ll be hunting us down and eliminating us.

    3. HotFlash

      Bernie does not seem to have what it takes to upend the establishment,

      Sigh. He’s already upended the establishment. Why do you think they are cheating so hard?

  4. Tom Stone

    I’m doing my necessary shopping on Sunday Mornings as soon as the stores ( And my favorite bakery) are open and saw several Biden signs yesterday.
    They lack pizzaz, it’s just “Biden 2020” and Joe needs a slogan that captures the passion of his supporters if he’s going to beat Trump!
    My suggestion after giving it a lot of thought is “Joe floats my boat”.

    1. Arizona Slim

      I have only seen one Biden bumper sticker here in Tucson. However, I am starting to see a steady increase in the number of Bernie yard signs and stickers.

          1. Oh

            I;d like to see him in a striped suit along with Trump. They can both count bars but Biden’s cell needs to be restricted to 10 bars – he can’t count higher.

      1. David Carl Grimes

        I’m wondering if the economy crashes, will voters willingly overlook Biden’s dementia to oust Trump? Or will Bernie start looking good again?

      1. voteforno6

        Yet, he could still beat Trump, with how badly the government’s response to Coronavirus has been handled. Just think, we haven’t really experienced the full economic shocks yet. How will Trump deal with that?

        1. Otis B Driftwood

          What will the headline be?

          “Manifestly Unfit Candidate with Advancing Dementia Wins Thanks to Coronavirus”

          What a great country.

        2. skk

          yeah, especially when Trump is positioning himself as virologist, statistician, oil man..
          At some point especially when his people’s health is at issue. And they do want validation of their own “bogan nuffy” behaviors of large scale buying of stuff like toilet paper, sanitizer, water.
          Now that he contradicts them and he’s pinned to that they will desert him. He only rented their votes.

        3. MLTPB

          If the goal is to take back the White House, it pays to not under estimate the opponent.

          It’s only March, for one thing. Timing could be better for the challenger, like September, for example.

          Also note the incumbent is experienced dealing with setbacks.

  5. timbers

    “Avondale Man Sues After Google Data Leads to Wrongful Arrest for Murder”

    The man is suing police for wrongful arrest. I get that.

    I wonder about Google? Can he sue google for violating his right to privacy by honoring the “reverse warrant”?

    Just a thought.

    1. Bugs Bunny

      Click through end-user agreement would likely inform users that their data can be released in response to legitimate legal requests. Pretty much boilerplate.

      There are ways to get at them and a willing judge or two might help move it up to a circuit that affirms a ruling against Google but what individual has the resources to go up against a trillion dollar monopoly and an army of lawyers who blacken the skies like so many elite educated locusts?

      Good luck with that plan :(

    1. Wukchumni

      I’m going against the market and going long on oil this afternoon, pumping up things to allow my ICE investment to continue on it’s path.

      It’ll be interesting when we’re in sub 20k territory soon, and fearless leader will perhaps blame his predecessor for the downswing?

    1. MLTPB

      Don’t go to the hospital? Per the career ER nurse.

      Last week, we already discussed here about remote consultation over the net, or phone, with a nurse or a doctor.

      M4A is not so much an immediate reality, and we are facing a challenge now that needs addressing.[

      Free remote consultation is relatively easy and inexpensive to set up, and even retired doctors can help, without increasing their own exposure. With a declaration, FEMA can be brought, and I imagine funding appropriated for this this.

      (I dont think we need to outsource this to, say, Martians. We Americans can do it. And if our friends abroad want to help, we should welcome them. )

      I think people might say they dont trust the government. I believe we have good public workers, and if thos is what we want, we can speak up.

      Maybe candidates can talk about this, and other actions that can be helpful immediately, not next Jan.

      1. Carla

        “We Americans can do it.” Only if private equity can make money on it.

        After all, as Uncle Joe says “America can do anything!” — Except have universal health care, except cancel student debt, except tackle extreme wealth inequality, except test for COVID-19….

        1. MLTPB

          As far as retired medical volunteers to man phones or answer flu related questions over the net, which is what I suggested specifcally, that involves little money to be made, but someone public, in or out of government at this time, to take the lead.

          And I believe American retired doctors and nurses will answer that call.

          Thus, the ‘we Ameicsns can do it.’

    2. Susan the other

      Metformin has been around for a long time and the research seems to show it slows or prevents certain cancers in diabetics. (viral?). I think they should prescribe it for a wider variety of chronic and age related ailments. And research the sugar connection to illness generally.

  6. The Rev Kev

    “How J. Edgar Hoover Used the Power of Libraries for Evil”

    I first heard about his library when he died. TV News teams were showing all these files being burned under the direction of Herbert’s secretary Helen Gandy. Of course these were his blackmail files on anybody worth keeping files on so I bet that that library was also organized along the same system and were not part of his regular Library.

    Years later Gandy said “I know what there was—letters to and from friends, personal friends, a lot of letters” but to me, that sounds just like how Hillary Clinton claimed that her deleted emails were only about stuff relating to topics like her daughter’s wedding, her mother’s funeral and “yoga routines”.

      1. D. Fuller

        I met a young African-American woman a few weeks back. She is from Atlanta. And a Trump supporter. I was flabbergasted. Turns out, she lives in a well-to-do neighborhood and has money. She was crediting Trump for the great economy. After a rather lengthy political discussion, she wasn’t so sure about supporting Trump. However, once a person leaves the room? People tend to go back to thinking what they thought before.

        Also, herd behavior – for social acceptance – would be interesting in explaining why people vote the way they do. One must, after all, fit in with one’s peers. This begins happening at around the age of eight years for children.

        As for Alabama law? Nativist behavior. They should ban the uttering of anything with “God” in schools at that point. They never will, of course.

  7. Wukchumni

    Testimony of a surgeon working in Bergamo, in the heart of Italy’s coronavirus outbreak Reddit.
    One of the most important stories coming out of the crisis, and to give you an idea of people’s thinking, I sent it out to my family, and one sister sent me back a video of Dr. Drew Pinsky from February 27th, where he pooh poohs it and acts as if it’s all because of the press. My sister is pretty sharp, but it gives you an idea of how utterly unprepared we are mentally for what’s coming.

    Dr. Drew Doubles Down On Coronavirus Press Coverage

    1. The Rev Kev

      That Drew guy just lied his face off. And then told people to shut up and leave it all to people like himself – a member of the professional class. I’d like to know where he gave that telephone interview from. Probably his mountain retreat where he is stocked up on a two-year supply of spam.

      I hope that this does not imply that the media have been told to keep a lid on the Coronavirus situation and make people think that it is just another type of flu. As for this Dr. Drew, I would sooner take advice from Dr. Phil on this subject.

      1. MLTPB

        The media told to keep a lid on it?

        It’s possible, but less likely than in Iran, China, or perhaps Russia, it seems to me.

        People claim state and local officials are being silenced as well. One of the links today above is Cuomo attacking the CDC. It would be like the mayor of Moscow attacking Putin. Perhaps the RT would cover it, or maybe not.

        1. ex-PFC Chuck

          The US media unlikely to keep a lid on when they’re told to do so? Like with Assange? Gabbard? Seth Rich? . . . . ?

          1. pretzelattack

            remember when the nyt held an anti bush story because they didn’t want to affect the election?

          2. MLTPB

            It’s not perfect.

            But we get plenty of coverage, on plenty of subjects.

            Here, specifically, I refer to local or state officials being able to criticize federal agencies, and it’s being included in media coverage.

            Do we need to improve? Sure.

            1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

              Reported new cases in China dropping way off and local observers are noting the lack of people on social media saying “it ain’t so, they’re lying..”

              Whereas in the runup the social media landscape was alight with people yelling about the deceptions.

              So I’ll take that as a ray of hope

        2. Brian (another one they call)

          Yesterday, I read and heard several statements by spokesmedico’s. These were party propganda shows for the most part. In the last 5 days I have heard so much crap that isn’t sound medical advice masquerade as fact to last a lifetime.
          Lets face it. Our government is lying about the miracles they expect to display. They don’t have anything else to offer. They can’t talk about reality because they don’t believe in it and are wishing it away into the cornfield. They won’t discuss preparations because they are people unfriendly and leaks would make the populace logy and irritable.
          Please do check Peak Prosperity for their daily youtube video. Chris dispels all that is false within the claims about actions being taken. He dispenses truth about lies from a scientific standpoint in which he is well grounded, as in a PhD in Toxicology. He has studied and taught what it is to deal with disaster preparation and implementation.
          Better yet, he doesn’t pull punches. This is not a time to be afraid, it is a time to learn what can help you and what will harm you. Our nations are not providing us with such a valued resource, so we have to leave it to the brave.

          1. MLTPB

            That is our country – we can check out Peak Prosperity.

            And people do, and can learn a lot.

          1. MLTPB

            We are able to criticize our government and read about others doing the same here.

            In some countries, that minimum is not possible.

            1. pretzelattack

              sometimes we are. the same is true in russia. is russia more repressive than the u.s.?

              1. MLTPB

                Perhaps Russia.

                We know Russians are free to criticize the US, here.

                I dont know if Americans can criticize Moscow over there. I have never done it. I think it’s more relevant I focus on our own country.

                Russia? Maybe.

                That’s not hard criticism. Just lack of conviction.

                1. pretzelattack

                  i wasnt talking about americans criticising moscow over there, i was just responding to this assertion
                  It’s possible, but less likely than in Iran, China, or perhaps Russia, it seems to me.
                  i apologise if i misunderstood.

                  1. MLTPB

                    Appreciate your askinig.

                    It gives a chance to clarify, if I was not clear.

                    In two places I tried to show that it’s my opinion (it seems to me, and the word, perhaps).

                    How so? Personally I would be more convinced if in objective, critical places like here we saw more criticism, that can be demonstrated, of Russia, because there is always room for improvement for any country. Without, it makes me wonder if we are getting all the information.

                    In any case, that is my personal opinion.

      2. Wukchumni

        TV doctors in these United States are only allowed to have one name, be it Drew, Phil, or that wizard Oz.

    2. MLTPB

      We can compare how much we can know about Bergamo from this, with what we knew a month ago about Wuhan, as there were people speculating about how little information was coming out.

    3. Carolinian

      Well it is possible it won’t be as bad as people fear. Interesting information in today’s virus post thread that humidity is the enemy of viruses and therefore the epidemic is likely to lessen come summer. And I’ve also read that there are almost no cases in Africa where over a billion people live.

      That said, it may be time to go camping for a few months.

      1. Wukchumni

        That said, it may be time to go camping for a few months.

        We have a few hidden away campsites off-trail in the NP that could only be improved by bringing along enough books to read, tucker to eat & some wine would be sweet, if you had to quit polite society cold turkey for a spell.

        1. Carolinian

          I recently read an interesting book called The Stranger in the Woods about a man who–a couple of years after graduating from high school–decided to live by himself in the Maine woods and did so for 27 years. His hiding place was in the midst of a vacation community and he survived by breaking into cabins and stealing food. Many didn’t believe his story when he was finally captured but it is apparently true. He also stole tents, propane, radios and was smart enough to know how to defeat locks and alarms and to cover his tracks. He said he never once got sick because he was never around other humans.

      2. MLTPB

        And we are seeing more daylight.

        Unless you are one of those who is awake at 5Am, and napping (with lights out), at 5 PM. Then, you might see light sunlight.

        And sunlight is good.

        As Akhenaten praised:

        You (Aten) arise beauteous in the horizon of the heavens
        Oh living Aten who creates life
        When you shine forth in the Eastern horizon
        You fill every land with your…

      3. HotFlash

        Well, if it is true that humidity is the enemy of viruses, you will want to be in the Potomac Basin, or perhaps Ohio’s Miami River Valley this summer. Never had dry nuthin’ those places.

        Problem is, himidity is good for mosquitoes and ticks, too. Splendid!

        1. Carolinian

          Think mosquitoes may be the better option unless malaria is an issue. In the summer I have clouds of them.

  8. The Rev Kev

    “Tom Steyer: What I Learned While Running for President”

    I was reading this article when I had an inspiration. At the moment when you have Debates you have some of the worse people imaginable as moderators. People who have a vested interest in shaping that debate to get a result that makes “their” candidate look good. How about this for an idea. Give them the heave-ho and for Moderators have people who were Presidential candidates but who, through lack of support, had to drop out.

    That Tom Steyer for example might be an interesting choice. Sure, having someone like Kamala Harris would take her orders and ask the same questions as those corporate Moderators would but sooner or later you would see the frustration break through between the Candidates and the “wash-outs.” In other words, if you are going to be watching a circus, it may as well be entertaining.

    1. Bill Carson

      I’ve suggested isolation booths. That way we can ask each of them the same question and get different answers without being able to react to what the other candidates have said.

  9. allan

    Juul Labs sought to court AGs as teen vaping surged [AP]

    … The session in [Georgia Attorney General Chris] Carr’s Atlanta offices and meetings with other state AGs haven’t been previously reported. The Associated Press uncovered the influence campaign by reviewing Juul’s political donations and obtaining internal emails, meeting minutes and company records through open records requests to more than a dozen state attorneys general offices.

    The documents shed new light on the unusual connection Juul forged with Iowa’s Tom Miller, the longest-serving state attorney general in U.S. history. The records show that Miller served as a behind-the-scenes adviser, helping the company respond to media requests and inquiries from government officials. Miller did not receive campaign contributions from Juul. …

    NC old timers will remember Miller’s role in the foreclosure settlement,
    when he flipped from good guy to bad guy.

    And on a related note, will the prevalence of vaping among young people in the US mean
    they will be more susceptible to COVID-19 than world-wide statistics for their age bracket would indicate?

    1. rd

      It will be interesting to see the statistics a year from now regarding COVID-19 impacts on Juul vs non-Juul users among the young. My guess is that it won’t be pretty.

    1. xkeyscored

      I’d just read “7 countries to invade now that we’re leaving Afghanistan,” and wondered if it was another satirical piece at first. But no, it looks like it’s for real. Unbelievable. It rather confirms my -totally outsider’s – view of Alabama as just too backward and blinkered for Nazism (a view recently reinforced by the 2017 documentary Did You Wonder Who Fired the Gun?).

        1. xkeyscored

          I don’t think either The Guardian or MSN News see themselves that way, and they both carried the “No yoga – we’re Alabama” story.

          1. Oh

            The bibe toters in Alabama have so little faith in their own religion that they’re afraid of a greeting that’s common in a non christian country.

      1. ambrit

        Oh, come on now. Duffleblog is definitely satirical. However, one of the truly subversive features about well done satire is it’s ability to skewer the ‘real’ world. It follows the time honoured tradition of the Court Jester. Someone has to occasionally “Tell Truth To Power.” Counterintuitively, such a function is to the long term benefit of said ‘Power.’ Without occasional correction and reform, ‘Power’ always self-destructs. So, well done satire is instrumental in trying to help ‘Power’ preserve itself. An analogy would be Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s “New Deal.” Far from the revolutionary movement it has been portrayed as by latter day Right wing pundits, the “New Deal” actually saved Capitalism from the rancid fruits of it’s own depravities.
        On Deep South Neo Nazism; when younger, I met and observed David Duke during his “Pre Fame” days. My instinct then was that here was a gifted opportunist. Such people generally do well in politics, where the external sheen counts for much. The man sensed and responded to the eternal fear based social order every society holds. Appeal to Terran Humans’ baser instincts will always have a big place in politics.
        To finish, it is apparent that no one is ever too “backward and blinkered” to resist the blandishments of authoritarian thinking. It just doesn’t have to be a formal Neo Nazi party. It can also be a “Patriot Act Support Club” or a “Moderate American’s Party For The Preservation Of The American Way.”

        1. xkeyscored

          Maybe my comment was less than clear. Yes, Duffelblog’s Afghanistan thing is satire, but when I said I “wondered if it was another satirical piece at first” I was talking about a different chris‘s yoga story (also in Links via The Guardian), which appears to be stone cold serious.

          1. ambrit

            Ah. From out of the “Fog of Political War,” clarity! (You referred to the comment before yours, which I had not read yet. Oh, process is everything!)

        2. pretzelattack

          looks like capitalism isn’t going to allow us to be saved from the rancid fruit of its depravities, this time around.

          1. WobblyTelomeres

            I’m sure the health insurance lobbyists are working (or at least billing) overtime on draft legislation.

      1. Chauncey Gardiner

        Very amusing, ambrit, were the truth behind your observation not so damaging. Thank you.

      2. GF

        What has been the hit on 401K plans so far in the stock market downturn? And, if the market looses 6,000 points and rebounds the same 6,000 points (I realize it would probably be different stocks driving both directions) will the 401K be back to where it was when the downturn began?

        1. Synoia

          Absolutely it would be back at the same Gross Level. Net? Well there are those fees, and the 401k Managers incomes did not drop…/s

  10. WobblyTelomeres

    There are several recommendations to keep windows open. I had an electrostatic precipitator installed in our HVAC to help with my wife’s asthma (major help, btw, especially when farmers are spraying their cotton). Does anyone know if the EP will kill CV?

    1. rd

      It probably won’t kill it, but if it precipitates the particles/droplets the virus is attached to and holds onto them for a few hours, the virus will likely just fall apart on its own (its components are very weakly held together which is why soap is so effective on it). The virus has to get from inside a person onto a surface that a person then touches and then from the persons hand into their mouth or nose. Its a precarious trip for a virus, which is why the ability to infect others is as low as it is (even though it seems high to us). anything that disrupts that journey makes the pathway incomplete and the virus is unable to reproduce.

    2. WhoaMolly

      FAR-UV is a human-safe UV that kills 99.9% of pathogens.

      It’s a new field, and companies are overwhelmed by queries. One of the products under development is a ‘roomba type’ robot that roams around disinfecting things. Other products are various air circulation devices that clean the air.

      1. Phacops

        I do not put any trust in UV unless under carefully engineered applications, being familiar with UV sterilization in pharmaceutical water applications. Because of R-squared and limits to UV source power density, anything other than intimate contact with what is being sterilized is merely sterilization theatre. Optimal wavelength for germicidal action is 254 nm. The dose required for a 4-log reduction of influenza virus is 136 mJ/cm-squared and unlikely to be acieved by anything that can be carried on a roomba.

        Plus, this is assuming that there is no light reactivation. UVs primary action is through damage to DNA by crosslonking thymidine. That crosslinking can be undone by subsequent exposure to visible light. I have no value for reactivation that I can cite immediately.

        Geez, I wish people would consider what applied sterilization actually is.

        1. Phacops

          Should also have pointed out that UV sterilization is not a new field. Parameters, dosimetry, and testing are all well known and have been in use for decades.

          Not appreciated by most is that there is never any knowledge of actual sterility, for instance in a lot of drug product that lot is non-sterile if even one unit is non-sterile and 100% of someting cannot be tested. Hence sterilization procedures are parametric for the technology that is being used and must be effective to greater than a 6-log reduction of hard to kill (or filter) challenge organisms.

      2. xkeyscored

        Use a presumably expensive robot that’s still under development and probably won’t sterilise everything anyway (see Phacops‘ comments above), especially things like taps and door handles that quickly get re-‘infected’?
        Or wash your hands, avoid touching your face, and keep your distance?

  11. L

    Re: Hillary Clinton comeback.

    She is certainly reinserting herself into the race Hillary Clinton says Sanders would not be ‘strongest nominee against Trump’ (The Guardian).

    She restates her usual claim that Sanders was mean to her up to the election while she “came together” always. Then argues for Biden’s strong “coalition” which to be fair does look a lot like hers since it marries Wall Street with dark money, professional democratic spox, and identity democreats who vote on name recognition.

    I guess it is always 2016.

      1. Dalepues

        Hilarious! I’ve never seen South Park before now but I’ll be sure to watch it in the future.

        1. xkeyscored

          It definitely has its brilliant moments, and that was one of the best! Thanks Rev.

      2. Harold

        I suspect that the Clintons are enraged at Bernie for never turning over his mailing list after the nominating convention. That’s why they insist he never “helped” her enough.. Sure, he put his heart and soul into campaigning for her. But her camp didn’t seem too keen on actual campaigning. Donations is what they were after, and the revenue stream.

        1. Oh

          I’m afraid Sanders will pour his heart and soul into campaiging for “Roving hands and hair sniffer” Biden. He reiiterated that he would support him if he’s nominated. OMG!

    1. rps

      That makes sense and explains Hulu’s new Hillary Docuseries. Oh yeah, the Clintons are in the midst of rolling out their newest re-invention of Hillary and revisionist her&his-story. Turned on the tv last Friday and there was a Bill/Hillary clip broadcast on a local station. I’m wondering what are they up to now? And it got worse with their revisionist ‘feelies’ down memory lane; particularly, Hillary’s shock & awe (spare me) about Monica Lewinsky and how Bill had to tell Chelsea about his “affair.” There’s Bill doing what Bill does claiming it was his terrors, fears and anxieties that initiated the Lewinsky affair- she was like his psychiatrist- seriously- watch and remember to wash & disinfect your brain afterwards.

      The question- if the DNC is able to rig Biden’s nomination, will he announce Hillary as his VP- duh

      1. L

        Or perhaps she just wants to burn Bernie one last time.

        If there is anyone in the DNC with any sense of success then the last thing they should do is pick her. That would be worse than Palin and would doom the ticket to be a true repeat of 2016. It would be Trump’s dreams come true and it would be the death of the party because it would be a clear sign to all up and comers, indeed to everybody, that the heirarchy won’t make space for new ideas or new people they’d rather just lose with the old and hit you up for money when the sh** hits the fan.

        But I guess it makes some sense. They can fundraise off of Trump, they can’t off of Bernie.

          1. xkeyscored

            And for many of the leadership, their idea of success may well be keeping Bernie out. As in never mind who gets in, Trump, Biden, Clinton, Buttegieg (remember him?), anyone but a self-professed socialist.

    2. neo-realist

      It would be seriously stupid of the DNC to allow her on the ticket, top or VP slot. While Biden may not inspire some of the progressive vote, Hillary would bring out the Republicans disenchanted with Trump to vote against the democratic ticket in droves. Biden, while arguable senile, is nowhere near as dislikeable as Hillary to independents as well as the republican base. Biden could get some republicans to vote against Trump, but Hillary, imo, couldn’t.

  12. The Rev Kev

    “Women more likely to survive coronavirus in China, studies find”

    Just goes to show you that when we men get the flu, it is not just the man-flu.

    1. Daryl

      Worth remarking that the difference in smoking rate between men and women in China is massive (iirc, 50% to 4% or something along those lines).

      1. Massinissa

        IIRC it was 50% to 2%, but ultimately its just splitting hairs. Since this is a respiratory infection gender differences shouldn’t really be assumed until we see similar numbers from countries without such a divide in smoking between genders. Would be interested in seeing said numbers in Italy, IIRC I think smoking is high there in general.

  13. allan

    Joe Biden’s secret governing plan [Axios]

    Joe Biden confidants are privately discussing potential leaders and Cabinet members for his White House, including the need to name a woman or African American — perhaps both — as vice president, top sources tell “Axios on HBO.”

    Why it matters: Biden advisers describe a Return to Normal plan — a reversal of President Trump’s unorthodox, improvisational style. Biden wants known, trusted people around him — many from the Obama years.

    Several high-profile possibilities:

    •John Kerry would love to take a new Cabinet position devoted to climate change, or might even accept a curtain call to return as secretary of state.
    •Susan Rice, formerly President Obama’s national security adviser, is another option for State.
    •Mike Bloomberg, who swiftly endorsed Biden after the former mayor’s campaign collapsed, would be a top possibility to head the World Bank.
    •Sally Yates, the deputy attorney general under Obama who stood up to Trump and was fired, would be a leading contender for attorney general.
    •Sen. Elizabeth Warren as Treasury secretary could help unite the party.
    •Jamie Dimon — chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase, and mentioned over the years as a potential presidential candidate — would also be considered for Treasury.
    •Anne Finucane, vice chairman of Bank of America, is another possibility for Treasury. …

    Even discounting that this is Axios, you have to wonder at the level of disconnect with the national mood.

  14. David

    If you have any space in your brain to think about further problems, have a quick look at the Guardian piece on Lebanon and despair. (The article is broadly accurate, though people in the country tell me that the situation is even worse than described here.)
    The Lebanese economy has essentially collapsed, after thirty years of organised theft by the same political leaders who fought the civil war. The Lebanese Pound, steady at 1507 to the dollar for ages, is now trading at more like 2500 in the streets, and some businesses seem only to be accepting dollars. Savings accounts in LBP are rapidly becoming worthless. The banking system, which is the only part of the Lebanese economy that really works, is breaking down. It’s now difficult to send money out of the country, or buy anything online.
    It’s hard to overestimate the importance of this, coming on top of the chronic political crisis and the recent political unrest. (The virus won’t help either). Since the Syrian withdrawal in 2005, Lebanon has been an oasis of relative stability, with a working economy and a government that functions on a good day. Even if large scale disruption and even violence are avoided, the consequences for the country and the region could be very bad. They can only be made worse by the attentions of the IMF, whose demands will almost certainly run completely counter to the demands of the protesters over the last few months, and indeed against public opinion generally. Lebanon is such a complex and multi-faceted problem, a country which produces much more politics than it can consume, that any one of a series of bad outcomes now possible.

    1. coboarts

      Thanks! It’s important to be aware of what is going on while we are being so distracted.

    2. xkeyscored

      “The World Bank has warned of an impending recession that may see poverty rates rise drastically.”

      And that was before The Virus, which certainly won’t help! Lebanon currently has 41 diagnosed cases, and even if that number doesn’t increase, which is highly unlikely, the whole world’s entering an economic downturn if I’m not mistaken.

  15. Chris

    So many references to “Black Swans” today on the twitter and other sources of social media.

    It’s depressing to realize just how stupid the American public is. We’ve known for years that the source of the next pandemic would be zoonotic. We’ve known for years that our society has no safety net. People from different political parties have been pushing against the off-shoring/JIT style inventory arrangement we’ve made ubiquitous in the US. We’ve known for years how exposed we are to problems in other parts of the world. And yet, we cry about “black swans.”

    Maybe we really do deserve what’s coming?

    In related CV news, my neck of the woods is finally seeing panic buying and virus related shortages at all levels. We’re OK but I bought some extras to share in case neighbors need stuff and can’t leave their houses. It seems like my sister in Washington has come down with the virus and she reports feeling awful. We’re waiting to see if she can get tested for verification. She has been tested for flu and they’ve said she doesn’t have the flu.

    I guess we will wait and see what happens as things progress.

    1. Lina

      I was on a call today with a colleague. She was not happy that she couldn’t go to a museum this weekend because it was closed (I assume because of CV though I didn’t realize museums in Boston have closed?) .

      People have no clue what’s coming. File that under #spoiledinthestates.

    2. Susan the other

      Steve Wozniak recently claimed that he and his wife were the proverbial patient zero. Returning from China in October they came through Washington State on their way to California (iirc). They started coming down with a really bad flu before they left China. She was so sick she was “coughing up blood.” And I do believe the very first patient recorded in the US was in Washington state. No?

    3. a different chris

      Well we’ve arguably re-designed our zoo such that all swans are black, and white ones would be the exception then.

      No, that doesn’t make me feel any better either.

    4. ewmayer

      Yes, it does seem rather less a [pick your color] swan than a proverbial flock of chickens coming home to roost, doesn’t it?

  16. Bill Carson

    Any news about how U.S. housing prices will be affected by the CV/market crash? I’m sure the half-percent rate cut will bouy prices somewhat, but I suspect that the housing bubble is about to burst, too.

    1. Wukchumni

      Going to have coffee with a friend that manages around 25 AirBnB/VRBO short term rental homes in town, to get a gauge of what’s what.

      Doesn’t even the moniker …’the sharing economy’

      Seem a bit out of sorts, with Coronavirus looming?

    2. MLTPB

      I wonder how sellers will handle agents showing their homes, for those who sti.l live there.

      You come home, and wipe everything down, ever day the house is being shown?

    3. Tom Stone

      Bill, I’m a Licensed Real Estate Broker in Sonoma County, not long ago ( In comments at “Wolf Street” ) I predicted a 25% drop in the median price and a 50% drop in the number of transactions in my County by late June next year.
      It will take a long time to recover and I have no idea where the bottom will be.
      Agriculture and Tourism are a BIG part of the local economy and they are going to take a big hit, and here we are in another drought…Wildfires are on peoples minds.
      For the rest of California and the US?
      Well, more old folks will die from Covid-19 than younguns and old folks are more likely to own property than the young, so we’ll see a nice increase in inventory here in about a year and a half that should last several years.

      1. Bill Carson

        I will welcome the bursting of the real estate bubble. It is all just so damn expensive.

        I’ve been renting for nearly 10 years. Wasn’t in a place to buy when I moved across country during the great recession. Now I’m finally getting there, but it is so expensive that I wasn’t looking forward to signing a note for four- or five- hundred thousand dollars. I think a 40% drop in FMVs would be reasonable, so long as the banks will give loans.

  17. urblintz

    This is not a time for levity but… whatever else you may be hearing, the MSM is indeed keeping a lid on things but they are about to break the TRUTH. Here’s what happened:

    The USA created COVID19 and made a vaccine which they administered only to Trump who then sent the kit to Putin who innoculated himself. As arranged between the two of them, privately without translators, the kit was then sent to Xi, but the vaccine included within was actually the virus itself! Yep… the fish has rotted from the head in China… Patient Zero is Xi, the most devious plot in history designed by two beasts, who make Hitler’s crimes seem like a cakewalk, to kill every adult in the world, leaving the little children all to themselves and the rest of time to make passionate love to each other while building Trump Towers in downtown Moscow.

    You heard it here first…

    oh yeah… RUSSIA just gained control of the oil markets too!

    1. Daryl

      Nobody seems to have control of the oil markets. The House of Saud tried this a few years ago, if I recall, and I don’t think they lasted very long before giving up.

  18. chuck roast

    Piketty Turns Marx on His Head

    More soft-core pornography from the woke Krugman, ever the servant of the Martha’s Vinyard summer stock. As K would have it: “In Marxian dogma, a society’s class structure is determined by underlying, impersonal forces, technology and the modes of production that technology dictates.” Uhm, impersonal forces? Somehow I missed that in Marx. I always thought that both direct and indirect control of society was performed by those who owned the means of production. It was ever so.

    As I recall Piketty was prescient in his unveiling of ruling-class clap-trap with his nice little formula: r>g over the long term, where ( r ) rate of return on capital and (g) is economic growth. So, over the long term the distribution of wealth becomes more and more unequal and is concentrated in the ruling strata. The result is increasing economic and political instability. Formula seems to work in practice. Thanks, Krug, but I have always preferred my pornography hard-core.

    Marx on his head? More likely Krugman on his head.

    1. xkeyscored

      Well said. I too was under the impression that Marx claimed history was the history of class conflict.
      As for Krugman bringing up white working class voters going for Trump over the Democrats, I doubt very much if Marx would have had much time for anything but scorn and contempt for the Dems, either in his time or since. A party of the proletariat? That barely features in their propaganda, let alone their policies.

      1. Susan the other

        I had the same take as both of you. And I even tried to give K the benefit of the doubt. I don’t know why I bother. He is forever disappointing – I think it is a mark of disingenuousness. He (K) did mention someone to look for with a theory of wealth by slavery – Evsey from MIT. Sounded interesting. Sort of implying (?) well all this disequilibrium really started in the 1500s, creating exponential wealth that perverted the world. Which is probably true but that doesn’t mean we can’t fix it. And Picketty is trying to do just that. Picketty probably doesn’t understand how far gone we are in the US. So he still believes Social Democracies will save the ideologies of the Left. Whereas K thinks it’s all over but the shoutin’. K could be right about his own little America, but that’s no reason to deny that things can be fixed. Fixing things is K’s biggest fear. Gotta be a reason for that.

      2. Olga

        One does wonder what happens to people like Krugman. When he first started at NYT, his columns were refreshingly informative in a simple way that even a dummy like me could understand. Gradually, his capture by the ruling stratum became more and more pronounced and obvious, I dunno … was it the (so-called) Nobel prize? Or is this (what may be called intellectual press-titution) an inevitable price a person in his position must pay to stay at the top? (If being at NYT may be considered the top.)
        Likely… since those, who do not conform are relegated to the oblivion … or move to RT or Italy (G Vidal).
        Another good example of how having deeply entrenched elites in the long run undermines, and eventually snuffs out, productive intellectual life and creativity.

        1. HotFlash

          I dunno … was it the (so-called) Nobel prize?

          I believe you are referring to the Nobble Prize.

    2. martell

      Looks like Krugman thinks Marx is a technological determinist. So, looks like he hasn’t actually read Marx.

      As for Piketty, the claim that inequality is a social phenomenon that’s contingent on human institutions is hardly one with which Marx would disagree. Rather, it’s his point, or at least one of the main ones. On the other hand, Marx would certainly disagree with the contention that inequality is neither technological nor economic but instead political and ideological. You can’t have capitalism with stone age technology (or bronze age technology, for that matter), so economic structures are dependent on technological means. And it’s plain that control over the state is perpetually contested in capitalist societies, since the state goes beyond securing the conditions on which there can be markets to actively altering the balance of power between classes and even picking and choosing winners and losers among the dominant class itself. None of this can be explained without reference to the dominant mode of production (so economics). As for ideology, the notion itself is mostly an invention of Marx’s. Roughly, the word ‘ideology’ as used by Marx refers to a system of ideas that are dominant for some society at some time. These dominant ideas are certainly not, for Marx, epiphenomenal. The idea, for instance, that human nature is well modeled by homo economicus clearly has quite real consequences for political discourse, legislation, regulatory measures, and thus the economic system itself. But why, Marx would ask, does this set of ideas become dominant in some societies and not others, at some times and not others? Any good answer has to make reference to political and economic structures. Or so a materialist, in Marx’s sense, would say. In view of all this, Marx would hold that inequality is technological, economic, political, and ideological.

      That said, he would also maintain that inequality is mostly economic, since the historical development of different forms of inequality, including the present form, is best explained by changes in modes of production.

  19. xkeyscored

    Put down that veggie burger. These farmers say their cows can solve the climate crisis CNN

    This article is misleading. The pretty graphic entitled “Nature’s carbon cycle” correctly states that cows release CO2 and methane into the air. It also says plants absorb carbon from the atmosphere, which could easily be taken to mean they absorb methane, which they don’t, at least not until it’s transformed into CO2, by which time it’s already done a lot of global warming.
    And while the practices mentioned in the article may well be good for the soil, there’s no mention of any measurements of GHG emissions from cows raised this way. Other research has indicated that intensively reared cattle fed diets high in corn produce less methane than free range cows.

    1. Cancyn

      I think the main takeaway is the type of farming. What this farmer is doing is much better than the huge factory feedlot that has cows knee deep in their own sh*t. We obviously can’t do small scale cattle farming and feed as many people beef as we do now but stopping the huge scale farms and accompanying huge scale processing would be better for everyone.
      I don’t eat a lot of beef but I am healthy omnivore. I eat simple meals and source locally as much as I can. I buy my meat from a butcher not the grocery store. A couple of years ago in Canada, we had a recall on meat from a plant in Alberta that was country wide! How is someone in PEI eating meat from Alberta? There are beef cattle in PEI. Makes no sense to me. Yes the butcher is more expensive, so I just eat less beef.
      I dunno, maybe it is because I live in Canada and we cannot get local fresh fruit and vegetables all year round but the vegetarians and vegans I know eat a lot of highly processed, packaged food that comes from a long way away. I don’t think it is healthy nor particularly environmentally friendly.

      1. HotFlash

        I am neither a vegetarian nor a vegan, but I eat mostly vegetables and our groceries (for 3 adults) consist mostly of what we call ‘ingredients’. Vegetables, fruits, grains and legumes, some slightly processed, but most just like they grew in the ground. I admit to using canned hummus from Lebanon, (just beans and water, sale, tahine, and citric acid), canned tomatoes, prepared English muffins and gluten-free bread, fried bean balls from a local processing plant, and miso from a local artisan– all things I can do and have done, but don’t want to take the time for small batches.

        Processed stuff? Well, we don’t make our own soaps, but we do know how — it’s just easier and cheaper to buy, esp that we can now get most all in bulk (supply own container).

        But I cringe walking through the ‘organic and gluten-free” aisle in the supermarkets — over processed, over-packaged, over-priced and mostly *snacks*. This is no way to eat. Protein bars, energy bars, a billion kinds of chips — this strikes me as crazy. We are so backward in our house that we make popcorn from (wait for it) popcorn!

        1. xkeyscored

          I’m more or less vegetarian, and can’t stand this artificial meat stuff. I’ve tried some, so as not to offend hosts, that has the look, taste and texture of chicken. Yuk! I’m vegetarian because I don’t want to eat meat. Give me beans and rice any day.

  20. L

    Regarding the US vs. Iran and China there are substantive differences in how the politics will play out in each case and in the options that are within the Overton Window.

    In the PRC the outbreak happened right before a major travel holiday for the entire country and it happened in an industrial center that is important but still far less so than the capital (at least to people in the party). Therefore hard containment was the best option politically as it also works with longstanding goals of the party to up surveillance and it keeps the dear leader safe (to date Xi Jinping has only held phone conferences or visited hospitals that have no patients). While it was politically attractive there will be longstanding economic costs to hard containment as people reevaluate the connections and the containment only took place after a suitable period of bureaucratic hiding and after a lot of potential carriers had left (like the ones going to Italy). And whatever the political safety in containment the economic costs will be high and longstanding.

    In the US the outbreak has come from travelers who came to the US from elsewhere chiefly to some of our growing tech centers. Coming as it does under an administration that seeks to cut our connections with the world and our public healthcare it will be convenient for the former but expose flaws in the latter. And given the lack of central controls realistic containment will be hard. If anything this will expose and reinforce inequality as the wealthy stop the nonstop acela service and telecommute hoping it will go away while those working three jobs keep sneezing into the mocha lattes.

    But that is different than Iran, and this is why the stats in the Atlantic article are uninformative. In Iran the epicenter of the outbreak is Qom. Qom is not just any other city. It is the epicenter of religion and therefore politics. It is where the Supreme leader and the high council sits and where the conservatives in the government go to get instructions. It would be like the epicenter being CPAC and Congress not somewhere on the coast in states that never supported the president anyway.

    For Iran containment of the true epicenter is not a political option nor can they isolate the elites from it because that is where it began. All that they can do is what they already are doing, crack down on the poor to show that they are doing something and hope that it will all go away.

  21. xkeyscored

    Airlines are burning thousands of gallons of fuel flying empty ‘ghost’ planes so they can keep their flight slots during the coronavirus outbreak Business Insider

    Surely this is good news of sorts for the environment. If they were flying with passengers, they’d be burning even more fuel.

    1. periol

      That is certainly one way to look at it.

      I’m guessing the weight of the plane + crew + fuel is still significant, at least 75% of the total weight?

      So the planes might be using less fuel, but not substantially less.

      The only way this is “good” for the “environment” is the exhaust from the empty planes flying helps with global dimming, which scientists speculate is keeping global temps from spiking right now.

      Truly good for the environment would mean the planes aren’t flying.

      1. xkeyscored

        My comment was meant somewhat provocatively, as one way of looking at it – but true.
        Sure, GHG-emitting planes not flying would be much much better!

        1. periol

          Your point does have validity, I shouldn’t have been so harsh in my initial comment. Looking into it a bit, I’m seeing around 20% less fuel for an empty flight. Considering how much fuel these planes burn, that’s not nothing – maybe 17,000 liters of fuel for one flight from NY to London.

          Call it a 30% overall fuel/pollution savings, between planes not flying at all, and empty planes flying, alongside the planes flying with reduced passengers and cargo.

          So yes, better the planes aren’t flying, but 30% emissions reduction and fuel usage is nothing to scoff at.

          All that said, my conspiratorial mind can’t help but wonder if the planes aren’t flying at least partially because the government knows we can’t afford a sudden temperature spike heading into the summer, with all the potentially catastrophic weather that could bring.

  22. Troy

    Well the elderly In the UK screwed their young pretty damn hard. No point expecting them to be any different here apart from the odd case like Yves mum.

  23. Wukchumni

    Max von Sydow passed away @ 90. RIP

    He starred in a couple of what I think are the best films regarding immigrants to the USA, in this case Swedes.

    The Emigrants, from 1971


    The New Land, from 1972

    Get 2 big thumbs up, wonderful period pieces.

    1. ewmayer

      He was great in so many roles, including his turn as emperor Ming the Merciless in that classic of 80s cheesy-poof space opera, Flash Gordon … I loved the “wedding vows” scene with the lovely Flash-Gordon-GF Dale Arden:

      Zogi, the High Priest: Do you – Ming the Merciless, Ruler of the Universe – take this Earthling, Dale Arden, to be your Empress of the Hour?

      The Emperor Ming: Of the hour, yes.

      Zogi, the High Priest: Do you promise to use her as you will?

      The Emperor Ming: Certainly!

      Zogi, the High Priest: Not to blast her into space?

      [Ming glares at Zogi]

      Zogi, the High Priest: Uhm, until such time as you grow weary of her?

      The Emperor Ming: I do.

      And don’t forget his turn as the dotard King Osric in 1982’s Conan the Barbarian: “There comes a time, thief, when the jewels cease to sparkle, when the gold loses its luster, when the throne room becomes a prison, and all that is left is a father’s love for his child.”

      (Best part of the latter movie for me, though, is the great musical score by Basil Polidouros.)

      1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

        Best part of Conan, besides Sydow, is there’s not a spoken word until 20mins into the movie.

        Basil also did Robocop, Terminator 2, Hunt for Red October (I think???), among others.

        1. liam

          there’s not a spoken word until 20mins into the movie.

          Only true for Schwarzenegger actually. There’s the speech by Conan’s father which sets up the Riddle of Steel plotline 3 or 4 minutes in. Outside of the Wizard’s narration, those are the only words of substance by any character until the “crush your enemies, see them driven before you” scene 20 minutes later which is where you hear Conan’s first lines.

          And ewmayer is absolutely correct. The musical score makes the movie.

    2. Eustache de Saint Pierre

      I wonder if he thought about that Bergman constructed chess game while he was on the way out. His other Bergman outings were often very special & I an very fond of his role in ” Pele the Conqueror “.

    3. Jonathan Holland Becnel

      “There comes a time when the jewels cease their sparkle, when the gold loses its luster…”

      -Max Von Sydow
      Conan the Barbarian




      PS Exorcist!!!!!

  24. Chauncey Gardiner

    Please forgive my digression. In this time of narcissistic leaders, coronavirus, climate change, wars and economic turnoil, I this morning watched a music video created by Sustainable Human for Michael Brunnock’s song “A Blessing for Anyone”. The song was based on a poem Caitlin Johnstone wrote of the same name. Johnstone wrote a post that Jerri-Lynn linked to here today, referred by The Rev Kev. The music video is about 5 minutes in length:

    1. xkeyscored

      Thank you, it’s a lovely song and video. “May life treat you how you treat life” is a great update on “Love thy neighbour as thyself.”

      1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

        Yes it is very good. I like these political music videos. Well the ones that are good anyway.

  25. Synoia

    A fairly grim thread coming. America is handling the #coronavirus like Iran, so it’s likely what happens here will be like what’s happening in Iran. In Iran, 8% of their parliament has been infected. Political leaders are dying.

    I can see both sides of that item.

  26. flora

    Latest Matt Stoller essay is very good. Coronavirus, loss of US manufacturing to make the things we need, monopoly, private equity, all connect in this failure to make a good, national response to the pandemic.

    Why Can’t America Handle the Coronavirus Crisis?

    The reason America can’t handle the Coronavirus is the same reason we can’t do anything else right. We don’t let the people who do the work have any say over how or whether the work is done. That’s why America has mishandled various wars, the response to Katrina, the financial crisis, big tech monopolies, Boeing, the Iowa caucuses, and the crisis with Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. American institutions are organized entirely around the short-term horizon of financiers, and these financiers seek to create monopolies and to grab cash by thinning out supply lines and generating hidden risk.

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