2:00PM Water Cooler 4/13/2020

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Patient readers, there was a lot of political activity over the weekend,


At reader request, I’ve added this daily chart:

New York looks like it could be approaching the peak, but holy moley.

The data is the John Hopkins CSSE data. Here is the site. I have changed to a logarithmic scale for US States and territories, adjusted for population. See Vice, “How to Read the Coronavirus Graphs“:

Quantities that grow exponentially, when depicted on a linear scale, look like curves that bend sharply upward, with the curve getting constantly steeper. On a log scale, exponentially growing values can be depicted with straight diagonal lines.

That’s the beauty of plotting things on log scales. Plots are meant to make things easy to understand, and we humans are much more adept at understanding linear, straight-line behavior. Log plots enable us to grasp exponential behavior by transferring the complexity of constantly steepening curves into the simplicity of an exponentially increasing scale.

On a log scale, we want to constantly be making the line more and more horizontal. The general concept of “flattening” is still a good one, but it’s never going to curve down. And so what we should be looking, and hoping for is a trend toward horizontal.

I removed population adjustment, based on this exchange from alert reader dk:

I hope this change is helpful. One also notices at once that the New York and New Jersey metroplexes stand out.


“But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature?” –James Madison, Federalist 51

“They had one weapon left and both knew it: treachery.” –Frank Herbert, Dune

“They had learned nothing, and forgotten nothing.” –Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord

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* * *
Biden (D)(1): “A ‘Never Biden’ movement vows not to vote for Joe” [Politico]. “In Michigan — a state critical to Democrats’ efforts to reclaim their general election footing in the Rust Belt — just 2 of 5 Sanders backers said they would vote Democratic in November, regardless of who became the nominee, according to exit polls. Four in five said they’d be dissatisfied with Biden as the Democratic standard-bearer…. ‘At the end of the day, it’s Biden or Trump,’ said Boyd Brown, a former South Carolina lawmaker and former Democratic National Committee member. ‘They’ll turn out.'” • So I guess we’ll see if the South Carolina political establishment are successful wypipo whisperers or not. They certainly were in 2016. Oh, wait…

Biden (D)(2): “New York Times edits Biden sexual assault coverage, deletes references to past inappropriate ‘hugs, kisses and touching'” [FOX]. • FOX is correct; I saw the whole discussion flow by. For example:

“We saw no pattern of sexual misconduct, except for the sexual misconduct.”

Cuomo (D)(1): “There Are Worse Governors Than Andrew Cuomo, But None Who Are Personally Responsible For As Many Coronavirus Deaths” [Down with Tyranny]. Accurate, but check out this little nugget: “How big a scumbag is Cuomo inside Democratic politics? We know he hates the Congressional Progressive Caucus and everything they stand for. Now, Maggie Moran, Cuomo’s top political operative– the one not currently serving a prison term– is surreptitiously fund-raising against AOC and soliciting campaign operatives to work against her reelection.” • If Cuomo gets Sanders off the New York ballot and neutralizes AOC, the DNC will owe him a solid.

Sanders (D)(1): “Bernie’s Winning Strategy: Suspend His Campaign While Continuing to Collect Delegates” [Vocal Media]. “As I sat there thinking about the timing of Bernie’s suspension - with nearly half of the states left to vote - I started to think that perhaps this is shaping up to be the most strategic move the Sanders campaign has ever made. It may seem like - from the outside - the end of his bid for the nomination, but I wonder if Bernie Sanders and his closest campaign advisers see it that way.” • I would need to see numbers on this, and some signs from the Sanders campaign. Then again, I can’t take the time to watch the Sanders videos (and AFAIK there are no transcripts) so I could be missing some messaging. Readers?

UPDATE Sanders (D)(2): “Sanders endorses Biden for president” [The Hill].

Ex-Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) endorsed former rival Joe Biden during a virtual event on Monday.

“I’m asking all Americans…to come together in this campaign, to support your candidacy which I endorse, to make sure we defeat…the most dangerous president in the modern history of this country,” Sanders told Biden during the former vice president’s virtual event on the coronavirus.

Sanders’s endorsement comes less than a week after he suspended his own presidential campaign.

And we get?

UPDATE Sanders (D)(3): “Sanders endorses Biden” [Politico]. “Their staffs have in recent days met to discuss establishing six task forces — concerning the economy, education, criminal justice, immigration, climate chage and healthcare — to bridge any gaps between the two wings of the Democratic Party.” • I don’t know how you bridge a gap between Biden’s horrid health care plan and #MedicareForAll. And it sounds like a way to avoid a platform fight by doing deals behind closed doors. But where is Sanders leverage now? (And if Sanders, as everyone keeps saying, “won the battle of ideas,” will the task force deliverables reflect that? I’m guessing no.)

UPDATE Sanders (D)(4): “Sanders backs Biden as ex-rivals join forces to beat Trump” [Associated Press]. “Sanders referred to the former vice president as ‘Joe.’ Biden answered him repeatedly as “pal.” The two men asked the other to give regards to their wives, Jill Biden and Jane Sanders. Biden told Sanders: ‘I really need you, not just to win the campaign but to govern.'” • Pal?

UPDATE Sanders (D)(5): From Obama’s surrogate, a *** [chef’s kiss] ***:

That photo….

UPDATE Sanders (D)(6): Also quick but not so warm:

UPDATE Sanders (D)(6): I think the Democrat Establishment thinks Sanders can “deliver” voters in the same way they did, but I’m not so sure:

UPDATE Sanders (D)(7): Opportunity cost:

Warren (D)(1): Her non-endorsement is indeed odd:

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Stats Watch

At reader request, I added some business stats back in. Please give Econintersect click-throughs; they’re a good, old-school blog that covers more than stats. If anybody knows of other aggregators, please contact me at the email address below.

“The Coronavirus Shock Looks More like a Natural Disaster than a Cyclical Downturn” [Liberty Street Economics]. “Although many observers are comparing the current economic cycle to the Great Recession, the two situations are very different. First, the Great Recession was driven by economic and financial imbalances, while the current situation results from a non-economic shock. Second, the Great Recession developed gradually—first as a sub-prime mortgage crisis, then as a broader housing bust, and eventually as a full-blown global financial crisis and recession. The coronavirus pandemic, in contrast, came on suddenly, hitting the economy at full force in one month. Third, the current pandemic is widely viewed as a temporary situation with an endpoint, though how soon that endpoint is reached is of utmost concern and remains to be seen. Given the nature of the current crisis, a better benchmark for assessing the current economic cycle would be the regional economic impact of a severe natural disaster, as seen in Louisiana’s economy after Hurricane Katrina or Puerto Rico’s economy after Hurricane Maria.”

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Travel: “Why Is Getting a Refund From an Online Travel Agency So Hard?” [New York Times]. “The agencies say they were overwhelmed by the immediate spike in travelers looking to cancel…. The spike in refund requests occurred while companies were simultaneously trying to equip their own teams to work remotely…. An [Online travel agency] doesn’t have your money. When you book with a third-party site, they take your payment and parcel it out to the various suppliers of your vacation services. Online travel agencies are dependent on the decisions of their hotel and airline suppliers, so they can’t preemptively issue a refund to someone without someone at the hotel or airline signing off on that refund.”

The Bezzle: “Red Light Camera Company Says It’s Dying Of Coronavirus [Tech Dirt]. “‘Redflex, an Australian company that operates “traffic safety programs” in roughly 100 US and Canadian cities, warned that less traffic and suspended construction amid the pandemic will be a stress on its balance sheet.’… Yeah, that’s a real shame. It’s too bad a company that engaged in bribery to grab market share won’t be able to weather this unexpected downturn in questionably-obtained income. There are several competitors in the crowded “worst traffic cam ever” field, but Redflex did everything it could to stay ahead of the pack. This behavior resulted in other unexpected downturns, like refunding millions of dollars of tickets in multiple locations due to the tech’s inability to do the little things… like accurately judge vehicle speed…. Let’s hope there are no more installations ever, even if drivers return to the roads to undo the environmental damage reduction they inadvertently contributed to by staying home. Redflex is a terrible company with terrible ethics and terrible products.”

Fodder for the Bulls: “Goldman Sachs abandons its bearish near-term view on stocks, says the bottom is in” [MarketWatch]. “Our call of the day, from a team of Goldman Sachs strategists led by David Kostin, says the worst of the market rout is behind us. A ‘previous near-term downside of 2000 [for the S&P 500] is no longer likely. Our year-end S&P 500 target remains 3000 (+8%),’ says the team in a note to clients on Monday. Why? ‘The combination of unprecedented policy support and a flattening viral curve have dramatically reduced downside risk for the U.S. economy and financial markets and lifted the S&P 500 out of bear market territory,’ said Kostin, whose gloomy stock prediction from last month came the day before a complete market meltdown.” • I wonder if the term “Democratic strategist” orginated on Wall Street.

Honey for the Bears: “America should be ready for 18 months of shutdowns in ‘long, hard road’ ahead, warns the Fed’s Neel Kashkari” [MarketWatch]. “Kashkari, while acknowledging the downside of what a prolonged shutdown could mean for the economy, said the U.S., ‘barring some health-care miracle,’ is looking at an 18-month strategy of rolling shutdowns based on what has happened in other countries. ‘We could have these waves of flare-ups, controls, flare-ups and controls, until we actually get a therapy or a vaccine,’ he said. ‘We need to find ways of getting the people who are healthy, who are at lower risk, back to work and then providing the assistance to those who are most at risk, who are going to need to be quarantined or isolated for the foreseeable future.’ Looking ahead, Kashkari doesn’t envision a quick rebound for the U.S. economy, which has already suffered more than 16 million job losses in the past three weeks. ‘This could be a long, hard road that we have ahead of us until we get to either an effective therapy or a vaccine,’ he said. ‘It’s hard for me to see a V-shaped recovery under that scenario.’

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 36 Fear (previous close: 42 Extreme Fear) [CNN]. One week ago: 28 (Extreme Fear). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Apr 13 at 12:20pm. Now mere fear. The prospect of “re-opening” the economy?

Rapture Index: Closes unchanged [Rapture Ready]. Record High, October 10, 2016: 189. Current: 186. Remember that bringing on the rapture is a good thing.

The Biosphere

“Nobody Knows How to Wean Manatees Off Coal Plants” [Bloomberg]. “Manatees are the chubby vegan hippies of the sea. Neither predator nor prey, the world’s three remaining species are all considered vulnerable, including the West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus), of which the Florida manatee is a subspecies. Manatees seem to have evolved almost immune to Darwinian struggle. They’re small-brained, radically farsighted, almost deaf, and barely able to smell—effectively floating digestion machines propelled by paddle-like tails. They survive mostly on seagrass, 100 to 200 pounds of which is working through a manatee’s intestinal system at a given moment. Their lungs stretch the entire length of their trunk, helping them maintain optimal buoyancy so they can munch like Jersey cows grazing a field of clover. Yet though manatees are sitting targets, even sharks leave them alone, uninterested in an animal that, despite its corpulence, lacks a tasty, insulating layer of blubber. So unflappable are manatees that a wild one will roll over and let its only true predator—us—rub its tender underside.” • Shut down the coal plants and let the manatees display adaptability?

Agriculture really was a mistake:

Health Care

“Pharmacologic Treatments for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)” [JAMA]. “The COVID-19 pandemic represents the greatest global public health crisis of this generation and, potentially, since the pandemic influenza outbreak of 1918. The speed and volume of clinical trials launched to investigate potential therapies for COVID-19 highlight both the need and capability to produce high-quality evidence even in the middle of a pandemic. No therapies have been shown effective to date.” • And here is a lovel visualization of how SARS-COV-2 hijacks a cell’s machinery, and how (some of) the various drugs undergoing trial may (or may not) interfere with that process:

“Could a Japanese Encephalitis Drug Prevent COVID-19?” [Contagion Live]. “Investigators in Germany took a step toward determining a potential novel therapeutic intervention for COVID-19 after identifying a cellular protein that may allow entry of SARS-CoV-2 into lung cells. The research, published in the journal Cell, examined how SARS-CoV-2 enters human cells and found that a drug currently approved in Japan to treat pancreatic inflammation could block the COVID-19 infection. ‘Our results show that SARS-CoV-2 requires the protease TMPRSS2, which is present in the human body, to enter cells,’ Stefan Pöhlmann, head of the Infection Biology Unit at the German Primate Center, said in a statement. ‘This protease is a potential target for therapeutic intervention.'”

I remember a similar visualization done for Lombardy:

A very good video on social distancing:

Made by the State of Ohio and so, in its way, a minor triumph for Federalism.

“Making your own face mask? Some fabrics work better than others, study finds” [NBC]. “The best masks were constructed of two layers of heavyweight ‘quilters cotton’ with a thread count of at least 180, and had thicker and tighter weave. Lesser quality fabrics also worked well, as long as they had an internal layer of flannel. ‘You do want to use a woven fabric, like batik,’ Segal said, ‘but you don’t want to use a knit fabric, because the holes between the knit stitches are bigger.’ In other words, if the fabric allows for a substantial amount of light to shine through, it’s probably going to allow tiny viral particles through, as well.” • With other useful tips.

Easter Wrapup

Hero of a thousand faces:

Failed State

“Millions of Americans face crisis payment delays” [Financial Times]. “Steven Mnuchin, US Treasury secretary, said on April 2 that direct payments of up to $1,200 per person would be wired ‘within two weeks’ to the bank accounts of people with direct deposit details on file at the Internal Revenue Service. Cheques for others, including Social Security recipients, would be sent by mail “very quickly after that”, he said. The problem for consumers who have received tax preparation assistance is that many might think their deposit details have been sent to the IRS when they have not. That is because they have used ‘refund transfer’ services in which their refunds have been routed through a temporary account set up at a bank working with their tax preparation company. As a result, these taxpayers could have to wait to receive their ‘economic impact’ payments via cheques sent to the home addresses on their tax returns, significantly slowing down the distribution of the money. Ron Wyden, a Senate Democrat, has said such cheques could take ‘months’ to arrive.” • Of course, it’s an open question whether parasitical middlemen like tax preparation services should even exist, when the IRS has a free program that does the same thing (“While 70% of taxpayers could use the program, the actual use is closer to 3%,” good job H&R Block/Turbotax lobbyists, and dark pattern programmers!) That said, this distinction — if you get your refund directly, you go to HappyViille, and if you get it through a service, you go to Pain City — is exacty the same random creation of first- and second-class citizens that drove me crazy about ObamaCare. Wherever you look in the relief efforts in the bailouts, you see this. It seems our systems are so chocked and sclerotic that they simply cannot deliver material benefits to citizens in a uniform, consistent way. Too bad, so sad:

(As Tlaib has proposed, to exactly no reaction from the flaccid and indifferent malevolent Democrat powers-that-be) Interestingly, this is the demographic that the Democrat Establishment has effectively disenfranchised by selecting Biden. Expect volatility.

Class Warfare

East Side, West Side….

The Elegy Of Serological Racialism: The Search For ‘Biochemical Races’ [Policy Tensor]. “In 1908, Wilhelm Weinberg, a German physician, and Godfrey H. Hardy, the famous mathematician at Cambridge, independently clarified the elementary mathematics of gene frequencies in a stable population. Anthropologists immediately sensed the opening of a new frontier. Raciology may have been more popular then ever before, but there were problems aplenty. One could only go so far with skin pigmentation, hair cross-sections, stature, and other skeletal and cranial measurements. For one, there was little agreement between physical anthropologists on the number and identity of the races of man — there seem to be as many races as race scientists, if not more! For another, progress was excruciatingly slow in understanding the origins of the races. All manner of theories abounded. The one issue on which all concerned agreed was the supremacy of the Nordic race. The only question was whether not just contemporary but all civilizations in history were secretly the creation of Grant’s Great Race — had the ancient Egyptians been Nordic too before mixing led to their racial degeneration? How else could one square the abjection of the contemporary Egyptian races and the astounding achievements of the ancient Egyptians? Such old wives’ tales were a minor irritant to serious scientists. They were more concerned about the results of Dr Boas, who had shown in 1912 that the cephalic index (the ratio of the length and breadth of the skull) was not as stable as hitherto believed. More precisely, Boas demonstrated that the cranial index of second generation immigrants differed from their parents.” • No doubt the ravings of mainstream macro-economists will read, one day, as the pseudo-science they are.

News of the Wired

“Prime Obsession” [OneZero]. • A lovely story about Oliver Sachs, two autistic twins, and prime numbers. “John would say a number—a six-figure number. Michael would catch the number, nod, smile and seem to savor it. Then he, in turn, would say another six-figure number, and now it was John who received, and appreciated it richly. They looked, at first, like two connoisseurs wine-tasting, sharing rare tastes, rare appreciations.”

“Human cryptochrome exhibits light-dependent magnetosensitivity” [Nature]. From 2011, still intrigues: “Humans are not believed to have a magnetic sense, even though many animals use the Earth’s magnetic field for orientation and navigation…. Here we show using a transgenic approach that human CRY2, which is heavily expressed in the retina, can function as a magnetosensor in the magnetoreception system of Drosophila and that it does so in a light-dependent manner. ” • Fruit flies do it…

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CC writes: “Easter in Colorado. It has snowed all day. Daytime temperatures were in the seventies last week, yet here we are experiencing the first white Easter I can recall.”

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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. L

    Hi, regarding this:

    “Bernie’s Winning Strategy: Suspend His Campaign While Continuing to Collect Delegates”

    The problem with this narrative is that his supension is already costing him delegates. Alaska just awarded the statewide delegates to Biden under DNC rules that state that suspended campaigns get no at large seats. So depsite the total being 55 / 44 Biden got 11 to Sanders’ 4. And NY of course has already floated cancelling their primary and just giving all the delegates to Biden outright.

    But not to worry, the Kremlinologists over at NYMag assure us that Biden has a secret strength old people like him. How exactly this will compensate for the fact that middle-aged and younger people don’t is unclear.

    1. Shonde

      How do you get a refund on funds sent to Bernie through Act Blue and Paypal? I at least expected him to stay in through the convention. The quick endorsement of Biden today makes me want to puke. I fear money donated to him will now be used for Bernie to work on the election of Biden rather than a continuation of his movement/organization to fight on for our benefit.

      1. edmondo

        Bernie had $33 million in the bank the day he suspended his campaign, He is probably eligible for a bailout under the CARES Act.

    2. John k

      He has exactly the same strengths that hill had, and the same weaknesses… except that maybe she was less popular across the country than he is. OTOH trump is sitting pres, controls the narrative, and Biden has mostly disappeared. And fox and trump will endlessly repeat his negs…
      so they’ll both claim the other is more despicable…

      1. Balakirev

        I am firmly convinced that they have, together, achieved the unachievable: each is worse than the other.

    1. zagonostra

      Reading that news is like catching a knife right to the heart, even with foresight of knowing it would happen.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          That’s silly. In each election we knew what the end game was if Sanders lost, because he explicitly told us what it would. Were you not paying attention? Projecting?

          1. pjay

            Yes. We were silly children projecting our hopes — as usual. If we had been paying attention to 2016, we would not have been taken by surprise… again. Listen to the adults, children. And *feel the Burn*!

            1. Geo

              If someone tells you they are going to do something, then they do it, you didn’t get burned by them. If you expected a different path by Sanders upon losing the primary then that’s on you. He was crystal clear the whole time what he would do if he didn’t get the nomination. We can disagree with the action, but that doesn’t mean we were “taken”.

              1. ambrit

                Not getting the nomination is not the same, in this Democrat Party, as losing the election.
                There seems to be a disconnect between the wishes of the people and the policies of the Democrat Party.
                I would argue that the “taken” part of the immediate reaction to the Sanders volte-face is anger at Sanders weakness. A weakness expressed on multiple levels. A well nigh subconscious aspect of the ‘violence’ of the disgust at Sanders capitulation is the helplessness felt at the fact that Sanders was the best standard bearer that arose in response to the decades long socio-political crisis we are now embroiled in.
                The honourableness of Sanders is presently only faintly suspect. (Expect the charges of ‘Sheepdogging,’ [also an outdoor sport, performed before crowds, apparently,] to surge now. H— hath no fury like a movement scorned, etc.) What is raising the ire of many is the precipitousness of the capitulation.
                Did Sanders just run out of desire and strength to carry on the fight to the convention?
                As an added question; will there even be a Democrat Party Convention now?
                I’m getting the distinct feeling that, today, Democracy is not dying in darkness. It is being destroyed piecemeal out in the open.

                1. Yves Smith

                  He had lost. He had no path to the nomination. Did you see the big fall in his standing in the national polls?

                  More important, HIS STAFF was pressing him to quit. How could Sanders possibly continue with key people saying they weren’t on board? They’d either resign or dial their work in.

                  If you want to be mad, be mad at his feckless staffers. He has no operation without them. Way way way too late in the game to find replacements.

                2. Geo

                  “well nigh subconscious aspect of the ‘violence’ of the disgust at Sanders capitulation is the helplessness felt at the fact that Sanders was the best standard bearer that arose in response to the decades long socio-political crisis“

                  Well stated. This is my heartbreak the last few weeks. It’s why I once again left the Dem Party (officially been registered since 2015). I’m with you in all the sentiments except I don’t blame Bernie and don’t think he’s weak. I just think the rigged system is stronger than his movement of disenfranchised and disillusioned masses. As a great letter from a Bernie canvasser on Medium said, “we’re losers”. Losers in the economic system, losers to the party establishment, and we hoped for once we’d be winners. But, you can’t win a rigged game and they proved it again. Bernie, for better or worse is an elected rep and continues trying to win that rigged game in any way he can to help is but it’s up to the rest of us not “inside the system” to figure out how we are going to go forward.

                  I guess my point is: our anger shouldn’t be for Bernie. It should be for all the bastards who are against him, and us.

                  1. scoff

                    our anger shouldn’t be for Bernie. It should be for all the bastards who are against him, and us.


              2. Lambert Strether Post author

                > If someone tells you they are going to do something, then they do it, you didn’t get burned by them. If you expected a different path by Sanders upon losing the primary then that’s on you.


                1. ambrit

                  Many of us were labouring under the evident delusion that Sanders was in it to the end, if any chance of influencing the Democrat party was possible. Thus, the calls for him to keep in the game up to the convention in the hope that he picked up enough delegates to force some concessions from the DNC in exchange for his support. Imagine if Sanders had fought up to the convention and then, when the double dealing became obvious called for his supporters to abandon the Democrat Party wholesale. Say what you will, that level of defection would be considered existential by the more thoughtful Democrat Party strategists. The alternative to that would be to believe, as I have explicated in another comment, that the core elements of the Democrat Party have become a cult, with all that that status involves.
                  I’ll close by observing that Sanders painted himself into a corner with his early capitulations on fealty to the eventual candidate, in both election cycles. Inside baseball is a terrible game to watch, much less play.

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      Sanders endorsement:

      Just updated the main post to that effect with a link.

      Since he signed the DNC’s blood oath, he had to do it; this moment would always have to come, given that Sanders is not, for good or ill, Machiavellian.

      That said, I am extremely disappointed that the Sanders movement is not being kept taut and at the ready. If it vanishes like frost when then the campaign is done, that would be a disaster. I see Sanders putting his priorities into legislating and campaigning. I think that’s wrong, and from the movement perspective, new leadership is needed, and as soon as possible. A movement needs to move!

      Supporting and integrating strikes (rent and workplace) is an obvious direction to go in, as I urged here. IMNSHO, this take priority over defeating Trump. I, at least, would certainly donate to support strike actions.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Seeing some of the takes out of Team Blue types, they are growing increasingly nasty. I can’t wait to see Biden’s financials. My guess is he and the DNC besides the small donors are having problems:

        -with people attached to housing value
        -who took the ride up in stocks
        -Republican donors who backed Democrats assuming they would win. President Trump freed them from that burden.
        -even Democratic donors who poured money in to get Trump.

        Theoretically, the primary campaigns would be leaving behind operations for the general. Money given to campaigns in September is basically wasted if there isn’t an operation in place, and with the current rent situation, who knows where people will be living in the Fall.

        I’ve seen Democratic elites throwing out the privilege attack en masse.

        1. L

          I suspect you are right. I think that we will see, as we did in 2016, increasingly nasty demands for Sanders to turn on his supposed money machine for Biden, and increasing bitterness when the gold doesn’t shower.

          I also think that you left out one important factor which is the donors like Bloomberg who really were only in it to push Sanders out and once that is done, have no need to fund Biden because they really don’t care either way.

          As to the privilege attack. Of course they are. What else have they got?

          1. ambrit

            Yesterday we got an e-mail from the #Our Revolution group about how best to move forward. As is to be expected, it ended with yet another demand for donations. I scrolled down and filled out the “Questionnaire.” I clicked on the “No donation right now” spot and clicked submit. The page instantly linked to an Act Blue donations page. Which, as per standard usage, I ignored.
            Later, I wondered about just where the Act Blue allegiances lie.
            Do they follow the Democrat Party line? Will their data base now be at the beck and call of the Biden Campaign? Finally, how big an overlap is there between the Act Blue data set and the Sanders Campaign data set?
            I can almost, being suitably cynical, imagine the Act Blue apparat as being a financial sheepdog for the Democrat Party; a Faux Parallel Institution.

            1. lyman alpha blob

              If I remember right, I used to see a lot of pleas to donate through ActBlue on that other orange website. That was enough to make me think it was probably a bad idea.

            2. sd

              Act Blue is a platform for Democratic candidates and campaigns to use for fundraising. That’s pretty much it. However, when you contribute to a candidate, that candidaite may opt to share their list with others who are also using ActBlue

            3. flora

              re: #OurRevolution trying to guilt the newly unemployed or underemployed into making $ donations they can’t afford. “When they show you who they are”…. /heh.

          2. Lambert Strether Post author

            > I think that we will see, as we did in 2016, increasingly nasty demands for Sanders to turn on his supposed money machine for Biden, and increasing bitterness when the gold doesn’t shower.

            I think you’re probably right, and that will be a key thing to watch for.

        2. WheresOurTeddy

          “sure, you were fired, you’ve been evicted, you’re homeless, you’re broke, you have no future and tens of thousands in student debt….but if you don’t vote for Joe, you’re showing your privilege…”

      2. Bsoder

        I know you know this, but good to keep in mind, that Niccolò Machiavelli, to be clear had no power base himself, like Thomas Cromwell he advised princes mainly the Medici family. I seriously doubt anyone on Wall Street was as smart as Niccolò and although the Dems exhibit signs of life, those signs are not intelligent. So as to Bernie, one would not want him to be Machiavellian as in acting like Niccolò, but like the Medici(s), in having someone to both give him such advice and mostly importantly that Bernie should have someone to carry out the plans. The Medici(s) weren’t big on get bloods on their hands. To switch idioms Bernie needed a Trotsky. Still does.

        1. Jeremy Grimm

          “For many years he served as a senior official in the Florentine Republic with responsibilities in diplomatic and military affairs.”
          “In 1513, the Medici accused him of conspiracy against them and had him imprisoned.Despite being subjected to torture … he denied involvement and was released after three weeks.”
          Machiavelli retired to his farm estate where he wrote the Prince.
          “Machiavelli is most famous for a short political treatise, The Prince, written in 1513 but not published until 1532, five years after his death.”
          I recall reading somewhere that he dedicated the Prince to Lorenzo Medici. But that hardly constitutes advising the Medici family.

          I have always viewed the Prince as an extremely clever and subversive book. Machiavelli was a Republican [in the old sense of the word].

          1. BillS

            Let us not forget that Machiavelli was a military leader and thinker and understood how war was a necessary extension of politics. He pioneered the ideas of “limited warfare” and the benefits of citizen-armies over those of mercenaries. (He hated mercenaries, and deplored the damage done by mercenary armies to Italy during the incessant wars of the period.) His book – The Art of War – was the most read book in Europe during his lifetime. For the bad rap that Machiavelli gets, he actually advocated a sane approach to war and politics – avoiding conflict for diplomacy, where possible. His contribution to modern statecraft cannot be underestimated!

        2. Procopius

          Basically, he was a high-ranking civil servant for the government of the Republic of Venice. He was a scholar and historian, and wrote a history of Florence and Discourses on the First Ten Books of Titus Livius, a commentary on Livy’s history of Rome. It’s too bad he’s been dismissed to the role of conniver, because he gave good advice.

      3. Bill Carson

        “And we get?”

        I must admit that Bernie is a terrible negotiator. He’s trading his birthright for a bowl of pottage.

        In ’16 he traded his campaign, which included a ‘free college’ plank, for Hillary’s ‘debt-free college,’ which was an awful new means-testing scheme that wouldn’t have done anybody much good but was guaranteed to SCREW THE MIDDLE CLASS, just like means testing always does.

        This election he sold his campaign for a five-year expansion of Medicare and another means-tested college scheme.


        (He’s obviously never read Art of the Deal.)

        1. L

          I’ve said it before and I will say it again. I believe that Bernie, more than Biden or anyone else takes the threat that Trump and COVID pose seriously. That is why he was the first to push for ballot delays, the first to call for mail-in (long after Biden was risking people’s lives in a push for votes) and the only candidate to turn his apparatus to supporting people in need.

          Biden is a self-satisfied dick and is likely to die a Clintoninte’s death at the hands of Brd Pasquale. But I believe that Sanders means what he says when he calls Trump the most dangerous president in our history, one whose negligence has led to thousands of deaths in the last month alone. I too feel this endorsement is nothing else than a loss and I know that the ex-Clintonites who now run Biden inc care for nothing but banishing Bernie and then going back to their big dollar donations.

          But I guess I get why Bernie made good on his endorsement. He sees the horror that is coming, is already here, and he wants to prevent it.

          For some helpful context read this:
          I’ve read the plans to reopen the economy. They’re scary.: There is no plan to return to normal.
          Yes it is Vox but the point is clear, “flattening the curve” is only the beginning and noone (except Sanders) really gets that. Certainly not Trump who loves his ratings, and certainly not Biden who still thinks that a few tweaks to Medicare are all that we need.

          1. JBird4049

            I still cannot see Biden as the lesser evil; I can only see him as a different evil. Also he is strictly a Potemkin candidate and who knows who is the actual individuals or group running him?

            Further, this vote-for-the-lesser-evil rope-a-dope strategy of the past thirty years is beyond tiresome; I get increasingly old, frustrated, and angry seeing what was devolving into the increasingly dystopian, pre-revolutionary hellscape that is my country, I want to see the process of bringing back what was to truly happening; the reformed world will be very different in the details of what was, but it is the substance that matters.

            So, no. I will not be voting for Joe Biden. I do not even see myself voting for a Democratic candidate unless it is to pencil in Bernie Sanders. To do otherwise merely gives support for the future Leader of our United States. Whoever they maybe.

              1. Falls City Beer

                And austerity. Debt to GDP ratio is headed in the wrong direction (or is already there). You and I both know what that means: nettle soup.

              1. Falls City Beer

                It’s Obama’s party, so the answer to that is Jamie Dimon and Lloyd Blankfein. The Clintons. No need to squint.

            1. albrt

              Boycotting elections is the honorable and respectable choice when you live in a third-world country where the corrupt, rigged election system consistently fails to put an acceptable candidate on the ballot.

              I’m still a little surprised they went with Biden though. I mean, he was obviously stupid and had lousy judgment even before his dementia got so bad. I don’t think the Democrat party can pump up the fundraising from the professional/managerial class with a pathetic mope like Biden leading the charge.

              But I also think there is a less than 50% chance that Biden and Trump are both still in the race by November. I think 2020 will stay interesting.

            2. ALM

              Voting for the lesser of two evils has brought us to the place where we are now, incrementally worse with each election. I am done voting for what I don’t want and getting it. I will be writing in Bernie’s name.

            3. Procopius

              I feel the same, but both my Senators and my Representative (from Michigan) are good, and I’m going to be voting for them, even though they’re Democrats. I think Gretchen Whitmer is good, too, even though she’s a Democrat. I’m going to vote for her either for Governor or for President. I may write Bernie’s name in or just leave the President box unmarked. It’s a long, long, time until November and I can reflect on my choices.

          2. lyman alpha blob

            Trump was certainly negligent however the death toll in the US is highest in the NY area so if we’re looking for someone to blame, there’s plenty to go around for Cuomo and DeBlasio too. It’s not like either of them were in a hurry to shut things down, and if memory serves they were bickering with each other when they should have been issuing stay in place orders.

            And yet a good portion of the Democrat party would like to anoint Cuomo as the nominee right now. It really doesn’t take much PR to fool the rubes sometimes.

            As mentioned below, Trump has a long way to go before he matches Bush/Cheney’s death count, let’s not forget that.

            1. L

              Oh I have no illusions about Cuomo’s “innocence” and Biden owes everything for his endorsement of Iraq. I’m just saying I see why others see the danger.

              1. Geo

                Wars didn’t hurt big dollar donors but the virus has struck places like Mar-a-lago, The Hamptons, and other places the powerful congregate. Heck, it made Cuomo Bro sick. This is a threat to them too unlike all the other travesties they’ve been able to treat as “business as usual” in the past.

                Doesn’t make any of their past actions redeemable of course. Just making a guess as to why this danger is so much more important to them.

          3. Lambert Strether Post author

            > when he calls Trump the most dangerous president in our history, one whose negligence has led to thousands of deaths in the last month alone

            Even including COVID, Bush — He gave Michelle candy! — was far more destructive than Trump. It’s simply ahistorical to say otherwise.

            1. Geo

              But Bush never made Ellen self-isolate in her prison-like posh estate. He just denied her the right to marry while killing millions to protect us from freedom-haters.

              As Madeline Albright said, the death of others is worth the price. But a drop in stock prices is a real tragedy!

              That said, I do believe that Sanders does believe Trump is a bigger threat than Biden. He’s never seemed to be of any illusion the Dems are good (“he’s not even a Democrat!”)and he’s been consistent about holding both parties to account for their actions in whatever way he’s been able to as a lone objector. I think the biggest discrepancy between his actions and the wishes of so many of us is that he is trying to do the least harm. I get where he’s coming from and don’t hold it against him. He’s been a tireless advocate but in the end he’s just one man doing the best he knows how.

            2. Pat

              I would put him behind Obama as well. And not just the financial destruction, trade, immigration and the foreign policy debacles.

              Trump might not have made good use of a robust and well equipped CDC/health services/emergency services system, hell probably would have shut it down, but the Obama administration stillleft one significantly weakened from what they got not to mention a hospital network decimated by the market endorsed world of ACA.

        2. neplusultra

          Yeah Biden’s big policy proposals to woo sander’s supporters were truly awful. The college scheme was another means tested middle finger to someone like me. I’m 31 with substantial student loan debt. I make just under the 75,000 salary cap of his plan so it would make more sense for me to not take future promotions until my student debt was cleared. Doesn’t matter anyway because I went to a private liberal arts college and according to Biden if you didn’t go to a public university or HBCU you don’t count. I voted for Stein in PA in ’16 and I’ll be voting Green again this year

        3. Yves Smith

          As I said above, Sanders’ STAFF had abandoned him. They were telling him to resign. They were the ones who pressed for the suspension of his campaign.

          Funny this took place around Easter. This is Judas Iscariot level betrayal.

          Honestly, if I were in his position, this show of lack of confidence/disloyalty would be more of a kick in the gut than the Dems’ expertly executed post South Carolina play. You recognize you might get a shiv between the ribs from Team Dem, not your own team.

          He had no way to proceed with the implicit (maybe even explicit) threat of staff resignations and lack of commitment.

          1. Lambert Strether Post author

            I think that’s a useful facet to add to the mix (though one might urge that if Sanders had pulled off TX in addition to CA the question would have been moot).

            One might also see how the Task Forces are making sure the policy “wonks” can go policy wonk, in the same way that the staff is kept on the their health insurance plans. A gesture of kindness, though personally I’d rather delegate the matter to home cooking, Arya-style.

            Shows you the model of circus-like., entreprenerial campaigns is just wrong.

      4. dcblogger

        I recently got an email from Sanders asking me to support Walmart workers strike fund, or some such, forgot the details. came when I was low on funds. Sanders’s email list is not going anywhere. I hope that he will use it to drive turnout for Medicare for All candidates in primaries. And he can use it in January asking people to support Medicare for All Legislation and I hope edgery stuff.

      5. ewmayer

        “Since he signed the DNC’s blood oath, he had to do it” — or else what? Risk alienating his DNC handlers? It’s just one excuse for him after another, isn’t it?

        NYMag: Ooh, he’s playing eleventy-dimensional chess, and this is really his way to, like, return to viability by earning even fewer delegates than had he remained in the race.

        Lambert: If Bernie refuses to play ball, the DNC will, like, totally screw him over, or something.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          > “Since he signed the DNC’s blood oath, he had to do it” — or else what?

          Or else become a politician whose word isn’t good. Like, say, Warren. Or Biden. Ethos matters.

          Do you really think that’s a fair summary of my views?

        2. Balakirev

          “Since he signed the DNC’s blood oath, he had to do it” — or else what? Risk alienating his DNC handlers? It’s just one excuse for him after another, isn’t it?

          There’s been one instance on the presidential level in the last 50 years where a prominent candidate for the office in one party ultimately refused to back the party’s nominee. That was John Anderson in 1980, who jumped the GOP ship to run as an Independent against Reagan and Carter. He’d served as an Illinois rep to the federal Congress for 20 years, from 1961 to 1981. After his run as an Independent, he couldn’t run again. The GOP had it out for him–understandably so, from their point of view. Ideological disagreements are meant to vanish when the primary’s won, and Anderson committed the Ultimate Sin of diverting funds and support from Uncle Ronnie by running against him.

          The analogy’s far from perfect; and the Vermont Dem Party is nothing like either the Illinois GOP or Dems. But if the Vermont Dem Party pulled their support for Sanders’ next campaign following a decision to run for the Presidency right now, he’d have a hard time getting reelected Senator, whatever his support base nationwide. And with national Dem figures like Schumer, Pelosi, and St. Obama cutting commercials for Sanders’ opposition (and you know they would, as the party ranks close to brand all traitors), he might just find it difficult to mount a campaign above the local level.

      6. JTMcPhee

        We’ve got something close to a general strike in place right now, not intentional of course and without leadership, a sense of togetherness and a list of demands.
        There are a few firebrands out here still, I believe, I believe, I believe… Wonder if any of them are up to stepping in to a niche that is begging for someone to do so. Successful social change seems to me always has involved a strong leader (with the interesting exception of the Gilets Jaunes, who while it’s hard to find much about what that mouvement is up to, still appears to be in operation. What is the US Imperial Mope equivalent of the Yellow Vest?)

    3. clarky90

      Re; “And we get?”

      A movie. “Arm in Arm, Our Superheroes, Joe and Bernie, Fight Against the Forces of Their Nemesis, “The Vile Mr T!”

      With a blockbuster advance! More than any mere book deal.

      1. flora

        This will be the second movie sequel to 2016’s original movie Arm in Arm, Our Superheros, Hills and Kaine, Fight Against the Forces of Their Nemesis, “The Vile Mr. T.”

        Which was followed by, Arm in Arm, Our Superheros, #Resistance and Neera, Fight Against the Forces of Their Nemesis, “The Vile Mr. T.”

        By the second sequel, movie franchises are usually in blah-blah territory. heh.

    4. lyman alpha blob

      Really wish Sanders would stop saying that Trump is the most dangerous president in modern history.

      Dick Cheney set the world on fire and it’s still burning two decades later. I’m so old I remember that, and I’m sure Sanders does too. Maybe Trump will catch up in his 2nd term, which he will surely get as long as people like Sanders keep endorsing people like Biden, but right now he still has a ways to go.

        1. Tom Bradford

          As a non-American living far away I could watch with a certain detachment Bush and Cheney et al rape the Middle East, screw the American people and sh*t on this wonderful constitution we are all supposed to admire, as it was your problem not mine. How little or how much a President Biden would continue that tradition is your problem, not mine.

          But Trump scares me. He’s clearly mentally unbalanced and as he loses control more and more in the weeks to come he’s going to become even more unhinged, ever more inclined to lash out at real and imagined enemies and a real and present danger not just to you but to me and everyone on this damn planet.

          If you can’t see that, if you’d really vote for him to get a second term with the power he has, financially and militarily, to wreck the world that the US, and many of its citizens, seem no longer to regard themselves a part of, then from my feeble, helpless, cowering little corner of the globe all I can say is ‘damn you’.

          Sorry. Just my 2c.

      1. flora

        re: about second terms. The pattern, as far back as Eisenhower, is each party gets 2 terms in Pres. office, followed by the ‘other party’ who gets 2 terms, etc.

        Reagan broke that pattern by defeating Carter at his second term try (pace, John Anderson) and following by H.G.W.Bush’s continuing the Reagan election for one more term in 1998. That was highly unusual and cemented Reaganism as the new popular juggernaut, overcoming FDR’s New Deal legacy, imo.

        The GOP nominating McCain in 2008 was the equivalent of the ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ at the Oscars: an award given for past loyalty and service but meaningless for the chances of future employment services of the awardee. W. Bush had 2 terms, so it was time for the Dems to get their 2 terms… by a candidate that revered Reagan. Thus, the GOP McCain nomination. Thus also, imo, Biden now. This is Biden’s Lifetime Achievement Award. What the Dem estab does. not. want. is for Sanders to break the mold as Reagan did. imo. This does not mean Sanders’ candidacy has come to nothing in terms of future political issues and fights, although the future fights most likely won’t include Sanders himself. Since he’s always fought for ideas and not his own ego, this is OK.

    5. Glen

      Bernie’s gotta do what Bernie’s gotta do inside the Democratic party BUT I DO NOT.

      I will NEVER vote for BIden, and if Biden is on the ballot, then I am voting ALL Democrats OUT.

      And I’m a fifty year Dem voter.

      Want me to NOT VOTE ALL DEMS OUT? EARN my VOTE! You know the drill…

  2. zagonostra

    A Tweet in the Links section by Taylor Lorenz gives a stat from the Atlantic that I’m having a hard time getting my head around.

    A staggering 52% of people under the age of 45 have lost a job been put on leave, or had their hours reduced due to the pandemic.

    Will these folks be silenced like the millions who lost their homes to foreclosure in 2008?

    Maybe the ruling elites, having ceased the means of the production of mass media learned something in 2008; they may have figured that there was such a great windfall and consolidation last time around, that when profits start to get stale they can seek a new fiscal fix from the Fed to get their “highs.” Like any good manager, they will put this crisis to good use – with the help, of course, of their politician players.

      1. Billy

        Not one mention of Biden’s role in creating the government guaranteed backstopping of student loans with parasitical fees and collections and with zero chance of bankruptcy, nor questioning why the F* American universities and companies are creating career furthering internships for foreigners when our own people are dying for opportunities.

      2. zagonostra

        You may be right. But I think they were effectively silenced since both Trump and Sanders were/are dead ends.

        1. L

          Unfortunately I cannot argue against that point. It is beginning to look like Michael Collins’ adage “Our only weapon is our refusal.”

      3. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        Maybe Cesar can send the paperwork through to Vice-Presidential-Candidate-Elect-In-Waiting the lovely Kamala Harris.

        Um…oh…not if he reads about her prior dealings with Mnuchin. “It’s a decision my office made”.

        (Um, “I was technically in the office at the time, you know, sitting in one of the chairs in said office. You might even say I was in charge of the office. But sometimes the office makes decisions all on its own and I can’t possibly be blamed for that, you know. Besides, didn’t you notice that I am both female and black?”)


  3. Carla

    I am a non-physician member and supporter of Physicians for a National Heath Program (PNHP). Today I received an email from them stating (in part):

    “Our fractured, profit-based health system is collapsing beneath the weight of the COVID-19 pandemic. There has never been a more urgent time to fight like hell for Medicare for All.

    Physicians and health care workers are on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, and we must also be on the front lines of the struggle for health care justice. At this time of national crisis, PNHP urgently needs your help, more than ever. If you’re able, please consider making a donation to PNHP today.”

    IMO, PNHP has done more, for longer, with greater consistency, for M4A than any other organization. If you can, please consider joining or donating. I just pitched in again.


  4. Matthew G. Saroff

    Given the inaccuracy of Covid-19 morbidity and mortality reports, it appears to me that the ONLY reliable metric of pandemic deaths is excess mortality.

    Is there a source for this in the USA?

    1. Stephen The Tech Critic

      Excess mortality has its problems too.

      First, the signal-to-noise ratio is low until the the rate of deaths pushes well above the baseline, at which point things are quite bad. Especially with regard to important decisions, such as when to relax social distancing restrictions, you really need good data for when the death rate is below the baseline.

      Second, the baseline itself is not stable. If you remove 40% of traffic or whatever from the road, the car accident rates are likely to drop, and car accidents contribute a lot to that baseline. Likewise, if we consider death from influenza to be part of the “baseline” (which we probably want to do), then we have to recognize that death from flu is *also* a big contributor to that baseline and naturally fluctuates with seasonal changes, albeit in a way that we can’t really predict precisely (unless we collect much better flu data than we do).

      1. Monty

        In the UK they keep quite timely data in this regard. 2 weeks ago excess deaths were 10% above normal. Channel 4 news reported that this last week they think it was more like 50%. In NYC it’s thought to be 100% in excess of normal.

        Because of the reasons you state, if you have a large excess during a bad outbreak, it’s probably the outbreak causing it.

        1. Procopius

          !00% in excess of normal? According to remarks I saw yesterday, deaths at home are 10 times normal. From 25 per day to 250 per day.

    2. lyman alpha blob

      Someone here posted a graph a week or so ago that showed the overall worldwide mortality rate over a period of several years from what was a reputable sounding source at least. I wish I could put my finger on it again because I’ve been wondering how accurate it was, but any excess deaths due to coronavirus didn’t even register on the graph, and it purported to have statistics through week 12 of 2020. Not really sure how it could have accurate numbers yet for the most recent weeks though.

      Anyway, it was an interesting graph and it showed the cyclical nature of the death rate, as overall deaths rise every year in the winter during cold and flu season and then level off again in the summer. I do remember it showing a couple of spikes in the death rate in other recent winters but not sure what those were from.

      If anybody remembers this please post it again – I don’t think anyone had commented on it at the time. I’d like to know more about it and couldn’t find it again when I went searching for it.

  5. Krystyn Podgajski

    Working link for: Human cryptochrome exhibits light-dependent magnetosensitivity


    Genetic differences in CRY2 (a CLOCK gene) are associated with Bipolar Disorder and depression as well. Me thinking this is yet another way EMFs can affect ones mental health…

    1. urblintz

      Krystyn, I saw studies which suggest pycnogenol has shown some efficacy to inhibit viral-replication and am curious if you know anything more. I don’t mean to be spreading “supplement” misinfo so my inquiry is not based on any particular belief. I’ve used it, along w/ magnesium and b vitamins, for migraines.




      1. Krystyn Podgajski

        Pycnogenol is a tannin, like those found in tea and other foods. There is enough evidence that tannins, somehow, have an effect on oxidative stress. I think there are better ways to control oxidative stress however,

        As far as migraines go, have you seen the studies on high does riboflavin and migrane?

  6. Billy

    “I can’t take the time to watch the Sanders videos (and AFAIK there are no transcripts) so I could be missing some messaging. Readers?”

    Most videos have embedded subtitles. With this program you can download them as text:


  7. Billy

    “human CRY2, which is heavily expressed in the retina, can function as a magnetosensor in the magnetoreception system of Drosophila and that it does so in a light-dependent manner.”

    When a little boy I discovered that you can test your sensory organs with a magnifying mirror. Hold the magnifying side up to your face and close your eyes. Move the mirror closer and further. You will feel your own reflected body heat and Kirilian energy on your nose and around the eyes.

    1. ewmayer

      “You will feel your own reflected body heat” — Indeed you will, since such mirrors reflect and concentrate infrared light as well as visible-spectrum. No mystical-energy explanations needed.

  8. Stephen V.

    Lambert: regarding Biden’s *sexual misconduct* I think we have to remember the Slick Willy re-defined *sex* as we know it…

    1. JBird4049

      I unfondly remember the Starr Report on Slick Willie as well as the videotaped depositions.

      “It depends on what your definition of what ‘is’ is.“

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        Bill Clinton was a very good lawyer, and IIRC, the extremely stupid Starr prosecutor framed a question such that Clinton could get away with a truthful statement concealing an actual lie.

        The real problem was that the Democrats framed it as being about “a b*** j**.” Starr didn’t just fall into the trap, he leaped into it, with oodles of salacious material.

        However, the Lewinsky Affair was not really a case of sex; it was a case of workplace abuse. And Slick Willie got away with it.

        1. JBird4049

          Fair enough on the workplace abuse. The whole thing stained everyone. The only person I felt sympathy for was Monica Lewinsky as a young woman who was made a joke and a fool by the Clintons, the Democratic Party, and the media.

  9. Tom


    Watch this CNBC host’s head almost explode.

    He asks the billionaire venture capitalist (Social Capital CEO Chamath Palihapitiya) if airlines should be allowed to fail and, without skipping a beat, the VC answers yes.

    It’s a LONG interview, much of it about finance/investment stuff that I don’t really understand. The whole thing is worth a watch/listen. Discussion of UBI and the airlines starts around 29:30.

    I don’t know enough to know if he’s right, but based on the host’s reaction, I’m guessing these arguments are not regularly heard on CNBC.

    1. ewmayer

      Did the host happen to also ask whether VC funds should be allowed to fail? I’d be curious to hear what the Sociopathic Capital CEO would reply to that.

      1. Tom

        I think he would say “absolutely”! I’m guessing you didn’t watch. His position is that the billionaires should be last in line for help and Main Street should be first.

        1. Aumua

          Fine. Give your extreme excess of money to main street then. Keep enough to live comfortably but not in luxury.

          Better yet, write a book containing all of your inside secrets of how to take advantage of the system to make $millions, and give that away for free.

    2. John k

      Allowing airlines to fail doesn’t mean we don’t have airlines. They go into bankruptcy, others bid for the assets, possibly including bond holders that have a claim, and if the assets are significant after equity is extinguished then the new owners may be able to operate. Banks often provide new funding since most old debt is gone.
      Unless old mgmt put together the new entity those guys are no longer involved.
      Granted the old entity might have few assets, I.e everything already leveraged such as the planes are just leased.

    3. griffen

      That voice is a refreshing one to hear. Ive heard him speak twice thus far; its clear he thinks the investor & private equity class should cease gaining the favor they have been granted since the 2008 GFC.

      Industries should fail when their foresight is lacking to no further than buyback good , capital investing bad.

      His voice needs to be broadcast more widely. You’ll not hear a Dimon or Buffett explain in quite the way he does. He also manages to not come across as an entitled VC honcho.

  10. Bill Carson

    I guess it is time to retire the Bernie merch and regalia.

    I need someone to design a shirt that looks like the Bernie logo, but says something like “Progressive” instead.

    This is not intended to be disrespectful of Senator Sanders, but I followed him for his ideas and policies.

    1. Arizona Slim

      I think the “Bernie Beats Trump” bumper sticker may have some collector value. So, I’m hanging onto it. Still haven’t attached it to anything.

  11. Mark Gisleson

    Holding off on Bernie’s endorsement. IF it’s a done deal that Biden won’t be on the ballot, this endorsement is meaningless and likely just another hurdle the DNC threw at Bernie not expecting him to jump over it.

    Bernie has not harmed himself . . . yet. So long as he is respectful towards the party, they will find it much harder to ignore him if Biden has to step aside. Their Blue Wall will crumble as the ever diminishing minority of real Democrats left in the leadership realize the extent of the asskicking they’ll take with Biden heading the ticket. At some point incumbents will start pressuring the DNC to get Joe off the ticket before the House is lost and the Senate becomes even more Republican.

    And if they do keep Biden on the ticket and he gets hammered, as he will, Bernie’s stature in the US Senate should increase significantly. Still admiring how Bernie is playing this out, taking the hard path (to get a place at the table) and not the easy one (going down fighting and then taking the blame for the DNC’s blunders).

    It’s not about what could have been, this is about what it is right now, and Bernie’s keeping his head above water while everyone else is flailing about. Corbyn’s voice has been silenced but I can still hear Bernie’s just fine. Patience seems best right now. Life is slowing down, people have time to think and I think the zeitgeist has shifted.

    1. neplusultra

      lol we don’t have time for patience. I mean we’re probably already properly familyblogged at this point but 4 years of Biden will make certain of that fact. If you’re old then yeah things will be fine. You’ll be dead before the stuff really hits the fan. If you’re under the age of 55, good luck in the dystopia

      1. JBird4049

        I do not want to be a Chicken Little here, or even impolite, but does anyone still believe that they will be dead before the cow manure hits the fan? Maybe if you’re ninety-five or have stage four lung cancer…

        What with the stresses ripping the framework of our civilization (I am not speaking with deliberate hyperbole here) with the enthusiastic help of our elites, it could go violent or catastrophic between tomorrow and five years from now. Count on it. I think that maybe Sanders was the last real chance for peaceful change.

        The CORVID-19 pandemic will effectively burn out within a few years no matter what and the suffering, rage, increasing political organizing, police state repression, and the amount of guns are all still growing.

        1. flora

          Consumer spending is is reportedly 70% of the US economy; impoverishing consumers, demoralizing consumers, will impoverish Wall St. and the FIRE sector, too.
          The first class cabins on the Titanic sank; it took only a couple hours longer than the steerage decks for them to go under.

          1. flora

            adding: Amfortas the hippie left a very good link yesterday –


            This para caught my attention.
            There were no masks; a factory in Brittany that provided the domestic market with masks and other medical equipment had been bought up a while back by Honeywell and closed down. This is an aspect of the deindustrialization of France, based on the assumption that we in the West can live from our brains, our ideas, our startups, while actual things are made for low wages in poor countries.

            How do you have a consumer economy when there is no product to consume because the bean counters offshored manufacturing and the global supply chain has seized up? (rhetorical question)

          2. JTMcPhee

            As we have seen a couple of times now, there is still enough real wealth, or the belief that there is, to allow the looters to open the “facility” arteries if the Fed and pour tons of life-blood into the hands of the looters. My guess is that there is maybe one more gasp in MMT funny Munny before we will in fact have that thing that Wukchumni goes on about, wheelbarrows full of paper money that can’t even be used effectively to wipe our behinds.

      2. Screwball

        Wait until he puts the California Cop on the ticket. The VP slot is huge IMO.

        Makes you want to run out and vote, no? /s

        1. richard

          man, if he puts kamala on, the vitriol toward non and third party voters will be intense!
          you want to know how to flip it?
          tell them you’re voting for trump
          okay, not flip it, but make that conversation interesting for once ;)

      3. Lambert Strether Post author

        > lol we don’t have time for patience.

        One way of looking at Biden’s elevation is that the Democrat Establishment just wrote off the age cohort that already experienced Obama’s mishandlilng, to put it charitably, of the Crash. Two enomrous crashes in one lifetime is a bit much, especially for those starting out, who will be forever affected (gawd knows, the bursting of the Tech Bubble took me five years to recover from).

        Last time around, the response came in the form of Occupy. This time, the response may be, shall we say, more kinetic. I would be very surprised, for example, if the sort of people who follow these matters with more than casual interest have been looking very closely at Hong Kong’s tactics (and don’t @ me, wu mao tankies).

        1. ambrit

          Oh Marx! Will you never forget our juvenile flirtations with “The Long March?” (Mao’s reworking of that John Philip Sousa chestnut.)
          And, wow! We are seeing two, count them, two Uncle Joes. I can see it now: Joe Biden Tankies! (Trust the Party consumer!) [Multiple puns intended.]

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      > Patience seems best right now

      Discipline, I would say. Seems the common element to staying alive through a plague and keeping the Democrat Establishment miasma at bay.

      1. ewmayer

        So the way to keep the Democrat Establishment at bay is to totally sell out to it? That’s an interesting definition of “discipline” you have there. Sounds rather like the one used by the B&D fetishists.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          Surely it was evident that my comment was about personal discipline? As opposed to patience? Either you need to be a more careful reader, or I a more careful writer. Which do you think it is?

        2. flora

          Well, no. This example is fraught, but is relevant, imo.

          When T.R. came to the WH he invited American black intellectual and activist Booker Washington to dine with his family. The party included T.R.’s adult, unmarried daughter. The Virulent Southern racists responded: “Senator Benjamin Tillman (D) of South Carolina said ‘ “we shall have to kill a thousand #iggers to get them back in their places.” ‘

          Roosevelt took the threat to black Americans seriously, and in hopes of protecting them from becoming ‘strange fruit’, distanced himself from the event and never repeated the dinner invitation. Booker Washington, however, saw T.R.’s distancing as a betrayal of black Americans, left the Republican party, and encouraged other blacks to leave the GOP. So, was T.R. as sellout?

          1. ewmayer

            The fact that Roosevelt “distanced himself from the event” rather than “distanced himself from the virulent southern racists like Sen. Tillman” has me agreeing with Booker T.: indeed, a selling-out. And a mere 35 years after the end of the bloodiest war in American history which had been fought over just that issue!

            In Sanders’ case, dude’s 80 years old – if ever there was a time to risk one’s remaining political career and stand on principal, now would seem to be it. I mean, does he think he’s gonna be able to “work with the establishment Dems” and get M4A passed as an amendment to some other legislation? I doubt even Sanders, “the amendment king”, could be so delusional as to believe that.

            Incrementalism has failed him, and it will continue to fail us advocates for progressive change. To invoke another notable black anti-slavery activist, Frederick Douglass:

            “Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.”

            Kowtowing to the DNC and endorsing Biden = “quietly submitting to”.

      2. ambrit

        Alas, I get the distinct impression that literary references to past pandemics, such as the Plagues, is that chance is seen universally to be the prime determiner of one’s individual survival.
        I expect to see a full fledged Revival style resurgence of the concept of Fate, as in “Man’s Fate” over the coming years.
        Staying alive through a Plague, and I agree that the Democrat Party Miasma fits that description, often hinges on personal withdrawal and separation. See such artifacts of past Plague years as “The Decameron,” of “Journal of the Plague Year” for examples.
        The obvious weakness in any “withdrawalist” policy is how determined the Plague vector is in forcing engagement and integration. As others have mentioned before, the Democrat Party is a wonderfully exact analogue for the Star Trek villains, “The Borg.”
        “We are The Borg. Prepare to be assimilated. #theResistance is futile!”
        Anyway, irregardless of how this political cycle plays out, expect “events” to drive the narrative forward now.

  12. clarky90

    Re; “Boas demonstrated that the cranial index of second generation immigrants differed from their parents.”

    As a result of escaping the predominantly vegan diets of the serf?

    1. JBird4049

      Yes. It is not just protein, but calories and better nutrition. One of the reasons for European countries as well as the United States starting welfare programs was because of the awful health of many of the young men made them unfit for the the military during the First World War. Afterwards, especially after the Second World War, general health and size greatly improved.

      If you want to be disgusted, there were still some problem, but Americans used to be in better health and greater in height and life expectancy because of better nutrition. IIRC, starting sometime in the 80s it started to reverse and now it just is true.

      1. Billy


        A takeoff of course on McDonald’s “BILLIONS SERVED”.

        Boas denigrated and politicized the science of anthropology, going from observable fact based Geographical Anthropology to the
        horseshit “Cultural” Anthropology.
        He also invented the world’s most overused term, “racism.”

        1. Harold

          Franz Boas was an opponent of scientific racism, then ascendant in anthropology. He is still dislike by white racists and anti-semites.

      2. JTMcPhee

        I recall reading that the average height of particularly British males dropped by about four inches from 19194-1918. Just that extra bit that projected above the trench line might account for it.

        I may have that wrong, it turns out that taller men are more likely to survive war, https://academic.oup.com/humrep/article/22/11/3002/652125

        And there’s this from TIME of all places, about the Post-WW II European “social policies” that have the US losing the height contest to Europeans, particularly the Dutch: http://content.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1820836,00.html

    1. flora

      Thanks for the link. Here’s good advice from the link about scams:

      Avoid scams related to economic payments, COVID-19

      The IRS urges taxpayers to be on the lookout for scam artists trying to use the economic impact payments as cover for schemes to steal personal information and money. Remember, the IRS will not call , text you, email you or contact you on social media asking for personal or bank account information – even related to the economic impact payments. Also, watch out for emails with attachments or links claiming to have special information about economic impact payments or refunds.

  13. prodigalson

    Whatever concessions Bernie thought he got from Biden are never going to happen. Never.

    At Bernie’s age he would have done better to not endorse at all. He gains nothing by doing it and he simply doesn’t have the time to play this game of keeping his powder dry for tomorrow. He had two shots and blew them both.

    History may not repeat but it rhymes. A hundred years out from the great disillusionment of WWI we have a similar disillusion as this pandemic shows our system is a stone cold sociopath and there’s no leaders in sight to challenge it, must less change it. In fact our leaders want to double down on the misery. Let them eat cake, indeed.

    I think Ian Welsh has been saying that what comes next are people of passionate intensity who want to change things and are willing to break eggs to do it. Eventually most everyone under 60 will support them. Even though “they’ll make the trains run on time”, we’re all going to reap the whirlwind in the process.

    1. flora

      Is Welch referencing W. B. Yeats’ poem The Second Coming ?

      The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
      The best lack all conviction, while the worst
      Are full of passionate intensity.

      I’m not sure “best lack all conviction” is a good description of Sanders’ campaign and voters. Neoliberalism has been the reigning dogma for 40 years. Changing that isn’t going to be a quick, overnight doddle.

      1. a different chris

        >Changing that isn’t going to be a quick, overnight doddle.

        We all nod our heads in agreement but is that really true?

        Or is it more true (Castro, the Bolsheviks, Napoleon, the Founding Fathers) that things just dodder on until the rot is so deep it all suddenly falls over?

    2. John k

      He’s pretty genuine, WYSIWUG.
      I think he thinks trump is the greatest evil, and it’s critical to do everything possible to elect biden. Wife thinks the same, so hardly a unique view.
      My thought, which she doesn’t accept, is that if biden is elected there will be no opening for a progressive in 2024, just as I thought in 2016 that if hill was elected there would be no opening for a progressive in 2020.
      As Ca voters it doesn’t matter what we think. As usual, the decision will be made in the 8-10 swing states, so I’m free to write in Bernie as Usual.

  14. TonyinSoCAL

    Maybe Nancy shouldn’t have blocked direct payments and imposed a bureaucratic headache to get much needed cash into the hands of the people.

  15. sd

    Unemployment…for what it’s worth.

    I’ve been trying to log in to the California EDD website to file my second bi-weekly unemployment claim. The system keeps crashing so I haven’t been able to file. Yes, I’ll keep trying.

    I previously got a paper claim which is how I filed at first, but I noticed I did not receive a paper claim this second time.

    Meanwhile, the EDD Debit cards are handled by Bank of America. I have a card from an older claim with a 2021 expiration date. I received an email message from Bank of America to update my banking information used to transfer benefits from the card to my checking account. But when I try to log on to the site, I get an error message that my account has been closed. When I call the (800) number on the back of the card, the automated system gives me the balance on my account. When I try to speak with a representative, I get a busy signal.

    I’m just going around in circles….unable to file, unable to access benefits which I use specifically for rent. Good times, good times.

    1. JBird4049

      Last I was on it a decade ago the paperwork was a serious hassle but it was either a check or a straight deposit to my bank account not some special debit cards. The crapification beat down continues.

      Speaking of benefits, I would suggest applying for CalFresh (SNAP or food stamps) at the local county H&HS department. I am not sure how quickly you can get approved but at least you can get started online and then get a phone interview or perhaps complete it by mail. The benefit and the amount paid is back dated to the day you apply, not the day you are approved.

      It is only $194 or $198 maximum per a person but every bit helps and they just have loosened somewhat the requirements.

      I had mine reduced to $16 per month because I had to get a loan from Mom to pay my rent because they had stopped my SNAP benefits. The fact that I was in the hole because of the stoppage did not seem to matter. So to see it restored to the full amount this week is really nice.

      1. JBird4049

        Speaking of claims there are plenty of Californians who do not have easy, or any, access to the internet especially as the libraries are closed. Just how does one even attempt to file?

        1. sd

          As far as I know, the only way to file now is online as the offices are closed. I used a paper application, it went through fairly quickly, and I got my first claim form almost immediately. Now I’m in limbo.

          Libraries – the local library has turned on its wifi during the day, allowing anyone to park in the parking lot and use the service from their car.

          1. sd

            I spent 2.5 hours on hold to get through to Bank of America. I finally reached a customer service agent who was not qualified to do pretty much anything. She said my card is active, my account is active. I just need to log in to the website. Which. Does. Not. Work. When I try to log in, the website says my account has been closed.

            I initially sent an email, the response was contact the customer service phone number.

            I’ve been dealing with this for a week now.

      1. JBird4049j

        The better question might be why the California EBT cards (California State Advantage) through which you get your SNAP benefits as well as some of the non EDD cash aid usually with out any deductions especially at grocery stores are not used instead of the EDD debit cards.

        Instead staying with mailing checks or using the EBT cards the California Employment Development Department thought it was better to issue these new debit cards via the error prone (And it has been so for decades) Bank of America?

        Whatever else I can say about CalFresh/SNAP the fact that it is handled at the county level means that I can just go to the local office to see a human being on the same day. Even if somehow the state or the feds get into it, I get direct face to face explanations, even help, instead of phone tree oblivion at the county level.

      1. MLTPB

        If anything, silk may be a good choice over other types of fabrics .

        I saw a documentary about Genghis Khan, and one point covered in the film was the legend that Mongol knights were unharmed or little hurt by arrows.

        They ran some comparison tests, and in fact, a silk undershirt beneath would limit the penetration better.

        Is it better here? I don’t know. Maybe.

        And i hope this comment is not considered anti-China propaganda, or as denigrating a great invention.

        1. John k

          Silk is really strong. At one time it was used for parachutes, so probably not that much gets thru.

      2. Jack White

        Batik uses heated liquid wax to resist later dye stages. The wax is later partially removed leaving an almost waxed cotton finish.

  16. Tomonthebeach

    Manatee hysteria.

    Before humans cut off their ability to swim inland to where the sun heats the water in the natural channels into the swamp, Manatees did not need power plants along the coast to stay warm. Where I live, manatees come up the residential artificial canals to feed, breed, and steep in warmer water. Residential canals are often less likely to injure them with outboard motors due to speed limits. They clear the bottoms of the canals which reduces pollution, and they make more Manatees to expand their positive impact on the state.

  17. Carey

    ‘New York rules out mass coronavirus burials but admits ‘unclaimed’ victims are being laid to rest on Hart Island’ – Friday 10 April 2020 19:10

    “New York City has ruled out using Hart Island for “mass burials” after drone footage and imagery circulated of a large trench at the public cemetery.

    Mayor Bill de Blasio released a statement on Twitter about Hart Island stating the public cemetery would not be used as a “mass burial” site despite reports..”


    1. notabanker

      Briahna Joy Gray tweet kinda says it all. Sanders base was not following Sanders, they were following what he stood for, and Biden ain’t it.

  18. The Rev Kev

    Bernie endorsing Biden is as sad as it was inevitable. I heard a coupla day ago that the two camps were in negotiations. But one thing that I noted while skipping through YouTube clips yesterday was this – the solid and absolute refusal of Bernie people to switch their support to Biden if it came to it. It was visceral and the hatred palpable. Bernie operatives were saying that they knew of nobody that will switch their vote to Biden and young people have not forgotten how Biden hates them. I have no idea if Bernie supporter will sit out November or throw their support to a smaller party but it may be that Bernie will not be able to deliver much to Biden in the coming months.

    1. sd

      Biden would have to take on key personnel from Sanders and adopt key platforms in order to gain support.

      My line in the sand is Medicare for All. I won’t vote for a candidate who is not all in.

      1. The Rev Kev

        I’m sorry but Bernie has already dropped Medicare for All. Why would Biden adopt it then? And one point that those Bernie advisors were seething about was how Biden made about five outright lies in his last debate with Bernie and got away with them. Lying is what Biden is all about and can never, ever be trusted. Biden has a history of working against medical reforms too. Sorry to do my Cassandra routine but that is just the way that it is.

          1. The Rev Kev

            He said this in a recent email to his supporters less than a fortnight ago and it is buried in his second point for his plan to deal with Coronavirus. He said-

            ‘Let me be clear: I am not proposing that we pass Medicare for All in this moment. That fight continues into the future.’

            And here is the link-


            Personally, I am pinning this terrible idea in his statement on his advisors. IMHO he should have made Medicare for All the main point in the fight against Coronavirus.

    2. lambert strether

      > I have no idea if Bernie supporter will sit out November or throw their support to a smaller party but it may be that Bernie will not be able to deliver much to Biden in the coming months.

      So the Sanders endorsement would be a sort of advance fee fraud, with the task forces the advance fee, and the (much over-estimated) votes the non-existent money? Hilarious, if so.

      1. Carey

        When I saw the words ‘task forces’ my heart sank.

        “Not with a bang, but with a whimper..”

      2. Skip Intro

        I think, being accustomed to authoritarian followers, they assume that the leader’s endorsement entails instant obedience.

      3. albrt

        I think Sanders’ endorsement and Biden’s BS platform concessions will turn out to be of about equal value.

    3. Noone from Nowheresville

      You know, Rev, I think Sanders forget the most important thing which was:

      Not me, Us!

      He just went through 3 fully bipartisan pieces of corona legislation, the Democratic primaries. He has to know what’s in store for country regardless of whoever is elected in November because CARES outlays will be done (but not over) by the state of the union address. So personal honor, fulfilling his word… yes, I appreciate consistency and morality. But what happened to

      No me, Us!

      Shouldn’t or doesn’t that Trump everything?

      1. tegnost

        When bernie articulates actual policies advanced by biden that are not republican lite I’ll listen, but I’m not holding my breath. “But Trump” is not a policy. No way I will vote for a republican and that is what biden is. Wall St., Bezos, Gates, Bloomberg…they have nothing in common with me. Mostly they act against my interests (I shouldn’t even say mostly). They’re republicans who want their daughters to get abortions if they get knocked up by the wrong guy. America is in an uncontrolled spin into oblivion.

  19. The Rev Kev

    Ugh, just saw this. From the self proclaimed “unhinged British witch”

    Replying to
    Good for @BernieSanders
    . Sincerely. Now let’s see his supporters unite with Bernie, behind @JoeBiden
    , and let’s have the nation come together to defeat @RealDonaldTrump

    The establishment’s helpers line up behind Joe. It’s the only to stop him sniffing their hair.

  20. Cas

    I agree. When I heard of Sanders endorsement, I thought, well, that’s one vote for Biden. Like many (most?) Sanders supporters I’m not voting for Biden. He advocated for some of the worst policies enacted (crime bill, bankruptcy bill, NAFTA, IRAQ war, etc.) and the man appears to be in the early stages of dementia. I don’t blame Sanders for endorsing Biden, he said he would endorse the winner, but I will be upset if he gives his (our) money to Biden. After Sanders suspended his campaign I went to ActBlue to stop my monthly contribution. I believe I read that Sanders still has $19 million, while Biden has $16 million or less. Biden is a notoriusly bad fundraiser, so I bet he’ll be angling for Sanders’s stash. I doubt Biden will get elected, but if he does, I’m sure he won’t enact any of Sanders’s ideas.

  21. John

    When I heard Sander’s endorsement today of corporate wh$re Biden I let the thought creep back in: Sanders was once again a sheepdog for the D party.

  22. Stillfeelinthebern

    Good news out of Wisconsin. The Tru*p endorsed conservative justice for the Supreme Court LOST!! Jill Karofsky is the winner. Background, the loser was appointed by Gov. Scotty Walker, this was his first time facing the voters. https://www.jsonline.com/story/news/politics/elections/2020/04/13/wisconsin-supreme-court-election-results-daniel-kelly-vs-jill-karofsky-conservative-liberal/2983933001/

    As a reminder, the Repub leadership wanted to move the date of the Presidential primary so it was not on the same date as the Supreme Court election because they were afraid of the larger Dem turnout causing their guy to loose. The backlash to that was swift by even many in their party. Many felt that they wanted to go ahead with the election last week at any cost because low turnout would favor their guy. Wrong again.

    Shes leading 54-46% with 90% of the vote in. Left to finish reporting is Dane County, probably THE strongest Dem county in the state (along with Milwaukee). Much celebrating in the dairy state tonight.

  23. hrefnam

    Regarding the stimulus check delays, I’m not able to get to the FT article because paywall. Can anyone fill me in? I used Turbotax last year, and my refund was via direct deposit.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      Search on the headline in Google and click through. If that doesn’t work, clear your cookies and try again. (Most browsers with which I am familiar let you blow cookies away selectively, so find the “ft.” cookies and kill those.)

  24. Glen

    Lots of Biden/Bernie angst. Bummer.

    Bernie is in the Democratic party and has to work with them. He has done great, and has my thanks!

    WE VOTERS DO NOT. I will never vote for Biden, and if he is on the ballot in November, ALL OTHER DEMS on the ballot will get voted OUT!

    Want my vote? Better start earning it. Talk to the Bernie campaign, they seem to know what voters want.

    Be SAFE out there!

  25. Cuibono

    you know what: this is BS
    “Which means that, all told, many of the nations desperate Americans have spent the last few months praising as exemplary models of public health management do not actually have the virus under control — or at least not to the degree it appeared a few weeks ago, or to the degree you might be hoping for if you expected a (relatively) quick end to quarantine measures and economic shutdown followed by a (relatively) rapid snapback to “normal” life and economic recovery.”

    Singapore, 6 million people , 9 deaths. 9!!!

    THese articles trying to discredit and minimize that acheivement are to put it simply : ASININE

  26. The Rev Kev

    A sailor from the USS Theodore Roosevelt has died of Coronavirus. He was the one I mentioned the other day in comments that had been found unconscious and had been taken ashore-


    So that makes fifteen deaths among members of the US armed forces that we know about though I see that two contractors were evacuated from Afghanistan so they may be included in civilian statistics. One carrier is being kept on station in the middle east instead of returning home as scheduled to keep it clear of the virus.

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