2:00PM Water Cooler 4/14/2020

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.


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

New York looks like it is still flattening. Still, 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

* * *


* * *

Biden (D)(1): “Obama endorses Biden’s White House bid” [Politico]. “President Barack Obama endorsed Joe Biden’s White House bid on Tuesday, formally throwing his support behind his former vice president and the now-presumptive Democratic nominee. ‘If there’s one thing we’ve learned as a country from moments of great crisis, it’s that the spirit of looking out for one another can’t be restricted to our homes or our workplaces, or our neighborhoods or our houses of worship. It also has to be reflected in our national government,’ Obama said in a nearly 12-minute video message that touched on the coronavirus pandemic.” • One of life’s little ironies, that the liberal Democrat who sh*t the bed during the last Crash has returned to engineer the liberal Democrat response to this crash. We’ll see how that plays with the under-50’s.

Biden (D)(2): “‘Accelerate the Endgame’: Obama’s Role in Wrapping Up the Primary” [New York Times]. “But with calibrated stealth, Mr. Obama has been considerably more engaged in the campaign’s denouement than has been previously revealed.” • You don’t say! “‘He kept his powder dry, and that gave him credibility, which made all the difference,’ said Tom Perez, the Democratic National Committee chairman, who served as labor secretary under Mr. Obama.” • He would, wouldn’t he? “Mr. Biden is grateful for Mr. Obama’s friendship but increasingly proud of his historic comeback. When news reports surfaced that Mr. Obama had called to congratulate Mr. Biden on his victory in South Carolina, the candidate made it clear to his staff that while his connection to Mr. Obama played a role in delivering African-American voters, Mr. Obama ‘had not lifted a finger’ on his behalf, according to a senior Democrat with knowledge of his remarks.” • Lol, “increasingly proud of his historic comeback.” Here on Planet Earth, it’s been obvious since Obama defenestrated Ellison, and stood up Perez, and Perez then purged all Sanders supporters from the all-important Rules and Bylaws Committee (which decides all contested primaries), that the Democrat Establishment, from Obama down, would do everything in their power to prevent a Sanders victory. Tellingly, this article — I think we can dispense with the useful fiction that the Times is not a political player at the tactical level? — doesn’t even mention Obama’s Night of the Long Knives, when miraculously, all the candidates but Sanders (and Warren) dropped out and endorsed Biden. Are we really to believe that Obama had nothing to do with it? Worth reading in full for the horrid detail. Reminds me of The Wire.

Biden (D)(3): The sanctimony:

Biden (D)(4): “What Biden Can Do About Pressure to Embrace Medicare for All” [New York Magazine]. “It’s unlikely that Biden would want to go as far as Warren did, but the key would be recognition of a single-payer system like Medicare for All as an ultimate goal, with an interim proposal including a public option and a Medicare expansion. And standing back from a full M4A plan would presumably insulate Biden from too much blowback among independents who want to keep their private insurance plans, at least for the immediate future. Whether or not this approach appeals to him, Biden needs to start making serious concessions to the left on health-care policy or let it be known quietly that he’s gone as far as he can. If there’s anything good about the coronavirus pandemic, it’s the new context it creates for policy proposals thought to be too extravagant earlier.” • Nope. With Obama in the race, ObamaCare will now be sacrosanct.

Sanders (D)(1): Sanders voters may not be as fungible as the Democrat Establishment believes. Particularly Sanders supporters who were also active Obama supporters in 2008, back when “hope and change” was a thing. Thread:

(This is a fun account, and the whole thread is worth a read.)

* * *

“How to Vote by Mail in All 50 States” [Vice]. “Here’s a state-by-state breakdown of what you need to do—and when—in order to ensure you can vote by mail in November.” • This is very useful, but what I want is a state-by-state breakdown of how vote-by-mail ballots are counted….

“After the Pandemic, Then What?” [Charles Cook, Cook Political Report]. “Neil Newhouse, one of the most senior Republican pollsters in the business and another very wise person, observed, ‘Half the voters will believe the president took the right action, and the other half will believe he’s failed to meet the needs of the country. Our divisions are extraordinarily deep. This is unlikely to change a thing.'” • Of course, “half the voters” isn’t “half the population,” now is it… .

Realignment and Legitimacy

UPDATE “Delay the November election? What voters think about coronavirus and the campaign” [NBC]. “Sixty-eight percent of registered voters think the coronavirus outbreak will have a big impact on election turnout in the U.S., a new poll shows — and nearly 4 in 10 support delaying the November presidential election until the pandemic is under control.” • The pollster is “TargetSmart,” whoever they are.

Atrios is, I believe, under 50:

“The Lesson of the Coronavirus? There’s No One Left to Trust.” [The Nation]. “nfortunately, Trump isn’t the only one who’s made bad decisions or issued rosy projections that have cost lives. He’s had a lot of help. Our country operates under a theory of rapacious capitalism, and that has been on full display during this crisis. We saw employers who demanded that nonessential workers come into work, thereby fueling the spread of the virus. We saw state governments react slowly to close down business and public meeting places. We saw religious leaders urge people to come to services, and community leaders urge people to go to the mall, until the stark and deadly reality of the virus began to take lives, and they (well, some of them anyway) began grudgingly to change their tune about the seriousness of the pandemic. Now, this same collection of leaders is in charge of telling us when the crisis has passed—and we’re supposed to trust their judgement about when to reopen the country, even as so many of them failed to act quickly enough to shut it down in the first place. What kind of gullible fool do they take me for?” • “First class!”

UPDATE “What People Power Looks Like in a Pandemic Democracy” [Corey Robin, New York Review of Books]. “Isolation, it has been pointed out, is a luxury many men and women in the United States cannot now afford and will probably never enjoy. For many in the working class, and some in the professional classes, there is no withdrawal from public spaces to a place of greater safety at home. These men and women are picking lettuce, boxing groceries, delivering packages, driving buses and trains, riding buses and trains, filling prescriptions, operating registers, caring for the elderly, taking care of the sick, burying the dead. Though these disparities understandably arouse a sense of deep unease, and guilt among those who are their beneficiary, there is a dimension to this inequity that has gone overlooked. The state designates these men and women to be “essential workers,” and while that designation has earned those workers little more than a patronizing thanks for their “selflessness” from President Obama, Mayor Bloomberg, and other worthies, the designation is nonetheless a recognition of their potential power right now. Power that some have begun to wield.” • Hopefully. This is a long-read, but Robin is always worth a look.

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.

Imports: “March 2020 Import Year-over-Year Inflation Declined To -4.1%” [Econintersect]. “Year-over-year import price indices inflation slowed and are now deep in contraction…. The main reason for the decline is lower fuel prices..”

Honey for the Bears: “IMF: 2020 Will Feature Worst Economic Downturn Since the Great Depression” [Industry Week]. “‘The magnitude and speed of collapse in activity’ following ‘necessary quarantines and social distancing policies’ implemented by countries around the world ‘is unlike anything experienced in our lifetimes,’ wrote Gita Gopinath, Director of the IMF’s Research Department. Specifically, the IMF’s April ‘World Economic Outlook’ report predicts that global economic growth will fall to -3%. That’s a striking divergence from their last prediction, January 2020, which predicted the economy would grow 3.3%. It also predicts that the ‘Great Lockdown 2020’ depression will be much worse than the Global Financial Crisis of 2009, which saw the global economy grow at -0.1%. But, according to the IMF, it won’t last too long. Provided that the pandemic goes away in the second half of the year, and that government aid to businesses and workers prevents systemic financial strain, the Fund predicts that global growth in 2021 will rebound to 5.8%.”

* * *

Commodities: “Drillers across the continent are shutting wells in big numbers as oil prices sink to new lows… with companies like Fort Worth, Texas-based Texland Petroleum LP saying there are no buyers for their crude even at rock-bottom prices” [Wall Street Journal]. “In Midland, Texas, and in western Canada, oil has traded below $10 a barrel. That’s triggering a rush to shut down rigs producing crude with nowhere to go, and it’s hitting the sector’s supply chains: After an upturn earlier in the year, the Association of American Railroads says rail carloads of petroleum products in the fourth week of March were the lowest for any week in more than a year.”

Real Estate: “Warehouse operators believe the coronavirus pandemic will end up fueling more demand for industrial real estate. Executives say the business upheaval from extensive community lockdowns will trigger fundamental changes in supply chains… bolstered by more robust e-commerce operations and more ‘safety stock’ positioned around the country” [Wall Street Journal]. “The pandemic’s potential lasting impact on business is being hotly debated even as retailers, logistics companies and transport operators cope with volatile swings in demand. Business shutdowns have curbed activity among some operators while others are scrambling for warehouse capacity to get closer to residential customers.”

Shipping: “Truckload linehaul rates see biggest decline since financial crisis” [Freight Waves]. “‘This ends any chance of 2Q20 seeing y/y growth in domestic U.S. shipments and freight costs,’ the report’s author and Stifel Financial (NYSE: SF) equity research analyst David Ross lamented. ‘This has quickly gone from a China production concern to a U.S. (and global) consumer spending problem. No business, no jobs, and no income for many leads to much less freight moving around.'”

UPDATE Small Business:


Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 44 Fear (previous close: 37 Fear) [CNN]. One week ago: 26 (Fear). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Apr 14 at 12:15pm.

The Biosphere

“How COVID-19 could ruin weather forecasts and climate records” [Nature]. “[M]any scientists [have been] sidelined by the coronavirus pandemic, watching from afar as precious field data disappear and instruments degrade. The scientific pause could imperil weather forecasts in the near term, and threaten long-standing climate studies. In some cases, researchers are expecting gaps in data that have been collected regularly for decades. ‘The break in the scientific record is probably unprecedented,’ says Frank Davis, an ecologist at the University of California, Santa Barbara.”

Health Care

“Universal Screening for SARS-CoV-2 in Women Admitted for Delivery” [New England Journal of Medicine]. “Between March 22 and April 4, 2020, a total of 215 pregnant women delivered infants at the New York–Presbyterian Allen Hospital and Columbia University Irving Medical Center…. Nasopharyngeal swabs were obtained from 210 of the 211 women (99.5%) who did not have symptoms of Covid-19; of these women, 29 (13.7%) were positive for SARS-CoV-2. Thus, 29 of the 33 patients who were positive for SARS-CoV-2 at admission (87.9%) had no symptoms of Covid-19 at presentation.”

“No, Italy Is Not the Case Against Medicare for All” [The Nation]. “When Covid-19 reached Italian shores, it found a country in the midst of a private-sector transformation that has been turning the country’s single-payer health care system into an Italian version of Biden’s beloved “public option”—and putting millions of people at risk in the process. The callous slashing of public funding undertaken by all Italian administrations since the 1990s and the parallel proliferation of private clinics have left the country with fewer health care personnel and hospital beds, and longer wait times. These cuts, along with similar attacks on public expenditure in education, pensions, and social security, have been coupled with a dramatic restructuring of labor relations that has left a significant portion of the Italian workforce struggling with increasingly precarious forms of employment on one hand, and the threat of unemployment on the other. What does this mean in a time of pandemic? Stripped of paid leave and unemployment benefits and unable to afford missing a day of work, people have been going to work sick. Sound familiar?” • Important. Also, Biden was lying about Italy in the debate. Naturally.

“Hospital CARES funding not quite ‘no strings attached'” [Heatlhcare Dive]. “Democratic lawmakers have asked HHS to consider the areas hardest hit by the outbreak when the remaining funds are allocated. Some have also questioned the Trump administration’s plan to use part of the $100 billion CARES Act funding to pay hospitals to treat the uninsured. That’s also an argument made by hospitals.” • Democrats: We cannot, under any circumstances. support any policy that has the slightest hint of single payer about it.

What could go wrong:

As I have been saying for some time, masks will become fashion items:

Our Famously Free Press

“What went wrong with the media’s coronavirus coverage?” [Recode]. “For instance: While President Trump has been correctly pilloried for describing the coronavirus as less dangerous than the flu, that message was commonplace in mainstream media outlets throughout February. And journalists — including my colleagues at Vox — were dutifully repeating exhortations from public health officials not to wear masks for much of 2020.” • A little antidote for the current furor…

“Chris Cuomo Goes Full Howard Beale: ‘I Don’t Think [Anchoring Is] Worth My Time'” [Jonathan Turley]. “[Cuomo] recounted how he was confronted for going outside with his family on Easter Sunday: ‘I don’t want some jackass, loser, fat tire biker being able to pull over and get in my space and talk bulls–t to me, I don’t want to hear it.’ He wants to be able to tell such people to ‘go to hell’ again and ‘That matters to me more than making millions of dollars a year … because I’ve saved my money and I don’t need it anymore.'” • Oh.


“Putin’s Long War Against American Science” [New York Times]. • This RussiaGate grift is the best grift ever. The pattern is exactly the same as with the Russian “meddling” gaslighting during election 2016: No changes on the ground (whether in votes or minds) are ever shown; the only evidence is inputs from the Russian side, with no proof of output on the American side. If you believe RT, it has 500,000 unique viewers per day, less than a third of MSNBC, one of many channels in in the cablesphere. About what you would expect from an economy the size of Sweden.

Groves of Academe

“Scott says Vt. curve is flattening; Dartmouth warns students about conduct ” [Valley News]. “Dartmouth Dean of the College Kathryn Lively wrote a sharply-worded email to undergraduates Monday, saying a ‘relative few’ students have held unauthorized parties in fraternities, congregated in groups both on campus and around Hanover, gone into dorms without permission, ‘berated and yelled’ at hourly employees in Dartmouth who were trying to do their jobs, and failed in other ways to comply with safe social distancing practices.” • “Relative” is doing a lot of work there…

Class Warfare

“Amazon fires two employees critical of warehouse working conditions” [Reuters]. “Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) said on Tuesday it terminated two employees, who criticized the working conditions at the e-commerce giant’s warehouses in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, for ‘repeatedly violating internal policies.’ The termination of Emily Cunningham and Maren Costa, who worked as user-experience designers in Seattle, comes two weeks after the company fired another employee Christian Smalls after he came to its Staten Island warehouse for a demonstration in violation of his paid quarantine.”

“230,000 Texas families filed for SNAP food assistance in March, twice as many as same month last year” [Texas Tribune]. “Texas has implemented some changes to SNAP in response to the pandemic, including automatically allocating the maximum SNAP benefits based on family size, allowing automatic reenrollment in the program for six months and waiving the interview requirement of the application for those who verify their identity, according to Texas Health and Human Services Commission. Before changes to the application were made, Katie Emden, who was laid off from her job at an Austin airport restaurant because of the pandemic, said the 30-page application required her last few paystubs and a letter from her boss saying her layoff was related to the COVID-19 pandemic. ‘Applying for unemployment was a lot easier than getting food stamps,’ Emden said. The SNAP paperwork took her two hours to get through, and she spent another two hours on the phone trying to get additional paperwork to upload on the online portal, Emden said.” • Looks like the application is more complicated than a college admission form, never mind unemployment. See, if Texas were Blue, the application would only be 15 pages long.

UPDATE “There Is No Outside” [n+1]. “On my second day in the ED, I saw a nursing assistant gently scold an older patient for having his mask under his chin. She fixed it for him, but less than an hour later I heard his terrible cough disturbing his half-sleep. His sheets were askew, and his mask was off. Intubation—the process of putting a tube in a person’s airway for attachment to a breathing machine—generates small particles that may stay airborne for a few hours before settling onto surfaces. People get intubated in the ED and in other hospital wards multiple times per day, hence the increased demand for—and shortage of—N95 masks. The mask protects from airborne infection if it’s been fitted perfectly, and if the mask is not contaminated. If you are waiting in line to perform chest compressions on someone being intubated, like I was recently, it’s hard to imagine being clean afterwards. You could take a shower and find yourself an entirely new outfit, or wear some kind of hazmat suit. It is self-evident that none of these is anything close to an option for most health workers right now.” • A must-read.

News of the Wired

If it ain’t baroque….

Quite lush!

Be careful out there:

* * *
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CR writes: “Summer will come. A jumble in the garden, August 2019.” This is a very artfully arranged “jumble.” My favorite kind!

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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. Louis Fyne

    per capital data makes smaller countries look worse Cruz smaller countries tend to be more urbanized, less suburban, less rural, more public transport-oriented

    just saying

    1. Lee

      Agreed. Comparisons based on like population densities would make much more sense for determining the relative merits of various systems and practices.

      I haven’t heard O’Biden’s ejaculatory dismissals of Medicare for All, “Look at Italy!”, of late. Since we in U.S. are paying twice as much per capita as Italy for healthcare, I expect our result to be twice as good. Or would that be half as bad?

      1. Oh

        JB will make all kinds of new promises and just like Obomber he’ll renege on all of them unless they’re for the 1% or his yuuge donors.

    2. MLTPB

      Maybe we compare continents.

      No small sample size problem there.

      And less political…no particular bias on one single nation.

        1. MLTPB

          You’re right.

          Still, relatively speaking, it’s a possible alternative.

          Another option is to take out nation-states like New York, from the US’s total.

  2. Toshiro_Mifune

    One of life’s little ironies, that the liberal Democrat who sh*t the bed during the last Crash has returned to engineer the liberal Democrat response to this crash.We’ll see how that plays with the under-50’s.

    I can tell you how it plays out to one 49 yr old. The reaction starts with an “F” and ends in a “You” and is augmented by several exclamation points.

          1. flora

            Yup. Deleted. I did find one adjacent thread that has this tweet (paraphrased): The Biden camp doesn’t want to bring over the Sanders voters, they want to blame Sanders voters for the loss come November.

            1. Glen

              Yes, not only am I going to cause them to lose, but EVERY Democrat on the ballot is going to lose and I caused THAT TOO!

              SO EARN MY VOTE! M4A NOW!

            2. Toshiro_Mifune

              The Biden camp doesn’t want to bring over the Sanders voters, they want to blame Sanders voters for the loss come November.

              The want to quash populism entirely. They have to know Biden cant win.

            3. Massinissa

              Glen is right, honestly. They’re going to treat us sanders voters like dupes and losers if they get our votes for free. At least at the top of the ticket I’m voting Green. Well, again. For the third time. Before that I couldn’t vote.

              I usually vote Dem down ticket. Probably still will, but will depend on my mood. This is in Georgia, so there are usually Libertarian candidates to vote for. The Georgia libertarians are all noxious Ayn Rand types (last time I had the misfortune to google one of them, I tuned out the moment he said the biggest crisis facing this country was social security so we had to get rid of it…) but the Dems are pissing me off more than normal this year… At least in 2016 it felt like Bernie mostly lost fair and square rather than getting magnificently borked over.

            4. Carey

              Nominate an corporatist corpse and blame the voters, esp the Sanders contingent, for the loss has *always* been the plan. imo.

            5. richard

              add j. dorsey to your arya stark lists
              as you continue to knit in stony, revenge-pondering silence

              1. flora

                Nay, a vendor selling something I don’t want to buy simply doesn’t get my business. That’s not revenge. That’s careful shopping. ;) If I were a rich hedge fund this point of view would be expected. ;)

                1. Fiery Hunt

                  Ha! Got my grin and giggle..
                  Gonna steal this one.
                  Seen your wisdom regular now and I’m watching for your comments.

                  Thanks flora!

      1. Jason Boxman

        Sadly it doesn’t seem to show up anymore; I can see all other embedded tweets, but not that one. It just renders as text with encoded HTML entities.

        1. LawnDart

          Your memory is wrong, or your eyes have deceived you: SpindlyPeter endorses Uncle Joe, and has always endorsed Uncle Joe. Uncle Joe is your friend. You love Uncle Joe like you always have loved Uncle Joe… …Trump is the enemy… …LONG LIVE —!!!

      2. Jeremy Grimm

        Some hacker or hackers group might need to start a Wayback Machine for recent topical tweets and similar posts subject to mysterious disappearance.

        1. Bsoder

          Not hard since the code been downloaded to your device, just need to follow up on some external calls for data. There are several apps out there. I write one that spiders the site and pulls (sometimes a couple hundred pages)all that it uses, windows has some great archiving apps, Linux too. Sarfari has “add to reading list” function, which captures entire Twitter threads so, webs cone and go I find one I like I save the whole thing.

          1. Jeremy Grimm

            Do you have a server tied to the Web that makes the content you saved accessible? And does that server include a search engine?

            1. flora

              Don’t cry for me, Wall Street Donors,
              The truth is I never left you
              All through my wild days
              My mad existence
              I kept my promise, don’t keep your distance

              1. ambrit

                “Love In The Time Of Covid” as a stage musical. (Keep all numbers out of the title so as not to date the material! Think revivals to Infinity!)
                Music by Andrew LLoyd Weber, now Baron Lloyd Weber no less!
                Book by David Mamet.

      1. richard

        well now here’s where you get your michelle obama as the veep thinking
        all masks are off, after all
        then hillary jumps in there somewhere too, so ambrit can win his two mommies bet
        And i’d be more likely to vote for trump, than that. I’ll go the Joe Rogan route.

    1. Pat

      I am still appalled that that Democrat is still admired by so many clueless Americans. I get the wealthy liking him, but anyone who can’t retire and never work for the rest of their life with no loss of lifestyle should.

      I will admit that this “successful” stealth action has drained whatever hope I had regarding good coming from the multiple crisises we are going through. If I had children, I might contemplate more violent responses. Our young people are so screwed. Unfortunately I am pretty much limited to the same response as the great Toshiro_Mifune.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        I feel like the “liberal blogs” are at play. Once people like Marshall of TPM became part of the “in” set they didn’t want to bite the hand that feeds. And the msm didn’t criticize Saint Shrub either (you can imagine how crazy Trump really is) which is where the early 00’s blogs came from.

        If you went on DKos after the ’08 primary, you would have seen absolutely insane stories about how Obama had to do this terrible thing for political reasons that we mere mortals couldn’t understand. Besides those stories and BlackWaterDog’s creepy photo diaries, the echo chamber helped feed the illusion Obama wasn’t terrible.

        1. Pat

          13 dimensional chess for the win.

          Problem is that 90% or more get crushed before they get past dimension 2 where all the people that count for our misleadership class hang out.

        2. Jason Boxman

          Someone here recently described these liberal Democrat voters as “functionally stupid”. I agree.

        3. sd

          Marshall lost me with his support for the Iraq War. And Kos lost me with his front page dictates “Sanders should drop out of the Primary in March…” back in 2006.

          Markos is utterly bat guano crazy now. Used to be a lot of quality Citizen Journalism happening on the site. Those days are long gone…

  3. Noone from Nowheresville

    doesn’t even mention Obama’s Night of the Long Knives, when miraculously, all the candidates but Sanders (and Warren) dropped out and endorsed Biden.

    And Bloomberg. Bloomberg didn’t suspend his campaign until after Super Tuesday on March 4th. Warren suspended on March 5th

    ETA: Add Bloomberg & Warren’s vote totals together on Super Tuesday and see how close they are Sanders just for fun.

  4. McDee

    So the “…what Biden needs to do…” comments have already started. I remember the liberal commenters wrote a bunch of “…what Obama needs to do…” stories way back when. Lot of good they did.

    1. Dr. John Carpenter

      Related, I love hearing how we’re going to be able to push Biden to the left when his decades of public service have proved otherwise. Besides, after Obama’s telling the left to “make me” and then doing what TPTB wanted anyway, is anyone really so naive to believe Joe, who can’t even pay lip service to left/progressive ideas, would even consider them?

  5. Louis Fyne

    I read an interesting hypothesis—-supposedly (dunno veracity) Spain and Italy have high concentrations of residential elevators.

    and as such the elevator button became a significant disease vector. unfortunately this hypothesis might be hard test as I doubt standard public health data in includes info about the infected and elevators

    1. GramSci

      Just heard from friends that yesterday Andalucía had only 5 new COVID cases. Good news, but Andalucía is not as densely populated as Madrid or Barcelona, and in general had been faring better than the other regions.

    2. MLTPB

      You never know if someone sneezed inside the elevator just before it arrived at your floor.

    3. Kurt Sperry

      Seems reasonable, could help explain the NYC numbers as well. Also in Italy and Spain, you buzz into many residences and buildings using a citafono (Italian) by pressing the correct button which could be another vector.

  6. John

    Amazon and Walmart are riding high right now.

    But by the time the new US trade war /fight for global supremacy war with China shakes out in a few years both may well fall off their high flying broomsticks.

    1. Bsoder

      Nah, they now are outlet stores for China Inc™. Remember China’s goal, and it is clever and smart, is to take all the money, IP and anything else they want, go home, declare victory and call it a day. Consider this for a second -China as communist country believes all of the above belong to the people. Copy-writes, patents, all belong to the people. To be clear I lived in China and don’t consider them particularly evil. I can tell you after I read “Bury my heart at wounded knee” in an anthropology class”, I was very ashamed of being American. I knew nothing. I may not responsible for what China does, I know Mao killed millions of people. But as an American l’m hard pressed to find much in the last 50 years to be proud of. Rant off, sorry.

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        Somebody needs to stand up and notice and lament the final death of free-market capitalism in the United States and I will volunteer.

        Previously whenever they wanted to take absolute wheelbarrows of cash from us they had to scare us first and this is no different.

        When the Pig Men wanted unlimited no-questions-asked monies for their war machine they told us there was a devious Commie under all of our beds.

        When that got tiresome they did a quick switcheroo and changed the boogieman to Muslims under every bed. Dark skin, different languages, and funny head coverings made it easy for a while.

        Then that scam also showed signs of wearing thin so they said “I know, we’ll scare ém where it really hurts, in their bank accounts!” and we got the 2009 “banking crisis”.

        But all good things must end and people were wising up. But Deus Ex Machina! Luckily a shitty little virus of unknown origin came along just in time!

        And let’s be clear about what they stole this time around: everything. You are now a slave on a plantation that is owned by a collection of anonymous bankers. A secret cabal of them will get together and decide which “corporations” (I imagine they will keep that name as a cover for quite a while to come) will prosper and which will die. When they win their rigged “corporate” “lending” game they will rake in the proceeds, when for some reason they lose you and I will pay for the losses.

        So here’s to a good run, while it lasted. Free enterprise in America, we hardly knew ye.

  7. remmer

    “How to Vote by Mail in All 50 States”

    A bit of good news from Wisconsin. I don’t know how many mail or in person votes she got, but AP reports that Jill Karofsky beat the conservative candidate for a seat on Wisconsin’s Supreme Court. I was surprised to see that Biden won the primary, though. I thought Buttegieg declared victory last week.

    1. Wyoming

      Well I think there is a pretty fair chance that the Post Office is going to be defunct sometime before fall. This is, of course, a big goal of a certain segment of the political spectrum and has been for some time. Then you turn mail delivery over to the likes of UPS, Fedex, Amazon and god knows who. You can bet that there is zero chance then of weekend delivery or even daily. Weekly? Who knows.

      That this would disrupt vote by mail would be a feature not a bug.

      I was talking to a mail carrier a few days ago and was told that from last fall to today the amount of daily mail to deliver on their route had decreased by 7/8th. But the expenses to the PO for the route are the same as they were. It is all packages now. This cannot continue….

      1. Jeremy Grimm

        I most sincerely hope you are wrong about the Post Office — and equally sincerely fear you are right. I feel about the Post Office and its importance very much as did the Populace in the movie the Postman. [Disclaimer: I am not special fan of Kevin Costner or David Brin].

        I am at a loss for what to do about the situation, especially in light of what was long evident and increasingly transparent — as described in today’s Post “Fatal Combination: Bailouts and Bank Rescues in Money-Driven Political Systems” and the lengthy research paper it calls attention to.

      2. Cyrus

        If you believe in the post office, go out and buy a roll of forever stamps.
        If all else fails, you can pay income taxes with them.

      3. Bsoder

        The US post office is a constitutional entity, it can’t be gotten rid without amendment to the constitution, it’s horrible how it’s been so crappified.

  8. pretzelattack

    no, mr. sanders, i won’t be voting for biden. i wish you had attacked biden on 2 fronts, his electability (he can’t think on his feet anymore, and it’s going to get worse) and his record. obama attacked clinton, and won, the outsider (ok fake outsider, but that is how many perceived him) against the establishment.

    1. John Beech

      I won’t be voting Biden, either. Senator Sanders failure to even discuss Biden’s record, like he wouldn’t discuss Clinton’s server, smacks of political malpractice. In the end, it proves he wasn’t the right man for the job because he wasn’t sufficiently ruthless. Anybody believe you can be POTUS without owning a pair of brass ones is mistaken. HRC has a set, so being male is not a prerequisite. However, she’s so corrupt I’d never vote for her. As for Biden? He’s a lightweight.

  9. urblintz

    am I the only one who thinks the GOP will start an impeachment process against Biden on day one of his presidency should he actually win the election?

    1. Pat

      This assumes that Biden has no coat tails and loses the House. /s

      I am not so sure. I think a few pointed investigations with threat of more to distract from all the bipartisan stripping of the carcass that will be being done. Russia! with more actual evidence of wrongdoing, and effectual blocking of the few IdPol approved attempts to spread the take.

      1. rowlf

        I’m sure Vladimir Putin is waiting for just the right time to casually mention “I hope Joe Biden wins.”

        That would be even funnier than using infantry parachutes to drop blocks of ice in enemy territory so they go nuts chasing for ghosts. (dear old dad had a task to fake radio transmissions with the ghosts years past)

        Weaponized trolling?

      2. epynonymous

        I’m looking forward to the rank-and-file republicans trying to complain the Joe Biden is a dangerous liberal extremist.

        1. Darthbobber

          They had no problem at all doing that with Clinton. Or Gore. or Kerry. Or Obama. With Clinton 2.1 they didn’t need to bother. They had more promising lines of attack.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      My suspicion is “not immediately.”

      It would depend on the push back from GOP voters. Sure, they would get around to it, but my gut is they would hold off as Biden is both stupid and willing to accede to the demand of Wall Street and GOP donor types. They could probably get him to back hideous legislation and then go after him.

    3. fresno dan

      April 14, 2020 at 2:56 pm

      If we start impeaching all the presidents who deserve to be impeached, uh…
      1. we won’t have any presidents
      2. we would all be much, much, (much to infinity) better off
      3. it really wouldn’t affect much of anything, except maybe the msm wouldn’t have a convenient one stop location to get government blather (white house press room)

    4. Jeremy Grimm

      If … if Biden ‘wins’ I suspect that whomever is selected for his Vice-President might allay any concerns the ‘True’ Republicans have about the advantages of a Biden Presidency. And who knows … Pixar and Industrial Light and Magic might have a place in the White House … perhaps with help from the MIT Media Labs.

      1. ambrit

        Pixar and ILM work for the Pentagon.
        Disney Animatronics has the franchise for the White House, or, as the insiders refer to it, the “D.C. Hall of Presidents,” (not to be confused with the “Marvel Hall of Super Presidents.”)
        It’s all in the narrative.

          1. ambrit

            Thanks. I have learned that one cannot be too cynical when it comes to politics.
            The real horror is that, after awhile, many on each “team” come to believe their own propaganda.
            That is why I hold the belief that there is nothing more dangerous in the World than “True Believers.” We used to make fun of the “True Believers” on the Right. The Tea Billies jokes make themselves. What most of us did not foresee was that the Democrat Party would fall into it’s own version of the Tea Party phenomenon: The Russiagate Believers. As with cults of all times and persuasions, to be a doubter of the central “belief” of the cult automatically makes one a ‘heretic,’ i.e., one to be shunned and eventually destroyed. Shunned and destroyed to protect the sanctity of the core “belief.” Doubt is not allowed. Doubt must be punished. That is why I now view the American Democrat Party as a quasi-religious cult. It displays all of the hallmarks of a cult.
            This series of characteristics made the Democrat Party almost impossible to perform a “hostile takeover” on. Sanders’ task these last two election cycles was thus a faint hope at best. To take over a cult, one needs must work within the common belief system. The alternative strategy is to create a counter-cult. Sanders was unable to do either. Now it is up to Sanders heirs to figure out which strategy they want to pursue.
            What narrative do the Heirs of Sanders want to promote?
            That will determine the next moves of the Heirs of Sanders.

    1. Carla

      Man, here in fly-over country, I can’t get my hands on disposable gloves… although there are plenty of used ones lying on sidewalks, in the streets, in parking lots… paid through the nose (no pun intended) for a few hand-made fabric masks.

      1. JTMcPhee

        I’m curious, as a follower of what our Imperial Military is up to, how will they handle asymptomatic WARFARE?

  10. GF

    News from a quiet Yosemite National Park:

    It appears the animals are free to roam with no fear of being run over. Sounds like an idyllic place now:


    1. Keith

      I have a week’s vacation coming up in early June. I am hoping to be able to sneak out to Glacier NP and see it up close without people around.

    2. MLTPB

      It has always puzzled me if Nature would want us back, when more and more we say want to be back to Nature.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      To which ‘what’ do you refer? We have plenty of ‘whats’ to go around … and come back.

  11. shinola

    I read The Nation article “The Lesson of the Coronavirus? There’s No One Left to Trust.” and I wish I hadn’t. Why? Because of this (from the article):

    “A recent CBS/YouGov poll showed that 90 percent of Republicans trust Donald Trump for accurate information about the coronavirus outbreak…”

    That’s sooo depressing…

    1. Trent

      And 90% percent of Democrats believe that Trump is only president due to russians rigging the election. They’ll believe that, but its unfathomable that perhaps we aren’t being told the truth about the virus.

    2. Lost in OR

      The author suffers from TDS. With nary a mention of the dems. Doesn’t seem to have a trust problem with Pelosi, Shumer, or Biden. More depressing to me was the number of votes Biden got.

      I’m old enough to remember having some trust in the D party. But I was younger and foolisher then.

  12. Carolinian


    Sanders voters may not be as fungible as the Democrat Establishment believes.

    Can we have our third party now? Pleeze??!

    Some of us would like someone to vote for other than the placeholder Greens (no offense Oregon Charles).

    1. Carey

      >Can we have our third party now? Pleeze??!

      party? how quaint! way too late for “parties” now, IMNSHO.

    2. Oregoncharles

      Ready for a lot of hard work?

      The short answer is no, because the quarantines make it impossible to gather signatures and difficult to even hold meetings (I was just in one, on Zoom. Usually works for me, but not this time.)

  13. JohnnyGL

    Personally, I can’t wait for the “but the supreme court!!!!” argument to get thrown around again.

    Kyle Kulinski’s already getting the ‘white privilege’ thrown in his face for not sucking it up and voting Biden.

    Meanwhile, the reality of the supreme court right now is a 9-0 gutting of the Civil Rights act of 1866

    That’s Obama and Clinton appointees lining up with Trump and Bush appointees to pound black businesses in favor of monopolies like comcast.

  14. clarky90

    Re; “Half the voters will believe the president took the right action, and the other half will believe he’s failed to meet the needs of the country. Our divisions are…..”

    It is like the last 12 months or so before my marriage irrevocable failed, 20 years ago. Everything I did/said was “wrong”. Everything she said/did was “wrong”.

    I wish I could turn back the clock. The disruptions to the lives of children, and now, grand children, continues to this day.

    1. clarky90

      Not whining about my own regrets….but rather saying that listening whole-heartedly to other’s POV, rather than attack, attack, attack………

      Walk in another’s boots……?

      1. MLTPB


        That new ‘breathtaking view of Pillars of Creation…is it the same from the other side, from the top down, or bottom up, if there is a top or bottom in space?

        Or various other angels?

        Is it a view made for us ‘center-of-the-universe’ humans? Are we not special?

        Probably not.

        The center is not in Moscow, Nigeria, Lhasa, Brighton Beach, or any other place on this planet, most likely.

        BTW, to me, the original 1995 picture is more stunning.

      2. Monty

        Remind your kids, “There’s no medals for being given out for being right in an argument”.

  15. Jeremy Grimm

    “As I have been saying for some time, masks will become fashion items” …
    and facemasks make an ideal media for political statement [nothing so crude as printed slogans!]. Art is a medium for revolution. The Artist is a Pathfinder [as in the Finnish Movie of the same name] who can find our path to the future and lead the ‘Huns’ to the cliff’s edge.

  16. FluffytheObeseCat


    Mathbabe. Very cogent, readable discussion of data fails. ‘Excess’ deaths outside hospitals are high right now and difficult to ever attribute properly. I.e. in hot spots like NYC you might want to attribute all of the overage to COVID-19, but these deaths undoubtedly include uninfected people who ‘ignored’ chest pains because the danger of entering a hospital was seen as the greater risk.

    1. Monty

      What I don’t understand is, whilst we can see that precautions like social distancing and restrictions on large gatherings and travel can cause the rate of infection to drop, what stops it from rising again when people drop their guard?

      Isn’t the economy safer when the essential components are not being infected by the non essential ones?

      1. Foy

        Yep agreed Monty, I think that is what is going to happen, when the restrictions lift the virus will start to spread again. It will come back unless completely eradicated which is almost impossible to do it seems.

        This post by Steve Waldman at Interfluidity (I saw it on a previous NC post) discussed that we should be doing all we can to ensure that we minimise the risk of critical jobs (food, transport, health, utilities etc) having cluster outbreaks (like the big meat factory which has closed) which will probably cause staff to abandon them if things got very bad quickly for fear of infecting themselves and their families which really will imperil society.


    2. urblintz

      This doctor in Bolgna (Giannini) believes that covid19 is of a cardiovascular nature not respiratory (VTE or venous thrombo embolism), that intubation is the wrong measure and that the solution is anti-inflammatory drugs.


      I don’t know what to make of this. I seem to recall early reports that steroids, like cortisone, are dangerous to use with the virus.

      But it reminds that there are still lot of unknowns about covid19. The report that it attacks T cells ( https://www.news-medical.net/news/20200413/Novel-coronavirus-attacks-and-destroys-T-cells-just-like-HIV.aspx ) really got my attention although covid seems to destroy itself along with the T cell whereas HIV does not and remains latent.

      My partner, who was HIV positive and asymptomatic for many many years, successfully fought off pneumocystis and anaplastic lymphoma during his last 12 months before ultimately succumbing to… heart failure.

      1. Bsoder

        Sigh, why would one think the Covid-19 presents itself to all those infected in the same same? Regarding damage, in the pulmonary system, in many patients but not all, cytokine storms occur, with loosely put is a hypo reaction of the immune system. If some people this is brief and the body works it out itself. In others, well who knows, maybe the thinking goes reduce immune system response and restore balance to the immune system. There’s about 6-7 ways to do so. Cd24 cells are involved in any infection but Covid-19 isnt killing and more of less to worry about. Absolutely unlike HIV. Ultimately a real Anti virtual specific to Covid-19 is needed. Then or before a vaccine. A vaccine no matter what you read requires, med science, engineering, and at 8 billion dosages overwhelming manufacturing capacity. A vaccine the provides immunity to 90% of the people but kills 10% is not realistic, nor desirable.

        1. urblintz

          I appreciate your response (what I wrote does not indicate faith in the reports mentioned, rather curiosity about differing professional opinions) but I’m not sure I understand it: “Cd24 cells are involved in any infection but Covid-19 isnt killing and more of less to worry about. Absolutely unlike HIV.”

          The linked article does not mention Cd24 cells: “the team has found that when the coronavirus and the T cell came into contact with each other, the T cell became prey to the coronavirus, wherein a structure in the spike of the coronavirus triggered the attachment of a viral envelope and the cell membrane. After, the genes of the virus entered the T cell and overwhelmed it, took it hostage, and deactivated its ability to protect the body.” Does that differ from how HIV destroys T cells? That people succumb to this corona virus in many ways, as you say, would that qualify as syndromic? Also “”…unlike HIV that replicates faulty T cells, the coronavirus does not replicate, showing that the T cells and the virus may end up dying together”

          Would you agree that there is still much to learn about how this virus works?

          Thanks again for your insights and explanations.

  17. JTMcPhee

    Anyone else tracking Biden’s cabinet picks? Jamie Dimon for treasury, fox in the hen house.

    Still a lot of guesswork by our Kremlin Imperial Capitol watchers, but here’s one set of potentials:


    Seeing Bernie crumple, one has to wonder what his campaign was all about. My cynical sense has me wondering if he was more Trojan horse or stalking horse, or just a beat-down mule, or what… No evidence other than what one can observe…

    1. Carey

      These days my possibly-simplistic take is that no one gets a voice™ that’s not

      TINA’s the message.

        1. Monty

          When it’s time to “vote the bums out”, Carlin’s “Big Club” conspires to ensure that only new bums feature on the ballot.

    2. MLTPB

      I can imagine an American zaibatsu or chaebol with

      Mr Dimon’s JPMorgan Chase

      That will match up well with anything Beijing or Seoul can put up.

    3. ChrisAtRU

      While Lambert is working on The Matrix, I’m working on my own Rogue One Theory of Bernie Sanders:

      Bernie Sanders Is Galen Erso

      … ;-) Whenever Lambert posts his matrix, I’ll comment and elucidate.

  18. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: ABC News–What to do if you lose your health insurance…..

    Well, well. This could get interesting.

    obamacare really only helped about 20 million people and most of those went on Medicaid. Most of the program’s cheerleaders supported it without ever having to interact with it–they believed what they were, and are, told about how affordable and “universal” it is and, of course, obama invented it so it must be as awesome as he is.

    So what happens now that they must go to the exchanges and sift through networks, formularies and plan exclusions while paying full freight without a paycheck? Or try to get on Medicaid, the lowest rung on the “healthcare” ladder, and not a place most people who used to have insurance ever expected to be. Or can imagine themselves being.

    Could be that obamacare’s luster will be lost the more people get a closer look at it. Familiarity breeds contempt. And it should make for some interesting questions when biden suggests on the campaign trail (if there ever is one) that all obamacare needs is a few “tweaks.”

    PS. jason furman of obamacare fame was on meet the press this evening saying that fired people can rely on Cobra. A$ if.

    1. Carolinian

      Well we can’t allow the hospitals to go bankrupt–think of the ventilators!–so they’ll just have to pay up. Of course there was a time when medical bankruptcy would be a way out but Biden took care of that.

    2. John

      I think it’s the people that make so little they qualify for the Medicaid tier of Obamacare that like it. Because it’s essentially free to them.

      For most everyone else, it’s unaffordable.

      1. Carla

        It’s my understanding that in many ways, Medicaid provides better and more comprehensive coverage than many, if not most, Obamacare policies and some Medicare plans.

        Just one small example: I use only one prescription drug and it is not covered by MediCARE. It’s so expensive here in the Land of the Free that I get my prescription for a generic version of the drug filled by a mail-order pharmacy in Canada and that way, it (the generic) is quite affordable. The brand name is not even available through the Canadian pharmacy. A friend of mine, also a “senior,” has a very low income and is on MedicAID. She has a prescription for the same drug, and gets the brand name version for free. She also had skin cancer surgery (essential) at no cost, and minor plastic surgery to correct minimal scarring caused by the cancer and surgery (uhm, really not quite essential) with no charge to her, courtesy of MedicAID. I am very, very glad she is getting such good care, and only sorry that not everyone else in the Land of the Free does.

    3. Bsoder

      99% of the patients I treat (mostly I’m in the lab), are way better off with Medicaid v. Obama care, insurance from work, or anything bought on Obama care. Very, very low co-pays, no deductibles, covers almost every drug, provides nursing care, etc., Is better in many ways than Medicare. States are not turning down people that meet the income requirements for Medicaid as the feds are still picking up most of the bill. That is in States that accept the AFCA. Most states don’t even call it Medicare and usually it is run by one one of several commercial insurance companies. But thank God, Medicaid has its own dedicated resources so talking to an insurance company is very rare.

      1. ambrit

        I don’t know about where you live, but here in Mississippi, the perineum of the Deep South, (neither one nor the other,) one must be nearly destitute to qualify for Medicare. The Myth of the Moral Hazard is strong here, at least among the Governing Elites.
        I would hazard a guess and say that a very high percentage of those newly laid off now would possess too much in the way of sellable assets to qualify for Medicaid here.
        See, if you must: https://medicaid.ms.gov/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Chapter-300.pdf
        The information concerning Mississippi Medicaid resources is almost 250 pages long.

    4. floyd

      Yeah, I agree. I can’t believe I am at this point but I am pretty much a one issue voter: Healthcare. I currently pay the Obamcare extortion but all healthcare (going on 7 years now) I receive is out of pocket. I really don’t think most Dems appreciate how upset many people are over this issue and aren’t going to follow JB further down the Obamacare rat hole

  19. Montanamaven

    ThePresident said he would announce soon the list of states that could open by May 1. He mentioned 20 states who were in good shape.

    1. John

      The only thing Trump cares about is the stock market.

      Get back to work serfs so the rich can stay rich.

  20. Copeland

    >No, Italy Is Not the Case Against Medicare for All

    I am not well versed in the history of social democracies, or the frequency (or lack thereof) throughout the history of human society of govt policies that actually take care of poor people when sick, out of work, etc., but it seems that all of the good policies (in Nordic countries, most of the Euro-zone and some east Asian countries) were put in place only after tragic wars or the threat of soviet style communism, and those policies did not exist anywhere before an existential threat to society led to their creation. Is this an accurate assessment?

    Furthermore, it seems that these policies have been slowly but inevitably eroded in almost all of these countries, virtually since their inception in many places, perhaps with the exception of Korea and other east Asian social democracies. And in other places like the US, there has been only the briefest blip, during the FDR New Deal era, long since faded.

    It almost seems like what we all hope for here, can –at best– only be a very brief period of “good times” here and there against a long history of typical social primate (baboon) behavior. That doesn’t mean that we should give up all hope, but it does seem to be a “the task is not for you to complete, but you must begin” type of situation, and maybe a generation or three out of a dozen “hits the jackpot”.

    1. Bsoder

      My friend not exactly sure what your saying. The jackpot had arrived. One attribute of the jackpot is it arrives with a whimper not a bang. It is a period where everything gets worse and nothing better. As to “those policies did not exist anywhere before an existential threat to society led to their creation. Is this an accurate assessment?” No that is not an accurate assessment. First medical science as we know it’s as in: the cause of disease (germs) has only been around for 110 years or so. Real drugs to treat disease effectively started in the 1950s. Epidemiology likewise is 140 years or so as a science. China, Korea, Twain, Germany: 1. Have intelligent, non-insane leaders who have people in Gvt the know what to do. 2 We in the US & UK, do not. We may have stopped believing in reality in our country but it hasn’t stopped believing in us.

  21. JTMcPhee

    On “There is no outside:”

    I’m guessing the suffering nurse might be referring to the complex dance a healthcare professional must do to remove “personal protective equipment” with any degree of effectiveness. One works to always put “outsides” together, with a nominally clean “inside” left exposed.

    So, gloves are removed by pinching the “outside” of one glove with the still-gloved fingers of the other and peeling it off, “outside-in,” without grazing your skin with the contaminated “outside”surfaces. Hold that removed glove in the palm of the remaining glove, then slip a clean finger from the opposite hand under the cuff of the remaining glove, hooking the “inside” of the glove, and turning it “outside-in” around the removed glove, to make a neat “inside-out” blob.

    You would have removed your face shield and mask and gown (or trash bag) with those gloved hands, with careful attention to “inside” and “outside,” except as the author noted, it’s pretty much all “outside.”

    Then dispose of it all in a likely overloaded “Red Bag” stuffed with gloves, and masks and gowns and face shields where they exist and are not somehow collected for decontamination (without any “outsides” touching the caring environment, complete with its coating of microdroplets of sputum and mucus from those intubations and and suctionings and CPR chest pumping.

    Repeat and repeat and repeat again.

    I bet a lot of people say “Thank you for your service” to war wimps and Rear Echelon Motherf***ers like Pete Buttigieg. What will be the ritual meaningless patter offered to the nurses and doctors and techs and aides and cleaning and decontamination staff and cooks and even some administrators who actually do “march into the valley of the shadow?”

    At least, I bet, Buttigieg collected hazard pay for his “service.”

    “Verily I say to you, you have your reward…”

    1. Carey

      >Next president will see the 25th amendment used to remove them.

      I do not think so. It’s one big, ossified thing now, having nothing at all to do with

  22. Mikel

    RE: “Chris Cuomo Goes Full Howard Beale”

    The Howard Beal “Mad As Hell” speech from Network plays at the end. Hits really hard now.

  23. Oregoncharles

    I haven’t had a chance to look at the WC or the comments, so I hope this isn’t a duplication, but I think it’s a useful look: https://ahtribune.com/us/2020-election/4060-bernie-sanders-exit-reality-check.html.
    April 10 ,2020
    BY Danny Haiphong
    Bernie Sanders’ Exit from the Race Is Not Betrayal, It’s a Reality-Check

    Quote: “These sharp contradictions require a reality check for those who believed that the Democratic Party could ever be forced to accept a candidate that dedicated their campaign to the social welfare of the working-class majority. Bernie Sanders never expressed any interest in angering his establishment colleagues. Yet Nany Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, and the big corporate donors behind them were never going to embrace Bernie Sanders no matter how much he played nice and tried to energize support for the Democratic Party on their behalf. Sanders didn’t want to overthrow Pelosi, Schumer, or Biden; he wanted to redeem them from their sordid path. ”

    And on that, back to the garden.

    1. Carolinian

      More from your link

      The intersection of COVID-19 and the crisis of U.S. capitalism have produced ripe conditions for Sanders’ campaign to take the lead on mobilizing popular energy around key policies such as Medicare for All and universal paid sick leave. That Sanders and his campaign failed to take the risks necessary to make demands on the state in a period where working people are suffering more than ever demonstrates that the Democratic Party is a graveyard for social movements

      Haiphong thinks Sanders is a “sheepdog” and thinks FDR was too for saving capitalism. But the interesting thing about FDR was that his movement became bigger than he was. And by bringing in huge Democratic majorities he also brought in congress people who were more liberal than himself and who pushed him to the left. This produced the “class traitor” charge from the right that pushed him even further to the left and to the famous “I welcome their hatred” speech. It could be that great change requires great leadership and the Occupy tactic of no leaders was 180 degrees wrong. For this reason the idea that Sanders could squeak through against a weak field of opponents was never going to work. Only by being a clear and overwhelming front runner could he have accomplished his goal of reforming the Dems.

      At any rate some of us have grown tired of lesser evilism. It’s time for a party we can support without excuses. What the Dems need is not reform but competition.

  24. Tom Stone

    Bernie Sanders is now saying that failing to support Biden would be irresponsible.

    Bernie Sanders can kiss my ass, I will never vote for a Democrat at the National level again.

    1. Bsoder

      Your comment is awaiting moderation.
      Ya, Dr trump got the cure. The people need to bleed and by god he is and will continue to bleed the people until not a drop is left. Just understand there is not any treatment for Covid-19 and No cure. If you get sick you live or you die. Most of which could have been avoided and now it is only going to get worse, because being found dead at work is now so en vogue. We gotta a schedule to keep. Dying no excuse. /-s

    2. Carolinian

      Perhaps the reason he keeps saying Trump is the most dangerous president in history is to excuse himself for supporting Biden. After all if Trump is that dangerous then even the ethically bankrupt Biden must be the moral choice. As Johnny Carson used to say, “buy the premise, buy the bit.”

    3. Acacia

      Possibly, I’m not alone in a sense of dread, knowing that for the next months I’ll be hearing “but there IS a difference!!!” lesser-of-two-eeebilist PMC-groupthink from acquaintances, colleagues, et al. Not only will they not question Sanders’ endorsement of Biden, they’ll say “well, Sanders was never electable in the first place, blah blah”. This includes people who, when I dared already years ago to suggest that third parties might be a good idea, started hyperventilating that the house was on fire, “muh Supreme Court!!!”, etc., and will continue to do so.

      I really don’t know what to say to Democrat voters any more. Of course, one could say: “nothing will change, because you and people like you are thinking this way; you say you want change, but you don’t want to actually think about the conditions for change, do you?” Needless to say, that’s a good way to make people really angry.

  25. Oregoncharles

    Thanks a lot for the “disinfected” $5,000. I had to show it to both my fellow-quarantinees. We can all use a good laugh.

    By the way, anyone know what that script in the parentheses is?

  26. Yet Another Chris

    Because it’s coming to that, name five books you’ve read more than once. Consider it a low-stakes book club.

    Mary Roach – Gulp
    Curt Sampson – Royal and Ancient
    Jennifer Vogel – Flim Flam Man
    John Steinbeck – Travels with Charley
    Truman Capote – In Cold Blood

  27. Amfortas the hippie

    file under Eudaimonia:


    forgive my luddist ignorance of the finer points of html.
    “pocket” is something that happens when i open a new tab, and it sometimes has interesting things that i would not have otherwise found.

    regarding the former…I generally awake around 4am…have First Breakfast around 5:30 and Second Breakfast around 8 or 9.
    otherwise, there’s no set schedule in my life.(prior to pandemic, of course, my wife and kids had schedules, which affected me sort of peripherally, in that I’d wait up for them if they were gonna be late, etc)
    what she says about Event Time being conducive to a sense of Agency and less stress is right on the money.
    I awoke at 2:30, today…perhaps something in my subconscious about a possible frost(it’s 35) got me up…I’ve got a burn barrel and 2 barbque pits running adjacent to the garden beds….to moderate the microclimate in case it dips below freezing….and a large fire ring, a deep water trough and 2 #3 washtubs stacked with paper trash and sticks and such,ready to go if needed.
    been out there with the half moon and the spring stars and the screech owls and at least 2 kinds of nightjars, coffee and weed and hardly any human noise at all.
    In fact, i can attest to the veracity of both these articles, based on this morning, alone,lol.

    hope y’all are well.
    shantih shantih.

  28. Andrew Thomas

    Haven’t read a thing yet but Lambert’s introduction. What a joyful and ingenious way to say Tuesday Afternoon. Thank you, Mr. Strether. You made my Wednesday morning. But not at 3:00 am.

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