2:00PM Water Cooler 4/27/2020

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Patient readers, this is a bit short. I had a household issue to deal with, and I have a post to finish. Still, I think there’s plenty to discuss!


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

The data is the John Hopkins CSSE data. Here is the site. I have changed to a logarithmic scale for US States and territories.

New York’s growth regresses from 1.0 back to 1.02.

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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.


“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): I’m truly baffled by this video:

What message does this convey other than that Biden can’t function without being propped up by his wife? (Also, “the heart of this nation” is a category. Nations are not sentient beings, any more than governments are households.

Trump (D)(1): “Focus group: Ohio swing voters want Trump to act more like a governor” [Axios]. “Asked for the leadership qualities they admire in other governors around the country managing the crisis, these voters offered words including ‘patience,’ ‘sympathetic’ and ‘sincere’ — and praised leaders who appear to fight ‘passionately’ to protect their constituents. By contrast, they described Trump as ‘lackadaisical’ with his words, not always sounding ‘the most educated,’ and being ‘all over the place.’… These voters hadn’t entirely abandoned Trump — they signaled they wouldn’t blame him for an economic recession triggered by the virus.” • “Lackadaisical.” Ouch.

Trump (D)(2):

Ya know [lambert blushes modestly], I was color coding Obama’s speeches back in 2013 (example). If the Times had put a similar level of effort into doing the same thing back then, this might be a happier, safer, saner world.

* * *

“Brenda Jones Took Illegal Campaign Cash from Donors Doing Business with the City of Detroit” [The Intercept]. “DETROIT CITY COUNCIL President and former U.S. Rep. Brenda Jones accepted campaign contributions that violate state rules against pay-to-play activity, according to a review of campaign finance records and interviews with ethics experts. During her 2017 bid for reelection to city council, Jones accepted $5,500 in campaign contributions from then-First Independence Bank Chair and CEO Barry Clay, and an additional $4,000 in campaign contributions from First Independence Bank board member Douglas Diggs. The donations occurred as First Independence had a contract with the Detroit police and fire pension fund, of which Jones, as president of the city council, is a trustee. First Independence runs a loan program for the pension fund…. Now, Jones is running in a competitive race against incumbent Rep. Rashida Tlaib.” • The Democrats are just trolling us, aren’t they?

Realignment and Legitimacy

“”Believe Science” Is a Bad Response to Denialism” [Kate Aronoff, The New Republic]. “However steady and reassuring their tone of voice, the technocrats in chief liberals are now lusting after don’t offer a path away from right-wing plutocracy. Besting the likes of Mitch McConnell and the Koch apparatus—whether on Covid-19 or the climate—won’t come down to proving them wrong with enough science. It’ll mean calling out and taking on the corporations whose best interests are served by spreading doubt and disinformation—a task the Andrew Cuomos and Angela Merkels of the world have never seemed up to.” • Yup. See The New Yorker article I linked to this morning; “Trust the PMC!” is the unmistakable message. Now, as it happens, following the progress of scientists on #COVID-19, I mostly do (within reason). But in general? Like macro-economics departments? Really? Anyhow, which science? Aronoff is a bit more forthcomine in her tweet:

“Cringe authoritarianism of liberals.” Ouch.

Hertzberg walks it back:

First, Hertzberg very well knows he was being ironic, not “sarcastic.” So we’re dealing with bad faith snark, not a clarification for engaged readers. Second, see Biden immediately below; I would bet that Hertzberg’s tweet is, as it were, “The Talk of the Town,” at least in the Manhattan liberal Democrats circles which Hertzberg frequents and for which he speaks. Third, liberal Democrats have form: What on earth was RussiaGate, from the very beginning, but a soft coup that failed?

* * *

“Biden Steps Up Warnings of Possible Trump Disruption of Election” [New York Times]. “‘Mark my words, I think he is going to try to kick back the election somehow, come up with some rationale why it can’t be held,’ Mr. Biden said at a fund-raiser, according to a news media pool report. Mr. Trump, he suggested, is ‘trying to let the word out that he’s going to do all he can to make it very hard for people to vote. That’s the only way he thinks he can possibly win.’ And: ‘It very much is reflecting the fear that a lot of people have about how President Trump is going to respond later in the year to this election, especially if he continues to see his polls drop, and if he continues to flail and lash out,’ said Chuck Hagel, who served as defense secretary in the Obama administration and before that as a Republican senator from Nebraska, and who hosted Mr. Biden at a fund-raiser this month.” • Chuck Hagel should know! From Mother Jones, “Diebold’s Political Machine,” back in the stone ages of 2004:

…While Diebold has received the most attention, it actually isn’t the biggest maker of computerized election machines. That honor goes to Omaha-based ES&S, and its Republican roots may be even stronger than Diebold’s.

The firm, which is privately held, began as a company called Data Mark, which was founded in the early 1980s by Bob and Todd Urosevich. In 1984, brothers William and Robert Ahmanson bought a 68 percent stake in Data Mark, and changed the company’s name to American Information Services (AIS). Then, in 1987, McCarthy & Co, an Omaha investment group, acquired a minority share in AIS.

In 1992, investment banker Chuck Hagel, president of McCarthy & Co, became chairman of AIS. Hagel, who had been touted as a possible Senate candidate in 1993, was again on the list of likely GOP contenders heading into the 1996 contest. In January of 1995, while still chairman of ES&S, Hagel told the Omaha World-Herald that he would likely make a decision by mid-March of 1995. On March 15, according to a letter provided by Hagel’s Senate staff, he resigned from the AIS board, noting that he intended to announce his candidacy. A few days later, he did just that.

A little less than eight months after steppind down as director of AIS, Hagel surprised national pundits and defied early polls by defeating Benjamin Nelson, the state’s popular former governor. It was Hagel’s first try for public office. Nebraska elections officials told The Hill that machines made by AIS probably tallied 85 percent of the votes cast in the 1996 vote, although Nelson never drew attention to the connection. Hagel won again in 2002, by a far healthier margin. That vote is still angrily disputed by Hagel’s Democratic opponent, Charlie Matulka, who did try to make Hagel’s ties to ES&S an issue in the race and who asked that state elections officials conduct a hand recount of the vote. That request was rebuffed, because Hagel’s margin of victory was so large.

As might be expected, Hagel has been generously supported by his investment partners at McCarthy & Co. — since he first ran, Hagel has received about $15,000 in campaign contributions from McCarthy & Co. executives. And Hagel still owns more than $1 million in stock in McCarthy & Co., which still owns a quarter of ES&S.

Again, the Democrats are just trolling us. And as always, the question of who counts the votes is paramount — and oddly, never raised in the vote-by-mail discourse.

“Vote by Mail in Wisconsin Helped a Liberal Candidate, Upending Old Theories” [New York Times]. “The liberal candidate in Wisconsin’s hard-fought State Supreme Court race this month prevailed in voting by mail by a significant margin, upending years of study showing little advantage to either party when a state transitions from in-person to mail voting. The gap suggests that Democrats were more organized and proactive in their vote-by-mail efforts in an election conducted under extraordinary circumstances, with voters forced to weigh the health risks of voting in person against the sometimes unreliable option of requesting and mailing in their ballots.” • Note the lack of agency in “forced to weigh,” which carefully airbrushes Biden’s role in encouraging voters to vote in person (40, at least, were likely to have been infected) and then flip flopping immediately afterwards, saying “his gut”, apparently inoperative before the primary, told him that was a bad idea once he had collected his delegates.

“States rush to prepare for huge surge of mail voting” [Politico]. “A huge surge in voting by mail is coming whether states prepare for it or not — and without clear direction from the federal government, states are preparing to muscle through their own changes to get ready for the glut of mail ballots coming their way in November…. But election experts warn that states don’t have time to wait for Congress to appropriate more money for election aid, so secretaries of state have started seeking advice and guidance from counterparts in states that run predominantly mail-in elections, like Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Utah and Washington.

* * *

“It’s George Wallace’s World Now” [Jonathan Rauch, The Atlantic]. “His loyalty is to himself, not to his party or any ideology. He glories in violating political norms. [Excellent invective omitted.] The politician I speak of is, of course, George Corley Wallace…. Today more than ever, Trump’s outrageous style, unprecedented rule-breaking, and sheer weirdness make him seem a radical discontinuity, a bizarre anomaly who came out of nowhere. Although that interpretation is not entirely wrong, it is not really right, either. Equally true, if not more so, is that Trump is a radical continuity, merely the most florid and successful avatar of a white-populist movement that has built strength and solidarity over more than half a century, mostly under elites’ radar. In that sense, Trump’s base—the base that catapulted him from reality TV to the most powerful office in the world—does not really belong to the Republican Party. In fact, it does not even belong to Trump. Rather, he is renting it—or perhaps it is renting him. Either way, he is not the first in the series, and he won’t be the last. ‘We can foresee that unless something changes in American political culture and civil life,’ says Dan Carter, a historian and Wallace biographer, ‘we’re doomed to deal with Trumps, whether they’re this Donald Trump or future Donald Trumps, for the next generation.’ Thank George Wallace for that.” • Unless something changes. As it surely will, in a Biden White House….

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.

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The Fed: A useful index?

Makes me wonder what we’d get if we cranked CalPERS transcripts through the same software.

* * *

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 42 Fear (previous close: 38 Fear) [CNN]. One week ago: 41 (Fear). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Apr 27 at 1:31pm

Rapture Index: Closes up 1 on Oil Supply/Price. “Oil traded with a negative price for the first time ever.” [Rapture Ready]. Record High, October 10, 2016: 189. Current: 186. Remember that bringing on the rapture is a good thing.

The Biosphere

“Plate tectonics may have started 400 million years earlier than we thought” [Science News]. “Modern plate tectonics may have gotten under way as early as 3.2 billion years ago, about 400 million years earlier than scientists thought. That, in turn, suggests that the movement of large pieces of Earth’s crust could have played a role in making the planet more hospitable to life… [I]t is clear that plate tectonics is currently closely tied to the biosphere, he added. It promotes chemical reactions between once-buried rocks and the atmosphere that can modulate the planet’s climate over millions to billions of years. “So if [plate tectonics] happened on the early Earth, these processes were likely playing a part in the evolution of life,” Brenner said.”

“The Arctic Ocean May Not Be a Reliable Carbon Sink” [Eos]. “Historically, scientists have believed that the Arctic Ocean will be an important carbon sink in the coming years—ice melt will increase the surface area that’s exposed to the air, facilitating carbon uptake from the atmosphere, and cold Arctic waters can store more carbon dioxide (CO2) than warmer waters. Or at least that’s what was supposed to happen. But scientists have begun to suspect that this might not be the case, and new research suggests that the Arctic Ocean is, in fact, not as reliable a carbon sink as we thought. Using data from three research cruises (in 1994, 2005, and 2015), scientists were able to chart how the physical properties of the Arctic Ocean (including total alkalinity, temperature, and dissolved inorganic carbon) changed over time. Over the course of the past 20 years, the amount of dissolved inorganic carbon in Arctic waters has unexpectedly decreased.”

Health Care

Both these systems approaches are worth reading in full. Frankly, I’m not sure that Federalism, as we understand it, is suitable for handling pandemics.

“America Is Not Set Up For This” [HuffPo]. “America’s political institutions had all the information they needed to avert disaster. So why didn’t they?…. Patrick Roberts, a Rand Corporation researcher and the author of “Disasters and the American State,” pointed out that America’s disaster response infrastructure has always conceived of disasters as local, short-term events… But it’s not just the number and size of disasters that explains America’s sluggish response to the coronavirus. It is their increasing complexity…. Federal disaster relief is split between 17 agencies and 300 programs…. And that’s disaster preparedness in general. Pandemic preparedness is even harder to track due to its intersection with America’s for-profit health care system. As market competitors, hospitals have little reason to collaborate on stockpiles or staff training. Due to the lack of centralized data, federal officials don’t know which clinics have which equipment.” • The Democrat theory of the case is that poor leadership (i.e., Trump) is the problem. I don’t buy it. If the Democrats as an opposition party were capable of forming a functional team to address the crisis, they would already have done so. And I don’t buy that the Democrats bring anything to the table other than better public relations. I mean, Larry Summers. Again. Really?

“Why The Warning That Coronavirus Was On The Move In U.S. Cities Came So Late” [National Public Radio]. “To speed the project along, the CDC’s plan was for cities to piggyback on their well-established flu-tracking programs. Patient samples were already being tested for influenza strains. The agency would provide coronavirus tests for a subset of those patients to see if the coronavirus outbreak was spreading undetected. But that quick start to the project was far from quick in most places. Fully five weeks later — contrary to statements from top CDC officials — only one of those cities had in hand any results from completed coronavirus tests, according to an investigation by NPR. Challenges with the CDC’s coronavirus tests, struggles with logistics, clashes between federal and state officials and even hospitals’ fears of being stigmatized as a source of infection — all cost valuable time in controlling the spread of the coronavirus across the U.S., sources tell NPR.”

* * *

“How Denmark Dumped Medical Malpractice and Improved Patient Safety” [Pro Publica]. “Hamberg, the head liver specialist at Rigshospitalet, the Danish national hospital, soon found something troubling. The hospital’s electronic prescribing system was mistakenly prompting doctors to give the drug, methotrexate, for daily use when it is safely taken only once or twice a week. Patients throughout Denmark were being poisoned, Hamberg learned, thanks to the medical error. At his hospital, Hamberg made sure prescribing protocols were fixed and doctors and patients were informed. The problem quickly abated. Hamberg was able to rapidly see a dangerous pattern because of something that doesn’t exist in the United States: A comprehensive national program to compensate victims of patient harm — and to learn from them by collecting and analyzing the data their experiences provide.” • Yeah, but how would we upcode?



Groves of Academe

Maybe I should have filed this under Guillotine Watch:

Guillotine Watch

“Denver Health Executives Get Bonuses 1 Week After Workers Asked To Take Cuts” [CBS Denver]. “Top executives at Denver Health Medical Center received significant bonuses this month for their performance in 2019, ranging from $50,000 up to $230,000, one week after frontline hospital workers were asked to voluntarily take leave without pay or reduce their hours as the hospital dealt with the financial downturn resulting from the coronavirus pandemic…. On April 3, Denver Health CEO Robin Wittenstein emailed hospital workers noting ‘the current situation will stress us financially.'” • “Us,” lol.

Class Warfare

“Why Americans Don’t Vote Their Class Anymore” [Eric Levitz, New York Magazine]. “[O]nce workers stop organizing into unions, and stop voting on the basis of class identity, they cease to be “many” in the operative sense. Both major parties become intra-class coalitions in which working people’s interests as workers are either balanced against those of corporate coalition partners (as in the Democratic Party) or ignored (as in the GOP). Meanwhile, absent the concentration of working people into one dominant partisan coalition, America’s veto-point-laden legislative institutions — and the tendency of staggered presidential and midterm elections to produce divided government — render large-scale reform of any kind a Herculean task. Put all these considerations together, and it seems less than coincidental that the decline of class-based voting in the U.S. (and Britain and France) has corresponded with an upsurge in income and wealth inequality. So, the left is right to lament class depolarization. But some left-wing accounts of how this development came about, what implications it has for contemporary electoral politics, and how the working class can be “brought home” are less convincing.” • Interesting read I have to think about. Once again, however, I think that the post mortems for the Sanders defeat, as opposed to the distinct lack of post mortems for the Clinton defeat — I mean serious post mortems, not propaganda exercises like RussiaGate — shows that the political culture of the left is healthier than that of liberals. FWIW, since nobody ever took power on the basis of their heatlhy political culture….

“The Amazon Lockdown: How an Unforgiving Algorithm Drives Suppliers to Favor the E-Commerce Giant Over Other Retailers” [Pro Publica]. “At a time when much of the retail sector is collapsing, Amazon is strengthening its competitive position in ways that could outlast the pandemic — and that could raise antitrust concerns. Increasingly, manufacturers of in-demand products are catering to Amazon, while competing retailers take the leftovers, consultants and brand executives told ProPublica. ‘Amazon has the power to bury sellers and suppliers if they don’t comply,’ said Sally Hubbard, director of enforcement strategy at Open Markets Institute, a think tank that has been critical of Amazon and other big tech companies. ‘It might be automated through an algorithm, but it’s still the wrath of the monopolist that they are afraid of. … Amazon is able to cut off its competitors’ access to inventory by leveraging its monopoly power.'” • Last I heard, the United States did just fine in the days of the Sears, Roebuck catalog when offices ran on paper. Why don’t we just go into Butlerian Jihad mode and take Beff Bezos’s computers away from him. “But we wouldn’t be able to run our complex global supply chain!” Yes, and?


News of the Wired

Good for him:

This seems to be a sample:

I’ve read a good deal of modern academic, workshopped poetry. This, thankfully, is not that.

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Carla writes: “April snow.” Beware!

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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

    Americans don’t vote on class because of the culture wars (in no order: guns, migration, abortion, PC speak, etc.). Full stop.

    And how the Dem. and Rep elites divvied their stances on culture war issues was largely historical accidents. Eg, supposedly less statist Republicans making an alliance witb religious conservatives on abortion

    In my opinion. Ymmv

    1. Taste Your Class

      I would also factor in mass education. When at the university in the mid-90s I saw a lot people developing some sort of sense of uppity towards non-educated workers. This in spite of the fate of most of them being ending up in the lower echelons of organizations anyway = workers and wage-slaves with more or less the same class interests as the non-educated workers.

      Bourdieu wrote a lot about class as partly a taste-game.

      1. False Solace

        A generation of comfortable middle class parents told their kids they had to go to college or they’d flip burgers for the rest of their lives. When those kids went to college they heard for four years they were the best and brightest of the vaunted meritocracy. No wonder they view minimum wage workers with disdain. They don’t even respect well-paid, highly skilled blue collar workers like plumbers and electricians.

        As for the kids who passed the obstacle course but graduated during an unlucky year and were forced to take $12/hr jobs, they get treated like they too didn’t work hard enough or were too dumb to succeed. The two groups don’t hang out in the same circles, even if they originally came from the same social background. If you can’t afford to eat out or go on expensive vacations you get treated like you have a contagious disease.

        The parties represent comfortable people who think everything’s fine. They grift a few more percentage points from rank tribalism. The rest of the population doesn’t vote. When a game’s rigged against you, sooner or later you tune it out.

        1. Jonathan Holland Becnel


          This fits me to a T.

          Took me awhile to unlearn this terrible, toxic stuff.

          No one is better than anyone else!

          “ELE- Everybody Love Everybody.”
          Jackie Moon

      2. Jonathan Holland Becnel

        Fact: High School students used to take 3 Civics classes in the mid 20th century.

        Now theyd be lucky to get 1 elective course!

        1. ambrit

          Boy oh boy howdy!
          I remember taking AP American History, AP European History, and, yes, three consecutive Civics classes during my three years in High School. We also had Speech and Debate, college level maths classes, (taught by a man who worked on the Manhattan Project, no less,) Spanish classes taught by a woman who studied for a decade in Madrid, and even Shop classes run by men, and a woman, who had worked in manufacturing and on construction projects.
          The only real “teach to the test” aspect for us was scrambling to max out on the SATs. (Cooperative study groups of us backward types were common.) My High School had dozens of over 1400 SAT scores my graduating year.
          This was a public school. Going to Private School back then was either the local Catholic High School, which was very popular with the culturally conservative Cuban population cohort, or being sent off to Military School, for the upper income “bad boys,” or a Prep School.
          Times certainly were different back then. It is almost surreal to reflect on how far American society and culture has fallen in the past fifty years.

          1. periol

            “It is almost surreal to reflect on how far American society and culture has fallen in the past fifty years.”

            I guess it depends on your perspective. My grandfather has some lovely photos of his summers spent at the family’s second home during the 1930s. Doesn’t exactly make me nostalgic for the Great Depression, no matter how good he had it.

          2. Eustache de Saint Pierre

            My Business Studies HND in England in 1978 had as well as accounting, economics ( Keynesism ) & business communications included a module that opened up a whole new world for me in the form of Social History. I would be extremely surprised if that part survived Thatcher while obviously the economics would have been automatically binned.

    2. flora

      Elites make sure economics and class are not on the ballot, and kneecapped Sanders. imo. My state lege passed a law barring cities from raising their minimum wage to $10.00 hr.

    3. Left in Wisconsin

      I have a long post on exactly this subject below. I don’t think it is an accident.

    4. Oregoncharles

      Thomas Frank made the opposite argument in “Whatever Happened to Kansas?” – which was the original home of the Populist movement. He argued that because the Dems sold out (my words) and stopped serving lower class interests, or even offering them much, they turned instead to “cultural” interests – which are mostly things the plutocrats don’t care about, so a safe way for the duopoly parties to distinguish themselves.

      Part of this, of course, was that the previously apolitical evangelicals/fundies and racists turned out to be on offer. In the process, the Right switched from being libertarian (Goldwater opposed both the draft and the drug war) to being authoritarian. Not an improvement. I think that switch is where the Libertarian party came from. I’ve heard Libertarians complain that it, too, has sold itself to the highest bidder – big bidness. Since corporations are creatures of the law, hence of the state, and concentrate power, libertarians should be suspicious of them, like anarchists. They’re paid not to be, just as Democrats are.

  2. Jessica

    In the Biden video, I am seeing a woman who has been “behind the throne” for decades and figures that she could do better. Now she has her chance and she is seizing it. Perhaps other women who identify with that situation will support Biden not despite his infirmity but because of it.
    I would prefer that our first woman president be someone who got there on her own power, not as somebody’s wife.

      1. JTMcPhee

        How many pairs of shoes does she own?

        But hey, The Billary offered us mopes a twofer what, four times? Accident of fate that we only had to swallow that stuff twice…

      2. Olga

        Does she have her own astrologer?
        But seriously, the video is baffling. Or, perhaps worse… what message is being sent by the mute Biden?
        I don’t like comparisons to the USSR (as some commenters here often make)… but this video certainly invites one – at least superficially. Remember, when after Brezhnev, there was a succession of older statesmen, who were just too old and seemingly clueless? Well, the dem party has arrived at that precise moment. Even Romans had more choices than a guy with dementia, who had to be vocalised via his wife (or a concubine). Oh, how far the lofty have fallen…

        1. urblintz

          She’s standing by her man as credible allegations of harrassment continue to mount… not that the MSM has noticed much…

      3. Tom

        Nancy had enough acting experience to pull it off. Joe has great male resting bitch face in the video. Jill sounds a little whiny.

    1. mle detroit

      ^^^ This. I’ve been wondering for a couple of months who the puppeteers are.

      In addition

      Lambert: “If the Democrats as an opposition party were capable of forming a functional team to address the crisis, they would already have done so.”

      Joe Biden withdrew from the 1988 nomination race because he got caught delivering a speech plagiarized from Britain’s Neil Kinnock. So why not “borrow” another idea: a shadow cabinet capable of doing it’s own briefings. Bernie could organize one in 24 hours (I think Bernie’s movement should morph into Party 2.5). Who would you rather watch in a clip, Steve Mnuchin or Stephanie Kelton?

        1. MillenialSocialist

          complete abdication of leadership the last 6 weeks. Like, goddamn, how feckless and weak would you have been as president?

          oh that’s right, you were never prepared to fight even 50% hard enough to get there…

    2. Peter VE

      Who wrote that? “…the wetlands of New Hampshire…” That’s immediately what I think of when I hear New Hampshire.

      1. Pat

        She was really paying attention everywhere they campaigned. You’ll notice that it is all about geography except the churches of SC. Says a lot about turnout.

        I also love how hard she had to work to get out the word “leadership” in reference to Joe and that her syntax went to hell.

        I have no idea why Jill Biden is doing this (Lady Macbeth, Golddigger, or desperate housewife) but I do know she realizes she is talking out her *ss in that clip. She isn’t capable of selling it.

      1. Jessica

        Exactly. Even more precisely, Biden who hasn’t even been nominated yet now is like Wilson at the end of his 8 years.

      1. Montanamaven

        Yes, I thought nobody could be more inept than Joe and Hunter. But, lo and behold, enters Jill who is way over her head. She can’t read well. She can’t convey conviction. She can’t look at a script and say, “Who wrote this b.s.? It’s a crappy version of Woody Guthrie with no mention of the whole middle of the country?” And sadly, she thinks she’s a star who now finally has her chance. In that respect she has the right stuff for politics I.e. a middling mind and lax ethics.

    3. The Rev Kev

      How about Jill Biden 2020? That way you could get the real power broker in charge, sideline old Joe to an old people’s home, have a women President and pick up all the Hillary voters.

      1. Acacia

        Yeah. After Joe has “an event”. Hillary is rolled out, but to make good on Joe’s promise of a woman VP, and in acknowledgement of Jill’s decades of suffering while Joe groped hundreds of women dedicated service, she is named VP. They are defeated by Trump/Haley. In the future, we refer to this shambolic duo as “Jillary”.

    1. teri

      When a city or a state has their PPE stolen by FEMA, does the federal gov’t have to reimburse them?

      If not, this may be one big fat glaring reason the states are having financial difficulties right about now. That stuff is expensive – and which of the states could afford to pay for the same items two or three times in a row, especially when the price keeps increasing by the second time they’ve had to pay for the same things?

      1. rd

        Ummmm…..I think the official procedure is that they go online at the vendor’s customer service website and navigate to find the customer service number. If they are lucky, a little chat box will show up with an AI bot on the other end. They then get on the phone and go down through the numerous menus to see if there is a human being on the other end of the line to ask about a refund. Once they can’t find a person, then they can try sending an e-mail that may or may not get responded to….

        After a while, they will realize that the system is designed like the customer service for their unemployment and revenue systems and they will give up.

        1. teri

          Well, okay, unfunded mandates, but that only explains why the federal gov’t can demand that the state gov’ts have to participate and help pay for national programs. It does not explain the theft of the goods after the states have already ponied up and bought the items with their own dimes. What the states buy, whether mandated or not, is for their own use.

          This stealing of things that the states already paid for all by themselves (with no cost-sharing with the feds occurring) is a new phenomenon, as far as I can tell. I.e., the gov’t is using “unfunded mandates” to demand the states buy certain things in this emergency, but then simply stealing the actual things the states purchased and giving or selling the stuff to someone else. The state that purchased the stuff not only doesn’t have the use of the products, they then have to figure out how to purchase and pay for them a second time. Nowhere in the article you link to is there any mention of the fed being able to demand that they (the fed) can just take the stuff away from one state and hand it over to another without reimbursing the state that paid the purchase price in the first place.

          If such is the case, then the fed could steal the PPE from certain states repeatedly, give it to favored states, and the original purchaser will eventually go bankrupt by having to come up with the money over and over without anything to show for the expenditure.

    2. The Rev Kev

      About a week ago Israel said that they had plenty of medical gear for themselves. Considering that in the US Jared Kushner is in charge of all those supplies, what is the bet that American supplies were diverted to Israel as they were given first priority over Americans?

      1. s.n.

        Back in early april, when the situation in the USA was just beginning to unfold, the Jerusalem Post reported that USDOD gave [later: merely transported] a million face masks to the IDF — at a time when US medical workers in the frontlines of the epidemic were going without. No one in the US mainstream media ever investigated this story and the truth remains unclear.

        1. The Rev Kev

          You gotta wonder. And the Democrats would have been fine with that as well. Last year I saw Schumer say that as long as there are two bricks leaning together in America, that American support for Israel would be unstinting.

  3. Left in Wisconsin

    Well, I guess Tammy Baldwin has officially thrown her hat into the Biden VP ring. I just got a spam email from her endorsing Hickenlooper for Senate in Colorado.

    1. Louis Fyne

      If I was Baldwin, no way I’d want the VP office. Best case scenario my career turns out like HW Bush or am the next Cheney.

      Worst case, you lose or if you win, you sit on your hands in a gilded cage

      If you’re a politican and want to change livez, governors have much more power. Or If I’m 65 and want a crowning achievement to end my career, give me that gilded cage!

      1. Ford Prefect

        There is a reasonable probability for both parties that the VP would be President before 2024 due to the age of the people running for President. Covid-19 greatly increases that probability.

  4. WJ

    “I’ve read a good deal of modern academic, workshopped poetry.”

    You should skip right past Purgatory then.

    1. Lost in OR

      But Purgatory is the favorite catholic concept (at least, I think it’s catholic).
      Mediocracy at it’s highest level (oxymoron?). Kind of describes our current state of affairs.

  5. Carolinian

    George Wallace? Seriously? How many people alive even remember who he was?

    Trump won because enough people didn’t want Hillary–not something you’ll read in The Atlantic. But grand theories of deplorable-dom are always popular with the elites.

    1. Robert Hahl

      Norm MacDonald: Americans hate Hillary so much, they elected someone they hate more just to spite her.

        1. ambrit

          My .02 Credits worth: Trump will be re-elected because he has consistently played up to his base, (and hoped mightily that they don’t notice that his actual policies hurt them.) The Democrat Party has abandoned it’s natural base in favour of a chimera. The “real” Left has failed to educate the masses. Plenty enough failure to go around.

        2. Alfred

          Well, I know several people who claim to have voted for Trump in 2016 only because they didn’t like Hillary Clinton. Similarly motivated people may well still exist, potentially in large number; so I’d say that the answer to your question is ‘yes’. You asked another question about George Wallace, to which the answer I’d give is: not enough people do remember George Wallace. I’ve read Dan Carter’s book on Wallace, The Politics of Rage, and recommend it. I’d recommend even more strongly, however, the book by Anne Perloff and Charles Gafton, Political Power in Alabama, which puts Wallace’s governorships into a broad context. A much older and rather breezy profile, Marshall Frady’s Wallace, contains many astute observations that now count as primary sources. From the still growing literature it is clear that Wallace was a populist who was quite successful at delivering real benefits (especially in the area of education) to his constituents. By the political standards of his time he was a liberal, and a free-spending one at that. He was clever, however, at finding palatable ways to pay for his often costly initiatives (bonds, which kept the bankers happy, for his schools; federal funding for his highway construction). His segregationist politics might best be seen as strategizing to keep agricultural wages low (thus pacifying the planter class) while allowing wages in what today we would call the STEM sectors to rise (thus catering to the progressives). There is considerable evidence to show that Wallace did not hesitate to take public positions contrary to his private views on race so as to win the crucial votes of Alabama’s bigots. Americans forget, or mindlessly vilify, the ruthless and astute George Wallace at their peril. There is much to be learned from his career. The life of Lurleen Wallace, which formed an integral part of that career, I think deserves more attention that it has gotten. Looking freshly at her life now is especially urgent since that Jill Biden has entered the current picture in a role that (superficially?) resembles one that Mrs. George Wallace once assumed. Although Mrs. Wallace has been sentimentalized and thus trivialized by most of her biographers, she was in fact an intelligent, well educated woman with a fine grasp of politics even if she lacked her husband’s expertise in administrative machinations (and perhaps also his stomach for revenge). I think she always knew exactly what she was doing both as an independent operator and as her husbands teammate, even during her years in office when she was apparently being manipulated as his puppet. For one of the things she surely understood was that sometimes she had to play the puppet’s part whereas at other times she had to play that of the independent broker — and both parts convincingly, lest the game in which she had early in her marriage decided to invest her own skin, be lost. George and Lurleen Wallace were not just a southern politician with a smiling wife, sharing reactionary views. They were a southern power couple with a somewhat progressive agenda whose advance only a rather daring Realpolitik, one entailing a considered division of ideological labor, could make possible.

          1. Carolinian

            Thanks for the excellent comment. I do remember him and that he regretted the schoolhouse door stuff later in life. But that’s about all I know about him.

          2. urblintz

            Wallace first ran (and lost) with support of the NAACP while refusing endorsement from the KKK. Who knew?

            “In 1958, George Wallace ran against John Patterson in his first gubernatorial race. In that Alabama election, Wallace refused to make race an issue, and he declined the endorsement of the Ku Klux Klan. This move won Wallace the support of the NAACP. Patterson, on the other hand, embraced Klan support, and he trounced Wallace in the election. In 1962 Wallace, having realized the power of race as a political tool, ran for governor again—this time as a proponent of segregation. He won by a landslide.”


            1. Swamp Yankee

              I believe it was after that race that Wallace shifts to the hard right on segregation, vowing that “I’ll never get out-n******* again.”

              1. LifelongLib

                From Wikipedia:

                When a supporter asked why he started using racist messages, Wallace replied, “You know, I tried to talk about good roads and good schools and all these things that have been part of my career, and nobody listened. And then I began talking about n*****s, and they stomped the floor.”


          3. rowlf

            From the still growing literature it is clear that Wallace was a populist who was quite successful at delivering real benefits (especially in the area of education) to his constituents.

            A data point that blew me away when Wallace passed away was a New York Times story on him where a reporter actually went around Alabama asking residents about him. An older African-American man was quoted that you had to watch what Wallace did and it was known that Wallace had to play a character in political life. The commenter credited Wallace with several good actions for his constituents like him.

            I always find it interesting to hear from actual participants to an event and then compare their version to media versions. Someone wrote a book recently about how US media made Patton out to be the most formidable Allied general while German military correspondence and records never paid much attention to him. It meshes with George Marshall audio interviews where Marshal notes how often the media portrayed everything wrong and missed other significant events. Same as Winston Churchill fans missing how Sir Alan Brooke and George Marshall had to keep Churchill from mucking up everything.

          4. Darthbobber

            I remember listening to Wallace in 72, when I was still in high school. He was brilliant at evoking that visceral feeling that you were being shoved around by elitists who didn’t give a damn about you. (Though what exactly Ol’ George was gonna do for you was a bit vague.)

            By ’82, when he staged his final and successful campaign for the governorship, he had done a born-again bit and a serious mea culpa on segregation, and won the election with a bit more than 57% of the vote. By getting more than 90% of the black vote.

        3. Jonathan Holland Becnel

          Biden will not be elected because theres not enough people who dont like Trump.

    2. DSZILAK

      George took his stand
      East in Maryland
      Getting welfare chiselers off the rolls
      when a low degen-ner-rate
      With a snub-nose .38
      filled the Bama rooster full holes
      Aw-puck-puck he cried
      We thought he’d sure to die
      Send George a prayer
      Ask God to spare
      The man in that lonesome wheelchair

      His anti-busing views
      Gave black folks the blues
      But little children had to have good schools

      The Viet Nam war
      was going as before
      Uncle Sam was being made a fool
      George he ain’t no red
      He said bomb ’em dead

      Send George a prayer
      Ask God to spare
      The man in that lonesome wheelchair

      Wallace had no fear
      Of the long-haired queers
      High on McGovern and Mary Jane
      Oh, that Arthur Bremer
      Rename the shopping center
      Call it a plaza of shame
      Aw-puck, puck he cried
      WE thought he’d sure to die
      Send George a prayer
      Ask God to spare
      The man in that lonesome wheelchair

      There’s a bullet in his spine
      But he’s still clear of mind
      The lovely Cornelia’s ready too
      Oh, Corley you were ment
      To be the president
      America needs a man like you

  6. diptherio

    Re: Supply Chains

    There’s a supply chain simulator game that was developed at MIT called the Beer Game, where teams take the roles of retailers, distributors, wholesalers, and manufacturers; with each trying to minimize the costs of having either excess or insufficient inventories. The game highlights how even one-time demand increases lead inevitably to massive oscillating supply shortages and gluts due to information lags and lack of system-level coordination. Of course, we just experienced a large one-time bump in demand…

    I want to hammer this home, and make sure you get the full import of this: a single, one-time persistent bump-up in customer demand plunges the system into wild boom-bust oscillations. Consistently. Consistently. Always.

    “A single one-time persistent bump-up in customer demand” is an accurate description of what just happened in the market for household supplies anywhere there’s a stay-at-home order…

    …what the Beer Game teaches us is that the supply chain will start showing massive fluctuations. There will be shortages and then gluts, in repeating cycles.

    This is not because people are hoarding. This is not because of fickle consumer demand. This is not because of consumers doing anything wrong. Supply chains being massively disrupted doesn’t require any of these things.


    1. Briny

      In electronic engineering, we call this behavior “hunting” and it’s the result of any lag in the system. Why it’s a mystery in economics, where information theory tells you that you can never have perfect information in the real world, is beyond me.

      1. ambrit

        The joke would be that Economists “assume” rational, informed economic actors.
        Thanks for the heads up. I’ll try to time my supply acquisition binges with the glut peaks of the cycle. Now to try and correlate the boom bust supply cycle with the pricing cycle.

      2. Jessica

        Because mainstream economics as funded is not a science but a propaganda exercise. It makes all manner of assumptions that have no bearing at all on the real world in order to paint a picture in which the super-rich are the source of all prosperity rather than a predatory sink hole. There is no way to paint that particular fantasy and be in touch with the real world.

    2. a different chris

      >every time the game is played, whether with undergrads or with seasoned CEOs, there wind up being massive boom-bust oscillations

      My bold. There’s a shocker. /s

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        i read somewhere that there’s beer being dumped, too.
        (as in addition to milk and taters and such)
        when hurricane rita tore through east houston, and stopped our trucks way out here(350 miles away) for a week…the various store owners got together, pooled their money and sent a couple of duallies with trailers 100 miles north to a distribution hub to obtain beer for the county…lest there be riots.
        with this in mind, during the last month and a half(?) of shortages, I always make a point of examining the beer supply everywhere i go.
        so far, it’s plentiful….more so than milk or yeast or paper goods.
        Beer guy at the grocery store says that beer is regarded as a staple,lol.
        Might be a leading indicator for unrest to keep an eye on.

        1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

          Yeah, in East Baton Rouge they ran out of Ice.

          You follow da beer. I follow da ice.

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        HEB, back during Normal, was our go-to store. treat their people well, actual attention to being a “Good Corporate Citizen”, and better produce than we get in our little local grocery(which apparently gets “thirds” from the fruit terminal)
        They began all this mess just like everyone else…chaos and empty shelves. But they quickly got their $hit together…both with supply and with best practices.
        It is inspiring.
        From my forays/supply runs, HEB is doing much better than walmart…the latter has much more empty shelf space, etc. Prolly due to rigidity in their Warehouse on Wheels Efficiency.

    1. Pat

      I will not even get the chance at any kind of primary disruption.

      Feel like letting them know their undemocratic action denying me the chance to let them know that Biden has no business being on any ballot has guaranteed that not only will I not be voting for the Democratic nominee in November, I will be working to make sure that everyone who does knows what a pile of shit they are voting for and that they are just as thoughtless and despicable as any Trump voter. And that the state party was so afraid of what the voters thought they had to shut down the primary despite the fact that NO candidate had ended their campaign only suspended it.

      They won’t care but

      1. David R Smith

        Can we not all take a cue from Briahna Gray, and just hold off on saying who we’re going to vote for until the election draws near??

        1. Oregoncharles

          Could be fun – an Election Day with real surprises.

          You can, if you extract something for your silence (keep in mind – nobody with power cares what you say here). Use it for a pressure tactic.

          Personally, I gave up on the Democratic Party back when Slick Willy was in charge.

  7. dcblogger

    states organize elections, so if the Democratic Governors decide to have elections it is not w/in Trump’s power to stop it. But I share the view that somehow the election will not take place.

    1. ambrit

      The link doesn’t work.
      That entire Biden/Biden situation reminds me of the pairing of Claudius and Agrippina.

      1. Louis Fyne

        Another symptom of end-game, late stage imperialism….when entire families are battling behind the scenes for power.

        Rome had lots of salacious inter/intra-family intrigue during its last 250 years

        1. Briny

          Time to rewatch “I, Claudius” and “Claudius the God” as it definitely captures exactly that.

        2. MLTPB

          Not just Rome, but her younger adversaries, say, Atilla, whose co-ruling brother was, well, a hindrance to him or somehow bothered him.

          Genghis did the same to his brother, not at the end stage, but in the early part of the Secret History of the Mongols.

          1. Swamp Yankee

            I seem to recall that the first person Genghis Khan/Temujin ever killed was his half brother, in a dispute over a trout, when they (Temujin his mother and half siblings) were fleeing from enemies after his Father’s death, out in the remote backcountry. (if medieval Mongols think a place is out there, then it is well and truly _out there_.)

  8. Synoia

    Success or Failure then Success, the elusive rewards.

    A successful prevention program for Covid 19 can elicit the response “There was no crisis,” followed by “we were duped and lost wages.”

    A failed response elicits no such behavior.

    Success is not rewarded in this culture. Navigating ones way out of a total mess provides the reward. If the incident did not create a disaster, then no rewards are given.

  9. sd

    [I]t is clear that plate tectonics is currently closely tied to the biosphere, he added. It promotes chemical reactions between once-buried rocks and the atmosphere that can modulate the planet’s climate over millions to billions of years…

    I’ve long wondered if oil actually serves a purpose in the functioning of the planet earth…we assume it’s just there for the taking, what if that is a false assumption?

    1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

      It will help Mankind explore the Universe.

      Edit- also, microorganisms feed on it in the Deep Sea.

  10. Noone from Nowheresville

    Hmmmm, former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura is exploring a Green Party run.

    Wouldn’t those debates be fun?


    To be clear: I haven’t filed anything. I authorized a letter of interest that was sent on my behalf to the Greens and I’m testing the waters for Green Party nomination. I’m an independent. I’m not a Democrat or a Republican because I know they’re not the solution.
    9:42 AM · Apr 27, 2020

    1. dcblogger

      Ventura was a horrible governor and is nothing but a publicity hound. If the Green Party nominates him it will be proof that they don’t stand for anything other than vanity campaigns.

      1. Noone from Nowheresville

        Think of the debates. Imagine the potential fireworks. The veil rendering.

        I don’t know Trump v. Biden v. another WWE celebrity with libertarian tendencies and government experience as we head into a new bolder period of austerity.

        The choices, the choices. They boggle the mind.

      2. edmondo

        If the Green Party nominates him it will be proof that they don’t stand for anything other than vanity campaigns.

        You mean like Bernie’s ?

    2. Left in Wisconsin

      … and he knows what the solution is. What a windbag. Would be a disastrous choice for the Greens.

    3. False Solace

      Ventura was a bit like Trump in that he entered office loathed by both parties and the media and didn’t accomplish much during his term. Unlike Trump, Ventura failed to hang on to his base of support and never made peace with either party in the legislature. Ventura is nowhere near Trump’s weight class in terms of media manipulation.

      As for their respective accomplishments, it’s true that Trump’s administration erased every environmental and pro-worker regulation it could find, and rammed through a lot of judges, but I have to give the credit for that more to the Republican accretion disk that surrounds him. Ventura managed to reform education funding which undid some of the glaring inequity there (education funding remains a [family blogging] travesty in almost every state). Of course Trump could still get reelected so who knows.

      1. Jessica

        If I remember correctly, Ventura just squeaked in with 30 something percent in a three-way race in which the Democrat and the Republican split their votes quite evenly. So he didn’t actually that big a base to start with.

    4. Oregoncharles

      If he were serious, I’d have heard about it by now, other than this way.

      He isn’t even a Green. We stopped doing that along time ago.

  11. zagonostra

    >Denver Health Executives Get Bonuses 1 Week After Workers Asked To Take Cuts

    It doesn’t really move many folks anymore when you post items like this. Even here at NC, if you quantify the topics that readers comment on, Trump’s daily outrage sometimes garners more responses.

    In the general public they would rather read about Carmen Electra than how the people who own you increased their wealth by $280 billion since March while millions are still trying to get unemployment insurance.

    They got away with it in 2008 (bail out #1), 2016 (rigged DNC primaries) , and they’ll get away with it in 2020 (CARES act).

    1. Left in Wisconsin

      They get away with it until they don’t. I think it’s a mistake to conclude from comments what moves people. Selection bias and all that. Plus, just because they get away with it because the political system works to their benefit doesn’t take away from the value of continued public outrage. Esp when Cardi B takes up the cause.

    2. False Solace

      I mean, the bonuses are clearly outrageous and reprehensible, but what more is there to say? It’s not exactly surprising behavior coming from the ruling class. We already know they’re pigs. I don’t imagine there’s much disagreement about that so there aren’t going to be many comments. It’s a bit like some of the technical financial articles that get posted on NC. I read them and appreciate them, but if I don’t have anything constructive to say I’m not going to add to the noise.

      That said, I have to agree the Trump wrangling in the comments is a bit tiresome. I’d rather see contributions relating to local news or what actions people are taking to deal with current events or to get ready for spring. I’m kind of bored by electoral politics this cycle. There’s a stunning lack of leadership in both parties. The election is clearly just a game for fans at this point, and I’m not one.

      1. Zagonostra

        The problem though is that the effects of the game are not for just the fans, unfortunately.

      1. Oh

        From the link:
        “The pandemic will cost the global economy $1tn this year, according to the World Economic Forum, with vulnerable communities impacted the most, and nearly half of all jobs in Africa could be lost. ”
        Why are we spending $4 trillion then?

      2. Keith

        Lovejoy said separating wild animals from farmed animals in markets would significantly lower the risk of disease transmission. This is because there would be fewer new species for viruses to latch on to. “[Domesticated animals] can acquire these viruses, but if that’s all there was in the market, it would really lower the probability of a leak from a wild animal to a domesticated animal.”

        Or just practice better methods with the animals we will consume, from a humane standpoint and a sanitary standpoint. Meat is very nutritious and can be a benefit to one’s property. With a little education, people could also maintain some personal poultry operations on their little homestead, and not have it require much space.

        1. nycTerrierist

          All due respect, we can nourish ourselves sufficiently without robbing
          other sentient beings of their life

          1. Amfortas the hippie

            i give the critters we raise a good life…for both moral and husbandry reasons(less disease with happy chickens, for instance…because that happiness indicates that other conditions are good, like sanitation, crowding, etc)
            and you’ll be hard pressed, in the near future, to grow those vegan delights without manure.
            Circle of Life, and all.
            nothing dies, merely returns to the soil to feed things currently living, and around and around it goes.
            and “the Worm Forgives the Plow”, I’m told.

            1. HotFlash

              Happy life until that last bad day? I’d be OK with that for me. And being food for something else, living on that way, is better I think than having poison put in my veins and being sealed in bronze + lead + concrete. So stingy! No reason that what goes around, and comes around, shouldn’t include me.

    1. HotFlash

      Yup. Eat less meat, or none; use less fossil fuel, or none; have fewer kids, or none. YMMV.

      Why we *love* fossil fuels so much:

      1 horsepower per hour = .7457 kWh (that’s for BHP, mechanical horsepower)
      1 manpower per hour = .7457/4 = .1864 kWh (I’m being generous, estimates range depending on the work and the duration from 4 (1 horse replaces 4 humans) to 12 (1 horse replaces 12 humans) so .7457/12 or 0.062141667 kWh

      Therefore, 1 barrel of oil = 1628.2 kWh or betw 8,730 and 26,201 human hours. That is 4 years of 5-day week 8 hour days at the inside, 12 and a half years at the outside.

      Oil, it’s the new slavery.

      * Sources and conversions from https://www.unitjuggler.com

  12. Pelham

    Re the Arctic Ocean and the general subject of the environment: Has anyone seen Michael Moore’s (executive producer) new documentary, “Planet of the Humans”? I found it convincing but I’d like to know what others think. It’s on YouTube.

    1. Andrew

      I watched it last night. A depressing, sobering film. After fossil fuels run out you can kiss industrial civilisation and the 8 billion or so people it supports goodbye. The final scenes of orangutans struggling to adapt to recently destroyed forests was tragic. It made me feel very pessimistic about the future. As a species i think we’re barreling towards certain doom.

    2. Lou Anton

      Really powerful stuff, in my opinion. The word “renewable” or (renewables or renewable energy) is a weasel word to me now, and there’s a lot in the film that Yves brings up often: there’s a lot of “dirty” energy that powers the “clean” stuff.

      The point made in it is that the only way to reduce carbon is to reduce consumption (and by implication people). And, it’s honest in that it doesn’t have answers, but it does a damn good job of lifting the veil on what we currently describe as clean/renewable energy.

      PS: Last 10 minutes we’re chilling.

      1. WillyBgood

        My favorite part was “Blood and Gore”! I’ve never understood people pushing Gore as the good guy?

    3. TalkingCargo

      I was thrilled to see someone of the caliber of Moore and Co. finally call attention to this issue. I’m not sure how much impact it will have in the mainstream news, but it was a genius move to make it available for free at this particular time. Considering how much air pollution has cleared up in the past couple of months, it provides an answer to the question of what’s causing the many environmental problems that plague the planet.

      It’s the economy stupiid.

    4. Jonathan Holland Becnel

      The ending is depressing af.

      That said, I always knew Bill Mckibbon didnt smell right.

      Saw him at a couple rallies in New Orleans over the years. Reminds me of an Investment Banker on vacation.

      Becnel gives a thumbs up.

  13. Balakirev

    “Focus Group: Ohio swing voters want Trump to act more like a governor” [Axios]. “Asked for the leadership qualities they admire in other governors around the country managing the crisis, these voters offered words including ‘patience,’ ‘sympathetic’ and ‘sincere…”

    Perhaps significantly, these are qualities I hear most other Ohioians praise in Governor DeWine. I told my wife that when he started his daily live coronavirus briefings to the public that if he handled matters calmly, carefully, he’d impress the hell out of his audience. -Mind you, the devil is in the details, with the bulk of decisions for/against isolation, masks, gloves, social distancing, etc, left in the hands of businesses–who from what I’ve seen, provide little in the way of direction or materials to their employees. It’s a a scandal waiting to be noticed in such high density zones as supermarkets.

  14. Dr. John Carpenter

    I remember in the 90s when Limbaugh would comment that Bill Clinton was going to cancel the election, appoint him self president for life, instal Hillary, etc., and Democrats rightfully called it out as lunacy. For that matter, I’ve heard this claimed about every president for as long as I’ve been able to vote. The difference is, it’s been the extreme fringes making the claims. But here we have the Dem’s presidential candidate, and de facto party head, peddling similar claims about Trump and they all nod their heads knowingly. Interesting times, I guess.

    1. Tom Doak

      The Democrats warned us that if Trump lost in 2016, he would not accept the result . . . and then Hillary and the DNC and the “Intelligence Community” spent three years not accepting the result.

      It’s transference.

      So, perhaps the Democrats are laying groundwork to postpone the election?

      1. Procopius

        The Democrats warned us that if Trump lost in 2016, he would not accept the result . . . and then Hillary and the DNC and the “Intelligence Community” spent three years not accepting the result.

        Well, if Trump not accepting the result is no more effective than what the Democrats have done with their stupid RussiaGate antics there’s nothing to worry about. I keep asking what they mean when they say “he won’t leave,” and none of them ever answer me. Accross the Potomac River, on the other side of Arlington Cemetary, is an Army installation called Fort Meyer. Fort Meyer is the home of the Third U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard). The Third U.S. Infantry Regiment mostly conduct ceremonies, funerals, and provide the guards for the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers, but they are also tasked with providing security in Washington, D.C. In 1944 FDR seized Montgomery Ward during a labor dispute. The CEO refused to leave his office. The soldiers who accompanied the police picked him up and carried him out. Great picture.

  15. flora

    The reports about vote-by-mail are very important, imo. Dis-advantaging the machines – including both definitions of ‘machine’.

    1. Eureka Springs

      Is there any reason to think machines/scanners won’t still be in the tabulation loop?

      1. Oregoncharles

        Mail-in creates a paper ballot marked by the voter and eliminates “black box” machines. The ballots can be counted by a scanner; that is a vulnerability, but you still have the paper ballots and can do a genuine recount – so cheating in the scanner would be dangerous.

        The old-time (?) political machines used paper ballots counted by people – so that doesn’t altogether prevent cheating, either. There are several possibilities for cheating with mail ballots. Regardless of the technology, you stil have to have a state and county that are willling to run a clean election. That hasn’t been a problem in Oregon, although one lady in the counting process was caught cheating – for Republicans. However, she was caught.

        However, Oregon is a “clean” state; if yours isn’t, YMMV. It comes down to enforcement – but at least it’s possible with

  16. prodigalson

    *Sigh* We’re in the worst pandemic in the last 100 years and the Navy is talking about UFOs. Again. Per Harry Reid and CBS…


    How’s the infection rate on the ships going Navy? Run into another ship again? Significant cost overrun about to go to Congress?

    Also good job pushing this Harry Reid, great priority for visibility. Why don’t you do a live stream at nancy’s house in front of her double freezers. Sounds like she has some free time on her hands. Nothing more important to attend to. Just eatin ice cream.

  17. Roquentin

    That Biden video, it gave me a laughing fit that went on for 5 minutes. Everything about it is unintentionally hilarious. His wife doing the talking for him while he stands around looking confused. That’s where we’re at, this is the candidate liberal America pinned all its hopes on. Maybe I’ve finally arrived at a point where I can take the glorious insanity of US political life straight, with no chaser. The idea that the best possible scenario to emerge from 2020 is that this man is in charge, it’s like we’re living in some kind of screwball comedy. I mostly wonder now how I ever took any of this nonsense seriously, how I gave it some kind of gravitas it didn’t deserve.

    Not only that, I now think Biden winning might be even more of a gut punch to Democrats than 4 more years of Trump. They’re going to get a clobbering no matter how this goes down. God help us all.

    1. Balakirev

      But if Obama campaigns as Biden’s surrogate (and that may pan out, or not), won’t many folks think of the election as a vote for the former?

      (I know it isn’t, of course, but this is the US, where fantasy beats reality every day.)

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Obama told voters he would take it personally if blacks didn’t show up in 2014. The GOP took the Senate in that election. He’s not on the ballot. The dead enders will justify their vote for a senile rapist as maybe Obama is in charge, but they like their GOP counter parts could care less.

    2. Samuel Conner

      One wonders if Dr JB will be helping VP JB somehow during the debates.

      VP JB looks unhappy to me, more than confused. I’m guessing that maybe this video was not made with his full consent, or maybe something is seriously wrong (‘aphasia’ has been suggested, perhaps tongue-in-cheek, or not, in a comment at NC), and VP JB is conscious of that.

      It is a mystifying production.

      1. Aumua

        It could in part be an attempt to portray Biden as being more aligned with women and/or feminism. Tara Reade damage control maybe?

    3. Oregoncharles

      There are two possible, strong reasons for insisting on a mentally disabled (or profoundly lazy) candidate:

      1) You plan to lose.

      2) So someone else, behind the scenes, can run the government, with minimal accountability. EG, Cheney and George II (profoundly lazy).

      Let’s take 2: who would that be, in the Dem party? Does Obama really want another term – it’s real work – or is there someone else? There is the Wilson model, where the Pres’s wife runs things; so what is Dr. Jill all about? But I see no reason to think she has power in the party. Perez? I’m an outsider; anyone here with an informed take on this?

      1. Tom Doak

        Dr. Jill spent eight years as an extra in the Barack and Michelle show. Now Michelle is being strongly promoted as a VP candidate, by her husband himself, and if Joe is incapacitated, then Michelle takes over and Dr. Jill gets kicked to the curb. So she’s got extra reasons to stand by her man.

  18. elissa3

    Biden video. I share your incomprehension, tempered with utter disbelief. Wow, just wow. It now seems clear that they will push him forward if he shows a pulse. And, perhaps, even if he doesn’t. . .

    1. Samuel Conner

      Maybe they’re lowering expectations, so that when, at some future time, VP JB starts speaking again, everyone will be thrilled and that will overshadow the other evidences of decline.

    2. Samuel Conner

      Could this have something to do with #MeToo, JB-style? I think I am noticing more of this lately.

  19. Widowson

    I HAD to purchase some fishing-related ephemera for my social-distancing kayak last week and I discovered something wonderful: I could look up what I was seeking on Amazon, then once I found out who was the originating supplier I simply went to their website and purchased from them directly. It was actually cheaper to buy direct. This surely can’t happen in all cases, but it felt good to use Amazon’s own Qi (petard?) against them. Huzzah.

    1. jo6pac

      I do that a lot and I don’t mine paying few dollars more because at lest the manufacture gets the money.

    2. Keith

      I find Amazon is not the cheapest option quite often. I believe Amazon is not being focused on being cheapest, but being focused on being the most convenient option, capitalizing on people’s inclination to take the path of least resistance. Also why they load so many goodies onto Prime, it is just easy to pay one fee and get a bunch of different stuff with it.

    3. False Solace

      This is also a good way to ensure you get a genuine product as opposed to a knock off. I needed to get a new pet carrier for my cat and ended up going in-person to PetCo where it was way overpriced, vs the risk of buying a counterfeit from Bezos. If doing research there, always check Most Recent reviews and see how many people are complaining about it, because different listings get corrupted day by day. There are also certain things I would never ever buy from Amazon or anywhere else online, like hard drives. Just too many scams.

    4. Stillfeelinthebern

      I always buy direct from manufacturers, I only use Amazon for reviews and it is almost always the same price and often cheaper. Everyone is captured by the 2 words, FREE Shipping. I order my books from Alibris ( if I can’t get them from my public library) which I did on Monday last week and they arrived on Friday.

      I manufacture a product line that is only sold through independent retail stores, we know every single one of our wholesale customers. The listings for our products on Amazon are all way over the market price plus what it costs to ship the item.

    5. Carey

      This works more often than not. #cutoutBezos

      On the downside, in trying to avoid AmaBezos, I’ve often ordered from supposedly
      independent sellers on ebay, only to have the item show up in an Amazon mailer..


  20. Left in Wisconsin

    “Why Americans Don’t Vote Their Class Anymore” [Eric Levitz, New York Magazine]. 
    In my insomnia, I just finished reading Chantal Mouffe’s For a Left Populism which came out in 2018. I think it’s brilliant (though too jargon-y). Her basic argument is that all democratic politics requires a “we” and a “they,” and that successful (“hegemonic”) politics builds a dominant “we.” The neoliberal politics of the past 40 years was successful in doing this but is now failing because the substantive politics of neoliberalism cannot deliver for the masses. So we are now in a populist moment (“conjuncture”) in which the “we” is the masses and the “they” is elites. Centrist politics is unable to address this moment and failing everywhere precisely because it is based on elite consensus – it is not convincing and it offers no substantive solutions to the masses from failed neoliberalism.

    She sees two paths for building a new dominant populist politics: a “national populism” in which upstanding citizens are the “we” and globalist elites along with the usual “others” (undocumented, pathologicals, etc.) are the “they,” and a “left populism” in which the “we” is all anti-oligarchs and the “they” is the oligarchs and their enablers. She is speaking specifically about western Europe but I think the analysis holds for the U.S.

    What I find compelling is it explains the failure of Dem consensus-centrism and why the Repubs have had continued success as they have moved further to the right, which all the political science says should have been disastrous to them. It’s not that people have become more right-wing; it’s that, in a context where neither party offers any real solutions to the masses, the R’s have at least constructed a more believable enemy. Dem consensus politics has a very limited “they:” racists, sexists, neo-Nazi’s, gun nuts, homo- and trans-phobes, anti-science-ers, etc. Neither convincing nor representative of a politics that can address the failures of neoliberalism.

    In terms of class, though, the way forward in not simple. She argues that a straight-forward return to class politics (“extreme left”) is not enough, because class in only one lens by which people see the world and not always the dominant one. (This is consistent with Levitz.) Instead, she calls for a multiple-fronts left pluralist politics, which is distinguished from Dem idpol by who the enemy is – not racists, sexists, and trans-phobes but in all cases the oligarchs and their enablers. So for example, Bernie’s former position on open borders being a Koch-bros idea, not a left idea.

    This strikes as completely consistent with AOC’s observation that she and Biden/Clinton should not really be in the same party. Given the duopoly, I’m not sure what it means for U.S. left politics. (I am quite familiar with both the theory and reality of U.S. party politics but) I would prefer my side to take power sometime in my lifetime. It does mean explicitly identifying global elites as the enemy, which means calling out the Clintons, Biden’s, and Tanden’s. I still think M4All is the most clarifying policy – the only opposition comes from (compromised) elites (and a handful of short-sighted unionists like the Culinary union leadership). But immigration policy remains the banana skin – it is simply not possible to construct a democratic “we” without some idea of citizenship and functional borders.

  21. Lambert Strether Post author

    Cuomo screws Sanders, does the Democrat Establishment a solid:

    “Must be overturned by the DNC.” Lol, that’s why Obama’s bum-boy, Perez, purged all the Sanders supporters from the Rules and Bylaws Committee immediately upon taking power; the RBC is the body that would rule in this case.

    Another kick in the teeth. No point in the task forces now, since the DNC is determined to remove all leverage from the Sanders campaign, including on the platform committee.

    1. Pat

      What happens if Sanders resumes his campaign?

      Just wondering what would happen if the response is screw me, screw you. I mean this is voter disenfranchisement on a scale not seen so far and could justify a break in unity.

    2. marku52

      How could Sanders not know that the DNC would rat f**k him at every possible opportunity? Are his advisors that clueless? I’m rather surprised cause it was pretty obvious at the outset.

      1. Acacia

        Yeah, sorta surprised here, too. The DNC already threw Bernie under the bus once.

        Was his team really thinking “no, this time it’s different”?

  22. Carey

    Johnstone- ‘Narrative Managers Argue China-Like Internet Censorship Is Needed’:


    San Luis Obispo County coronavirus statistics for today:
    As of 4/27/20 at 12:30 p

    169 Confirmed cases
    38 Home
    126 Recovered
    4 Hospitalized (0 in ICU)
    1 Death (total)

    Coronavirus (COVID-19) Cases in San Francisco as of this morning:

    Total Positive Cases: 1302

    Deaths: 21

    updated daily at 9:00 AM

    Washington Post: ‘As beds go unfilled, states scale back Army Corps makeshift hospitals’:

    1. Always forgetting my username

      As someone who’s spent about 20 years on and off living in SLO County, I’m curious as to why its stats are notable in any way?

      SLO is a predominantly white affluent county with very little in common with the vast majority of the country (and consequently, many of its residents think it’s the best place to live on earth).

      1. Carey

        I’m not “affluent”- I work to get money as a landscape laborer. Same with almost all the people I’m around. I’m utterly guilty of having white skin, though; and should
        have had the good sense to request different parents, to better establish my idPol bona fides..

        I post the stats from this region because I know it pretty well, and think they could have some significance to others, possibly against a certain strongly-prevailing narrative, one that sets even more all-against-all; along with the
        acceptance of even more pervasive surveillance; all for our Protection and Security, of course..

        1. flora

          think they could have some significance to others,

          Yep. As someone living halfway across the country from SLO, in the great American flyover, I read your stats with interest. They seem relevant.

        2. Always forgetting my username

          I’ve read this blog near daily since it’s inception (hats off and hat tips to Lambert, Yves et al) and was curious to whether I had missed the initial explanation of why of all places, SLO County daily stats are any more relevant than any other county nationwide. The stats for any one county, especially SLO, seem mighty anecdotal, considering the socio-demographics of the SLO region. If the purpose is to show a small number of cases in a population, perhaps SLO’s case numbers correlate more significantly with the difficulty of securing affordable testing in the region and the SLO County Health Services maximum capacity of 50 tests per day, rather than the reality of a counter-narrative?

        1. Carey

          Question for “Monty”: are you *yet more* sponsored content?

          The links I provided are as factual as can be found. You and your
          ilk seem to prefer ad hominem attacks, anecdotes, and gaslighting.. why is that?

          Your narrative’s breaking down, dude.

          1. CoryP

            I appreciate your mild pushback. I think it strikes the right balance. God forbid I have to go trawling at globalresearch or off guardian which can be painful in their stridency.

      2. Carey

        >SLO is a predominantly white affluent county with very little in common with the vast majority of the country

        Sounds like a resident of SLO proper who’s not up very early in the morning, or who has ever ridden SLO Transit (ooh, icky!) .. just a guess. ;)))

        1. periol

          According to Wikipedia (I know), SLO county was 83.9% white in 2011. Pretty affluent too, compared to most places in California or the US.

    2. Carolinian

      Zowie. The Caitlin a must read.

      “In the great debate of the past two decades about freedom versus control of the network, China was largely right and the United States was largely wrong,” argue the [Atlantic magazine] article’s authors, one of whom is a former Bush administration lawyer. “Significant monitoring and speech control are inevitable components of a mature and flourishing internet, and governments must play a large role in these practices to ensure that the internet is compatible with a society’s norms and values.”

      However I’m less paranoid about this and think the Keystone Kops running the deep state or whatever you want to call it don’t have enough tech savvy or competence to pull off a big brother –even with the threat of covid as their goad. Still it’s pretty disturbing that they think they do.

  23. Oregoncharles

    ” Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Utah and Washington.” – that run “predominantly” or entirely mail-in balloting. So why do studies say it’s neutral? 3 of the 5 are deep blue, and Colorado has moved toward the Dems in precisely the period it was adopting mail ballots.

    Mail-in balloting does increase turnout, though not real dramatically. Just from personal experience, it also encourages thoughtful voting, since there’s no time pressure and you have information at hand. It may matter that Oregon sends out a Voter’s Pamphlet with lots of information in it; don’t know how many states do that.

    1. JustAnotherVolunteer

      The current voters guide is a great read:


      The first 12 pages lay out voters rights and options and the party section covers some fairly wild stuff.

      I love voting by mail – I can gather all my info sources and really work my way through every race – I can even write in canisters for all those judges races with just one option if I don’t like the choice. Doesn’t change the out come but it’s a small show of objection.

      My only bitch with the Oregon system is the default registration as non-partisan which has created a window for the Independent Party which isn’t really what folks think it is when the mark a party at the DMV.

      I do wish the coverage of mail in ballots would distinguish between real Vote-By-Mail and the various broken absentee systems that get used but aren’t really designed for mass voting. A lot of the faults that get called out are weaknesses in the absentee process.

  24. Lynne

    Hoo boy, I hardly know where to start on the Kate Aronoff article, but here goes.

    I don’t think her tweet and headline really match the article.

    First, we have the hat tip to identity politics, with her criticism of the protests against shutdowns, given that she considers it far more important (judging by her placement) to mention that the protestors were “overwhelmingly white” than that they had support from a Koch and the Mercers. I mean, obviously the fact that white people objected must mean that they are just wrong, you know?

    If she wants to be taken seriously, she really needs to stop slobbering over Al Gore and his “calm, authoritative voice presenting slide after slide of dispiriting facts” and her mystified expression of why that might not galvanize anyone to action. I mean, you would think she’s never been to a political rally where people were presented with hope and change as something to rally around, facts be damned.

    Honestly, I have to question this: “The Trump administration’s bungled pandemic response has almost certainly been responsible for tens of thousands of preventable deaths” We know that how? Her saying it doesn’t make it true, any more than saying otherwise makes it false. It is cute, though, that she almost completely absolves people like Andrew Cuomo (limited her criticism of him to a throwaway comment on the unnamed and faceless “governors of California and Washington having responded more ably.”

    She then engages in a bit of her own contempt for the public, saying that “Coronavirus denialism and climate denialism aren’t the product of skeptical masses but disingenuous elites.” Because obviously, the masses would never be skeptical were it not for the rich elites paying them to be so.

    But then, she closes with the money quote that Lambert highlighted, when she says success would “mean calling out and taking on the corporations whose best interests are served by spreading doubt and disinformation—a task the Andrew Cuomos and Angela Merkels of the world have never seemed up to.”

    And THAT, her idea of what it will take, is exactly why she and the Democrats are not up to it. This bit about “calling out” corporations and people is GARBAGE. It takes action, not some tweeting about how terrible other people are with a complete lack of agency or realistic measures. This culture that has grown up — snarky “calling out” and indulging in the shaming of others instead of promoting something positive — is why they won’t win. It’s why they found it so necessary to knock out Bernie — because he was coming up with solutions instead of just saying how stupid and bad the “other” is.

    1. flora

      given that she considers it far more important (judging by her placement) to mention that the protestors were “overwhelmingly white” than that they had support from a Koch and the Mercers.

      Thanks so much for this. It’s as if Americans for Prosperity and ALEC don’t exist as political agents in these things. The politically interested, corporate supported protests (even if not by the protestors’ understanding of how they’re being used for larger interests – frustration is frustration) ‘just happen’ because ‘race’ or something. Sheesh.

    2. Carey

      The “calling out” is to ensure that Nothing Changes. See DrProf Henry Giroux, Judith Butler, the Jacobin™ folks, leftWordiness in general.. odd that the Right doesn’t need all
      the [fancy] words.

  25. tongorad

    Partial opening today in San Antonio, TX.
    For the first time in a long while, I could hear the roar from main road as I took my morning walk around my suburb.

  26. Musicismath

    On Kate Aronoff’s point about not combatting denialism with an equally cargo cultish argument from authority about Science!—fair enough. On the other hand, I’ve got a 73 year old climate change denying uncle who’s moved onto the next phase. According to a recent Facebook post of his, not only is global warming a liberal hoax, but “there is no carbon in the atmosphere.” “Carbon’s a solid,” he reminded us. Aside from the whole atoms versus molecules level of basic misunderstanding about CO2, I’m not sure how we’re going to be able to break the news to him about what “smoke” and “soot” really are.

    So yeah, there’s Science! But there’s also science. A lot of people fall for this stuff because the absolute basics of general-knowledge-level chemistry and physics never went in, for whatever reason. (Or, perhaps, fell out along the way.)

  27. 3.14e-9

    The New Yorker article on Seattle v. NYC response to coronavirus (morning links, quoted again in 2PMWC) gives the false impression that New York wasn’t doing any testing “until it was too late.” The story pertains only to the surveillance program.

    In fact, the NY Health Department as of Feb. 10 had sent 23 samples to CDC, all of which came back negative. However, the state was alarmed by CDC’s malfunction and already by mid-February was developing its own testing protocol at DOH. It was approved by the FDA on Feb.29, clearing the way for the state to ramp up testing. Less than three weeks later, New York was doing more testing per capita than any other country (and more testing obviously meant more confirmed cases).

    It was through in-state testing that New York’s first case was confirmed on March 1. New York State’s first case also was NYC’s first case, since the patient lived in Manhattan (the woman who had been traveling in Iran). As the New Yorker article states upfront, Seattle’s first case was confirmed in mid-January. That blows its entire premise that outbreaks occurred in Seattle and NYC at “roughly the same time,” but that Seattle’s aggressive, scientifically driven action saved the day, while petty bickering between Cuomo and de Blasio cost time and hundreds of lives.

    A few more facts:
    Gov. Inslee closed schools statewide as of March 17 after initially announcing shutdowns in Seattle and surrounding counties. Cuomo ordered schools closed statewide as of March 18. Meanwhile, Inslee didn’t issue a statewide shutdown order until March 23 – the day after Cuomo’s “New York PAUSE” order took effect. Cuomo phased in the shutdown over three days, starting with 50 percent of non-essential workers on March 20.

    I started watching Cuomo’s daily briefings when he announced the shutdown. I also watched Inslee’s stay-at-home briefing, as I lived in the Seattle area for 12 years before moving back to Upstate New York, where I was born and raised. Inslee quoted Walt Whitman and advised parents to enforce social distancing on their kids by threatening to cut them out of the will. Cuomo, meanwhile, quoted his Italian grandfather, who taught his cocky teenage grandsons to weigh the risks and rewards before doing something stupid.

    At every step of the way, Cuomo has presented the science behind his decisions, which also blows the throw-away line at the end of the New Republic article. You’d have to watch his daily briefings over time to know this, rather than relying on secondhand reports – and especially secondhand reports in progressive left media, which have a unique hatred for the guy, like a mutation of TDS or something. I’ve watched his briefings every day since the statewide shutdown and in general find them informative and valuable. Does that mean I think he should be president? F, no! FWIW, I voted for Nixon in the 2018 primary and left gov blank in the general (in Washington, I caucused for Bernie). I just think it would be better to observe objectively how he’s communicating and how he uses power, learn from it, and put it work on our own behalf.

    1. 3.14e-9

      Jessica, I started commenting on NC during Occupy. “One of the 99 percent” being an unwieldy screen name, I calculated and used the mathematical expression. Initially, I think it was something like 3.17e-9, but US population was rising and the fraction kept going down. When it got to 3.14, someone addressed me as nano pi, which I thought was kinda cute and left it at that.

      Until your comment just now, I didn’t make the connection between “one of the 99 percent” and “negative power.” The irony…

  28. Carey

    “Serving” v “Served” is seeming like timely and useful class categorization to me (haven’t read much Marx).

      1. Carey

        I hear you, though the Few are working hard as hell to make the obvious invisible.

        “Wait a minute: why exactly should we serve these useless f™cks?”

  29. Redlife2017

    “Why don’t we just go into Butlerian Jihad mode and take Beff Bezos’s computers away from him. “But we wouldn’t be able to run our complex global supply chain!” Yes, and?” – Lambert

    And this is why I come back. Because I know that I’m not the only one who would welcome a Butlerian Jihad…

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