Links 4/20/2020

A 425-Pound Tiger Living in a Harlem Apartment? Yes, It Happened NYT

How did insects get their colours? Crystal-covered beetle discovery sheds light Conversation

Harry and Meghan tell UK tabloids they will no longer deal with them Guardian. Hmm. Doesn’t seem to be the time for this; are they really that unaware of what’s going on in the world?

Is fungus the answer to climate change? Student who grew a mushroom canoe says yes. NBC News (Dan K)

Pig leads police officers on 45-minute pursuit before capture Fox 5 NY/ BC: “Looks exhausting. I bet all involved will sleep well tonight.”


Why some people don’t wash their hands BBC. Not NC readers, surely.

The four contests that will shape the post-Covid-19 world New Statesman David Miliband

Inside the Troubled Nursing Home Where 70 Died and Body Bags Piled UpNYT. This happened in Andover, a small town next to the one where I grew up.

Patients with heart attacks, strokes and even appendicitis vanish from hospitals WaPo

Is the cruise industry finally out of its depth? Guardian

Automobiles Seeded the Massive Coronavirus Epidemic in New York City Market Urbanism Dan K:  “Valuable insight or data froth? Is the low rate of testing skewing these kinds of analyses? Do Furth’s findings merely reflect preferential factors in testing?

The differences in method and tone between the article and the Harris 2020 paper is kind of striking. Harris comes in with a hypothesis and seeks to demonstrate it in a rambling and somewhat haphazard way; Furth takes large datasets and looks for correlations, finds some and chases them a bit, ends with some hypothesis.

Neither of these is conclusive and contact/movement tracing, Furth is frankly conjectural, but Furth’s correlations and trends are strong enough for followup with more test coverage and carrier/contact tracing.”

Moi: They need to say Ubers – otherwise, people will think they mean regular passenger cars – which some of us who live in the outer boroughs, do keep, especially if we have a schedule that allows us to obey alternate side of the street parking rules.Underying Harris 2020 paper (not yet peer reviewed): THE SUBWAYS SEEDED THE MASSIVE CORONAVIRUS EPIDEMIC IN NEW YORK CITY

NYT Blames Maduro for Healthcare Horror, Downplays US Role FAIR (UserFriendly)

White House orders Maine company to make swabs under Defense Production Act CNN (The Rev Kev)

2bn phones cannot use Google and Apple contact-tracing tech FT. The deck: System developed by Silicon Valley relies on technology missing from older handsets. Oopsie. Consider what Kerala was able to do, maying old-fashioned legwork with some technology.

Political Response

Trump administration, congressional leaders near deal on virus aid that includes major boost for small businesses WaPo UserFriendly: McConnell is the one trying to murder the states.

‘It’s a terrific symbol’: Mnuchin takes credit for adding Trump’s name to coronavirus stimulus checks USA Today (The Rev Kev)

The White House Has Erected A Blockade Stopping States and Hospitals From Getting Coronavirus PPE New York magazine (chuck l)

Coronavirus Advice From Abroad: 7 Lessons America’s Governors Should Not Ignore as They Reopen Their Economies ProPublica (UerFriendly)

Pro-gun activists using Facebook groups to push anti-quarantine protests WaPo

Um No, The COVID-19 Protesters Are NOTHING Like Rosa Parks The MarySue (The Rev Kev)

‘Land of the free!’: Healthcare workers are heckled by anti-lockdown protesters as they stand in front of their cars in Colorado and more demonstrations erupt across the US Daily Mail


Racial toll of virus grows even starker as more data emerges AP

Confusion, seizure, strokes: How COVID-19 may affect the brain AlterNet


Vietnam poised to be big post-pandemic winner Asia Times


Nova Scotia gunman kills at least 16 in shooting rampage Globe and Mail

United Kingdom

Parliament will be meeting virtually for the first time in its history, here’s how it will work Independent

Boris, Covid and The NHS: The Unvarnished Truth BS News (chuck l)

Johnson faces cabinet split on lifting lockdown FT


MSM China Hysteria Gets Way Crazier And Dumber Caitlin Johnstone

Fake news on Trump, China belies White House caution Asia Times (The Rev Kev)


Died of Covid, or died with Covid? As countries raise toll, questions arise about the reported deaths Economic Times

Coronavirus in India: Creative face masks around India India Today. Some of these look a little, how do I say it: ramshackle?

Here is how different states are easing lockdown from today Indian Express


What Happens When More Than 300,000 Prisoners Are Locked Down? Marshall Project

Usual Cruelty it’s simpler than it looksUserFriendly


Coronavirus:where insurers fear to tread Prospect

The Democrats’ COBRA Proposal Is an Insurance Industry Bailout In These Times

Dems’ Health Insurer Bailout Follows Bundled Checks from the Industry’s Lobbyists Sludge (UserFriendly)

Class Warfare


Guillotine Watch

We Needed to Go’: Rich Americans Activate Pandemic Escape Plans Bloomberg

Right to Repair

As Ventilators Become Crucial In Saving Lives, Repair Roadblocks Remain Kaiser Health News


Quarter of Europe’s jobs at risk from coronavirus crisis Politico

Greece: despite a decade of health cuts, coronavirus death rates appear comparatively low Conversation


Facebook and Google have been ordered to pay Aussie media companies for publishing their news, in a world first Business Insider (The Rev Kev)

Sydney beaches reopen as Australian cases fall BBC

Trump Transition

Top Democratic Law Firm Helps Oil Companies Dodge Climate Regulations Sludge (UserFriendly)

Antidote du Jou (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Tom Stone

    The links are wonderful,as usual, thank you Jeri-Lynn!
    As an aside, does anyone know if Harry has considered changing his name to Karen?

    1. The Rev Kev

      LOL. Didn’t see that coming and had a good laugh. Harry isn’t making many friends back in the UK. In a recent interview he said that the Coronavirus is not as bad as the pubic is being told which went down like a lead balloon after so many have died. He is getting criticism for shooting through too when the UK was in its hour of need so I do not think that he will be welcomed back there any time soon-

      1. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

        I noticed from the link that they’re now working with a celebrity management team – who obviously haven’t a clue about who Harry is and what he represents:

        After losing their taxpayer-funded royal office their communications strategy will now be led by the US business Sunshine Sachs, which normally handles film and television stars, with only a single representative based in the UK. This will allow them to adopt image management techniques practiced by modern celebrities, communicating directly with the public through social media and carefully choosing selected outlets.

        1. Pat

          That just continues Meghan’s clueless belief that Royal rules could be followed or discarded without any understanding of the reason for them.

          I do love the grandstanding though.

          1. Monty

            It does cast doubt on the theory that it was the Royals who had Lady Di done in. If they had that in them, surely Megxit would have met with an untimely accident ages ago.

            1. xkeyscored

              Princette Di was actively campaigning against landmines, while the British SAS were training Pol Pot’s forces in making them, something she may have had more knowledge of than most, and may have been about to share. She was due here about a month after her ‘accident’. Even if she knew nothing, MI6 might have decided to ensure she said nothing.

              Meghan doesn’t abide by accepted codes of royal etiquette.

                1. NotTimothyGeithner

                  This is what I thought the conspiracy theory was along with the “people’s princess” aspect. Markle has tried to do the celebrity aspect without the social justice issue, and she’s not the mother of the future monarch.

              1. T

                Princess Di was actively campaigning against land mines after hiring a PR firm to find a signature issue. She died in a car accident, back seat of a Mercedes, that anyone wearing a seat belt would most likely have walked away from. One of the weirdest public responses I have ever seen was the backlash against MADD, which was moving to seatbelts save lives after the success of their drunk driving campaign. MADD used this accident- in which the driver who was behind a steering column at at the point of impact- to try and make a point about who died in that car and why.

                One thing we’ll never know – was she a routine hand-washer?

                1. LifelongLib

                  I’ve also seen criticism of the French emergency services treatment of her. Allegedly in the U.S. she would have been taken to a trauma center immediately, but in France at the time the practice was to treat extensively at the accident scene, a method the U.S. had already abandoned. Her injuries were such that they could only be diagnosed and treated at a hospital.

                  1. posaunist

                    French ambulances have a doctor on board. They are also considerably better equipped than American ambulances. The reason that American ambulance teams are taught to go straight to the nearest ER is that they aren’t able to do much on-site, hence the waste of time driving before treatment.

        2. DorothyT

          Harry and Meghan and libel laws

          About the timing: appears this is a legal maneuver as they attempt to get out front legally before the British tabloids tear them apart regarding their life in the US. I would imagine the crown has a stake in this too and this move would be recommended by their lawyers.

          “English laws are much more favorable for someone looking to protect their reputation,” says Jenny Afia, a lawyer in London who often represents people making libel and privacy claims.

          … In American courts, the burden of proof rests with the person who brings a claim of libel. In British courts, the author or journalist has the burden of proof, and typically loses.

          1. Monty

            There’s also the Official Secrets Act in UK. Very stiff criminal penalties for speaking about things you have been told not to, once you’ve signed it.
            I would be surprised if she wasn’t asked to sign it prior to their first date.

  2. PlutoniumKun

    Coronavirus in India: Creative face masks around India India Today. Some of these look a little, how do I say it: ramshackle?

    There is a video circulating on Chinese social media showing masks being made in what looks like an Indian or Bangladeshi sweatshop – I suspect it was a bit ‘set up’, but it shows, shall we say, some really unpleasantly unhygienic conditions. Its meant as a response to complaints about the quality of Chinese masks and protection and is no doubt deliberate propaganda (with a racial edge), but it does show the need to be very careful with protective products.

  3. Steve H.

    > Greece: despite a decade of health cuts, coronavirus death rates appear comparatively low Conversation

    This WHO document is specific to Greece:

    On a quick glance, Greece seems like a healthy nation overall. The glitch I see is that cardio-respiratory deaths stayed flat & didn’t track with the falling rates for the rest of Europe. There’s a thought that those susceptible to Corona have already gone down, prior to pandemia. But that doesn’t look like a strong explanation. Another source said “More than 90 percent of the victims in Greece so far had underlying health issues and their average age was 72 years, the Health Ministry’s spokesman and infectious diseases professor Sotirios Tsiodras noted.”

    1. Louis Fyne

      supposedly the biggest correlation with severe corona is obesity (even moreso than race).

      so austerity was on to something after all! /sarcasm

      that and like you said, survivorship bias among the local elderly

    2. PlutoniumKun

      The Greeks in general are a very healthy people, but then again, so are the French, Italians and Spanish, and it hasn’t helped them. Given that they have hotter sunnier winters than Italy/Spain, its possible I think that climate may have worked to Greeces advantage so far. Plus they don’t have a good public transport system, so this may have reduced the initial spread.

      There are anomalies all over the world regarding the spread and intensity of outbreaks. I think it remains to be seen whether some countries, for whatever reason, are to an extent ‘immune’ to the disease, or whether they are just slower to develop – I think it will not be until well into next winter until the data is clearer.

      1. KidPsych

        I’m not so sure about a blanket statement testifying to the overall health of nations like Italy. That might have been true decades ago, but very much untrue today. Type 2 diabetes and obesity have been rising across the world due in large part to the increasing dependence on highly processed, sugar-laden foods. Aging, obese, diabetic populations are quite obviously the target of this virus.

      2. HotFlash

        I have not seen all the data together, but I keep noting a correlation betw low intensity and countries which vaccinate against TB (BCG). Here is a chart from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, an agency of the European Union, of which countries vaccinate in the EU — eg, Greece does, Italy does not, France does but *only* for ‘high-risk’ children. I did an eyeball of the countries that have mandatory BCG vaccination on the 91-Divoc visualization and they all seem in the low quarter for infection and spread. Not proof, but certainly merits further study.

    3. Lefteris

      First of all a disclaimer, I’m Greek and i’m living in Greece. Also the current government is not my cup of tea. Having said these, IMHO, the first positive step that the government took, was to get out of the way of the scientists.

      Everyday we see scientists, not politicians, presenting facts and measures. Also the government took measures very early. In interviews of politicians of the ruling party that i’ve seen, they talked about intense internal arguments concerning “overreacting” by taking early measures. In the end, due to the weak state of the national health system they’ve decided to act early, which was a prudent decision.

      Due to the exponential nature of epidemics, the basic way that calculations work is by multiplying numbers together and not summing numbers together. This means that if an epidemic doubles every day, to calculate the final number after N days you would do 2*2*2*2*2*2….N times. If one acts early by a single day and “erases” a single 2 of above train of numbers, the final result will halve. The real calculation would be a lot more complex that what i’ve presented but the gist of the exponentiating behavior would remain.

      1. Ignacio

        Yep. If you are fast, overreaction and if you were slow as in Spain, irresponsible. No way to have good reaction I guess.

  4. prodigalson

    Pet Caitlin Johnstone, the bi-partisan shift to ChinaChinaChina is pretty strong on MSNBC. I’m a little curious what the end game to this new “yellow peril” is supposed to be. Are we going to send a strongly worded memo to Beijing? Denouncements at the UN?

    Do our elites even know or is it just a “blame these other people and pay no attention to how US institutions are failing miserably when it counts” type of move.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      I honestly don’t thing those people think much beyond ‘this went down well with a focus group, lets try it’. At least some of the Republicans genuinely believe that China is an existential threat and are using this for their own purposes, I think the mainstream Democrats literally don’t understand the wider implications and don’t care. They are all tactics, no strategy.

      I also wonder if it ever occurs to them that other countries (including of course China), pays attention to what is being said, and takes it seriously. These things matter geopolitically, they have serious repercussions. Plus of course, it has serious implications for Asian Americans, this is provoking racial conflict – for all their ‘woke’ politics, the Dems have no problems with playing around with Yellow Peril tropes.

      Years back I read a history of Japanese politics which argued that a major driver for the war party within Japan in the 1920’s and 1930’s was US schools policy for Asian Americans. California had racial exclusion policies against ethnic Asians. The State Department at the time pleaded with Congress to outlaw this, but was ignored – the State Department was aware that news of these policies was being circulated widely in Asia by militarists in Japan as part of an argument that the US would never accept Asians as equals – the implication being that only a strong militaristic Japanese government could ‘save’ the Asian race. Moderates in Japan really had no answer to this. We know the result of that. US domestic policy matters, even at an international level.

      1. The Rev Kev

        If you go digging into the back issues of “Life” magazine, you will find an article that appeared in a 1942 issue on how to tell the difference between a Japanese person and a Chinese person with helpful pictures. That way, readers would not unintentionally beat up a Chinese guy when they thought it was a Japanese guy. By the sounds of this Caitlin Johnstone article, perhaps they should sometime soon reprint that article so that readers will not unintentionally beat up a Japanese guy while thinking it was a Chinese guy.

          1. Olga

            An Indian friend almost got beat up (a very close encounter) during the Iranian hostage crisis – on account of his darker/exotic look. So re-printing that Life mag article would be a definite public service act (\sarcasm, of course). One can never underestimate stupidity of some people… though to be fair, given the amount of anti-China vitriol, they can hardly be blamed. And all this… and we are just at the opening act!
            (“At least some of the Republicans genuinely believe that China is an existential threat…” – understatement it is. Pentagon has officially declared China an existential threat in its latest military doctrine, so not just a matter of few repubs, but official policy.)

            1. Oregoncharles

              China is now indisputably a great power – arguably more so than Russia, which is much smaller – and therefore a “threat” to American power and privilege in the world. As well as conceivably to the Dollar’s international reserve status.

              That’s what they mean, and they’re perfectly correct.

              1. Lambert Strether

                RussiaRussiaRussia was really ginned up by the Democrats + their media assets + the intelligence community + warmongering think tanks. I think even they must have been amazed at. how powerful lingering Cold War reflexes were; it’s almost as the operation were a medical experiment performed on a segment of the voters (and a phenomenally profitable one for the press).

                In my view, ChinaChinaChina was not ginned up; it’s not an operation; the shift to it was much slower and much more organic across elite opinion. Great power conflict won’t go away if we wish it; not even if we became an autarky tomorrow. But if I had any sense that Democrats would handle it any better than Republicans, listening to those lunatics on Ukraine during the impeachment farce would have put them to rest.

                Of course, the savage irony is that the same political class that moved our manufacturing to China is now panicking because China is strong.

      2. MLTPB

        I believe Chinese and Chinese Americans were not allowed to own properties, perhaps even Filipinos were not eirher, but Japsnese and/or Japanese Americans were, partly or wholly due to diplomatic considerations (a rising Japan).

        When the war came, many lost their properties. Usually that part is included in school history textbooks. The recent dual citizenship controversy reminded me some of that. And I commented so, at that time.

      3. Phacops

        Focus group or not, do these people actually realize how precarious our supply of medical supplies, drugs, and devices are vis a vis the china supply chain?

        Without a coherent industrial and economic policy, rebuilding our capabilities in our political climate and financialized economy will require great effort that I cannot envision our society being capable of. If I remember correctly, Abbott shut down their synthesis operation in Waukegan, Il, and just replicating an operation like that has a very large up-front cost with the risk that china will merely flood our market with cheap (sometimes adulterated) drug product.

    2. Pat

      My personal belief is that rules 1, 2 and 3 in the Liberal media and political playbooks are versions of “Look at the monkey”, so I would always bet on distraction being the motive.
      However I would not discount justification for moving manufacturing to even cheaper locales (certainly not back to America) as an added incentive for the owners of the media and political class.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        They were pretty quiet about the anti-China efforts through the Obama Administration, his pivot to the Pacific and trying to knock out end points for the New Silk Road (Eastern Europe, Turkey, and Syria).

        What are these people (Trump and Biden) run on? What are their accomplishments and weaknesses? Where are votes? What states matter? Why does Trump care if everyone in Massachusetts or Brooklyn dies? Perhaps this is a high number, but:

        Reagan is treated with honor and dignity despite being a mass murderer. This is just AIDs. Republicans didn’t give a damn then, and they won’t now.

        Team Blue tried the immigrant detainees and then kind of stopped when they started posting pictures from before 2017 to show the horror of the Trump Administration. Then they offered to build a wall that was 4 inches shorter, a Friedman measure of distance if you will. The Resistance!

        Between 2000 and 2016, even Team Blue types have learned about the electoral college, so their message will reflect this. Trade is about the only thing that Trump got around to that wasn’t matter of course (such as increasing MIC funding). What is going to be the message in the Midwest and swing voters? Things like “right to repair” and so forth will be played on without actually going after Sacred Cows. Buckle in and be ready as Rev Kev warns because we are going to get PSAs about the good one and the CPC ones.

        1. Pat

          Thank you for pointing out that most of the Covid hot spots are places where Trump is already weak. This is one reason that I have discounted the argument that his response will mean a slam dunk for the Dems. Unless and until your five states from another post start seeing massive Covid infections and deaths, that isn’t going to happen.
          And you are right that globalization masquerading as trade will be a big one. I would not be surprised to see ads being run that show shut down and disintegrating factories with a narration that if those NY Wall Street guys hadn’t shut them down and moved jobs to CHINA to line their pockets they might not have had to go to hospitals without masks and protective gear, or might not have needed to go at all. (Probably with a few shots of Cuomo begging for PPEs.)

          1. Lambert Strether

            > Thank you for pointing out that most of the Covid hot spots are places where Trump is already weak.

            The hot spots began with Clinton’s “optimistic, diverse, dynamic, moving forward” places (products of globalization; globalizers as vectors), the Acela Corridor being one such. If the consequences for non-elites and the rest of the country were not so horrific, I could be tempted into Schadenfreude that the political class that ignored the opioid epidemic and falling life expectancy in flyover is bellowing in pain and fear now that they are affected (as well as their loyal servants in the groceries and delivery services, for whom they are suddenly evincing much fellow feeling).

            Meanwhile, the focus shifts to idiotic governors and gunhumpers in Red States, who, for all their faults, were not Patient Zero, or anything near it. It’s all nauseating.

            1. Clive

              Yes, same in the U.K. and I too am getting heartily sick of it.

              The bourgeoisie on the left berating Johnson for saying let’s not descend into narrow national self-interest autarky being berated by the right (there’s a particularly vomit-inducing piece in the Telegraph today which I won’t honour by even linking to, everyone can take my word for it) who only the other day were telling me that globalisation is unequivocally Really Great but now over my breakfast howling “why is the U.K. still (clutches pearls) exporting PPE to the EU?” which the aforementioned bourgeois left had previously wailed in protest at the notion of any “threat” to the Great Supply Chain (Bringer of Eternal Life) being created now it (the left) is taking to its fainting couch to over “lack of national resilience” for things like testing capacity and not closing borders sooner to stop those plague-ridden foreigners from getting in and killing everyone with their dangerous and despicable Spanish Customs (sorry, Ignacio, no offence meant).

              I could go in, but I’m sure the gist of this nonsensical parade of circular cognitive dissonance is fairly clear.

              Given the circumstances, I propose a solution. A National Priors Amnesty Day. Here, everyone could be perfectly entitled to recount that awkward, annoying prior position on a matter and no-one, on pain of having to sit down with Donald Trump for a beer, could say in response “ha ha ha, told you so”.

              Think how much easier it would all be, if we all could, ideologically speaking, be born again and not have to haul around with us that pesky collection of former red lines?

    3. NotTimothyGeithner

      It’s an election season, and from Trump’s candidacy perspective, two things happened: he did work on a new trade deal, and the Democrats tried to remove him from office for being a foreign agent of Russia (the actual impeachment issues barely matter. Putting Schiff in charge meant the Democrats really want to do this traitor thing.).

      Everything is already made in China. How did that happen? This is a problem for Biden given his history. Knowing Democratic strategerists, Biden’s team is trying to get out ahead of this. With the electoral college, we are getting what they believe matters in the the electorally relevant states. To a certain extent, Team Blue knows what at is coming out of the GOP now led by Trump, so they are trying to get ahead of Biden’s weaknesses in rust belt states.

      I don’t disagree about the US FP desire to bungle about trying to disrupt the Moscow/Beijing axis, but the current rhetoric is being driven by the election during the midst of dozens of 9/11 style death tolls (9/11 is short hand for a major terrorist attack that resulted in over 3000 deaths. At the time, it seemed like a high death toll) where both nominees have had a hand in the destruction.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Given Biden’s hideous record, this will be the election. All day. Every day.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Sorry for the replies.

          The other issue in the rust belt or any community devastated by trade is there are two free media items out there: the ruins of old factories and “made in china” (really anywhere given American’s sense of geography). Hillary was just the First Lady during the 90’s, and her Senate career was during the post 9/11 days, so I think she avoided much of the mess. Biden on the other hand can’t have his role denied.

          1. Jim Henely

            If Biden is the eventual DNC candidate, and I have serious doubts that he will be, that will be a clear indication that the power brokers/funders have acquiesced to a second Trump term. They have kept Joe under virtual house arrest for an extended period, and the few brief glimpses of Candidate Joe that the public has been allowed to witness have been utter disasters. The most recent one with Anderson Cooper taken by itself is enough of a disqualification. I know the American Public is now completely distracted by the COVID pandemic and the unfolding financial meltdown, but Biden can’t conduct a campaign for the presidency when his ability to utter a complete sentence has been short-circuited. In his own words: “Come on, man.”

        2. neo-realist

          You mean higher than necessary covid-19 infection rates and death due to a President in over his head, mass unemployment, hunger, too few checks to the unemployed, and not enough PPE supplies going out to health care workers in the states, and a President who nonsensically babbles in press conferences won’t be part of the election???

          If covid-19 is still infecting and killing people near the election and the corporate media is still covering it, it’s going to be Trump’s albatross. It is an issue that people who don’t pay attention to politics, yet have family and friends who have been impacted by covid-19 in infection, or death, or unemployment with too few checks and not enough affordable health care that the average voter will be focused on with laser attention.

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            And this would be different from other Republicans? Lets be real about Republicans, they’ve been bad, but the people hardest hit today have been who likely Democratic voters, the urban poor.

            Maybe it will, but the infrastructure problems didn’t start in January 2017. Democrats also made promises and are now running the guy, who is also a babbling dimwit, who worked to create these conditions.

            Maybe not anyone else due to Corvid, but like Hillary the Democrats opted for a person who can lose. Yes, the GOP is going to come after him on China. Getting Biden to drop out is a priority because the election is too important to risk on him.

            Then there is of course the organizing efforts which aren’t being done or are going to be done for Biden.

            Pandemics, shortages, “made in china” and so forth have all been part of the conversation. Trump has one weapon which is the Team Blue “OMG Russia” pandemic combined with Trump’s high profile efforts for new trade deals relative to the Obama Administration and Joe Biden’s own efforts.

            1. lordkoos

              If the Democrats fail to replace Joe Biden with a better candidate (admittedly a low bar), then my theory that Dems don’t actually care about winning will be proven, at least to my own satisfaction.

          2. Big River Bandido

            If you are predicting a Democrat tsunami at the polls in November, I think that is daft. Turnout alone will be disastrous for Democrats, and that’s just looking at the underlying fundamentals of the race. Turnout in the 1916 election was a normal-to-low 52%. In 1918 during the pandemic, turnout plummeted to 40%. This was the same year Woodrow Wilson campaigned to make the election a referendum on the two parties. Democrats lost both houses of Congress that year. This year’s Democrats have even *less* to vote for.

            Then there’s the simple power of incumbency. Holding the office is a powerful position to be in — any President who chooses to use it has unfettered control of the mechanics of at least his own party. That power also gives an incumbent President considerable advantage in the general election…you could best describe it as “the devil you know” argument.

            There is no “devil” the Democrats can put up this year who will change the default setting that favors the incumbent. Sure, his response to this pandemic has been all wrong. But the “out party” cannot turn him out without demonstrating clearly superior leadership. The thought that Biden, or Cuomo, or *any* available Democrat might provide that kind of leadership nearly made me spit coffee all over my computer screen.

            Finally, after 4 years of RussiaRussiaRussia, we circle back to the same 5 problems that lost the election for the Democrats four years ago: WI, MI, OH, PA, and IA. And I’ll throw in a sixth: MN, which HRC almost lost and which has been trending Republican. There are no indications that Democrats have made any inroads at all in those states since last time. If anything, they have lost ground — Biden, or some other corporatist whore (substitute just about any name with a D after it) will face the same structural problems HRC faced, only worse.

            This election ended with the Night of the Long Knives. Trump in a walk.

            1. The Rev Kev

              Don’t forget that there will be a lot of Democrat voters that will be unable to vote come November. And why? Because they died as they caught Coronavirus while voting during the Primaries or were infected by someone who had. It remains to be seen if those voters will be missed.

              1. NotTimothyGeithner

                Renters. Disease aside, you can bet the GOP is going to go after the registration of voters in the absence of a rent freeze. With movement from dislocation…yikes…I wouldn’t be surprised if the GOP rolls out a fairly generous one off, no strings program after dislocation.

                  1. NotTimothyGeithner

                    I think Team Blue invested emotionally back in the 00’s in divides between Red and Blue states and never realized that something like $80k in Montana is radically different than say $100k in Massachusetts. I think they’ve created a narrative in their minds that their voters because of these kinds of discrepancies are better able to handle the economic calamity.

                    The money that poured in as a result of the expectation of sure wins altered their perceptions, and I expect they don’t grasp how bad this is going to be and how they will not have unlimited cash to run ads and spend on the courtier class.

            2. Sy Krass

              I don’t necessarily disagree but look at what happened in Wisconsin, many here at NC underestimate how truly hated Trump is…

            3. Lambert Strether

              > If you are predicting a Democrat tsunami at the polls in November, I think that is daft. Turnout alone will be disastrous for Democrats, and that’s just looking at the underlying fundamentals of the race.

              I want to lean against this thesis a bit. In the 2018 primaries, as readers know, I followed the Democrat Primaries in detail, and while I did show the left was weak, I did not think the Democrat Establishment would do well, with all the Blue Dogs and CIA Democrats, simply because their pitch was so awful. I missed what Rachel Bitecofer points out, correctly, as a force: Hate. Democrat loyalist hate for Trump gave the Democrats good midterm results (not out of band for a midterm, but not bad). The same hate worked on Biden’s behalf too in the primary (“electability” being code for that, I think). Hate for Trump will work on Biden’s behalf in the general, too. This is a new phenomenon, I think, very much akin to the thought bubble that formed around conservatives in the Bush years; now — especially with RussiaGate — Democrat loyalists have encased themselves in the same sort of thought bubble (“Oh, you must love Trump”). The force of hate is the imponderable. Hate is fun, too. You get to say mean things about bad people and get love-bombed for it.

  5. PlutoniumKun

    Vietnam poised to be big post-pandemic winner Asia Times

    Vietnam was already winning the Sino-US trade war (if you call becoming the worlds sweatshop ‘winning’) – there have been floods of companies relocating from China to northern Vietnam. But it looks like it will win out both economically and politically if it can keep Covid under control (there are constant outbreaks, but so far they’ve been very ruthless in stopping it get a hold).

    The other very big winner seems to be Taiwan. Their trade figures today are amazingly good – they are actually growing exports – a complete contrast to HK which is nose-diving. It seems like a lot of business has already transferred there away from China and possibly HK.

    I think we are seeing a significant realignment of power in Asia. South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore and Vietnam are net beneficiaries in terms of both relative economic damage, but perhaps most importantly self confidence and prestige/soft power. All more or less at the expense of China, HK and Japan.

    1. timbers

      The guy who did the tile floor in my second bathroom a few months ago is Vietnamese. He was talking about real estate in Vietnam, more specifically South Vietnam. Buy a home there now while you still can, he said. Says it will skyrocket. Climate like Florida, said he, and cooled by the ocean to some extent. He added an American can get a good wife there, too!

      If I were younger and less settled, I’d consider it.

      1. PlutoniumKun

        Prices have already rocketed, the economy has been doing very well for a few years now. I’ve a Vietnamese Irish friend here who’s father in HCM is cashing in a family home – as her grandfather was an esteemed war veteran (for the winning side) their family was allowed to keep their property after the fall of Saigon. My friend is urging me to move to Vietnam if I want to retire early, she assures me I’ll make big money teaching English, with ‘side benefits’ (her words, not mine).

        Vietnam is definitely a beautiful country, although a bit ‘full on’ in all respects. Also, the pollution levels are rocketing with wealth and its new rich match the rich Chinese for unpleasantness. Its basically China from 20 years ago but with a nicer climate. Like the Koreans, the more they suffered, the tougher they got as a country.

        Although one curiosity I have about the Vietnamese is that despite the countries growth and they pride they have in their country, they are very open about wanting to get out – its not a representative example I know, but every Vietnamese I’ve ever met has been absolutely open about wanting to get a US/European/Australian/NZ passport for themselves or family members, and they didn’t particularly care about how they got it. I guess that in a country like that you always want a fall back option.

        1. The Rev Kev

          ‘Side benefits’? I am sure that what she meant was what was referred to in the old British Empire as a “Horizontal dictionary.”

          But it appears to be a beautiful country. There is a celebrity chef here in Oz who was born in Vietnam but whose family fled in the 70s. He has done trips to Vietnam and filmed the country, the people and the foods in TV series and it looks fascinating.

          1. PlutoniumKun

            The food is amazing. Not just in ‘nice’ places, you’ll get food in roadside stalls you’ll be dreaming about months later. I’ve cycled around a lot of Vietnam and the only bad meals I’ve had were in hotels for foreigners (knowing the Vietnamese, thats quite deliberate). As it happens, my Vietnamese friend is a trained chef. Probably my biggest personal loss due to Covid is that her mother was going to visit for a month and she was going to stay for a while in my spare room (my friend is in a shared flat), and promised she would cook for me. I’m crushed at the loss of the home cooked Vietnamese meals I was thinking I’d get for free.

            1. vlade

              A Vietnamese friend owned a restaurant in London. It was some of the best food I ever had. When he invited me and a bunch of other guys there, the place was so busy people were queing outside waiting for a table – and the place was there less than a year.

              But then say CZ has a large Vietnamese minority (Vietnamese came to the former CSSR for work and study a lot). They are hard working lot, but mostly run convenience stores. When I asked my CZ Vietnamese friend why, she told me that they do wha is profitable, and Czech would not eat Vietnamese food.

              Beats me why. Although in all fairness it’s changing, and in the last few years Vietnamese food became very popular.

              1. PlutoniumKun

                In Ireland the wave of Vietnamese refugees in the late 70’s (they really drew the short straw being sent to Ireland in that economically grim period) all opened Chinese takeaways, as they reasoned that Irish people knew what Chinese food was, but would be suspicious about Vietnamese food. I didn’t realise until I’d been to Vietnam that most Irish small town Chinese takeaways actually had Vietnamese names, something like ‘Binh An Chinese takeout’.

                Ironically, once the profits from Chinese food went down, Chinese restauranteurs started calling their takeouts ‘Thai’. Then there was a wave of eastern Chinese restauranteurs who decided that Korean food was more fashionable (eastern Chinese food being quite similar to Korean), so they opened Korean places (or at least called them Korean, the food is really hybrid). Then Koreans came and opened Japanese restaurants because they realised they could charge more selling sushi than soondooboo. Its all very confusing.

        2. Billy

          Both of you are wrong. If you can handle the weather, North Korea is the place to buy really cheap property the second it opens up. You think the Vietnamese are tough? Ha!

          Now that Red China is being dissed, Vietnam is about to replace it as our Number One Rising Sun, I predict that the next cheap slave pit to be exploited by the globalists will be Burma.
          Oops, I forgot for a moment, globalism is dead!
          Long live independent nation states like Vietnam and hopefully, soon to be Free China,
          nah, that sounds like a dish giveaway at a gas station, how about NewChina?, and a unified Korea.

          How abouts we all forgo paying taxes to the decayed, inefficient and corporate co-opted federal government and instead send them to our home state governments?

        3. lordkoos

          People in many less-developed countries want to leave for places where they perceive there is more opportunity, that would not be unique to Vietnam.

    2. Winston Smith

      My concern with Vietnam would be climate change. The food producing regions are being threatened with the invasion of salt water from rising sea levels. My son worked and lived there for a summer and loved it. He is hopefully going back at some point (COVID permitting) to teach english as he won a Fulbright for that purpose.

      1. PlutoniumKun

        The combination of rising sea levels and the upstream damming of the Mekong by the Chinese will likely be devastating for the Delta, which is the food bowl for Vietnam and plenty of other places. The Vietnamese aren’t innocent – they do a lot of dredging of the Mekong rivers for aggregate (construction sands and gravels) which exacerbates the erosion. But its certainly very bad news for the whole region.

      2. Synoia

        Here are the key words to have in Vietnam:

        Ya Em.
        An u Em u lam.

        Other versions exist, for example in English:

        Yes Dear.

    3. Monty

      The joke is on the Rust Belt Trump voters (as usual). US will use it’s clout, not to help them, but to get the manufacturing moved out of China and into Vietnam a.k.a. “Cheaper China”. I expect the Chinese billionaires who own huge swathes of Vietnam’s land and industry will be crying into their checkbooks every night. Meanwhile, does anyone know if you can drink the water in Flint, MI?

      1. Olga

        Population of Vietnam – about 97 million; population of Taiwan – about 23 million- neither country can replace China. Some manufacturing can move there, but neither has the depth of manufacturing capacity.

      2. Bsoder

        You can’t and live (a few spots ok) But ‘promises’ have been made. Promises to sue people, the state, the feds, & the ex-governor. None of which I’ll lead to a drop of water. It isn’t just the water, it’s the whole infrastructure. Was there ever a time in this country where you could get something done?

    4. Lambert Strether

      > Vietnam was already winning

      The Vietnamese, being victors against two empires far more powerful then they, and still being nominally socialist, don’t crap around.

      One of the reasons I’m not an isolationist is that I have affection for Southeast Asian countries and cultures. I would like them to be in the position to play great powers off against each other, instead of becoming Chinese satrapies. Not entirely rational, I admit.

      1. PlutoniumKun

        Strictly speaking, they’ve seen off three empires (none of the three admit to having been empires of course).

        For whatever reason, the SE Asian cultures were never as good at playing powers off against each other as the Central Asian powers – probably a matter of geography. The Cambodians have a consistent record of trying to use the Chinese as leverage against the Vietnamese, and losing out as a result. And the Vietnamese play their own mini empire games against the Lao and Cambodians, who both seem destined to be squeezed between their larger neighbours.

        But it is rational to think that its good for SE Asia to have a number of fairly equal big powers all jostling for position in the neighbourhood, but without one being able to completely dominate. This is one reason why the Vietnamese don’t hold many grudges against the US – its useful for them to have someone to distract the Chinese and Japanese from their traditional power games. Plus the Vietnamese have a particular loathing for the Koreans due to the activities of the Koreans as the US’s particularly enthusiastic ally during the American War, as they call it.

  6. Carla

    “Coronavirus-driven CO2 shortage threatens US food and water supply, officials say”

    Classic neoliberalism: manufacturing an essential product (CO2) is a byproduct of making a product dreamt up by market forces (ethanol). Market no longer needs fake product; essential product goes bye-bye.

    Will Trump use the Defense Production Act for CO2, or tell cities and counties to find their own? Stay tuned.

    1. Samuel Conner

      This is a hint in the direction of nightmare scenarios that lurk on the periphery of my attention. I had been wondering if essential infrastructure like “water treatment” might be affected. It’s an example of an unintended consequence that is exacerbated by unanticipated events. I’m guessing we can anticipate more of this kind; specifics will emerge as they emerge. And markets will not suffice to address the problems.

      1. Carla

        “And markets will not suffice to address the problems.”

        As any poor person knows full well. This will come as a shock only to the comfortable, who run everything.

        1. Massinissa

          Back in my high school senior year of high school in 2010-11, my literature teacher was addicted to diet coke. She drank a twelve pack of cans of diet coke a week… just at school. She drank at least the same amount of cans of the stuff at home. That’s two twelve packs of diet coke cans a week, minimum. It may have been higher. At minimum that’s three cans of the stuff a day.

          If that isn’t a full blown addiction I don’t know what is.

          1. Billy

            See Steve Jobs body after drinking a six pack a day of the toxin.
            Probably why he died young.

            1. Carolinian

              Caffeine poisoning?

              Personally I can’t stand artificial sweeteners which have a weird aftertaste.

              1. Anonymous

                Caffeine poisoning?

                Have been drinking ~10 cups/day of black coffee for the last 35 years.

                So far so good.

          2. Yves Smith

            I used to drink a ton of the stuff.

            The problem is the aspartame, and to a lesser degree, the caramel color.

            Tab honestly was better despite the God-awful taste. Generations of diabetics have used saccharine. If there was anything really bad about it we’d know by now.

            Some other diet sodas use sucralose, which is the mirror image of sugar. I think it’s in the “not terrible” category. Stevia is a preferred sweetner (natural, intensely sweet so you use a tiny amount) but I assume pricey since not picked up by big beverage cos.

            1. Basil Pesto

              coke has released a stevia sweetened version of the drink in Australia. At least, they did – not sure if it’s still
              available as I don’t really like the Stevia taste, so never keep an eye out for it. I assume they were trialling it in the Australian market to see if it’s viable for wider release. Their no-sugar range is a bit byzantine here, there’s diet coke, coke no-sugar (replacing coke zero iirc), aforementioned stevia coke and also a range of fruit-flavoured cokes (peach, raspberry etc) which use sugar and non-sugar sweetener (can’t remember if it’s stevia or something else)

            2. PlutoniumKun

              The evidence that aspartane really isn’t a good product is growing. – From a 2017 review abstract:

              Aspartame is a synthetic dipeptide artificial sweetener, frequently used in foods, medications, and beverages, notably carbonated and powdered soft drinks. Since 1981, when aspartame was first approved by the US Food and Drug Administration, researchers have debated both its recommended safe dosage (40 mg/kg/d) and its general safety to organ systems. This review examines papers published between 2000 and 2016 on both the safe dosage and higher-than-recommended dosages and presents a concise synthesis of current trends. Data on the safe aspartame dosage are controversial, and the literature suggests there are potential side effects associated with aspartame consumption. Since aspartame consumption is on the rise, the safety of this sweetener should be revisited. Most of the literature available on the safety of aspartame is included in this review. Safety studies are based primarily on animal models, as data from human studies are limited. The existing animal studies and the limited human studies suggest that aspartame and its metabolites, whether consumed in quantities significantly higher than the recommended safe dosage or within recommended safe levels, may disrupt the oxidant/antioxidant balance, induce oxidative stress, and damage cell membrane integrity, potentially affecting a variety of cells and tissues and causing a deregulation of cellular function, ultimately leading to systemic inflammation.

              I’ve also heard that it disrupts the gut biome in quite a serious way, although I can’t find the original papers right now.

              1. Yves Smith

                Yes, it was the most controversial FDA approval in its day and possibly ever, and after approval got a lot of complaints.

                I probably got by better than most because I eat more dietary supplements than food, and back then even more than now, tons of antioxidants.

    2. ewmayer

      Perhaps one of the major remaining technologies involving mass-scale CO2 separation could be repurposed to produce some food-grade CO2? says:

      “The basic process for capturing CO2 from gas streams was invented in the 1930s. The first installation on an industrial boiler started up in 1978 in Trona, California. In Saskatchewan, Canada, the first commercial scale operation at a power plant (a coal-burning plant that generates 110 megawatts and emits more than 1 million tons of CO2 per year) started in October 2014 and, its operators say, is “exceeding expectations.”

      In the US, there are CO2 pipeline networks with more than 4,000 miles of pipe. These pipelines were built primarily to bring CO2 from natural occurring wells to oil fields. In a practice known as enhanced oil recovery (EOR), CO2 gas is pumped into existing wells to force the release of more oil. About 50 million tons of CO2 per year are transported this way.

      Injection of CO2 and other gases into geological formations has been practiced for many years. As early as 1915, natural gas was stored underground. The first EOR operation injecting CO2 started in 1972. Acid gases (including CO2) have been stored in geologic formations since 1989, primarily in Canada. Several CCS demonstration projects, starting with Norway’s Sleipner in the North Sea in 1996, store CO2 at the million-ton-per-year scale.”

  7. Antoine LeBear

    Beware, the David Milliband article is vomit-inducing, I could not reach the end: downplaying the effects of global food chains in producing this kind of viruses, mocking community-supported agriculture supporters, totally ignoring the effect of sanctions on Iran. Mostly a let’s return to the status quo you morons rant dressed in an elite-knows-best patriarchal tone.

    1. Janie

      San Rafael, Reno’s largest city park, has the solution: toilet stalls only in men’s and women’s sections with a large half-circle fountain for hand washing in the public area by exits from toilet areas. Almost everybody uses it. Andrew Weil’s restaurant in Orange County also did this. Social pressure works really well.

    1. Cuibono

      Exercise is good for eveything. But from thst article:”which affects between 3% and 17% of all patients with COVID-19″. An order of magnitude too high imo.

  8. John Beech

    MSNBC has become unwatchable for this Republican turned Democrat turned Republican again. Worse, I agree the folks who want to drive a wedge between us and China are watching. This will come back to bite us in the hind end. One thing I believe cannot come soon is enough is for freedom of the press to come with a responsibility. Like the clergy have the ‘confessional’, and physicians have ‘do no harm’, and certified financial advisors have the ‘fiduciary’ rule, I think journalists will need to have a ‘facts without opinion’ rule. I cannot begin to express the disdain and distress I feel for a 20-somehting journalist with virtually zero life experience to lecture me about his/her opinion regarding the President, the Speaker of the House, or why Citibank is doing something.

    1. neplusultra

      The fact that you can go from Republican to Democrat to Republican so quickly really drives home the point that they’re really just the same party with a few minor social issue differences. Also, the 20-something journalist probably doesn’t have anything to say but I think it’s well past time for anyone over the age of 50 to just take a backseat and get the f out of the way. Boomers have destroyed this planet and handed over control of the entire economic system to the 1% so their precious 401k’s and properties could go up a couple of basis points in value. Everything comes back to class but there is an increasing sentiment among the younger generation that we are in a generational war and if things get bad enough I think it may turn ugly. Also why there is a contingent that don’t really care about catching the virus as a sizable portion of older trump/biden voters will be the ones checking out

      1. furies

        That’s a very broad brush you paint with there…

        This boomer has lived her entire adult life by the motto: “Live Simply, so Others Can Simply Live”

        and I’m paying for it now in my old age.

      2. The Historian

        Oh, MY! It’s always someone else’s fault, isn’t it? But might I remind you that millennials could have come out in droves and saved Sander’s campaign and perhaps started moving this country in the right direction – but they didn’t, did they? Oh, I know, a few millennials came out, but not the whole class, and since you want to blame boomers as a whole class, why doesn’t that apply to millennials as a whole class also?

        And may I remind you, it is boomers also that did not see any great strides in their income since 1970?

        And wanting older people to die – how humane of you – eugenics always rears its ugly head during times of stress, doesn’t it? Sorry, but your comments sounds EXACTLY like what you are accusing the boomers of. People should die so that YOU can improve your economic conditions.

        Divide and conquer works really well on people who don’t think. Perhaps you should remember who the real enemy is and quit being distracted by their propaganda.

        1. lordkoos

          Boomers had a much better time of it compared to millenials… we lived through a time of peak resources, things were cheaper and there were less people to compete with.

          It is certainly true that millennials were MIA in the primaries this year, some posit that they will show up in greater numbers for the general election, although in my opinion, not if Joe Biden is the nominee…

          1. Bsoder

            Only those born from 1945-1955. After that those born from 55-65, found the place burned down. ‘the Witch Season’ gives a nice idea as to what went on inside of the majority of this self centered, selfish and uncaring lot.

      3. Nancy Boyd

        Boomers just handed over control? It wasn’t ruthlessly taken? You don’t know much history and you ascribe agency where there was none. The average SS payment is $12K a year, and most baby boomers don’t have 401Ks because, like the vast majority of Americans, they own no stocks and never have, nor do they have pensions, because those were largely eliminated in the 1980s, when half the boomers were just moving into the workforce.

        Much of the governing 1% now are NOT boomers — you might want to visit Silicon Valley. How old is Sergei Brin and how many tons of vital water, how much energy usage is required for Google to maintain its ginormous servers? How many cars and therefore exhaust has Uber’s constantly circulating drivers added to global warming, and how old is Uber’s CEO?

        You speak of class but don’t know what it is. The way you place blame reminds me of the returning German vets from WW1 who blamed women for Germany’s surrender instead of the Kaiser and his generals for launching the war in the first place.

        Your increasing sentimental attachment to generational warfare is the result of your susceptibility to media and political manipulation explicitly designed to keep you from focusing on those with actual agency — the Davos class.

        Since this Boomer is seeing a LOT of memes suggesting we are expendable in this crisis and even a social good that we all die off, I think my reference to the proto-freikorps who first targeted women with their resentment is apt.

        “… it may turn ugly.” Eliminationist rhetoric is one of the hallmarks of fascism.

        1. Tomonthebeach

          Let’s not overlook the SDS letter urging Democrat unity behind Biden (Caitlin J’s recent article).

          It is mostly Boomers who are now running the GOP’s DNC. That letter unmasked as 70’s era bullshit SDS talk about the “revolution” and “end of war” that never happened because they graduated and got well-paid jobs enabling the very estabishment they pilloried. Today, those elder SDS members are protecting the institutions they used to collectively refer to as “The Man,” while clutching their genuine pearls over Trumpism. [For the record – I am a Boomer.]

          1. NancyBoyd

            Yes, every generation has its top 20%. So? For every former SDS member in the upper 20% there are millions of boomers who aren’t, and some of those boomers also protested the war or were involved in civil rights struggles or never were involved in any of that and happily voted for Nixon because there parents were Republicans and so were they.

            Revolution didn’t happen because revolutions rarely happen. One didn’t happen in the 1930s either or in the early 1900s with the IWW. Was that the fault of the generation that came of age in the early 1900s or the 1930s? Or was it because the government imprisoned those who would have led it and staved off population-level unrest with enforcement measures, Red Scares, and, at least in the 1930s, implementing programs explicitly to diminish revolutionary unrest? And then of course, war.

            If we’re truly going to speak about political actors through a generational lens (something I regard as useless, since it’s not “generations” that have power to exploit but “economic classes) shall we point to the great political activity those born since 1965 have been engaged in? All the protests, all the campaigns, all the activism, the setting up, say, of free breakfast programs for the poor, the sit-ins, the strikes, the organizational drives, the anti-Iraq war protests at recruiting offices targeting poor and working poor teenagers, the protests at the for-profit prison industry? Have they even launched a national tree-planting initiative?

            None of the above. As Historian pointed out, not even turning out to vote for the one candidate who could bring change.

            Instead we get a call for older people to, asap, die off? Slow hand clap. I don’t think anyone can ever say that political protest the Boomers engaged in argued that people should die so that another cohort had more lebensraum. In fact, the people Boomers were protesting were the ones arguing that, specifically those who argued that deaths of Asians meant little because Asians themselves didn’t value life in the way Americans did.

            1. JTMcPhee

              Thank you for this.

              I’m a bleeding edge boomer, born May 1946 after my dad got back from the war in the South Pacific. We boomers who pay attention have watched the river of the political economy get both polluted by all the class-warfare effects, and drained of a lot of vitality by the Few who, as pointed out, are a class, not an age set. Looters are the few who have the birthright of prior looters’ wealth piles or who figure out the seams in the political economy that let them use people against themselves to build up their own piles of deadly wealth.

              So to all you sad millennials and other self-identified groups of younger folk, might one say that if you don’t get your act together and figure out how to keep the sociopaths among you from taking and keeping power, and learn to control your own consumptive behaviors, you will continue in a debt hole and with Biden-types as your standard bearers.

              From one very “successful” Boomer, who a lot of young folks secretly or openly aspire to emulate, Warren Buffett: “Of course there’s class warfare all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.”

            2. Romancing The Loan

              This millennial agrees with you wholeheartedly, with only the minor caveats in our own defense that I am not certain voter turnout figures are really trustworthy, and that more recent economic circumstances were even less conducive to traditional political activity for a larger fraction of the population than was the case during the heyday of the Boomer generation. My friend from college who graduated in 2003 has dedicated his life to feeding the poor though CSA-style produce bags gleaned from grocery rejections and distributed through Boston’s poorer neighborhoods. Another friend I know confessed her guilt to me about her youthful work photographing and identifying attendees at anti-Iraq war protests for a private contractor deniably connected to the federal government. Political activity takes different forms as circumstances change.

              But your overall point is spot-on. We can’t assume older generations wanted what’s happened based on how it’s turned out any more than you can say that of us. The complete and obstinate refusal of almost every member of the older cohorts I know to acknowledge the gleeful bipartisan immiseration of the larger population over the last 30 or more years is a function of their class, not their age, and emphasis otherwise only serves to distract us from the quislings who have not yet lost the bloom of youth.

              Only the good die young (from poverty), right?

          2. Yves Smith

            No. Pelosi is Greatest Generation. Rubin still exercises great sway and he is Greatest Generation. Fer Chrissakes, Biden is Greatest Generation.

            Who is responsible for the policies now in place? People like Alan Greenspan who is also Greatest Generation.

            As Lambert has repeatedly said, treating generations as having agency is bollocks. Please point me to the Boomer lobby or Boomer PAC. Zuckerberg has more in common with other billionaires than he does people in his age group.

      4. Jim Henely

        I must commend you for peeking behind the curtain long enough to catch a glimpse of those pulling the levers of power. Your conclusion about the Uniparty is absolutely correct, and I am delighted that you’re not distracted by “a few minor social issue differences.” However, you have yet to see the larger mosaic of power, which thrives on creating false choices, managing the narrative, and dividing the bottom 99.9% on issues of race, gender, age, economic status and political allegiances. I would be very hesitant to write anyone off, as only a very broad coalition of our society will turn this ship around.

        1. fwe’zy

          Thank you Jim. Boomer jokes and Karen jabs aside, we have a lot of work to do TOGETHER. As for furies’ comment, we mustn’t fall prey to libertarian propaganda around austerity and “sacrifice.” We have abundance and we must fight to liberate the abundance for social well-being, not extraction and consolidation upwards.

      5. Lambert Strether

        > Boomers have destroyed this planet

        Your average 75-year-old Walmart greeter didn’t destroy the planet, champ. But do feel free to kick down!

        I do agree on the sentiment about a generational war; no doubt the 30- and 40-something scions of the billionaire class will be very happy about that. In fact, if I were them, I’d be funding it.

  9. zagonostra

    >Flint Water poisoning

    What could be more emblematic of contemporary politics than the lack of media attention and prosecution of a Governor who willingly poisoned the people he was elected to be protecting.

    No, just turn up the Russia, Russia, China,China blaring mega phone on an infinite loop to drown out the ruling elite’s predations on the proles.

    Hundreds of confidential pages of documents obtained by VICE, along with emails and interviews, reveal a coordinated, five-year cover-up overseen by Snyder and his top officials to prevent news of Flint’s deadly water from going public—while there was still time to save lives—and then limit the damage after the crisis made global headlines.

    1. Baby Gerald

      Thanks for sharing this story, zaganostra. Big respect to Jordan Chariton and his team at Status Coup for keeping on this story almost single-handedly.

      Suffering with coronavirus, he did an interview yesterday with Jimmy Dore about this story. Check it out here:

      As a sort of disclaimer, I’ve been a patron of both shows for a while and couldn’t be prouder to help this kind of journalism.

      1. Noone from Nowheresville

        statute of limitations 4.5 days now. Truly horrible.

        the statute of limitations to press new felony misconduct in office charges related to the #FlintWaterCrisis runs out in 9 days (4/25/14 to 4/25/20). Some lawmakers have called to extend it from 6 years to 10 years…so far unsuccessfully.

        Jordan @JordanChariton Apr 16

        Newly released video from Status Coup. Interview with Flint resident Adam Murphy starts at around 15 minute. Link below that spot.

        1. John Anthony La Pietra

          The newer prosecution team says their time isn’t up on April 25. If they’re not blowing smoke, there are three possibilities:

          * The state Supreme Court has issued Administrative Orders freezing (“tolling”) filing deadlines in general for as long as the Governor’s “stay home, stay safe” Executive Orders are in effect.

          * They prosecutors could be looking at charges for later acts of felony-misconduct in office (the charge looked at before for Snyder, which has a 6-year limitations period as is true for many criminal charges here).

          * And/or they could be planning to file charges that have longer limitations periods than six years. And one of those charges — which the previous prosecutors had persuaded two judges to make two Snyder Administration health officials face, in jury trials — is manslaughter. Even involuntary manslaughter has a 10-year period. (And Michigan allows for involuntary manslaughter based on failure to perform a legally mandated duty, which is at least arguable in this case.)

    2. Monty

      The only MI Governor I’ve seen in the news is that big meanie Democrat feminist who won’t let the flag wearing, semi-automatic rifle enthusiasts buy seeds.

      Isn’t MI supposed to be a swing state? Are the “leftist liberal media” giving the far-right child poisoner a pass, and covering the totally organic “freedom” protests instead? Makes you wonder what side their bread is really buttered on.

  10. The Rev Kev

    “Johnson faces cabinet split on lifting lockdown”

    At the end of that article Michael Gove, the cabinet office minister, said “All governments make mistakes, including our own,” adding that the country would learn “profound lessons” at “some point in the future” when a review was undertaken of its response.

    So I suppose learning those “profound lessons” right now is off the table? Boris’s government has made a real dog’s breakfast out of their handling this crisis. Hard to see how this will play out politically there as the Coronavirus continues into this and next year.

  11. Wukchumni

    Inside the Troubled Nursing Home Where 70 Died and Body Bags Piled Up NYT.
    The most troubled nursing home (and the lowest rated in the area) in California is in Visalia-Redwood Springs Healthcare Center. It strikes me as an odd place for it to happen, as the Central Valley is anything but worldly in terms of locals, definitely not the jet-set.

    A Visalia nursing home has the largest coronavirus outbreak in California among residents, according to data released by state officials Friday night.

    Numbers in the state’s data appear to be lagging, at least for homes in Tulare County. The tally of infections provided by county officials to The Bee on Saturday is higher for one of two county homes listed by the state.

    Redwood Springs Healthcare Center, a 176-bed skilled nursing facility, reported 91 residents and 46 staff who have tested positive for COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus. Statewide, a total of 1,740 nursing home residents and 1,290 healthcare workers have tested positive, according to the data.

    1. cm

      Interesting story about nursing homes giving money to Oregon Governor Kate Brown.

      Oregon’s senior care industry is well-known in state politics for its deep pockets and willingness to financially back candidates at every level of government.

      As the extent of COVID-19 cases and deaths at nursing homes receives more attention, the industry’s political largesse is also attracting scrutiny. Gov. Kate Brown, a Democrat, on Tuesday disclosed a March 20 $20,000 gift to one of her political action committees from nursing home company Avamere Health Services. The contribution was first reported by Willamette Week.

      That was a substantial political contribution even in Oregon’s no-limits campaign finance system. But it was only the tip of the iceberg in terms of the senior care industry’s spending on state politics.

      Avamere is just one member of the industry group Oregon Health Care Association. Its political action committee has collectively spent nearly $1.4 million on Democratic and Republican political candidates and legislative caucus PACs since 2016, according to The Oregonian/OregonLive’s analysis of state campaign finance data. The group also reported spending more than $780,000 on lobbying to kill or pass policy and spending bills before the Oregon Legislature from 2016 to present.

    2. Amfortas the hippie

      aye. Cousin’s sometimes girlfriend in Waxahache works at a nursing home.
      sent her girls to her dad’s ranch a month ago, so she could stay on(Duty).
      those in her care have been dropping like flies…and now she’s likely got it(testing today).
      Cousin is beside himself…”I am powerless”….
      She’s young and in good shape, but still: fingers crossed.
      the PTSD from all that death, concentrated like that, is bound to have an effect.
      grief counseling might be a growth industry.

      1. JTMcPhee

        No doubt PE sees an opening in the grief counseling area, to go along with its investments in charter schools, hospitals, “nursing homes,” death services in buying up hospice facilities, and “mortuary services.”. Vertical integrations everywhere you look.

        Opportunities everywhere one looks, if one has the right optics: “We have plenty of dry powder,” says one VC guy,

        1. Lambert Strether

          > No doubt PE sees an opening in the grief counseling area

          Thank you for this horrible idea. I think it was Walmart that started to offer counseling where you paid by the minute?

  12. Watt4Bob

    A friend reported on faceborg that while wearing a mask, and walking his dog, he was accosted by three twenty-something guys who charged him, calling him a “pussy” and asking him if he was afraid of the corona virus.

    His dog got nervous and was doing what dogs do when tense, and one of the guys tried to kick him.

    The tension eased only because these a**holes noticed another pedestrian approaching, he had a mask too and was carrying a bag of groceries (please note the second guy was more encumbered, and more defenseless, because groceries and no dog.)

    They approached the grocery guy aggressively, including getting in his face and coughing, all the while calling him “pussy” and asking why he was afraid.

    My friend yelled at them and said he was calling 911.

    They ran away, and my friend approached the guy, who turned his back to display a message he had pinned to his back; “ER Nurse, Keep your distance.”

    This sort of thing is the reason I will not carry a weapon, there is nothing that puts me beyond control like bullying cowards.

    1. Wyoming

      One of the side benefits of living here in AZ is that an awful lot of us are armed and everyone knows it. So that kind of behavior is not all that frequent due to its inherent danger. And if it does come around that someone is on drugs or crazy enough to act like that then you don’t have to feel bad about getting your piece out.

      Ok I’m sort of joking. But there is a lot of truth in it as well. When I am doing my volunteer work with the police several times a day I will hear on the radio the officers have pulled someone over who has a gun on them. This is legal (most of the time) of course, but the officers are required to run a check on the serial number to make sure who the owner is. But it also makes a inherently tense situation more difficult.

      1. Watt4Bob

        I drove a taxi for many years, and for a couple years I carried, but I stopped when I realized that I actually felt ‘better’ if not safer when I was not armed.

        I had one very bad situation happen once, where I was very unhappy being armed.

        It’s very complicated, but you never understand the issues until you’ve been there.

    2. Redlife2017

      Good gods. My jaw dropped. Having grown up in America, but left in my mid-twenties, I’m still in awe at how viscious people there can be. I just cannot get my head around why some people in the US are acting like school yard bullies when people are actually dying. In the UK people are pretty supportive of jailing people who pull that kind of crap (and people have actually been jailed for doing it).

      1. Watt4Bob

        Yes, it is astonishing, but then again they have a cheerleader in the White House.

        And this was in a relatively high-class college neighborhood.

        I think he had the impression they were students.

        1. Trent

          “why some people in the US are acting like school yard bullies when people are actually dying”

          Is it only bad because some people are dying? You should see the bullies that are attracted to management positions in corporate America.

        2. JTMcPhee

          “High-class college kids” and a group of Yuppies here in St. Petersburg, FL, were going around sucker-punching random people on the street. Called the “knockout game,” quite a thing for some young people.–CONGRESSWOMAN-latest-victim.html

          Not sure if it is still going on, though I would not be surprised. Enough of a phenomenon to get its own Wiki entry:

          I recall my old history prof wanting to make Americans confront what we really are, pointed out a whole raft of behaviors and episodes that make a pretty clear case that wee are a nation with an unhealthy percentage of violent bullies. Even young girls, both physical and emotional bullying.

          1. Watt4Bob

            I remember seeing a satirical cartoon from the 1920s depicting a policeman apologizing profusely, to a group of bullies because he had interrupted their “fun”.

            His sin was he hadn’t recognized that they were rich kids from the local college, and not the low-life riff-raff that he had at first assumed because of their depraved behavior.

          2. Yves Smith

            I carry a bludgeon (in the form of a shooting stick) and would have used it. Self defense. One of the perps would have wound up with a broken rib or knee at a bare minimum. But who wants to have to think like that?

    3. ewmayer

      Your friend should’ve told the a**hole squad, “I have drug-resistant TB – want some, too?” pulled his mask down and started coughing in their general direction.

    4. Lambert Strether

      > A friend reported on faceborg that while wearing a mask, and walking his dog, he was accosted by three twenty-something guys who charged him, calling him a “pussy” and asking him if he was afraid of the corona virus.

      Where was this incident? Thank you

  13. Lee

    From my neck of the woods:

    Experts calling for grocery stores to close to customers

    SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) — Dozens of grocery store workers have died from COVID-19 despite precautions being taken.

    Now some people, including union leaders and worker experts are suggesting it might be time for grocery stores to ban people from coming inside.

    KRON4 spoke with John Logan, a professor and director of labor and employment studies at UCSF about his take on grocery stores amid the pandemic.

    In other local developments, preliminary, not yet peer reviewed results from serological antibody tests for community prevalence of Covid-19 have troubling implications.

    Stanford study: More than 48K Santa Clara County residents have likely been infected by coronavirus

    The number of coronavirus infections in Santa Clara County could be between 50 and 80 times higher than the officially confirmed count, preliminary results from a community-based study by a team of Stanford University researchers indicates….

    That said, the early findings indicate that between 48,000 and 81,000 residents in Santa Clara County were infected as of April 1, back when the official count was 956. The estimate is based on 3,330 blood samples that were taken from volunteers in Mountain View, Los Gatos and San Jose on April 3 and April 4 and tested for antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 .

    When adjusted for Santa Clara County’s population and demographics, the number of positive results suggests that between 2.49% and 4.16% of the county’s 1.93 million residents have had COVID-19.

    1. Louis Fyne

      nothing personal, as i read the same wire article somewhere else re. grocery stores…

      none of CNN’s “experts” cited in that article was a infectious disease expert.

      what is the rate of covid among grocery workers versus the general population? are there outbreak clusters in grocery stores?

      as none of those question was answered in thr article, I’m assuming that either local public health officials are noting their jobs and/or the grocery store is not a tangible disease vector.

      just saying. nothing personal. just irked at the lazy science articles coming from the media and citing “experts” from tangential fields and using anecdote as data

    2. lb

      This is the third day in a row this study has popped up and someone has to reply to bat it back down. It is unfortunate that there are problems with the study’s initial methodology, its false positive rate and other statistical problems, that its conclusions bias in one direction, and that that direction is the message two of the authors were pounding in the media before they had any data. This paper’s thesis is becoming common knowledge regardless of its truth, due to repetition and an audience not skeptical enough to dig into it. Here’s what I wrote yesterday:

      Beware pre-publication papers that haven’t undergone peer review. The authors wrote an op-ed that got published in the WSJ and other outlets peddling their theory well before they had any data, they commissioned a study that had a flawed methodology likely to buttress this claim (the population wasn’t a random sample but instead a sample motivated to get quick test results in an environment of fear and uncertainty), then they overstated what the numbers said and understated the problems with the data gathered to form their “50-85x” multiplier between testing and community prevalence.

      The analysis and stated conclusion was quickly picked apart bymore honest brokers like Trevor Bedford. There’s a lot wrong in this study and the resulting paper.

      I chose Bedford because he’s been pretty good at explaining things since I first found his coverage of community spread analysis via genetic sequencing and pattern analysis of COVID cases. The other analyses I’ve read elsewhere have been much, much harsher. The authors seem more dedicated to their hypothesis and media exposure of their theories than rigorous scientific analysis and accuracy. Their various choices all bend in the direction of proving higher prevalence, and they know a subset of people want to hear high prevalence and low death rates.

      I think this sort of response needs to be given (and harsher) as this paper’s authors do the media rounds and the press fawns, daily repeating its conclusion. This feels like a concerted effort to gaslight and there are many motivated parties.

      1. Cuibono

        I hooe younare not saying thst you kniw the conclusions of that paper are wrong? There are other studies pointing in the same direction… And the known high rate if asymptomatic infections also point in this direction. I agree there may well be methodological flaws.

      2. Basil Pesto

        Such developments make me take Ioannidis’ claim of a ‘crisis of evidence’ more seriously with each passing day.

      1. Lee

        Or good news, bad news: lower rate of serious illness among the infected but higher numbers of carriers causing serious and fatal illness among the susceptible.

        1. Carolinian

          Well if the only true defense is going to be herd immunity then large numbers are going to be infected whether we like or not. After all the rationale for what we are doing now is to buy more time to understand the disease and build up supplies, not to somehow defeat covid unless an effective therapy can be discovered. It’s long road until vaccine time.

          And re the Santa Clara study–for the upteenth time and for the reading impaired, the study’s own authors have said it is not definitive, that there are problems with the tests etc. You are beating that poor straw man to death while pumping yourselves up.

          1. lb

            If the problems are big enough to call into question the data (that is, the range of uncertainty related to false positives is greater than the actual positive count — every positive may have been false!) it’s worth speaking loudly about it. When the authors go on the news circuit to trumpet their possible conclusion and secondarily say that there may be issues (Are the issues tiny issues? Massive issues?), it’s appropriate to consider whether they’re overstating and misleading. It’s understood that there’s a ratio of tested individuals to community, but it is not fair to conflate a 15x ratio (epidemiologists and better data lean toward this) to an 85x ratio (the Stanford study claim). I’m harping on that sort of a difference, and the numbers and the confidence in those numbers matter immensely.

            Put another way, demanding scrutiny is not harping on a straw man, and that the authors placed an asterisk after their claim (which they were pushing _before_ testing) is not sufficient. We need to be vigilant as people run fast with scissors data. Recall on this site, this piece: Coronavirus Research Done Too Fast Is Testing Publishing Safeguards, Bad Science Is Getting Through. This is where I’m coming from.

            1. Cuibono

              but that study is only one of many tHat suggest the number of infections is likely orders of magnitude larger than the ones we know of…

      2. Yves Smith

        No, even if the tests were accurate, we are also seeing evidence from China and South Korea of relapses. Having had the disease does not appear to confer much immunity. Worse, some indication the relapses are worse.

  14. Phacops

    Re: disease transmission on subways.

    While mode of transmission is not the same as SARS-CoV2, subway biowarfare transmission was studied, I believe, by USAMRIID in a report entitled “A Study of the Vulnerability of Subway Passengers in New York City to Covert Attack with Biological Agents.” Serratia marsescens was released at the Times Square station and its spread tracked.

    1. Billy

      Remember the nerve gas attacks in Tokyo? Best place to affect the most people as quickly as possible.

  15. The Rev Kev

    “Died of Covid, or died with Covid? As countries raise toll, questions arise about the reported deaths”

    You would think that it would not be so hard. Take New York city for example. Check how many people died for the past five years in the month of March for that city. Then look at how many people died in New York in March 2020. The difference will give you an idea of how many people died from Coronavirus. Probably more since as everybody is under lock-down, there would be less deaths from other causes such as car accidents. It could be done right now as the figures for March must surely be in by now.

    1. bassmule

      From April 10:

      Deaths in New York City Are More Than Double the Usual Total

      “These numbers contradict the notion that many people who are dying from the new virus would have died shortly anyway. And they suggest that the current coronavirus death figures understate the real toll of the virus, either because of undercounting of coronavirus deaths, increases in deaths that are normally preventable, or both.”

    2. Duke of Prunes

      Speaking of the Rona death count… big news in my local area was the death of a high school student, and another in the ICU. All weekend long, this was repeated on every media outlet, morning, noon and evening. Then, last night, after scaring the -family blog- out of every parent all weekend, they let it slip that it was actually a “probable” Rona death as the coroner is still waiting on the test results. Any death is horrible, especially when youngsters are involved, but why can’t the media at least try to be honest? Would it have been that hard to say “probable” or “assumed”? It’s crap like this that drives people to sketchy news sources. If they all lie, I’d prefer to listen to the lies that align with my wishes.

  16. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: The Democrats’ COBRA Proposal Is an Insurance Industry Bailout In These Times


    Dems’ Health Insurer Bailout Follows Bundled Checks from the Industry’s Lobbyists Sludge (UserFriendly)

    At the risk of beating a dead horse, this democrat push to pay exorbitant COBRA insurance rates on behalf of the recently unemployed (who gets the 2% “administrative fee”?) instead of just paying the bills directly, again shines the spotlight on the shameful “suspension” of the Sanders campaign “because he couldn’t win.”

    Not that Bernie had the balls to make it, but the case against a rationed, employment-dependent, for-profit, private insurance driven “healthcare” system at this time in history is so in your face, it’s almost impossible to understand how a true believer could so willingly decline the opportunity, whether he could “win” the nomination or not.

    It reminds me of It’s A Wonderful Life when the angel, Clarence, tells George Bailey that his brother Harry didn’t save the ship because George wasn’t there to save Harry. Or when he shows George that it’s Pelosi’s……… POTTER’S Field instead of Bailey Park, because George wasn’t aaround to make it happen.

    PS. Neither of these articles mentions the fact that the Trump admin. has floated the idea that the government pay for the care directly at Medicare rates as long as providers agree to no balance billing. jeezus, what an opening.

    1. tegnost

      it seems obvious to me that obama told sanders they would hold all the primaries unless he dropped out and sanders as well as many people here understood that lots of people would die as a result. The DNC mafia showed him the horses head and he wasn’t power hungry enough to kill people. Good for him. My only sorrow is that he didn’t show them the hand, say “You own it.” and walked.
      Now that russia and sanders are gone they have zip to run on, which is alternately sickening and amusing.

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            I remember an fairly in depth article about Bill Belichick and the NFL draft, and the author concluded that Belichick’s main strategy was no one draft choice could make or break a team or a position. Hernandez and Gronk were drafted in the same year. The questionable back ground of one and Gronk’s size and injury status came in mid and later rounds. One was a pro bowl caliber player, and one is Gronk.

            What the author came away with when looking at other coaches isn’t that Bill is a super genius as much as he isn’t terrible. With Team Blue, you are seeing a party composed of people in senior positions who basically politic in very safe seats. Anyone left after the Obama years can probably sit on the steps of whatever chamber they belong to at any level and simply use the bath room of a public area exclusively and win re-election. There is no room for failure. The seats are that safe. People who should be exiled for incompetence can do well enough to survive and make friends.

            Take Warren. If Coakley was remotely reasonable, Scott Brown doesn’t win Ted Kennedy’s old seat, and the Massachusetts Democratic Party hums along and doesn’t look for a relative outsider (maybe she runs for Kerry’s seat at some point). She parachuted into run in what required epic incompetence to even be an available race to run in. During her Presidential run, she demonstrated “bad political instincts,” but her core team and her never really ran a hard race where they weren’t heavily favored.

  17. mpalomar

    Pig leads police officers on 45-minute pursuit before capture
    Well that was a laugh I needed and lends new timely meaning to, ‘the swine flew.’

  18. The Rev Kev

    “The White House Has Erected A Blockade Stopping States and Hospitals From Getting Coronavirus PPE ”

    For those States there is only one solution. Time to up their game. Each of them has a National Guard, right? Well put them to use. Lots of them have experience in Convoy Duty from overseas posting. Assign a National Guard battalion to each delivery made up of men with combat experience in Iraq and/or Afghanistan. Have a coupla M1126 Stryker vehicles as light defense, Humvees for the troops plus a coupla A-10 Thunderbolts for air cover. What are the Feds going to do, arrest that convoy?

    1. Rod Foley

      § 502. Enlistment oath: who may administer:
      (a) Enlistment Oath.— Each person enlisting in an armed force shall take the following oath:
      I, (state name of enlistee), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. (So help me God).”
      Or, if enlisting in the National Guard:
      I, (state name of enlistee), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States and of the State of (applicable state) against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to them; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the Governor of (applicable state) and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to law and regulations. (So help me God).”
      (b) Who May Administer.— The oath may be taken before the President, the Vice-President, the Secretary of Defense, any commissioned officer, or any other person designated under regulations prescribed by the Secretary of Defense.

      The first week of December 2016, 6,000+ Veterans thought this was relevant enough to head to the Standing Rock Encampment to reinforce the Sioux in part because:
      A ‘Warrior Tradition’: Why Native Americans continue …

      Nov 15, 2019 · Since 9/11, nearly 19 percent of Native Americans have served in the armed forces, compared to an average of 14 percent of all other ethnicities.

    2. flora

      The… funniest? … story I’ve read so far about fed interference is this:


      A powerful California union that claimed to have discovered 39 million masks for healthcare workers fighting the novel coronavirus was duped in an elaborate scam uncovered by FBI investigators, the U.S. attorney’s office said Friday.

      U.S. Atty. Scott Brady of the Western District of Pennsylvania said FBI agents and prosecutors stumbled onto the arrangement while looking into whether they could intercept the masks for the Federal Emergency Management Agency under the Defense Production Act. (my emphasis)

      FBI pats itself on the back for uncovering a black market fraud. They uncovered the fraud in their attempt to hihack reroute the shipment away from the hospital buyers and send said shipmentt to the fed govt.

    3. Bsoder

      Wish we had the A-10s, only plane that amounts to anything if you have troops on the ground. And man it it suck up the damage. Don’t know how it ever got approved. And lobbyists/congress refuses to reauthorize it, except when forced. Only 172 of these planes, states only have a couple.

  19. tegnost

    Re contact racing tech, net 10 has fried my flip phone (3g) 3 times in the last month. They really want me to have a traceable device. They said it’ll keep getting worse til I get a “more suitable” handset

    1. Billy

      Let “them” buy it for you then. Have two friends with flip phones, all being pressured by bosses to get new smartphones;
      “Fine, I will take whatever model you provide to me boss….” That shuts them up.

  20. tegnost

    Now that the cabal of scoundrels led by pelosi/mcconnell has seen that the states are outperforming them, expect legislation to impose federal approval on states rights issues. Control fraudsters always want more control.

  21. Oso

    the racial disparity is only going to get worse. I haven’t seen anything from the “anti lockdown” protesters regarding this but it’s only a matter of time. Lost an acquaintance to Rona thursday, founder of Sac Black Panther Party. his wife is a good friend, she was hospitalized with Rona when she got the news her husband passed a few floors up. no one in my family has exhibited symptoms so far, but people who are like family are fighting it, many of us have family on the rez. seeing those angry faces in the Links article about the demonstrations is triggering, like the hate directed at little children desegregating schools in Little Rock or the liberty demonstrators glaring at indigenous people at the border.

    1. Billy

      “Health conditions that exist at higher rates in the black community — obesity, diabetes and asthma — make African Americans more susceptible to the virus.”

      And, menthol cigarettes...very commonly smoked in the 1970s-2000s before people wised up.

    1. Massinissa

      Its at $4 a barrel as of right now.

      I think you can get a higher price for a barrel of water.

        1. xkeyscored

          Some of it’s gone negative, I hear. Couldn’t President Trump save the day by exempting the industry from any remaining environmental regulations, allowing them to just burn it? Climate change is a bit off track at the moment, after all.

  22. chuck roast

    With all of the kleptocrats digging in in New Zealand I am reminded that the native Maori were known to snack on Europeans back in the day. I find this very comforting.

    1. The Rev Kev

      It is a pity that New Zaland got rid of their fighter squadrons. Or some of those private jets may have just disappeared while flying there. I can see it now-

      “Barry billionaire? No, we haven’t seen him. He was supposed to land here Tuesday but his plane never arrived at the airport. Very mysterious that!”

  23. verifyfirst

    Re: Where insurers fear to tread–I have been wondering about US life insurers, group and individual. Do they have “pandemic” exclusions written in? Have they been refusing to pay? (i.e., do I need to somehow stagger to the sixth floor hospital window to jump if I’m seriously ill with Corona?)

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Pandemics are covered. War and terrorism are usually excluded. I’m worried about the use of “war” language and what might happen from the perspective of when pay outs arrive especially people who would need the payouts.

      The real problem would be whether the state insurance bureaus would be able to handle claims if insurers fail and the policies aren’t picked up by other companies.

      From the insurance perspective, the elderly should only have smaller whole life policies that are nearing maturity if they weren’t dropped. People with million dollar payouts aren’t at high risk.

    1. Massinissa

      Apparently there is Despacito Tequila now, so I’m going to go with Despacito Virus. If nothing else the song must have a comparable R0 to coronavirus to have had that many billions of views.

    2. ewmayer

      I’m holding out for a beneficial mutation which turns Coronavirus into Aguardientevirus. :)

      [Aside: Speaking of words that start with ‘agua’-, my all-time favorite Spanish word is the one for “party pooper”: Aguafiestas, literally someone who rains on your parade.]

      1. John Anthony La Pietra

        +several! (I don’t have a scale worked out yet.)

        It is fun to see how others look at familiar things differently. One of my favorite examples is the Japanese word tekubi — literally the neck/kubi of the hand/te.

        (The latter leads us to karate — empty/bare hand, i.e. no weapon — and from there to a song track with no singing, just a bare orchestra . . . borrow part of that Western word for the combination and you get — presto! — karaoke.)

  24. Mikel

    Re: “Facebook and Google have been ordered to pay Aussie media companies for publishing their news, in a world first” Business Insider

    About 15 years too late. That is when this type of critical thinking was needed. That was when many of these organizations had more money and could of stopped this downright IGNORANT monopolization by …
    I’ll just stop right there.

    1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      True, 15 years late. But my read was that it is neo-lib stuff in the extreme. Instead of making these companies pay any actual tax to Australia, you know, where the public would accrue a slight benefit, they announced a deal where Rupert’s News Corp gets tens of millions.

      Par for the course in a country run as a personal plaything for offshore billionaires

  25. Mikel

    RE: “We Needed to Go’: Rich Americans Activate Pandemic Escape Plans” Bloomberg

    Everytime one of these rat’s comes out with some PR about how they are going “to make a better world,” or any number of marketed utopias all to make themselves rich, print these types of stories in repeat right next to them. Show they have no plans for making a better world. They will cut and run before the tough even gets tougher.
    Show them for the cowards they are.

  26. crittermom

    >”Land of the Free”

    That article infuriated me regarding all the idiot Trump supporters demonstrating.
    I applaud each of those nurses for standing in front of those vehicles during the protest. Each & every one is risking their life to help others, while the actions of the protesters is a slap in their faces.

    Regarding the protesters?
    Since hospital rooms & equipment are scarce, how ’bout each & every one is denied health care when/if they come down with the virus?

    And for those who took their children along, charge ’em with child endangerment.

    Yup. Those protesters actions really pissed me off!

    1. J.K.

      I bet the response from the state would be different if these protestors were demanding action on “a peoples stimulus”, demanding adequate supplies for hospitals, or protesting the racial disparities in corvid outcome. I suspect law enforcements would hVe been deployed immediately.
      And I will go ahead and point out the obvious. Its not a stretch to imagine that the news recently about racial disparities played a part in stimulating these protests, especially in places like Michigan. Hey look, its an “urban” disease and the communists (democrats,big gov) are using it as an excuse to take away our freedoms.

  27. Lorenzo

    Bondholders reject Argentina’s debt offer

    plus ça change… As usual, FT plays the role of the creditors’ mouthpiece.

    AFAIK int’l press has failed to report on this scoop, which quotes Blackrock’s EM exec director in a call with btw Guzmán and officials and some creditor funds as saying:

    I’m not sure that you know who you’re messing with. We sit back and wait to negotiate with a different government, one that gets markets. Like the prevous government, for example

    and then from a different, unnamed fund’s rep

    We’ve seen one other minister with ideas like yours. With different manners, yes. As you can see he’s gone, was replaced, and we came out on top. (…) What you need to show us is a sacrifice that hurts

  28. Lambert Strether

    > White House orders Maine company to make swabs under Defense Production Act

    Puritan already makes swabs; the CNN headline is sloppy. In the story:

    President Donald Trump announced Sunday he will compel a US company to make swabs under the Defense Production Act, but Peter Navarro, his trade adviser who Trump tapped to coordinate DPA use, clarified to CNN Monday that the White House plans to use the act to give Puritan Medical Supplies federal funding to boost production.

    Speculating, I’ve seen pictures of the swabs going deep into the sinuses, and yech. A competitor to Puritan makes shorter swabs; perhaps the funding is to help Puritan manufacture those swabs.

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