2:00PM Water Cooler 5/1/2020

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

#COVID19

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

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

New York’s geometric growth continues at 1.02.

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See Vice, “How to Read the Coronavirus Graphs“:

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

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

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

Trade

“Shipping companies aren’t betting against globalization over the long term even if they are pulling back ocean-going capacity this year. The turbulent response around the world to the coronavirus pandemic, with supply chains rattled and shortages of critical goods in many countries, has some world leaders calling for reshoring of manufacturing” [Wall Street Journal]. “Ship owners aren’t buying it… reasoning that the pandemic and the crumbling trade economy is a detour from global growth and not a sea change. BIMCO’s Peter Sand says China’s sprawling factory sector and its extensive shipping infrastructure gives the country too big an advantage for companies to ignore.

Politics

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

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

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

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2020

Biden (D)(1): “POLITICO Playbook: Republicans’ new red line” [Politico]. “BIDEN, during a fundraiser Thursday night, per pooler Madeline Rivera of Fox News: ‘I view myself as a transition candidate. … My job is … to bring the Mayor Petes of the world into this administration, bring it into the administration, and even if they don’t come in, their ideas come into this administration.” • Welcome clarity on the payoffs — a Team of Larvals concept — but surely a little early?

Biden (D)(2): “‘This never happened’: Biden denies sexual assault allegation” [Politico]. “‘No. It is not true. I’m saying unequivocally it never, never happened and it didn’t,’ Biden told ‘Morning Joe’ host Mika Brzezinski of the accusations made by former staffer Tara Reade.” • A reasonably good round-up. There are two high level difficulties with simply taking Biden at his word: (1) Biden has a pattern of “inappropriate behavior” with women (up to Lucy Flores in 2014, reported in 2020), and that’s before we get to the many photos and video of oddly, well forward behavior with young women and girls, and (2) Biden is a shameless liar, as we saw on Social Security in his single debate with Sanders.

Biden (D)(3) “Biden operatives accessed secret Senate records at University of Delaware before mid-March, report says” [FOX]. “Joe’s Biden’s campaign dispatched operatives to the University of Delaware’s library in the past year to rifle through his secretive Senate records there, Business Insider reported [paywalled] Thursday — raising the possibility they accessed documents related to Tara Reade’s accusation that he sexually assaulted her when she worked for him in 1993…. Biden campaign officials “rifled through” the documents on “at least one occasion,” Business Insider reported, citing a statement from University spokeswoman Andrea Boyle Tippett. The campaign’s visit to the library came some point after Biden announced his presidential campaign in April 2019 — but before “mid-March” 2020, when the library closed due to the coronavirus… The current chairman of the board at the University of Delaware, John Cochran, is a longtime Biden donor and former CEO of MBNA. [A]t least seven other members of the University of Delaware’s board of trustees have donated to Biden’s political campaigns.” • From NicoleEinbinder, who broke the Business Insider story linked to by FOX:

(The National Archives records would be closed until 2043.) And:

Biden (D)(4): “Biden nominates Chris Dodd of ‘waitress sandwich’ fame to help shop for female vice presidential candidates” [Washington Examiner]. • They’re just trolling us, aren’t they? Here is the “waitress sandwich” story; search on “Gaviglio.” Ted Kennedy looks a lot worse than Bill Clinton, a considerable achievement, and Dodd doesn’t look real good, either.

Biden (D)(5): “By Biden’s Own Standards, He Is Guilty As Charged” [Andrew Sullivan, New York Magazine]. “The problem with defending due process in a case like Biden’s with respect to Tara Reade is that Biden himself, when it comes to allegations of sexual abuse and harassment, doesn’t believe in it. Perhaps in part to atone for his shabby treatment of Anita Hill, Biden was especially prominent in the Obama administration’s overhaul of Title IX treatment of claims of sexual discrimination and harassment on campus. You can listen to Biden’s strident speeches and rhetoric on this question and find not a single smidgen of concern with the rights of the accused. Men in college were to be regarded as guilty before being proven innocent, and stripped of basic rights in their self-defense… On Friday’s Morning Joe, Biden laid out a simple process for judging him: Listen respectfully to Tara Reade, and then check for facts that prove or disprove her specific claim. The objective truth, Biden argued, is what matters. I agree with him. But this was emphatically not the standard Biden favored when judging men in college. If Biden were a student, under Biden rules, Reade could file a claim of assault, and Biden would have no right to know the specifics, the evidence provided, who was charging him, who was a witness, and no right to question the accuser. Apply the Biden standard for Biden, have woke college administrators decide the issue in private, and he’s toast.” •

Biden (D)(6): “Biden Campaign Fundraising Email Reminds Donors Sexual Assault Allegations Don’t Bury Themselves” [The Onion]. “We’ll be honest—this isn’t going to be cheap. It’s not just going away like we thought it would. We know it seems like we can coast off the media suppressing the story, but there’s a lot of important work to be done behind the scenes to ensure these accusations never see the light of day. These sexual assault allegations have already broken through to The Washington Post, and if we don’t meet our fundraising goal by midnight tonight, it could be front page news tomorrow.” • Pitch perfect.

Sanders (D)(1): “Bernie’s Army Redeploys to Support Covid-19’s Frontline Workers” [In These Times]. “[Store clerk Josh Cano], 24, worried about bringing the coronavirus home because his mother has cancer and is undergoing chemotherapy. He had heard of an online form that activists from the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) and the United Electrical Workers union (UE) were using to help workers organize to make their workplaces safer as the Covid-19 pandemic spread. The two groups—which had previously worked together on the Bernie Sanders campaign—were calling their joint effort the Emergency Workplace Organizing Committee (EWOC). The experience many EWOC organizers gained from the Sanders movement had a direct impact on their work. Officials from the DSA and UE said the group took ideas from the Sanders campaign—such as building a largely volunteer operation to do complex organizing—and applied them to workplaces rather than an election. Many former Sanders staff members also volunteered to help workers organize. It’s one example of a possible path forward for the grassroots movement that powered the Sanders campaign—a way to channel its insurgent energy into new battles for social justice. Cano filled out the form, and Michael Enriquez, former deputy field director of the Sanders campaign in Iowa and a member of the EWOC planning committee, responded to assist the Sprouts workers.” • So the Sanders site should be raising money for them.

Trump (R)(1): “President Trump’s Favorability Ratings Recede from March’s Peak” [PRRI]. “New data from PRRI shows that President Donald Trump’s favorability rating has dropped seven points over the last four weeks. Today, just over four in ten (43%) Americans hold mostly or very favorable views of Trump, compared to a 54% majority who hold mostly or very unfavorable views of him. In mid-March, Trump’s favorable rating was 49%, the highest at any point since 2015, and the first time in PRRI polling that Americans have been more likely to say they have a favorable than the unfavorable view (46%). Trump benefited from a brief ‘rally around the flag’ effect as the coronavirus pandemic began to spread in the U.S. But over the last four weeks — as the total number of reported U.S. cases of the coronavirus increased exponentially from around 33,000 cases to more than 900,000 cases — this boost has rapidly dissipated.”

* * *

“The Democrats Have No Good Options” [The Atlantic]. “It is a strange thing to accuse the president of continuing to grossly mishandle the crisis and to simultaneously put trillions of dollars at his disposal.” • Stranger than giving Hitler a space force?

“When a political campaign ends, where does all the extra money go?” [CBS]. “Despite more than $2 billion in fundraising and expenditures since the primary kicked off last year, records show the group of former Democratic presidential hopefuls who have now put their presidential dreams to rest were still sitting on some $44.5 million cash on hand at the end of last month.” • Pocket change in the great scheme of things, although not to me, as a small donor. More: “Candidates have a number of options. In some cases, after a campaign ends, candidates continue to pay campaign-related costs. Once this is finished, they can also donate cash to charity and causes…. Former candidates can also transfer excess cash to the national party… candidates can also shift funds in their presidential committee accounts back to congressional committees as long as donations don’t surpass limits on what donors had already contributed.”

RussiaGate

“New Documents Show Strzok Countermanded Closure Of Flynn Case For Lack Of Crime” [Jonathan Turley]. “It was previously known that the investigators who interviewed Flynn did not believe that he intentionally lied. That made sense. Flynn did not deny the conversations with then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. Moreover, Flynn told the investigators that he knew that the call was inevitably monitored and that a transcript existed. However, he did not recall discussing sanctions with Kislyak. There was no reason to hide such a discussion. Trump had publicly stated an intent to reframe Russian relations and seek to develop a more positive posture with them. It now appears that, on January 4, 2017, the FBI’s Washington Field Office issued a ‘Closing Communication’ indicating that the bureau was terminating “CROSSFIRE RAZOR” — the newly disclosed codename for the investigation of Flynn. That is when Strzok intervened.” • Read on for detail, which is ugly.

Realignment and Legitimacy

Third Party:

By the midterms:

The other players would seem to be DSA and the Greens, and I’m not sure what they would think of this. But taking a big chuck of the labor movement out of the Democrat orbit would be… interesting. Especially considering that nurses are as well-liked as, say, firefighters.

“States Expand Internet Voting Experiments Amid Pandemic, Raising Security Fears” [NPR]. “Election officials nationwide are preparing for what may the highest election turnout in modern history in the middle of a pandemic. In response, several states will be turning to a relatively new and untested form of Internet-based voting to aid the voters who may have the most trouble getting to the polls. In the latest demonstration of the technology, Delaware will allow voters with disabilities to return their ballots electronically in its primary election next month, becoming the second U.S. state to do so. The decision comes despite grave warnings from the cybersecurity community that the technology doesn’t offer sufficient safeguards to protect the integrity of an election. NPR is the first to report the development, which has yet to be announced publicly. Both the state, and the Seattle-based company administering the technology, Democracy Live, confirmed the decision, although they dispute the term “Internet voting” for the cloud-based system.”

“Sclerotic America” [John Furlan, Econintersect]. “The U.S. has had sclerotic political leadership during this crisis. The U.S. is being offered the “choice” between Trump, 73, and Biden, 77. Its other major political players are Pelosi, 80, and McConnell, 78…. Trump of course bears most of the blame for the Covid-19 Crisis. But the Dems and liberal media also share a lot. Trump dithered for many crucial weeks after China’s CCP very belatedly shut down Wuhan on January 23, many weeks after the virus emerged… What were the Dems and liberal media doing during those crucial weeks? From December 18 to February 5 they culminated three years of wasting the nation’s time trying to impeach Trump for Russia- and Ukraine-gate, as the virus picked up steam. The Dems and liberal media held “debates” and primaries through March 17 in which Covid-19 was barely mentioned except in the context of Sanders’ Medicare for All, focusing instead on such issues as Bloomberg’s NDA’s (Biden’s opponents are now using a similar #MeToo attack).” • “The duty of an opposition party is to oppose.”

Stats Watch

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

Manufacturing: “April 2020 ISM and Markit Manufacturing Surveys Are In Recession Territory Thanks To The Coronavirus” [Econintersect]. “Based on these surveys and the district Federal Reserve Surveys, one would expect the Fed’s Industrial Production index growth rate to decline. Overall, surveys do not have a high correlation to the movement of industrial production (manufacturing) since the Great Recession. No question these surveys suggest the economy is contracting all thanks to the coronavirus.”

Rail: “Rail Week Ending 25 April 2020 – Rail Decline Continues To Worsen” [Econintersect]. “Intermodal and carloads are under 2013 levels. Whilst container exports from China are now recovering, container exports from the U.S. continues to slow. The rate of growth of rail had been improving before the coronavirus (even though it was in contraction) – and now the coronavirus is driving rail deeper into contraction. The effects of coronavirus will continue to slow rail.”

Construction: “March 2020 Construction Spending Improved” [Econintersect]. “Construction spending is trending downward but remarkedly strong considering the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Private construction had been fueling construction growth – but currently, public construction is fueling the growth. Consider this a slightly worse report relative to last month even with the decline reported by Census.Construction spending growth is outpacing employment growth which is not uncommon during the growth cycles.”

Honey for the Bears: “24 April 2020 ECRI’s WLI Improves Again But Remains Deep In Contraction” [Econintersect]. “ECRI’s WLI Growth Index which forecasts economic growth six months forward improved, remains in contraction, and remains at a level below the values seen during the Great Recession…. We are in a recession and just waiting for the NBER to declare it. Hopefully it will be decided quicker than the Great Recession which took one year.”

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Retail: “[Amazon’s] sales jumped 26% in the first quarter as consumers locked down at home by the coronavirus restrictions rushed to order goods online. …[T]he company’s profit also tumbled 29% to $2.54 billion while shipping costs in the normally slower quarter skyrocketed 49% to $10.94 billion” [Wall Street Journal]. “Amazon carried nearly twice as much inventory on its balance sheet as it counted in the year-ago quarter, and it is adding 175,000 warehouse and delivery workers to handle the surge. The company now projects about $4 billion in costs in the second quarter related to the Covid-19 outbreak.”

Shipping: “FIATA warns global container imbalance at ‘tipping point'” [American Shipper]. “The World Customs Organization’s Private Sector Consultative Group on April 13 told customs authorities that current restrictions placed on containers of nonessential goods have already reduced access to containers for exporters with essential goods. ‘If this continues, sooner or later, it will result in a halt in all container trade due to non-availability of empty containers,’ industry representatives of the consultative group warned the Brussels-based global customs body. ‘This is a very real and major concern.'”

The Bezzle: A parasitic infestation:

* * *

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 44 Fear (previous close: 47 Neutral) [CNN]. One week ago: 38 (Fear). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated May 1 at 12:47pm

The Biosphere

“Michael Moore’s ‘Planet of the Humans’ documentary peddles dangerous climate denial” [Yale Climate Connections]. “In one scene, author and film co-producer Ozzie Zehner falsely asserts, ‘You use more fossil fuels [manufacturing renewables infrastructure] than you’re getting benefit from. You would have been better off burning the fossil fuels in the first place instead of playing pretend.’ That’s monumentally wrong. A 2017 study in Nature Energy found that when accounting for manufacturing and construction, the lifetime carbon footprints of solar, wind, and nuclear power are about 20 times smaller than those of coal and natural gas, even when the latter include expensive carbon capture and storage technology. The energy produced during the operation of a solar panel and wind turbine is 26 and 44 times greater than the energy needed to build and install them, respectively. There are many life-cycle assessment studies arriving at similar conclusions. The film’s case is akin to arguing that because fruit contains sugar, eating strawberries is no healthier than eating a cheesecake. It’s true that the carbon footprint of renewable energy is not zero. But the film somehow fails to mention that it’s far lower than the fossil fuel alternatives, instead falsely suggesting (with zero supporting evidence) that renewables are just as bad.” • Can any readers who have seen the movie comment?

Health Care

The hour has produced the man:

Thank heavens Joe Biden is running!

“San Francisco recruits army of social workers, librarians and investigators to track Covid-19” [Guardian]. “San Francisco has assembled an army of librarians, social workers, attorneys, investigators and medical students to find and warn anyone and everyone who may have been exposed to Covid-19. Large-scale tracing efforts have been proven to work in other countries, including South Korea and Germany, and are considered crucial to get the United States economy back on track. But tracing efforts in a nation as large and diverse as the US come with unique challenges, and California, the country’s most populous state, is one of the first to start to take those challenges on. To set up an effective contact tracing program, California will have to increase its health department staff five or 10-fold, experts told the Guardian. The state is eventually planning to recruit 10,000 tracers, according to Gavin Newsom, the state’s governor – and test up to 80,000 people each day, relying on paid health workers and volunteers. But some municipalities are ahead of their curve, and are already beginning to recruit and train tracers.” • Interesting. The sort of thing a Jobs Guarantee would be ideal for.

Groves of Academe

“University finances” [The Grumpy Economist]. “It’s hard to think of a business model more susceptible to pandemics. Students come to universities from all over the country, and all over the world. Many US colleges are highly dependent on full-tuition revenue from overseas, especially China. College education was a big export industry for the US, which travel and visa restrictions are likely to kill. Many state schools depend on people paying full tuition from out of state. Lots of people are not likely to want to pay for online classes, and they certainly don’t want to pay more quarters of room and board while living at home in another state. (This might be good for some flexible state schools or community colleges that can let people pick up some transferable credits). Classes are really not the problem. Undergraduates barely go to classes anyway, and, as reviewed in previous super-spreader posts, we have not seen classrooms as a site of such events. It seems like if people don’t talk loudly, they don’t spread the virus. The main problem is that the college experience in most of the US centers on a loosely supervised alcohol-fueled bacchanalia.” • Yep!

Class Warfare

“Get Ready for Mass Strikes Across the U.S. This May Day” [In These Times]. “At a time when worker organizing could be stifled by physical distancing rules and the Trump administration’s disabling of the National Labor Relations Board, workers are walking off the job in massive coordinated walk-outs and sick-outs targeting major employers such as Amazon, Whole Foods, Target, Walmart, FedEx, and Instacart, demanding hazard pay, personal protective equipment and other basic protections. May Day actions throughout the United States will include worker strikes, car caravan protests, rent strikes, and a host of social media onslaughts urging work stoppages, and boycotts of major corporations that are failing to fairly pay and protect their workers amid the pandemic, activists say. Activists are also pressuring for rent and debt relief, and a ‘People’s Bailout’ demanding a more equitable stimulus and economic recovery plan that prioritizes workers.” • Haven’t seen any results yet, but the day is not over. Reader sightings welcome.

“Amazon, Whole Foods, Instacart Workers Organize a Historic Mass Strike” [Vice]. “The so-called “May Day General Strike” is the culmination of a series of strikes led by workers at companies like Whole Foods, Amazon and Instacart since the pandemic began. The organizers at the forefront of the recent labor unrest form the face of the country’s resurgent labor movement: non-union, underemployed, and precarious workers who have taken things into their own hands to demand changes and organize their co-workers in the absence of a union—primarily over social media and encrypted messaging apps like Signal and Telegram. Worker-led online groups, such as Whole Worker, Target Workers Unite, and the Instacart Shoppers (National) Facebook group, with thousands of members spanning the country—have been years in the making, but have experienced unprecedented growth during the pandemic, organizers say. While the mass strike action might not be enough to shut down society, the collective action certainly echoes the calls for a general strike—a coordinated work stoppage across businesses and industries in pursuit of a common goal—the likes of which have not been seen in the United States since World War II.”

“Coronavirus energizes the labor movement. Can it last?” [Los Angeles Times]. “Organized labor is assisting not just its own members but also protesters at nonunion companies. The International Brotherhood of Teamsters is backing Amazon warehouse workers. The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union is helping organize Instacart and Shipt shoppers. The Service Employees International Union is funding fast-food activists…. Businesses, many of them crippled by stay-at-home orders and a collapse in consumer spending, are watching the activism in dismay. ‘The unions have fully gone for it,’ said Stuart Waldman, president of the Valley Industry and Commerce Assn. in Van Nuys. ‘They’re pushing the envelope.'”

“In a Pandemic, the Mob Is the Ultimate Enforcer” [John Authers, Bloomberg]. The business perspective: “what really matters to the world’s financial movers and shakers is the great mob of voters out there in the real world, and how they might respond to whatever measures they take to deal with the pandemic and the economic crisis that has come in its wake. That, in turn, might owe a lot to the Don… The optics are not good when headlines reveal that scarcely impoverished institutions such as Harvard University and the Los Angeles Lakers have received public handouts while small businesses have been unable to get their hands on any money before it runs out. After the mistakes made in the wake of the last financial crisis, Powell rightly grasps that it is very important to get it right this time — or face what might be a dangerous populist backlash. Or, in our Sopranos analogy, the Mob.” •

“Imported by the rich, coronavirus now devastating Brazil’s poor” [Reuters]. • Very much unlike this country, where the virus was imported by gunhumpers in Michigan and evangelical pastors in Louisiana, and most definitely not by passport-wielding globalizing elites doing the globalizing thing at ports of entry. Not. And I say this as a passport-wielding front row kid, albeit downwardly mobile.

The question:

This country. That’s the essence of the wage-relation for workers right there. Work or die. Always has been!

News of the Wired

Absolutely true:

For some definition of “powerful.” I remember the Drupal transition from code I, as an amateur could work with, to code only a professional could work with. Profitable for insiders and gatekeepers.

“Raspberry Pi High Quality Camera Review: Interchangeable Lenses, Powerful Sensor” [Tom’s Hardware]. “Enter the Raspberry Pi High Quality Camera, a new module that ups the image quality with a new 12-MP sensor and supports interchangeable lenses and tripod-mounting. The module is larger and, at $50 without any of the required lenses, quite a bit more expensive than prior models, but the increased resolution and flexibility make it a great choice for photography-intensive projects.” • 12-MP is a bit small, though.

A metaphor with broad application:

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Readers, feel free to contact me at lambert [UNDERSCORE] strether [DOT] corrente [AT] yahoo [DOT] com, with (a) links, and even better (b) sources I should curate regularly, (c) how to send me a check if you are allergic to PayPal, and (d) to find out how to send me images of plants. Vegetables are fine! Fungi and coral are deemed to be honorary plants! If you want your handle to appear as a credit, please place it at the start of your mail in parentheses: (thus). Otherwise, I will anonymize by using your initials. See the previous Water Cooler (with plant) here. Today’s plant (Iain):

Iain writes: “An overexposed arbutus, for that silvery look.” From Vancouver. Interesting technique!

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About Lambert Strether

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

132 comments

    1. Judith

      In Massachusetts, as of yesterday: 3,562 deaths. Of those, 2,101 in “long-term facilities.”

      Reply
      1. JTMcPhee

        Victory for the Youngs who have labeled COVID-19 as “Boomer Remover” and “Boomer Doomer!” Feeds right into the thinking that the Elites, including Olds like Pelosi, McConnell and the rest, want us to charge forward with. Jay Gould does not even have to pay half of us to kill the other half…

        Oh, and all prisoners and their guards are of course expendable too…

        #Deplorables is a category. So ought to be #Despicables.

        Reply
        1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

          Idk man im pretty deep into Reddit and have seen maybe 2 posts about Boomer Removal. Let us not forget that these Social Media sites are run by the Atlantic Council, NATO, 5 Eyes, CIA Sssssssnakefest. The political director for aforementioned Reddit.com worked for the A.C. I see the Neoliberal Globalists pushing death, violence, sex, graphic content to KIDS! Quibi, YouTube et al push the AGITPROP for the aging gerontocracy of Americas Politburo.

          Hell, even my colleague casually dropped the news to me that our Economy is being run into gutter by a ‘Cabal’ of ‘International Socialists.’ Imagine me doing *air quotes* Like Wtf lol how am I going to respond to that?

          Reply
    2. MLTPB

      Is one lesson from S Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam, etc that people take care of their parents at home?

      Reply
        1. MLTPB

          Good question. I was discussing with commentor xkeyscored a few days earlier, who lives in SE Asia, and made some intersting and relevant points, based on personal experience, presumably.

          Reply
  1. Carolinian

    Re Raspi–a 12 mp module without a lens isn’t very impressive. The lens is where the money is. Some Canon DSLR lenses cost hundreds of dollars.

    And the lens is also where the photographic quality is although some small aperture (light gathering) lenses can do quite well. Presumably the Pi module uses surveillance camera type lenses.

    Reply
    1. Toshiro_Mifune

      The mount is for C mount lenses which has a positively huge range of options. All the way from sub $50 to $1k+. Its designed for a much smaller format than DSLRs (APS/135) so much smaller and a lot cheaper.
      C mount were originally meant for 16mm movie cameras but are also used in closed circuit, machine cameras and bunch of others. Honestly its an ideal mount for this; lots of lenses, most of which are very cheap.

      Reply
      1. Carolinian

        I withdraw my quibble. Still 12 mp chips are a dime a dozen these days. I wouldn’t call it a super bargain. You can buy a gopro 12 mp knockoff–with fixed lens–for that.

        Reply
        1. Toshiro_Mifune

          Its a 1/2.3″ sensor, so the same size as an actual GoPro. I think most of the clones are using 1/1.8 or 1/2.5. So this would be bigger. Also, you don’t have to buy the knock-off tear it down, pull the sensor out and hook it up to the board.

          You are correct; If you’re really looking for cheap photography (quality/vs price) a used DSLR would be the best best for stills. Something like a d3000 has a sensor that would dwarf this and they regularly go for under $100.
          This however would be great for playing around with. A gimbal mount controlled by the Pi which is also doing still or video capture.

          Reply
          1. Carolinian

            I mess with drones but not very much–only because I was given one. However the photo possibilities are intriguing and I have one of those gopro knock offs to use for this. It weighs very little. The one I have uses a Sony CCTV chip and gives surprisingly good quality if you don’t mind wide angle. It also goes underwater (haven’t tried that). These sorts of cameras are apparently popular in China with many versions.

            Reply
    1. Massinissa

      I read the article you linked, I thought “Wait, if Biden is Brezhnev… Does that make Trump Khruschev?”, and then googled and found a 2017 FP article comparing Trump to Khruschev… Unfortunately the article is pay-walled and I can’t read it.

      Reply
  2. Oregoncharles

    Two links on Mayday strikes, both from Gnews so widely seen:

    Democracy Now!: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vUuNZvgNc0o

    LA Times: https://www.latimes.com/homeless-housing/story/2020-05-01/coronavirus-rent-strike-eviction-squatting-landlord-los-angeles-california. That’s the old headline; current: “‘This isn’t an acceptable reality’: L.A. renters hit new levels of rage under coronavirus”

    I was afraid nothing would happen.

    And the other rent-strike headline, from WSJ: “What Happens to Landlords When Tenants Can’t Pay Rent? | WSJ” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V0Vwerb2JvE

    Hard to feel sorry for rentiers, but it’s a good example of not being able to do only one thing. If tenants can’t or don’t pay, a lot of landlords can’t pay, either; mortgages, utilities, taxes affect a whole set of institutions. On a large scale, cascades like that lead to a financial collapse. The logical solution is to freeze everything in place, plus apply band-aids, but we don’t see that happening and I’m not sure we have the organizational capacity.

    How was this managed in other countries with even harder lockdowns?

    Reply
  3. urblintz

    Imho, “Planet of the Humans” makes the case that any pursuit of energy consumption which does not reduce said consumption, no matter from where the energy is derived, is a losing battle. Renewable technology certainly mitigates carbon emission more than burning fossil fuel and if there was a preference of statistics to support the argument that no renewables can exist without using fossil fuel one way or the other, well, it’s a documentary making its case and is the equivalent of jaywalking when measured against the greater crimes of “profit” and cynical “virtue signalling” committed by the industry. It’s not difficult to see the conflict of interest when the Sierra Club is in cahoots with BP to assure that limiting climate change is a money maker. Its poignant finale, revealing the false promise of bio-mass is particularly disturbing. My take is on POTH’s POV: oil/fossil fuel isn’t the biggest problem, we are. A reduced population and much less consumption are the only solutions, and the film doesn’t really provide suggestion for either… for obvious reasons.

    The Nation has an article accusing Moore of supporting the oil and gas industry in producing this. That’s preposterous. The Yale link suggesting it promotes climate change denial is even more ridiculous… imho.

    Reply
    1. Pelham

      I was very impressed with the film until I read some of the backlash, which is also impressive. So now I’m left wishing that someone, somewhere would create a series of debates for the filmmakers and their opponents.

      That said, both sides leave open some questions I’ve long had about energy issues:

      1) How should nuclear power figure in? I ask because Sweden with 9 nuclear plants had already met its 2030 emission goals before it began to get rid of the plants. Now it’s losing ground on emissions.

      2) Germany is supposedly having a hard time switching to renewables despite all the hoo-haw over occasional days in the summer when renewables account for large percentages of its power needs. Electricity costs there are sky-high, and the need to maintain base load backup means their actual CO2 emissions aren’t improving much.

      3) Finally, given the ginormous investment in wind and solar over the past couple of decades, shouldn’t we have seen at least a teensy weensy dip in global emissions? That’s just not happening, and this single huge fact, IMO, raises serious questions about continuing down the wind-solar path.

      Reply
    2. Painted Shut

      I don’t think it contributes to climate change denial, per se, but I can see it making things more difficult for proposals like Green New Deal. And perhaps rightfully so. Taking workers out of coal mines and giving them “green” jobs deforesting so we can burn trees instead of coal cannot be anyone’s actual idea of helping the planet, ideas borne of grift motive notwithstanding.

      Reply
    3. Jonathan Holland Becnel

      That producer Ozzie impressed me the most. He blew my mind talking to Mr. Gibbs. One quote that I remember, not sure if it’s Ozzie, is that Industrialism can’t save the Earth using Industrialism.

      Everyone needs to watch the Doc!!!!

      Reply
  4. Mikel

    RE: Yale…Planet of the Humans

    “But the film somehow fails to mention that it’s far lower than the fossil fuel alternatives, instead falsely suggesting (with zero supporting evidence) that renewables are just as bad.”

    Those solar panel and broken down wind farm deserts shown were pretty damning.

    I didn’t get the impression the activists were “climate deniers.” Far from it.
    And I knew there would be panties in a bunch over that one comment.

    But just go ahead and label anyone with questions “climate deniers.”

    It was more than enlightening the way the 350.org and other types refuses to engage with the filmmakers questions.

    It’s not that long of a film. Take a look for yourselves and then engage with the questions.

    Reply
    1. Alanem

      Anything with Moore’s name on it deserves scrutiny, IMO. But I didn’t see any climate change denial in it. I took it as a partial antidote to “tech will save us!” nonsense. It shows some of the tech costs that are usually unmentioned. In particular, the short lifetimes of solar and wind tech in the context of their environmental costs. It does turn into a Bill McKibben attack vehicle by the end.
      It fails, IMO, in not pursuing alternatives like restructuring away from consumerism.
      The pearl-clutching over it is ridiculous.

      Reply
    2. Painted Shut

      Correct, they weren’t climate deniers. They set about pointing out that the prescribed methods of “going green” really weren’t all that green, that those doing the prescribing have proven to be bezzle mongers, and that the real solution is lower population.

      Reply
      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > the real solution is lower population.

        The pandemic seems to be legitimating the eugenics it is, in fact, accomplishing; eugenics is bubbling up across the political spectrum. I’m not sure I like that, much.

        Eugenics, IIRC, was very big in the Progressive Era; the PMC was very concerned that only the right people be allowed to breed.

        Needless to say, a working class movement would oppose eugenics, because — as we see have already seen with falling life expectancy, deaths of despair, and opioids, not to mention cops and wars — most of those killed will be workers.

        Reply
    3. Rick

      I found the main point of the film was that no technology is going to allow us to continue to increase our population and energy consumption forever. The details of the carbon footprint of non-traditional energy sources is irrelevant to that notion.

      And given the documented misinformation from various supposedly eco-friendly sources, should we trust Nature Energy?

      Reply
      1. Phacops

        Exactly! I do not remember who said it, but I agree that; “growth is the logic of a cancer cell.”

        Reply
      2. Foy

        Yep agreed, can’t have exponential (consumption) growth in a finite world, and green growth doesn’t stop that equation.

        Reply
    4. Rod

      Someone sent me the last 6-10 minutes and I was confused and then sick to my stomach.

      Then I watched it the whole thing.
      It scrambled all my eggs.
      But I have been telling and linking it to just about all I have seen in the last five days–just because what Moore put out stunned me and confused me. And I said the very same thing to everyone:

      It’s not that long of a film. Take a look for yourselves and then engage with the questions.

      And I have questions.

      And because of something I had posted here at NC—
      Here is a simple one in my mind–On April 22, why did the YouthClimateStrikeUS and the EarthdayLive(from Earthday.org) decide to become mutually exclusive?

      two things I now believe:
      Normal is not part of our future

      Reply
    5. Moshe Braner

      The film brings up important issues, but is very sloppy on the data. They could have done much better.

      One example: they quote Tesla’s claim that their battery factory is solar powered, then say that’s false because the factory is connected to the grid, and uses grid power. Well of course, the sun doesn’t always shine. The film makes it sound like therefore solar power is useless. A more relevant critique would instead handle the following points:
      * what is done with the excess solar power during sunny days. It is mostly running air conditioners. Although that displaces fossil fuels, could we avoid the air conditioning altogether, via better insulation for example?
      * how much of the energy invested in making those batteries comes from electricity used in the factory, vs. other energy sources (mostly fossil fuels) used in mining, processing, and transporting the minerals used for making the batteries – lithium, cobalt, etc – on several continents.

      Another example: they say solar power is no good because you have to have gas-powered generating plants idling alongside, big enough to take the whole load when the sun shines. They interview people who seem to say that those generators use as much fossil fuels when idling as when running at full power. That is nonsense. Especially for natural gas plants. A valid critique would get the numbers, on fuel use when idling, and on the embedded energy in building and maintaining those generating plants which should be counted in computing the net overall energy-profit of the solar power.

      Reply
      1. Tom

        One thing the film makes absolutely clear is the corporate capture of the green movement…just like the complete corporate capture of the US government and regulatory agencies.
        An amusing vignette is the look of pure hatred on the face of RFKennedy jr when confronted by the film makers. The film did go after green virtue signaling money grubbers.
        I’m an old Oil Drum lurker and EROEI is my god. The film could have gotten into that more to make its point.
        I just saw Josh Fox on Rising and he was ranting that the necessary conservation implied by the film was just an excuse for harsh population control.
        The energy gorging American Dream will not continue as usual with solar and wind. Corona Pandemica may contribute to helping us figure that out.

        Reply
        1. MLTPB

          Total consumption = population x consumption per capita.

          Population growth from birth can be zero next year by postponing having babies for one year. Is that harsh? Nothing about not being able to, for the rest of time, just one year.

          Consumption per capita can be heavily manipulated mentally. Moving to the UK, or vacationing in France, for example. Or new Spring clothes for another.

          Reply
        1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

          Lol.

          I saw the First Space Jam in theatres when I was 12 and WOW…Looking forward to LeBron’s version!

          Michael Moore goes up and down in my book. But ever since he endorsed Bernie and now putting out this documentary…Keep em coming! Every state needs a Michael Moore!

          Reply
    6. Rogue scholar

      The short take is that neoliberalism has infested the green movement so it’s about making money and pretending we don’t have to change our lifestyle

      Reply
        1. MLTPB

          Less consumption = fewer billionaires

          Less consumption = no need to be a science or technology virtuoso. Any one with a heart can understand the beauty of living a simple life. It’s Chan or Zen way of looking at people and the world…not via logic nor reason (necessarily), but one’s Buddha Nature.

          Reply
        2. KLG

          The most painful part of the film for many was Bill McKibben looking so stutteringly lost when he was asked who funds 350.org…I don’t know, says he. I have given many talks based on the work of my graduate students. I always know how the experiments were done, just as McKibben should know where his money comes from. Sad!

          Reply
      1. Katniss Everdeen

        Yes. Pretty short shrift given to the real elephant in the room:

        The filmmakers call for an end to limitless economic growth and consumption. It’s difficult to envision that goal being achieved anytime soon, but even if it is, human civilization will continue to exist and require energy.

        What do you do when you want to obscure the essential message? Harp on controversial details and use discrepancies to derail it all.

        Reply
        1. Painted Shut

          The position taken by the documentary seems similar to my point of view: that climate change is happening, but there’s nothing we can do about it.

          For one thing, we would need every country on the planet to engage in the same activities. This notion that America can affect change on our own is silly. It’s all one planet, and all we’ve really managed to do is offshore our pollution, not actually eliminate it.

          And secondly, the documentary shows that energy production will always be somehow dependent on fossil fuels, so unless we’re ready to take everything off the grid and go back to colonial period lifestyles, although our way of life is not sustainable, it’s also not reversible. So it’s probably better to just avoid the latest grift attempts and learn to live with reality, such as it is.

          Reply
          1. Carolinian

            Maybe for a start we can round up all the king cab pickup trucks. This could kill the lawn mowing business however since all those mower guys seem to own a huge truck to pull their fancy, zero radius turn mowers. I mow my lawn with an engine free push mower.

            The problem with Americans is not just that we use a lot of energy but that we are wasteful, profligate users of energy. Our current lifestyle could survive very nicely with smaller houses, smaller vehicles and less air travel. So in that sense it does indeed seem foolish to cover up Texas with wind mills simply in order to support extravagance.

            But without a doubt the country’s population–which has doubled during my lifetime–is the number one factor. This seemed like a big deal decades ago but rarely gets talked about now.

            Reply
          2. False Solace

            > The position taken by the documentary seems similar to my point of view: that climate change is happening, but there’s nothing we can do about it.

            Ah yes, stage three.

            Sir Richard Wharton: “In stage one, we say nothing is going to happen.”

            Sir Humphrey Appleby: “Stage two, we say something may be about to happen, but we should do nothing about it.”

            Sir Richard Wharton: “In stage three, we say that maybe we should do something about it, but there’s nothing we can do.”

            Sir Humphrey Appleby: “Stage four, we say maybe there was something we could have done, but it’s too late now.”

            Reply
          3. JTMcPhee

            “Our way of life” is most definitely reversible. All we got to do is keep on the way we are, with whatever tech fripperies we can come up with, and at some point the Jackpot will happen.

            Most humans want to just get MORE of all the stuff that is killing the planet. That I think is what Moore is pointing out. And that its not apparent that us humans have any sufficient actual plans, let alone actions, to stop the growth.

            Reply
        2. lyman alpha blob

          One of the points they made on the film was that renewables haven’t so much decreased fossil fuel use as they have added to it, producing more energy than ever. So we’re ramping up industrial renewable production and still burning all the oil.

          That we can’t keep doing this is ignored by the critics, probably deliberately so.

          Reply
  5. BobW

    A modest proposal to address unemployment, postal revenue, airline profits, and container availability:
    1. hire people to cut up empty containers
    2. mail the pieces back to China
    3. via air mail
    4. reassemble containers in China

    Reply
  6. stefan

    I am in favor of forming a brand new party. Call it the Independence Party, (“Indies” for short).

    Trying to operate within the confines of the existing Democrats is well-nigh 100% impossible, as AOC’s experience so often shows.

    Reply
    1. Ed Miller

      Independence Party is too close to the Independent Party which collects unsuspecting non-aligned voters.

      Some time ago I realized there is a perfect name for what is really needed: Citizens United
      What a shame the Koch brothers stole it from it’s rightful place in history:

      Citizens United Against Oligarchs

      On the other hand – wildly dream mode here – suppose that name could be used as the name of a political party. The use of their brand stuffed in their faces would be a such a draw for those who have lost out due to the corruption of our language.

      This is obviously tongue in cheek, but I like to dream, even in my 70’s.

      Reply
      1. jsn

        It would be delightful to see Citizens Untied undo Citizens United!

        Words might have shared meanings again.

        Reply
    2. Dirk77

      I have been leaning toward the “Social Republican Party”. Similar to social democrats except since we are Republicans so you’ll know where we stand, know we think we are right and know we will demand instead of asking.

      Reply
      1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

        If there is a people’s party path within an existing party, it’s def the Republicans.

        My party name vote is Neon Marxists :)

        Reply
  7. Wukchumni

    Canada didn’t go the ‘thoughts & prayers’ route on assault weapons after a tragic mass murder, how disappointing of them to not follow our lead.

    Reply
    1. DonCoyote

      Hard times for the NRA, they’ve had to scale back on their international lobbying efforts. Plus they’re trying to keep their powder dry for Trump 2020.

      New slogan “Guns don’t kill people. That Chinese virus kills people.”

      Reply
    2. rowlf

      Weird: There are exceptions under the amnesty for Indigenous peoples exercising Aboriginal or treaty rights to hunt, and for those who hunt or trap to sustain themselves or their families. These exceptions will allow for the continued use of newly prohibited firearms in limited circumstances until a suitable replacement can be found.

      The official documents also list all the makes and models of recoilless rifles and rocket launchers that are prohibited.

      Prime Minister announces ban on assault-style firearms

      Reply
  8. Billy

    “A 2017 study in Nature Energy found that when accounting for manufacturing and construction, the lifetime carbon footprints of solar, wind, and nuclear power are about 20 times smaller than those of coal and natural gas, even when the latter include expensive carbon capture and storage technology. The energy produced during the operation of a solar panel and wind turbine is 26 and 44 times greater than the energy needed to build and install them, respectively.”

    Does “lifetime” include the storage, encasement, transport, burying and guarding of nuclear waste? Plus hundreds of thousands of years of radioactive decay, storage and poisoning the environment? Would you rather live next to an obsolete windmill or solar park, or a nuclear reactor with waste storage pools full of fuel rods?

    What’s more difficult to manufacture?, A series of windmills, a solar panel or a nuclear reactor?

    Coal is a mined product, as is natural gas. Then it’s ready for combustion. Nuclear power plants, once they are constructed, require a continual “product” not mentioned, the ongoing mining, extraction and refining of millions of tons of rock to get the uranium to fuel them, which produces mining waste, plus the byproduct the post reactor fuel rod waste mentioned above.

    Nature magazine, seems to be funded by the nuclear power industry, that’s the only conclusion drawn by their strawman arguments.

    Since this article was published 19 years ago, not one insurance company has written a liability policy for a nuclear reactor, nor did they before that. There is no new technology in place, just press releases and more pleas for taxpayer funding and continual exposure of our bodies to their contamination.

    The Top 10 Pro Nuclear Power Arguments Refuted

    https://www.motherearthnews.com/nature-and-environment/pro-nuclear-power-zmaz81jfzraw

    Reply
    1. Lou Anton

      Correct. There are a few sins of omission in that rebuttal to Planet of the Humans’ key points:

      “In one scene, author and film co-producer Ozzie Zehner falsely asserts, ‘You use more fossil fuels [manufacturing renewables infrastructure] than you’re getting benefit from. You would have been better off burning the fossil fuels in the first place instead of playing pretend.’ That’s monumentally wrong. A 2017 study in Nature Energy found that when accounting for manufacturing and construction, the lifetime carbon footprints of solar, wind, and nuclear power are about 20 times smaller than those of coal and natural gas, even when the latter include expensive carbon capture and storage technology.”

      Accounts for manufacturing and construction, fine. But the movie makes a vital point that fossil fuels are running on backup at all times for the renewables. They don’t produce enough energy on their own (e.g. when there’s no wind), and so the electricity comes back online to provide energy whenever the renewable doesn’t have any to give. Fossil fuel energy also helps to store the surplus energy. So, all-in, it’s a “heads I win, tails I win” story for fossil fuel.

      “The film’s case is akin to arguing that because fruit contains sugar, eating strawberries is no healthier than eating a cheesecake.”

      A more accurate description is: “Fossil fuels are like eating cheesecake. Renewables right now are like eating strawberry cheesecake but telling yourself you’re really just eating strawberries.”

      Reply
      1. Katniss Everdeen

        “Fossil fuels are like eating cheesecake. Renewables right now are like eating strawberry cheesecake but telling yourself you’re really just eating strawberries.”

        Genius.

        Reply
    2. jmkiru

      that article at motherearthnews is not entirely on the level.

      ex: they use samples of genetic effect form Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and suggest the genetic effects from fallout are reasons to be concerned about Nuclear power – which is curious, because those are bombs, and not a reactor malfunction. Chernobyl would be a far, far better comparison for the worst case scenario – thousands with genetic effects (out of millions), and surprisingly few deaths accoring to the WHO – somewhere around 60. Not to minimize the danger, but that’s a far, far different scenario.

      Other answers are incredibly hand-wavy – the insurance claims are dishonest because they’re about policy, and if a tylenol sized piece of nuclear fuel is enough to provide power to everyone, which can be re-used in the same reactor and be pulled from the already available spent fuel we have and recycled, I don’t know how we say no to this, especially when compared with the incredible savings in carbon and fossil fuel polution.

      Every “pro-nuclear” speaker I’ve ever heard will be the first to tell you the reactors in the US need to be demolished and replaced with new generation reactors – the ones we’re running are positively ancient in technical terms, the reasons being a depressing mixture of politics and well-intentioned anti-nuclear activism.

      If you’re interested in another take on Nuclear, watch ‘Pandora’s Promise’ – it’s an incredibly journey from anti-nuclear to if not fully pro, then “pro something that can significantly reduce fossil fuels within our lifetimes.”

      Reply
      1. False Solace

        The official Chernobyl numbers are ludicrous and not credible. Ukraine is paying hundreds of thousands of widows and former cleanup workers to this day for Chernobyl cleanup-related illness and deaths. A science historian from MIT who started digging into it after the fall of the USSR said most of the medical records had never even been looked at. The effects of the Chernobyl accident may be difficult to detangle from the economic depression folllowing the collapse of the Soviet Union, but it has not even been attempted. The nuclear power industry and nuclear armed countries have a vested interest in ensuring no accurate study is ever done. And they rush to dispute any numbers that contradict their narrative.

        [A] contentious report published by members of the Russian Academy of Sciences indicates that there could have been as many as 830,000 people in the Chernobyl clean-up teams. They estimated that between 112,000 and 125,000 of these – around 15% – had died by 2005. Many of the figures in the report, however, were disputed by scientists in the West[….]

        [Dr Kate] Brown has found evidence hidden in hospital records from around the time of the accident that show just how widespread problems were.

        “In hospitals throughout the region and as far away as Moscow, people were flooding in with acute symptoms,” she says. “The accounts I have indicate at least 40,000 people were hospitalised in the summer after the accident, many of them women and children.” …

        Viktor Sushko, deputy director general of the National Research Centre for Radiation Medicine (NRCRM) based in Kiev, Ukraine, describes the Chernobyl disaster as the “largest anthropogenic disaster in the history of humankind”. The NRCRM estimate around five million citizens of the former USSR, including three million in Ukraine, have suffered as a result of Chernobyl, while in Belarus around 800,000 people were registered as being affected by radiation following the disaster.

        Reply
        1. jmkiru

          the numbers I cited are from the WHO – regardless, I have a hard time believing the west would agree to cover the deaths up in the interests of nuclear power – especially when reactors were working in every other part of the world.

          I’ll be the first to admit governments bend to industry more than they should… but the west white-washing Chernobyl? That’s a bit harder to swallow.

          For the sake of argument, though, let’s assume you’re correct. That would mean the 830k people directly involved in cleaning up the single worst nuclear incident in history – who were in no way given proper equipment, protection, etc… suffered a mortality rate over ~20 years of roughly 15%.

          Belarus at the time had a population over 10 million people, and of them ~ 8% were registered as being affected by radiation following Chernobyl. Not fatally wounded – affected.

          Meanwhile, the other 3 reactors continued to run after the incident, by utilizing shorter shifts greater precautions, and the sarcophagus.

          To be crystal clear, I know i sound like I’m minimizing this, and I don’t mean to. Chernobyl was an absolute nightmare – but we’re talking about the single worst event at the single worst reactor design, with the single worst response by the Powers That Be, and these are the results. Apart from leeching into ground water, this is as close to the worst case scenario as we’re going to get, and it is far more honest than using Hiroshima and Nagisaki as a reactor worst-case, no matter who’s numbers you use.

          Reactors in the rest of the world were far more advanced than this at the time – modern reactors are so many times safer they shouldn’t even be in the same category.

          And as I write this, 10,000 people die world wide from fossil fuel pollution every day, from everything *working as designed*, to say nothing of the deaths from anthropogenic climate change, which will dwarf all of this. If we want to mitigate this, we must, must take an honest look at nuclear, and forget the scaremongering that so often comes with it.

          Reply
          1. Billy

            “and IF a tylenol sized piece of nuclear fuel is enough to provide power to everyone”?at what cost per KWh and how many public subsidies? How much diesel is required to mine, transport, refine, treat waste, further refine, transport, load fuel rods, extract fuel rods, encase, dig holes or cooling pools, transport etc?

            Solar hot water on my roof, and solar panels next to them, that I own and contol, with a distant central natural gas powered backup, are fine by me.

            Anyone who attempts to foist off another nuke in my windshed will be treated like a burglar I catch with a shotgun in my hand as he comes through my door

            Reply
            1. jmkiru

              That’s literally a power of breeder reactors – they can recycle spent fuel, and enrich material we have just laying around for disposal. The entire food chain you just described is already spent – on that basis, it’s the reactor making the new fuel, and supplying power for it, which, given our current energy needs, seems a much better solution than letting it just sit there.

              Just so we’re clear though, you’re asserting there are no public subsidies, or diesel fuel required to transport, refine, treat waste, further refine, or transport the raw materials involved in solar panels? Really?

              On the subject of natural gas – again, really? when you say distant natural gas, it’s still going to be not-so distant to someone – are you arguing from NIMBY, or just not concerned about the carbon emissions of all that mining, transport, refining, and burning of natural gas?

              Finally as to your ‘shotgun in hand’ comment… forget we’re arguing for a moment. No joke, really take a moment with this, because you’ve stopped discussing and started menacing (not in the legal way, just the regular one)… which, I mean I get it, nuclear is an emotional topic for a lot of people – I’m one of them. I believed in wind and solar for years, and I still do, but they aren’t going to do the job in time, not with the manufacturing and material limits we have. I used to be anti nuclear – a holdover from my student days. When I took a fresh look I started seeing just how disingenuous the arguments against nuclear power are – the ones I’d been listening to for years – it was just depressing.

              I don’t know if you’re one of the recipients of all the surplus free time going around, but if you are take a fresh look – the worst that happens is you waste a few hours reading and / or watching something that will challenge what you believe – where’s the harm in that?

              Reply
  9. Another Scott

    The Yale article reads like it was written by the wind and solar lobby. The critiques of the film sound exactly like many that the right used against Moore’s earlier films: namely that he used outdated facts or made exaggerations. It fundamentally misses the point of the film, which is that there are too many people on the planet using too much energy. The author admits that using less energy isn’t possible.

    The film’s secondary points: that the renewable industry is highly dependent upon fossil fuels for construction and maintenance as backups and that big money is behind many of the organization pushing “green” energy are familiar to most readers here, and are largely undressed in the critique.

    Even his admission that the criticism of biomass is valid should be seen through this lens – it is a source of energy that isn’t well-liked by wind and solar as it competes for government subsidies. I would add that the film doesn’t even get into the fact that some wind farms are being decommissioned and upgraded before their useful life for the sole purpose of getting tax credits on the incremental generation despite likely having a worse environmental impact than the existing farms.

    I don’t have time to look into the Yale Climate Connections and the author, but would not be surprised if it had the same self-interested environmentalists depicted in the film.

    Reply
    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      Maine, as one of the areas of the country colonized by the metropolis, has excellent experience both with biomass and wind.

      When you hear biomass, what you think is biomass, like wood-chips or grass clippings, What it actually is, is construction debris that states like Massachusetts are not willing to dispose of themselves, and so truck to jurisdictions where land (and lives (and the environment)) are a lot cheaper.

      Wind also seems innocuous. What we ought to be doing is using wind from offshore to power Downeast. What we are doing instead is building enormous windmills on mountains, spoiling viewsheds. The more creative companies turn the windmills over to the localities after a fixed time period — when the windmills are about to end their useful lives, so the burden of disposal (or not) rests with the towns. Oh, the power goes out of state. Naturally.

      Reply
  10. Michael Fiorillo

    Ah, yes, the #McResistance TM, which not only gave Hitler a Space Force, but renewal of the Patriot Act, a trade deal with Mexico, homicidal sanctions against Iran and Venezuela, all while squandering three years on Russiagate and Zombie Son of Russiagate, continually validating Hitler’s accusations of Fake News.

    Reply
    1. Fireship

      Calling him Hitler is just silly. Trump is the ultimate American, the greatest hustler. He has no interest in the ideology of Fascism. Fascism is concerned with the metaphysical unity of man, society and the State at its core. Donald Trump is about eating cheeseburgers in bed in the White House while watching Fox news.

      Reply
      1. MK

        Pictures of him using a knife and fork to eat McD’s make it highly unlikely he eats in bed. Total germaphobe, it just doesn’t jibe.

        Reply
        1. False Solace

          I checked DDG and Google and couldn’t find any pics of Trump eating McDonalds with a knife and fork. His former aide Lewandowski wrote in his book that Trump doesn’t eat the hamburger buns. If he’s eating just the hamburger and toppings, it would make more sense to use cutlery.

          I was able to find pics of Trump eating french fries with his fingers, and a pic of him eating KFC with a fork, but that isn’t that unusual for a guy wearing a suit and tie.

          My impression is that Trump eats fast food very calculatedly, as a means of connecting with Average Joe voters, in addition to whatever phobias he has regarding germs or poisoning attempts.

          Reply
  11. sd

    Bernie Sanders – I’ve received regular and ongoing text messages to donate to charities and non-profit orgs from his Bernie campaign:

    Amazonians United Mutual Fund
    The Workers Fund (gig workers)
    Rent Zero Tenant Organizing Fund
    COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund for Community Bail & Bonds Fund
    CERF+COVID-19 Response Fund
    UNITE HERE
    Make the Road
    CPD Community Solidarity
    Coworker.org
    AGMA – musicians
    Domestic Violence Hotline
    Children of Restaurant Employees
    US Bartenders Guild
    Feeding America

    The donations appear to go thru ActBlue to each of the individual charities. As far as I can tell, Bernie is just using his mailing list.

    Reply
    1. Moshe Braner

      Talking about ActBlue, how much of a fee does it keep out of the donations, and how much of a fee do the banksters keep? Is there a way to bypass the banksters? You can always snailmail a paper check I guess, but are there more convenient methods? I’ve been looking into e-checks, they are apparently not available for free any more, but may be a good choice, especially for larger payments where it is much less than the 3% or so that the banksters charge on credit card transactions (and even Paypal charges on merchant accounts).

      Reply
        1. John Anthony La Pietra

          Of course, that doesn’t mean there are no fees — it just means you pay them, not the group you’re contributing to. A check, a stamp, and an envelope left out for the mail carrier to carry back is cheaper — as long as we still have the Post Office, of course. . . .

          Reply
    2. sd

      I just got another request from Bernie via email to contribute to some of the charities from above:

      Restaurant Worker Disaster Relief Fund
      US Bartenders Guild COVID-19 Relief Fund
      Children of Restaurant Employees COVID-19 Relief Program
      Vermont Foodbank
      Amazonians United Mutual Aid Fund
      American Guild of Musical Artists (AGMA) Relief Fund

      I think its a great use of his list.

      Reply
    3. Lambert Strether Post author

      This is all laudable; I would have expected to get such mail. (I can’t get text, and as I understand it, the text and mail operations are separate, organizers please correct).

      I would still focus only on strikes, and make that message explicit. “To govern is to choose.”

      Reply
  12. fresno dan

    New Documents Show Strzok Countermanded Closure Of Flynn Case For Lack Of Crime” [Jonathan Turley].

    What is so disconcerting is that it would take little effort to acknowledge that this record is highly disturbing and wrong, but not enough to throw out the plea. As I said last year, it is unlikely that Judge Sullivan will toss out the plea. Yet, because such analysis would seem to benefit a Trump associate, the media has aligned itself with an outrageous record of bias and abuse. There was a time when MSNBC, CNN, the Washington Post and other outlets were voices against such prosecutorial abuse. However, in this age of rage, even this record is dismissed as “routine” to avoid undermining a crushingly consistent narrative that the Russian investigation was based on real crimes, albeit collateral crimes. The “nothing to see here” coverage sacrifices both legal and journalistic values to to maintain a transparently biased narrative.
    ======================================================
    I find it hard to take Turley seriously, after a long, long list of abuses are detailed and than somehow concludes that the case can’t be dismissed. It is very apparent that this was a charade to advance and defend Russiagate, and that a charge of lying was fabricated to advance those ends. Fabricating evidence to….well, if the phrase overthrow a president isn’t used, why not? You can’t ignore the FBI fabrications against Carter Page and act like all these events were coincidences. And when one considers all the substantive actions the Trump administration has taken against Russia ….well, its just mind boggling the efforts being taken to maintain the Russian collusion “narrative.”
    Is Flynn’s Turkey representation or FARA (foreign agent registration act) violations the reasons Turley thinks the case can’t be dismissed ??? – if so, Turley should be clear about that.
    I despise Trump, but it seems clear to me that the higher ups in the FBI and DoJ were manufacturing crimes because they wanted to undermine Trump. And you know what? I have no doubt these people really sincerely think Russia is part of the evil empire, and Trump is evil, and they were in cahoots. But sincere people are the most dangerous people, because they can’t see that their deeply held beliefs are in error…

    Reply
  13. fresno dan

    Some lily gilding here, but just to make the point that it isn’t just republicans who think there is something fishy with the FBI and Flynn, this is from Scott Ritter, who I don’t think anyone could criticize as a right winger.

    https://www.rt.com/op-ed/487301-flynn-fbi-abuse-power/
    The evidence of a doctored 302 report, when combined with the evidence that the US prosecutor conspired with Flynn’s former legal counsel to “keep secret” the details of his plea agreement, in violation of so-called Giglio requirements (named after the legal precedent set in Giglio v. United States which holds that the failure to disclose immunity deals to co-conspirators constitutes a violation of due-process rights), constitutes a clear-cut case of FBI malfeasance and prosecutorial misconduct. Under normal circumstances, that should warrant the dismissal of the government’s case against Flynn.

    Whether Judge Emmet G Sullivan will agree to a dismissal, or, if not, whether the Department of Justice would seek to retry Flynn, are not known at this time. What is known, however, is the level of corruption that exists within the FBI and elements of the Department of Justice, regarding their prosecution of a US citizen for purely political motive. Notions of integrity and fealty to the rule of law that underpin the opinions of many Americans when it comes to these two institutions have been shredded in the face of overwhelming evidence that the law is meaningless when the FBI targets you. If this could happen to a man with Michael Flynn’s stature and reputation, it can happen to anyone.

    Reply
  14. JBird4049

    Shipping: “FIATA warns global container imbalance at ‘tipping point’”

    This is a serious issue. Even in favorable economic conditions for the shipping industry moving and storing the 40’ long shipping containers at any major port is a major problem. There is an entire industry of companies that manage the separate issues of manufacturing, storage (especially when not in use), and rental of the containers. So you can have a (1)manufacturer ship merchandise via a (2)shipping company that usually leases the containers from a (3)container leasing company, which stores them at the (4)depot yards of yet another company. When the containers arrive you reverse the process. There is often separate (5) drayage companies moving the merchandise between factory, warehouse, and port. There could easily be 8-10 separate companies involved in getting that pc or pants to you.

    These are the same containers that you see as they are transferred from ship to big rig to train. The more centralized manufacturing has become (i.e. China) the greater the problem. Someone has to pay the depot for storing thousands of containers however they are, or are not, being used. Often the leasing company has to pay shippers to move the empty 40’ containers back to an exporter that needs them. They do no good stored empty in a yard somewhere.

    It is like a massive traffic jam.

    China (how else?) makes most of the world’s containers, but those same containers can be used for years, even more than a decade, and the American wars that so profitably ate up the containers (one person required what one container carried each year) what with the theft (also useful as buildings, when “lost”) and destruction of them in active war zones. Needless to say the American military paid the containers’ lessors generously. Part of my generous bonuses then was because of that. More war meant more shipping that often disappeared and I was just an office grunt.

    Although containerization shipping is much more efficient than breakbulk it is more fragile. It is more easy to break the chain which means that you don’t get your pants or your medications. The authorities better get of this, but that presupposes competence and a willingness to listen to those who know what they are talking about.

    But we’re run by fools.

    Reply
    1. Acacia

      OT, but once I shipped something overseas and the company provided a nice little PowerPoint file. The first slide was merely a question: “Do I need insurance?” After that, there were about twenty slides of shipping containers in various stages of distress, i.e., a few shots of containers floating in the ocean, a few dropped from a crane onto a dock, toppled from a truck, one smashed open somehow, etc. The last slide cheerfully asked: “Any more questions?” ;)

      OTT, there is a curious documentary film The Forgotten Space, that is all about containerization.

      Reply
      1. JBird4049

        At the office some collected disaster photos of the company’s containers after an accident or disaster like a hobby.

        The ones of a South American port after a hurricane was interesting and a bit frightening. Bunches of 40’ steel boxes, not just ours, just tossed like sticks and sometimes crushed. Hurricanes are no joke.

        Reply
    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      > Although containerization shipping is much more efficient than breakbulk it is more fragile.

      Like so much else. This is an important issue. I love container shipping as a topic, can any other readers weigh in?

      Reply
      1. Epynonymous

        Theyre used as barricades in the warzones. Just add sand.

        Additionally, a global downturn would be a logical time to ship them all back as any. This could be financed through taxation if our markets dont magically fix the imbalance.

        Reply
        1. JBird4049

          The only reason that a leasing company pays for empty containers to be shipped back from an importer is because there are not enough at an exporter’s port and they expect to be able to lease them at least break even numbers.

          Unless there is absolutely no safe storage to be had locally. I am really am no longer knowledgeable about the industry anymore except to say more except that those containers are worth real money. Designed to survive storms in the open ocean and moved about anywhere for years.

          Around 2005 the company I worked at was almost sold and the biggest fear was that they would strip all the assets like the thousands of containers and the contracted/owned facilities and sell them. The employees? Guess.

          Going back to the excess containers, If nothing else a company could hopefully sell them. Perhaps to Syria, Iraq or any place that has had a war or is just dirt poor. Ready made buildings and storage. Maybe the refrigerated units would be very useful.

          Reply
  15. flora

    re:“Sclerotic America” [John Furlan, Econintersect]. “The U.S. has had sclerotic political leadership during this crisis.

    an aside: so… the libertarian definition of freedom begins and ends with what’s most (financially) advantageous to the individual alone, no interest in the larger society/country the individual lives in. Neoliberals are market libertarians, where the corporation is seen as an ‘individual with rights’ (thanks, Supreme Court), again without interest in the larger country’s interests/well being. Both parties have bought into this. And here we are. Sclerotic. Shockers.

    Reply
  16. Acacia

    Re: “Biden operatives accessed secret Senate records at University of Delaware”

    Perhaps when Joe was stammering to Mika Brzezinski that there is nothing in the U. of D. files, he was trying not to blurt out that his handlers already had those records purged of checked for anything incriminating.

    Reply
        1. John Anthony La Pietra

          Well, after all, “privilege” is derived from the Latin for “private law”. (And thank you again to the late Sir Terry Pratchett. . . .)

          Reply
    1. The Rev Kev

      With the University of Delaware locked down, it would be a shame if there was a fire in the section storing old Joe’s records now, wouldn’t it?

      Reply
  17. TalkingCargo

    Went to the Target in South Miami this morning and didn’t see any sign of strikers. I did note that a lot of the employees seemed to be wearing homemade masks.

    Reply
        1. Massinissa

          Actually its my bad, it IS may 1st, you were right. The source I used was talking about some kind of unrelated spring festival that is also called ‘may day’ in some countries…

          Reply
  18. Alex morfesis

    The fall of skamizon…a company that does not regularly distribute dividends and “claims” to plow mystery “cash flow”, not earnings, back into the ” beast” whose share price is propped up by government pension fiduciaries, and self proclaimed esg/social investment pools of capital, is a qui Tam case waiting to be filed.

    The $kamizon business model is to destabilize the existing tax base of the same government pensions investing in the “beast”…certainly suggests there are fiduciaries who are aggressively confused on what the FOIA laws might reveal, along with perhaps a deep dig into the older muni bond bribery prosecutions of 15 years ago…

    Hard to imagine $kamizon, in its SEC filings, has properly disclosed this obvious risk factor..

    Harder to imagine this bald ” genius” does not wake one morning and realize he is not in any stronger a position than Ivar the “match King” was…oh so many years ago…

    Despite baldeez contributions to the read their minds enterprise…

    mister 5 percent he ain’t…

    Reply
  19. Massinissa

    Forgive me if this has been linked and I missed it: https://www.cnn.com/2020/04/29/us/michigan-tuition-free-educational-program-essential-workers-trnd/?iid=ob_lockedrail_topeditorial

    Er… Would be nice if we could just, you know, give universal access to this kind of program Gretchen, rather than just make it for arbitrarily defined ‘essential workers’. Does ‘essential workers’ even have a legal definition? Also, this sounds like a way of the state subsidizing the fact that they’re so poorly paid by their employers. I’d be more impressed if she was to institute a program to give ‘essential workers’ healthcare. It wouldn’t be universal, but it makes more sense than ‘let them eat Training’.

    Reply
  20. fred fubar

    > HTML was originally developed as a mark up language for non-programmers
    Wrong. It was based on a simplified SGML DTD. It was the best option at the time; hoping for forgiveness from T. Nelson for such apostasy. It’s a markup language, no different from WordStar or runoff. Both have been used by non-programmers.

    The argument for non-programmers is a non-starter. SQL was also invented for non-programmers. The Mac. Luggables/Portables. We have a long way to go, but compared to where we’ve been? Please. We’re all non-programmers compared to where we’ll be in a decade.

    Drupal/Joomla remain also-rans. I have no sympathy for arguments that invoke such inutile tools.

    Reply
    1. JBird4049

      The tools were useful for some even if they were not as useful for others. Too often changes that are made in our society is not done for generally beneficial or even benign reasons, but to self serving barriers to accessing whatever.

      Reply
      1. False Solace

        I’m sure that intentional barriers are erected to all sorts of things to keep people out, but speaking as a software dev I haven’t seen much in the programming space that qualifies (exceptions like Brainf*** prove the rule). The specific type of thought process needed to write code excludes laypeople without additional help.

        Every week a new JS library comes out and its purpose is to make things easier — for programmers. I don’t view HTML or CSS as programming languages, though others may disagree. JavaScript yes, but content markup and associated tools, no. There are a lot of products out there that claim to make it possible for non-coders to build websites including the data backend. I expect this interest to continue — employers have a strong interest in getting rid of relatively well-paid programming jobs.

        Reply
        1. Moshe Braner

          My first law of computer literacy: “the computer cannot read your mind”. If you want the computer to do complicated things, you have to give it complicated instructions. There’s no getting around that. Call that programming if you want.

          Reply
    2. Bugs Bunny

      Thanks for reminding me that I wrote plenty of college papers with a WordStar program running on a little terminal. It was very similar to HTML but without the markup to link to other documents within each document. I think there’s the initial innovation.

      Reply
  21. richard

    You all should check out that Vermin Supreme’s twitter feed: a more villainous hive of strike loving anarchists has never existed. I made a joke on Twitter “I’ve heard some good things about this Vermin Supreme”, and he retweeted it and i checked him and and huh. Not bad. I wonder if Washington has had its Libertarian primary yet?
    How about a Vermin Supreme/Jesse Ventura ticket for 2020! or visa-versa

    Reply
    1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

      Ladies & Gents Vermine Supreme has made NC.

      Thats whats up

      And next to Jesse Ventura!

      Im being unironic as possible here but it seems Bernies dropping out has brought out the REAL alternatives ;-)

      Reply
      1. richard

        I love the name so much for this moment! I know next to nothing about this gentleman, and so probably shouldn’t endorse, although it was a pretty good villainous hive. Jesse I could probably vote for, he seems all right.

        Reply
  22. Dang Me

    The documentary was very cheaply done and not done by Moore. He just oversaw it. It was clearly done on a shoestring and over many years on the side.

    It does a good job of taking down the magical thinking associated with the Green New Deal and does an excellent job of pointing out the Wall Street influences behind it. What it gets wrong is fairly unimportant as the message is that consumption is going to have to go down and this is what the New Dealers are desperate to put down. They are not giving up their cars and electronics and know that nobody else is either.

    Watching these morons go on about how they did not propose any solutions is laughable. They do not like the solution and are panicking over the bad PR. They do exactly what they claim Moore & Co has done by making false argument of them wanting to start population control and supporting Big Oil. Their lies speak a lot of truth.

    Reply
  23. TalkingCargo

    Saw Planet of the Humans and was very pleased that finally someone was pointing out that the Environmental Emperor has no clothes. For me the important point was that “renewable” energy still requires the use of fossil fuels to mine, manufacture and transport the solar cells, etc. and that you still need fossil fuels or nuclear or hydro to cover the base load when the sun isn’t shining or the wind isn’t blowing. I would have preferred if they spent more time on the things like mining, road repairs, commercial air transport and those giant cargo ships that can’t be powered with “renewable” energy, but that probably would have been too geeky and a film like this needs to provoke an emotional response.

    I saw Josh Fox on the Rising today and he seemed like a man in the deadly grip of cognitive dissonance. He kept saying that “renewable” energy works and the Green New Deal will save us all! But the film didn’t dispute that solar “works”, it just said that it doesn’t work as advertised and is not a panacea for our environmental problems. For me the film spent too much time on biomass and I’m not sure their criticisms of people like Bill McKibben were very useful. For the record, I’m no fan of McKibben and think the 350.org thing is mostly magical thinking. It was however entirely appropriate when the filmmakers pointed out that much of the funding for the environmental movement comes from energy companies and big banks and other such organizations.

    The huge blowback from environmentalists (including unfortunately, the climate scientist Michael Mann) seems reminiscent of the reaction to Limits to Growth when it came out. I’m sure many of them would like to see this film buried down the memory hole, never to be seen again. IMO however it is well worth watching.

    Reply
    1. HotFlash

      Yeah, I am a Josh Fox fan, loved his Gasland, but today on Rising he seemed, um, well, just unhinged. Krystal and Saagar were their usual very polite selves but Josh was ranting like, well, I dunno, a rabid ferret and they seemed to be scrambling a little to get him to subside long enough to close the segment. I have had POTH cued up for a couple of days but hadn’t want to spent the time, but after this, I will watch it tonight *FO SHO*, right after our neighbourhood 7:30pm pot-banging.

      I will report back.

      Reply
      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > I will report back.

        Looking forward! Reading through the Yale 360 post, my guess was that Moore skewered an environmentalist sacred cow, the idea that renewable energy will enable us to maintain our current lifestyle, when in fact that’s not so.

        I wish I had come up with my slogan, “Euthanize the NGOs” a long time ago, because whatever it is that they’re doing (in common with every single other liberal Democrat NGO) has nothing to do with their stated purposes, which have gone unachieved. 360.org has been about as good at saving the environment as Planned Parenthood has been effective at saving abortion, or Center for American Progress at progress.

        Reply
    2. False Solace

      I thought the whole point of 350.org was not to exceed that level, so I thought it was dead when we blew past 400 ppm without looking back. I’m surprised the guy’s still around. I guess it would be too obvious to rename his grifting machine to “450-and-this-time-we-really-mean-it.org”

      One of the big points in the documentary was the way natural gas gets lumped in with renewables and pushed by all sorts of “clean energy” initiatives like the ones funded by Bloomberg. I thought a fairly large amount of time was spent on. I don’t see many people are talking about that, which is exactly the way methane producers like it. I guess there was way more footage of trees being cut down, or perhaps not much disagreement that “cleaner” natural gas is a scam.

      Reply
  24. BoyDownTheLane

    Tara Read said that she made her report to the Washington., DC police.

    Meanwhile:

    The FBI’s Flynn Outrage
    -The Wall Street Journal
    “The newest Federal Bureau of Investigation documents in the case of former White House national security adviser Mike Flynn are stunning in themselves. But the totality of Mr. Flynn’s treatment shocks the conscience,” Kimberly Strassel writes. “The FBI exists to investigate crimes, not to create them . . . This is law enforcement abusing its most tyrannical power—to strip citizens of their reputations, their livelihoods and their liberty.”

    Reply
  25. Lambert Strether Post author

    Krystal Ball makes a key point on Biden’s Morning Joe interview:

    Mika was persistent and I want to give her credit but she also accepted the framing of the Biden camp that the veracity of this claim should rest on the production of this one document from 27 years ago. We already have contemporaneous evidence of Tara’s recollection at the time.— Krystal Ball (@krystalball) May 1, 2020

    First, the media loves a snipe hunt for documents. Second, Anita Dunn is very good.

    Reply

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