Links 5/22/2020

French military surrenders to coronavirus Duffelblog

Hilarious obituary for ‘Uncle Bunky’ goes viral: ‘I’m ready for the dirt nap’ NY Post. Reminds me of some skibums I know…Many of my skibum cronies are based in Whistler, British Columbia (Canada), so they (largely) eschew firearms in their antics

#COVID-19

What Kind of Country Do We Want? New York Review of Books

The Big Failure of Small Government Project Syndicate

Laurence Tribe roasted for advocating herd immunity on coronavirus: ‘You go first’ The Hill

Nearly half of Twitter accounts pushing to reopen America may be bots MIT Technology Review

As America Reopens, Trial Lawyers Salivate at Endless Coronavirus Lawsuit Possibilities Breitbart. Posting this from a dodgy conservative source, to make readers aware of another conservative meme, like people protesting for opening the economy.

Trump skips a mask in public during tour of Michigan auto plant that requires them WaPo

Donald Trump says that ‘I tested positively toward negative…meaning I tested negative’ for coronavirus after taking hydroxychloroquine despite FDA warning of its dangers Daily Mail

Reopening reality check: Georgia’s jobs aren’t flooding back Politico

Reopening Dental Offices For Routine Care Amid Pandemic Touches A Nerve Kaiser Health News

What Lockdown? World’s Cocaine Traffickers Sniff at Movement Restrictions OCCRP. Fascinating.

States Don’t Agree on How to Determine When It Is Safe to Reopen WSJ

Trump says U.S. won’t shut down again if there’s second wave of coronavirus MarketWatch Yes, but would you bet on anything Trump says? I pity anyone who is currently tradin.g

Testing/Medicine

Epidemiology, clinical course, and outcomes of critically ill adults with COVID-19 in New York City: a prospective cohort study Lancet

Scientists Warn CDC Testing Data Could Create Misleading Picture Of Pandemic NPR (David L)

Class Warfare

Mortgage delinquencies surge by 1.6M in April, the biggest monthly jump ever USA Today

Seventh Circuit Hears Arguments in Obama Library Land Grab Suit Courthouse News

Report: Texas-size rivalry for Tesla’s Cybertruck factory heats up Fast Company

Michael Cohen and Paul Manafort Got to Leave Federal Prison Due to COVID-19. They’re The Exception. Marshall Project.

‘Grotesque Nature of Unequal Sacrifice’: Since Pandemic Hit, Wealthiest Americans Now $434 Billion Richer Common Dreams

Calling health care workers ‘heroes’ harms all of us Stat

Health Care

Battle Covid-19, Not Medicare for All: Doctors Demand Hospital Industry Stop Funding Dark Money Lobby Group Common Dreams

Food Security

Pandemics aren’t limited to people: How the world’s most famous seed vault defends plants against their next big outbreak The Counter

Are Washington’s Farmworkers COVID-19 Guinea Pigs? Capital & Main

Argentina

Another Debt Crisis Is Looming for Argentina Jacobin

China?

US Senate’s bill to fence off Wall Street from Chinese companies may turn into a helping hand to Hong Kong stock exchange SCMP

The Fable of the Chinese Whistleblower Project Syndicate

Two Sessions 2020: Beijing ‘out of patience’ after long wait for Hong Kong national security law, plans to proscribe secession, foreign interference and terrorism in city SCMP

Hong Kong stocks dive on China’s plans for security law FT

Asia

Asian century began in May 2020 Asia Times

India

Amphan: Kolkata devastated as cyclone kills scores in India and Bangladesh BBC

Cyclone Amphan: Kolkata airportflooded, all flight operations suspended Live Mint

A day after Amphan, Kolkata residents take stock of the damage left by worst storm in living memory Scroll

In the Time of Crisis, India’s Politicians Need to Shun Partisan Bickering The Wire

Syraqistan

Shaking the House of Saud to the core Qantara

Jamal Khashoggi’s son Salah says family ‘forgives’ killers Al Jazeera

United Kingdom

Government incompetence stops people in Britain being able to assess the real risks around them Independent. Patrick Cockburn.

Disraeli or Churchill? History Today

Immunity certificates to free people from lockdown ‘being considered again’ Metro UK

A no-deal Brexit amid the pandemic would be disgraceful FT. Martin Wolf.

Germany

The German Towns on the Front Lines of COVID-19 Der Spiegel

Sweden

Sweden’s former health chief says the country’s coronavirus strategy ‘hasn’t been the smartest’ and it should’ve spent at least a month locked down Business Insider

Varsity Blues

Lori Loughlin and Her Husband to Plead Guilty in College Admissions Scandal New York Magazine

Trump Transition

Exclusive: IG Fired Days After Inquiring About Pompeo’s ‘Donor Dinners’ American Conservative

2020

Fox News poll: Biden opens up 8-point lead over Trump The Hill

Trump in Private: I Wish I Could Run Against Hillary Again Daily Beast

We Should Take Women’s Accusations Seriously. But Tara Reade’s Fall Short. The Nation. Good example of how TDS distorts the ability of Good Democrats – and journalists whom I once respected, such as Katha Politt – to think.  She’s getting ahead of herself in telling us now why she thinks she can still vote for Biden. Many, many disagree – not so strongly that they’ll vote for Trump, but enough that they may stay home. And Politt’s screed won’t change their minds. The solution for Democrats: don’t nominate Biden.

Antidote du Jour (via reader David H):

And a bonus video. I usually feature feathered antidotes only. Yet this bonus video recalls
for me the several winters I spent as a ski bum in Whistler, BC (h/t Jo). So today, I make an exception to my birds rule, as a foolish consistency is indeed the hobgoblin of little minds:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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176 comments

  1. Redlife2017

    Re: Fox News poll: Biden opens up 8-point lead over Trump

    It’s the 65+ that are swinging to Biden. Understandable, as being told to enjoy the fact you need to go on the iceflow isn’t really a strategy they might like. But I’ll be more interested in battleground polls. With 65+ for Biden, what will Florida look like?

    But as noted…it’s a long time until November. And there is a lot of known unknowns…

    Reply
    1. CuriosityConcern

      The 75+ voters in my immediate orbit who were hot on Trump are noticeably cooler now. Willing to listen more to my Bernie spiels. Wish he hadn’t relented.

      Reply
      1. WheresOurTeddy

        A single tear rolls down one’s face imagining the Sanders landslide in November were he the nominee.

        Reply
        1. campbeln

          At this point, I donno… Bernie rolled over for Biden in the last debate and hasn’t raised nearly enough issue with the first hand full of TRILLIONS in bailouts. I think he’d have been Hope And Change 2.0 :(

          Reply
    2. Katniss Everdeen

      Watching biden being interviewed on cnbc right now.

      I definitely think his “popularity” is directly proportional to the time he spends in hiding.

      We’ll see.

      Reply
        1. WheresOurTeddy

          This message on Authentic Blackness brought to you by the Friends Of Strom Thurmond Society

          Reply
        2. campbeln

          Biden looked straight up pissed! If he debates Trump, I think it’s gonna end in a fist fight like those parliamentary brawls we see overseas. [grabs popcorn]

          Best of all… Biden assumes the black community is already his and if they’re not they are Uncle Toms. I’m truly beginning to think the Dems are throwing the election (not that it’s matter much, anyway).

          Reply
          1. orlbucfan

            I’m one disgusted wrinkle (65+) who won’t vote for either tRump or semi-senile. I will be voting down ballot so it won’t be a total waste of time!

            Reply
    3. timbers

      Is Sarah Palin unavailable? At least a contest with her would be comedically amusing since I would have no emotional investment. Same with Biden – no emotional investment – but it would also be painful to watch, so would avoid tunning in at all.

      Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        We in the Palinstinian Movement (and affiliated PLO-Palin Liberation Org) have been practically begging Sarah to throw her hat back in the ring, why she’d be a natural in Humordor, beloved by both of the Columbian cartels there, and finally we can get this country on the right track, you betcha.

        Reply
    4. Big River Bandido

      National polls are meaningless. Presidential contests are determined by EVs. Doesn’t anyone in the national media remember this from 2016?

      Reply
      1. voteforno6

        I’m sure they’re well aware of that. I think the problem that a lot of people may have this time around is that they’re thinking as of Biden is running against Trump in 2016, when he’s actually running against in 2020.

        Reply
        1. Big River Bandido

          They’re also not thinking about the structural implications of vote suppression, the types not only due to bipartisan chicanery, but more significantly the impact of the pandemic on turnout in the fall.

          Reply
      2. WheresOurTeddy

        Probably because it doesn’t help ratings if you lead with “Only 4 states matter to the outcome and the other 46 of you have the same effect as fans at the Hippodrome cheering for your favorite charioteer, you mouth breathing fools”

        Reply
        1. km

          Not to mention that is just won’t do if voters in the other 46 or so states think “Hey, I detest both candidates and I live in a safe state. Rather than decide which of the two is the more odious, why not vote third party?”

          No, that just won’t do.

          Reply
    5. Arizona Slim

      I’m getting bombarded with Biden ads on YouTube. And, sorry, Joe. No vote from this slender Arizona.

      It’s because I believe a certain staffer who once was in your employ. And due to your place in the Obama Administration.

      Reply
  2. allan

    With remote work plan, Facebook dashes hopes of paycheck arbitrage [Reuters]

    With Facebook’s adoption of permanent remote work on Thursday, Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg has untethered one of Silicon Valley’s biggest companies from the place that incubated it.

    But he also dashed a Silicon Valley dream: that tech workers would be able to take their generous salaries with them as they flee the Bay Area’s crushing housing costs, dirty sidewalks and crowded roadways.

    As lockdowns dragged into their third month, message boards popular with well-paid tech workers have lit up with fantasies of working long-term from tropical beaches and spacious houses in affordable small towns in the Midwest.

    Afraid not, Zuckerberg said, addressing employees in a publicly broadcast livestream on his Facebook page.

    The company, one of Silicon Valley’s biggest employers, is giving U.S. staffers who are approved to work remotely until Jan. 1, 2021 to update the company on where they plan to base themselves, at which point their salaries will be adjusted to reflect the local cost of living. …

    Really weird, because that’s not what Econ 101 tells us how a company determines what salaries to offer. /s

    Reply
    1. diptherio

      Remote workers with outsized salaries for our scenic locale are already a problem here. This is one time when I’m actually kinda glad Zuckerburg is being…well, Zuckerburg.

      Reply
      1. lyman alpha blob

        Same in my area. Remote workers bringing their Boston/NYC salaries to Maine has made many homes unaffordable to people who actually work in the area. A prominent realtor told my wife a few years ago that in the past year he had sold 50 properties just to people from Brooklyn.

        Current housing prices have gone way beyond the last spike in 2007-8, and little s**tboxes are going for $400K+ to people with more money than good sense. You can’t afford $400K on a service job income, which is what the majority of jobs are here in Vacationland.

        Reply
    2. Beyond the rubicoN

      That’s to bad. Although my employer as it stands has no such rules as it employs thousands across the state and ties salaries to its HQ in SF, whether you live in a low cost area or not you make SF money. I was planning on moving out of SF when the work from home started. My salary would go much further in my CA home town then it does here. I don’t work in tech, and dont make tech money but am compensated adequately enough to live in the city.

      Reply
    3. TMoney

      Shoulda done the “IBM”. Let everyone work from home, wait till they move, then inform them of the new salary and make them quit – or tell them to come back to the mothership. Honestly, these new tech guys aren’t even trying.

      Reply
    4. Kurtismayfield

      Wait, I thought we had a skills shortage?? The JOLTs report tells me there are 6 million jobs out there waiting for highly skilled people. Shouldn’t the companies continue to pay these people because of the lack of qualified candidates?

      Reply
  3. Carla

    “The solution for Democrats: don’t nominate Biden.” I agree, Jerri-Lynn. But then, who should the DNC draft? Nancy? Chuck? Cuomo?

    None of those will ever have my vote, either. Gore? Makes me queasy, but maybe…

    Reply
    1. bob

      …Gore wins the election again, but concedes to Trump in the name of unity in these trying times…

      Reply
    2. philnc

      Why Gore? What specific policies has he demonstrated a long term commitment to that have a chance at being enacted over the objections of his (and the Democrats) donors? The national popularity contest we call Presidential elections were never a path to salvation. Without an activated anti-capitalist Left and Left-led Labor, FDR would never have been able to pull off the first New Deal. Even that was a serious compromise, as his promise of an _economic_ bill of rights demonstrated. The problem now is that it’s finally dawning on a lot of people that fixing this mess is going to be a generational project, because that’s what change “from the bottom up” requires. American impatience and the kind of self-delusion that quick fixes ever really work is our own worst enemy.

      But I preach to the choir…

      Reply
      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Gore has been MIA for years now, but I forget which book it was but as I was reading it I was struck by how sane Gore had become beyond his lip service to environmentalism. I suspect he was influenced by Tipper née the Hillary, Lieberman, Gore crusade against black music. When they began drifting, he wasn’t so influenced.

        Its a low bar, but he would be better than most of the 2020 field (Sanders, maybe Warren as the exceptions) and I always thought he was reasonably bright. His books were way more interesting than anything out out by Obama. Gore circa 2008 was better than Kerry. Low bars anything done lesser evils, and he did win in 2000 which does put him ahead of Hillary.

        Reply
          1. Arizona Slim

            Hey, bob! I clicked on that link, and ZOMG! The Danzig mix that follows the song you linked to is wonderful!

            Thank you, bob!

            Reply
          2. MillenialSocialist

            As a millenial who played video games in the 1990s, I have always and will always harbor a burning hatred for Tipper Gore and her demonization of things she doesn’t understand.

            Violent crime is way down since the 1980s, and my childhood was statistically a lot safer than hers…

            Reply
        1. Bugs Bunny

          Post 2000 Al Gore reminds me of Bishop Pickering in Caddyshack after he got struck by lightning:

          Bishop: “Excellency,” fiddlesticks! My name is Fred and I’m just a man, same as you are.
          Judge Smails: You’re not a man. You’re a bishop, for God’s sake!
          Bishop: There is no God!

          Reply
            1. JoeK

              I think the Trump/Biden campaigns should take this historic opportunity to share a campaign slogan–

              _______ 2020: The Audacity of Grope

              Reply
        2. Arizona Slim

          One of my local acquaintances is a huge fan of the Dead Kennedys and their frontman, Jello Biafra. According to my acquaintance, Jello Biafra did a song called “Save Me Tipper, They’re Playing Bon Jovi At Me!”

          Who was the “me” in this song? It was Manuel Noriega, while he was holed up in the Panama City papal nuncio. US troops were blasting rock music at the nuncio. I seem to recall that it worked. Noriega left the nuncio and was arrested.

          Reply
          1. periol

            24/7 Bon Jovi would drive anyone crazy.

            Should really be considered cruel and unusual punishment. Reserved for only the very worst. Zuck would probably like it though.

            Reply
      2. Lost in OR

        Gore. Spends eight more years fighting for climate change action. Writes another book. Buys another house. Wins another prize. Whatever.

        Reply
      3. Henry Moon Pie

        Gore lacks the “leadership qualities” required. Of course, that’s true of every human I’m aware of because it’s going to take a combination of Lincoln (to hold the country together) and FDR. You might throw a dash of Marianne Williamson in there while you’re at it.

        Like I say, no human that I know of fits the bill.

        Reply
        1. edmondo

          But he’s 72 so that makes him a veritable teenager in the Dem Party. All the senior citizens who hold leadership positions can get together after the Inauguration, head down to Denny’s with their two-for-one breakfast coupons and destroy social security and Medicare so that the Republicans don’t have to do it later. Then they can head out, collect some campaign bribes and take a nap.

          Reply
        1. Eric

          The extent of my research on Newsom is that I saw him interviewed on 60 minutes and read the Wikipedia page on him.
          Also have the impression California has done better than most large states in it’s Covid-19 response.

          Looks alone are worth X points in polls. Being younger is an advantage too. There is Trump fatigue.

          Newsom is articulate and the former wife / Fox connection
          show media savvy. That the ex is dating Trump Jr. is icing on the cake for media coverage and could get under big daddy’s skin.

          All this assumes the Democrats actually want to win – something I have doubts about.

          Reply
          1. a different chris

            I don’t have doubts about the Democrats wanting to win. Why do you think we have ever heard of people like Pelosi, Newsom, etc? Why do you think they show no fealty to the precepts of FDR? They just want to be Important People, the more important the better, and however you get in front of the blowing wind doesn’t matter.

            Believe me, that’s what they dream of and it’s all they dream of. President Pelosi! They wake up and the real world intrudes, but believe me they would run over their own mother (or given the age of these undeads, dig up and run over the rotting corpse of) to have that title.

            Reply
    3. Carla

      Okay, so nobody else seems to have an alternative to Biden, either.

      Sanders abandoned us, and Warren has reneged on Medicare for All. She’s been a snake since Day One.

      Reply
        1. Wendys

          No, he’s busy giving away the state’s mainframe computer to the private equity outfit Ensono.

          Reply
      1. John k

        I predict she’s not.
        They’re stuck with Biden whether more women show up or not… whether he sniffs their hair or anything else… if he stands down it cracks the door for the runner up in delegates… for he who cannot be named… and the one that would bring about the revolt of the donors.
        Nuff said.

        Reply
        1. pete

          The other and most important thing that everyone seems to overlook is that Biden wants this. There is no way he is gonna back down. If anything he has only gotten meaner and more defensive and full of himself. His hangers on that get power from him by proxy are in no way gonna encourage him step down either.

          Reply
    4. Big River Bandido

      It doesn’t matter who they replace Biden with, or not. The Democrats only had two candidates this year, Sanders and everybody else. The other candidates weren’t there to advance any agenda except the party’s business-as-usual one, and to prevent Sanders from advancing his. They did that to perfection, and now the Democrats are left contemplating just what they’ve accomplished.

      I’m sure there’s a ham sandwich available somewhere. Might actually net the Democrats a few more votes than usual.

      Reply
      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        Truly, the meat puppet they select, whoever it might be, da na matter.

        It’ll be trial by chyron, and we know which collection of billionaire errand boys has a total lock on that.

        Covid is a gift, no matter how it plays out they can say “Orange Man Screwed Up!”. (I’m trying to imagine a national “press corps” that in 1941 would have united behind the headline “FDR Screwed Up Pearl Harbor!” but I can’t).

        And the delicious irony of the names Newsom and Cuomo being floated. Newsom, who ran his state so well he now has 340,000 employees each making >$100,000 per year, issuing parking tickets and fining homeowners for collecting rainwater from their roofs, with the state’s signature city awash in human feces. Or Cuomo, who ran his fiefdom so well it was the major vector for the spread of the virus to the rest of the country, now demanding a federal bailout of $46 billion for his troubles.

        And after the election President Whomever can coast through four years of excuses, “We Can’t Do Anything ‘Cuz Trump Did Such A Bad Job on Pearl Harbor Covid, The Bailout Was Much Too Big/Much Too Small”, etc etc.

        The 2028 Commission on Electoral Reform proposes a “Council of Deciders” where the CEO’s of Google, Facebook, Twitter, Verizon, Comcast, CNN, and MSNBC streamline all of this “elections” nonsense for us, the US Federal Reserve Bank decides how much money will exist and where it will go and based on that the Council simply selects the appropriate Administrator. We really do live in the best of all possible worlds.

        Reply
    5. km

      I have successfully milked Caity Johnstone’s line about watching Team D try to feign enthusiasm for Biden is like watching a closeted gay man trying to feign enthusiasm for his wife.

      More than once, and to big laffs.

      Reply
    6. Oh

      Nancy and Chuck have a better job right now taking bribes from more sources for doing nothing. Why would they want to run for Prez?

      Reply
    7. ewmayer

      Rumor has it – as in, I just totally made it up – a possible Michelle-O/Clinton surprise-ticket is in the works, but has been delayed due to infighting on two fronts:

      [1] Michelle and Clinton are arguing about who better represents black Americans and thus should be the Presidential candidate, with the other relegated to Veeping bitter tears of second-bestness;

      [2] “Clinton” is fighting about whether she should be in form of Hillary, or a younger, fresher face, Chelsea.

      Stay tuned … exciting times!

      Reply
  4. Winston Smith

    BoJo as Disraeli-quite on point. Were Disraeli in parliament, he could re-use that handy poisonous rhetorical dart on Boris:

    “all that would remain for me would be thus publicly to congratulate the right honourable gentleman, not only on his ready memory, but on his courageous conscience”.

    Reply
    1. The Rev Kev

      In the end, I do not think that Boris Johnson will be compared to either Disraeli or Churchill. More likely, he will be compared with Prime Minster James Hacker (Baron Hacker of Islington), KG, PC, BSc (Lond.), Hon. DCL (Oxon.) in his effectiveness.

      Reply
  5. bassmule

    Re: What kind of country do we want? I learned a new word this morning!

    stichomythia stĭk″ə-mĭth′ē-ə►

    n.
    A form of verbal sparring used especially in ancient Greek drama or poetry, in which single lines of verse or parts of lines are spoken by alternate speakers.
    n.
    In ancient Greek drama and bucolic poetry, dialogue in alternate lines, or pairs or groups of lines; also, arrangement of lines in this manner.
    n.
    A technique in drama or poetry, in which alternating lines, or half-lines, are given to alternating characters, voices, or entities

    Reply
    1. Henry Moon Pie

      Me too.

      And while I love seeing articles like this probing more deeply into who we are and what “normal” should be, this one is focused too much on the Invisible Hand cover story that tries to justify our inhumane system. Behind all that self-interest, market worship and homo economicus, it’s really about controlling a population. The primary mechanism of social control of adults in our society is the “job.” The primary mechanism of social control for children and young adults is the classroom. Our system uses these two means to exercise control over us between 5 and 65.

      While part of the concern over Coronavirus shutdowns is fueled by the billionaires’ incessant demands for return on their capital, the real panic seen among our betters is generated by their perception that the “job” and the “classroom” as tools for social control will be significantly less effective as the virus-caused effects ripple through society. “Get back to work” is really “report to your boss.” “Re-open schools” is really “Get the kids back under control of teachers and principals.” De Blasio was quite open about this as he debated school closings with Cuomo before New York closed up. This is not to say that real work is not essential to the maintenance of society and human welfare, nor is it a claim that the education of children is not one of the most critical functions of a society, but the push coming from the elites has nothing to do with those factors, as is obvious when we consider how unimportant providing everyone with their needs or educating all our children is to TPTB.

      Despite our lack of organization, our betters fear us. They want us integrated into their hierarchical system at all times. The Republicans want you under the thumb of a boss at all times. The Democrats want you under the control of the PMCs in their various roles as bureaucrats, NGO-ers, professors. No one wants us Deplorables to have too much time on our hands or, above all, to feel secure in our needs. When things got too “easy” in the 60s, a lot of people, especially a lot of young people, started having some impermissible thoughts, engaging in prohibited actions and refusing to fight in wars. Since then, the powerful have tightened things up considerably, and they’re now very concerned that the entire system may need an overhaul in order to keep us in line.

      Reply
      1. a different chris

        >And while I love seeing articles like this probing more deeply into who we are

        I wish I had your enthusiasm.

        All I can think, and you spell it out well in the rest of your post, is how little power we 99% have. “What kind of country do we want” is so hollow, it’s like a 7 year old thinking about what kind of vehicle Dad should buy when Dad announces it’s time for a new one.

        Reply
        1. Jeremy Grimm

          Your comment captures my own feelings on reading the headline “What kind of country do we want?”.

          Reply
          1. Left in Wisconsin

            I would call it a lament. (And I thought it was brilliant, especially the part about the role of the universities). Robinson is religious – I don’t know her writing well but it seems she doesn’t really think in terms of us and them, which is one thing that has her really frustrated.

            I’m generally opposed to vague notions of “we” but in this case I thought it made sense – we as all of humanity.

            For those who haven’t read it, highly recommended.

            Reply
        2. Henry Moon Pie

          We have more power than we think. While we can’t force them to treat us fairly in their world, we have the power to choose living another, new way. For the time being, that will be with the added burden of having to survive in their perverse system, but as this system continues to collapse, there will be those living in this new way to provide an example and option to others as they realize there is no future in what was.

          This “new way” starts with avoiding the traps of debt and “career” to the extent allowed by survival. That’s the first step in surviving this system while striking out in a new direction.

          Reply
    2. Susan the other

      I enjoyed it as well. Marilyn Robinson wrote the American book to end all books – Housekeeping. It ranks right up there with Doris Lessing’s Golden Notebook. Robinson is always looking at our national disappointment and, like mother, is asking, Well what do you want to be when you grow up? Are we tired of political one-liners yet? Do we want to fix this mess, or what? Her best one-liner here (all of it was good) was on “national wealth” …the absurd wealth that has polarized at the top end of society which “is reckoned as part of the national wealth no matter how solidly it is based in poverty.” Our neglect of an articulate national dialog is making us all unhappy.

      Reply
  6. The Rev Kev

    “Sweden’s former health chief says the country’s coronavirus strategy ‘hasn’t been the smartest’ and it should’ve spent at least a month locked down”

    I think that I know how this all came about. The Prime Minister of Sweden – Stefan Löfven – was having a meeting of his health officials to decide whether to lock down or to go for herd immunity few months ago. When it came to the discussion of how herd immunity would work out in Sweden, a junior minister muttered “It will be good for for the Corona.” Unfortunately, the Prime Minister thought that he heard “It will be good for for the Krona!” and the rest is history.

    Reply
    1. Wukchumni

      Somehow Switzerland ended up with an awful lot of all that glitters after WW2 despite no mining activity in the Cantons…

      How to clean it up?

      One of the methods used was to have the Austrian mint re-strike older dated coins, the most common being a 1915 100 Corona.

      This accomplished a couple things, no way could it be Nazi gold, because it was dated before the 3rd Reich was a twinkle in a corporal’s eyes, and a much more important thing in that while holding gold in our country was illegal (rescinded Jan 1 1975) in ingot form or any coins dated after 1933, you could own as much 1932 and before dated issues as you’d like.

      Reply
        1. Jeremy Grimm

          I think that’s what will happen to the rich people bunkers. After the Collapse their bunkers will hold a treasure trove of the technologies from the time Before — many of which may be impossible to recreate.

          Reply
          1. HotFlash

            Great! I dig for three weeks and all I get is six Nordic Track Elite 1500’s and 15 Jacuzzi’s.

            Reply
      1. ewmayer

        My favorite example of this kind of modern-strike-with-earlier date is the heavy, handsomely large Austrian silver Maria Theresa thaler, about which Wikipedia notes:

        The MTT quickly became a standard trade coin and several nations began striking Maria Theresa thalers. The following mints have struck MTTs: Birmingham, Bombay, Brussels, London, Paris, Rome and Utrecht, in addition to the Habsburg mints in Günzburg, Hall, Karlsburg, Kremnica, Milan, Prague, and Vienna. Between 1751 and 2000, some 389 million were minted. These various mints distinguished their issues by slight differences in the design, with some of these evolving over time. In 1935 Mussolini gained a 25-year concession over production of the MTT. The Italians blocked non-Italian banks and bullion traders from obtaining the coin and so France, Belgium, and the UK started producing the coin so as to support their economic interests in the Red Sea, Persian Gulf and East Coast of Africa. In 1961 the 25-year concession ended and Austria made diplomatic approaches to the relevant governments requesting they cease production of the coin. The UK was the last government to formally agree to the request in February 1962.

        The MTT came to be used as currency in large parts of Africa and Middle East until after World War II. It was common from North Africa to Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya, and down the coast of Tanzania to Mozambique. Its popularity in the Red Sea region was such that merchants would not accept any other type of currency. The Italian government produced a similar designed coin in the hope of replacing the Maria Theresa thaler, but it never gained acceptance.

        The Maria Theresa thaler was also formerly the currency of the Hejaz, Yemen, the Aden Protectorate as well as Muscat and Oman on the Arabia peninsula. The coin remains popular in North Africa and the Middle East to this day in its original form: a silver coin with a portrait of the buxom empress on the front and the Habsburg Double Eagle on the back.

        The history in Ethiopia is especially interesting. Folks in that part of the world are not fans of western modern-style funny-money, and having a pleasingly large silver jangler with a portrait of a big-b00bed famous empress on the front was a bonus in such male-dominated cultures.

        Reply
    2. juno mas

      The problem with Sweden’s (Anders Tegnell’s) coronavirus response is that it was Trumpian at it’s core. It assumed they were prepared (because they had rules on paper, but not in practice). It was unconcerned with tracking the spread of the virus in the population (assuming immunity would occur, without evidence). It wanted to limit economic impacts (but general fear of the virus belied that notion).

      So now they have a nation of infected citizens of unknown count or location, that are restricted from traveling to adjacent nations for fear of contamination from the rogue Swedish experiment. Anders Tegnell, take a bow ! (While thousands of Swedish families bury their relatives.)

      Reply
  7. timbers

    As America Reopens, Trial Lawyers Salivate at Endless Coronavirus Lawsuit Possibilities

    If only TPP had passed into law. Then, there would be less need for trial lawyers since the judge and jury of the “courts” would consist of lobbyists hand picked by the corporations filing the lawsuits against state local and national governments. A trail wouldn’t even be needed except maybe for theatrics. The MSM could televise cherry picked segments of the trial and schedule it alongside Judge Judy. Of course that would be purely optional and edited to show the correct viewpoint, as a bone to the corporate MSM, because weren’t these TPP “trails” to be secret and away from public view just like the TPP treaty text?

    Reply
    1. TXMama

      Trump was against the TPP; Hillary was for it. A positive in my book for Trump. Trump has been somewhat less of a warmonger than Hillary. Also a positive. Yet Trump has encouraged racism and mob mentality all the while severely weakening many of the functions of government, including environmental protections. Biden, if he is the nominee, has so many negatives it boggles the mind (and not just his.) If he is prez will the warmongers once again overwhelm our foreign policy? Must we choose between the fear or war and the fear of a dictatorship? No matter who you vote for there are poison pills aplenty. Thank you duopoly for making sure your big donors stay happy.

      Reply
    2. rd

      US judges don’t use summary dismissals enough. If a company can come in with real evidence of compliance with best practices in a response to the filing, many of the suits could be dismissed quickly. Then the real miscreant employers could be put up on the legal system meat hooks.

      The lack of solid guidance from OSHA is actually setting up potential lawsuits. If you have something credible from a regulator to point to as best practices and show you comply, then a successful can be much more difficult. Even negotated settlements would be lower.

      Reply
  8. Amfortas the hippie

    from NYRB “what kind of country do we want?”:

    “Emergencies remind us that people admire selflessness and enjoy demands on their generosity, and that the community as a whole is revivified by such demands. Great cost and greater benefit, as these things are traditionally understood. If in present circumstances we are driven back on our primitive impulses, then we should be watching our collective behavior carefully, because it will be instructive with regard to identifying an essential human nature. In more senses than one we are living through an unprecedented experiment, an opportunity it would be a world-historical shame to waste.”

    I spent 3 hours last evening driving the big brown truck, festooned with brightly colored decorations evocative of my Eldest’s half-mexican heritage, in the Graduation Parade.
    Most of the time was spent in the school parking lot, then a slow creep down College Ave., and a left onto Moody, then around the Square.
    The whole county was there…lining the streets from ISD to the Courthouse Square…organised and more or less “Social Distanced” according to Family/Clan. The more educated wore masks…and many, when going between clan groupings, wore them…but within the Clan Groups, few masks were worn.
    It was a remarkable display of Social Cohesion, even as it was a similarly remarkable display of the assertion of Hope….Hope that this will all be over soon.
    I knew around 60+% of those i saw along the route…wife knew closer to 100%.
    we know their histories and their triumphs and failings…their quirks and commonalities…an intimate knowledge of the most local manifestation of that rather amorphous thing we call “Society”…there on full display along the path of our Parade.
    Consciously out there with lawn chairs in support for “Our Kids”…something I expect many of y’all to be understandably jealous of…but unconsciously, in defiance of the New Normal.
    the Valedictory Speech was broadcast on the little local radio station…and she(whom i have known since birth) obviously accepted the reality now all around us…fear and uncertainty and doubt…the terrible tools of Power and rapine…most of the graduates themselves carried masks with them, and quickly put them on when approaching non-Clan members for a fist bump(lots and lots of fist bumps).
    the sentiment most evident in the Valedictorian’s speech was almost exactly that expressed in this article.
    “What Kind of World do We want to build?”

    All in all, an event containing a whole lot of little(and big) things to ruminate upon.

    Reply
    1. The Rev Kev

      ‘we know their histories and their triumphs and failings…their quirks and commonalities…an intimate knowledge of the most local manifestation of that rather amorphous thing we call “Society”’

      I must be watching too much Star Trek as my first thought was that could become quite a temporal bomb that. Just have you and your wife write out everything that you know about all the people in your community, including the stories and the rumours, and then pass it down to your family. Then in a hundred years time when all those people are long gone, have your grandchildren print out copies of your book as an illustration of what the community was really like. Peyton Place, eat your heart out.

      Reply
      1. Amfortas the hippie

        interestingly, that long institutional memory is already in evidence, but engenders a targeted Forgetting and a strange tolerance of everybody’s failings….because Everybody spends a day or two, every now and then, in the merciless glare of the Rumor Mill.
        The smart one’s lay low…until some other person does something idiotic and/or spectacular.
        It is through this mechanism that this community survived the after effects of the Civil War…and the local Hoodoo War that followed.
        similar—but different—to the way the townspeople in High Plains Drifter turned away from the whipping of the sheriff.
        I told my cousin, during the big Orientation discussion wherein he learned that the whole county already knew he was One of Ours,lol…that one could almost get naked on the courthouse lawn and sing show tunes, and most of the people simply wouldn’t see you…so automatic is this set of mechanisms for Living Together.
        They might note when the deputies showed up to take you away…but they would be unable to see you otherwise.
        when i moved here from Austin, 25 or so years ago, i was shocked to find more Out gay people per capita than either Houston or Austin(yes, small enough population to count,lol).
        but somehow…without ever speaking of it…that part of Humanity had come to be accepted, at least tacitly(when your favorite cousin comes out, things must sometimes be revisited).
        similarly…and since i’ve been here…we went from the sheriff actively oppressing the hispanic cohort, to all manner of intermarriage and interracial dating and friendships that have utterly changed the landscape. I’ve spoken before of my MIL, a Hispanic woman, lynchpin of the benevolent, social support corollary of the Rumor Mill, who listened patiently a few years ago as a nice white lady she grew up with lamented the “Messkins stealing ar jawbs”…then informing her that “you know i’m a messkin, right?”,lol.
        and the blushing apologies that followed.
        So here’s another mechanism of almost automatic change, happening in the interstices, without a bunch of yelling and admonishment…just a friend telling you what’s what….and to think about things before parroting Rush.
        I saw four generations of Mason County, last night…along with 30+ years of immigrants, from other parts of the USA and from Mexico and Korea…all jumbled up in a kaleidoscopic image of Wokeness that Team Blue could only dream about…because it happened organically, not in a lab.
        and it happened because these folks’ basic decency is allowed and encouraged…and things that harm unit cohesion are frowned upon…backs turned…like overt racism, homophobia and otherwise ugly behaviour.
        if i ever get around to actually collating the voluminous results of my long term field study, embedded in this tribe, that’s what the whole thing will be about.

        Reply
        1. Oregoncharles

          I think you’ve been doing that, right here on NC. I, for one, am enjoying it. I hope it’s doing you as much good as it is us.

          Reply
        2. The Rev Kev

          I gotta say that you give a fascinating insight to what life is like in one corner of modern day America that is always appreciated. And being able to identify people’s basic sense of decency as the moderator to all the changes being made really makes it come alive.

          Reply
          1. Amfortas the hippie

            it ain’t perfect by any means,lol.
            these are still american humans, after all.
            the teabilly years were difficult…lots of acrimony and religious ferment(due to 2 outside steeplejack groups)…and post-911 was hard, too…fear and loathing and a local depression.
            but the tea waned after Obama’s second inaugural….
            and the church stuff settled into a stable new pattern.
            it’s like people got tired of fighting…and it was mostly artificial culture war nonsense, any way.
            engineered from on high.
            since that time, there’s been a sense of “screw them all…they don’t care about us”>
            like i said…somebody will randomly stick their finger in a light socket…say something stupid or whatever…and the jungle drums will light up over that for a day or two…then someone will get caught having an affair or something, and the Mill moves on to that.
            I consider this an artifact of pre internet and even pre-TV times, when entertainment was drastically more limited.
            (dial up came in 99….dsl ten years later….when mom moved here in 92, there were still party lines out here in the county…and MIL(67 or so) remembers when they’d turn off the generator that ran the street lights,lol))

            Reply
            1. The Rev Kev

              Yes, I suppose that stories about other people were a staple of people’s loves in earlier times and now making a comeback. Then again, what else is a “soapie” but a series of stories and I heard older people say that they were going to listen to their “stories” on the TV. Got a surprise a long time ago when someone pointed out that nearly all the war stories that you hear are in fact people stories which is quite true when you think about it.

              Reply
      1. MLTPB

        Ask not what kind of country you want.

        Ask what kind of you your country wants.

        ….

        That chiasmus doesn’t appetizing.

        Reply
  9. Wukchumni

    Hilarious obituary for ‘Uncle Bunky’ goes viral: ‘I’m ready for the dirt nap’ NY Post.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    I’ve known an Uncle Bunky or 2, smoking bowls just off the side of a bowl in the forest for the trees, and thereafter watch them ski the cleanest line imaginable, expertly dodging upright standing members of the community, while going too fast through them.

    The backcountry variant would be ‘m & m tours’ where a backpacker along the likes of Bunky tries to not indulge on ‘shrooms & cannabis @ all times, unsuccessfully.

    Reply
    1. Amfortas the hippie

      I know I saw myself, in that….at least a younger, less painful, me.
      and from that same twitter, down a bit:
      ““Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow!”-HS THompson

      …along with Thoreau’s “suck the marrow from life…”
      …have been more or less guiding principals for most of my time here.
      It wasn’t the “Normies” who came down out of the trees and took a rock to the bones on the savanna…it wasn’t the PMC, or the Karens…or the “Leadership”.
      It was the weirdos, the outcasts, the criminals.
      I came of age in the 80’s, when all the lower classes were being taught to Behave, and Sit Down and Shut Up.
      But still with a frosting, however melted, of “Breaking the Rules is the American Way”…and “Freedom”.
      And all the while with tortured caricatures of the Soviets, with their conformity and glum acceptance of Authority.
      That never made any sense to me.
      But I had read Jefferson and Thoreau and Whitman and Emerson…all of whom share a less toxic Individualism…that contemplates one’s embeddedness, even as they extol the Virtues of Being and Thinking for yourself…”and what I assume, you shall assume, for every atom belonging to me, as good belongs to you…”
      This Training Program…this Mindfuck…remains the most remarkable of human achievements, even as it so thoroughly denied and denigrated those very qualities that make us the most Human.
      Just look at what they’ve turned us into.

      Reply
  10. QuarterBack

    Re “ Nearly half of Twitter accounts pushing to reopen America may be bots”, I smell BS. It seems to me that the article itself is following “ well-worn patterns of coordinated influence campaigns”.

    The supposed study starts off with exploring a sample with no methodology nor definition for tracking “misinformation including false medical advice”. Being as there are credentialed doctors and scientists giving conflicting guidance on a multitude of aspects of the infection and best responses, right off the bat, this study starts off by picking a point of view and begging the question on why opposing points are being discussed.

    The article then hand waves to focus on a Pareto distribution of retweets of the adjudged “disinformation “. My question would be how does this distribution vary from other topics that end up trending on Twitter? There have also been several studies that suggest that large percentages of Twitter users may be bots.

    The intent of the article seems to be its closing paragraph

    Carley says researchers, corporations, and the government need to coordinate better to come up with effective policies and practices for tamping this down. “I think we need some kind of general oversight group,” she says. “Because no one group can do it alone.”

    Translation- their desire to build an efficient authority that can end discussion and debate deemed to be undesirable. Call me old fashioned, but I am a true believer for protecting freedom of speech, and I have faith that with free debate, truth will prevail. Censorship, under any guise, only leads to tyranny from those who judge what is best for the rest of us.

    Reply
  11. Donald

    I read “What kind of country do we want?” I like Robinson and agree with her, but I am very cynical about these articles which appear in liberal journals expressing what is wrong with our country right after the one candidate who agrees with this diagnosis has dropped out of the race.

    One problem with these pieces is that they never spell out the fact that the leading Democratic politicians are on the wrong side of these issues and are only marginally less bad than the Republicans. The effect is to allow Democratic readers to feel moral outrage without ever being told that the politicians they support are part of the problem.

    Reply
    1. Katniss Everdeen

      Robinson writes:

      Here is the first question that must be asked: What have we done with America? Over the decades we have consented, passively for the most part, to a kind of change that has made this country a disappointment to itself…..

      To which I would answer that we have legitimized and elevated “cultural” commentators like katha pollitt in the nation who write things like this:

      I would vote for Joe Biden if he boiled babies and ate them.

      Enough said IMNSHO.

      Reply
      1. lyman alpha blob

        That Pollitt admits she would vote for a proven rapist and murderer before Trump tells you pretty much everything you need to know about the Democrat party. Can’t wait to hear her claim she was just “joking” with those remarks.

        That is par for the course for The Nation though. They have been doing the “you must vote for the lesser of two evils” schtick for decades at least. Gave up my subscription over a decade ago largely because of that attitude and haven’t missed it. They are slightly better than what Mother Jones has become, but not by much.

        Reply
          1. Massinissa

            “Don’t blame me, I voted for Ick / Ugh! Those people who voted for Ugh / Ick are deplorable!”

            Reply
        1. Amfortas the hippie

          i don’t know if it’s something I did, or something they did…but i can no longer access the nation or the atlantic…just a blank page, or something about logging on, with no way to log on.
          makes me think of bubble universes and aloof and distant elites.
          at the same time, i was suddenly unable to even go to Black Agenda Report. even typing the addy into the bar does nothin…google it and hit the link…nothing.
          I miss BAR a lot more than I miss the other two.

          Reply
      2. Susan the other

        Robinson is seeing human avoidance, no? – We all went along with capitalism and free profiteering and drank the koolaid until one day (a few decades ago) we looked up and realized we weren’t happy. We live in the past until the present catches up to us and we have inadvertently become dumpster divers. Somehow we’ve got time backwards. We stop and think, Oh how did all this crap “emerge”? Where did our optimism go – that thing we all discounted until it wore completely out. We didn’t notice until it was gone. It was the thing that pushed progress; “creative unrest.” The thing that was killed by cost-benefit analysis. So… let’s stop with the cost-benefit analysis predicated on corporate profits.

        Reply
        1. flora

          I dont’ remember the 60’s and 70’s as a time when people who had decent jobs – even at modest salaries – but weren’t rich and powerful were talked about as ‘deplorables’ by politicians and media. I don’t remember that time as a time when one had to be rich to avoid the threat of medical bankruptcy or homelessness. A lot has changed since then. Now, if one isn’t rich one is prey. Now it’s not enough to be a teacher or a firefighter or a skilled mechanic or office worker to get by and have a decent and respectable life, protected from Wall St crooks by strong regulations. That’s what changed since New Deal programs and regulations have been eliminated, one bit at a time. Now, the politicians have thrown the not-rich to the wolves. How many people are going to lose their homes in the current shutdown financial disaster while the robbers are being propped up by govt. ? My 2 cents.

          Reply
  12. The Rev Kev

    “Seventh Circuit Hears Arguments in Obama Library Land Grab Suit ”

    This article makes plain that Obama could have chosen a better site at Washington Park which was actually found to be a better location as Washington Park is accessible by train, whereas Jackson Park is not. Instead, Obama rigged the local power structure to illegally give him a big chunk of Jackson Park.

    I am going to come right out and say that the reason that he did this is because Obama is a sociopath and the thought of badly effecting black families in this neighbourhood to his mind was a bonus. If he could, he would have tried to grab a chunk of New York’s Central Park for his scam museum but as he could not, he settled for park land in Chicago instead.

    In a few years time you are going to see wails and screams as Trump starts talking about his own Presidential Library (maybe built within Trump Tower) and people will try to fight its erection but these very same people would be more than willing to give Obama a free pass on his public park land grab.

    Reply
    1. John Anthony La Pietra

      “When you have a beloved figure like President Obama basically getting the Good Housekeeping seal of approval to the confiscation of public parkland, it sends a message to other municipalities. Which is, if you have a powerful and well-connected board of directors, you too can confiscate parkland held in trust,” Birnbaum told Courthouse News.

      “Wish you’d been here to hold our beer,” say the residents of Benton Harbor (to name just one example).

      http://www.savejeanklockpark.org

      Reply
  13. Watt4Bob

    Still horrified at the thought of the desecration of Jackson park by the Obama organization.

    And holding out hope that my home town might find enough intestinal fortitude to refuse it.

    There are plenty of other places that might actually benefit from a project like this, but Jackson park is not an appropriate choice.

    Pure hubris, tone-deaf hubris.

    At this point, I’d even welcome some republican-style interference.

    Reply
    1. Duck1

      Sounds like bait and switch is an 0bama art form, if I understood correctly. What was at first to be the Presidential Library morphed into museum, under water table parking lot, recording studio?

      Reply
      1. Watt4Bob

        And it’s not like other presidential libraries, operated by the National Archives, it’s to be operated by the Obama Foundation, with a digitized collection of his papers.

        I just don’t see the logic, let alone the legal justification in giving historically important parkland to a private non-profit.

        Reply
  14. fresno dan

    4 months since a haircut…starting to look like Fabio….well, a shorter, fatter, uglier, grayer Fabio…

    Reply
    1. periol

      I’m with you. My wife had to make me start using conditioner to keep my mane in check two weeks ago.

      Reply
    2. carl

      We dusted off the dog clippers the other day, and let’s just say I’m going to be streamlined for the summer, at least.

      Reply
      1. RMO

        I’ve had long hair since I was 15. I had my last professional haircut at the same time. I realized that no matter who I went to or what I asked for I might as well have said “give me the Shemp cut!” In the three decades-plus since them I’ve just periodically “weeded” my hair with scissors to thin it out. Ever since I started doing that I’ve looked like I had my hair done for a part in the Lord of The Rings movies but fortunately that’s acceptable with my lifestyle – and to my wife. She’s fortunate with the haircut situation too as she has long masses of curly hair which she usually just let grow freely as well and it looks great like that. Not being able to take a regular physical therapy massage is getting to her though.

        Reply
    3. Oregoncharles

      My son has a stand-off attachment for an electric razor, leaves about an inch and a half. He can give himself a perfectly decent haircut. Someone, anyone, else could do even better. Barbers may suffer long-term from this hiatus.

      Personally, there isn’t much of it, but it’s slowly reverting to the old hippy look. I may even keep it.

      Reply
    4. ewmayer

      Been using basic electric buzzclippers with the #5 buzz-cut attachment to self-shear every ~4 months or so for years and years now … I call it my Sergeant Dork haircut. Much easier with a 2nd person doing it for (or to) you, especially the tricky parts in back and behind the ears. Followed by quick floor-and-self-vac and you’re ready for the front lines.

      Reply
  15. MLTPB

    Asian Century. May 2020……

    What do people in Africa say? When does African Century begin?

    Turkey to Africa: you lose and we win either way, being in Asia and Europe.

    Reply
  16. chuck roast

    Kind of weak tea in the Jacobin article Another Debt Crisis Looming in Argentina. Lots of verbiage on the history of Argentinian debt defaults…ho hum. Another round-up of the most recent debt fiasco; the parri passu controversy and the usurpation of long-standing international law by a New York court would have been far more revealing. Mix in the repeated theft of international loans by the Argentine oligarchy and you have a revealing article about the dynamics of international financial predation. Maybe next time.

    Reply
    1. RabidGandhi

      You’re far too generous. The author likens sovereign debt to household debt, blathers about countries going bankrupt, and thinks that defaults cause economic crises, not vice versa. And his solution: gotta avoid default no matter what!

      I’d have saved the article as an object lesson in I-read-the-whole-wiki-entry-last-night-and-am-ready-to-write fails, but I’m out of room in my “The Left Always Loses Because It Refuses to Understand Economics” file.

      Reply
  17. The Rev Kev

    “Immunity certificates to free people from lockdown ‘being considered again’ ”

    I heard that some guys are putting the fact that they had Coronavirus on their dating profiles. Probably because that immunity thing – if it is a thing – makes a safer date for both parties.

    Reply
    1. Carla

      And anybody who believes anything in a dating profile is, as I once heard it phrased, “dumber than a fork.”

      Reply
      1. MLTPB

        No one single date-seeker ever broke his or her heart under-estimating the intelligence of the dating profile reading public.

        Reply
      2. hunkerdown

        Except if they say they’re neoliberals, believe them the first time. (Voice of experience…)

        Reply
  18. Kurtismayfield

    Two months in prison seems like an awfully low sentence for wire and mail fraud. I am sure it has nothing to do with Mr. and Mrs. Mossimo being extremely rich Plus their kid gets more publicity!

    Reply
    1. juno mas

      I believe the most serious charges were dismissed for the plea deal. But still, wealth wins when approaching the bench. Try to get a plea deal for your traffic ticket; unlikely without expensive counsel.

      Reply
  19. sd

    Dentist – I was scheduled for a regular cleaning this week. Much to my surprise, my dentists office contacted me to confirm the appointment. I have cleanings every six months – I’m trying to do do everything I can to keep my teeth as long as I can.

    It’s a small office, with 4 staff including the dentist, they will be open 3 days a week and have scheduled no more than two patients in the office at a time (they have six bays with chairs) Everyone wore masks and shields. And cleaned before during and after the cleaning. It seemed to go well. Time will tell.

    Reply
    1. rd

      Its all about aerosol spreading in air. I hope the dental hygienist had an N95 mask on, or had one of the new nifty aerosol vacuums being offered for dentist offices now to Hoover them out of the air.

      Our dentist office is making cleaning appointments for October.

      Reply
    2. heresy101

      My dentist will reopen June 1 and will follow the ADA recommendations plus a little more.

      “We have implemented our new check-in protocol:

      Our office will communicate with you in advance to review our health questionnaire. You will be asked those same questions again when you are in the office.
      Upon arrival in our parking lot, please call 510-845-NNNN to check-in. Once your room is ready, we will ask you to come in.
      Please expect to have your temperature taken at the door and face mask are required for entry. We are strictly a face-mask -required office.
      Our waiting room is temporarily closed. Entries are for patients with appointments ONLY. No companions.
      We will kindly ask you to use hand sanitizer in our reception area and inside our office.
      We are strictly screening and ONLY allowing healthy patients and team members into our office.
      We are limiting entry to patients with appointments only to allow for proper social distancing.
      Appointments will be managed to allow for social distancing which may mean you will be offered fewer options when scheduling your appointment.
      We are allowing greater times between patients to reduce waiting times for you, as well as to reduce the number of patients in the reception area at any one time.
      We are going above and beyond with sterilization and infection control.
      We have HEPA-13 air filters in every room including the waiting area to completely filter the air in 5 minutes.”

      Reply
  20. The Rev Kev

    “Accusations Seriously. But Tara Reade’s Fall Short.”

    ‘I would vote for Joe Biden even if I believed Reade’s account. Fortunately, I don’t have to sacrifice morality to political necessity.’

    Lady, that boat sailed a long time ago for you. How screwed up in the head do you have to be to say that you would vote for someone, even if they boiled babies and ate them? If by age 70 you have not learned to have a moral base, then you may as well give up. Five minutes on YouTube will show that Biden was perfectly capable of the acts that he has been accused of and it is only because of people like Katha Pollitt that he has not been brought to account. If you asked her would she still support old Joe if there was solid proof of him raping a woman, she would probably say yes because getting rid of Donald Trump is more important. But if you asked her if there was proof that he raped ten women, then she would have to think about it. She would never think that the time to pull support was at one woman. This whole article just reeks of a hatchet job and whereas she accuses Reade of making it difficult for other women down the track to be believed, it is in fact because of people like Pollitt that will make it so.

    Reply
    1. Dr. John Carpenter

      As we get closer to November, assuming Biden doesn’t glitch out permanently, I expect we are going to see more screeds like this where the author tries to square the circle and absolve themself (and their readers) of any guilt voting for a candidate that they tacitly recognize doesn’t meet their moral standards. I suggested elsewhere a “Biden Voter Excuse” bingo card might be helpful, with spaces for “the Courts”, “minority rights”, “Russia”, “Trump is worse” and so on. To your comment about YouTube proof, I would add the issues Pollitt herself has with Reade’s account are rather weak and are the same criticisms leveled at other women who have spoken out but had the luxury of speaking against #Resistance approved men.
      Honestly, I’d have more respect if they’d just come out and admit “yeah, but this time it’s different” instead of trying to have it both ways. Not that I would agree, but I would at least appreciate the acknowledgement that “believe all women” has exceptions for too many people. Because sorry, you don’t get to vote for Biden and keep the moral high ground on #metoo.

      Reply
  21. rd

    Trump can declare anything he wants about the country being open or closed. Ultimately it is the consumers that will determine it. Things were already shutting down as people stopped going out in early March before governors and county executives started shutting things down.

    Waving a magic wand and declaring everything open isn’t sending people to the businesses, especially restaurants and bars. A few people are going to them but I would be stunned if they average more than 50% of their business back over the next 6 months, and that includes takeout.

    I also think that people’s spending habits will devolve to the Greatest Generation Great Depression and WW II trained habits by the end of 2021. Relying on the American consumer to keep the economy full bore over the next 2-5 eyars is going to be a tough ask.

    Reply
    1. juno mas

      Local health agencies are having a big say in how businesses re-open, as well. It’s not clear that restaurants can maintain profits with a reduction in tables (social distance). And the extra time spent on cleaning has to limit interaction with clients. There really is a New Normal on the horizon. The service economy is going to be less vibrant than it has been. Especially, if you service an the older cohort.

      Local travel is also being reduced, so tourist traffic will be diminished. (An adjacent county to mine has asked tourists to please stay away!)

      Reply
    2. hunkerdown

      I appreciate the distinction between traffic and profit, but those restaurants operating under a carry-out regime seem to be enjoying to-go traffic of a sufficient order of magnitude to pay for the idle square footage. My regular Mexican spot has had at least one other person waiting for an order every time I’ve been, sometimes up to 7-8 cars in line. They have instituted a small upcharge across the board due to limited meat supply, which is fair and reasonable. My regular Thai spot has at least 3-5 people in waiting every time I’ve been by. They’ve held prices (and, apparently, portions) steady but temporarily don’t offer double meat options. Finally, the local Biggby Coffee franchise is doing fine, steady business without touching physical cash, and a slice of ham on a $4 bagel isn’t something to get arsed over.

      Reply
    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Its not stunning. They are usually better at hiding it, but Team Blue does cultivate black “leadership” to serve as go betweens so they don’t have to risk seeing anyone who isn’t safe. This is how they talk. There was a todo about a white woman explaining black women are her spirit animals earlier this week.

      Reply
      1. tongorad

        I think most NC readers know who Team Blue is.
        In terms of political campaigning/craftsmanship, Biden’s comment was spectacularly dumb.

        Reply
        1. Pat

          But all of a piece with his response to anyone who questions either his status or policies. Multiple examples in the last six months alone.

          His arrogance may be hidden behind an “aw shucks, good ole boy”persona but it doesn’t take much to get him to reveal himself.

          And not for nothing he is both racist and misogynistic.

          Reply
    2. voteforno6

      After watching the Trump show for the last 4+ years, it’s a little hard to feel any outrage over something like this.

      Reply
      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Really? Given the Biden show has been on for 50 years. We didn’t become number one in prison population in 2016 because Trump became President.

        This kind of behavior is exactly why the Democrats continually lose.

        Reply
        1. Oh

          I agree with you on your first paragraph. On the reason that the DimRats losing, it’s all set up that way. The more the two parties converge into one, the less reason people have for voting for these shysters (at least sane people stay away). Other seem to think that their vote will make a difference – perhaps in local and state “races” and amendments and such but at the Congressional level and for President, no! Besides the way the electronic voting machines are set up, votes cast can and will be manipulated to suit the junta.

          Votes won’t count, because they won’t count your votes!

          Reply
        2. Procopius

          Wait, what …? I thought we became number one in prison population around 1998. I’m quite sure it was well before 2016.

          Reply
          1. Procopius

            From Wikipedia, “History of United States prison systems.”:

            … since the early 1970s, the United States has engaged in a historically unprecedented expansion of its imprisonment systems at both the federal and state level. Since 1973, the number of incarcerated persons in the United States has increased five-fold, and in a given year 7,000,000 people were under the supervision or control of correctional services in the United States.

            A quick search hasn’t found the specific year in which the U.S. first held the most prisoners of any country in the world, but my memory is that even in the ’70s there were comments about how harsh American punishments are.

            Reply
      2. tongorad

        Biden helped write the 1994 crime bill that led to mass incarceration of POC. Biden has done more damage to our country than Trump.

        Reply
          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            Oh…for the uninitiated Biden gave Strom a eulogy and hailed him as a great American. So Biden’s remarks today are in keeping with his character. They aren’t gaffes. They are who he is.

            Reply
    3. Donald

      It is stunning, but if you think about it this is a particular variant of the argument most Democrats online give for why you have to vote for their candidate. It is never about the policies. The argument is that you are morally obligated to vote for the Democrat and the candidate owes you nothing except a willingness to be the lesser evil.

      The fact that Biden linked it to being black was exceptionally stupid and racist, but the underlying logic is what I have been hearing online and in real life since the 2000 Nader campaign.

      Reply
  22. NotTimothyGeithner

    “If you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black.” -Joe Biden

    Karens will love this.

    Reply
      1. John Anthony La Pietra

        If there is blowback, but nobody is there with a finger lifted to gauge the wind, does it make an impact?

        Reply
  23. Olga

    The Fable of the Chinese Whistleblower Project Syndicate
    Thanks for posting it.
    Gives a good timeline of what happened in Wuhan at the end of Dec. 2019, and makes clear just how manipulated that story has become. Consequently, too many people (even here) regurgitate the “China screwed up” narrative, without a hint of critical evaluation or an attempt to understand the sequence of events and context. Or asking how would any other country have dealt with an unknown virus.

    Reply
    1. pjay

      Yes. Hopefully people will read it given the source. Sadly, this information has been available for months.

      Reply
    2. John k

      Asia ex japan mostly had better response bc of their recent sars experience. Given that, China did respond slowly, ignored on the ground reports by front line doctors, and apparently had no plan in place for a new outbreak… what the hell is a command economy good for then? Compare with Taiwan, same people, different gov.
      Beyond that, it’s known that sars comes from bats, I think Ebola comes from eating primates… they didn’t just allow the wild markets with no regulations, they encouraged them.
      And then there’s the lab with controls so crappy the us warned them.

      Reply
      1. hunkerdown

        That’s what happens when the Wuhan government is run by yes men who try to hide problems and take nothing more seriously than their own advancement in the institution. Or, put another way, it’s the natural result of meritocracy by KPI.

        Reply
    3. ewmayer

      “Gives a good timeline” — but does it give a true timeline? Contrast that article with this one from inside Wuhan in late January, a week after the huge New Year’s bash had turned a local fire into what would soon become a global conflagration, and few days after the too-late provincial lockdown:

      The Truth About “Dramatic Action” | China Media Project

      Reply
      1. ewmayer

        Oh, forgot – The link as posted has a huge amount of tracking garbage – here it is in the sanitized form I used:

        https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/trump-charges-against-china-covid19-alternative-facts-by-stephen-s-roach-and-weijian-shan-2020-05

        Lastly, the article has a clear Trump-bashing tone, right down to characterizing the claims of an accidental engineered-virus leak from the Wuhan Institute of Virology – which, even if it proves untrue, should be taken with the utmost seriousness because it highlights a very real possibility in the context of the “gain of function” research goin on in many such labs, research of which Dr. Fauci is one prominent advocate – as “the GOP’s mendacious claims”. That kind of blatant political-partisan bias immediately raises my skeptical hackles.

        Reply

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