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Squabbling Toward the Apocalypse: A Moderate’s Lament

February 29, 2020

The other night, as my 16-year-old son was grappling with his insane homework load – seven (count ‘em!) assignments in a single evening – I started wondering why we Americans torture ourselves (and our young people) with such vast and insurmountable quantities of busywork. 

Is it because we love to toil for the sake of toil? Is it for the bragging rights? (See how industrious I am, you effete, brie-eating Euro-softies!) Or could it be that we don’t know how we’d face the ghastly void of life without a well-defined purpose? 

Yes, we’re desperate to avoid the void – by filling it with chores, mental clutter, media addiction… and, of course, rancorous and divisive politics. In just the past month – February, A.D. 2020 – we’ve been treated to a mesmerizing, distracting, void-filling carnival of rip-roaring American political squabbling and nastiness. A few examples:

  • The Senate acquitted President Trump of “High Crimes and Misdemeanors,” thereby sparing him the ultimate indignity of removal from office. After much acrimonious speechifying on both sides, the votes almost entirely followed the partisan (i.e., tribal) divide. (Strange, isn’t it, how the partisans can look at the same person and see two wildly different presidents.)
  • The next evening, during the annual State of the Union Address, Trump awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to the terminally ill radio polarizer Rush Limbaugh and promoted a 100-year-old Tuskegee Airman to the rank of brigadier general. (Guess which gesture the anti-Trump media chose to focus on, and which one they chose to ignore.)
  • At the conclusion of Trump’s SOTU, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ripped the text of the president’s speech in full view of Congress, the nation and almighty God – an ostentatiously naughty deed that left no room for reconciliation.
  • Not one to be intimidated by his Democratic foes, Trump promptly dismissed the two underlings who testified against him during the impeachment trial. The move was his prerogative as their boss, but it was a public relations disaster: it cemented Trump’s reputation as a thin-skinned tyrant who needs to surround himself with groveling yes-people.
  • Meanwhile, during Black History Month, Lebanese-American Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib argued that we must create yet another racial identity group: Middle Easterners and North Africans (MENA). Sorry, Rashida, you’re as white as Danny Thomas (remember him?), and we Americans don’t need to be splintered any more than we already are. We have more than enough self-interested racial/ethnic/sexual/gender factions shouting “Me! Me! Me!”
  • The ongoing Democratic debates deteriorated into a depressing series of insult-fests. You’d think it would have been an easy matter to elevate a candidate who could beat the hands-down looniest president in American history, but the Democrats seem intent on handing Trump another four years. As the candidates battered one another with surprising ferocity, they might not have noticed that Trump’s positive Gallup Poll rating edged out his negative rating this past month for the first time ever.
  • While former New York Mayor and current multibillionaire Michael Bloomberg saturated the airwaves with his bottomless fount of campaign ads, “woke” Democrats essentially forced him to apologize for the “stop and frisk” policy that disproportionately targeted black neighborhoods under his watch. (Of course, the policy also dramatically slashed the number of black crime victims, but nobody on the left seemed to care about that inconvenient statistic.)
  • As the shortest month of the year finally drew to its close, Trump gave us a foretaste of his second term: he called for liberal Supreme Court justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor to recuse themselves from any case involving him or his policies. He proclaimed that the dreaded coronavirus pandemic would pass over these states but assigned his science-averse VP Mike Pence to oversee the matter, just in case. And of course, he continued to threaten cuts to Social Security and Medicare. Does his largely cash-strapped base hold it against him? Of course not.

February’s sound and fury gave us an abundance of diversions and distractions to help us avoid the void. Like my son’s overwhelming homework load, our petty Lilliputian political squabbles kept us from looking inward too much for our own good… kept us off the streets… kept us from being hypnotized by the sights, sounds, sensations and textures of real life: the crisp winter air, the glowing sunset sky, the warmth and crackle of a fire in the fireplace, the bracing taste of coffee in our cup, the cheery bonhomie of old friendships and new acquaintances. 

Our manmade diversions also distracted us from the high drama of a world in disarray: the horrific brushfires in Australia, with an estimated one billion animal casualties… the highest temperatures ever recorded in the Antarctic… the inexorable spread of coronavirus from China to the outside world (and its impact on the ever-skittish stock market). 

In the end, what matters most tends to get lost in the ambient chaos: the ability to lead a satisfying and useful life on a healthy planet – a planet overseen by benevolent governments that serve the needs of the governed without favoring one class of people over any other class. Call it the moderate’s dream… I call it sanity.

Rick Bayan is founder-editor of The New Moderate. His three collections of darkly humorous essays are available as e-books on Amazon for just $2.99 each. (Just go to Amazon and search under Rick Bayan.)


889 Comments leave one →
  1. March 1, 2020 12:18 am

    Sounds as if your son is in a good school. There are way too many today that have decided homework is not needed. Why, is anyones guess but one thought offered on social media was so many kids are from split families and the parent, for one reason or another, does not make sure the kids finish their assignments, so the school does not want them being identified in front of other students in a negative way when they dont turn in the work.

    Homework teaches self discipline. He’ll live!

    • Rick Bayan permalink
      March 1, 2020 12:55 am

      Ron, I’m for moderation in doling out homework. (What else would you expect from me?) I think there’s an optimum amount of homework (maybe 1 1/2 hours a day) that would reinforce learning without crushing a kid’s spirit or making it virtually impossible to lead a well-balanced life. My son’s high school (it’s a competitive public ”magnet” school) has gone overboard in that direction, and it’s not healthy. Also, it favors kids who simply think and work fast over slower-functioning but more creative kids.

      • John Say permalink
        March 1, 2020 1:28 am

        Your the parent – you are in control your child’s education.

        I have told my story before, but once again.

        My daughter was adopted from China. 2 years in chinese orphanages created life long learning disabilities. At the same time if she was not fiercely determined should would not be alive.

        I would suggest watching “One Child Nation” – I think it is on Amazon.
        Over the course of about 30 years 350m chinese infants, babies, fetus’s whatever you wish to call them were killed. A tiny portion of these found their way to orphanages.

        My daughter thrived with excellent pre-school, kindergarten, and early elementary teachers. She was at the top of her class – not because we drove her – but because that was who she was. Everything is hard for her, but she is driven. Our job was to help – and her teachers helped. They responded incredibly to our daughter who despite her difficulties wanted to learn.

        In 4th grade all that changed – she got “the team of teachers from hell”.
        The decided her difficulties meant she would be happier with students who could not handle the material. She was miserable and failing badly.

        My wife and I tried to work with the school, when it became obvious they had no intention of helping. we realized that unless WE took control our daughter was going to be pigeonholed for life. We looked a myriads of options – things we could not afford. Eventually we picked cyber charter school – mostly because it was the easiest thing to try, it would not cost us anything, and parents had more control of their childs education – and they promised a learn at your own pace arrangement that suited our Daughter well.

        We picked possibly the worst cyber charter in our state – but our daughter was happy and did well again. It was hard for us, but this was her best chance. We changed cyber charters later. Our daughter graduated deans list, near the top of her class, she is now in college – getting nearly all A’s she is taking college at her own pace and working part time. Her goal is a masters and possibly a doctorate – and she will likely get whatever she wants – at a slower pace than her peers, but at the top of her class – because that is who she is. Everything is STILL harder for her.

        To be clear – my wife and I did not drive our daughter. She chose that herself.
        Our job was to make sure that whatever her dreams are, to the extent she is willing to work to make them happen – she is able to.

        I have no idea whether your son is being overworked or not. I have no idea whether the magnet school is the right choice for him.

        But YOU and he likely do.

        It is NOT the schools job to determine who you son is, and what his future is.
        It is yours and his.

        If you really think he is being overworked – DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.

        I am not selling cyber charters – they are not the right choice for everyone – and they have changed over time. Today’s Cyber Elementary schools would not work as well for my daughter. The proceed at your own pace option is gone.

        But there are many choices out there. Find your son the choice that fits him.

        If that is actually the magnet school – quit complaining.

      • March 1, 2020 10:41 am

        Rick, does this happen every day?

      • March 4, 2020 12:13 am

        Dave and Ron: The 7-assignment day was just the most egregious of a heavy daily homework schedule — usually about 4 assignments a day, including some time-consuming ones.

        My son should have been a perfect fit for this science-oriented school, but (like a lot of creative thinkers) he works slowly and tends to be a perfectionist. So, given the heavy homework load (and his wandering attention span when the work doesn’t interest him), he’s always struggling to catch up. I’ve encouraged him to cut corners, but to no avail. It’s a shame that I’d have to resort to advising him to cut corners, but that’s the only way he’ll survive the next 2 1/2 years.

        My complaint is that we’re imposing excessive demands on our kids instead of creating a climate that encourages the enjoyment of learning and gives them time for a social life and leisure pursuits. Those things will aid them later in life at least as much as their formal education.

        Finland has won attention for going easy on homework while its school system ranks as one of the best in the world. Recent studies have also indicated that homework doesn’t really add much, if anything, to the quality of a student’s education. It just creates stressed-out kids.

      • March 4, 2020 1:05 am

        Rick, I understand your thinking. I was not being critical nor supportive since I knew nothing on the subject. I do know that my kids during the 90’s who went to Catholic HS usually had up to a couple hours a night, some not more than 1 hour. The amount of work was not constant.

        I also know that some teachers do not communicate with other teachers and live in their own cocoon and could care less how much work the kids have when its all added up. My wife had meetings concerning that issue with the principal.

        And there is your dilemna. Leaving things as is if he like the school and enjoys school for the most part. Finding a different school if he does not. Attending a PTA meeting, if there is one active, inquiring into the issue with other parents on their kids experience and finally, talking with the principal to explore possible changes that.might occur.

        This one is not liberal, conservative or libertarian. This one is individualism. Doing the right thing for your kid to provide him with the best course of action for the best outcome for him. And that comes from a very wise person, my wife, who was front and center in our kids education. They went to catholic schools because that is where she went, same ones. I was just someone from the California system when CA had the best schools in the country.

        As for Finland, comparing the USA to them is not fair in my mind. The Finns and Americans are very different. For one, the outlook about education by most people in Finland is very different than us. One big reason is child poverty rate is just over 5%, while here it is 16+%. And the biggest, Swedes and Russians make up the largest group within their minority population. Very different than our black and hispanic minority. More like our Asian minorities when it comes to family, education, etc.

      • John Say permalink
        March 4, 2020 11:21 am

        Your son sounds alot like my daughter. ‘

        What i have learned in dealing with her.

        One size does not fit all – not in cloths – not in education.
        Like my daughter your sons educational needs are not the same as most other kids.

        Government is abysmal are dealing with people as individuals. Government is about one size fits all solutions. They do not fit any of us well and for some they are disasterous. Government does not care.

        Ultimately it is our own responsibility to meet our needs (or those of our children)

        What would benefit your son might be shared by many other parents and children – but not all.

        But I will amplify and agree with you on one area we expect far too much from education today.

        It is not the job of our schools, our teachers, our govenrment to inculcate values into our children. these are the responsibility of parents, family churches, community.

        When we start teaching preschoolers about Gender and gender equality, that comes at the expense of the core role of our schools, which should be the fundimentals, the tools they will need in live, the foundations for critical thinking. We need to move from teaching kids what to think back to teaching how to think – which is harder.

      • John Say permalink
        March 4, 2020 11:40 am

        “Dave, the point of my column was that all the petty political squabbling is hogging our attention”

        Then don’t pay attention. our elected officials, their conflicts, the media all fixate on what they think draws our attention. If you want them to change – quit paying attention until they focus on things you care about.

        “and that it pales into insignificance (or should) when we think about what really matters in life.”

        I have noted over and over that as a planet as a nation as a people we are doing better than ever in human history in every way.

        If Our politicians (and media) have no great problems to confront, they will work on smaller ones and they will strive to make those appear more dramatic and important than they are.

        It is natural that as were are better off as we have more of what we want and need we will focus on wants and needs that are increasingly less significant, and we will amplify their importance because they are what we are focused on.

        “As for Trump, I give him credit when he does something right… but the daily barrage of lies and bullying becomes mind-numbing. He’s a narcissist and an autocrat; he’s used to running his own show and can’t seem to comprehend the balance of powers (along with numerous other things that he can’t seem to comprehend).:”

        I have been actually bullied in life. I have been called all kinds of names, and I have been beaten up. I care far more about firsts than words.

        Trump has transformed the presidency – though I think that change was inevitable, it is just the pollution of the presidency with the same tactics that have permeated our media, the left and the rest of politics.

        I would further suggest that you contemplate the possibility that Trump does what he does because it works, and it works because of YOU or atleast lots of other people.

        As to being a narcisist autocrat used to running his own show. He was elected specifically because of that. He was elected to “drain the swamp” he was elected to make his campaign promises into reality. It is NOT Donald Trump seeking to impose his will by force on 3.5million federal bureaucrats. It is the elected president seeking to impose the promises that he made to the american people that got him elected.
        Trump may be an autocrat a narcisist, a bully, but he is doing “the will of the people”.

        Just to be clear – our constitution and any legitimate government is NOT empowered to do anything the people want. Should Sanders be elected pretty much all of what he has promised is unconstitutional and a violation of the actual rights of the majority of people.

        Trump’s campaign promises and his efforts to impose them are NOT (mostly) at the expense of the rights of individuals.

        It is not autocracy, totalitarianism, dictatorship to restrain the federal governments interferance in the lives of individuals.

  2. John Say permalink
    March 1, 2020 1:04 am


    While an interesting post, and maybe even mostly accurate, it misses the most important point. Most of this all DOES NOT MATTER.

    We are pollarized, outraged, spewing viterperations over nothing.

    It appears Covid-19 will pass by with little carnage – beyond riling the markets.
    But if it does not – at worst it will hit like a bad flu season. This will NOT be the 1918 Flu or the black plague. Periodically nature reminds us that IT not WE are in control.
    And oddly – this time – we MIGHT prove that wrong.

    But no matter what the outcome – mistakes will be made, and at the same time those mistakes will not really effect the outcome. If it is actually possible to stop Covid-19 from spreading across the US – it will be stopped, and that will happen whether Trump, Pence, Obama or Biden is in charge. And if it is NOT stopped – it would not have been stopped had Obama, Clinton or Sanders been in charge.

    Further the spitball fight in congress over funding is irrelevant. The outcome will not change if congress appropriates nothing, 1.5B or 8B – though our impression of congressmen might change.

    You say Trump is the looniest president ever – quit LISTENING – to him, the media, the left, …
    And pay attention to what is actually HAPPENING.

    Trump is NOT the great savior he claims to be, nor is he “the looniest president ever”,
    He is an average president with a slightly below average economy who has the luxury of following two POOR presidents. While both of them brought more dignity to the presidency, they were also BOTH failures.

    Again what do you care about – WORDS, or ACTS ?

    Absolutely, the country is split – we live in two differnet realities – or more accurately half of us live in reality, and the other half living in 150m different personal realities.

    AGAIN – what matters – WORDS or ACTS ?

    Of course we are divided – that is actually designed into our system of govenrment.
    Government is power and we are pretty much NEVER likely to agree on how to use power. We will compete over different priorities for using that power, or even whether to use it all.

    That we do not agree is nothing new. Even the nastiness is not really all that new – go read our founders about each other.

    But the fact that we are divided does NOT answer the question of what we should do.
    On any issue – the political divisions of the country tell us NOTHING about the answers.
    One of the things I have railed about at TNM is that because we are divided that DOES NOT make the correct answer in the middle. On any given issue, the answer could lie with the right, the left, the middle or somewhere totally different. Further if we are anywhere near equally divided the BEST choice is for govenrment to DO NOTHING – to leave the choices up to individuals NOT government. We should always resist the desire to use FORCE to solve our problems. It is RARELY the right choice.

    Personally what I find most disturbing is that we – US, all of us, gay, straight, black white, brown, men women, rich poor, …. live in the best place in the world at the best moment in history (except tomorow) and yet half of us are ranting that we live in hell, that these are the worst of times.

    Whether it is left or right, with VERY FEW exceptions, if someone of group is telling you the sky is falling, the world is about to end, that some problem demands our immediate attention, with extremely rare exceptions – they are WRONG, they are either lying or they are dupes.

    You produced a long list of conflicts and “outrages”.

    Will ANY of those matter in 6 months ? 6 days ?

    We are always going to have conflicts – that is the nature of govenrment.

    What is unusal about the moment is the degree of outrage over next to nothing.

    That is a self correcting problem.

    • March 4, 2020 12:18 am

      Dave, the point of my column was that all the petty political squabbling is hogging our attention, and that it pales into insignificance (or should) when we think about what really matters in life.

      As for Trump, I give him credit when he does something right… but the daily barrage of lies and bullying becomes mind-numbing. He’s a narcissist and an autocrat; he’s used to running his own show and can’t seem to comprehend the balance of powers (along with numerous other things that he can’t seem to comprehend).

      • March 4, 2020 1:14 am

        Rick, at least one person understands my thinking about Trump. And yes, I probably support more of his positions than you, but I am addressing his personal behaviors.

        But if the Democrats think Biden is moderate, we are in trouble. Maybe the Biden back in the early 90’s, but certainly not now. Remember, he was Obama’s biggest PPACA supporter. Supporting anything that forces any citizen to buy a private companies product that ends up driving their profits up considerably is anything but moderate.

      • John Say permalink
        March 4, 2020 6:46 pm

        What will a biden or Sanders or Warren or Bloomberg presidency be like ?

        The first and most fundimental question is – does the GOP hold either the house or the senate ?

        If Not then it will look much like 2009-2010. That brought us ARRA, and PPACA, Cash for Clunkers, Dodd-Frank and a host of nonsense.

        Expect much the same if democrats control all three branches of government – even nominally. It will not matter which democrat is elected.

        Assuming that the GOP holds the senate – expect much like the period from 2011-2016,
        Gridlock in congress and the president doing whatever he can unilaterally.

        Expert more regulation a decline in the economy basically the same overall stagnation as the last 3/4 of Obama.

        It is irrelevant which democrat is elected. The power to move this country to the left significantly without the control of congress is extremely limited.
        Nothing any democrat is promising will happen absent control of congress.

        And control of congress and the ability to take big steps will absolutely assure that Republicans return to power as rapidly as possible.

        I think it is lunatic to vote for Sanders. He is not even a progressive but a real old school socialist. But electing him is not the same as a socialist take over.

        I do not think in practical terms that there will be much difference between any democrat as president.

        If anything Sanders might be a better president – because he would be much like Rand Paul, just too different from the status quo to accomplish anything.

      • John Say permalink
        March 4, 2020 2:52 pm

        With respect to the “balance of power”.

        In what world – in a perfect world ? In constitutional government as I would imagine it ?

        Or in the actual world of our government as it has been for decades ?

        In the hypothetical – I support congress taking back powers it has ceded to the executive.
        The power of the purse, the power to tax, the power to legislate, the power to regulate, the oversite of the executive – these are the legitimate powers of congress. Most of which congress has largely ceded to the executive.

        Whether it is Devin Nunes or Adam Schiff demanding witnesses or information from the executive – with very few limits they should get what they request.
        In my perfect world FOIA is broad, Congressional oversite is broad, executive priviledge is narrow.

        But that is not the real world we have today. When the house was republican – DOJ/FBI – under both Obama and Trump pretty much stonewalled the houses requests for information.

        Holder never provided congress with the information they requested on fast and furious, or the IRS or the DOJ’s entanglements with the IRS or a host of other areas of inquiry.
        Rosenstein totally stonewalled Nunes inquiries into what we now know was a hoax investigation by the DOJ/FBI. It should be self evident today tbhat the stonewalling Rosenstein did was not to protect national security but to hide misconduct from congress and the public.

        So please tell me how Trump’s failure to cooperate with the house in some way is more egregious than what preceded ?

        Trump has done nothing to alter the balance of power. He has been far more careful to act inside his legitimate powers as president than Obama or Bush.

        Todate Trump is the first president Since Jimmy Carter that has NOT started some kind of foreign military conflict.

        The DC Court of appeals just ruled on the House subpeona of WhiteHouse Counsel McGahn, and it rejected soundly the house subpeona authority.

        While I personally think that decision was overly broad – some of the key elements of the reasoning are absolutely correct, and a welcome return to constitutional govenrment.

        The court noted that Congress is not a law enforcement body and that outside of impeachment it has not investigative and enforcement power. That means that most of the oversite work of congress – including its subpeonas does not implicate due process or the 4th amendment. But when the house acts as an investigative and law enforcement body, that it must conform to the requirements of due process and the 4th amendment.

        If you are unable to grasp that the “faux impeachment” egregiously violated the 4th amendment and due process, then you are blind.

        But let me simplify – the DC 5th circuit court of appeals found that the House abused its power – not the president. Atleast according to the 5th circuit court of appeals the only effort to disrupt the balance of power was by the house.

        If you wish to disagree, to argue otherwise – that is fine, we can have that discussion, debate, argument. i think that the 5th Circuit got some things wrong.

        But if you wish to claim that there is some clear binary issue where Trump is black and the house is white – you are taking an indefensible extremist position.
        To use your own language – you are NOT moderate.

        The 5th circuit decision at worst gets the balance wrong. It is not a extreme position that is not merely wrong on every point, but wrong in its observations regarding history and congresses actions.

        Put simply the argument that Trump is disrupting the balance of power in some dramatic way is bull droppings.

        I actually find your claim that Trump does not understand the balance of powers argument extreme and offensive.

        There is a giant gulf between Trump’s words and his actions. On major issue after major issue Trump’s actions as president have ultimately been upheld by the supreme court – and not usually by only 5-4 majorities. Obama lost inumerable issues 9-0 at Scotus I do not think Trump has lost any. That is pretty much ANTI-Authoritarian,

      • John Say permalink
        March 4, 2020 3:10 pm

        i am constantly carping about Force and the justification for the use of force with respect to government.

        THAT Alone is the criteria for legitimacy of government.

        As The Declaration of independence states – the purpose of government is using FORCE to protect individual liberty. When government fails to do that we may justifiably terminate that government and replace it.

        In certain ways the declaration of independence is MORE important than the constitution.
        The declaration specifies the purpose of govenrment and the acceptable basis for replacing government by FORCE if necescary.

        THAT is the criteria for Judging Trump or Obama.

        When the declaration of independence lists the offences of King George it does not do so by claiming he was a whiny bully. It specifies specific CONDUCT that abridges the rights of citizens.

        It is CONDUCT that determines whether a President (or congress or judiciary) may be FORCIBLY removed.

        All other choices are by vote.

        You are free to vote for or against socialists, loud mouths, …. As is every other citizen.
        You have no power beyond persuasion to sway the vote of another citizen.
        And only citizens may vote. Putin has no vote in our elections.

        An elected president, appointed judge or any other moment of our government can only FORCEABLY be removed for the criteria in the declaration of independence.
        That is removed independently of the will of the people.

        A majority of people can elect an avowed socialist who promises to make the US a socialist country and there is nothing those of us who oppose can legitimately do until the next election SO LONG AS that socialist president ACTS within the confines of the constitution – and the definition of legitimate govenrment in the Declaration.

        Conversely ANYONE in government – who ACTS outside those constraints – regardless of ideology can be removed – by FORCE if necescary, regardless of the will of the majority.

        The entirety of the above reduces to government that infringes on individual liberty by force without justification is illegitimate whether popular or not.

        There is no character test in the declaration of independence, or the constitution.
        We get to judge character at elections.

        All the other assertions – bullying, narcisist, authoritarian, as subjective criteria are the domain of elections. As objective criteria they reduce to – was FORCE used and was that use justified.

        Mother Theresa is not free to use force absent justification. Stalin is free to use force with proper justification.

  3. John Say permalink
    March 1, 2020 1:39 am

    Government DOES NOT serve the needs of people – that is idiocy.

    We do not each have the same needs. We do not have common needs that we agree on.

    Govenrment fixated on providing for our needs MUST fail – the distinguishing feature of humanity is our individuality. We not only look different – as most other living things do, but we do not think the same we do not share exactly the same values, wants desires – needs.

    Meeting our needs is OUR JOB, each of us individually.

    The purpose of government is to protect our liberty to be able to do so. To protect us from others who would use force to compel us to meet their needs rather than ours.
    It is irrelevant whether they beat us with sticks into meeting their needs rather than ours, or whether they leverage the force of govenrment to do so.

    Government that attempts to meet the needs of the people MUST fail.

    • March 1, 2020 10:47 am

      Dave, you and I are living in our parents and grandparents “yesterday”. To think the individual is responsible and not government today is archaic thinking.

      • John Say permalink
        March 1, 2020 12:31 pm

        “Dave, you and I are living in our parents and grandparents “yesterday”. To think the individual is responsible and not government today is archaic thinking.”

        Gravity is so “yesterday”

        If you want government to take care of your needs – humans will become ants.
        Individuality is antithetical to central planning.

    • March 4, 2020 12:28 am

      Dave, you present a classic libertarian’s view of what government should do; i.e., next to nothing. But what about defense, national parks, highways, public education and other basic functions that you might be taking for granted? And to take it a step further, into what you’d consider “socialist” territory, what’s wrong with the government providing a safety net to cover for the unpredictability of the free market? Should the unfortunate just die and decrease the surplus population, as Scrooge suggested (before his Christmas transformation)?

      You disdain the middle ground between pure capitalism and socialism, but why do you think (as you insist) that we’re living in the best of times? It’s at least partly because the government has created those safety nets and imposed mild restrictions on the free market. (Think about the abolition of slavery, child labor laws, and unemployment compensation, for starters.)

      • Jay permalink
        March 4, 2020 9:35 am

        Yes, and providing a safety net now, to provide free testing and treatment to slow the spread and severity of the coronavirus …

      • John Say permalink
        March 4, 2020 7:04 pm

        Jay, we can debate lots of things regarding Covid-19.

        But there are several things that are not debateable.

        It is irrelevant whether Trump or Obama is president. Those in government dealing with this are doing pretty much the same things.

        Nor will throwing money at the problem change anything in the short run.
        We can not have more masks, more testing kits, more hand sanitizer more latex gloves, more …. in the next few weeks. What exists is what we have.
        Over time – and probably rapidly the free market will respond to the obvious demand – and they will do so whether government dumps money on this or not.

        We will have antivirals – as quickly as they con be produced – if existing ones are effective and as quickly as they can be discovered and tested if nothing effective exists.

        We will have a vaccine – as quickly as the government allows it to be approved.

        We will have test kits and gloves and masks, and …. as soon as those can be produced.

        There should be no doubt the free market can respond fast – far faster than government is likely to allow. But it can not respond to a sudden global spike in demand instantly.

        With any epidemic, the key is the actions taken at the start – when resources are limited and little is known.

        I noted that the free market can respond fast, but even the free market can not respond to an actual exponential curve. That is why the graph of new infections on John’s hopkins site is the most important peice of data in the world. The flatter the curve the more time the market has to ramp up and get ahead. The steeper the curve the more we shift to triage and husbanding scare resources for those who will benefit the most.

        We can not redesign society to stop the unstopable virus that everyone is afraid of.

        The most important things we can do now are to slow or stop the spread.
        We can spend $1m per infected person now, and spend far less than if we spend $100 if this goes exponential.

        But we have to work with what we already have. Not what we will have in two weeks or two months.

        And that is true regardless of who is president.

        Further there are variables we have no control over.

        If this gets out of control in mexico or central america – we do not have the means to stop it from going out of control in the US. We can deal with exposure coming through air travel.

        We can not come close to stoping it at a porus southern border.

      • John Say permalink
        March 4, 2020 4:13 pm

        “But what about defense, national parks, highways, public education and other basic functions that you might be taking for granted? ”

        i do not in anyway take those for granted. AGAIN the function of government – as established by thousands of years of experiment and best philosophically explained by Locke and in practice by our founders with the declaration of independence is “the protection of individual liberty”.

        Does defense protect individual liberty ? I think it is pretty easy to justify national defense on an individual liberty basis – that does not mean all defense is justified, but atleast as we debate how much national defense we must have, we have a principled starting point.

        National Parks ? Nope. I can go into a long diatribe – there is plenty of information available if you want to find it of how absolutely horrible a steward of land the government is. Further our founders constrained the federal governments ownership of land within states to the District of Columbia and that which was needed to for national defense – Forts.
        Until very late in the 19th century federal ownership of significant land inside a state was considered unconstitutional.

        But I want to go one step farther – we have government that does many things that are illegitimate – such as owning national parks. That fact is NOT justification for carte blanche rejecting the idea of limited government.

        The fact that YOUR personal conseption of limited government is far broader than mine, does not mean there are no limits to government.

        The fact that you find national parks, and highways, and public schools justified does not mean ANYTHING is justified.

        “And to take it a step further, into what you’d consider “socialist” territory”

        I do not especially care about the “socialist’ label, my position is simple.
        The bigger government is the bigger its negative impact and the smaller its positive impact

        You and I can debate where the “balance point” is – you clearly are prepared to accept more as “net positive” than I am, but our disagreement on the precise location of the balance point, does not mean there is no point at which government is net negative.

        “what’s wrong with the government providing a safety net to cover for the unpredictability of the free market? ”

        Stealing is immoral. Taking things by force from others is immoral except where justified.
        We have sympathy for those who steal bread to feed their children, we do not pretend it is not a crime.

        “Should the unfortunate just die and decrease the surplus population, as Scrooge suggested (before his Christmas transformation)?”

        Wrong question. You keep trying to pretend that every possible positive moral duty og an individual is a collective duty of government.

        Scrooge found his soul, and when he did so he engaged in charity, he did not demand that the british crown provide a social safety net.

        Look arround the world – there are infinitely more legitimate positive moral demands on each of us than can possibly EVER be met.

        You may wish to provide govenrment aide to those whose homes were destroy by hurricanes. I am far more concerned about orphans in China, Rep. Ilibran is more concerned about the starving in Somalia.

        There is no such thing as a “safetynet” – humanity does not have the resources to “save” everyone in need – certainly the US does not, even if taxes were 100% of GDP.

        It is not EVER the legitimate role of government to decide how to meet our individual positive moral obligations.

        You may not take away a persons liberty in order to do charity for another.

        You are on the wrong side of morality.

        The ends do not justify the means.

        “You disdain the middle ground between pure capitalism and socialism,”
        Framing error. I talk about individual freedom – not capitalism. It is fraudulent to presume that we can separate from individual liberty some faux construct and call it capitalism, and pretend that our other liberty is still secure when government infringes on that faux subset.

        As I have noted over and over at the tails of every chain of economic exchanges is a freedom that is not purely economic.

        Last night I went out to dinner with my wife. We had a wonderful time. The dinner came with a bill, we echanged money for food with a restuaunt, but though the narrow transaction was only about food, any government interference in that transaction is interference in my freedom to have a wonderful evening with my wife.

        You can not regulate what you call “capitalism” without regulating things that are most of us do not think of as economic.

        “but why do you think (as you insist) that we’re living in the best of times?”
        Because by most every measure we are.

        “It’s at least partly because the government has created those safety nets and imposed mild restrictions on the free market.”
        Nope, and if you really want to delve into this deeply – not only is there no evidence of that, but in fact there is LOTS of evidence to the countrary.

        Just at the top most level – larger government in ANY FORM for ANY PURPOSE reduses the rate of improvement of standard of living – interesting the same data that demonstrates that for even 10% of GDP that government consumes the rate of increase in standard of living declines 1%, ALSO demonstrates that when that spending is for the “safety net” that there is an additional 1/3% reduction in the improvement of standard of living.

        Different data on the same issue shows that standard of living rises faster the higher the level of economic freedom – throughout the world – universally.

        You can not provide a “safety net” at zero cost. We have discussed elsewhere – and again there is LOTS of data on this that of every dollar govenrment collects $0.65-$0.75 is wasted.

        Do you think that government does better when it is providing the safety net ?
        To raise the standard of living of the “most vulnerable” by $0.25 you have reduced the average standard of living by $1. And there is actually good reason to beleive you have done far worse, because the so called “safety-net” is an enormous DISINCENTIVE to self improvement.

        “(Think about the abolition of slavery, child labor laws, and unemployment compensation, for starters.)”

        Slavery is trivial – it is a violation of rights. Even Locke railed against Slavery.

        The history of child labor laws is horrible – right up through the present.
        They are EVIL not good.

        Child labor disappears on its own when standard of living rises sufficiently.
        The only thing that Child labor laws have ever done is prolonged and increased poverty for those that did not have sufficient standard of living to afford the luxury of children not working.

        Humans have existed 150,000 years. For 99.99% of that children have worked as soon as they were able. It is the advent of that capitalism that you are attacking that has made it possible for us not to require our children to work.

        Unemployment compensation: I have no problem with insurance, with flood insurance, with health insurance, with unemploymment insurance, with disability insurance, with life insurance. I am once again OPPOSED to government involvement.
        Why would anyone sane trust government to get right something as difficult as insurance ?
        Why would anyone want to do most anything as inefficiently as government ?

      • John Say permalink
        March 4, 2020 4:23 pm

        The choice is NOT do something through government or not at all.

        For most of human existance. the “unfortunate” would “decrease the human population” – because there was no alternative. No one sane would conclude that cave men could provide universal health care. That Tutankhamun’s egypt could provide social security, that Louis the 14th’s france could provide a UBI.

        Your safety-net is ultimately provided by individual prosperity – not government.

        All you are debating is whether charity is voluntary or involuntary.

        Please explain the morality of involuntary charity ?

        If I give $50/month to provide resources to children in Nigeria – I fulfill a positive moral duty, I do a good thing, I improve the lives of others and myself, and I can feel good about what I have done.

        If Government takes $50 from me, wastes $35 and gives the balance to some addict to provide for her child – has ANYONE fulfilled a moral duty ? Has ANYONE actually done a good thing ? Should I feel good about myself ? Has ANYONE actually benefited ?

      • John Say permalink
        March 4, 2020 4:31 pm

        I am sure that you will claim my position is extreme – will accept that it is beyond TODAY’s norms – though it would be extremely LIBERAL for nearly all of human existance.

        But the extremity of my position does not alter the fact that the only argument you have made is that my position is wrong.

        You seem to think that the safetynet is a good thing – what does that mean ?

        Now we are told we need universal healthcare, medicare for all – how do you justify that ?
        How did we get from government providing food and shelter to job security, to pensions, to health insurance to now free college education ?

        Where is the line between “the unfortunate should die and reduce the surplus population” and anyone who wants should be free to get a law degree or one in art appreciation and be fully supported while they do so ?

        Humans make incredibly poor decisions – when there is no apparent cost to those decisions.
        It is the fact that our choices – like education and medical care have costs we must pay which disciplines us to make wise choices.

  4. John Say permalink
    March 1, 2020 2:02 am

    The warmest year in the past 40 years was 2016, the 2nd warmest year was 1998, 2019 is the 3rd warmest year – not the first or the 2nd.

    The current rate of warming is .13C/decade – that is almost exactly the same as it has been since the bottom of the little ice age 250 years ago, and long long long before human’s could have had any effect on climate.

    2019 Southern Hemisphere temps are not only LOWER than those of the northern Hemisphere – that is due to the inclination of the earth, but 2019 was NOT the 3rd warmest year for the southern hemisphere it was substantially further down the list.

    The antartcic event that you refered to was the consequence of something that is quite common in the norther hemisphere but quite rare int he southern hemisphere – a “polar vortex”. These events have dramatic effects on whether – but near zero effect on climate.

    During this “polar vortex” there was NO CHANGE in the souther hemisphere global temperatures – but those of antartica rose, and those of austraila tanked for

    • March 1, 2020 11:00 am

      Weather patterns change naturally as the water temps change. Following any period of neutral or el nino years there is an increase in water vapors that create to polar vortex you mentioned. When this happens it increases precipitation. This requires cloud cover which in itself increases temps since clouds are like the earths blankets. So the Artic region which may have an average winter temp of minus 25 degrees may end up zero to minus ten. At the same time, the increased precipitation creates more frozen cover in the region, replacing what had melted previous years. The increased frozen cover reduces temps once the polar vortex dissipates and the earths rising temps reverses.

      This site has a presentation good until next Saturday. All the way on bottem screen. Make sure volume icon is on.

      • John Say permalink
        March 1, 2020 12:42 pm

        There is solid evidence that the earth is warming.
        It has been warming for 250 years.

        To the extent the rate of warming has changed at all, it MIGHT be .02C/decade higher than it was before 1970. Even that is subjective as there have been times in the past 250 years the trend was faster and times it was slower.

        Since 1998 there has been little or no warming at all.

        Of more than 100 climate models, there are no more than 4 that could possibly remain valid, and those do not forecast catastrophe.

        We are about 2.5 std dev below the median prediction. Normally in real science such a deviation means FALSIFIED.

        When a scientic hypothesis is unfalsifiable – when the failure of that hypothesis to conform with reality does not result in rejection of the hypothesis – we are dealing with FAITH not science.

        I do not know what future climate will be, but I know that warmists can not predict either.

        Further I am very tied of those buying into a massive cult claiming they are pro-science, and those expecting that scientific hypothesis’s that fail will be rejected and reexamined are somehow anti-science – for what ? For demanding that our purported intellectual superiors actually conform to the rules of science ?

        I consider CAGW to be an IYI test. Maybe a decade ago it was still possible to buy.

        Today if you are still buying CAGW – no matter how well educated and how well read you are – you are an idiot.

        If you do not have the critical thinking skills to reject a thesis that has ben falsified every year for the past 2 decades – you should not be trusted about anything.

  5. Jay permalink
    March 1, 2020 11:17 am

    No Rick, I’m betting she doesn’t have recognition of someone as ‘ancient’ as a Golden Age TV personality like Danny Thomas, prominent before she was born. But if she does know who he is she’d likely disapprove of him: a confirmed Catholic, who Americanized his name (Amos Jacobs Kairouz ) as did generations of previous Americans, because they wanted to be perceived as American.

    Through the marvelous technology of YouTube reincarnation, dozens of episodes of Danny’s shows are available for nostalgic re-viewing.

    • March 4, 2020 12:35 am

      Jay: Funny to think now that all our diverse ethnic groups once aspired to join the great melting pot instead of yelping for special recognition. Those were the days. (I miss Danny Thomas.)

      • John Say permalink
        March 4, 2020 4:39 pm

        Most diverse groups today and in the past have BOTH sought to hold on to their identity as well as to join as americans.

        American exceptionalism was not and is not about White male Angle Saxon Straight protestants. It was about being part of a country where people were free.

        What has changed since the 60’s is that the liberalism of individual freedom – for everyone regardless of immutable atributes, is not a progressive hierarchy of virtue based on historical oppression.

        The left has taken the class warfare of communism and expended it to race, sex, gender, orientation, ….

        The objective is NOT freedom, or diminishing discrimination and tolerating differences, it is to increase conflict and to punish The great great grand children of people who we presume owned slaves because today their skin is white.

    • March 1, 2020 3:53 pm

      Yeah really objective. For those with no medical background, just more super negative info to scare the shit out of people and further promote panic buying of masks, etc.

      • John Say permalink
        March 1, 2020 6:09 pm

        I decided not to completely pan the article – there was alot of information that was accurate.

        Mostly – though not completely the reporter was more pushing disater than Quick.

        There were a couple of important self contradiction.

        The high mortality rate can not co-exist with significant asymptomatic cases.

        A vaccine can not be ready for human trails and over a year away.

        If a vaccine is possible, Covid-19 will never become endemic.

        Covid-19 is closely related to SARS and MERS – both were deadlier and burned out faster.

        Quick addresses the fact that stopping a pandemic requires responding quickly at the start.
        That is correct – but we responded more quickly to MERS and SARS because they were much more deadly – which means they were obvious much faster.

        At the moment we have likely set the ceiling for the mortality rate – but we do not really know it yet.

        Withing the past week we found an existing antiviral that reduces symptoms by about 50% – that could reduce mortality radically.

        We also know that the mortality of the Flu in developed countries is about 1/10 that in undeveloped countries – there is likely to be a similar pattern with Covid-19.

        There is also significance to the number of cases in China – We are more than 2 months in – this started in Mid December, and we have 80K cases, almost all in china. and for the past several weeks the rate of infection has slowed.

        Wuhan has 11M people. If we assume that all cases in China are in Wuhan and that before this burns out in China there will be atleast twice as many more cases.
        That is still an infection rate of 1:100

        Put simply that means this disease does NOT spread easily.

    • John Say permalink
      March 1, 2020 5:54 pm

      I was going to pan this – because there are a number of significant errors or contradictions in this article. But there is also alot that is accurate to the extent we know at the moment.

      It si near certain that WHO will ultimately call this a pandemic – that is a definitional issue.

      The odds of this becoming endemic ar extremely low.

      The common cold is endemic because there are too many variations.
      The Flu is NOT endemic – as we do not get the same flu each year, and it is unlikely we will see a Flu strain repeat in our lifetime.

      We have no evidence at this time that Covid-19 mutates rapidly, and even if it does, the general trend for parasites is to mutate towards lower mortality. Diseases that kill their hosts are by definition unsuccessful. Nature disfavors them.

      Quick notes the existance of “silent” or asymptomatic cases, but fails to take notice that although a large percent of asymptomatic cases radically decreases the odds of contolling this – it also means our mortality numbers are way high.

      Further if the frequency of asymptomatic cases is high we will know that with near certainty very shortly. New cases in China are declining. If that trend continues, China has gained control. But if the number of asymptomatic cases is high – control is near impossible, b ut that also means the mortality rate is much lower than data indicates.

      What little Quick cites of the gates simulation makes it self evident it is not applicable.

  6. Priscilla permalink
    March 1, 2020 4:49 pm

    So weird, Jay. I actually don’t recall you making a big deal about the thousands ofAmerican deaths each year from the flu viruses that work there way over from China, although I’m sure that you must be angered that presidents in the past have not provided free vaccines and masks and shut down schools and shopping malls, in order to prevent the spread of the current year’s version.

    Because you’re not rooting for panic or anything….

    • John Say permalink
      March 1, 2020 6:29 pm

      I am trying hard (though not always succeeding) at not whacking Jay on this.
      Lots of people are panicked

      We have a propensity to assume the worst case – and then amplify that some.

      MOSTLY Jay has not be that political about this.

      But whether is SHOULD be so or not, Trump will be blamed if this goes horribly.

      That may not be fair – but life is not fair.

      I did find the Guardian’s plea for contributions at the end hillarious.

      So the media – which bears the highest responsibility for the destruction of public discourse and misinformation today is begging for money to combat “fake news” ?

      All thatr we need to reign in Fake news is for the media to quit rushing to publish poorly sourced self serving leaks. Especially given that they have been lied to by these sources for more than 3 years – and they are still publishing them.

      When you are caught lying the consequences is people cease to trust you.
      The consequences are WORSE when you lie about people than merely mistate facts.

      Getting a fact wrong is rarely a moral error,
      I can not think of an instance were false accusations are not a moral failure.

      • March 1, 2020 8:52 pm

        Dave “Lots of people are panicked”.

        I have referenced medical updates by medical people using medical information to communicate with the news and general public.

        Working at a hospital for 35 years, the policies used by infectious control departments has always been to present and prepare for the worst case scenario. This was to make sure that fellow patients and staff were protected when an infectious patient was brought in. Usually the worst case scenario never occurred. No one ever panicked because they all understood it was planning.

        But put those same “instructors” into the general public and media without the same medical understanding that healthcare workers have and the understanding of the information is totally different, especially when key data is left out. Medical workers planning for worst case scenario really dont need to know that 80-85% of the cases will be asymptomatic or minor sniffles. They are planning for the 15%, were 5% of these may be critical.

        The general population needs this info to avoid panic. They need information on every symptom, what to do if they have it or a family member with the understanding that there is an 85-90% chance they might feel punk for a week or so and then recover, like having a cold. Or however a minor case presents if they get this. They also need to know how its transmitted to help avoid catching it.

        But just like this article included a statement that NIH budget has been cut, this is also being used to make Trump look bad. There are over 50 line items in the NIH budget available online, many having nothing to do with infectious control. As I looked at the budget, there were many line items not cut and the largest cuts was crap that has nothing to do with drugs or illness. But panic is good for changing peoples mental outlook on safety leading to support of someone else proposing excessive spending thar will provide no additional safety or positive outcomes.

        I dont support the way the news is communicating, but the administration is doing a piss poor job through yesterday giving updates “Joe and Jane Public” can comprehend without deep concern and some panic.

      • John Say permalink
        March 2, 2020 2:15 am

        It is likely that you understand the protocols used in the medical community to limit the spread of infectuous diseases far more than I do.

        As well as those being recomended to ordinary people.

        But it is not necescary to understand those in detail to model the spread of the disease.

        What is necescary is to know what the normal GP population spread rate is, and what effect precautions have – even if not perfectly practiced.

        Further so long as the numbers remain small – where we are now – it is possible to track almost every person that has been exposed, and monitor them.

        Absolutely CDC and NIH should be telling people to wash their hands, and to avoid shaking hands and touching surfaces. And to stay home if you have a cough of cold or other symptoms.

        But my point is that you can actually model the trajectory of the disease.

        If there are only 80K cases in Wuhan (or even 160K assuming the Chinese are lying) AND the number of new cases is starting to level off – and that is likely True.

        Given a population of 11M in Wuhan this is NOT Highly contageous, and it does NOT spread like wildfire, and that means the odds of not only the US, but the rest of the world containing this are HIGH.

        The big variable is the asymptomatic people.
        But asymptomatic transmission can NOT be high – or the numbers in China would still be rising exponentially.

      • John Say permalink
        March 2, 2020 2:23 am

        The incentives for the media, politicians, even medical personal to exagerate the risks are high.

        1). The more seriously people take this the more seriously they will take precautions, and that will decrease the transmission rate for the disease.

        2). There is alot of MONEY involved here – Congress is falling all over itself trying to dole out more. However much is budgeted – the Budgets of FDA, CDC, NIH are likely to be PERMANENTLY higher.

        There is a netflix movie about Bill Brinley – he was a long term NSA analyst who had developed a system that could have found 9/11 before it happened CHEAPLY and without violating 4th amendment rights. But NSA killed it because it was too cheap.
        They forced Brinley into retirement because they wanted BILLIONS not millions.
        Brinley had NSA Emails the DAY AFTER THE ATTACK talking about the windfall in funding that NSA expected.

        Brinley is also one of the experts saying that the DNC/Wikipedia emails were more likely leaked than hacked. Brinley’s group VPS has a much better track record at technical analysis of these types of things than the US govenrment does.

        3). If it bleeds it leads. It is always in the presses interests to raise anxiety.

        4). If you are an “expert” and you want on TV or in print right now, the fastest way is to exagerate the risks.

        You are not going to put a lid on this being overhyped.

      • John Say permalink
        March 2, 2020 2:33 am

        Argh, Budgets.

        When Republicans say they are cutting the budget – they are usually lying.
        When Democrats say Republicans cut the budget they are usually lying.

        Regardless, Budgets are not what matters.

        No matter how much money the federal government throws at this right now – there are limited human and material resources and no amount of money will change that quickly.

        Further money is not haw problems are solved – I know that is what nearly everyone in government thinks, but it is bullshit.

      • John Say permalink
        March 2, 2020 2:35 am

        The Panic is temporary.

        If this does not jump in the US exponentially people will calm down.

    • Jay permalink
      March 2, 2020 9:14 am

      ??? Priscilla ???
      We’re you half asleep when you wrote this?
      I haven’t a clue what point you’re trying to make?

      BTW- wearing a mask is useless to prevent catching a flu – but once you have it they’re helpful preventing you spreading it to others.

      • John Say permalink
        March 2, 2020 11:54 am

        “??? Priscilla ???
        We’re you half asleep when you wrote this?
        I haven’t a clue what point you’re trying to make?”

        Not an argument in sight, but insults by the dump truck load.

        “BTW- wearing a mask is useless to prevent catching a flu – but once you have it they’re helpful preventing you spreading it to others.”

        Wear a mask, don’t.

  7. Priscilla permalink
    March 1, 2020 5:36 pm

    “Trump is NOT the great savior he claims to be, nor is he “the looniest president ever”,
    He is an average president with a slightly below average economy who has the luxury of following two POOR presidents. While both of them brought more dignity to the presidency, they were also BOTH failures.”

    Rick, I agree with Dave on this. Although, I would rate Trump above average as a president, when it comes to having the political courage to actually follow through on doing those things that voters elected him to do. Just as one example, moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, which Presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama all promised (not suggested, but promised) to do. As did candidate Hillary Clinton…

    My own support for Trump has come from my observation that recent presidents have all seemed to accept the premise that, with the rise of global trade, the US must be “managed” in economic decline. This was a bipartisan premise, and led to the acceptance of massive trade deficits, encouragement of uncontrolled low-skilled immigration, and the loss of middle class jobs.

    I’m pretty sure that the reason that Michael Bloomberg is no longer a Republican is that the Republican Party is, for the moment, all-in on Trump’s conservative populism, rather than the more moderate globalism shared by elites of both parties.

    The populist coalition that elected Trump in 2016 was reacting to this bipartisan acceptance of decline, and the populist coalition that supports Bernie Sanders is the left’s reaction to the same. Populism brings with it both good and bad, but ,at least in Trump’s worldview, the American President is the leader of the US, not the workers of the world.

    For what it’s worth, I think that the globalist-moderates have done far more damage to the country, and been far more divisive than the populists of either side. That may not be the case going forward, as political realignments are rapidly changing, but as of now, that’s what I think….

    • Priscilla permalink
      March 1, 2020 6:40 pm

      (I realize that Bloomy has most recently been a Democrat, but if he had thought that the Republican Party was receptive to his brand of nanny-state, crony capitalism, he would have had no problem switching back 🙂 )

      • Jay permalink
        March 2, 2020 9:17 am

        Like Donnie had no trouble opportunistically switching from Dem to GOP …

      • John Say permalink
        March 2, 2020 11:57 am

        “Like Donnie had no trouble opportunistically switching from Dem to GOP …”

        Priscilla is not the one claiming that Trump is a unique threat to everything, you are.

        Demostrating that he is not by noting Democrats acting the same is a legitimate rebutal to the claim that Trump is somehow a unique threat.

        It is called argument.

      • Priscilla permalink
        March 2, 2020 10:38 am

        Jay, I agree with you on this.

        Trump looked at the political landscape, and decided that the Republican Party was ripe for a takeover. So, he launched a political campaign that would appeal to the base of a party that had been ignoring the wishes of its base for almost 30 years.

        Bloomberg has also reviewed the landscape and decided that the Democrat Party is ready to be bought. The problem is that Bloomberg is out of sync with the current Democrat base, which has moved steadily left.

        Seems to me that Bloomberg would have more impact as an independent candidate, along the lines of Ross Perot. But I imagine that his goal is to beat Trump, not to pursue any particular agenda, and running third party would likely be unsuccessful at actually winning in 2020. After that, Bloomberg himself would be too old.

        So far, he has spent a half billion dollars, and hasn’t exactly caught fire. It helps to have an agenda, and even more so if that agenda is aligned with the party that you represent.

      • John Say permalink
        March 2, 2020 12:47 pm

        Excellent post.

        I would note that to some extent that is what ALL candidates try to do – appeal to a sufficient portion of the party base to win the primary, and appeal to enough people to win the general.

        One of the interesting things Trump did, is created a unique personal base that included blue collar democrats, That base worked for both the primary and the general.

        That is unusual as it is a more centrist base.
        Bloomberg is SORT of trying to do the same thing.

        The NORM is that presidential candidates try to find a base at the extreme of their party during the primary and then shift to the center in the general.

        That is what most democrats are doing now.
        That is what most republicans did in 2016.

        It is also why most candidates have an “honesty” problem – as they appear to betray their base.

        Trump was able to find a diseffected group near the middle – people who were not voting mostly and strongly appeal to them.

        Many of Trump’s controversial positions – on the border, on endless wars, on trade are centrist, not extreme. Some of them are wrong – but they are still centerist.

    • John Say permalink
      March 1, 2020 7:00 pm

      Trump does deserve extra credit for keeping his campaign promises in a way no president has ever done before.

      We keep hearing from the Press, the Left, Democrats, Jay – even Rick, that Trump is “looney” and lies.

      I do not give a crap if you can micro parse his tweets and find exageration or imprecision.

      Does Trump keep every commitment he makes to voters ? No!

      But the difference between him and pretty much all other politicians ever on that issue is beyond belief.

      While I have docked him – because the economy is NOT as great has he claims.
      He is NOT taking lots of flak on that – because it IS the best economy in 20 years.

      And in the area of employment probably the best in my lifetime.

      I think it is wrong to call Trump a populist. He has merely constructed a different permutation of conservatism to win an election. But more important – he is truthful with them.

      Alot is said about the loyalty of Trump voters.
      Trump has their loyalty – because he has earned it. He has done for these people what he promised.

      I do not agree with you or Ron on the Trade Policies.
      At the same time Trump has actually been careful to mitigate the harms.
      He targets countries one at a time, and negotiates new trade deals.
      That substantially mitigates the damage.
      He also works hard to create a favorable climate to negotiate – meaning he negotiates from strength.

      I think the real import of most of his trade deals is psychological – a message to his voters that he hears them.

      It is extremely weird that this Billionaire has this connection to ordinary working people – one that I can not recall any other president ever having.

      Certainly Steyer and Bloomberg do not have that connection.

      • Jay permalink
        March 2, 2020 9:23 am

        “ I do not give a crap if you can micro parse his tweets and find exageration or imprecision.”

        Micro parse? imprecision?
        You’re suffering from severe Judgmental Dysmetria.

      • John Say permalink
        March 2, 2020 12:05 pm

        Again – no argument, just insults.

        Find an actual example, within the past 5 years of a Trump tweet that is unambiguously:

        or anti-semetic.

        I personally beleive that Omar and Tlaib are anti-semetic, But I have defended their anti-israel tweets – as anti-israel is NOT proof positive of anti-semetism.

        I expect that your “Proof” that Trump is Racist, Homophobic, or Anti-Semetic, or ….
        Will be REAL proof – again Not micro-parsing, not imprecision.

        If you are going to make a claim of moral failure about another person – the burden of proof is on you.

        Again – an actual anti-semetic, homophobic or racist tweet, Not a merely offensive one, or one you disagree with.

      • Jay permalink
        March 2, 2020 3:42 pm

        “Find an actual example, within the past 5 years of a Trump tweet that is unambiguously:

        or anti-semetic.“

        Nice sneaky shifty side-step, dhlii-dave-john.

        You shrunk down the W I D E charge that he’s loony and lies to three specific charges, eliminating all others.

        That’s like calling him STUPID and you responding, Oh Yeah – show me an actual example within the past five years where he’s said something stupid about watermelons, pro-wrestling, or birthday cards..

        To not admit/know of the scope of Trump lies and distortions over the past five years is pathological denial.

      • John Say permalink
        March 2, 2020 5:59 pm

        “Nice sneaky shifty side-step, dhlii-dave-john.”

        You have not addressed the question at all.
        The “shifty side-steping is yours.

        “You shrunk down the W I D E charge that he’s loony and lies to three specific charges, eliminating all others.”

        I think those are the most serious claims.

        I think it is pretty well given that Trump is/was a philanderer. If that matters to you – don’t vote for him. Of course that would preclude you from voting for almost all politicions.

        If you wish to widen the scope, beyond those 3 – fine – but then you have to PROVE the allegation AND prove that it is important.

        Do we care if Trump is lying about the size of his hands ?

        “That’s like calling him STUPID and you responding, Oh Yeah – show me an actual example within the past five years where he’s said something stupid about watermelons, pro-wrestling, or birthday cards..”

        The areas I noted are not watermelons, pro-wrestling and birthday cards.
        Further they are not NARROW catagories – they are both BROAD catagories and IMPORTANT ones.

        No one but you seems to care if Trump has said something stupid about watermelons, pro-wrestling and birthday cards. But most of us care alot if our president is more racist than the ordinary american.

        “To not admit/know of the scope of Trump lies and distortions over the past five years is pathological denial.”

        You are litterally channeling the red queen from Alice in Wonderland – “Sentence first, Verdict later”.

        If my head is in the sand – it should be trivial for you to give relevant examples.


        I am about as likely to trust Wikipedia on this as on Global Warming – or as trusting you.
        If you wish to use Wikipedia to find examples – be my guest.


        I do not want spin. mind reading, naratives, or your conclusions as a substitute for facts.

        Absolutely I am blind to – or more accurately immune to “your spin”.

        I could care less what you think Trump thought when he said something.
        I care what he actually said.

        I want REAL MEANINGFUL examples – with full context – because neither you or the media are to be trusted,

        The one “Not Admitting” is YOU.

        You have continued this nonsense that Carter Page is a Russian Asset. That like CAGW is another idiot test. If you still buy that – your judgement is compromised, or your morality is compromised.

        On issue after issue of actual significance – when Trump was accused – by you, the media, the left of “lying”, ultimately he was found correct.

        There was a “witch hunt”
        There was spying.
        There was lying about him.
        There was no collusion.

        House republicans have spent the past several months pouring over impeachment testimony. Horowitz’s report and supporting information, the Mueller report, Court papers and transcripts, and they are preparing criminal referals to DOJ – LOTS of them.
        For lying under oath, for lying to the FBI, for lying to the courts.

        Just one example – the Mueller team told the judge in Papadopoulis’s sentencing that Papadoplis had failed to cooperate with Mueller and that had prevented them from interviewing Mifsud. Yet the FBI 302’s and much other evidence indicates the opposite.
        Papadolpolis gave the FBI lots of information on Mifsud from the start. The Mueller had the FBI interview Mifsud in a US airport – after Papadolplis provided them with lots of information.
        They asked innane questions and let him leave the country.
        Then they never actively sought to locate him again.

        I think lying to a court is a REALLY BIG DEAL – what about you ?

        I think it is well past time to hold prosecutors accountable.

        If Mueller and his people are going to charge Flynn, Papadoulis, Vand Der Zandt, Manafort, Stone for lying – usually not under oath. Then it is extremely appropriate to prosecute Mueller, and his team for lying to congress, the courts, …..

    • March 4, 2020 12:43 am

      Priscilla: You know I’m not a never-Trumper, but lately I’ve been taken aback more and more by his pathological lying, crazy hyperbole, bullying, ignorance and other personality defects not befitting an American president.

      I do give him credit for one thing that his critics decry: his impulsiveness. I think he has good instincts, and it was refreshing to see him cut the Gordian knot instead of trying to untie it when it came to decisions like moving the US embassy to Jerusalem or blasting General Soleimani to kingdom come. Obama would have dithered endlessly.

      • Priscilla permalink
        March 4, 2020 9:59 am

        Rick, I don’t see evidence of Trump lying any more than the average politician. Many of the “lies” that he is accused of telling are either exaggerations (“the best _ in history!!”) or out of context quotes that, once put into context, are actually much closer to the truth than the claims of his enemies (” Obama tapped my wires”).

        Nevertheless, he is a classic populist, in that he positions himself as an advocate for “the people,” not a representative of “the elite.” HIs positions on trade, immigration, education, and social issues are very much aligned with the people who elected him, not so much with the “ruling class” of unelected federal bureaucrats who have relentlessly tried to rid themselves of him.

        He is also a populist in his style, which really seems to drive people crazy. He is unbelievably accessible to the press, to the point that he has decided that he doesn’t need a press secretary, but rather talks openly to reporters many times a week, invites them in to cabinet meetings , and allows questions at events that might normally be “too formal” for a president to turn ito a press gaggle. For the most part, the press doesn’t appreciate this at all, hates him all the more for not following the habit of last 2-3 president,s in having a press secretary transmit all information to the peasan, er, people, and peppers him with disrespectful questions and accusations framed as “questions.” He gives as good as he gets, and his answers to disrespectful reporters are often in kind. “Two wrongs don’t make a right,” is not a mantra by which Trump conducts his communication with the press.

        I’ve long since accepted that I see the president differently that never-Trumpers, in that, although his flaws are often painfully apparent (he will gladly hold forth on subjects that are best left alone), he is a master of the Alinsky art of “picking a target, freezing it, personalizing it, and polarizing it”.” There is a reason that Mike Bloomberg did not stand on a box at the debates, (hint: it was a Trump tweet)… He is an entertainer more so than a politician, when it comes to his public persona, and that rubs many people the wrong way. But he has captured the undying loyalty of many who see that he is not part of the D.C. “in-crowd,” of unelected consultants and advisors who know better than the people/rabble. I guarantee you that he will be missed when he is gone, even by many of those who despise him. He’s an original, who cannot be replaced, and who has done much more good than he is credited for…..getting out of Afghanistan is his latest accomplishment that will be panned by those who slobbered over Obama’s unsuccessful attempts to do the same.

        Anyway, looks like “Sleepy Joe,” will be his 2020 opponent. I honestly believe that the man is in the early stages of dementia, and that he is surrounded by people who are using him to regain the levers of power, but we shall see.

        I would have preferred a real showdown with Sanders, which may well have killed the socialist movement within the Democrat Party, but it also carried the risk of Sanders winning, which would have been truly disastrous. And Bloomberg? I would prefer someone like him, without his supremely smug and superior mindset, His answer in the Fox townhall, to the 2nd amendment supporter who asked why Bloomberg had heavily armed security , but opposed it for “average people,” was basically, “because i’m a famous person, and I can afford it.”

        Anyway, try as I might, I cannot hate Trump for his personal foibles, when I consider the alternatives.

      • John Say permalink
        March 4, 2020 11:38 pm

        A portion of Trump’s “Lies” are statements Trump never made, there are at any given time numerous “fake” Trump statements going round.

        Many of his “lies” are statements that have subsequently proven True – such as the Claim of spying or wiretapping, or that Trump/Russia collusion was a witch-hunt.

        Trump is with near certainty the most lied about president ever.

        When is the last time that a US president was repeatedly called a russian agent – and not buy obvious nut jobs, but by respected journalists and congressmen.

        Rep. Swallwell, Sen. Warner, and Rep. Schiff have claimed to have seen evidence of Trump/Russia Collusion

        Sen. Coons and several other Democrats voted to impeach Trump for purportedly threatening Ukraine if Ukraine did not investigate misconduct by americans in Ukraine prior to the 2016 election, These would be the same senators who publicly threatened to cut off aide to Ukraine previously if they DID conduct investigations.

        Rep. Schiff opened impeachment hearings reading a script of Trump’s transcript of his call with Zelensky that was a fabrication rife with lies.

      • John Say permalink
        March 4, 2020 11:46 pm

        I hope that Biden is not suffering from Dimensia – I have seen too many people deal with that, and I do not wish that on anyone.

        I hope that Joe is just the same Gaffe magnet he has always been.

        Regardless, he is not prepared to go against Trump.

        Running on Obama’s record will not help with much of the electorate, and apparently is not going over well with many democrats.

        The faux impeachment did more Damage to Biden than Trump, in particular it damaged his reputation with the blue collar voters he must wrest from Trump to win.

        Biden will be less likely to lose in a landslide than Sanders, but he can not beat Trump – no matter how much of Bloombergs money is thrown into this.

      • John Say permalink
        March 4, 2020 5:03 pm

        “but lately I’ve been taken aback more and more by his pathological lying, crazy hyperbole, bullying, ignorance and other personality defects not befitting an American president.”

        How so ? I am looking for specifics, what specifically is it that Trump has said or done that has “triggered” you ?

        I am not interested in what someone else has said trump has said or done, or spin or what he has said or done.

        I judge you by YOUR words and acts, – not other peoples claims about your words and acts.

        Once upon a time i might have trusted the media when that reported that X said Y – no more, there has been too much lying.

        And that raises the next point – how do you hold Trump accountable for words and conduct you will not hold others accountable for ?

        The press has quite obviously outright lied, they have also repeatedly been manipulated by an assortment of “sources” that have lied – with what is now clearly malicious intent.
        Our politicians – of all stripes lie constantly.

        How many examples of egreegious -remarks from Schiff or Swallwell or Pelosi or …. do you need ?

        Absolutely our political discourse has seriously degraded – but that started long before Trump came down the escalator.

        To be clear – I am not asking you to “let Trump of the hook”

        I ask two things:

        Judge him – and everyone else by the things they have ACTUALLY said and done, not what some talking head claims. There is enormous amounts of spin, and anymore I want not just their own words, but in context – for anyone, not just Trump.

        Next, judge all by the same standards.

      • John Say permalink
        March 4, 2020 6:25 pm

        “I do give him credit for one thing that his critics decry: his impulsiveness. I think he has good instincts”

        The fundimental difference between Jack Welch and some random person on the street, is that Welch, or Gates, or Bloomberg, or Trump have a track record of making excellent decisions REPEATEDLY based on whatever information was available to them at the time.

        That is actually a skill. those who have succeeded more and have done so in more areas Either are lucky beyond beleif or have the capability of assessing however much or little information is available rapidly, instinctively and accurately at a level beyond most of us.

        But again I would focus on what these people DO not what they say.

  8. March 1, 2020 9:31 pm

    Now why dont we see more info like this. Yes it is a month old and some things might have changed, but a lot has not.

    • Jay permalink
      March 2, 2020 9:30 am

      Today the CDC is reporting 85 cases of the virus in the US. But at this point there’s a shortage of testing kits available to identify it. No one knows how many are really walking around with this virus.

      • March 2, 2020 12:02 pm

        Jay, I may be looking at the wrong media outlets. So I ask.
        1. When did you find out that 85% of cases were minor, 15% more serious and about 5% critical?
        2. When did you find out that many are now considered asymptomatic.
        3. When did you find out that men over 65 and and having other medical conditions are in the group more likely to die.

        When you have people clearing out shelves of bottled water and toilet paper at Costco Stores, seems to me there is something wrong with communication.

        So the public water supply is going to be contaminated and when you get this, your diarrhea is going to be so bad you will use multi-bundles of tissue?

      • Jay permalink
        March 2, 2020 2:18 pm

        I don’t remember the link to where I saw those specific numbers I quoted, Ron. But here’s a link with a visual diagram you can examine, and more specific info on fatalities based on age and sex (keep reading or scrolling to see it).

        Coronavirus: What are the chances of dying?

      • March 2, 2020 3:28 pm

        OK, lets step back and back up to my original comments. I know this information is available if one wants to check out the information that is on the mass media. Dave, priscilla, you and I have presented information on this subject that indicates we have taken the time to investigate.

        So in reviewing my comments, I comment based on where those that pay attention to the news gets it. And they are also ones that dont check further unlike you and I, they are the ones not buying Corona beer, selling out Costco water and toilet tissue stocks and buying up mask which may cause shortages for those that need it.

        And I believe that is due to the media and health experts presenting the worst case scenario, not the stats we see ourselves. That is stoking the panic buying by some.

        This morning, I viewed many more doctors explaining the actual statistics and indicating the possibilities of a severe reaction being low from this virus except for one. He was talking about severe shortages of hospital beds, hospitals and doctors experiencing shortages of staff, how will people obtain care for other illnesses when doctors get sick from this and gave little info other than “we’re all gona die” doomsday info. Maybe we are all gona die from this and if so, why panic? Do what you would never think of doing, have fun and live while your alive.

        And think about it, according to that doc, we dont need to argue about Trump, Sanders, The Quees, Shumer, Pence, McConnell or any other political topic.

      • John Say permalink
        March 2, 2020 5:25 pm

        Some of us here have an actual interest in facts and data.

        But given a fast moving situation like this with really bad information quality we are not going to precisely now the facts.

        The next level – which is NOT Phd level is being able to work with fuzzy data to draw accurate conclusions.

        This is a pretty good site that is updated very frequently.

        Lots of information – but the most important is the 3 graphs at the lower right.

        The new infection rate in China is leveling off.
        The number of recovered patients is increasing near exponentially.
        The rate of new infections outside of china is rising – but not exponentially.

        So long as it is reasonable to presume that any data quality issues are uniform – i.e. that the rate of undereporting is not itself varying exponentially, the actual error rate only matters a small amount. i.e. if there are actually double the number of infections – because there are lots of mild and unreported cases. So long as that has been true start to finish the trend lines are still valid. And future projections based on them are valid.

        Aside from the trend lines – the other important factor is that this is NOT that highly contageous a disease. No matter how you jigger the numbers the number of new infections in Wuhan is decreasing. By the Time this has passed through Wuhan – which likely will be a couple of months. The total # of infections will likely no more than double those todate.

        That will mean that in the epicenter of this without particularly good treatment less than 1 in ten people contracted the virus.

        The numbers for Wuhan are likely the worst you will see anywhere in the world.

        Wuihan is your worst case scenario.

      • March 2, 2020 6:11 pm

        Let me try this.
        Dave, do you listen to CNN, MSNBC or Fox News/Business news?

      • John Say permalink
        March 3, 2020 12:49 am

        “Let me try this.
        Dave, do you listen to CNN, MSNBC or Fox News/Business news?”

        Directly – NEVER. I have internet and streaming services. I have ZERO broadcast services.
        I terminated those about a decade ago.

        I go to youtube and browse through recomended videos.

        SOMETIMES, I will watch a 4min clip of Tucker Carlson, or Rachel Maddow – especially if they are covering a topic or a person I want to here.

        MOST of my “news” comes from articles provided by “news agregators” – like RealClearPolitics” – though there are alot of specific site I directly view regularly – Like Johnathonturley. Frim the agregators I CHOOSE the articles I wish to read, Mostly I am looking for discussions about IDEAS not so much events. So I am more likely to read an article on “Law & Liberty” or “Issues and Ideas” or “Tablet” or Quillette, or any of the other idea sites, than stuff by overtly political pundits.

        This is not to say I NEVER watch clips from Fox, or CNN, or MSNBC or never read political articles.

        I am also strongly inclined to seek out trustworthy sources of data – not necescarily from the media per say – Like thye john Hopkins info on Corona in each country

        While I appreciate really good thoughtful analysis from people whose writing shows clear skill and where I can check their results, mostly I prefer to think for myself, I have almost no interest in being told what to think by Hannity or Dobbs, or Maddow, or Tapper.

        Frankly I think the vast majority of talking head – left and right are complete idiots,

        I unfortunately find myself watching more Hannity clips recently – and I think he is an idiot.
        But I end up watching because of the guests. John Solomon is a frequent Hannity guest and I will listen to him anywhere he shows up. I would strongly recommend listening to him – or better reading what he writes – he is VERY CAREFUL about supporting conclusions with facts, and is open when there are alternative possibilities. Further he is one of few few actual “investigative” journalists today.

        Biulliani is in the news over his forrays into Ukraine – but Solomon was in Ukraine 18 months before Giuliani and for all the documents Giuliani has uncovered Solomon has two or 3, and got them first.

      • John Say permalink
        March 2, 2020 5:35 pm

        At this point I think the odds of millions of cases worldwide is small.

        I would further note that our wisest use of resources right now is to wipe out the small number of cases we have. We should NOT be trying to save resources for later.

        If this reverts back to exponential spread there will not be enough doctors hospital beds etc.

        We can not and should not design society to be able to cope with a global health disaster.

        Would you make everyone in the world 50% poorer in order to set aside the resources to deal with a relatively rare health crisis ?

        I would further note that for the vast majority of people healthcare does not change the outcome.

        We do not have hospitals to store people when they are sick. We have them to make them better. We do not need to treat everyone. We need to treat the small number that treatment will make a difference.

      • March 2, 2020 6:14 pm

        “We can not and should not design society to be able to cope with a global health disaster”

        MYYYYY POINTTTTTT exactly!

        Then why communucate to them like they have been aoready thinking panic wont be created!

      • John Say permalink
        March 3, 2020 12:55 am

        Another in the people somehow intuitively get things that they do not appear to get intellectually.

        i have ranted over and over about “malthusian” claims – and Corona is just another.

        While I do not expect it to fizzle the odds of the “worst case” scenario are very low.

        People are panicked – meaning they are buying all the masks at home depot.

        But they are still mostly going about their ordinary lives.

        They actually understand this is not the end of the world.
        And they sort of understand they are being lied to.

        And finally – instinctively they understand something that the “experts” do not seem to grasp.

        Cataclysmic events are extremely rare. That is a requirement for human life, for all life.

        If extinction level events were common – life would not exist.

      • John Say permalink
        March 2, 2020 5:12 pm

        Too much spin.

        It is NOT Phd, level hard.

        It is what is called a minimum information problem.

        Further, the details do not matter nearly so much as you would think.

        It is likely that the death numbers we have are fairly accurate – it is hard to miss a body.

        It is likely that the actual case #’s are inaccurate. But that is not that important because the miscount error rate is likely relatively constant, and we are dealing with something that unchecked progresses exponentially.

        It does not as an example matter whether the number of cases right now is 80K or 160k.

        What matters is was it miscounted in the same way yesterday as today, and is the trendline still rising steeply.

        We are not accurately likely to know the mortality rate for months – because this will likely pass before we can go back and test sample populations for anti-bodies to determine the actual percent of unreported cases – and YES, we can actually test that – but not usually easily in the middle of things.

        Regardless, if you think all this is Phd level hard – you should go shoot yourself – because you do not have the skills to survive today.

        The tools to assess this are little different from those used in other fields all the time.

        US Manufacturers strive for 6sigma today – that is 99.999% error free.

        Do you think they test every single product made to determine the error rates ?

        You are dealing with statistics and modeling. These are processes used throughout business – people decide what stocks to buy or sell and how to keep your IRA growing using these kind of tools. People decide what number of what kinds of cars with what options to build using these kind of tools. Amazon as an example decides well ahead of time what you are likely to want to buy in the future and orders it, and transports it and has it warehouse right by your home – just before you order it, using these kinds of tools.

        No, This problem is NOT a Phd level problem.

        Our most fundimental issue is it is NOT a problem government is good at – but then government is not good at most problems.

      • March 2, 2020 6:07 pm

        Why is this so damn (%&$ing) hard for others to understand my point? Am I that incompetent in communicating that trend lines, phd level information, 6 sigma and other statistical information is the result of my comment.
        KISS!!!! KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID. they are addressing medically illiterate people. The man on the street does not understand your worst case scenario and planning. You tell them this will spread like the flu. The cases will fall into 4 categories. 85% minor, 10% serious, 5% critical, up to 1% death. Children so far not as susceptible as adults. Men over 50 make up more of the cases. Those with other serious medical conditions will make up most of the 1% deaths. Then explain the water droplets spread, hand washing, etc. Communicate # of cases and communicate how long someone may be sick. Just basic info. Close subject.

        That tells the public all they need to know. Everything else is medical and emergency preparedness for worst case. That is the part creating stress and panic buying.

        So do I need to revise this again to be understood?

      • John Say permalink
        March 3, 2020 12:31 am

        I am sorry if I lost you with my references to six sigma, and business.

        My point was supposed to be this is NOT that hard.

        You and I are generally at odds regarding ordinary people.

        We are both agreed that they often make mistakes, they do not get things right, ……

        But I think I have a much greater trust of ordinary people than you do.

        So long as ordinary people are asked to make decisions AND the real costs/benefits of those decisions are going fall on them – Ordinary people MOSTLY get it right – or atleast close enough to right.

        The vast majority of people beleive in CAGW, but at the same time, it is near impossible to motivate most of them to DO anything about it. In my view – while they have been successfully indocrinated intellectually, they still somehow grasp this is NOT something important, that they must do something about.

        I am using CAGW as an example – but this is true of myriads of things.
        How did Trump get elected even though the majority of people had – and still have an unfavorable opinion of him and why is it he will likely be re=elected possibly in a landslide despite the fact that people STILL have an unfavorable opinion of him ?

        How is it that a large number of people will agree with many of the things Jay says – when polled they will answer as jay does, but they are still going to vote for Trump ?

        I am not trying to say that the massive amount of indoctrination we receive – from the left, from the media, from our schools has no effect,

        But even though the left nearly dominates the conversation today, Even though lots of polls skew heavily towards left positions on myriads of issues, When people make decisions that have real costs and maybe real benefits, they do not decide as the polls would suggest ?

        Because different from you – I think that ordinary people – in aggregate usually get things right – or close enough, when they have to act as opposed to when they speak.

        Conversely some of the most educated people are highly prone to get it wrong. They have received the same indoctrination – but they have somehow taken it past the intellectual level into acting based on obviously bad information.

        I am generalizing alot – and obviously all generalizations are wrong – so please do not respond with lots of counter examples – I know there are lots.
        Nor is this argument “perfect”.

        We are debating Covid-19 at the moment – and in the short term it is possible to both accidentally and deliberately push people with fear. That is a part of what you are complaining about. But the effects of fear – absent constant re-inforcement from the real world are short lived.

        I would prefer that our “experts” lecturing us about Covid-19 were more careful about what they say – and yes they are leading people astray, and yes, because there is lots of fear involves – in the short run they are successful. Though I think not quite as successful as you think. We may go out and clear the shelves of all the antibacterial wipes and faces masks – even ones that are ineffective – just in case. But that does not mean we have quite accepted Armageddon is on us. I think most people over state the likely scenario, but at the same time they do not REALLY beleive the “worst case” scenarios.

      • John Say permalink
        March 2, 2020 12:32 pm

        “Today the CDC is reporting 85 cases of the virus in the US. But at this point there’s a shortage of testing kits available to identify it. No one knows how many are really walking around with this virus.”

        Precisely ? No, it is nearly impossible to measure anything that changes dynamically precisely.

        As of 11:32 3/2/2020 John’s Hopkins is reporting 86 cases, 2 deaths, and 7 recoveries in the US.

        Even if the statistics are imperfect, alot can be gleaned from them.

        As an example we can draw conclusions from the change in the number of new cases each day.

        Absolutely we can not measure that precisely – but the measurement error was approximately the same yesterday and the day before as today.

        And if we are facing a serious threat the number must at some point start rising exponentially,
        Which so far it has not.

        We had an initial spike when we reacted to the influx or travelers from China.
        Since then new US cases have been in ones or twos strongly suggesting we only missed a very small number of people entering the country.

        We do not need perfection, we merely need to isolate those who escaped and those they infected and monitor those they exposed.

        Yes, there is a shortage of testing kits etc.

        That is ALWAYS the case with things like this.
        We can not stockpile resourcces for every possible eventuality – the space does not exist, the money does not exist, and much of this has short shelf life.

        The market will solve the resource problem – but the demand will rise exponentially too.
        So we have a logistics game. A few hundred extra test kits right now would be far more valuable than 100,000 in 6 months.

        This is all a sort of “game” and it is not a new one. Perfect preparedness is not possible.
        But the “game” nature means it can be modeled.

        We can know – given the attributes of the virus itself, and the resources available – including the error rate in dealing with things, whether this will spread through the country or not.

        In China we are down to 200 new cases/day, We currently have slightly more new cases per day globally than in China.
        At the same time, we have 2700 people per day moving from infected to recovered.

        There are still a few countries where the spread is not under control yet,

        And it remains possible that we will lose control, but possible is not likely.

        There are 11M people in Wuhan, and if we beleive the Chinese are lying in their data by 50%, That still means that with a much poorer healthcare system than we have about 1:200 people became infected. That means this does not actually spread that easily and it is not impossible to gain control over.

        It also means that we can survive a few mistakes.

        There are enough variables that I could be wrong. But it is not likely given the data we currently have.

        In fact it is unlikely that unless the chinese are hiding 500K cases and 50K deaths, that I am more than marginally wrong.

        What you and too many people do not grasp is that you do not need perfection to stop this.
        You merely need to erect sufficient obstacles to the spread of the disease to reduce its spread from exponential to less than 1:1 ON AVERAGE and it will burn out.

        I beleive the initial WHO number for Covid-19 was that each infected person typically infects 2 more people. That is NOT highly contagious – but it is exponential.

        But measures that reduce the rate of spread just over 50% means the disease dies out

    • John Say permalink
      March 3, 2020 1:14 am

      You do understand that this SINGLE statement completely undermines everything else in the article.

      “These masks need to be prioritized for health care professionals that as part of their job are taking care of individuals.”

      Masks are significantly less effective than respirators, and they are less effective at preventing the wearer from getting an infection than in preventing the wearer from spreading an infection – but they are not ineffective.

      Even cheap masks prevent people from touching there face nose and mouth with their hands which significantly reduces a major vector for infection.

      We are all being told by the same experts that tell us masks are ineffective – to wash our hands constantly.

      You can not pass viruses from person to person solely by hand contact.

      It is when your hands touch your eyes, your nose or your mouth after they have come in contact with the virus that the disease is transfered.

  9. John Say permalink
    March 3, 2020 2:42 am

    Why is Covid-19 UNIQUELY skyrocketing in Iran and South Korea

    Iran, South Korea, and Italy combined have more Covid-19 than the entire rest of the world outside of China. Further new cases in those 3 countries are now higher than new cases in China.

  10. John Say permalink
    March 3, 2020 9:17 am

    We live in two worlds.

    Half of us do not live in the real world.

  11. John Say permalink
    March 3, 2020 9:42 am

  12. John Say permalink
    March 3, 2020 9:53 am

  13. vermontadowhatiwanta permalink
    March 3, 2020 10:44 am

    Nice one Rick. We are on the same wavelength at the moment.

    Some facts that interest me:
    US population ~330,000,000
    Eligible voters ~250,000,000
    Number of voters for POTUS in 2016 ~139,000,000 (~55% of eligible voters)
    Number of Dem primary voters in 2016 ~30,000,000 (~12% of eligible voters)
    Number of Sanders primary votes 2016 ~13,000,000 (~5% of eligible voters)
    Number of GOP primary voters in 2016 ~30,000,000 (~12% of eligible voters)
    Number of Trump primary votes 2016 ~14,000,000 (~5.5% of eligible voters)

    I assume the numbers will not change drastically this time.

    Conclusions? Unlike the people here Very few Americans are deeply involved in either major party. Most people have only a slight if any interest in politics. Almost half half nearly no interest, not enough to vote. Even more extreme, the party candidates are picked by about 10% of eligible voters. If we get trump vs Sanders its about 10% who chose those candidates. Actually no matter who we get its likely to be about 10% of eligible voters who chose pair.

    The number of people who have more than a superficial interest in politics, economics, or history is pretty tiny.

    Nor is this something new. Our democracy has been running on fumes interest and involvement wise for a very long time.

    I shall now go cast my merely symbolic vote for Biden in Vermont.

    • March 4, 2020 12:48 am

      Roby: What’s sad about those stats is that the majority of non-involved citizens are most likely moderates. They might be satisfied with the status quo, or alienated by the excesses of both major parties, or simply more interested in real life than politics. So the extremists drown out their voices.

      • John Say permalink
        March 4, 2020 6:33 pm

        Politics is always about the extremes. It is always the extremes that seek to leverage power against others, to control others and government is about controlling others.

        When government does its job well, or even badly but everything else is going well and government is not a threat to ordinary people – there will be little impetus for those in the center to vote, to become engaged in politics.

        Government is an should be a small part of out lives. It should not matter who is elected dog catcher or president.

        At the same time those at the extremes who are ALWAYS demanding that govenrment power be used as they wish, must generally persuade those in the center to rise from their apathy and vote.

        Low voter turnout is GOOD so long and it really means the actions of government are so innocuous no one cares.

        The better thengs are the more complacent the center is the more hoarse and extreme the cries from those at the extremes must be.

        As I said we live in the best moment in history, That inherently means that the left and the right must be screaming about the end of the world to attract our attention.

    • John Say permalink
      March 4, 2020 10:21 am

      Countries where the percent of people voting are high are extremely volatile.

      If the US government actually conformed to the constitution voting would be far lower.

      One of the arguments i am hearing regarding Sanders – which applies just as well to Trump, is that it is irrelevant that he is socialist, because the president does not have the power without congress and the courts to impliment Sanders agenda.

      If the US government actually conformed tot he constitution we could elect Stalin and have little ill effect.

      Our constitution gave us a LIMITED federal govenrment, not a monarchy or dictatorship.

      • March 4, 2020 11:03 am

        Dave, ” because the president does not have the power without congress and the courts to impliment Sanders agenda.”

        Really? What the hell world do you live in? I am not going to list all of Obamas agenda and policies he implemented through his ” I have a pan, diplomacy” but the president has almost unlimited powers, especially if he has his own leadership in congress. I doubt there was little that Obama did that did not have some negative impact on almost every aspect of American life during his 8 years.

      • John Say permalink
        March 4, 2020 11:55 pm

        There is a reason that Obama has so many 9-0 SCOTUS oppinions against him.

        Regardless, Obama acted much further outside the law and constitution than Trump has,
        But not nearly so far as every democratic candidate has promised thus far.

        All of them are falling all over themselves pretending they can make law or rewrite the constitution through executive orders.

        You can not. It is highly unlikely that SCOTUS will uphold an EO that infringes on the rights of citizens. EO’s are directions to those in government regarding the implimentation of EXISTING law, and constitutional powers.

      • March 5, 2020 10:52 am

        Dave “You can not. It is highly unlikely that SCOTUS will uphold an EO that infringes on the rights of citizens. ”

        Direct or indirect infringement?

      • John Say permalink
        March 5, 2020 8:29 pm

        The important qualifier is “highly unlikely” – SCOTUS upheld Koramatsu – but that was during WWII. Even Scalia said FDR’s EO was crystal clear unconstitutional. But no SCOTUS ever is like to overturn an EO like that during a war like WWII.

        Absent a world War SCOTUS is unlikely to uphold an EO infringing on the 2A as an example.

        Regardless EO’s have to be written as directives to the executive branch as to how to impliment existing laws.

      • John Say permalink
        March 5, 2020 12:03 am

        If a democrat is elected they will be obligated to match Trump’s economy and jobs performance. If they do not democrats generally will be obliterated in 2022.

        Democrats can not impliment their agenda without economic harm.

        Obama got some latitude – because he was following a recession that he could not be blamed for, and because the argument that this was the “new normal” was difficult to refute.

        But we are post Obama, trump has refuted it.

        Even Obama lost the house in 2010 because voters were not happy, and did not buy alot of the “new normal” nonsense.

        In 2021 should democrats control all or part of government the expectations will be high.

        Further not only must they preserve the economy – but THEIR supporters will expect that they – just as Trump did, will deliver on their campaign promises.

        There is no progressive magic wand.

        As imperfect as some are – Trump’s promises and policies were an improvement over Obama;s and the economy has responded. Democrats promises and polices are a drag on the economy. They can not do both, and they can not remain in power long unless they do.

  14. vermontadowhatiwanta permalink
    March 3, 2020 11:03 am

    Regarding the gang of four and their need to split off yet another victims acronym…

    I accidentally acquired a Doris Day CD last week, and I love it! What a great voice she had, a huge talent. She was called “wholesome” and was as white as white can be (her favorite singer and major influence was however, Ella Fitzgerald, and it shows in her music) I can only imagine the eyes rolling by all of my musician friends over my life, not one of whom I am sure would listen to (or at least admit to it) Doris Day. But she had a great voice, sang great big band music, played with heavyweight musicians, what is not to like? But she is doomed to underappreciation. so “wholesome” and though no ones says it explicitly she reflects the whitest side of jazz, along with bands like Glen Miller and Tommy Dorsey. Is this white issue with Doris Day just an issue in my own mind and no one else’s? Probably. But, I have a huge set of black musicians as heros, no one ever puts them in the “wholesome” box as a sort of lightweight.

    Damn it, lily white big band music was every bit as good as the black big band music (and visa versa). Why should Doris Day be a sort of guilty pleasure for me?

    I am damn happy that black musicians came into their own in a segregated era and that white listeners loved them and that that helped to end the terrible injustice. And its of course appalling what black entertainers (and simply blacks) had to endure in that era. But its no fault of white entertainers, people like Bing Cosby, Frank Sinatra, Doris Day, Benny Goodman. Many of them did stick their necks out actually to support black entertainers. Its a damn shame that we need to even see that as bravery, but in that era, it took some moxie to go against the culture.

    I guess this is a bit like my reaction to the sea of identical (all them white military people and engineers look alike!) faces at NASA in Apollo 11. It was a segregated world and it was the white man’s world with huge barriers and much suffering and injustice for black Americans, I understand completely why black americans can still feel like their own separate group (or not, depending on the individual). What I am trying to say, in spite of that context I am still equally in awe of my white heros, the astronauts, the musicians from that period as I am of my black heros.

    Imagine making those nutty progressive ladies, AOC and company, listen to a few hours of Doris Day. They would likely lose consciousness.

    • vermontadowhatiwanta permalink
      March 3, 2020 11:08 am

      To be clear, I still think the proud boys are scum, if anyone has doubts, along with any group on the spectrum from white chauvinism to flat out white supremacy. My “white pride” moment does not go that far.

      • John Say permalink
        March 4, 2020 10:49 am

        What matters is why you think the proud boys are scum.

        I am neither looking to defend them nor attack them.

        I am merely asking that you judge them based on there actions and the values that they choose. not based on some others decision to identify them as racist.

        I would also suggest some nuance in your judgement – not merely of the proud boys – but of everyone. There is nearly always much more to people than binary judgements of evil, or good.

        “A man is not the worst thing they have ever done”
        Brian Stevens

        Stevens offered that in the context of our criminal justice system. Stevens is the founder of the Equal Justice Inititive.

        EJI projects death penatly defense and appeals. Often those Stevens has defended have done horrible things.

        Stevens is noting that even those how have committed brutal murders are more than the crimes they have committed.

        The proud boys are not heros. I would suggest that you might also consider the possibility that they are not scum either.

        One of the great successes of the progressive left is the extent to which it has made everything binary.

        “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.”

        I find it amazing that so many on the left are unable to see that they hate Trump because he successfully does the same things they do.

    • Priscilla permalink
      March 3, 2020 11:22 am

      I have always been a big fan of big band music and of Doris Day.

      Politics isn’t everything. It shouldn’t even be a big thing, at least to the average person, but, right now, it seems to be.

      Que sera, sera…

      • March 3, 2020 12:08 pm

        Big band music is to music as sreak is to beef.

    • March 4, 2020 1:17 am

      Roby (and Priscilla and Ron): No need to feel guilty over enjoying “white” music and culture. Just the fact that we have to think of it as “white music” or “white culture” and question its value means that the campus leucophobes (there’s a meaty new sociological term for you) have been doing their job all too well.

      As for Doris Day, so many of her recordings (especially the earlier ones) exude a smoking sexuality that seems to contradict her later girl-next-door image. As Oscar Levant once observed, “I knew Doris Day before she was a virgin.” John Updike sang her praises, too. (I think he really had the hots for her, and why not?) I see no conflict in Doris Day’s combination of sexuality and decency; as far as I’m concerned, that’s the ideal.

      And yes, I’m a fan of vintage popular music — not just the big bands, but the earlier orchestras and personalities, crooners both male and female, and the best pre-WW2 jazz and blues. I simply can’t relate to the vast majority of music produced after about 1980. So my iPhone’s playlist is like a time machine. I even have some pre-1900 recordings.

      • vermontadowhatiwanta permalink
        March 4, 2020 6:54 am

        Yes, TNM is a big band enclave! Youza. Yes Doris Day was hot. In vocal talent she compares well with some of the female singers in Benny Goodman’s band, for example Peggy Lee. No one ever tried to call Peggy Lee Wholesome! I would have gladly snuggled with either of them!

        Lets rebrand TNM into the New Big Band Lovers! Or the new old peoples music site, or something.

        It is by the way my thesis that Radio created (or if not created, greatly fueled the fires of) Jazz, while TV created Rock and Roll By which I mean specifically rock and roll, that is 50s music, Chuck Berry, Bill Haley et al. and killed the Big Band era.

        What a feast it must have been to be alive in the 30s and 40s music wise.

        The cost of running a premier Big Band today would be hard to front. I love that music. In fact, part of my fitness routine is drumming. I blast Benny Goodman over my PA system in my music room and do my best Gene Krupa imitation on my drum kit. Its is fantastic exercise, heart rate in the 130s, better than running.

      • vermontadowhatiwanta permalink
        March 4, 2020 7:29 am

        Benny Goodman Sing sing sing. Genius. Even my wife can’t do this.

      • vermontadowhatiwanta permalink
        March 4, 2020 7:32 am

        Bout sums up my mood this morning BTW.

      • Jay permalink
        March 4, 2020 10:02 am

        Roby – I believe those dancers are Whyte’s Lindy Hoppers (also known as Whyte’s Maniacs), from the 1941 movie Hellzapoppin’. Here’s a link to the actual music they danced to:

      • vermontadowhatiwanta permalink
        March 4, 2020 10:26 am

        Thanks Jay!

        Yep, I have seen hellzapoppin. Yep, they cleverly matched the dancers to different music. There is actually a lot of similar mixing and matching going on online between dance and music with various swing dancers. Still its a great video, wakes a person right up.

      • vermontadowhatiwanta permalink
        March 4, 2020 10:36 am

        What I did not know before you told me Jay was the name of the group. I looked them up, an incredible history!

    • John Say permalink
      March 4, 2020 10:36 am

      In the 60’s we did not damn accomplished white’s because accomplished blacks were discriminated against.

      One of the disctinctions between liberalism and progressivism is that liberalism is that Liberalism seeks to en d discrimination based on things like the color of one’s skin and the judge people based on the attributes they control – their talents, their accomplishments,
      While progressivism intellectually derives from marxism. It seeks to highly our differences and to divide us into oppressed and oppressors based on immutable characteristics.
      If you are white you are the oppressor, if you are straight you are the oppressor, if you are male you are the oppressor.

      Unlike Martin Luther King, Progressiveness demands that we be judged on our gender, our skin color, our sex.

      To the progressive left a person is a hero – because they are a member of a historically oppressed minority – they need not personally have ever been oppressed, and a person is evil if they are not members of any historically opressed groups.

      Racism does not consist in discriminating against people based on race, it is defined by membership in a race.

  15. March 3, 2020 7:09 pm

    Dave “You and I are generally at odds regarding ordinary people.
    We are both agreed that they often make mistakes, they do not get things right, ……
    But I think I have a much greater trust of ordinary people than you do.”

    So Corona beer sales drop because ……..?
    Now this……..

    As these things continue to crop up. Peoples livelihood is now being impacted. And of course Trumps to blame.

    The educational information coming out on cases, severity, how it is spread, etc started too little and too late for communities like this. Planting all the negative infectious disease information into the main stream population that has no early idea how to process the info leads to outcomes like this. Information has to be detailed to the level of comprehension your audience is able to understand.

    So yes, my trust of mainstream America’s ability to process detailed technical data without over reacting is low.

    • March 3, 2020 7:14 pm

      Good grief, auto check sucks sometimes. NOT ” not early idea” Idiot device changed it from earthly idea”

    • John Say permalink
      March 4, 2020 10:53 am

      I am not claiming that all ordinary people always get it right.

      I would note corona beer sales have dropped they have not completely disappeared – more people are still drinking corona, than have chosen not to.

    • John Say permalink
      March 4, 2020 10:58 am

      I do not think this is about grasping detailed technical data.

      A simple graph of the new Corona cases – is the most important peice of information to me.

      The raw data need not even be accurate – so long as the error – whether accidental or deliberate is not inversely exponential.

      Frankly, the “educators” for various reasons are motivated to increase false anxiety not decrease it.

  16. vermontadowhatiwanta permalink
    March 4, 2020 6:55 am

    Well, DAMMMNNN! Oh me of little faith! My Biden vote was not so purely symbolic! Moderates woke up! Youza!

  17. March 4, 2020 10:24 am

    I usually dont pay attention to state races from other states, but occasionally the headlines catch my eye. Last night Alabama GOP voters returned to some normalcy. Roy Moore was eliminated from the GOP senate race while Tommy Tuberville and Jeff Sessions will have a run off. And Tuberville led the race even without getting a majority. Either one of these has a very good chance of turning that seat back to GOP offsetting slightly the Trump backlash in states like N.C.

    • Priscilla permalink
      March 5, 2020 9:39 am

      That Mark Robinson guy in NC is getting a lot of attention up here ~ was his win a big upset, Ron?

      Also, on the topic of the day…one of my sons is a professional swim coach ~his team travels to Charlotte every year, at the end of March, for a big invitational meet, attended by swimmers from many states, mostly teams east of the Mississippi.

      He was tellling me yesterday, that some his team parents are emailing and calling him wondering if the meet is still on, because it’s “so dangerous” to have so many people at a sports event, and people could get infected with coronavirus!

      Apparently some people are under the impression that this is like the medievil bubonic plague and will wipe out much of the population. I can understand that, if someone has COPD, or is in chemotherapy, they would want to stay away from large crowds where they might pick up some kind of respiratory virus.

      Have there even been any confirmed cases yet, in NC?

      • March 5, 2020 11:41 am

        Well to tell you the truth, I had not heard about Mark Robinson until Wednesday. He is not a politician, has little money compared to politicians and made his mark as a black conservative blaming shooters for deaths and not the guns at a city council meeting.

        There is talk about all large gatherings being closed or cancelled. March Madness might be played before empty gyms. NCAA to make decision upcoming.

        I believe one case confirmed in Raleigh. Male who visited relative in nursing home in Washington around Feb 20th. Confirmed about a week ago. I believe he was “home isolated” and not hospitalized. No reports on anyone else and no reports on who is quarantined that he had contact with.

      • John Say permalink
        March 5, 2020 8:19 pm

        There is no global “plague” that this is in anyway comparable to.
        This is not even close to comparable to the 1918 Flu.

        If this actually went out of control globally – which unlikely – lots of people would die – but lots of people die from the flu each year too.

        I believe linked a slate article indicating that the mortality is likely between 3-8 times less than reported – and this overestate of mortality is fairly common that 6 months from now the final decision is likely that the mortality rate is equivalent to a bad flu season.

        No one wants anyone to die. But we all die eventually’
        And apparently for people under 70 this is not much of a threat but for those over 70 it is a really big deal – but so is the flu.

      • John Say permalink
        March 5, 2020 8:24 pm

        JHU is listing one in Raliegh

      • March 6, 2020 1:29 am


      • John Say permalink
        March 6, 2020 10:04 am

        John Hopkins University.

        Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Cases by Johns Hopkins CSSE

  18. March 4, 2020 4:06 pm

    My trust in people continues to decline😥

  19. March 4, 2020 9:15 pm

    A new modern day low. Politicians threatening SCOTUS justices. I know Trump calls others names, he asked justices to recuse themselves he has told people he has a carry permit and will shoot anyone trying to harm him (10/3/2015 before election), he has said he would like to lunch a reporter in the face, but I dont ever remember him threatening another public figure like this.

    “You’re gonna pay” can be used by courts as a threat. Shumer crossed over the line big time. I can even accept him yelling this at “snake eyes” McConnell, but SCOTUS is way out of bounds!

    • Priscilla permalink
      March 5, 2020 10:13 am

      This was waaaaay over the line.

      Schumer should, at minimum, step down from his leadership position, and be censured for his threat.

      Only a Democrat could get away with this, because the biased media will cover it up, or try and gaslight people into believing that this is the same as Trump saying that Ginsburg and Sotomayor should recuse from certain cases, based on their overtly political public statements.

      The problem is that Schumer clearly called out two SCOTUS justices, by name, and said that, if they did not vote the way that the Dems want, they would “pay the price, and never know what hit them.” That is clearly an overt threat.

      Do I think that Schumer himself will try and attack or kill Gorsuch and Kavanaugh? Of course not. Although it clearly shows that Schumer, like Pelosi, no longer believes in co-equal branches and separation of powers. To them, Congress is the source of all power in the federal government ~ POTUS and SCOTUS better toe the line.

      He’s just giving the sign to the Antifa types who can carry it out.

      • Jay permalink
        March 5, 2020 12:05 pm

        Correct – Schumer shouldn’t have called out Twitter SCOTUS judges by name; but it’s OK for Dumb Donnie to call out Sotomayor and Ginsberg by name and tell them they have to recuse themselves from any cases involving his presidency. Right?

        And yes, Schumer should have tempered his threat in the proper legal context: they’ll pay the price and not know what hit them with impeachment charges. After the 2020 elections if the Dems flip the Senate, that will be a just remedy for the GOP Merrick Garland swindle. Neil Gorsuch goes, Clarence Thomas goes (with his tin-hat crazed conspiracy nut wife), Garland gets appointed, and Biden fulfill his campaign promise to appoint a black female justice as well when Ginsberg retires after Election Day.

      • Priscilla permalink
        March 5, 2020 12:43 pm

        So, you think that threatening justices is ok, as long as the threat is that of impeachment, not bodily harm or death (nnot clear in Schumer’s threat, but he sure got that rabid crowd booing SCOTUS, and cheering for the demise of any justice that crosses the left.)

        Trump’s comment was in response to blatant political statements made by Ginsburg and Sotomayor, and was not remotely a threat, but an opinion. Was it inappropriate for him to respond? Yes, I think it’s possible to make a case for that.

        But equating the two comments is, as you are fond of charging against others, “whataboutism,” i.e. defending the indefensible by claiming that both sides do it.

        Only one side has done it.

      • Jay permalink
        March 5, 2020 4:43 pm

        Oh chill out.

        Schumer retracted his comment…

        But, again, I agree bashing judges, demeaning and attacking them individually, is corrosive to an independent judiciary. As is demeaning individuals and undermining the important institutions they work for, as Dumb Donnie’s done to the CIA, the FBI, the State Department. etc. Let’s expand that list to include Dumb Donnie’s interference and threats against people who work at the EPA, OSHA, and of course the NIA. Your demented hero’s incoherent inconsistent and just plain stupid remarks have already more negatively effected the lives of Americans than Schumer’s improper snit about the two judges.

        And by the way, Priscilla, where was your righteous indignation on display when Trump attacked the judge in the Roger Stone case?

      • John Say permalink
        March 6, 2020 9:04 am

        “Schumer retracted his comment…”
        A wise move,
        I would also note that he also clearly LIED about the comment in his retraction claiming it was a threat to punish the GOP at the ballot box. Not Gorsuch and Kavanaugh.
        Go listen to the video – it was clearly not that and had it been he would not have had to retract the statement.

        Regardless, he said something that was incredibly close to the only speach that is not constitutionally protected in the US – a “true threat”. He was dancing incredibly close to incitement to riot – watch the video, this is not a remark fromt he well of the senate, this was infront of an angry mob with his intended victims not far away.

        “But, again, I agree bashing judges, demeaning and attacking them individually, is corrosive to an independent judiciary.”

        Words matter – you are constantly substituting nebulous words for specific words.

        Threatening judges is VERY WRONG.
        Asking judges to recuse is not, and in many instance may be morally required.

        “As is demeaning individuals and undermining the important institutions they work for, as Dumb Donnie’s done to the CIA, the FBI, the State Department. etc. Let’s expand that list to include Dumb Donnie’s interference and threats against people who work at the EPA, OSHA, and of course the NIA.”

        Neither individuals nor institutions are entitled to our respect, they are obligated to earn it.

        I have ZERO problem with Bashing the CIA, FBI, State, DoD ……
        Plenty of presidents have done it – notably Eisenhower and Truman.

        Again words matter. Actual lying – about the CIA, FBI, DoD, … or BY the same agencies is wrong. Thus far Trump has been CORRECT about those agencies and it is those agencies that have LIED

        The FISA court has just barred everyone at DOD or FBI who had any involvement in the Carter Page warrants from participating in the FISA process.

        Trump should have responded to the Horrowitz report by ordering the AG to determine every person who participated in, was aware of or should have been aware of the misconduct that Horrowitz reported, and required every signle one of those to be re-assiggned to duties completely outside the entire Trump/Russia investigation and prosecutions – that would mean the entire Crossfire Hurricane team and nearly all of Muellers team.

      • John Say permalink
        March 6, 2020 9:06 am

        What unbeleiveable hypocracy – you bash and demean the president, and various other office holders all the time.

        In jay world – bashing and demeaning is virtuous – unless committed by republicans, then and only then it is criminal.

      • John Say permalink
        March 6, 2020 9:18 am

        “And by the way, Priscilla, where was your righteous indignation on display when Trump attacked the judge in the Roger Stone case?”

        Again more word mangling.

        Did Trump THREATEN the Judge ?

        It is quite clear to pretty much everyone that the Stone Trial was a fiasco.

        Guess what the JUDGE is responsible for preventing that.

        She failed – this is not the 1984’s Oceania where criticism of failure within government is criminal.

        Jackson FAILED. Obviously, and ANYONE’s criticism of her is justified.

        But to my knowledge NO ONE threatened her.

        YOU say Schumer’s remarks would have been OK if he merely threatend to Impeach Gorsuch and Kavanaugh.

        No one has threatened to impeach jackson. Yet you seem to think there is an equivalence between legitimate criticism and overt threats.

        Alas, alas, for you
        Hypocrites that you are
        Sure that the kingdom of Heaven awaits you
        You will not venture half so far

        There is nothing wrong with bashing government or those in it.
        There is nothing wrong with demeaning those in govenrment or government institutions.
        Though you should expect to be judged on the accuracy of your criticism.

        If you call someone else a liar – you had better be right.
        If you call them a russian asset – you had better be right
        If you say they have colluded with Russia – you had better be right.

        Trump has been highly critical of a long list of people.
        Comey, McCabe as an example – those criticisms have proven very well justified.

        What about you ? Which of your attacks, insults, slurrs has proven true ?

      • John Say permalink
        March 6, 2020 8:43 am

        There is NO EQUIVALENCE HEAR

        You do not threaten a judge with ANY retaliation to that judge.

        A request is not a threat.

        The threat was not political, it was individual and personal.
        While Schumer did not specifiy WHAT the consequence for Gorsuch and Kavanaugh would be – it is clear that it was Gorsuch and Kavanaugh that were going to pay.

        Schumers remarks were uncomfortably close to “a call to action”, incitement to violence.

        Watch the video. He was speaking in front of an angry mob, already banging on the doors, and the justices were in session only yards away beyond the door.

        Schumers remarks were extremely close to the only speach that is actually criminal in the US.

      • March 5, 2020 2:52 pm

        Priscilla, I find it interesting that Jay responded to you concerning Shumer using Trumps recusal call while I commented, addressed the difference between calling for two justices to recuse themselves to a threat on two standing on SCOTUS steps and he was silent.

        But that is politics today. There is no way most will cross a red/blue line and agree with the other side.

      • John Say permalink
        March 6, 2020 8:08 am

        There is no equivalence.

        Myriads of people have asked even demanded Judges and Supreme Court Justices recuse themselves. Democrats have asked Thomas to Recuse himself constantly, and on rare occasions he has done so.

        Ginsberg and Sotomayor were not going to recuse themselves. The Ginsberg case for Recusal is quite strong as she has made overt political remarks about Trump and his policies. Sotomayor merely criticized the rest of the court for their decision – something Many justices – Scalia and Thomas in particular, but even going back to Holmes and Brandeis have done before.

        I beleive Obama asked judges to recuse themselves. You can agree or disagree, but there is nothing inherently improper about doing so.

        Schumer made a specific threat of retribution against two specific justices – that is WAY WAY over the line. Technically that is impeachable.

        He did so in the midst of an angry crowd already engaged in violence, with the Supreme Court in session and the justices little more than a dozen yards away.

        There is a credible case his remarks were “incitement to violence”.
        While personally I think that is a reach – it would be fully consistent with the left’s position on speach. Regardless, Schumers remarks were an explicit “call to action” – and that is quite a bit further than anything Trump has ever done.

        There is not even close to parity here.

        This would have barely merited a mention in the news, if Schumer had demanded they recuse themselves. It would barely have made the news if Schumer had actually does as he later falsely claimed to have done and threatened retribution against the GOP at the ballot box if the Justices did not vote as he demanded.

        But Schumer was way out of line. This is not comparable to anything Trump has ever done.

        The fact that you think it is, is disturbing.

        Do you think insulting someone is the same as threatening them ? Or assaulting them ?

        If you are going to try to make a comparison – compare things that are equal.

      • John Say permalink
        March 6, 2020 8:11 am

        Threatening the justices with impeachment charges would have been almost as inappropriate.

        The only legitimate Threat Schumer could have made is to Republicans at the ballot box.

        Any threat of retaliation against a judge in order to influence a decision is wrong, it is very close to a crime.

      • John Say permalink
        March 6, 2020 8:21 am

        There is no “Garland Swindle”

        McConnell’s actions were overtly political – they were also a huge gamble, Hillary was likely to be elected and her nominee would be much less appealing to the GOP than Garland.

        I highly doubt that Democrats are flipping the Senate.
        Democrats have to flip 3 seats if they beat Trump and 4 if they do not
        And in reality that is 4 and 5 because they are going to lose Alabama with near absolute certainty.

        Regardless, even the public threat to impeach supreme court justices because you do not like their decisions, is a step beyond even the ukraine nonsense “faux impeachment”.

        You complain about the bitterness of politics – and then threaten to make government even more bitter.

        Please read the declaration of independence.

        When government – even majoritarian democratic government fails to protect the rights of individuals it is the right of the people – even a minority of the people to take up arms against it.

        Contra the nonsense from the left – todate political violence remains lopsidedly leftist.
        But if you continue as you are, that will not remain forever.

        Impeaching supreme court justices for political reasons is pretty much the definition of illegitimate government, as well as government that can not be remedied by constitutional means.

      • Priscilla permalink
        March 5, 2020 6:17 pm

        Jay, I don’t think that you and I are having the same debate, here.

        I am not being righteously indignant. I am condemning the second most powerful leader in the Senate, for standing on the steps of the Supreme Court, in front of an angry crowd, and issuing a threat to two specific justices, whom he called out by name. That’s bad enough.

        Making it worse, is the fact that his threat was intended to influence the way that the two justices would vote on a case that was ongoing as he spoke. What he did was obstruction of justice in the true sense, but it was also an overt threat by a leader of one branch of government, against members of another co-equal branch. And, whether he meant it or not, it implied physical violence….”you’ll never know what hit you.”

        Schumer did not retract, but I wouldn’t have expected him to do so. He meant what he said…watch the video, he was reading it from his notes.

      • Jay permalink
        March 6, 2020 10:41 am

        It’s useless for us to continue discussing anything, Priscilla.
        It’s like this wine glass-face illusion. You perceive what’s happening one way; me another.

        Schumer’s improper outburst is the inevitable flip-side of nastiness initiated and expanded by President Stupid. I warned you four years ago when Trump started campaigning he was dangerously lowering the standards of public/political discourse. You and other Trump apologists said he would temper his remarks if elected as president; but of course he’s become hideously worse. If you could appraise him objectively (you can’t) you’d recognize the severe damage he’s done to civility in society, and continues to do.

      • Priscilla permalink
        March 6, 2020 11:06 am

        How has he become “worse,” Jay? You throw things out there and have zero evidence for them. I remember Trump saying some pretty rough things about John McCain, he foolishly picked a fight with the grandstanding Gold Star couple who spoke out against him at the DNC Convention, and some other things that turned many people off. But how is he worse?

        Your side has given up on civility, and I think that comes from the anger and frustration that has come from not being able to overthrow a president that you hate. The answer is to vote him out.

        Every day, I’m shocked and amazed at the hideous things that are said about the man. Not criticisms of his policies, mind you…those are fair game. Just incredibly false and nasty personal insults, routinely lobbed at another human being, who has succeeded in spite of the odds against him.

        If civility is damaged, it’s not because of anything that Trump did. It’s because, for whatever reason, there is a mass hysteria and delusion about the guy, and liberals have been treating him like he’s the devil incarnate, both an evil genius and an incompetent boob. He’s just a man, who won an election, and is enacting the agenda that he promised he would.

        Democrats would be so much better off, if they just chilled the hell out, and ran against Trump’s agenda. Of course, his personality is not off limits, but it shouldn’t be front and center. Making it about hate has turned a lot of people off, and led to the feeling that the Democrats do nothing but “cry wolf”.

        Nominating a man who is exhibiting signs of early senility, and then saying, as I have now heard, that his cognitive decline is off limits for debate, is not going to cut it.

        For the life of me, I cannot fathom why the Dems have sh*tcanned Tulsi Gabbard, a charismatic, leftwing, anti-war, non-white woman, who is articulate and attractive. She would give Trump a run for his money.

      • John Say permalink
        March 6, 2020 3:17 pm

        If the incivility were limited to attacks on Trump that would be one thing.

        If you run for president you are obligated to have thick skin, you are going to be attacked.
        I do not have much sympathy for Trump – he is president of the united states.
        He should expect to be attacked and even lied about.

        But that is not where this ends – whether it is Jay or the left
        EVERYONE that disagrees with them on ANYTHING is a facist, nazi, totalitarian. racist, sexist, homophobe, hateful, hating hater, and a russian agent.

        Left wingnuts are calling actual hollocaust survivors Nazis, as well as their children and relatives. All this is batshit crazy, and this is close to unique to the left.

      • John Say permalink
        March 6, 2020 1:16 pm

        Jay, if the goal is persuasion – any conversation with you is useless.

        Everyone knows that.
        You are completely predictable.

        Is there a person here who expected that you would condemn Schumer ? Anyone who thinks you would not find a way of making this about Trump ?

        Absolutely everything you say returns to trump. Every oppinion on everything is driven by Trump. Schumer is correct – because Trump.

        Grow up.

        We are past the days of huntley brinkley – if non-contentious political debate ever existed.
        We are past the point at which public discourse is polite.

        You can pretend if you wish that the shift towards ever more bitter public discourse was not driven by the left, but you can not pretend that the shift happened, and if you think it started When Trump came down the escallator you are blind to reality.

        Does Trump speak in ways that no president would have dared 40 years ago ?
        Absolutely. So does everyone in politics. Frankly so does everyone in life.

        There is no parity between Schumers remarks and actions – which came incredibly close to inciting mob violence against specific people, and Trump saying that a supreme court justice who has spoken politically and publicly on an issue before her, should recuse herself.

        There are remarks I would prefer Trump had not made. The critique of Sotomayor’s remarks though acceptable – i.e. morally permissiable, was factually wrong. But the critique of Ginsberg was both moral and factual. Regardless both were suggests, requests.
        If you feel they were made impolitely – fine.

        Schumer made a threat. That is an a completely different league.
        Threats are a promise of force. Requests are not.

        Threats are rarely acceptable, because the use of force is rarely justified.

        Requests are always acceptable, even if wrong or stupid.

        But you can not see that.

      • John Say permalink
        March 6, 2020 1:19 pm

        There is not a single trait of Trump’s that you are offended by that does not significantly predate Trump.

        We here nothing from you about the conduct you berate Trump for – not when done constantly by others in the past, not when done by others today.

        You are clearly the one in an alternate reality.

      • John Say permalink
        March 6, 2020 1:23 pm

        So did it turn out that there was no Trump russia collusion – because Trump bought off Mueller and Horrowitz ?

        Is the Mueller report “fake” ? The Horowitz report ?

        Is FBI/DOJ lying to courts acceptable to you ?

        On issue after issue over the past 4 years you have expounded claims that proved false. You have made moral accusations that have proved false.

        Why should anyone beleive you have an accurate perception of reality ?

      • John Say permalink
        March 6, 2020 2:41 pm

        “Schumer’s improper outburst is the inevitable flip-side of nastiness initiated and expanded by President Stupid.”

        You can not justify potentially criminal conduct, by comparing it to boorish comments of others.

        “I warned you four years ago when Trump started campaigning he was dangerously lowering the standards of public/political discourse.”

        Where were you when those on the left were doing the same ?
        Every Republican president since Nixon has been called a Nazi. Pretty much every republican politician, pretty much every republican. In fact now pretty much anyone not sufficiently leftist – and that includes most of the left, is a nazi, racist, homophobe, transphobe, hateful hating hater. I have NEVER heard you complain.

        You are defending the people who are calling a long list of others – many democrats – Russia Agents.

        If you have actual instances of Trump overtly and unjustifiably threatening others, I will condemn those.

        But all speach that you do not like is not equal. Just about the only speach that is universally agreed as unacceptable – even criminal, is some threats, and Schumer danced incredibly close to the criminal.

        “You and other Trump apologists said he would temper his remarks if elected as president; but of course he’s become hideously worse.”

      • John Say permalink
        March 6, 2020 2:59 pm

        “If you could appraise him objectively”

        That is pretty Trivial, and it is YOU that can not manage it.

        We can each quibble about Trump’s rhetoric.
        But in the end, it is what a president DOES, not what they say.

        Even if you actually disagree with Trump on policies – you still can not credibly claim he is significantly different from the past.

        FDR locked up 100K US citizens – that pales in comparison to anything Trump has done on the border.

        Family separation started with Obama.
        The nations Trump restricted Travel from – Started with Obama.

        Trump’s positions on Trade are not much different than those of most US predidents throughout history.

        Trump’s “dergulation” at worst gets us back to 2008 levels of regulation – not 1800.

        On policy after policy – you can disagree but you can not credibly claim Trump is into unknown teritory. ‘

        And then we have results.
        We have not gotten into any new conflicts so far. That has not happened since Ford,
        The economy may not be great – but it is better than it has been for 20 years.

        Thus far no interns have been felating in the oval office.

        So in the end all you have is fuming and foaming over Trump’s rhetorical jousting, and your position that is “unpresidential” – even if I accept that – Trump’s rhetoric is still not as offensive as those that attack him.

        You say he “lies” – has he made false accusations of criminal conduct ?
        Just about every talking head in the media as well as the entire upper echelon of the democratic party has done just that.

        At what point do you hold others to the same standard you impose on Trump ?

        In my perfect world Trump would not be president.
        But neither would Clinton, Sanders, the assortment of dwarves who ran in the Democratic primary, probably none of the 2016 republican contenders either.

        You keep telling me that being moderate means compromising on everything.

        Well Trump is not what I want,
        But I have no problem tolerating his flaws, rather than living with the alternatives.

        You are absolutely incensed over essentially one flaw – Trump’s rhetoric – which even if it is as egregious as you claim still as mitigated by his success elsewhere.

        I am happy with most – though not all of his policies.

        But much more importantly – though we can debate how those policies have turned into the current state of the country overall, there can be no debate that the country is better than under Obama, and Bush in innumerable ways.

        I would like far better still, but that is NOT coming from Biden or Sanders or the rest of the dwarves.

        There is whether you like it or not a relationship between policy and prosperity, and not only is Trump increasing prosperity – but most of Trump’s gains are AT THE BOTTOM.
        to those who need it most.

        Objectively – YOU can not see the world objectively.

  20. John Say permalink
    March 5, 2020 12:08 am

    It is likely the Taliban deal is a bad deal, and they will not keep it.
    Trump has already launch some airstrikes.

    It is not certain the US will go through with it.

    Regardless, it is time to go. It will not be better in the future.
    We have tried for 18 years under 3 presidents and we have failed.
    We have spent $1T on afghanistan alone and have nothing to show for it.

    It is well past time to leave – regardless of the mess.

  21. John Say permalink
    March 5, 2020 12:09 am

    Covid-19 is likely an order of magnitude LESS harmful than stated.

    • March 5, 2020 11:11 am

      One should wonder what impact this “panic” will have on total deaths for the year when those from flu and Covid-19 are added together. Will safety concerns used by people due to the virus also reduce flu cases, thus reducing flu deaths?

      • Jay permalink
        March 5, 2020 12:16 pm

        All that hand washing might help reduced normal flue contagion a little, but the combined number of virus illnesses with coronavirus added in is sure to significantly raise the numbers.

      • John Say permalink
        March 6, 2020 8:29 am

        “All that hand washing might help reduced normal flue contagion a little, but the combined number of virus illnesses with coronavirus added in is sure to significantly raise the numbers.”

        The slate article I linked says almost the opposite.

        It essentially says that most of the Covid-19 victims were coing to die, from the flu, colds, pnuemonia, cancer, heart disease, … and they were going to do so within the year regardless.

        Covid-19 deaths are heavily among those who are already very unhealthy and only one cold away from dying. These were people who were going to get sick and die from something no matter what.

        I do not know how accurate that Slate article is – but we DO KNOW that a high portion of Covid-19 deaths are to very vulnerable people. That DOES mean that a spike in Covid-19 deaths need not be a spike in total deaths.

        Just to be clear – I am not saying the Slate article is correct.
        We do not know, and probably will not know until a year after this passes.

      • John Say permalink
        March 6, 2020 7:43 am

        One of the factors in calculating the mortality rate that has NOT been addressed is that when the final determination of the mortality rate of Covid-19 is worked out – it will NOT be every person would died and was infected with Covid-19. But every person who died who would not have died otherwise. And enormous portion of the Covid-19 deaths are to people who not merely were old and frail, but who were actually dying before they caught Covid-19

    • Jay permalink
      March 5, 2020 12:39 pm

      More ‘likely’ outcome predictions

      “ In the low-severity model — or best-case scenario of the seven — ANU researchers estimate a global GDP loss of $2.4 trillion, with an estimated death toll of 15 million.”

      • John Say permalink
        March 6, 2020 8:31 am

        If you wish to bet on that – I will be happy to take the bet that the death toll will Not be or even close 15M.

        The economic impact is more difficult to assess, panic alone could case 2.4T in temporary economic disruption.

      • March 6, 2020 11:10 am

        Dave, Not on economic data since that will take months before final data finalized, but I want to bet on something else.

        I win, you limit each comment to no more than 500 words each and no more than 5 per day.
        You win, no limit as like now, but I agree to read each and every one completely.

        I hold that this current virus is Trumps black swan event. He loses to Biden.
        ( Not part of the bet, dems hold house, lose senate)

        Now a qualifying event. Only if Biden does not make so many mental gaffes, like his sister being his wife, not knowing what state he is in, something big. Not some insignificant issue like who is president of “little inner mangolia” or some other insignificant country.

      • John Say permalink
        March 6, 2020 3:39 pm

        Evaluating the outcome of the bet is too complex.

        Biden is going to gaffe from now to november. Does anyone doubt that – he is getting ever worse. I beleive he is toast at this point – even if he never makes another gaffe.
        But that is not a bet I can make because he will make a new gaffe every day.
        So how do I prove what would have happened if Biden did not do as he certainly will ?

        I have no doubt Trump, is going to be attacked regarding Coronavirus.
        I also have no doubt that no matter what happens with Corona that Trump will be attacked and there will be plenty of voices claiming he could have done more.

        We just authorized spending 8.3B – for what ? I have no doubt that money will ultimately get spent. But no amount of money will alter the trajectory of Covid-19 right now.

        The resources that exist today are all that exist today and it will take atleast a month to alter the level of resources. While Covid-19 will not be gone by then, the trajectory will be set by then.

        Anyway, if you want to bet, Bet on something actually measurable.

        BTW – what do I get when I win ?

        Specifically back to Covid-19.

        So long as the US is fighting new infections coming from air travel OR from the spread by those already infected in the country, I do not expect this to go “out of control”.

        It may take several months to eradicate, and the total number of infections might reach 1000, or even a bit more, and the deaths may reach 100 or a few more.

        But there is not going to be widespread out of control Covid-19 unless it explodes in mexico,
        After which all bets are off.

        At the same time if the US has a real epidemic because Covid-19 floods the country from accross the southern Border – Trump wins in a landslide.

        I would further note that all the above is likely even if an effective antiviral is not found, and a vaccine is not developed.

        If an effective antiviral is found (and I beleive there is an existing one that is showing promise) the deaths will be low.

        If a vaccine is found, this becomes at the very extreme worst a bad flu season.

        And anti-virals and vaccines WILL happen, the question is how soon ?

        I would note that while this COULD be a black Swan event for Trump.

        We will absolutely be able to compare to China, Japan, South Korea, Europe, and ……

        People are strange and are mostly NOT going to CONSCIOUSLY factor in the comparisons.

        But how advantageous or fatal to Trump this is really does depend on comparisons.

        Right now, China, South Korea, Iran. and Italy have more cases than the US,

        But so do France, Germany, Spain, Japan,

        And nearly all of Europe has more cases as a % of population.

        Sweden as an example has half as many cases as the US but 1/30 as many people.

  22. John Say permalink
    March 5, 2020 1:32 am

    Just incase you think that Trump is he only target of this left wing nut lawfare political vindictiveness.

  23. Jay permalink
    March 5, 2020 4:45 pm

    Dump Donnie at it again. Listen to the vapid fool’s muttering on Hannity – a gobbledygook of misinformation.

    • John Say permalink
      March 6, 2020 9:43 am

      1. Denies WHO’s coronavirus death rate based on “hunch”
      There is no WHO “official” death rate. There are numerous estimates – Trump specifically attacks the 3.4% claim, that is generally regarded as a significant over estimate.
      The 1918 Spanish Flu had a mortality rate of 2% it killed 20-100M people in a world with a population of 1.6B. To be equivalent Covid-19 would have to kill 100-500M people today.

      Even your ludicrously high – low estimate of 15m deaths would be about 1/5 proportionately those of the “spanish flu”.

      There are many published mortality estimates for Covid-19 well below 1%.

      2. Calls coronavirus “corona flu”
      So ? It would be more accurate to decribe it as a cold, than a flu, but is this really the hill you want to die on ?

      3. Suggests it’s fine for people w/ Covid-19 to go to work
      He does not “suggest” that he notes that it is likely they will and the world will not end.

      “4. Compares coronavirus to “the regular flu,” indicating he doesn’t get the difference ”
      So he does what ordinary people do all the time and your being critical ?

      Regardless – what is the difference ? Since you are claiming there is this huge obvious difference – what is it ?

      The symptoms are identical. For 80% of those infected with Covid-19 the symptoms are LESS than the flu, often much less, many people – possibly as much as 40% get it and do not know they have it – they have no symptoms.
      The spread is identical. Via bodily contact, or contact with surfaces that have the virus on from coughing.
      We are still working on data on the spread rate – but it appears to be LOWER than the Flu.
      In Wuhan only between 80-150,000 people got it out of a population of 11M.
      And that was the epicenter. On the diamond princess only 1/4 of the passengers and crew contracted it – and they were all confined together on a small cruise ship for weeks.
      The diamond Princess data suggests a mortality rate of <1%

  24. Priscilla permalink
    March 5, 2020 8:14 pm

    Seriously, Jay, who the heck is Aaron Rupar? Do you just believe anyone who hates Trump and tweets?

    And, as far as WHO goes, from CNN (not a pro-Trump news outlet, in case you hadn’t heard 😉 ) :

    “The WHO’s praise of China’s response have led critics to question the relationship between the two entities. The UN agency relied on funding and the cooperation of members to function, giving wealthy member states like China considerable influence. Perhaps one of the most overt examples of China’s sway over the WHO is its success in blocking Taiwan’s access to the body, a position that could have very real consequences for the Taiwanese people if the virus takes hold there.
    The WHO’s position regarding China has also renewed a longstanding debate about whether the WHO, founded 72 years ago, is sufficiently independent to allow it to fulfill its purpose.”

    I’ll take Trump’s hunch over WHO’s. We don’t have enough info.

    • John Say permalink
      March 6, 2020 9:52 am

      I do not have a problem with the WHO, or the WHO’s numbers.

      I have a problem with presuming the WHO is the word of god.

      All the criticism’s of the WHO that you note are valid too.
      But my big problem is the WHO is essentially government funded.

      I do not care what the games and biases of private organizations are – they are entitled to them.

      Even the WHO thinks there own numbers are too high.

    • John Say permalink
      March 6, 2020 9:54 am

      The death rate for the Flu – absent the flu vaccine is comparable to Covid-19.

      We will have a Covid-19 vaccine, we already have a candidate in trials.

      The question is how soon.

    • John Say permalink
      March 6, 2020 10:03 am

      We have just over 100K cases world wide today.
      We have had more people recover each day, than are infected for every day of the past 4 weeks. We have has less new cases than the day before for evey day of the past 4 weeks.
      56K of those are RECOVERED, so there are fewer active cases than people who had the disease and are recovered. That is another strong indicator that we have hit the peak.

      My prediction is that there will be about 1M cases across the world before we are done,
      And we will discover that instead of 100K right now there have actually been about 400K and nearly all those were mild.
      With about 6000 total deaths by the time this is passed.
      And that in another 4 months Covid-19 will have passed.

      • March 6, 2020 1:18 pm

        Dave..Everyone..Excellent site to monitor. The only issue I take on Dave’s comment is hitting the peak. maybe worldwide when China included, but it looks like growth still occurring outside China.

        Go to bottom of page, click on detailed info by country, then find link in middle of that link for testing by country. Shocking info concerning USA.

        That is why I am calling this Trumps Black Swan

      • John Say permalink
        March 6, 2020 3:57 pm

        There is nothing wrong with your site, but they are about 24hrs behind JHU and JHU is updated hourly.
        Further JHU makes the same information and more mostly more accessible.

        The total cases world wide graph on your site is interesting, but it must be analysed carefully.

        First what is “under control” – fewer new cases today than yesterday, More recoveries per day than new cases.

        China appears to have Covid-19 under control, As do many other countries.

        Even South Korea appears to be under control.
        But Iran in particular does not.

        But the world as a whole is CLOSE to undercontrol, but not quite yet.

        Stopping the spread of Covid-19 on a dime is NOT POSSIBLE.

        You can see by looking at the progression in various countries how effective they are.

        China is under control. It will be two more months before Covid-19 is completely burned out in China. But the Chinese will have fewer and fewer active cases every day, and fewer and fewer new infections everyday.

        That proves it is possible to control Covid-19.

        Total cases in China by the time this dies will likely be 200K – or 400K if we beleive the Chinese are lying by 50% or if we beleive that there are 50% asymptomatic cases.

        We will see the same pattern in other countries.

        Take the number of cases in that country when they gain control and double that and it will be the total cases before this burns out in that country.

        I can not get a US only daily curve, but we are not seeing exponential growth in the US, and if we are not, then we are close to under control.

        At the same time with only 260 Cases out of 330m people we are dealing with sparse and highly inaccurate data.

  25. vermontadowhatiwanta permalink
    March 6, 2020 8:32 am

    Speaking of squabbling toward the apocalypse… Oh, the irony. Nothing ever changes here.

    • Priscilla permalink
      March 6, 2020 9:53 am

      Roby, the whole point of commenting on a blog that is about politics, is to debate, well….politics!

      The 4 or 5 of us here do that, and I imagine, if we really didn’t want to “squabble,” we would just stop commenting here, as you, for the most part, have. I get it ~ when I am feeling anxious and worried about the state of things in the world, I often take a break from following the news, commenting here, etc.

      I get frustrated with Jay, but not because he calls me a Trump floozy or anything…that’s just stupid playground namecalling, and I can ignore it, for the most part. I’ll type this very quietly, but sometimes~ rarely, but sometimes ~Jay’s comments give me another perspective on the world of politics ~ a perspective that helps me see things in a new way. I like that.

      I’d like to see you here more often, but I recognize and respect that you prefer to just pop in now and then. I’m glad that you do. In any case, if we are heading toward the apocalypse, I appreciate Rick’s giving us a chance to squabble along the way.

      • John Say permalink
        March 6, 2020 1:01 pm

        I get frustrated, because insults and slurs are not arguments.

        They do not contribute to anything. They do not change minds, if anything they set positions more rigidly.

        If you want me to consider what you say, say something worth thinking about.
        Provide facts where facts are important,
        Provide arguments to support your claims, point of view, …

        Insulting me or others, at best accomplishes nothing, at worst it diminishes your credibility.

        I do not care if you disagree with me. Make a credible argument and i will consider it.
        Though you should expect that you do not persuade me by making me feel good, you persuade by making an argument that holds up to criticism, to critical examination.

        ?I will credit you if you are atleast willing to make an argument rather than just insult those who disagree, but you should not presume that merely because you have refrained from insult, that you will persuade.

        Arguments are tested in the cruicible, by tearing them apart, by rigorous criticism.
        The truth is what is left when all that is false has been burned away.

        The process of finding the truth is contentious.
        You are not entitled to a safe space for your ideas.

        What are you after at TNM ?

        An echo chamber ?

        A world where mutual agreement is more important than truth ?

      • vermontadowhatiwanta permalink
        March 6, 2020 1:54 pm

        Oh I don’t see an apocalypse really. I have bought and read nearly every book ever written on the Apollo and Mercury and Gemini programs in the last month or two and if there is one thing they bring up its the events of the 60s especially 1968 when Apollo 8 “saved” 1968 according to some. So, I don’t think things are nearly so dark as they have been many times in our history. If there is a worry of catastrophe its from Lil Kim, because he is nuts and fanatically determined to win South Korea back and he holds strong cards. I give trump credit for his imagination and willingness to end a 70 year old war, but I suspect that history will show that lil kim played him. I hope not though, I’d be happy to see that war settled without N Korea swallowing S korea and allowing us to end our involvement and be able to put worrying about N Korean subs with nukes controlled by a lunatic. That would be worth swallowing seeing trump and Lil Kim get a Noble peace prize. But i doubt it. I think our problems are now if anything worse and the next president will have an even weaker hand to play in the Korean conflict. But what trump did was it was worth trying.

        The degradation of the office of POTUS through idiotic commentary by its holder and its breaking of the normal boundaries, such as what happened in Ukraine that got trump rightfully impeached, are both disgusting and alarming issues with severe long term consequences, but they are not an apocalypse. They weaken us in the long run in many ways.

      • John Say permalink
        March 6, 2020 4:11 pm

        I am glad you do not see the world going to hell.

        That is good perception.

        I think Iran is more phanatical and dangerous than NK – but Iran can not directly reach the US – and won’t likely for a long time.

        Lil Kim is actually trying to negotiate – and that is a very very good sign.

        But serious progress could take many years.
        But we are making progress and we were not for 70 years.

        Further every year that Lil Kim is slowed down, gives him less leverage.

        The US has opted out of the INF and ABM treaties – and alot of that is driven by NK and iran.

        We currently have a 2 tier ABM system that has a slightly better than 50:50 chance of taking out something from NK. Soon enough it will be 5 tier, and the odds far smaller of succeeding.

        Lil Kim has a negotiating window – like that of the Palestinians, and it is slowly closing.

    • John Say permalink
      March 6, 2020 12:48 pm

      Change is not inherently good.

      When you change something that functions albeit imperfectly, it is far more likely that you make it worse rather than better.

  26. Jay permalink
    March 6, 2020 10:48 am

    Can Barr be put behind bars?

    “Federal Judge Says He Needs to Review Every Mueller Report Redaction Because Barr Can’t Be Trusted…”

    “Judge Reggie Walton slammed the attorney general’s “misleading,” “calculated” attempt to spin the report in Trump’s favor.

    “Attorney General William Barr’s wildly inappropriate campaign to spin the Mueller report in Donald Trump’s favor last year may have finally backfired. On Thursday, U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton ordered Barr to submit the full, unredacted report so he could assess whether the Department of Justice’s redactions comply with the Freedom of Information Act. Walton’s remarkable order noted that Barr’s “misleading public statements” about the report raise the possibility that his redactions are “tainted” and “self-serving”—and, by extension, illegal.”

    • March 6, 2020 1:24 pm

      GOP is gona have a hard time spinning this one. Not an Obama judge. This one is a 41 appointment.

      • John Say permalink
        March 6, 2020 4:03 pm

        Ron, there is nothing to spin.

        Most of this is editorializing and is outside the Judges authority.

        There is significant preasure to unredact the Mueller report as much as possible as well as more broadly release underlying information.

        Some of that will generate some negative Trump news cycles, but with near certainty there will be more positive Trump news cycles.

        There are already multiple credible claims that Mueller and his attorneys have been lying to the courts.

        And the “links” crap is spin garbage. mueller put every Forking “link” under a microscope.
        And there are 1000 times more links between HFA and the Russians than TFA.

        Someone in the Trump campaign knows someone whose parents immigrated from Russia will not get you very far.

    • John Say permalink
      March 6, 2020 3:12 pm

      If you dispense with the editorializing there is nothing here.

      First the Judges is improperly trying to rewrite the Mueller report and Barr’s memo’s.

      The judge is not the Special Counsel or a prosecutor. That is not his business.

      As to the redactions – those were primarily decided by Mueller. I have ZERO problem with making as much of what is redacted public as possible.

      And the article is misrepresenting the redactions. The Judge does not have access to them.
      There is a reason we have a separate FISA court, Ordinary courts do not have access to classified material.

      Regardless, I am neither upset nor car much about this article which is mostly spin.

      If the Judge wants more of the redactions made public – I hope he succeeds.
      The rest is editorializing.

      Nor is this Judge alone in asking for that – Grassley and Graham, and Johnson and Nunes and numerous republicans are demanding that more of the Mueller report be made public.

      Nunes and the House Republicans are preparing criminal rfeferals to DOJ against the Mueller prosecutors because material in the Redacted and unredacted Mueller report conflicts with what they have told the courts – in Flynn’s case, in Papadoulis’s in Stone’s, ….

      AND BTW those contradications are glaring and obvious. Further I want much more of the underlying information made public.

      Mueller told the court when Sentencing Papadoulis that Papadoulis’s “lies” hindered their ability to aprehend and question Mifsud – yet the FBI 302’s claim Papadoulis fully cooperated – particularly on Mifsid, begging the FBI to question Mifsud and giving them everything he knew. And that is only one area.

      Increasingly it is self evident that the Mueller investigation was just like the 2001 Anthrax letters, and the Richard Jewel investigation, and … myriads of other Mueller investigations where they doggedly persued innocent people long after they KNEW they were innocent.

      I am ALL FOR shedding as much sunlight as possible on this.

      All I oppose is letting some idiot federal judge excercise editorial control of DOJ memo’s.

      Nor am I the slightest concerned here – because unlike you and this judge I am capable of critical thinking.

      Horowitz concluded that by Mid January 2017 there was no longer reasonable suspicion that there was a crime. EVERYTHING after that was improper, illegal, and I am perfectly happy to shine as much sunlight on that as possible.

      • Jay permalink
        March 6, 2020 6:26 pm

        “First the Judges is improperly trying to rewrite the Mueller report and Barr’s memo’s.”

        I’m sure you and DUMB DONALD will get your heads together on that and issue a joint statement on Fox.

      • John Say permalink
        March 6, 2020 6:57 pm

        “I’m sure you and DUMB DONALD will get your heads together on that and issue a joint statement on Fox.”

        I have no idea what was said on FOX, I do know how to read YOUR article.
        I also know the legitimate scope of a judges authority.

        The case before the judge is whether the redacted information should be released.
        He probably is responding to a FOIA request.

        His judgements about Barr’s memo are both erornous, irrelevant and outside his domain.

        If you filed a court case challenging Barr’s memo you would be laughed out of the court.
        And if you are not, then the judge is not doing their job.

        The courts do not get to second guess the executive, on whatever decisions they choose.
        They have the authority to enforce existing laws, and the consitution.
        Absent a claim that Barr violated the law or the constitution, the judge has no legitimate voice.

        The judge DOES have the authority to enforce an FOIA request.
        That is a legitimate question of law.
        But it is an appealable one.

        I would greatly prefer that we are all provided as much of the raw mueller report and the records behind it as possible.
        But we will not get all of it.
        GJ material will not be released. If this Judge rules otherwise he will be overturned.
        There could be lots of infighting over sources and methods and national security – and appeals.

        Again I am for releasing as much as possible.

        And I fully expect ALOT to be released – particularly leading up to the election.
        And I expect far more of the damage to fall on Mueller, the FBI and DOJ than on Trump.

        Though I do expect the DOJ/FBI to be overly self protective – just as Rosenstein was.

        No one likes to see their dirty laundry aired – and Even Bill Barr is going to be somewhat overly protective of Comey Mueller and their minions.

        Right now we have enormous indications that lots of lying was going on – By Mueller’s team to the courts.

        If you are expecting to see a reversal of the tide against Trump on this DREAM ON,
        The tide is flowing against the Special Counsel, not Trump now.

  27. vermontadowhatiwanta permalink
    March 6, 2020 2:01 pm

    I read this from Ezra Klein and its pretty much right on:

    “So the 2020 election is going to come down to:

    – A 73-year-old conspiracy theorist who rambles incoherently and lies constantly
    – A 77-year-old who rambles and sometimes loses his place
    – A 78-year-old socialist who just had a heart attack”

    I could add that the 78 year old was running around as an enthusiastic marxist leninist in his mid 40s 15 years after Lennon wrote the lyric: ” and if you going carrying pictures of Chairman Mao, you ain’t gonna make it with anyone anyhow”

    I regard neo-leninists as kindly as I regard neo-nazis.

    • John Say permalink
      March 6, 2020 4:16 pm

      One thing that Ron has absolutely right is that right now the election is Trump’s to lose.

      To beat Trump democrats must get BOTH the “democratic establishment” and the “bernie bros” to unite behind on candidate – with ZERO losses, and with high enthusiasm.

      It does not matter which one wins the nomination, that is not happening.

      As to Trump – what are Trump’s “Conspiracy theories” ?

      So far every “conspiracy” he has been chastized on has proven true.

      All I can say about Ezra Klein is “there are worse”.
      But this is possibly the number one cheerleader for ObamaCare.
      Not someone whose judgement I would trust.

      • Anonymous permalink
        March 6, 2020 4:30 pm

        To hell with the Bernie brothers let them go, they were never Democrats anyhow, mostly they are brats living with their parents. Not even voters as often as not. I’ll take the gains on the center. That includes the trump disgusted people that George Will represents, and George Conway. Biden has at least a 50 percent. Chance in my eyes. But talk is cheap. Events will occur votes will be counted then we will know.

      • John Say permalink
        March 6, 2020 6:06 pm

        “To hell with the Bernie brothers let them go, they were never Democrats anyhow, mostly they are brats living with their parents. Not even voters as often as not. ”

        How many votes can democrats afford to lose ?

        This is a conundrum both parties face – as them move toward the center they lose the more extreme parts of their own base. The relative gains and losses matter, if your objective is to win the election.

        “I’ll take the gains on the center. That includes the trump disgusted people that George Will represents, and George Conway.”
        I do not know about Conway, Will might not vote for Trump, but I would be surprised if he votes for Biden.

        Biden is not a solid vote for those in the center.

        Nor are Will and Conway going to decide the election. Blue collar voters are – just like 2016.
        Biden was supposed to be effective against Trump with those voters.
        I think you will find that is no longer so.
        Biden has lost his authenticity to blue collar voters.

        ” Biden has at least a 50 percent. Chance in my eyes.”
        We will see how good your eyes are in Novermber.

      • Anonymous permalink
        March 6, 2020 4:34 pm

        Seriously, you appear to believe that only party faithful vote. It’s the independent s and moderates who will decide this.

      • John Say permalink
        March 6, 2020 6:44 pm

        “Seriously, you appear to believe that only party faithful vote. It’s the independent s and moderates who will decide this.”

        Voting is far more complex than this – as should be evident from 2016.

        Trump quite litterally traded evangelical votes for Blue Collar votes.
        Knowing that he was not losing Alabama no matter what, and that he had to win the rust belt.
        It is highly likely that Trump will get far more evanglical votes in 2020 which will raise his popular vote total significantly.
        But that does not matter, because they will only run up the score in states he is certain to win.

        Hillary ran up the score in California – but it did her no good, because she still lost in the rust belt.

        Regardless, my point is that electoral politics is not simple tradeoffs between the center and the extremes. It is not even as simple as attracting the most voters,
        Obama was highly successful against Romney in the rust belt – not by getting Democrats out to vote, or getting republicans and centrists to vote for him, but by getting republicans to stay home.

        Even if the majority of the country does not want Trump as president, he will still win – and possibly big, if Biden or whoever can not get enough people to vote for him.

        Neither party is going to get ALL of the centrist votes, each candidate must figure out which of their opponents voters they can persuade not to vote, and exactly where to position themselves to get the exact right ballance of those int he center and those at their parties fringes.

        Trump’s 2016 victory might have been a close shave – but it is not luck or an accident, he knew exactly what he was doing.

        I have not yet looked at Super Tuesday turnout – though My understanding is Sanders got thumped because his voters did not vote in the numbers expected.

        Regardless, overall in the primary so far Democratic voting has been DOWN.
        And Republican Voting has been UP.

        While the raw numbers in the primaries favor Democrats.
        The democrats have a contentious primary and have very low turnout for a contentious primary. If a party can not draw voters to a contentious primary, they are in trouble in the general.
        Conversely Trump is running about double the number of voters an incumbant usually gets in an uncontested primary. Which bodes very well for the general.

        Anyway, no I do not beleive only the party faithful vote. Or anything close to that.
        To the extent there are blocks at all – as opposed to invidual voters, there are multiple blocks within each party, and among independents and each block typically has multiple choices.

        Vote for A, Vote for B, or do not vote.

        And each of these choices matters for each and every block for both parties.

      • Jay permalink
        March 6, 2020 6:32 pm

        A large number of voters across the ideological spectrum swung to Biden in the last few days. Interesting stats here;

      • John Say permalink
        March 6, 2020 7:16 pm

        I have honestly lost interest in Nate Sliver’s analysis after 2016. He should go back to baseball. In the past several elections RCP and Rassmussen have done better,

        He is letting his partisan biases cloud his process.

        But let me ask you:

        We know that Sander’s got less total votes than expected – not because of undecides, but because his own committed voters did not show up in the numbers expected.

        He did not bring in his own Core.
        He has actually done worse overall in terms of total votes than in 2016, But he was winning because of a crowded field

        The Big factor in Biden’s Super Tuesday was the presure the DNC put on to get Biden’s competitors out of the race.

        The DNC knows that 57% of americans will NOT vote for a socialist.
        The DNC knows that Sanders will Lose.

        They looked at the choices they have left and bet the house on Biden.

        You can beleive Biden can win this all the way to the Election.

        Ron wanted to bet that Trump would lose to Biden with the caveat the bet was off if Biden stuck his foot in his mouth.

        There is no question that Biden will stick his foot in his mouth, the question is how many times a week and how far down his espohagus it will go.

        If Democrats wanted to win this election they needed a good candidate.
        They do not have one.

        I do not hate Biden, i do not dislike him.
        But like many many other elder statesman, he should have stayed home and spent his golden years with his family.

        He could have walked away as a relatively successful Vice President.
        Had he stayed out the the 2020 race no one would be digging into his past corruption.

        Now he is going to be remembered as the man ran for president 5 times and lost all 5.
        And he will be remembered as the doddering fool running today, who can not keep his wife and his sister straight, and who bought a platnium lifestyle for his drug addict son.

        We all pray are kids do not grow up to be Hunter.
        Most of us will stand beside them even if they do.
        But we should not expect voters to put us into the white house.

      • Jay permalink
        March 6, 2020 8:07 pm

        “ He is letting his partisan biases cloud his process.”

        You’re letting your own mental biases destroy your reasoning process. Just like Dumb Donald you find it impossible to accept the validity of thinkers far more experienced and reasonable if their views don’t match your own rigid constructs.

        A fool and his prejudices are seldom parted.

      • John Say permalink
        March 6, 2020 9:18 pm

        “:” He is letting his partisan biases cloud his process.”

        You’re letting your own mental biases destroy your reasoning process. Just like Dumb Donald you find it impossible to accept the validity of thinkers far more experienced and reasonable if their views don’t match your own rigid constructs.

        A fool and his prejudices are seldom parted.”

        I am not a judge opining in a court.

        This is not even about whether he is right or wrong. It is about whether he is acting inside his defined role or outside.

        Judges do not decide policy.
        They do not get to express political oppinions – atleast not in public, and certainly not in court.
        They do not get to have views on policy – atleast not in court.
        You and I do – we are not judges.

        The validity of his thinking is irrelevant. it is outside his scope.

        When a judge is acting outside his scope in court – that is a problem.
        And again it does not matter whether he is right.

        And to be clear I highly doubt the judge is even close to as experienced a thinker.
        My occupation is logic. That is what I do all the time.

        I would further note that law really is and must be a rigid construct.
        You should not get different outcomes from different judges.
        Justice should be as close as possible to an absolute construct.
        Variability in justice is inherently unjust.
        Except for the fact that we would not want the programmers to incorporate their own political biases, Legal reasoning is something that we are not likely far away from implementing through Artificial intelligence. Legal Reasoning is simpler than Chess.

        Regardless, in this instance this judges error is not in legal reasoning, it is in exceeding his authority.

        A judge has the authority – following the law to preclude a prosecutor from making arguments that are not constitutional, or violate the rules of procedure.
        No judge on earth can compel a prosecutor to make the arguments he would prefer. And absent a controversy in which the judge has been selected by the defendant over a jury as the arbitor of fact, the judge is constrained to decisions about law in the controversy that is legitimately before him.

        The claim before him is a request to make information that is not public public.
        There is no possible legitimate legal claim regarding the Mueller report or Barr’s memo’s.

        I fully support his ordering the release of as much as can possibly be released.

        I do not give a fork what he thinks that information that neither he nor we have seen means.

        I do not need other people to tell me how to think for myself – nor should you, though you do not seem to ever express your own oppinion or argument. Everything from you is “So and So said” – appeals to bad authority – more fallacy.

      • Jay permalink
        March 6, 2020 8:09 pm

        “ He is letting his partisan biases cloud his process.”

        You’re letting your own mental biases destroy your reasoning process. Just like Dumb Donald you find it impossible to accept the validity of thinkers far more experienced and
        reasonable if their views don’t match your own rigid constructs.

        A fool and his prejudices are seldom parted. ….That deserves repeating

      • Priscilla permalink
        March 6, 2020 7:16 pm

        “It’s the independents and moderates who will decide this.”

        I think that, while this was once true, it is more true these days that base turnout drives electoral victories. For all those who self-define as moderates, most of them lean heavily toward one party or another. The days when true “swing” voters could influence the outcome of a national election are over, at least for the time being.

        Ron is probably one of those true swing voters, but who in the Democrat field (other than our favorite moderate Joe Manchin!) is moderate enough for him? And Trump, while being far more moderate than the average GOP president, is not going to get his vote either. That’s the pickle in which many swing voting moderates find themselves.

        So, it makes more sense for the candidates to expand and appeal to their base voters, and make sure that they vote. That’s why the Bernie bro problem is real…Democrats need to get them to the polls for Biden, and that means Biden will have to give them a reason to vote for him. Or at least more of a reason than Hillary did…

        Either that, or nominate a black woman vp, who will drive up the black and liberal female vote. Biden has solid support among black Democrats, but I don’t think that they would go to the polls in droves for him, the way they did for Obama. This is why Amy Klobuchar won’t be on the ticket, despite her appeal to moderates.

        Trump’s base will come out, and if the Democrats can get their base to come out, it’s a 50/50 election The electoral map will decide it.

      • John Say permalink
        March 6, 2020 7:26 pm

        They could not get the Bernie Bros to the polls on super tuesday for Bernie.

        How are they going to get them to the polls for Biden ?

        My nephew is a rabid bernie bro.

        He has been absolutely convinced that Bernie would have won 2016 but for the DNC and Clinton and would beat Trump in 2020 but for the machinations of the DNC.

        He has plenty fo evidence that the democratic establishment conspired against Sanders – they did that right up front.

        The chances he will vote for Biden are ZERO.

    • Jay permalink
      March 6, 2020 8:17 pm

      ‘“ The chances he will vote for Biden are ZERO.”

      For every one of those Bernie dopes, three former Republican Never-Trumpers will replace them.

      And your prognostications about the Biden turnout Against Dopy Don are as spurious as your prediction Biden was a dead-man-walking after his first primary loss to Bernie.

      Any earthquake or meteor predictions forthcoming?

      • John Say permalink
        March 6, 2020 9:43 pm

        “For every one of those Bernie dopes, three former Republican Never-Trumpers will replace them.”

        There are far more bernie bros than nevertrumpers,
        Further outside of neocons a significant portion (though not all) nevertrumpers are back in the fold.

        Never Trumpers still exist, But they are less than in 2016 – and even with them, things did not turn out well for Hillary.
        In March of 2016 Clinton was 12pts up on Trump. That is more than Double the RCP average for Biden right now. biden’s current numbers are only Barely better than Clinton’s on election day – and we know how that turned out.

        And finally as even Ron knows – Biden is not going to get any better with time.

        “And your prognostications about the Biden turnout Against Dopy Don are as spurious as your prediction Biden was a dead-man-walking after his first primary loss to Bernie.”

        He still is.
        The democratic establishment has propped up Biden. They had a choice between losing to Trump and getting their clock cleaned. they strong armed everyone else out of the race.

        I would also note Warren is now Out, and it is likely that most of her voters will go to Bernie.
        Had that happened before Super Tuesday – Biden would not have won outside the South.

      • Priscilla permalink
        March 7, 2020 12:18 am

        There are very few never-Trumpers now who were not already never-Trumpers in 2016. Trump’s approval rating among Republicans is close to 95% .

        So, I don’t think it’s likely that, for every Bernie bro, there will be 2 or 3 Republicans voting Biden. There will be some, there always are voters who change …but it’s not like Republicans love Joe Biden. He seems like a nice guy and all, but, seriously, he is not sharp, and it’s obvious. So, I”m pretty sure Biden’s gonna need those socialist votes.

      • John Say permalink
        March 7, 2020 3:09 am

        We have lots of conflicting data.

        Jay spouts that which supports the claim that Biden will win easily.
        You and I have data that contradicts that.

        Something is wrong – it is not actually possible for all the data to be correct.

        As you note: There are fewer not more Never Trumpers today than in 2016.
        Trump’s support among evangelicals was weak in 2016 – it is strong today. Lots of red states that were pink in 2016 will be red in 2020. That will not win alter the election but it means the number of votes for Trump in those states and overall will be higher.
        Trump’s support among blacks and hispanics is atleast 10% higher than in 2016 – even if it is only 1/2 or 1/3 of that so long as it is the same or more than 2016 the outcome does not change or is favorable to Trump.
        Democrats were more complacent in 2016 and they were more angry in 2018 – yet while that gave them the house they actually lost ground in the Senate, and it could have been worse easily. Some primaries are showing Democrats more energized but alot are showing much lower turnout. Trump is currently polling 5pts behind Biden – but he was 13pts behind Clinton at this time. Sanders voters seem to be even angrier at the democratic establishment right now, than in 2016 – Sanders voters sitting out in 2016 was a major factor costing Clinton the election. Yet, Sanders is getting Less votes in 2020 than in 2016. Democrats are drifting from anger to anxiety – historically angry electorates win anxious ones lose.
        Trump is weaker with White Women in 2020 than in 2016 – but stronger in pretty much every other demographic. Biden’s “kryptonite” for Trump was his appeal to rust belt blue collar voters that went for Trump over Clinton in 2016. If even a small portion of them defect – Trump loses the critical rust belt. Yet, his support there appears stronger not weaker. there are numerous credible plans that have Trump adding several states in 2020, While Democrats must flip more than one – and possibly several states to win in 2020.
        The Faux impeachment has not Hurt Trump with his core voters, Nor has it hurt him with centrists and independents. But it has hurt Biden with the very voters he needs to attract.
        Trump has been pummeled for 3 years as a liar, and a crook looking to profit off the presidency – yet every attempt to prove that has failed. While at the same time one wonders from Day to Day whether Biden will forget his own name today, and the stories have gone beyond Ukraine and Hunter. It is Biden that looks like he has used public office to profit not Trump, In 2020 Republicans are getting the kind of recruits for the house that Democrats got in 2018, they are getting respected soldiers, and they are getting lots of women. Good candidates show up when they beleive they can win. Trump’s rallies are running almost twice as large as in 2016.

        This is not all the data points – there are more – some favoring Trump some not.
        Regardless, nearly all are well documented and they can not all be true.

        Eventually you have to look at the information and decide which way you think it really leans – what to keep and what to reject. And if possible do so without confirmation bias, which is hard to overcome.

        I do not think approval rates matter than much. Nor do I think national polls matter as much.
        I suspect it is true that Democrats in deep blue states will vote even more strongly against Trump. Trump is not winning California, or New York, or massachusetts. or Illinois. And he could lose them significantly worse than in 2016. But that is not contradictory with his doing better in states than he won or barely lost in 2016.

        Finally, democrats are behaving desparately. They are behaving as if they beleive they are going to lose.

        It might be arguable that on paper Joe Biden was the best candidate to beat Trump, But in the real world he has had a bruising Primary, and he has come out looking like a bad hologram of the Candidate that is supposed to beat Trump.

        Further the entire democratic primary ran far tot he left to this point. That may have played to their base but it alienated the center.

      • John Say permalink
        March 7, 2020 3:13 am

        Biden needs the sanders voters to win the popular vote.

        I am not sure they are so important in the electoral college.

        He needs to eat into Trump’s blue collar support, and most indications I see are that has grown not shrunk.

        It does not matter how many democrats in California, New York, Blue states vote for Biden.
        It matters that he can flip trump voters in the rust belt. That is not Sanders teritory.

      • John Say permalink
        March 7, 2020 3:19 am

        There are a couple of other issues – Sanders is not yet out of it. Warren is out and while here policies are nearer Sanders it is not clear where her voters go. If they had gone to Sanders on Super Tuesday the outcome would have been much different.

        What Warren does may matter. What Warren voters do will matter.

        What Sanders does next will Matter. Biden has had no problem attacking Sanders.
        Some sanders supporters have attacked Biden. But Sanders himself has not really been aggressive with Biden. If Sanders goes on the offensive – that hurts Biden, even if he wins the nomination.

  28. vermontadowhatiwanta permalink
    March 7, 2020 7:32 am

    Bernie bro is a term without a precise definition. My idea of a bernie bro is the truly bitter little socialist revolutionary who wants to overthrow the establishment. How many are there? Tens of thousands, nearly all living under precarious circumstances due to body odor and anti social tendencies. Most were never democrats and they are no loss. They are a deadweight and I want them gone. Let them move to a utopian European country and report back in 5 years how great it is in France etc.

    By far not every Bernie primary voter is a Bernie bro. Conservatives only wish.. One bad sign for your hopes: AOC has made it very sincerely clear that she will vote for Biden if he is the nominee as has Bernie. But, some Bernie bros will vote for trump. Some conservatives will vote for Biden if he is the nominee. Who can say how many till the votes are counted?

    You two are completely unable to process how most people feel about trump. You are living in a trump-rosy Rasmussen world I think. Why is trump Still 10 points underwater with a good economy and having started no wars? Why did the Dems win the popular vote in the House in 2018 by about 8 percentage points? (Dave was expecting Rasmussen’s prediction of GOP gains to come true in that one, ha some wonderful crystal ball!) Why has trump been losing in so many head to head poll matchups to nearly every of the dem candidate field including to Bernie and crazy old socialist? Yes its early but all the same there is some information about the American voter in those polls. You two are out of touch with the America that is behind those numbers, they can be so whatted and nobody cares about thatted away for now.

    How many times has the GOP candidate won the popular vote in the last seven elections going back to 1992? Once. You guys know this.

    trump may win, I’m no fool. I put this at 50/50, given the economy. Its not going to be a popular vote blowout in either direction. America is very evenly split. Then there is my theory that when a POTUS is truly detested by the other side they almost always win. Actually always, in my lifetime. That theory says that trump will win. And Biden is not even across the dem primary finish line yet and the race could still make another turn. But the complexion of this race has now suddenly taken a strong turn for the better for the dem party since super tuesday, that is clear. Personally I am hugely relieved and will be even more relieved if and when Biden wraps this up. I hope he takes Amy Klobuchar, my favorite dem candidate, as VP.

    Do you guys like any of the dem candidates and think they are a good choice? Of course you don’t, no shit sherlock! Who would expect you to? If we were waiting for your seal of approval on the dem candidate we would be waiting for the party to select a conservative.

    Anyhow, This is all talk, just hot air. All kinds of things can happen in the next 8 months. I find the super confident trump victory predictions hilarious and delusional. Anyone who is supremely confident that they know how this comes out should go a place a large bet if its such a sure thing. Any takers? Not me.

    • Priscilla permalink
      March 7, 2020 10:07 am

      Roby, I’m surprised that you can even suggest that I “can’t process” how people feel about Trump.

      Is it possible that I haven’t noticed Jay’s never-ending slurs and insults about my being stupid and deluded and no better than a ass-kissing floozy (he does like the word “floozy,” I’ve noted) You are more gentlemanly in your expressions of disgust for my opinion of the President, but equally clear that you find it a sign of moral and intellectual weakness and even depravity. I get it.

      That is not to say that all never-Trumpers are as vitriolic ~ certainly Rick is open to the idea that people of good will can disagree on Trump. And , living in one of the deepest of blue states, I have many friends who would vote for anyone other than Trump. If the Dems nominated an actual donkey, they would vote for it. But they know me, in some cases we have been friends for years, and they have had the opportunity to form a good opinion of my reasoning capabilities. For the most part, I stay pretty quiet when the subject of Trump comes up. I am pretty committed to the “no politics or religion” rule of social interactions.

      Nevertheless, I do have a good number of friends, even here in blue, blue NJ who are Trump voters, and even some who did not vote for Trump 2016, but will in 2020. I have one friend who voted Trump. and has become disillusioned with him. I would guess that, for many like him, Biden might seem somewhat of a ‘port in the storm’…a sort of genial respite from the constant chaos that has been our politics for the last 3 years.

      I also read a tremendous amount, and not all from right wing sources. I’m not a pure conservative, never have been. So, I think that the argument that Trump supporters ~ or in Dave’s case, Trump explainers/defenders ~ are not as intelligent, analytical or virtuous as Trump haters is specious.

      That said, I read an interesting article which said that Bloomberg missed his opportunity to become a Trump alternative, because he was too anti-Trump. In his Fox townhall (Fox, unlike the other stations, held townhalls with every Democrat contender and with Trump), Bloomberg said that he agreed with many of Trump’s policies, but not the way in which they were carried out. In other words, he claimed to be the “sane” NYC billionaire. The author said that this was a moderate position that could attract many swing voters, especially given Bloomberg’s successful track record as abusinessman and mayor of NYC. I agree ~ I don’t find Bloomberg to have an engaging personality, but he is smart and not particularly crazy.

      Anyway, the belief that Trump will be easily defeated by Joe Biden seems to me to be wishful thinking. That’s not to say that Biden can’t win ~ he can ~ but he also has many flaws and tons of baggage. And his health and energy level raise questions about his ability to do the job.

      So, I see the election as very close. I agree that Trump will again lose the popular vote ~ possibly by even more than before, but it will be for the same reason…CA and NYC will run up the vote totals. Personally, I don’t want CA and NYC dictating the outcome of every presidential election, but maybe that’s just my inner Trump-floozy speaking…. 😉

      • Anonymous permalink
        March 7, 2020 10:44 am

        I have no idea where all that came from. My comment was mild and had no connection to floozies.
        However somewhere yesterday you had a comment on Biden that indicated dead certainty he is going to lose: five tries — five losses instead of a graceful disappearance. Dave has been declaring the election over and decided for a very long time. My point is that based on your confidence in a trump victory (and yes you have also sent a different message of a close election, which opinion is the real one?) both of you very much misjudge and underestimate the meaning of Trump’s ten points underwater, not to mention the 2018 house vote. You guys can stomach trump, the idea that more than 50 percent can’t and never will just does not seem to compute in your worlds. By some definition at least 52 percent of the country are never trumpets. You focus on Jay, you seem not to get that it’s not just Jay it’s a persistent majority of Americans. Which makes dead certainty of his reelection some kind of denial. Anyone who is confident in bidens easy victory is equally deluded.

      • Priscilla permalink
        March 7, 2020 11:16 am

        Don’t know who said that, but it wasn’t me, and that’s not my position. ( And I focused on Jay, because he’s here, and a good example of someone who despises, not only Trump, but all of his supporters). Listen, I like and appreciate everyone here. The whole point of commenting here- at least, for me, is to discuss and debate. ( and, if truth be told, I don’t even mind Jay’s insults. They’re often funny, and I don’t take them to heart. But, don’t tell him that).

      • John Say permalink
        March 7, 2020 12:02 pm

        I find Jay’s insults tedious, boring, and rarely fun.
        I pity him more than anything.

        His insults add nothing to any debate or discussion – and infact they make debate and discussion more difficult.

        It is very hard to have a rational discussion with someone who does nothing but insult.
        Insults end debate, and shift communication to more insults to debates about people, not issues.

        We spend massive amounts of time here engaged in infantile TDS.

        It is impossible to debate any issue of anykind without everything being about how evil Trump and those who support him are.

        How do you make decisions, have discussions about law, the constitution, the role of government, policy – even ebola or when everyone slightly left of center converts everything into a debate about people,

      • John Say permalink
        March 7, 2020 6:01 pm

        You want to attack my confidence in a Trump victory – fine – but that view is shared by much of the Democratic political consultants.

        Trump is in a significantly better position regarding Biden right now than he was with Clinton at the same time in 2016. Further he is the incumbent not the challenger.

        Trump’s approval is 4pts higher than Obama’s was at this time in 2012.

        Absent some completely unpredictable intervening disaster

        There is actually a betting market for this, and I do not beleive that any book maker has the odds for Trump lower than 50/50 at anytime during this election cycle – that is Trump is the odds on favorite of ALL, All the time.
        At the moment Biden’s odds are at al alltime high – with just under a 40% shot and Trump has just under a 55% shot.

        This is not ME, this is people taking bets on the election accross the world.

        And as I said before – most Democratic political consultants you can get to speak are saying the same thing.

        So lets end the baloney that I or anyone else predicting a Trump victory is some how off in lala land. That is bunk and you know it.

        Absolutely there are myriads of factors, and as I have noted in several posts – the data available is self contradictory.

        Trump’s unfavorables matter – but as we saw with Obama, and with Trump/Clinton in 2016 they are NOT determinative.

        Further as I noted you can find DATA that favors Trump – gains in minorities, gains with men,
        Gains within the blue collar set. And you can find negatives – unfavorable rating, losses with suburban white women.

        But I am far from alone in weighing all this and concluding Trump will win.
        Nor is that a purely republican conclusion.

        Biden appears to be in position to lock the Democratic nomination right now – though that could change. As Ron noted he could comment on the Purple heart his dog got fighting in uzbekistan, or some other adled brained nonsense.

        Regardless, it is unlikely to get better.

        The odds strongly favor improvement for Trump over the next 8 months and declines for Biden. But some odds defying event could occur.

      • John Say permalink
        March 7, 2020 6:12 pm

        So I am in denial about Climate – despite the fact that the real global temperature records are a full 2+ standard deviations BELOW predictions – because lots and lots of people beleive in “climate change”.

        I am in denial about the election – DESPITE the fact that all the odds makers – who are just a reflection of the actual betting, and most (not all) of the political pundits including democrats agree with me ?

        I can not see any criteria you use for labels like “denial” except – “disagrees with me”.

        I freely admit that I am not an expert in political predictions – though I have not seen the experts do so well. I have also been wrong several times – though the experts seem to be wrong an awful lot, and most of the times I have been wrong the results have been odd and inconsistent with anyone’s predictions.

        Absolutely Sanders is likely out of contention, and the odds at the moment favor Biden winning the Democratic nod. Something would have to change to get a different outcome.

        Though I would note the odds of Biden doing something stupid tomorow, next week, …. are pretty high.

        But even if he wins the Democratic Nodd, Biden will face Trump.

        Biden is not up to that. He has not been able to beat Sanders without enormous help from the democratic establishment. If he can not defeat Sanders on his own – how do you expect him to deal with Trump ?

        And I would note that Bloomberg already spent more money than Trump did in the entirety of the 2016 cycle – and he has NOTHING to show for it. So please do not tell me that saturation bombing Trump with negative adds is going to win this.
        You note Trump’s negatives. You are NOT going to drive them down any further, they are about as far down as they will go absent an event that you do not control. Conversely Biden has barely been challenged.

      • John Say permalink
        March 7, 2020 11:49 am

        I know Warren Personally – though not well. She was a significant Law Professor at UofP while My Wife was their. Right up through her entry into politics she was on the left – but more Center left. She taught business law. Again from a SLIGHTLY left perspective.
        Her research on the causes of personal bankrupcies was excellent – though as a politician she misrepresented her own results, and as a politician she has CONSTANTLY disowned positions she held to all her life.

        I strongly suspect that Warren would be a quite different president than she is a candidate.

        Your remarks on Bloomberg seem to me to be the same.

        The platform he ran on the adds he ran were NOT anywhere near moderate.

        One of the things I and many others like about Trump is that you know what you will get.
        The same is true of Sanders. It is probably true of Gabbard, but it is not true of most other democrats.

        I think alot of voters are inclined to vote for someone they can trust – even if it is not someone they agree with fully.

      • John Say permalink
        March 7, 2020 11:53 am

        My prediction:

        Barring Trump getting caught in the oval forking a 13 yr old boy,
        the election is not going to be close.
        It will be close with Biden than Sanders, but still not close.

        I suspect Trump will even win the popular vote.
        The odds are 50:50 that the GOP will NARROWLY retake the house.
        In the senate D’s will lose AL, but pick up possibly 2 other seats for a net gain of 1.

        But the important question is when will democrats get their act together ?

      • vermontadowhatiwanta permalink
        March 7, 2020 9:42 pm

        “Don’t know who said that, but it wasn’t me, and that’s not my position.”

        Yep, I had a brain failure and attributed some of Daves comments to you. You are off the hook on that particular lecture of mine. It simply applied to Dave and his belief that he can predict the winner because the facts are clear and the outcome is obvious.

      • John Say permalink
        March 8, 2020 12:21 pm


        I am dealing with something called PROBALITY.

        It is neither magic, nor absolute.

        I have said repeatedly – I am no expert at political prediction.
        I was wrong in 2018 – EVERYONE WAS WRONG.

        But my track record is no worse than the “experts”

        I certainly have a better track record that all the harpies who have been predicting the inevitable demise of the GOP and the domination of Democrats.

        You the media, the left, the democrats have been dropping nuclear weapons on Trump for 4 years.

        You carp about his approval rating and claim there is no way he can be re-elected.
        I said EXACTLY the same things about Obama.
        Obama’s approval rating on March 8.2012 was 3 pts LOWER than Trump’s is today.
        Obama was also attacked relentlessly through his presidency – more than any president before. But those attacks were much more on policy than personal.
        Regardless, by every measure the attacks on Trump have been 3 -5 times as great as those on Obama – and he is still standing, and his approval is slighty higer than Obama’s in 2012.

        Who won re-election in 2012 ?
        Romney was a stronger candidate than Biden (or Sanders).
        Obama botched Benghazi just before the election.
        Obama was running with a weak economy.

        And yet he still won.

        Could Trump still lose in 2020 ? Absolutely, Trump’s “betting odds” are about 55% right now – about 15pts above Biden.

        All kinds of things are possible between now and the election.
        But the odds are that more of what happens between now and Nov. will favor Trump than favor Biden, and less will harm Trump than Harm Biden.

      • John Say permalink
        March 8, 2020 12:24 pm

        I would further note that do not mostly post about the probability of Trump winning in 2020 EXCEPT as a response to Jay or You posting some nonsense that a Trump defeat is inevitable.

        If you do not want to hear my view into the political crystal ball, that is easy to accomplish,
        Do not share yours.

        Mine atleast is consistent with most of the available data, and most of the pundits left and right – though I do not put much weight in “experts” in pretty much anything.

      • March 8, 2020 1:28 pm

        Well our crystal balls might not be good, but those that make a living on them, casinos, had one !ine recently on Trump at 150, meaning he had a 40% chance of reelection. That was the foreign line. The domestic line at him at 45%, about his approval number.

      • John Say permalink
        March 8, 2020 2:19 pm

        I beleive you are miscalculating the conversion.

        The line is about 140.
        But I do not think that is a 40% chance.

        The current betting odds as percents I am seeing from Several places are

        Trump: 52.4%
        Sanders 4.2%

        Control of Senate
        Gop 60.8%
        Democrats 39.1%

        Control of House
        GOP 32.5

        These are based on Bettfair, FTX, and Predict it betting markets.
        I beleive all of these are outside the US.

        Trump’s odds have been close to double anyone else’s fro 2017 forward.
        Trump’s Low was below 30% at the appointment of the SC. and has steadily risen since then

        EBO BTW has an incredible track record.
        If they say that 10 different candidates each has a 60% chance of winning.
        6 will win and 4 will lose with a very tiny margin of variability.

        Right now Trump has a 50% better chance of winning than Biden
        That is pretty consistent with my posts

      • John Say permalink
        March 8, 2020 12:28 pm

        In just about every post I have made on the political “facts”

        I have explicitly noted that the available data is self contradictory.
        It is NOT clear or OBVIOUS.

        Ultimately each of us must determine for ourselves how to resolve the conflicts.

        I am chosing to favor the 80% of data that is consistent with one outcome,
        You are free to choose the much smaller proportion that favors the opposite.

        There is no guarantee I am right.
        But the odds are that I am.

    • John Say permalink
      March 7, 2020 10:09 am

      All labels are necescarily imprecise, and the more precise you make them the fewer people in the group until you have only one.

      If you expect to beat Trump you need as many votes as you can get. Even a Bernie Bro is a loss. Clinton spent $25 for each vote she got in 2016, She could have afforded several hundred per vote in the rust belt and won the election.

      Both parties have the problem of getting a diverse group of voters to coalesce and vote for someone that inherently they disagree with on myriads of issues.
      Sanders must convince moderates to vote for him to win. Biden must convince Bernie Bros

      Winning a national election for president is an incredibly complex task. While there are many elements of chance in it, there is also a tremendous amount of skill and strategy.
      And having somehow defined yourself in a way that will appeal to enough voters to win a primary, you must redefine yourself to win the general, and through it all you must come off as authentic, you must minimizes “gaffe’s”.

      Several here continue to insist that it is some requirement that candidates appeal to moderates – centrists to win elections. That is false. They must win the most votes in the right combination of states. It is not b lack votes, or jewish votes, or moderate votes that win elections. In 2016 the most important group for Trump was blue collar democrats.
      They are likely to remain the most important block for atleast a few cycles. But over time even that will change.

      How important are “Bernie Bros ?” In California or New York, probably not at all.
      But in light blue states they could be the difference between holding a state and an electoral college blowout for Trump.

      • vermontadowhatiwanta permalink
        March 7, 2020 12:14 pm

        This is not complicated. For either party, if they make the extremes happy they lose center votes and visa versa. In the case fo the dems if they make the BBs happy they lose moderate votes and visa versa. I’m all for them making the moderates happy and the BBs unhappy and in my opinion that is a numerical win, they have much more to gain in the center than on the far left.

      • John Say permalink
        March 7, 2020 5:16 pm

        Everything you say would be true if the objective was to win the popular vote,
        But as you should clearly understand by now, that is NOT the goal.

        The goal is to win 270 electoral votes.

        Absent one party or the other picking a truly insane candidate, probably 2/3 of the states are given at the start. Even those in play lean one way or the other.

        The actual goal is to win the popular vote in those swing states.
        Those states are NOT representative of the country as a whole.

        Further – just as the Senate tends to tilt republican and even in the House the GOP has a natural 4-5pt advantage because democrats heavily congregate in a few large cities in the country. Even the swing states lean weakly to the GOP.

        If you want to win a presidential election you have to figure out how to win 270 electoral votes, and you have to get the most popular votes in each of several states that themselves are each different from the country as a whole.

        One of Bernies problems – and all extreme left candidates is that their natural voters are mostly concentrated in those deep blue enclaves. If you go through the list of States Biden has won in the primary – those are nearly all states that Republicans will likely win in the general.

        Clinton lost for many reasons – but one of those was that she was so sure of her own victory – and how could she not be – NYT and 538 were giving her 98% shots of winning right up to 9pm election night, anyway instead of locking critical swing states she focused on running up the popular by getting more people out to vote in CA. She was hoping for a popular vote victory that she could claim as a mandate, and instead lost the election.

        So no, winning an election is not so simple as appealing to moderates.

        But worse – your analysis presumes the country divides along a two dimensional bell curve.

        Political orientation in the US is multi-axis.

        As an example – you say you are a moderate, Possibly where you live you are.
        But your not Priscilla or Ron, or Rick or Jay or me.

        Maybe you think the rest of us are not moderates. Atleast some of us think you are not.

        In the end there is no such thing.

        We know that blue collar white male former democrats were the key to Trump wining in 2016 and likely a significant part of 2020.

        Are they moderates ? They think so.
        Are they like you ? Me ? Priscilla ? Ron ? Rick ? Jay ?

        They are fairly different from each of us. But they have just as strong a claim to moderate as you or I.

        Further – most people do not vote.

        In 2016 55% of voters voted. That is about the equivalent of every democrat and every republican and no moderates at all. That was not the mix, but the point is that there are numerous factors in elections. Campaigns strive to get people to vote FOR their candidate.
        They strive to get people to vote agains the other candidate, but they also strive to get people who might have voted for the other candidate to stay home.

        Elections are decided by who shows up – and who does not.

        This is why the constitution and law must be narrow and strictly enforced, and government must be limited.

        Whether Clinton or Trump in 2016, or Trump or biden or Sanders in 2020 – only about 1/4 of the country will have decided who our leader is.

        We do not want the angriest or most provoked 1/4 of us to decide what law and government all of us are subject to.

    • John Say permalink
      March 7, 2020 10:41 am

      “How can I say how many until the votes are counted ?”

      I can’t neither can you or Jay or anyone else. We are all engaged in the same speculative game. We are all trying to guess what will happen in Nov. 2020.

      I do not pretend to be omniscient. I try to assess the data we have from various sources – some of which is contradictory, and try to figure out what is more likely to be true than what is less likely.

      “You two are completely unable to process how most people feel about trump. ”

      My most important sources of information on 2020 are NOT on the left.

      There are myriads of stories about the panic within the democratic party, the realization they are going to lose again to Trump. Further the desparate actions of democrats since the Mueller report are a big clue. The stories by respected analysts noting that democrats are moving from anger to anxiety. The fact that Biden is a weak candidate who has been seriously gored by the democratic effort to take out Trump – as well as his own problems, and that the alternative is a socialist who is STILL praising castro.

      As to how people feel about Trump – it does not matter how the people who were never going to vote for him anyway do. What matters is how those he needs to win the election feel.
      I would suggest following Selena Zito on that. She is a moderate left reporter, who could not get a political reporting position in 2016 so on her own she went out and reported on “Trump country” and was one of the earliest to predict Trump would win. Currently she says Trump support in those critical areas is STRONGER than 2016.

      Everybody blew the 2018 Election – even the RCP average was off more than 2pts,
      Further 2018 was an incredibly odd election. Very late anger over the Kavanaugh hearings brought substantial energy to GOP Senate races, and Republicans did very well in Senate races and very easily could have done much better. But at the same time they did very badly in the house.

      I would be happy to hear an explanation for that the makes sense. Plenty of “experts” are still trying to sort it out today.

      Regardless, due to the tendency of democrats to cluster in cities Republicans have about a 4pt advantage in house and presidential elections. Senate elections are divided by state and republicans have a greater advantage there.

      Regardless you keep saying that everyone hates Trump. Maybe your right.
      But if that is so why is the fear within the democratic party so palpable ?

      You talk disdainfully of the Bernie Bros – and yes there is no way in the world Sanders wins,
      But that is the center of positive energy in the Democratic party today.

      Regardless, as I said before – there is alot of contradictory data at the moment.
      Many of the things you claim that purportedly will assure Trump’s defeat have data to support them. But there are different data sources available that CAN NOT concurrently be true.
      In the end some of the data we have MUST be wrong.

      Rassmussen was wrong in 2018. They have been wrong before – badly. They have also been right when everyone else was wrong. Just as 538 has been incredibly embarrassingly wrong.

    • John Say permalink
      March 7, 2020 10:48 am

      Just to be clear NO ONE got 2018 right and even today NO ONE can rationally explain it.

      Democratic success in the house SHOULD have won them the Senate and several governorship. They did much better than expected in the house, and worse than expected in the Senate and the governors races.

      As to “my crystal ball” – I have never claimed expertise. All I claim is that the pundits suck too.
      And the evidence for that is excellent. You noted Rasmusens failure.
      Absolutely Rassmussen has been pretty bad in several elections cycles.
      They have also been dead on right in several when no one else agreed with them.
      Nor are they unique – 538 has been pretty good many times and catastrophically wrong others.

    • John Say permalink
      March 7, 2020 11:07 am

      “Anyhow, This is all talk, just hot air. All kinds of things can happen in the next 8 months.”

      Anything can happen – but if you are in a position where your desired outcome requires, a recession, epidemic, nuclear war or some other deux et machina, you have likely already lost.

      As I have said many times – Trump could be caught forking a 13yr old boy in the oval.
      but if your desired outcome requires something like that your odds are horrible.

      Jay is hopefully awaiting the release of redacted portions of the Mueller report in the expectation of some blockbuster damaging information on Trump.

      Possible ? Certainly. Likely ? What is most likely is more of what we have already seen – which is what is hidden FAVORS Trump rather than damages him.

      Regardless, I am in favor of releasing as much as possible, and let the chips fall where they will.

      Of course there are ways to bet on this – as well as myriads of other things. RCP lists the betting Odds on the democratic presidential nominee on their main page.


    • John Say permalink
      March 7, 2020 11:15 am

      All this predictions of elections is about the least interesting posts that occur on TNM
      As you note – we all get to find out in Nov. Before then it is tea leaves and crystal balls.

      Nor do I even care alot – should democrats win the presidency in 2020 – they have to deliver.
      They not only have to keep campaign promises – Trump has substantially raised the bar on that, but they also have to deliver jobs and a growing economy.

      A return to the Obama era WILL NOT cut it.

      You say that I will not like any democrat – of course not. It is not possible to be a democratic contender today without being atleast quasi statist. The web’s and Manchin’s and actually sane, truly centrist democrats are unicorns.

    • March 7, 2020 12:22 pm

      “Anyhow, This is all talk, just hot air. All kinds of things can happen in the next 8 months. I find the super confident trump victory predictions hilarious and delusional. Anyone who is supremely confident that they know how this comes out should go a place a large bet if its such a sure thing. Any takers? Not me.”

      I agree completely.

      • John Say permalink
        March 7, 2020 5:20 pm

        I would be happy to agree to quit talking about elections, and candidates, and focus on issues without any regard to parties and candidates.

        There are lots of issues.

        I am constantly fighting against pretending we can read other peoples minds.
        But every time discussion shifts to Trump or Sanders or Biden, or the 2020 election it becomes a test of clairvoyance.

      • Priscilla permalink
        March 7, 2020 6:31 pm

        “For every one of those Bernie dopes, three former Republican Never-Trumpers will replace them.”

        I agree that 8 months out is too far from the election to make predictions.

        We don’t even know that Biden will be the Democrat nominee.

        He’s had a great week, for sure, but that can be wiped out as quickly as the coronavirus/ global supply chain crisis has wiped out the bull market.

  29. vermontadowhatiwanta permalink
    March 7, 2020 7:57 am

    Coronavirus. My parents are about to be 90. My father and his wife live in a retirement/assisted living facility. I just got a letter from the place (its a wonderful place BTW) about their coronavirus procedures, measures, and protections. My parents are not panicking. As my father pointed out to me the flu killed 17000 in America in 2017. Who noticed? My sister called my mother and tried to get her to stay at home and wear a mask. Mom wasn’t buying it. Me neither when sis called me and asked me to work on mom.

    Remember Ebola? The last outbreak happened on Obama’s watch and conservatives were in huge fear. Here on TNM there was a strongly angry and fearful conservative reaction to Obama’s reactions to Ebola. OK, its a gross disease with a high death rate. But it killed less than 2000 people in 20 years of outbreaks, nearly no one in America. Hardly anyone even remembers it.

    Yes politically minded partisan people react in a political manner to all kinds of events, including diseases. Democrats think that coronavirus is a big deal by more than 2 to 1 than republicans. Economically, it IS a big deal, bigger than the flu, though it may kill far fewer than flu in the long run. We are used to the flu, its old news. Not used to corona virus yet. Panic is bad. There is an element of truth in trumps reaction comparing it to the flu. Republicans are going to underrate it and democrats are going to over rate it. If a democrat becomes POTUS and another new virus comes along the behaviors will invert.

    Seeing all of life’s events through a partisan political lens is bad. Science, including medical science, should not be political, that is for sure. The flip side of my statistical exercise showing how many (few) people vote in primaries and general elections is that the good news is that most people in America are not actually political junkies or strong partisans and a majority barely pay attention to the daily dither and blather by the opinion leaders on twitter and elsewhere.

    Politics is a disease of the mind. Partisan and ideological thinking generally make people miserable, actually. And stupider than they were born to be.

    • Priscilla permalink
      March 7, 2020 10:14 am

      “Politics is a disease of the mind. Partisan and ideological thinking generally make people miserable, actually. And stupider than they were born to be.”

      I don’t totally agree, but I think it is true that an excessive focus on politics is bad for the soul, and that extreme partisanship can push certain people over the edge.

      It’s a good quote, true in large part.

      • John Say permalink
        March 7, 2020 5:24 pm

        Politics and ideology are not the same thing.

        The principle that humans should be free to choose as they please short of using force against others is the foundation of an ideology. And from it comes both politics and economics and ethics and morality.

        You can not separate ethics and morality from politics and government.

        I beleive that Madison noted that our constitutional government was for christians, and I beleive by that he meant people with a firm moral foundation. Otherwise governing becomes power games with no moral or ethical foundation.

    • John Say permalink
      March 7, 2020 11:21 am

      Flue deaths in 2017-2018 were 80,000 according to CDC–2018-cdc-bn/index.html

    • John Say permalink
      March 7, 2020 11:28 am

      “Remember Ebola?” yes
      “The last outbreak happened on Obama’s watch”
      And there is now information coming out that the Obama administration misrepresented Eboloa information deliberately.
      “and conservatives were in huge fear. Here on TNM there was a strongly angry and fearful conservative reaction to Obama’s reactions to Ebola.”
      I do not recall that. My reaction to Ebola was the same as my reaction to this. The odds of any impact beyond massive fear are small.

      “OK, its a gross disease with a high death rate. But it killed less than 2000 people in 20 years of outbreaks, nearly no one in America. Hardly anyone even remembers it.”

      Generally the more fatal a disease is the rarer it is. Parasites that kill their hosts are frowned on by evolution. That is what I am saying about Covid-19, that is what I said about Ebola.

      I do not recall some great conservative panic – here or elsewhere.
      The people who are panicking over Covid-19 are the same ones who paniced over Ebola.

    • John Say permalink
      March 7, 2020 11:34 am

      “Republicans are going to underrate it and democrats are going to over rate it.”
      Again selling that Kool aid that the right answer is in the middle.

      I do not care whether you are democrat or republican, whether it is Corona or Ebola.

      There are things that should be done – by government even.
      By all evidence under Obama it was handled acceptably.
      By all evidence under Trump it is being handled acceptably.

      The greatest danger of all of these is panic.

      You note the economic impact – very little of that is driven by anything real. Nearly all of it is panic.

      Further MOSTLY this is less political that you claim.
      While it is True that opposing party die hards will attack the incumbent over every disaster.
      Most people overall respond the same.
      The same people panic.
      The same people ignore it.
      Regardless of politics

    • John Say permalink
      March 7, 2020 11:39 am

      “Seeing all of life’s events through a partisan political lens is bad. ”
      Absolutely. And the corollary is that seeing everything as governments responsibility is bad.
      If you bring government into anything you bring politics in.

      “Science, including medical science, should not be political, that is for sure. ”
      Then get government as far out of them as possible.

      “The flip side of my statistical exercise showing how many (few) people vote in primaries and general elections is that the good news is that most people in America are not actually political junkies or strong partisans and a majority barely pay attention to the daily dither and blather by the opinion leaders on twitter and elsewhere.”

      I have said it many times before – countries with high voting rates are volatile.
      Most people do not vote – because nothing involving government is important enough for them to do so.

      That is how it SHOULD be. Correspondingly government should strive to NOT give people a reason to vote. Government should be minimal, boring and predictable.

    • March 7, 2020 12:39 pm

      “Politics is a disease of the mind. Partisan and ideological thinking generally make people miserable, actually. And stupider than they were born to be.”

      Roby, politics also uses diseases to create safety concerns. No matter the truth or not, safety is also one of the top requirements of government in the minds of some people. People of differing views use safety to create political divisions.

      Example: Trump calls democrat comments concerning his actions and the economic reaction to the virus a hoax. They chastise him for calling the virus a hoax. This makes some people to question his leadership and results in some acting like your sister. There is a difference between a virus being a hoax and reactions by others to the virus being the hoax.

      This virus can be critical for anyone with significant health issues. Everyone should be concerned and be safe. So what have I changed. Trying to wash hands more. Also, I have driving gloves during very cold weather. I now wear them when its cool and going to stores. What they do is remind me when I start to touch my face, ” dont touch your face”. I am not wearing a mask, I dont look reactionary wearing gloves, but I put them on, dont touch my face, pull them off and then wash.

      I can still get it, but thats how viruses work.

      • vermontadowhatiwanta permalink
        March 7, 2020 12:52 pm

        Very good advice about the gloves. I’ll pass it on to my parents. Thanks.

      • Priscilla permalink
        March 7, 2020 7:57 pm

        I don’t recall any panic over ebola in the US. I think there were some concerns that we brought a few actively ill people here. That was understandable, because there was no treatment or cure for the disease that was, at the time, 100% fatal.

        I have no recollection of this becoming a political discussion here at TNM. Just that it was a big news story at the time…

        I think that the panic over coronavirus has to do with our lack of understanding of what the hell is going on, due to the lack of adequate sample sizes of diagnosed patients in the US. Right now there are less than 500 diagnosed cases in this country, and less than 20 deaths. That’s a pretty high death rate, unless there are really 10 times or even100 times the number of cases. For all we know, there are people who have, or have had, the disease, and don’t even know it. At yesterday’s press conference, the CDC said that there will be millions more test kits available to doctors and labs, beginning this week.

        Hopefully, this will begin to shed light on both the spread and the severity of the disease, and we can begin to understand the real risks of acquiring it.

        I also hope that , whenever this is over, we will have finally learned a lesson about being dependent on an enemy nation for pharmaceutical ingredients. Or anything else of importance, for that matter.

      • John Say permalink
        March 8, 2020 11:03 am

        The ebola mortality rate is only 50%.

        Ebola is highly dangerous, but it is NOT highly contageous. There is no evidence of airborne transmission though it is theoretically possible, but only with Patients in the late stages.

        Ebola is transmitted through contact with bodily fluids, Eventually Ebola is in all bodily fluids of the infected person, but in the early stages – when spread is most likely and symptoms are mild only Blood, Feces and urine are contagious, sweat and saliva do not contain the virus until later.

      • John Say permalink
        March 8, 2020 11:09 am

        Covid-19’s mortality varies greatly with the age and health of those infected.

        Thus far I do not think there has been a single death anywhere in the world of anyone 9 or under, While the mortality rate for those over 70 is atleast 14%.
        The mortality rate for people with heart disease, cancer, diabetes and other serious health conditions is higher still. I beleive they have found that anti-inflamatory drugs increase the mortality rate, as well as beta blockers, and anything that supresses the immune system.
        Death is most commonly caused by oportunistic infections – pnumonia, that take hold when the Covid-19 has weakened the immune system.

        The high mortality rate in the US appears to be entirely from the infection getting into a nursing home in Washington.

  30. Jay permalink
    March 7, 2020 7:30 pm

    Good for Mike, continuing to spend his money on a a just cause:

    • Priscilla permalink
      March 9, 2020 9:56 am

      Funny, Jay, you complain about Trump not being a president of “all Americans” (whose fault is that?), and praise Bill Gates for donating money to the Covid-19 testing effort (good for him, although you ignored Trump’s donation of his 4th quarter salary to the same effort).

      On the other hand, you praise Bloomberg for using his vast weath, not for the good of all, but for his own political ends, and call that a “just cause.” (Bloomberg can do whatever he wants, but he obviously doesn’t want to help control the spread of this virus, because he thinks a widespread epidemic, with many deaths, will hurt Trump’s reelection chances)

      Your positions are entirely based on your irrational hatred of one man. That’s why they always seem inconsistent.

      • Jay permalink
        March 10, 2020 10:18 am

        You remain in Trump Trollop Trance.

      • John Say permalink
        March 10, 2020 12:35 pm

        We all know reporters are idiots and can not do basic Math.
        After all two prime time Talking heads told us that Bloomberg could have given every american over a million dollars rather than spend money on his campaign.
        They were only off by a factor of almost a million.

        But you claim to have a business background.
        You know that revenue is not the same as profit.

        According to Forbes trump’s net worth as of Sept 2019 is 3.1B.
        Trump’s net worth in Sept 2016 was 3.7B
        In 2015 it was 4.5B.

        this is your idea of “profiting from public service” ?

        If The Biden’s were “profiting” like the Trump family is “profiting”.
        No one would be asking Questions of the Biden’s.

      • Jay permalink
        March 10, 2020 4:11 pm

        Dave, the more you post nonsensical opinions the more you reveal your disinterest in deterring the spread of phony information from Trump, but in fact help disseminate it.

        Nobody knows Trump’s wealth- because he constantly presents fraudulent numbers for calculating it. Even Forbes, whose numbers you quoted, say their previous estimates of his wealth are unreliable:

      • John Say permalink
        March 10, 2020 5:21 pm

        “Nobody knows Trump’s wealth- because he constantly presents fraudulent numbers for calculating it.”

        The Forbes calculation – like that of everyone else in the Forbes 400 is NOT based on Trump’s randomly varying personal estimates.

        If you bother to follow the link, they tell you exactly how they calculated the number – each property and its current value,

        Yes, it is an estimate, But it is based on publicly available information – Not what Trump spurted last.

        As to your article – I did not claim “Trump Is Losing ‘3 To 5 Billion’ Dollars From Presidency”

        I claimed – supported by actual data that Trump’s net worth as tracked by Forbes is declining rather than increasing, though not by 3-5B.

        It is actually possible that Trump is losing 3-5B from his presidency.
        Citing an editorial is not a credible refuation of that claim – whoever made it.

        It is also possible that Trump is making Billions.

        But the credible information that we have indicates an order of magnitude smaller losses.

        And unless you think he has Drug cartel’s hiding money for him in the Cayman’s The Forbes wealth estimate is likely a good estimate and reasonably accurately tracks changes.

      • John Say permalink
        March 10, 2020 5:28 pm

        Why am I even bothering ?
        You have provided zero evidence that Trump is profitting from being president.
        Zip, Nada, You have not even demonstrated that Trump is profiting WHILE being president, which is not the same thing.

        I provided you with credible information that Trump is NOT profiting from government.

        And your response is to throw out a straw man argument that the claim he is losing 3-5B is false. Maybe it is. I did not make that claim. The forbes estimates do not make that claim.

        But this STARTED with you making a claim that Trump is proffiting.
        And your proof is some unsource claim about increasing revenue.

        Revenue is not profit.

        Anyone with the least experience in business knows that.

        As the old business meme goes:

        Owner: You are losing $5K for every widget you sell.
        Salesman: do not worry we will make it up in volume.
        Owner: Your Fired!

  31. Jay permalink
    March 7, 2020 7:43 pm

    Who are we Californians to believe? Yesterday:

    “America is the best-prepared nation on earth to deal with the coronavirus.” CA GOP Rep Kevin McCarthy.

    “In California, where thousands are being monitored for the virus, only 516 tests had been conducted by the state as of Thursday.” NYTIMES

    President Donald Trump on Friday told reporters at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta that “anybody who wants a test gets a test.”

    US Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn: “As of Friday at 6 p.m. ET, 5,861 tests for coronavirus have been completed by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and public health labs.”

    What’s the problem? South Korea is doing 10k per day – over 66-thousand people were tested within a week of its first case. The UK has so far tested 18K people. Even Italy, devastated by the virus, has been testing far more of its citizens. How can the White House claim the coronavirus has been ‘contained’ in the US if we haven’t tested a large enough sample to project how fast or wide it’s spreading?

    • Priscilla permalink
      March 7, 2020 8:17 pm

      A terrifying overview of the problem and a rational proposal to gain control of it. Watch the whole thing. It is political, but doesn’t let anyone off the hook.

      • Jay permalink
        March 8, 2020 9:56 am

        No link showing to look at after your comment, Priscilla

      • Jay permalink
        March 8, 2020 9:57 am

        Ok.. took a while for it to load…

      • John Say permalink
        March 8, 2020 11:21 am

        There are times I think Tucker is great. He certainly willing to present arguments that neither the left or the right are prepared to acknowledge. He has both defended and criticised Trump.

        There is alot in your video that is quiet good – but there is also alot that is either wrong or where what Carlson implies is wrong and he knows it.

        Anti-biotics have no effect on Corona – we have only two means of dealing with virus’s.
        Vaccines – we will get a Corrona Vaccine – possibly soon.
        Whether we get it “soon enough” depends on whether we can delay the progression of the outbreak long enough. The US may contain Covid-19 as China appears to have. It may successfully stop it in its tracks. We appear to be in the best position of all developed nations to succeed at that. But even if we fail, we have substantially slowed its progress,

        Anti-virals DO NOTHING to thwart the spread of the disease, But they diminish the symptoms and they decrease the mortality rate substantially.
        There is one existing antiviral that appears to work, and more on there way.

        Those are things we can do.

      • John Say permalink
        March 8, 2020 11:36 am

        One of the things I fault Carlson for, is his “anti-globalism” theme.

        Globalism is complex – there is absolutely an EVIL movement tied strongly to left globalism to essentially move towards world government. That is complete and total idiocy. And very destructive. We can find OPEN expressions of that within the UN and EU and within the upper tiers of many UN organizations like IPCC and within the environmental anc climate change movement.

        Improved relations between governments are a GOOD thing. But the growth of quasi-global government itself is more nuanced and with far more evil effect.

        At the same time the spread of global trade is one of the most positive forces to benefit humans that has ever existed.

        Yet, many – both left and right, have bought into this economic nationalism.

        While Trump dances arround it, and talks “economic nationalism” – ultimately his real policies have been “free trade” within the wolf’s clothing of “economic nationalism”

        We are also in a weird moment where the politics of international exchange are scrmbling in wierd ways.

        The left is strongly adopting Global governance – but NOT Trade globalism – the left actively hates free trade and free trade is one of the most destructive forces against socialism that there is. No nation can easily regulate production in another. Globalism is inherently DESTRUCTIVE of government control – and that is a very good thing. And the left hates it.

        The right has generally opposed global governance and supported free trade.

        But the right is increasingly embracing economic nationalism – though again there are political complexities – Andrew Yang is just a different permutation of an anti-globalist.

        It should be noted that Both Yang and Carlson are fear mongering over the coming effects of AI and automation – as if we did not learn in the 19th century that economic ludism is nonsense. Automation does free massive amounts of labor. But there is no limit to the productive uses we can find for labor. The causes of mass unemployment as a consequence of automation are government interferance. Not the automation itself.

      • March 8, 2020 12:57 pm

        Dave, you define globalism as open trade without controls. But this can lead to putting all your eggs in one basket leading to unfair trade and disruptions in supply chains when the product turns into rotten eggs.

        When we depend on one adversarial country that can only produce quality epidemic viruses and nothing else but junk that does not last, we have sold our soul to their whims and diseases.

        Global trade need needs to be world wide, not closed. Fair and open.

      • John Say permalink
        March 8, 2020 1:35 pm

        “Dave, you define globalism as open trade without controls. But this can lead to putting all your eggs in one basket leading to unfair trade and disruptions in supply chains when the product turns into rotten eggs.”

        Problems that will fix themselves – if necescary and quickly – if necescary.

      • March 8, 2020 1:44 pm

        “Problems that will fix themselves – if necescary and quickly – if necescary.”

        Stupidity at its finest. How people are blinded by money.

      • John Say permalink
        March 8, 2020 2:44 pm

        “Stupidity at its finest. How people are blinded by money.”

        they are also motivated – often highly, by money.

        “It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own self-interest. We address ourselves not to their humanity but to their self-love, and never talk to them of our own necessities, but of their advantages”

        ― Adam Smith, An Inquiry into the Nature & Causes of the Wealth of Nations, Vol 1

      • John Say permalink
        March 8, 2020 1:51 pm

        “When we depend on one adversarial country that can only produce quality epidemic viruses and nothing else but junk that does not last, we have sold our soul to their whims and diseases.”

        If you beleive that – you will stop buying anything from China.

        The chinese know that, and they are desparately trying to bring Covid-19 under control.
        I doubt they are doing so because they care about the few thousand people who have died.
        China deliberately killed that many people over the same time period.

        They are doing so because if they do not we and other countries will buy goods elsewhere.

        You are under the delusion China has us over a barrel.
        Ultimately Consumers ALWAYS have producers over a barrel.
        Any advantage producers ever have is temporary.

        “Global trade need needs to be world wide, not closed. Fair and open.”

        There is nothing made in China today that you are not free to make here or most of the rest of the world.

        I have absolutely ZERO problem with you personally opening a factory to make anything currently made in china.

      • March 8, 2020 4:39 pm

        “If you beleive that – you will stop buying anything from China.”

        I look at where something is made on packaging. If it is not a consumable, I have stopped buying it. I find one made somewhere else, substitute something else that can do the same job even if its a different product or dont buy it. Things like light bulbs I keep the receipt so I can get refunds when they fail early. If they are going to sell shit, they are going to get the same from me.

      • John Say permalink
        March 8, 2020 5:07 pm

        And no one has put a gun to your head to make you stop.

        You are free, the market is free, you are chosing what you buy from whom according to your personal criteria, not those of some elite in Government or Trump.

        I am as opposed to your being prohibited by force from buying from China as I am to your being required to buy from china.

      • John Say permalink
        March 8, 2020 2:01 pm

        Free and what you call fair are not compatible.

        Free means the consumer can purchase a good from whoever or wherever they want at whatever price or quality they can negotiate.

        It means that consumers decide what is “fair” by whatever criteria they wish.

        Free markets do not involve force.

        What you call fair, requires government to overrule the choices of consumers.

        It means that you are requiring government to force me to make choices to suit YOU idea of what is fair, rather than my own.

        There was an exodus of manufacturing from China – before the trade War,
        There is more because of it.
        There is more still because of Covid-19.

        Some of it is coming back tot he US.
        Some of it is going to other countries with cheap labor.

        It is likely that major vendors such as walmart Apple and Amazon will look for more diversified supply chains in the future.

        It is also probable they will automate more – robots do not get sick.

        Free markets are not perfect, but they move endlessly towards perfection.

        What you call fair is inherently stagnant, we can not use force dynamically – and we really do not want to try.

      • John Say permalink
        March 8, 2020 12:01 pm

        All over the world efforts to develop a Covid-19 vaccine are underway.

        There are atleast 5 progams in China, and these started before anyone else.

        The US already has a vaccine in early trials. It has several more than will be available for Trial as early as mid may through July.

        We went through this nonsense that Chian would blackmail the world over Rare earths -which are not actually rare, you can fine them everywhere, but concentrated deposits are rare. China’s efforts to corner the market resulted in discovery of sources in South America and Africa, and Russia. It also resulted in manufactuing shifts to find substitutes.

        China produces a massive volume of many things – including anti-biotics.

        Btu one should never underestimate the ability of global production to turn on a dime.

        Before the era of massive globalization, and in an era where going from zero to full production was much harder than today The US went from the depths of the Great Depression to massive output extremely quickly.
        Admiral Canaris’s spies int eh US found the US military production targets of tanks, and planes and ships and presented them to Hitler who laughed at them. He told Canaris that it took him a decade to bring German production to 1/5 those levels, and that there was no way that the US could gear up that fast or produce that much.

        Hitler was right – the figures were wrong. In less than 3 years we produced 5 times what Hilter though was impossible in a decade.

        We should never forget that that WWII was just a bit longer than 3 1/2 years (for the US).
        While there was SOME efforts to gear up before that, the massive efforts did not begin until after Perl Harbor.

        FDR did the one smartest thing in his life in response to impending WWII.
        He shifted from pretending that capitalism was the enemy to grasping that it was the only possible way to win the war.

        I would note that in all of Europe – in the Third Reich and in the UK during the war – production was mostly nationalized. Germans hanged war profeteers, the British arrested people throughout the war for profeteering at any level.

        In the US the War Department told the captians of industry what it wanted and sorted out priorities over resources, but ultimately let capitalists figure out how to deliver
        No nation ramped up production as quickly as the US. No nation produced a tiny fraction of what the US did in short order.

        That was almost a century ago.

        The ability of free market capitalism to respond nearly instantly to most any demand is far greater today than 75 years ago.

        If the Chinese (or any country) tried to extort or blackmail the US they would not succeed very long.

        China ‘took over” global supply of various comodities – they did not concoct those things from scratch themselves. The US and other countries made them in the past, and we know how to do so today. Further China has the other under developed countries int eh world nipping at her heals on just about everything – textiles are already leaving China bhecause they are two expensive.

        Between the Trade war and Covid-19 China is going to take a HUGE hit in terms of manufacturing – not because of a temporary supply chain disruption, but because all the businesses that depended on Chinese supplies are diversifying their supply chain.
        Moving production back to the US or to India or Vietnam or Thailand.

        China can not threaten the world over ANYTHING without concurrently driving the entire world to move production out of china.

        Merely talking about trying to use Trade as a weapon in that way is incredibly dangerous.

        In free markets ALWAYS the CONSUMER IS KING.

        All production is for the purpose of consumption.

        Threats by producers GUARANTEE that consumers will find alternate sources quickly.

        There are plenty of things China produces exclusively.
        There is nothing that China has an actual monopoly on.

      • Priscilla permalink
        March 8, 2020 9:16 pm

        I can’t agree with you on this China thing, Dave.

        China is controlled by evil totalitarians, who aspire to world domination through economic warfare and military power. They reportedly keep over 1M people in detention camps, where they are forcibly “re-educated.” I’ve linked more than one credible article about the Chinese engaging in the sale of human organs for transplant, harvested from political prisoners.

        They are attempting to set up a global surveillance network through Huawei, which, if successful, will threaten the security of the entire Western world.

        They lied and are still lying about the facts surrounding this virus, and, as Tucker says in his monologue, they have, in the recent past, threatened to withhold pharmaceutical ingredients needed for life-saving medicines, in order to force the US to back off in trade negotiations.

        There is no such thing as free trade with a country like China. And one of the costs of doing business with liars and cheaters is the kind of epidemic the world is facing now with Covid-19. A problem created by China, now affecting the whole world, while the Chinese stonewall attempts to get information and use the epidemic as an excuse to ignore their commitments in the trade agreement.

        (I know I sound like Chicken Little, but I assure you that I have not bought out my local Target store’s supply of Purell).

      • John Say permalink
        March 9, 2020 12:33 am

        There are many bad things about China – further under Xi they have been getting worse not better – ending 40 years of incremental improvements.

        I do not think the Xi shifts are sustainable.
        It is very hard to put the freedom genie back in the bottle once people have gotten a taste.

        But for the moment we have to deal with them as they are.

        China did NOT threaten to withhold pharmaceuticals. Some economist in China offered it as a suggestion.

        China has far less leverage than you or Ron credit them with.
        Global markets do not like threats at all.

        Between Covid-19, the “trade war”, Hong Kong and Human rights news, lots of businesses are rethinking there relationship with China.

        Trump deliberately hosted Little Kim in Vietnam – it was among other things a message to China.

        Regardless, the point is there is nothing made in China that MUST be made in China.

        Underdeveloped countries throughout the world would be happy to produce what China is producing.
        Even The US can produce many things currently produced in China at competitive costs would greater automation.

        Shifts of MFG from china have been occuring for a long time.
        But this accelerates them.

        The big effect of the “trade war” was NOT the Tarriffs etc. It was the rising number of businesses that started looking elsewhere to purchase goods.

        China’s primary competitive advantage is price – specifically labor costs.
        But that advantage has been declining as standard of living in China rises.
        Further Chinese production comes with numerous problems – though not quite the ones Ron fixates on.
        China does NOT have a reliable energy and transportation infrastructure.
        Delivery dates for Chinese goods to Walmart and Amazon are “suggestions” not committments. production deadlines are often missed, Further anything made in china must be shipped to the US – that has a cost and takes time. Generally any good that does not have a 15% or greater price advantage is is likely to move back to the US.
        Also any good that is made in multiple custom configurations. The Chinese are good at making a million of something. They are not good at making 100,000 or each of 10 variants.

        So china is getting hit by US automation at one end, and by developing nations undercutting them at the other.

        Finally – every investor int he world tries to diversify. China has given businesses across the world reasons to hedge their bets.

        This has been a very bad year for China.

      • John Say permalink
        March 9, 2020 12:53 am

        “There is no such thing as free trade with a country like China.”

        Of course there is. Each of us is free to buy goods made in china or not.

        It is irrelevant whether China is totalitarian or not (in the context of free trade).
        It is irrelevant if they are “evil”.

        Consumers drive the market not producers.

        Just to be clear – I have ZERO problem with people (or companies) choosing not to buy chinese goods – for whatever reasons they want.

        I do not disagree with you on most of the problems of dealing with China.
        But those are reasons for people and companies to move elsewhere – and I fully expect that some will. And it will take only a small portion to compel China to respond.

        Free markets have worked for several centuries – they actually work BETTER as things become more advanced and more global.
        Two centuries ago moving a factory was a huge deal. Today companies move factories from one place to another – even accross the world at the drop of a hat.

        Look at Covid-19. It used to take years to create a vaccine. Today the RNA was sequenced in a few days and labs accross the world started working on vaccines and antivirals.
        The US already has one ready for human testing.

        I am not sure whether this will be the moment everything comes together on that.
        We could still reach a vaccine “too late” But this is likely the last time we do.
        Everything that “almost works” fighting Covid-19 will work much better fighting the next threat – and it will do so even if government does nothing.

        Everything is getting faster and faster.
        Businesses can move out of China rapidly if they want too.

        Ron has talked about the threat regarding Antibiotics and other drugs.
        That is a threat you get to make ONCE!

        How long do you think it will take to bring up an antibiotic factory in the US, India, Austrialia,
        Anywhere but China ?

        We used to make antibiotics in the US, in Europe – nothing stops us from doing so again.
        They moved because of costs.

        Some of those cost factors are labor costs and unions.

        But after the company has moved production to China – and laid off its labor pool and shut down the factory. It can if it makes sense – automate the factory and re-open in the US.

        We have seen variations of this over and over both with moves to foreign countries and shifts in the US.

        The big steel companies in the US were wiped out buy new highly automated minimills.
        The big producers could not automate because of their unions.
        The new companies could because they were new. They built the factories and opened the doors. Even if they ended up with Unions – the unions could not make them go back.

        The point is that in many cases the problems that caused production of many goods to shift to China went away the moment the goods were produced in China.
        Us Manufacturers and entrepeneurs are free to open new factories that operate more efficiently and move production back to the US.

        And they will do so – if conditions warrant doing so.

        If China threatens the markets – production will move – Fast.

        Again China has no leverage. In a free market the power is completely int he hands of CONSUMERS, not producers.

      • Priscilla permalink
        March 9, 2020 9:40 am

        Ok, Dave, as always, you make a very strong argument.

        I disagree that China has no leverage, though. They have the same leverage as any cheater has, in a game where others are playing by rules. They do whatever they want.

        No doubt, this has worked for decades, and now that America has elected a populist who is actively attempting to establish and enforce some re-balancing trade policies, China is ramping up its efforts to keep those policies from taking effect.

        And all of the Democrats who agreed for years that a POTUS needed the cojones to stand up to the Chinese, now agree that China is just a pussycat, and Trump’s the meanie.

      • John Say permalink
        March 9, 2020 10:38 am

        “I disagree that China has no leverage, though. They have the same leverage as any cheater has, in a game where others are playing by rules. They do whatever they want.”

        Until people start to decide to buy elsewhere.

        “No doubt, this has worked for decades, and now that America has elected a populist who is actively attempting to establish and enforce some re-balancing trade policies, China is ramping up its efforts to keep those policies from taking effect.”

        Whether because of Covid-19, Hong Kong, Assorted Human Rights violations, the declining labor cost advantage, increases in automation, the volatility of the Trade War, increasing diversification, or just not trusting Xi, more and more manufacturing is shifting away from China. Some back to the US some to other countries in asia, some elsewhere.

        Actual monopolies are unnatural. They do not exist for long.

        “And all of the Democrats who agreed for years that a POTUS needed the cojones to stand up to the Chinese, now agree that China is just a pussycat, and Trump’s the meanie.:

        i do not actually care much for Trump’s Trade war. I think it was a mistake. I think the problem will take care of itself naturally, just not instantly. I think the fear of China – with respect to Trade is unfounded. But the Trade war was not a “giant mistake”, The actual net effect has been negative – but only mildly, and he is moving towards freer Trade. And I do not expect perfection from Presidents. Further from a political rather than economic perspective it was a very wise move. Jay quotes polls where Trump’s favorables are under water.
        So how does the blue collar voter who is unhappy with Trump’s public persona and really would like someone more pleasant vote ? Does he pick Biden or Sanders ? Or does he say “Well Trump is doing something about China” ?

        A large portion of Trump’s policies are highly popular – particularly with those he needs to vote for him.

        The vast majority of voters are NOT Jay – who just knee jerk hats everything Trump does or says.

        Not only are we politically polarized today, but increasingly the left makes the expression of views they do not like impossible.

        Jay literally thinks he can insult people into voting as he wishes.
        Robby thinks that he can acheive the same goal by making it clear that he is morally superior.

        Why should either be surprised when “everyone they know” agrees with them. Who knows, maybe they actually live in places where everyone does agree with them – pretty much any big city in the country.

        I have a poster on my wall that I got 40 years ago – before I got married.

        I am confrontational with Jay and Robby HERE – because TNM is a “safe space”.
        I can speak my mind to them, tell them what I think when I confront people like them in the real world. But if I bumped into Jay or Robby in a store or theater, I would not say a thing.

        But “Silence is not consent”. All would be wise to grasp that.

    • John Say permalink
      March 8, 2020 10:17 am

      So you cross post a link to a weak meme from someone whose tag line is “Ann is still european” – Where in the Meme was anything of Substance ?

      All the whole thing says is “we are watching” – Great, I expect that.

      As to Bloomberg – he spent about as much money as the entire Trump campaign in 2016 and he did not move the needle at all anywhere.

      Spending 3/4 of a billion dollars did not make him a viable democratic presidential candidate, it did not negatively Impact Trump – Trump’s approval rating ROSE slowly over that period.

      There are myriads of jokes about Bloomberg paying 175,000,000 for each for the delegates he got from american samoa.

      Regardless, Bloomberg has absolutely obliterated one of the Huge Democratinc attacks on politics – That Money is the critical determinant to outcomes.

      Trump spent Half what Clinton did in 2016 – and won. Bloomberg has spent more than the entire field republican and democrat combined thus far and what does he have to show for it ?

      Why should we worry about Steyer, Sorros, Bloomberg – if you are on the right, or Adelson and Koch if you are on the left ? Because clearly something other than money is critical to winning elections.

      Regardless I found this clip hilarious. The left that is the protagonist in this clip – the press, the democrats, the deep state have all conspired together for 4 years to take Trump out – and they have failed. You and they are constantly telling us that Trump is a liar and a crook and a fraud, yet after 4 years of anal probing, or relentless press investigations of the US law enforcement agencies and the US intelligence agencies looking to find and if necescary manufacture dirt – you have nothing.

      That is YOUR failure – not Trump’s – there is no great cover-up here.

      And through it all Trump has continued to push forward on his promises accomplishing more of what he promised than any president I can remember ever.

      If this is your idea of success – “Please sir can I have more ?”

    • John Say permalink
      March 8, 2020 10:25 am

      “Who are we Californians to believe? ”

      Why is that relevant ?

      Believe who you want.

      Pence announced that 2500 new test kits had been made available to state and local health officials yesterday and the press laughed – bhow effective were 2500 test kits going to be ?

      Missing that fact that a “test kit” has the materials to do 500 tests,
      So Pence had just announced that health officials had the the ability to test an ADDITIONAL 1.25 M people.

      I have no idea who is right about what testing is being done – I doubt anyone actually knows that accurately – BECAUSE federal state and local health officials have been given the resources to do testing of 1.25M people – without checking with CDC or Pence for permission to conduct each test.

      There is no central authority to track every detail of every aspect of fighting this.
      If there was you can be certain this would explode though the population.

      • March 8, 2020 12:45 pm

        Dave “I have no idea who is right about what testing is being done – I doubt anyone actually knows that accurately – BECAUSE federal state and local health officials have been given the resources to do testing of 1.25M people – without checking with CDC or Pence for permission to conduct each test.”

        Well someone needs to tell Gov Cuomo this because he said this morning that NY can not test everyone due to .a shortage. They can not use private and state labs ( guess the ones without C.L.I.A. certification.

        But what the “f” is government doing controlling testing of people for disease. That is a decision between the patient and their doctor! Ever heard that argument before?

        CDC lifers messed up! Trump gets the blame! Hopefully Trump will recognize the problem of centralized control of communicable disease testing and get regulations changed to allow at least testing at the state control level and let states decide who and hiw its done. The CDC should be advisors if needed.

        Once again, government run healthcare at its finest.

      • John Say permalink
        March 8, 2020 1:27 pm

        Cuomo is right – there is not sufficient of anything to “test everyone”.

        What he is wrong about is the need to “test everyne”.

        We need to test people who were exposed.

        That is far far far less than 1.25 million.

      • John Say permalink
        March 8, 2020 1:31 pm


        Why can’t they use private and state labs ?

        Is someone holding a gun to their head ?

        I can draw my own blood and subject it to my patend pending Coving-19 test:

        Measure whether the blood bubbles when you shake it.

        No one can stop me.

        But no one has to trust the results of my test either.

        I highly doubt Cuomo is precluded from testing any way he wishes.

      • March 8, 2020 1:41 pm

        So again politicians lie for political reasons? Why else would he say the feds would not allow state and private testing?

      • John Say permalink
        March 8, 2020 2:41 pm

        just to be clear – I am not saying Cuomo is lying – only that I do not beleive him.

        Those are NOT the same thing.

        It is actually possible there is some law or regulation thwarting Cuomo.
        that is possible, but not likely, but still possible. So the failure really could be with the feds.

        But Cuomo is not a voice I trust.

      • John Say permalink
        March 8, 2020 1:34 pm

        Even most libertarians accept that Government can quarantine you BY FORCE if you have been exposed to a disease to prevent you from harming another by giving them that disease.

        Absolutely Government will Fork this up – they always do.
        but like law enforcement, it is not a job that must be done perfectly.

        We will manage.

        The goal is to get the transmission rate from 2 to below 1 NOT to get it to zero.

    • March 8, 2020 10:26 am

      Jay, according to Cuomo from NY, the tests kits provided by CDC were defective. They told states not to use them. He stated that NY said they had state labs and private labs that could do the testing in automated machines that could do multiple tests. The CDC blocked any state from doing their own testing. And they still have a shortage of.kits, but catching up.

      So “IF” this comment is true, then CDC, (government employees, “government”,) screwed up once again. You can blame Trump. I will blame “government” lifer employees. Incompetence!

      Use it as an example of government running universal health care!

      Get government out of daily life. Unleash private competition! From the federal government running education through “standards” to health issues they screw up. The fed government does little well except the military.

      • John Say permalink
        March 8, 2020 12:40 pm

        I have a private testing lab about 2miles from my home.
        I can go there to get almost any existing medical test.
        I used to be able to do this online, myslef but the FDA shut that down – now I have to get a doctors assent to have a test.
        But the lab takes my test request and calls a doctor and gets an order for the test.
        The FDA has made the process more complex and expensive – though it is still much cheaper (by a factor of 10) than tests by hospitals. In some cases I can pay full price for a test for LESS than the copay I pay if my doctor does it.

        To my knowledge there is no Covid-19 test available to buy – YET,
        But I fully expect that soon enough.

        If this goes on long enough employers and schools are likely to require tests,
        Especially if they are cheap, and I expect they will be.
        Anything that you are going to make millions of tends to be cheap.

        Cuomo says that CDC told him not to used his own tests and labs.

        I do not know if that is true – I doubt it. I further doubt that even if they did they have the authority to do so.

        There is a giant gulf between the Federal governments power to require something -such as a test. and there ability to prevent others from engaging in non-violent acts.

        BTW I have no doubt that FDA and CDC and … will screw this up.
        they already have.

        But this is not a game that requires perfection.

        Beating Covid-19 does NOT require stoping every single infected person from Transmitting the disease.

        All it requires is getting the transmission rate below 1,

        I beleive the evidence from China is that each infected person infectss 2 other people – without any intervention.

        That means if government can prevent just barely more than 50% of transmissions, the disease will die out over several months.

        China appears to be past the peak. Rcoveries have exceeded new infections every day for about 2 weeks. the number of active cases is going DOWN slowly.

        That is what “winning” means without a vaccine.

      • John Say permalink
        March 8, 2020 12:43 pm

        Oddly I find more of a government role in this than you do. Border security – including reducing the spread of diseases is a legitimate government function.

        As is quarantining people – that is a use of force, and that makes it a government task.

        That does nto mean I expect government to do those things perfectly – it is after all still government.

        But providing test kits, and medical supplies and treating the infected are all market functions. Not government.

      • March 8, 2020 1:37 pm

        You do the same thing I do. Skim others comments and not read all of them unless there is some key information because I never said anything different than you just said. Safety is the role of government in cases like this. Border security and closing the border if it becomes a problem. Quarantine possible cases. Private control if testing. Where did I say anything different.

        Government should play a small role in safety and consultation. Not complete control like they had and screwed up.

        Government employs cant even scramble eggs to cook without screwing up.

      • John Say permalink
        March 8, 2020 2:34 pm

        In this instance I did not skim your comments, and I can not reconcile the first part of your post with the last.

        We agree that borders and quarantine are legitimate government tasks.

        We agree that government WILL screw up – even these legitimate tasks.

        I think we agree that the production of vaccines, tests, medicines, gloves, masks, … is a market role not a government one.

        Markets WILL occasionally be surprised.
        Further some needs – like a Covid-19 vaccine can not be met instantly even if anticipated.

        Markets are much faster at responding today than a century ago.
        But epidemics can spread much faster than a century ago.

        We will have tests
        We will have vaccines
        We will have antivirals.

        The question is whether we will have them in time.

        And the answer is – nothing will be able to do the job better or faster than the free market.
        That MIGHT not be fast enough, but there is no better alternative.

        With respect to government – I fully expect screwups – here and everywhere else.

        Contra Jay the US government is not uniquely more likely to screw up.
        In fact the real odds are we do slightly better at most everything than other developed nations. That is why our standard of living is higher.

        But government will screw up.
        It will do so under Trump,
        It will do so under Obama, or Clinton or Biden. Governemnt screwing up is a given.

        The question is will it do well enough.

        China did not take action into they were already far out of control.

        Initial chinese reactions were after Covid-19 was well established in China.
        Yet despite this they were extremely successful in containing it and bringing it under control.

        There are some techniques they used that we need to think about.
        They are effective, but generally beyond what we permit in free societies.

        One of the most effective things they did was track every new infections prior movements.
        Using cell phone data.
        They not only established where that person had been for 14 days. But every other cell phone that got near them, and they quarantined them ALL.

        I am not at all prepared to give that power to law enforcement.
        Though the NSA likely can already do that.

        But I likely would authorize it in the event of something like we have now.
        Though this is very very dangerous.

      • March 8, 2020 5:05 pm

        Dave “One of the most effective things they did was track every new infections prior movements.
        Using cell phone data.”

        Can you link me to the source showing cell phone data. I cant find that and would like to read it.

      • John Say permalink
        March 8, 2020 5:26 pm

        If you search there are several articles on the different measures used by China.

        But I can not find the specific article on Cell Phone Tracking.

        I might still have it in my browser list.
        As I recall is was from a major source – like Politico or The Atlantic,
        Though I did find one on cell phone tracking from Aljezera – that was not my source.

        This is not getting lots of play because this is the NORM in China.
        Cell phone location tracking is not only not private – it is “for sale”.

        A bank can have a cell company provide it with data for anyone who has visited a car dealership in the past 30 days, and then send car loan adds to frequent visitors.

        BTW in a different article I found that US law enforcement is now sending google and apple GeoFence warrants.

        If a home is burglarized and they have no suspects, they send a Warrent to Google for location data for some time window and some area.
        The Data comes without Identifying the person.
        If Law Enforcement finds a party of interest,
        They ask Google/Apple for the persons ID,
        Google sends a letter to the person saying the police are after their data and giving them 7 days to go to court to block access.

        There are aparently thousands of these being issued.

      • March 8, 2020 7:34 pm

        Ok I did find articles about China cell phone tracking, but nothing in USA. I bet that would be challenged here and gets all the way to SCOTUS before phone companies would ever give out phone numbers of anyone anywhere in the USA and where they were.t

        Now if a person was tested positive, they gave the government access to this info and the government found their movement, then I could see public announcements being made that if you were in a certain area at a certain time you needed to be tested, how could anyway object.

      • John Say permalink
        March 9, 2020 12:02 am

        I did not say the US was doing this. Only that it is technically possible for them to do so.

        The legality is an altogether different issue.

        There is some possibilty that congress could pass a law allowing such search ONLY in the context of epidemics, and that MIGHT get passed the supreme court,
        Further while I do not think FISA warrants are constitutional, there is no one with standing to challenge them so I do not beleive SCOTUS has ever been asked about them.

        You could in theory check the position of the infected person over the past 15 days – with their permission. But then you need to find all cell phones they intersected with and who they belong to – that runs afoul of the 14th amendment.

        I would be deeply concerned that alloowing this for epidemics would create a slippery slope that would all too quickly lead to police searches of the same information.

      • John Say permalink
        March 9, 2020 12:07 am

        To be effective this must be done very quickly.
        i.e. you test positive, your cell information is gathered records are pulled, adjactent cell phones are spotted for the prior 14 days. These people are tracked down ASAP and tested.
        If they are negative they are added to the list of monitored people and tested periodically until they can be determined to be virus free.
        If they are infected they are quarantined and you start the process over at the top.

        This is what China did. While I do not completely trust the data from China – there is alot of evidence they are lying about alot of things Covid-19 related, I do actually think they have it “under control” – meaning the # of recoveries exceeds the number of new cases.
        But it is possible this is wrong – after all it is china.

      • Priscilla permalink
        March 8, 2020 8:36 pm

        “Get government out of daily life. Unleash private competition! From the federal government running education through “standards” to health issues they screw up. The fed government does little well except the military.”

        Hear, hear!

      • John Say permalink
        March 9, 2020 12:11 am

        To the extent this can be handled privately – it should be.

        But responsibility for borders belongs to government.
        And people can only be quarantined by government.

        Expect that those tasks will be done badly, but they still must be done.

    • John Say permalink
      March 8, 2020 10:47 am

      China has had a total of 80,695 cases as of today. Despite an extremely poor start, the most populous nation on earth has effectively stopped this at under 100,000 total cases.

      That is 0.06% of the population.

      South Korea, Iran and Italy have lost control – these are small countries with a tiny fraction of the US population, and they have 20 times the number of infections as the US.

      The US with 330m people was 430 infections as of today.
      That is less than Germany – or France or Spain each of which have less than 1/10th the population of the US.

      There are 107K cases globally – of which 60K have recovered – the number of Recovered is increasing much Faster than the number of new cases.

      Every day since Feb 21 (except 2) the number of recorved cases has exceeded the number of new cases world wide.

      It is impossible to look at how Covid-19 is being dealt with world wide without concluding that the US is dealing far better than Asia, The Mid East and Europe,
      And atleast as well as the rest of the world.

      Worldwide there are two concurrent strategies taking place concurrently – containment and delay.

      It appears China has effectively contained Covid-19. Assuming the data we have is close to correct, Covid-19 will burn out in China in about 2 months if things continue as they are with total cases at most about double what they are now.

      It remains to be seen whether other countries manage to acheive containment – but the results in China demonstrate that containment is possible.

      The slower the rate of spread in a given country the more likely that country is to acheive containment early. It is exponentially easier to acheive containment with 10 cases than 100 and with 100 than 1000.

      The US has not yet acheived containment but it has substaintially delayed the spread of Covid-19.

      Delay is also an important strategy. The longer it takes before Covid-19 becomes endemic, the more likely it is that we will have a vaccine and effective antivirals.

      • Jay permalink
        March 8, 2020 11:42 am

        “ The US with 330m people was 430 infections as of today.
        That is less than Germany – or France or Spain each of which have less than 1/10th the population of the US.‘

        Ah, there ya go, back in Trump phony statistics mode. The U S has only tested a fraction of our population compared to others, dummie. We don’t yet know the size or scope of the problem.

      • March 8, 2020 1:03 pm

        Why is that Jay? Did Trump screw up the test kits? Or was it incompetent government CDC employees? Why did they block state and local testing? Why has that been one of their regulations for at least since ebola epidemic?

        Geez, cant anyone see the problem. GOVERNMENT! TO BIG, TO POWERFUL!

      • John Say permalink
        March 8, 2020 2:03 pm

        I do not buy this “government blocked” nonsense.

        The CDC can chose to accept or reject the results of any tests they choose.
        they can not tell either the state or individuals that the may not use the test of their preference, Only that the CDC will not count it.

      • March 8, 2020 4:52 pm

        Guess he is lying.

        The federal givernment should have no say in who tests, who gets tested, whose testing is used and what medicines are used to treat the disease. That is a decision between your doctor and you.

        No one perfect. Mistakes will be made. But in most all instances, government lifers make more mistakes that civilian counterparts.

        I dont believe that government does not play a role in safety, but in issues like this the private sector should not be hamstrung.They already screwed up testing in Texas which indicates they are no better than the private sector that they say can make mistakes.

      • John Say permalink
        March 8, 2020 1:22 pm

        This is not Trump Data, it is JHU data, and the sources and problems are the same throughout the world.

        I have no doubt the US has made mistakes – just as every single other country has.

        The US HAS identified nearly every infected person coming into the country, and they HAVE quarantied them. Further they HAVE been tracking all of those that were potentially exposed.
        And they are periodically testing those.

        Todate of over 420 infected people there are only 2 that are unexplained.
        That means that only 2 people got this from a source that we have not identified.

        That strongly suggests that the US HAS actually tested everyone that needs to be tested.

        We have the tests for 1.25 million people as of yesterday. That is far more than we need unless this goes completely out of control – in which case test kits are useless.

        Do I beleive everything that CDC FDA, NIH, …. are saying ? Hell No!.

        Do I beleive US testing is somehow far worse than elsewhere – Not a chance.

        Why is it that you beleive that Europe as an example is far better at testing for this than the US ?

        Did they concoct Covid-19 in a secret laboratory in the alps so that the were able to pre make millions of test kits ?

        Everyone learned of this at the same time.
        We worked out how to test for it at the same time.
        We started to produce the test kits – at the same time.
        I strongly suspect US production is outpacing that of the rest of the world.
        Unless you want to tell me that all the test kits are “made in china” too.

        Far more so than you I ASSUME incompetence by government.

        But unlike you I do not presume that incompetence in basic government functions or in areas where the incentives are not political, and merely require doing well in a crisis, are somehow different from one administration to the next.

        Nearly everyone at NIH, CDC, FDA are the same incompetent people who were they to handle ebola under Obama.

        Nor are the government people in the UK are Germany especially more or less competent than the US.

      • John Say permalink
        March 8, 2020 1:22 pm

        There is no reason to test people who can not possibly have been exposed.

    • John Say permalink
      March 8, 2020 10:51 am

      If Trump is handling this incompetently – what does that say for Italy or Germany, or France, or Spain ? Sweden has the population of Rhode Island – and half the total cases of the entire US.

      I could care less if you have been personally brief to the degree of accuracy that you want.

      I have zero doubt that I could be highly critical of the handling of this by CDC, NIH, …
      But they are inarguably doing better than the rest of the world.

    • Jay permalink
      March 8, 2020 11:30 am

      It was already predicted that Trump Flunkies would jump on substituting Joe’s acuity with Hillary’s health as their next strategy after substituting Burisma with her emails.

      And another example of Trump’s disrespectful name calling adopted by his despicable cult followers.

      • John Say permalink
        March 8, 2020 12:54 pm

        Everything is not a conspiracy Jay.

        The left leaning media has been reporting Joe’s flub’s since the begining of the campaign.
        This is not some Rupert Murdock Plot.

        We get similar reporting over Trump, but it does not have much legs, because there is no pattern of behavior with Trump suggesting an underlying problem.

        Hardly a day goes by that I do not hear claims that Trump is losing it. Flipping out, out of control – and yet when I view full Trump clips, he seems happy, under control.

        I also see claims everyday that Pelosi or some other significant Democrat has been trounced obliterated, about to be jailed or hospitalized.
        None of these stories hold up either.

        The stories about Biden have legs.


        He appears to be slowly declining.
        Leaks from his own staff suggest he is “sundowning”

        I honestly hope that Biden does NOT have something like Dimensia – I have seen that in many people. I would not wish it on anyone. I know several people who have killed themselves because they were diagnosed with dimensia. I would seriously consider suicide myself if I had dimensia. I would rather have cancer.

        Further Dimensia is not the only explanation regarding Biden.
        In fact no explanation is necescary.

        What is increasingly obvious – whatever the cause, is that Biden is competence challenged.

        His “Gaffes” are increasing, and they are less and less funny. and more and more sad.

      • John Say permalink
        March 8, 2020 12:58 pm

        Even if you presume some republican conspiracy here – and I have zero doubt republicans will try to take advantage of Biden’s gaffes – just as democrats will attempt to do the same to Trump. That is perfectly fine.

        Whether this will prove consequential or meaningless depends on Biden.

        If this worsens leading to the election – alone it is likely to be a sufficient factor to cost Biden the election.

        Biden exactly like Trump will be judged by the people and the media for everything he does and says from now until election day.

        And that is how it should be.

      • John Say permalink
        March 8, 2020 1:06 pm

        Trump did not start this. Nor did his suporters.
        You seem to be of the oppinion that only the poor choices and frailties of republicans are news worthy.

        Hillary chose to violate federal record keeping laws as Sec State.
        She chose to bleachbit those emails.
        She chose to send classified information to people without clearances over an insucure internet.
        Hilary and the DNC chose to plot against Sanders and to conduct that conspiracy via emails that subsequently got hacked.

        Republicans did not cause Hillary to fall trying to get into the car.
        Or to leave the 9/11 memorial early.

        Biden chose his own actions in Ukraine.
        He chose not to recuse himself from matters than involved his son.

        If Trump had done these things – you would be all over them – and rightly so.

        All these things are news BECAUSE of Clinton or Biden. Not Trump or Republicans.

        This is not “disgraceful name calling” – it is problems that Biden must deal with or lose.

      • John Say permalink
        March 8, 2020 3:21 pm

        “Not Enough Popcorn In The World” For Biden-Trump Debate

  32. Jay permalink
    March 8, 2020 11:36 am

    Is his skip-out really because he hates corned-beef??

    • John Say permalink
      March 8, 2020 1:07 pm

      Frankly I think he should attend.

      Pelosi’s behavior serves Trump.

      • Jay permalink
        March 8, 2020 4:25 pm

        Not with Dems or Independents… only with his lock-step zombie core…

      • John Say permalink
        March 8, 2020 5:05 pm

        dhlii:Frankly I think he should attend. Pelosi’s behavior serves Trump.

        Jay:Not with Dems or Independents… only with his lock-step zombie core…

        Can you please explain what you mean as it is unclear to me ?

        Are you saying I meant something different than I said ?
        Or that Trump meant something different that he said ?

        Or are you providing your own advice to Trump ?
        Is it YOUR View that Trump should not go to events with democrats or independents ?

    • John Say permalink
      March 8, 2020 3:09 pm

    • Priscilla permalink
      March 8, 2020 8:32 pm

      Eh, Queen Nancy would just make a mockery of what should be a bi-partisan event. Maybe she’d tear up and throw Irish soda bread at Trump or something ~ that’s her style. She cannot be trusted to behave in a dignified manner.

      Instead, Trump will host Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar at the White House, for the annual Shamrock Bowl presentation.

      After Pelosi’s stunt at the State of the Union, Trump shouldn’t bother with any ceremonial appearances with her. Strictly business.

      • John Say permalink
        March 9, 2020 12:09 am

        I disagree. Trump should keep his cool. BUT he should provide Nancy every opportunity to make a fool of herself.

        It is good for him and bad for her.

        Who knows she might throw food at Trump and the Secret Service might tackle her.

      • Jay permalink
        March 9, 2020 8:58 am

        In any public gathering if you think there’s a greater chance of Nancy making a fool of herself than Trump making a fool of himself, that’s more proof your judgement is FOOLish.

      • John Say permalink
        March 9, 2020 10:15 am

        “In any public gathering if you think there’s a greater chance of Nancy making a fool of herself than Trump making a fool of himself, that’s more proof your judgement is FOOLish.”

        Wow, Trump stepped on something on the Tarmac and it stuck to his foot and he did not notice.

        Clearly that makes him more incompetent than Gaffing Biden, and more petty than ripping Pelosi.

        As to your quote – the opposite is true – by the record. But beleive what you want.

      • March 9, 2020 12:01 pm

        Queen Nancy tearing up SOTU….Childish
        Trump New York Asshole personality and behaviors…Foolish
        6 to 1…1/2 dozen to the other

      • Priscilla permalink
        March 9, 2020 9:10 am

        You think that compares to pushing a totally bogus ~ and sure-to-fail~ impeachment, and then ripping up the official copy of a presidential SOTU speech, meant to go into the National Archives, because thought it would make her look like a tough mo-fo, when it simply made her look like a jerk?

        Ok, then. Great judgement, there…

      • Jay permalink
        March 9, 2020 9:45 am

        There ya go again, back in loony mode.

        1. Nancy didn’t push the impeachment: she did the OPPOSITE and opposed it for months, for which she was severely criticized by other Dems. Has that slopped out of your memory?

        And your assertion that she ripped up “the official copy of a presidential SOTU speech, meant to go into the National Archives” is nonsensical – there were dozens of copies of the speech handed out to attendees at the SOTU speech, including to the media – were all of those supposed to be reverentially handed over for preservation too?

        And that torn-in-half copy should be preserved in the Archives as a pure gesture of disgust From a Queen for a Fool – for which she received applause and adulation from the people at large – her approval rating among Dems jumped up ten points at least.

      • Priscilla permalink
        March 9, 2020 10:05 am

        Ah, Jay, you believe everything you read on the Twit. There are not dozens of SIGNED copies of the SOTU, there are only a few, and traditionally, it’s the President’s signed copy, given to the Speaker, that goes into the archives.

        In this case, Kevin McCarthy submitted his signed copy, which, going forward, becomes the official record.

        Her childish and disrespectful behavior may have sent a thrill up the leg of super partisan Democrats, but it was what used to be considered a “bush league” move ~ lame and low-class.

      • John Say permalink
        March 9, 2020 10:54 am

        The copy the president gives the Speaker is “the official copy”
        The While SOTU media spectacle is not required.
        But the written SOTU delivered to the speaker of the house is REQUIRED by the constitution.

      • John Say permalink
        March 9, 2020 10:57 am

        it is childish boorish behavior that is worse than what the left criticises about Trump.

        We get Jay, and company complaining about Trump’s bad behavior – where is the criticism here ?

      • John Say permalink
        March 9, 2020 10:48 am

        “There ya go again, back in loony mode.”

        Insults are not arguments.

        “1. Nancy didn’t push the impeachment: she did the OPPOSITE and opposed it for months, for which she was severely criticized by other Dems. Has that slopped out of your memory?”

        And then she changed her mind. There would have been no impeachment without Pelosi.
        Democrats had to whip their own members to get sufficient support to move forward. There was no majority in the house without Pelosi putting the power of the Speaker behind it.

        It was a political mistake, her mistake.

        “And your assertion that she ripped up “the official copy of a presidential SOTU speech, meant to go into the National Archives” is nonsensical – there were dozens of copies of the speech handed out to attendees at the SOTU speech, including to the media – were all of those supposed to be reverentially handed over for preservation too?”

        There are not many personally signed copies. Several lawyers have observed that her actions absolutely violated the official records act, but that there was no chance anyone would ever prosecute.

        Regardless, it was a very stupid move. It made her look petty and small.
        But Democrats looked Petty and small through the SOTU.

        It was not a “great SOTU” that will mark a turning point in history, but it was a good one.

        “And that torn-in-half copy should be preserved in the Archives as a pure gesture of disgust From a Queen for a Fool – for which she received applause and adulation from the people at large – her approval rating among Dems jumped up ten points at least.”

        Absolutely it should be preserved.
        Nor am I surpised her approval jumped among democrats.
        That is not a good comment about democrats.

        All it does is tells us there are way too many people like you out there – who are more interested in insulting people than facts.

        And you hate Trump because he is a mirror.

        And even though I mostly do not like Trump, I get pleasure sometimes from his putting you in your place in exactly the same way you do everyone else.

      • March 9, 2020 12:09 pm

        Amazing how the left thinks people are so gullible. Queenie delayed it because she did not want it waste it with it going on at the same time Mueller and his investigation was occurring and the final report not released.

        If you are a shrewd politician, you use one negative political situation at a time, you do not use them at the same time. Mueller did his thing, report issued, they got all the traction against Trump as possible, move on to next negative issue, impeachment. She only delayed it for the best possible use of it. She was never against it.

        Now they will use corona virus as the political issue to further divide America to get Biden elected.

        Does not take smart people to understand this, just shrewd people who have lived their lifetime learning the tricks of the trade like Queenie.

      • John Say permalink
        March 9, 2020 1:04 pm

        I am not going to try to mind read Pelosi’s intentions, plans, motives – except to note that I am certain she put thought into her actions – that they were planned and intentional.

        Regardless, she made a mistake.

  33. Jay permalink
    March 8, 2020 11:48 am

    Trump administration has it under control, right?

    • March 8, 2020 1:21 pm

      Good god! It docks tomorrow! They are working on a plan. The plan so far based on Dr. Fauci’s comments is the ship docks, those testing sick will be hospitalized or isolated and the rest quarantined. Where, due to the numbers is still being developed.

      They have 24-36 hours. Ya think all those government minds cant at least find enough government locations to quarantine 3500 people around the country.

      Those are the same damn people all the liberals in this country want running their healthcare!

      • John Say permalink
        March 8, 2020 2:39 pm

        One of the problems is that they quarantined those on the diamond princess,
        and a federal judge ordered their release.

        This is generally considered contageous for 14 days.

        The general rule is you quarantine for 150-200% of that time and then release if they test negative.
        The judge ordered release after 14 days if they tested negative. That PROBABLY will not come back to bite him in the but, but it might.

    • John Say permalink
      March 8, 2020 1:25 pm

      Why does this matter to you ?

      I am pretty sure “the plan” is NOT to scatter them randomly throughout the country and not keep track of them.

      They will be quarantined somewhere, somehow until they are deemed safe or until some federal judge orders them released as they did with diamond princess passengers.

  34. John Say permalink
    March 8, 2020 2:55 pm

    In the 2019-2020 Flu season – estimates are that 31M americans have been infected.
    That more than 34,000 have died from the flu.

    The impact of the Flu in the US has been MUCH greater that not just Covid-19 in the US or China, but in the entire world.

    It would take a factor of 300 increase in Covid-19 globally to reach the level of infections that have occured just in the US.

    It would take a factor of 10 increase in deaths for the GLOBAL impact to reach that of the Flu in the US alone.

    • Jay permalink
      March 8, 2020 4:15 pm

      And MOST democrats don’t want progressive Bernie elected…

      • John Say permalink
        March 8, 2020 5:00 pm

      • John Say permalink
        March 8, 2020 5:01 pm

        Post Trump’s tax cut Revenue has INCREASED.

  35. Jay permalink
    March 8, 2020 4:13 pm

    Will Donald take his own advice and fly to California to shake hands with Americans on the quarantined cruise ship?.

    • John Say permalink
      March 8, 2020 4:54 pm

      If you are going to take Trump’s tweet litterally it is NOT those on the crusise ship, But those americans who have been infected without travel to foreign countries.

  36. Jay permalink
    March 8, 2020 9:07 pm

    A principled Billionaire, unlike President Putz who’s back at his golf course, piling up more taxpayer dollars into his pockets…

    “Bill Gates Foundation will begin offering home-testing coronavirus testing kits in Seattle area that will allow people to send nose-swab samples back for analysis

    Results w/in 1-2 days will be shared w/local health officials who notify those test positive”

    • March 8, 2020 11:40 pm

      Thats good news. Should never have had the idiot government controlling testing to begin with. Why are they controlling this?

      The article goes on to say “Last week, a laboratory at UW Medicine got approval to begin processing specimens collected by physicians and other health care providers. The Gates-funded project will reduce the need for sick people to visit a doctor’s office or clinic, lowering the chance of exposing others.”

      Why the hell was CDC ever set up to have to approve this stuff. And Jay, don’t say Trump becasue all testing has to be FDA approved, even before Trump. So get off that crap!

      If you or I go to a doctor and want to pay for a test then the doctor and patient should agree on if, when and who does it. Not the damn government. If the doc agrees to a home test, thats even better. This could have been done last week without CDC being involved. TRUMP DID NOT MAKE THAT ASININE REGULATION. NEITHER DID OBAMA!

      But liberals want government run healthcare leading to crap like this and conservatives want to stick their noses into the mess for some other reason, or someone would have changed this ridiculous law years ago.

      So if you want this crap top continue, keep voting for the same democrat things like Biden because he is going to expand this crap, not reduce it. Now that Trump knows whats happening, then chances are better that they may be removed since he is eliminating regulations.


      • John Say permalink
        March 9, 2020 1:07 am


        If I want to consult my doctor – that is my business – and I likely will.
        But if I want a medical test and can pay for it – that is MY business.

        As I noted before – for a short period there were lots of tests you could do over the internet (or mail). But the FDA stepped in and now you typically have to go to a lab to get a “doctor” to determine that you “need” the test, and they to “explian” the results.

        We tripped over this when My daughter became and EMT.

        She had to take a TB test. Well she was born in China, and they use a TB vaccine that can cause you to test positive for TB. And we know she got that Vaccine.
        Worse, it will likely test negative the first time – but each time you get tested you are more likely to test positive. So she tested negative when she started school. She tested negative at some later date – but the reader told her it very nearly came back positive.
        When she went for the TB test to be an EMT it came back positve.
        So the state required her to get a chest Xray – that came back negative.
        But that was not good enough for the state. Even though this problem with TB tests and kids adopted from foreign countries – especially china is well known, the state assumes that if you test positive for TB and have a clear XRay that you have it in a dormant state.
        So you MUST take a 6 month regimine of pretty obnoxious drugs. You actually have to go to the local health department and they observe you take them. If you do not do this they lock you up. So suddenly instead of being an EMT she is a TB patient – even though pretty much everyone knows she does not have TB.

        BUT there is a special blood test that is much more accurate than the standard TB test,
        But it is hard to get. The state will not pay for it – even if you test positive. Your health insurance will not pay for it. The state will not give it to you.
        It costs $2000 at your local hospital. But we found that there was a “Tests R Us” place 2 miles from our house, They had to special order it, it took 2 days, it cost just over $100, and the results were back in 2 days and she tested negative and the state dropped her from the manditory TB drug program.

        PRIVATE TESTING – doctors if you want, but it is your body, you get to choose.

      • March 9, 2020 2:00 am

        Dave, why did you respond like that. Did I not say govt should not come between the patient and doc?
        Maybe this was in response to Jay and not me and WordPress stuck it as a response to me by mistake.

      • John Say permalink
        March 9, 2020 2:55 am

        MY POINT is that there is nothing special about the Doctor.

        The Government should not come between a person and what they want – so long as they are not harming OTHERS.

        If I want to go to my Doctor to consult about some test – my business.
        If I want to just go get the test – my business.

      • March 9, 2020 11:46 am

        OK you have lost me. I thought that is what I said, but maybe I did not.

        Whatever, just keep government out of it and let private citizens and private companies do their thing.

        If you have a doc, he should be able to test without govt interference.
        If Gates wants to provide test, contracts with a lab and they want to do tests, fine.

        Why should govt be involved?

    • John Say permalink
      March 9, 2020 12:13 am

      Ron, Priscilla and I have been discussing how this is all done best outside of Government and you go and prove it for us.

      The gates foundation is a private Charity. It is not government.
      I think what they are doing is great.
      Gov. Cuomo should get on board.

    • John Say permalink
      March 9, 2020 12:18 am

      I would note this is only in the Seattle area (where Microsoft is located).

      Many moons ago as an employer we paid every year to have employees and their family members get the flu shot if they wanted.

      Aside from being a caring thing to do – it was ALSO in our self interests.
      We have to pay for sick time. We also lose the employee if they get sick.
      Or if they come to work sick they infect other employees.

      A $25 flu shot reduced the number of lost days significantly.

      I will bet that most businesses would be happy to pay for Covid-19 tests for employees.
      If they test positive – they STAY HOME, and do not infect the rest of staff.

  37. March 8, 2020 11:56 pm

    Jay this ones for you since you love government controlling your life.

    • John Say permalink
      March 9, 2020 1:16 am


      Jeffrey Tucker and Sharyl Attkisson !!!!

      I buy my toilets at Habitat, because you can get an old toilet that works, and if you need replace the valves and still have something that actually flushes.

  38. vermontadowhatiwanta permalink
    March 9, 2020 10:07 am

    More worldwide panic on multiple fronts. This is not good. This is not something caused by US politics. This is something caused by human nature mixed with blind biological evolution of a predator-prey relationship, virus-host and the interrelatedness of the world wide economy. The panic part of it is like the tulip craze. Now there is an oil price war on top of it. The Dow drops 1800 points and a circuit breaker kicks in. Bad events always seem to come in multiples. Society gets sick and more illnesses move in to the weakened body politic, it cascades.

    This is not trumps fault. I sympathize with his message that the flu is worse. It is, much worse, medically speaking.

    At the same time this would be a moment for leadership, calm, objective and inspiring, and one cost of trump’s behaviors for the last 4 years is that he is not the person who can do that. He himself has chosen his path that makes him the leader of a populist mob, not the leader of the US. He did not cause this, but he long ago chose a path to be a POTUS who cannot bring out the best in America.

    G.W.Bush handled the collapse on 2007 in an intelligent competent manner and prevented an even worse collapse. He had done a lot of very destructive things (and many good ones too), and got reelected in spite of them. Then he handled the crisis as well as he could have, and his party got clobbered over the crisis.

    Life is weird. Human mass behavior scares me shitless. Its been a rough 4 years going back to the 2016 campaign. The next period is not going to be pretty. The catastrophe, if there is one, won’t likely be COVID, it will be an out of control highly complex set of events that no one will be able to turn the off switch on until its run its course.

    Does anyone remember the game Avalanche? One pulled pieces out of a spring loaded board until one piece was the one that caused the whole structure to collapse. I always see human mass behavior in this light. The pieces of the game are all vast impersonal forces, technology, stupidity, ignorance, fear, complexity, biology.

    This may all blow over in a few months and everyone can sober up, put their hair back in place and wonder WTF just happened and why.

    Lets hope.

    • Priscilla permalink
      March 9, 2020 10:40 am

      Good post, Roby.

      I was in my local Target store yesterday. There were several aisles where the shelves were bare: disinfectant sprays, cleaners and wipes, isopropyl alcohol, hand sanitizer, bleach, vinyl gloves ( also rubber gloves in the housecleaning section, I assume purchased by people who bought them as alternatives to the disposables), face masks, toilet paper ( there were a few packages left, but why are people hoarding toilet paper?).

      I guess this run on cleaning supplies and gloves/masks is understandable, but it further inflames the feeling of panic in certain people. I heard one woman demanding that a clerk tell her when the Lysol spray would be back in stock. When the clerk (a very young girl) said she didn’t know, the customer became irate, and accused the clerk of not being truthful.

      Granted, this could be a Jersey thing…lots of crazies around here, even in normal circumstances, but its a good example of how things can get out of control very quickly…

      • vermontadowhatiwanta permalink
        March 9, 2020 11:29 am

        And I had a house full of people, mostly ladies, from Ukraine and Armenia (International Women’s day) yesterday and you should have heard the conspiracy theories that China engineered this virus for political revenge on someone. Political absurdity is not limited to our American culture(s).

        I keep trying to sell my vast impersonal forces that no person can control theory of mass behavior and historical events, maybe someday it will catch on… It has some relationship to chaos theory, that is, fractals and mandelbrot. Some apparently small and random event winds up having very unpredictable far reaching consequences. Strange attractors exist in the social future, but we can’t understand them because they are not deterministic. We will always be surprised by events getting off the stable course we want them to stay on.

        To put it in terms other than esoteric mathematics, picture the steam rising from a cup of coffee or the smoke rising from a cigarette. It would seem the patterns the smoke or steam make should be predictable, after all, they originate from fairly stable and describable systems, and yet no one can possible predict their specific shapes.

        Our political and social events are like the pattern of smoke rising from a cigarette.

      • John Say permalink
        March 9, 2020 12:10 pm

        And yet, as your article notes – while we can not predict the path each smoke particle will take, the behavior of steam, smoke. …. always conforms to larger patterns.

        We can not accurately predict what any single actor in the marketplace will do, and yet we can have laws of economics – like the law of supply and demand that are immutable.

        I am reminded of Atlas Shrugged – Rand had an intuitive understanding of the economics of collapse. Throughout the novel, government grew ever more oppressive. Each new regulation creating far more problems, and driving the creation of ever more regulations.
        And yet throughout the whole story people struggled to overcome the problems to survive and even thrive. It took an enormous amount of bad government to bring the entire system to its knees.

        It took the Soviets 70 years to collapse – and even then ordinary Russians were better off than those 70 years before. They were just obviously not improving as fast as the rest of the world.

        Obama and Bush were poor presidents and did alot to strangle “the engine of the world”, and yet overall everything was still better at the end of their presidency than the start.
        Just not as much better as it should have been.

        Even Trump’s 2.5% average growth – is a full point below the 20th century average – but it is nearly a point better than that of Bush and Obama.

        The free market is free people struggling for a better life – that is what humans do.
        We get knocked down, and we get up again.
        The world is chaotic and dangerous – and ultimately we will all die, but when we do, we will have left a better world for our children than our parents left for us.

      • John Say permalink
        March 9, 2020 11:39 am

        We should expect that the clerks in stores treat us well. It is their job.

        We should not expect them to be omniscient.

        My daughter works part time at target while she is in college.
        She does not know when things will be back in stock. Probably the store manager does not know.

      • John Say permalink
        March 9, 2020 11:52 am

        I expect that you will find that toilet paper and pretty much anything that could be anticipated will be back on the shelves quickly.

        Contra the panic – the free market is actually pretty well prepared for these types of things.
        And Better today than ever before.

        We had this nutso panic over Covid-19 Testing kits.
        1.25 million were delivered late last week, there will be 2 miillion by the end of the day today, and 4 million by the end of the week. There are 566 cases as of today in the US.
        There were 31 million Flu cases so far this flu season.

        Most businesses know that their ability to meet peoples needs in times of panic buys loyalty forever. Our law makers bemoan “price gouging” – while every Denny’s in the country has a multi tiered disaster plan that provides people with food – for free, even if it is only sandwiches and coffee

        Walmarts stock up on milk and strawberry pop tarts. Home Depots stock up on plywood and generators. Stores pre-positions supplies just outside of the disaster zone so that they can bring them in immediately as soon as possible.

        This is no different. Everybody will rush out and panic buy, the shelves will be restocked, and that will re-assure people that the stores will meet their needs. We might buy a 14 day supply of toilet paper and milk we are not buying a 6 month supply.

        And we will barely notice that the panic is for naught, that our needs get met. that life goes on.

      • March 9, 2020 12:29 pm

        Increased testing good for people.
        Increased testing bad for economy and administration

        Testing will lead to increased numbers of new cases
        People positive will get treatment faster
        More stock market downturns, more people separation, less economic activitry, admin to blame

      • John Say permalink
        March 9, 2020 1:47 pm

        Increased testing will lead to identifying and either quarantining, isolating or monitoring new cases – reducing spread.

        Ending this sooner.

        This is simple – all the psychological impacts – are short term.
        Further no matter how severe they are – they are MORE severe the bigger this gets.

        Nothing is accomplished by hiding anything – not in China, not in the US.
        The truth will ultimately get out.

        If the truth is worse than people were told – those trying to supress it will at the least lose credibility

        If it turns out less bad that we are told – those exagerating will lose credibility.

        There is some wiggle room as this is unknown – bit it is not infinite.

        Trump is not facing some OTHER crisis at the moment. It is best to deal with this as accurately as possible NOW – whatever that is, rather than have it hang over his head for 8 months.

        Testing BTW is a very important tool to stopping this FAST.

        There is a pretty good youtube video on this from 3blue1brown.

        Diseases like many other things follow a “logistic curve”

        That is two inverted exponential curves linked at an inflection point.

        Absent massive lying – China has likely reached the inflection point.

        The quicker the US can reach that inflection point the faster this ends and the fewer cases and deaths we see.

        Reaching that inflection point requires reducing the spread.
        Once we can reliably reach the point where on average each newly infected person infects on average LESS than one more person – we have control and this will end.

        We can get a clue from the new cases per day.

        New Cases per day appear to still be rising – in the US.
        Though so far not at the rates of other countries.

        We missed the best shot – stopping this at the borders.
        While MOST cases are still of people traveling abroad.

        We still have a few cases of transmission to people who did not travel abroad.

        With each exponential increase this will become harder to get control over.

        Though there are complexities. Because with time more resources become available.

        There were too few tests initially, but there were 1.25m by the end of last week, 2m today and 4m by friday. If we can stall long enough a vaccine will become available – but we do not know how long.

        Further no virus hits 100% of the people.
        We hope to avoid this scenario – but for every person infected the spread actually slows.
        Those effected can not get it twice. Getting this and recovering is essentially the same as being vaccinated. Once the number of already infected and infected and recovered is high enough the rate of spread slows and ultimately stoops.

        This years Flu reached 31M people – not 330m

        The Chinese managed to stop this at about 100K people in a nation of 1.6B and about 80K people in a city of 15m.

        Even if those numbers are wrong – they are not wrong by a factor of 1000.

        China took more draconian measures than we will.
        But they also started behind the curve.
        We are not there yet.

      • March 9, 2020 3:33 pm

        If I tell you that yesterday there were 100000+ cases and today there are 114,000 cases, what is your response?

        If I tell you that there are 114,000 cases with 47,000 active, what is your response?

        If I tell you in China there are 80,000 cases , 58,000 recovered and 18,000 active, what is your response?

        Option 1 is what every media outlet is reporting! THE SKY IS FALLING! WE ARE GOING TO DIE!.

        Option 2 provides some soothing info. This us seriius, use some precautions, but use your head.

        Option 3 provides encouraging info. In a population of 1.4 billion people, 15,000 active cases is a flee bite. That could create over competence for us since we cant take the draconian actions the Chinese can take. No one is going to close down NYC or Washington D.C., Blocking anyone in or out.

      • John Say permalink
        March 9, 2020 4:40 pm

        The average reporter was educated in a public school and if we are lucky has a journalism degree. They avoided every class on math they possible could. Likely took no college math.
        Do not remember anything from high school past 6th grade math.
        And that is just their lack of any basic math education.

        In college they were likely rewarded for spouting the correct views, not doing quality research or being able to write accurate english sentences.

        The fundimental concept that journalists report the facts, not spin them. That the place for poetry and opinion is on the op-ed page not an interview of a CDC doctor is completely alien to them.

        So no – I do not expect much from the average journalist.

        John Solomon is an excellent journalist. Read some of his reporting.
        He is incredibly clear about facts, except in opinion peices he does not draw conclusions, and even in those he makes it clear when he has drawn a conclusion.
        He allows the facts to speak for themselves, and he gets his facts right.
        His reporting is not dripping with adjectives. Again he allows readers to draw the conclusions.
        But because he reports “inconvenient truths”, he has been labeled a fascist, and a right wing nut – if you label him perjoratively then people will know not to read him.

        My point ?

        As with everything else in the world, you must evaluate those you deal with, decide who to trust.

        I pay alot of attention to those – left and right who provide facts and allow me to draw my own conclusions. Or if they state oppinions – they are clear what part is oppinion and the support oppinions with argument and fact.

        The press is like credit and credit ratings – when reporters habitually spin rather than report facts, when their straight news contains more oppinion than news, When instead of reporting what a person actually said they have to tell me what they meant. Then that journalists credit in my estimation goes down – as does the media that they are on.

        So there is not alot of traditional press I follow.

        I am finding that the internet has made myriads of sources available.

        I do not need reporters to tell me nearly as much – I can go to the CDC, ot John’s Hopkins.
        I can go to the web pages of pre=eminent virologists and economists and constitutional lawyers. So why would I want to go to Fox or CNN, or NYT ?

      • March 9, 2020 5:30 pm

        Dave, you going to John Hopkins is good. Your informed.

        How many voters are doin that?
        You dont care what others do.
        I do. That is how we got stuck with Obama and Trump.

      • John Say permalink
        March 9, 2020 11:53 am

        We all know that people from Jersey are not smart enough to pump their own gas.

      • Priscilla permalink
        March 9, 2020 11:59 am


        I love not having to pump my own gas. Especially in bad weather. I never actually did it ( my husband always did it, when we were driving out of state) until I started driving my kids around to look at colleges. First time, I pulled up to a pump outside a small convenience store in PA, I just sat there, until my son said “Mom, what are you doing?,” and he taught me how to pump gas.

        So, I was a grown woman, with a college aged son, before I ever performed that relatively simple task….

      • John Say permalink
        March 9, 2020 1:01 pm

        When I first started Driving I had a service station my family frequented.
        Back then they pumped gas, washed your windows, sold you your tires and rebuilt your engine.

        Bob made sure my family and our business got gas during odd even rationing.
        He would call us up when he got a shipment in and tell us when he would open – so that we could have all our vehicles near the front of the line when he opened.

        When I went to college – Bob made sure my car was in good shape before the trip.
        But more than just taking care of us, he also taught us to take care of ourselves.

        Attendants pumped gas then. Bob expected me to pump my own gas. over time to check my oil, and other fluids, to wash my windows, to know the license plate of my car. I still have the license plate of my first car memorized.

        Bob had a beautiful 1930’s MG, and a few years after I got married while out on one his rare rides in it, he was hit by a truck and killed. I attended his funeral. The station was sold, and torn down. and it is a sports field for the local college today.

    • John Say permalink
      March 9, 2020 11:36 am


      While I understand your dark perceptions. they are false.

      This is bad – people will die, we have a desparate need to do something about that – but in reality there may be little or nothing we can do.

      This is much like Gun control. We WANT to act, to prevent the death but the reality is that it is unlikely there is anything we can do, and near certain that the things we are trying to force will make things worse.

      The world is not perfect, or fair, and we can not make it that way.

      At the same time it is very important to remember that

      We live in the best moment of human history (except tomorow). There are almost no problems that are not better today than a decade ago, a century ago, a milenia ago.

      Pick any issue that divides us at the moment – the entire world is less racist than ever before, The US is less racist than ever before – perfect ? No! but radically better. When I was in college no one admitted to being homosexual, you would lose your job, you could go to jail.
      Now it seems almost everyone I know is openly gay, and frankly I am “gayed out” – it is not that I have a problem with Gays – but does EVERYTHING have to celebrate gay everywhere all the time. Transexuals are significantly less than 1% of the population. The vast majority of us really do not care. If you do not like the body you were born into – you live in the only time in human history you can actually do something about that. The evidence fairly strongly suggests that there are always other problems – that gender dysphoria is probably a symptom not a cause – but if you are an adult and you want to do something that was never possible before – you are free to do so. But this does create all kinds of other societal problems, and the answers are neither obvious nor commonly agreed on. Issues like public rest rooms, and sports, and when is a child old enough to decide to change their gender, and what is the states role in all this. We do not all agree on this, and it is not reasonable to demand that everyone do whatever it is that Trans people think they want – just because.
      Regardless, you died for being Trans in most of the rest of human history. Today you might not get your choice of bathroom.

      The world is better.

      No Covid-19 is NOT some advance in the preditor/prey duality.
      It is essentially a bad cold. It has unreasonably terrified us – because it is new and kills people. In a month or 12 there will be a vaccine and we will likely never see it again.
      Further though we appear to be just a bit short of having all the peices in place it is clear where the future lies. We are very near being able to rapidly create anti-virals and vaccines quickly just from the genetic code of the virus. Another peice of science fiction from Star Trek comes to life.

      Are we there ? Not quite. But everyone should be able to see, we are not all that far away.
      We will probably be there “next time” – and there will be a next time, there always is.

      But next time will be a fizzle, we will barely hear about it.

      I told you sometime back to go watch Ken Burn’s vietnam – 50 years ago we were rioting, killing each other in the streets, burning down the cities, blowing things up.

      That was a period of far greater political division.

      Our political division today is “much adieu about nothing”

      Trump is not a nazi, he is not a fascist, he is not the antichrist, Nor is he the savior.
      He is an slightly above average president with the good fortune to follow 2 pretty bad presidents.

      We will not merely survive Trump – we will thrive and be better off.

      The sky is not falling,
      The wolf is not here.
      All our problems are not solveable – they never have been, but the problems we have today our ancestors would have begged for. We are not starving. Violence worldwide is lower than it has ever been.

      But we do not control everything – we can not prevent people from dying. Ultimate we all die.
      That will always be true.

      • vermontadowhatiwanta permalink
        March 9, 2020 11:55 am

        I don’t take your There is no… statements seriously.

        The darkness is not our inevitable individual deaths. I understand risk analysis. I was a so-called environmental engineer and we were given a very solid lecture by the state epidemiologist on risk analysis that I understood and took to heart. Most people have no ability at all to reasonably rank the risks they are exposed to and make rational choices. People on the left are worse at it than people on the right. People on the left tend to believe that we should live forever (while they smoke their substances and blacken their lungs) and that evil corporations are constantly trying to kill them for profit. I’m not one of them. I posted the numbers on flu deaths. I understand risk analysis.

        The darkness does fall at times in history. It is events like the Napoleonic wars, WWI, WWII, its 9/11, its the depression, its crash of 2007. Its not likely the end of the world but its the end of some worlds for some people.

        Whether this present set of events dampen their oscillations soon (I hope) or head to all sorts of wild extremes before they run their course is not something that I or you can know. If you predict it will not get out of hand, you may be right, but only by accident because you cannot know the future.

        Of course it is good to be calm and rational and objective, but the “nothing is really happening here folks” line, from you or from trump, is also not actually rational. Something that is unusually strongly negative is happening, worldwide. Ask the Dow.

    • March 9, 2020 12:18 pm

      I said it before and will say it again.
      This is Trumps black swan.
      He could be “Reaganish” and become the clam but eloquent speaker.
      He could stay “Trumpish” and be the asshole he is.
      He could be “Carterish” demonstrating calm before the fireplace in a sweater.
      He could be “Clintonian” when ask if this is a pandemic he responds “depends on what the definition of is is”

      Whatever, Biden is the next president.

      • Priscilla permalink
        March 9, 2020 11:46 pm

        Way early to say that, Ron.

        The news cycle is so fast these days, this whole panic attack could be forgotten in a month, if some new tragedy or scandal breaks.

        Plus, I honestly don’t believe that Biden is physically or mentally fit
        for the job. He has good days and bad, but on his bad days he certainly appears like someone with early dementia ~ wandering around, looking confused,, forgetting things, etc. There’s already a conspiracy theory that the Dems will nominate him, and then have him withdraw for health reasons, allowing the party to choose the nominee.

        In any case, I agree that the current situation is bad, what with the epidemic and the stock market and having the Saudis and the Russians pick this particular moment to have a price war.

        It all has the potential to destroy Trump’s presidency, but I think that it’s far from a certainty.

      • John Say permalink
        March 10, 2020 12:34 am

        The long term impact on the stock market will be the lost production and disrupted supply chains.

        If people do not go to work – they do not make things of value.
        If people do not leave their homes – they do not consume things.

        Certain industries – anything that gathers large numbers of people for something like entertainment are likely to get massacred.

        Retail sales will be reduced if people opt to reduce their trips to the store and postpone purchases the do not need.

        The “panic” effects will ultimately only be short term.

  39. March 9, 2020 11:40 am

    Well if sensible people could not see that Putin is not Trumps friend and Putin is the enemy of America, maybe what happened over the weekend will open their eyes.

    Saudi’s go to OPEC and ask for production cuts. Putin see opportunity to kill shale production in America once and for all and refuses, tells Russian producers pump all you can pump. Prices fall below $30.00 a barrel before coming back slightly. Shale producers need $45.00, break even point.

    That send shortwaves through Wallstreet, stocks fall over 2,000 points, before recovering slightly.

    All of this designed for one thing. Fear and panic in America. Undermine the government. That is the sure way to change administrations.

    So now when will (stupid) people begin asking why does Russia want Biden as president?

    • Jay permalink
      March 9, 2020 11:45 am

      Russia want’s Biden as president?
      I thought they want Trump or Bernie?

      • March 9, 2020 12:26 pm

        Jay, you might want to see a doctor. I believe your mental acuity is slipping.

        Anyone can see Biden is the nominee given his surge and his polling numbers in upcoming primaries. He may only get 55% of the vote instead of 60% and he might lose one of the smaller states, but he will be the nominee by going into the convention the leader and then the supers will put him over the edge.

        Russia want anything other than the current administration. Once Biden is in then they will begin planting seeds of distrust of his administration.

        And they also know if Biden is president, he will shut down fracking and shale oil, making their exports much greater, driving up oil costs and increasing their income.

        Why is that so hard to see?

      • John Say permalink
        March 9, 2020 1:22 pm

        “Why is that so hard to see?”

        Why do you expect people who could not grasp that Clinton was far closer to in Putin’s pocket than Trump – both personally and in terms of policy to realize that Biden is preferable to Trump for Putin today ?

        The entire Trump/Russia collusion narative was abjectly stupid from day one.

        Why exactly does Putin want to help someone like Trump’s whose campaign promises are nearly all antithetical to Russias interests ?

        Why exactly would Putin get out of bed with Clinton to get in bed with Trump ?

        But we have heard the nonsense that Trump – rather that the creator of Russian Reset and Russian Reset 2.0, of hundreds of millions of Russian money to the Clinton Foundation, or Uranium One, of 500K to Mr. Bill, is somehow the Russian Asset.

      • John Say permalink
        March 9, 2020 12:38 pm

        Russia does not know what it wants – beyond de-legitimizing our system.

    • vermontadowhatiwanta permalink
      March 9, 2020 12:01 pm

      “All of this designed for one thing. Fear and panic in America. Undermine the government. That is the sure way to change administrations.”

      An attractively simple theory, but it overlooks the many reasons Russia could have for doing this that have nothing at all do with our election and everything to do with the maximizing the value of their own greatest economic resource, energy.

      Everything is not about the 2020 election, not even for Putin.

      • March 9, 2020 12:38 pm

        Roby, I agree with you. I believe I responded to jay that if Biden is elected, energy policy will change in this country that hugely impacts Russian oil income. They get a “two-for”. They get economic positive impact and they get continued divided American public. Then they continue to plant seeds of distrust for 4 more years. Who know who will be running in 2024. Biden at 82 may not be an option.

      • John Say permalink
        March 9, 2020 1:02 pm

        “Everything is not about the 2020 election, not even for Putin.”

        Absolutely. Not now, not in 2016.

    • John Say permalink
      March 9, 2020 12:37 pm

      The Saudi’s tried to take out US Shale production more than a Decade ago – they failed.
      They drove prices down to $19/barrel and suspended a significant part of US production. and put some Frackers out of business. But ultimately they could not kill Shale Oil, and the moment they allowed prices to rise again the frackers came back.

      I have repeated here over and over and over again – natural monopolies can not exist, that there is no historical example of successful predatory pricing.

      I do not know what Putin and the Saudi’s are doing. But I do know that they can not beat the market. The best they can do is temporary.

      BTW how is it that cheaper gasoline will “undermine the government” ?

      This ultimately works no better than your argument regarding China.

      Russia and the Saudi’s can shutdown nearly all US Oil production. But they can only do so by providing US consumers with an endless supply of CHEAP oil. Further though the out of the ground cost for Saudi oil is quite low, it still must be shipped to the US.
      So Frackers have a higher out of the ground cost, but lower transportation costs.

      Regardless, the moment that the Saudi’s and russians let prices rise again – the frackers will be back in business.

      All this “unfair trade” you bemoan comes at a price to those engaged in it,
      it can only continue so long as they can deliver greater value to consumers.

      It does not matter whether we are talking oil or tools, or latex gloves or antibiotics,
      Your evil unfair trading partner can only “own” the market so long as US consumers get the lowest possible price. Failing to do that returns production to the US or elsewhere quickly.

      Further that problem is not only permanent – but ultimately they must constantly go lower still.
      Because there is always some american looking for a better way.

      If it is possible to produce something cheaper/better in the US – it will be produced in the US. Whether that is steel or oil or cloths.
      And there will ALWAYS be people trying to do that.

  40. Jay permalink
    March 9, 2020 11:50 am

    Priscilla.. re: above your comment that’s Nancy’s copy was headed for preservation:

    “The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) preserves and provides access to the permanent records of Federal Agencies and the President in accordance with laws and regulations that govern the disposition of those records,” the agency said in a statement. “NARA will receive the President’s version for preservation as a permanent record in accordance with the Presidential Records Act.”

    Trump’s copy was meant for preservation.
    What happened to his signed copy?
    Did he carelessly toss or lose it?

    • John Say permalink
      March 9, 2020 12:52 pm

      You can not read. That is NOT what your quote said.

      They declared what they will do AFTER THE FACT, in this instance.

      While I doubt that the Presidential records act defines some other copy as “the official copy”.
      The constitution requires the president deliver the “state of the union” to the House.
      The “official copy” is the one the president provides to the House – the one Pelosi tore up.

      I absolutely agree with you – that moment was a part of History and it should be preserved.
      Pelosi should be remembered forever as the speaker who in a fit of pique tore up the SOTU.

      No one is going to prosecute Pelosi. Under the circumstances there is no real harm – except to Pelosi’s reputation. There are many signed copies, and the president can sign more.
      We live in the era of computers – unique special originals do not exist any more.

      But that does not alter the fact that the constitutionally required document was the one Trump handed to Pelosi. The speach itself was not constitutionally required. Personal copies were not required – and likely for much of the 19th century – the president handwrote a copy and someone walked it over to the speaker of the house.

      Pelosi absolutely tore up the “official copy” – that said it is NOT like she tore up the only copy of the Gettysburg address. She tore up the official copy under circumstances where it can be replaced.

      We should not be making either more or less of Pelosi’s actions.
      She absolutely intended them to be significant – and they were.

      You say democrats supported her.

      Well you can not credibly concurrently argue that what she did was insignificant and significant at the same time.

      Colin Kaepernick does not get attention for kneeling at home.
      We judge him based on a powerful symbolic act of kneeling during the national anthem while on national TV. What he is doing is SIGNIFICANT
      We just do not agree where it is SIGNIFICANTLY GOOD, or SIGNIFICANTLY bad.

    • Priscilla permalink
      March 9, 2020 11:32 pm

      ‘What happened to his signed copy?
      Did he carelessly toss or lose it?”

      He presented it to the Speaker of the House.

      It is the Speaker who extends the invitation to the President to deliver an address to Congress. Even if the Speaker does not issue an invite, the President still must, according to the Constitution, update the Congress with information on the state of the country, from “time to time.”

      Many presidents in the past simply wrote the report out, and then sent it to Congress, by addressing or presenting it to the Speaker of the House. More recently, in the TV era, the SOTU address has become a yearly event.

      In this case, Trump behaved in a manner befitting the presidency, by following protocol and respecting the government’s traditions and laws.

      Pelosi, behaved in a manner befitting a spoiled and vindictive toddler.

      It’s really that simple. You’re overreaching to try and defend her bad behavior. Doing exactly what you always accuse Trump supporters of doing.

  41. vermontadowhatiwanta permalink
    March 9, 2020 12:12 pm

    On the positive side of March 9 2020, Sanders revolution appears to be winding down and may be over by tomorrow.

    “But if you go carrying pictures of chairman Mao
    You ain’t going to make it with anyone anyhow”

    Well, that is how it should be anyhow. Fifteen years after John Lennon wrote these excellent words Bernie, in his mid 40s was an enthusiastic hard working member of a Marxist Leninist party. F****** idiot. I have no more respect for neo Leninists than I do for neo nazis. Millennials seem to have no clue who Lenin was or why he was a catastrophe.

    You say you want a revolution
    Well, you know
    We all want to change the world
    You tell me that it’s evolution
    Well, you know
    We all want to change the world
    But when you talk about destruction
    Don’t you know that you can count me out
    Don’t you know it’s gonna be
    All right, all right, all right

    You say you got a real solution
    Well, you know
    We’d all love to see the plan
    You ask me for a contribution
    Well, you know
    We’re doing what we can
    But if you want money for people with minds that hate
    All I can tell is brother you have to wait
    Don’t you know it’s gonna be
    All right, all right, all right

    You say you’ll change the constitution
    Well, you know
    We all want to change your head
    You tell me it’s the institution
    Well, you know
    You better free you mind instead

    But if you go carrying pictures of chairman Mao
    You ain’t going to make it with anyone anyhow
    Don’t you know it’s gonna be
    All right, all right, all right
    All right, all right, all right
    All right, all right, all right
    All right, all right

    I’m a neo-Lennonist myself.

    Going skiing while rome burns.

    • John Say permalink
      March 9, 2020 1:15 pm

      So please tell me what the democratic party stands for if not marxism ?

      Marxism-lite ?

      It the marxist label bothers you – lets frame it in terms of values.

      Do democrats stand for Class conflict ? Racial Conflict ?

      Democrats have by choice deliberately taken ownership of “identify politics”.

      That is often painted as “standing up for the little guy” – which sounds nice and even often sounds like a moral obligation. Except that Government is NOT an advocacy group – it is not a charity, it has a duty to treat us all EQUALLY under the law. Because government is force, it is power, and we are not universally free to use force – not even for the “oppressed”.

      There is no fundimental difference between marxist class struggle and racial struggle, and sexual orientation struggle.

      All of these are inherently good things – OUTSIDE OF GOVERNMENT.

      There is nothing that the democratic party stands for that is distinguishable in form from marxism.

      So Bernie is more overt.

  42. vermontadowhatiwanta permalink
    March 9, 2020 12:33 pm

    One parting shot for the day before I head outdoors.

    I do blame the press for a lot of this panic on the American side of things, although the American MSM did not cause the worldwide panic that has been occurring. I am reading their coverage and a lot of it is about dinging trump and not about putting this situation in perspective with balanced information. trump is not helping here, he is the last person I would want as POTUS at a time like this, but the much of the press is being actively irresponsible and destructive. Lemmings, group think.

    If a year from now it turns out that COVID really was a serious health threat and a truly substantial number of people die I will have to eat these words. But I find very little that I would call objective balanced coverage of these events in the MSM. Its a feeding frenzy. Its disgusting. It is something like the bad MAGA hat kids press fiasco, but with much larger consequences.

    There are ~330,000 000 Americans. ~3 000 000 die every year. in fact, between 15 000 and 100 000 die of the flu depending on the year. Death is sad and terrible, but we do have to be able to make a rational evaluation of risk. Blowing up the stock market and the economy in a panic and harming a lot of people’s economic lives is a serious thing too, and an avoidable one.

    • John Say permalink
      March 9, 2020 1:57 pm

      I may rant at the press – but I do not blame them.

      It is the nature of their job to foster anxiety.

      If it bleeds it leads.
      No one reads news stories about how rosy and wonderful things are.

      I do not care about the Trump bashing.
      I think it is counter productive.
      This will have an outcome and it will be well known BEFORE the election.
      Many factors will effect how Trump is graded on this.
      But how much the press ranted at him will NOT be one of those.

      Voters will judge based on the real long term outcome – not the speculation of today.

      I do not think this will be the defining moment of the Trump presidency.
      But it could be.
      The press is certainly trying to push that narative.

      But there will be a reality – in a month, two, eight.
      And that is what we will judge.

      I actually think that both govenrment and private actors are doing the best they can.
      But this is hard and mistakes are ALWAYS made.

      I also beleive it is likely that they will get control of this fast.
      Though I am less sure about other parts of the world,
      And frankly if too much of the world gets it – the US is screwed no matter what.

      We can not stop this if it gets into mexico in a big way.

      And there are other factors – the vaccine being tested could prove safe and effective and be available in a few weeks – that is not likely. It also could be 9 months – that is also not likely.
      The truth is inbetween. But the sooner the better.

    • Jay permalink
      March 9, 2020 4:11 pm

      We all agree, the press exaggerates everything.
      But exaggerating COVID19 appears to have had a positive effect: the germaphobe inducing news has ALERTED the nation to take the recommended precautions; we now are among the nations with the cleanest of hands; that probably will reduce the numbers of infections from normal flu as well. So will numerous decisions of worried people to self-quarantine (contrary to Dumb Donnie’s advice) – like this GOPer, apparently ignoring his great leader:

      • Jay permalink
        March 9, 2020 4:17 pm

        Follow up question:

        Why are people like Collins who came in contact with the CPAC attendee doing self quarantine instead of getting a coronavirus test? Wouldn’t it be helpful to everyone he’s been in recent contact to know if he contracted it?

      • John Say permalink
        March 9, 2020 5:10 pm

        The CORRECT process is for those who may have been exposed to avoid others, self monitor, and get tested until they are clear.

        But if you are exposed you WILL NOT test positive instantly.
        It takes time for exposure to develop to infection – and they usually does not happen.

        The unhindered spread rate is 2 – each infected person infects 2 others – not 1000.
        Not everyone they come in contact with.

        The control goal is to get the spread rate below 1, then it will die out naturally on its on.

        Collins is behaving wisely.

        If after a few days he tests negative he should self monitor. Get tested again if he gets any symptoms but resume his normal life.

      • John Say permalink
        March 9, 2020 5:14 pm

        There is lots of advice being given. Much of it is generic for colds and flu’s.

        Todate the primary spread appears to be through direct contact with fluids from an infected person.

        The spread rate is NOT actually that high.
        We are not being told this – but it is likely that people are NOT getting it indirectly – ie. an infected person touches a door knob, then you touch the door knob, then you touch your face. But that is not certain.
        Beside the germ panic we have all developed will likely radically cut down on spring colds and thwart the flu. We may fail to contain COVID19 and yet have the overall death rate go DOWN due to better hygene.

      • John Say permalink
        March 9, 2020 5:16 pm

        It is highly unlikely that people who have merely been exposed are spreading it – though we do not actually know that it is impossible.

        I would also guess that peopel who encounter Collins at CPAC already know.

        But Collins probably has to be actively infected to spread the disease.
        I.e. he has to test positive even if he has no symptoms.

      • John Say permalink
        March 9, 2020 5:00 pm

        Do the salutory effects outweigh the harms ?

        Maybe not.

        If Growth is reduced by 0.5% due to panic – then we are ALL worse off than we would have been otherwise.

        It is unlikely we will get the balance perfect, but ultimately everything has a cost – including avoiding Corona Virus panic.

        Lets say that for every 1m man hours of effort we put in we can reduce Covid19 deaths by one. Should we do that ?

        The average human lifespan is 700K hours, so to save one person we are consuming the lives of 1.3 people – that should make it clear it is not worth it.

        But if you can not accept that – at what point do you allow someone to die – 1m hours 5m hours 100mhours ?

        Further whatever time you spend saving one person – that is time that could have been done creating some other value – something many others would benefit from – like curing some forms of blindness.

        I do not know the correct answer here – possibly no one does – though likely all too soon we will.

        Buit the argument made below is maybe we should give up containing Covid19 – the cost is too high. And focus our resources where they will be most effective – protecting hospitals and the elderly and nursing homes. This is arguably doable. We can reverse quarantine them.

        If those at high risk did not venture out into the world much over the next 2 months and we otherwise let it run wild, this would all be over quickly.

        If every school child in the country got COVID-19 and still came to school – it would go almost unnoticed. The symptoms in children are minor and thus far no one 9 and under has died.
        Very few people under 70 have died – and all those deaths have been in people who have serious health problems. We do not have to “let the vulnerable die” – but we do not have to spend billions and tank the economy to protect them.

        I am 61, and I had a lobe of my right lung removed as a young adult. While I am in good health otherwise – this is something I should be careful to avoid.

        I work from home. I plan on doing more of that for a couple of months. I am going out less, and being more careful when I do. My kids are 21 and 23. They really do not need to do much. If they get this it will likely be less debilitating than the flu. they can even continue to work while they have it.

        People older than I am are not even working. Their staying home costs the economy little.

        I would further note Covid19 will remain a future threat until:
        A vaccine is developed
        Or a significant portion of the population gets it so that natural immunity thwarts its spread.

        We could beat it today and have it back in 6 months – if we do not develop a vaccine or natural immunity.

      • John Say permalink
        March 9, 2020 5:05 pm

        You say Collin’s is defying the advice of one of the most famous germophobes int he country by “self quarantining” after exposure.

        You have proof that Trump has vigorously opposed to that ?

        In February he reportedly “flew into a rage” because a plane with Covid19 infected people was allowed to land in the US.

        Trump has urged caution – not panic.

        So what is your source ?

    • vermontadowhatiwanta permalink
      March 9, 2020 7:07 pm

      I am just looking for one single objective article that calmly and rationally explains why we should be in near economic collapse and cancelling flights for example right and left over COVID when we react calmly to flu? Or should we be having a similar reaction to flu and shutting everything down every year? Just one objective science based article, I have not found it yet.

      Lacking that I guess I have to figure the answer out for myself: people in the US have been exposed to flu for a very long time and nearly everyone has some antibodies to some form of it. Whereas COVID has not yet deeply penetrated the US and it would be better if it didn’t. It might have some worse characteristics than we are aware of at present. Still, the state of hysteria seems to be absurd as I understand things now.

      CNN ran a gotcha piece with a headline something like: “Trump did not even know that people die from the flu (except that seems to be totally incorrect!): His own grandfather died from the flu.” For god’s sake, I loath trump but that is some seriously petty bullshit, having somebody search medical records of trumps ancestors to find one who died of flu. How many people do not know what one or more of their grandparents died of?

      It was my very liberal 89 year old father who brought the number of annual flu deaths to my attention a week ago to explain why he is not terribly concerned. Was it wise when he said it but stupid when trump said it? Its relevant no matter who says it. I see nothing about that statistic in the MSM (although I have not done an exhaustive search).

      I understand that no one (other than trump) in a position of responsibility wants to be the one to say that COVID is no big deal. Fair enough. But all the same the flat out omission of valid context in the form of the flu mortality is a form of deception.

      • March 9, 2020 8:38 pm

        Roby, finding something that is factual, scientific and easy to understand will be impossible IMO.

        As I said many comments ago, all of the individuals that were giving information on the disease and safety precautions were infectious control experts and in other medical fields. They were programmed for years to provide medical facilities, professionals and administrators with worst case situations that they may face. So the first information anyone received in the media was worst case and it generated panic.

        The CNN, MSNBC and others picked up on the panic and used some of the information that just gave enough to keep people anxious. Fox changed slightly, but still did not go far enough. Print media did the same.

        I went to Lowes today to get some paint stripper so I can remove the polyurathane on cherry kitchen cabinets and restain them as over the years the sun has bleached one side. I had on gloves, the lady mentioned them since it was 65, I explained my face touching and she said Lowes can not keep construction and paint face mask in stock. As fast as they get them, they sell out.

        I think this is due a lot because the media fails to adequately inform the public. They want this Trumps black swan. I mentioned China having 80’000 total cases, but now has 15,000 active. If people knew these numbers, reactions would be far different.

        If your old, have other medical issues, this can kill at a high rate. If your old and healthy, it can be serious to dritical, and can kill. If your younger, the greatest majority will just be sick, unless there are other medical issues. If your in school, the odds of getting it is greatly reduced since kids seem to be dodging this somehow worldwide.

      • John Say permalink
        March 10, 2020 12:26 am

        You can model this very accurately with 2 factors – uncontrolled and 3 factors if you are going to try to control it.

        1). The spread rate. The information I have seen suggests that is about 2 – that is each infected person infects two additional people.
        This is actually not a constant it is a curve. the larger the number of people infected the SLOWER the spread rate (because there are fewer uninfected people to spread it to).

        2). the Mortality rate (or curve as age is a factor)

        3). the degree to which public health measures can reduce the spread rate.
        If you can get the spread rate below 1 through quarantines and testing and mointoring and …. it will burn out. The lower the spread rate can be driven the faster it will burn out.

        Based even on worst case guestimates, this is unlikely to kill as many people in the US if uncontrolled as the Flu.

        Further there will be huge overlap in the people that it kills.
        i.e. You can not add the flu death rate to the Covid19 death rate
        Many of those killed by Covid19 would likely be killed by the flu but for Covid19.

      • John Say permalink
        March 10, 2020 12:28 am

        Most of the information sources have numerous incentives to spin this as more serious than it is (short of panic) as the more seriously people take it – the fewer people will be killed.

      • John Say permalink
        March 9, 2020 11:59 pm

        Based on the data i have actually seen thus far.

        If you compare COVID19 to the flu – It is somewhere between 3 times and 30 times as deadly, But it is somewhere between 1/2 and 1/10 as contagious.

        We are getting terified by the numbers we are seeing – but we forget that the 2019-2020 Flue Season has been about 4 times as long as the time we have seen Covid19 and just in the US 31m people were infected.

        At the same time note – that is ONLY about 1/10 of the US population, though many people were vaccinated against the flu.
        the Chinese have only have about 80K cases in 3 months.
        They are probably lying – but not be a factor of 1000
        They have also taken draconian steps to stop this.

        Regardless, this is OBJECTIVELY far less contagious than the Flu.
        But it is more deadly – possibly much more deadly.

        This falls part way between the Flu and ebola. Ebola is incredibly deadly – killing 30-50% of those infected – even strong people. But Ebola is actually much LESS contageous It requires direct contact with specific body fluids of an actively infected person and then transfer to a mucuous membrane.

      • John Say permalink
        March 10, 2020 12:11 am

        I am not trying to dictate what we do.

        But trying to explain what most countries are trying to do:

        It is generally worthwhile to try very draconinian measures on a SMALL number of people – airline passengers, cruise ship passengers, … at the very early stages to try to stop this early on when it is relatively easy.

        The more people become infected the more difficult it will be to gain control and the broader the containment measures must be.

        China appears to have acheived containment with a broad isolation of 15m people, and a more rigorous quarantine of 100,000.

        I do not think any other nation in the world can get away with that.
        So the rest of the world must stop it sooner or we must give up and let it run its course.

        Though trying to delay and hoping for a vaccine is an intermediate option.

        The US is still within the scope of being able to stop this by strict border control, and monitoring/isolation of those who get infected in the GP.

        Italy, Iran and South Korea may not be able to bring it under control without Chinese measures.

        But the final option is to invert what we are doing – instead of trying to protect the general population, work to protect those with the greatest risk of dying.

        A “reverse quarantine”
        “lock down” hospitals, nursing homes, Tell those over 65 or those with health issues to STAY HOME and not go out. and then let the disease run its course through the population.

        But it is very hard to protect hospitals and nursing homes – and we have already seen what happens when this gets in one.

        And ordinary people do not want to hear – that for the overwhelming majority of people this will not be as bad as the flu – and that your odds of getting it are much lower and we are just going to let it run wild.

      • John Say permalink
        March 10, 2020 12:18 am

        Again objectively – based on China and assuming as appears to be the case that China is on the downhill side of the logistics curve, US deaths if this ran totally wild and we did little to protect hospitals and nursing homes would be about the same as the Flu or less.

        But all of this is caveated by the fact that the best information we have comes from china, and how much are you going to trust that ?

        In an earlier post I guestimated the spread rate and guestimated the mortality rate.

        There is enormous questions about both those numbers and we will not really know them until a country with a more trustworthy public health system works through this.

        But I said before we could model this.

        For any given spread rate and any given mortality rate or curve – we could model very accurately the progression through the US uncontrolled.

      • vermontadowhatiwanta permalink
        March 10, 2020 11:46 am

        Dave, I am agreeing with most of what you say about this, its number based scientific and rational. I agree and also have the opinion that COVID is a competitor of the flu and will find the same victims. Anyhow that is how it seems as of today.

      • John Say permalink
        March 10, 2020 1:16 pm

        This is one instance I will clearly state the odds are that I am WRONG about just about everything Covid19 related.

        The extent of known information is just too uncertain. The largest body of data is from China and it is near certain that data is distorted.

        BUT all that said – it is possible to GUESTIMATE what I will call a “likely” worst case scenario. In the US that appears to be about 15M infections and about the same number of deaths as the Flu – though these will not add, as Covid19 infections and deaths will displace Flu deaths and infections.

        So far this does NOT seem as infectious as the flu – we are more SCARED by it, and it is not under control. But the numbers from China would have to be off by a factor of 1000 for this to be as infectious as the flu.

        It also SEEMS this is between 3 and 8 times deadlier than the flu – but mostly for vulnerable people. Those in good health appear to have MILDER symptoms than the flu – or even none at all.

        But again all these are guesses based on what we data we see.

        I have separately said – we do have enough information to model this.
        Because it does not take much.

        A covid19 model would quite litterally be a version fo the famous “life” program from the 1970’s that everyone studying computer science had to write atleast once.

        And you can try different numbers for spread curves, mortality curves.

        I would also suggest that there is a different pattern based reason to suspect that my guestimates are close.

        Evolutionary rules do actually come into play.

        As a rule of thumb the more contagious something is, the LESS deadly it is.
        Diseases that wipe out their hosts are evolutionary failures.

        Ebola has a very high fatality rate, and is scarry as shit – but it is actually very hard to catch.

        If Covid19 is deadlier than the Flu, then the odds are its spreads more slowly and less broadly.

      • vermontadowhatiwanta permalink
        March 10, 2020 11:56 am

        “I think this is due a lot because the media fails to adequately inform the public. They want this Trumps black swan. I mentioned China having 80’000 total cases, but now has 15,000 active. If people knew these numbers, reactions would be far different.”

        Yep. Here is a link from my world. Not so technical that most people with a little biology under their belt can’t understand it. Doesn’t exactly answer my number 1 question, why are we panicking, but I at least know where to go to read something rational from my world.

        Believe me I want trump gone! But I don’t want trump gone so badly that I want a catastrophe to be the reason for it, he should go because of his own wretched character and decisions and behaviors, not because the country is in a state of emergency over something that he did not actually cause.

        Every president has to face some black swan moments at some point in his tenure. Shit happens. trump has had good luck up till now that it has taken so long for his unpredicted crisis to occur, unlike all the other crises that he brought on himself (and us).

      • John Say permalink
        March 10, 2020 1:29 pm

        Whoever is president will get the blame for something like this – no matter what.

        I do not think there is evidence that Trump is handling this badly.
        But that does not change the fact that he will get the blame.

        BUT I do not think this will effect the election much.

        It is very very scary now. But the longer this goes on the less scary it will be.

        The two likely scenarious are it is brough under control long before the election – in which case Trump will get credit – whether he deserves it or not.
        Or this runs through the world like a somewhat deadlier version of the flu.

        The longer it lasts the less panic there will be and the more we will think of it like the flu.

      • John Say permalink
        March 10, 2020 1:32 pm

        The biggest “threat” to trump is we have been dancing on the edge of a global recession for a long time.

        While the US is best situated to weather that recession. Covid19 could be the straw that tips us into it.

        The panic effects on the stock market are irrelevant – the panic will pass.

        But lost production and consumption is gone.

        I do not think that will be catastrophic, but the global economy has been pretty weak for a long time. Only the US has been strong in the past 3 years.

      • John Say permalink
        March 10, 2020 1:34 pm

        I know they are not exactly the same thing, but I found the observation that the mutation rate was 2-4 times slower than the Flu interesting.

        It is highly likely that the mutation rate and the spread rate are tied together.

        There is good reason to beleive the spread rate for this is “two to four times less than the flu”

  43. John Say permalink
    March 9, 2020 5:29 pm

    Bernie should be running with this.

    • John Say permalink
      March 10, 2020 12:13 pm

      There was already an announcement of another vaccine starting testing.

      Regardless according to this article the time from NOW to use by humans is dependant on how fast government can move.

      According to the article – animal testing could be done in a month.

      If the end of the year is the earliest it can be available for the public, that means the government wants almost 9 months for human testing.

      So Jay – your the head of the FDA, there is a vaccine. It is based on past vaccines that have had no problems.

      Lets assume that it is going to work – because there is always the possibility that it is not effective.

      How much testing are you going to do ?

      FDA Fast Tracked the Swine Flu vaccine, and just under 500 people were parallyzed as a result of a reaction to the vaccine.

      BTW Every vaccine causes harm to a SMALL number of people.
      There is no such thing as perfect.

      As this is a vaccine – you are giving it to otherwise healthy people.
      So your choice is the risk of harm from the vaccine vs. risk of harm from Covid19.

      You could short cycle the human testing widely deploy this and in 3 months radically reduce Covid-19.

      Or if there are broad negative effects – you could stop Covid19 but harm more people than you would if they got infected with Covid19.

      Or you could wait until the end of the year – by which point it is likely too late.

  44. Jay permalink
    March 10, 2020 9:48 am

    Jill Stein Is A Lying Bitch.

    • vermontadowhatiwanta permalink
      March 10, 2020 11:43 am

      Jill proves, (like so many on the far left) that you don’t actually have to have a low IQ to be an imbecile.

      The shots at Biden from left and right are a compliment to Biden. He is winning, the moderate lane of the Dem party is winning, the left and right are beside themselves. I love it. If Biden can derail both the bernie and trump revolutions he will be a hero to people like me.

      If he gets nominated, accepts, and choses as Amy Klobuchar as his VP then the moderate dems have won and bernie’s imbecilic movement will be back to the drawing board. These left wing nuts are never going to go away completely, but l have high hopes that their influence has hit its peak and will now wane.

      I will take every attack on Biden as proof that trump and his party are scared.

      BTW the GOP already had a 2 term president with early dementia, and he is their hero to this day and even pretty well liked by a wide group of Americans. Good old RR. And if they were truly concerned about the mental state of the POTUS they could always chose someone other than trump.

      • John Say permalink
        March 10, 2020 12:46 pm

        From what i have heard Stacy Abrams is already locked as Biden’s VP.

        But other pundits claim that ANY Democrat must pick Sherrod Brown as that would flip Ohio and that would give Democrats a shot at winning.

        Yes, things like the possibility of Dimensia are reasons that we elect a vice president too.

        There has been massive speculation about Trump’s mental health over the past 4 years too.
        But it does not have leggs, because there is no pattern of decline and because with few exceptions Trump’s “gaffes” really do not fit the patter of mental decline.

        Biden has a long history of Gaffes – if he did not there would be no doubt right now.

        Regardless, unless he can radically reduce his Gaffe Game – and I do not think he could do that even if he did not have issues, these questions are NOT going away.

        Further – though we do not have answers – and probably will not get answers – until well after the election, the speculation DOES have a reasonable basis.

        And no – these are not a compliment.

        Biden is near certain winning the democratic nomination.

        Front runners ALWAYS get more scrutiny. Yes, there are plenty of the left and right who would push this whether it was true or not.

        That does not change the fact that it is a legitimate question, and it is not likely going away.

        Of course Trump (and Sanders) and anyone who does not want Biden is going to attack him.

        Just as You and Biden are going to attack Trump.

        It does not prove Biden is winning (against Trump).

        You can just as easily paint this as “running up the score”.

      • John Say permalink
        March 10, 2020 12:53 pm

        Reagan did not show signs of Dimensia until very late in his 2nd term.

        When Reagan got onto Marine One for the last time he was younger than Biden will be on inauguration day.

        Reagan did not exhibt the signs Biden has now until well after he was out of office.

        It is possible that Biden does not have Dimensia.

        That may not be much of an improvement.

        Do you want a president who makes simple errors like this all the time and is constantly fumbling for words ?

        Lets pretend that this is just “normal” for Biden.
        That is not that much of an improvement over the Dimensia story.

        There is only one way this goes away. That is Biden manages the next 9 months with very very few gaffes.

        Every single time Biden stumbles, this will come up again.
        He has not done well facing mostly softballs todate.
        This is only getting harder.

        If you are certain he is up to this – fine. We shall see. You might be right.

        But putting this to bed requires a Biden no one has ever seen.

      • Jay permalink
        March 10, 2020 2:10 pm

        Fumbling for words?

      • John Say permalink
        March 10, 2020 3:07 pm

        Absolutely both candidates are going to be confronted over their age and of issues related to that.

        I think your video is wonderful. In fact I think it is endearing.

        You are free to perceive it however you want.

        But I see nothing in there that is not just tongue fumbling that all of us do, and those of us who speak alot do alot.

        Biden is not mis pronouncing words.

        He has a historical problem with stuttering – he is not alone in that John Stossel has the problem severely. Stossel has talked extensively about how he copes.

        Biden’s lapses are not related to stuttering or accomidations to stuttering.

        They are not about how he SPEAKS, they are about how he THINKS.

        Trump did not go off into some bizarre story about a kid stroking his leg hair.
        Biden is not mangling Words, this strongly appears to be cognitive not verbal.

        it nearly perfectly matches what my father who had vascular dimensia went through as it progressed.

        But beleive what you want.

      • March 10, 2020 1:27 pm

        We have great candidates in both parties.
        One has a sharp mind, but is a total liar so people have no idea what to believe vs
        Another that his handlers have to limit appearances to around 7 minutes because they have no idea what he will say.

      • John Say permalink
        March 10, 2020 2:57 pm

        Just today Biden told someone who asked him about “taking his guns”.

        That he was not taking anyone’s guns, and the “viral video” of Biden announcing that he would make “Make No Mistake, I am coming for your guns” Beto ORourke Gun czar was “a lie”

        I do not think this was a cognitive lapse.

        I think it was more representative of the fact that Biden has told so many lies regarding Guns to so many different groups that he can not keep them straight anymore.

      • Jay permalink
        March 10, 2020 2:26 pm

        Some forms of dementia are hereditary.
        Trump’s father suffered severe dementia.

        Over the past two years DOZENS of doctors, psychologists, pathologists have publicly commented on Trump behavior indicative of cognitive decline, providing a long list of cumulative examples symptomatic of Mental decline, including “poor memory, word finding difficulty, slurred speech, linguistic decline, irritability, depression, mental confusion, lack of restraint, inexplicable lying, poor occupational performance, impaired judgment and paranoia.”

        View at

      • John Say permalink
        March 10, 2020 3:20 pm

        There are many forms of dimension, some have hereditary components.

        Trump’s father died some time ago, I would be suspicious of a diagnosis that old.

        Doctors and pathologists DO NOT diagnose cognative impairment.
        Regardless there is a standard test for Cognative imparement.
        The MOCA Test. Trump has taken it and passed.

        You can find it online and take it yourself.

        As my father declined his MoCa scores declined.

        Anyone without cognative impairment should :”Ace” the MoCa – it is NOT an intelligence test,
        it is merely a test that determines if various regions of your brain have disruptions.
        It is also not a personality test.

        Finally, no doctor, pathologist, psychologist may ethically diagnose anyone without their being a patient.

        So you want us to trust a doctor who is violating the ethical rules of their profession ?

        Regardless, this is a stupid game – we might as well just diagnose all politicians as sociopaths over the internet – they probably all are.

        Biden’s problem is NOT that some partisan – Whether Trump Sander’s or Stein is claiming he has problems. But that he is exhibiting behavior that is troubling to all.


        You esentially make the same claims about Trump all the time.

        You claim that whatever your flavor of the moment critique of Trump is disqualifying.

        As yoou have been told repeatedly – you get that choice in the voting booth.

        And the rest of us get that choice regarding Biden in November 2020.

        Trump WILL have to answer to voters in Nov. 2020 for every complaint you have about him.
        And voters will decide if that matters.

        Biden is facing the same thing.

        What are you afraid of ?

        That voters will judge Biden more harshly ?

        BTW while Biden is showing some signs that could be dimensia,

        ALL of these candidates are old enough this shoudl be a concern.
        As should their health, Bernies heart attack, ….

        All of these are factors voters get to weigh.

      • Jay permalink
        March 10, 2020 2:28 pm

        “ From what i have heard Stacy Abrams is already locked as Biden’s VP.”

        Hearing voices again?
        Like the ones who whispered to you Biden was a goner after the first primary?

      • John Say permalink
        March 10, 2020 3:27 pm

        This was from well placed democratic political consultants.

        I would not pick Abrams.
        Aside from the fact that she is a black women. I can not see why she would appeal to Biden or democrats.

        But Biden is free to pick who he wants – whether his choice makes sense to me or not.

        Regardless, you confuse facts with oppinions – AGAIN

        This is ONE of the many articles on Abrams as Biden’s VP choice.

        Yes, I am “hearing voices” – of real people, speaking to the media.

        I did not express an oppinion on Abrams as VP.

        But claiming she is not a leading contender – not MY leading contender, but one being actively discussed by Biden and democrats is “hearing voices” – is either a lie on your part or delusional.

        Maybe you need to take the Moca.

      • John Say permalink
        March 10, 2020 3:35 pm

        “Hearing voices again?
        Like the ones who whispered to you Biden was a goner after the first primary?”

        What world do you live in ? Certainly not the real one.

        I have not said “Other people told me Biden was a goner” – i do not think ever.

        I PERSONALLY said “Biden is a dead man walking” – and not after the first primary – but after the Ukraine call transcript many months earlier.

        Absolutely he is a far more successful zombie than I would have predicted.
        MY ERROR! – not some voices.

        Do not attribute to me – crap YOU hear on Fox, or Crap you hear others say someone on Fox said.

        My oppionions are MY OWN, My FACTS are correct.

        If I am right in an oppinion – I get the credit. If I am wrong it is my failure.

        When I attribute something to others – I am clear about it.

        Democratic pundits said Abrams was the VP.
        I have no skin in that fight.
        I do not care.
        But it is a FACT that many democratic pundits – including some in the Biden campain have said Abrams is the likely VP choice.

        That does not make them right.
        But it does make me ABSOLUTELY right when I say they said that.

      • March 10, 2020 3:50 pm

        Top three I have heard. Kloubachar, Harris, Abrams.
        So who beings the vote.
        All three women. No advantage.
        Kloubachar white. Does not bring the black vote.
        Harris, black, from CA. Biden needs no support from CA. Republicans dont even need to vote in CA.
        That leave Abrams. Black, female, southern where swinging Georgia democrat could be the difference in electoral votes needed. And Georgia is fast becoming bluish purple with all the northern liberals who have moved in. Very much like N.C.

      • Jay permalink
        March 10, 2020 2:31 pm

        Re Ron: “Another that his handlers have to limit appearances to around 7 minutes because they have no idea what he will say.“

        Says who?

      • John Say permalink
        March 10, 2020 3:38 pm

        “Says Who ?”

        How many different links do you want ?

        This is not some secret fringe story. It is all over the place.

      • Jay permalink
        March 10, 2020 3:53 pm

        I appreciate you providing that link as confirmation.
        It’s reassuring to see the sources for information upon which you base your opinions.
        Keep up your excellent assembly of facts, from dubious Donny supporters.. who provide speculation emitted from their neither extremities… faux news disguised as fart news.. Impressive!

      • John Say permalink
        March 10, 2020 4:51 pm

        I have no problem with Zerohedge, but they were not my Source.
        But you demanded proof, and rather that rack my brain as to which democratic talking head on show said that. I googled it.

        I came up with thousands of hits.

        Zerohedge was the first one.

        Do you want another couple of dozen ?

        BTW the links I provide you are not going to tell you much about my sources, or thinking.

        They are going to tell you what was near the top of a google search when you demanded proof.

      • John Say permalink
        March 10, 2020 4:58 pm

        I am sure that you will fixate on the claims that ZeroHedge is “alt-right”.

        But consider the source – CNN.

        As to banning – the list of libertarian or libertarianish sites that have been banned at one time by Twitter or Facebook is as long as my arm.

        All getting banned by most social media means today is that you offended some snowflake social justice warrior.

        ZeroHedge’s twitter ban was for identifying a doctor involved with Covid19 in Wuhan.


        Regardless, they were just top of the google list.

        Which suggests that google finds that LOTS of people follow them.

      • March 10, 2020 3:57 pm

        And there are more. Just look up “Biden limits speech lenght” Not difficult

      • John Say permalink
        March 10, 2020 5:00 pm

        Isn’t vanity fair an alt-right fake news site ?

        Jay is not going to be happy with you !!!

        Jay has graduated to add hominem by association with an ad hominem target.

      • Jay permalink
        March 10, 2020 2:39 pm

        So many Trump gaffs, but I’ll finish with a few recent other ones of note:

        Calling Hurricane Florence “one of the wettest we’ve ever seen from the standpoint of water”…

        Referring to the “oranges” of the Mueller investigation repeatedly when he meant “origins”…

        Talking about the “floors of the forest” when discussing wildfires and saying that the president of Finland told him they “spend a lot of time raking and cleaning” their forests…

        Calling Apple CEO Tim Cook “Tim Apple”…

        Referring to 9/11 as 7/11…

        Saying that noise from windmills causes cancer…

        Telling a crowd that “the kidney has a very special place in the heart”…

      • John Say permalink
        March 10, 2020 5:43 pm

        Why am I to accept your claims that Trump said something ?

        Maybe he did, but you are certainly NOT a trusted source.

        If you have ever been arround anyone with actual dimensia – there are patterns to the types of errors they make. They do not mostly make the types of errors Trump makes.
        I make those types of errors. My wife makes those types of errors, We have done so all our lives. My Daughter makes the kind of speaking errors Trump makes – we call what she speaks “ruthlish”.

        Biden is not making pronunciation errors, or wasting words.
        He is completely going off the rails and unable to get back on.

        Regardless, Time will tell.

        We should ALL pay attention to Trump for signs of ACTUAL decline.
        We should pay attention to Biden too.

        Biden has been declining just during this campaign.

      • Jay permalink
        March 10, 2020 7:35 pm

        “ Biden has been declining just during this campaign.”


      • John Say permalink
        March 10, 2020 8:16 pm

    • John Say permalink
      March 10, 2020 12:22 pm

      Not a big Stein fan.
      At the same time – pretending that you know one way or the other here is disingenuous.

      On the one hand Biden has a very long history of some of these Gaffe’s.
      They could mean little or nothing.

      One the other they appear to be increasing in frequency, and increasing in severity.

      There are a variety of forms of dimensia. They progress at different rates.
      Most are not treatable. Many can only be confirmed by decline and death.

      So there is likely no way to know whether this is some form of dimensia, or just Joe being Joe.

      Biden is the oldest candidate.

      My father had Vascular dimensia – which can be diagnosed and proceeds fast.
      Much of what I am seeing in Biden is what I saw in ,y father past early but before mid stages.

      I honestly hope Biden does not have any form of Dimensia – it is a horrible way to die.
      I do not wish it on anyone.

      But pretending there is no reason for concern is nonsense.

      If Biden were not running for president – this would be a matter solely for him and his family.

    • John Say permalink
      March 10, 2020 12:24 pm

      You accusing Stein of being a liar is priceless hypocracy.

      Wasn’t Carter page a Russian Asset ?

      What happened to that Trump/Russia collusion ?

      Are you STILL going to try to tell us that Comey and his gang at FBI were honest decent people ?

    • John Say permalink
      March 10, 2020 12:27 pm

      One thing is absolutely Certain.

      Joe Biden is highly unlikely to survive a debate with Trump.

      Clinton did badly.

      Biden faced no serious challenges in the Democratic debates thus far.

      He fumbles questions from reporters – often friendly ones, as well as from friendly voters all the time.

      Whatever is going on – absent Biden magically changing, the questions will get worse.

    • Priscilla permalink
      March 11, 2020 9:23 am

      This is from yesterday. Hard to watch this, and argue that “Joe is just fine.”

      • Jay permalink
        March 11, 2020 9:49 am

        What ink-blot ‘ covfefe‘ reading did you get from that exchange?
        Question asked. Biden response.
        Really, I’m not getting your point???=

      • Priscilla permalink
        March 11, 2020 11:19 am

        Do you think that his answer was relevant to the question? Q: “Was your answer to the voter inappropriate? A: “I’m surprised that Sanders is joining Trump.”

        That makes sense to you?

      • John Say permalink
        March 11, 2020 12:47 pm

        Unfortunately Priscilla that just looked like normal politiicians dodging questions.

        Biden looked evasive not incompetent.

      • Priscilla permalink
        March 11, 2020 12:50 pm

        Fair enough. I see a confused old man, who doesn’t know what to say, so he just says something.

      • John Say permalink
        March 11, 2020 1:47 pm

        I really do hope Biden does not have a problem.

        At the same time I am seeing lots of troubling things in his conduct.

        I just do not see much in the 2A and today’s clips that says Dementia.

        I think the 2A clip is damaging. I think if Biden can not handle queries like these more diplomatically he is going to have even more trouble getting elected.

        This was not a hostile reporter. This was an ordinary person, who tried to engage in an intelligent discussion about something he cared about.

        There is apparently enormous pressure on Sanders to drop out – because that allows Biden to adjust how he campaigns to mask much of this.

      • Jay permalink
        March 11, 2020 1:50 pm

        You didn’t make the obvious logical jump, Priscilla? Makes perfect sense: a perfect response to a ‘do you still beat your wife’ leading question asked by another ‘do you still beat your wife’ questioner. Trump & Biden, on the same anti-Biden page. PERFECT!

        Btw, did you see the exchange between Biden and that 2nd Amendment hardhat union guy? Biden summed up the US moderate gun control position held by most Americans— and did you hear even the slightest sign of cognitive dysfunction in Biden’s reply? No, but you did see the kind of get-in-your-face response he’s going to show Trump at any debate Dumb Donnie is stupid enough to mouth off at Biden.

        His new slogan; Battling Joe Biden! He’ll Kick Trump’s Butt!

      • John Say permalink
        March 11, 2020 4:03 pm

        The question asked by the factory worker was pretty reasonable, as was his follow up.

        Biden did not merely evade, he chose to be confrontational with someone who was looking for an honest clarification about conflicts in Biden’s expressed positions.

        Biden’s response was to attack the worker, to accuse him of lying – about real and multiple videos of Biden talking about confiscating guns. and to ask him to rumble.

        That was bad conduct and when Trump goes half so far you make it sound as if it is an impeachable offense.

        The reporter the next day asked a leading question. Wow! – That is pretty much what reporters do all the time today.

        I would prefer that reporters asked less “how many times have you beaten your wife today” gotcha questions. But that is not how the world works. Have you ever bothered to listen to the questions asked of Trump ? Frankly compared to the norm, the reporters question was pretty tame and closer to appropriate.

        Biden responded by answering a different question. That is pretty much ALWAYS what politicians do. Does that bother me ? Yes, but it is not something new or special – not when Biden does it, not when Trump does it, not when Schiff or Pelosi or Schumer does it.

        Frankly the reporters question and Biden’s response gave some appearance that Biden was sharp enough to duck the question – that IS a sign of mental accuity.

        One of the big reasons many people are questioning Biden’s competence is because he is NOT following the norms of political deflection – especially when questioned by ordinary people, not reporters. He is becoming angry and he is responding by insulting the questioner and then by ranting nonsense. If he just did the political norm and answered a question other than the one asked he would be fine.

        The only thing that looked really bad regarding Biden on the 2nd clip was that he seemed extremely tied. But he probably is, Campaign’s are a relentless grind.

      • John Say permalink
        March 11, 2020 4:06 pm

        while I agree with much of what you say about the reporters question – noting that is pretty much the norm for the media today right or left,

        I look forward to your saying the same good things about Trump and bad things about the reporter next time some reporter asks Trump a “did you beat your wife today ?” question.
        Something that happens to Trump dozens of times a day. ‘

      • John Say permalink
        March 11, 2020 4:13 pm

        Most hear on TNM continuously tell me that elections are about appealing to undecided voters in the middle.

        “Battling Joe’ – looking to take persuadable voters into the parking lot for a rumble is NOT doing himself any favors.

        I have criticised Priscilla because these SPECIFIC two recent events DO NOT show signs of dementia – though others do. That does not mean they were good encounters.

        You seem to think that candidates will get elected merely by checking off the majority position on each issue. Forgetting that the majority on Guns, the majority on abortion, the majority and healthcare, the majority on … are NOT the same people.
        If Biden loses 100,000 persuadable voters over his position on Guns – it is irelevant whether that is a majority position or not.

      • John Say permalink
        March 11, 2020 4:15 pm

        Clinton could not handle Trump in the debates.

        You really think Biden can ?

        If you think Biden is going to do so well in debates – then lets see LOTS of debates.

        Lets get real debates – where mostly they get to address each other. Get the moderators mostly out of it.

      • John Say permalink
        March 11, 2020 11:46 am

        This as well as the 2A Kerfluffle from yesterday do not demonstrate incompetence on the part of Biden.

        But they are evasive, mis-representative, bullying and deceptive.

        In this case Biden lies and deflects. refusing to answer, answering a different question.
        That is extremely common among politicians. they all do that. Trump does that. Jay calls it lying every time Trump does it. I can not hold Biden to a different standard than every other politician.

        The 2A conflict yesterday was much the same.

        Biden did not handle himself well in either. The 2A video is politically damaging. Biden needs these peoples votes. This is just a different form of his “go vote for the other guy” response.

        No candidate for any office can win an election if every person who disagrees on any issue votes against them.

        Jay Claims falsely that there is broad support for Biden’s 2A positions – while that claim is false it is also irrelevant. Biden needs strong support from as much of blue collar white male labor in rust belt states as he can get. He does not have the luxury of blowing them off.

        Many like Jay are praising Joe’s 2A confrontation yesterday – because they support a strong anti-2A position, But winning elections requires finding a way to get the vote of those who do not agree with you on everything,

        Biden may not have lost votes over his competence yesterday.
        But he likely lost voters he will need over the way he confronted a voter who was otherwise likely a supporter.

  45. March 10, 2020 12:11 pm

    Please explain to me why government “will let patients put medical records on smart phones”?

    The key word is “let”

    Why was government controlling this to gegin with?
    What is wrong with this “free” country when we allow government to tell us what we can and can not do with personal data?

    I understand regulating what others can do with data like HIPPA. But I sure dont understand acceptance of govt “letting” us put it on our own smart phones.

    • John Say permalink
      March 10, 2020 2:52 pm

      I have a problem with Hippa.

      It should not be necescary. It should be replaced by a constitutional principle.

      Your data is YOURS, The fact that you share it with your doctor, your bank, your cell company should not make it readily available to government or anyone else.

      To be clear I am not Opposed to sharing data. Just asserting that the DEFAULT is that is your property, and you control it.

      I think putting medical data on your cell phone is an Excelent idea.

      But it does have potential pitfalls.

      If you lose your cell – does whoever finds your cell get your medical history ?

      But these are NOT problems for government.

      I have my bank data on my phone, and my bank has figured out how to make it secure.
      Further I can erase my phone remotely.

      Anyway I do not want to get into the details or the problems – how does and EMT get at your medical data if you are incoherent, but at the same time someone who steals your phone can’t ?

      But this is not a government issue.

      • March 10, 2020 4:10 pm

        OK once again your excessive words have confused the hell out of me.

        You say “Your data is YOURS, The fact that you share it with your doctor, your bank, your cell company should not make it readily available to government or anyone else.”

        That is what HIPPA does. You have to allow this to be shared with anyone.

        But my question was about government “letting” us have “our” information and ” allowing” us to store it on our phones.


        Why isnt there more anger about this type crap than about Trump.

      • John Say permalink
        March 10, 2020 5:04 pm

        My POINT was that Hippa is a law that should not have existed – not because being cautious with medical information is a bad idea, but because it is a RIGHT,
        Your data – your medical information, your financial information is YOUR PROPERTY.
        The fact that you shared it with your doctor does not make it public. or cede your ownership.
        Your doctor has revocable permission to use that information, not ownership.

        That should be the DEFAULT. It should not require laws.

      • March 10, 2020 6:10 pm

        Dave “That should be the DEFAULT. It should not require laws.”

        Let me explain. In our country, government, business and individuals believe they have a right to any information unless the laws says no. Long gone are the days where this was the right of the owner and was only released with a yes. So the yes was enacted by law. HIPPA.

        In 1997, more and more data was beginning to be transmitted,shared and stored electronically. One of the top concerns, and rightfully so, was information insurance companies possessed concerning your health. From minor issues like sharing health issues with drug companies for direct marketing of medications, to sharing info to life insurance, loan companies and others for marketing and coverage/loan decision, there was no law that one could actually point to that could not be challenged if a case was opened.

        HIPPA had much more than just privacy, but privacy was significant part.

      • John Say permalink
        March 10, 2020 7:22 pm

        I know what most of govenrment beleives.

        Where did we get the idea that Government should be entitled to define for itself its own limits ?

        Our founders created a limited government of enumerated powers.
        ALL ELSE was left to individuals.
        Aside from The federalist papers and the writings of our founders there is an amendment to the constitution in the bill of rights that says just that – Freedom is infinite, Government power is defined.

        Our rights are NOT what is convenient for govenrment. A right is by definition something INCONVENIENT.

        Yes technology has made violating peoples privacy easier – but it is still a violation.

        I do not have a problem with a bank demanding lots of information from me if I want a mortgage. I can choose not to get the mortgage. But it is STILL my property. They have my permission to use it to give me a mortgage – not to publish it on the internet, or give it to the government.

      • March 10, 2020 7:41 pm

        Dave,” Where did we get the idea that Government should be entitled to define for itself its own limits ?”

        Sometime between the time the water in the pot was 70 degrees to 80 degrees when it felt so good to those letting it hapoen

  46. Jay permalink
    March 10, 2020 4:23 pm

    But less than a week ago Trump (and his toadies) was touting the low numbers in the US, indicating the virus was no big deal.

    “BREAKING: Massachusetts has just announced 51 *new* cases of coronavirus, bringing the total number of presumptive cases to 92 — a 124 percent increase from yesterday. Seventy of the cases are related to the Biogen conference in Boston. Six people are hospitalized”

    • Jay permalink
      March 10, 2020 4:28 pm

      When it gets really bad, Trumpwill flip flop and say he warned it would turn out this way and blame the Dems for not being more proactive. And if the virus persists, he’ll cancel the
      2020 Election over Coronavirus concerns for national health…

      • John Say permalink
        March 10, 2020 5:36 pm

        Yes, keep telling everyone what they are going to argue int he future.

        We all know you are clairvoyant.

        There are 330m people in the US.
        there are 550m in the EU.
        Over the same period of time infections in the EU have outpaces the US by a factor of 10.

        Someone in the US is doing pretty well.

      • Jay permalink
        March 10, 2020 8:09 pm

        “ We all know you are clairvoyant.”

        Far more than you are.

        I predicted Trump would become more addled and stupid in office; he has.
        I predicted Mexico wouldn’t pay for the wall or be built during his first term; his tariffs would make things worse not better; his tenure would produce divisiveness, deterioration of congressional norms, a lowering of civility across the board in America.

        And I said Biden wasn’t finished after the first primary, that he’d likely win the nomination when more representative state primaries were finished. How’d you do on that call again. Dave?

        Just In: WASHINGTON (AP) — Joe Biden wins Democratic presidential primaries in Missouri and Mississippi.

      • John Say permalink
        March 10, 2020 8:43 pm

        Trump is not “more addled and stupid” in office – he is the same. Most wise people expected that. People do not change easily.

        As to the Wall – you are proving Salena Zito’s observation.

        The left takes Trump litterally, but not seriously, Trump’s supporters take Trump seriously but not litterally.

        Trump voters do not beleive they were lied to.
        Only those like you who never took anything he said seriously, take everything he says litterally.

        The net effect of the Tarriffs is negative – but not by much. He has been very careful about how he has used Tarrifs.

        I would note that confronting China had both negative and positive impacts.

        Should we NOT confront China ?

        We were divided before Trump.
        You have been a major source of division before Trump decended down the escalator.

        Congress is responsible for itself.
        It is Pelosi’s job to control her own actions – just as Trump is responsible for his.

        Most of the country is doing fine. To the extent there is a noticeable lack of public civility it is entirely on the left.

        College students are not silencing or assaulting left wing speakers.
        It is the left that has shutdown Portland.
        It is the left that is beating up journalists.
        It is the left that is pushing the Political correctness, safe spaces, trigger warnings, cancel culture, …. It cost UC Berkeley nearly a million to have Ben Shapiro speak – because without secutiry all over the left could not be trusted to remain civil.

        All this bad conduct is much the same as what was used to target blacks and civil rights workers a generation ago.

        No one is beating people wearing Biden hats up.
        No one is throwing Democrats out of resteraunts.

        I can go on and on.

        There is no consequential analog for the violence of the left.

      • John Say permalink
        March 10, 2020 8:48 pm

        I will bet you predicted the sun would rise today.

        Kudos, you get one right.

        Is Carter Page a Russian Asset ?

        Did Mueller find anything to support the FBI investigation of Trump ?
        Did Horowitz not find they broke rules and LAWS and LIED about it ?
        Did the FISA court just announce it never wants these bozo’s to darken their chambers again ?

        Did we not have a Witch Hunt ?
        Was the Trump campaign spied on and “wiretapped” ?

        Biden remains as the democratic candidate because the weakness of the democratic field. ‘

    • John Say permalink
      March 10, 2020 5:33 pm

      JHU has a total of 754 US cases todate.

      A significant portion of those are from two cruise ships.

      The US remains well behind China, South Korea, Iran, Italy, France, Spain and Germany.

      The US rate of increase is lower.

      I suspect in the time the US has gone from 0 to 750 cases of Covid19 that 750 americans have died of the Flu.

      • March 10, 2020 6:47 pm

        For some reason I cant get into the data in jhu site. Can only get the opening summary page.

        Of the 750 cases, other than the cases closed due to death, are all others active?

      • Priscilla permalink
        March 10, 2020 8:47 pm

        “As of Tuesday evening, at least 973 people in 37 states and Washington, D.C., have tested positive for coronavirus, according to a New York Times database, and at least 30 patients with the virus have died.”

        That’s total positive tests, regardless of whether the people are/were symptomatic.

        Check out the death toll from Washington, compared to the rest of the country. Most from a single nursing home.

        (Ron, I didn’t hit the paywall on this article, even though it’s from the NYT… I can copy and paste the info, if you can’t access the article)

      • Priscilla permalink
        March 10, 2020 8:49 pm

        Also, even thosugh the date on the icon is March 3rd, the info is updated as of today.

  47. John Say permalink
    March 10, 2020 6:02 pm

    As WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus explained on Monday: “We don’t even talk about containment for seasonal flu – it’s just not possible. But it is possible for Covid-19.” He elaborated: “We have never seen before a respiratory pathogen that’s capable of community transmission but at the same time which can also be contained with the right measures. If this was an influenza epidemic, we would have expected to see widespread community transmission across the globe by now and efforts to slow it down or contain it would not be feasible.” WHO officials have also observed that the coronavirus appears to be much less contagious than the flu in their respective incubation periods, i.e., before symptoms appear.

  48. John Say permalink
    March 10, 2020 6:35 pm

  49. Jay permalink
    March 10, 2020 7:49 pm

    Ron I’m busy cooking dinner & don’t have time to dig out your Vanity Fair comment to comment at that thread. BUT that article says they asked him to cut down on the length of his talks to “kept the digressions—hallmarks of his decades in public office—to a relative minimum.” That has NOTHING to do with The politicized cognitive worries you mini-Trumpsters (yes, Ron, you’ve migrated to the Slimy Side) claim are proven by shortened speeches. Biden took the advice; Dribble-Mouth Donnie was given the same advice over and over and ignored it. Hence the abundance of videos showing him in constant retard mode. Like his Fourth of July speech when Dumb-dumb said that during the Revolutionary War, the Continental Army “rammed the ramparts and took over airports.” If you don’t remember that, maybe Trump’s memory slippage is contagious 😷

    • Priscilla permalink
      March 10, 2020 8:25 pm

      Jay ,I think you must have missed where I mentioned how your governor praised Trump for providing logistical assistance and medical support to the passengers on the Grand Princess:

      “”His administration … has been consistent with the expectation that we repatriate these passengers,” the Democratic governor said during a press conference, “and we do it in a way that does justice to the spirit that defines the best of our country and the state of California.”

      “He said, ‘We’re going to do the right thing, and you have my support,'” he continued. “He said everything that I could have hoped for. … We had a long conversation, and every single thing he said, they followed through on.”

      Here’s something from the Twit for ya!

    • John Say permalink
      March 10, 2020 8:32 pm

      Yes, they are trying to manage readers and him.

      Do you really think Biden’s staff is gfoing to say “Joe, you lost it, go home, be with your family”

      Today, Biden lashed out at a supporter again. He was asked by a supporter about the 2A and Biden got angry with him, told him he was lying and offering “fake news”.

      The Viral clip was Biden telling everyone that Beto “I am coming for your guns” ORourke would be his gun Czar. but now real video of democrats is “fake news” when it contradicts the lie they want to tell at the moment.

      Meanwhile Biden’s staff was trying to Diffuse and get him to move on, and Biden “shushed” his staff and prolonged the confrontation.

      So today we have Biden getting irrationally angry – often a sign of dimensia
      Getting angry with people who are NOT attacking him – often a sign of dimesia.
      Calling several of his own video’s – Fake news – – more disconnects from reality.
      Calling an AR-15 and AR-14 – minor slip, probably nothing. But maybe a sign of dimensia.
      Going after his own staff who is trying to help him – more signs of dimensia.

      And honestly – Today was overall a “good day” for Biden.

      Absolutely every item above is NOT conclusive. But as part of a pattern that has been going for a while and is getting worse. It is troubling.

      Being concerned and observant is not “migrating to the slimy side”.

      I do not think anyone here WANTS Biden to be impaired.
      I certainly don’t.

      Regardless, i expect we will have a good idea before this is over.
      Pressidential elections are incredibly stressful.

      If EITHER Biden or Trump are actually having issues – it will show much more than now before this is over.

      I do not agree with the various assessments you claim from “experts’ regarding Trump.
      But Trump does mispronounce things constantly. From what I see that is a life long issue that many of us have, especially people who speak as much as he does. But I could be wrong. I do not see anything wrong with questions – even if I am not espeicially interested in the opinions of mail order shrinks.

      You are constantly demanding Trump’s tax returns.
      While I think you are an idiot, and you are never getting them and Trump has no reason to give them to you – you are never going to vote for him anyway.

      You ARE free to ask. Just as the rest of us are free to ask about either Biden’s or Trump’s mental status.

      But the only coercion we may legitimately use – is our vote.

    • March 10, 2020 8:33 pm

      Jay, ike I said there were many that popped up. I just picked the first one. I actually heard it this morning watching the news, and not Fox News. Thats so you dont go off.on your TDS tantrum and accuse me of regurgitating Fox News.

      So the next time I state something, you ask for documentation, I will just say do your own research. You wont believe anything that does not fit your narative anyway.

      • John Say permalink
        March 10, 2020 11:55 pm

        You do not understand “the rules”.

        Jay, democrats, those on the left, never have to support there positions.
        Are there any posts of Jays that are actually support for some assertion of his ?

        And no – tweets of someone else offering an oppinion or insult is not support for an argument.

        I spend alot of time finding actual sources to demonstrate that much of what Jay posts is just made up or oppinion not fact.

        Then Jay goes off on tangents attacking the sources.

        He said no one was reporting Biden’s mental slips.

        Google brought up thousands of hits instantly.
        One of the first was Zerohedge – but I could have listed thousands.

        So Jay attacks Zero hedge – while his attack was crap – what does it matter ?
        If I linked to Der Sturmer that would still refute his assertion,
        And I am sure cnn, msnbc, wsj, wapo, nyt were someone in my google list.

        Then he says Trump is making millions off government service.
        And uses revenue changes as proof.

        In the past I have hear Jay say that he has had multiple important roles in corporate governance. Then he should know the difference between profit and revenue.

        So I profit him with Forbes 2015 and 2029 assessments of Trump’s net worth.
        That has dropped a bit less than $1B dollars. What matters is that it has dropped, how much or little is irrelevant to whether Trump profited.

        So Jay responds with a Forbes post that Trump has not lost 3-5B.

        I did not say he had.

        It should not surprise anyone that Jay is constantly jumping to Russian Assets and other such nonsense.

        I am starting to wonder how far Jay is behind Joe.

  50. Jay permalink
    March 10, 2020 8:31 pm

    Does this sound like he’s mentally impaired?
    He’s reflecting a MAJORITY American consensus on gun control.
    (Imagine if Trump was confronted by someone who disagreed with him like this…)

    Joe Biden in heated argument with Michigan factory worker

    • Priscilla permalink
      March 10, 2020 9:04 pm

      Yes, it does. Not being in control of one’s emotions is a hallmark of dementia. And telling a voter that “he’s full of shit,” is not smart politics, to say the least.

      It’s obvious to all that Joe is no longer playing with a full deck. Watch the YouTube video of his debate with Paul Ryan, from 2012. He was nasty and rude, but way sharper than he is now. Ryan got steamrolled.

      One of the reasons that Hillary lost was because she lied about her health, and shortly before the election, collapsed and had to be thrown into a waiting van, like a side of beef.

      Actually, Hillary seems healthier than Biden.

    • John Say permalink
      March 10, 2020 11:43 pm

      “Does this sound mentally impaired” ?

      Does contradicting yourself and calling one of your own supporters a liar, and several of your own public comments fake news sound impaired ?

      And is it possible for you to follow the argument.

      The 2A is a RIGHT – popular opinion does not trump rights.

      But the exchange with the factory worker was not about that.
      It was about Biden telling the factory worker that his own public remarks were “fake news”.

      And once again Biden is jumping to take it outside and brawl with one of his own voters.

      I do not recall Trump ever threatening to get physical with anyone.

      In fact at Trump rallies when hecklers get pushy, and security intervenes Trump has taken to asking them to come up front and share their views.

      Joe calls them fat, challenges them to pushup contests, calls them dog faced pony soldiers and offers to “take it outside” with them.

      You should hope his marbles are slipping. If Joe is actually competent this is worse.

  51. vermontadowhatiwanta permalink
    March 11, 2020 9:36 am

    By the time a person shows the signs of Alzheimer’s they have had the disease a long time. For many years the brain is able to reroute and compensate for the damage. The first symptoms show up when there are no more ways to reroute, no more reserves, and the disease is already far along. After that, the fall is very rapid. If Biden has Alzheimer’s he should be in very bad shape very soon. He has been like this for years. Not a good sign for the dementia theory.

    Yelling at someone is a sign of dementia? You wonder, Priscilla, why Jay and I find your opinions unbelievable. You’ve swallowed every trump tweet and every one of his behaviors peacefully for 4 years and now the trump mother ship sent out the signal, the little satellite stations are immediately rebeaming it without any reflection or doubt. Yelling is bad, Biden must be mentally ill. Sigh, just instantly coordinated team politics in the internet age. Swift boat on speed.

    And when this load fails there will be other offerings from the mothership, all to be rebroadcast by the faithful without hesitation. That is war for you.

    Jay, fer gawd’s sakes give them a rest. Arguing with this kind of thing more than briefly just gives them a platform to go on and on, as if there really were something in their latest nonsense. Between them, Dave and Priscilla still have never really heard trump really lie nor spotted any major issues with his psychological makeup, the tweets are no sign of any psychological unfitness to be POTUS in their universe. Now they are ready to instantly fall in line with the WGOP radio signal and spread the gospel about Biden’s supposed illness. They are who they are, loyal privates in an infantry war.

    If, as an example, hypothetically, a thoughtful sane moderate such as Amy Klobuchar were to become VP and then mount a much stronger run for president in 4 years they will find weird personal nonsense reasons to think that her character is unfit for office too, in fact the GOP especially hates the thought of moderate democrats and ramps up their slime machine when they arise. They will do this to any democrat, moderate, liberal, progressive. Its programmed into them, its nothing they could help if they tried. (OK, I admit, the dem party machinery is no different.)

    Again, this latest nonsense is a compliment to Biden. The long cherished dream of running against Bernie Sanders just evaporated. The Dem party did not choose the Scandinavian path. Its a GOPian tragedy with huge implications for the Senate and House races as well.

    If only Sander had won this would all be over already and I myself would prefer trump over Sanders and just give up on 2020. Instead there is a long ugly disgusting shit fight ahead and no one knows which army will win. Oh, the viewers this will attract for the talking heads, the advertising dollars for Fox and CNN.

    This site had a few actually intelligent moments in the last few days but it has fallen back to the same old blah, blah, blah. I’m outta here, my target is to leave this particular temptation alone till after the conventions, or maybe longer. Politics really got its grip on me for a couple weeks, I admit it. Now that Sanders has collapsed, its time to go back to having a sane news filtering system. I am only half as angry at the political world as I was when Sanders was in play, which is a big improvement.

    Fresh air is calling.

    • John Say permalink
      March 11, 2020 11:55 am


      I do not want to argue the details of demensia.

      I think that the entire argument is moot.

      I hope Biden does not have some form of Demensia.
      But there are plenty of signs that he may.

      But I need not persuade you or Jay.
      If he does, this will get worse.

      Biden has been mostly treated with kid gloves by the press and democratic opponents todate. That will not last.

      If he has serious mental deficits – there will be ever more and ever worse failures.

      If that is not the case – anyone claiming Biden is mentally unfit will lose the argument.

      The same is True regarding Claims that Trump is mentally challenged.

      But addressing your specific claims.
      Alzheimers is not the only form of dimensia

      They do not all progress the same way. Some progress very fast.

      Biden has been gaffe prone forever. But many of us perceive a change more recently.
      I think that perception is real. I think the evidence supports that.
      If I am correct – this will get worse. If not it wont. .

    • John Say permalink
      March 11, 2020 12:30 pm

      We have spent 4 years listening to you. the left, Jay, democrats attacking Trump, his temperament, his mental competence, his style.

      The legitimacy of those attacks rests on two things.
      The evidence to support the claim.
      Whether you are driving towards an act of force.

      Criticism of Biden is no less legitimate than criticism of Trump.

      I think most objectively rational people grasp that there is far more of a basis to question Biden’s mental competence.

      Regardless, Biden has not been elected. The issues are a question of voting.

      This is not as an example the equivalent of threatening to apply the 25th amendment.

      Free speach means – actually free speach, including the right of others to express heinous as well as wrong oppinions, and assertions.

      Questioning Biden’s competence is objectively reasonable. The only difference between Biden, Trump and Sanders on that issue is that there is todate no credible evidence of Trump or Sanders incompetence. Beliving stupid things is not evidence of mental incompetence or Sanders would not have been able to run for Mayor.

      I hope that Biden is not suffering from any form of dimensia. I hope that nothing happens that leaves democrats with an election failure – If Biden becomes progressively worse to the point there is a problem obvious to all – how do you expect democrats to handle this ?

      But then Democrats have had a problem from the start. They do not have a credible candidate in their stable. Biden may arguably be the best they have.

    • John Say permalink
      March 11, 2020 12:35 pm

      So for you this is about defeating Sanders ?

      If that is the case, then you really need to become politically active in the democratic party.

      If you have not figured it out, Sanders or something much like him is the future of the democratic party. Of every candidate in the Democratic Primary Biden is by far the furthest towards the center. The people on stage this time are mostly the same ones that will be there in 2024 (less Sanders and Warren likely),

      Progressivism is the clear future of the democratic party. Even Biden has been drug pretty far left in this primary.

      In 2024 you are not likely to have a Biden like choice.

    • Priscilla permalink
      March 12, 2020 8:47 am

      “Yelling at someone is a sign of dementia? You wonder, Priscilla, why Jay and I find your opinions unbelievable.”

      I understand that your parents are alive and well Roby.

      My mother had dementia for several years, before she died. You damn well better believe that personality changes and inability to control one’s emotions are are a symptom of Alzheimer’s, as well as most other forms of dementia. It was very difficult to watch my brilliant, kind-spirited mom turn into a confused, anxious,and slightly paranoid woman. I am happy that your parents have been spared.

      “A person with early stage vascular dementia is prone to apathy, mood swings and being unusually emotional. They are also particularly likely to have anxiety and depression, partly because they are more aware of the problems their dementia is causing.”

      I don’t give a rat’s ass that you and Jay think “my opinions” are unbelievable.

      But, at least, get “my opinions” right. I never said that “yelling at people” is a sign of dementia. Agitation and confusion can manifest in yelling, but I believe that I said “inability to control one’s emotions.”

      Not that little details like someone’s actual words matter, right?

      • John Say permalink
        March 12, 2020 11:50 am

        Jay and Robby appear to have been lucky enough to have avoided demensia in a close family member – I am happy for their good fortune.

        But it has deprived them of first hand understanding.

        It is generally accepted that if you live long enough you will develop cognitive impairment.
        But most people die before they become impaired.

        Further we know that mental processes change with aging. Crystalized inteligence (experience based) rises, and fluid intelligence drops. And intelligence is just one factor.

        There is a well know steortype of “dirty old men”. A priest who was a friend to me and my family and a wonderful and decent person for most of his life became a lech in the few years before he died.

        Lots of things change with aging – some good some bad. They do not change exactly the same for everyone nor do they change as fast.

        My father had vascular dimensia. The only positive thing I can say about that is his decline was fast and obvious. Most Alzheimers patients take decades to go through what took 3 years for him. Taking care of my father in the last 3 years of his life was the most difficult thing I have ever done. it was emotionally devastating. Beyond the pain of watching his own decline, The family dynamics were horrible. Preditors came out of the woodwork’s.
        One sibling was in complete denial, to the extent that he beleived that the two of us responsible for caring for my father were stealing from him and trying to kill him.
        Two siblings (and lots of “friends”) were trying to take advantage of him, numerous people were stealing from him, and many who were not, were still seeking advantage from his impairment. It is also the accomplishment in my life I am most proud of.

        There are no unique signatures to mental decline. There is absolutely no symptom that is not something that also occurs with ordinary unimpaired people all the time. What distinguished mental decline is the increasing frequency of these failures, as well as the scale.

  52. Jay permalink
    March 11, 2020 10:01 am

    Ron.. no need to stock up,on toilet paper.. only a tiny fraction get the runs…

    • March 11, 2020 10:48 am

      Have not made that run yet.But all those people who thought that was a symptom and cleaned out Costco they wont have to make that run anytime soon.

  53. March 11, 2020 10:37 am

    Some will blame Trump. Go ahead, keep burying your head in your ass. I blame government. Not the politicians, but the incompetent lifers in civil service.

    • John Say permalink
      March 11, 2020 12:45 pm

      I find it odd to be defending government.

      To be clear – they have done alot wrong, though they would have done much the same whether the president was Trump or Clinton. i do not expect competence from government.

      Further though this is a legitimate realm of government, it is extremely difficult.

      One expert from WHO noted yesterday that if China (or other countries) provess successful in containing this, it would be the first time ever that a flu or cold like virus of this kind was EVER contained.

      Pretty much everything we have ever managed to effectively contain has been something that requires direct contact.

      AIDs is much more difficult to spread, much less contagious and yet we have never really successfully contained it.

      Addressing the claims more closely. One of the problems with things like Covid19 is that we never have the resources at the start we do later on.

      There are millions of test kits today. How many were there when the first infected passengers returned from China ?

      We will have a vaccine for this – faster than we have ever developed a vaccine.
      But possibly not before this has burned itself out.

      There was not and can not be enough resources on day one to fight any thing like this.

      • March 11, 2020 2:48 pm

        Dave, I can not believe you are defending this shit.

        If I go to the doctor and he/she swabs my nose for the flu, what the f *** right does the government have in telling them/me that they cant test for other diseases.

        Good god, when someone like you accepts this crap, there is no hope for ever seeing less government control of individuals lives.

        When I go to the doctor, I want them finding out what is wrong with me. I dont want some lifer government employee telling my doctor they are limited as to what they can look for.

        People like Jay will be happy as a mouse in a cheese factory about this as it grows to 10,000- 20,000 cases, 1000+ deaths and Trumps approval is 25% because he gets blamed for incompetence that has been present in givernment for years. As long as anyone but Trump gets elected, government is good to go! Blocking testing does nothing but promotes the spread. And the F’in government still doesnt have enough test kits. What the hell have they geen doing .

        At least Roby has come out against politicalizing this.

        Government “letting” doctors to test is total bull shit!

      • John Say permalink
        March 11, 2020 4:20 pm

        Please do not misconstrue what I am “defending”.

        With respect to an individuals choices on their own medical care – including testing.

        A person is free to do as they please, government interferance in voluntary private interactions not involving force is only to enforce any agreements made.
        That is all. It is not to decide what testing you can have.

        What I was “”defending” is that as incompetent as the FDA, CDC, NIH has been,
        I do not think they have been unusually incompetent.
        And stoping epidemics – particularly at our borders is a legitimate government function.

        Regardless, I am not saying there is nothing to criticise – just nothing NEW to criticise.

        If Government succeeds – that would be unusual.

      • March 11, 2020 7:39 pm

        OK I understand.

        I know government is incompetent. But I was unaware until

        just recently that government at the CDC, NIH level could control what tests the doctors could perform on patients. And I spent from 1972 until 2008 in healthcare finance including patient billing. Never did anyone say anything about government controlling tests other than from a patient billing angle. And this has nothing to do with billing.

        So I wonder when CDC will come between me and my prostate exam😖?

      • John Say permalink
        March 11, 2020 9:46 pm

        We appear to be debating two different issues.

        The first is the extent that the government can prevent you from doing whatever you want when there is no harm to others.

        In the instant example – can the government prevent you from being able to get Covi19 testing.

        The answer is ZERO. Government has no role at all in precluding voluntary activities that do not involve harm to others.

        The second question is whether the government is handling Covid19 well.

        The answer is “no”, but govenrment does nothing well.

        They are however doing better than any prior administration.

        Jay complained that Trump fired people from the NSC involved in pandemics.

        Are we facing a threat that Russia will nuke us while Covid19 attacks ?

        Is it acceptable for Trump to eliminate positions in CDC for studying the health effects of under water basket weaving ?

        All buget cuts all staff cuts DO NOT negatively impact government universally.

        Many cuts actually make government better able to do its job.

        As I just discovered – Swine Flu was Less Contagiuous than Covid19 – yet Obama allowed it to spread accross the country, infecting 59M people and killing 12,000

        But I am not going to Piss on Obama – because containing Swine Flu was not possible – THEN.

        Probably containing Covid19 is possible today.

        It took a full year to develop a swine flu vaccine.
        It took a full year to get shine flu test kits approved by the CDC.

        Those are failures of the Obama CDC.

      • Jay permalink
        March 11, 2020 7:21 pm

        Ron: “ People like Jay will be happy as a mouse in a cheese factory about this as it grows to 10,000- 20,000 cases, 1000+ deaths and Trumps approval is 25% because he gets blamed for incompetence that has been present in givernment for years.”

        It’s going to grow way more than 20,000 cases, Ron. And yes, the slow acting bureaucracy will be partly to blame, but Trump will be justifiable blamed for making it worse, for slowing down the slow response even slower.

        He’s the FUCKING PRESIDENT, Ron. He could declare a national emergency, and get those creaking bureaucratic wheels you’re bitching about moving faster! Instead the short-sighted ignoramus keeps insisting it will all be soon over, nothing to worry about, it’s just another flu.

        The thick headed idiot can not admit that his original ‘don’t worry’ prognostications were faulty; and he’ll double down on that in tonight’s speech, where he’ll maybe toss some federal money to cover small business losses, and paychecks for hourly workers effected by the virus, but WONT declare an expansive emergency to combat the escalating outbreak, because escalation is counter to his original narrative.

        And of course the narcissistic buffoon will Also take the opportunity to tell you how good Trump’s doing confronting EVERYTHING because Trump has a better understanding of what’s going on than ANYONE! And the Trumpanzee Zombies will nod in approval.

      • John Say permalink
        March 11, 2020 9:15 pm

        In 2009/2010 Swine Flu grew to 59m cases, and 12,000 deaths.
        Swine Flu had a Lower R0 value than Covid19 – i.e. If it is possible to contain Covid19 – it would have been easier to contain Swine Flu.

        Yet, Obama never even Tried.

        It took a full year before there were test kits available.

        This administration is not handling this perfectly – no administration does.
        But it is doing far better than Obama did.

        The only disease that Obama successfdully contained the entire time he was in office was Ebola, and that could not be spread without direct contact to specific bodily fluids, and only in an accutely infected person. Ebola was very deadly, but it was not very contageous.

      • John Say permalink
        March 11, 2020 9:28 pm

        Every single week more people are dying of the flu than have died from Covid19 since it reached the US.

        Of all the things you should be worried about – even now Covid19 is not one of those.

        I do not care if you want to panic. I do not care if the country wants to panic.

        But lets quit pretending this was some special failure of Trump’s.

        I do not like government, I do not like the CDC, FDA, NIH.
        I do not think they do a great job. Or even a good job.

        They do not do a good job under Trump.
        They did much worse under Obama.

        But they are within reason doing about as well as I would expect out of government in dealing with Covid19

        At this moment Italy, Spain, Germany, France all european countries whose combined populations are less than the US EACH have more infections than the US, Most double the US rate.

        I do not think there is a single developed nation on earth at this moment with fewer Covid19 cases as a percent of population.

        You claim Trump has handled this incompetently.

        Until Covid19 no one has EVER successfully tried to contain an airborne virus.

        Who is it that you think was going to do better ?

        Obama did not even try.

  54. Priscilla permalink
    March 11, 2020 12:34 pm

    Our Big Tech Overlords will make sure that we do not read any of the articles about Joe Biden’s declining mental state…..

    • Jay permalink
      March 11, 2020 3:07 pm

      ?? And you know the article was pulled to protect Biden? Did you read it prior to it’s withdrawal? If so, what did the article say?

      • Priscilla permalink
        March 11, 2020 3:20 pm

        Haven’t you heard? It’s off limits to question Joe’s mental acuity. Not off limits to question Trump’s, but definitely ol’ Joe is sharp as a tack, and don’t anyone dare suggest otherwise!

      • John Say permalink
        March 11, 2020 5:07 pm

        I do not always agree with Greenwald, but I love him.

        I forgot this GOP Conspiracy theory about Biden’s competence was started by democrats.

        This Trump/Russia collusion nonsense was bought and paid for by Clinton.

        Birtherism started with Clinton operative Sidney Blumenthal.
        The Biden Ukraine stories started with a Clinton campaign story planted in the NYT.

        I would not be surprised if Clinton operatives are the source of the Biden Dementia Story.

        I would further note that While Clinton is the queen of dirty politics each of these stories has some limited germ of Truth to it.

        Though Barack Obama can not bear any personal responsibility for the circumstances of his birth, the birth certificates thus far released have been altered. Someone is hiding something. It is just not likely Obama’s birthplace.

        Biden’s involvement in Ukraine stinks. Yavonovitch’s assertion that the claims of Ukriane misconduct in 2016 are a Hoax is demonstrably false on numerous levels.
        Ukraines net effect is likely more impotent than Russias. But it is not nonexistant.

        As even Greenwald notes – there are plenty of legitimate concerns about Biden, and these were raised – often by the very democrats claiming they are an evil GOP plot atleast as far back as June 2019

      • John Say permalink
        March 11, 2020 4:43 pm

        One of the problems with censorship is that you are rarely allowed to know why you have been censored.

  55. John Say permalink
    March 11, 2020 1:13 pm

    • March 11, 2020 2:54 pm

      Your worse than Biden. You just told me two comments ago government control was OK. Now with this you copy and past a tweet about govt killing people.

      • John Say permalink
        March 11, 2020 4:23 pm

        No I did not say government control was OK.

        I made a more generally statement – that government is LESS F’d up on GENERALLY dealing with Covid-19 than is the norm for government.

        Trying to stop an epidemic IS a legitimate government function.
        They are doing so BADLY, but NOT Unusually badly.

  56. Jay permalink
    March 11, 2020 3:01 pm

    Fuller picture of Coronavirus vrs Flu – symptoms, incubation, dangers …

    • John Say permalink
      March 11, 2020 4:42 pm

      1). The article has that one reversed.
      The flu spreads both as an aerosole and by transfer of fluids via surfaces – touching.
      Covid19 Absolutely spreads via aerosole. It MAY spread by surfaces – we are not sure of that. There is significant debate over the spread rate and mechanisms of Covid19.
      It has an estimated R factor of 2, The Flu has an R factor of 2.8, the measles has an R factor of 19. This is NOT a highly contageous disease.

      It PROBABLY does not spread via “germs on surfaces” – but it is still wise to take precautions.

      It should be noted that all the differences that suggest Corona is worse – such as the shedding duration, etc. ALL mean that it is FAR LESS contagious.

      IF the time interval in which you can get the flu from an infected person is only a day or two and yet the Flu has an R factor 50% higher than Covid19 while Covid19 has a time interval as much as 15 times longer that an infected person can spread the disease, they REQUIRES that the odds of getting Covid19 from an exposure must be more than 15 times lower.

      Seconday infections.
      I get the flu shot regularly. I have seasonal allergies that are bad in the fall that makes me highly susceptable to the flu. Further when I get the Flu I ALWAYS end up with a secondary infection – several in a row. I have gotten the flu frequently and not recovered for 6-8 weeks.

      Covid19 is deadlier than the flu – but the numbers int he article are crap.

      Flu mortality is only 0.1% in developed countries with excellent health care.
      Globally the flu mortality rate is about 1%
      Further in the US most at risk people are vaccinated against the flu lowering the mortality.
      In the US this year 19000 people have died of the flu and 31M have been infected.
      The current Flu seems to hit children particularly hard. There are far more infant flu deaths than all covid19 deaths.

  57. Jay permalink
    March 11, 2020 6:30 pm

    “In words that now seem prescient, Bill Gates said in an interview with STAT two years ago that he had urged President Trump to invest in technologies to respond to a pandemic.”

    Instead of following that advice Trump fired the pandemic rapid response team on NSC.

    • March 11, 2020 7:51 pm

      So CDC blocks testing based on years of regulations and your blaming Trump.


      Remember, the CDC blocked testing, did their own test kits and fucked that up.

      Ya think maybe we need to fire a bunch of incompetent lifers at CDC and start over.

      Why didnt 43 do the pandemic. Why didnt Obama do a pandemic plan, he had ebola and zeeka virus.

      Get off the 100% “Trump fault shit” and realize its GOVERNMENT civil service that is the problem. And the president can not walk in and fire 1,000,000+ incompetent employees.

      You and those that think government is the answer ARE THE PROBLEM!.Government is the problem!

      • John Say permalink
        March 11, 2020 10:03 pm

        The CDC under Trump has had test kits to the states 4 times faster and in larger numbers than with Obama and Swine Flu.

    • March 11, 2020 8:07 pm

      I was wrong. RRT’s were present in Obama admin.

      That does not change my opinion that government is good. Would that agency blocked the CDC from allowing private testing. I doubt it vey much.

      And much of their funding was designed for stopping pandemics in China. China would not let the WHO in early, so what could an RRT do if China had not let them in?

    • John Say permalink
      March 11, 2020 8:50 pm

      Are you paying any attention ?

      In the event this is contained – which it appears China has done, and which it is likely that much of the world might manage, this will be the first time EVER that an aerosol Virus has successfully been contained.

      We do not even try to contain the Flu or the common cold.
      We do nothing about the cold – which Covid19 is closely related to. It runs around the world all the time infecting and killing people.
      We have vaccines for the Flu – if we identify it early enough and can get people vaccinated – but we do not otherwise attempt to contain it.

      If we successfully contain this – it will be PROOF that we have actually advanced the state of things dramatically.

      You are pretending that you can hold Trump accountable for something that until now was not possible, and even now, may not be.

      If we succeed in containing this it will be because:

      The spread rate is low – it is not very contageous.
      And we acted quickly.

      In the event that we fail – we will have failed at something that is still impossible.

      Did Obama stop Swine Flu in 2009-2010 ? 59M americans were infected, 265,000 were hospitalized and atleast 12,000 died in the US alone from the H1N1 Swine Flu.

      Why didn’t Obama stop that ?

      In addition to Swine flu the same year there were 800 deaths PER WEEK due to the normal Flu.

      The Swine flu was recognized as a serious health threat in October 2009. Yet there were no US test kits until late April 2010.

      The R0 value for Swine Flu is Lower than Covid19 so it is easier to contain – yet Obama failed to contain it.

  58. Jay permalink
    March 11, 2020 6:47 pm

    More Trump Ia An Anus News:
    “ Twitter has for the first time labeled a post “manipulated media.” And it came from the White House.

    On March 7, at 8:18 pm EST, Dan Scavino, assistant to the president and director of social media at the White House, tweeted an edited clip of a speech that Joe Biden gave in Kansas City, Missouri. It went out from his personal Twitter to more than 700,000 followers.

    President Donald Trump retweeted the edited video later that day, and it’s now received more than 6.7 million views.

    The clip is edited so that the Democratic candidate appears to endorse Donald Trump’s reelection. Biden appears to say, “We cannot win this reelection. We can only elect Donald Trump.”

    In fact, what Biden actually said in his speech was, “We want a nominee who will bring this party together … because we cannot get reelect … we cannot win this reelection … excuse me … we can only reelect Donald Trump if in fact we get engaged in this circular firing squad here. It’s gotta be a positive campaign, so join us.”

    As usual, Trump says the video isn’t edited.. “It’s mesushna gobots dehamga,” Trump is reported complaining. 🥴

    • John Say permalink
      March 11, 2020 8:57 pm

      So you have Twitter banning free expression and you find a way to blame Trump.

      The “manipulation” Of the Biden video was simply choosing the starting and ending point, and Twitter seems to think they should second guess that.

      Just a few days ago you linked a video with a collection of purported Gaffes by Trump,

      This far more egregiously violated this new Twitter rule about “manipulation”.

      This is just a stupid rule, and more evidence that social media is politically biased.

      You want to rant about “russian interferance” in the election.

      This is an example of Twitter interfering in the election.

      And yet somehow you want to turn this arround and blame Trump ?

      For what ?

      Please Jay explain to me exactly why the clip you are offended by is more “manipulated” than the one you yourself linked to just a few days ago ?

      Alas, alas for you,
      Lawyers and pharisees
      Hypocrites that you be
      Searching for souls and fools to forsake them
      You travel the land you scour the sea
      After you’ve got your converts you make them
      Twice as fit for hell!
      As you are yourselves!

      Alas, alas, for you
      Lawyers and pharisees
      Hypocrites that you are
      Sure that the kingdom of Heaven awaits you
      You will not venture half so far
      Other men that might enter the gates you
      Keep from passing through!
      Drag them down with you!
      You snakes, you viper’s brood
      You cannot escape being Devil’s food!
      I send you prophets, and I send you preachers
      Sages in rages and ages of teachers
      Nothing can mar your mood

      Alas, alas for you
      Lawyers and pharisees
      Hypocrites to a man
      Sons of the dogs who murdered the prophets
      Finishing off what your fathers began
      You don’t have time to scorn or to scoff
      It’s getting very late!
      Vengeance doesn’t wait!
      You snakes, you viper’s brood
      You cannot escape being Devil’s food!
      I send you prophets, and I send you preachers
      Sages in rages and ages of teachers
      Nothing can mar your mood

      Blind guides, blind fools
      The blood you’ve spilt
      On you will fall!
      This nation, this generation
      Shall bear the guilt of it all!

      Alas, alas alas for you!
      Blind fools!!

    • John Say permalink
      March 11, 2020 9:02 pm

      Every video on the planet is “edited” We do not live stream life in its entirety.

      In the instance of this video a human decided – exactly as they do on every other video in creation when to start and when to end.

      That is ALL that was done. In this case it was done twice – once to decide when to start, once to decide when to end.

      In the collage clip of Trump remarks you posted recently the same editing choice was made HUNDREDS of times.

      You and Twitter are engaged in hypocritical games.

      You make rules for those you do not like – but do not apply them to those you do.

      Every single video on twitter meets this idiotic “manipulated media” criteria.

    • John Say permalink
      March 11, 2020 9:09 pm

      The video is not edited so that Biden “Appears” to say anything.

      Biden said every single word in the video. From the starting point to the ending point – no words were removed.

      Biden even paused where the video was ended, and then realizing he had misspoken – as he does frequently – added some more.

      Further no one on the planet actually thinks Biden endorsed Trump – or that the intent of the clip was to say that Biden endorsed Trump.

      The point of the clip – which it makes extremely well, is that Biden does not have control of what he is saying.

      But those like you – who are sure you can read other peoples minds, pretend that you know the “intent” of the video and that somehow the “intent” is deceptive.

      The intent is to show Biden speaking foolishly.
      Which he did.

      I would note that the entire media did exactly the same thing to Trump with the “there were good people on both sides” charlottesville remarks by Trump.
      Go find the full clip you will find in context Trump said something entirely different and the clip was “deceptively edited”.

    • John Say permalink
      March 11, 2020 9:09 pm

      All twitter is accomplishing is demonstrating that they can not be trusted.

  59. Jay permalink
    March 11, 2020 7:23 pm

    NBC NEWS: The attending physician of the U.S. Congress & Supreme Court, Dr. Brian Monahan, briefed Senate Staff yesterday in a closed-door meeting that he expects anywhere from 70 up to 150 million people in the U.S. to contract coronavirus, per two sources

    • John Say permalink
      March 11, 2020 9:36 pm

      Why do we have “The attending physician of the U.S. Congress & Supreme Court,”
      Testifying ? that is about the same as having my family doctor testify.

      Regardless, what would you like to bet on an upper limit to this ?

      I will agree to permanently leave TNM if there are more than 70M cases in the US – will you agree to permanently leave TNM if there aren’t ?

      “How much you truly “believe” in something can be manifested only through what you are willing to risk for it.”
      ― Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Skin in the Game:

      • Jay permalink
        March 11, 2020 11:07 pm

        “ Why do we have “The attending physician of the U.S. Congress & Supreme Court,”
        Testifying ? that is about the same as having my family doctor testify.‘

        Surely you agree it’s better than having Trump’s uninformed gut opinions about it…

        But i agree, those numbers don’t make sense; I’m guessing the Doctor said cases and deaths world-wide, and the reporter mistook that as US cases and deaths.

      • John Say permalink
        March 12, 2020 9:27 am

        “Surely you agree it’s better than having Trump’s uninformed gut opinions about it…”

        No, further I am not interested in anyone’s “oppinions” or Guts – not a family doctor, not some “expert” from CDC or WHO.

        I want to know what DATA they have, and the degree of confidence they have in that data.

        Virus’s are the simplest form of life in existance, it is arguable that they are not even a form of life. Regardless, their behavior is almost purely mathematical.

        Further there are things we can do to fight against virus’s – but honestly there is not that much, and that is pretty much being done.

        Most viruses will die out on their own eventually, their progression follows a “logistics curve”.

        All the questions regarding how fast this will spread, how many people will get it, how long it will last, how many people will die are inherently mathematical.

        Our most fundimental issue is that we do not accurately know those numbers and will not until large numbers of people have been infected either under controlled circumstances or under enough circumstances to factor out things that skew the data.

        Right now we have mortality curves – mostly based on data from China that is highly suspect.
        As well as from Cruise ships. Inside of most other countries the number of infections is either too low or the discrepancy between the actual and known infections is too high – at this time.

        We have a questimated spread rate. Despite all the panic being sowed and all the information about how long this is contagious, the spread rate is very low. That is the only reason we have any hope of containing this.

        “But i agree, those numbers don’t make sense; I’m guessing the Doctor said cases and deaths world-wide, and the reporter mistook that as US cases and deaths.”

        I have no idea. I also have no idea where the doctor got his numbers.
        I do not think the Doctor has any idea where he got his numbers.

        If we fail at containment, the total number effected will be little more than a guess.
        It depends on things like the natural immunity levels – the number of people who just will not get this no matter what. Those are not know.

        The spanish flu only infected 27% of the world population inn 1918. That was an extremely virulent flu with a high spread rate that hit during a world war under the absolute most favorable conditions for spreading.

        We can not at this time know what the maximum number of people who will get this will be, but 27% globally would likely be an absolute maximum.
        We have not seen anything like that since the Spanish flu, and there is no reason to beleive this is going to spread to more people than that.

        Further this is hitting the US as we start into spring – Flu and colds are seasonal. We are not sure why, but there is no reason to beleive this is not seasonal.
        That the spread will decline rapidly as the temperatures warm. That is also why this is mostly conjfined to the northern hemisphere right now.

        Finally, aside from vaccines and antivirals(which only reduce symptoms) we have never successfully stopped anything like this.
        Not Obama, Not Trump. Not the WHO, not CDC, not anyone, ever.

        Trump can be competent or not – though frankly the political leadership is almost a non-factor. The CDC, FDA, NIH are all fundimentally the same people with fundimentally the same resources as they were for the past 20 years. They are going to do fundimentally the same job.

        The facts thus far indicate that the government (and private) response thus far, has been much more effective that that against Swine Flu in 2009. That is NOT likely the result of politics. It is most likely the result of the advance of science.

        You have ranted about the lack of testing – it has taken 3 months to reach broad public availability of testing resources. In 2009 it took a full year.

        If you wish to claim there is a political factor – Fine, Trump is 4 times better than Obama.
        I do not think there is. But there is not a real world where there is data that Trump is less effective.

        It took a full year to develop and approve the Swine Flu Vaccine.
        We have two vaccines in animal trials now. Those might not prove safe or effective.
        But it is near certain we will have a working vaccine in less than a year.
        It is highly likely we will have one by summer.

      • John Say permalink
        March 12, 2020 10:28 am

        The successful efforts by Rosenstein, and the “deep state” to stall for years on the release of this information diminished our grasp of how serious this is.

        Solomon notes that Judge Sulivan refuses to consider this in Flynn’s case – because he plead guilty to a different crime.

        But the fact that the entire Trump/Russia nonsense fell apart completely by mid january means that ALL subsequent investigation is unconstitutional.

        I would note that REPEATEDLY through this article damning exculpatory information is revealed followed by AND MUELLER KNEW.

        Most of us are aware of the legal concept ‘fruit of the poisonous tree”.

        Every single Mueller prosecution is “fruit of the poisonous tree”.

        As Horowitz noted – reasonable suspicion was gone by mid january.

        This article just documents some of the nails in its coffin,

        Without reasonable suspicion GOVERNMENT MAY NOT INVESTIGATE.

        If this were a murder investigation and the police determined that the alleged murder victim was still alive, They could not continue to investigate murder.

        The power to investigate – requires reasonable suspicion.
        Our government is NOT free to investigate whoever it wants for no reason at all.

        The power to subpeona, issue warrants, call a grand jury requires probable case – that is a much higher standard.

        If reasonable suspicion does not exist, probable cause certainly does not.

        The FISA court has already voiding the last two warrants for Carter Page.

        The FISA court has as a mater of judicial record concluded that their no longer existed probable cause for the last two FISA warrants. Every single court continuing to hear a Mueller matter is required to take judicial notice of that.
        Voiding the FISA Warrants is very close to voiding every single subpeona and Warrant that Mueller issued.

        At the very least every single warrant that Mueller issues must be reviewed and stripped of all evidence that law enforcement KNEW in Jaunary 2017 was bogus must be removed. If that warrant can not stand without that evidence, the Warrant itself is no longer valid. Any “evidence” based on that warrant is no longer admissible.

        A part of what Sulivan does nto appear to grasp is that as of mid jaunary 2017 continued investigation of Flynn by the FBI and Mueller was itself a CRIME.

        With almost everything we have fought over for the past 4 years there is a single absolutely critical foundational issue at the very bottom.

        What constitutes sufficient basis to conduct an investigation ?

        The legitimacy of Crossfire huricane rests on whether their is “reasonable suspicion” of a crime to justify the investigation.

        Democrats and republicans continue to fight over whether this investigation or that is “politically motivated” – THAT IS NOT THE STANDARD.

        Absolutely political motivations are a reason to be dubious of government actions.

        But as I have said repeatedly -Motivations are NOT crimes. Allegedly bad motive do not make legal acts into crimes. Nor do good motives make bad acts legal.

        Crossfire hurricane and the subsequent Mueller investigation were legitimate so long as reasonable suspicion of a crime existed. Horowitz has concluded – and now the FISA court that reasonable suspicion no longer existed after Mid January 2017.

      • John Say permalink
        March 12, 2020 11:01 am

        I am glad we agree atleast a little on some things.

        Frankly your post surprised me. It is just about the most rational and reasonable post I can recall your making possibly ever.

        Regardless, I was also trying to raise a point that I try to make over and over – that applies to most everyone.

        The value of an “oppinion” most strongly correlates to the cost to the person offering it of being wrong, and the benefit to them of being right.

        Or more simply – whether the person has “skin in the game”.

        This is one of the many many problems with government “experts”.
        There is almost never a price to be paid for those in government for being wrong.
        They can not lose their jobs.

        In the wake of the VA scandals, the Head of the VA was fired, but the VA received more money and nearly everyone below the VA cheif benefitted from the VA failures.

        That is a receipe for disaster.

        It is also why private “experts” are far more accurate than government experts.
        It is also why profit motives very rarely (contra the left) lead to bad outcomes.

        Madoff and family lived like a king as a result of his fraud for years.
        Now he is in jail for the rest of his life, his son committed suicide. His family are pariahs.

        There are extremely few evil ways to profit in business that do not ultimately lead to jail, bankruptcy, and ill repute.

        For every expert you are listening to on any subject – Covid19, Trump, Economics, law, ….
        What is the cost to them of being wrong, what is the benefit to them of being right ?

        If there is no cost – their oppinion has little value.

        Our media has degenerated into crap – because there is no cost to being wrong.

        A decade or two ago we had very high profile media firing’s over pulitzer prize winning stories that ultimately had no foundation. the “naratives” were “true” purportedly, but there were no real people. Today these reporters would not be fired, they would be celebreated, not only is their no price for error in reporting – but so long as the “narative” is appealing, the facts do not matter.

        The easier we make things like voting – the poorer the quality of the results we will get.

      • Jay permalink
        March 12, 2020 8:26 pm

        (but you have to wait until april 9th)

      • John Say permalink
        March 12, 2020 9:17 pm

        Using your logic, can I claim that Joe Biden has become a 2nd amendment absolutist because he went to a union shop where he was asked questions by a gun rights supporter ?

        What does it take to get you to drop these stupid guilt by association twice removed fallacies ?

  60. John Say permalink
    March 11, 2020 10:57 pm

  61. John Say permalink
    March 11, 2020 11:17 pm

  62. vermontadowhatiwanta permalink
    March 12, 2020 10:11 am

    This is a bad day, in fact its terrible. Its EVERYBODY’S FAULT in the world of politics. As an example of what is wrong, I do not have one single source of information I trust on the issue of coronavirus and its medical, political, and economic impacts. Our dysfunctional and hyper partisan shortsighted political party system has done huge harm to the fabric of our society.

    Well, we have always been partisan, divided into two or three teams, the level has gone up and down from era to era. Here we see the consequences of hyper-partisan division when some large outside event happens. Populist movements have turned out to be just as dangerous as I feared 4 years back. Populist movements are based on the deepest most acidic and unbalanced cynicism that destroys everything it touches. Here is America trying to have an effective reaction to a technically beatable problem while in the throes of populist movements that convince so many people that the system is rotten to the core and must be replaced in a revolution.

    I would love to see Trump, congress and the media stop their politicking and present a united front right now. Nothing has happened that could not be dealt with if we come together adn don’t panic.

    I have no stocks, but I recognize what is going to happen to the economy as a result of a stock market crash and how it is going to hurt people and have repercussions that go in all directions. This is why I fear complex systems, one part going sour can bring the whole thing down.

    The election is small potatoes compared to the importance of getting the next month right.

    • John Say permalink
      March 12, 2020 12:23 pm

      Why do you presume some right to information that you can trust ?

      One of the underlying facts regarding this is that there is so much that we just do not know.

      There are disputes over just about every key attribute to this virus. There are very few of the “experts” who are trying to deceive us. Most are well meaning. But they do not KNOW the things you claim to have a right to be told.

      I would further note had Covid19 occured in 2010 instead of 2020 there would be no serious debate as to what to do, because there would have been almost nothing that we could do.
      And that STILL may be true even today. But we MIGHT be able to do something today, and we near certainly will be able to do better in the future.

      Before you can presume some failure on the part of our health system or government – and I am always ready to point out failures of government – it has to be possible for action on their part to result in a different outcome. No government has ever been able to control the path of a huricane. Hopefully there is not a poster here who would claim that any president has it within his power to control hurricanes.

      There is some hope right now that it might be possible to thwart covid19.
      And that Hope MIGHT have a sound basis.

      But before we go rushing off to conclusions fundimentally based on partisanship, we whoudl note than nothing like stopping Covid19 has EVER been done before.

      As to all the purported experts warning us of some deadly pandemic which we have all ignored – SO WHAT? Fretting over what we can not control, spending a fortune to accomplish nothing beyond saying “we care, we tried” is not wise.

      The root of your anxiety and despair is not bitter partisanship. It is that humans are not omnisient, all things are not known to science and never will be,

      It is near certain that “next time” we will have learned enough to do better. It is clear that our developing knowledge and skills in genetics will get us to the point where we can stop something like this at the start. But that is not now.

      Right now we have a choice to try to contain this – which there is reason to hope will succeed, or to try to stall until we have more effective anti-virals and a vaccine, or to just let this run its course.

      At the same time we are likely to get a crash course in economics. The tools we are using. The quaranties, travel bans, social distancing, all the assorted shutdowns – even if they work have profound consequences.

      It is entirely possible that we can succeed in stopping this AND concurrently cause a serious global recession. This is especially true if this becomes as it easily could be a protracted delaying tactic, in hopes of a vaccine.

      It is possible but unlikely this could kill millions.
      It is also possible that the economic damage of fighting it could exceed the cost of not doing so.

      There is no expert that can answer these questions with certainty.

      The answers you seek are not known. The fact they are not know is NOT some consequence of political partisanship – even if this is amplifying partisan conflict.

      Covid19 does not give a shit whether you are a republican or democrat.

      At the same time as there are many many attributes of Covid19 that we do not know for certain. The attributes themselves are fixed, immutable. Our lack of knowledge does not change them.

    • John Say permalink
      March 12, 2020 12:30 pm

      You are presuming that it is possible to “get the next month right.”

      Why do you presume this is a problem inside of the ability of humans to control ?

      • vermontadowhatiwanta permalink
        March 12, 2020 12:58 pm

        I absolutely believe that there is such a thing as an unsolvable problem, pancreatic cancer for example, or Alzheimer’s to pick biological examples, or human travel at light speed, elimination of economic classes, many things are not doable.

        The economic aspects of this situation can be, not prevented, but helped adn contained to some extent, and it would be better if the people in the highest positions of responsibility, which actually includes the media, would work together and put their ideas about the election down as much as possible. Possibly a very naive statement on my part, but a sentiment that I think you can agree with at any rate. I have actually felt some sympathy for trump in the last week. There are all kinds of ways I can see trumps actions as not having been optimal, but I have put that thinking down for the time, and I have been disgusted, as I have mentioned, with media stories that are the same old partisan political “analysis.” I do not think that the GOP and Dem parties should be crafting competing plans, I think they should get together in a dignified way and craft one plan. I can hear everyone here saying, Ha, Ha, Ha to that and going back to grinding their own political axe and playing the usual its the other side that is at fault game but I think that it could happen that the politicians put down their weapons and cooperate, given the stakes.

        As well, while there is no perfect response there are better and worse ways of managing the biological and epidemiological responses. I actually have agreed with much that you have written on that topic, a lot of it has been pretty logical and rational and agrees with my own thoughts. Do we have to instinctively disagree? Sometimes we have transcended that. This would be a great time to do it again, as many of us as possible.

      • John Say permalink
        March 12, 2020 2:49 pm


        I beleive that despite the degree of uncertainty regarding many factors of Covid19 that we still have enough data to model a range of possible outcomes.

        I beleive Los Almos’s worst case scenario is total global deaths at 4.4M.

        That is NOT a likely outcome.

        I beleive there best case scenario was 440,000 cases of COVID19 globally.

        That is also NOT a likely outcome.

        There is a small possibility of exceeding either extreme projection.
        But the likely outcome is somewhere between the two extreme projections.

        These models will get more accurate as existing raw data is better analyzed.

      • John Say permalink
        March 12, 2020 3:12 pm

        Just to be clear I am not specifically talking about an unsolveable problem – though this might be one.

        I am talking about one of the myriads of problems with CURRENTLY unknowable factors.

        I would specifically note that there is one and only one institution that has ever been capable of effectively confronting this class of problems – free markets.
        That is the only arrangement that allows multiple concurrent efforts to address the same problem each doing so with different assumptions regarding the unknowns and the best fit solution usually prevailing.

        Many things we do not accurately know about Covid19 – many of the things where there is significant disagreement, will ultimately be known. But we do not know them NOW, and the best we can do is try to reconcile conflicting data with each other in ways that favors that data that is higher quality. That WILL NOT reach the absolute truth. But it has a high probability of getting at the truth.

        Some examples:

        We know that the time period that Covid19 is contageous is about 4 times longer than the flu or colds.

        But we also know that the reporuction rate R0 is very close to that of the flu and colds.

        LOGICALLY and MATHEMATICALLY that MUST mean that the odds of Covid19 passing from a single encounter is about 1/4 that of the cold or flu.

        My GUESS is that Covid19 is ONLY spread by close aerosol contact – i.e. it is not spread indirectly – through surfaces.

        Is that a fact ? No. It is just something I think is a likely explanation for the fact that Covid19 is contageous for much longer without having a higher spread rate.

        CDC is not going to say that today. And I would not advise them to.

        Further, CDC is near certain to recomend measures that even if probably not effective against Covid19 are effective against Colds and Flu’s.

        Is that a bad thing ?

        The Los Almost Simulations (and those in Guanzhou) are suggesting that the virus first appeared in mid November 2019 NOT Mid December.

        They are also suggesting that China is misrepresenting the number of infections in china by a factor of between 8-20.

        If that is the case the mortality rate is likely much lower than claimed.

        The data from cruise ships also suggest much lower mortality rates.

        The cruise ship data is extremely useful to modelers.

        While there are factors that make it different from the general population – a completely isolated small environment with no travel and a recirculated HVAC system

        It is also a controlled environment – the number of people is exactly known, the mortality rate is exactly known the age distributions are exactly known, the numbers who get infected are exactly known, the number with some kind of natural immunity is exactly known.

        This allows calculating parameters like the R0 value much more accurately and then using those for the general population model.

        I would further note though the Los Almost model is not accurately tracking specific numbers of infections – the model appears to be runing HOT so far.
        It is predicting the locations of infections and their relative scale incredibly well.

        Los Almost predicted every hot spot in the US to scale so far.

        Should we instill biblical inerancy in the Los Almos models ?

        but it is not unreasonable to accept them as a best guess

      • John Say permalink
        March 12, 2020 3:42 pm

        I do not have a great deal of interest in the politics of Covid19.

        I presume that those from WHO, CDC, NIH, …. the medical profession as a whole are going to do their jobs. And that to though they will make many mistakes, these are more the natural errors of government, not the results of politics.

        I beleie that Trump is SLIGHTLY more likely to have agressively responded to this than Obama or Clinton. Covid19 ticks off two of Trump’s buttons.
        First his germophobia, and 2nd his fixation on secure borders.

        I did not like Trump’s speach last night. I thought he talked too fast, and I thought he fixated a bit too much on blaming China and now europe.

        But despite those criticism’s I am not going into full blown TDS.

        I do not think the speach mattered – what is it actually going to change ?
        Covid19 is going to do whatever it is going to do.
        Those people charged with trying to defeat it are going to do what they are going to do.
        And success or failure has nothing to do with Trump’s speach.
        It is possible, maybe probable that they will fail NO MATTER WHAT.

        If Democrats and Republicans want to fight over this – whoppee.

        If we do actually manage to contain this – Trump is going to get credit – even though that is not likely his responsibility.
        If we fail, probably Trump gets the blame – even though I do not think failure has anything to do with who is president.

        But I do not “feel sorry” for Trump – getting the blame comes with the job. Trump is a “big boy” and he knows that.

        I think the press is terrifying the shit out of people.
        But again I do not care much.
        It is their credibility at stake.

        I am a firm beleiver in a “free press”. I do not care that much of it is biased, political, innaccurate, …. I greately prefer the situation today – that many of you decry with lots and lots of voices most of which are partisan and wrong, than the 3 versions of the same center left pablum that I grew up with in the 60’s and 70’s.

        I beleive in free speach and free press – even if that means tolerating “Der Sturmer” and Nazi’s.
        Not only do I beleive in a free press but I think free speach is more than a “beleif”. I think it is a fundimental principle and that society as a whole will demonstrably fare worse the more speech – even “bad speech” even “hate speech” is curtailed.

        The bad job the press is doing with politics and corona, and … is the price we pay for free speech.

        I would note that TODAY, I can go online and I can find a dozen different estimates of the R0 value for Covid19 – AND the underlying arguments and data to support each.

        In 1969 Huntley Brinkley, and Walther Cronkite would have each given me an identical answer. I would have not other source, I could not even easily get the information from CDC or WHO directly. My ability to try to reach a conclusion on my own would be ZERO.

        If I decided that I did not trust what “the experts” were saying, any effort to analyse myself would necescarily be an uneductated guess – because there would be no information no data, beyond that of 3 homogenous news channels.

        Are all your complaints about the press today true ? Sure. Still TODAY IS BETTER.
        I have no interest in going back to being spoon fed what 3 networks think I should beleive.

      • March 12, 2020 5:06 pm

        Trump does not do well reading speeches off teleprompters especially when they are someone elses words. When the syntax is not his, he mumbles, stumbles and slurs words. His public speaking is effective only when its off the cuff and the words arranged in his normal arrangement. I suspect that speech was by speech writers given the issues to address.

        Whatever it makes no difference. He is toast! And I bet you wont hear another word out of Obama that this economy started in his administration!

      • John Say permalink
        March 12, 2020 5:57 pm

        “he is toast!”

        This is complex. I am not sure that is the case.

        First the election is 8 months away.
        It is unlikely this will be front and center that long.

        Covid19 today does nto matter to the election

        Nor does the economy.

        How long this lasts, and how blame is apportioned matters.

        Trump is already spinning this as a Chinese and European thing.

        Faucci claims most US cases came from China or Europe.

        The US daily newcases has been dropping since 3/2.

        Unfortunately even CDC does not think the last 6 days are reliable yet.

        But if US numbers are actually dropping, Trump is going to come off a hero.

        It also matters how the US compares to other countries.

        Europe is way way ahead of us, Italy is a disaster.

        I think so long as the US does dramatically better than the rest of the world
        Attacks on Trump fail.

        Further the whole issue calls attention to Trump’s big talking points.
        Borders and China.

        Further who in their right mind think Biden could manage this ?

        I accept/agree that there is a the posibility this could be Trump’s “waterloo”.
        but that is not set yet.

      • March 12, 2020 7:59 pm

        When was the last time a president got elected in a sinking economy and rising unemployment?

      • John Say permalink
        March 12, 2020 8:14 pm

        Bush V. Kerry
        GDP UI
        First 37 Months Under Bush 2.10% 5.51%

      • John Say permalink
        March 12, 2020 9:09 pm

        You asked, I googled your question. I posted the answer I got back from a web page that examined both numbers for every election since eisenhower.

        All I can remember about Bush 2004 was being sure he would not get re-elected.
        Switft boating, and being told no use president in wartime has ever lost.

        Mostly I would like to forget Bush.

        He was a decent person, but a lousy president.

      • John Say permalink
        March 12, 2020 8:34 pm

        Just to be clear – if in the next 8 months the economy goes seriously to Hell with no recovery in site Trump is probably Forked.

        Though that could be mitigated if House Dems look like they are trying to make things worse.
        i.e Trump is proposing a payroll tax cut and some stimulus.
        If Pelosi thwarts that – Democrats will pay rather than Trump.

        But I am more focused on Covid19.
        the US currently has a bit over 1000 cases, and more than half of those are directly tied to foreign travel.

        It is still in the realm of the possible that Trump contains this.

        That complicates everything.

        There is a very strong possibility this takes out the global economy no matter what.
        Though the scale of the damage is not yet known.

        Regardless, that will have a US impact, but the US economy is still much stronger than the global economy.

        It is likely certain segments of the US economy take a hit no matter what – entertainment and hospitality. I do not think even a quick recovery is helping them.

        Further we are already seeing some significant restructuring

        My Daughter works at Target – they are being buried with orders.
        But there has been a huge swing in online pickup orders.

        It is early to tell because we are still “panic buying”.
        That BTW has a net zero effect – buy all the toilet paper you want now.
        you will just buy less later.

        But it looks like people are NOT going to stop working and buying but alot are going to change HOW they do it.

        This will give a huge boost to working from home and to internet sales and to order online pickup locally.

        Despite “panic” people are being relatively smart.
        They understand it is not leaving the driveway that is the problem, it is crowds of people that are the risk.

        I am not sure how this is working in big cities.

        And I have no idea what the effects of a large shift in the way that we work and make purchases will effect the economy.

        I would also note that in Italy this hit the afluent sections hardest.

        I strongly suspect that is because ordinary people do not engage in foreign travel.
        I suspect that most Cases in the US are among more afluent people.

        That is actually important – as it is more affluent people who are better able to work from home. And if this does not spread to less afluent families – this will have less effect on most US production.

        But we are likely to see work rules – do not come in to work if you are sick PERIOD.
        Especially at large workplaces.

      • John Say permalink
        March 12, 2020 6:02 pm

        Also there is alot that we do not know.

        More than 900 of the US cases are listed on CDC as “monitored”.

        I am not sure what that means. It may just be people that they are keeping track of who have not been infected.

        There is a big fight between CDC, WHO and China over what counts as a case.

        China is openly admitting to not counting people who test positive unless they have symptoms.

        I am not sure but the US does not seem to be distinguishing between tests positive and merely exposed.

      • John Say permalink
        March 12, 2020 6:04 pm

        The doubling rate on this (absent intervention) is every 4 days.

        That is what we need to keep track of.

        I would really like to see a website listing currently active infections – that would give a better picture.

      • March 12, 2020 8:02 pm

        Current active cases is listed on the website I shared and USA is on the one you shared this morning.

      • John Say permalink
        March 12, 2020 8:47 pm

        The CDC site I linked listed 1200+ cases – which loosely tied with JHU.

        But it divided those into three groups. Only two of which were clearly active.
        The description for the 3rd group was something like “monitored”.

        I do not know precisely what that means.
        China has not been counting people who are not showing symptoms.

        I am near certain the US is counting everyone who tests positive.
        But I am suspicious that it is also counting people who have merely been exposed.
        That could be a huge difference.

        Further the peak US new cases per day was 40. I beleive based on an R0 of 2 over 10 days that means the peak active cases would be 200 (200 people at R0 2 would infect 400 over 10 days or 40/day).

        Regardless, if the R0 value is currect you can closely approximate the # of active cases from the new case per day. But we have to be careful because the daily new case count gets adjusted over 8 days.

      • March 12, 2020 9:00 pm

        Page down..Active cases by country. They define active as infected.

      • John Say permalink
        March 12, 2020 9:36 pm

        I read the CDC web page.

        They are running a day behind everyone else.
        However they explicity noted that there PUI number is not active cases.

        Making perfect sense of their notes is near impossible
        Prior to state reporting PUI’s are people under investigation.
        It includes people who were exposed, tested and tested negative
        But AFTER state reporting their numbers are based on the criteria the state uses.

        Given that everybody else’s web sites are either based on CDC or more recently state reported data, I do not think anyone’s number of active cases is what most people would call “active”.
        does not define “active”, neither does JHU,

        CDC does not use Active.
        They divide cases into Travel Related, Close contact and Under Investigation. With 988 “Persons Under Investigation” – and that number may or may not include people who have tested negative.

      • March 12, 2020 10:10 pm

        virusbcov website, second slide defines active as currently infected. Paging down provides country data
        Look at the date and time updates. The last one was 3-13-2020.

      • John Say permalink
        March 13, 2020 1:09 am

        Ron my problem is not finding what the site says, it is what defintion is being used for Active,
        and it is increasingly clear to me that Active in the US means anyone meeting the CDC criteria for exposure – even if they test negative.

        Now it appears that is about to change – as CDC is relying on states to identify cases moving forward.

        Regardless, to me Active means someone who ATLEAST tests positive.

        And that does not appear to be the case.

      • John Say permalink
        March 12, 2020 9:45 pm

        Your site has the CDC;s definition of PUI.

        a) being within approximately 6 feet (2 meters) of a COVID-19 case for a prolonged period of time; close contact can occur while caring for, living with, visiting, or sharing a health care waiting area or room with a COVID-19 case
        – or –

        b) having direct contact with infectious secretions of a COVID-19 case (e.g., being coughed on)
        If such contact occurs while not wearing recommended personal protective equipment or PPE (e.g., gowns, gloves, NIOSH-certified disposable N95 respirator, eye protection), criteria for PUI consideration are met”

        My reading of that is that most PUI’s are not active infections.

      • John Say permalink
        March 12, 2020 4:14 pm

        With respect to your assessment of my Covid19 posts.

        There is no knowable at this moment absolute truth.
        It is near certain that I am wrong.
        Just as it is near certain that most everyone else speaking on the topic is wrong.

        Absolutely everything I am posting is mathematics and logic – which in theory should result in absolute certainty.

        But that is logic 101. In advanced logic (and physics) you encounter uncertainty, probability.

        Math + logic + uncertainty results in probability. not absolute truth.

        BTW this is not unique to Covid19. It is also true about nearly every other discussion on TNM.

        Next, I have said this before repeatedly – but mathematics and logic – particulalry the type of mathematics and logic involved in most of our debates here, are the core of my life’s work over the past 40+ years. i am an embedded software developer – a pretty damn good one.
        nearly all my work demands near perfection in those “logic 101” skills. If I do not get that right my project fail, usually obviously and catastrophically.

        But a reasonable portion of my work deals with projects that heavily involve probability – more advanced logic. One of the best examples I can think of was a product to increase farmers productivity by shortening harvest times by allowing them to drive threshers as close as possible to the point at which they would fail, without ever exceeding that failure threshold.
        My raw data for that project looked like random noise. When I first saw the plot of the raw data, I told my supervisor the project was not possible – atleast not in real time.
        A week later I had invented new data filtering techniques to separate the signal from the noise that produced results on a $100 embedded device that matched the results of a $1m dynamo-meter The sensors the dynamo meter used were each more expensive than my entire project.

        This is what I do, all the time. One month it is a system to measure the torque on farm equipment axles, another it is determining the precise distance between two computers using wireless packet times, another it is detecting radioactive materials at ports of entry or IAEA monitored reactors.

        You certainly know much more than I about music, and are certainly more skilled at making it.
        It is certain that you know more about biology, It is possible based on what you have said that you have a better understanding of statistics.

        But it is highly unlikely that you are as able as I am at the mathematics, logic, and probability of using computers to model the real world particularly in real time.

        Just about everything that any embedded computer system does is some form of computer modeling. Embedded computer systems do not exist in the real world, they use data from sensors to model the real world and quite often that data is messy.

        If you have a self driving car that is making decisions based on the model of the real world it has constructed based on messy data from 50 sensors, you want that computer to get those decisions near perfect, even with really crappy data.

        A biologist likely has a much better understanding of how virus’s spread by touch or aerosol
        but if you give me enough data – without any understanding of the underlying biology, I can tell you with a very high degree of accuracy what portion of transmission is aerosol or touch.

      • Priscilla permalink
        March 12, 2020 11:10 pm

        Roby, I honestly don’t see anyone here, other than Jay, who has “a political axe to grind,” if, by that, you mean that anyone here would rather see the economy tank, our national security threatened and our way of life undermined, just so that his/her preferred candidate and party would have control of the government.

        For years, we have mostly all said that things work better when there is open and free debate, consensus, and compromise.

        The problem is that, before we can have consensus and compromise, we need to have the open and free debate, and that is no longer encouraged or tolerated I believe that both Obama and Trump began their presidencies believing that they could work with the oppostion party on certain things, and they both tried, in their own way, and failed.

        Maybe it’s that the divide has become too great, and there is no consensus to be had. Maybe it’s that there is too little trust or good will on either side. Maybe it’s that we have crossed the rubicon of no longer having any guiding principles to determine the direction of the country, because only a minority of the country believes that the Constitution provides those principles. The rest think that the Constitution is a racist, 18th century rag, written by old white men who owned slaves.

        Maybe it’s all of the above.

      • John Say permalink
        March 13, 2020 1:25 am

        When Obama won in 2008. I prayed that everything I knew to be true was wrong, or that Obama would grow to fill the shoes of the president.

        Unfortunately neither happened.

        Republicans did not ruin Obama’s presidency.
        If anything they prevented it from being much worse.

        Regardless the possibility of Republicans and Democrats working together did exist during the Obama presidency.

        But Obama prefered temporary ideological victories – ruling by the pen and the phone, to permanent accomplishments that come from getting the other party to buy in.

        Trump had problems getting Republicans to work with him.
        But since Democrats took the house, there goal has universally been to destroy him, not to solve problems The mexican Trade deal is just about the only thing that has managed to get democrats to work with this administration.

        But there is another obstacle that is going to poison politcs for a very very long time.

        Never in the entirety of US history has the outgoing president booby traped the president for his successor.

        If you wish to pretend that Obama had no personal involvement in that – we will see.

        But there is zero doubt that what was done was very wrong and never done before.

        Before Trump was inaugurated the FBI knew there was no Trump/Russia collusion.
        And yet we have had 3 years of bitter partisan investigations of NOTHING.

        Both Bushes actively helped the new Clinton and Obama staff with their transition.
        Both Clinton and Obama staff praised the Bush people for their help, despite being on opposite sides of politics.

        We have known pretty much from day one that Yates and Rise and Powers and numerous others were actively working to make life as difficult as possible for Trump and his people.

        Whenever it is that democrats return to the whitehouse, it is unlikely they will get the same help as they got from the Bush’s.

        Nor are republican members of congress likely to forget either.

        There was absolutely no precident for this.

        And there is likely to be bitter repercussions for a generation or more.

      • John Say permalink
        March 13, 2020 1:58 am

        Once upon a time free speach was a value that was held dear by liberals.

        The ACLU and Alan Derschowitz were the legal tip of the spear defending the free speach of hated people, of Nazi’s and atheists, and pornographers.

        The Berkeley Free Speech movement was founded by liberal protestors.

        Today we have the strongest censorship movement in US history. Today a substantial portion of those on the left seek to do something that has never been done in the US before to shutdown the free expression of political ideas.

        Near the start of the 19th century progressive supreme court Justices like Brandeis told us that Speech was so precious that the only remedy for vile and hateful speech was more speach.

        Today the left seeks to silence all dissent – even the dissent of their own.

        I am an embedded software developer. I have played a bit part in the Free Software movement. i know people like Richard Stallman and Eric Raymond personally – I have emailed them many times over the past few decades sometimes in agreement and sometimes to debate a point.

        For 40+ years Free Software has been one of the greatest meritocracies in the world.
        9 Months ago Linus Torvalds was forced out of his position as maintainer of the Linux Kernel.
        For hurting the feelings of devleopers whose submissions did not meet the quality standards of the linux Kernel. Fortunately cooler heads prevailed and after a few weeks Linus returned.
        But insurgents who had almost nothing to do with the creation of Linux and very little to do with more than 20 years of continuous improvement nearly stole it from all of us, because their feelings were hurt.

        This Fall Richard Stallman was removed as the head of the Free Software Foundation.
        Stallman created the FSF for probably a decade he WAS the FSF – there was no one else. No Free Software would exist without Stallman. Stallman is a real world lefty – or atleast a 1980’s real world lefty. This is a guy who has been to Palestein and met with and advocated for Palestinians. Stallman has been politically active, but he kept Politics out of the FSF.
        The only political position of the FSF was their unrelenting position on software freedom, and Stallman has been the worlds strongest advocate for that.
        Stallman too made the mistake of presuming that the Free Software Foundation was a meritocracy, and that you were judged by the quality of your code, not your pronouns.
        Stallman was removed from the FSF for the crime of not tolerating fools.
        Just recently Eric S. Raymond – who write the influential book “the Cathederal and the Bazzar” which is considered the manefesto of the Open Source movement (Open Source is slightly less radical than free software), Eric was again for decades the founder and head of the Open Source Initiative – basically the less radical cousin to the Free Software Foundation.
        Within the past few weeks Eric was removed as head of the OSI – again for offending snowflakes and assuming that the world of open source was still the meritocracy that brought us all of this fantastic free and open source software.

        Denis Prager has a quote “The left destroy’s everything”‘

        Linus, Richard and Eric – though politically quite different – Linus is pretty apolitical, Richard is pretty far left (for the 80’s) and Eric is an Anarcho-capitalist, but they shared one trait that got them into trouble. They assumed that even if the world was not that the world of free and open source software was a meritocracy. Not a political platform.

        Linus, Richard and Eric each have a decades long history of posts, that are very similar to my posts here. Driven by reason, logic, facts focused on the quality of what you offer, not your feelings. And not particularly tolerant of fools, or those who wanted to make everything about some emotional issue.

        The left destroys everything.

        1984 was supposed to be a dystopic warning. It was not supposed to be prophecy.
        Emmanuel Goldstein was supposed to be a fictional character – even in 1984.
        Today he is real, every week is “hate week”, and freinds and enemies are as interchangeable as they were in 1984.

    • John Say permalink
      March 12, 2020 12:40 pm

      “I would love to see Trump, congress and the media stop their politicking and present a united front right now. Nothing has happened that could not be dealt with if we come together and don’t panic.”

      Why do you presume this can be dealt with ? We have never succeeded in stoping the cold, the flu, a huricane, or tornado.

      Why does a united front matter ? Are we somehow assured of being right, if we all agree ?

      I have a great deal of hope this will end relatively well.

      But that hope is not based on known facts – far too many facts/attributes of this are at best probabilities with large error bars, and that is not a solvable problem.

      We are not at a point at which we can derive the R0 or mortality of a virus from its Gnome. Until we are, all assessments of those factors will be derived empiracally – which fundimentally means we will not know them with certainty until this is long over.

    • John Say permalink
      March 12, 2020 12:46 pm

      Very shortly we will dramatically increase our knowledge of the most critical aspect of this.

      China appears to have this under control. They are starting to relax many of the measures they have taken to contain this. It will not take very long to determine whether they have succeeded or not.

      If Covid19 continues to decline in China after the Chinese return to normal, it is likely that the US will gain and maintain control.

      The alternate is that fairly quickly Chinese Covid19 cases start rising again.
      If that occurs then US actions merely buy time, and the only choice short of allowing this to run its course is the hope that we quickly develop a vaccine.

      • vermontadowhatiwanta permalink
        March 12, 2020 1:03 pm

        Most of all I am talking about economics. More people will likely be ruined from this financially that will die from it.